Kentucky Sports Radio

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





July 21st, 2018

DON’T GEEK: Tiger Woods is in Contention Entering the Final Day at The Open

@Guardian_Sport

Folks, Tiger Woods is back.

The man who changed the game of golf has been MIA on major championship Sundays since his iconic victory at Torre Pines in 2008.  After a decade of scandal, injuries and swing changes, Tiger Woods has put himself in a position to return to glory.

Woods started his Saturday at Carnoustie six shots behind the leader.  Six birdies later, he was tied for the early lead and fist-pumping back into our hearts.

Unfortunately, the lead was not meant to last.  He bogeyed 16, his only bogey of the day, as Kevin Kisner sank a birdie.  Woods shot a 66 and is (as of right now) just two shots back entering the final round of The British Open.

If you leave now, you can make it to Scotland in time to see Tiger’s return to glory.


John Wall to represent Team USA next week

@WashWizards

John Wall is used to wearing red, white and blue.  Next week, he’s trading in his Wizards’ garb for Team USA practice uniforms.

The former Kentucky point guard will be in Las Vegas Wednesday through Friday for Team USA minicamp, the first event to prepare the Americans for the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.  There is no confirmation that Devin Booker and Anthony Davis will attend the minicamp, but it’s safe to say DeMarcus Cousins will not be on the court.

The team will be narrowed to 12 from the following 35 finalists:

(more…)


Today on KSR: Aftermath from a Stormy Start to the Weekend

@Awireman

Dangerous storms swept across Kentucky Friday afternoon, creating chaos wherever it went.  The hail was no joke.  From Louisville to Lexington and the mountains beyond, quarter-sized hail was common.  This chunk of ice was picked up at the Beechmont fire station in Louisville.

The damage the hail brought is incomparable to the 60 mph winds.  More than 13,000 in Jefferson County and 40,000 in Fayette County are still without power this morning. In Woodford County, instead of knocking over the wooden power line poles, the wind snapped them in half.  There was enough damage to call for a local state of emergency in the county.  Of all the wild accounts, but this might be the wildest.

Matthew Mitchell made light of the wreckage at his home.

Naturally, The Barbasol Championship was forced off the course (one player was an 8-foot putt away from finishing his day at 18, but could not take the swing).  Tournament officials worked laboriously to get the course prepared to play by 7:30 this morning.  Hopefully the golfers and road crews can finish their work before more storms potentially roll in Saturday evening.

Teater Makes Moves

Nobody has been more popular at the Barbasol Championship than Josh Teater.  The local star received a sponsorship exemption to play in the tournament and has not disappointed.

Teater shot a six-under in the second round to improve to ten-under in the tournament.  He’s currently tied for sixth with Hunter Mahan and just five shots back from the leader, Troy Merritt.

A Wonderful Event

Yesterday the KSR Crew received a taste of PGA Tour golf.  Matt and Drew are no strangers to professional golf, but it was my first PGA Tour experience.  A wonderful setup at the scenic Keene Trace, I was excited to learn the event will stay in Central Kentucky for at least four more years.  For the most exciting action, I recommend the par threes.  Regardless of where the tee shot goes, it feels like there’s more pressure to make putts on the par threes than anywhere else on the course.

Cats Picked to Finish Fifth in SEC East

And it should not come as a surprise.  Even though UK is going for five in a row against South Carolina, in 2018 the Gamecocks draw the West’s two worse teams, Arkansas and Ole Miss.  Kentucky can beat South Carolina, again, and still have a worse finish because of the Cats’ difficult schedule.

Despite all that, I picked the Cats to finish third, ahead of Mizzou and Carolina.  A look at where the media predicted the SEC’s order of finish in 2018:

SEC EAST
1. Georgia (271)
2. South Carolina (8)
3. Florida (4)
4. Missouri
5. Kentucky (1)
6. Tennessee (1)
7. Vanderbilt

SEC WEST
1. Alabama (263)
2. Auburn (19)
3. Mississippi State (2)
4. Texas A&M
5. LSU
6. Ole Miss
7. Arkansas

Snell Only First Team All-SEC Selection

The SEC Media believed Snell when he said he was the best running back in the SEC.  They’ve bought into the Benny hype, but not everybody else’s.

Josh Allen and Mike Edwards could’ve been NFL Draft picks.  Instead they returned for one final year at UK, but they’ll have to prove some people wrong along the way.  Edwards and Allen were second team selections, while C.J. Conrad was named to the third team.

Need Something to Watch?

It’s going to be a slow sports Saturday.  I promise you the site will be filled with plenty of preseason football chatter, but aside from golf, there aren’t a lot of sports on TV to occupy your time.  Fear not.  Tonight at 8:00 ESPNU will replay Kentucky’s 2007 upset of No. 1 LSU at Commonwealth Stadium.

If that isn’t enough football to tickle your fancy, the latest season of Last Chance U just arrived to Netflix.  Kentucky fans get a special treat.  In episode three you’ll see why quarterback Terry Wilson has the nickname “Terry Touchdown.”


