It’s been six days since Billy Donovan left Gainesville for Oklahoma City and University of →
By Drew Franklin on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 11:00pm
Look at those two guys, all suited up and ready to moderate a gubernatorial debate. They should dress that way for every show, don’t you think? Unfortunately they own only three suits between them.
But I must say…
The KSR Debate went well. No, it went very well.
Any time we try to do something big or something outside the box, it tends to fail miserably. We’re just cursed like that. But this morning’s GOB gubernatorial debate went about as well as it possibly could’ve gone, and it was a huge hit amongst the show’s regular listeners and those tuning in for the politics. Kudos to Matt, Ryan, Shannon and everyone else who made it happen and go off without a hitch. From the planning and formatting to the execution, it was an outstanding job by all.
Now I’ll share some quick notes that stood out to me, a guy who doesn’t know sh** about politics:
— Jamie Comer and Hal Heiner don’t like each other. Comer did not shy away from pointing the finger at Heiner for (in Comer’s mind) being behind this new conveniently-timed scandal that may cost him the race. Shots. Fired. Then Matt Bevin jumped in with haymakers at Heiner’s dome, saying Heiner is associated with the “surliest and sorriest” people. And then the bomb of the show… Bevin said Heiner told him a year ago that he had dirt on Comer. (OH NO YOU DI-INT!!!!) I waited to hear for the sound of a metal chair hitting someone’s head through my radio. It got that intense.
— On a related note, much respect to Comer for not hiding from these new allegations. I was certain he would bail on the debate but he showed up and answered the questions like a man. If it turns out he did indeed hit his ex-girlfriend, he’s not a man. But for now, way to stand up and face it head on.
— I know very little about Hal Heiner (I had literally never heard of him until two days ago) but it seems everyone hates him. Not just the candidates, either. In some of the post-debate discussions I had with friends and internet friends, the consensus is he isn’t very well liked. Maybe I’m wrong, though; I don’t know the man. However, I do know he is a Louisville Cardinal so he will never be invited over for Franklin family game night. Sorry, Hal. Rules are rules.
— Matt Bevin showed up two minutes before the show went on the air. Still trying to decide if that’s points for or against him in my mind. That’s cutting it way too close for something that’s been planned for weeks, but it’s also how I like to arrive. Never late, never too early. The time you tell me is the time you’ll see me.
— The Calipari or Pitino question was gold and will likely have an impact on this whole thing because Kentuckians are crazy about basketball like that. Heiner picked Pitino because he’s a Louisville guy, and Bevin should’ve picked Calipari with Comer and my man Will Trill Scott. Come on, Matty B. You’re on KENTUCKY SPORTS RADIO!
— About Will T. Scott, that’s my guy. What do I have to do to get an afternoon with him, maybe a night out on the town in Pikeville? He’s getting my vote. They don’t make enough Will T. Scotts.
Now let’s talk sports, because that’s what we do here…
Kentucky is in the hunt for LaGerald Vick.
Someone close to Vick’s recruitment told Jerry Meyer there are two leaders for the former SMU commit: Kentucky and Kansas. Kentucky has a heavy lead in his Crystal Ball predictions, despite the fact he does not hold an offer from UK, while Kansas, which has offered, is in second. The two schools hope they can get the 6-foot-5 shooting guard to reclassify to 2015, his original class before he committed to SMU and dropped to 2016.
More to come on Vick tomorrow.
Mark Stoops said “the sky is the limit” for Bud Dupree in the NFL.
The Kentucky football offices received several phone calls from the Pittsburgh media, hoping to get an interview with Mark Stoops, so Tony Neely got everyone together for one teleconference on Wednesday to talk Bud Dupree.
When asked what Dupree will bring to the Steelers, Stoops said, “He’s a very versatile guy. I think Bud’s extremely explosive. He will be a great pass-rusher in the NFL and also a guy that has the versatility to do well in coverages as well. So he’s your prototypical outside linebacker, and I’m excited to watch him play for such a great organization.”
