Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
September 14th, 2014

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: How Does This Not Excite You for the 2015 Offense?

It can not be stated enough just how exciting it is to have a competitive football team again.  Kentucky is becoming a trendy pick to upset South Carolina this weekend and many are now predicting a possible bowl game this year.  But frankly, all of that would be icing on the cake to what is just the bounce back year for this football program.  But next year could really be something special.  The home slate might be the best in school history.  But most importantly, UK is looking like they will bring back almost all of their key players, especially on the offensive side of the ball.  Through 4 games, take a look at the stats accumulated at each position and how many of those guys will be coming back.  And then I did the math on what percentage of key stats could be coming back through 4 games.  Seniors have been included but marked out.

QUARTERBACK
Patrick Towles (RS-Sophomore): 4 starts, 84-135, 1117 yards, 6 TD, 49 carries, 205 yards, 2 TD
Reese Phillips (RS-Freshman): 2-4 (50.0%), 45 yards
RETURNING IN 2015: 100% of completions, 100% of yards, 100% of TD’s

RUNNING BACK
Braylon Heard (Junior): 3 starts, 29 carries, 217 yards, 7.5 ypc, 2 TD, 3 catches, 8 yards
JoJo Kemp (Sophomore): 1 start, 33 carries, 155 yards, 4.7 ypc, 1 TD, 2 catches, 15 yards
Mikel Horton (Freshman): 23 carries, 121 yards, 5.3 ypc, 2 TD
Boom Williams (Freshman): 16 carries, 99 yards, 6.2 ypc, 1 TD, 5 catches, 75 yards, 1 TD
Josh Clemons (RS-Junior): 7 carries, 32 yards, 4.6 ypc
DJ Warren (Senior): 1 catch, 9 yards
RETURNING IN 2015: 100% of carries, 100% of yards, 100% of TD’s

WIDE RECEIVER
Ryan Timmons (Sophomore): 4 starts, 20 catches, 246 yards, 1 TD
Demarco Robinson (Senior): 4 starts, 10 catches, 180 yards
Javess Blue (Senior): 3 starts, 6 catches, 77 yards
Dorian Baker (Freshman): 1 start, 11 catches, 122 yards, 1 TD
Garrett Johnson (Freshman): 11 catches, 181 yards, 2 TD
Blake Bone (Freshman): 5 catches, 113 yards, 1 TD
TV Williams (Freshman): 4 catches, 64 yards
Joey Herrick (Junior): 1 start, 2 catches, 18 yards
Charles Walker (Freshman): 1 catch, 4 yards
RETURNING IN 2015: 80% of catches, 77% of yards, 100% of TD’s

TIGHT END
Steve Borden (Senior): 3 starts, 3 catches, 32 yards
Ronnie Shields (Senior): 2 catches, 28 yards
RETURNING IN 2015: 0% of catches, 0% of yards, 0% of TD’s

OFFENSIVE LINE
Jordan Swindle (Junior): 4 starts (16 career starts)
Jon Toth (Sophomore): 4 starts (19 career starts)
Ramsey Meyers (RS-Freshman): 4 starts
Darrian Miller (Senior): 3 starts
Cole Mosier (RS-Freshman): 2 starts, 3 games played
Zach West (Junior): 1 start (22 career starts)
Kyle Meadows (RS-Freshman): 1 start, 3 games played
Nick Haynes (RS-Freshman): 1 start, 3 games played
Max Godby (Senior): 4 games played
Zach Myers (Sophomore): 1 game played (1 career start)
Teven Eaton-Nared (Senior): 1 game played
RETURNING IN 2015: 85% of starts (66 career starts combined for returning players)

Unless tight end becomes a serious focal point of the offense in the future, I think Kentucky is going to be quite strong on the offensive side of the ball in 2015.


KSR’s Top Ten Tweets of the Day

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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 Mike Tunison

City folks ain’t allowed.

 

 

#9 Chuck Hayes

As long as you’re not inviting the guys to the bridge club Chuck..

 

 

#8 KSR Lonny

That’s right Lonny.

 

 

#7 A. Sherrod Blakely

Does wearing that shirt make one Young & Smart?

 

 

#6 S.E. Shepherd

Halloween Express carries them.

 

 

#5 JKM

Hear hear!

 

 

#4 Steven Borden

You heard the man.

 

 

#3 Matt Jones

Couldn’t leave out a good zing.

