1. The Cats need to keep the momentum rolling. Despite another conference loss, the Florida →
By Drew Franklin on ©6:00 pm
Chris Fisher over at 247Sports.com caught up with Gerald Hamilton, Skal Labissiere’s guardian, on Monday to see how Labissiere enjoyed his visit to Lexington over the weekend. Hamilton told Fisher, “It was nice. It was really impressive and the level of players he played with was impressive as well.”
Of the many things that stood out to the five-star power forward, Rock Oliver and UK’s strength and conditioning presentation was one of the most impactful. Hamilton said meeting with Rock and learning how he operates was one of the highlights of the visit.
Labissiere still has official visits scheduled for Tennessee and Baylor in early October, then an unofficial to Memphis around Halloween. He will make his decision some time shortly after that.
By Matt Jones on ©5:45 pm
Bloody noses, stupid helmets, security guards trying to maintain order, women flipping out….this had it all
By Kaan Solagan on ©5:30 pm
Damien Harris- Bye week.
Zy’Aire Hughes- Completed 9 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, and caught 9 passes for 67 yards in a 52-49 win over Southaven (MS).
Eli Brown- 7 rushes for 23 yards and 7 tackles in a 61-21 loss to Hopkinsville.
Jordan Jones- Helped Cardinal Mooney beat St. Vincent-St. Mary 35-10 on Friday.
CJ Conrad- Had two catches for 78 yards, a one-yard touchdown run, and a punt return for a touchdown in a 54-12 win over Clearview (OH).
Alex Stump- Had 11 receptions for 109 yards in a 21-14 loss to Elder (OH). He picked up an offer from his ‘dream school’ Ohio State over the weekend as well, so it should be interesting to watch and see if he ends up staying a Wildcat.
Keion Wakefield- Bye week.
Quinton Baker- 13 rushes for 77 yards in a 41-13 loss to Ironton (OH).
Jabari Greenwood- Plays against Good Counsel tonight (Olney, MD).
Darius Fullwood- Plays against Jabari Greenwood and Gonzaga tonight (Olney, MD).
Ryan Davis- Plays tonight at 7:30 pm at Gibbs (FL).
Drake Jackson- Bye week.
By Drew Franklin on ©5:00 pm
UK basketball fans, your attention please:
Tickets for this year’s Blue-White scrimmage go on sale Monday, September 29 at 9:00 am. Tickets will be available online through Ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Fans can also purchase tickets via the Rupp Arena Box Office at 859-233-3535 between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm or by visiting any Ticketmaster outlet across the state.
The cost of the tickets will be $10 for lower level and $5 for upper level, all reserved seating.
For you students out there, you may claim up to two free Erupption Zone tickets while they last. Go to the Joe Craft Center ticket office with a valid student ID to get yours on Monday.
The Blue-White scrimmage is scheduled for Monday, October 27 in Rupp Arena at 7:00 pm. It will be carried online through the SEC Network and WatchESPN.
By Drew Franklin on ©4:30 pm
In a brief post on his website this afternoon, John Calipari recalled the “watershed moment” of 2010 when five of his UK players were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft. “That stage changed me as a coach and changed the direction of the program,” Cal wrote.
Then he predicted another “watershed moment” ahead in his 2014-15 Kentucky Wildcats:
If you wonder why everyone is panicked outside of the Big Blue Nation, why everyone is curious as to how we are going to make this work, why writers with agendas to another program or coach are pitting player against player, platoon vs. platoon, it’s because they are afraid of what could happen. They know that if this turns out the way they think it could, it becomes a watershed moment for college basketball. There will be no going back. No player will ever worry about who else is in the program or who may stay. They will know we have their best interests at heart.
In closing he wrote, “I am so excited to take on this challenge. I truly wake up every morning whistling and skipping for this season to begin.”
And spun around in his chair…
Never before has Cal been this excited to start a season, and that’s exciting for us, Big Blue Nation. He knows the talent he has on his roster and he’s ready to put them out there for everyone to see.
By Drew Franklin on ©3:45 pm
Former Kentucky guard Doron Lamb has a shot to stick around the league this upcoming season thanks to the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs signed Lamb to a deal one week before training camp begins. There is no guaranteed money in the contract, but it is a contract nonetheless. Lamb will have to earn his spot in camp.
In related news, Doron Lamb’s Twitter account is still the best.
Beauty isn't about having a pretty face. It's about having a pretty mind, pretty hreat, and pretty soul.
— Doron Lamb (@DLamb20) September 22, 2014
By Nick Roush on ©3:15 pm
1. The Cats need to keep the momentum rolling. Despite another conference loss, the Florida game validated the players’ “we can beat anybody” belief. Unfortunately they didn’t have the chance to prove themselves during the Bye Week, but they did address fundamental areas in need of improvement.
“We’d like to continue to build on some of the good things we’ve been doing and try to clean up some of the mistakes,” Stoops said. This team’s mantra has been energy. Today’s practice will reflect how well the Cats managed their time off this weekend.
2. Somehow Kentucky is not the younger underdog. When was the last time anyone in the BBN said that? With 31 freshmen playing, Vanderbilt is the youngest team in the nation. The key to keeping the young guys down, is starting fast and stepping on the accelerator. Stoops’ quote was extremely long, but the gist is, “we need to do what teams did to us last year.”
When it comes to being favored, it doesn’t matter when you haven’t won a conference game since 2011. “Don’t pay much attention to it. We need to be hungry.”
3. Vandy is rebuilding, but getting better. After poo-pooing during their first three games, the Dores finally looked respectable against South Carolina. Their biggest threat is in the kicking game. Last week Darrius Sims had two return touchdowns, a facet of the game Stoops said the Cats needed to improve on following the Florida game.
Stoops is familiar with Vandy Coach Derek Mason’s Stanford background from his time at Arizona. “(They’re) very fundamentally sound, very tough at the core of who they are, and they do a lot of creative things with big sets,” Stoops said of their multiple tight end formations. “They create some real problems in the run and the pass from big sets. It’s really new now, not too many people are doing it.”
4. It wasn’t a win on the field, but it’s helping recruiting. Stoops’ staff spent the off weekend on the recruiting trail. It was only one weekend, but he can already tell a difference in the way UK is viewed in that specific atmosphere.
“I do think it’s important for us to show progress. I’ve never hid from that. I don’t define that all the time by wins and losses. I know how important wins are, but I think there was a positive vibe out there that recruits know we’re getting better. They can see it.”
5. “He’ll be fine.” There were a lot of mental hiccups in Gainseville. Jordan Swindle had three false start penalties, Ryan Timmons dropped a critical pass, and Fred Tiller had an interception hit him in the numbers. When asked if he had any serious concerns, Stoops never flinched, “He’ll be fine.”
In Tiller’s case, he knows what it feels like to drop six points. For defensive backs, it’s a moment that everyone has, and one they’ll never forget. “I remember one — I bobbled it about three times. I had an easy touchdown and I batted it to myself three or four times. Maybe I just wasn’t fast enough to run it in.”
6. Keeping the kids’ heads on straight. The sport of football has been filled with more off the field scandal than excitement on the field. Stoops’ staff has not been blind to the social situations. After numerous preseason meetings and refreshers last week, Stoops is pleased with how his players have conducted themselves on campus.
“We could have those kinds of meetings everyday,” Stoops said. “Knock on wood, our players have been very good. We’re not perfect, but I think they’ve been really trying to embrace the leadership and do the right things. I think you’re starting to see that carryover from off the field actions, to on the field.”
By Drew Franklin on ©3:03 pm
By Drew Franklin on ©2:04 pm
Court documents obtained from TMZ Sports say Rex Chapman pocketed $5,460 in cash from pawning off $14,278 worth of stolen goods from the Apple Store in Scottsdale. Apple’s Beats By Dre headphones were among the products Rex allegedly took from the store without paying, using the self-checkout app to deceive employees into thinking he made the purchase.
TMZ also has video of Rex’s appearance in front of a judge via satellite:
I still can’t believe this is happening.
By Matt Jones on ©1:43 pm
Today, the Courier Journal “apologized” to John Calipari via this letter:
Dear Coach Calipari,
Please accept our apology for the inappropriate illustration used with a column in last Friday’s Courier-Journal. The illustration reflected neither the tone of the column it accompanied nor our editorial standards.
This was a failure in our procedures. We have reiterated to those involved and our entire staff that any illustration of this nature must be approved by senior editors, which did not happen in this case.
We regret that this episode cast a bad light on you and the University of Kentucky basketball team.
Guess they realized that running a cartoon of Calipari as a baby wasn’t the smartest marketing move in the world.
By Drew Franklin on ©1:28 pm
Gather around, everybody!!! Let’s play a fun game of “Who Was The Asshole At UK’s Press Conference?”!!!
Hands on your buzzers…
For 1,000 points: According to a reporter at Mark Stoops’ Monday press luncheon, an older male reporter asked a young female reporter to make him a sandwich at the buffet table. The young lady refused — as she should’ve — and told him to join 2014.
So who was the old guy with an empty stomach and no respect for a female counterpart?
I can name plenty who would want a sandwich, but I can’t imagine any of the ones we know doing that and being serious.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:49 pm
Veteran offensive lineman Zach West has been out with a mysterious nerve injury in his neck but it sounds like he may return to football sooner than later. Today during his Monday press conference, Mark Stoops said West is getting better and will participate in some form in today’s practice. There is a chance he and wide receiver Jeff Badet play this Saturday against Vanderbilt.
Wide receiver Alexander Montgomery is the only player who still needs a little more time to recover from injury, although he is “close” to coming back. Stoops said Montgomery’s injured leg has healed but he needs to strengthen it before making his return.
Other than that, the Wildcats are healthy entering the Vanderbilt game. Gotta love that.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:59 am
Mark Stoops is in the Wildcat Den for his weekly Kentucky football press conference today. Tune in via WatchESPN to hear his comments regarding the week off and the upcoming SEC home opener with Vanderbilt in Commonwealth Stadium.
If you can’t access WatchESPN or are too busy at work to sneak away, Nick Roush will be by with a rundown of Stoops comments later this afternoon and our friends at Kentucky Wildcats TV will have the entire video online for your viewing pleasure.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:49 am
Kentucky’s October 4th home contest with South Carolina is set for 7:30 pm on the SEC Network. The Saturday morning SEC Nation gameday show will be broadcast live from outside Commonwealth Stadium that morning at 10:00 am, plus it’s opening weekend of Keeneland.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:29 am
Gamblers love the Cats this weekend at home against Vanderbilt despite UK losing three straight to the Commodores and going winless in the SEC in the last two seasons. Kentucky opened as a 10.5 point favorite and the line has moved all the way up to -15.5 in several Las Vegas sports books. That’s quite a swing after a day and a half or so on the board.
Remember, UK scored a grand total of 14 points in its last three meetings with Vandy while giving up 100, so the Cats are now favored by more than they’ve scored in three years. This is a must-win game and a cover will have Big Blue Nation looking toward South Carolina with confidence.