Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
June 30th, 2015

ESPN on why UK will or won’t make a bowl game

Darrell Bird |

Darrell Bird |

ESPN’s Greg Ostendorf is breaking down each SEC team’s bowl chances and yesterday, focused on Kentucky. Ostendorf gave three reasons why Kentucky WILL make a bowl game this season and two reasons why they WON’T. Here’s his breakdown with a few excerpts:

Why they will

  • Quarterback competition (I disagree with Ostendorf that there actually is a competition. I think Stoops is technically keeping it going to keep both players on their toes, but the job is Patrick’s.)
  • Emerging playmakers: With two capable quarterbacks and four starters returning on the offensive line, the Kentucky offense should be pretty good this fall. It just needs a couple of playmakers to step up, and Stanley “Boom” Williams and Ryan Timmons are the perfect candidates. Williams came on late last season and wound up leading the team in rushing with 486 yards on 74 carries. Timmons, the team’s leading receiver, showed flashes of brilliance last season, but lacked consistency. If those two can put it together — and new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson should help with that — the Wildcats will be in good shape.
  • Manageable schedule

Why they won’t

  • No Dupree or Smith: Kentucky’s defense was supposed to be one of its strengths last season, but it finished No. 95 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 31.3 points per game. To make matters worse, last season’s group lost its two best players — Bud Dupreeand Za’Darius Smith — to the NFL. The coaches hope Jason Hatchercan fill the void left by Dupree, but replacing a player who had 12.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks is never easy. At this point, the Wildcats might be deeper on that side of the ball, but there’s no proof yet that they will be better. And they need to be better.
  • A losing culture

That last one depressed me, so I didn’t include it. To read it and the rest of Ostendorf’s reasoning, click here.


Clowns, Captains, and the summer grind

For college football programs, summer months focus on weight lifting, conditioning, summer school, and the oft-mentioned 7 on 7 drills. Player-position coach interaction is mostly off-limits as UK’s High Performance Staff is tasked to prepare the team for fall camp. Players are counted on to organize and lead on the field activities. Just what does this mean? Let’s take a peek.

First, I have to explain a theory I have about the two different types of team leaders: Clowns and Captains.

Clowns – Typical goof off guy with intent to skirt the system and do as little as possible to maintain their status as college football players. This classification tends to love being a football player more so than loving the game of football. Result is less subsidence and more flair.

Captains – Leaders by nature, these players provide a responsible example to impressionable rookies and veterans alike. Jerry Claiborne defined integrity as how one acts in the absence of observation and supervision. Captains are the epitome of integrity. This high character group loves the game of football and enjoys the process as much as the result. Coachable is another applicable term.

Clowns and Captains are usually evenly divided, 10% for each.  Whichever group (Clowns or Captains) is stronger will pull the majority (80%) along its path and greatly influence a team’s personality. In an un-supervised environment such as the summer months, having a majority with captain influence is paramount. If Clowns rule the off-season locker room then summer activities are a waste of time. Now back to the summer grind.

7 on 7

You’ve probably heard the term, now let me explain. This competition is a mock-game scenario featuring 7 offensive players vs. 7 defensive players. A simpler description would be to imagine a two hand touch football game without the OL and DL on the field. Offensive and defensive plays are called by the participants, not coaches. This develops continuity and increases basic scheme familiarity. Organically led, the usual process is for the QB and a defensive rep (a LB or DB) to solicit participation, assign a time/location, and perform mundane logistical support such as providing footballs or other equipment needs. At times, this drill can become heated and a source of locker room bragging rights. If properly executed, 7 on 7 or Pass Skeleton, can be a useful tool in player development. Remember, attendance is not mandatory and effort is not scrutinized by coaches. A sloppy or ill-fated 7 on 7 can do more damage than good. Effective layer leadership and accountability are essentials.

Weight Training

Kentucky’s weight training is directed by Corey Edmond and his staff. This group is vitally influential during the off-season as they are the only coaches allowed to have daily player interaction. Dismiss any pre-conception you may have about pumping iron. Today’s strength and conditioning coaches are more like scientists than high sock wearing yell-aholics as depicted in bad football movies. Each position and player for that fact have a specialized weight lifting routine. For example, offensive guards require brute upper body strength and lower body explosion where receivers are trained for speed and quick change of direction. Their work-out plans are designed for those distinct needs. Summer months are commonly used to maximize strength gain. During-season lifting sessions are purposed for maintenance. Freshmen tend to make the most gains as their first summer is at times their introduction to a nutrition plan and dedicated weight room instruction.


Same as weight training, conditioning is directed by Coach Edmond. Modern-day football conditioning leans more towards a scientific formula than merely requiring athletes to run laps or wind-sprints. This is a developing field with new techniques surfacing on an annual basis. Pre-season training camp used to be the time of whipping players into shape, today’s athlete is asked to be year-round game ready. Both strength and conditioning training work in concert with UK’s High Performance Program. Led by Erik Korem, his staff is considered revolutionaries in their field and offers the best consolidation of resources in program history. In addition to strength and condition; Korem focuses on nutrition, sports science, and sports psychology to meet a wide variety of student athlete needs. Validation of this all-encompassing program can be seen through player development and the fact that seniors are now staying in Lexington to train for their NFL futures.

Summer work-outs are a necessary grind. With NCAA time restrictions, practice sessions do not have time allotted for strength and conditioning. Summer time dedication is mandatory. High Performance advancements are critical in the arena of player safety. Developing bigger-stronger-faster athletes is the ultimate goal but molding a healthier and more durable player is also important. Times have drastically changed since my playing days as our nutrition plan was pizza buffets and lifting routine emphasized curls and bench pressing maximum weight in one repetition. However, one constant remains. The Captain and Clown theory remains timeless and generationally constant. Summer time is more about developing and identifying leaders than bench presses and sprints. Mark Stoops desperately needs his Captains not the Clowns leading his team into 2015.

Nerlens Noel talks Skal, Cal, and BBN reunions on KSR

Picture via ZagsBlog

Nerlens Noel is in Kentucky this week to host some basketball camps, and was nice enough to call in to the show to chat and catch up with Matt, Drew, and the KSR family. Right before Nerlens came on, the rumor came out about the Sacramento Kings pursuing John Calipari, so Matt asked Nerlens if he believes Calipari will retire at Kentucky or leave for the pros. (Fortunately, this conversation ended up being all for naught.)

“From what I know, I know Coach Cal is an honest guy, I think he’ll stay in Kentucky, but you never really know,” Nerlens said. “That’s a process he’ll probably have to think about. Why leave here?”

Our thoughts exactly. Especially with another excellent freshman class coming in, headlined by Skal Labissiere. Nerlens is familiar with Skal, whom he coached in a high school all-star game a few years back (pictured above). What can Kentucky fans expect from the Haitian Sensation?

“Oh man, he’s a great kid, great, great kid,” Nerlens said of Skal. “I think Kentucky’s going to have another potential top three pick. He’s just a great person, he’s going to come in every day and put in the work and help this team in any way possible. He’s going to make the state proud.”

Six more Kentucky players joined the league last week, bringing the total number of Cats in the NBA to 24, 25 if Aaron Harrison makes a roster this summer. That’s a lot of la familia reunions throughout the season.

“Oh man, it’s amazing,” Nerlens said. “Especially to go back-to-back nights against Kentucky guys. One night you can play DeMarcus or John or Anthony. I think it’s all John Calipari’s work. He’s done so much for us and our families. It’s all compliments to him and all the hard work we put in.”

Hopefully for many, many more years to come. Thanks to Nerlens for coming on the show. His interview comes during the second segment of hour two:

While you’re at it, listen to hour one:

Cal shoots down Kings rumor: “I WILL BE AT KENTUCKY”


Just like that, here comes John Calipari on the white horse to make us all feel better. Cal sent out this statement seconds ago:

For the 100th time, I have the best basketball coaching position in the world. I am not looking for any other coaching position. Since he bought the team, Vivek Ranadive and I have talked on and off about DeMarcus Cousins. Vivek has asked me what I thought about DeMarcus and I told him he would be an all-star, and I was right. In the last two weeks, we’ve also talked a bunch about the draft and on draft day, obviously because of Willie Cauley-Stein. At no time has Vivek offered me a job. I will be at Kentucky.

That last part in tweet form because it was awesome:

Yahoo says the Kings want John Calipari

Hey, you know what we don’t need? Another John Calipari to the NBA rumor! Unfortunately, we just got one from Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who cites league sources that say the Sacramento Kings are “probing” John Calipari to gauge his interest in taking over the franchise’s front office and coaching jobs:

Calipari has been communicating with owner Vivek Ranadive and other members of the Kings ownership group in recent weeks, league sources said. Calipari has listened to scenarios with which the Kings could offer him complete control of the franchise’s fledgling basketball operations to go along with coaching, league sources said.

