Karl-Anthony Towns Goes From Zero to Hero


Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Top 5 Kentucky Wildcats headlines making news for Thursday, February 12, 2015.

Karl-Anthony Towns was almost the goat on Tuesday night after his technical for hanging on the rim seemed to fuel an LSU comeback. Calipari yanked him out of the game and used it as a teaching moment. John Clay writes:

"“Not that he was sorry. No sir. This was a teachable moment. Towns had played great all night, but he’s a kid — a big lovable kid — and as a kid he had made an immature mistake. Calipari was determined to make him know that. In Cal’s style, the coach went over the top. But, hey, that’s Calipari. He’s doing the same thing at 56 he did at 26.‘I told him I hope we lose,’ said the coach.Kentucky didn’t lose. Down 66-60 with 7:29 left, the nation’s No. 1-ranked team gathered itself. The Cats calmed down. Towns contributed monster plays down the stretch, including a perfect hook shot that put the Cats ahead 70-69 with 1:30 remaining.”"

Karl-Anthony Towns might be the most talented and skilled player on Kentucky’s team. It’s likely he’ll have the most impactful NBA career. But, has the platoon system hurt Towns? Jon Rothstein writes:

"“If Towns were at Duke and featured the way Jahlil Okafor is, Towns regularly would be discussed as a national player of the year candidate. The New Jersey native is playing a little more than half the game and averaging a solid 9.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. Okafor plays nearly 10 minutes more than Towns (30.3 minutes per game) and averages 18 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.5 blocks as the Blue Devils’ sole interior focal point. Towns also is a better defender than Okafor and has the ability to step away from the basket and make shots like a Channing Frye or LaMarcus Aldridge. The gap between Towns and Okafor isn’t nearly as wide as many people think. In fact, there may not be much of one at all.”"

As the regular season winds down, what have we learned about the 2014-2015 Kentucky Wildcats? Bobby Reagan writes:

"“So, what have we learned about this team? It’s the fact that the 2014-15 Wildcats have the chameleon-type attitude to win games, no matter how it’s played. Whether it’s playing in the post or getting open looks for guards, this team can play in any way.”"

Thon Maker is considered one of the best players in the Class of 2016. But, the 7-footer is nearing a decision to reclassify for the Class of 2015, a decision that has huge implications for Kentucky. Adam Zagoria writes:

"“Maker’s decision could have a profound impact not only on the recruiting landscape in the Class of 2015 but potentially on the 2016 NBA Draft, too.Smith previously told SNY.tv that if Maker does reclass, he will definitely visit Kentucky and Kansas, and possibly other schools as well.Smith also indicated he would sit down with the NCAA to make sure that Maker is likely to pass through  the NCAA Clearinghouse. If not, he would consider following Emmanuel Mudiay’s path and potentially playing in China or Europe.”"

A Lexington grand jury decided on Wednesday not to indict Kentucky football player Lloyd Tubman on rape charges. But his status with the team remains unclear. Steve Jones writes:

"“Tubman, a former four-star recruit, was suspended indefinitely by the UK football team following his arrest, and as far as Cooper assumes that remains his status with the program, although had not spoken to coach Mark Stoops as of Wednesday evening.A UK team spokesman didn’t immediately respond to messages.Tubman has been living with his mother in Louisville since the arrest after being released into her custody after his arraignment in October, and he has been out of school since, leaving mid-semester.”"