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February 6th, 2016

Watch The Firecrackers’ Halftime Show

the-firecrackers

Everyone’s favorite performance jump rope team, The Firecrackers, made a surprise appearance in Rupp Arena today for the halftime show.

Fans at the game were teased with a video showing The Firecrackers walking out of the locker room and toward the court during the four-minute timeout, then the girls came in and stole the show with the halftime performance.

See for yourself:


You know you’re having a good day when shots like this go in

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Jamal Murray had 20 points in the first half and hasn’t slowed down at all in the second, putting up seven more points in the first few minutes of the half. Murray is a scorching 6-6 from the three-point line, and benefitted from the shooter’s roll on this one:

After hitting the three, Murray pointed to his parents in the stands, who came in for the game from Canada. Can we make sure they attend every game from now on?


Kentucky vs. Florida (Second Half Comment Thread)

uk-fla

That was a fun first half. Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray combined for 35 points to give Kentucky a 50-31 lead over Florida after the first 20 minutes, but, as we recently learned, the Cats are fully capable of blowing the biggest of leads. Let’s hope the good mojo carries over into the second half.

Join us, will you?


First Half Box Score: UK 50 Florida 31

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Jamal Murray is in the zone

Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis are carrying Kentucky right now, accounting for 30 of UK’s 42 points. Murray is especially playing well, with 17 points off 6-9 shooting, including 4-4 from the three-point line. Here are some of his highlights from the first half:

Keep it up, Jamal. Cats are currently rolling, up 42-24 with 4 minutes left in the first half…


Alex Poythress injures right knee, out for the game

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The game hasn’t even started and we’ve got bad news: according to UK, Alex Poythress injured his right knee (the non-surgically repaired one) and will be out today. Poythress reportedly looked gimpy in the pregame and had to leave the court. It’s not clear whether Alex injured his knee in practice yesterday or warm-ups this afternoon.

Ugh. Get well soon, Alex.


Kentucky vs. Florida (First Half Comment Thread)

uk-fla

Good Saturday afternoon, folks. Are you ready for some basketball action? Your Kentucky Wildcats are about to take on the Florida Gators at Rupp Arena. Drew is courtside and I’m on the couch here in Nashville to take you through today’s game.

The word on the scene is that Alex Poythress was gimpy during warm-ups. Marcus Lee is starting in his place.

You know the drill. Let us hear your thoughts and refresh the page with CTRL+F5 and Command+R.


Derek Willis models UK’s new shooting shirts

That’s going to take some getting used to.


Five Things you Need to Know about Dorian Finney-Smith

GatorCountry.com

GatorCountry.com

For about the last decade, Florida and Kentucky have been the two most successful basketball programs produced by the SEC. Both have competed for several NCAA Final Fours with elite players and coaches. No matter what, Kentucky always seemed to come out on top, even after losing to the Gators three times in one season (the 2014 year that included an incredible ride to the championship).

This year is a little different though, the Gators are under new management since Billy Donovan departed to coach the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Cats have been struggling recently. Both teams still have incredible standouts — Kentucky has Tyler Ulis and Florida has Dorian Finney-Smith.  Here are five things you need to know about the Gators’ best player.

He’s on a hot streak

There’s no doubt that Finney-Smith is the Gator’s most efficent offensive player. He’s currently averaging the more points than anyone on the Gator’s squad at 15.1 points per game, but he’s been scoring way more than that recently. In the last five games, he’s scored more than 20 points four times, including two season-high games of 24 points against both Auburn and No. 9 West Virginia.

But that’s weird because he’s a post player

Finney-Smith plays a lot like our own Derek Willis. Standing at 6’8, one inch shy of Willis, he can score inside and outside and is a presence in the paint, grabbing 8.2 rebounds per game. Our bigs have been criticized a lot recently and if they were ever going to make a statement, shutting down Finney-Smith from all areas on the court would be a good one to make. Because if they don’t, we could be facing another L.

He’s done well against Kentucky in the past

Finney-Smith has really molded himself to be a superstar over the past couple of years at Florida and a few good games against Kentucky has helped him do so. Last year, Finney-Smith combined for 32 points and 17 rebounds in three meetings against the Cats. He remained consistent before that, scoring 22 points and grabbing 17 rebounds in three 2014 games. It’s obvious that Finney-Smith isn’t intimidated by Kentucky and has no problem playing in Rupp Arena.

He’s the Perry Ellis of this team

While we joke around that Perry Ellis has been at Kansas for 50 years, it seems like Finney-Smith has been around college basketball just as long. Finney-Smith started his college career in 2011 at Virginia Tech, but transferred the following year. Because of the transfer and NCAA regulations, Finney-Smith was required to sit out his first year at Florida for the 2012-2013 season. This year marks his third and final year on the Gator’s squad and he’s done a good job leading his team thus far. It’ll be interesting to see what he does in his final go-around in Rupp Arena.

He basically beat West Virginia single-handedly 

In all of the frenzy of the Kansas game last Saturday, it got completely lost on me that unranked Florida had taken down No. 9 West Virginia. While this does show that the Gator’s have a lot of tenacity in them and aren’t afraid of a fight, it shows a lot more in Finney-Smith; he had 24 points and went five of seven from behind the three-point line. For a forward, that’s not too shabby. Finney-Smith obviously has no problem competing on a big stage, and that’s exactly what Kentucky is, even at their lowest of lows. If there’s anybody the Cats have to stop, it’s Dorian Finney-Smith.

In the meantime I’m just going to leave you with this:

#NeverForget #BeatFlorida


Relive the Most Fun Florida Beat Down in Rupp Arena

After reaching the top spot in college basketball, the Florida Gators walked into a world of hurt.

Those that were there will argue that the 2003 Kentucky/Florida game was the loudest crowd in Rupp Arena history.  UK came out of the gate quickly vs. Matt Walsh and Co., hitting shots until the “Suffocats” defense choked the life out of the Gators.

Kentucky ended the first half on a 22-2 run, riding the emotions of the raucous crowd, before dealing a second half knockout punch.  Kentucky 70, Florida 55.

As Dickie V said just before half, “It’s an embarrassment!”


Listen to the KSR Pregame Show

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The KSR Crew is back for an action-packed hour of radio starting at 1:30.  Matt, Ryan and Drew will get you ready for the must-win against Florida, and I’m sure they’ll have a thing or two to say about what’s going on down I-64.

Also in attendance, a special guest from the best team in the National Football League.  Former Wildcat and current Tennessee Titan Wesley Woodyard will stop by to talk about today’s game, the Super Bowl and fighting Cam Newton in the end zone.

Turn to 630 WLAP or LISTEN HERE.


Look Ahead to 2017 with Kentucky Football’s Junior Day

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Even though the Class of 2016 just wrapped up three days ago, there’s no time for Stoops’ staff to rest, moving forward to the Class of 2017 with today’s Junior Day.

The premiere event to kick off the recruiting season, Stoops’ staff will host most of the current commits that make up the nation’s 10th-ranked class, according to the 247 Composite rankings. It’s also the first time they really get to roll out the red carpet for the uncommitted kids as they try to establish a rapport.  Here are the names that you need to get to know.

Committed

A pair of quarterbacks, Lafayette’s Walker Wood and Mac Jones from Florida, will attend Junior Day.  Jones has begun receiving more and more offers, most recently from West Virginia and Boston College.  It will be interesting to see where things stand with each quarterback with Darin Hinshaw now calling the shots through the air.

Mac Jones (@macjones2017) dabs with his mother, who has much better form.

Mac Jones (@macjones2017) dabs with his mother, who has much better form.

Wide receiver/defensive back Russ Yeast, the son of Wildcat great Craig Yeast, will be in Lexington today.  Nobody seemed more solid than the former Wildcat Great’s son, but things have changed recently for Russ.  He’s received a lot more attention from other schools, especially Louisville, and his family moved to Indianapolis when Craig took the position of offensive coordinator at Franklin College.  Putting on a good show today will be very important for Yeast.

Top Targets

The prospect that will catch the most attention from fan’s is Michigan transfer Brian Cole.  The #5 athlete in the Class of 2015 is taking his official visit today.  If things go well, he could be in blue this fall, sitting out a year before being eligible to play in 2017.

Lafayette offensive tackle Jed Wills has been a Wildcat visitor plenty of times before, but today is the first time they can really pull out all of the stops.  The highest ranked player in the state of Kentucky (Top 100 in all national services) recently received an offer from LSU, and is also being pursued by the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ohio State and Florida.  With more attention coming from big schools, there’s no end in sight for Wills’ recruitment.

Another in-state target is emerging from the mountains.  Belfry defensive tackle Cole Bentley had a strong showing at last month’s U.S. Army combine and could receive and offer from Kentucky soon.

From the state of Ohio, at the top of Vince Marrow’s list is 4-star wide receiver Javonte Richardson.  The Cats’ competition is tough — Michigan State is at the top of his list, and he attended Ohio State’s Junior Day last week.

Alabama 3-star safety J’Marick Woods has plenty of offers on the table — Michigan, Florida, Miss. State, Louisville — but today he’s dabbing in blue and white.

@JMarickWoods

@JMarickWoods

And if you thought that they wouldn’t but the new Wildcat logo on a helmet, this picture from 2018 Ohio linebacker Malik Vann is here to prove you wrong.

@_next_era1

@_next_era1

UPDATE

If you don’t like that one, you might like this one:

@UKCatsby90

@UKCatsby90


This Banner Hangs Next to the Yum! Center

@OSheas502

@OSheas502

I’m a big fan of O’Shea’s Irish Pub.  Not just because they have delicious food, not just because I’m friends with the O’Shea’s, and not just because I’ve had many nights I’ll never remember inside their walls.  It’s because like Janice in accounting, Tommy O DGAF.

