Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
September 3rd, 2015

About 200-300 tickets left for Saturday’s game

During his interview with Kentucky Sports Radio radio this morning, Mitch Barnhart announced that only a couple hundred spots remain for Saturday’s game in the New CWS. He said he was told a little earlier today that there were about 200-300 available, and that number has likely gone down since then.

So if you’re still considering going to the game, you may want to get on it before it sells out.

Buy your tickets here and use promo code ALLIN for the discounted price in the upper level.


More lower bowl tickets on sale RIGHT NOW for alumni game

John Calipari announced that he opened up more seats for fans to purchase for the UK Alumni game. There are now 1,000 more lower bowl tickets for sale, plus courtside seating for those who would like to be Spiked out.

Go to to get yours because they will go fast. That game is going to be awesome.

Ticketmaster: UK Alumni Charity Game

Grantland checks in on Kentucky’s historic draft class


Jonathan Abrams over at Bill Simmons’ old place has a fantastic piece of writing about Kentucky’s latest draft class and what the 2014-15 basketball season in Lexington meant to them. Called “These Are the Things That Change Boys to Men,” Abrams has quotes from the new NBA Cats, including this heartbreaker we can all relate to:

“Couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat well, couldn’t drink well,” Towns said of how he felt in the days after their loss to Wisconsin. “I’m never going to let go of that,” added Dakari Johnson.

The article goes on to talk about how each player handled their role in Kentucky’s platoon system, and how it made them become a better player. We also hear from the guys about their new NBA homes and what they expect at the next level.

Check ‘er out.

[Grantland: These Are The Things That Change Boys To Men]

Two more days… (Thursday Show Thread)


We’re getting closer and closer to Saturday and Kentucky Sports Radio has only two morning shows left before we’re there. Today, Matt and Ryan will bring on Mitch Barnhart to talk more about the game, the stadium and what to expect when we get there.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

KSR Affiliate List

WCBL (1290am): Benton
WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WTCO (1450am): Campbellsville
WAIN (1270am): Columbia
WCYN (102.3fm) Cynthiana
WHIR (1230am): Danville
WTHX (101.5fm) Elizabethtown
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
WTUK (105.1fm): Harlan
WHOP (95.3fm): Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060am): Jamestown
WLAP (630am): Lexington
WFTG (1400am): London
WKJK (1080am): Louisville
WFMW (730am): Madisonville
WWXL (1450am): Manchester
WFTM (1240am): Maysville
WKYM (101.7fm): Monticello
WMSK (1550am): Morganfield
WLME (102.7fm):Owensboro
WPAD (1560am): Paducah
WKYH (600am): Paintsville
WLSI (900am) Pikeville
WPRT (960am): Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240am): Somerset
WTCW (920am): Whitesburg
WHAY (98.3fm): Whitley City
WBTH (1400am): Williamson
PRTC TV Channels 209 & 409: Jackson & Owlsey Counties (Replayed at 1 and 6)


WVHI (1330am): Evansville, IN, 5-7pm
WMTL (870am): Leitchfield, 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570am): Morgantown, 3-5pm
WRIL (106.3fm): Middlesboro, Thur 8-10pm
WWTF (1580am): Lexington, 4-6pm

Louisville City FC’s Thursday Morning Wakeup


I attended Louisville City FC’s final home game of the regular season last night, and though it’s hard to cheer for anything Louisville, I had a blast watching the United Soccer League action. The fan base is absolutely nuts — shout-out to the Coopers — and the product on the field was better than I expected. Really a great time all the way around; from the opening march around the stadium to the goal in the final minute right in front of me:

I did have to put up with a little taunting from UofL fans, but there were plenty of Wildcats in the crowd, too. The neutral purple color helps keep both sides of that rivalry together.


Lou City will likely host a playoff game in a couple of weeks and I will 100 percent be there for that. I encourage anyone else in the area to check it out as well — soccer fan or not. It’s a really good time with really good nachos in a rabid atmosphere. Can’t wait to get back there with my new t-shirt and scarf.




College football returns tonight!