 

 

#2 Michael Rudolph

A little self-deprecating humor.

 

 

#1 Joel Embiid

Embiid=champion of Twitter.

 

@BrennanKSR + Funkhouser


Mike Leach’s Tuesday News and Views

Former UK offensive coordinator Mike Leach, now the head guy at Washington State, delivered a brilliant rant about online dating during his Monday press conference in Pullman. Leach has always been open about his hatred for gadgets and technology, and now he’s of the belief our cell phones will lead to the extinction of humanity.

From The Spokesman-Review:

“I’m not really good with technology. All this button pushing and whatnot. I mean, you can just imagine based on what’s happened in the last 15 years. Conversations won’t happen 10 years from now. There aren’t going to be people to talk to, it’s going to be this (mimics pushing buttons). ‘Do you want to go out on a date with me?’ ‘I don’t know, what do you look like?’ ‘Well I look kind of like this.’ ‘OK, what are your interests?’ ‘Well, what do you think my interests are? Looking into this thing and typing into this just like yours are.’ ‘Yeah, no kidding, that’s what everybody’s doing.’ ‘Well, where do you want to go?’ ‘Well, what difference does it make? Because all we’re going to be doing is looking into machines anyways.’ Well, that’s true and in the end it’s going to be tough to perpetuate the species. There’s no question about that. So we’re all going to look in this box and eventually be extinct. That’s how it ends.”

Leach’s Monday comments reminded me of an old video of him talking about e-mails at Big 12 Media Day in 2009. I think I could listen to him talk about the new iPhone for hours.

Now on to tonight’s News and Views, which Leach will not read unless someone prints it out and hands it to him.

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Saturday’s game is a BLACKOUT.

UK is asking fans to leave the blue and white at home for black attire Saturday night. The Cats and Cocks kick off at 7:30 pm and the hope is to black out the entire stadium. The team will likely sport the black uniforms on the field, too.

If you’re not already planning to go, why don’t you go ahead and change that by purchasing tickets to the game. Upper level general admission seats can be purchased for $25 here if you use the promo code ‘BEATSC’.

Pack Commonwealth. Beat Spurrier.

Four freshmen made an incredibly dumb mistake, will sit out against South Carolina.

Two redshirt freshmen and two key contributors will be out this Saturday, serving a one-game suspension for an incident that locked down part of south campus Sunday night. Boom Williams, Dorian Baker, Drew Barker and Tymere Dubose were identified in a surveillance photo released to the public on Monday as four students who were shooting an Airsoft gun near the Kirwan/Blanding complex. Campus police received two reports of a shooting, but it’s unclear what exactly it is they were doing.

The news is incredibly disappointing, especially with Barker being involved. There are far worse crimes than shooting a plastic pellet gun, but the guys have to be smarter than to carry around anything resembling a real gun on a college campus. There is no tolerance for that this day and age and the guys should’ve known better.

As for how it affects the team, Baker is the fourth-leading receiver with 11 catches for 122 yards and one touchdown. Williams has 16 carries for 99 yards and a score and another 75 yards receiving and a score while handling the kick return duties too. They will certainly be missed when the Gamecocks come to town, but Stoops had no choice but to suspend them.

Let this be a lesson, guys.

UK and Louisiana-Monroe will kick off at noon on October 11th.

Back to the early time slot for the Cats’ October 11th game against Louisiana-Monroe. That throws a wrinkle in the Keeneland plans, but UK could be looking for its fifth win that day.

It’ll be televised on the SEC Network.

John Calipari: “We are going to start the season platooning.”

At Monday’s Wildcat Tipoff Luncheon in Louisville, Coach Cal told the crowd he plans to use the platoon system to start the season and he hopes to do it throughout the whole year. He confirmed he will run with two groups of five plus two subs, one guard and one big to provide relief if any member of a platoon gets in foul trouble or isn’t playing well.

“This has never been done before,” he said.

Cal consulted with Clippers head coach Doc Rivers about UK’s loaded roster and Rivers supports the platoon. Cal also warned the crowd about the pace the Wildcats will play in 2014-15: “We play fast but we’re going to play faster.”

