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September 14th, 2014

Devin Booker says he won’t leave the gym at night until his jumper is perfect

Devin Booker was hyped as a shooter coming into Kentucky, but in the Bahamas, he struggled to find his stroke. When asked what he learned about himself on the trip, Booker was candid about his shooting slump. “First, I couldn’t make a shot. I’m known as a shooter, but obviously I was in a slump,” Booker said. “But you know, shooters go through slumps, I expect that and I’m not really worried about that because I have confidence in my game that those will fall when the season starts.”

One of the great things about this year’s team is that even if someone is in a slump, there are plenty of other players to pick up the slack. “Like I said, I was in a slump, but someone else has it going, so you just have to assert yourself in different ways and play hard all the time. We have so many weapons on the court it’s fun to be around.”

Booker constantly works on his shot, and although he doesn’t have a set number he puts up per day, he said he’s not comfortable leaving the gym until his form is flawless. “I like leaving the gym with my jumper feeling good. I want it to feel perfect when I leave the gym,” Booker said. “I don’t want to leave the gym on a bad note because I feel like I come in the next day it’s going to be on a bad note maybe when we have practice. You don’t want that, so when you leave the gym, you want your jumper feeling right, and that’s what I try to do.”

If what I saw at the Women’s Clinic is any indication, there won’t be many slumps this season.


Baker, Barker, Dubose and Williams charged with second-degree disorderly conduct

south_campus_incident_photo_2

The four UK freshmen involved in the campus incident Sunday night have been charged with second-degree disorderly conduct in Fayette District Court. According to @HLpublicsafety, the guys had four pellet guns and were playing a game they called “man hunt.”

They are due back in court on October 28 at 11:00 pm.

disorderly-conduct


Tickets for the Champions Classic go on sale Monday

You have your tickets for the CBS Sports Classic — if not, you better hurry — and now we have a date for the release of this year’s Champions Classic tickets, the annual double-header featuring Kentucky, Duke, Kansas and Michigan State. This year’s Classic will be held in Indianapolis on November 18 and the Cats will get the Jayhawks in the second game of the evening.

Tickets will be available Monday, October 6 at 10:00 AM EST with prices ranging from $47 to $252. They can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com; limit 4 for per customer.

We will post the presale code if and when we get it, so be on the lookout for that too.

Cats.


Football recruiting, Preseason basketball and Beat South Carolina (Thursday Show Thread)

Hello there, BBN. On this morning’s edition of Kentucky Sports Radio radio, Matt and Ryan have some football recruiting news, more from the basketball interviews and a continued look ahead to Saturday. Tune in to hear all of the great things they have to say.

Oh, and Ebola is spreading.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

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Four-star linebacker committed to Ohio State wants a closer look at Kentucky

Last night I told you Nick Conner will likely visit Kentucky this weekend for the South Carolina game. Let me elaborate on that this morning with confirmation from ElevenWarriors.com, an Ohio State website that is a little worried about the Buckeyes’ prized recruit making a flip to UK blue.

See, Conner grew up in Dublin, Ohio and is a lifelong fan of Ohio State football. He committed during a camp over the summer and has visited the campus at least three times since, without checking out anywhere else except Kentucky, two days after his commitment. His recent decision to take an official visit to Lexington has Urban Meyer and the OSU staff concerned, and according to Eleven Warriors, they’re doing all they can do to prevent it from happening:

First, Ohio State does not want this visit to take place, and they’ve been working to convince Conner, the country’s 6th-ranked inside linebacker, to cancel it. He’s a player they took their time evaluating and got to know very well, and absolutely want in their recruiting class. There is no tightening of numbers or any Buckeye “squeeze” in play, they’re not in anyway pushing him towards any other situation. They want Conner. [Source]

But word is Conner wants to take a closer look at what Mark Stoops is cooking up in Kentucky. If he sticks to his gut and takes that peek, it could really open up a huge window for the Cats to steal him away.