Stoops expects Dupree will come up huge for his new team against the run and he’s the ideal body-type for how Pittsburgh will use him. If he’s asked to shed some weight, Bud can shed weight. If he’s asked to bulk up, he can bulk up. “The sky is the limit for Bud, really,” he said.
Speaking of Dupree, did you see his new jersey number?
No. 48 on the field, No. 1 in our hearts.
Tom Brady probably cheated.
I just summed up the next two weeks of ESPN in four words.
Derek Willis’ high school coach believes Willis will be the x-factor.
In an interview with Chris Fisher over at The Cats Pause, Troy Barr, Derek Willis’ former coach at Bullitt East, said Willis can be a huge x-factor for Kentucky next season.
“I think Derek is ready,” Barr told Fisher. “He knows he can be a difference maker. He can make them a top five team if he plays well.”
“I think the best of Derek Willis is yet to be seen. He’ll be right where he should be.”
Read more here: Willis can be ‘difference maker’ next season
Marcus Lee is one of NBC Sports’ potential breakout stars in 2015-16.
While Troy Barr has faith in Willis’ game, Rob Dauster at NBC Sports’ College Basketball Talk sees star potential in Marcus Lee. Dauster named Lee one of his 10 Potential Breakout Stars, calling him an excellent sidekick to Skal Labissiere:
Marcus Lee, Kentucky: Will Marcus Lee finally get his chance this season? The former top 30 recruit has proven to be effective in the limited minutes that he has played the last two season, but his minutes have been understandably limited during his time in Lexington. He may not be Willie Cauley-Stein or Karl Towns, but Lee should be an excellent sidekick to Skal Labissiere in Kentucky’s front court.
Is it basketball season yet?
Going to be near Owensboro tomorrow?
Check out this event with Karl Towns and the unbelievably talented Aaron Kizer:
Aaron sent me a sneak peek of what he has planned and it’s pretty amazing. Plus Karl will be there. You’d be crazy to stay home.
That’ll do it for now.
See you in Owensboro.
By Ally Tucker on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 9:30pm
The season is sadly now over, and the folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes. Last summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter.
Each week, the question will change and we will hit on a variety of topics, mostly UK-related… but you never know. Each week the best responses will make it on to the website. This week’s twenty ninth volume of the “We Ask You Wednesday” allowed Kentucky fans to answer the following question via Twitter in 140 characters or less: IF YOU COULD PICK ONE TV/MOVIE ATHLETE/COACH TO JOIN EITHER KENTUCKY’S FOOTBALL OR BASKETBALL TEAM, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
“Attitude reflects leadership, captain.”
— Alex Priar (@A_Priar94) May 6, 2015
Earnest Scared Stupid is still my favorite.
I think he would fill our need for an outside shooter. I don’t know if I could handle losing a recruit to Mississippi State, UNLV, Cal AND Big State.
— Daniel Broderick (@ukfan35) May 6, 2015
She could help fill the void left by Bud Dupree.
@AllyTuckerKSR Icebox from The Little Giants.
— Jacob Price (@jacobprice14) May 6, 2015
That speech is a classic.
That’s what I hear…. it would be great for the deep ball game.
I would run through a wall for Coach Taylor. Do we get his wife as the principal, too?
@AllyTuckerKSR FB — Coach Taylor; Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose BB — Jesus Shuttlesworth; because He Got Game and we need a shooter.
— Jax Teller (@jaxteller_KY) May 6, 2015
Nah, as long as the “Secret Stuff” fit into the restrictions given by the NCAA for feeding student athletes.
@AllyTuckerKSR Is it cheap to say MJ from Space Jam? Dude can dunk from half court. And he’s got “Secret Stuff” when the team is struggling.
— Chase Brown (@jchasebrown) May 6, 2015
We do need a scorer.
He is so unselfish, too. He took the 5th most shots for the Monstars.
@AllyTuckerKSR I would take the Monstar that stole Larry Johnson’s talent in Space Jam, for obvious reasons.
— Dave huh (@davejack44) May 6, 2015
I don’t get it, but I also kind of get it.
@AllyTuckerKSR Gary Busey. Do I really need to give an explanation?
— David Harten (@David_Harten) May 6, 2015
He could fill the void left by Jarrod Polson and Devin Booker. #Swoon
No. It’s not.
I would marry Tim Riggins.
@allytuckerksr Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights. Why? Because Tim Riggins is always the correct answer.
— Erin Waggoner (@erinwaggoner) May 6, 2015
BEST ANSWERS OF THE WEEK:
I enjoy the reasoning… free throws down the stretch are always clutch.
— Chris Walker (@CPWalk26) May 6, 2015
The Wah Wah Jones of golden retrievers.
— Kevin Faris (@KevinWFaris) May 6, 2015
Conversation is over. Sign him up.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 9:00pm
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Bud Dupree’s new jersey number this afternoon in an Instagram post from its official account. Dupree will wear the No. 48, although that is “subject to change.” Dupree shared the same photo with the caption “First 48888,” so we’ll take that as an endorsement of the new digits.
I’m not a Steelers guy — I assume most of you aren’t either — but I’m damn excited to see Dupree in black and gold. They have big plans for him in what is always one of the NFL’s best defenses.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 8:00pm
It’s been six days since Billy Donovan left Gainesville for Oklahoma City and University of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley hasn’t spoken to a single candidate. He is in no rush to replace Donovan, it seems. Yesterday Foley said, “The key would be to have something in place I would think sometime in June.”
With that timetable in mind, I think there are still plenty of options for Foley and Florida, though he can’t wait too much longer to begin the process. The Shaka Smarts and Gregg Marshalls are no longer available, but a home run hire is still out there if Foley gets to work on this search soon. The hire can wait till June; the search cannot.
So in order to assist Foley with the undoubtedly tough task of replacing Donovan, a two-time NCAA champion, I would like to suggest nine candidates I believe Foley should consider. Will they pick up where Billy D left off? I don’t know. But they’re all deserving of a look, for various reasons.
Archie Miller, Dayton
Maybe the most popular name in the list of potential Donovan successors, Archie Miller is believed to be the leading target for the Florida head coaching job. The younger brother of Arizona’s Sean Miller, Archie Miller has been very successful at Dayton, where he’s the led the Flyers to an Elite Eight and a Sweet 16 in only four seasons.
AlligatorArmy.com called Miller, “far and away the best candidate for the job.”
At only 36 years old, he is one of the hottest young coaches in the game.
Richard Pitino, Minnesota
One of three former/current Florida assistants on this list, Richard Pitino is a solid option because he’s not so different than the Billy Donovan that Florida hired in 1996. Like Donovan, Pitino coached under Rick Pitino, his father, and he has only two seasons of head coaching experience under his belt. Though two years older than Donovan when he took over at Florida, Pitino is still very young at 32 years old.
Pitino was an assistant under Donovan on the Gators’ sideline from 2009 to 2011. He was outstanding in those two seasons, if you’re grading him on leaking Eric Bledsoe’s transcripts to media. By that criteria, Richard Pitino was the Coach of the Year. Because he did that. Dick.
Chris Mack, Xavier
Xavier’s Chris Mack is probably due for a bigger job and Florida could very well be that job, without having to break the bank to get him. Mack has been to the Sweet 16 in three of his six seasons at a school that has been a hotbed for college coaches.
Before Mack, Xavier was coached by Sean Miller, Thad Matta, Skip Prosser and Pete Gillen, all of whom went on to have success at other programs.
It could be time he becomes the fifth to move on for new success.
Anthony Grant, Florida
Very rarely is it a good idea to hire a coach who was just fired by a school in the same conference, but very rarely does a coach wear a suit so well. And Anthony Grant wears a suit well.
Grant, who was fired by Alabama this past season, is back in Florida as an assistant coach for next season. He had hoped to coach under Donovan once again, as he did for 12 seasons at Marshall and at Florida, but with Donovan gone, he may be an option to step in and fill his mentor’s shoes.
He was a hot name before underachieving at Alabama.
