The Mid-Day Meow

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Remember that guy? That’s Kenneth Faried, formerly of Morehead State, who helped defeat the Louisville Cardinals in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament. The tenacious 6’9 rebounding machine holds the NCAA record for rebounding in the modern-era, finishing his career at Morehead with 1,673 rebounds. Drafted 22nd overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, Faried has had an up and down rookie season. He has only appeared in 10 games, but in those 10 games he is averaging 6.4ppg and 5.1rpg. Recently Kenneth was named the 2011 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year by the Lexington-Herald. Even though he didn’t play for Kentucky, his tremendous achievements playing in the Commonwealth should make all of us consider him an honorary member of Big Blue Nation. Congratulations Kenneth!

NBACats in the News

– In some #futureNBACat news, si.com put together some lists for the upcoming 2012 NBA Draft. Several current UK players were discussed heavily. Here is what they had to say about Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones

1. Will Anthony Davis go No. 1?

In short, yes. At mid-February, Davis hasn’t just emerged as a franchise-changing selection; he’s separated himself as the unquestioned frontrunner among 2012 NBA prospects, according to the two scouts that spoke to SI.com. Davis’ shot-blocking is unparalleled, and his offense is remarkably efficient: He’s averaging 14 points despite taking just 8.27 field-goal attempts per game. While other top candidates have displayed flaws — UConn’s Andre Drummond lacks a back-to-the-basket repertoire; UNC’s Harrison Barnes can be one-dimensional at times — Davis has done nothing but impress. His ball-handling is superior to most bigs (an attribute of his late growth spurt), and he’s rapidly improving as a shooter. After making 59 percent of his free throws in his first 13 games, he’s hit 78 percent in his last 13. “Between the skills he has which are readymade — his length and athletic ability and shot-blocking and rebounding — and the potential that is yet to be tapped, it’s Anthony Davis and everybody else,” said one of the NBA scouts. “He’s going No. 1.”

8. Which player’s stock has dropped the most this season?

Then there’s Terrence Jones, Kentucky’s sophomore enigma. He’s been wildly erratic despite his team’s success, and has routinely underwhelmed in season-defining contests. Jones’ performances against UNC, Indiana, Louisville and Florida are listed below, exemplifying — and perhaps permeating — growing concerns about his malaise. “You would think that he would see how hard [Michael] Kidd-Gilchrist plays and how hard Davis plays and realize he needs to step up his game,” said a scout. “But he mentally checks out. If he’s doing that at the college level, imagine what he’s gonna do once he gets paid.”

– The Sacramento Bee understands what Demarcus Cousins brings to the table, and had this to say about our former favorite big man.

Before the recent three-game slide, the Kings were making progress. DeMarcus Cousins, who was publicly vilified by the departed Paul Westphal, has been receptive to coaching and probably is the most consistent contributor. Cousins was not then and is not now the main problem. But the issues are many and perplexing, including the lack of a facilitator and dreadful perimeter shooting.

It’s nice to see that Cousins has been able to put the whole Westphal fiasco behind him. Cousins has recently raised his level of play and if he continues to improve, the sky is the limit for him. Get-r-done Boogie!!

We have a lot of NBACats suiting up tonight including a game that will feature 4 NBACats, as Demarcus Cousins and Chuck Hayes will battke Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight tonight at 7:30. We’ll be back later to give you live gamecast links to all of the action. Go NBACats!!

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