Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
August 27th, 2014

Wednesday Night Notes From The US Open

Hello friends. Drew here, reporting to you live from the cafeteria of the 2014 US Open. As many of you are well aware, Matt and I are here for two weeks to cover the final grand slam tournament of the year for Tennis Channel. I know very little about tennis (that stays between us) but, like my ex-girlfriend, I can fake it so everyone goes home happy. To my credit, I am quickly learning the game, its players, the scene, and how to spend an entire paycheck on overpriced apparel I will never wear, and I should be worth the price of two weeks at the Waldorf by the time the 2025 Open rolls around. This year is still practice.

But you’re not here for tennis talk, I know. That can be found at TheOuterCourts.com where we are posting our usual absurdity for Tennis Channel. Check it out if you have time, or add me on SnapChat and Instagram (drew_franklin) to see what today was like in the photo pit, an area I was eventually removed from after a few fun hours as a fake photographer.

Now on to the UK stuff…

 

Kickoff is days away.

Can you feel it? Can you smell the plastic flasks of bourbon? Can you hear the bass line of ‘Who Run It’ in your mind? Football in the Bluegrass is almost here and Big Blue Nation is excited to see what Mark Stoops’ group has in store for fans in Year 2. Today, Stoops talked UK football on the SEC teleconference, admitting that he has only two positions with depth up to par for the conference. He said, “I would say our D-end spot and our running back spot are two areas where I feel pretty good about. Outside of that, we’re not quite there yet.”

Not quite there, but ready for UT Martin, at least we hope. Defensive coordinator DJ Eliot said after practice, “Everybody’s ready to go. Everybody’s geared up and ready for the game, and we won’t miss a beat.”

“I’m excited to see how fast we’ll play,” he added. “I think that we know the defense better and I’m expecting us to play faster, much faster than we did last year.”

Let’s kick this thing off.

This UT Martin fan needs to chill.

Someone predicts UK will get Damien Harris in the end.

In his 10 Bold College Football Predictions, ESPN’s Jeremy Crabtree predicts Damien Harris will play college football for the University of Kentucky. Crabtree writes, “In the Class of 2014, the must-get in-state recruit for Mark Stoops was defensive tackle Matt Elam. After a battle with Alabama, the Wildcats won out, signing the massive defensive tackle. In 2015, that man is No. 30 overall and No. 1 running back Damien Harris. The former Michigan commitment is considered a heavy lean to Ohio State, but the home-state team continues to plug away and is recruiting Harris the hardest. With Stoops and staff having already proved they can win head to head against Alabama, there’s no reason to think the same won’t happen with Harris — and it will.”

How many of you plan to join us at one of Damien’s high school games this season? A massive turnout will certainly help UK’s chances.

I can’t find a line for Saturday’s game anywhere.

Little help, please? Someone? Anyone?

Kentucky Wildcats TV teased the new football intro video.

Punk, Shane and the hardworking Kentucky Wildcats TV team previewed the video tonight in Commonwealth Stadium. Are you ready to #ChangeTheGame?

UT Martin’s coach hopes Stoops will rest his DEs on Saturday.

Jason Simpson, head coach of the Skyhawks, told Thomas Beisner, “I wish Coach Stoops would give his defensive ends this week off and save them for week two.”

Good try, my man. But that ain’t hapnin.

Anyone out there watch The Strain?

I’ve knocked out all seven episodes of the new FX series since leaving Kentucky on Sunday. It has a silly vampirish plot, something I typically don’t like, but I’m hooked and can’t wait for the next one. Please tell me I’m not the only one.

And for those who have seen it, you understand why watching the first episode on a flight to New York was terrible timing on my part.

2015 power forward down to three schools, Kentucky included.

Henry Ellenson, who received his offer back in July, trimmed his list to three finalists: Kentucky, Michigan State and Marquette. Marquette is the safe bet to win his services because his brother, Wally Ellenson, recently transferred there from Minnesota. Wally will be eligible to play in 2015-16, Henry’s freshman season in college.

Tupac is alive; he was arrested in my hometown.

Of all the places for Tupac to resurface, 18 years after his death, he turns up in Madisonville, Kentucky. In jail…

tupac

It appears he was up to no good in Boyle County before Madisonville’s Finest got him.

College football officially starts tomorrow.

Tonight is your last night of sleep in 2014 without America’s game. Get some shuteye and then join us on KSR Thursday morning for another live show from the Big Apple. (And if you’re in New York, join us Saturday morning at Jack Demsey’s.)

Go Cats.


“We Ask You Wednesdays” Vol. 13

(EHarmony.UK.com)

 

The off-season tends to get a little dull sometimes around the KSR compound, especially as the news ever so slowly trickles in during the months of June, July and August. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes. I’m going to start a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that can hopefully get some of you all involved via Twitter. Most of you all, All of you all, Everyone but my Mom and Dad,Some of you all will 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 COULD PICK A COACHING WARDROBE/ITEM TO BECOME COACH CALIPARI OR COACH STOOPS’ “SIGNATURE” LOOK ON THE SIDELINE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

.

.

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I’m not even sure who I enjoy picturing more with this…. Cal or Stoops. I’m a fan of both adopting this look…

 A lot of you have embraced the whole “Cal is a magician” movement…. Bold. Bold, I say.

I think this would be a fairly natural-looking transition for Stoops…

Putting the “casual” in Business-casual?

I actually really like both of these suggestions… bold, yet just subtle enough to get away with…

The expectations for the attire seem a little lopsided in this one…

Never a fedora. Never a fedora. NEVER A FEDORA! No one should ever, ever wear one…

He has been awfully swaggy lately, but even this might be too far…

I mean, maybe if the hip starts flaring up again…

Or he could go back to the stool look from this past season…

I like it.


Julius Randle says he’s already bought himself a Porsche

Bleacher Report asked a bunch of NBA rookies what they plan to do with their first paycheck. What did Julius Randle and James Young say? Randle admitted that he already bought his dream car, a Porsche Panamera, “all black,” which looks like this in case you’re wondering:

 

Meanwhile, Young said he plans to take care of his mother and grandmother. Aww.

I’ll admit that Russ Smith’s answer made me laugh: “Instead of buying something, I’m gonna try to get something for free because I couldn’t get nothing for free in college.” You do you, Russ.

H/t Anthony Wireman


6 Fun Facts about Dylan Favre

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On Saturday, there will be at least one familiar name on the opposing side: Favre. Dylan Favre, that is, one half UT-Martin’s two-headed quarterback tandem and Brett Favre’s nephew. Other than the fact that he looks old enough to be Brett’s brother, what do we know about him? I spent my afternoon researching the other Fav-re, and came up with these fun facts.

He’s had quite the road to Martin, Tennessee

Dylan was a highly-touted recruit in high school, winning the 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year in Mississippi as a senior at St. Stanislaus. He committed to Mississippi State, sat out his freshman year, and as a redshirt freshman, had 119 yards and one touchdown. Favre left the team for Pearl River Community College in Poplarville, Mississippi, where he threw for 2,204 yards and 16 touchdowns. While at Pearl River…

…He faced off against Za’Darius Smith

That’s back when Za’Darius was playing for East Mississippi Community College. It didn’t end well for Dylan:

He’s still battling junior Jarod Neal for the starting spot

Last season, Neal and Favre split time and combined for 2,610 yards and 18 touchdowns. They’ve been battling for the starting time throughout the spring and fall camp, and it looks like the battle will continue through the first game.

Stoops says he reminds him of his uncle, Brett

On Monday, Stoops was asked if Dylan reminded him of his famous uncle Brett. He said yes:

“He does. He’s a good football player. Split time last year. They’re both good football players. So you could certainly see the talent there. Some of those throws and plays he makes are fun to watch. I just hope I don’t see those next week (laughter).”

Image via Busted Coverage

He’s been in trouble with the law

While at Pearl River Community College in 2012, Favre was pulled over for a traffic stop and cops found “marijuana and paraphernalia-type items” in his car. Whoops. He was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and suspended from the team indefinitely.

He should have been arrested for wearing this shirt

Image via Busted Coverage

That’s not even fabric.

See you Saturday, Dylan.


Hump Day Practice Notes

eliot saaaaay whaaaat

-  Bud Dupree just wants to hit somebody.  Fall camp is tough for many: the early morning workouts, unending team meetings and film sessions, and the unbearable heat to name a few.  The only thing that bothers Bud is that he can’t hit the quarterback, “It’s horrible having quarterbacks in red jerseys and having to stop on the play.”  Bud reminded me of a giddy puppy when he talked about playing at full speed, “It’ll be exciting to go out there and finally hit some people, other than my teammates.”

-  The depth chart is a little deceiving.   In the depth chart released Monday, Bud Dupree was listed as the starting ‘Sam’ linebacker with Jason Hatcher at defensive end.  When DJ Eliot was asked a question about it, the most awkward press moment I had been a part of ensued (see Eliot’s “Say Whaaaat” face above), concluding with Eliot making a definitive statement, “Jason and Bud are defensive ends in the 4-3, then they are outside linebackers in our 3-4 scheme.”

Eliot is still weighing his options at linebacker between Ryan Flannigan and Khalid Henderson.  Eliot sees the depth chart as very fluid, “Every week, everybody is going to have to re-earn their starting job throughout the season.”

-  The defense’s biggest improvement? Toughness.  Measuring toughness is pretty much impossible (unless you’re Jay Bilas and wrote a book about it), but Bud Dupree feels that his defense is much badder than before.  The self-proclaimed Bad Boyz have yet to show it on the field, but AJ Stamps can feel a difference with his teammates, “I think it’s helping us out, giving us a little swagger just to go out there and play freely and do what we do best.”

-  Bud’s advice to the new guys.  There are a TON of guys that have never played in front of a crowd as big as the one that will be there for Saturday’s opener.  As a guy who’s been there before, Bud tells the younger players to relax, have fun, and most importantly, “if you mess up, I tell them ‘mess up at full speed.’  That way if you do mess up, you can still make a play and the coaches might not be as mad as they should be.”


Just a Reminder

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Eli Brown says other schools “dog UK” all the time

Eli Brown

Heading into year two of his tenure, Mark Stoops has the Cats on the map when it comes to recruiting. So much so that other schools are getting worried. UK recruiting guru Vince Marrow has been candid about schools using negative recruiting tactics against Kentucky, saying that the staff will “let our recruiting speak for itself,” but according to UK’s 2015 commitments, negative recruiting is a growing trend.

Justin Rowland interviewed a few of UK’s 2015 commits, and some said that other schools take every opportunity they can to talk down about the Cats. In fact, Eli Brown, the star of the class so far, says he hears the negativity “all the time”: “That’s all you heard from other coaches. They’ll tell you that you won’t win any titles or you won’t do too much there. They dog UK.” CJ Conrad says he hears the same, to the point that it becomes a turn off: “After you hear it so many times it’s like, ‘I get it. Okay, talk about your school now. I’m a smart guy.’” For the record, both Brown and Conrad were recruited by Ohio State. Hmm.

More good stuff where that came from, so go check it out.

[Negative recruiting: Myth or reality?]


Za’Darius Smith is your UK Football program cover boy for Week 1

BwEWPvVIgAIFOr2

Turn up, BBN.


Know Your Wildcat: JD Harmon

Photo by: Matt Hernandez

#11 JD HARMON

Vitals

– Height: 6’2”

– Weight: 201 lbs.

– Class: Redshirt Sophomore

– Experience: 1L

– Position: Cornerback

– Hometown: Paducah, Ky

– High School: Tilghman

How He Got Here

An in-state kid, he made his dream of playing for Kentucky a reality by walking on.  Harmon earned a spot on the team as a true freshman.  His hard work paid off, earning the starting job for the last three games of his freshman season.

2012 Freshman Season

Played in all 12 games as a freshman before being academics forced him to redshirt his sophomore year.  Harmon totaled for 24 tackles, highlighted by an excellent game at Missour where he recorded seven tackles and picked off two passes — the only UK interceptions that season.  He tied for second in pass breakups with four, two of them coming in the game against Kent State.

Something You Didn’t Know About Him

He doesn’t let many people know, but JD’s hidden talent is his lovely singing voice.  Karaoke challenge accepted.

Something We Made Up About Him

Harmon has sang in every talent show his school as put on. Starting in kindergarten at his grade school through his senior year in high school. Harmon is a big fan of old school jazz and has only sang songs by Nat King Cole. His favorite song by Cole is L.O.V.E. because of his favorite movie, The Parent Trap. L is for the way you look at me…

Unfair NFL Comparison

Antonio Cromartie, Arizona Cardinals

Outlook for 2014 Season

After redshirting his sophomore season, Harmon is looking to get back to where he ended his freshman season. Expect Harmon to have a greater impact on the defensive side after sitting out a year and improving his game. Harmon will be playing behind junior cornerback, Fred Tiller but expect Harmon to put up some good numbers as Coach Derrick Ansley’s “big back” option. Harmon’s ability to start as a true freshman walk-on shows how high his ceiling is for improvement. His size and athleticism allows him to be have a great anticipation of the play and ability to breakup the pass.