It’s also worth noting: Vince Marrow is the lead recruiter, and if I know one thing about Vince Marrow, it’s to never count him out in the recruitment of a prospect from Ohio.

Good luck to ya, Urban.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Steve Spurrier Domination Over UK a bit Less Dramatic at USC

No doubt you will see on the television this Saturday that Steve Spurrier is 20-1 all-time against Kentucky during his times at Florida and South Carolina.  And there is not much you can say about that domination.  Spurrier has flat out had Kentucky’s number during his career.  And he has on more than one occasion used Kentucky as a punching bag during one of his press conferences.  Good for him.  When you are 20-1 against a single team, more power to you.

But if you haven’t been paying attention, Spurrier’s domination of Kentucky has become less and less obvious and more and more perilous in his time at South Carolina.  Just look at the drastic change in average score in his tenures at the 2 schools.

FLORIDA
1990: 47-15
1991: 35-26
1992: 35-19
1993: 24-20
1994: 73-7
1995: 42-7
1996: 65-0
1997: 55-28
1998: 51-35
1999: 38-10
2000: 59-31
2001: 44-10
COMBINED: Florida 568, Kentucky 208
AVERAGE SCORE: Florida 47, Kentucky 17

SOUTH CAROLINA
2005: 44-16
2006: 24-17
2007: 38-23
2008: 24-17
2009: 28-26
2010: 28-31 (UK WIN)
2011: 54-3
2012: 38-17
2013: 35-28
COMBINED: South Carolina 313, Kentucky 209
AVERAGE SCORE: South Carolina 35, Kentucky 23
AVERAGE SCORE SANS 2011: South Carolina 32, Kentucky 26

During his 12 years at Florida, he beat Kentucky by an AVERAGE of 30 points per game.  During his 9 years at South Carolina, he’s only done that 1 time.  At Florida, he AVERAGED scoring 47 points a game against Kentucky.  At South Carolina, he’s only done that 1 time.  And as you can see above, when you take away that 2011 debacle in Columbia, Kentucky has been extremely competitive with Spurrier teams, including the win in 2010.  Now, that is very much a fan’s viewpoint on this series, as Spurrier is still 8-1 against Kentucky while with USC.

But my point is this: you will hear a lot on the broadcast about Steve Spurrier’s dominance over Kentucky.  And 20 out of 21 games is dominant.  But don’t be fooled into think dominant in the win column is the same as dominant in the overall score.  Kentucky has played South Carolina within 10 points in 5 of the 9 years.  They only played Florida within 10 points in 2 of 12 years.  This is not the same kind of Spurrier foot to throat teams that he had at Florida.

Which gives me a lot of hope about Saturday.  Let’s be honest, Kentucky has had some pretty bad teams in the last 9 years that Spurrier could have hammered.  But he didn’t in most cases.  Now Kentucky has a very competitive team and USC is struggling a bit this year.  Should USC be the favorite on Saturday?  Of course they should.  But I would be stunned and very disappointed in Kentucky gets whipped, despite what people might think about the Spurrier “domination” in the series.


KSR’s Top 10 Tweets of the Day

(Darrell Bird | Catspause)

(Darrell Bird | Catspause)

It’s time again for KSR’s Top Tweets of the Day. We will focus most of our attention on Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as usual, there are no limits to our madness. You can participate by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTop10 or just by simply tweeting @KYsportsradio.

#10 Michael Hartline

Whoever this tweet is about must be a really bad singer.

#9 Joey Ackerman

Maybe Willie will switch seats with you. It sounds like his kind of party.

#8 Zach West

Can we make a UK Athletics Survivor series? That seems like it would go well.

#7 Trey Lyles

Dang. They won’t even let you have OJ? That’s like the most important part of the most important meal of the day.

#6 Ben Collins

Nah. It’s too expensive to change company names this late in the game. I feel like people would be turned off by that anyways.

