When Mark Stoops woke up yesterday morning, he had zero committed players in his 2017 →
By Drew Franklin on ©July 29th, 2015 @ 1:00pm
It’s that time of the year, Cats fans, when CoachCal.com introduces us to the fresh faces in the basketball program. Today it’s incoming freshman Charles Matthews who was profiled in the summer series, and it appears he’s taking over the “artsy” title Willie Cauley-Stein left behind.
“I like art because people get to express themselves,” Matthews told CoachCal.com. “If you look at a lot of artists, everybody has their own style, their own sense of culture, and all of their art represents them in some ways.”
Matthews won’t be picking up Willie’s sidewalk chalk, but he is a fan of a street artist in his hometown of Chicago. He also enjoys watching Martin (shout-out to Doron Lamb) and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, plus eating steak and listening to Drake. (R.I.P. Meek Mill #BackToBack)
Read more about UK’s first commitment from the 2015 recruiting class in his “Meet The Wildcat” feature on CoachCal.com.
By Drew Franklin on ©July 29th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
Many of you will be happy to know the video boards at Commonwealth Stadium are getting a paint job today. UK Athletics tweeted this photo showing the back of the boards going from dated gray to new blue as part of the ongoing renovation to be completed before the season opener.
I said to be completed before the season opener, right UK???
— Kentucky Athletics (@UKAthletics) July 29, 2015
By Drew Franklin on ©July 29th, 2015 @ 11:02am
Over at Red Bull’s RedBulletin.com, John Wall explains several of his tattoos in the website’s “John Wall’s Body of Work” exclusive. The video clip shows Wall receiving his latest ink: an image of Jesus Christ and Wall walking up a valley of shadows.
“It goes back to my tattoo of Psalm 23:4 saying even though you’re walking through a valley of death you will fear no evil,” said Wall. “So it’s like me walking up a Valley of Shadows.”
Wall’s other tattoos include the words “Momma’s boy” on his right pec; John and his dad on his left pec; and “3 A For Life” on his right shoulder, a tribute to his friendship with DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe, the “three amigos.”
Read more here. Watch the video below.
By Drew Franklin on ©July 29th, 2015 @ 10:30am
After a short stint with the Dallas Mavericks in the Las Vegas Summer League, Darius Miller is going back to Germany to continue his professional basketball career. Miller signed a new one-year deal with Brose Baskets Bamberg, the team he won a German Championship with last season.
The former Wildcat averaged 9.4 points on 47.2 percent three-point shooting in 18 German League games last season. Miller will be making his Euroleague debut with Bamberg in 2015-16.
Lass uns gehen!
By Drew Franklin on ©July 29th, 2015 @ 9:45am
Kennedy’s Fan Shop in Benton will be the home of today’s live broadcast of Kentucky Sports Radio radio. The guys will be in lovely Marshall County to discuss yesterday’s banner day on the recruiting trail, Coach Cal’s latest comments, and Matt’s big news regarding the show.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
Here’s an updated list of tour stops:
July 30: Paducah – Buffalo Wild Wings and IMAC Regeneration of Paducah
July 31: Fancy Farm
August 3: Bowling Green – Chaney’s Dairy Barn
August 4: McKee – Old Courthouse Community Room
August 5: Glasgow – Papa John’s
August 6: Jamestown – Lawless-Smith True Value and Appliance Center (Russell Springs)
August 7: Monticello – Conley Bottom Resort
August 10: Frankfort – Governor’s Mansion
August 11: Maysville – Laurel Oaks Golf Course
August 12: Danville – Sun Tropic Outdoors
August 13: Lexington – All Sports at Fayette Mall
August 14: Louisville
GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com is giving away UK basketball and football tickets at every tour stop this summer. That’s 33 chances to win, and all you have to do is come out to listen to your favorite radio show. That’s so easy even Ryan Lemond could do it!
By Drew Franklin on ©July 29th, 2015 @ 8:00am
Watching baseball still ranks right above watching paint dry and getting waterboarded on the list of things I enjoy doing with my free time, but I must admit, I’m a big fan of Red Sox centerfielder Mookie Betts after last night’s error.
