Big Blue Madness Campout officially began this morning, and so far, there already 680 tents →
By Drew Franklin on ©1:30 pm
The University of Kentucky men’s basketball program released its finalized 2014-15 schedule today with all start times and TV information included. The Cats will have 32 nationally televised games this year on either the SEC Network, one of the three ESPNs, or CBS.
One game, at home against Boston on November 21, will be televised regionally on FSN.
The annual Blue-White Scrimmage on October 27 at Rupp Arena will be carried online through the SEC Network digital platform and WatchESPN.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:57 pm
It appears Coach Cal threw one of his not-so-subtle jabs at Jim Beoheim on Twitter this afternoon. The shot is more than likely a response to Boeheim’s “a little bit disingenuous of him” comment regarding Calipari’s complaint about Mike Kryzseszkwskfrski using his position with USA Basketball to promote Duke.
Cal tweeted, “A friend told me an orange a day reduces your chance of a heart attack by 50%. I told him having great players reduces your chance even more.”
Your move, Boeheim.
A friend told me an orange a day reduces your chance of a heart attack by 50%. I told him having great players reduces your chance even more
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) September 18, 2014
By Drew Franklin on ©12:38 pm
Someone at Bleacher Report has a lot of faith Trey Lyles will catch up quickly once he finally starts playing basketball at UK. A Bleacher Report columnist, Thad Novak, predicted the upcoming 2014-15 Freshman of the Year in every conference and he expects Lyles to take the trophy over Karl Towns, Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker and every other rookie in the Southeastern Conference.
It would really be fairer if the SEC offered a Non-Kentucky Freshman of the Year trophy, to give the likes of Florida’s Devin Robinson or Mizzou’s JaKeenan Gant a fighting chance.
As it is, though, the members of John Calipari’s latest recruiting class will be battling it out among themselves again, with Trey Lyles the best bet to come out ahead.
Lyles—a 6’10” forward with a precocious offensive repertoire—has the benefit of stepping into Julius Randle’s vacant starting job, where he’ll share the floor with the playmaking Harrison twins.
He’s a shot-blocker as well as a scorer, and while classmate Karl-Anthony Towns also features both of those skills, Towns isn’t as sure to be on the floor in crunch time. (Bleacher Report)
I believe Lyles will be a contributor to the Cats this season, but if I’m picking a preseason SEC Freshman of the Year, my money is on Towns, maybe even Tyler Ulis. We saw great things from those two in the Bahamas while Lyles is still waiting to begin the catch-up process. I’d love to see him take it, though.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:00 pm
UK fan Brad Riley took his GoPro camera for a lap around Memorial Coliseum yesterday around 3:00 pm, right around the time UK announced the official count of 680 tents on the ground. Watch as he speeds up his tour in the video so you can see just how much space the campers are taking up on campus.
The hype is real.
You people are crazy, also.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:30 am
Damien Harris was presented with an Under Armour All-American jersey this morning and it provided an opportunity for him to speak to the media about being Damien Harris.
Much was said in the press conference, but the most newsworthy note from the morning came from his response to a question asking if he is down to Kentucky and Ohio State. Harris told reporters they are not his top two schools and he does not have a leader at this point. He said it’s unfair to put the Cats and Buckeyes ahead of Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M when predicting the status of his top five. He said he is sitting back and waiting to see how things play out.
Congrats on being named Under Armour All-American, Damien. Now come on down.
By Drew Franklin on ©10:30 am
John Vincent Calipari was in Cleveland last night, visiting five-star power forward Carlton Bragg and his family in Bragg’s home. Bragg posted the photo with Cal on the Twitter machine around 11:00 pm last night.
This morning, Sir Adam Zagoria reached out to Bragg’s mentor for some scoop on how things went during the visit. Michael Graves, the mentor, told Zagoria:
“Cal stated that Kentucky is not for everyone. It’s gonna be tough. Carlton will get a great education, be in the best shape of his life and be developed. He also talked about the upcoming [NBA] combine he’s having. He’s doing it for the players. He puts his players first, and getting them ready for the next level [NBA]. He also talked about what it means to play for Kentucky.”
Bragg will travel to Lexington for his official visit during Big Blue Madness weekend next month.
By Drew Franklin on ©9:55 am
Everyone’s favorite co-host is coming on KSR today to help Matt and Ryan get through Thursday’s show. Matt Mitchell will be on to talk about his program, getting to work during Tent City and everything else going on around Big Blue Nation.
