Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
July 28th, 2014

Listen to Neal Brown’s interview with KSR

UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown called in to Kentucky Sports Radio radio this morning to discuss the upcoming season. Listen in as we hear from the Danville native during the Danville tour stop, exactly one week before he and the Wildcats began fall camp.

Or listen to today’s entire podcast below. Now in one piece!


Mitch Barnhart on “Wah Wah” Jones

The most accomplished athlete in the history of the University of Kentucky passed away yesterday when Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones died at the age of 88 in Lexington. Today, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart released a statement about the beloved Wildcat:

“The word ‘legend’ is used frequently in our society but it is truly fitting when considering Wah Wah Jones. Wah Wah holds a legendary place in the athletic history of our state as a three-sport star at Harlan High School and the University of Kentucky. Wah Wah was a central figure during a golden era of Wildcat athletics, noted for his outstanding performances and his versatility. Our condolences and prayers go out to his family and he will be remembered fondly by the Big Blue Nation.”

I’ll have more on Wah Wah’s legacy later tonight. Feel free to share your favorite Wah Wah stories below.


Vote in the semifinals of UK’s Kickoff Playoff today

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Crime Mob’s “Knuck If You Buck” can advance to the final round of the Kickoff Playoff with a win over Braylon Heard and Three 6 Mafia’s “Who Run It” today. Bud Dupree’s song is in the semifinals after defeating Steven Borden and “Scatta” in Round 1.

Head over to the BBN First website to place your vote. And remember, any time you begin to feel buck, it should immediately be followed with a knuck. Don’t be that person who gets buck without knucking. It’s not a good look.

Vote here.


Antonio Blakeney trims list, Kentucky still in the mix

One of Coach Cal’s favorite targets in the 2015 basketball recruiting class narrowed his list to seven schools today and UK made the cut. Antonio Blakeney, the third-ranked shooting guard in the 247Composite rankings, says he is down to Florida State, Louisville, Missouri, Kentucky, Oregon, LSU and South Carolina.

With all due respect to those schools, that’s an ideal bunch for Kentucky to go up against.

Go Cats.


Neal Brown expects his offense to be much better this season

Neal Brown was a guest on Kentucky Sports Radio radio in his hometown of Danville this morning to catch us up to speed on the last free Monday before fall camp. Of course, the quarterback situation is the question weighing on fans’ minds, and though he couldn’t hint at a starter, he did say redshirting Drew Barker will be an option IF he isn’t in contention for that starting spot. (That’s a big IF, folks.) Brown did not say whether or not Barker is showing signs of a guy who can compete, but he answered Matt’s hypothetical of will they consider a redshirt IF Barker isn’t QB1. Yes, it’s an option.

Brown also told KSR to expect to see more of what his offenses did at Texas Tech and Troy. After an abysmal first season, Brown believes his team will be much improved on his side of the ball. He said last year’s receiving corps was the worst he’s ever had to work with in football as they began the year without a single player who had caught a touchdown pass at UK. Javess Blue and Ryan Timmons will lead that group, Brown believes.

When UK isn’t firing the pigskin in the Air Raid, the running game has the potential to shine. Brown called his running backs the deepest and strongest position on the team, and the backfield will have a better offensive line to run behind. The line lost one guy from last year, Kevin Mitchell, and the returners are bigger and stronger across the board. He’s also excited to add his redshirt freshmen to the mix.

We’ll have the entire interview on the site a little later today.


Melissa reporting “Dominique Hawkins is nice”

Breaking news from Kentucky Sports Radio’s live broadcast in Danville this morning:

According to Melissa, a show caller, Dominique Hawkins is nice. Melissa called in to the show to tell the guys she met the UK sophomore point guard and he is a nice young man.

KSR can confirm Melissa’s report. Dominique is very nice.


Julius Randle, Coach Cal, and the 2014-15 Wildcats

@UKCoachCalipari

Julius Randle is in Lexington to help out with 2014 Kroger John Calipari ProCamp (Cal has so many camps this summer) and he took some time out of his busy schedule of being the Lakers’ future for a photo op with Cal, the team and some campers.

As Kyle Tucker pointed out on the Twitter device, that’s 10 McDonald’s All-Americans in one photo, maybe more if some of the younger kids pay attention this week and work hard.

Randle was bouncing around Lexington over the weekend, too.


Tickets to the alumni game officially on sale this morning

UK’s annual Alumni Charity Game will take place on August 24 at 6 pm ET, and tickets went on sale to the general public this morning. Now all fans, not just those with the presale code, can purchase tickets to the game. It opened up this morning at 10:00 am.

