- Vanderbilt Commodores - February 28, 2017 - Rupp Arena - 9:00 PM EST - ESPN
Unfortunately, the injuries have started to pile up for Coach Cal’s guys now in the NBA. Tyreke Evans missed two games last week, Terrence Jones was limited to just one game, Enes Kanter remains out with a broken right arm and Patrick Patterson did not play with a left knee contusion.
Last week marked the last full week of games prior to the NBA All-Star break. Former Wildcats Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Jamal Murray and Karl-Anthony Towns will compete in Friday’s Rising Stars Challenge. Booker, DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and John Wall will face off in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday. On Sunday, Cousins, Davis and Wall will participate in the NBA All-Star Game.
Coach Cal’s NBA guys averaged 14.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game last week. The former Calipari pupils played an average of 3.0 games last week, starting 1.6 of them and played 23.9 minutes per contest.
Player of the Week
This week’s Player of the Week is DeMarcus Cousins (Kentucky, 2010). Cousins played in three games last week – all wins – and averaged a robust 30.0 points, 12.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block per game.
Cousins had 22 points, 11 boards and seven assists against the Atlanta Hawks. Two days later, he scored 28 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out seven assists against Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. He closed out his week on Tuesday with 40 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists against the Lakers on Tuesday. He had two steals and one block in all three games.
That’s what we like to call consistent (and really good).
Highlight of the Week
We couldn’t limit the Highlight of the Week to a single play this week. We tried to, but then figured the only thing better than one great highlight is more than one great highlight. Why limit ourselves if there are two great plays?
Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky, 2013-15) had a number of highlight reel dunks during his three years at Kentucky. His posters at Florida, LSU and against Cincinnati in the second round of the NCAA Tournament were three of the best dunks of the 2015 season.
On Monday, Cauley-Stein added a new dunk to his reel. As Darren Collison drove toward the basket, Cauley-Stein went down the lane unguarded and Collison threw a perfect lob for him to throw down. It’s hard to imagine seeing too many dunks better than this one all year.
Our second highlight comes from John Wall (Kentucky, 2010), who is a regular in this space. Wall had a pair of assists against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night that were otherworldly. First there was an underhanded flick of the wrist that delivered the ball to Otto Porter in stride on the fast break. Only about a minute later, Wall dished it to Porter on another fast break, this time between his legs. Words don’t do these passes justice.
Performance of the Week
Similar to the Highlight of the Week, this week’s Performance of the Week comes from two guys, but this one is from the same game.
Anthony Davis (Kentucky, 2012) and Karl-Anthony Towns (Kentucky, 2015) faced off on Friday night and combined for 78(!) points and 21 rebounds. Davis scored 42 points on 16-of-22 shooting and grabbed 13 rebounds. Towns added 36 points on 13-of-22 shooting and grabbed eight boards.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Davis and Towns’ 78 combined points marked the most points by two NBA players who went to the same college since Florida’s Corey Brewer (51) and Chandler Parsons (27) combined to score 78 points on April 11, 2014.
By the Numbers
|Eric Bledsoe (Suns)||3.0||3.0||32.3||25.3||1.7||5.3||1.3||0.3|
|Devin Booker (Suns)||4.0||4.0||31.8||21.5||2.0||3.0||0.5||0.3|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (Kings)||4.0||0.0||18.3||9.8||4.0||2.0||0.8||0.5|
|DeMarcus Cousins (Kings)||3.0||3.0||34.7||30.0||12.3||7.3||2.0||1.0|
|Anthony Davis (Pelicans)||4.0||4.0||36.5||27.5||10.8||2.3||1.0||3.0|
|Tyreke Evans (Pelicans)||2.0||0.0||20.0||11.0||3.5||2.5||1.5||0.0|
|Andrew Harrison (Grizzlies)||2.0||0.0||2.0||1.0||0.0||0.5||0.5||0.0|
|Terrence Jones (Pelicans)||1.0||1.0||35.0||21.0||8.0||1.0||1.0||0.0|
|Enes Kanter (Thunder)||DNP – Injured|
|Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Hornets)||3.0||3.0||32.7||7.3||7.7||2.0||1.7||1.0|
|Brandon Knight (Suns)||4.0||1.0||19.8||9.0||1.8||1.8||0.5||0.0|
|Skal Labissiere (Kings)||1.0||0.0||1.0||2.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0|
|DeAndre Liggins (Cavaliers)||3.0||2.0||13.0||5.7||1.7||2.0||2.0||0.3|
|Trey Lyles (Jazz)||4.0||0.0||14.0||4.5||3.5||0.5||0.0||0.0|
|Jamal Murray (Nuggets)||4.0||0.0||19.3||10.8||2.3||1.5||0.5||0.3|
|Nerlens Noel (76ers)||4.0||2.0||26.0||11.3||5.5||1.0||2.5||1.3|
|Patrick Patterson (Raptors)||DNP – Injured|
|Julius Randle (Lakers)||3.0||3.0||25.7||14.3||6.7||1.7||0.3||0.0|
|Derrick Rose (Knicks)||3.0||3.0||31.7||17.0||4.7||4.7||0.7||0.3|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (Timberwolves)||4.0||4.0||37.0||28.3||9.3||2.5||0.5||0.8|
|Tyler Ulis (Suns)||3.0||0.0||10.0||5.0||0.7||2.7||0.3||0.0|
|John Wall (Wizards)||3.0||3.0||37.7||21.3||4.7||13.3||1.3||1.3|
|James Young (Celtics)||4.0||0.0||8.5||4.3||1.0||0.0||0.3||0.0|
Note: Tyreke Evans (Memphis, 2009) left the Pelicans’ game Feb. 6 in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle and missed the Pelicans first two games of the week … Terrence Jones (Kentucky, 2011-12) has a sprained right thumb and was limited to just one game last week … Enes Kanter (Kentucky, 2011) had surgery Jan. 27 to repair a broken right arm. He will be out at least four weeks … Patrick Patterson (Kentucky, 2008-10) suffered a left knee contusion in the first quarter of the Raptors’ game Feb. 3 against Orlando, and did not play last week.
Other Cats in the NBA
|Jodie Meeks (Magic)||DNP – Injured|
|Rajon Rondo (Bulls)||4.0||0.0||23.5||9.3||4.0||5.3||0.5||0.0|
Note: Jodie Meeks (Kentucky, 2007-09) sprained two ligaments in his right thumb (shooting hand) on Jan. 18 and had surgery on the thumb Jan. 24. He is out indefinitely.
Upcoming Games on National TV
Wednesday (Feb. 15): Pacers at Cavalier (Liggins), 7:00 p.m. on ESPN
Wednesday (Feb. 15): Knicks (Rose) at Thunder (Kanter), 9:30 p.m. on ESPN
Thursday (Feb. 16): Celtics (Young) at Bulls (Rondo), 8:00 p.m. on TNT
Friday (Feb. 17): BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge (Booker, Lyles, Murray, Towns), 9:00 p.m. on TNT
Saturday (Feb. 18): Taco Bell Skills Challenge (Booker, Cousins, Davis, Wall), 8:00 p.m. on TNT
Sunday (Feb. 19): NBA All-Star Game (Cousins, Davis, Wall), 8:00 p.m. on TNT
‘Old reliable’ Hawkins delivering for Cats