I. Can’t. Wait.

Jaylen Brown expects to meet Drake at Big Blue Madness:

In his most recent blog for USA Today, five-star forward Jaylen Brown fueled the rumor that Drake will be at Big Blue Madness:

Another thing that I thought was cool was that Coach Cal told me about his relationship with Drake and they’re actually really close. They text and everything like that. That’s pretty cool. I’m definitely a fan of Drake and I think he’s actually gonna be there when I’m there for my visit to Kentucky so I’m definitely looking forward to that. [USA Today]

Cal also told Malik Newman earlier this month that Drake might be a special guest at Madness. It will be HUGE for recruiting if UK can get him to show up. The kids love some Drizzy Drake.

Isaiah Briscoe picked up an offer from Kentucky.

According to NJ.com, Isaiah Briscoe received a scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky during his official visit. Briscoe was still on campus on Monday when Calipari was in Louisville; Cal told the crowd he needed to speak first and hurry back to Lexington to entertain a recruit. That recruit was Briscoe, the nation’s No. 1 point guard in the 2015 class.

I love this picture from the FIBA World cup a few weeks ago.

Rudy Gay, Boogie’s Sacramento teammate, poured champagne on the former Cat while another, Anthony Davis, looked on. Notice Davis isn’t partaking in the champagne; he doesn’t drink. He just balls.

The Jaguars released Winston Guy Jr.

After starting the first three games of the season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Winston Guy Jr. is now without an NFL football team. The Jaguars released the former Wildcat safety on Monday, one day after he gave up a long touchdown pass to Eddie Royal of the San Diego Chargers. It was Guy’s only play of the game.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN LARON LANDRY WAS BUSTED FOR PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS?

Former LSU star Laron Landry received a four-game suspension from the NFL for PEDs.

This guy? NO WAY.

That looks completely natural.

Lots of good stuff from John Calipari will be on KSR tomorrow night at midnight.

We’re able to release the goodies from Coach Cal’s preseason Q&A roundtable on October 1 at 12:01 am. He talked to some of us for over an hour a few weeks ago and I’ll have all the nuggets and quotes from the discussion here on KSR. Get ready for it.

Go Cats.

 


Some Pictures For Your Night

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This picture was taken tonight of John Calipari on his vespa he rides around town. There is something hilarious about this to me.

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Another cool pic of the team and Muhammad Ali

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The Twins saw Derek Anderson today


Watch Mark Stoops’ Monday Pre-South Carolina Press Conference


11 Takeaways from the UK Basketball Women’s Clinic

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Yesterday, I attended my third-straight Women’s Clinic at Memorial Coliseum, and for the third-straight year, had a blast. Here are my eleven takeaways from the Clinic, which was my favorite one yet.

1) I feel better about John Calipari staying now than when I walked in

Earlier today, I shared Cal’s comments about wanting to leave UK having generated $3 billion for his former players and their families in the NBA. Cal said he had an epiphany two weeks ago after a friend shared data with him about how much his former players are earning, which opened his eyes to how much he’s been able to change lives in his current position. Cal said that he’s on a mission over the next 5-7 years to generate $3 billion for his former players’ families, which he says has never been done in the history of the sport. “It kind of changed how I see things. I’m chasing this now,” he told the ladies. We all know Cal loves challenges, and as the head coach at Kentucky, I think he’s in a better position to influence players and help them achieve their dreams than in the NBA. Coming into yesterday, I was one of those who believed Calipari may leave after this season, but coming into today, I believe he’s so passionate about what he’s able to do and the power of his current position that he’ll stay for longer. Maybe not five to seven years as he said, but longer than one.

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2) “Let them eat first” is the new “Players first”

From the sign on the locker room door to all of the drills the players did on the court, it is clear that the team is focusing on next weekend’s NBA Combine. Cal told us that the Combine, which will take place October 10-11, is his way of showing the players he has their back, or “letting them eat first.” In typical Cal fashion, he went on a five-minute rant about how “letting the players eat first” has led to the most successful five-year run in UK basketball history. And if the haters want to keep hating? Go right ahead. “So then they say is ‘All he cares about getting guys in the NBA.’ If that’s how they tag me on my tombstone, it will say ‘He only cares about getting players in the NBA.’ Not a bad little tagline if you ask me. So, the combine was an idea with that in mind. How do I let these kids know I have your back? I’m letting you eat first.” Get ready to hear that A LOT this season.

3) Karl Towns is Rock Oliver’s favorite player to pick on

Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, and Karl Towns helped out Rock Oliver during his demonstration, which included giant ropes, medicine balls, and other equipment. The ropes were the most entertaining to watch. Here’s Tyler Ulis on the ropes, which are being weighed down by Karl Towns on the stationary bike.