KSR Shop: 50% off short sleeve tees!

The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded have a huge sale for the weekend. Head to ShopKSR.com to take advantage of 50% off select short sleeve tees. You can never have too many short sleeve tees so this is the perfectly opportunity to pick out a collection of new great designs. Sale ends Sunday at midnight.

[KSR Shop: 50% off short sleeve tees]


July 20th, 2018

Enes Kanter: Kentucky would have “100 percent” won the national championship if eligible

Former Kentucky practice star and current New York Knick Enes Kanter had quite the journey to get where he is today. After coming over from Turkey, Kanter had a back-and-forth battle with the NCAA, who eventually declared the 6-foot-11 center ineligible for receiving money as a professional athlete back home.

Even without Kanter, the 2010-11 Wildcats made it to the Final Four before falling to Kemba Walker’s Connecticut Huskies, who went on to win the title.

For Kanter, the team, and the Big Blue Nation as a whole, it only makes you wonder what could’ve been.

Our very own Aaron Torres had the opportunity for a sit-down interview with Kanter about his time at Kentucky and the NBA, where that exact topic came up.

If Kanter was eligible? Kentucky would have another banner, “100-percent.”

Check out the transcript of the entire conversation, followed by the link to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast:

On what the fans at Kentucky meant to him:

I remember even when I couldn’t play at Kentucky, the whole state was doing ‘Free Enes’ signs everywhere. The cups, the flags, everything, that was awesome. That shows how much that the people around love you. And that was awesome for me because I came from Turkey. And for Americans to just respect you that much, it was like ‘You know what? I’m not going to Europe to play basketball. I’m staying right here.’

His fight with the NCAA:

It was tough because I was 16-years-old turning down a million dollars, a million dollars to come and play NCAA basketball.

What happened:

[They, the club, paid] expenses [that it].

It was tough for a 16-year-old kid turning down a million dollars to come here and play college basketball. And then when they say ‘You can’t play college basketball’ it was so frustrating for me.

First, they said ‘you can practice with the team.’ And then they said ‘You cannot even practice with the team anymore.’ The NCAA said ‘no more practicing with the team.’ They made me ineligible permanently.

His fight with the NCAA:

It was still a process.

*** We even told the NCAA, ‘let me sit my first year and play my second year.’ Yes [I was willing to stay a second year]. I told them [that]. And then they said ‘you cannot even practice with the team anymore.’ So Kentucky hired me a special coach and I was working out with him by myself. It was so frustrating I remember.

*** Then the news came out. I woke up and it was on ESPN, ‘Enes Kanter, permanently ineligible. He can never play college basketball ever again.’ It was so frustrating. I came here to play college basketball.

*** And then I sat down with Coach Cal, and Coach Cal told me ‘hey if you want to leave, you can leave to Europe and go play somewhere. But if you want to stay, we are your family.’ And then I said ‘Coach, I want to stay, but I cannot even practice with the team, how am I going to stay?’

So they made me a student assistant coach. I was a coach. I was a 17-year-old coach, 18-year-old coach. I think I was maybe the youngest coach in NCAA history. So they made me a coach and Coach Cal and all the coaches said ‘this is your game. Every practice is your game. So go as hard as you can, try to get ready for the draft.’ Because the NCAA said ‘you’re never going to play.’

I was an assistant coach, so I could practice.

I remember all my buddies were out there playing basketball, and I was down there sitting on the bench taking notes as an assistant coach. Taking notes. It was so frustrating. I had to go to the draft because I couldn’t play.

His entire journey:

Even before that, I tried to go to Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. They told me ‘you’re a professional, go somewhere else. Then I went to Mountain State in West Virginia. Then the same, thing. I stayed there two or three weeks and they said ‘Go somewhere else.’ Then I came to Simi Valley, California, prep school. Rules are different here so I could play here.

Couldn’t play high school, couldn’t play in college and then finally I got drafted in 2011, I was the third pick because I killed it in the combine and everything. And then I remember a week later the news came out, there’s a lockout. So no high school, no college, no NBA. I was like ‘they don’t want me to play basketball in America. Americans, don’t want me.’

Would they have won the 2011 national championship if he could play?

For sure. 100 percent. We went to Final Four, we lost to UConn. We even beat Ohio State with Jared Sullinger. I definitely think [we would have won it all]. And we still talk about it today. Doron [Lamb] came to see me in New York, and we were like ‘Man, if I had played we would have won the national championship.’ I love my teammates.


You can easily listen to the podcast on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowell


The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 TheWayneWood


Goodbye Grayson Allen.

#9 Ben Laughlin


Poor Chris

#8 DJS


I gotta hear this.

#7 John Martin


Thank you sir!

#6 40-0?


Yall can have fun with this KY rain, I’m gonna be on a Florida Beach all week!

#5Allison King


They’re good people!

#4 Hunter Pass


Not gonna lie, I needed tissues after the show this morning.

#3 Heather Givens


Awesome!

#2 Isaiah Miller


Nice!

#1 Matt Lee


This is amazing.


Karl-Anthony Towns sidesteps answer about future in Minnesota

Karl-Anthony Towns is about to get a whole lot richer. (Getty Images)

Former Kentucky center Karl-Anthony Towns has been in the news quite a bit lately, mostly surrounding his contract situation with Minnesota and his future with the organization.

Like his former teammate Devin Booker, Towns is now eligible for a max-contract extension with the franchise, and most expect him to eventually sign a contract even bigger than Booker’s five-year, $158 million deal in Phoenix. Going into his fourth year, the 7-foot center is eligible for a $187 million contract over five seasons, good for an average of $37.4 million per year.

That was until recent locker room chemistry issues in Minnesota spread, with Jimmy Butler being the root of it all. The former Chicago Bull just turned down a four-year extension with the team, and there is reportedly tension between him, head coach Tom Thibodeau, and Towns. As a result, we’ve heard rumors of both Butler and Towns being traded, along with Thibodeau being relieved of his coaching duties.

This week, Towns didn’t do much to dismiss potential problems brewing in the locker room.

On Wednesday, a reporter at Towns’ youth basketball camp cleverly asked the former Wildcat about his future with these specific camps, asking if he could see himself hosting them in Minnesota for the next several years. It was a loophole way of asking Towns about his future in Minnesota.

He said he was a fan of the area, but wasn’t certain.

“Um, I don’t know,” he said, according to the Star Tribune. “This is a really nice place.”

As a follow-up question, another reporter flat-out asked Towns how contract negotiations were going and whether or not he was going to be around for the long run.

Once again, the Timberwolves big man sidestepped.

“I think I’ve done a lot of things here. I’m very proud of the things I’ve been able to do so far,” Towns said. “But I have a lot of things that have to be talked about, so I’ll move on.”

Last season, Towns helped lead the Timberwolves to their first playoff birth since 2004, averaging 21.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game in the process.

Back on July 2, Thibodeau said he was hopeful he could lock up a deal with his star big man in the very near future.

“I don’t,” Thibodeau said. “We’re just optimistic it will be done as soon as possible.”

Just a few weeks later, no one knows for certain.

As rumors continue to circulate, we know of at least one individual that would love for Towns to join him in Phoenix.

[The Star Tribune]


EJ Montgomery helps Lexington stranger with car trouble

We’ve always heard about John Calipari being picky about the character of the recruits he pursues each year. If there are issues, no matter how good they are or how desperately they want to come to Kentucky, Coach Cal almost always says “thanks, but no thanks.”

For whatever reason, Calipari has raved to no end about the classiness of this 2018-19 group off the floor. We saw it when they signed thousands of autographs on the train tour a few weeks ago, several times at the youth camps, and then again when Immanuel Quickley and Keldon Johnson helped out at a Special Olympics basketball camp in June.

Immanuel Quickley, Keldon Johnson, and Joel Justus lend a hand at Special Olympics Basketball Camp

Today we got yet another taste of just how incredible this group of kids is, specifically five-star freshman forward EJ Montgomery.

A KSR reader/listener reached out to us about Montgomery helping a stranger experiencing car problems on UK’s campus this afternoon. According to those on the scene that saw the interaction, Montgomery saw the stranger struggling with his car and immediately rushed to help without being asked.

The kind gesture occurred outside the restaurant BurgerFi on Avenue of Champions.

Here’s a closer look at the image:

Special thanks to the reader for the tip, and an even bigger thank you to EJ Montgomery for lending a hand.

I have a feeling this is going to be a special, special year.


Did Kentucky offer rising 2019 five-star SF Kahlil Whitney?

Photo: USA Today

One of the biggest stars at Peach Jam may (or may not) have just received a Kentucky offer.

Reports are leaking out that Khalil Whitney, a five-star small forward out of Roselle, NJ, has been offered by the Wildcats.

PrepHoops’ Scott Burgess was the first to report the news, which is included in the interview below:

Rivals’ David Sisk followed it up with this:

KSR can’t confirm an offer at this time, but if it hasn’t already happened, it appears imminent.

The 6-foot-6, 190-pound forward is ranked No. 13 player in the class of 2019, per 247 Sports. ESPN has him ranked No. 14 overall, while Rivals lists him at No. 23. He holds offers from Florida, Kansas, Louisville, Illinois, LSU, and Virginia, among others.

John Calipari was in to see Whitney in Milwaukee on Wednesday and then followed it up with another visit on Thursday.

In an interview with Eric Bossi of Rivals.com, Whitney said Coach Cal had been in contact in the past and has been trying to get him on campus soon.

“I talked to coach (JohnCalipari once and he talked to my family and I have talked to them about it. He said that he would love to have me on campus. I don’t know when I want to take an official or an unofficial, I’m not sure. But, I’ll be talking to my parents about that.

Whitney will visit Kentucky next month.

Until then, watch his recent highlights from EYBL Dallas below:

With Keion Brooks likely headed elsewhere, it looks like Whitney is now one of Kentucky’s top small forward targets in the class.

And the interest is mutual.

Come on down!