Betts got his glove on a ball struck by Jose Abreu, then hurdled the wall and dropped the ball, resulting in a two-run homer. It’s the type of play that brings some life back to the sport and one I would like to see more often. 99 percent of baseball highlights look the same to me, but this one falls in that one percent, which is why I’m giving it some love this morning.
See for yourself…
Okay. That’s enough baseball for the month.
Kobe Smith to decide today.
Three-star defensive tackle Kobe Smith will decide between Kentucky, Miami and NC State tonight. The former NC State commit is expected to pick the Wildcats, so buckle up for yet another Yahtzee for the UK football program.
The nation’s 44th ranked defensive tackle, Smith committed to NC State back in May and then decommitted while at a Kentucky football camp earlier this month. He will become Mark Stoops’ 21st commitment in the 2016 class before the day is over.
The dice are so hot right now.
Kentucky’s 2017 class is ranked 9th in the country.
After scoring four commits in the span of 24 hours, the 2017 class is ranked in the top 10 nationally. Half of the country’s last six commitments from the class were to the University of Kentucky:
Again, those dice are hot right now. Marrow has the hot hand.
Triple #Yahtzee And we are still rolling.
— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) July 28, 2015
Kash Daniel will graduate high school early and enroll at UK.
Big news from one of UK’s biggest 2016 commits: Kash Daniel announced last night he will graduate from Paintsville early so he can be on campus in Lexington in January. Early enrollees get a huge head start on their fellow freshmen by participating in spring ball, so this is exciting news for a player with high expectations.
Three-star linebacker Brock Miller will announce Thursday.
Will we see SIX Yahtzees this week???? Miller is down to Cal, Kentucky, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, although Kentucky and Virginia Tech stand out among the rest.
Miller is the No. 77 outside linebacker in the class.
Need Kent Bulle to go low in the Kentucky Open today.
I walked with Kent on the hottest day in the history of humanity at the Kentucky Open yesterday and he played pretty well, but can do much better. He tees off at 1:55 pm today and I’ve got him at about a 65 for today’s round. If he can go low, we’re going to be getting rowdy tomorrow afternoon in the final round as he goes for the trophy. Lessssggggoooooooo.
A few spot remaining in next week’s Big Brothers Big Sisters golf scramble.
Speaking of golf, you still have time to sign up to lose to my team in next Thursday’s Big Brothers Big Sisters golf scramble out at Keene Run. There are about 30 of 40 teams registered so you can still get in there if you hurry.
Saul Good will provide lunch at the Golf ‘Fore’ Kids scramble, plus beer all day, hole prizes, a cocktail reception, silent auction, live music and an awards ceremony where you can pick up your second place trophy. Get signed up here.
KSR is in Benton today.
See you in a couple hours, Kennedy’s Fan Shop!
By Drew Franklin on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 11:00pm
When Mark Stoops woke up yesterday morning, he had zero committed players in his 2017 recruiting class. When he goes to bed tonight, he will have four.
In less than 24 hours from Monday to Tuesday evening, Stoops and his staff added a top 20 quarterback and three of the 20 best juniors in the state of Ohio. Today alone he landed three four-star prospects, the same number of four-stars Joker Phillips signed in his three years as a head coach at Kentucky.
That’s real, people. Phillips signed three four-star players in three years. Mark Stoops picked up verbal commitments from three on Tuesday.
It was all a little overwhelming as the Yahtzees came in, so let’s recap what transpired over the last 24 hours. Meet your current 2017 football recruiting class…
Class of 2017
6’2″, 175 lbs.
Jacksonville, Florida (The Bolles School)
247 Composite: 504 | 27 PS-QB
Top247: 382 | 17 PS-QB
Committed to Kentucky 7/27/2015
Jones got the ball rolling with a commitment Monday afternoon, Kentucky’s first of the 2017 class. The Jacksonville, Florida native picked the Wildcats over an offer from East Carolina and early interest from several other schools.
Considered a pro-style quarterback by 247Sports, Jones has the technique and accuracy to potentially be the man one day in Lexington. And if his Twitter is any indication, he has his sights set on being the next Tim Couch. The youngster has already shared at least two photos of the UK great, despite the fact he’s too young to have seen Couch throw a pass.