Rock had Karl also do the ropes, but in a more difficult maneuver where you throw both ropes up from side to side with your hands together. Rock made Karl do a speed agility drill that the players will do during the NBA Combine several times, and this was only at one of the three stations at the camp. At this point, it was becoming clear that Karl was Rock’s favorite player to pick on. Rock joked that he likes to pick on Karl because “Karl loves himself so much,” but I had to laugh when Karl came over to me and Jennifer Palumbo to tell us how Rock challenged him to do 100 pushups in front of the crowd, and only let him stop when he got to 50. Karl was so exhausted after one drill he had to take a break behind the basket, resulting in this picture which may be the saddest one ever taken of him:

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4) You women are crazy about your autographs

Inevitably, one of the biggest draws of the Women’s Clinic (or any Calipari clinic) is the chance to get autographs from the players and coaches. Women started lining up outside the Joe Craft Center at 6 a.m. to get an early jump on the autograph session, which took place from 1 – 3 p.m. during registration. The team set everything up as best they could to make the process go smoothly, creating a giant assembly line on the Memorial Coliseum floor, but chaos still crept in. Both Calipari and Robic had to get on the mic several times to attempt to organize the crowd, and at one point, there were some ladies yelling and accusing each other of cutting in line. At one point, Robic threw up his hands and looked around helplessly. You women are crazy.

5) Dominique and Dakari were the only ones brave enough to dance

The organizers of the clinic brought back the Fashion Show this year, a crowd favorite, and it did not disappoint, even if most of the players were afraid to dance. I filmed it all and made a highlight reel for you guys, which includes Dakari and Dominique dancing, Marcus Lee revealing EJ Floreal’s favorite movie, and Tyler Ulis looking like a little blueberry in a puffer jacket. Jennifer Palumbo and her co-host Marcus Lee did their best to get all of the guys to bust a move for the ladies, but only Dakari and Dominique were brave enough, and the latter only after his entire team and the crowd pressured him into it. It’s still one of my favorite parts of the night.

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6) Seeing the team watching the Michigan game was a really cool moment

For most of the three hours, the clinic was split into three different gyms: the main floor at Memorial Coliseum and the men’s and women’s practice gyms in the Joe Craft Center. For those of you who have never been to the Joe Craft Center, the two practice gyms are separated by a lobby, where Cal holds press conferences, etc. There’s a TV mounted on the wall that was showing highlights from last season. As I was going between the gyms yesterday, I walked in and saw Aaron Harrison, Derek Willis, Willie, Trey, Alex, and I think Andrew watching the Michigan game, which was a pretty cool moment, honestly. I’m not sure how often these guys go back and watch that game, but seeing their reactions was very cool, and a moment that will stick with me for a while.

7) Trey Lyles looked fine to me

The crowd was treated to ten minutes of practice in which the team broke into four groups for 3-on-3s. The 3-on-3s were going on on both sides of the court, so it was a bit difficult to keep up with everything, but I did try to keep an eye on Trey Lyles since it was my first time seeing him play. Back from his mysterious leg injury, Lyles looked fine to me. Actually, he looked really good shooting the ball, nailing mid-range jumpers and threes. While he may be rusty in conditioning, seeing him hold his own against Willie Cauley-Stein in the 3-on-3s was encouraging.

8) This lady’s outfit earned kudos from John Robic

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Robic stopped a drill in order to address this lady’s outfit, which he called “old school for sure.” She told me before the Clinic started that her fake tattoo sleeve was in honor of Willie Cauley-Stein, who needs to stop wearing a blue headband because he never plays well when he wears it. When Robic later pointed out that she was wearing a blue headband, she said it was the only one they had at the store. Regardless, well done.

9) Devin Booker’s shot is just pretty

Devin Booker didn’t have the best performance in the Bahamas, but back on the mainland, his stroke is back. At the beginning of the 3-on-3′s, Booker stepped back and nailed a three several feet behind the line, and his hot hand stayed warm throughout the practice. Mike Pratt recently said he was impressed by Booker’s form, and now, I am too. It will be a thing of beauty for seasons to come.

