By now you’ve heard about the passing of Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, the most accomplished →
By Courtney Sealey on ©5:30 pm
With day one complete of Team USA basketball training, Cousins is feeling good about his chances to stay on the roster.
“I think I’m a lot more prepared this season, and like I said, I came here to work. We’re getting after it every day here. We have to learn the system and prepare fast. Once you get out here and the pace picks up and you have to defend on this end, it’s tough, It will get better as the week goes on.”
According to Steven Wilson, a writer for the Kings, Cousins made an apparent impact on the team by diving for ball, defending the guards, hustling down court and boxing out for rebounds. It isn’t all work for Cousins, however. He also gets to play with his Kentucky friend, Anthony Davis.
After the practice session was over, Cousins stayed behind with Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Gordon Hayward and Stephen Curry to see whose shot was the best. Cousins finished third, but told Wilson he was happy with the outcome by saying “Im not going to take it as a negative thing, I’m just going to take it as I’m the third best shooter in the gym.”
You can read the full interview, and watch video interviews from Davis and Cousins, here.
By Matt Jones on ©4:37 pm
This one is pretty awesome. The 2013-2014 season in review…complete with music, highlights and a Chester call for the ages. Check it out…you will love it from UKCatFan8
By Drew Franklin on ©4:00 pm
Louisville offensive coordinator Garrick McGee tweeted a picture of DJ Q’s setup in Louisville’s locker room for today’s workout. Coach McGee said, “It’s gonna get crazy in the weight room this evening.”
DJ Q is known for getting it crazy, no doubt. You may have seen his last two performances: “Summer Jump-Off” at Las Margaritas in Radcliff, Ky (featuring the Coke Boys); and at Horseshoe Casino (Deck 2) last month.
It’s gonna get sooooo crazy up in there.
Can UofL do anything without a DJ???
By Drew Franklin on ©3:00 pm
Our good friend Evan Daniels over at Scout.com recapped the July recruiting storylines on his website today and Evan’s report confirms what we’ve heard all summer: Jaylen Brown will decide early.
Brown’s AAU coach, Ryan Falker, told Evan, “He’ll definitely decide in the first period.”
Kentucky currently leads with 40 percent of Brown’s Crystal Ball predictions, slightly ahead of UCLA’s 32 percent. But Brown recently told a UCLA beat reporter “there may be some truth” to the rumors he is leaning toward becoming a Bruin. Of course, he may same the same thing about Kentucky if asked by a UK beat reporter, so read into that however you’d like.
Regardless of his current leader(s), Brown will visit UCLA next week and has plans to check out Kentucky and Kansas before coming to a decision.
For more on Brown and the July recruiting period, check out Evan’s wrap-up here.
By Drew Franklin on ©2:00 pm
The Kentucky Sports Radio crew enjoyed its first trip to Northern Kentucky for Tuesday morning’s show, live from Dickmann’s. As you can see, Dickmann’s has a staff that is second to none. They are very, um, very photogenic. And smokin’ hot.
As for the show, it included great interviews with Jeff Piecoro and Jon Rothstein, plus entertaining play-by-play commentary from Matt and Shannon The Dude as Ryan Lemond tried to run his way through the arm wrestling gauntlet. He even took down two women at once, something we never thought we’d say about Ryan.
Listen to both hours of the show below:
And if you’re in a hurry to hear Rothstein’s interview about Monday’s UK basketball practice, it can be heard here:
Other small and tidbits from the first part of the day:
– Following up what he said to Rothstein during their Q&A session, John Calipari told Mike DeCourcy the sole reason he turned down NBA offers was because of the players coming back. “If I came back after the date and left … tough move,” he said. “If it was your son, how would you feel? ‘That rat, we could have left, why didn’t he tell us?’”
– USA Basketball announced its 12-man U17 roster from the 33-man tryout and nine of the 12 have offers to play at UK. They are Ivan Rabb, Malik Newman, Diamond Stone, Henry Ellenson, and Caleb Swanigan of the 2015 class, plus Jayson Tatum, Tyus Battle, VJ King and Harry Giles of the 2016 class. Malik Monk, one of the hottest names in the July recruiting period, did not make the squad.
– The Denver Broncos put a microphone on former UK star Danny Trevathan during Monday’s practice. Listen to Trevathan get Mic’d Up here. It sure would be nice to have a guy like Trevathan at linebacker in Lexington this upcoming season. Or anyone close to his ability, for that matter.
– Hey, Lexington… Julius Randle will be signing autographs at Wildcat Wearhouse in Fayette Mall tonight from 7 to 8 pm. Stop by and see him before he heads off to Los Angeles to get ready to start his rookie season.
That’ll do it for now. More throughout the day.
By Drew Franklin on ©1:00 pm
We’re going to have to put Jon Rothstein on the payroll if he continues to churn out exclusive content at the rate he has over the past 24 hours. This morning, Rothstein followed up his KSR interview with a Q&A session with John Calipari for CBSSports.com. It is very wordy, so I’ll share with you an excerpt before sending you on your way to take it all in yourself.
Here, check out this little bit about whether or not the returning players impacting his decision to turn down the NBA:
It had to do with me getting them more prepared. So now you have four kids who said they need us and me to prepare them for the rest of their lives. If I came back after that and left, it’s a tough move. That was solely the reason. Now people are saying that I’ll never leave here. You know what, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll be in this position every year. I’ll be happy as hell if that happens, because that means my team comes back. And then when you have guys say that I’m going to leave, my thing is, ‘If you were offered X amount of dollars, would you leave?’ And I stayed.
Cal also talks in length about the title game; the rivalry with Louisville; expectations for the Harrison twins; this year’s depth across the board; and the hardest part about coaching at Kentucky. Check it out.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:15 pm
You’ve briefly seen the work when passing by on Nicholasville Road, now see it from the sky in this video from Bell Engineering. It was recorded a couple of weeks ago so progress is even further along today.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:32 am
After sitting in on Kentucky basketball’s Monday practice, CBSSports’ Jon Rothstein was a guest on KSR this morning to elaborate on some of the things he tweeted yesterday about the Cats.
The first order of business was responding to his prediction of Marcus Lee in the starting five, to which he admitted he tends to lean toward returning players over incoming freshmen. “I still think it remains to be seen which bigs can play together for Kentucky,” he said. “The surplus of bigs Kentucky has is unlike any other frontcourt in college basketball this season and probably any other frontcourt college basketball has seen in quite some time.”
Rothstein then went on to rave about Karl Towns, Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker, UK’s three participating freshmen, plus Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins, the projected 11th and 12th guys in the rotation. I transcribed his comments for you below, because I’m a nice guy…
“I gotta tell you, the buzz, I think outside the Kentucky program, isn’t really palpable right now surrounding Karl Towns, but inside Kentucky’s program, the buzz is beyond palpable. And the different thing about Karl Towns versus other big men that have played for Kentucky is he has the ability to extend the defense from the four or the five spot. He’s a skilled big man that’s going to bring the opponent’s four or five away from the basket — like a Frank Kaminsky, like a Walter Pitchford who excelled this past year for Nebraska. So it’s a different type of look for Kentucky and — I tweeted this and I said it because I just made the parallel during practice — he’s a little bit like how Channing Frye was when Channing Frye was at Arizona and how he’s been in the NBA: a nice pick-and-pop threat from the four or the five spot.”
“I was really impressed with Tyler Ulis’ ability to read situations within the defense. He’s different in the sense that he is a table-setter; he is going to be the person that gets people baskets. And one thing I think is really going to stand out for Kentucky fans: Tyler Ulis knows how to read the defense in-between the three-point line and the foul line. He knows where to pick his spots — whether it’s better to use a lob for a big man, whether it’s better to just pull up and take a shot from in-between the foul line and three-point line. His feel and ability to shoot the basketball I think are beyond what people would expect.”
“I don’t think there is anybody, in the gym yesterday or from what I’ve heard throughout the summer, that is shooting the basketball better than Devin Booker. It’s going to be really tough to keep him off the floor. You know, teams are probably going to try and zone Kentucky this season to slow them down because of their size and athletic ability; you won’t be able to zone Kentucky if Devin Booker is on the floor.”
“I gotta tell you this, there are probably 50 to 70 BCS programs that Derek Willis would start for right now.”
“Nik Stauskas was slicing up Kentucky like a side of fries in the regional final last year — he had 18 points in the first half — and John Calipari’s decision to put Dominique Hawkins on Nik Stauskas in the second half changed the game. I don’t think, without Dominique Hawkins, Kentucky goes to the Final Four. And Dominique Hawkins, I can tell you this, is a better offensive player than he was at the end of last season.”
Exciting stuff from Rothstein on the younger Cats. The entire interview will be available a little later on the site when the podcast is uploaded.
By Drew Franklin on ©10:51 am
James Young is in Lexington for John Calipari’s ProCamp this morning and he took a break from beating kids in Knockout to chat with the local media. He kept his answers short and sweet, as he always does, but Jerry Tipton has some interesting stuff from Young about handling lofty expectations at UK.
Young said he would tell this team to drown out the undefeated hype: “Don’t listen to it. We kind of listened to it last year and it kind of got to us,” he said. “We had an up-and-down season. Leave the media stuff alone and stay focused.”
“It was just so big for everybody; it was just everywhere,” he added.
Speaking of, did you see where Hooter’s Casino in Las Vegas has UK at 50/1 to go undefeated?
I’m holding out for better odds.
By Drew Franklin on ©10:31 am
When Alfonso Smith played his final down for the Kentucky football team in 2009, very few people, if any, had any idea he had a realistic future in the NFL. But here we are, four and a half years later, and Alfonso Smith is the newest member of the San Francisco 49ers.
The product of Louisville’s Waggener High School announced his signing with the Super Bowl contender on Instagram last night. He spent his first four seasons in the league with the Arizona Cardinals, where he rushed for two touchdowns.
At Kentucky, Smith’s single season high in rushing was 313 yards. He played a secondary role behind Derrick Locke in the UK field during his junior and senior seasons.
Smith joins fellow Wildcat and San Francisco newcomer Stevie Johnson in the 49ers offense.
By Drew Franklin on ©9:55 am
KSR listeners were lined up early outside of Dickmann’s in Northern Kentucky for this morning’s tour stop, the only stop where we do not have a radio affiliate. (Hopefully that will soon change.)
Matt and Ryan are now on the stage with their microphones and ready to kick off Tuesday’s show in front of a rowdy crowd of Cats fans. Stop by if you’re in the area for a shot at UK basketball tickets or a spot in the drawing for the Bahamas.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
KSR Affiliate List
WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WAIN (93.9fm): Columbia
WHIR (1230am): Danville
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
WHOP (95.3fm): Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060am): Jamestown
WLAP (630am): Lexington
WFTG (1400am): London
WKJK (1080am): Louisville
WFMW (730am): Madisonville
WWXL (1450am): Manchester
WFTM (1240am): Maysville
WKYM (101.7fm): Monticello
WMSK (1550am): Morganfield
WKYH (600am): Paintsville
WLSI (900am) Pikeville
WPRT (960am): Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240am): Somerset
WTCW (920am): Whitesburg
WBTH (1400am): Williamson
On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…
WVHI (1330am): Evansville, IN, 5-7pm
WMTL (870am): Leitchfield, 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570am): Morgantown, 3-5pm
WRIL (106.3fm): Middlesboro, Thur 8-10pm
WPAD (1560am): Paducah, 11-1pm
WHAY (98.3fm): Whitley City, 2-4pm
By Bryan the Intern on ©9:00 am
The SEC hasn’t always gotten the best reputation over the year for taking chances during non-conference play. This used to be the case 10-15 years ago while other conferences would take on more ambitious scheduling. But as college football has moved on, most of the major conference teams might play another BCS school for 1 of their non-c0nference opponents but the rest is pretty weak. That doesn’t mean that some SEC teams don’t take this pathetic scheduling too far. Look at the 14 SEC teams and who they have scheduled for their 4 non-conference games this year. Those in bold are teams who made a bowl last year and the record for each team last year is listed.
1. TENNESSEE (36-16 combined)
Utah State (9-5)
Arkansas State (8-5)
at Oklahoma (11-2)
2. SOUTH CAROLINA (35-17 combined)
East Carolina (10-3)
South Alabama (6-6)
at Clemson (11-2)
3. GEORGIA (34-17 combined)
Charleston Southern (10-3)
Georgia Tech (7-6)
4. KENTUCKY (32-18 combined)
at Louisville (12-1)
5. MISSOURI (33-18 combined)
South Dakota State (9-5)
at Toledo (7-5)
Central Florida (12-1)
6. ARKANSAS (27-25 combined)
Nicholls State (4-8)
at Texas Tech (8-5)
Northern Illinois (12-2)
7. LSU (26-25 combined)
(in Houston) Wisconsin (9-4)
Sam Houston State (9-5)
New Mexico State (2-10)
8. AUBURN (26-24 combined)
San Jose State (6-6)
at Kansas State (8-5)
Louisiana Tech (4-8)
9. OLE MISS (23-26 combined)
(in Atlanta) Boise State (8-5)
10. FLORIDA (23-27 combined)
Eastern Michigan (2-10)
Eastern Kentucky (6-6)
at Florida State (14-0)
11. TEXAS A&M (26-24 combined)
at SMU (5-7)
12. VANDERBILT (21-28 combined)
Charleston Southern (10-3)
Old Dominion (8-4)
13. ALABAMA (13-35 combined)
(in Atlanta) West Virginia (4-8)
Florida Atlantic (6-6)
Southern Miss (1-11)
Western Carolina (2-10)
14. MISSISSIPPI STATE (16-32 combined)
Southern Miss (1-11)
at South Alabama (6-6)
The only thing that is a little disappointing for the SEC is how few times they will wander away from their home fields. In all, SEC teams will play 56 non-conference games this year and only 9 of those will be away from home, with another 2 on neutral fields. That means 45 of 56 games will be played at home. I understand that is a revenue grab by most teams, but it also leads to a smaller amount of really good matchups and more boring non-conference games.
We will focus most of our attention on relevant Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as per usual, there are no limits to our madness. You, the KSR fans, can also participate in our top-10 tweet countdown by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTopTen, or by tweeting @KySportsRadio.
#10 Jon Bois
someone should make a website that’s about sports
— Jon Bois (@jon_bois) July 28, 2014
Is there a market for that?
#9 Josh Hicks
— Josh Hicks (@jhicks2006) July 28, 2014
Matt’s voice is therapeutic during a long workday.
#8 Chris Bailey
— Chris Bailey (@Kentuckyweather) July 29, 2014
#7 Adam Himmelsbach
@AdamHimmelsbach Had no idea this type of technology existed in Louisville.
— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) July 28, 2014
The company name–PooPrints (no joke).
#6 Ira Combs
@DrewFranklinKSR I can tell you plenty of Bill Keightley stories if you want to by me lunch say maybe at White Castle or Gold Star
— Ira D. Combs (@combsbrothers5) July 29, 2014
Taco Bell or bust.
#5 John Broussard
Top 6 ✊ pic.twitter.com/ayNAtL2UKC
— John Broussard ™ (@_RealDeal_22) July 29, 2014
These emojis r 2 kewt, but how is that a Seminole?
#4 Lost Lettermen
WORST. CONCERT. EVER. https://t.co/6yPswzHvHl
— LostLettermen.com (@LostLettermen) July 28, 2014
14 acts before the SEC takes the stage.
#3 T.J. Walker
Kinda awkward they all woke up wearing the same shirt this morning. pic.twitter.com/eEjsXwNU3C
— T.J. Walker (@TWalkerRivals) July 28, 2014
That’s why you always take an outfit Snapchat before walking out that door.
#2 Patrick Barker
— Patrick Barker (@pfbarker) July 28, 2014
Haven’t we all?
#1 Jason Burnett
— Jason Burnett (@UK__JB) July 29, 2014
Drive SLOWLY to NKY Ryan.
There have been many dances that have defined eras in music over time. The best dances have been the most embarrassing, from the hustle to the macarena to the electric slide. In 2007, the entire world learned how to “Crank That,” Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em style. At only 16 years old, Soulja Boy had the biggest song in the country, with kids Supermanning in schools around America (sadly, I was one of them). Seven years later on his 24th birthday, Soulja has long surpassed his Limewire and Myspace fame but will never return to the level of stardom he once had. Soulja Boy was never the same after he kissed his girl through the phone, but there will always be a place in America’s heart for the colorfully-clothed Soulja.
In case you forgot…
Now that we’ve all “YOOOOOUUUUUUUU’D”, on to the news from Monday.
Practice for the Big Blue Bahamas is in full force.
With less than two weeks until Kentucky tips off against Puerto Rico in the Bahamas, Coach Cal is turning up the heat up in practice. Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and KSR guest hosting fame was Tweeting live from practice today, giving the world some interesting insight on the team’s improvement. The most revealing tidbit? Rothstein believed Marcus Lee should be the starter at power forward (the 4 spot). The BBN didn’t get the chance to see much of Marcus until he let his colors shine in the NCAA Tournament after Willie Cauley-Stein injured his ankle. Maintaining momentum from last year’s run is exactly what Coach Cal is looking for.
Rothstein also said Cal will have a day next week solely dedicated to working on a zone defense. Will see if the zone d’s arch nemesis changes his mind about the zone with his lengthy team.
Antonio Blakeney trims his list; includes the Cats and Cards.
After competing in AAU Super Showcase in Louisville last week, Antonio Blakeney cut his list to Kentucky, Louisville, Mizzou, Florida State, Oregon, LSU, and USC. According to the 247 Crystal Ball, Kentucky holds a slight advantage over Louisville (38% to UL’s 33%) but there is still plenty of time before the 3rd ranked shooting guard in the class of 2015 decides his future.
Get your tickets to the 2014 Alumni Game.
Coach Cal’s annual fantasy camp will once again come to a close with a game in Rupp Arena featuring Cats in the Pros vs. Non-UK Pros. You can purchase tickets for the August 24th game (6:00 PM tip-off) at the Rupp Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster Outlet or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
There isn’t another place in the country that can do this every year, let’s make it a huge success once again.
Go away 40-0.
Neal Brown spoke with KSR this morning.
Entering the final week of the offseason, Neal Brown talked about the past and how the Cats are moving forward into 2014 on KSR this morning. Brown is excited to see the development of Javess Blue and Ryan Timmons after a rough year with the receivers in 2013, calling it the worst he’s ever had to work with in football. No offense to those guys, but they were young and there weren’t enough of them.
You can listen to the entire interview here. Try to not get excited for football season, I dare you.
Don’t forget to vote for a Finalist in UK’s Kickoff Playoff.
The players are relying on you to choose the song that gets them pumped before kickoff. You still have time to vote for either Bud Dupree’s “Knuck if you Buck” or Braylon Heard’s “Who Run It.”
I’m still knuckin’ and buckin’, but it’s difficult for me to ever disagree with Bud Dupree.
Cordia High School, coached by former Wildcat Rod Rhodes, received one of the worst penalties ever levied by the KHSAA.
The day ended with some bad news. After taking over Cordia’s basketball program in 2011, Rod Rhodes’ Cordia program was sanctioned by the KHSAA after uncovering a number of infractions. Many of the infractions revolved around transfer students Rhodes brought in, receiving illegal housing benefits and falsifying records.
You can the read the entire report here, which Commissioner Julian Tackett described the situation as, “the most wanton and blatant disregard for Association rules in its 97 year history.”
Before I go, here’s a reminder of why Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.
By Drew Franklin on ©9:30 pm
By now you’ve heard about the passing of Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones, the most accomplished athlete in the history of athletics at the University of Kentucky. Earlier today, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart issued a statement, saying, “The word ‘legend’ is used frequently in our society but it is truly fitting when considering Wah Wah Jones. Wah Wah holds a legendary place in the athletic history of our state.”
Barnhart is exactly right, too. Wah Wah Jones is a true legend, and tonight we’ll explore his accomplishments on the court, on the field, and in life in general. The man did it all…
He was born in Harlan, Kentucky.
Born in 1926, Wallace was one of Hugh and Fay Jones’ five children, along with Dukie, Evelyn, Hugh, Jr. and Jacqueline. The Joneses owned Hugh Jones Cafe, a popular restaurant in Harlan, located on Main Street next door to where BB&T Bank is today.
He went by “Wah Wah” early, because his younger sister couldn’t pronounce his name.
His baby sister Jackie could only say ‘Wah Wah’ when trying to pronounce ‘Wallace,’ thus the nickname was born. It stuck with him since childhood.
He played for Adolph Rupp and Bear Bryant.
Kentucky football made its first bowl appearance in 1947, Jones’ junior season and Bryant’s second year as coach. Jones followed that up with the NCAA basketball championship that season, the first of Rupp’s four.
He was the last surviving member of the “Fabulous Five.”
Oscar Combs tweeted, “With Wah’s passing, the end of UK’s Fabulous Five era is now in the history books.”
The Fabulous Five, consisting of Ralph Beard, Alex Groza, Cliff Barker, Kenny Rollins and Jones, won 36 of 39 games in 1947-48, including the national championship.
He is the only Wildcat with a retired number in basketball and football.
That is a feat that will never be duplicated.
He also played baseball.
When he wasn’t playing basketball and football for Kentucky, he also pitched for the baseball team, lettering three years on the diamond.
And he was on the track team.
Why stop with basketball, football and baseball? Shot put was another of Jones’ athletic gifts.
He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.
Phi Delt was kicked off campus earlier this year until Fall 2016 for behavior Wah Wah would not approve of.
He had a summer job at Keeneland.
He worked in horse sales during what little free time he had away from sports.
He almost signed with the University of Tennessee.
From an interview for Wildcat Memories:
Were it not for the man who went on to become my father-inlaw—Alva Ball of Middlesboro, Kentucky (I married his daughter, Edna)—I might have ended up playing basketball for the University of Tennessee instead of for UK. In the summer of 1945 Mr. Ball overheard that I was considering signing with Tennessee. I don’t know who he called at UK, but the next day a driver arrived in Harlan to transport me to Lexington to meet with Coach Adolph Rupp. After meeting with him I decided to sign at UK.
Thank you, Alva Ball. You’re a great American.
He won a gold medal in the 1948 Olympics.
Jones, Coach Rupp and the other members of the Fabulous Five brought home the gold from London in 1948. Another Wildcat won basketball gold in London, 64 years later…
He was selected eighth overall in the 1949 NBA Draft.
He fell to the Washington Capitols at No. 8, six spots behind Alex Groza, a fellow Wildcat and second overall pick that year. Ralph Beard came off the board four picks later.
He played three seasons for the Indianapolis Olympians.
Washington dealt him to Indianapolis after the draft where he averaged 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per contest in three seasons.
He was a seventh-round choice by the Chicago Bears in the 1949 NFL Draft.
The NFL was an option, too.
He was invited to try out for the Boston Braves.
As was Major League Baseball.
He was a 5-handicap golfer.
There were very few things he couldn’t do in sports, if any.
He published a Lexington TV guide.
The “Wah Wah Jones Publication” was delivered to every house in Lexington with an antenna, back when televisions weren’t so common. Jones went on to sell the subscription to TV Guide.
He was elected sheriff of Fayette County.
He served from 1954 through 1958. “I was the first Republican sheriff in this county since the Civil War – and the last one,” he told the Courier-Journal in 2003.
He was a Republican nominee for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.
He lost to John Watts, a veteran Congressman, in Jones’ only run for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1956.
He started Blue Grass Tours.
Lexington’s oldest horse farm tour company (with the blue buses we’ve all seen) began in 1978 under Jones, its founder. Today, Blue Grass is the official charter of the Kentucky basketball team. The Cats use a custom-made $700,000 sleeper coach, designed specifically for John Calipari and his team. The bus’ horn plays the UK fight song.