Kentucky’s second opponent, South Carolina, will lead off the college football season in a rivalry game with North Carolina at 6:00 pm. Then over on the SEC Network ’round 8:00, Vanderbilt hosts Western Kentucky in a game that favors the Hilltoppers by 2.5 points. Plus the debut of Harbaugh at Michigan, and No. 2 TCU in action, and lots more!


We will learn Ryan Flannigan’s status today.

The training staff will evaluate Flannigan’s shoulder at 1 pm today and then a decision will be made regarding his playing status for Saturday. Kentucky desperately needs him to be available in the already thin and inexperienced group of linebackers. However, if he needs more time to heal, this is the game to sit out. Shoulder injuries are horrible and will likely get worse throughout the season, especially for a position that relies on that shoulder so much.

The Sporting News will release the final two pieces of its five-part series on John Calipari.

Mike DeCourcy over at The Sporting News spent two months on his five-part series on John Calipari. The first three parts were released over the past two days, and this morning we will get the fourth, followed by the fifth and final one this afternoon.

Here’s what you’ve missed if you need to catch up:

John Calipari: The Success
John Calipari: The Salesman
John Calipari: The Target

I’m not sure I’ve spent two weeks on anything, let alone two months. Good for him.

Buy tickets to Saturday’s game dammit.

Go here and use the promo code ALLIN to receive a discount on individual tickets for Saturday’s game. There aren’t many left so hurry up if it’s something you know you want to do. Looks like we’re getting pretty close to a sellout. Anything short of a sellout would’ve been absolutely pitiful.

John Wall has a birthday party coming up.

Here’s his cake:

Wall’s birthday isn’t till Sunday so that may get a little stale before he blows out the candles.

Marques Bolden arrived in Lexington last night.

He dropped a pin on Twitter to let us know he made it to Kentucky.

Today he’ll get the whole VIP experience of the official visit to the University of Kentucky.

Listen to the KSR UK Football podcast.

In case you missed it yesterday, you can get the second podcast from the KSR football crew here.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: High/Low Point of UK Football in Your Lifetime?


I have no idea how to predict this UK football season.  I could see reasonable scenarios where UK wins 4 games and where UK wins 8 games.  But I have this gut feeling we are going to have 1 or 2 monumental moments in UK football.  The talent is there are ready to go.  Mark Stoops is in Year 3, which is often the year coaches have their breakouts.  We have a 2nd year QB that showed flashes of brilliance last year.  And the schedule sets up pretty nicely for some chances at big moments.  It got me thinking about my lifetime, which started in 1985.  What have been the high points and low points for UK football in my life?  Below I put my winners plus a few extra that I considered.

I want to know in your lifetime what the highest point of UK football was and the lowest point.  See if they match up to my list:


Winner: Kentucky 43, LSU 37 (3ot, 2007)
-It is quite possible that Kentucky will never beat a #1 team again in your or mine’s lifetime.  And not only did UK beat them but did so in quite dramatic fashion.  And what’s makes this the high point?  Because that LSU team would go on to win the national title.  It wasn’t the most surprising win in UK history.  It’s wasn’t the most dominating.  But I think in my lifetime, it is clearly the best team that UK has beaten.

Also In The Running

Kentucky 68, Louisville 34 (1998)
-The most fun I’ve ever had watching a game.  Tim Couch at his absolute best.  Hal Mumme-ball at it’s absolute best.  And all against the main rival on their home field at the opening of their stadium.  I strongly considered this to win for me but just misses out.

Penn State 26, Kentucky 14 (Outback Bowl, 1998)
-I know I will get blowback for putting a loss on this list but to consider UK in a New Year’s Day Bowl just 4 years removed from 1-10 was a monumental moment in program history.  Then the Cats played a highly competitive game against a national power like Penn State.  We thought this would turn into bigger and better things for UK but they have never gotten back to such a game.

Kentucky 35, Florida State 28 (Music City Bowl, 2007)
-That was not the best Seminole team in the world.  But just the symbolism of UK beating a program like Florida State was historic.  FSU had been in the national title game just 6 years earlier.  It also wrapped up the careers of Andre Woodson, Keenan Burton, and Jacob Tamme.

Kentucky 10, Tennessee 7 (2011)
-That was the end of a bad season for UK.  But to end that streak against the Vols in the way UK did, with a wide receiver playing QB, makes this a high point in my lifetime.  Matt Roark will always have a legendary status with many UK fans.  And it actually kept fans off Joker Phillips back for a short time.


Winner: Florida 73, Kentucky 7 (1994)
-Here’s what crazy, Bill Curry was in Year 5 of his tenure at UK, had been to just 1 bowl game and ended up going 1-10 that season.  AND HE WASN’T FIRED.  This had to be the worst a UK team has ever looked on a football field in my lifetime.  And embarrassment on all levels.

Also In The Running

Kentucky 3, Indiana 0 (1996)
-Can a win actually be a low point?  Well, for those who attended this game I think they would argue yes.  This was the era of Bill Curry in a nutshell.

Ohio 28, Kentucky 16 (2004)
-The low point of the Rich Brooks era.  Probation is largely to blame for this loss, but even still, UK should never lose by double digits to a MAC team at Commonwealth.  I think many began to question Brooks following this loss.  Good think Mitch didn’t listen.

Western Kentucky 35, Kentucky 26 (2013)
-Mark Stoops will always be credited with this loss but the reality is this was the program that Joker built.  Getting absolutely dominated by a non-BCS in-state team on opening weekend.  Having attended that game, was probably the worst talent that UK has ever put on a field.

September 2nd, 2015

Midweek Predictions For Saturday


We’re exactly 71 hours away from Kentucky football’s first game of the 2015 season and its first in the New Commonwealth Stadium. The talking season has lasted entirely too long and it’s almost time to shut up and play –or in our case, watch– football.

But, unfortunately, we still have a few more days before the ball is kicked off and the helmets collide under the lights Saturday evening. So as we suffer a little longer through the wait, bear with me as we talk a little more about what’s ahead.

Below you’ll find my predictions, next to an empty box for you to check off as they happen on Saturday.


Patrick Towles will throw for 350 yards.

Towles will have a field day throwing against the Ragin’ Cajun defense that ranked 105th in passing yards allowed last season at over 260 per game. The secondary is a year older now so it should be improved, but with the recent news that starting corner Simeon Thomas will miss the game, it will still have its hands full containing a loaded UK receiving corps and a more accurate and confident Towles.

CJ Conrad will catch a touchdown pass.

It will be his first of many this season.

Sihiem King will return a kick for a touchdown.

A Wildcat hasn’t returned a kickoff for a score since 2009, when Derrick Locke took one 100 yards to the house against Louisville. That’s six years without a kick return TD, the longest drought in the Southeastern Conference. It’s been five years since UK returned a punt for a score, also the longest drought in the SEC.

King will show off his explosiveness in his college debut with a touchdown on a kickoff, thus ending the long streak and getting that monkey off Kentucky’s back early in the season.

 Boom Williams will do Boom Williams things.

I don’t know what he will do, but there will be a play or two or three when Boom has the ball in his hands and something special happens — one of those moments where you turn to your neighbor and you each give that wide-eyed look of disbelief, acknowledging Boom is the real deal. You know the look I’m talking about. You’ll do it a couple times Saturday, followed by a high-five if you’re the high-fiving type.

 Kentucky’s linebackers will struggle containing Elijah McGuire outside.

McGuire is a threat in the rushing and passing game, so Kentucky’s inexperienced linebackers and ends may get torched a couple times. Josh Forrest is the one reliable piece in the middle; everyone else will need to step up and play well to contain Louisiana-Lafayette’s star back.

 The new roundabouts on Alumni Drive will be dangerous after the game.

People leaving the stadium after a long day of tailgating, mixed with a new roundabout in place of a four-way stop? That’s a dangerous combination. Be careful out there, Cats fans.

 Some fans will bitch about the stadium.

Look, it’s not going to be completely ready. We’ve know that for some time now. Hopefully, the majority of fans will go into the game with an understanding there is still a little work to be done, and they’ll appreciate what they see and enjoy the game being played on the gorgeous new field in front of them.

However, not everyone is a team player, so we’ll undoubtedly here whining from some people. Don’t be one of those people. Suck it up and tough it out as best as you can. You will survive. I promise.

check Kentucky Joe will annoy the hell out of everyone he encounters.

Went ahead and checked that one off for ya. It’s like the free space in Bingo.

Joe will be all over the place, singing and talking to anyone in sight.

 Matthew Mitchell and the Go Big Blue Band will sing Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone.”

Coach Mitchell is breaking out the Kelly Clarkson when he performs on stage prior to the game, no doubt. The only mystery is which Kelly Clarkson song he will sing, and how many? I’m setting “Since You’ve Been Gone” as the favorite, followed by “Stronger,””Behind These Hazel Eyes,” and “Already Gone.”

(Yes, I had to Google ‘Kelly Clarkson songs.’)

  Ryan Lemond will say something dumb on KSR.

It’s been too long since we’ve let Ryan run wild around Commonwealth Stadium with a microphone on the KSR pregame show. He’s due a good, idiotic comment at some point on the two-hour broadcast. If not a comment, he’ll pop a player or coach in the mouth with the mic while trying to get comments during the Cat Walk.

check  It will be a sellout.

And if it’s not a sellout, UK will call it a sellout. Either way, sellout. Let’s go ahead and check that one, too.

 Kentucky will cover the spread.

The Cats are currently a 17-point favorite, and if I were a gambling man, I’d take that bet. The Cajuns’ four consecutive nine-win seasons don’t scare me one bit. Sure, they’re a good Sun Belt team, but I think Kentucky is much improved from a year ago and ready to hit someone in the mouth. ULL is that someone.

Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

Spicy Chicken

You know you’re thinking of a Wendy’s ® Spicy Chicken Sandwich. The spicy goodness of the all white meat chicken lightly breaded with a unique blend of eight peppers and spices, topped with crisp lettuce, delicious fresh tomato and creamy mayonnaise, all on a soft toasted bun. The only way to get it out of your head is to get it in your hands.

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 Kief Whitley

Don’t test him. You know he will.



#9 Matthew Mahone




#8 EJ Floreal

Oh snap.



#7 Marina Squerciati

Can we please make this girl the Y, Mitch?



#6 BradDoubleU




#5 Alan Shepherd

That’s it. I am starting a crowd fund.



#4 Todd Probus

Kentucky is better than the Avengers. Bold statement. I know.



#3 DJ BüRadli

Safety is sexy.Kentucky knows that.



#2 Josh McCoy

You can tell how mature I am by how high this is.



#1 Bryan the Intern

Oh snap. KSR fight……

Uncertainties are Plentiful for Louisiana-Lafayette

The superstar the Cats must stop, Elijah McGuire. (Brad Kemp |

Brad Kemp |

The Cats aren’t opening with a bunny.  The Ragin’ Cajuns have won four straight New Orleans Bowls, posting nine-win seasons each year.  But this team is much different than the ones in the past.

Head coach Mark Hudsbeth almost left for greener pastures because there were so many uncertainties.  We aren’t the only ones saying it.  The New Orleans newspaper, The Times-Picayune, broke down all of their question marks.

The biggest one is at quarterback.  Dynamic quarterback Terrance Broadway has moved on after winning the MVP of last year’s New Orleans Bowl.  Hudsbeth has three options: redshirt freshman Jordan Davis, junior Jalen Nixon, and junior Brooks Haack, the favorite that received some playing time last year as the #2.  We won’t know who will take the first snaps until Saturday.

It’s certainly not the only question mark for the Cajuns. Several key defensive players from last year’s squad have used up their eligibility along with a couple of veteran offensive linemen.

On top of that, Hudsbeth has a essentially a brand new defensive coaching staff, with co-defensive coordinators Melvin Smith and Charlie Harbison at the helm.  Their defense struggled last year, ranked 85th in total defense while allowing nearly 425 yards of offense a game.

The Cats should make mince-meat out of the unproven and questionable defense.  The UK passing defense has a lot to prove, but won’t be challenged through the air.

The only area for UK will have to worry about is stopping running back Elijah McGuire.  I believe it will be UK’s strength on the defense.  If they stuff the run, I’ll be much more optimistic about the Cats’ chances of pulling of an upset at South Carolina.


The Cats are a 17-Point Favorite

My favorite Ragin’ Cajun, Christina Hamilton. 

With college football starting tomorrow night, a lot more money is about to change hands in Vegas.  You should do your part by getting the Cats -17 from Bovada.  Easy money.

There aren’t many handouts that are as good as this one, except maybe WKU as a 2-point favorite over Vandy.  I don’t care if they’re an SEC team at home, the Tops are going to score 50 points on ’em.

You can check out the full spread here.

The Alumni Game will be Televised



This UK/UNC Alumni game is getting so good, it’s almost too good to be true.  With stacked rosters on both sides, the four-letter network could not resist.  The September 13th alumni showdown will be nationally televised on ESPNU. 

Even though it will be on the tube, it’s hard to resist watching this historic event in person.  Click here for tickets, and check out the rosters below.


  • Demarcus Cousins
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Brandon Knight
  • Patrick Patterson
  • Karl Towns
  • Devin Booker
  • Trey Lyles
  • Willie Cauley-Stein
  • Anthony Davis (will be there, but we’re unsure if he’ll actually play)

North Carolina

  • Harrison Barnes
  • Danny Green
  • Rasheed Wallace
  • John Henson

Hump Day Practice Notes


After a much improved practice today, OC Shannon Dawson met with the media to preview Saturday’s season opener.

Dawson on deciding tempo of the game

When asked on how he decides when to go up-tempo or slow down, Dawson answered, “it’s just a guess.” If things are going well for the offense, they are going to stick with that tempo. If things are not going well, Dawson will change it by either speeding it or slowing it down.

“So there’s three or four tempos that we use, and typically, in my mind if things are going good, I try to stay with what we’re doing,” Dawson said.

Patrick Towles has the power to veto plays

Shannon Dawson has repeatedly said that if his quarterback does not like a play, he can veto it. As we become closer to kickoff, there have been some plays that Towles has not felt comfortable with that Dawson is okay with not using.

“There’s always going to be something that we have in that based on the looks we think we’re going to get that he doesn’t feel comfortable with. So that’s not unusual,” Dawson said.

Towles said that Dawson’s trust in him to pick and chose plays gives him a surge of confidence.

On ULL’s defense

Shannon Dawson grew up around South Louisiana, so he knows what kind of team Lafayette has. “They’re going to be athletic, they’re going to be physical, they’re going to have an edge to them, they’re going to play hard, they’re used to winning,” Dawson said.

However, being the first game of the season for each team there is going to be a lot of unknown factors. With so many unknowns, Dawson game plan is just sticking with what his offense does well. The beginning of the game is going to be a feeling-out process to figure out what ULL is doing schematically on the defensive side.

On whether or not Drew Barker will see playing time

The coaching staff really wants to give Barker some playing time, but it is going to depend on how the game is going.

“If it’s a situation where it’s possession by possession, I can’t tell you that that’s going to happen. I would love to do it. I absolutely would. He’s been playing great and he deserves it, no doubt. Ultimately, we have to win the game,” Dawson said.

Towles “sneaks” into Commonwealth Stadium at night

Patrick Towles told the media that he likes to “sneak” into the newly renovated stadium alone for the peacefulness. Towles said he will sneak into CWS a couple more times just to take it all in before everything starts on Saturday.

Towles said that he has most improved in his decision-making since last season. Towles feels he is “extremely prepared” when it comes to defenses surprising him.

Boom Williams is 100% ready to go

Kentucky’s number one back is feeling the best he has ever felt going into a season. Williams said that he felt 100% after the night practice the team had last weekend. Despite missing some fall camp due to injury, Williams feels confident and is ready for Saturday. When game time comes, Williams won’t be thinking about his injury but just on the game its self.


Is it Saturday yet?


Watch Mitch Barnhart talk about the stadium in today’s press conference

Decision on Flannigan coming tomorrow

 Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

It looks like we’re going to have to wait one more day until we find out if senior linebacker Ryan Flannigan will play on Saturday. A UK spokesman told reporters after practice today that Stoops will address Flannigan’s status tomorrow, and there was no word on if he was able to practice today after injuring his shoulder early on in fall camp.

And so, we wait. Kindsey will be by in a bit with Dawson’s full remarks.

Scouting Report: Kentucky vs. Louisiana

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Commonwealth Stadium will host a football game on September 5. There, we got that out of the way. To what extent the renovations will be completed is out of our hands. Let’s talk football shall we? Here are seven factors that ensure a Wildcat victory:

1. Patrick Towles completes 65% of his passes

As prior posted on KSR, Towles’ completion percentage must rise and his number of intentional rushing attempts have to fall. In this game, moving the chains is paramount. So is scoring early points. By efficient, accurate, and timely passing, Kentucky will be able to take advantage of a Louisiana defense that was ranked 85th in 2014. In searching for this opponent’s defensive weakness, pass defense jumps out both in terms of statistics and personnel.

2. Josh Forrest’s inside linebacker partner has 8 or more tackles

This position concerns. If Ryan Flannigan is unable to play, who will step up? Khalid Henderson, Nico Firios, and Eli Brown are all listed as on the two deep depth chart. One or a combination thereof will be called upon to make on-the-line of scrimmage tackles against a very good running back. Not an easy task. Josh Forrest will need inside help. An unproductive running mate will make for a long day for Josh and possibly for the Wildcat defense.

3. Louisiana RB Elijah McGuire has zero explosive plays of twenty five yards or more

All UK media will be writing about Louisiana’s Elijah McGuire this week. I’ve obsessed over him all summer probably to the point of you’re getting kind of tired of reading his name. Sorry, he’s that good. Mark Stoops described him as elite, especially in explosive plays of twenty or more yards. UK will not shut down a RB of this caliber. However, by containing his initial burst through the line of scrimmage and by fundamentally covering his down field pass routes are both non-negotiables. The McGuire-Forrest matchup intrigues and will surely lead to some nasty on-the-field collisions.

4. Kentucky scores 28 first half points

This factor also deals with McGuire. By scoring early and often, Louisiana will be forced to play catchup. This will take the visitors out of their comfort zone. The Ragin Cajuns’ starting quarterback won’t be named until its opening offensive drive. What we do know is that it won’t be the graduated All-Conference player Terrance Broadway. Most likely, Brooks Haack will be under center. Kentucky’s chances exponentially increase by forcing the visitors to place the game on his shoulders. ULL is not built to score points in bunches or through the air. A close or touchdown or less first half Kentucky lead will most likely indicate that the game will go the distance.

5. Kentucky sack total exceeds four

With linebacker issues, DJ Eliot will creatively blitz the inexperienced Louisiana quarterback. UK’s increase at the safety position will lead to the opposing quarterback holding the football longer while in the pocket. Stoops and Eliot will throw the kitchen sink at the ULL QB. Kentucky’s young but talented pass rushers could potentially have a field day.

6. UK scores a defensive touchdown or by kick/punt return

Kentucky’s punt and kickoff return has been inexistent. 2009/2010 are the last returns for touchdown. Rookie Sihiem King and veteran Ryan Timmons will have their chances against a suspect Louisiana special teams unit that surrendered big plays in 14. Defensively, creative blitz packages will force errant throws. Taking advantage of an untested quarterback could lead to a pick six. Expect to see this in the fourth quarter.

7. Wildcat rush total exceeds 150 yards

Shannon Dawson’s emphasized the physical run game from the moment he walked off the plane in Lexington. Saturday’s opener is a perfect time to test this theory given that Louisiana lost its top two defensive linemen to graduation. However, it is strong at linebacker especially in Arkansas transfer Otha Peters and Dominque Trovell.


Louisiana won’t be scared or intimidated. Head Coach Mark Hudspeth is a motivational machine and has led a Ragin Cajun resurgence to relevancy. Kentucky is the more talented team, but not by as much as you might think. Don’t let the logo fool you, Louisiana has won nine games in four consecutive years. It will put up a fight and is fully expecting to beat Kentucky in its newly renovated stadium.