10) This team is happy and loose

One of the criticisms of last year’s team early on was that they didn’t look like they were having any fun. It took a tweak to change that, and I’m happy to report that the fun has carried over from the postseason and the Bahamas. The team looked loose, relaxed, and happy during the Clinic yesterday, which I definitely couldn’t have said about them for most of last season. The Harrison Twins, always quiet, were still quiet, but smiled and laughed with their teammates a lot, and for once, didn’t look like the weight of the world was on their shoulders. With fans, the freshmen already have the poise of veterans and fit in seamlessly with the rest of the team. It’s an interesting dynamic this year; with the biggest mix of experience Cal’s had at Kentucky comes even more of a big brother/little brother atmosphere. Marcus Lee, the team goofball, particularly loves to pick on the younger guys, introducing Karl Towns as “the guy that NEVER STOPS TALKING” and Tyler Ulis as “the little blueberry.” I know this stuff is kind of fluffy, but it was really refreshing for me to see the guys having fun and relaxing. After witnessing the low point in South Carolina, that will never get old.

11) This picture gave me goosebumps

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It hangs right outside the locker room in the Joe Craft Center so that the guys see it every time they go out to practice. Maybe we should all make some for our offices.


Darrian Miller is your SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week

And now for some positive news from the football program…

Senior offensive tackle Darrian Miller was named SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week for his performance against Vanderbilt on Saturday. Miller is the second Wildcat to earn the award this season, following center Jon Toth in the first week of the season against UT Martin.

Miller was also big in the loss at Florida, playing through the pain after injuring his left shoulder early in the game. He has played well in three games this season after missing the opener as part of a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules.

Go Cats.


Stoops suspends Dorian Baker, Drew Barker, Boom Williams and Tymere Dubose

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A statement from UK regarding last night’s campus incident:

Four University of Kentucky football student-athletes, freshmen Dorian Baker, Drew Barker, Tymere Dubose and Stanley Williams, have been suspended for Saturday’s game vs. South Carolina and will have additional internal team discipline for violation of team rules in relation to an incident on campus Sunday evening.

“Proper conduct is emphasized as a core value of our program,” Coach Mark Stoops said. “If we have a situation in which someone who does not act according to our standards, we hold him accountable.”

“We absolutely respect being part of a wonderful campus community,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK director of athletics. “It disappoints us when one of our student-athletes does not live up to our expectations. We respect the process of the University and are working hand-in-hand with the campus community on this issue.”

UK Police Chief Joe Monroe:

“Today, University of Kentucky Police continued its investigation into Sunday’s incident on campus. We have been able to identify all of the people in a picture from last night’s incident captured on security cameras. Moreover, three BB guns connected with the incident were recovered as part of our investigation. UK Police officers also have interviewed those identified in the picture and worked closely with the Office of Student Affairs and the Department of Athletics on the appropriate next steps. To that end, we will be meeting tomorrow with the Fayette County Attorney’s office to determine what actions should take place. Once that investigation is completed, that information will be turned over to the Office of Student Affairs as dictated by university policy to investigate whether any violations of the code of student conduct have taken place.”

Not smart, boys. Not smart at all.


Cats in the NFL: Week 4

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers

— Packers defeated the Chicago Bears 38-17

— 7 receptions for 113 yards and 2 touchdowns

First TD came with 1:03 left in the 2nd quarter

Second TD came in the first 8 seconds of the 4th quarter

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Stevie Johnson, San Francisco 49ers

— 49ers defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 26-21

— 1 reception for a TD; 12 yards

First TD as a 49er came in 3rd quarter

Tim Masthay, Green Bay Packers

— For the second time in NFL history, Green Bay’s game against the Chicago Bears saw no punts. Read the full story here at usatoday.com: No punt intended: Bears and Packers make odd NFL history

Corey Peters, Atlanta Falcons

— The Falcons lost to the Minnesota Vikings 41-28 in Teddy Bridgewater’s first career start.

— 2 tackles; 1 solo and 1 assist

Photo by: Gavin Smith

Larry Warford, Detroit Lions

— Detroit defeated the New York Jets 24-17

— The Lions’ offensive line allowed 4 sacks for a total loss of 21 yards

Avery Williamson, Tennessee Titans

— The Indianapolis Colts beat the Titans 41-17

— 7 combined tackles; six solo and 1 assist

Donn Jones,AP

Wesley Woodyard, Tennessee Titans

— 9 total tackles; 6 solo and 3 assists

1 interception in 2nd quarter that lead to a TD by the offense

 

@kbernhardKSR


Update on Henry Ellenson; Where UK Stands

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When Coach Calipari extended a scholarship offer to Henry Ellenson back on July 13th I think many in Big Blue Nation had the same reaction as I did, “who?” For whatever reason, the 6’10’’, 230 pound Power Forward, was a relative unknown to me and I was surprised to learn that he was ranked as the #10 overall player in the 247 Composite Rankings. However, after watching his highlight video I quickly realized how good he was and also how badly I wanted UK to get him.

