After an unusually short off-season, the NBA preseason has been underway. In these games we have seen many former UK Wildcats show great promise for the coming season. If you are a UK Basketball fan and are disappointed with how the college basketball season is going, here are some Wildcat story-lines you may want to follow in the upcoming NBA season:
John Wall and Demarcus Cousins Reunited:
2010 was a historic year for UK Basketball being both the first year under UK head coach John Calapari but also the year where UK boasted both John Wall and Demarcus Cousins. The dynamic duo led the the cats to an SEC Tournament win and an Elite 8 appearance. The league recognized their talents in the draft when Wall went with the first overall pick, and Cousins with the 8th. They have each independently had long successful careers since then, yet have both had recent bouts of serious injuries. In the off-season the duo were reunited for the first time since college with the pair being rostered on the Houston Rockets. They looked incredible together this preseason with the pair putting up impressive stat-lines for their limited minutes.
Rookies to look out for:
The 2020 NBA draft saw four UK players selected, two of which showed particular promise: Immanuel Quickley of the New York Knicks and Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers. Maxey was subbed in late in the game and went on to score 3 times in a row and ended the game shooting an impressive 4/6 from the field. Quickley, alongside other former Wildcat Kevin Knox, helped his team stage an impressive 17 point comeback to end up winning the game.
Last year’s finals included 4 former UK players each in prominent roles in the Heat Vs. Lakers match-up. The Los Angeles Lakers, featuring UK star Anthony Davis, are looking to repeat in 2021, opening the season as the favorite to win it all. The Miami Heat, featuring former Cats Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo, were the Cinderella story of last year’s playoffs and certainly have something to prove. These are both teams you should keep your eye on as the season continues.