Willie Cauley-Stein poses with Matthew Bradford on his first day of school

@bionikmatt5

@bionikmatt5

If you’re a regular reader of this site, you know the name Matthew Bradford. Bradford is a Marine who was wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb that cost him both of his legs and his eyesight. He’s a lifelong Kentucky fan and was introduced to the Rupp Arena crowd a few seasons ago. John Calipari was so moved by his story that he invited him into his office and gave him an autographed piece of the 2012 National Championship floor. Bradford also loves KSR and says he listens every day.

Bradford just started a new chapter in his life: college. Check out Bradford posing with Willie Cauley-Stein on his first day of classes at UK. That’s definitely one for the scrapbook.

Best of luck to you, Matthew, and keep listening.


Sporting News’ NFL Mock Draft has Bud Dupree going 28th to the Packers

dupree

It’s not often that we talk about NFL Mock Drafts, but today there’s one worth mentioning. The Sporting News’ Eric Galko released his latest mock draft and has none other than Alvin “Bud” Dupree going 28th to the Green Bay Packers:

28. Alvin Dupree, DE, Kentucky

The Packers have some talent and capable starters on their defensive line, but none have the potential to control the line of scrimmage the way top five-techniques do. The high upside of Dupree could intrigue a team like Green Bay that doesn’t have many gaping holes on either side of the ball.

Earlier this week, Mark Stoops said he would be “very shocked” if Dupree didn’t go in the first round of the draft. It’s forever away and mock drafts are meaningless, but Bud joining Randall Cobb and Tim Masthay in Green Bay is a fun thought.

[The Sporting News]


ESPN app trolls the Cats

@MarkEnnis

@MarkEnnis

Even though he’s a pretty big troll himself, thanks to Mark Ennis for pointing out this act of trollism by the Worldwide Leader in their preview of the ESPN Championship Drive app. It’s safe to say that I won’t be downloading that one.

UPDATE: Keith Stewart points out that if you look at the app in the Google play store, it has Kentucky beating Alabama:

BwEb-ONCQAAJXIf

@sacwoo

Angry Bama fans in 3…2…1…


Charles Matthews slides in the latest Rivals 150

Photo @StRitaAthletics

The latest Rivals 150 is out and UK’s lone commitment in the 2015 class, Charles Matthews, slid 27 spots to #56. Earlier this summer, the shooting guard took a similar slide in Scouts’ rankings from #15 to #48. Why the dip? Rivals’ National Recruiting Analyst Eric Bossi told TJ Walker that while Matthews has all of the physical attributes of an elite player, his production and consistency haven’t been up to par. Matthews has been battling injuries throughout the spring and summer.

Here are the new rankings for all of UK’s 2015 offers:

2. Jaylen Brown
3. Malik Newman
4. Skal Labissiere
5. Diamond Stone
6. Cheick Diallo
7. Ivan Rabb
10. Stephen Zimmerman
13. Antonio Blakeney
14. Carlton Bragg
16. Caleb Swanigan
17. Henry Ellenson
18. Brandon Ingram
41. Derrick Jones
48. Doral Moore

Check out the complete list here.


Archie Goodwin has the most popular Twitter profile in Arkansas

Suns-Archie-Goodwin

Quick: who’s the most popular person in Arkansas? Well, if Twitter is any indication, it’s Archie Goodwin. Buzzfeed put together a list of the 50 Most Popular Twitter profiles by state, and Archie was tops in Arkansas, with 102,000 followers. Burr.

Who has the most popular Twitter feed in Kentucky? Rajon Rondo, with 1.66 million followers. Yes, that’s more than John Calipari, who only has 1.28 million followers. Only.

See all of the states in the video below:

H/t Chris Futrell


Alan Rickman Stars In Dark Tooth Fairy Short – “Dust”

Alan Rickman

Alan Rickman is a treasure in the world of film.  Rickman became a mesmerizing figure from his initial outset in American film in his role as Hans Gruber of “Die Hard”.  Over the the last 26 years, while some of his major roles have been few and far between, he has appeared in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Galaxy Quest, Dogma and Love Actually.  Plus, who can think about any Harry Potter movie without trying to say in their best Alan Rickman voice, “Mr. Potter”?  But, with this video that was found by the good people at UPROXX, and is a Staff Pick from Vimeo, Rickman may have played his darkest role yet.

In the short film “Dust,” Alan Rickman initially appears to be nothing more than the next subject in “To Catch A Predator.”  In the seven-plus minutes of the video, Rickman brings a very dark life to the role that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson could never pull off.  Needless to say, if I was a parent and watched this video, I’d be a bit wary of letting my child put their tooth under the pillow.  With no real dialogue, one scene may and or may not be safe for work.

Yippee Ki Yay Lateral Incisor…