All seats are reserved and priced at $101 (premium lower level), $31 (lower level), and $16 for premium upper level. Tickets can be purchased at the Rupp Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster Outlet or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. There is an eight-ticket limit per person. All orders will have additional fees attached. All proceeds from the game will go to charity.

The format of this year’s game will be a team of UK pros versus a team of non-UK pros.

Get to it.


KSR is at Bluegrass Community Bank in Danville (Monday Show Thread)

The KSR Tour begins its final stretch this week in Danville, home of one Tyler Thompson. Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond are at Bluegrass Community Bank to kick off the last week of the journey.

The guys have lots to talk about today, but with Ryan getting pulled over AGAIN on his way to the show, his driving will be the hottest topic. You’ll want to listen.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

KSR Affiliate List

WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WAIN (93.9fm): Columbia
WHIR (1230am): Danville
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
WHOP (95.3fm): Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060am): Jamestown
WLAP (630am): Lexington
WFTG (1400am): London
WKJK (1080am): Louisville
WFMW (730am): Madisonville
WXXL (1450am): Manchester
WFTM (1240am): Maysville
WKYM (101.7fm): Monticello
WMSK (1550am): Morganfield
WLME (102.7fm):Owensboro
WKYH (600am): Paintsville
WLSI (900am) Pikeville
WPRT (960am): Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240am): Somerset
WTCW (920am): Whitesburg
WBTH (1400am): Williamson

On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…

WVHI (1330am): Evansville, IN, 5-7pm
WMTL (870am): Leitchfield, 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570am): Morgantown, 3-5pm
WRIL (106.3fm): Middlesboro, Thur 8-10pm
WPAD (1560am): Paducah, 11-1pm
WHAY (98.3fm): Whitley City, 2-4pm


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Can Close Games Make or Break a Coach?

What makes the difference between a good coach and a bad coach?  Is it motivation?  Is it recruiting?  Is it the ability to make in-game adjustments?  It’s probably a little bit of everything wrapped into one.  But, sometimes it’s just luck.  And as we have seen over the years, often times the ball bounces your way in close games, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Look at how 2 guys did in close games, those decided by 7 points or less, during their time at Kentucky.  And keep this thought in your mind: If Joker Phillips just gets 2 or 3 of those losses to bounce his way, would he still be the coach at Kentucky?  And if Rich Brooks didn’t catch the breaks to get 15 wins by 7 points or less, including 3 in each of his last 4 years, would he have lasted as long at Kentucky as he did?

I only point this out to highlight how precarious a head coach in college football can have it.  Mark Stoops can do everything right, put the right players on the field, and still lose the majority of games inside 7 points, and he is suddenly out of a job.  Here’s to hoping Stoops has success like Brooks, at least in his latter years, in close games and not Phillips.

MARK STOOPS (0-2)
2013 (0-2)
Lost to South Carolina by 7, Lost to Mississippi State by 6

JOKER PHILLIPS (3-6)
2012 (0-2)
Lost to Western Kentucky by 1 (OT), Lost to Georgia by 7

2011 (1-1)
Beat Tennessee by 3
Lost to Louisville by 7

2010 (2-3)
Beat Louisville by 7, Beat South Carolina by 3
Lost to Ole Miss by 7, Lost to Auburn by 3, Lost to Mississippi State by 7
————————————————-

RICH BROOKS (15-16)
2009 (3-3)
Beat Louisville by 4, Beat Auburn by 7, Beat Georgia by 7
Lost to South Carolina by 2, Lost to Mississippi State by 7, Lost to Tennessee by 6 (OT)

2008 (3-4)
Beat MTSU by 6, Beat Arkansas by 1, Beat Mississippi State by 1
Lost to Alabama by 3, Lost to South Carolina by 7, Lost to Georgia by 4, Lost to Vanderbilt by 7

2007 (3-1)
Beat Louisville by 6, Beat LSU by 6, Beat Vanderbilt by 7
Lost to Tennessee by 2

2006 (3-2)
Beat Mississippi State by 3, Beat Georgia by 4, Beat La-Monroe by 2
Lost to South Carolina by 7, Lost to Tennessee by 5

2005 (2-2)
Beat Mississippi State by 6, Beat Vandy by 5
Lost to Louisville by 7, Lost to Ole Miss by 6

2004 (1-2)
Beat Vanderbilt by 1
Lost to South Carolina by 5, Lost to Tennessee by 6

2003 (0-2)
Lost to Florida by 3, Lost to South Carolina by 6


KSR’s Top 10 Tweets of the Weekend

Darrell Bird Catspause

Darrell Bird Catspause

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

 

#10 Scott Phillips

They just weren’t ready to let him go.

 

 

 

#9 -Drew Barker-

Now for the next challenge: finding a phone charger.

 

 

 

 

#8 Zack Hill

You all look like BFF’s. Can you get me an autograph?

 

 

 

 

#7 Jade ✨

Trust me, I’ve tried. It’s not that easy, sadly.

 

 

 

 

#6 Patrick Patterson

I don’t know from personal experience, but I can imagine it is the worst.

 

 

 

 

#5 Kenji (Ken-jee)

This is why you should keep a girl with skinny long arms around you at all times.

 

 

 

 

#4 Kyle Wiltjer

Wiltjer and Coach O
Weirder things have happened. Actually, no. No they haven’t.

 

 

 

 

#3 Chris from Paducah

Sign me up. Hopefully 90% of it will just be the camera on Ryan.

 

 

 

 

#2 Ira D. Combs

That is enough to drive a man crazy.
(P.S- Not bad for just your second tweet, Ira.)

 

 

 

 

#1 Brandon Boyd

It’s the Cinderella policy. You have to be in by a certain time or your car turns into a pumpkin.

 

#KSRtop10


Wah Wah Jones’s Monday News and Views

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UK lost one of its legends early this morning as Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones passed away at the age of 88. The Harlan County native’s life reads like a storybook example of what makes Kentucky sports great. He grew up in deep Eastern Kentucky, where he was a baseball, basketball and football star at a time that the best athletes played all three. He went to the state Basketball Tournament four times, helping Harlan win the title in 1944. While at UK, he had a legendary career like none other, playing football and basketball at a high level, earning All American honors in the process. He was part of one of the greatest teams in UK Basketball history, the “Fabulous Five” of 1948 that not only won the NCAA title, but were then made part of the US Olympic Team that won the Gold Medal in 1948. His athletic exploits are legendary and he was called by John Calipari today, “perhaps the greatest athlete in UK history.” He was also one of our last remaining links to the golden years of UK Athletics, as he played for both Adolph Rupp and Bear Bryant in Lexington. I met Wah Wah on a couple of occasions later in life, and he couldn’t have been more gracious, telling me stories about games he played against Middlesboro during his high school years. He was also part of one of the more special events I have ever attended at Rupp, when he and Anthony Davis were honored with their gold medals in 2012, a symbol of the great living tradition of Kentucky basketball. Wah Wah Jones in the epitome of the Big Blue Nation tradition and KSR’s prayers and thoughts go out to his family and friends.

With that, a few notes from the weekend:

The basketball team begins practice for the Bahamas in full force on Monday, getting 10 days of practices in which to get ready for the trip to the island. The excitement around the basketball facility is palpable, as everyone realizes just what a special season this can be. The plan in the Bahamas, at least for the first couple of games, is likely to be to play two separate five man teams an equal amount of the game. That may change for the latter games, but this will give all ten of the main players a chance to get full work and showcase themselves. That means big things for Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Marcus Lee, who will likely get extended periods on the court and be able to get into their groove and contribute. The playing time may switch afterwards as they try different rotations but this “two team” concept should be very entertaining to watch for the early games. All of the games will be at 1 pm, the first three on ESPNU, the second three on the new SEC Network and all of them on radio. We will be doing KSR LIVE from the Bahamas, Ryan will host an extra 30 minutes of the show and then there will be a half hour IMG show leading into the game….all of which means if you are at work, you can listen to UK basketball on the radio from 10 am to 3:30 pm for an entire week in August. That’s pretty cool.

Julius Randle was in town this weekend…and everyone sent us pictures. Here were my three favorites, the first because of what is happening in the background, the second because it was very cool to get Couch and Julius together in a pic and the third because it made me laugh:

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— In the basketball recruiting world, we learned again that Jaylen Brown is really damn good. He played on ESPNU on Sunday and I was once again amazed at his talent. He is so graceful on the court, can get to the rim against anyone and is literally perfect for the Calipari system. Everyone continues to seem negative about Kentucky’s chances but I still don’t buy it. UCLA, Kansas and his home state Georgia schools will be tough, but I know he is target #1 for Calipari and until I hear something different, I still think UK has a very good shot. Either the way, the kid can ball and watching him is a pleasure.

We also have confirmation that Stephen Zimmerman is coming to Big Blue Madness…great get by Kentucky to have him in the building on what will be a huge recruiting weekend.

— The “Coaches for the Kids” event was this weekend and while it was “off the record” (meaning we can’t tell any juicy gossip), one thing was clear (and repeatable)…this football staff is amped up for the season. Every conversation with these guys from Mark Stoops to the Graduate Assistants reveals the same thing…they believe the team is going to be much better and they can’t wait to show it. Last year was a humbling season for everyone involved and while the learning curve was going to always be steep, it ended up being much steeper than people thought. But there are now athletes in the program of another level, and it is about time to see some positive steps. We keep hearing great things about two guys…Patrick Towles and Ryan Timmons…two Kentucky kids who will play a huge role in this offense and the season. I can’t wait to see them get started. The team officially reports next Sunday, with practice beginning Monday. Get ready…

The Women’s clinic was this weekend…our own Brennan English was there and has a great report below…the star was of course Zadarius, who is here with KSR Radio Super Fan Marsha Poe

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— Finally, a short note on football recruiting. Yes, Kentucky lost out on George Brown and CJ Conrad (who is committed to UK) went to the Ohio State Friday Night Lights event (but didn’t yet get an offer). But I am hearing some rumblings of good news coming very shortly that could have us all very happy before we depart for the Bahamas. “Bermuda, Bahamas, come on pretty Mama…Key Largo, Montego, Baby Why Don’t We Go Yahtzee?” (Reading that back, that is really awful…but its been a long weekend and I am going with it either way).

The West side of the state treated us great with massive crowds and unbelievable energy. We only have five stops left on the tour….DANVILLE, NORTHERN KY, MAYSVILLE, LEXINGTON and LOUISVILLE. Mark Stoops and Slice Rohrrsen will join us at the Lexington stop and Neal Brown is going to be on with us during the Danville stop (his home town). Northern Kentucky should be great at Dickmann’s and Louisville is where someone wins a trip to the Bahamas. Should be a great week.

We are now just a little over a month away from this time of year

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Josh Clemons must work out

josh-clemons

Watch him show off his guns in the latest ‘Change The Game’ clip from Kentucky Wildcats TV.


The Ladies of BBN Are Ready for More Stoopsball

photo 3

D Line Pride

The second edition of Coach Stoops’ women’s clinic was moved indoors to Nutter Field House as Commonwealth Stadium is under construction–a fitting analogy for the attitude of this coaching staff and the ladies of the BBN yesterday. There’s a mixed air of optimism and realism for what lies ahead for this program after that 2-10 opening slog through the SEC (you may recall).

Over three hundred women made their way to Kentucky’s campus at 8 am on a Saturday in July, and while there wasn’t the frenzy of last year’s record-setting crowd, these ladies are clearly hungry for some football.

BteLRELCQAApE-I

@JenNimePalumbo

A few observations upon entering Nutter Field House:

1) I. Am. Tired. How do these women have so much energy?

A) They are getting to talk football with virtually no men around–except the real experts. I need to perk up.

2) Am I the only person not wearing blue?

A) Yes.

It was clearly not just the impending season (or tailgating) that was on the minds of the women participating–there was a buzz about the room regarding the upcoming recruiting class, evident in Vince Marrow’s introductory ovation.

After a few Cal-isms from Stoops, it was time for a positional breakdown by each member of the staff of course to “impress your husbands and boyfriends.” Despite fact that these ladies know more about football than your average person, not just man, it did produce a number of interesting insights.

Neal Brown gave the crowd something they wanted to start off the day–“the quarterback position is probably gonna be the most improved position on offense this fall.” In response to a quick burst of applause, Brown chuckled, “yea, that’s worth a hand to me.”

Then Brown told us a bit about each quarterback and their progress this summer; it was in alphabetical order to avoid any of the notorious over-analysis we Kentucky fans are capable of. (George Brown DID put the Florida hat in the middle).

– Drew Barker has done a really good job learning the offense and is catching up quickly with the other quarterbacks.

– Reese Phillips has been under the radar a bit, but was the most consistent day in and day out in the spring. He throws a really catchable ball.

– Maxwell Smith may be ready before the season begins after his shoulder surgery, but it’s to be decided.

– Patrick Towles came from one of the better high school programs in the state (some would say the best), and he may be the most improved guy in the entire offense.

Brown assured everyone that he wants to name a quarterback sooner rather than later in order to get them settled in. Oh, and we are gonna be MUCH better on third down, thanks to the improvement on plays like the ones he ran at Texas Tech.

