Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
March 5th, 2015

Thursday Night News and Views

Unless you woke up next to Charlotte McKinney or watched a replay of the Kansas game in your free time, it’s hard to imagine anyone having a better Thursday than JB Holmes. As we mentioned a little earlier in the evening, Holmes shot a tournament record 62 today at Doral in the Cadillac Championship, some 11 strokes better than the tour average for the day. Where I come from we call that a whoopin’. That’s old school Madisonville North-Hopkins golf numbers right there. He was really playing well.

You know who else is playing really well at the moment? Everyone on the UK basketball team. I spent a lot of time talking about the current season with our friend Josh Hopkins and a few other Cats fans and we can’t get over how incredibly awesome this run has been. It can’t be said enough. So great. So awesome. So perfect. Savor all of it, my friends.

Let’s talk about sports for a second and then I have to handle some things outside of the internet…


UK Hoops advanced in the SEC Tournament.

First and foremost, congratulations to Matthew Mitchell’s UK Hoops team for advancing to the next round in the SEC Tournament. Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt, 67-61, to set up a meeting with Mississippi State. That will be the late game tomorrow night on the SEC Network.

I do not like the new Bracketology.

It’s all speculation at this point, so there’s no reason to get too worked up about it, but let me say I’m not too fond of Joey Bracket’s latest projections. Wisconsin is still the two seed in the Midwest with a potential Sweet 16 rematch with North Carolina standing in UK’s way. A first weekend run-in with DeAngelo Russell in his hometown is also something I’d like to avoid.

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Then again, no one in the entire field scares me. If Kentucky shows up for all six games, Kentucky will be the last team standing.

This snow is ridiculous.

Lexington is a mess right now. We shouldn’t be digging out of our driveways in March.

Calipari wants more turnovers.

Yes, you read that correctly. John Calipari wants his team to give the ball to the opponent a little more often. Though it seems farfetched, Cal makes a good point: Kentucky isn’t taking enough risks, and in turn, isn’t making as many mistakes. More mistakes means more risks. More risks can potentially mean more big plays. That’s his rationale.

He told Colin Cowherd, “I keep telling these guys: risk. We’re not turning it over enough. You can’t end a game with three turnovers. Three turnovers? You’ve gotta have 11 turnovers, 10, 11, 12 turnovers. We played Arkansas, we had nine turnovers. Well, then you’re not risking enough.”

Brian T. Slade became a celebrity via KSR.

On this morning’s edition of Kentucky Sports Radio radio, Brian T. Slade, an Indiana fan, called in to tell the guys Stephen Zimmerman will become a Hoosier once it’s all said and done. A bold statement, considering Indiana isn’t on Zimmerman’s final list.

Moments and several laughs later, Brian T. Slade was trending worldwide on Twitter for his bold, and almost certainly inaccurate, statement.

“Write it down,” Slade told the show.” Brian T. Slade guaranteed. “Make your little jokes, it’ll happen.”

We made our share of little jokes but I’m not convinced it will happen.

Kentucky’s three signees named to Jordan Brand Classic roster.

Skal Labissiere, Charles Matthews and Isaiah Briscoe received their invites to play for the East squad in this year’s Jordan Brand Classic. They will team up with UK targets Jaylen Brown, Thomas Brown, Cheick Diallo, and Caleb Swanigan.

The game will be played on April 17 in the Barclays Center.

Speaking of the Barclays Center, I was there for the NBA dunk contest a few weeks ago and some savage on the street stole my friend’s ticket from his pocket. Lifted it right out as we were going in. I’m still mad about that. He had to get back in the car and go to Manhattan to watch from the hotel. Anyway, that’s my Barclays story…

Casual Gamer Reed wants Tom Crean fired.

The Cats are one win away from regular season perfection.

We’ll have plenty of UK/Florida chat up on the website tomorrow, including comments from the coaches, but for now let’s just say it has the potential to be one of the best Saturdays in Rupp Arena, ever. Florida is not the Florida of yesterday and they’re just wanting this season to end, while Kentucky is playing its final home game and chasing perfection. It has the makings of a blowout.

