Most Recent Posts
- NBA scouts offer takes on what’s wrong with Calipari’s Cats
- Kentucky RB JoJo Kemp plans to keep “grinding” and keep “this ship moving”
- UK signee Devin Booker on Cats: “I feel like toward the end of the year, they’re going to be special”
- James Young: “We can play defense, it’s just we tend to stop sometimes”
- Calipari on defense: “It starts with your point guard. If he can’ t pressure the ball, then someone else has to be playing;
- Cal on lack of bench play: “But, I come back to, played guys too many minutes. They’re not ready for that”
- Bud Dupree, Avery Williamson named second team All-SEC
- Cal teaches team how to huddle at foul line, but says ” I haven’t lost any confidence in the team”
On the team’s mentality after the loss …
“We’ve recovered. No pressure at all, we’ve just got to get in the gym and just work hard.”
On how surprising this is …
“It’s kind of surprising, but we just didn’t play to our full potential. That’s what can happen if we don’t come to our full game. So we’re just going to try to let it go and try to recover.”
On Calipari being mad about the loss …
“Oh yeah, he was pretty mad and we were too. We just have to get in the gym. Yesterday we were in here for a couple hours and just keep practicing.”
On why they got outworked …
“I think it was just the lack of communication that we had. We did not come out with as much fire as we should have and just really we were supposed to pick it up in the beginning of the game and we really let that go. They got a little lead and we had to come back.”
On free throws being a problem …
“Not really. We just probably lost focus and we’ve got to stay focused. Mental discipline and Coach always points that out. We need to stay focused a little more.”
On how big a concern defense is …
“We can play defense, it’s just we tend to stop sometimes and that’s what will really get us. We’ve just got to keep playing through the whole possession and not stop.”
On whether he is more eager to play after a loss …
“Yeah, definitely. We love big games and we’ve just got to come out and show everybody that we do. We just can’t let stuff like that happen anymore.”
On fans expecting the team to play like veterans …
“Yeah, we’re young just like some of the other teams and we’ve just got a lot to learn. We just take it day by day and Coach just gives us a lot and we try to take it in.”
On fans’ strong reactions to early losses …
“I don’t know. I’ve never seen stuff like that happen before, but it’s just another loss, I feel like. We only have two, so I feel like if we just keep moving we’ll learn.”
On hearing from fans on social media …
“Not really. I don’t really bother much with Twitter. I didn’t really hear anything.”
On the importance of December …
“It’s pretty important to us. We’re just going to take it game by game. I’m pretty sure we can get the W if we just play hard the whole game.”
On his free throw shooting …
“I just tend to lose focus when I’m tired, so that’s what it is. I just need to work on my conditioning more, get my fatigue up and I’ll be fine.”
On Boise State …
“They’re pretty good, like Coach said, and we’ve just got to play hard. We’ve just got to out-tough them, muscle them a little bit. We have a height advantage, so if we use all our height I feel like we’ll be good.”
On what Calipari has said about Boise State …
“That they’re really talented. We have to worry about everybody on the court. It’s not just our offense we need to worry about. We need to worry about defense as well.”
On whether Calipari is different after a loss …
“No, he’s the same. He tries to let it go as well as we do and we just try to keep moving forward.”
On what advantage veteran teams have …
“They’ve just been together longer so they have that chemistry. So we’ve just been working on ours because we haven’t been together for a while, but we’re getting stronger and I think we’ll improve more.”
On Rico Gathers saying UK was “stunned” when Baylor got after them …
“They came at us with a lot of intensity and we just try to not worry about it as much. We let it go and just keep moving forward.”
On what they are still learning about each other …
“Our play style. A lot of guys have different play styles, so once we get everybody’s style down I feel like we’ll be a real good team.”
On whether it felt like they might never make it back from Dallas …
“Yeah. It seems like every time we go out of town there’s always a delay in our flight. But it took a while to get back and I was just eager to get back here.”
On whether the delay was especially hard after a loss …
“Yeah, because we just had to sit there and dwell on it more sitting there on the plane. It was a long day.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
Because he’s in better physical shape, sophomore center Willie Cauley-Stein has “come a long way” since last season when he was the least heralded member of Kentucky’s recruiting class and a backup for Nerlens Noel.
