Kentucky Sports Radio

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

5-star WR Jermaine Eskridge teases that tomorrow will be a “huge day” for him and the BBN

Kentucky’s Yahtzee storm of commitments has turned some heads this week, including that of Jermaine Eskridge, a 2018 five-star wide receiver from Tampa, Florida. Eskridge first started flirting with the BBN on Twitter yesterday, but now his tweets are getting downright explicit. He just posted that tomorrow could be a “huge day” for himself and the BBN:

“Huge” is an understatement. The 6’3″ 180 lbs. Eskridge is considered the second best wide receiver in the 2018 class and 26th best player overall. Landing him would be like landing John Wall in terms of impact on the program. Yes, getting him to stay on until Signing Day in 2018 will be difficult, but the momentum his commitment would bring to UK would be unparalleled.

Patrick Loney says the announcement could come early tomorrow morning, so stay tuned…


#DroneSlayer took over today’s show

Yesterday, we shared the story about William Meredith, the Hillview man who gunned down a drone flying over his property on Sunday. Meredith claims the drone, which had a camera attached, was hovering over his backyard, where his young daughters were laying by the pool. After he shot it down, the owner of the drone drove up to confront him, and Meredith said if he crossed onto his property, he’d shoot him too.

The story definitely got you guys talking, and today, David, the (alleged) owner of the drone, called in to KSR to give his side of the story, claiming that he and his friends were taking it out on a test run and the drone was simply flying by Meredith’s property, not hovering. David said his drone was only over Meredith’s property for 1.5 seconds, during which time Meredith shot it down. Just as you were starting to take David’s side, he yelled “Go Cards,” taking away any sympathy and accountability. The next caller claimed to know David, and said never to trust anything he says.

Who’s telling the truth: William or David? Was that even the real drone owner? Listen to KSR and judge for yourself. David calls in at the beginning of hour two:

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

David said he would send Matt the video from the drone, so stay tuned…


Mark Stoops thanked the CWS construction workers with lunch today

Construction crews are frantically trying to finish the work on Commonwealth Stadium before September 5th’s opener, but today, they stopped for a brief break to enjoy a nice lunch courtesy of Mark Stoops and the UK football program. Stoops, who you can see on that ramp up there, stopped by to thank the crew for their hard work and maybe give them a pep talk as they enter the final stretch.

Enjoy the pics, via @UKAthletics.

Now get back to work. Seriously.


“We Ask You Wednesday” Vol. 55 (On a Thursday)

(EHarmony.UK.com)

 

The season is sadly now over, and the folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes. Last summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter.

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 twenty ninth volume of the “We Ask You Wednesday” allowed Kentucky fans to answer the following question via Twitter in 140 characters or less: 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NEW ADDITIONS TO THE NEW COMMONWEALTH STADIUM… OR WHAT WOULD YOU ADD IF YOU COULD DESIGN PART OF IT?

.

.

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That’s awfully fancy. 

I definitely think chair backs should be like oxygen… for everyone. 

 

Did you design that?

And for all a good night!

 

I think there would certainly be more dancing

I’m afraid that’ll never happen. 

 

White turf? Hmm… interesting. 

Well there you have it. Welcome back!

 

I agree. It’s the most beloved thing at b-ball games. Why not bring it to football?

I don’t really understand exactly why… but I still love it regardless. 

 

I thought for sure I would look at your Twitter page and see that it was a 7 year old. Haha. 

I think this is a common wish from the fans. 

Amen to that. 

BEST ANSWER OF THE WEEK:

I still don’t believe this exists, but I’m intrigued nonetheless. 


Kentucky got one vote in the Preseason College Football Coaches’ Poll

The first coaches’ poll for the football season is out, and Kentucky may not have been in the Top 25, but they did receive one vote. Hooray! Here’s the complete ballot:

1. Ohio State (62)
2. TCU (1)
3. Alabama (1)
4. Baylor
5. Oregon
6. Michigan State
7. Auburn
8. Florida State
9. Georgia
10. USC
11. Notre Dame
12. Clemson
13. LSU
14. UCLA
15. Ole Miss
16. Arizona State
17. Georgia Tech
18. Wisconsin
19. Oklahoma
20. Arkansas
21. Stanford
22. Arizona
23. Missouri
24. Boise State
25. Tennessee

Others Receiving Votes: Mississippi State 164; Texas A&M 149; Oklahoma State 89; Virginia Tech 70; Utah 40; Kansas State 37; Louisville 27; Nebraska 27; Minnesota 25; Penn State 20; South Carolina 18; Miami (Fla.) 16; Texas 8; Illinois 7; Duke 6; Air Force 5; Louisiana Tech 5; Marshall 4; Utah State 4; West Virginia 3; North Carolina State 3; Brigham Young 3; Florida 2; Georgia Southern 2; North Carolina 2; Maryland 1; Michigan 1; Kentucky 1; Central Florida 1; Cincinnati 1; Washington 1.

Before you say Mark Stoops voted for his own team, he’s not on the panel of 64 voters; however, his brother, Bob is. Did Bob give us some brotherly love? Considering he forgot his little brother’s own birthday, I’m not so sure.


Randall Cobb’s in a NFL.com Fantasy Football commercial

NFL players across the country are reporting to training camp, and this morning, Randall Cobb reported for the Green Bay Packers. According to Packers reporters, Cobb is returning punts alongside fellow former Cat Javess Blue, a nice UK football family moment.

The first preseason game is next Sunday, which means it’s almost time to start worrying about your fantasy football team. If you’re smart, you’ll prioritize Randall Cobb, or if you’re in a keeper league like this blogger, you’re even smarter and picked him up in the late rounds his rookie season and still have him. As the best slot receiver in the league, Cobb’s a hot commodity in fantasy leagues, which is why it makes total sense that he now co-stars in a new fantasy football commercial for NFL.com alongside Eddie Lacy:


Calipari says there’s a “drop dead” date Jamal Murray has to be on campus

murray-calipari

The story of the summer in college basketball has to be Jamal Murray. We knew the mysterious Murray was good after he dropped 30 in the Nike Hoop Summit, but I don’t think anybody thought he was this good. Murray’s performances in the Pan Am Games were good enough to put him in contention for the Canadian National Team that will compete in the FIBA Americas Championship from August 31-September 12.

The only problem? At some point, he has to get to Kentucky. John Calipari told The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy that he’s given Canadian Basketball officials a “drop-dead” date in which Murray has to be on UK’s campus if he wants to be eligible this season.

“We’ll see if there’s any way he can do both, because that’s what I want,” Calipari said. “The kid absolutely wants to play for the national team, and we want that. But the NCAA has really clear guidelines on this.

Murray’s father told Kyle Tucker the family is still trying to figure out what to do, whether it be skip the tournament completely, or play in part of it then arrive at Kentucky by the date given by the NCAA. Either way, he reassured fans Murray will get to campus.

“He’s going to Kentucky,” Roger Murray said. “That’s not the issue. The issue is just if we want to miss two weeks of school. We’re just trying to see how much time he’s going to miss, and if it’s too much, if he should just go to school and not worry about it. From what I’ve gathered, he has to (physically) be in class. So we’re just trying to see how much school he could miss and still play in the tournament.”

What a problem to have, right?


KSR is at Buffalo Wild Wings in Paducah (Thursday Show Thread)

The line outside BWW in Paducah at 7:30 a.m.

Good morning, and welcome to the Thursday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, Matt and Ryan are at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Paducah (2916 James Sanders Blvd) for the show, which is also presented by IMAC Regeneration Center. If you’re in the area, come on out to hear the guys talk about another big football commitment, this weekend’s Fancy Farm festivities, and the chance to win tickets from GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com.

Good luck getting a seat, the line started around 7 this morning.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

Here’s an updated list of tour stops:

July 30: Paducah – Buffalo Wild Wings and IMAC Regeneration of Paducah
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 – Lawless-Smith True Value and Appliance Center (Russell Springs)
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

GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com 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: The 10 QB’s Since Couch

@UKcoachbrooks

Ever since Tim Couch took over the reins of the UK quarterback position in 1997, the group of men that have occupied that spot on a regular basis is 10.  Some have done it a couple times (Randall Cobb, Matt Roark) and some might do it this year (Drew Barker), but the number of guys to be the regular starter for UK is 10.  I have decided to take a long look at those 10 guys and rank them.  Let me be clear about something:

This not only is about talent but also results.  How a guy actually performed matters, even as much as his talent.

And where would you rank Patrick Towles at this point as well?

1. ANDRE WOODSON
2004: 54-88, 492 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (0-1 record)
2005: 146-253, 1644 yards, 6 TD, 6 INT, 1 rushing TD (4-8 record)
2006: 264-419, 3515 yards, 31 TD, 7 INT, 1 rushing TD (8-5 record, 1-0 bowl)
2007: 327-518, 3709 yards, 40 TD, 11 INT, 3 rushing TD (8-5 record, 1-0 bowl)
Career: 791-1278, 9360 yards, 79 TD, 25 INT, 5 rushing TD (20-19 record, 2-0 bowl)

Was Woodson as talented as Couch?  I don’t know but I’d probably say no.  But the fact remains that Woodson’s stats stack up with Couch’s as well as the fact he didn’t turn the ball over near as much, plus won more games.  Were Woodson’s teammates better?  I’m not sure he ever had a WR like Craig Yeast.  He also won his bowl games.  He had a better career than Couch statistically.

2. TIM COUCH
1996: 32-84, 277 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
1997: 363-547, 3884 yards, 37 TD, 19 INT, 3 rushing TD (5-6 record)
1998: 430-601, 4611 yards, 38 TD, 17 INT, 1 rushing TD (7-5 record, 0-1 bowl)
Career: 825-1232, 8772 yards, 76 TD, 37 INT, 4 rushing TD (12-11 record, 0-1 bowl)

Couch had more of an impact on the program than Andre Woodson.  And he was likely a better talent.  But the stats are just slightly behind Andre.  It’s basically 1A and 1B with those 2, but I think the 2 bowl wins push Andre over the top.

3. JARED LORENZEN
2000: 321-559, 3687 yards, 19 TD, 21 INT, 5 rushing TD (2-9 record)
2001: 167-292, 2179 yards, 19 TD, 7 INT, 2 rushing TD (1-5 record)
2002: 183-287, 2267 yards, 24 TD, 5 INT, 0 rushing TD (7-5 record)
2003: 191-336, 2221 yards, 16 TD, 8 INT, 5 rushing TD (4-8 record)
Career: 862-1474, 10354 yards, 78 TD, 41 INT, 12 rushing TD (14-27 record)

Lorenzen could argue for the top spot based on his stats.  But that career record brings him down to #3.  Was that entirely his fault?  Of course not.  But he did make some bad errors in key moments (Florida?) that stand out in people’s minds.  Being #3 behind Woodson and Couch should not be considered an insult though. 

4. DUSTY BONNER
1999: 303-465, 3266 yards, 26 TD, 13 INT, 3 rushing TD (6-6 record, 0-1 bowl)
Career: Same

Would have been interesting to see Bonner finish his career at UK.  Might have gone up this list a little higher. 

5. MIKE HARTLINE
2007: 4-6, 34 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 0 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
2008: 172-311, 1666 yards, 9 TD, 8 INT, 0 rushing TD (6-3 record, 1-0 bowl)
2009: 79-133, 802 yards, 6 TD, 7 INT, 0 rushing TD (2-3 record)
2010: 268-405, 3178 yards, 23 TD, 9 INT, 0 rushing TD (6-6 record)
Career: 523-855, 5680 yards, 38 TD, 24 INT, 0 rushing TD (14-12 record, 1-0 bowl)

Saved his career at UK with wonderful last season.  His suspension in the bowl game though was somewhat of the beginning of the downfall of Joker Phillips.  The program never got better after that point.

6. PATRICK TOWLES
2012: 19-40, 233 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT (Non-Starter)
2014: 225-392, 2718 yards, 14 TD, 9 INT, 6 rushing TD (5-7 record)
Career: 244-432, 2951 yards, 15 TD, 10 INT, 6 rushing TD (5-7 record)

I think he could easily get to #4 on this list with a big year this year.  Take the Cats back to a bowl and use senior season to see how far he can go.  Or, things could go south and he loses job to Barker and forever stays in this spot.  Sky is the future for this guy.

7. MAXWELL SMITH
2011: 84-153, 819 yards, 4 TD, 4 INT (1-2 record)
2012: 103-150, 975 yards, 8 TD, 4 INT (1-2 record)
2013: 105-183, 1276 yards, 9 TD, 1 INT (1-3 record)
Career: 292-486, 3070 yards, 21 TD, 9 INT (3-7 record)

Injuries always seemed to limit what he could have been.  2013 was shaping up to be a big year before he was injured and never played again at UK.

8. MORGAN NEWTON
2009: 75-135, 706 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT, 2 rushing TD (5-3 record, 0-1 bowl)
2010: 25-43, 265 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 0 rushing TD (0-1 record, 0-1 bowl)
2011: 83-174, 793 yards, 8 TD, 7 INT, 2 rushing TD (2-5 record)
2012: 10-32, 73 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 1 rushing TD (non-starter)
Career: 193-386, 1838 yards, 15 TD, 13 INT, 5 rushing TD (7-9 record, 0-2 bowl)

9. SHANE BOYD
2001: 85-154, 852 yards, 4 TD, 6 INT, 3 rushing TD (1-4 record)
2002: 10-19, 99 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 rushing TD (Non-Starter)
2003: 15-43, 205 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT, 4 rushing  TD (Non-Starter)
2004: 138-263, 1328 yards, 7 TD, 9 INT, 5 rushing TD (2-8 record)
Career: 248-479, 2484 yards, 13 TD, 17 INT, 13 rushing TD (3-12 record)

10. JALEN WHITLOW
2012: 87-161, 801 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 3 rushing TD (1-6 record)
2013: 98-159, 1033 yards, 5 TD, 5 INT, 6 rushing TD (1-7 record)
Career: 185-320, 1834 yards, 8 TD, 7 INT, 9 rushing TD (2-13 record)


BBN at Buckingham Palace’s Thursday Morning Wakeup

FullSizeRender

Top of the morning to you! Oh, wait, that’s Irish. Well, a very proper good morning to you! Shoutout to Jacie, who is repping the Cats all the way in merry old England at Buckingham Palace. Don’t even try to get those guards to smile, Jacie. They won’t do it!

Grab a spot of tea and let’s go over the day’s agenda, shall we?

Yahtzee Watch rolls on

Last night, three-star defensive tackle Kobe Smith committed to Kentucky, becoming the program’s fifth commit this week. With momentum continuing to build, we’re hearing the fun’s not over yet. Some names to keep an eye on in the coming days:

  • 2018 5-star WR Jermaine Eskridge
  • 2017 4-star RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Olney, MD

That’s right, five-star. Eskridge may only be a sophomore in high school, but he’s considered the second best wide receiver in the 2018 class and his top five are Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Kentucky. The tweet leaves suggest Eskridge is very, VERY interested in the Yahtzee storm this week:

2017 commit Mac Jones feels confident he’ll be a part of it:

The scoreboard’s makeover continues

Yesterday, UK shared a picture of the back of the scoreboards being painted blue. A look at the live cam of the inside of the stadium shows they’ve removed the shabby and faded black and white “KENTUCKY WILDCATS” sign above the video boards as well:

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 2.30.32 PM

El Toro goes for the win in the Kentucky Open

Our pal Kent Bulle and his caddie Aaron Flener had a monster day in the Kentucky Open yesterday, birdieing seven of ten holes. The round got called for rain, but he just started finishing holes 16, 17, and 18. If he pars all three, he’ll lead by two hearing into the last round, which will start around 1 p.m. ET. If he wins, he’s buying Aaron, Drew, and everyone who comes up to him and yells “BTI sucks” steaks at Tony’s. Vamanos El Toro!

John Calipari’s ProCamps begin

Karl Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Dakari Johnson, and the Harrison Twins will all be in town this weekend to help out with the Calipari ProCamps, which start today at the Joe Craft Center. Devin’s been in town since the end of the Summer League, and I swear, he must be riding that Phunkee Duck scooter everywhere because I’ve seen a million tweets and videos about it.

On Saturday, Cal and Karl will hold a media opportunity. Maybe someone can ask him where I can buy a Karlito bobblehead and also this shirt:

TV Rec of the Week

I finished “Catastrophe” on Amazon Prime the other day and definitely recommend it if you like romantic comedies with a heavy dose of snark. We’re officially in the TV lull before the fall premieres, and with “True Detective 2″ putting me to sleep, it was refreshing to watch a show that’s original and doesn’t try too hard. I know a lot of you still have faith in “True Detective 2,” but Vince Vaughn’s terrible monologues and zig-zagging storyline have moved it to the bottom of my queue. It was so bad we turned it off the other night to watch “Island Hunters” on HGTV. Also, I’ve found myself actually looking forward to “Ballers.” It’s not going to win any awards and The Rock is impossible to take seriously, but it’s easy fluffy entertainment. Charles’ storyline is my favorite.

KSR is at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Paducah

And I bet people are already there drinking beer. God bless ’em.


July 29th, 2015

Erik Korem: Stoops’ secret weapon and the facility that could keep him here

One man tried to make his way across the crowded floor at the Nutter Field House Saturday morning, backpack slung over his shoulders and eyes on the exit. All along the way, fans stopped him to ask questions, and patiently, he obliged, even though it meant whatever was next on the agenda would have to wait. While more prominent staff members and starting football players stood idly by, Erik Korem was the rock star, fans rushing up to get in one last compliment, question, or threat to keep him in the room.

“I’m tying a rope on you. I don’t want you to ever leave us,” UK football superfan Suzanne Allen whispered to Korem, reaching out and pulling his arm towards her. “They need to raise your salary, do whatever they have to do to keep you.”

Korem smiled and assured Suzanne that he and his family are very happy in Lexington. While I admire Suzanne’s determination to keep Korem here by tying a rope to him, after listening to his presentation at the UK Football Women’s Clinic, I don’t think it’s necessary. He’s already tethered to Kentucky by the new state-of-the-art $45 million practice facility, which Stoops gave him complete control over to design from the ground up.

635489332950760002-Exterior-Perspective---Practice-Fields

A “first of its kind” facility

Korem talks about the training facility with the same passion, excitement, and pride one would a child, because, basically, this is his baby. The 100,000-square foot facility will serve as a one-stop shop for the football program, and include a massage therapy room, high-performance weight room, sports science facility, and team doctor’s office with an in-house X-ray machine. Players will want for nothing, with a tutoring center, full-service kitchen, Gatorade and juice bar, and lounge all under the same roof.

“This building encompasses everything that involves the student athlete’s life, from training to eating to meetings and academics,” Korem said, singling out the new CATS tutorial center in particular, noting that it often takes players 20 minutes to walk from the current training center to CATS. Even just a few trips back and forth a day takes away a lot of time they could be dedicating to football. “It’s going to simplify things and bring all of that under one building. I think it’s really going to speed up our development process and it’s really going to make us feel like we’ve got a cool home.”

We’ve already heard about a lot of these features, but Korem gave the clinic and KSR some exclusive details:

  • A sensory deprivation tank similar to those used by Navy SEALS and special warfare units. This will help calm players down and alleviate stress, promoting faster mental recovery from workouts, games, life, etc. (Can I use that, too?)
  • An indoor turf area, 25 yards long by 20 yards wide for players to warm up on before lifting and utilize for speed drills
  • Glass garage doors that open right up onto the training fields from the indoor turf so the players can extend their workouts outside during warm weather
  • A 70-foot long, 6-foot deep cold plunge tank capable of holding 30-40 players at once. Korem saw the concept in Australia and prefers the large pool to more common cold tubs because the deeper you get in the water, the higher the pressure gets. In addition, players will be able to move around in the pool, which will release the microbubbles that surround the body, creating a better cooling effect. The first of its kind in the US. “The cold plunge tank was a big deal,” Korem admits.
  • Turf training hills, one sloped at 20 degrees and one at 15 degrees, along with two plyometric ramps. Oregon is the only other program in the country — college or pro — with this feature.

Korem says the state-of-the-art high performance lab is the first of its kind, and he and head strength and conditioning coach Corey Edmond are still customizing equipment as it comes in.

“We created some of our own stuff, so I’m excited for people to look at us and see it’s not just in the high-performance realm, it’s a lot of stuff,” he said. “I think the people of Kentucky are going to be pretty stinking proud of this building.”

dupree-combine

“God made Bud Dupree. We just polished him up.”

What makes Korem’s high-performance program even more impressive are the results it’s producing heading into year three. Like Avery Williamson last year, Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith opted to train with Korem for the NFL Combine instead of paying for outside training, and the results spoke for themselves. Dupree was one of the standouts at the Combine, turning in the fastest results for a player his size, vaulting his stock into the first round. Pittsburgh is now grooming him as a starter heading into training camp.

“You can’t make Bud Dupree,” Korem said. “God made Bud Dupree and we just polished him up. He’s still going to get better.”

What’s the method to Korem’s magic? He worked as a speed development consultant with track and field athletes during the 2008 Olympics and applied those drills and tactics to the Combine training. Dupree had all of his meals before the Combine designed by a nutritionist and delivered to him to achieve maximum results. Korem’s program has been so successful that many former players in the NFL, including Williamson, Randall Cobb, and Tim Masthay, are coming back each offseason to train at UK.

The craziest part? Korem says he enjoys helping former players prepare for the combine and train so much that he does it all on his own time. The high-performance program has always been interesting, but now that it’s turning UK players into first round NFL Draft picks, it’s an integral part of the new Kentucky football.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 10.18.50 AM

The best is yet to come

At SEC Media Days, senior offensive tackle Jordan Swindle trotted out the much-ballyhooed stat that two years ago, only five player on the team could run over 19 MPH, and now, over 33 players run over 19 MPH. I mentioned that stat to Korem and he laughed.

“I have to correct Jordan. Our first year, we had five that could run over 19 MPH in the first game and next year, it was like 14, and two weeks ago in training, we had 31 over 20 MPH, so I didn’t even count the guys running over 19, so it’s even faster.”

(For perspective, when Boom Williams broke out for his first touchdown against Ohio, he was clocked at 21.7 MPH.)

While Korem and Coach Edmond have been focusing on acceleration with the Catapult tracking system, a lot of the improvement, of course, is due to Stoops and the staff recruiting better talent.

“I’ll be honest, you have to bring in good talent. It makes your job way easier when you have good talent to work with,” Korem said.

Ready for another mind-blowing stat? Korem said when he and Stoops’ staff came in, only six to eight guys could jump over 30 inches vertically. After one summer, 35 players could jump over 30 inches and now, 40-50 players clear the benchmark. Whoa.

“Getting the best players better is important, but one thing Coach Edmond always talks about, if we can improve the average player, that’s really important. So, if our average player is significantly better, then we’re a better football team,” Korem said, noting how players now pass the eye test. “All you have to do is look at our guys in their uniforms and you can tell we look better, we’ve lost a lot of fat, we’ve gained a lot of muscle. In between the ears, we’ve improved as well. Our guys are making big strides and being more accountable. Mentally tough and it’s only going to get better.”

Jacob Hyde

All-in on results

Korem said he’s spent a good part of this offseason helping players form better habits to support improved performance, and he’s noticed players are taking ownership of their training both in and out of the weight room.

“I want guys to manage the training process themselves. We want guys to become self-aware, we’re creating ways for guys to see the data on their cell phones,” Korem said. “Guys will pull me aside and say, ‘Coach, I wasn’t at my best, why not?’ I’ll say, ‘well, let’s look at the past three days, what were your habits like? And then when guys start buying in, getting to bed earlier, turning the video games off, hydrating more, and all of a sudden the changes come and they buy in? That’s when the locker room culture changes because ‘hey, this stuff works.'”

“To us, it’s the 22 hours outside the building that will affect their performance more than anything else,” Korem said. “We train two hours. They’ve got 22 other hours that they’re training but they don’t even know it.”

Now they do, and that awareness is paying off.

So, about that rope…

Since his first summer at Kentucky, Korem’s high-performance program has been turning heads, attention he credits to the hard work of his entire staff, specifically Coach Edmond. Korem told me that representatives from NFL teams, NBA teams, and Australian rules football teams regularly contact him to pick his brain about what he’s doing at Kentucky. In fact, he said he talked to an NFL team just the other day. (I can feel Suzanne’s arm reaching out instinctively.) When I asked if these teams try to poach him, Korem admitted he’s had some offers, but he remains loyal to Mark Stoops.

“There have been some opportunities,” Korem said. “But I’m happy here and Coach Stoops is a great man to work for. To me, it’s all about people, really. If you’re working with a good group of people, it makes things so much fun and I think we have a good group of people here.”

Also, a brand new training facility that will open next July; a facility that Korem’s been dreaming of his entire career, and is now molding, brick by brick.

“As far as my input, the administration said ‘hey, what do you want in this building?'” Korem said. “The high-performance lab, I think that’s kind of unheard of. When I explained to Coach Stoops what would go in there, he said, ‘hey, let’s do it.’ You don’t want to be different just for different’s sake, but you want to actually have things that will make a difference.”

For a program trying to succeed in a league as competitive as the SEC, you have to be a little different to make a difference.


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

BaconatorFries_Mobile_500x500


This summer enjoy Wendy’s® new Baconator Fries. Applewood-smoked bacon cooked fresh in our kitchens every day, and melty cheddar cheese, on top of our signature natural-cut fries. Now at a Wendy’s near you.
For a limited time only. Price and participation may vary.


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 Penn State

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 Jeff Bidwell ‎


This should go well. I have a feeling Matt doesn’t like to be touched by grown men.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 Matthew Mahone ‎


That’s going to be one good looking 70 year old man.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 Landon Foster ‎


Let this be a lesson. Never stand up Marcus Lee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6 DeLanna Johnson ‎


We should all sign everything like this. That would make a nice marriage license.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 Bobby Shain ‎


Woah woah. Slow down, Bobby. You still have like 40+ days until football season. That’s going to be way too much beer between now and then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 Gary Green ‎


Seconded. You’ll get the KSR experience in every swing. If you follow Drew on snapchat then you know what I mean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Trey Lyles ‎


I love it when players get sassy on twitter. It is my favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Brent


Good idea, actually. Let’s divide it up. Everyone gets 25 seconds each. Go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1 John Williams ✞ ‎


I laughed way to hard at this…and then I got really sad. Is it too late to send a sympathy card, or?

 

@Hessler_KSR


Chuck Hayes signs a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets

Chuck Hayes is heading back to Houston. According to Yahoo’s Marc Spears, the Houston Rockets have agreed to sign Hayes to a one-year veteran’s minimum deal.

Hayes was with the Rockets from 2006-2011 before being traded to the Sacramento Kings, and later, the Toronto Raptors. Hayes is 32 now, and averaged 1.7 points and 8.8 minutes per game last season for the Raptors.

Still got it!


2016 DT Commit Kobe Smith: Freddie’s Take

OK, these three days have been surreal. I’m certainly not complaining. The BBN’s Football Division was more than overdue for a few days like this. And let me remind you, it’s ok to enjoy the process. Based on historical rug pools, I sense that many are hesitantly optimistic. Stop it. Oh yeah I almost forgot, YAHTZEE!

Archer High School’s Kobe Smith has pledged his allegiance to the Big Blue. In the past, multiple quality skill players have committed and inked with the Wildcats. But this 2016 class is noticeably diverse. A bountiful number of elite offensive linemen are on board. Matter of fact, multiple All-Americans reside within its horde. Now, an equally as impressive defensive counterpart has joined their ranks.

Kobe Smith looks and plays like a defensive tackle that we are used to seeing trot out of the opposite tunnel. At 6’3″ 315 lbs., Smith appeared agile, mean, and athletic on film. I was equally impressed by his quick hand shoots. I’ll explain. Defensive tackles come out of their stance and are coached to shoot or drive their hands through the offensive blockers to gain momentum and control. Smith’s initial punch is violently fast. At defensive tackle, any and all on-the-field “violent” references are a positive.

Kobe’s tape also showed line of scrimmage disruption, accurate and timely pursuit angles all the while maintaining gap responsibility. I’ll explain again. Line of scrimmage disruption applies when defenders travel past offensive linemen in order to influence the ball carrier’s path or make tackles for loss. Pursuit angles refer to the direction a defender takes toward the ball carrier in order to make the tackle. If behind, he’s too late to make the tackle. If too far ahead, the offensive player has time to react and can make defenders miss. Gap responsibility is when a defensive tackle is assigned to occupy a space between the offensive guard and tackle. By doing so, running backs have nowhere to go, thus forcing them to bounce outside where awaiting linebackers are present to make the tackle. All prior traits are indications of a well-coached and fundamentally developed defensive lineman.

If it remains intact, the 2016 class will be Mark Stoops’ best work to date. A positive sign of program growth is that beginning in 2013, each class that followed has trumped the previous. However, 2016 looks and feels different. UK isn’t supposed to be able to recruit line of scrimmage players. Or that’s the bill of goods we’ve been sold for way too many painful years.

Kobe Smith will immediately compete for playing time. How much clock will he get? Totally on him. That’s the best case scenario for an incoming freshman athlete. Welcome aboard.

Sincerely,

The Yahtzee Nation


3-star DT Kobe Smith commits to Kentucky!

The dice are still hot! As expected, three-star defensive tackle Kobe Smith committed to Kentucky tonight via Twitter:

The 6’4″ 295 lbs. Smith decommitted from NC State one day after he camped at Kentucky and is considered the 44th best defensive end in the 2016 class by 247 Sports. He’s now the 21st commitment in the 2016 class, which is looking pretty, pretty, pretty good:

2016class

Smith’s commitment pushes Kentucky’s 2016 class to 12th in Rivals’ team rankings. (247 Sports’ rankings have yet to be updated.)

Who’s next?