Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
July 1st, 2015

First Pass to National Signing Day

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Since joining KSR, Matt asked that I evaluate recruits and provide detailed, understandable analysis prior to National Signing Day. This task is right up my alley. Roster/personnel evaluation has been a hobby of mine for many years. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in the past two UK Signing Day Shows and I have to admit, they’ve both been an absolute blast. Organized chaos overwhelms the facility as adult coaches behave like sugared up toddlers on Christmas. I was told that while walking by the set, DJ Eliot slugged me in the back of the head. I’ll give him that one.

But if that happens again next February, I’m throwing haymakers. If you watched the shows, you may have noticed that I’m continually shuffling a stack of papers. Following a completed segment, I toss a piece of paper on the floor. I spend countless of hours assessing both committed and uncommitted players. The number of prospects can fluctuate between 25 and 50. For each prospect, my evaluation starts with a “First Pass” sheet. I write these documents without interruption as I’m a firm believer in trusting my initial impression. Highlight films are not conducive for a thorough evaluation. I peruse Hudl to find actual game footage. (Hudl is an internet service designed for coaches to view prospective athlete’s video and is the greatest invention since the VCR.)

After the video session, I take a quick look at the recruit’s social media tendencies. Twitter provides a descriptive peek into an athlete’s character. Unlike professional recruiting folks, I’m not enthralled by the summer camp circuit or combines. While basic skills are certainly identified at these events, football is still a collision sport. The mere threat of physical contact can totally change a prospect’s assessment. I’ve watched 4.3-40 prospects with a 40-inch vertical leap that wouldn’t bust a grape in an actual football game.

To finalize my pre-Signing Day notes, I host a teleconference with fellow recruiting analysts. This group doesn’t include Rivals, 247, or Scout contributors. My confidential advisors are comprised of a car manufacturer, two doctors, a soldier, two attorneys, my wife, and a bean counter. We disagree on everything from pizza toppings to pulling guards but the diverse group offers quality control through opinionated and at times, heated discussions. To illustrate a “First Pass Sheet,” I’ll use 2016 QB commit Gunnar Hoak as an example. He’s a QB, and going to be a darn good one. He needs to get used to leading from the front.


Name: Gunnar Hoak

Position: Right handed, pro-style quarterback

Measurables: 6’4 192

Hometown: Dublin, Ohio

High School: Coffman

Coached by: Mark Crabtree

Team record: 11-1

Home field surface: Artificial

Recruited by: Vince Marrow

Commitment date: 25 April 2015

Commitment status: Solid

Current star rating: 4 star

Film strengths: Intelligent passer with pocket composure. Technically sound in spread offense responsibilities. Suitable hand size. Quick, fluid delivery without hitch. Advanced sense of anticipation. Adequate torso strength on deep passes. Deceptively mobile with better than average speed. Natural leader, comfortable in pressure situations. Maintains focus throughout scramble drill to find open receiver. Efficient in immediate, shot-gun snap throws, three and five step drops. Can locate receiver and throw into tight windows vs. man/zone coverage. Familiar with passing tree, capable to make all required throws. Not influenced by rush.

Areas to improve: Typical of all incoming freshmen quarterbacks, requires upper body strength and development. Needs to add weight for durability.

Compares to: Connor Cook, Michigan State

Social media conduct: Respectful

Supportive teammate: Yes

Senior year honors: N/A

Academically eligible: Yes

Projected immediate impact: Dependent on Patrick Towles’ development/draft status. Best case scenario to redshirt but not mandatory. If necessary, could be a capable freshman back-up.

Miscellaneous: Threw for over 2000 yards and 30 TD’s as a junior. One of 12 Ohio commits. Multi-sport athlete that also excelled in baseball. Once broke his nose/face on outfield fence. Selfless competitor. QB with “it” factor. Excellent fundamentals, perfect fit for Dawson’s system. Cerebral football player with SEC quarterback ability.

Periodically throughout the summer, I’ll post committed player’s First Pass sheets. Please note that these documents are not proofread for grammatical or spelling errors. Merely summaries for me to use when the camera light turns red and producer yells “go” into the annoying thing in my ear.

Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

Salads_500x500 Summer’s here and so is the perfect summer salad—Wendy’s Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad. Made with hand-sliced strawberries and crisp Romaine chopped right in our kitchens. All topped with warm, freshly grilled chicken. It’s only here for summer and it’s only at Wendy’s. At participating Wendy’s for a limited time

You can be a part of Wendy’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. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Jonathan Miller

That is a poker face if I have ever seen one.







#9 Lindsay Spencer

Here is some solid KSR advice for you, Lindsay. Quit.








#8 Doron Lamb

The Hair. Oh my god. Hair.








#7 Will R ‎

That’s your own fault, Will. You’ve got to learn.








#6 trevor shearer ‎

I think we should start a crowd fund for this.








#5 Kami Mattioli ‎

100 percent.








#4 Jake Patrick ‎

Of all the places to do this…………. really? I hope Cal came home to see this.








#3 Kristi Wright ‎

This is enough to keep me off the site for good. Well. That and I am married.








#2 Darrell Hughes ‎

This one is for all our Canadian Big Blue Nation followers out there.








#1 Brandon Swanner

Poor guy. He has the ugliest girl in the place.   @Hessler_KSR

Governor Beshear teed it up with Tiger Woods today


A foursome featuring Tiger Woods and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear turned in a 9-under par today at the Greenbrier Classic Pro-Am. A spokesman for the governor said Beshear is responsible for picking up three of those strokes for his team.

Good news for Tiger fans: He hit every fairway and green for a 32 (-2) on the front nine, so maybe he should consider keeping Beshear around throughout the weekend.


AP Photo

“We Ask You Wednesday” Vol. 51


The season is sadly now over, and the folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes. Last summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter.

Each week, the question will change and we will hit on a variety of topics, mostly UK-related… but you never know. Each week the best responses will make it on to the website.  This week’s twenty ninth volume of the “We Ask You Wednesday” allowed Kentucky fans to answer the following question via Twitter in 140 characters or less:  IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND RE-LIVE ANY KENTUCKY BASKETBALL GAME FROM THE CALIPARI ERA (SAME GAME, SAME RESULT), WHICH GAME WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?




The game itself wasn’t necessarily the most thrilling as far as big moments, but the celebration after certainly was…

I think any of what I call the “Aaron Harrison stretch of games” are worthy of consideration… Louisville, Michigan, Wisconsin (2014)

I’m glad someone brought up the 2010 SEC tourney game. The DeMarcus Cousins tip-in was an instant classic…


Still laughing about this one. 7 points at half. SEVEN POINTS AT HALF! (And that UCLA team had some draft picks)



You brought it up! So there ya go.

Notre Dame was one of the most exciting games of this year’s tourney run. 


Wichita State/Kentucky was just such a high quality basketball game. 

Always a good day when you knock lil bro out of the tourney. 

The “we’re baaaaack” UNC game was great…


The block heard round the Bluegrass. I wasn’t there but I’ve heard Rupp Arena has never been so loud…

Between Jorts and Brandon Knight’s shot…that game still gives me chills…


I know it was only Miami of Ohio, but I was there and that finish was wild. I wonder how differently that first half of the season feels if we drop that game? We would have never experienced the “Hello Mr. President, this DeMarcus Cousins” moment. 

Your 4th of July Sports Guide


Are you stuck inside this Fourth of July weekend? I see rain in the forecast, that’s no good. Or maybe you’re just not the outdoors type. It could be the case you want plans but can’t come up with anything. Or you’re grounded. Your boat sank. Allergic to grilled burgers and potato salad. You hate fireworks. You hate America.

Whatever the reason you’re stranded on TV island this weekend, worry no longer, my fellow sports fans. There’s plenty of action to enjoy in the comfort of your own home while everyone else is out celebrating on the lake or in the backyard. So here’s a guide for the couch potatoes, a little schedule to get you ready to enjoy the best of 4th of July sports.

Disclaimer: I did not include any baseball because baseball is the worst.