“He’s in good enough shape he can continue to play. There have been times before, he’d just stand there and just let the guy drive in and like hold onto his guy and say, ‘Well, I was … I was holding my guy.’ Now he knows he can go get it,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said after Cauley-Stein had 15 points, nine blocks and eight rebounds against Providence Sunday.
“And then the second thing is, we’re doing a better job if he does leave to block out, cracking down and taking his man. But to have nine blocks in a game like this? Big-time. Big-time. And then to play the way he did and to run like a gazelle. Did you see him run the court? Oh, my gosh.”
Cauley-Stein has 31 blocks through eight games, or just five fewer than Anthony Davis did during his record-setting season two years ago. He’s almost averaging a double-double (9.6 points, 8.4 rebounds per game) and is shooting 60 percent from the field.
“I think just more aware. Like before in the past it was like I was hesitant on going (to block a shot),” Cauley-Stein, who has 17 blocks in the last two games going into Friday’s game against No. 20 Baylor. “Now I’m just going. Like coach said, ‘Don’t even worry about it. Try to go block every ball.’ So that’s what my game plan is coming into the game: just go try to block everything.”
Cauley-Stein says his improved offense is due in large part to his better play on defense this season.
“It definitely feeds off the defense, just flying around everywhere. It makes it where you’re not thinking about the offense. In the past that’s what I was doing: thinking about, like pre-thinking what move I need to do. Now, it’s just I’m reacting and just trying to go up,” Cauley-Stein said.
Teammates know how valuable Cauley-Stein has been.
“When Willie picks it up on defense, it just gives us the extra energy boost that we need. We clap, clap it up on defense, which really picks us up on defense,” freshman guard James Young said.
Freshman Dominique Hawkins says Cauley-Stein’s defense “sparks” the team.
“It makes us want to play defense better. To give the energy that he’s giving, we all want to give that same energy and we know that he probably has our backs as guards if somebody drives around us that he’s going to be on the help side to block their shot or change their shot or anything like that,” Hawkins said. “Running up and down the court has really been effective for him. I think he probably got at least two alley-oops a game just because he’s running up and down the court. And definitely he’s improving on his offensive game every day. If you ever watch practice, Willie, he’s always going as hard as he can and working on his post moves.”
Hawkins says Cauley-Stein is simply doing what Calipari is encouraging him to do on defense.
“He tells all the bigs to go after the shot block because that’s how team defense becomes better and he wants us to get the loose balls once the shot is blocked. So basically he’s telling Willie to be an effective shot-blocker,” Hawkins said.
Freshman Julius Randle, UK’s leading scorer and rebounder, says Cauley-Stein is embracing his role as a team leader.
“He’s maybe not going to say as much. He’s starting to become really vocal, but before anything he’s going to lead with his actions or how hard he plays,” Randle said. “You can tell that’s what he does by having nine blocks last game and then scoring the ball there at the end. He’s changing the game and making our team a lot better.”
Calipari said he asked players why Cauley-Stein has been playing so well and one answered that he was “not thinking” and was just playing. That was the wrong answer.
“The statement you don’t think, that’s not true. You got to think. He’s reacting better, and I’ll tell you why: because he’s practicing like crazy. He is attacking practices, which make the games easier,” Calipari said. “We have other guys that the practice is attacking them every day. One guy shut it down: ‘I can’t breathe!’ And they looked at his heart rate and it was at 82 percent. Well then you have a lung disease, OK?
“So it’s not — you just can’t push through the comfort level. There are times, I have a couple guys, their heart rate gets in the 90s and I tell them — they’ll tell me, ’94!’ Who? ‘Willie.’ Step off, Willie. Step off, Dominique.”
Calipari said Cauley-Stein is “going like there’s no tomorrow” at the last part of every drill compared to teammates who just want the drill to end.
“There’s a difference. You finish the drill; the hardest part is those last seven, eight seconds. ‘Ah!’ And those other guys are looking at the clock: ‘Can I get through it? The clock.’ Well, you’re not going to get better. What got you here, won’t get you there. You’ve gotta change,” Calipari said. “So some guys are changing. Willie’s changing. Other guys are not.
“Until they accept they’ve got to change, they won’t. But all in all, I’ve been really pleased. I’m dragging this team faster than they need to go, yet taking some things back to the very elementary that they needed to be doing when they got here.”
