There’s pretty much only one reason I look through the media guide each season: the →
By Nick Roush on ©3:00 pm
Two weeks from today, the football season will begin with the circus of media and fan day. The eyes of the fans will be on Mark Stoops’ 2014 recruiting class, the highest ranked class the BBN has ever seen. Most of them will not be able to contribute immediately (after all, they are FRESHmen), but they’re doing everything they can to find the field.
- Ryan Flannigan isn’t on campus, but he’s still doing work. The biggest concern for the defense is filling the gap left by Avery Williamson at linebacker, which DJ Eliot reiterated today to the media today in Louisville. The job will be left to either TreVaughn Paschal (returning from injury), Josh Forrest (only part-time experience), or JUCO transfer Ryan Flannigan.
Flannigan won’t be on campus until next week, but Eliot doesn’t believe Flannigan will be stuck behind the 8-ball.
“He’s doing the workout that he needs to do. I’ve been on the phone with him on a regular basis explaining the defense to him, so he’s gonna be ahead of the game before he gets here,” Eliot said.
- Bulking up the Big Boys. There aren’t any pictures posing with chains in the weight room (cough Iowa State), but the big boys have been getting after it this offseason. Trimming the high school baby fat with new workouts and diets isn’t the easiest transition. Neal Brown would like to give them a year to ease into their new lifestyle.
“We’d like to red-shirt all those O-linemen if we could. I think that’s important. We were able to do that last year and you were able to see Ramsey Meyers is a much better football player after red-shirting, sitting out and learning. Nick Haynes and a couple of those other guys also. So I think the freshmen really need that.”
- It’s never to early to watch film. Neal Brown said today that he needs one of the big wide receivers, Dorian Baker and Blake Bone, to “step up and play.” Both guys seem to be taking all of the right steps to finding the field.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:30 pm
UK’s Kickoff Playoff rolls on, and this morning, they announced that Blake McClain’s “Down” advanced over Javess Blue’s “Encore.” Today, Za’Darius Smith’s choice, “We Ready” by Archie Eversole, goes up against Jordan Swindle’s choice, “Returns A King,” from the 300 soundtrack.
Listen to both songs and vote for your favorite at the BBNFirst site.
If you haven’t yet, also vote for your favorite in the KSR Kickoff Playoff, which Drew unveiled last night:
The intro to “Lose Yourself” is pretty chilling…just saying.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:05 pm
George Brown may have picked Florida over Kentucky, but UK recruiting wizard Vince Marrow says the war for the three-star offensive tackle isn’t over yet. Marrow tweeted this minutes after Brown’s announcement:
Big Blue Nation… Relax. It's only the first round. This is a Title Fight. #BBN
— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) July 25, 2014
Stay calm and classy on Twitter, folks. It’s a long way ’til Signing Day…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:50 pm
Well, it turns out all of those signs we’ve seen this week were correct. Three-star offensive tackle George Brown Jr. committed to Florida over Kentucky this afternoon in the most ridiculous manner I’ve ever seen, by pulling a LIVE BABY GATOR out from under the table:
Another of the baby gator because I can’t get over this:
— Josh Edwards (@JEdwar247) July 25, 2014
Wow. Tough loss, but remember, it’s not over ’til Signing Day. Who knows, if the UK staff keeps on him and Florida struggles this season, Brown may be pulling a kitten out of his pocket in the near future.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©12:30 pm
We’re thirty minutes away from three-star offensive tackle George Brown Jr.’s college announcement, and right now, the tide looks to be heading in Florida’s direction. Kentucky still holds a 61%-39% lead in his Crystal Ball, but in the past few days, several major recruiting analysts have flipped their picks to the Gators, including 247 Sports’ Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong.
Meanwhile, Brown continues to keep fans guessing on Twitter. This is pretty much the only tweet that is a good sign for the Cats, and that’s a stretch:
Just Saw A Cat And It's Wild So I Guess That's My Key
— ⭐George Brown Jr⭐ (@MADDAWG_G) July 25, 2014
We’ll know for sure in 30 minutes.
UPDATE: Good news for the Cats? Brown followed 2015 UK commit CJ Conrad and freshman Matt Elam this morning:
UPDATE x2: HATS ON THE TABLE!!!
UPDATE x3: Brown tweets that no one knows where he is right now.
Nobody Knows Where I'm At Right Now #Relaxing
— ⭐George Brown Jr⭐ (@MADDAWG_G) July 25, 2014
I hope he means that figuratively, not literally, because he’s got a huge crowd waiting to hear his decision.
UPDATE x4: Oh great, someone moved the Florida hat to the middle of the lineup.
George Brown watch: Someone moved the Florida hat to the middle of the table. … pic.twitter.com/6tQsPv4ZV9
— Ben Roberts (@NextCats) July 25, 2014
What does it mean??????
UPDATE x5: Hey, UK signee Mike Edwards is there! Brown is Edwards’ cousin.
UPDATE x6: Finally, we have video, courtesy of 247 Sports’ Josh Edwards:
UPDATE x7: Brown says he’s not announcing until 1:50.
Announcing at 1 :50
— ⭐George Brown Jr⭐ (@MADDAWG_G) July 25, 2014
Good grief. Until then, let’s keep enjoying the music, which sounds oddly like my old Zumba mix.
LAST UPDATE: He picked Florida. Refresh and scroll up.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©12:00 pm
This morning, Mark Stoops met with the media before the Louisville UK Alumni Luncheon, and, predictably, was asked about the future of the UK/UofL football series. Stoops decided not to attend the annual Governors’ Cup lunch earlier this week, which many took as a sign that UK is distancing itself from the rivalry, especially with the SEC considering adding a game to its conference schedule.
This morning, Stoops cleared up any misconceptions, and said that even if the SEC moves to nine conference games, the rivalry will continue. Stoops said that he believes the Louisville game is “very important” to the coaches and players, but added that “sometimes people don’t realize there’s eleven other games.” In other words, “I have better things to do right now than attend a luncheon about a game that’s four months away.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:30 am
The crowd for today’s show at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Paducah is absolutely nuts, by far the biggest of this year’s tour so far, and possibly the biggest in the tour’s three-year history. Here’s the line outside at 6:45 a.m.:
And, of course, Matt and Ryan checking their phones:
You people are crazy.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:00 am
Four-star tight end CJ Conrad is one of UK’s highest-ranked commitments so far in the 2015 class, but this weekend, he’ll attend the Friday Night Lights camp at Ohio State.
Conrad says his commitment to UK is still firm and he’s spoken to the UK staff about attending the camp, but this should still make UK fans slightly nervous. Conrad is from Lagrange, Ohio, and if he picks up an offer from the Buckeyes this weekend, there’s a chance he could flip his commitment. In fact, 247 Sports’ Dave Biddle says he’s a “prime candidate” to flip to the Buckeyes, and after an impressive performance at The Opening earlier this month, an offer will probably come his way.
Stay with us, CJ…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:30 am
Skal Labissiere is one UK’s top targets in the 2015 class. Memphis leads for the 6’10″ power forward, but Cal has made him a priority in recent weeks, watching him play at Minnesota this past weekend and Vegas this week. Yesterday, Labissiere told CBSSports.com that he’s considering playing overseas for a year before declaring for the 2016 Draft, following in Emmanuel Mudiay’s footsteps. Earlier this week, Mudiay signed a contract with a Chinese professional team for $1.2 million. Labissiere admitted “that’s is a lot of money,” and going overseas is now one of many options on the table.
Because Calipari is the best at turning elite prospects into NBA Draft picks, there’s of course some negative recruiting going on, by both Memphis and Ole Miss. Parrish writes that Labissiere’s guardian, Gerald Hamilton, is pushing him to stay close to him–Memphis or Ole Miss–and both schools are playing that card as well:
Truth be told, Ole Miss and Memphis are both playing that card — that Labissiere enrolling at UK would separate him from Hamilton and open the way for William Wesley or Jay Z (or any number of folks, really) to swoop in and create a divide that could cost Hamilton what one industry source described as his “meal ticket” for a 501 (c) (3) organization he founded called Reach Your Dream. If avoiding such is important to Hamilton, the argument goes, then he better try to guide Labissiere away from Kentucky — not to mention UNC and Georgetown.
Memphis is a pretty heavy favorite, but never count out Cal, especially when he’s putting on the full-court press. However, the fact that Skal’s considering going overseas shows that Cal may have some international competition to go along with all the negative recruiting he’s facing these days.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:55 am
Good morning, KSR readers, and welcome to the Friday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, coming to you live from the Buffalo Wild Wings in Paducah. Today, Matt and Ryan will preview George Brown’s decision, talk some football, basketball, and the most recent reminder of how awful Pete Thamel is.
If you’re in the area, come on out to say hi to Matt and Ryan and register for the chance to win some AMAZING prizes, including tickets to a UK game from GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com or the grandaddy of them all, the chance to be included in the drawing for a trip for TWO to the UK Bahamas Tour at the Atlantis…eight days, all expenses paid and tickets to every UK game. The winner will come from finalists that are picked on the tour, one at each stop.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
KSR Affiliate List
WBGN (1340 am) Bowling Green
WAIN (93.9 fm) Columbia
WHIR (1230 am) Danville
WCLU (1490 am) Glasgow
WGOH (1370 am) Grayson
WHOP (1230am/95.3 fm) Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060 am) Jamestown
WLAP (630 am) Lexington
WFTG (1400 am) London
WKJK (1080 am) Louisville
WFMW (730 am/94.9 fm) Madisonville
WXXL (1450 am) Manchester
WFTM (1240 am) Maysville
WKYM (101.7 fm) Monticello
WMSK (1550 am) Morganfield
WLME (102.7 fm) Owensboro
WKYH (600 am) Paintsville
WLSI (900 am) Pikeville
WPRT (960 am) Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240 am) Somerset
WTCW (920 am) Whitesburg
WBTH (1400 am) Williamson, WV
On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…
WVHI (1330 am) Evansville, IN 5pm-7pm
WMTL (870 am) Leitchfield 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570 am) Morgantown 3-5 pm
WRIL (106.3 fm) Middlesboro Thur 8-10 pm
WPAD (99.5 fm/1560 am) Paducah 11-1 pm (going live August 18th)
WHAY (98.3 fm) Whitley City 2-4 pm
Here’s the rest of the tour schedule:
Monday, July 28th: Danville- Bluegrass Community Bank
Tuesday, July 29th: Fort Wright/Northern KY- Dickmann’s Cafe
Wednesday, July 30th: Maysville- Mann Chrysler
Thursday, July 31st: Lexington- AllSports in the Fayette Mall
Friday, August 1st: Louisville- BW3′s Springhurst
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:30 am
Tickets for UK’s annual Alumni Game (Sunday, August 24 at 6 p.m. ET) officially go on sale to the public on Monday, but there’s a presale this morning via the Rupp Arena First in Line folks. To get in on the fun, head on over to Ticketmaster.com and enter the code BBN1ST. The presale starts at 10 a.m.
Tickets range from $101 (premium lower level), $31 (lower level), and $16 for premium upper level. There is an eight-ticket limit per person. All proceeds from the game will go to charity.
For the first time, the game will pit UK pros vs. a team of non-UK pros, which means we can finally root for someone to lose.
By Bryan the Intern on ©9:00 am
A few times during the summer I think it’s a fun exercise to look back at the history of KSR on whatever date we are currently on. Just to see where we have come from, some of the high times and low points. And for this website, some of the more ridiculous things we have done here. So, today we look at JULY 25TH
-Robic came to the Lexington KSR Summer Tour stop at Whitaker Bank Ballpark to breakdown the UK roster. Some of the highlights include saying Julius Randle “No one gonna go harder than Julius. He has a MKG-like motor” and for Alex Poyhtress “I think his confidence is at a different level.”
-Do yourself a favor and read the comments section of that post and how many people was certain the twins were going to Maryland. Shows the pessimism of some fans and also the recruiting prowess of Calipari.
-That doesn’t end well for us.
-The former UK guard always had a checkered past and had problems at Kentucky that eventually led to his transfer. He was part of Tubby Smith’s first ever recruiting class and showed flashes of brilliance. But tragically, his life was snuffed out at 31 years old.
-Dana O’Neill polled 20 coaches (snicker snicker) about which college basketball conference was the dirtiest and despite being one of the least successful, the 20 voted for the SEC. This was a direct shot at John Calipari. And then he went to 3 Final Fours with no violations. So eat on that.
-The recruit Cousins was thought to weigh a little bit too much coming into college but reports were he had slimmed down. And Joe Jackson was set to visit campus for BBM, but ended up committing to Memphis.
-Pulley’s time at UK was a borderline disaster and this arrest was just a highlight.
-Seriously, I had forgotten about this story from Lyons about punching Matt Stafford in his dreams, but it’s really an awesome tale.
-I have no idea why but on July 25th, 2007, Tomlin put up the only post on the site that day, a Need to Know Wednesday post that, as always, was gold Jerry!
-Smith took the chance to rip on the expanding world of blogs during a teleconference. I think we can say he was on the wrong side of history on that one.
It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get do—-. 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 Townsend Miller
Just straight Matt Jones'd it and told 2 dudes "nah" at the golf course so I could play alone @KySportsRadio
— Townsend Miller (@townsendamiller) July 24, 2014
#9 Cheick Diallo
— Cheick Diallo (@cheick_diallo13) July 24, 2014
What a gorgeous #tbt
#8 Tyler Hammond
— Tyler Hammond (@tyhammond23) July 25, 2014
Your wish is my command.
#7 Doron Lamb
My brothers for life pic.twitter.com/sWoVpnek0t
— Doron Lamb (@DLamb20) July 24, 2014
Enes Kanter sighting.
#6 Michelle Beadle
— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) July 24, 2014
#5 Raekwon Davis
— Raekwon Davis (@RD2Official) July 24, 2014
#4 C.J. Cunningham
— C.J Cunningham (@cj_everyday) July 25, 2014
We wouldn’t want that.
#3 Fake Gimel
If SI/Pete Thamel says Kentucky wouldn't hire Charlie Strong b/c he's black & has white wife, they CAN'T be lyin'! pic.twitter.com/iRo9kjrUWQ
— Fake Gimel (@fakegimel) July 25, 2014
#2 Jeff Hignite
— Jeff Hignite (@JHUOFK) July 24, 2014
#1 James Ulis
— James Ulis (@ulis5620) July 24, 2014
By Matt Jones on ©8:00 am
photo by Jennifer Palumbo
Guess Who’s back, back again, Shady’s back, tell a friend. This time the resident shady journalist known as Pete Thamel is back with this profile of new Texas Coach Charlie Strong. Mixed in with some interesting tidbits is the part of the article highlighted above, in which Kentucky is lumped in with a group of schools where Strong interviewed in which it is insinuated he was not hired due to the fact that he is African American and his wife is white. This is an issue that has been brought up in the Charlie Strong story before, but Thamel goes the next step and mentions the schools that could be indicted for the charge.
I can’t speak to what happened at the others schools as I am not familiar with their hiring process. I also would be naive if I didn’t leave open the possibility that Strong’s race and interracial marriage could not have played some part in his lack of a hiring opportunity at some point in his career. However Thamel’s decision to lump Kentucky into the category of schools that didn’t hire Strong because of race is simply not fair. Strong interviewed for the job when Kentucky hired Rich Brooks and if you speak with anyone that was around at that point, they all agree that he had an awful interview. The knock on Strong always was that his communication skills were not great (an issue that has followed him to Texas and has led to some early criticism) and that he did not do well in an interview setting. Kentucky ended up not going with Strong, in part for this reason, and to suggest that they didn’t hire him because of race isn’t fair for a reporter to insinuate who was not part of the process.
But even if such an accusation could potentially have some merit in general, in has zero place with Kentucky. Why? Because just a few years later, Kentucky hired an African-American coach with a white wife for the exact same position. Joker Phillips was hired by Barnhart and while he did not have success, his race, nor that of his wife, was no obstacle in him getting the job. If Kentucky was against Strong because of his race or his interracial marriage, why would they hire Joker just a few years later? Does Thamel believe that UK’s administration and Athletic Director all of a sudden became more enlightened? Of course not. Kentucky had no problem hiring a black coach with a white wife, when Strong was first interviewed or a few years later. The fact that they hired the wrong one of the two is not a symbol of racism, but rather simply a poor hiring decision.
Thamel, as per usual, went for the cheap hit and the easy shot on a group of programs. My guess is that individuals at all of those programs would disagree with his assessment, and their points may be completely valid. But in the case of Kentucky, to insinuate that Charlie Strong wasn’t hired because of his race/marriage is objectively false. However as we have seen with Thamel over the years, writing incorrect/misleading articles is par for his journalistic course and showcases once again why when the Hall of Fame of Overrated sports writers is erected, Pete’s bust will be part of the first ballot class, likely inducted by a beautiful speech from Manti Teo’s girlfriend.