Technically. I've known a secret the past few days regarding former Georgetown forward Hollis Thompson. Sort of, ish.More like I knew hisagent, Seth Cohen, had something brewing regarding Thompson's future NBA employment. There was a deal in place with a team, almost assuredly an NBA version. Specifics were vague and mum the word. Well, now we know:Thompson went from going undrafted to signing a three-year deal with the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder.The 6-foot-8, 206-pound forward entered the draft after averaging 12.8 points and 5.5 rebounds during his junior year at Georgetown. The programs career 3-point shooting percentage leader, Thompson knocked down 44 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc during his career and shot at least 43 percent during each of his three seasons.Despite his outside range, second-round projection, being one of 60 players to the pre-draft NBA Combine and a certain writer advocating for his selection,Thompsons name went uncalled on June 28.Turns out draft night disappointment didn't last long; Cohen worked out a deal with the Thunder a scant few days after the draft. Pen could not beput to paper until the league reopened for official business until July 11. Today Cohen and I spoke, but each brief conversation essentially began and ended with a "not yet" from the agent. Before the back and forth concluded with me hearing the details first hand, he shared them with the Twitterverse.Thompson will miss the summer league season and will be sidelined for three to four weeks after having minor surgery on his left groin this week, the Associated Press reported. Terms of the contract have not been disclosed, though Cohen announced the length of the deal as three years.Even if he receives the rookie minimum, Thompson would cash checks for around 500,000 per season.The Southern California native emerged as an offensive leader and late game hero for the Hoyas during his third campaign on the Hilltop. Thompson knocked down game-winning 3-pointers against Marquette and at Alabama. He scored 20 second-half points in a victory over St, Johns and a season-high 23 against NC State in the NCAA Tournament.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Kentucky is out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in nearly four years while another bunch of Wildcats -- Villanova -- maintained their hold on No. 1.
Kentucky slid out of Monday's latest poll from No. 18 after losses to South Carolina and Florida, snapping a 30-game home winning streak for the Wildcats in Southeastern Conference play. That dropped coach John Calipari's Wildcats out for the first time since March 2014 and snapped a 68-week stretch in the poll.
The top three of Villanova, Virginia, and Purdue remained the same, with the Wildcats (18-1) remaining firmly in place by collecting 63 of 65 first-place votes. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers (18-1) and the Boilermakers (19-2) have combined to win 25 straight games, 19 by double-digit margins, and split the remaining first-place votes.
Duke inched up a spot to No. 4, while Kansas jumped five spots to No. 5 after winning at West Virginia. Michigan State, West Virginia, Xavier, Cincinnati and reigning national champion North Carolina rounded out the top 10, which saw three teams -- Oklahoma, Wichita State and Texas Tech -- each lose twice last week to take big tumbles.
Kentucky (14-5, 4-3 SEC) started the year at No. 5 and remained in the top 10 until Christmas Day, but the Wildcats have lost three of five overall and are 0-2 against ranked teams this year.
They also rank outside the top 25 in KenPom's adjusted offensive and defensive national rankings through Sunday's games. Coach John Calipari's teams in Lexington have finished outside the top 25 in both categories only once before: the 2012-13 season that ended with 12 losses and a first-round NIT loss to Robert Morris.
Then again, the last Kentucky team to fall out of the AP poll in 2014 went from being a 10-loss disappointment to playing for the NCAA championship in the span of weeks.
"We're going to be fine," Calipari said after Saturday's 66-64 loss to Florida. "I was worried after South Carolina, now. I'm not worried after this. We'll be fine. I was worried after Vanderbilt to be honest with you, and we won that game. They do this and they stay this course and this is who we are, we'll be fine."
1. Villanova (63 1st place votes), 18-1
2. Virginia (1), 18-1
3. Purdue (1), 19-2
4. Duke, 17-2
5. Kansas, 16-3
6. Michigan State, 17-3
7. West Virginia, 16-3
8. Xavier, 18-3
9. Cincinnati, 17-2
10. North Carolina, 16-4
11. Arizona, 16-4
12. Oklahoma, 14-4
13. Ohio State, 17-4
14. Texas Tech, 15-4
15. Gonzaga, 17-4
16. Saint Mary's, 19-2
17. Wichita State, 15-4
18. Clemson, 16-3
19. Auburn, 17-2
20. Florida, 14-5
21. Arizona State, 15-4
22. Tennessee, 13-5
23. Nevada, 18-3
24. Rhode Island, 15-3
25. Michigan, 17-5
The Boilermakers (8-0 Big Ten) have won 15 straight to remain at No. 3, their highest since being ranked No. 2 in March 1988. They have won three straight Big Ten games by at least 23 points for the first time in school history.
THE LONG CLIMB BACK
Arizona (16-4, 6-1 Pac-12) went from ranked No. 2 to unranked in the span of a week in November after a disastrous 0-3 showing at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, including a 25-point loss to Purdue -- which started the Boilermakers' run -- in the eight-team tournament's seventh-place game.
But the Wildcats have won 13 of 14 since and check in this week at No. 11, their highest ranking since falling out.
No. 13 Ohio State (17-4, 7-0 Big Ten) is up nine spots for the week's biggest leap. The Buckeyes checked in at No. 22 last week for their first AP Top 25 ranking since March 2015.
UNC matched Kansas' five-spot jump to No. 10 after beating Clemson last week at home.
Wichita State's first two losses in its new American Athletic Conference home had the Shockers drop 10 spots to No. 17 for the week's biggest fall.
Two Big 12 teams also took big tumbles after two-loss weeks. Oklahoma and freshman star Trae Young fell eight spots to No. 12 after losses to Kansas State and Oklahoma State, while No. 14 Texas Tech slid six spots after losses to Texas and Iowa State.
Arizona State also fell five spots to No. 21 and has lost four of seven since a 12-0 start.
Saint Mary's led the newcomers at No. 16 after winning at Gonzaga in West Coast Conference play last week. The Gaels, led by Jock Landale, were ranked for three November polls before falling out but have won 14 straight.
No. 20 Florida -- which reached No. 5 in December before falling out -- and No. 23 Nevada both returned to the poll after being ranked earlier this season, while No. 24 Rhode Island checked in for the first time this season.
In addition to Kentucky, Seton Hall (No. 19), TCU (No. 24) and Miami (No. 25) fell out of this week's rankings.
NBC Sports Washington contributed to this report.
With the Bucks currently eighth in the Eastern Conference, Milwaukee has fired head coach Jason Kidd. Assistant coach Joe Prunty will take over in the interim.
The news was first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Kidd leaves the Bucks in the middle of his fourth season with the team. He took over before the 2014-15 season and has since taken them to two playoff appearances in his three full seasons. The Bucks won just 15 games the year before Kidd took the job.
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Milwaukee was the sixth seed last season and entered this year with high expectations. With Giannis Antetokounmpo developing into an MVP candidate, eighth place in the East isn't good enough, even if that technically means they would make the playoffs if they began today.
The Bucks are 23-22 and have lost four of their last five. Since beginning the season 15-10, they have gone 8-12.
With the presence of Antetokounmpo and other talented young players like Eric Bledsoe, Malcolm Brogdon, Jabari Parker (if he re-signs) and Khris Middleton, the future is bright in Milwaukee from a roster perspective. That makes the vacancy left behind by Kidd an attractive one for prospective coaches.
Regardless of what happens this summer, the Bucks' decision has major implications for the Eastern Conference in the short-term. Can Prunty, who has never been a full-time NBA head coach before, jumpstart the Bucks? Or will their struggles continue and this season be chalked up as a down year?
Teams at the top of the East wouldn't mind seeing the Bucks continue to stumble, as they proved a tough out in last year's playoffs and boast one of the best young players in the game.
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