By Nick Nicholas
BROOKLYN – Willie Cauley-Stein arose on both ends of the Barclays Center floor Sundaynight to lead No. 3 Kentucky over Providence 79-65.
The 7-foot forward scored 15 points in 36 minutes of work, but more impressively accounted for eight rebounds and a career-high nine blocked shots against the Friars. Cauley-Stein made seven of eight shots, committed only one turnover and handed out an assist.
“The last couple of games have been pretty good,’’ said Cauley-Stein, who scored 15 points and had seven blocked shots during Wednesday’s 81-63 victory over Eastern Michigan. “I’m more aware (on the defensive end). Before in the past I was hesitant on going (for the block).’’
Added Kentucky coach John Calipari: “To have nine blocks in a game like this is big time. I’m proud of him. He’s come a long way. He’s playing harder longer. He’s never played this many minutes. We made a step up today.”
Kentucky improves to 7-1 and faces Baylor Friday night at 9 p.m. (ESPN) in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge contest at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“Credit Kentucky, they really got on the glass,’’ said Friars head coach Ed Cooley, whose team was out-rebounded 35-30. “I like their team. They are young and you can see they are growing every game. Their strength is their length.”
UK benefited from a balanced offensive attack with four players in double figures. Besides Cauley-Stein’s high-energy performance, James Young poured in a team-high 18 points followed by Aaron Harrison with 15 and Julius Randle with 12 points. Randle grabbed eight rebounds, ending his double-double string of seven games.
Providence’s 6-foot-1 senior guard Bryce Cotton kept the Friars (7-2) close. Cotton hit on five of nine three-pointers on his way to a game-high 23-point effort.
Cotton hit on 4-of-9 attempts in the first half, but finished the game hitting on 7-of-21.
Calipari credited Aaron Harrison’s defense on Cotton.
“Aaron Harrison changed the game,’’ Calipari said. “He wanted to guard him.’’
Overall, the Friars gave UK fits by making 10 of 19 three-pointers, but the Wildcats were just as deadly with less attempts, making six of eight three-pointers.
Moreover, the Wildcats shot 27 of 42 from the field for a sizzling 64.3 percent. In the second half, they made 11 of 16 from the field for 68.8 percent.
“(Coach Calipari) said to pick it up a little more in the second half,’’ Young said. “We didn’t have that fire (in the first half).’’
Kentucky jumped out to a 6-0 advantage and never relinquished the lead. Providence did close the gap, 39-38 following a Bryce Cotton three-pointer. Led by Cauley-Stein (six first-half points, four blocks), Young (9 points) and Andrew Harrison (11 points) the Wildcats enjoyed a 39-35 lead at halftime.
An 8-2 UK start in the second half was highlighted by two consecutive blocks by Cauley-Stein that started a Wildcat fast break. Young zipped a pass to Aaron Harrison who found Cauley Stein driving to the basket. The ball never touched the floor during the sequence until Cauley-Stein’s dunk caromed off the floor.
“I was extremely hyped and that was a good feeling,’’ Cauley-Stein said about the play. “When we pick it up on defense it gives us an extra energy boost.’’
Providence’s Cooley signaled a timeout much to the delight of most of the 8,086 in attendance. The Wildcats continued to build on the lead for the remaining 16:39 as Cauley-Stein dominated on both ends of the floor.
What has been a problem turned into a positive Sunday night. Kentucky made 19 of 25 free throws for 76.0 percent.
Providence started the game having difficulty finding its aim.
Kentucky jumped out to a 16-6 lead thanks to a nice drive by Aaron Harrison.
But midway through the first half the Friars began to gain confidence against the No.3-ranked team in the country.
The Wildcats ended the first half 16 of 26 shots from the field for 61.5 percent, compared to Providence’s 11 of 33 shooting for 33.3 percent.
JIM O’CONNELL, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Willie Cauley-Stein had 15 points, eight rebounds and a career-high nine blocks to lead No. 3 Kentucky to a 79-65 victory over Providence on Sunday night at Barclays Center.
James Young scored 18 points and Aaron Harrison added 15 for the Wildcats (7-1), who shot 64.3 percent from the field (27 of 42) and led by as many as 17 points in the second half.
