HoopsHype Willie Cauley-Stein rumors

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March 21, 2015 Updates
March 20, 2015 Updates

NBA mock drafts tab Duke’s Jahlil Okafor, Kentucky’s Karl Anthony-Thomas and Willie Cauley-Stein and Ohio State’s D’Angelo Russell as possibilities. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak plans to travel to Europe for a scouting trip beginning Monday, though it was not clear which countries he will visit. Los Angeles Daily News

March 19, 2015 Updates

The GM now thinks this class can be as good as, or better than last year’s. “Wiggins and Parker were wings,” he says. “One thing about this class, if you’re at the top of the draft, you’re going to get a big man or a point guard.” There’s a solid consensus as to who the the top four players in this draft, but despite the early hype for the best bigs, they could go in any order. And they are: D’Angelo Russell, 6-4, 175, Fr., Ohio State–I’m saying he’ll go No. 1, but he definitely could. Forbes.com

March 18, 2015 Updates

Q: Seems to me that Willie C Stein is underrated by many -- do you think he might move up to 5 on draft boards? Seems like a great fit for the Knicks. Chad Ford: He's ranked at No. 7 -- not sure how that's underrated for a guy without much of an offensive game. Teams are banking on the fact that he'll be a perennial DPOY candidate. But it's unusual for players that lack this much offensive polish to go this high. And here's the irony. Kevon Looney is 19 averages 11.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.4 spg 7 shoots 46 percent from three and teams are reaching. Cauley-Stein is 21 averages 9.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.7 bpg and teams are underrating him. It's all about context. ESPN.com

March 10, 2015 Updates
March 8, 2015 Updates

League sources say the Knicks have had either a front-office member or scout at approximately 20 of the past 30 Kentucky practices and games. This confirms a New York Daily News report that stated that no team has watched Kentucky play more than the Knicks this season. The Knicks' regular attendance at Kentucky practices and games is an interesting development. It could be taken as a sign that the Knicks have significant interest in taking Towns with their first-round pick. It could also be an indication they are doing their homework on Willie Cauley-Stein in case they fall out of the top two slots. ESPN.com

March 1, 2015 Updates

Knicks president Phil Jackson continued to scout top college prospects in person on Saturday. He was shown by television cameras in the stands at the Kentucky-Arkansas game. The Knicks are on pace to get a high pick in June’s NBA draft. Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns is projected as a top pick. Many draft experts put fellow Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein in the same echelon. Jackson likely had his eyes on those two. Earlier this week, the Knicks president attended Ohio State’s game against Nebraska and he commented on Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell. The NBA will likely fine Jackson for his comments. According to a source, several teams complained about the comment. It is against league rules for personnel to comment on players who haven’t declared for the NBA draft. ... The Knicks beat the Raptors on Saturday to win back-to-back games for the first time in a month. Hardaway Jr. led the team with 22 points. ESPN.com

February 26, 2015 Updates

To say the Lakers could maybe use a player like Towns is to say they've had a good big man or two in their past. They currently own the NBA's fourth-worst record and are on pace to keep the top-five protected pick they owe Philadelphia via Phoenix, though nothing is set in stone until the May 19 lottery. While teammate Willie Cauley-Stein gets all the national highlight attention for his dramatic array of dunks, Towns is more apt to score on an eight-foot hook shot. With either hand. Or a mid-range jumper. Or set up a teammate with a sharp pass from the post. He doesn't project to make the immediate pro splash of Okafor but he'll eventually make someone happy. "He's the one to take for three years from now," said an NBA front-office official who requested anonymity. Los Angeles Times

February 23, 2015 Updates

Kentucky big man Willie Cauley-Stein has recently added a mid-range jumper to his offensive arsenal, and that hasn’t escaped NBA scouts. One veteran scout told SNY.tv that the 7-foot junior could go as high as No. 2 in the NBA Draft if he can consistently make that shot. “He’s always been a Top 10 player in the draft based on his ability to be a rim protector and rebounder, but if he can consistently show he can knock down an open 12-15 foot jump shot he can put himself in the discussion as a No. 2 pick.” Asked if Cauley-Stein has shown that ability to consistently make it, the scout said, “I have not seen it consistently in games but he has the ability to do it from watching him earlier in the year.” ZagsBlog.com

December 14, 2014 Updates
December 6, 2014 Updates

Kentucky’s Willie-Cauley Stein sure helped his draft stock on Friday. The 7-foot junior went for 21 points, 12 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks and made several key defensive plays in No. 1 Kentucky’s 63-51 victory over No. 6 Texas at Rupp Arena. “Made himself some money tonight,” one veteran NBA scout told SNY.tv. “Best player on the floor.” ZagsBlog.com

April 18, 2014 Updates
April 14, 2014 Updates

Willie Cauley-Stein: I'm proud to say I'm coming back for my junior year. I still have an empty spot to fulfill and in no rush to leave the best fans in the USA! Twitter

September 3, 2013 Updates

He has also added polish to his defense, which was already a strength. "He's not the shot blocker that Anthony Davis or Nerlens or Marcus Camby was, and he may not be the shot blocker that [incoming freshman] Marcus Lee is," says Calipari. "But he can guard any position, so on pick-and-rolls, he can switch. That's of great value. The NBA is really into analytics right now, and a nimble seven-footer who can guard all these positions and who is improving -- Willie's going to be off the charts." SI.com

His freshman season went better than many fans expected for such a relatively unheralded player. His 8.3 points and 6.3 rebounds a game, his team-high 62 percent shooting and his 59 total blocks (seventh all-time for a first-year Wildcat) earned him All SEC freshman team honors. But the doubts crept back during the season-ending game against Robert Morris: In 36 minutes, Cauley-Stein had nine points (including just one made free throw in four attempts), four rebounds, a block, four turnovers and two personal fouls. Long-nurtured plans to jump to the NBA disintegrated. "After we lost the game, I felt super uneasy about myself," he says. "I had a really bad game, and I thought, I don't know if I'm ready to go to the pros yet. I feel like if we had won that game and won a couple more games after that, I would have left." SI.com

April 1, 2013 Updates
March 23, 2013 Updates

Kentucky spokesman DeWayne Peevy told SNY.tv Friday that there is no official list of which players will return to campus next year, but freshmen Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress have all said they plan on returning. Freshman big man Nerlens Noel has yet to announce his plans, but he is projected as one of the top couple picks in the 2013 draft, along with Kansas’s Ben McLemore, Indiana’s Cody Zeller, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart and UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad. “If the three players come back (Poythress, Goodwin and Cauley-Stein), they could have eight first-round picks on the same team…unreal!” the Director of Scouting said. ZagsBlog.com

Meantime, on the DraftExpress 2014 Mock Draft, Kentucky currently has commits from the No. 2 (Julius Randle), 3 (Andrew Harrison), 9 (Aaron Harrison) and 10 picks (Cauley-Stein). They are also in the hunt for the projected No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in Andrew Wiggins and Aaron Gordon. The NBA GM also said that Kentucky pledges Dakari Johnson and James Young could be first-round picks next year. “Only question would be if they go high enough to come out based on the numbers they will get with limited minutes, but they are first-rounders,” the GM said. ZagsBlog.com

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