On the block right next to the Yum! Center, the Louisville institution has hung the anti-Ramsey banner for all of the UofL fans to see on their way to today’s game.

I’m much bigger fan of “Ramsey is a Coward” than “I got your back.”


UK Fans of the Day Want Some Basketball Recruiting Notes

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The state is hosting a ton of talent this weekend, with elite prep games in Lexington last night, and in Somerset today and tomorrow, Cal is taking advantage by inviting many of them to campus.

—  According to Jeff Borzello, 2017 studs Billy Preston and Trevon Duval are on campus today.  The API teammates beat Prolific Prep, 111-81 in Lexington last night.  Preston, the 6’10 6th-ranked player in the nation, had 24 points and 15 rebounds while Duval, the #1 point guard in ’17, scored 23 points and dished out 8 assists.  They’ll travel South to Somerset later today, taking on Athlete Institute tonight at 7:30.

—  Sacha Killeya-Jones and his Virginia Episcopal School teammates hung out at last night’s practice before they take on Josh Jackson’s squad this evening at Pulaski County High School.

SKJ’s fellow 2016 signee, De’Aaron Fox, was stupid good last night.  He dropped 50 points, sunk ten 3-pointers, and had this disgusting windmill dunk.

The other signees weren’t quite as electric, but still solid.  Bam Adebayo had 19 points on Senior Night, while Malik Monk scored 18.


The New Wildcat’s Saturday Morning Wake Up

new-logo

Even though yesterday’s uniform reveal got a little bogged down by Louisville’s postseason ban, the new UK logo will last longer than the Cards will be in trouble (maybe…).  There’s plenty of ways to throw jabs at it, but let’s be real: it isn’t that bad.

While nothing can compare to the amazing logos from the past, after letting this one sit for awhile, I’ve moved past my “this looks like a generic logo from NCAA Football Create-a-Team” feelings.  I can now see how they essentially took the Wildcat head and gave it a “modern” silhouette with sharp lines to add some intimidation.  It’s going to take some time for fans to get used to, but Nike could have done much worse.  Just look at what they did with the Georgia Bulldog:

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And if you don’t like it, don’t buy it.  Just be prepared, because that logo will be on a helmet someday.

Kentucky/Florida: A Must Win

The Cats had been playing so well since the atrocity at Auburn that the second half in Knoxville appeared to be an aberration.  The awfulness came from nowhere, leading to disaster.  Now, we’re not sure what team we’re gonna get.  Before Tennessee, UK’s record under Calipari after a loss was 31-6.  Instead, the Cats lost consecutively for the first time since 2014.

To make matters worse, Florida is playing with some momentum that started after thumping West Virginia at home last weekend.  If the Cats can’t take care of business at home today, it’ll be the first time John Calipari has ever lost three games in a row at Kentucky.  Hopefully that statistic remains an if after today.

Catch the game at 4:00 on CBS, with Bill Raftery on the call.

Louisville is Still Out of the NCAA Tournament

Even though it’s easy to sympathize, it’s just as easy to laugh.

Sacha Killeya-Jones is Playing in Somerset

Pulaski County High School is hosting some of the best prep basketball players in the nation this weekend at the Somerset Shootout.  UK signee Sacha Killeya-Jones is taking on arguably the nation’s best player, Josh Jackson, tonight at 7:00.  I’ll be in the stands and I could not be more excited to see a future Cat against one of the best in the nation.

Two of UK’s Top 2017 targets are facing off at 10:00.  DeAndre Ayton is the #1 player in the class (a 7-footer with a 3-point shot), taking on what could be UK’s first 2017 commit, the nation’s #7 player, small forward Jarred Vanderbilt.  It could be tough to make it with the UK game at 4:00, but I have faith in the BBN.  For the full schedule, click the blue link above.

UK Football Junior Day

Today is the kickoff event for the Class of 2017.  Stoops’ staff will roll out the red carpet to keep together what is currently the 10th-best class in the nation, and bring a few new faces into the fold.  I’ll have a preview a little later in the day.

NBA Cats Messed Around and Got a Triple Double

The UK in the NBA Show continued last night with a pair of Big Blue All-Stars recording triple-doubles.  DeMarcus Cousins dropped 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, while John Wall had 18 points, 10 assists and a career-high 13 rebounds.  Unfortunately, the Kings fell, but Wall’s Wizards got the win over Nerlens Noel’s 76ers, but not before this:

Relive The Best and Worst Super Bowl Halftime Shows

Ahead of tomorrow’s game, The Rolling Stone ranked every modern Super Bowl halftime show since they upped the production value in 1990.  It’s a fun stroll down memory lane (most include video), and the early awfulness they threw at us will help you appreciate Sunday’s performance, no matter how bad Coldplay is.

The KSR Pregame Show Begins at 1:30

Make sure you listen in on 630 WLAP.