Bryce Cotton had 23 points for the Friars (7-2), who finished 10 of 19 (52.6 percent) from 3-point range. They came into the game shooting just 29.4 percent from beyond the arc and were averaging only five 3s per game.
Kentucky, which had the majority of the crowd of 8,086 cheering for it, also had an exceptional game from 3-point range. The Wildcats were 6 of 8 from beyond the arc, decidedly better than the 28.9 percent they were shooting from there entering the game.
Julius Randle, the highest profile of the eight-man freshman class at Kentucky, scored 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. He had a double-double in each of his seven games this season tying Jim Andrews in 1971-72 for the most by a Kentucky player at the start of a season. That streak is over.
The Wildcats finished with 11 blocks with Cauley-Stein doing most of the rejecting. Providence continued to go inside but the bigger Wildcats made it a rough trip and the Friars kept firing from long range.
Cauley-Stein was 7 of 8 from the field, while Harrison was 7 of 9 and Young 5 of 7 including going 3 of 4 from 3-point range for the Wildcats, whose only loss was as the No. 1 team in the nation to Michigan State, which moved up one spot to the top with the win.
This game started a December that will have the Wildcats face No. 18 Baylor, No. 16 North Carolina and No. 9 Louisville in addition to Boise State and Belmont.
Providence was without sophomore guard Kris Dunn who missed his second straight game with a right shoulder injury. No timetable has been set for his return. The Friars’ only loss this season was to Maryland in the championship game of the Paradise Jam.
This was the second meeting between the schools and the first was played across the East River. Kentucky beat Providence 79-78 in the 1976 NIT at Madison Square Garden.
No. 3 KENTUCKY 79, PROVIDENCE 65
Young 5-7 5-6 18, Randle 4-10 4-7 12, Cauley-Stein 7-8 1-1 15, Aa. Harrison 7-9 0-1 15, An. Harrison 0-2 8-8 8, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Poythress 2-3 0-0 5, Hawkins 2-2 0-0 5, Willis 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 27-42 19-25 79.
Batts 3-14 1-3 8, Henton 1-4 4-4 7, Harris 4-13 1-3 10, Fortune 2-5 4-4 10, Cotton 7-21 4-5 23, Goldsbrough 0-0 0-0 0, Bancroft 0-0 0-0 0, Desrosiers 2-4 3-4 7. Totals 19-61 17-23 65.
Halftime_Kentucky 39-35. 3-Point Goals_Kentucky 6-8 (Young 3-4, Hawkins 1-1, Poythress 1-1, Aa. Harrison 1-2), Providence 10-19 (Cotton 5-9, Fortune 2-5, Batts 1-1, Henton 1-1, Harris 1-3). Fouled Out_Batts, Henton. Rebounds_Kentucky 35 (Cauley-Stein, Randle 8), Providence 30 (Batts 8). Assists_Kentucky 12 (Aa. Harrison, Randle 4), Providence 8 (Cotton 5). Total Fouls_Kentucky 22, Providence 22. A_8,086.
By KEITH TAYLOR, Winchester Sun
Even when the shots weren’t falling, James Young didn’t give up.
Young didn’t score a basket in the first half of third-ranked Kentucky’s 68-61 triumph over Cleveland State Monday night at Rupp Arena. He was 0-4 from the field in the first 20 minutes but came through in the second half. Young finished with nine points, grabbed five rebounds, had three assists and a block.
More than his clutch three-pointer late in the second half that helped spark Kentucky’s successful rally, Young’s movement without the ball served as an example for his teammates to follow down the stretch and going into today’s game with unbeaten Eastern Michigan.
“James Young fought like crazy and came up with loose balls when we were dead,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “If (Cleveland State) got those balls, we would lose.
“That’s why I looked at the other guys and (said), ‘fight like he’s fighting.’”
It was a desire to win that sparked Young’s enthusiasm.
“I didn’t want to lose,” Young said. “I felt like if we lost, there would be a lot on our shoulders like (the) Michigan State (loss). I just, for whatever reason, did not want to lose and did what I could to help our team win.”
Young was elated with the successful comeback that pushed Kentucky’s winning streak to three games. He credited the crowd for giving the team the spark it needed to get over the proverbial hump. Young said the crowd “got us more focused, got us to come together and talk together as a team.”