Jon Pelphrey, Florida
Like Grant, John Pelphrey has spent time a considerable amount of time on Florida’s bench under Donovan. He’s been in Gainesville since 2011, plus another stint from 1996 to 2002, so he knows as well as anyone what it’s like to run that program and just how large of shoes he will have to fill.
If Foley chooses to stick with Donovan’s tree, Pelphrey is likely the first pick.
Will Muschamp, Auburn
Because let’s be honest, we didn’t get enough Angry Will Muschamp in his short run as Florida’s football coach.
Furthermore, if Florida wants to contend with Kentucky in the SEC East, it will help to have a guy who has proven his team can put points on the board after the clock hits zero. That’s what it takes to beat Kentucky, right Wisconsin? Muschamp’s Gators did it last fall on the gridiron and then the Badgers took the same page out of his playbook late in the Final Four game.
Eddie Munster, The Munsters
At first glance, it’ll be like Billy Donovan never left.
I can’t speak for his coaching philosophy, however.
No One, Get Rid Of The Program
I mean, would anyone in Gainesville really care? It seems the basketball program has been one big inconvenience at Florida, where it’s all football and great weather and the invention of Gatorade. The athletic department could save a ton of money by shutting the doors on the basketball program, money that can be used once they need a new head football coach in two years.
It’s not the worst idea.
Tom Crean, Indiana
Sure, Crean has been absolute garbage at Indiana, but this is the play. The SEC needs Tom Crean because Kentucky fans need more of him in our lives. The IU series is over and we don’t watch Big Ten games, so we only see him when his face goes viral on Twitter or he loses to Northwestern — which is kind of often, actually.
Make the hire, Florida. Get Crean closer to BBN.
And with that…
KSR’s Pick: Tom Crean
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 7:00pm
You know what college football needs? More bowl games. Yesterday, the NCAA certified three new bowl games, bringing the total number of postseason games to 42. FORTY TWO! In the past two years alone, eight new bowls have been added.
The three new bowls will start this year and will be hosted in Austin, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; and Orlando, Florida. So far, they don’t have sponsors, but the Austin bowl will feature a matchup between teams from the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt and the Tucson and Orlando bowls will both feature matchups between teams from Conference USA and the Mountain West.
None of this really affects UK except in that it makes me even more desperate for the Cats to go bowling this season.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 6:15pm
It’s no secret that John Calipari has aged A LOT over his six-year tenure at Kentucky, something Cal jokes about pretty often. If you’ve been on the internet this past week, you’ve probably played with the #HowOldRobot on the website how-old.net, which predicts a person’s age based on a photo.
The gang at Campus Insiders decided to have a little fun with the tool and see how old it thinks John Calipari is. The results probably won’t surprise you:
It’s okay, Cal. The tool also thinks Rick Pitino looks 85 years old:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 5:30pm
Since Dakari Johnson announced he was declaring for the draft, many have questioned how much he could have improved his draft stock by returning to school. Over the past two years, Dakari has slimmed down considerably, but you could argue there’s not much he can do to improve his vertical or handwork. In his weekly chat today, ESPN NBA guru Chad Ford was asked about Dakari’s ceiling at the next level:
Every scout I’ve spoken with sees him as a back-up. But back-up centers are very valuable in the NBA and could get him drafted in the 20s. Remember, this isn’t the NFL draft. Most first round picks, especially those outside the lottery, are rotation players at best.
If Dakari gets drafted in the 20’s, how could you argue that he made a bad decision by going?
Ford says he believes Andrew will be the better twin at the next level and Willie really needs to nail his interviews to keep his stock high. For more details, head on over to the Worldwide Leader.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 5:00pm
It’s a beautiful day in the Bluegrass, and what better way to enjoy the weather than a night at the ballpark? Kentucky takes on Louisville in what the program is dubbing an #AbeOut. (If that promotion sounds familiar, it’s because the UK men’s soccer team has used it in the past.)
Need more incentive? There are $1 hotdogs until the first pitch and the first 1,000 fans get a free #AbeOut t-shirt. The game starts at 6:30 p.m.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Thursday night was a huge night for Bud Dupree, but it was also a huge night for the Kentucky football program. On today’s teleconference with Pittsburgh and UK media, Mark Stoops said Bud’s first round selection is proof UK can develop NFL-caliber players.
“I think it’s important for our program. It does nothing but help in exposure. Seeing him selected on TV, draft night, was big for us and our program. If anything, it’s helping prove the developmental phase of our program and what we’re trying to do, so we’re very proud of that.”
In fact, Stoops said Bud and Za’Darius Smith are just the latest in a long line of defensive linemen he and his staff have developed over the years, something they’re using on the recruiting trail.
“I don’t think it’s the first thing that comes out of your mouth, but of course it comes up with the success that we’ve had prior to coming to Kentucky in the great string of linemen we had at Florida State and we’re proud to continue that at Kentucky in Bud and Za’Darius getting drafted.”
From here, Stoops said “the sky’s the limit for Bud,” especially since he can now just focus on one position in Pittsburgh.
“He has been extremely unselfish and really did whatever we asked for the team,” Stoops said. “If we just left him in a 4-3 and let him rush the passer and be a 4-3 defensive end, you’d see his numbers go through the roof with sacks, but he did a lot of things with us and he was very versatile.”
Tony Neely added that Bud will receive his bachelors degree in community and leadership development on Saturday. What an awesome time for him.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 3:30pm
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 2:30pm
Everyone and their grandmother has an opinion about Willie Cauley-Stein changing his name to Willie Trill Cauley-Stein, but it’s opened a debate about what middle names the rest of the roster should have. Campus Insiders’ Jordan Cornette gave it his best shot in this short video on Twitter:
— Campus Insiders (@CampusInsiders) May 6, 2015
What do you think? “Big Blue Haitian” is pretty great for Skal, but Alex’s nickname will always be “Roar” to me.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 2:00pm
And now for some unfortunate news. According to WKYT’s Steve Moss, UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell has suspended star guard Makayla Epps from the team indefinitely. Last week, Epps pleaded not guilty to several alcohol-related charges in Marion County District Court, including possession of alcohol by a minor and having an open container in a motor vehicle.
Mitchell says Epps is banned from all team activities and will only be allowed back on the team when she has met his and the team’s goals. From there, she’s looking at at least a one-game suspension.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 1:00pm
The one glaring spot on UK’s roster right now is a big wing player. With no Jaylen Brown and various back-up options hovering on the horizon, it sure would be nice if a player on the current roster would step up and fill that void. Last year in the Bahamas, it looked like Derek Willis was ready to accept the challenge. After sitting behind two platoons, Derek will now have his shot, and his high school coach Troy Barr told CatsPause.com’s Chris Fisher he thinks Derek is ready…but he’ll have to work for it.
“I think Derek is ready,” Barr told CatsPause.com Tuesday. “He knows he can be a difference maker. He can make them a top five team if he plays well.”
The staff gave Derek a chance to assert himself in that platoons early last season, but even Derek admitted he had “fallen out with the game” and wasn’t putting in enough effort. With one more big chance ahead of him, Barr says it’s time.
“I think he’s got to amp up his work ethic. That’s the number one thing. If he does that, he’ll be a major contributor. He’s talented enough that if he puts in the work, people are going to be really happy with how he plays next year.”
Interesting stuff here, so go check it out on CatsPause.com.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 06th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
About a week ago, we told you about Donte Rumph, the former Kentucky defensive tackle who is camping out outside the Atlanta Falcons practice facility in what he calls the “Tent of Faith.” Rumph was cut by the Falcons last year and due to snafus with several agents, wasn’t able to get back on another roster even though teams were interested. The Tent of Faith isn’t a stunt–Rumph and his wife are currently homeless–but he hopes it will inspire others to never give up on their dreams.
Over the past week, Rumph tried out for the New York Jets, but wasn’t offered a contract, and also had an offer to try out for the Oakland Raiders. Now, the New York Giants are giving him a shot at their Rookie Mini-Camp this weekend. Dozens of players will be there and only a few might get contracts, but best of luck to Rumph. We’re all rooting for you.
In case you missed it last week, here’s the video Rumph made explaining his mission: