Good morning, friends, and welcome to another unusually busy UK Sports day in July. Lots of ground to cover, so let’s hop right in.
Devin Booker and the Suns take Game 1 of the NBA Finals
Chris Paul was the star of Phoenix’s 118-105 win over Milwaukee in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, but Devin Booker shined too. The former Cat scored 27 points and dished six assists alongside Paul, who finished with 32 points and nine assists. It was the first NBA Finals for both, and the 36-year-old Paul is now the first player with 30 points and eight assists in an NBA Finals debut since Michael Jordan in 1991. Who says 30-somethings can’t do new tricks?
Booker being Booker, he arrived in style:
Devin Booker arriving for his first NBA Finals ??
(via IG: perlamacias49) pic.twitter.com/zlarOMTBSd
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) July 7, 2021
Game Two is Thursday night at 9 p.m. on ABC.
Football coaches take over KSR
Matt Jones’ two-week vacation rolls on, and today, the show moves to the football training center, where the Kentucky coaching staff will take over the mics with the help of Ryan Lemond. Defensive coordinator Brad White will serve as the show’s host, but we’ll hear from new offensive coordinator Liam Coen, associate head coach/tight ends coach Vince Marrow, and, of course, Mark Stoops. If you’re not able to listen live, be sure to catch the podcast or check KSR for all the headlines.
Reminder: Single-game tickets for all seven home games go on sale tomorrow morning at 9 a.m.
Today is the NCAA’s NBA Draft withdrawal deadline
College basketball players testing the NBA Draft waters only have 15 or so hours left to stay in the pool or get out. By 11:59 p.m. ET tonight, players who want to return to college for another season must formally pull out of the draft. With Davion Mintz back in the fold, this deadline no longer affects Kentucky, but today will be a wild one on College Basketball Twitter. We’ll bring you the highlights as they happen.
Speaking of the deadline, did you see yesterday’s big news? Seven-foot, 285 lbs. Illinois star Kofi Cockburn withdrew from the draft and told ESPN he’s seriously considering Kentucky in part because of his relationship with Orlando Antigua.
“He’s the reason I went to Illinois,” Cockburn said of Antigua. “When he left along with Chin Coleman, I decided to go in the portal to leave my options open. Kentucky? It’s a serious option. Antigua is my guy. I’m going to consider them, but there are a lot of schools. I wasn’t really focused on that while I was in the NBA draft. Now I can take my time and evaluate it better.”
Cockburn is in the process of setting up visits. With Jalen Duren expected to make his decision after the Peach Jam later this month, this is certainly is an exciting time to be a Kentucky fan, especially since Calipari tweeted yesterday that the team is “having some of our best practices since I’ve been the coach here.”
Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals
Is tonight the night Tampa Bay makes it two in a row? The defending champs lead the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals, with tonight’s Game 5 taking place in Tampa Bay at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Tropical Storm Elsa is currently moving through the area, but the game will go on.
England/Denmark in the Euro Semifinals
Yesterday, Italy beat Spain to advance to the Euro 2020 finals, but needed extra time and penalty kicks to do it. Today, they’ll find out who they’ll face on Sunday when England and Denmark square off in the second semifinal at 3 p.m. ET at Wembley Stadium. You can watch it live on ESPN. If it’s even half as good as the Italy/Spain match, we’re in for a treat.
We finally have a trailer for Season 3 of Succession
(As with all things Succession, language NSFW!)
“This fall” better hurry up.
Happy birthday, Jack Pilgrim!
Today, our young superstar turns…another age that isn’t 30 yet. It’s been a pleasure to watch Jack come into his own on the recruiting and basketball beats this past year. As KSR accelerates into this new era of college athletics, I have no doubt he’ll continue to cultivate those relationships and help keep us on the forefront of breaking news, analysis, and squabbles with Michael Rapaport. Here’s hoping Jack gets all the gifts today, but tomorrow, he’s giving one to you when he and Shawn Smith bring their insanely popular Sources Say Podcast to the KSR airwaves. They already have three special guests lined up: Davion Mintz, Jon Rothstein, and 247 Sports recruiting analyst Travis Branham.
First up, football coaches. The fun starts one hour from now.