#5 Perry Stevenson

Boooooooooooooooooooooooo.

#4 Fake Nate

That background makes Matt look more tan than John Robic. It’s amazing.

#3 Ray J. Vaske

You laugh now, but that’s actually an accurate representation of what his car insurance file looks like.

#2 J7⃣

Prayers for the guy who has been commenting with emojis on Jason Strowbridge’s girlfriend’s Instagram.

#1 Roger Robinson

Can she still come to the game though? The team really needs the support.

@Sealey_KSR


That Time Kentucky Lost To Ohio’s Thursday News and Views

2004 wasn’t a good year for Kentucky football. The Wildcats finished the year at 2-9 with wins over two other terrible teams in Indiana and Vanderbilt. That forgettable season also featured one of the program’s worst losses, a 16-28 home loss to the Ohio Bobcats, a team that won only three other games that year.

That game, that miserable game, saw a 12-for-25, two interception performance from Shane Boyd and our first look at freshman Andre Woodson, who added an interception of his own. The Cats failed to reach 300 yards of offense — despite 90 rushing yards from Tony Dixon — and turned the ball over five times to the Mid-American Conference bottom feeder.

So why am I bringing this up now? Because it has been exactly one decade to the day since we walked out of Commonwealth Stadium wondering what the hell we just watched. 10 years ago, October 2, 2004, we were rooting for a Kentucky football program that couldn’t get past Ohio at home. Now, Mark Stoops has instilled a new confidence in Big Blue Nation with his hard-nosed stamp on the team and the two best recruiting classes in UK history.

But 10 years ago today, Kentucky lost to Ohio. Here’s to never reverting back.

 

This is a HUGE weekend for football recruiting.

Earlier in the week I named a few of the UK targets planning to make their way to Lexington for the South Carolina game. KSR has since learned of more names you can find in or around Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday:

JAVON PROVITT — Three-star defensive tackle from Warren, OH
JONATHAN COOPER — Four-star defensive end from Columbus, OH; has Ohio State offer
NICK CONNER — Four-star linebacker from Dublin, OH; committed to Ohio State
LARRY WELLS — Three-star offensive tackle from Kenton, OH; committed to UK in April
KEI BECKHAM — Three-star cornerback from Dayton, OH; committed to UK in July
CJ AMILL — Unranked running back from Youngstown, OH
MESSIAH DEWEAVER (2016) — Four-star quarterback from Dayton, OH; committed to Michigan in June
ROLAND WALDER (2016) — Three-star outside linebacker from Dayton, OH
LANDON YOUNG (2016) — Four-star offensive tackle from Lexington, KY; committed to UK in June

You can see the other visitors and a little bit about them here.

Patrick Towles believes Kentucky is in the SEC race right now.

Never mind the numbers if UK beats South Carolina, Patrick Towles believes he and his teammates are already in the conference hunt. After practice today, Towles said, “I feel like we’re right in the middle of the SEC race right now. We always expect to win.”

That’s the new attitude of Kentucky football right there. The coaches have the players believing in themselves.

South Carolina starting quarterback Dylan Thompson will play Saturday.

Spurrier confirmed he will have his starting quarterback under center for the Kentucky game. Dylan Thompson missed Monday’s practice with a sprained neck he suffered against Missouri, but returned to practice on Tuesday.

“He threw the ball around well yesterday in practice pretty much full-go, so he should be fine to play,” Spurrier said of his QB, who practiced again on Wednesday. “He’s ready to go.”

Thompson has throw for 1,359 yards and 12 touchdown with three interceptions this season. He’s completing 60 percent of his throws.

Remember what Randall Cobb did to South Carolina in 2010?

Man, that was a lot of fun. We should run it back this weekend.

The line is down to -4 in at least one Las Vegas sports book.

As of noon on Wednesday, gamblers could get South Carolina at -4 in the Wynn Casino in Vegas, down from the opening line of -10.

Kentucky would be favored over Louisville in Louisville if the game were played tomorrow.

Adam Himmelsbach of the Courier-Journal reached out to one oddsmaker to ask what he would do if the Governor’s Cup were played this week. Aaron Kessler, sports book supervisor at the Golden Nugget, said Louisville was a 15-point favorite before the season, but told Himmelsbach, “I’d definitely see Kentucky favored, regardless of where they played. With the game at Louisville, right now it’d probably be Kentucky favored by two or two and a half.”

Read more on the two programs’ momentum switch and game simulations here.

I hope you’re enjoying the preseason basketball previews.

John Calipari was all over the place in his hour-long roundtable discussion, but I did my best to get the best parts to you without some of the rambling. (Read that here in case you missed it.) We’ll also have more from the players throughout the rest of the week, so stay tuned!

Tyler Ulis is faster than you.

Dakari Johnson is also faster than you, probably.

Looks like the team is already practicing those combine drills.

UK STUDENTS: You can win a trip and tickets to Kentucky’s game against Kansas at Friday’s KSR show.

Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond will be at the Cats Den in the Student Center for Friday’s broadcast. Stopped by some time during the show to enter the drawing with your current UK student ID. The drawing will be held at noon and one of you will win a trip to Indianapolis to watch UK and Kansas in the Champions Classic.

 

That’ll do it for now. Go Cats.


“We Ask You Wednesdays” Vol. 18

(EHarmony.UK.com)

 

The off-season is technically over, but the folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes.Earlier this summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter. Most of you all, All of you all, Everyone but my Mom and Dad,Some of you all probably hate it, but it’s either this or I’ll post another Trey Lyles mix tape.

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 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 REQUEST FOR ANY KENTUCKY SPORTS-RELATED PERSON TO SING A SONG AT KARAOKE… WHAT SONG WOULD YOU PICK FOR THEM AND WHY?

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.

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I think I speak for all of the ladies of KSR when I say, “yes please.”

I can honestly say that I was NOT expecting a Lisa Loeb reference. Well played.

 Gotta love KSR radio references

I’d like to think that DeMarcus Cousins would have rushed Sig had he gone to Transy…

 That thounds like a sthpectacular idea. 

And then Nick Roush came out of his karaoke coma from last night to throw in a few suggestions….

Just picture this for a moment. 

That, or something about having a big…. heart. 

This one is so random, but it made me giggle. Just think about this happening at a Chinoe Pub near you. 

Nodding his 8% body fat like yeah, moving his 8% body fat like yeah. 

Knowing his love for this song, I would enjoy seeing this as well.

Truth, man. 

BEST ANSWERS OF THE WEEK:

Mainly for the “Tiny Dancer” one….


College Students: Come Win a Trip to UK/Kansas on Friday

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On Friday from 10 am to noon, KSR will be LIVE from the Cats’ Den at the UK Student Center for Kentucky Sports Radio, sponsored by the UK Federal Credit Union. It will be the first time we have done the show from the UK campus live and we are looking forward to it. As part of the event, we are giving away a TRIP to the CHAMPIONS’ CLASSIC game between UK and Kansas in Indianapolis to some college student in attendance. You will get tickets and hotel in Indy if you win and a chance to see a rematch of the 2012 title. All you need to do is stop by the show, show your college ID (it doesn’t have to be UK, it can be any college) and then have a chance to win. We will pick the winner at the end of the show.

FRIDAY 10-noon at the UK Student Center, Cats’ Den. See you then…


Nobody will leave Marcus Lee off the scouting report this season

The world met Marcus Lee on March 30th, 2014. Lee, who, until then, wasn’t included on most scouting reports, had his breakout game against the Wolverines, scoring 10 points and pulling down eight rebounds to help the Cats advance to the Final Four. Lee’s performance was so shocking that he trended nationally on Twitter. “We were told that after the game and I thought that was really cool. I was like, ‘man, that many people were watching the game?’”.

Lee says he hopes to carry his performances from the postseason and the Bahamas over to this season. He spent the summer in the weight room, putting some much-needed meat on those bones. “I’m definitely stronger this year, which will make sure I won’t get pushed around so much in the post. That’s one thing I’ve aspired and worked at this summer.”

Lee is just one of many looks the Cats have in the post. With Willie, Karl, Dakari, and Marcus on the roster, Kentucky can play “pick a big” to match up against any type of opponent. Some players may see that type of depth as a negative, but Marcus says it’s only made them push harder against each other in practice. “None of us are the same on this team, we all do very different things. I think that’s what makes us click so well is that we’re so different that we get along together and push each other so hard each day knowing that we need to get better,” Marcus said. “We go hard on each other each day knowing that we know our limits.”

Something tells me he’ll be included on every scouting report from now on.


Get To Know The Dowell Twins

dowell-twins

The University of Kentucky football program has a ton of visitors scheduled to attend Saturday’s game, coming from all over this side of the United States. Several four and five-star prospects will be in Lexington to take in the sights and sounds of a night game in Commonwealth Stadium against a quality SEC opponent in South Carolina.

Each and every one of the guests is important, but one carload from the Cleveland area may be worth keeping a closer eye on. I’m talking about the car that will carry Andrew and David Dowell, the highly-touted twin brothers UK has been all over lately. Interest has been warming up from both parties and an impressive October weekend visit could be just what Kentucky needs to seal the deal.

Tonight, let’s get to know the Dowell twins so they feel a little more welcome around Big Blue Nation this weekend. If any of you find yourself near them on Saturday, I’m not telling you to say hello but you should say hello. Make them feel at home in Lexington in the sea of blue.

So here they are, Brothers Dowell…


ANDREW DOWELL
Running Back
Lakewood, OH
6-1 | 211

Ranking: 
247Composite: 26 RB | 304 OVR
247Sports: 44 RB
Rivals: 29 RB
ESPN: 99 RB
Scout: 22 RB | 164 OVR


DAVID DOWELL
Safety/Wide Receiver
Lakewood, OH
6-1 | 180

Ranking: 
247Composite: 16 S | 243
247Sports: 13 S
Rivals: 14 ATH
ESPN: 34 ATH
Scout: 19 WR | 158


WHAT TO KNOW

They were committed to Northwestern.

The four-star twins originally committed to Northwestern University on April 13 of this year, but reopened their recruitment in late July. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald has a strict rule for his verbal commits: If you visit other schools, your scholarship offer is rescinded. Well, the Dowells got curious about life outside of Northwestern, and Fitzgerald followed through with his policy.

Their high school was ranked No. 1 in the nation earlier this season.

Before losing back-to-back games in its last two outings, the Dowell’s St. Edward High School football team was ranked No. 1 nationally in the MaxPreps.com rankings. The team will travel to Youngstown this Friday night to try to get back in the win column against Cardinal Mooney, the former high school of Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow.

@ShowTime_Stump

They are teammates of Alex Stump, a current Kentucky football commit.

Stump, a four-star wide receiver, committed to the University of Kentucky back in early May. He suits up with the Dowells for St. Edward High in Lakewood, Ohio.

Stump recently picked up an offer from Ohio State and will visit the Buckeyes this weekend. He admitted to rethinking his commitment to UK recently, saying, “I would say at this point I don’t know.”

Another St. Edward teammate, 2016 athlete Tony Butler, also has an offer from Kentucky.

Stoops and Marrow watched them during UK’s bye week.

The two Kentucky coaches traveled an hour north to watch the Dowells, Stump and Butler against Elder in Cincinnati during the weekend off after the Florida game.

The Dowells visited Lexington on August 2.

They’re also considering Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.

Vanderbilt once led with over 70 percent of the Crystal Ball votes for each player, but Kentucky has since taken the lead in the last month. Wisconsin is also in the picture, though chances are slim they’ll become Badgers.

Andrew will likely play safety, David at corner.

Listed as a running back and safety by most recruiting services, the Dowell twins are being recruited as football players. The belief is they will both end up on the defensive side of the ball in college, with Andrew playing safety and David playing corner. That’s far from a sure thing, though.  They have the talent to play anywhere. With Andrew’s size, he could even move closer to the line and play linebacker. They are so versatile.

They recreated the Manning brothers’ ‘This Is SportsCenter’ commercial.

They’re fans of Tim Couch.

David Dowell retweeted a photo of Tim Couch in a Browns uniform and the caption,”RE2PECT.” As natives of the Cleveland area and presumed UK leans, I assume the retweet was an endorsement of the original poster’s respect for Couch.

They sure would look good in a Kentucky uniform.

@ddowell8


Cats are Ready in Today’s Practice Notes

 

247sports.com

— After coming off his first SEC win against Vanderbilt, Patrick Towles knows Saturday night is going to be much more of a challenge. After having problems with ball security in the game against Vandy, Towles says he fixed the problem and is more focused.

Neal Brown’s ability to involve the running backs in the pass game has been a great weapon for Towles.

“It doesn’t always have to be a hand off or a pitch. They’re great playmakers and do well in space. If I throw the ball for three yards and it goes for 60 that looks really good. And it feels really good too.”

— Elliot praised Steve Spurrier’s offense and says, “he will get you”. Elliot knows that his defense will have their hands full with one of the best running backs in the SEC with Mike Davis. “Mike Davis is an excellent player. He is big and fast. He makes great reads, he can change directions and he can run you over,” Elliot said.

“Our last game was one of our best executing games we’ve had since we’ve been here,” Elliot said. His defense is executing the blitz the way he likes which will be key for Saturday. Compared to Connor Shaw who liked to run the ball, Dylan Thompson is more of a pocket passer quarterback.

— Elliot praised Blake McClain on his love to blitz from the secondary. Elliot joked that McClain tells him, “whenever in doubt, blitz.”

Well for one, they just have a knack for timing on when to burst and hit it without showing it and being on sides. Blake has done that very well at times. And they have to have that desire to get there, that extra effort,” Elliot said.

— As the season has progressed, we have come to see a defense that can really stack up in the SEC. The defensive line has been stellar all year and continues to improve each week. Today the defensive line dominated the offensive line in team period.

Bud Dupree started calling his defense the “Bad Boys” so they would have this mentality to start “thinking a certain way.” During the team drill the defense was very enthusiastic about their performance, shouting “bad boys” over and over.

— Let’s hope this mentality will carry on to Saturday and the rest of the season. Like Towles said, we are counting up to a bowl game, but three down, three more to go. #BLACKOUT

 

@kbernhardKSR


Patrick Towles says UK’s been working for this moment since January

© Kim Klement

© Kim Klement

With one SEC win under his belt, Patrick Towles is ready for more. Towles told reporters today that “since January, we’ve been working for this moment right here.” In fact, when asked if a win over South Carolina would put UK in the SEC race, Towles said “We feel like we’re in the SEC race right now.”

Gotta love that confidence. Let’s do this.


Calipari and crew met with Doc Rivers today

After seeing Stephen Zimmerman and Derryck Thornton in Vegas yesterday, John Calipari and his staff met with Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers staff this morning to talk about whatever coaching staffs talk about together. Cal posted this update on social media earlier today:

The staff and I met with Doc Rivers and his staff this morning to pick his brain about some things and talk about the challenges we will face this season. We really got a lot out of the meeting. Doc has an all-star staff. Thanks to Doc, Armond, Brendan, Lawrence, Woody and Sam.

Cool. Once Cal was back in Lexington, he filmed this video of Tyler Ulis running really fast during a Combine drill:

As Ryan Lemond would say, look at that little waterbug go!