10:00 am: KSR Tour Stop in Hopkinsville

Matt and I will be at the Holiday Inn in Hopkinsville for the eighth stop on our summer tour around the state. Stop by before locking yourself indoors to kick off your July 4th weekend with KSR and for a chance to win tickets from

11:15 am: USA vs. Italy, FIBA U19 World Championship

The U.S. U19 team will take on Italy in the quarterfinals of the FIBA U19 World Championship. Tune in to ESPNU to watch some of the stars of tomorrow and Louisville’s Chinanu Onuaku’s granny-style free throws.

6:30 pm: USMNT vs. Guatemala in Nashville

I know a large portion of our readership despises all things soccer, but for the rest of us, the U.S. men’s team has a friendly with Guatemala in Nashville Friday night. It will be the final tune-up before next week’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The exhibition will be televised on Fox Sports 1.


Noon: Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

ESPN will air the 2015 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, a 4th of July tradition, with coverage beginning at noon and the competition scheduled for around 12:40 pm. There is talk of a KSR live blog, also a 4th of July tradition, but that ball is in Mrs. Tyler’s court. I don’t know if she’s decided to do it again this year or not.

1:00 pm: Kash Daniel’s announcement

The biggest news of the weekend will undoubtedly come out of Paintsville, when four-star linebacker Kash Daniel announces his college decision. Daniel is down to Kentucky, Louisville and South Carolina, and he plans to go public with his decision on the Fourth at 1:00 pm.

When asked why July 4th to make the announcement, Daniel told Tom Leach, “What better day to do it than on the day we declared our independence?”

We’ll have plenty of coverage (and hopefully a live stream) all afternoon long here on KSR.

3:00 pm: NBA Summer League | Charlotte vs. Oklahoma City

Aaron Harrison will make his NBA Summer League debut with the Charlotte Hornets on Friday. Standing in his way will be former teammate Dakari Johnson and Marquis Teague with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

All NBA Summer League games will stream online through NBA Summer League Live. There is a one-time fee of $14.99, but well worth it to watch the plethora of Wildcats participating this year.

5:00 pm: NBA Summer League | Memphis vs. Brooklyn

Following Aaron Harrison’s first game, brother Andrew Harrison will make his NBA debut with the Memphis Grizzlies. He will be competing with Russ Smith for one of the last spots on the Grizzlies actual roster, so this summer is huge for the second-round draft pick’s NBA future.

All Day: UK Takeover on the SEC Network

The SEC Network will have 24 hours of UK programming on America’s birthday this year. Here’s a look at some of the marquee replays scheduled throughout the day:

3:00 pm… College Basketball: Kentucky vs. Kansas, 2014
5:00 pm… College Football: Louisville at Kentucky, 2007
7:00 pm… College Football: South Carolina at Kentucky, 2014
9:00 pm… College Basketball: Kentucky @ Louisville, 2014

It looks like the Cats will be 2-0 against Louisville this Saturday.


3:00 pm: NBA Summer League | Memphis vs. Charlotte

Sunday afternoon’s NBA Summer League game pits the Harrison twins against each other for the first time… ever maybe? Andrew’s Grizzlies will meet Aaron’s Hornets in the twins’ second summer league game. This will be must-see TV for Big Blue Nation.

7:00 pm: FIFA Women’s World Cup Final

Whether you’re pro-soccer or totally against it, you owe it to America to watch the World Cup final. The U.S. hopes to win its first World Cup since 1999 after two third place finishes and one runner-up trophy in the last three tournaments.


God bless America. Get some sunshine if you can. I’ll be in Nashville and then Lake Barkley if anyone needs me.

What did Anthony Davis do after signing his new contract?

Well he went to work, of course. That’s what the great ones do.

While you and I would’ve instantly blown money on the finer things in life, like Armand de Brignac, electronic toilets and bear skin rugs, Anthony Davis took his highest contract in NBA history straight to the gym.

Enjoy him, New Orleans.

James Young approaching second year with a different mindset

I don’t think anyone would accuse James Young of being an overly serious person. Young has always been a pretty laid back, relaxed guy. Heck, he earned a reputation as the sleepiest person on the team while at Kentucky.