“It means a lot to us,” he said. “We hadn’t experienced anything like this before and we focused on what we needed to do (to win the game).”
The Cats weren’t as inspired in the first half and trailed by 11 at one point in the second half. Young blamed the slow start on taking the opponent lightly and knew Cleveland State “wasn’t going to back down easily” after leading for most of the first half.
“We didn’t come out with as much fight, took them softly and it showed,” Young said. “We just stepped up in the second half. Coach (Calipari) just told us we had to play better and just fight. That’s what we did.”
The difference between the first 14 minutes and the last eight minutes, Young said, was the team’s chemistry. Young said the Cats weren’t feeling good about their chances at the break, facing a 31-27 deficit. He added that his “head was down” but picked up the pace in the second half and “knew we couldn’t lose on home court.”
“We just clicked,” he said. “We got it all together and just said we didn’t want to lose. Once we got together and told each other to just pick it up, that’s what we did. The crowd become involved and we responded.”
Young said the mental lapses, similar to the ones that occurred more times than not in the win over the Vikings, have been known to happen in practice at times.
“Some people lose focus, stop (during a defensive possession) or something,” Young said. “We’re getting better at it. We’re young and we don’t know everything, so we’re just trying to learn together as a team.”
Even though the season is nearly three weeks old, Young knows the Cats can’t continue to use the lack of experience as an excuse as the season progresses. Kentucky has six non-conference games remaining, including a date at North Carolina on Dec. 14 and a highly-anticipated showdown against Louisville on Dec. 28.
“We’ve just got to step up,” he said.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Freshman James Young admitted he had “never felt something like this” after the way the Rupp Arena crowd helped UK rally from an 11-point deficit in the second half Monday night.
“It was amazing. I want this when we’re not down, to be like that all the time. I’ve never felt something like that, ever,” Young said. “It just gave me a lot of energy. It picked me up, I was trying to pick everyone else up, clapping. … We just tried to get as much energy as we could and just play together as a team.”
Young said the UK fans “definitely” earned an assist for Monday’s win.
By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari said freshman Aaron and Andrew Harrison “are trying” to do what he wants but still have a “ways to go” with their execution and body language.
“But it’s not just those two. Julius (Randle) has got a ways to go. When you rebound, stick, rebound, bang, and then they say, ‘Man, he played hard,’ but then you’ve got to watch defensively, you’ve got to watch running the floor,” Calipari said. “Alex (Poythress) has gotten better, but got a ways to go. I mean, we’re a team that is behind – Dominique (Hawkins) is probably closest to what we’re looking for of anybody on the team, but it’s not where we need to be right now.”
Calipari said players have to know where other players are on the court to become a special team.
“If you don’t know where everybody is and if people aren’t talking, you’re not comfortable, you kind of get … you go back because you’re afraid to go out, because you don’t know if people have your back,” the UK coach said. “That’s where we are a little bit right now to. So, look, there’s a lot of fronts that we’ve got to work on. We’ve got to work more on the press. But the whole point comes back to your effort, if you want to know, again, what’s success, it’s just ‘I’m giving my best, I’m doing my best.’
“You have to feel good about that. If you’re not doing your best, if you’re standing around, if you stop playing … for most of these kids, they were always bigger and stronger and longer and faster, you didn’t have to outwork the other guy. If a team’s effort level is far beyond yours, it will smash a talented group. Just will. A less talented team that just fights like crazy will beat the talented team. So we just – my job right now is to get these guys to understand how hard they gotta play, what it’s gotta look like, and we’re just not there.”
By LARRY VAUGHT
Found a few more leftover words of wisdom from James Young after his big outing against Texas-Arlington Tuesday.
How much has coach John Calipari talked to him about not letting missed shots affect the rest of his game …
“I tend to put my head down a lot when I miss shots so he’s just been getting on me and just saying let the shot go and keep moving on. They’ll be next shots and more shots. I just listen to him and try not to put my head down and just keep moving on with the game.”
How difficult is it not to let missing shots affect the rest of his game …
“Yeah. I can’t score as much because we have a lot of people that can score. If it’s somebody’s night, we just try to get them the ball as much as we can and I guess tonight was my night. They tried to get me the ball as much as they can and I just tried staying with my normal form and just getting some open shots I was hitting.”
