Takeaways From Kentucky's Televised Combine

Drew Franklinalmost 5 years

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Aritcle written by:Drew FranklinDrew Franklin

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basketball-practice John Calipari opened up his practice facility doors to almost one hundred NBA scouts and personnel from all 30 of the league's franchises, as well as ESPN's college basketball crew, for the annual preseason combine Sunday night. The two-hour practice was broadcast live on national television for all of Blue Nation to see. If you missed it -- and shame on you if you did -- these takeaways should get you caught up while you watch Trump v. Clinton Round 2.   Let's be honest: It was kind of boring. It's very exciting to get a pre-Madness glimpse at Calipari's new team each year and it's a huge commercial for the program, but let's not act like it made for stunning television. I wish ESPN would dial back on the analysis from the talking heads and plug in some live audio of the practice in its place. Seth Greenberg, Fran Fraschilla and Doris Burke are good people; however, I don't need to hear them talk about college basketball for two hours on a Sunday night. That being said, it's good to see basketball back in the Bluegrass and taking over ESPNU for an evening. Hi, haters. Isaiah Briscoe is definitely the leader. After hearing all summer what a great job Briscoe has done in his new leadership role, the televised practice proved it. Briscoe was the most vocal player on the floor, even going as far to make a suggestion to Calipari about a drill, which Cal then used. He was also heard cheering on his teammates throughout the entire practice, just as Tyler Ulis did as the sophomore leader last year. Briscoe's shooting has also improved, although we didn't get to see much of it. Metz Camfield of CoachCal.com, who was at the practice, tweeted, "Isaiah Briscoe just hit 12-of-13 3-pointers in 35 seconds going back and forth from each side of the top of the arc." Malik Monk, De'Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo are going to be stars. Fox is lightning quick, as we've been told. Monk is crazy athletic, as we've been told. Adebayo is a beast, as we've been told. All three freshmen made plays in the five-on-five scrimmage that proved they're worth the hype. We learned Coach Cal and Larry Brown are having slumber parties at Cal's house. A fun little nugget from the program: Larry Brown has been shacked up in Calipari's guest bedroom. Cal said his Hall of Fame friend and mentor is attending practices and passing along his thoughts and suggestions on the team, which is a great second opinion to have. I bet they stay up late playing Nintendo 64 and trading basketball cards and drinking Mountain Dew too, like best buds do. Brad Calipari was on fire. Brad silenced his critics with some lights-out shooting during the practice and it happened at the most opportune time. Watch as he knocks down at least seven in a row in one particular drill just as ESPN framed him up over Cal's comments about coaching him. The whole thing is ridiculous, if you really think about it. Did those players give the scouts anything that'll really improve their draft stock next summer? Very unlikely. There's an entire season coming up for that. But the combine did give John Calipari two hours to be John Calipari on a Sunday night in October, which is utterly ridiculous. ESPN just gave him the keys to ESPNU for two hours and he brought the NBA, and everyone watching from home, along with him. "Can we go shake their hands?" was the highlight of the night.

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2021-09-26