After drifting in and out of the D-League in his rookie year, Young is approaching his second season with a new mentality. Celtics beat reporter Jay King spoke with Young today, who says he’s sworn off social media. “I’m just worried about me and getting better right now,” Young told King. “Distractions, I’m just trying to put them to the side.”

Young also said he’s put on twenty pounds of muscle since the season ended and increased his vertical by three inches.”Seeing how I was getting pushed around,” Young said. “That’s not going to happen anymore.”

Young will play for the Celtics in the Summer Leagues in Utah and Las Vegas, which are quickly filling up with former Cats. Matt, Drew, and Chris Tomlin are all going to the Vegas Summer League for the first time, so get ready for lots of updates and anecdotes. And late night snaps from Drew.

Calipari talks about why he goes to the NBA Draft


You may have noticed that John Calipari was one of the few college coaches in attendance at last Thursday’s NBA Draft. In fact, he was probably the only college coach at the draft. That’s become a familiar sight during his tenure at Kentucky, but tonight, Cal put out a post on his site explaining why he goes to the draft every year.

I’m at the draft because this is the culmination of a whole lot of work and a whole lot of dreaming. It’s almost like it’s graduation day.

Someone said, “You hop from table to table during the draft.” Well, how would you feel if you were one of the other three and I just sat with Karl or Willie and I never sat with you and your family?

There’s a lot more of that, along with a casual reference of Kyle Tucker’s article in the Courier-Journal listing all of his former players’ current NBA contracts, the combined value of which is close to a billion dollars. As Cal says, “that recruits players — not me showing up at the draft.”

Yes, it does:


Read the rest of Cal’s entry at

So, #BBNMeetUpDotCom took off

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 3.29.55 PM

When I received the press release announcing the launch of, I thought it was a joke at first. Then, I realized it was too good to be true. Word leaked online about the free dating site for UK fans about midday, so I shared some of the details even though the site wasn’t schedule to go live until tomorrow morning.

The response was insane. All afternoon, #BBNMeetUpDotCom filled up my timeline with some great jokes about the site. I came up with a few of my own…

  • SWF 25-35 seeks basketball fan for postgame shows and Rupp ice cream. Must prefer John Wall to Rajon Rondo
  • SWM 55 seeks late night karaoke partner up for swims in the Merrick Inn pool. Pls be my Amanda
  • SWF 18-25 looking for jersey to chase. Very talented at sneaking in to dorms. Meet you at the Rupp ramp
  • SWM 45-60 seeks dancing partner for rail slides. Meet u in Section 18. Sanitary wipes optional

The twittersphere did not disappoint, either:

There are so many platooning jokes to be made here, and I couldn’t resist:

Your turn, comments section…

There’s now an online dating site just for Kentucky fans

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Are you single and ready to mingle with another member of the Big Blue Nation? I’ve got great news for you. Today, Sports Dating Inc. introduced, a free online dating site for Kentucky fans.

According to the press release, is “for people that find cheering for Kentucky sports an important part of their lives and consider it important for their potential life partner to share this interest.” 

“We have developed a program that will let you search for people not only by their hair color, or location but also by what we are calling ‘fandom’,” said Sports Dating Inc. System Analyst Brandon Crabtree. “Fandom is a rating system in which you can rate how big of a fan you are.” (If you’re reading this, at least a 7 out of 10.)

For a fanbase like the BBN, that’s a game changer. Interested? Registration for the site opens tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., and users will have until July 15 to build their profiles. Happy hunting.

Sources say Georgios Papagiannis not an option for the Cats in 2015


So much for all that research I did this morning. Sources tell KSR that Greek 7-footer Georgios Papagiannis is NOT an option for Kentucky in the 2015 class, which is kind of a bummer. Kid had a lot of nickname potential. 

Brandon Knight and the Suns agree to 5-year $70 million contract extension

We’ve heard rumors about it for a few days now, but it looks like Brandon Knight’s five-year $70 million contract extension with the Phoenix Suns is official. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski just tweeted that Phoenix has agreed to the terms, which is huge news for our Shakespeare loving former Cat. In additional good news, David Aldridge reports that the Suns will NOT be trading Eric Bledsoe as previously rumored.