Maggard’s Take: Technically sound quarterback with a lightening quick release. Mac has already taken up the torch by leading the Class of 17’s recruiting efforts. His influence has led to three commitments. Shannon Dawson has recruited a particular type of QB. Mac Jones perfectly fits that mold. As I watched his film, I also saw a fiery competitor. Mac isn’t backing down to pass rushers or while motivating teammates. I like that.
Class of 2017
5’11″, 175 lbs.
Fremont, Ohio (Fremont Ross)
247 Composite: 392 | 64 WR
Top247: 207 | 33 WR
Committed to Kentucky 7/28/2015
He goes by ‘Russ’ but UK football fans know him as Craig Yeast II, the son of the program’s all-time leading receiver, Craig Yeast. The younger Yeast shows promise at the wide receiver position and hopes to be the contributor his dad was at Kentucky.
Yeast was the first to pick UK, his first offer, on Tuesday’s wild afternoon of Yahtzees. He predicted today’s triple-threat of commitments earlier this month:
— Russ Yeast (@russ_yeast03) June 20, 2015
Maggard’s Take: I like Yeast’s game. He’s an old school athlete that seems to sincerely love football. Russ is not only a legacy player. Yeast is an extremely well coached, accomplished, and diverse athlete that can play on either side of the football. If I’m correct on my assessment, he can actually play both offense and defense much like Charles Woodson did years back. On top of being an elite athlete with ties to the university, Russ is a significant pickup for Mark Stoops. Kid can absolutely play the game.
Class of 2017
5’10″, 185 lbs.
Toledo, Ohio (Central Catholic)
247 Composite: 102 | 9 RB
Top247: 115 | 13 RB
Committed to Kentucky 7/28/2015
Not long after Yeast announced his commitment to UK, Michael Warren, another four-star offensive weapon out of Ohio, joined the club. Warren is one of the top running backs in the entire class and a HUGE pickup by Vince Marrow. He also opened the door for his high school teammate, another four-star talent, to commit to Big Blue. (Scroll down.)
Maggard’s Take: Elite football player that when it’s all said and done, may be Kentucky’s highest rated signee under Mark Stoops. Vince Marrow will have to go to the mattresses to keep him in Blue. For the young’uns, that’s a Godfather reference that means there will be an intense fight for Warren’s services. Michael’s eventual offer list will be college football’s Top 25. I can’t stress just how important it will be to keep Warren committed.
Class of 2017
6’5″, 260 lbs.
Toledo, Ohio (Central Catholic)
247 Composite: 338 | 5 SDE
Top247: 141 | 5 SDE
Committed to Kentucky 7/28/2015
The third commitment of the day and fourth in 24 hours was James Hudson, the aforementioned high school teammate of Michael Warren at Central Catholic in Toledo. He had offers from West Virginia, Toledo and Iowa at the time of his announcement, with interest from the home state Buckeyes.
Though he’s listed as a defensive end, Hudson could make the switch to offense when he arrives on campus. He can play either side of the line with SEC caliber size.
Maggard’s Take: Another Vince to the mattresses player. Expect a fight for the 6’5 271 pounder. Explosive off the line of scrimmage, Hudson will report to college at well over 300 pounds. Shows high level athleticism for his size. Will be a perfect fit at either defensive tackle or situational strong-side defensive end based upon scheme. Next level, elite talent with optimal size and movement. Like his teammate Michael Warren, James’ tape is Nickel. Don’t need to go past 5 plays to see just how special this defender is and can be.
By Courtney Hessler on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 10:30pm
This summer enjoy Wendy’s® new Baconator Fries. Applewood-smoked bacon cooked fresh in our kitchens every day, and melty cheddar cheese, on top of our signature natural-cut fries. Now at a Wendy’s near you.
For a limited time only. Price and participation may vary.
You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:
#10 Shriners Hosp Lex
— Shriners Hosp Lex (@SHClexington) July 28, 2015
#9 Drake Jackson
The future is bright! #BBN 🔵⚪️🔵⚪️
— Drake Jackson (@THE_DRAKE_52) July 28, 2015
Okay. Football buzz is at an all time high now.
