Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
April 16th, 2014

Richard Pitino Being Considered by Tennessee

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Photo by USA Today

Please make this happen…PLEASE! Jeff Goodman reports tonight that Richard Pitino is in the mix for the job with Tennessee and is in talks with the school. Pitino has only been at Minnesota for one year, won the NIT with Tubby’s players and now could be considered to come coach the Big Orange. The Vols apparently have a couple of other contenders (including former Morehead State coach Donnie Tyndall), but they like Little Ricky and are considering bringing him in.

All I can say (repeatedly) is PLEASE LET THIS HAPPEN…Richard looks like he could be a good coach, but considering all the comedy that a second Pitino at a UK rival could bring, KSR is willing to even chip in money to make this happen. Plus, how much fun would it be to see Calipari beat up regularly on another Pitino as we watch the sour faces of a family that simply cant defeat their arch nemesis.

Let me start the chant…”RICKY TO ROCKY TOP, RICKY TO ROCKY TOP!”


Kentucky taking another look at Devonta Pollard?

Remember Devonta Pollard? Two years ago, Kentucky recruited Pollard, a five-star small forward, but he chose to sign with Alabama. A year ago, Pollard’s mother, Jessie Mae Brown Pollard, was arrested and charged with kidnapping a six-year-old child. Although his involvement was peripheral, Pollard himself was charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and transferred to East Mississippi Community College. After a long, hard year in which he had to testify against his mother to avoid prosecution, Pollard is trying to start anew. One of the schools interested is Kentucky. From The Clarion-Ledger:

Missouri, Kentucky and Troy are three schools after the talented forward, but Pollard hasn’t set up visits with any schools. White says he met with Pollard last week and talked recruiting, but that it’s anyone’s guess to where he ends up. 

At Alabama, Pollard struggled, only averaging 3.9 points and 3.1 rebounds. At EMCC, he averaged 12 points and 6.4 rebounds a game, while shooting 59% from the field. His game needs work, but the potential is there. As the roster continues to shake out over the next few weeks, this may be something to keep an eye on. Pollard has until May 21st to decide.


Calipari going to the Bobcats/Bulls game tonight

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Photo @TuckerMax

Where in the world is John Calipari? Charlotte, North Carolina to see the Bobcats play the Chicago Bulls. Tucker Max posted this pic of himself and Cal on a private jet headed to the game, a prize Tucker won in the Calipari Fantasy Camp.

Does this mean we’ll get a MKG/Derrick Rose/Cal picture later tonight? There’s no way it tops the absurdity of this one.


WCS Costume of the Day wants an update on the lack of NBA decision updates

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We usually refrain from posting kid pictures on here (no offense to your children, we love them, but if we do, we’ll have more kid pictures in our inboxes than your aunt/sister/grandmother/college BFF’s Facebook account combined), but this Willie Cauley-Stein costume was too good to pass up. Well done, girl. Now you just need a motorized scooter.

As another day slowly creeps by without any updates on the players’ decisions, Matt’s had his ear to the ground, and is hearing that aside from one player, most of the NBA decisions will likely come next week. So yes, more waiting. More torture. Hopefully some cryptic tweets to overanalyze.

Miss today’s show? It was a good one. Matt and Ryan were at the new Sleep Outfitters in Louisville and talked a lot about the draft decisions and the news that Jalen Whitlow is transferring. They also spoke to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, who has agreed to take part in a debate about the Rupp Arena renovation funding drama, along with Senate President Robert Stivers and Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo. We’ve got a call into Governor Steve Beshear, who will hopefully complete the roundtable. Listen in to hear all the latest on the dealings.

LISTEN TO KENTUCKY SPORTS RADIO


Alex, Willie, and the motorized scooter

I don’t have any major draft updates for you, but I do have this video of Alex Poythress riding Willie Cauley-Stein’s motorized scooter through around Wildcat Coal Lodge. As we told you earlier in the week, Willie had surgery and now uses the scooter to get around campus. And apparently make Vine videos in the Lodge, which we totally approve of.


John Calipari on what motivates his players

Getty Images Julius Mays

Getty Images

By now, you surely know that John Calipari’s new book, “Players First,” is in bookstores. You can order the book online here, or buy it during one of Cal’s book-signing events across the state. CoachCal.com is releasing excerpts from the books over the next few days, beginning with this one on the “Players First” motto Cal adopted when he came to UK, and what motivates his players. Here’s just a snippet of it:

I ask the young men entrusted to me to dig deep within and explore what motivates them. “What is your ‘why?’ ” I ask them. “Why are you playing basketball for the University of Kentucky, and what do you hope to achieve?”

A lot of them tell me their “why” is that they want to take care of their families. That means different things to different kids. Not every one of them is headed to the NBA. Julius Mays, a steadying influence on our turbulent 2012–13 team, memorably said, in front of all his teammates, “I’m my mother’s only son, and I’m not going to fail.” Other players tell me, “I’m going to take care of my mom and my grandma because they’ve been through so much for me. I’m going give them the world once I make it to the league, because I promised them that.”

That makes me love Julius Mays even more. To read the full excerpt, head on over to CoachCal.com.


Chad Ford says the Harrison Twins haven’t been getting the feedback they’d like from agents

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(Darrell Bird | Catpause)

It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for Chad Ford’s latest NBA Insider chat on ESPN.com. Because there’s little else on the minds of the BBN, Ford was asked several times about Kentucky players’ draft decisions, and had some mixed news to report. Ford says that the Harrison Twins have been talking to agents to see where their stock stands, but haven’t been receiving the feedback they’d like, which “might push them to come back”:

As for the Harrison twins, they’ve wanted to go to the NBA all season. I know they’ve been talking to agents and trying to figure things out. The challenge for them is that the feedback from the NBA hasn’t been what they want to hear — even with their strong play in the tournament. If they want guarantees they are first round picks, not sure either will get it. So … it might push them to come back. I think they could really help their stock if they played one more year in Lexington.

Ford added that he believes Julius Randle and James Young are likely to leave for the draft, while Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson will likely stay, although he wonders if Willie’s decision to come back may “push Johnson out,” especially with Karl Towns coming in.

Read the entire chat transcript here.


Calipari had lunch with President Clinton today

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Photo @UKCoachCalipari

What did you do for lunch today? Odds are you didn’t dine with a former President. John Calipari just tweeted that he had a two-hour lunch with President Bill Clinton this afternoon, and thanked him for his support on his new book, “Players First.” President Clinton wrote an endorsement of the book, which he called “terrific,” and said it’s a good example of why he’s long admired Cal’s leadership style.

Now we just need to get Clinton down for a game.


Wednesday Practice Wasn’t All Bad News

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-  It’s hard to call losing your most experienced quarterback a positive, but today the coaching staff took their first step in deciding who will be the starting Quarterback.  Whitlow’s decision to leave caught many off guard, especially after Mark Stoops said on KSR last week that Whitlow would be the starter if the Cats were starting the season today.

Even though it’s straight from the horse’s mouth, I never got the feeling from the coaches that it was Whitlow’s race to lose, rather he was their option if they wanted a running quarterback.  Neal Brown was adamant that it was not a slight against Jalen’s progress, the other three were just playing exceptionally well.  Saturday’s scrimmage wasn’t the only deciding factor, but the three pocket passers proved themselves on the bigger stage.

Whitlow has always been option 1A at quarterback, dating back to high school and throughout his time at UK.  I respect Whitlow’s decision; he wants to be THE guy and that did not work at UK.  Best of luck young fella.

-  There was also some bad news in the recruiting front when 3-star safety Marcus Walker reopened his recruitment.  To counter the negative, 4-star Ohio tight end C.J. Conrad paid a visit to campus today.  Conrad has been a top priority for the Cats, with Kentucky as one of the first schools to heavily pursue the big tight end.  The Cats are competing against Arkansas, Ohio State and other Ohio MAC schools for the tight end’s services.  

-  The NCAA has started to listen to complaints, announcing yesterday that athletes will now be able to receive unlimited meals with their scholarship.  It’s a step that Stoops thought was necessary, especially considering how big of a role nutrition plays in High Performance training.  ”I don’t have all of the answers, but I support whatever we can do to make their life a little more comfortable.”

Shabazz Napier’s remarks about going hungry did not come to a surprise to coach Stoops.

“I definitely think there’s times when those guys struggle,” Stoops said.  ”There are defeintely times when kids go through some tough situations.  I don’t think a lot of people realize through all of the time we’ve been in this, you could see players that feel such an obligation to send their (food) money home so there little baby brother or sister isn’t starving too.”

-  For some news straight from the field, I spoke with Thaddeus Snodgrass about his transition from high school to the SEC.  Coming from a triple option school, the change to a no-huddle offense hasn’t been the easiest for Snodgrass, “I think it’s even bigger (a transition) because I didn’t think it was going to be this fast and this physical.  Every practice is like playing a game in a high school, so it’s making me more physical.”  Even though there’s been a big jump, Snodgrass has greatly benefited from seeing many high quality reps with the first and second groups.  


Ohio State transfer granted release, will visit Kentucky

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The football news wasn’t all bad today. As first reported by Justin Rowland and later confirmed by 247 Sports’ Josh Edwards, Ohio State redshirt freshman safety Jayme Thompson has been granted his release from the Buckeyes and will visit Kentucky for the Spring Game on April 26.

Thompson, 6’2″, 185 lbs., was considered the 12th best safety in the 2013 class by 247 Sports Composite, and picked Ohio State over Louisville, Missouri, Vandy, Michigan, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and others. He’ll likely have to sit out a year, but if he picks the Cats, that’s huge news for an area that still needs help.


Watch Calipari on “Morning Joe” and “Squawk Box”

John Calipari’s national book tour wrapped up this morning with appearances on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” In case you’re in Calipari withdrawal after yesterday’s whirlwind tour, enjoy the clips above and below, in which Cal applauds the NCAA for finally approving unlimited meals and snacks, and lobbies for additional pay for players in the form of stipends.


3-star safety Marcus Walker decommits from Kentucky

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On Monday, Kentucky lost their first 2015 commitment in four-star DB Montrell Custis, who flipped his commitment to Alabama. Now, they’ve lost another in 3-star safety Marcus Walker, who opened up his recruitment this morning. Walker made this statement via Twitter:

“I just open up my recruitment. I need more time to think things through. After talking to my mom and family it’s better to wait it’s to much pressure on me. Kentucky is still at the number 1 spot of my list.”

Walker is also being recruited by Georgia, and has offers from Florida, Ole Miss, UCF, South Florida, and others.


Stoops says Whitlow’s decision to transfer comes after they asked him to switch positions

(Photo by Jim Brown. USA Today Sports)

(Photo by Jim Brown. USA Today Sports)

During his press conference this morning, Mark Stoops said he was “disappointed” by quarterback Jalen Whitlow’s decision to transfer from UK, but said that it came after the staff asked him yesterday if he’d be open to changing positions. Stoops said he broke down the quarterback situation with Jalen, and then asked him if he would switch to wide receiver. Jalen told him last night that he had decided it was in his best interest to transfer elsewhere to play quarterback, because, according to Stoops, that’s where his heart is.

Just last week, Stoops told us on KSR that if the season ended that day, Whitlow would be the starter. Reading between the lines, it seems they told Jalen yesterday that they’re moving in a different direction, perhaps to Drew Barker, who had an impressive scrimmage on Saturday. Patrick Towles has also shown a lot of improvement this spring, with Reese Phillips presumably in third, followed by Maxwell Smith, who is sitting out the spring to recover from shoulder surgery.

Best of luck to Jalen. Nick Roush will be by in a little bit with a full recap.


Jalen Whitlow to transfer from Kentucky

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BREAKING NEWS: Jalen Whitlow has decided to transfer from Kentucky. UK announced the news this morning via press release at spring practice. Whitlow started eight games for the Cats last season. Here are Mark Stoops’ and Jalen’s comments about his transfer:

Stoops:  “We respect Jalen and his decision as we want the best for him. I thank Jalen for his contributions to the team. I want everyone to understand how hard he has worked and the effort he has given since our staff has been here.”

Whitlow: “I appreciate the University of Kentucky and what the coaching staff and administration have done for me. I also thank the community and the fan support I have received here. I wish the coaches and my teammates the best of luck.”

Jalen will finish the spring semester at UK. Patrick Towles, Reese Phillips, Drew Barker, and Maxwell Smith (recovering from shoulder surgery) will now compete for the starting quarterback position.

We’ll have more information as soon as we know it.


Sam Malone takes another shot at Jeff Goodman

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Sam Malone is quickly becoming one of my favorite players on Twitter. He’s always been funny, but lately, he’s been downright snarky with Jeff Goodman, the BBN’s favorite national media member (ha!). A few weeks ago, Goodman ranked all of the players in the Final Four, “even Sam Malone!”, he tweeted, and Malone responded, “Still wouldn’t pay $40 a year for Insider.” +1 Malone, right?

This morning, as a response to Thomas Beisner about waiting for the players to announce their decision, Goodman tweeted “I think @SamMaloneuk13 should make an announcement today.” Once again, Malone couldn’t help but respond:

+1,000 Malone.


Come to Sleep Outfitters on Hurstbourne Parkway for the chance to win a trip to Vegas or Miami! (Wednesday Show Thread)

Good morning and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which will be coming to you live from the brand new Sleep Outfitters on 2105 S. Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville.

Come on out to hear Matt and Ryan talk about the latest rumblings concerning which players will stay and which will go to the NBA next season and register for the chance to win a FREE TRIP to Las Vegas, Miami or another destination of your choice. All that for coming out and listening to your two favorite radio hosts talk about the Cats. Sounds like a can’t miss opportunity to me.

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

Topics include:

– Who will stay and who will go?

– Rupp Arena renovation funding dies in the Sentate

– Much more…

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

KSR Affiliate List

WAIN (93.9 fm) Columbia
WHIR (1230 am) Danville
WCLU (1490 am) Glasgow
WHOP (1230am/95.3 fm) Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060 am) Jamestown
WLAP (630 am) Lexington
WFTG (1400 am) London
WKJK (1080 am) Louisville
WFMW (730 am/94.9 fm) Madisonville
WFTM (1240 am) Maysville
WKYM (101.7 fm) Monticello
WMSK (1550 am) Morganfield
WLME (102.7 fm) Owensboro
WKYH (600 am) Paintsville
WLSI (900 am) Pikeville
WPRT (960 am) Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240 am) Somerset
WTCW (920 am) Whitesburg
WBTH (1400 am) Williamson, WV

On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…

WBGN (1340 am) Bowling Green 11am-1pm
WMTL (870 am) Leitchfield 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570 am) Morgantown 3-5 pm
WRIL (106.3 fm) Middlesboro Thur 8-10 pm
WPAD (99.5 fm/1560 am) Paducah 5-7 pm
WHAY (98.3 fm) Whitley City 2-4 pm


Spend an evening with John Calipari and Matt Jones

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Want to meet John Calipari, get a signed copy of his new book, AND hear Matt Jones interview him for an hour? You’re in luck. On Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m., Carmichael’s Bookstore  is hosting “An Evening with John Calipari” at The Clifton Center (2117 Payne Street, Louisville). Cal will speak to Matt about his new book, “Players First : Coaching from the Inside Out,” take a few questions from the audience, and sign books for fans.

This is a TICKETED EVENT. Tickets are $30.00, which gets you admission to the event at The Clifton Center, one copy of Calipari’s new book, “Players First,” and a designated place in the book-signing line based on the letter on your ticket stub. Seating at the event will be general admission—no reserved seats.

“Players First” will be published on April 15. You can pick up your book at the event or at Carmichael’s (1295 Bardstown Road, Louisville or 2720 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville) between April 15 and April 24. Additional copies will be available for purchase at the event.

To buy tickets, click here.