Then the guys will play a game that will almost certainly get KSR in trouble: “Name Your Least Favorite Restaurant.” We want callers to call in and tell listeners where they shouldn’t eat in Kentucky. That’ll go over well, I’m sure.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
KSR Affiliate List
WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
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WHIR (1230am): Danville
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
WTUK (105.1fm): Harlan
WHOP (95.3fm): Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060am): Jamestown
WLAP (630am): Lexington
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WKJK (1080am): Louisville
WFMW (730am): Madisonville
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On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…
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By Bryan the Intern on ©9:00 am
Kentucky is going to experience something next Saturday against Vanderbilt that they haven’t felt in almost 4 years, and that is being a favorite for a conference game. The last time was obviously against Vanderbilt in 2010. Keep this stat in mind: Joker Phillips was only favored in 1 of 24 conference games during his time at Kentucky. That seems absurd to me but it shows just how deep of a hole the program went into over the course of those 3 years.
Nonetheless, Kentucky will be favored next Saturday. If you are a betting person like me, you often try and find trends with teams. Trends with them as favorites, underdogs, home and road, etc etc. Since 2000, Kentucky has been favored in 17 SEC games, including 13 at Commonwealth Stadium. Here is how they did in those games, with those in red the games in which UK did not cover the spread.
2010 (-15, Vanderbilt): Kentucky 38, Vanderbilt 20
2009 (-3, at Vanderbilt): Kentucky 24, Vanderbilt 13
2009 (-3, Mississippi St): Mississippi St 31, Kentucky 24
2008 (-3, Vanderbilt): Vanderbilt 31, Kentucky 24
2008 (-7, Arkansas): Kentucky 21, Arkansas 20
2007 (-2, Tennessee): Tennessee 52, Kentucky 50 (3ot)
2007 (-4, at Vanderbilt): Kentucky 27, Vanderbilt 20
2007 (-14, Mississippi St): Mississippi St 31, Kentucky 14
2006 (-1, Vanderbilt): Kentucky 38, Vanderbilt 26
2006 (-1, at Mississippi St): Kentucky 34, Mississippi St 31
2006 (-3, Ole Miss): Kentucky 31, Ole Miss 14
2003 (-6, at Vanderbilt): Vanderbilt 28, Kentucky 17
2003 (-10, Mississippi St): Kentucky 42, Mississippi St 17
2002 (-15, Vanderbilt): Kentucky 41, Vanderbilt 21
2002 (-5, at Mississippi St): Kentucky 45, Mississippi St 24
2002 (-4, South Carolina): South Carolina 16, Kentucky 12
2000 (-6, Vanderbilt): Vanderbilt 24, Kentucky 20
All total, Kentucky went 9-8 against the spread in those games, and 10-7 overall. That might not seem that great, but anything over .500 against the spread is actually pretty good. Eight of those 17 games were against Vanderbilt, and Kentucky went 5-3 overall in those games.
I have heard rumblings that the spread might be around 10 for the Vandy game. If so, and maybe this is just the fan in me being overly confident, but I think UK covers that spread handily. Kentucky has been a 10 point or more favorite 4 times since 2000, and covered the spread in 3 of those 4 games. It is rare for a team in the SEC to be significantly worse than UK, but when they have been, UK has generally handled their business and that is what I expect to see next Saturday.
What are your thoughts? Mark Stoops has never been an SEC favorite in a game. Does that play any role in the contest with Vanderbilt?
It’s time again for KSR’s Top Tweets of the Day. We will focus most of our attention on Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as usual, there are no limits to our madness. You can participate by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTop10 or just by simply tweeting @KYsportsradio.
#10 Mark Krebs Jr.
— Mark Krebs Jr. (@MarkKrebsJr) September 17, 2014
Oh no. Not you too, Mark.
#9 Trey Lyles
@AlexTheGreat22 got tutoring bruh I would tho
— Trey Lyles (@TreyMambaLyles) September 17, 2014
But they aren’t students, they are athletes!
#8 Kristy Jones
— Kristy Jones (@KristyNJ) September 17, 2014
Dove knows what’s up!
#7 -Drew Barker-
People riding their bikes on UK's campus have no chill..
— -Drew Barker- (@D_Barker7) September 17, 2014
He needs to meet Nicholasville Road lady
#6 Patty Wooten
@KySportsRadio What's a good Kentucky Joe repellant? KSR needs to market it and pass it out to campers.
— Patty Wooten (@PaducahPatty) September 17, 2014
Can anyone help a lady out? I have no idea. We have tried everything.
#5 Doron Lamb
The cells in your body react to everything that your mind says. Negativity brings down your inmune system.
— Doron Lamb (@DLamb20) September 17, 2014
#4 Andrew Atwell
@KySportsRadio did you date her for 11 days?
— Andrew Atwell (@RealDouble_A) September 17, 2014
In his dreams he did.
#3 Jake Ryan
College is just a test of how well you spend your free time
— Jake Ryan (@jc_ryan6) September 17, 2014
You picked that up fast. Use it wisely.
#2 Taylor White
— Taylor White (@twhite0788) September 17, 2014
Maybe you can use that to help Ryan out of a few tickets now?
#1 Marc Maguire
— Marc Maguire (@RealConnorHobbs) September 17, 2014
I really hope this is literally how it went down. I like to imagine it this way at least.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:00 pm
Connor Pack’s pulse raced as he peeked around the door at the giant crowd of students assembled in Morehead State’s rec center. The crowd was three deep on the sidelines of the court and rimmed the second floor balcony, and they were all here to see him, even the basketball team. Adrenaline pumping, Connor tugged on his t-shirt and walked into the gym to raucous cheers. He searched for his buddy across the court, who nodded at him, basketball in hand.
“Here we go, Connor,” he thought to himself. “Here we go.”
Bouncing to the bassline of whatever song was playing, Connor took a deep, dizzy breath, yanked his shirt over his head and ran down the court towards the basket. The ball dropped into his sight and he grabbed it, taking one more big step before launching himself at the rim.
For a moment, Connor thought he had it as his fingers grazed the cool metal. For that beautiful, weightless moment, it was his.
And then he hit the floor. And heard the laughter.
As his arm began to throb beneath him, Connor thought ruefully, “At least I made them laugh.”
Big Blue Madness Campout begins
At 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, the annual stampede across Avenue of Champions began as fans rushed to stake their spots for the Big Blue Madness Campout. This is looking like another record-setting crowd, with 680 tents reported around Memorial Coliseum on Wednesday night. The popularity of the Big Blue Madness Campout has boomed under John Calipari, who has already made one appearance to tell the crowd “You people are crazy!”. There is no fanbase like the Big Blue Nation, and in turn, there is no event like Big Blue Madness Campout. (Stop right there, trolls: Duke’s Krzyzewskiville only allows 100 tents at a time, and even then, students only have to check in once a day to keep their spot in line.) The crowd will only get bigger as the week goes on, and players have already made the rounds to hang out with fans, including former Cat Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The scene so far has been awesome, but…
…Someone needs to explain the campout to Malik Newman
Or he can just commit to Kentucky and find out for himself next year.
— Carlton Bragg (@carltonbragg31) September 18, 2014
Calipari went to see Carlton Bragg Wednesday night, will visit Tyus Battle, Cheick Diallo, and Isaiah Briscoe on Thursday
John Calipari took a brief break from his recruiting tour across the country to give away some TempurPedic pillows and a mattress to some lucky campers at the BBM Campout on Wednesday afternoon. From there, he headed to Cleveland, Ohio to see 2015 forward Carlton Bragg on Wednesday night. Bragg is considered the 5th best power forward and the 15th overall player in the country, and recently narrowed his list to Kentucky, Arizona, UCLA, Kansas, and Illinois. Kansas and Illinois have recruited him the hardest so far, but one visit from Cal has been known to change the game a time or two.
After seeing Bragg in Ohio, Calipari has a full slate of visits on Thursday, traveling around the New York/New Jersey area to see 2016 combo guard Tyus Battle, 2015 forward Cheick Diallo, and 2015 point guard Isaiah Briscoe. Briscoe currently doesn’t have an offer from UK, but could very well pick one up after his in-home visit with Calipari on Thursday night.
Cheick Diallo says Slice speaks French
While researching Cal’s upcoming in-home visits, I came across this funny nugget from ZagsBlog: according to Cheick Diallo, UK assistant Slice Rohrssen speaks French:
Kentucky assistant Barry “Slice” Rohrssen moved to Kentucky from Pittsburgh, where he had already established a relationship with the Mali native, in part because he speaks a little French.
“Little bit,” Diallo said. “He’s not really good.”
Slice speaking French with his heavy New York accent is something we need to hear ASAP.
Skal Labissiere raves about in-home visit with Cal days before coming to Lexington
Memphis has long been considered the favorite for Skal Labissiere, but Kentucky may be gaining ground. Calipari visited Labissiere earlier this week and when USA Today’s Jason Jordan asked Skal about it, he said “Let’s just say it went great!”. Skal will arrive in Lexington for an official visit on Friday, and aside from Big Blue Madness or Cal’s new NBA Combine, I can’t think of a more impressive sight for a recruit than BBM Campout.
Cal says the Harrison Twins are down to 4% and 4.5% body fat
One thing fans immediately noticed about the Harrison Twins during the Bahamas tour was how much more in-shape they are compared to last season. Calipari tweeted on Wednesday that the Twins’ body fat is down from the teens to 4% and 4.5%, and I’m going to stop talking about it because it’s kind of creepy.
The football team started Vandy prep
It’s the bye week, and in any other year, that would mean almost all of our focus would be on the BBM Campout; however, after UK’s thrilling performance against Florida, football is still very much on the minds of the BBN. On the SEC Teleconference Wednesday morning, Mark Stoops said the team just started preparing for Vandy, and he’s looking forward to “creating some winning habits” in the coming weeks. We are too. Stoops said he was particularly pleased with his offensive line, specifically the four redshirt freshmen–Cole Mosier, Nick Hayne, Kyle Meadows, and Ramsey Myers–who “went in and competed their tails off” against the Gators. That HAS to sound encouraging to certain elite skill players in the 2015 class…
Jason Hatcher had a great quote about “the new Kentucky”
The sophomore defensive end spoke to reporters after practice on Wednesday and gave Kyle Tucker this awesome quote:
“We’re not the same Kentucky team we were last year, and we want to make sure people know that,” Hatcher said. “When people say, ‘Why Kentucky?’ now they kind of see.”
Have you gotten your tickets to #PackCommonwealth for the Vandy game yet? There are still $20 General Admission tickets available, so no excuses.
Matthew Mitchell will co-host KSR tomorrow
If you’re not excited about Thursday’s show, you’re about to be. Matthew Mitchell will co-host the show with Matt and Ryan, and help them out in a new segment called “Name Your Least Favorite Restaurant.” (Except if it’s Brasabana or any of our other sponsors.) Something tells me we may get in trouble for this one.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:27 pm
Earlier this week, Adrian Wojnarowski wrote an article for Yahoo Sports slamming Mike Krzyzewski for using his position as head coach of Team USA as a recruiting advantage for Duke. The article raised some eyebrows, as one could argue that any coach in Krzyzewski’s position would do the same. Today, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, who was an assistant coach for Team USA, stuck up for Coach K and said that John Calipari has complained to him about Coach K’s extra access, which Boeheim feels is “a little bit disingenuous”:
Boeheim said Kentucky coach John Calipari has complained to both him and USA Basketball about the extra access.
Boeheim noted that Calipari coached the Dominican team and happened to land Karl Towns, a top 2015 prospect who played on that team. Boeheim said Calipari has agreed to coach the United States Pan-American team next year.
“It’s a concern he has raised before,” Boeheim said. “That particular case he has mentioned. He’s said he thinks its an advantage. He got the No. 1 recruit in the country. It’s a little bit disingenuous of him. I like John. We get along fine. He feels Mike is getting an advantage. You could make that argument. But Duke isn’t getting any better players than they ever have.”
Leave it to Boeheim to not only stir the pot, but try to use Calipari to make it boil.
The off-season is technically over, but the folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes.Earlier this summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter.
Most of you all, All of you all, Everyone but my Mom and Dad,Some of you all probably hate it, but it’s either this or I’ll post another Trey Lyles mix tape.
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 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 WERE PLANNING BIG BLUE MADNESS THIS YEAR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR “WOW FACTOR” OR BIG MOMENT/GUEST/PERFORMER?
I think some other names have to go first, but I like the idea of hanging someone’s jersey in the rafters at Madness…
@AllyTuckerKSR put Boogie Wall Davis and MKG’s jerseys in the rafters.
— The Josh Wilson (@THEJO5HWIL5ON) September 17, 2014
Someone tried to fly a coach in on a motorcycle. That’s just not as cool as Drake…
@AllyTuckerKSR it really doesn’t matter. We blow everyone else away. Ours is a spectacle, everyone else’s is just practice…(Drop mike)
— CouchCat (@scottcouch14) September 17, 2014
Ryan Lemond and his Body Shapes Medical mojo might be better suited for such tasks…
Oh no, no, no. But also kind of a little bit yes.
@AllyTuckerKSR Matthew Mitchell does “anaconda” by nicki minaj as his dance this year.
— Hayley Minogue (@KSR_allHAYL) September 17, 2014
That’s creepy. But a little bit awesome at the same time.
@AllyTuckerKSR then spotlight on the center of the floor where the returning players stand
— CouchCat (@scottcouch14) September 17, 2014
BEST ANSWER OF THE WEEK:
@AllyTuckerKSR Hologram Michael Jackson joins Matthew Mitchell in a tear jerking rendition of “Man in The Mirror”
— J.C. Ausmus (@JC_KSR) September 17, 2014
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:00 pm
And even if you weren’t there to enjoy it in person, KyWildcatsTV has you covered with this footage. Admission to the team’s game against Lipscomb on Friday at 7 p.m. is free, so come on out to support the ladies. It all goes down at Memorial Coliseum, and I bet Marcus Lee will be there.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©8:00 pm
Big Blue Madness Campout officially began this morning, and so far, there already 680 tents on the grounds around Memorial Coliseum. I won’t be able to make it to the campout until late Friday night, so, like many of you, I lived vicariously through the pictures of others on campus today (special shoutout to JC Ausmus in particular for her help). To celebrate some of my favorite sights so far, I’m channeling my inner yearbook editor and handing out superlatives.
April Priddy gets high marks for her custom shirt, which plays on Cal’s famous “hump ditty ditty” line from the Bahamas.
Most creative way to pass the time:
Saturday morning is a long time from now, you know.
Smelliest Setup (tie):
Props to these campers for taking the spots next to the porta-potties and the dumpster. Something tells me that’s going to seem like a terrible idea come Saturday morning.
Weirdest thing to have signed:
This lady had plenty of things for Marcus Lee to sign, but the oddest may be what appears to be a UK-theme ukulele. Knowing what a goofball Marcus is, I’m surprised he didn’t start playing it.
Although I’m pretty sure it’s meant for a child under four feet tall (or maybe Tyrion Lannister), this is my favorite tent so far. Bonus points if she actually sleeps in it the entire campout.
Most popular tent:
This adorable little tent was spotted at least three times today. Walmart special?
Best fictional sign that needs to be a real sign:
If you see Kentucky Joe approaching your campout, zip up that tent ASAP.
Most protected if it rains (tie):
Not satisfied with only one tent for protection if it rains, these people put tailgating tents on top of their normal tents. Laugh now, but if there’s a downpour, they’ll become the most popular people there.
Best Cornhole form:
MKG may have a wacky shooting form, but his cornhole form is on point.
These folks have been at campout for a few years now, and, understandably, are still our favorites. Flattery will get you everywhere, campers. Bonus points for the Photoshop of Matt as Mr. January.
By Nick Roush on ©7:00 pm
- Bud Dupree is sack-less through three games. Frankly it’s stunning, but just because he isn’t filling up the box score, he’s still making the impact on defense that we expected.
Teams have had to go out of their way to stop Bud, sliding protections or bringing extra blockers. DJ Eliot isn’t worried about the stats, he’s worried about all of that extra attention, “He’s taken a lot of things away. If you look at who the most important guys on the team are, they’re not always your ‘stat guys.’ I think that’s evident in the NFL. The highest paid guys aren’t always the stat guys, it’s the guys that take a lot of plays away.”
- All of those situational drills are paying off. The Cats were not clutch last year. The plays that make the biggest differences in the game are the toughest. Last year in the red zone, 3rd down and 2-minute drill they simply could not hold up. After laboring in situational drills for over a year, Eliot’s defense has finally caught on.
They bent, but rarely broke Saturday. “Yards don’t really determine wins and losses, it’s situations and you HAVE to play situations well,” Eliot said. “If it’s 13 and 15, and you gave up 13, you win.”
- The Cats looked much more aggressive on defense last week, using the cornerback blitz in man coverage to put additional pressure on Jeff Driskell. It looked different, but it was still much of the same. Eliot said the Cats had the same percentage of blitzes against Florida and Ohio. It might have been the same percentage, but it looked a lot better last week.
- Eliot’s biggest problem last week was wide receiver Demarcus Robinson. Robinson finished with 15 catches for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns. The frustrating part for Eliot, is the corner’s were there ready to make the plays, but too often failed to execute, “The longest pass he caught went off our cornerback’s shoulder pads. It was a lot of stuff that we could have prevented.”
- Za’Darius Smith saved a touchdown Saturday. On a 3rd down, the Cats brought the house, leaving the short pass WIDE open. Luckily Big Z was there to put his hands up for the touchdown-saving block. The play was all a part of Eliot’s master plan as defensive coordinator. “We call them zero pressures. We tell the rushers that they have to prevent quick throws,” Eliot said. “That’s a coaching point.”