#8 I AM BBN
— I AM BBN (@MikeWarren40) July 28, 2015
and even more.
#7 Chet Lemond
@KySportsRadio That's another 1,500 hours of my life gone.
— Chet Lemond (@ChetLemond) July 28, 2015
Well when you put it like that……….
#6 Devin Booker
What is sleep
— Devin Booker (@DevinBook) July 28, 2015
College sounds nice right about now, doesn’t it?
— JimmyFromPippaPasses (@JimmyFromPP) July 28, 2015
Jimmy brings up a solid point. Stoops is showing up Cal a little this week.
@KySportsRadio my six year old has a wet – dry vote every night.
— BackdoorSlider (@BDSlider) July 28, 2015
Ten years from your kid will find this post and be so mad at you.
#3 Bweet Da Dee™
— Bweet Da Dee™ (@TDigital) July 28, 2015
Aw come on. That isn’t very nice. It’s true, but not very nice.
#2 The Caleb Sanders
— The Caleb Sanders (@big_smooth77) July 28, 2015
Can someone please tell me what “Yahtzee wrist” is?
#1 James Hudson III ™
Uh oh Am I next ? 😈🔵⚪️🔵
— James Hudson III ™ (@__BallisLife2) July 28, 2015
You tease. Welcome to BBN!
By Andrew Cassady on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 9:30pm
As football season continues to inch closer and closer (38 days!) the summer debates begin to heat up. Today’s topic? Which position is most important for teams to be successful. That’s what was brought up when Coach Stoops was talking to Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com and here’s what the head man had to say”
“There are two groups,” Stoops told ESPN. “I think we need to continue to develop at wide receiver and have that youth that I was just talking about play to the level that I expect them to. I feel like there’s good talent there, and a lot of the talent is going to be sophomores. If they have the growth I expect, that will be key.
“And if I could piggyback — and I’ve made no bones about it — we need to continue to play better in the secondary, in particular at corner. Part of that is finding guys that can cover one-on-one. That’s where we need to continue to recruit and continue to develop players. We have to be able to hold up outside.”
The wideouts are a crucial cog in the air-raid offense and Patrick Towles finally has some legit depth to target. Ryan Timmons has ranked as the first or second leading receiver in his first two seasons in Lexington in spite of crucial drops and nagging injuries. Garrett Johnson, Dorian Baker, and Blake Bone all enter their sophomore year after each showing flashes of the spectacular during year one. Jeff Badet returns from a freak tennis ball to the eye injury and Alex Montgomery is back from a torn ACL. And you can’t forget new targets like Thaddeus Snodgrass or Jabari Greenwood that have the potential to make a major impact.
Bottom line, Kentucky hasn’t had a receiver total over 600 yards for the year since Randall Cobb and Chris Matthews were on campus back in 2010. Now you have six guys that have a legitimate shot at eclipsing that mark. The offense is going to depend on their ability to make plays so its no wonder Stoops considers them c0-headliners this season. I think with our personnel that shouldn’t be a problem.
The secondary kind of is what it is. While the offense should be much improved the defense is likely to take a step back from last year. The cornerbacks were lucky last season that they had Bud Dupree and Za’Darius rushing opposing quarterbacks and taking the pressure off of them. This year they won’t have that luxury. There is talent all over the defensive side of the ball but there should be plenty of growing pains for guys like Jaleel Hytchye and Jared Tucker.
The best part about all those guys I just named? There’s not one senior among them. That means these guys Stoops calls most-important will be back for next season and beyond.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 7:00pm
Over the weekend, we found out that stadium-wide wifi is NOT one of the new perks at Commonwealth Stadium this fall. Wifi access will only be available for fans in premium seating areas (around 2,000 fans) and those in the press box. The news has caused a bit of a stir this week, and in response, UK posted an update in which they say they do anticipate better cell service in the stadium thanks to new cell towers in the area:
AT&T is in the process of once again enhancing its service surrounding The New CWS and the impact is expected to be noticeable with the permanent installation of cell towers. Verizon is also improving its service with a temporary enhancement. And beginning with the 2016 season, AT&T and Verizon will merge onto the same system.