The Wisconsin native has long been considered a heavy Marquette lean. His brother, Wally, will be a junior for the Golden Eagles and Marquette is obviously close to home as well. In the middle of August though, when Ellenson cut his list to just three schools, Kentucky was included along with Marquette and Michigan State. Henry already took his official visits to Michigan State and Marquette, and he will be in Lexington for Big Blue Madness on October 17th.

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Marquette hosted Henry this past weekend and former Duke Assistant Coach Steve Wojciechowski pulled out all the stops for the talented big man. Milwaukee Bucks rookie and former Blue Devil Jabari Parker and former Marquette star Steve Novak happened to be on campus to see the prized hometown recruit. However, we know that no matter what Wojo and the Golden Eagles did for Ellenson, it will not compare to his experience at Big Blue Madness. Personally, I always like having the final visit with a recruit and hopefully a huge event like BBM leaves enough of an impression to land his services.

Coach Calipari is involved with a number of 4’s and 5’s in the 2015 class, including Power Forward Carlton Bragg who is considered to be leaning towards UK. I don’t see Ellenson committing to Kentucky if Bragg is coming, so that remains the biggest obstacle in place. No matter what Bragg does, I think Marquette still is the favorite to land Ellenson, but if Big Blue Madness really “wows” him and he decides to commit soon, I think the Wildcats have put themselves in a position to possibly steal this one.

Brandon Ramsey

@Coach_BRamsey


Calipari visiting Stephen Zimmerman again tomorrow

After doing an in-home visit with him a little over two weeks ago, John Calipari is headed back to Vegas tomorrow to see 2015 center Stephen Zimmerman, reports Evan Daniels. Cal will meet with Zimmerman at his school. This will be Cal’s third visit to see Zimmerman, the fourth by the UK staff. He’s considered the 4th best center and the 15th overall player in the 2015 class, and will visit UK officially for Big Blue Madness. Right now, his Crystal Ball is 42% UNLV, 32% Arizona, 16% UK and 10% Kansas.

Zimmerman said that his visit with Cal two weeks ago was “great,” and the UK staff has made a big push for him recently. Zimmerman wrapped up his in-home visits last week, so is tomorrow’s visit with Cal a sign a commitment isn’t far away? Hmm…


Caleb Swanigan will visit for UK’s NBA Combine next weekend

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John Calipari’s NBA Combine is brilliant for many reasons, one being recruiting. The Combine, which will take place October 11-12 in the Joe Craft Center, is not only the perfect opportunity for recruits to visit Kentucky on a weekend other than Big Blue Madness, it is the perfect opportunity for the staff to further impress upon them the strong connection between the UK program and the NBA. Think of it as Cal’s “Build it and they will come” for recruiting this season.

So far, it’s working. According to Paul Biancardi of ESPN, 2015 big man Caleb Swanigan will take an unofficial visit to UK on October 10 to see the Combine before taking unofficial visits to Arizona, Chicago State, and Michigan State later this fall. Swanigan is considered the third best center and the 12th overall player in the 2015 class, and so far, Michigan State is the runaway favorite. However, if there’s one event that will impress a recruit, it’s this one. Representatives from all 30 NBA teams will be in town just to see UK’s players. How many programs can say that?

Watch him work:


Want $25 upper level tickets for South Carolina?

On Saturday, we ALMOST filled up CWS. Let’s get it 100% for South Carolina.

Saturday has the makings of a perfect day in Lexington: Keeneland during the day, UK football at night. Still don’t have tickets for the game against South Carolina? A little birdie tells us that if you use the promo code “BEATSC” on Ticketmaster, you can get $25 upper level reserved tickets.

Do it. Pack Commonwealth. Wear black.


Isaiah Briscoe is still on campus

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After checking out the Women’s Clinic and hanging out with Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker, five-star point guard Isaiah Briscoe is still enjoying his time on UK’s campus. At today’s tipoff luncheon in Louisville, John Calipari told the crowd that he had to get back to campus to entertain a recruit, and by all accounts, it’s Briscoe. Briscoe is considered the top point guard in the 2015 class, and although it hasn’t been confirmed that he has an official offer from UK, it’s likely that he picked one up this weekend, or during Cal’s in-home visit last week. Kenny Payne made sure Briscoe was front and center for part of UK’s Women’s Clinic yesterday, and while we weren’t allowed to take pictures of him, he and his family definitely seemed impressed.

UK’s involvement in Briscoe’s recruitment is an interesting development, especially considering the quick turnaround from Cal’s visit to see him in New Jersey to Briscoe’s trip to Lexington this weekend. Could a commitment be on the way soon?


Six Takeaways From Stoops’ Monday Morning Press Conference

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The Cats have to be better to beat South Carolina.  That may be the most obvious statement ever made on this site (other than “Damien Harris is good at football”), but it has to be said.  It was nice to enjoy an SEC win for a change, but it could have been so much better.  “We did some good things, but just too many mistakes in the last game,” Mark Stoops said in his opening remarks.  “We really had a chance to dominate that game and didn’t do it.”

Kentucky was poised to cruise after a hot start, but failed to maintain consistent energy throughout the game.  The defense was able to save the day, but the Cats simply aren’t good enough to repeat the feat this week, “We’re not dominant enough on any one side to win against a team like South Carolina.”  Stoops is calling for a team effort from all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams.

Stoops isn’t mad about the play calling at all.  There was a lot of griping about the play calling Saturday, and frankly it was aggravating to listen to.  Four yards a play will win you the game, but that isn’t good enough for a lot of people.

In the second half the Cats got more conservative, but it wasn’t because they were scared to throw the ball.  “At the end of the day ya gotta have some physicality about ya.”  (This was one of those moments that made me want to find a helmet and shoulder pads.)

Stoops often laments on how the most difficult teams to prepare for are the ones with the most balanced attack.  Stoops wants to make his offense as hard to scout as possible, “You have to make them accountable.  You have to make them stop the run to throw it.  If you don’t try, you’re eventually going to get into trouble.” 

The run/pass ratio fluctuates with each opponent and each scenario.  When the Cats got the ball with five minutes to play, it was time to run away with the W, “At that point all you’re trying to do is get a victory.  We’re up 10 with the ball, just trying to get some first downs and get the win.”

Oh, Spurrier.  It never takes long for Spurrier to take a jab at Kentucky.  When Stoops began his presser, I thought he was coming in hot with the condescending comments, “They’re a good team.  At times they look absolutely dominant, just like a lot of teams, but they have great potential.”

He started hot, but Stoops isn’t going to try to have a war of words with the Ole Ball Coach.  “By the way, I want to stay away from that with a ten-foot pole.”

Stoops isn’t the kind of guy to call out other teams, but he does like the way Spurrier carries himself.  “Some of the things he says is true, and some people don’t like hearing the truth.  He’s a very honest guy and as a coach, you respect that.  He calls it the way it is.  A lot of times I try to do that.  If we get our butts beat, I say it the way it is.”

The left guards need to get healthy.  The offensive line has taken a lot of early lumps.  After Zach West’s weird neck injury, walk-on Cole Mosier exceeded expectations until he had an injury of his own.  Redshirt freshman Nick Haynes was thrust into action Saturday, and didn’t do bad after settling down, “Nick started a little slow, and that’s been his MO,” Stoops said.  “He settled in good and played a good football game.  He really battled.”

Stoops expects West and Mosier to get back to practice this week, but is still unsure if they’ll be ready by Saturday.  The one thing he is sure of, they need them healthy,  “We’re getting thin.  They played the whole game, gave great effort and were very physical at the end of the game when we needed them to be on 80 snaps.  Those guys are battling real hard.  We just need to get some guys healthy.”

Where’d the tight ends go?  On my way into the press conference I heard a caller ask why the tight ends hadn’t been getting used as much over the past two weeks.  Steven Borden isn’t to be blamed for it after an end zone drop, it’s the routine plays that are hurting them, “They need to block better when they have opportunities.  It keeps them in the game.”  Simply put: right now the offense is more dangerous with slot wide receivers instead of flex tight ends. 

Stoops won’t say they’re blacking out the uniforms.  But he definitely likes trying on the new digs,  “It is good to change it up.  I think our players like it and it’s good for recruiting.  It’s been good for us to spice it up a bit.”