The second edition of Coach Stoops’ women’s clinic was moved indoors to Nutter Field House as Commonwealth Stadium →
By Andrew Cassady on ©6:30 pm
The 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats began the first of ten practices today in order to get ready for their trip to the Bahamas. According to our own Matt Jones “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.”
So if that’s the case just how will Coach Cal go about splitting up the ten available players? Only those inside practice can know for sure. If I was calling the shots though this is how I’d divide the teams:
PG- Andrew Harrison
SG- Dominique Hawkins
SF- Devin Booker
PF- Alex Poythress
C- Karl-Anthony Towns
In this lineup you’ve got your starting point guard, a defensive stopper, an outside threat, some inside/outside muscle on the block, and perhaps the team’s best weapon in KAT. The line-up is a bit undersized in comparison to lineup 2 as they’ll give up several inches at the 2 & 3 spots and some guys will have to play out of the position they may occupy this season. With three potential starters in the lineup they have more than enough firepower to make up for any perceived disadvantages.
PG- Tyler Ulis
SG- Aaron Harrison
SF- Derek Willis
PF- Marcus Lee
C- Dakari Johnson
Want to see a lineup that can put up points in a hurry? Seek no further. Opposing teams would have to contend with Tyler Ulis’ ability to drive and pass all while Mr. Big Shot, Aaron Harrison, waits on the wing. Willis has the opportunity to turn this trip into major playing time during the season if he showcases what he can do and in this lineup he’ll have no shortage of looks. Same for Lee who will be poised to throw home alley-oops from young Mr. Ulis. Dakari? He’s a scoring machine down low. This lineup looks fun on paper but may not have the acumen to dethrone Lineup 1. Still a solid group from top to bottom.
Those are the players I’d pick for my two lineups, so how about you? Divide the 10 players into two teams in the comment section below or just pick the better team of my choices.
By Drew Franklin on ©5:33 pm
CBS college basketball analyst and former KSR guest host Jon Rothstein attended a Kentucky basketball practice today and he has a series of tweets reporting what he saw from the Cats. If we’re to believe Rothstein’s account, the guys have put in a lot of work and they’re already looking good heading into the Bahamas trip next month.
The most interesting note from Rothstein’s report is his projected starting five for Kentucky. He admits it’s not easy to project, but his early prediction is Andrew and Aaron Harrison in the backcourt with Alex Poythress at small forward, Willie Cauley-Stein at center and at power forward, Marcus Lee. Not many people have Marcus Lee in their projected starting lineup for the Cats, but only a few people have seen Lee since last season. (Of course, Trey Lyles is still sidelined with that mysterious leg injury.)
Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis also drew praise from Rothstein; he said both Hawkins and Willis would play major minutes at any other program. He called them “two guys who can play that NO ONE talks about.”
Devin Booker will also push for major minutes as a true freshman, and Karl Towns, he is Channing Frye: “Accurate from deep and extends defenses from the five spot. Major, major talent.”
Rothstein wraps it up by saying Arizona still has the best starting five in college basketball, but “no program has a better 12 than Kentucky. And it’s not even close.”
Check out Rothstein’s timeline for all of the tweets here. Lots of good stuff.
By Drew Franklin on ©4:30 pm
According to the 3,274 Kentuckians who voted in SportsNation’s poll, 71 percent of the state is rooting for LeBron James to win at least one NBA championship in Cleveland. That 71 percent is likely all UK fans hoping LeBron wins next season so the Cavs keep David Blatt. The 29 percent is likely Louisville fans hoping LeBron calls John Calipari next summer to take over the team.
So I’ll ask you, KSR readers. Are you rooting for LeBron to get a ring back home?
I’d like to see him win a couple, beginning with one next season.
By Nick Roush on ©3:45 pm
Hal Mumme Commands His Raid: It just doesn’t get much cooler than this.
Not much time has passed since November 3, 2012 but the Kentucky football program we knew then, isn’t the team we know now. On the day that will live in infamy, Drew Franklin, Matt Jones and I recruited a couple hundred fans (so close to half the stadium) to join Patrick in Section 206 where I led cheers to distract as many people possible from what was happening on the field. Soaked in water and embarrassed, there wasn’t a soul that left the stadium feeling good.
With the flip of a coin from Joker to Stoops, Kentucky football has found its long-lost swagger. A team with a chip on their shoulder has a fan-base hungrier than ever. Before they earn it on the field, the Cats are bringing sexy back, off the field.
1. Three words: Super Bowl Commercial.
2. The Kickoff Playoff; a genius concoction. At a time when we know too much about our basketball team, people that don’t get to interact with them everyday after practice, like myself, don’t get to experience the personalities of our football players. The Kickoff Playoff is opening a door to fan and player interaction in a positive way like never before. It’s not just knowing what Bud Dupree’s favorite song is, it’s watching the players interact with each other and fans on Twitter as they lobby for their own choice. When the final song is selected, it will not only be the players’ choice, but the fans’ choice, uniting Commonwealth Stadium for an electric atmosphere.
3. Blue on the Front, Boom on the Back. Last year’s best all-purpose back will be bring the Big Blue Boom in 2014. It’s a very literal Boom; UK made it official with ‘B. Williams’ on the #18 jersey Randall Cobb made famous.
4. People outside of Kentucky like what they see. To make a little extra dough during the summer, I often find myself working behind the bar of a high end bourbon establishment. Bourbon Trailers often stop in to take a gander at our selection to make sure they’ve tasted and seen as much bourbon as possible on their trip. Last week, a couple from Arkansas came in searching for a bottle of Pappy, but that wasn’t the one that REALLY caught their eye. In the company of beautiful Special Edition Maker’s Mark bottles of Rupp’s Runts, John Calipari, The Unforgettables, and Secretariat, the couple wanted a closer look of the Mark Stoops Maker’s Mark bottle. Stoops’ name is a revered one that is turning into a feared one on the recruiting trail that college football fans cannot ignore.
5. Recruiting losses used to look like this.
Now they look like this:
6. Live Gun Shows from Josh Clemons every Saturday.
7. The final piece of the puzzle: New CWS.
Changing off the field culture is one thing, but changing on-field performance is where the real fun is.
By BrandonRamsey on ©3:00 pm
Much has been made of the 2015 recruiting class. Most “experts” say that there is no real star outside of LSU commit Ben Simmons. Also, Coach Calipari has offered many more scholarships this year than in the past for a couple of reasons; first off we will need to bring in a pretty big class after presumably losing around 5 guys, and secondly with no clear cut stars left in the class it is harder to distinguish a list of top targets. There have been rumblings of even more negative recruiting going on against Kentucky than normal and some have wondered if getting top players like the Harrison twins to return, on top of a good 2014 recruiting class, has scared away some of the top 2015 recruits. However, despite the skepticism that surrounds the ‘Cats developing 2015 recruiting class, I think Coach Cal has a better handle on the class than he is getting credit for.
I generally try to take the 247Sports Crystal Ball ratings with a grain of salt because the predictions being made are just an educated guess at best. Some of the scouts and recruiting analysts have good sources and may have a good feel for what a prospect will do, but others are simply either guessing or piggy-backing off what others do. If we look at the Crystal Ball Predictions, as of this morning, Kentucky would land the #3, #4, and #16 prospects in the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Also, the ‘Cats are tied for the top spot with three other recruits, so just landing one of those would round out another excellent recruiting class.
As the Malik Newman/Diamond Stone package deal rumors start to die down I continue to feel more and more confident we will land the standout guard from Mississippi. Kentucky also appears to be in a very good position for dynamic perimeter player Jaylen Brown and we are locked in a battle with Louisville for electric scorer Antonio Blakeney. If Coach Calipari can land those three prospects, along with commit Charles Matthews, UK will once again have a top recruiting class and the backcourt will be set for the next couple of years.
When it comes to post players in the 2015 class, that is where UK is locked in some big time recruiting battles. Power Forward Carlton Bragg, the #9 prospect in the class, has his Crystal Ball split three ways between Kentucky, Kansas, and Ohio State. Another Power Forward, Cheick Diallo, is split evenly between Kentucky and Kansas as well. Top ranked Center Diamond Stone has Kentucky, UCONN, and Wisconsin all within a few percentage points and Doral Moore’s Crystal Ball shows UK trailing Illinois by just a slight margin. If Coach Calipari can simply get a commitment from one of those four post players it will round out one of the top two recruiting classes in the country.
While Kentucky only has one commitment right now, the “experts”, based on Crystal Ball ratings, have UK in a pretty good spot for a number of top prospects. With all of the good post players that Coach Cal has right now, and assuming that a few return next season, it isn’t as important to land all of the top post targets as it is to get guys like Malik Newman, Antonio Blakeney, and Jaylen Brown.
I can absolutely admit to being spoiled when it comes to recruiting success as a Kentucky fan. I count on Coach Calipari to bring in the very best players every year and have simply come to expect a #1 class. While this 2015 class may not have the marquee players and is developing a little more slowly, the ‘Cats are still in a good position to land a handful of the top prospects.
By Drew Franklin on ©2:00 pm
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!
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.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:45 pm
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.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:00 pm
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.
My final 7 : FSU, Louisville , Mizzou, Kentucky , Oregon , LSU and USC . No order . Thanks to all the other schools who recruited me 🙏!!
— Antonio Blakeney (@blakeney96) July 28, 2014
By Drew Franklin on ©11:20 am
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.
By Drew Franklin on ©10:57 am
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.
By Drew Franklin on ©10:46 am
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.
By Drew Franklin on ©10:12 am
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.
By Drew Franklin on ©9:58 am
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.
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
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