Well, that’s good for AT&T and Verizon users, I guess. Sprint and T-Mobile, I guess you’re out of luck.
By Courtney Hessler on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 6:30pm
Maybe it’s just me looking at the glass half empty but while trying to decide what to write about today the Rupp upgrade was the only thing that came to mind. Sorry. I am sure by now you are sick of hearing about it.
While I was excited like many of you to hear of the upgrades, part of me was disappointed.
It seems like just yesterday we were excited at the possibility for a complete overhaul of the arena. It was beautiful, remember? The fan experience and overall appearance of the arena would rival any new arena in the country (or state), but the plan was shot down moderately quickly due to poor decisions by its advocates.
Let me say I am excited for the new renovations (RIP Big Bertha), especially the painting (and cleaning) of those ducts. However, it seems like a small victory compared to last year’s expectations. Since I am not a resident of the commonwealth, I can’t help but to wonder if these upgrades are going to be a waste anyways.
If the Rupp renovation was brought up last year it is soon to be brought up again soon for the 30+ year old building, hopefully with a better proposal, once the dust settles. What if it is approved before these upgrades become obsolete? Will millions of dollars of perfectly good electronics be thrown out in five years to make way for a full Rupp renovation?
In my mind the renovation will happen within the next decade. Is it a waste to make these upgrades now with a full revamp on its way? Who knows. I think I will just try to void these thoughts and enjoy being able to tweet from the game. After all, you have to take what you can get when it is offered, right?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 5:36pm
What is in the water today? James Hudson II, a four-star defensive end from Toledo, Ohio, just committed to Kentucky, becoming the third player in the 2017 class to do so today and the fourth since yesterday afternoon.
The 6’5″ 260 lbs. Hudson is teammates with 4-star RB Michael Warren, who committed a few hours ago. He’s considered the 5th best strong-side defensive end in the country and the 7th best prospect in the state of Ohio. Is this real life?
— James Hudson III ™ (@__BallisLife2) July 28, 2015
Hudson held offers from Iowa, Kentucky, Toledo, and West Virginia, along with interest from Ohio State. He and Warren camped at Ohio State last weekend, and Hudson visited UK on June 7.
Three four-star recruits in one day? That’s the same number Joker Phillips had his entire three-year tenure at Kentucky. WOW.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 5:30pm
We’re all big Tod Lanter fans around here, so when I saw that The Sporting News’ CJ Holmes (a walk-on at Auburn from 2012-2014) did a profile of Lanter, I knew I had to share it with you guys. Lanter gave Holmes a bunch of behind-the-scenes stories about his time at Kentucky, confirming that he was brought on to give Alex Poythress an extra push in practice.
“(The coaches) wanted someone that could focus solely on harassing Alex defensively during practice,” Lanter said. “They lacked the depth to assign someone specifically to be physical and consistently keep a body on him.”
Lanter was such a late addition that his shoe order from Nike wasn’t even in by the time Blue/White game rolled around and no one knew who he was. After sinking the free throws to give Blue the win, Lanter said he had 5,000 new Twitter followers and 800 missed text messages. Wow.
There are plenty of more great anecdotes like that one, so click on over to The Sporting News to check it out.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©July 28th, 2015 @ 4:45pm
One of the big storylines for Kentucky fans heading into this NBA season is Julius Randle’s return to the court. Randle injured his leg in a freak accident in his first game with the Los Angeles Lakers last year, and is poised for a big comeback after an impressive showing in the Summer League.
Interestingly, longtime Lakers trainer Gary Vitti says it was Randle’s injury that made him decide to retire after this coming season. Vitti told The Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan that he blames himself for Randle’s injury even though doctors insist nothing was missed prior to Randle’s debut:
“When somebody gets hurt, I blame myself. That’s the Laker way — you’ve got a problem, you go in the bathroom, you look in the mirror, you start with that person,” Vitti said. “The one that really affected me and maybe even affected this decision [to retire] was Julius Randle. All of his doctors and his surgeon are saying that nothing was missed, but the guy goes out there and breaks his leg the first game [last season]. That one really bothered me.”
Here’s to a healthy 2015-2016 season.