Can’t. Wait.

UK Hoops Advance to Quarterfinals

photo via UK Athletics

photo via UK Athletics


In the second round of the 2015 SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament, the Kentucky Wildcats pick up a 67-61 victory over the Vanderbilt Commodores to advance to the quarterfinals.


Kentucky came out aggressive, taking a 16-2 lead. Back on February 8, when these two teams met in Nashville, Linnae Harper led the team with 22 points. She looked to continue that success against Vandy, hitting five of her first six shots, scoring ten of the teams’ first 20 points. With a little under eight minutes to go in the first half, Vanderbilt regrouped and began a 16-3 run to give the Commodores a 25-24 lead at halftime. During this run, Kentucky made just one of their final nine shots, also throwing the ball away six times. UK made only 1-10 three-pointers, and 1-6 free throws in the first half.


Coming out of the locker room, the game remained even for the opening of the second half. With 8:57 left in the game, Alexis Jennings was fouled on a shot attempt, leading to two made free throws. Vanderbilt head coach Melanie Balcomb wasn’t happy with the call and picked up a technical foul, leading to Bria Goss also knocking down a pair from the charity stripe. This gave the Wildcats a twelve-point lead, and it looked Vanderbilt could get blown out. But the Commodores wouldn’t go away. They kept it close by focusing on their defense, forcing UK to miss ten of their eleven field goal attempts from 10:32 to 4:14. Despite going cold, though, Matthew Mitchell’s team clung to a six-point lead with just under four minutes remaining. Under one minute left on the game-clock, Vanderbilt leading scorer, Rebekah Dahlman, had a layup that would’ve cut the UK lead to two, waved off after an offensive foul was called. Kentucky hit their free throws to close it out and live another day, while Vanderbilt’s season is likely over.


She struggled in the first half, but bounced back, and SEC 6th woman of the year Jennifer O’Neill led the team with 19 points on 6-17 shooting. Sophomore Linnae Harper was the driving force for the Cats tonight, though, scoring 18 points and  grabbing 7 rebounds. At 9:30 tomorrow night, UK will face the no. 11 Mississippi State Bulldogs for the second time this season. If you recall, the first time they met on February 12th in Lexington, it was the night Makayla Epps scored 42 points, as well as hitting the game-winner at the buzzer in the double-overtime. You can catch the game on the SEC Network. Check out the bracket below:


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J.B. Holmes had a day

Big Blue Nation’s very own J.B. Holmes shot a tournament record 62 at Doral today in the Cadillac Championship. He now leads the field by four strokes heading into tomorrow’s second round action.

One of his competitors, in disbelief, said, “10-under? You’re joking.”

The average score for the tournament was 73.4, over 11 strokes behind Holmes’ 62. He’s the Kentucky basketball of professional golf this weekend.


I’m a big fan of the latest UK basketball song


We have another song for Kentucky basketball, this time with a jab at the Cards in the chorus.

“Fly my L on a mini-van” is a solid line.

Andrew Harrison Has Developed Into a Special Player

Photo by Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Photo by Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports


Andrew Harrison has emerged as one of Kentucky’s most-reliable players this season. Once thought as a weak link, he’s lately been the rock on a 30-0 team that is chasing history. He’s developed into an elite Kentucky point guard. It’s time to start appreciating his time at Kentucky as “special.” Here are three reasons why:

Andrew has elevated his game since the end of January

Andrew has scored in double figures in seven of the last 11 games, dating back to a 15-point performance at Missouri on January 29th. According to UK’s new fancy player website, he led the team in assists with 117 (as of March 1). Before scoring 12 points Tuesday night in Athens, Andrew averaged 11.5 points and 4.1 assists in his last 10 games. Those numbers do not jump out at you, but on this historic team, they are critical.

Andrew is eight career assists away from Rajon Rondo

Other than Rondo, no other two-year player has more assists than Andrew (277) at Kentucky. The next best in two years or less are John Wall (241), Patrick Sparks (236) and Rex Chapman (220). Andrew is also one assist away from tying four-year star Darius Miller (278) and four away from tying Mike Pratt (281).

