The past ten days have been the craziest of Kash Daniel’s life. Two weeks ago, →
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 8:00pm
The past ten days have been the craziest of Kash Daniel’s life. Two weeks ago, the 6’3″ 230 lbs. linebacker from Paintsville only held offers from Austin Peay, Ball State, Charlotte, Marshall, and Troy. After a breakout performance at the Rivals Camp in Charlotte in which he was ranked the sixth best defensive performer, major offers began pouring in, starting with Kentucky on April 27.
“Being a kid from Kentucky, it felt really good,” Kash said of receiving a scholarship offer from Mark Stoops. “You grew up watching Kentucky football, and to get an offer from Coach Stoops and that staff really means a lot. From the way that the program’s headed, it’s such a really high honor for me.”
The next day, Louisville offered. A few days after that, South Carolina and Purdue. Tomorrow, Ohio State is coming to town to watch him practice. That’s pretty huge for Paintsville, a small town nestled in the foothills of Eastern Kentucky.
“The whole community knows about it because it’s pretty exciting. It’s not every day you get the defending National Champions coming to a small town like Paintsville,” Kash said. Kash works at a car wash during the summer, and said his old boss texted him when he heard the news.
“He randomly texted me the other day and said, ‘I heard Ohio State’s coming to practice.’ If he knows about it, the entire town of Paintsville knows about it, and if the entire town of Paintsville knows about it, then all of Eastern Kentucky knows about it.”
“Being from Eastern Kentucky, you kind of get looked down on because of where you’re from.”
Eastern Kentucky isn’t just where Kash is from, it’s who he is, and one of the first things he mentioned when we spoke. Kash doesn’t just want to be a football player, he wants to be a trailblazer for his region, which is why Stoops’ focus on in-state talent hits home.
“It shows there are kids in Kentucky that can play as well. I’m the only kid from Eastern Kentucky that’s got a Division I offer. I’m the only kid in Eastern Kentucky that’s been ranked by Rivals. Being from Eastern Kentucky, you kind of get looked down on because of where you’re from. The big thing for me is to show people it doesn’t matter where you come from, what school you go to, if you can play, they’ll find you.”
Kash claims he wasn’t really a fan of any team growing up, but went to a few UK games every year with his family. Although Kash also speaks highly of Louisville, the fact that Kentucky was the first major program to give him an offer is not lost on him.
“I’m the first kid from Paintsville High School to hold an offer from Kentucky since 1987. The last guy to do that was by the name of Joey Couch, and he ended up being an all-SEC lineman. It’s a really high honor for me,” Kash said.
Kash’s latest visit to Kentucky came during spring practice, and although he didn’t express any preference between the Cats and the Cards right now, he left Lexington impressed.
“I was really exciting to watch because they were all fired up. Even thought it was spring practice, it was like they were getting ready to play someone like Alabama or something. Really high intensity, they were really excited to play. Even thought it was just a practice scrimmage, you could feel the excitement that was there. That’s good to know the players were excited about it. It was a really good experience.”
Middle school ties with in-state guys
A lot of the buzz around the Kentucky program stems from a strong 2016 recruiting class, which includes top in-state prospects Drake Jackson, the top center in the country from Woodford County; Zy’Aire Hughes, a three-star athlete from McCracken County; Landon Young, a four-star offensive tackle from Lafayette; and Davonte Robinson, a three-star cornerback from Henry Clay. Kash is very familiar with the first two, going back to when they played on an all-star team back in eighth grade. Kash calls Drake, the leader of the 2016 recruiting class, his “old buddy.”
“I’ve known him since we were in middle school, played on some all-star teams together. Drake’s a great player and Zy’Aire Hughes, I’ve played with him too, Landon Young, I’ve gotten to know him over the years on recruiting trips and stuff like that,” Kash said. “I’m pretty close to all of them. Most of those guys are in-state guys, and most of the in-state guys I’ve played with, so we’ve got a really good relationship.”
In fact, Kash said he talks to Drake probably three times a week now. “Ever since Kentucky offered, he’s been calling me, you know, texting me, trying to get me to commit as early as possible,” Kash said. “He’s like, “man, it’s gonna be just like eighth grade on the all-star team. You, me, Zy’Aire, add Landon in to the mix, we’ve got a chance to do something special here.”
Drake Jackson’s sales pitch
I talked to Drake about Kash, and he couldn’t hide the excitement in his voice. “Kash is my boy. I like that guy a lot.” Drake’s sales pitch has four key points:
- The chance to represent your state;
- Stoops’ record of developing defensive talent;
- Erik Korem’s high-performance training program; and
- The chance to play in the SEC in your own backyard.
“For Kash, he’s an in-state kid. I know his mom is a big UK fan. What I say to Kash, I say ‘Kash, listen. You and I, we’ve played together, we know what it’s like to play in Kentucky, represent the state of Kentucky. You want to go play where you’re going to be known. You play at Kentucky, you’re the hometown hero,” Drake said. “You know what it’s like to represent the state, there’s nothing better. I’m not even playing there yet and I feel like I’m representing the state. You’re not that far away, you can come back home after a game, say hi to your mom and dad, you can come home every now and then and watch your old high school team play.”
Drake is already pointing to the 2015 NFL Draft as proof Stoops can develop defensive talent. “You want to look at this past draft, Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith. Now, they’re different players than Kash is, but Bud was a projected linebacker, so is Kash, so you’ve got to look at how Coach Stoops and Coach Eliot have been able to develop these type of players, especially guys who are in the front seven. That’s big for Kash. Kash is a linebacker. Coach Stoops is really good with defensive backs and linebackers, as is Coach Eliot. That’s a big pitch.”
Erik Korem’s high-performance training program is another major selling point. “Kash is huge, he’s like a freak athlete. When he gets to UK, the weight program they have is so good. Kash will be freaking jumping over buildings by then,” Drake said. “I told Kash ‘you’re strong, but they’re going to take you to a whole other level.'”
Finally, Drake circled back to the point that’s already pulled in several in-state prospects. “You’re such a stud you’ll get immediate playing time here for sure,” Drake told Kash. “You’re playing on a big stage but you’re doing it at home. You get to play in the SEC in your backyard. There’s no comparison to that.”
Taking his time to do it right
Kash admitted that the past two weeks have been “overwhelming,” and if Ohio State likes what they see tomorrow, it’s going to get even crazier. “I think if Ohio State offers me, that would be a really high honor for me, and this thing will bust wide open. If a great program like Ohio State believes in you, then everyone in the SEC, ACC, they’ll be like, ‘okay who is this kid?'”
Although an offer from the defending National Champions would be hard to turn down, Kash said he’s determined to take his time to go through the entire recruiting process.
“I’ve got five official visits and I talked to my dad about this, every school wants me to commit as soon as possible, but it’s pretty overwhelming as a 17-year-old to make the decision right on the spot, so I’m going to take time with me and my family to take those five official visits to make my decision. Once those visits are over, I’ll have and idea of where I want to be.”
If there’s anyone who knows what Kash is going through right now, it’s Drake. “Kash is going to get big offers, and if he’s smart, he’s going to take his time and make sure he makes the right decision. That’s what I did. I probably could have committed to UK when they offer me right after my sophomore football season, but you’ve gotta be smart. If you have an opportunity to get offers like Ohio State and all those other schools, you only get recruited once,” Drake said.
That being said, don’t think for one second that Drake’s throwing in the white towel. “I said, ‘listen Kash, I want you in blue now, but I totally respect you going out taking visits because you want to. You want offers from South Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky, all these big schools. I want Kash in blue, but I also want him to have fun with the rest of the recruiting process.”
Trading cartoons for wind sprints
For now, Kash is just grateful to see all of his hard work coming to fruition. “You can tell the community of Painstville, they’re really proud of me and what I’ve done,” Kash said. “They all know how hard I’ve worked over the years, the hard work and stuff I’ve put in outside of practice. I’ll be on the floor doing 200, 300 pushups a night during TV commercials.”
That work ethic goes back to his childhood. “When I was a little kid, my dad’s was really hard on me. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing because I know what he’s trying to do now, he just wanted me to have the best opportunity to be the best player I can be. So at twelve years old, when kids are waking up at 10 a.m. on a Saturday and watching cartoons and having breakfast made for them, I got up at 7 a.m. and started running wind sprints with my dad and having to make my own breakfast and after that, we’d watch college football.”
Kash’s father was a professional bass fisherman but gave up the job when Kash was born so he wouldn’t have to be on the road so much. As you might imagine, he’s a pretty proud man right now. “He really is,” Kash said. “It’s more of a pride thing for him because he’s put a lot of work too for this to happen for me. I can’t thank him enough.”
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 7:20pm
Remember what I told you earlier about John Wall playing in Game 2 tonight? Well forget that. I was just kidding.
Wall is inactive tonight for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Atlanta. It was initially reported that he would play tonight, but it turns out the injury is a little worse than Wall was leading on. He will not dress tonight in hopes of being ready to go for Game 3 in Washington on Saturday.
Go Wizards anyway.
By Josh Juckett on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 7:00pm
Happy Cinco de Mayo amigos! Today we shall all celebrate the 1862 Mexican victory over the French in the Battle of the Puebla. Now that you have some new information to dislodge from your brain with that tequila binge later, let’s take a look at some of our favorite things from our neighbors to the south.
Danny Trejo was born in California, so while technically not Mexican he does come from a Mexican family. Besides, if I hadn’t included that disclaimer many of you would not have known the difference anyway. You may recognize Trejo from Machete, Breaking Bad, Anchorman, Spykids, and every movie ever made! Trejo has been a constant on big and small screens for the last 20 years and shows no signs of slowing down. Trejo’s story is an inspirational one, as seen in this Grantland piece from 2013, and is worth toasting to tonight over a Corona.
El Guapo is the fearless leader of the banditos in the movie The Three Amigos. El Guapo leads his motley band of miscreants throughout the Mexican countryside plundering villages, fighting priests, and getting a plethora of piñatas for his birthday. He proves to be quite a formidable opponent for heroes Dusty Bottoms, Ned Nederlander, and Lucky Day in this comedy classic.
Cinco de Mayo is one of the busiest days of the year for U.S. Mexican restaurants. Tacos, salsa, guacamole, tortas, and many other Mexican delicacies are on prominent display during this day. Whether your preference is a dine-in restaurant, a Taco Bell drive thru, or a taco truck, it is a must to get out and enjoy the beautiful gift that is Mexican food.
Enhancing the visit to your favorite Mexican restaurant is the mariachi band. If the semi-authentic Mexican food doesn’t put in the proper state of mind to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, these minstrels surely will. Sometimes obnoxiously loud but never dull, the mariachi band captures the spirit of Mexican merriment.
Salma Hayek rose to prominence after appearances in Desperado and From Dusk til Dawn to become one of the most well known Mexican actresses in the world. Hayek has since become more involved behind the camera as a producer and director. She most recently appeared in the Grown Ups movies with Adam Sandler and friends, which definitely adds to the watchability of said movies.
Mexico Trilogy/Mariachi Trilogy/Desperado Trilogy
Pick whichever name you like but the trio of El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico make up one of the best Sunday couch potato afternoons one can have. Mysterious assassins, revenge, Salma Hayek (see above), and the combo of Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino=good times by all. Cinco de Mayo is a perfect day to watch them for the first time or to revisit El Mariachi and his guitar case.
El Chupacabra is fairly new to world of mythical beasts, having only been first reported in 1995. The initial reports of el chupacabra came from Puerto Rico but quickly spread to Mexico. The animal is said to have a reptilian appearance with quills along its back and stand three to four feet tall. The most harrowing aspect of el chupacabra is that it kills its victims by sucking their blood, a la Dracula. There have been many instances of assumed chupacabras actually being dogs with mange. This explanation is no fun so for a better explanation of el chupacabra, watch this X-Files episode.
The product of the blue agave plant near the city of Tequila, the drink of the same name has become one of Mexico’s best known exports. It comes in a variety of cocktails (The Bloody Aztec, El Toro Loco, and Tequila Sour to name a few) and is now one of Blue Collar comedian Ron White’s favorite alcoholic beverages. He even has his own tequila company, Number Juan. While all that is good, my personal favorite use of tequila is the song “Tequila”, specifically this scene from The Sandlot.
Pancho Villa was a General of Mexican Revolutionary forces in the early twentieth century. He led 17 military engagements from 1911-1919 winning 11 of them. One of the great rogues of history, Pancho Villa was always fighting. During this time his alliances shifted often and by the end of his military campaigns he was even trying to unseat the leader, Venustiano Carranzo, he had helped put into power during the initial revolution. After Carranzo was assassinated, his replacement decided to avoid having this thorn in his side. A peace was negotiated which allowed Pancho Villa to retire with 25,000 acres in land, 500,000 gold pesos, a small militia, and a bodyguard of cavalry, not a bad 401(k) plan. In 1923 Pancho Villa himself was assassinated but has continued to live on as a Mexican icon.
Here at KSR there is a special appreciation for things done in the most ridiculous manner possible. Anyone who grew up with cable and had Univision probably came across Sábado Gigante at one time or another. Flipping through the channels there would always be something that would cause you to flip back just to make sure your eyes didn’t deceive you. At times it would appear to be a singing contest with bad singers and a guy in a mask eliminating them. Other times it would be a really fat guy wearing crazy clown makeup. I never knew what was going on but it almost always caught my eye. It was announced earlier this year that Sábado Gigante was ending its 53 year run, so celebrate Cinco de Mayo a little harder this year in memory of this bastion of ridiculousness.
By Courtney Sealey on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 6:30pm
The numbers are in, thanks to CBSSports.com, for what college’s spent for their football teams on post season playoff trips. Apparently money does help when going for a title, because National champion Ohio State spent the most on the road to the trophy.
For the two playoff trips they made they spent $4.4 million compared to runner-up Oregon’s $3.8. Alabama took the ‘award’ for most single-game expenses, which was $2.6 million in New Orleans. Ohio State spent a half of a million less despite traveling from way farther away. The size of the party could have been something to do with it though:
The Crimson Tide sent a traveling party of 908 people — 197 more than any other team brought to a playoff game and more than any traveling party from Alabama’s past BCS Championship Game trips. The school brought 778 to New Orleans for the 2012 BCS Championship Game.
Jon Solomon broke down all the numbers on CBS Sports including who was in the party and where they spent the money. It’s worth a read —or three if numbers hurt your head like they do mine.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 6:03pm
And now for a story out of Paducah, where a McCracken County Sheriff’s detective has been put on paid leave after accidentally firing his gun at a wedding.
Detective Cory Golightly was adjusting his jacket, according to WPSD News, when the gun fell out of its holster and shot a woman at the church. But not just any woman; it was Golightly’s own mother. She is in stable condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 5:15pm
John Wall will suit up and play tonight for Washington in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Wall suffered a wrist injury in Game 1, a Wizards win, and his status was uncertain as of yesterday.
Today, Wall’s wrist is still “badly swollen,” according to reports, but he will give it a go. Wall said he couldn’t open and close his left hand yesterday.
That’s an odd tape job on his hand. Is it to support his wrist or end racism?
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 4:13pm
The masterminds behind Scout.com’s recruiting rankings released the final rankings for the 2015 class today and Skal Labissiere moved up to take the No. 1 spot. He passed LSU’s Ben Simmons, the former No. 1 player in the class, and Ivan Rabb, who fell to No. 5 in the new list. Small forwards Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown moved to No. 3 and 4 respectively, behind Labissiere and Simmons.
In “ReSkalibrating the Rankings” — See what he did there? — Rob Harrington wrote, “Labissiere’s measurables are top-notch. At 6-11 and a possessing a standing reach of more than nine feet, he has very impressive length. He’s also reasonably explosive, highly mobile and fluid, and a genuine face-up threat. It’s those factors in combination that have made him a scouts’ darling, even if his current production is spottier than one might expect for the No. 1 prospect.”
Labissiere’s future teammate, Isaiah Briscoe, is No. 12 overall and the No. 2 point guard behind Duke’s Derryck Thornton, formerly of the 2016 class.
Charles Matthews is ranked No. 75 and No. 22 amongst the shooting guards.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 3:28pm
In addition to the Arizona State game in Rupp Arena next season, Kentucky will play Arizona State in the Bahamas in 2016-17. That game is tentatively scheduled for December of 2016.
Earlier today I asked that the Cats get an away game with the Sun Devils in Tempe. I take that back. Forget I ever said it. This will do. A return trip to the Bahamas will certainly do.
Let’s run it back.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 3:00pm
We worried we might lose a candidate or two after the Courier-Journal dropped a bomb of a report regarding James Comer late last night. That is not the case, however, as all four GOP candidates confirmed to us today they will still join tomorrow morning’s debate as planned.
Kentucky political reporter Joe Sonka tweeted, “Once again, road to a major political office in Kentucky goes through Kentucky Sports Radio.”
Oscar Combs said, “I despise politics, but I find it hilarious that most newsworthy political debate of year will be on KSR Radio instead of mainstream media.”
It’s all going down tomorrow morning at 10:00 am. Get your popcorn ready.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 2:00pm
ESPN’s John Gasaway ranked who he believes will be the 25 best players in college basketball next season and one Kentucky Wildcat made the list: Skal Labissiere.
Labissiere ranked ninth on Gasaway’s Top 25, behind No. 1 Ben Simmons (LSU), Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), Fred VanVleet (Wichita State), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Jaylen Brown (California), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Brandon Ingram (Duke) and Yogi Ferrell (Indiana).
Wichita State, Duke, North Carolina and Villanova were the only schools with two players apiece. I believe Kentucky should’ve joined that group with the inclusion of Tyler Ulis in the rankings.
Anyway, here’s what Gasaway said about Labissiere:
9. Skal Labissiere, Kentucky Wildcats
This spring John Calipari “missed” on the likes of Brown and Ingram, so suddenly people are wondering what’s wrong with Kentucky’s recruiting. Then again there’s a chance that come 2016 the first player taken in the NBA draft might be none other than Labissiere. The 7-footer has been memorably termed “so frickin’ skilled” by Jonathan Givony of draftexpress.com, and if technical terms like that leave you confused consider that Labissiere was the first player Calipari targeted in the class of 2015. UK’s freshman-to-be will definitely need to put on weight, but his coach’s track record with freshman big men suggests Labissiere could be very good very soon.
See the entire list here. (ESPN Insiders only)
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 1:12pm
Rapper Bun B, one of the originators of “trill,” caught word of Willie Cauley-Stein’s new middle name and voiced his opinion about it on Twitter. Bun B and the late Pimp C were the first to use the word — which is a combination of “true” and “real” — on their first Underground Kings album, The Southern Way, in 1992. That was before Willie Cauley-Stein was born.
WHO changed his middle name to WHAT?? WOW.
— Bun B (@BunBTrillOG) May 5, 2015
I've seen tees, hats, license plates, even tattoos..but legally changing your name? That's a new one on me. No hate though.
— Bun B (@BunBTrillOG) May 5, 2015
Everybody wanna be trill. But you don't know the origin of the word or the sacrifices of the creators. Let us be trill. You be yourself. #Pa
— Bun B (@BunBTrillOG) May 5, 2015
Bun B’s four solo albums since Pimp C’s death are called Trill, II Trill, Trill OG and Trill OG: The Epilogue.
Another supporter of Trill, the NBA’s Stephen Jackson, also spoke up and he seemed a little angrier about the whole thing than Bun B.
Bak on my BS. If this true I hope he talked to @trillog about this. He ain’t from PA I know. Somebody talk to me. I know west side PA ain’t felling that. We don’t have much. Pimp C RIP @jonathanbabineaux @djcharles25 @trillog and some young stars on the way. @team_kammartin @liltman7 @_adoremia @starrianna but we take pride in the word TRILL. Just saying #godspeed #humblehustler PA.
A photo posted by Stephen Jackson (@stak5ots) on
When Bun B said he has seen TRILL license plates, I wonder if he was referring to DeMarcus Cousins’ “Been Trill” car decal?
A photo posted by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on
Trill recognize trill, I suppose.
(By show of hands, how many of you are completely lost after reading all that? It’s okay. Not everyone is trill.)
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 12:30pm
Over on CoachCal.com, your second favorite UK website, Calipari looked back on the 2014-15 season and all of its awesomeness and how he hopes to never have to rotate 10 guys again.
“If you ask me if I’m ever going to platoon again, my answer is NO,” Cal wrote on his site. “Last season was an absolute outlier. It’s just not the way I like to coach. I would rather play seven or eight guys because I believe that gives us the best chance to win. I think we wrote the book on platooning this year, but I hope we stick it on the shelf and never have to use it again.”
He also reminded us that Kentucky is a players first program and it’s the best at developing players for the NBA. You listening, future recruits?
The timing of Cal’s message isn’t a coincidence, after he missed out on his spring targets. This seems to be his way of telling us, “Hey, BBN, don’t worry about our roster; I only like to play seven or eight guys anyway.”
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 11:55am
We may have another non-conference game to add to the schedule soon, according to a KSR source with a bug planted in the UK schedule-making room. Word is, UK is close to finalizing a game with Arizona State in Rupp Arena next season. The date is looking like Saturday, December 12.
That’s great and all, but can we get an away game with Arizona State? I’m a big fan of the scenery on the Tempe campus.
Maybe I’ll fly out to interview some of the students about the game. Those girls at the pool look like they want to talk about Kentucky basketball. Let’s set that up.
What were we talking about again?
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 11:15am
Marvin Bagley of Corona Del Sol in Arizona became the first member of the 2018 class to receive an offer from Kentucky yesterday. The 6-foot-11 power forward, ranked No. 1 in the class, got a call from John Calipari who told Bagley there is a spot on UK’s 2018-19 roster if he wants it.
Bagley already has offers from Arizona, Arizona State, UConn, UCLA and New Mexico, among others. The 15-year-old told AZCentral.com, “”I just want to give God the praise. I also want to thank Coach Calipari and the University of Kentucky.”
We will begin working on our UK 2018 Recruiting Board post here in about two or three years, so be on the lookout for that.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 05th, 2015 @ 10:30am
Former UK wide receiver Javess Blue uploaded a video to Instagram yesterday that shows off just how insanely athletic he is, in case you never noticed. You may remember, when Blue committed to Kentucky two years ago, we shared a video of him doing backflips. Now he’s added a football to the trick:
The Cats’ leader in receiving touchdowns the past two seasons is now with the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent.