Now that Danny Ainge has finally let go of the past, the Celtics can begin an uninhibited rebuilding process. Rajon Rondo may have been part of the present for too long in Boston, but at least now we know he’s no longer the future. Read More. Written by Andrew Perna on Dec 18, 2014
Alex Poythress will miss the remainder of the 14-15 season for Kentucky with a torn ACL.
Poythress suffered the injury during Thursday's practice.
"When you're coaching other people's children and these children have high aspirations and unlimited potential -- not only to do things for themselves but for other people -- I can't begin to tell you the feeling when someone gets hurt," coach John Calipari said in a release. "My own son, Brad, tore his ACL last year. All I can tell you is I was physically sick when it happened to him. I feel exactly the same way now that it's happened to Alex."
Pursuing a title was a key motivation for Poythress to return for a third season with the Wildcats after last spring's NCAA title-game loss to Connecticut.
Jahlil Okafor is No. 1 on the big boards of Chad Ford and Jonathan Givony and figures to remain there throughout the season.
Okafor is one of the best low post scorer prospects in many years.
"I was sitting with a number of GMs and scouts last night during the Duke-Michigan State game," wrote Ford. "They love him. He's big and physical, however he was quick feet and a soft touch around the basket. He's a legit, old school big man who is just so poised right now. Emmanuel Mudiay and possibly Karl Towns and Kristaps Porzingis will make a run, but it's Okafor's to lose. Of the 30 guys I spoke with last night and polled, all of them had Okafor atop their board."
Five-star prospects Skal Labissiere and Isaiah Briscoe committed to Kentucky on Thursday as members of the 2015 recruiting class.
Labissiere is rated as the No. 11 player in the ESPN 100. He's a 6-foot-10 center regarded as a shot-blocker with lots of upside. He chose Kentucky over Baylor, Georgetown, Memphis, North Carolina, and Tennesseee.
Briscoe is rated as the No. 13 player in the ESPN 100 and the No. 1 point guard. The 6-foot-3 prospect is a powerful presence that can play either guard spot. He chose Kentucky over Connecticut and St. John's.
The five-stars join shooting guard Charles Matthews as members of Kentucky's 2015 class.
The incoming freshman class has several talented players, but at least one NBA scout believes it is not terribly strong.
"It's a weak freshman class in terms of skill and basketball talent," the NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "They don't have the ability to make other players better. It's all about them. They're ball dominant."
Jahlil Okafor, Karl Towns, Myles Turner, Kelly Oubre and Stanley Johnson are considered the strongest NBA prospects.
"(Okafor) has a body ready for the NBA, nimble feet and good hands. He needs to improve on his conditioning and not playing down to the competition."
"I knew they were good coming into this game, but sitting out there watching it in front of their eyes, on the sideline, honestly I don't see how they're going to get beat this year. I don't like to say that, because I know people have off nights, and things can happen and this-and-that, and injuries and things like that, but if they play like they did tonight, they're an NBA playoff team."
Calipari quickly shot down that narrative by responding on Twitter.
"I hear Coach Briggs got excited after the game last night. Let me be clear: If we played ANY NBA team, we would get buried. ANY."
Joining Okafor on the team are North Carolina junior point guard Marcus Paige, Wisconsin senior forward Frank Kaminsky, Louisville junior forward Montrezl Harrell and Wichita State junior point Fred VanVleet.