Woj says no formal offer has been made, but the Kings are well aware it may take $10 million+/year to get Calipari to consider leaving Kentucky.

Usually I dismiss these rumors, but when it comes from Woj…Boogie, Willie, and possibly Bledsoe? Uggggh.


Tennessee teases switch to Nike with “Game of Thrones” spoof

Tomorrow, Tennessee makes the wise switch from adidas to Nike, and as you might expect, they’re pretty excited. So excited they put Butch Jones on a throne made of shoes and shoe boxes to celebrate. In case you don’t have an HBOGo login, that’s a spoof of the Iron Throne from “Game of Thrones”–err, excuse me, “Game of Jones.” Get it? LOL.

The Tennessee marketing department has been pretty wacky lately, but I give them props for this, a nice recovery from the Josh Richardson talking basketball tweet from over the weekend. And, I don’t blame them for hyping up the switch. After seeing Louisville’s new adidas uniforms, I’d be pretty pumped to switch to Nike too.

(As an aside, if you’re interested in just how bad things are for adidas right now, check out this article by Lost Letterman’s Jim Weber.)

KSR is live in Leitchfield with special guest Nerlens Noel! (Tuesday Show Thread)

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Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from Future Designs in Leitchfield (421 Quarry Rd). After a big day in Shelbyville, Matt and Drew continue their trek across the Bluegrass, and today, they’re ready to meet the fine people of Leitchfield and talk about all the latest news in the UK sports world and give away some tickets from

NERLENS NOEL will also call in to give us an update on him as he enters his third year in Philly, so you’ll definitely want to tune in for that.


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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

Here’s an updated list of tour stops. We’re still finalizing a few, so be sure to check back as the week goes on.

June 30: Leitchfield – Future Designs
July 1: Madisonville – Hudson Toyota
July 2: Morgantown – Final Finish
July 3: Hopkinsville – Holiday Inn

July 6: Morganfield – Southern States
July 7: Grayson – Simply The Best Bar & Grill
July 8: Pikeville – Bank 253
July 9: Williamson – Appalachian Wireless at South Side Mall
July 10: KY Speedway

July 13: Cynthiana – Cynthiana County Club
July 14: Whitley City – McCreary County Public Library
July 15: London – Sleep Outfitters
July 16-17: TBD

July 20: Whitesburg – Pine Mountain Grill
July 21: Manchester – Clay County Middle School
July 22: Somerset – Sleep Outfitters
July 23: Harlan – Core Fitness
July 24: Fort Wright – Dickmann’s Sports Bar

July 27: Campbellsville – Mr. Gatti’s
July 28: Owensboro – Don Moore GM Center
July 29: Benton – Kennedy’s Fan Shop
July 30: Paducah – Buffalo Wild Wings
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 – Jamestown Marina
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

gotc-ksr 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!

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Which Team Will the 2015-16 Cats Resemble?

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Every college basketball team is unique in some ways.  Obviously the roster changes in some ways each season but who takes on leadership roles, steps up to the plate, etc. can affect the differences in teams.  With that said, at Kentucky we are constantly comparing one team to the next.  Was the 2012 team as good as the 1996 team?  Things like that.

This upcoming basketball season is going to be very interesting.  We really don’t know what kind of team you are going to see.  It obviously appears, on paper, to be a guard-oriented team.  They could potentially play very fast.  But there is some skill at the big man positions too.  I wonder if you think this year’s team could potentially look much like any of Cal’s other teams.

I have listed what I think are some of the top characteristics of each of Calipari’s first 6 teams, as well as the trends as the season went along.  Can you see this team, from what you know, looking like any of these teams?

Characteristics: Elite Starting 5, Short Bench, Incredible Speed, Shaky Shooting, Star Power
Season Trend: Non-Conference Ugly Wins, Flashes of Brilliance Early, Consistently Better as Season Progressed, Peaked in March, Weakness Exposed in Tournament

Characteristics: Scrappy, Young, Short Bench, Clear Leader/Go-to Guy
Season Trend: Inconsistent Beginning, Struggled to Win Close Games, Found Leader/Star, Roles Began to Form, Peaked in March, Surprise Run to Final Four

Characteristics: Great Mix of Young and Old, Methodical Offense, Suffocating Defense, Superstar Center
Season Trend: Fast Start, Dominating Majority of Games, Very Little Drama, Clearly Best Team

Characteristics: Offensively Challenged, No Identity, Injury Derailed Season, Lack of Leadership
Season Trend: Season Opening Promise, Quickly Struggled, Never Got Rhythm, Collasped at End of Season

Characteristics: Very Young, Talented, Youthful Mistakes
Season Trend: Huge Expectations, Offensive Struggles Early, Road Game Woes, Turned Corner in March, Surprise NCAA Run

Characteristics: Incredible Depth, Toughness, Suffocating Defense
Season Trend: Dominated Throughout Season, Weakness Exposed at Final Four

It’s your Tuesday Morning Wakeup

It’s 6:00 am and I’m running on about two hours of sleep, but the new Morning Wakeup show must go on. Yesterday I played in the Jimmy Robertson Memorial Golf Scramble, one of my favorite days of the year, and I’m feeling the effect of it this morning. Shout-out to Manny and Scottie Robertson for putting on another great celebration for their late father, but you guys gotta chill with the Fireball.

Anyway, here’s what we’re looking forward to today. There will be plenty of this and more throughout the day, so stick around…


We’re in Leitchfield today.

The KSR Summer Tour hits Grayson County today for a stop at Future Designs Building Materials. So come on out to 421 Quarry Road for our live broadcast and a chance to win tickets from If that’s not enough to get you out, how about the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet Shannon The Dude? Sold. See you there.

So Tyler Ulis really dunked yesterday, huh?

I’ll be honest, I had heard he could do it, but I never truly believed it. I should’ve known better than to doubt Ulis. Never again.

If Eric Bledsoe goes to the Kings we are moving to Sacramento.

Sacramento has interest in trading for Eric Bledsoe and the only person happier than me about this news is DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins and Bledsoe are great friends and they’ve wanted to play on the same team in the league for a while now. If the two sides are able to pull this off, the Kings will undoubtedly be Big Blue Nation’s favorite NBA team, with three of our favorite Cats in one starting five.

Kings Sports Radio, the new KSR.

Jerry Tipton, stop.

Seriously man.

Anthony Davis is about to get PAID.

New Orleans is close to resigning Anthony Davis and the new deal will make him the highest paid player in the league. The contract extension will be worth $143 million over five years, assuming he signs. That is an absurd amount of money and it will pass Kobe Bryant’s $23.5 million per year for the biggest paycheck in the NBA.

This will be the last slow news week of the year.

The football and basketball coaching staffs will take it fairly easy this week, then it’s back to work after the holiday weekend. Mark Stoops and his coaches are approaching the upcoming season and they hope to have a new linebacker commit this weekend. Things will likely be quiet on the newswire this week, then the grind gets going after we celebrate July 4th. Hang in there.

Got ‘eem…

😂😂😂😂😂 #GotEem

A video posted by Drew Franklin (@drew_franklin) on

My sincerest apologies to my teammate yesterday. But damn that was funny.


#wheelsup to Leitchfield!

June 29th, 2015

Tyler Ulis dunked tonight

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Tyler Ulis and the rest of his boys played some pick-up tonight at the Seaton Center and Ulis was kind enough to share this footage of him dunking, something every 5’9″ guard aspires to but very few achieve:

Yall happy? #BBN #BeSpecial

A video posted by Tyler Ulis (@t_ulis3) on

Another view, from Snapchat sources:

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It could get crazy again, guys.

Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Weekend


Summer’s here and so is the perfect summer salad—Wendy’s Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad. Made with hand-sliced strawberries and crisp Romaine chopped right in our kitchens. All topped with warm, freshly grilled chicken. It’s only here for summer and it’s only at Wendy’s. At participating Wendy’s for a limited time

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 FanJam

It’s nice to finally have a number on that








#9 Kevin Johnson

I think we left him in good hands.








#8 Davey Rudolph









#7 Shannon The Dude

Wait. It’s not?








#6 J in(Orlando)the Bay

5% is lower than I would have thought. I’ll take it.








#5 Michael Gosney

We really need to clear this up so we know what to put on these shirts.








#4 Megan Calipari

When your dad tells you he got a surfboard for you to keep at the shore house. 😐

A photo posted by Megan Calipari (@megancalipari) on

I feel like you got a blatant re-gift, Megan.








#3 Darren Rovell

I thought those warm-ups couldn’t get worse. I was wrong. We all were.








#2 Josh Worley

Don’t knock it till you try it, guy.








#1 Jason ♠ Collins

Looks like we left him in good hands, too.



Louisville Opens as a 2.5 Point Favorite Over Kentucky


Over the weekend The Golden Nugget casino released their list of the top football games of the upcoming year along with the accompanying spreads. Two of Kentucky’s games made the list, first up a Cat fight with the Auburn Tigers.

October 15th: Auburn -9 at Kentucky

Quick Analysis: It’s been a long time since a consensus preseason top 15 team hasn’t been a double digit favorite even inside Commonwealth Stadium. Perhaps the last time was in 2010 when an Auburn team that would win the national title was favored by only 6 points. The Cats were desperately close to pulling off the upset before some Cam Newton magic did them in. With a Thursday/Friday/Saturday weekend that could feature Auburn, Big Blue Madness, and an NBA exhibition this atmosphere could be one for the ages. The perfect night for the biggest win of the Stoops era.

November 28th: Louisville -2.5 at Kentucky

Quick Analysis: The Cards make the Golden Nugget’s game of the year and are underdogs in all of their games except for the one against Kentucky. Clearly there was some sort of clerical error that led to this mistake. I’ll take the 2.5 all day. Let’s not forget that the Cats held a 40-37 lead with 5 minutes to go on Louisville’s home turf. They lost 10 guys to the draft. We have nearly everyone back.  Don’t call it an upset.


What do you think of these first two spreads of the upcoming season?

All-UK Team: Claiborne to Stoops

For those that reference a Twitter timeline as a historical benchmark, I feel responsible to provide an objective Kentucky Football perspective. Social media has significantly skewed the definition of “great” and its first cousin, “best.” I thought it would be fun to dig into recent history and construct an All UK Team from 1983-2015 — or from the Jerry Claiborne era forward.



QB, Tim Couch: After being preposterously used as an option quarterback, Tim historically flourished under Hal Mumme.  Debatably Kentucky’s G.O.A.T.

WR, Randall Cobb: One question I’ll go to the grave asking, why in Hades did Cobb not get the ball against Tennessee?

WR, Craig Yeast: Made YAC (yards after catch) a cool late 90’s catch phrase. 

TE, Jacob Tamme: A fierce competitor, Cats haven’t had a TE since.

OT, Antonio Hall: The piano playing Renaissance man was a nasty Tackle between the chalks.

OT, Todd Perry: Prior to Larry Warford, Todd was the last Wildcat OL drafted for way too many years.  Was a long-time pro.

C, Jon Toth: One of two current players on the list, Toth was my 2014 Offensive MVP. 

OG, Dermontti Dawson: The Pro Football Hall of Famer is one of, if not the, greatest Center in NFL history.  But, Dawson actually played Guard at Kentucky.

OG, Larry Warford: NFL All Rookie team and one of the best in the business. 

FB, Andy Murray: Led the team and SEC in knock-down blocks.  To my knowledge, Murray is the only UK FB with a 100 yard rushing game.

RB, Moe Williams: 429 total yards against South Carolina.  299 yards rushing, 57 receiving, and 73 from kick-off returns. Have a day Moe.

RB, Mark Higgs: Electric RB with an remarkable highlight reel. Quick starting, long striding runner with surprising power.



DE, Bud Dupree: Bud had to be on the team, but at what position was the question. The current Steeler was the 22nd player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft.

DE, Dennis Johnson: One of only two nationally top ranked high school players to ever sign with the Wildcats.  Played his first varsity football game as a 2nd grader.

DL, Oliver Barnett: Ollie’s 26 year reign as UK’s all-time sack leader was threatened but not surpassed by Bud Dupree. 

DL, Jeremy Jarmon: Robbed of his last season, Jeremy’s personality was Karl Anthony Towns like but he was a relentless pass rusher on Saturdays.

DL, Corey Peters: Louisville Central star quickly developed into a run stopping DT with pass rush ability.  A rare and valuable combination.

LB, Chris Chenault: 482 tackles with a single game mark of 28 against Vanderbilt.

LB, Marty Moore: Moose was a beast. Every time I see Marty I try on his Super Bowl ring.

LB, Wesley Woodyard: Cerebral competitor, the Tennessee Titan can still be seen playing the game he dearly loves on Sundays. Arguably the best Wildcat leader in 30 years. 

CB, Trevard Lindley: Great hips and instinct that translated into game day interceptions. Will never forget the sunny Tuscaloosa afternoon match-up between Trevard Lindley and Julio Jones.

CB, David (DJ) Johnson: The Louisville Male product was a lock-down CB that enjoyed a successful NFL career.  Had crazy yet superb hair if you care to research.

S, Melvin Johnson: There have been hard hitting DB’s at UK and then there’s the face mask bending Melvin Johnson. Only scout team player I ever feared. Physical, brutal hitter.

S, Paul Calhoun: Third team All American Safety and Punter. Safe to say that feat may never be repeated.



K, Austin MacGinnis: Nearly broke all Kentucky kicking records, Austin will be called upon to keep the Cats in games this fall.    

P, Tim Masthay: Current Green Bay Packer was a much watch in warm-ups.  Clutch player.

KR, Derrick Abney: A threat to score on every return, Abney was a field position changer with TD threat.

So there you have my team.  I’m fairly certain some will agree, others won’t.  Would be interested in feedback.

Where Are They Now: James Blackmon Sr.


The McDonald’s All-American, Parade All-American, Scholastic Coach All-American, USA Today All-American, and Mr. Basketball runner-up in the state of Indiana chose to play basketball at Kentucky with offers from other multiple elite basketball schools.

James Blackmon Sr. totaled 866 points, 314 rebounds, 271 assists and 149 steals, while starting three out of his four years as a Wildcat. Blackmon played in the 1984 Final Four as a freshman and served as co-captain during his senior year.

Blackmon was drafted 94th overall in the 5th round of the 1987 NBA Draft to the New Jersey Nets. However, Blackmon never played a game; he was cut following a trade that put the roster over the limit. Blackmon went on to play overseas, where he spent the next eight years playing in the CBA and the World Basketball League.

After hanging up his basketball shoes, Blackmon decided to give coaching a try. In 2004, Blackmon was hired as the head coach of Bishop Luers High School in Fort Wayne, IN. Blackmon took over a team that had a combined record of 7-33 for the prior two seasons. Blackmon spent nine seasons at Bishop Luers, where he won back-to-back Class 2A State Championships in 2008 and 2009.

In 2011, Blackmon was hired by his alma mater, Marion High School, before announcing his resignation as the head coach and his plan to return to Bishop Luers. However, in April of 2013, Blackmon accepted the head coaching position at Marion. This time it was a permanent.


In his first season as the head coach at Marion, the Giants went 18-5 and lost in the sectional semifinals. This previous season Blackmon and the Giants completed their season with and 15-10 record, losing in the first round of the sectional tournament.

Blackmon met his wife, Sailaja Blackmon, at Kentucky and the two have three sons; James, Vijay and Jalen. The Big Blue Nation is familiar with Blackmon’s eldest son, James Blackmon Jr., who currently plays for Indiana University. Blackmon Jr. was recruited by Kentucky, but chose the Hoosiers to stay in his home state. Blackmon Jr. broke his father’s school record by scoring 54 points in a game. Blackmon Sr. was able to have the opportunity to coach his son, James, in all four years of his high school basketball career; three years at Bishop Luers and one year at Marion.

Blackmon Sr. continues to coach at Marion High School, where he is looking forward to the 2015-16 season.

Cal’s flag comments really got people talking today

In case you’ve been off social media all day, on this morning’s SEC Basketball Summer Teleconference, Jerry Tipton asked John Calipari whether or not he believes the Confederate flag and statues of Confederate generals should be displayed across the South.

The question understandably caught Cal off guard, and he responded that, even though the state of Kentucky doesn’t display the Confederate flag, he believes it should come down. He later clarified those remarks in a post on social media, saying he doesn’t think there is any question that the flag should be taken down.

As you might imagine, Cal’s remarks led to quite a few responses on his Facebook page (almost 800 as of this post). Most of them aren’t worth reposting here, but some are pretty entertaining. Here’s a small sample…

Some fans agreed with Cal:


Some fans may not have agreed with Cal, but respected his right to express his opinion:


Some people think he needs to STICK TO BASKETBALL. (These people probably say the same thing about KSR.)

Screen-Shot-2015-06-29-at-1.30 Screen-Shot-2015-06-29-at-1.32Screen-Shot-2015-06-29-at-4.07

Whoa, John, harsh.

This person clearly didn’t understand the situation:


This person is lost:


These fans reserved their fire for Jerry Tipton:

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These fans think Cal “doesn’t get it” because he’s from the North:

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This guy thinks Cal should be fired:


This one thinks Cal’s a sheep:


Some fans wondered why the uproar since Kentucky doesn’t fly the Confederate flag:

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While we’re at it, Steve wants to hear Cal’s response to this civil matter:


I’d like to hear that, too.

This fan has the right idea, but the wrong media affiliation and the incorrect use of “nefarious”:


I think you’re going for “notorious,” Wanda, but good job, good effort.

These fans are so upset they’re going to root for Louisville now:


Speaking of flags…


For some reason, David Timothy’s response really makes me laugh.