Andrew has become the unquestioned leader of the team

Remember when Coach Cal scolded Andrew for leaving the huddle against Louisville? What a difference a few months can make. In a late huddle at Georgia on Tuesday night, someone said “let’s get three stops,” to which Andrew responded, “no, let’s get five.” Andrew also led a huddle at midcourt during a timeout after Coach Cal went back to the bench. What did he tell the team? “I told them we’re not losing. I told them what we had to do to win and we did that,” Andrew said.

New day, new Bracketology, same 2-seed

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For the next week and a half, get ready to see daily Bracketology updates from Joe Lunardi. Today, Lundari still has Wisconsin as Kentucky’s 2-seed and a potential 2nd round matchup with the winner of Xavier/Ohio State, which has some in the BBN nervous about facing D’Angelo Russell in his hometown of Louisville. Thankfully, this is just a fake bracket, so let’s not freak out too much.

More importantly, Lunardi still thinks six SEC teams will make it in: Kentucky (1), Arkansas (5), Georgia (8), Ole Miss (9), LSU (10), and Texas A&M (10).

Check out his entire fake bracket at the Worldwide Leader.


Trending: Tall Wide Receivers

Blake Bone stretches his 6'5" frame toward the pylon in the season-open against UT-Martin. (Andy Lyon | Getty Images)

Blake Bone stretches his 6’5″ frame toward the pylon in the season-open against UT-Martin.      (Andy Lyon | Getty Images)

After two months of heavy-recruiting, Stoops Troops’ transition into two months of Spring Practice.  Before looking ahead, there’s one thing you can’t ignore when reflecting on recruiting: the height of UK’s young wide receivers.

Decommitments had plenty of people worrying in January, but it’s hard to worry whether or not “they still got it” when you see the ratings size of of the Cats’ new recruits, especially at wide receiver.  People make a fuss over ratings, but there are two things you can’t teach: size and speed.  Here’s a look of what the Cats already have on the roster, and what’s to come in the future.

tall class of 16

All products from the state of Ohio, they are big athletes that can only improve their stock (rating) with more attention at summer camps.  Ross and Holtzclaw have the outside speed, whereas Rigg is already a solid 240-pound tight end with another year of high school to grow and develop.

tall class of 15

C.J. Conrad is already on campus, and expected to be a presence on the field immediately.  Tavin Richardson has a tweener build, probably more suited for tight end, but much depends on how is how body develops once he’s on campus.  Greenwood was one of the best players in the DMV last year.  Gosier was a late addition to the class, but with 4.5-speed from South Florida, he’s not just going to take up a roster spot, he’s going to compete to play.

tall class of 14

After this Fall’s first open practice, I was prepared to dub Baker and Bone as the best duo of outside receivers in UK history.  I bit my tongue — people LOVE telling the young guy he’s short-sighted  — but these guys are realer than the chunk missing from the Real Deal Holyfield’s ear.  Their confident personalities can appear cocky; perfect for guys that have to “go get it.”  They also complement one another well: Baker gets open with his physicality, Bone with his length and athleticism.  If Long has improved as much as people have said around the team, he’ll be a consistent contributor in the middle of defenses.


It’s silly to compare these guys to former  UK greats, but here’s something important to consider: how many tall UK receivers have been vertically gifted?  The short answer is not many.  The best of the blue and white have been undersized overachievers:  Craig Yeast (5’7″), Randall Cobb (5’10”), Dicky Lyons (5’11”), Derek Abney (5’10”), and (to my surprise) Keenan Burton (6’2″) and James Whalen (6’2″).

After doing some research, here’s a short list of the best UK wideouts 6’3″ and over.

tall greats

That list looks short because it is.  Even if you got back to Bob Windsor (6’4″) in the 60’s, there just aren’t a lot to choose from because “tall wide receivers” aren’t a thing at UK*.  Chris Matthews (surprisingly) had better numbers than anybody.  Stevie Johnson and Aaron Boone were the only wideouts with double-digit touchdowns in a season and Johnson was the only one to post more than 1,000 yards.

