Big Blue Links: Settling into their new homes

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Big Blue Links for Saturday:

Karl-Anthony Towns wants to give Minnesota his best, reports AP. “Towns and (Tyus) Jones join a roster that is suddenly smitten with Minnesota. Andrew Wiggins won rookie of the year honors last season and told the AP at season’s end that he hopes he plays his whole career with the Wolves. Ricky Rubio went against the advice of his agents and signed a four-year contract extension last season in part because he wanted to stay in Minnesota and the notoriously reluctant to change Kevin Garnett consented to a trade at the deadline in February to leave Brooklyn and come back to the Timberwolves.”

Six takeaways for six Cats from NBA Draft, from Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “Overall No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns wore an unusual jacket that might be described as pinstripes on acid. ‘My stylist was telling me the story about how (there are) 8 meters of (this) fabric … in the world,” Towns said. “And this suit is 21/2 of it. So he’s really blessed me with a one-of-a-kind suit for this special day in my life.'”

John Calipari accomplishes his prized goal, writes Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports. “So it must have been an immense relief to Kentucky fans to learn that winning the national title was not the goal, since that didn’t work out. Now that they know the draft is the goal – watching four Wildcats go in the first 13 picks, and a record-tying six overall – they can properly rejoice.”

Bobby Portis apologizes for old anti-Bulls tweets, reports Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune. “It’s going to be an interesting, if not awkward, first day at training camp for Bulls draft pick Bobby Portis. Fans and media combed through the Arkansas power forward’s Twitter history and found some disparaging tweets about new teammates Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol – but plenty of praise for LeBron James and the Miami Heat.”

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ESPN says NBA Draft 2015 most-watched in history

Update: ESPN now says this was the most-watched NBA Draft in history. Here’s the release:

The 2015 NBA Draft was the most-watched Draft telecast in history, according to Nielsen. Thursday’s event on ESPN averaged 3,738,000 viewers (P2+), up eight percent from the 2014 NBA Draft. The telecast peaked with 5,131,000 viewers from 8-8:15 p.m. ET.

The 2015 NBA Draft was also the highest-rated ever on ESPN, averaging a 2.4 U.S. household rating. This is up four percent from last year’s event. The telecast peaked from 8-8:15 p.m. with a 3.3 rating.

Friday’s earlier post:

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SEC players in the last 10 NBA Drafts

As we know, Kentucky had six players taken in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. The rest of the SEC had four. Arkansas’ Bobby Portis was selected at No. 22. LSU’s Jarell Martin went No. 25. LSU’s Jordan Mickey went at No. 33. Tennessee’s Josh Richardson was the 40th player selected.

Over the past 10 years, 69 SEC players have been taken in the NBA Draft. UK leads the way with 27, followed by Florida with 11. After that it’s LSU (8), Vanderbilt (5), Tennessee (4), Arkansas (3), Georgia (3), Alabama (2), Mississippi State (2), Missouri (2), Ole Miss (1) and South Carolina (1).

Here’s the SEC chart for the last 10 NBA Drafts:

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Updating the John Calipari draft pick chart

Since John Calipari said that Thursday night’s NBA Draft was the official end of the season, let’s tally up the results over six years: A total of 25 draft picks, 19 first-round draft picks, four Final Fours, one national title.

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Aaron Harrison wasn’t alone

Here is a list of early entrants with college eligibility remaining who were not selected in the NBA Draft on Thursday night:

  • Cliff Alexander, Kansas
  • Brandon Ashley, Arizona
  • Michael Frazier, Florida
  • Aaron Harrison, Kentucky
  • Jerome Hill, Gardner-Webb
  • Vince Hunter, UTEP
  • Charles Jackson, Tennessee Tech
  • Trevor Lacey, NC State
  • Ashton Pankey, Manhattan
  • Terran Petteway, Nebraska
  • Walter Pitchford, Nebraska
  • Michael Qualls, Arkansas
  • Jherrod Stiggers, Houston
  • Deonta Stocks, West Georgia
  • Chris Walker, Florida
  • Chris Wood, UNLV

H/T College Basketball Talk

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Big Blue Links: NBA Draft roundup

Big Blue Links for Friday:

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2015 NBA Draft Liveblog

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We will be doing a 2015 NBA Draft liveblog/diary when the ESPN coverage starts Thursday at 7 p.m.

7:00: Welcome to the 2015 NBA Draft liveblog. I’m watching the ESPN coverage at home and will be commenting throughout the night. Join in.

7:04: We’ve got Rece Davis, Jalen Rose, Jay Williams and Jay Bilas at the ESPN desk in Brooklyn. That’s two Dookies and a Wolverine. No NBA guys? Rose, I suppose.

7:05: Jalen Rose says, “Call the Archaeologist because The Big Man is Back.”

7:10: Bilas taking up for Jahlil Okafor after the news that Karl-Anthony Towns will be the No. 1 pick by Minnesota. Jay Williams jumps in and reminds Jalen Rose that there’s no guarantee that Okafor is going No. 2 to the Lakers.

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Reviewing John Calipari’s draft record at Kentucky

Heading into Thursday night’s NBA Draft, it seems a good time to review the record of the supreme ruler of the past five drafts.

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More proof the NCAA is slowly waking up to reality?

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Little by little, inch by inch, mircomoment by micromoment, maybe the NCAA is finally starting to get it.

Monday brought news that the Indianapolis suits are proposing a new rule that would allow college underclassmen to return to school even after declaring for the NBA Draft.

Under the proposal, underclassmen who have declared for the draft would be able to attend the NBA Combine in May, when they could get a better reading from teams about their draft status. Players would then be allowed to return to college, if they wished, as long as they had not signed with an agent.

Under the new proposal, underclassmen would be allowed to participate in one NBA team workout in addition to the combine. The deadline to withdraw from the draft would be 10 days after the combine.

Players also would be able to declare for the draft in multiple years, if that’s their choosing.

I know, it all makes too much sense for the NCAA to pass.

Even better, if implemented, the new guidelines would take effect for the 2016 NBA Draft.

Of course, we can expect some grousing from power-hungry coaches worried about whether Player A is leaving or staying or coming back. The poor coach will just have to deal with it.

The proposal would get rid of a lot of the guesswork that marks the current guidelines. A player is forced to declare before he could possibly get all the information needed to make a realistic decision. Even now, prospect evaluations change right up to the last minute.

The “agent” is the sticky wicket here. Most players hire an agent as soon as they declare. The agent often acts as another piece of the puzzle as far as gathering information, acquiring preliminary information as far as expected contracts, etc.

In fact, in a perfect world, my perfect world, underclassmen not drafted should have the right to return to college. That would really give the power to the player.

Photo of Devin Booker by Kevin Arbogast/AP

Related links

John Clay: Five predictions for the NBA Draft

Video: 10 things to know about Kentucky and the NBA Draft

Cauley-Stein attributes questions about ankle to “politics”

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Big Blue Links: Jamal Murray saves the day

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Just when you might have thought John Calipari had lost his magic touch and a certain someone was going to be an Oregon Duck, we bring you Big Blue Links for Thursday:

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