How tough was the Michigan State game for him being a Michigan native …
Young: “It was real tough. It took me a while to get dressed. Sitting with the twins and Julius, it was real hard on us. We didn’t like the feeling of it and I don’t think we want that feeling again. It was just real tough on us and we don’t want that feeling again.”
Does he have more effort when Calipari is asking for more of it …
Young: “When I’m tired, I feel like I am, but I’m really not at all. It shows when he plays the tape. I’ve just been trying to work on that. Actually, the whole team’s been working on. Just when you’re tired, try to give a little bit more.”
Can seven or eight guys can score 25-plus points in a game like Calipari says …
Young: “Oh yeah, definitely. Our whole team can score. If we all have open shots, we just tell them to take it because we can all score or get to the basket. If a guy has a hot hand for the night, we just try to get them the ball as much as we can.”
Question: Does this team take Calipari’s yelling better than last year?
Cauley-Stein: “A little bit. I don’t really play into it. You just got to try to weed out why he’s yelling and take the good things from it. Sometimes it is like you are not listening, or he feels like it, but we listen. Sometimes it is going to look like, ‘Whatever, I don’t care.’ But you take the good things out of it and just weed out the yelling and bad stuff that he says to you and take out what he really is trying to get you to do. The other stuff is just for show.”
Question: Is it hard to change because you played your whole life that way?
Cauley-Stein: “Your whole life that like. It’s definitely hard to change. It’s like tying your shoes one way and somebody said, ‘I’m going to kill you if you tie your shoes a different way.’ You’re going to try to try it, but, oh wait a second, I should probably try to do it the other way before I die. It’s like that. It’s hard to change, especially with how fast Cal goes. It’s hard to change, but once you do it, you’ll click. Like, I got it now. It’s just getting over that hump to where you can click.”
Question: Do you feel like you might die if you don’t change?
Cauley-Stein: “Emotionally, you will die. Emotionally, you will die, definitely. But it’s part of the process. That’s why we come here.”
Question: Is this team physical?
Cauley-Stein: “We could be. Sometimes we are.”
Question: What is it like to have a shooter as good as James Young on the team?
Cauley-Stein: “If you get stuck in the post or something, they double- or triple-team you, you know you got a guy wide open on the other side that’s going to knock down the shot. So it’s like, to know that you know you don’t have to really speed yourself up to try get out of the trap to try to make a play, you just got to throw it across the court and you’re going to have two guys are going to be wide open for shots and they can knock it down.”
Three University of Kentucky freshmen were among 50 players tabbed to the Naismith Trophy Watch List for the National Player of the Year award the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced Thursday afternoon.
Andrew Harrison, Julius Randle and James Young were represented on the list of 50 players across the country considered candidates for the Naismith Trophy.
Each year, the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Board of Selectors chooses the 50 pre-season “Naismith Watch” list as well as the mid-season team of 30 candidates. The Naismith voting academy narrows that group down to four finalists who will make up the final ballot. The voting academy, comprised of leading basketball journalists, coaches and administrators from around the country, base its criteria on player performance throughout the season.
The trio has started all five games for the Wildcats this season.
Harrison has averaged 11.0 points per game while dishing out a team-high 18 assists, including six against UT Arlington. He leads the squad with a .786 free throw percentage after connecting on 22-of-28 from the charity stripe thus far.
Randle is the fourth Wildcat in program history to open the season with five-straight double-double efforts and the first freshmen. He’s reached the 20-point plateau in four of five contests, while hauling in 13 or more rebounds in four contests. Randle is averaging team-highs in points (20.8) and rebounds (13.6) in the early going.
Young ranks second on the team with an average of 14.2 points per game, while leading the team in assists (7) and made 3-pointers (12). The sharp-shooter has drained at least one 3-pointer in all five games this season and is the only player to achieve that feat. He knocked down a career-high five en route to a career-high 26-point performance against UT Arlington.
Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, creator of the game of basketball, the first trophy was awarded to UCLA’s Lew Alcindor, later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in 1969. Anthony Davis became UK’s first winner of the award in 2012 after guiding the Cats to their eighth national title. Other winners include: Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Tim Duncan, Marcus Camby, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Michael Jordan