(Richard Mackson | USA Today)

(Richard Mackson | USA Today)

Just because Stoops’ new Troops are tall, doesn’t translate to onfield production, but it does mean that Stoops is addressing changes in the demographics of the game.  After watching his DBs get Mossed on repeatedly last season, SEC football is go big or go home.

Or in Chris Matthews’ case, go big and go to the Super Bowl.


* By all means, remind me of any players you believe I missed. 

UK cancels classes again

Brace yourself, Tin Roof: UK just cancelled Friday’s classes. FOUR DAY WEEKEND!

Party time, excellent.

KentuckyOne Health Anywhere Care Wants Afternoon Notes


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Some links for your snow day? Let’s go…

— All season, everyone has wondered if anyone can beat Kentucky. NBC Sports’ Rob Dauster tackled that topic and came up with six teams he believes can knock off the Cats: Virginia, Wisconsin, Duke, Arizona, Gonzaga, and Villanova. But those are just next best six teams in the country, right? Big whoop? Dauster backs it up by breaking down the reasons each of those teams can beat us. Here’s a snippet of what he has to say about Virginia:

Virginia runs the Pack-Line, a man-to-man containment defense that involves tremendous ball-pressure inviting dribble penetration into help defenders. I’ve gone in depth on the Pack-Line before, but essentially, it’s a defense designed to force offenses into contested, drive-and-kick jumpers, which is precisely what any team wants Kentucky to do. Virginia is also notorious for only sending two players to the offensive glass, which will limit the chances Kentucky as for leak-outs and easy buckets in transition.

Rob includes screencaps and videos to illustrate his points, so to do some scouting, go check it out.

 The women’s team starts their SEC Tournament journey tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET against Vanderbilt. The tournament is in Little Rock and the game had to be pushed up an hour because of inclement weather. The game will be on the SEC Network tonight, and we’ll have coverage on the site. Get it, ladies.

The Courier-Journal’s Tim Sullivan has a column today about how Louisville’s accomplishments this season have been overshadowed by Kentucky’s success, a fact that never gets old. I especially like this line: “So long as Kentucky stands unbeaten, whatever Louisville accomplishes is diminished in the minds of many.” Can we get that knitted on a pillow, please?

— Kyle Wiltjer’s Throwback Thursday post made me a little nostalgic this afternoon:

It’s hard to believe that, had they stayed, Saturday would be Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer, and Ryan Harrow’s Senior Day as well.

— Had to laugh when I saw this tweet:

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Willie played football?! NO WAY!

— We’re nearing the time of year when the national media hands out their end-of-season awards. The always enthusiastic Dick Vitale is first up, and I think you’ll like his selections for the SEC:


PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
COACH OF THE YEAR: John Calipari, Kentucky
DIAPER DANDY OF THE YEAR: Karl-Anthony Towns, Kentucky
COMMENTS: It is a sweep for the undefeated Wildcats. Cauley-Stein’s statistics don’t tell the whole story as his athleticism and length help the tenacious UK defense. I picked him over Bobby Portis of Arkansas. Calipari had to get his players to buy into his concept and the stars have accepted their roles, wanting to win more than posting individual numbers. Towns is my choice for Diaper Dandy over teammate Devon Booker.

(Love you, Dick, but it’s DevIn.) If you get really bored today, try reading all of that in Dick Vitale’s voice. Bonus points for adding “bay-bee” to the end of each sentence.

— On the latest CBS Sports college hoops podcast, Seth Davis says once again that he believes Kentucky will run the table. Seth is one of the few national guys to say that from the beginning, so give it a listen:





— Finally, if you haven’t yet, be sure to download the KSR APP. Since we launched it on Monday, it’s been downloaded over 32,000 times. Whoa. You people are crazy. And we love it.

Calipari wants his team to turn the ball over more often

John Calipari was on Colin Cowherd’s show this morning, and pretty much said a lot of stuff we’ve already heard (5th youngest team, this isn’t communism, etc.), but this quote stuck out:

“I keep telling these guys: risk. We’re not turning it over enough. You can’t end a game with three turnovers. Three turnovers? You’ve gotta have 11 turnovers, 10, 11, 12 turnovers. We played Arkansas, we had 9 turnovers. Well, then you’re not risking enough.”