Next up we had running backs coach Chad Scott round up the running back corps: Braylon Heard is very VERY fast, Jojo Kemp talks a lot but he’s also grown a lot, and Josh Clemons has been through a great deal of injuries, but is a terrific leader with a great attitude. I’m truly looking forward to seeing where these running backs can take us in season 2 of the Air Raid.

Vince Marrow was the next presenter, and hot damn does he have a fun personality. Must be why the young’uns relate to him. He’s far too cool for me. He also played football for Nick Saban at Toledo after being a scholarship basketball player.

My favorite presenter just may have been Tommy Mainord, wide receivers coach transplant of Brown’s offense at Texas Tech. He’s a Texas native and fittingly so–he should have been cast on Friday Night Lights. The guy is intense and excited to see what a healthier wide receiver corps with a technically and physically improved Ryan Timmons, Javess Blue, Jeff Badet, and soon-ish to be ready Alex Montgomery can do.

After Coach Naivar (special teams) and DJ Eliot broke down some plays for the ladies, we got to hear some insight from now famous High Performance Coach Erik Korem and Nutritionist and Dietitian Monica Fowler on how they’re taking these guys to the next level.

Monica Fowler puts in a LOT of work, eating breakfast and dinner with the football team during training, being available night and day via text to answer any random question the guys may have. Though some of the players are eating 6 or 7 thousand calories a day to keep weight up, they’re now asking questions like “Can I gain that much in one week and it still be good weight?”

The last presenter was Col. Jason Cummins, the Director of the Impact Leadership Program and Senior Manager of Athletic Operations for Horizon Performance.

In the military, medals are awarded for sacrificing self for the team. But we live in a culture that rewards sacrifice of the team for self. We tell them all the time, ‘Who you’re becoming is more important that what you’re doing.’

Strong words.

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The Wives

The wives of each member of the coaching staff came up and introduced themselves to the clinic.

My favorite tidbits:

– There are soon to be 38 kids between the members of the coaching staff. Sounds like a nightmare.

– Mark Stoops and his wife Chantel hosted a recruiting dinner during the season with 100 people at the house. Chantel said that getting to know the parents, as well as their kids and have them under one roof helps to forge a bond between the families. The best part? Having all those football players isn’t good for plumbing. Three toilets were broken, which likely made a Lexington plumber very … happy? 

– A member of the audience thanked them for sharing their sexy husbands with us. I’m uncomfortable.

Fashion Show

The players may have been more excited to show off for the women of the clinic than we were to see them. Nate Willis was dancing, Jason hatchet was blowing kisses, and Javess Blue was backflipping, and each player made a point to give a special shout to the “beautiful ladies of the BBN”

Za’Darius introduced each of the players, from full football gear down to full Under Armour gear, and the ladies, especially the older crowd were going WILD, with several catcalls like “What’s underneath this?” to which Erik Korem replied, “Wrong clinic?”

Hide yo kids, hide yo wives.

We closed out the show with the stirring rendition of Happy Birthday for some of the campers (let’s call them campers) led by Rodney Cox. Though he complained of a sore throat, the dude’s got some pipes.

Drills, Drills, Drills

My favorite part of the entire program–running drills with the position coaches and players. Lazily standing to the side, watching these women getting in a stance and huddle up was absolutely brilliant. You were real troopers ladies. Though you need to pick up the pace, as Vince Marrow said to our group, “If you really were my players and you walked over here that slow, you’d be running laps.” Dang coach.

neil brown

We learned Neal Brown is on team no shoes.

Stadium tours (synthetic turf is coming–this means football field wedding receptions people) a raffle, and autographs closed out a great day in Nutter Field House. And we have over a month until kickoff against UT-Martin. Can’t wait? Get in line.

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Hello autograph line.

Click the “more” button for some more pictures and Vines of the ladies participating in drills. You won’t regret it. 

(more…)


Jaylen Brown impresses at Adidas Super 64

Image via 247Sports.com

,  Image via 247Sports.com

If you were watching ESPNU earlier today, you probably saw Kentucky target Jaylen Brown put in major work at the Adidas Super 64 showcase game in Las Vegas, Nevada. Brown squared off against fellow UK-target Thon Maker- and the two certainly put on a show. Brown finished with 32 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks, while Maker tallied 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Jaylen is currently considered the #4 player in the class of 2015, though that could soon change after his stellar play this summer.

See him in action: