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August 31st, 2015

6 quick hitters from Stoops’ first weekly press conference

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Mark Stoops just wrapped up his first weekly press conference of the season in the Wildcat Den, and had plenty to tell reporters about the team heading into Saturday’s opener. I already posted the unfortunate news about Kyle Meadows and CJ Johnson being suspended, but here are some quick notes before Kindsey has a full recap for you later.

— The biggest injury we’re keeping an eye on right now is starting weakside linebacker Ryan Flannigan. Stoops sounded hopeful Flannigan will be back soon. “We’ll see,” Stoops said. “He’s getting better, I think he’s very close. If he can practice Tuesday or Wednesday, he’ll play. If he can’t practice by Wednesday, he won’t play.”

— Freshmen, both true and redshirt, were all over this week’s depth chart, and Stoops said he expects nine true and ten redshirt freshman to play this year. Heading into year three, that’s a telling sign of the talent still coming into the program, and Stoops is clearly letting talent win some position battles even if means sacrificing experience. He singled out running back/kick returner Sihiem King and cornerback Chris Westry as two true freshmen that really turned heads in camp, calling King an explosive playmaker.

— Speaking of redshirt freshmen, Stoops said the depth at wide receiver is so good that the staff is hoping to redshirt Tavin Richardson and Jabari Greenwood. “If we stay healthy, we’ll protect them if we can. But if we need them to win football games, we’ll play them.”

— Alexander Montgomery not being on the depth chart raised some eyebrows this morning, and Stoops admitted the sophomore has had some setbacks with his injuries, but will play on Saturday.

— You’ve heard Freddie talk a lot about ULL’s star RB Elijah McGuire. Stoops called him a “very dynamic” and “fantastic player” that will create problems for the Cats. How is he feeling about his run defense? “It comes down to just getting more stops,” he said. “We need to get better in a lot of areas, and run defense is one of them. But I anticipate we will be improved.”

— A reporter brought Matt Elam’s tweet about going undefeated to Stoops’ attention, to which Stoops joked, “I didn’t even know he said it. Well, he needs to lose a few pounds, so I’ll get him after practice.”

Similarly, Stoops said he likes the players’ confidence, but “if that’s what motivates you, then put your money where your mouth is.”

A replay, if you missed it:

Kyle Meadows and CJ Johnson suspended one game

Offensive tackle Kyle Meadows and defensive tackle CJ Johnson were notably absent from this morning’s depth chart, and now we know why. Mark Stoops just told reporters during his press conference that both are suspended one game for a violation of team rules. He did not go into the matter any further.

Disappointing news, especially since CJ is a senior. More on this as the story develops.

Watch Mark Stoops’ weekly press conference

Want $25 tickets to Saturday’s game?


We are five days away from the season opener, and according to our sources, about 4,000 tickets are still left.

Want to help christen the new Commonwealth Stadium? UK is offering upper level tickets for $25 each on Ticketmaster. To get yours, use the promo code “ALLIN” on Ticketmaster.

Do it. No excuses.


The first depth chart of the season is out

Read it and weep for joy that football is back.

Quick notes:

  • Four true freshmen are starting: CB Chris Westry, RT George Asafo-Adjei, RB Sihiem King on special teams, and TE CJ Conrad. Redshirt freshman Denzil Ware is also getting his first start at defensive end/linebacker.
  • Eight true freshmen are listed in the two-deep, 12 redshirt freshmen
  • No Kyle Meadows, Alex Montgomery, or CJ Johnson. Transfer Courtney Love is also not listed (UK is still appealing his hardship waiver)

More coming from Stoops at noon…

The back of the scoreboard is done

The back of the video board facing Nicholasville Road is now finished, featuring a mural of former players and the new UK logo.

The original design had “‘Til the Battle is Won” in block letters, but after Chester led a coup against it, UK went back to the drawing board, offering four designs for fans to vote on. The one above narrowly beat out the mural of the players with the Kentucky state outline, which may grace the back of the other video board facing the Nutter Field House.

Thoughts? Crooked K and all, I like it.

UPDATE: Here’s a picture of the other video board, courtesy of Freddie Maggard.


Freddie Maggard is joining UK’s pregame radio coverage

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Ready to start your Monday with some good news? Because I’ve got some. Congratulations to our own Freddie Maggard, who will join Christi Thomas on a special 30-minute show that will be part of the UK Radio Network’s expanded “Countdown to Kickoff” pregame show.

The show will start two hours before kickoff each week, so 5 p.m. this Saturday, and bridge the KSR Pregame Show and Tom Leach’s 90-minute pregame show. You can hear it on all the UK Radio Network affiliates as well as stream video live on The KSR Pregame Show will now starts FOUR HOURS prior to kickoff.

Here’s the radio schedule for Saturday:

  • 3 PM: KSR Pregame Show with Matt, Drew, Ryan, and Jared
  • 5 PM: Countdown to Kickoff with Freddie Maggard and Christi Thomas
  • 5:30 PM: Countdown to Kickoff with Tom Leach, Oscar Combs, and Jeff Piecoro
  • 7 PM: Kickoff

Congrats to both Christi and Freddie, and kudos to the UK Radio Network for giving the people what they want. Here’s a preview:

It’s GAME WEEK! (Monday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Monday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. It’s GAME WEEK, so get ready to hear some football talk. Tune in to hear Matt and Ryan break down Saturday’s game, as well as recap a fun weekend.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

KSR Affiliate List

WCBL (1290am): Benton
WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WTCO (1450am): Campbellsville
WAIN (1270am): Columbia
WCYN (102.3fm) Cynthiana
WHIR (1230am): Danville
WTHX (101.5fm) Elizabethtown
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
WTUK (105.1fm): Harlan
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
WLME (102.7fm):Owensboro
WPAD (1560am): Paducah
WKYH (600am): Paintsville
WLSI (900am) Pikeville
WPRT (960am): Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240am): Somerset
WTCW (920am): Whitesburg
WHAY (98.3fm): Whitley City
WBTH (1400am): Williamson
PRTC TV Channels 209 & 409: Jackson & Owlsey Counties (Replayed at 1 and 6)


WVHI (1330am): Evansville, IN, 5-7pm
WMTL (870am): Leitchfield, 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570am): Morgantown, 3-5pm
WRIL (106.3fm): Middlesboro, Thur 8-10pm
WWTF (1580am): Lexington, 4-6pm

Monday Morning Wakeup

We did it, folks. The long national nightmare is finally over. Football is here.

It’s game week, and I don’t think I’ve been this excited for the oblong ball since Papa Brooks was in office. Expectations are high for Stoops and company in year three, with a few brave media souls predicting the Cats to go bowling for the first time since 2011.

First things first. Louisiana Lafayette comes to town Saturday to help christen the new Commonwealth Stadium, and we’ll have all the coverage you could dream of on the site this week, including a new podcast that will be taped on Tuesday night (Roush swears he has the audio figured out now).

Until then, here’s the agenda…

Mark Stoops will talk to the media at noon

Stoops’ first weekly news conference of the season is today at noon, so stay tuned to hear his thoughts on the Cats and the Ragin Cajuns. I’ll post breaking news as it happens and Nick will have a full recap this afternoon.

The depth chart will be released a little before then, so check in around 11:30 to analyze and over analyze.

We won’t know who Louisiana Lafayette’s QB is until the game

On Friday, Mark Hudsepth and his terrifying pectoral muscles told reporters that although he’s picked a starting quarterback, he’s not announcing it publicly. That means the Cats will have to prepare for both Brooks Haack and Jalen Nixon, as well as the Ragin Cajun’s star running back Elijah McGuire. The speedy junior rushed for 1,264 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, and will be an immediate test for the Cats’ run defense.

This picture of Commonwealth Stadium is awesome

This tweet from Matt Elam is even better

Can we all agree Miley Cyrus is terrible?

For some reason, I watched the MTV VMAs last night and have never felt older. Not only did I not know who half the people were, I couldn’t get over how terrible Miley Cyrus was. Miley hosted the show and spent 89.9% of it swearing and telling the audience how much pot she smokes. I know the majority of child stars are doomed from the start, but Miley’s transformation is still jarring. As @Calipartytime put it on Twitter, she looks like she belongs at a Louisville tailgate. Poor Billy Ray.

Team Nicki all the way:

It looks like Kobi Simmons enjoyed himself

The five-star combo guard took his official visit to UK this weekend, and after testing out the rims in the Joe Craft Center, posted this tweet about his trip:

Simmons will take visits to UNLV and Ohio State before announcing his decision on September 19. Georgia’s also in the mix.

Randall Cobb’s okay

Saturday night was all about the KSR 10th Anniversary party, so I didn’t hear about Randall Cobb’s shoulder injury until Sunday morning, and at first, I thought my husband was playing a cruel joke on me. Thankfully, the Packers said yesterday that Cobb only sprained his AC joint and could be back in time for the season opener on September 13. He’s pretty much the only player I like on my fantasy football team, so that’s very good news.

KSR starts in two hours

Grab your squad and get ready.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 2nd Year Starters, What’s the Improvement?


Patrick Towles is actually doing something this year that hasn’t been done many times in UK football over the last 25 years, starting a 2nd full year at quarterback.  In fact, there have really only been 4 full-time starters: Couch, Lorenzen, Woodson, and Hartline.  In Lorenzen’s case, he started his entire freshman year, split time his sophomore year and then started his final 2 years.  So in his case his 2 years were split up.  But for the other 3, what was the improvement from Year 1 to Year 2?  I think if I was a Patrick Towles fan, I would like what I see below.

MIKE HARTLINE (2008, 2010) *Hartline was injured in 2009
Passing Yards: 1666 to 3178 (UP 90.8%)
Passing TD’s: 9 to 23 (UP 155.6%)
Completions: 172 to 268 (UP 55.8%)

ANDRE WOODSON (2005-2006)
Passing Yards: 1644 to 3515 (up 114.4%)
Passing TD’s: 6 to 31 (UP 416.7%)
Completions: 146 to 264 (UP 80.8%)

TIM COUCH (1997-1998)
Passing Yards: 3884 to 4611 (UP 18.7%)
Passing TD’s: 37 to 38 (UP 2.7%)
Completions: 363 to 430 (UP 21.2%)

Even Tim Couch, who put up numbers that have still not been seen in UK history, saw significant increase in his passing yards and completions from his 1st year to his 2nd year.  Woodson saw the biggest jump as his skills really took off in his junior season and even Mike Hartline, after an injury plagued year, saw huge jumps in his 2nd full year as QB.

Towles had pretty good numbers last year, so I don’t expect a 75% jump in yards or anything.  But I would be very surprised in a 2nd full year in this program as starter, that we don’t see increases in the 3 categories listed above.  What about you?  What kind of season do you anticipate Patty Ice having this year statistically?

August 30th, 2015

Would Tyler Ulis make Team USA’s roster?


Jeremy Woo of seems to think so.

In a trip down the rabbit hole to the Wonderland of basketball, Sports Illustrated questioned what Team USA would look like if NBA players were not allowed to participate.

Their selection criteria consisted of any American player not currently on an NBA roster and would not playing in the league by the time the 2016-17 season commences. Among his picks for reserve guards was, not surprisingly, our very own UK point guard Tyler Ulis.

Woo had this to say about his choice:

“After watching his ascent from unknown high schooler to Kentucky’s likely show-runner this season, I’ve learned better than to doubt Tyler Ulis, and there’s no college point guard I’d rather have on my team. He’s small, but as tough as it gets with an elite feel for the game, and he’ll be tasked with running the second unit for stretches and changing the pace. Ulis will distribute the ball, score when needed and pester opponents on the defensive end. There’d be an adjustment curve for the international game, but I’d expect him to rise to the challenge.”

Woo isn’t the only one that has noticed Ulis’s talents, former Houston Rockets player and former Head Coach for the Spurs and Cav’s Coach John Lucas tweeted this out today:

With Ex-Cats like John Wall, Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins vying for a chance on Team USA’s roster in Las Vegas earlier this month, it makes sense to include a Wildcat in this fantasy roster. You know, for realism’s sake.

The full make-believe roster looks like this:

Starting Lineup

PG – Kris Dunn (Providence)

SG – Jordan Crawford (Free Agent, Former Indiana Hoosier)

SF – Dorell Wright (Free Agent, Former Utah Ute)

PF – Georges Niang (Iowa State)

C – Jameel McKay (Iowa State)



  • Luke Ridnour (Free Agent, Former Oregon Duck)
  • Tyler Ulis (Kentucky)
  • Ray Allen (Because, why wouldn’t you?)


  • Devin Smith (Former UVA player)
  • Carlos Boozer (Free Agent, Duke)
  • Nigel Hayes (Wisconsin)
  • Anthony Randolph  (Free Agent, Former LSU Tiger)


This video will you get you pumped for SEC football

Saturday Down South released their trailer for the 2015-16 SEC Football season. Kentucky makes an appearance a few times but the video is a must watch.

If this video doesn’t get you excited for this college football season, I don’t know what will.


Randall Cobb injury update



Randall Cobb was diagnosed with a AC joint sprain in his shoulder after an MRI today. The injury is said to be minor, but there is still no word on whether or not Cobb will ready to play Week 1.

ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reports that the team believes Cobb “has a good chance to be ready for the regular-season opener.”

Cobb left the game after falling on his right shoulder in the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday.


South Carolina to honor victims of Charleston shooting

South Carolina will honor the victims of the Charleston massacre by wearing a sticker on their helmets this season. The decal is a palmetto with nine doves that represent the lives of the Emmanuel 9, the nine victims of the Emanuel African Methodist Church shooting. The sticker was designed by an artist in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

“Whether it’s Greenville, Columbia, Charleston or any other cities in South Carolina, we feel a tremendous sense of pride in this state,” South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said. “The tragedy that happened in Charleston doesn’t just affect people in Charleston; it affects the entire state. We feel very much a part of that at the university. Coach Steve Spurrier and University President Harris Pastides felt very strongly that the ‘Emanuel 9′ should be recognized.”



Very awesome of the South Carolina athletic program to do this.


Anthony Davis might be shooting more 3s this season

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis is going to be one the most exciting players in the NBA to watch in the 2015-16 season. Along with putting on 10-12 pounds this offseason, Davis has been working on his 3-point game. In an interview with SLAM, Davis talks about how he transformed his game in what has been a busy offseason for him.

SLAM: There was a video out a few weeks ago with you working on your three-point shot. Can we expect you to step out and take more going forward?

AD: I’m going to mix it up. I love playing down low, but at the same time, if the opportunity is there; I’m definitely going to take them. That’s one thing for sure that coach Gentry has told me—“Shoot the ball,” “Let it go.” I’ve been working on it and I’m very confident in my game.

I’ve shot three’s all my life. I didn’t really need to shoot them over the past few years as much, but I’m never going to turn down shooting threes, especially if the coach tells me he wants me to shoot them. It’s something that I’ve definitely been working on. I definitely plan on utilizing it this year.

Davis has been called “the best player in the NBA not named LeBron James and is only 22-years-old. If Davis became a threat around the perimeter, you can almost guarantee him the MVP title of this season. With a trip to the playoffs under their belt last season and arguably one of the best players in the league, the Pelicans could make a special run this season.