I have a “Calipari” search feed on my Tweet Deck, and it was pretty interesting to watch the tweets roll in during Cal’s appearance. It looks like his reputation is changing for the casual sports fan:

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To listen to Cal’s entire appearance on The Herd, click here.

The Wall-Street Journal on why Louisville is the Capital of College Basketball

We all know Kentucky is the capital of college basketball, but it turns out the city of Louisville has the TV ratings to back that claim up. The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Cohen and Kevin Clark report that Louisville has the highest TV ratings for college basketball this season of any city in the country, more than twice the next largest market on the list. There’s even a quote from our own Matt Jones:

“Even in a place that’s been saturated with college basketball for 75 years,” said Matt Jones, the Louisville-based founder of the Kentucky Sports Radio website, “I think it’s bigger at this moment than it’s ever been.”

That wasn’t the only KSR shoutout:

Kentucky’s devotion to college basketball isn’t limited to television. Its fans are such regular radio listeners that when Kentucky Sports Radio unveiled an iPhone app this week, it shot up the Apple store’s charts, peaking as the No. 1 free sports app.

Imagine if there was a Android app too.


Tom Crean gets a vote of confidence from Indiana AD


We now interrupt your snow day for a Tom Crean update. After a brief stint of mediocrity earlier this season, the Hoosiers are once again terrible, which has many Indiana fans calling for Tom Crean’s head. Welp, IU AD Fred Glass told ESPN this morning that Crean’s job is safe despite the fact they probably won’t make the NCAA Tournament…again:

“I’m bullish on Tom,” Glass told ESPN. “He’s done a really good job with these guys. It’s ridiculous to say that someone is coaching for his job for one game and that it would be up or down in one game.”

Glass said Crean’s buyout–$11 million–has no impact on Indiana’s decision to keep him. Yeah, whatever.

Our buddy Gregg Doyel wrote a scathing column about Crean today in which he discusses “Creaning”:

“Creaning” is a thing. It’s an insult, it’s a verb, it’s a way of life for Indiana basketball. It’s the way the Hoosiers roster turns over almost every year, magically if you want to be naïve about it, with IU coach Tom Crean somehow finding a way to fit 14 or 15 scholarship athletes into the 13-player maximum. How does he do that?

You know you want to read the rest.


Kentucky is Officially a Zombie Apocalypse


pic by WLKY

This video was shot on the Joel Prather Highway in Hardin County by WAVE TV in Louisville and gives you a notion of how bizarre the current travel conditions are in some parts of Kentucky. The picture above is of I-65, which is still closed in some parts and causing a travel nightmare for many, including Rev Jesse Jackson’s wife who is apparently stuck there as well.

The snow is making you all do crazy things

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Like make YouTube videos of the news with the “Justified” theme song played over it, like KSR reader Randy Sigler:

I don’t really understand what’s going on here, but I really like the “Justified” theme song and there’s a KSR t-shirt in there, so rock on, Randy.

For serious though, thoughts out to those drivers stranded on 65. Here are more pictures from near the Lebanon junction:



Stay safe out there.

KSR made #BrianTSlade the #1 Worldwide Trend on Twitter today

Why? Brian T Slade, an Indiana fan, called in to the show today to give the guys some scoop about Stephen Zimmerman, one of Cal’s main targets in the 2015 class. Zimmerman recently trimmed his list to five and did NOT include Indiana, but Slade said sources tell him that the big man will be a Hoosier anyways.

Write it down, Brian T. Slade says Stephen Zimmerman is going to Indiana,” Brian T. Slade guaranteed. “Make your little jokes, it’ll happen.”

From there, #BrianTSlade became a running joke and the KSR nation even got it trending worldwide. There’s already a Brian T. Slade Twitter account because of course there is.

If you missed it, Brian T. Slade calls in around the 36-minute mark in the first hour:

And we got it trending in the second hour: