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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
July 22nd, 2014

Should we worry about George Brown Jr.’s Twitter account?

Kentucky has been in good standing with George Brown Jr. for a long time now, but a recent change to his Twitter account has many UK football fans worried in the days before his announcement this Friday.

Coming off his recent visit to Gainesville, Brown began following several Florida football accounts, from former players to assistant coaches and beat writers. Almost one-third of the 91 accounts he follows appear to be Gator-related (by my very unofficial count), making me wonder if we’ll be receiving bad news when he announces.

Or maybe I’m just paranoid and need to get outside for some sunshine. Following recruits on the internet tends to make us all a little crazy from time to time. Kentucky leads with 88 percent of the vote in his Crystal Ball predictions, so maybe I should direct my attention away from his Twitter page and toward that.

I guess we’ll know for sure in a few days.

brown-jr


LSU freshman likely out for the season after fighting a glass window in the football facility

LSU’s Trey Lealaimatafao is likely out for the year after suffering a gruesome injury in the team’s weight room yesterday. The freshman defensive tackle was upset over an argument with his girlfriend and took it out on a glass window between the weight room and indoor practice facility. According to NOLA.com, the glass “tore through” his bicep, leaving the bone exposed for all to see. (Excuse me while I vomit.) Initial reports said he was facing a possible arm amputation, but that has since been retracted.

There is a lesson in this for all of you young men out there: Don’t punch glass. And don’t let a female get you down, especially if you’re a freshman in college. There are too many fish in the sea.


James Young’s fight for minutes in Boston just got tougher

The shooting guard and small forward positions in Boston are getting crowded, making it even tougher on James Young to work his way up the rotation. The Celtics re-signed starting shooting guard Avery Bradley last week and, today, added free agent Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick in 2010. To make matters worse for Young, Marcus Smart, the C’s first pick in this year’s draft, is expected to see significant time at the 2-guard spot as well. Brad Stevens tried him there in the summer league and plans to continue using him off the ball.

Young won’t have any more luck at small forward, where Turner and Jeff Green will see most of the minutes. 13-year veteran Gerald Wallace, the team’s second-highest paid player, will also be in the mix.

There is also the option of trading Young in a deal for Kevin Love, although there are several other teams competing in the Love Sweepstakes. Boston believes it is still in the mix to pull the big man away from Minnesota and the former Cat would look good with Jared Sullinger in a trade.

But no matter where or how he is used, Young will have to put in a lot of work if he hopes to see significant time on the court in his rookie season. Missing the summer league certainly didn’t help his chances, either.


Caleb Swanigan talks about his recruitment

After stealing the spotlight in a game against Cheick Diallo and Thomas Bryant at the Peach Jam, Caleb Swanigan picked up an offer from Kentucky and landed an in-studio interview with a Fort Wayne news station. 247Sports’ fifth-ranked center sat down with WANE yesterday to discuss his recruitment and the development of his game this summer.

Swanigan, who hit two buzzer-beating threes to force two overtimes against the loaded Team Scan, called himself “the best rebounder in the country.” See for yourself in the video below:

We’ll have a full profile of Swanigan on the website tomorrow.


UK is one of Athlon Sports’ Most Improved Football Teams in 2014

dupree

Your University of Kentucky Wildcats fell into the “Better… But It May Not Show In The Win Column” category in Athlon Sports’ feature on college football’s most improved teams. UK is one of five schools in the second tier of improved teams and it’s “trending in the right direction,” the author writes.

Kentucky

It’s going to take coach Mark Stoops a few years to build Kentucky’s roster into one that can consistently compete for bowl games in the SEC. However, the Wildcats are trending in the right direction. Kentucky signed the No. 22 class in 2014, an improvement after inking the No. 34 recruiting haul in ’13. Those two totals are the best two classes the Wildcats have brought in over the last five years, and all signs point to another standout group coming to Lexington in 2015. With the improvement in talent, it should start to show on the field for Stoops. Kentucky went 2-10 in Stoops’ debut but lost two SEC games by a touchdown or less. Finding a quarterback is the top priority for coordinator Neal Brown, and Patrick Towles, Reese Phillips and touted freshman Drew Barker will all contend for time in the fall. The talent at the skill positions has improved, and Nebraska transfer Braylon Heard should team with Jojo Kemp to form an effective one-two punch in the backfield. Stoops’ specialty is on defense, and that’s an area of focus this offseason after allowing 6.8 yards per play in SEC games. Kentucky should be able to win three of its non-conference matchups and could steal a win in conference play this year.

Florida also gets some love from Athlon because the Gators “can’t be any worse.”

Read the entire list here.


Damien Harris made breakfast and OMG OHIO STATE CUP

WHAT IS HE TELLING US? IS THIS A SIGN OF WHAT’S TO COME?????? AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH

131 days until he announces his decision…


Maker’s Mark put Tom Jurich on a bottle because… I don’t know why Maker’s Mark put Tom Jurich on a bottle

Much like his basketball team does every time it plays UK, Tom Jurich got waxed this morning. The Louisville AD dipped his new commemorative Maker’s Mark bottle in black wax to celebrate its release. Bottles will go on sale later this week and proceeds will go to aid in fundraising for a new academic center at Louisville.

If you’re interested in purchasing a bottle, you need to reevaluate your life.


Mudiay signs one-year deal in China worth $1.2 million

mudiay

Emmanuel Mudiay, Kentucky’s top point guard target in the 2014 class, picked SMU over the Cats and Kansas, but it is the People’s Republic of China that wins his services in the end. ESPN is reporting Mudiay signed a one-year deal worth $1.2 million to play professional basketball in the land of canned air and orange chicken.

Mudiay insists his decision to chase the money over college is to provide for his mother, but it is believed he is running from the NCAA. There were concerns with his eligibility and he was worried, one source told ESPN.

What we thought was Calipari’s worst loss in recruiting since coming to UK proved to be a blessing. Had Mudiay committed to UK, like everyone expected, BBN wouldn’t have four years of Tyler Ulis to look forward to.


CoachCal.com’s new practice report will get you excited for basketball

Eric Lindsey over at CoachCal.com attended UK’s 90-minute practice yesterday and he has a lengthy report for you on the website this morning. Lindsey has several notes and observations, almost all positive, including individual specifics on all of the guys.

Have a small taste in this exciting excerpt about Alex Poythress:

The last guy I expected to lead off with just because he’s been around for two years is Alex Poythress, but I think his effort and his improvement merit that. We all know how athletic he is and the type of plays he can make, but he looked lighter on his feet than I’ve ever seen him. He seemed to glide through the air on Monday, a fascinating thing to watch for someone with his body frame. I have no idea how that will translate on to the court in October and November because, as I just said, we’ve seen bits and pieces of that in his first two years, but I do see a more confident player than the one I’ve seen the last two seasons. He’s never going to be a vocal guy, but when I saw him, on one particular play, race from the top of the key, sky over Karl-Anthony Towns and Marcus Lee in the paint, grab the offensive rebound, and bank the ball back in the basket in traffic, it gave me the feeling that we’re going to see a much-improved Alex Poythress this year.

Other notable impressions from Lindsey:

– Tyler Ulis will be a fan favorite

– The twins and Dakari are in better shape

– Devin Booker is doing just fine

– Cal is still preaching, “Play fast, think slow.”

Read the entire practice report here.


Bud Dupree vs. Steven Borden in the first round of the Kickoff Music Playoff

UK needs your help picking a song for kickoff in the football season opener and you can do your part in the selection process by voting in the first matchup of the music bracket this morning. It’s Bud Dupree versus Steven Borden in the first showdown of the Kickoff Playoff and it’s up to you to decide whose song of choice will advance to the next round.

Dupree nominated Crime Mob’s “Knuck If You Buck,” a timeless classic that encourages listeners to knuck, if they are indeed buck. Borden, on the other hand, would like to hear Skrillex’s “Scatta.”

Head over to the BBNFirst website to hear the songs and place your vote. Mine goes to Bud in this one because that Scatta song makes my head hurt.


Matt and Ryan are in Morganfield (Tuesday Show Thread)

Morning, KSR readers and listeners. Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond are on the road again today, this time hitting the mean streets of Morganfield. The guys are at Verlies Restaurant at 101 W. Main Street and they’d love to see you. Stop by to hear the show and enter your name in the drawing for UK basketball tickets or a shot at the trip to the Bahamas.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

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Drew Barker and Dorian Baker get in some red zone work

Drew Barker is one of three quarterbacks competing for the starting job, and last night, he and freshman wide receiver Dorian Baker posted this video of some red zone work they’ve been doing lately.

Looks like Baker got both feet in on that one-handed catch. Not too bad…


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Key Unit on Offense

What’s funny when trying to evaluate what is most important for this Kentucky football team is which position units have to perform for this season to be an improvement.  On the offensive side of the ball, Kentucky has some positives and potential.  But there are also some big question marks as well.  I breakdown the pros and cons for each of the 4 units on offense and I want to know which unit you think is the most key this season:

QUARTERBACKS

Pros: Kentucky has 3 legitimate options it seems at this position, which usually can make or break a team.  So if you are a Kentucky fan, you might feel good about the fact that if 1 guy isn’t getting it done, you can easily go to another.  It seems that the 3 guys, as told by Neal Brown, have different styles and strengths.  So there is a little flexibility here.

Cons: Having multiple QB’s doesn’t always mean good things.  It often means none of them are great or one would be the sure fire starter.  Nonetheless, UK is very inexperienced at QB this year, with only Patrick Towles having played in a game.  And the problem is if Kentucky doesn’t get consistent play at this position, it allows opposing defenses to target the running game.

RUNNING BACKS

Pros: On paper, this is probably UK’s best offensive unit.  Braylon Heard and Jo Jo Kemp are legitimate SEC backs.  Kemp got tons of experience last year and Heard is a Nebraska transfer.  But even beyond them, UK has Josh Clemons there coming off injury after a successful freshman season in 2012.

Cons: You have to think early in the season defenses will attempt to stop the UK running attack above all else and test the QB’s.  So either through gameplan or talent, these backs will have a lot of pressure to perform when defenses are after them.  Also, we really don’t know what Heard is going to give just yet and Kemp hasn’t yet been given the ball 20 times in a game so there is a question on if he can handle that kind of load?

WIDE RECEIVERS

Pros: A lot of returners in this unit for Kentucky.  Javess Blue and Ryan Timmons can be big time playmakers and their could be some production from the incoming freshman too.  Drops dipped significantly last year.  A bunch of speed at this position too.  Depth shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Cons: Can somebody get them the ball in the right place consistently?  And if not, can they still make plays because that is what great wideouts do.  Who is going to be that deep threat for the Cats this year?  Also, if Kentucky begins using multiple QB’s, will there be a different rhythm between each guy and the wideouts.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Pros: You return 4 starters off a line.  Those 4 guys started 43 of a possible 48 games last year.  Plus the 3 most important starters on the line (2 tackles and center) all return.

Cons: In the SEC, you have to have depth on the line.  Mostly because it’s very difficult to get through a season without injury.  But even more because you can’t have serious drop-offs on the line when you put the subs in.  Kentucky doesn’t have a ton of experience in the reserves so will some guys still up on the 2nd team and provide depth?


KSR’s Top Ten Tweets of the Day

Darrell Bird Catspause

Darrell Bird | Catspause

We will focus most of our attention on relevant Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as per usual, there are no limits to our madness. You, the KSR fans, can also participate in our top-10 tweet countdown by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTopTen, or by tweeting @KySportsRadio.

 

#10 Ryan Lemond

He’s real people.

 

 

#9 Mark Stoops

But why wasn’t he in Louisville with Petrino!??!! #%(*&^#%

 

 

#8 Colby McKee

So….. every school ever says this right? (yes)

 

 

#7 Mrs. Tyler Thompson

Derty dert dert!!

 

 

#6 Brad Calipari

#NumbersAreHard

 

 

#5 James Poff

Lil Wayne is all over these top tweets.

 

 

#4 Brad Jeffries

wayne-newton-64651078664_xlarge

 

 

#2 Jordan Bowman

Compliments are fun.

 

 

#1 Aaron Slone

Come be a hero for the Eagles.

 

@BrennanKSR + Funkhouser


Challenges on Facebook SUCK Tuesday News and Views

(www.higher-education.marketing.com)

I would like to make some amendments to this chart. The biggest challenges on Facebook right now are as follows:

1) The Cold Water Challenge (64%)

2) The “Beautiful” Challenge (29%)

3) The “Grown A** Woman” Challenge (7%)

4) Wanting to punch everyone who participates (100%)

 

I don’t know if you’ve taken notice of the current “challenge” trend on Facebook, but I sure have. If you’ve read some of the things I’ve written for KSR before, you surely know that I have a Hate/Hate relationship with Facebook. Why do I still have one, you might ask? I ask myself that question every single day. Probably so I can know if your baby is the size of a coconut or a blueberry this week. What would I do without such vital information? Anyway, I digress… Facebook’s latest craze involves people “challenging” their friends to do something. I’ll be honest… I wanted to watch another Cold Water Challenge video about as much as I wanted to watch your Youth Group’s Harlem Shake video, but I bit my tongue because hey… at least that was for a good cause and money was going to charity (or so you say… some of you I don’t trust… I’m looking at you, everyone I went to high school with). But it’s gotten out of control. Now people are challenging each other to “post 5 pictures of yourself that make you feel beautiful.” Just so we are all clear here… people DO understand that there’s really nothing challenging about something like that, right? Posting your favorite selfies where the light happens to hit you and you look way better than normal doesn’t really classify as a challenge. At least not in my books. And if such things are particularly challenging in your mind… let me suggest that you try something a little more difficult. Sudoku? Tying your shoes? Running a mile? Remembering to Instagram all of the food you ate today? Deciphering one of Tom Crean or Frank Martin’s tweets?

I’m just trying to save the world from being annoying on Facebook. It might be my one mission in life. Don’t do it, people. Don’t succumb to the challenges that aren’t really challenges. And while you’re at it, STILLLLL no one cares to hear about your political views. Rant over, for now…

 

I challenge you to read tonight’s news and views without being mean in the comment section…

 

Cal is talking… and we are all listening

As Tyler Thompson likes to say, Swaggy Cal is back. And I think we are all enjoying the juicy tidbits he’s been throwing our way this week. Calipari got our heart rates up on Sunday night when he tweeted out a picture of the team together after finding them playing when he returned from all of his travels. He continues to rave about how much this team enjoys working and playing, and how now they are starting to enjoy working and playing together. Make no mistake about it… Cal is excited. And when Cal is excited… we are excited. Today he threw out another tidbit of information highlighting the luxury of having some veteran players returning for the first time in a long time.

“Boy is it nice to have returning players. I haven’t had that in five years. They understand what we’re trying to do.”

Cal went on to reveal that he will be giving the Big Blue nation a full practice report (the first official one of the summer) on CoachCal.com tomorrow. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. TELL US MORE!

Cal gets the attention of the recruits with his star-studded weekend

One of the top recruits in the class of 2015, 5-star Jaylen Brown, admitted to being impressed by the fact that John Calipari was at the ESPY’s one night, and then immediately hopped on a flight to make it to his early morning game the next day. Hate on the stuff like Calipari hanging out with Drake as much as you want, but these recruits notice this kind of stuff. And they think it’s cool. I could be wrong, but I doubt that Mark Fox and Bill Self are rubbing elbows with big named stars. It’s getting the recruits’ attention. And if you didn’t believe it from Brown’s comments, then Stephen Zimmerman’s comments (another top 2015 recruit) about how he saw Cal on TV at the ESPYs and texted him to see if he would respond should solidify the fact that these guys are taking note of the buzz around Cal. Swaggy Cal is on the loose.

 

Mark Stoops was literally everywhere today on ESPN

While Calipari spent the weekend on the run back and forth between LA, Lexington and Augusta….Mark Stoops hit the flights today on his way to ESPN for the “carwash” routine. Stoops was a part of a myriad of different shows, taping some segments that aired today and others that will air later in the week. Not all of the SEC coaches went through the car wash, but Stoops has his program buzzing right now with a level of recruiting the SEC hasn’t seen from Kentucky. Keep an eye out for some quotes and stories as the week goes on.

 

But he will not be at the Governor’s Cup Luncheon…. 

Stoops was a lot of places today, but he will NOT be attending the Governor’s Cup Luncheon on Wednesday. While the news just hit the mainstream flow today, apparently Stoops let those in charge know of his decision months ago. With the game no longer at the front end of the season, UK’s Tony Neely said it “didn’t add up” to Stoops to attend. Stoops will likely be spending the time working with his team in preparation for the more immediate future. However, Stoops will keep his speaking engagement at the Rotary Club for Thursday in place.

In about 3 days, no one will really care that Mark Stoops didn’t attend this luncheon that is now taking place months and months in advance to the actual big game. But for now, it gives people something to rant about in the summer.

 

Never trust people with two first names… or Package Deals in college basketball recruiting

A few weeks ago it seemed as if a Malik Newman/Diamond Stone package deal was quite possibly still on the table. Although package deals rarely hold true in the end, the two top recruits in 2015 seemed committed to the idea early. Now, the package deal seems a lot less “certain.” Diamond Stone plans to announce his decision on National Signing Day in November, and according to Newman’s twitter, he won’t be ready to necessarily make that same commitment, and it might not be to the same school. Stone had also hedged his bets on the package deal this weekend. When asked about the deal, he said “50/50.”

Diamond Stone appears to be UCONN’s to lose at this point, and Kentucky seemed to be in more favorable position for Newman when comparing the two. The news could be positive for Kentucky who will likely remain in the picture for Newman regardless of Stone’s decision.

 

George Brown watch until Friday

Kentucky’s 3-star OL target George Brown had a great visit in Lexington this weekend and seemed well on the verge of pulling the trigger for the Cats when he decides on Friday. Florida jumped in for one last ditch recruiting pitch and got Brown on campus today. It looks like Brown had a good visit with the Gators as well and now will have to make a decision that will likely come down to Kentucky and Florida. Brown is also considering Alabama, Georgia, and LSU but the Cats and Gators look to be the favorites. Hopefully Florida didn’t sway Brown too much, as he seemed almost a surefire bet for Kentucky after this weekend.

 

Damien Harris says he will trim to 5 on August 1st, and make his final decision on December 13th

Speaking of top recruits, the #1 running back in the class of 2015 from the state of Kentucky announced via Twitter that he has a more clear cut time table for his decision making process. Harris says he will narrow his list of schools to 5 on August 1st. Kentucky seems all but certain to make the final cut. Harris also said that he will make his final decision on December 13th. Mark your calendars.