If you’re keeping track, that puts the combined value of current contracts for former John Calipari players at approximately $721 million, a figure that doesn’t include Dakari or Andrew’s rookie contracts or the rumored contract coming up for Enes Kanter.


(Salaires via

Beef bandits steal over $1,000 worth of meat from Harrodsburg Wal-Mart

How easy is it to steal over $1,000 worth of meat? Apparently pretty easy. That’s what Jason Rice, Shelton Pendergraft, and Elvin Spears did earlier this week at the Wal-Mart in Harrodsburg, and according to Rice, it wasn’t difficult at all.

“It’s one of the easier things to do,” said Jason Rice. “We just went in and got meat and walked right out.”

The three men pulled off the first heist so easily they came back the next day to steal even more, a brazen act considering Rice and Pendergraft had previous shoplifting incidents at the same Wal-Mart and had been banned from the property. That’s when Wal-Mart Loss Protection caught them in the act. All three are now behind bars.


Karl Towns, Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis, and Trey Lyles made the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll


Congratulations to Karl Towns, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, and Tyler Ulis, who were all named the SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll this morning. The former freshmen were four of 83 student athletes from UK to receive the honor, the second most of any SEC school. To make the honor roll, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

So all four UK freshmen made the SEC All-Freshman Team AND the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll. All while helping their team to a 38-1 record and the Final Four. And three of them just got drafted in the lottery.

Yeah, that 2014 class ended up being pretty awesome.

6 things you need to know about Georgios Papagiannis


Yesterday, we found out that Greek 7-footer Georgios Papagiannis is still considering playing basketball in the States this upcoming season and Kentucky is on his short list. Papagiannis told Draft Express at the U19 World Championships in Crete that UK is one of three schools he’s interested in, along with NC State and St. John’s. He told Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn that Oregon is also in the mix.

With a decision expected VERY SOON, here are six things you need to know about the player we will now refer to Big Papa…

He got off to a strong start in the U19 World Championships

Papagiannis is averaging 11 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 4.7 blocks over three games in the U19 World Championships, and got off to a hot start against Korea, scoring 16 points, bringing down 16 rebounds, and blocking five shots. He was a perfect 8/8 from the floor and is averaging 68% shooting for the tournament.

Against Serbia, he threw down this impressive dunk:

His dad wants him to go to the States

Although Papagiannis insists he’s still torn over staying in Greece for another year or coming to the States for college basketball, his father wants him to head overseas. Papagiannis actually spent his junior year of high school at Westtown School in Pennsylvania, and his dad told Luke Winn that he wants his son to continue to play with guys his age to showcase his potential instead of being buried among grown men in the Euro pro leagues.

Eligibility won’t be a concern

Last summer, Papagiannis played with the Greek club team Panathinaikos, but he signed an amateur deal that will allow him to retain his eligibility in case he wants to play college basketball in the States. Sorry, NCAA, this is not Enes 2.0.

Do we need to worry about Slice?

St. John’s has been in the running for Papagiannis for a while now and could really use him now that big man Chris Obekpa transferred. And we know our man Slice could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves. Will this be the first recruit we could lose to our former assistant?

Dorsey and Papagiannis

Another battle with Oregon

Papagiannis is rooming with Oregon signee Tyler Dorsey at the U19s, and Dorsey is doing his best to persuade the big man to come back to Eugene with him. Interestingly, Winn reports that when the Oregon basketball staff visited Papagiannis in Athens a few months back, they realized Dorsey had some Greek blood in him and rushed to get him on the Greek National Team. In fact, Dorsey only got clearance from FIBA the day before the tournament started. And now he’s rooming with Papagiannis and whispering Nike sweet nothings in his ear. If that’s not blatant recruiting, I don’t know what is. Even Calipari is tipping his hat to Dana Altman a little bit there.

His birthday is Friday

Papagiannis says he wants to make a decision about his future very soon, possibly by the time the U19 World Championship ends on July 5. Friday, July 3rd is his birthday…that sounds like the perfect day to announce to me.