Kentucky Sports Radio

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

Mark Stoops wants you to stop thinking about Matt Elam playing offense

matt elam blimp photoshop

via Saturday’s KSR Live Blog

On his Monday evening call-in show last night, Mark Stoops took a call from a fan who wondered if we’ll see Matt Elam lined up in the backfield as a potential ball carrier. Many of you are familiar with the tactic: the Cincinnati Bengals occasionally use defensive tackle Domata Peko as a fullback in goal line situations. Last night the Kansas City Chiefs used 340-pound nose tackle Donatrio Poe as a fullback on one touchdown play.

But Mark Stoops needs Elam to learn how to play defensive tackle before he will even entertain the idea of Elam lining up behind the quarterback. Stoops told the caller, “No, no, no. Don’t even put that in his head.”

“I don’t want him asking about it in practice,” said Stoops.

But it would be pretty fun to watch, right? I wouldn’t rule it out before Elam’s time is up at Kentucky.

Oh, and here’s your boy Peko plowing over Troy Polamalu a few years ago:

Imagine Elam doing that for Damien Harris in a few years.

#WhyNot


Seth Greenberg to replace Digger Phelps on ESPN College Gameday

Seth Greenberg, friend of KSR and of John Calipari, will take over the seat once held by Digger Phelps on ESPN College Gameday this coming season. The former Virginia Tech head coach and Jay Williams are expected to be formally announced as the new faces of the show at some point today. They will join Rece Davis and Jay Bilas on the eight-week Saturday morning and evening college basketball show.

College Gameday will make its 2014-15 debut on November 18 at the Champions Classic where Kentucky will play Kansas.


Vegas likes the Cats to cover in Saturday’s Blackout

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After opening at 10 points in favor of South Carolina, the line for Saturday’s game has moved all the way down to -5 in some Las Vegas books, -5.5 in others. That means people with disposable income and somewhat of a knowledge of college football like Kentucky to keep it close when Spurrier and the boys come to town for the blackout.

According to Vegas Insider, the line moved two points in the first 20 minutes of being on the board on Sunday.

Do you have the same confidence?

#WhyNot


Your favorite former Cats do NBA Media Day

We are one month away from the start of the NBA season and teams are getting ready by doing interviews and posing for pictures this week. Today on KSR we have some of the best images from NBA Media Days, featuring many familiar faces to Big Blue Nation. I think you’ll recognize these millionaires and wish some of them were still in Lexington wearing blue.

 

David Butler II/USA TODAY

“Young & Smart” – James Young and Marcus Smart model their new “We Are Young & Smart” t-shirts in Boston.

Elise Amendola/AP Photo

Injured Rondo - The former Kentucky guard models a new sling on his left hand, days after he underwent surgery to repair a metacarpal fracture. He is expected to miss six weeks.

Alejandro A. Alvarez/Philly.com

Nerlens and his new friend, Joel Embiid – Embiid believes his fellow 7-footer will win the NBA Rookie of the Year.

AP Photo

The Real T. Jones - Terrence Jones looks ready to teach ‘em ’bout Kentucky in Houston.

CSN Wizards

Wall adds a veteran in Washington. – Paul Pierce said yesterday he believes the Wizards can reach the NBA Finals.

Burr – Archie Goodwin is ready for his second season with a new 10 lbs. of muscle he added over the summer.

@CarmichaelDave

Boogie Selfie – In Sacramento, DeMarcus Cousins took several selfies with teammates and reporters during Media Day. He needed help to frame up this shot.

Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today

Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today

Bledsoe’s Back – The 70 Million Dollar Man is back in Phoenix and ready to shine with the Suns.

Russ Isabella/USA Today

Russ Isabella/USA Today

The UnderKanter – Utah is working to re-sign Enes Kanter before the season begins.

Nazr Mohammed

Caylor Arnold/USA Today

Back for a 17th season. – Nazr Mohammed will play forever.

Crystal LoGiudice/USA Today

Crystal LoGiudice/USA Today

Superstar – Anthony Davis is ready to take over the NBA in 2014-15.


UPDATE: We have the presale code to buy CBS Sports Classic tickets NOW

Can’t wait ’til Friday? Buy your tickets to the CBS Sports Classic right booking now on Ticketmaster with the promo code ‘CLASSIC’. It’s going to be a tough ticket to get so you may want to go ahead and jump on it.

The link to purchase tickets can be found here.

Hurry!


From The Vault: Steve Spurrier humping a fitness ball

It’s South Carolina week, so why not get ready for the game with a Tuesday morning viewing of Steve Spurrier humping a fitness ball. I can’t think of a better way to get pumped up for South Carolina, honestly.

Beat Spurrier.


Tickets for the UCLA game in Chicago go on sale Friday

The inaugural CBS Sports Classic will tip off on December 20th in Chicago and fans can begin purchasing tickets for the event this Friday morning at 10:00 am. The classic will feature a double-header with an opening game of North Carolina-Ohio State at 1:00 pm ET, followed by your University of Kentucky Wildcats versus UCLA at 3:30 pm ET.

To lock down your seat(s), go to Ticketmaster.com, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000, or visit Chicago’s United Center Box Office on Friday.

It’ll make a great Christmas present for the UK basketball fan in your family. Or for yourself.

Go Cats.


Gettin’ you ready for South Carolina (Tuesday Show Thread)

Mornin’ Big Blue Nation. Today on Kentucky Sports Radio radio, Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond will discuss the campus air-gun incident that has four UK football players sidelined for Saturday’s game. They’ll weigh in on the stupidity of the players’ actions and what it means for Saturday’s game and beyond.

Plus they’ll preview the upcoming game against South Carolina and dissect some comments from John Calipari and Mark Stoops yesterday. It should be a goodin’.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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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.

****

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.