Every year, it’s the same. Fall camp starts, practice updates start rolling in, and you →
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 6:06pm
By Courtney Hessler on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 5:50pm
After a 3-0 opening weekend the Cats look to continue the winning streak tonight at Memorial Coliseum. ICYMI: The Cats jumped five slots, from 15 to 10, after defeating Little Rock, IUPUI and No. 19 Michigan State in its opening Bluegrass Battle tournament.
At 7 tonight the Cats look to go 4-0 for the second-consecutive season as they welcome the Ohio Bobcats to Lexington. Ohio went 2-1 in its opening weekend with back-to-back 3-0 wins over Austin Peay and VCU. Its loss came against Purdue. 0-3.
What is really important about this match is that it is “90’s Theme Night” in Memorial. The first 200 students will also receive a free BBN trucker hat. Seems like UK Volleyball is bringing out all the stops this season.
If you can’t make it, catch the Cats on WatchESPN or listen on WWTF with Dick Gabriel and Mandy Robbe.
The Cats will travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa this weekend for the Northern Iowa Tournament for three matches. They open play Friday at 7:30 against UNI, with two matches Saturday against USC and Creighton.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 5:00pm
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Kentucky’s defense will need to keep an eye on Gary Haynes, a true freshman wide receiver for Louisiana-Lafayette. Mark Hudspeth said he plans to play Haynes on Saturday, and play him a lot. Hudspeth has high expectations for his young playmaker.
Coming out of high school, Haynes was ranked as the No. 141 wide receiver in last year’s class. He was not quite the most sought after talent, nor was he even a top 1000 player in either 247 rankings system. But you may remember him from a very popular Vine that went viral and landed him a spot on SportsCenter:
So if Haynes lines up under center and drops back to pass at any point on Saturday, don’t let his go-to receiver go untouched. That go-to receiver? Himself.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 3:00pm
Save big for at least one more week with these deals from our friends at Sleep Outfitters! Twin sets as low as $199. Sealey Pillowtops with gel foam for $499 plus a FREE HDTV! The offer is almost up, so hurry!
Let’s take a quick break from all the football excitement to run over the basketball recruiting news for the early part of the week. As always, today’s notes are brought to you by the good people and comfortable beds at Sleep Outfitters.
Wenyen Gabriel will get a visit from Kentucky next week.
The fifth-ranked power forward in the Top247 will meet with Kentucky at Wilbraham & Monson Academy in Massachusetts next week. The UK coaches plan to visit the high school Thursday, September 10, the day of Calipari’s Hall of Fame reception ceremony to kick off Hall of Fame weekend in nearby Springfield, Mass.
It’s about a 25-minute drive to see Gabriel, so the visit makes sense.
Kobi Simmons to announce soon, but is he a take for UK?
Simmons really enjoyed his visit to Lexington over the weekend, pushing the Cats further into the presumed lead for his services.
My Official Visit To University Of Kentucky Was Great !😼 #BBN ⚪️🔵
— Shoogs (@JordanKobi) August 31, 2015
He will take official visits to UNLV and Ohio State, then make his college decision and announce it to the world September 19. Problem is, if Kentucky is indeed the pick, Calipari may ask Simmons to hold off on committing, for fear of running off De’Aaron Fox. It’ll be interesting to see how Cal plays it.
Malik Monk to announce his visit schedule tonight.
We will learn Monk’s five official visits and when he will take them tonight when he goes on his brother’s radio show in Arkansas to announce his schedule.
Spoiler alert: He’ll be in Lexington for Big Blue Madness.
No. 1 center will visit tomorrow.
Marques Bolden will begin his official visit to UK tomorrow morning. The Texas product also plans to visit Duke and Kansas later this month.
Kentucky ranks seventh in new Scout.com early team rankings for 2016.
“Kentucky will likely finish much higher on this list when things are said and done,” Scout.com explains. “But for now they have the 7th best class. Sacha Killeya-Jones is a skilled 6-10 big man, while Tai Wynyard, of New Zealand, is a strong, tough & physical center prospect. If Wynyard was playing in the U.S. he’d be considered a top 50 prospect.
See the entire list here.
Now go buy a mattress or 12.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 2:12pm
ULL head coach Mark Hudspeth took a break from lifting weights with his wife for a pool day with his football team last week.
It was a big day for the Ragin’ Cajuns as first class tickets on the team flight to Lexington were on the line in the first annual team relay race.
A video posted by Ragin’ Cajuns Football (@ulcoachhud) on
The winning team looks excited to have the extra leg room and free pillows on the flight from southern Louisiana to Kentucky.
They will be here Friday.
By Freddie Maggard on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 1:15pm
Head Coach Mark Hudspeth (5th year)
A 23-year coaching veteran, Hudspeth has a 102-37 career record in 11 seasons as a collegiate head coach. He’s won 10 or more games five times with 10 consecutive winning records.
Hudspeth, 46, came to Lafayette after serving as the passing game coordinator at Mississippi State for two seasons (2009-10). With 36 wins during Hudspeth’s tenure at ULL, Louisiana has posted the best four-year record in program history.
Hudspeth is a motivator that gets the very best from his talent. ULL roster is fundamentally developed, a sign of an efficient head coach. Many think that he will land a Power 5 Conference job in the near future. I buy into that theory. I highly respect Coach Hudspeth and the work he’s done at Lafayette. Actually, I ranked him the number one head coach that UK will face in 2015. Think about it, in 107 years of football ULL had less than five, nine win seasons. He’s gone 4/4 with four bowl wins.
What to expect
A fiery sideline personality that will be highly motivated to start his season by beating an SEC team on the road. His team will not be shocked and awed by Commonwealth Stadium or the Wildcats. Hudspeth will take chances against UK. This game has been marked on their schedule for the duration of the offseason.
Charlie Harbison, Co-Defensive Coordinator (1st Year)
Charlie Harbison spent the previous two seasons on the football staff at Auburn and has a 20-year coaching career in the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast Conferences. Harbison begins his first season as co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
Harbison, a highly-regarded recruiter who helped the Tigers to a 2013 SEC Championship and a BCS Championship game. He spent the previous two seasons as co-defensive coordinator at Auburn, where he worked daily with the AU safeties and served on the same defensive staff as current Ragin’ Cajuns defensive coordinator Melvin Smith.
Excellent Sunbelt hire with SEC experience. I am not a fan of co-coordinators. ULL will be schematically sound but has lost its primary pass rushers. Harbison will improve the Ragin’ Cajun secondary, a unit that was highly suspect in 2014.
What to expect
Unsure, that’s the norm with 1st year coordinators. 2014 ULL film is useful for personnel analysis, but schemes will be different.
Melvin Smith, Defensive Coordinator (1st Year)
Melvin Smith brings nearly two decades of experience coaching in the Southeastern Conference. Smith begins his first season as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns.
Smith, who mentored current head coach Mark Hudspeth while at Delta State, spent the past two seasons at Auburn, where he helped the Tigers to the 2013 SEC Championship and a berth in the BCS Championship game.
Again, not a fan of co-coordinators. But Smith and Harbison have combined decades of defensive coaching experience. A coach with a national championship ring brings instant credibility but doesn’t always translate to coordinator success.
What to expect
See above. With UK having a new offensive coordinator in Shannon Dawson and ULL’s new co-defensive coordinators will make September 5, an intriguing chess match of adjustments.
Jay Johnson, Offensive Coordinator (5th year)
Over two decades of coaching experience, Johnson begins his fifth year at Louisiana Lafayette. Johnson is the ULL offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. In four seasons under Johnson, the Ragin’ Cajuns have posted some of the top offensive performances in school history. This includes school records for total offense (5,914) and points (461) in 2012. Sophomore RB Elijah McGuire finished 22nd nationally in rushing offense by averaging 225.9 yards per game during the 2014 season.
Coach Johnson’s 2014 QB Terrance Broadway led all league starting quarterbacks in passing efficiency while completing 62 percent of his passes for 2,419 yards and 19 touchdowns.
ULL will be offensively sound but will heavily rely upon RB Elijah McGuire. The loss of All-Sunbelt QB Terrence Broadway will limit the Lafayette’s game plan.
What to expect
Elijah McGuire left, Elijah McGuire right, and pass to Elijah McGuire. ULL has suffered fall camp receiver injuries and will play with freshman. If depth chart projection is correct, its left tackle weighs 265 pounds. That will serve as an avenue of approach for UK’s pass rushers.
ULL is a well-coached football team. The Ragin Cajuns will be technically and fundamentally sound. In other words, they won’t beat themselves. Kentucky will have to earn this win.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 12:44pm
UK Athletics shared a new video today with interviews with Dr. Eli Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart and Patrick Towles discussing the new stadium. It’s Part 1 of UKNow’s special series, “Mitch Barnhart: People, Passion, Pride.”
Watch as they share why they are so excited for the new look and personality of Commonwealth and what it means to be a part of it.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 12:01pm
Former UK starting quarterback Maxwell Smith has a new home and new responsibilities for the 2015 college football season. Today he was named the starter at San Diego State, beating out redshirt freshman Christian Chapman in a tight competition for the position. Smith will have one season with the Aztecs with expectations to reach the Mountain West title game.
At Kentucky, the California native stepped in as a freshman and showed signs of being the long term answer at QB. However, injuries slowed his development and prevented him from reaching his full potential in Lexington. He transferred to San Diego State after graduating from UK in December, having played in 21 games with 11 starts.
Good luck to him and his new program.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 11:29am
Mike DeCourcy over at The Sporting News is releasing a five-part series on John Calipari this week, and part one, titled “The Success,” hit internet shelves today. It focuses on Calipari’s firing from the New Jersey Nets and how it paved the way for him to become a superstar at Memphis, then at Kentucky, where he’s been to four of the last five Final Fours.
Definitely give it a read here when you can.
This is the schedule for the series’ release this week:
Great stuff from DeCourcy so far. Looking forward to the rest.
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 10:30am
You’re looking at one of the new banners that can be found on each of the four corners around Commonwealth Stadium. It features the new UK logo (that I hate) over a see-through blue checkerboard.
And if you need more shots of the stadium’s progress as the first game approaches, a message board poster over at Cats Illustrated has several photos from a tour of the stadium yesterday on his Photo Bucket account. They can be found in the slideshow story below:
By Bobby Reagan on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 10:00am
We’re less than a week away from Kentucky football being on our TV. Now that we’re done screaming our heads off that we’re so close, let’s take a look at rankings of a different sort. Before the season starts everyone wants to know who is ranked in the AP Poll, conference projections, Heisman predictions, etc. But, what about jersey designs and specifically helmet designs? Well, Saturday Down South took care of those rankings and they have Kentucky’s chrome design with the second best design, behind just Vanderbilt.
Here’s what they said about it:
UniSwag’s winner of the best helmet last season, Kentucky’s chrome alternate is one of several gameday options the Wildcats have at their disposal now that they’ve incorporated black and grey into their uniform options. These debuted against South Carolina (in a win no less) to rave reviews. Paired with black jerseys, the blue and chrome really pops.
Now because of those helmets, your obligatory video of that great game:
By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 9:45am
On today’s show, Matt and Ryan will talk about the dilemma Coach Cal faces with his point guard in the 2016 class. One is ready to commit, but will it run off another?
That, and there’s a pretty big football game coming up.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
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By Drew Franklin on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 9:00am
One of the best sporting events in America began last night in Flushing Meadows without KSR in attendance for the first time in a couple of years. I’m talking about the US Open, the fourth and final major in the tennis Grand Slam.
This year’s tournament will run through September 13 and I will have eyes glued to the ESPN and Tennis Channel coverage as much as possible. Last night gave us Rafael Nadal closing out opening night and today we will get plenty more action throughout the day, headlined by Roger Federer this afternoon. Check that one out.
I am very excited to get to Commonwealth Stadium this weekend to kick off the 2015 football season, but a little piece of me misses being at the US Open this week and next. It’s such a fun event to attend and, you know, New York City. I kind of love it there a little bit.
Now who’s first to make fun of tennis in the comments section?
Tickets still available for Saturday’s game and that is unacceptable.
If you don’t take advantage of the new $25 ticket price for the season opener you are crazy. So get on over to Ticketmaster.com and use the promo code ALLIN to pick your $25 seat for Saturday’s game. We don’t want to hear any excuses. You want a good football team? Do your part. Sell out Commonwealth. Anything but a sellout will be an embarrassment for the grand opening of the new CWS. Get in there and enjoy it.
We will record the second KSR UK Football podcast tonight.
With better quality this time. Look for it on the website tomorrow afternoon.
Coaches can begin calling 2016 recruits today.
Andy Buh is excited:
— Andy Buh (@UKCoachBuh) September 1, 2015
They can slide in those DMs, too.
Check out these highlights of Kash Daniel in Frankfort.
Daniel had 16 tackles and a forced fumble at linebacker for Paintsville last Friday. He also played a little offense, rushing for 120 yards and throwing a 53-yard touchdown pass in the first half of his team’s 36-0 victory.
Malik Monk to announce his five official visits tonight.
Maybe the best scorer in the 2016 class will go on his brother’s radio show in Arkansas tonight to announce the five schools he plans to visit and when he will make those trips. Word on road is Monk plans to attend Big Blue Madness for his official to Kentucky, but we’ll wait till he makes the announcement before adding him to that weekend’s guest list.
Anyone watching Narcos on Netflix?
I’m going to start it tonight and I can’t wait.
What happened to The U????
That’s not the Miami we once knew. How sad.
KSR is coming up in an hour.
Tune in as the guys get ready for Saturday’s game.
By Bryan the Intern on ©September 01st, 2015 @ 8:00am
Since the year 2000, UK has had a total of 29 NBA Draft picks. Six of those were this year and thus haven’t played an NBA game yet. But what about the other 23? Based on where each of those 23 players were drafted, how many of those guys have overachieved, underachieved, or played as expected? I did my best to split the group up into those 3 categories. Obviously some guys still have a lot of career left to be played so this could change a bunch over the next 5-10 years. And keep in mind: a person’s draft position was key in these rankings. Expectations for a John Wall are not equal to those of an Eric Bledsoe or Josh Harrellson.
-Anthony Davis (1st round, 1st overall): This guy is going to win an MVP. You could argue he might be the best player in the league now. Might become a revolutionary player. That’s overachieving.
–Eric Bledsoe (1st round, 18th pick): Just finished his 2nd straight 17 point per game season. Has become a top level guard with a big contract.
-Jodie Meeks (2nd round, 41st overall): Meeks has never been a star in the NBA and likely never will be. But he has become a consistent performer in the league, averaging 10 ppg for his 6-year career. Considering he had no contract guarantee after the draft, I’d say that’s overachieving.
-Rajon Rondo (1st round, 21st overall): Even with the mega-stars the Celtics brought in, Rondo became a top level NBA point guard. Led the league in assists 3 times. Is he a knucklehead? Yeah, but his career far exceeded what most UK fans thought it would be.
-Keith Bogans (2nd round, 43rd overall):I had forgotten that Bogans was a 2nd round NBA draft pick, and for that reason I think he belongs on this list. He hasn’t had an amazing career, but he has remained in the NBA for 11 years and for a 2nd round pick it’s overachieving.
-Tayshaun Prince (1st round, 23rd overall): He does have a world title and Olympic gold medal to his resume. Once he entered the starting lineup for the Pistons, he didn’t leave it. If Prince had been a Top 10-15 pick, I probably would have bumped him down a level.
-Jamaal Magloire (1st round, 19th overall):Magloire simply goes here for his longevity in the NBA. Never thought to be a big offensive weapon, he developed that part of his game and made an All-Star team. Another guy who if he had been a Top 10 pick might drop a level, but has overachieved from his draft spot.
-Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (1st round, 2nd overall): I’m gonna put MKG here for now but you could make an argument he has been an underachiever so far. He did just have his best year and signed a nice contract. He hasn’t left the starting lineup in Charlotte. But the 2nd overall pick is supposed to be a star and he hasn’t quite shown that yet.
-Terrence Jones (1st round, 18th overall): His last 2 years in Houston have been solid. Will he ever become an all-star, probably not. But he seems to have found a consistent spot on a good team and I think that qualifies him in this spot.
–Brandon Knight (1st round, 8th overall): If he could just find his way onto a good team and get more exposure, he has the potential to be a star in the league worth the 8th pick. Has never averaged belong 12.8 ppg and has been a starter his entire career. For now, just as expected.
-Josh Harrellson (2nd round, 45th overall): The fact Harrellson ever became a draft pick is an overacheivement. But his NBA career was pretty much as expected. Bounced around a couple teams, saw the floor a little, stats were pretty low. I think he performed like most thought he would.
-John Wall (1st round, 1st overall): Why not an overachiever? Because the 1st player taken in the draft is supposed to perform how Wall did this season. He is in a tough spot. Really the only way to be an overachiever as the 1st player taken is to become an MVP like Derrick Rose or a Hall of Famer.
-Demarcus Cousins (1st round, 5th overall): Like Wall, he has been fantastic in his career so far. But Top 5 picks are expected to be that great. Add some playoff success and Cousins could easily move into the first category.
-Archie Goodwin (1st round, 29th overall): Could easily bump up into the category above if he continues on the path he’s on. But has bounced around between NBA and D-League so far.
-Marquis Teague (1st round, 28th overall): Really never worked it out in the NBA. Badly needed another year at UK but no turning back now.
-Doron Lamb (2nd round, 42nd overall): Flamed out of the league after 2 years. Even as a 2nd round pick, that was disappointing.
-Darius Miller (2nd round, 46th overall): Not sure expectations were that high for Miller anyway so you could argue he played “as expected” but didn’t make it past 2 years in the NBA.
–Patrick Patterson (1st round, 14th overall): It’s hard to say this about Patterson because he is so loved in Lexington, but his NBA career has just been average. He’s an 8 ppg career scorer and is playing on his 3rd team in 5 years. He’s become a serviceable role player in the league but the 14th pick is expected to be more.
-Daniel Orton (1st round, 29th overall): Never played any role in the NBA and now is in China.
-Joe Crawford (2nd round, 58th overall): Even though he was a low draft pick, Crawford never played anywhere near his potential. He played on 3 teams in 3 NBA seasons, but only played in 11 total games. Crawford has experienced some success in the D-League, but his pro career has been underwhelming to say the least.
JURY STILL OUT
-Nerlens Noel: lost a year to injury, 1st year was promising but not spectacular
-Julius Randle: lost rookie season to broken leg
-James Young: pushed to D-League much of rookie season, we’ll see how Year 2 goes