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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
January 31st, 2015

DeMarcus Cousins Can’t Stop Being Awesome

boogie kicks

It’s safe to say that nobody in America won as much as DeMarcus Cousins won yesterday.  After giving grief to Clay Travis in the best way possible (Thanks, Drew), he earned his first All-Star game appearance, replacing the injured Kobe Bryant.

Topping that day of awesomeness is not possible, but he’s giving it a shot.  Today a commercial was released for a local Sacramento car dealership with DeMarcus and his cousins starring.


Gameday is Heading to Gainesville

Apparently Jay Bilas is the only one allowed to smile. (Phil Ellsworth /  ESPN  Images)

Apparently Jay Bilas is the only one allowed to smile. (Phil Ellsworth /
ESPN Images)

It’s finally official.  The best team in the land will finally get the College Gameday treatment when the Cats travel to Gainseville next Saturday to take down the Gators.

Even though this Florida team isn’t playing like the other elite team in the SEC, they’re still coached by Billy D.  The Cats have had their fair share of struggles on the road, and the hype from Gameday will certainly pump some extra energy into the O’Dome.  But at the end of the day, we’re still Kentucky.

Hopefully the #BBN will not disappoint and make their presence felt in Florida.  Besides, ESPN’s cameras have a knack for finding the Big Blue.


YAHTZEE! Defensive End, Joshua Allen, Picks Kentucky

(Saed Hindash/NJ Advance Media)

(Saed Hindash/NJ Advance Media)

The Cats have quickly replaced a lost commitment at defensive end.  New Jersey defensive end Joshua Allen has committed to Kentucky over Rutgers during an official visit, according to his high school coach, John Fiore.

The 6-4, 210-pounder flew under the radar in the national recruiting scene.  His size played a part, but an even bigger setback in the process was moving from Alabama after three years of school for his Senior season in New Jersey.  But don’t fall asleep on him because of the ratings: Allen had 22.5(!) sacks last year.

Enjoy his highlights and keep those dice handy, this could be a great weekend for Mark Stoops.


Saturday Morning Links, Presented by Lynch and Gronk

There has been so much awesome leading into the Super Bowl, but THIS video below might take the cake.  Conan O’Brien sat down with Marshawn Lynch and Rob Gronkowski to demo the new Mortal Kombat video game.  It toes the line of NSFW, so I’ll just tell you to chiggity check yourself before watching, so you don’t wriggity wreck yourself.

I still cannot get over their visceral reactions to the graphic nature of Mortal Kombat.

On to more serious news, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that colleges broke a fundraising record…for sports.  In 2014, $1.26-billion was raised collectively.  Most of the money was surprisingly for college football stadium construction or renovation, like Texas A&M’s Kyle Field (I would lump CWS into the mix too, but I don’t believe the majority of the money is from private donors).

Boogie’s appearance to the All-Star Game pleased more people than just the BBN.  ESPN’s Baxter Holmes makes a logical case for Cousins’ spot. 

If you don’t stay up late, you probably haven’t had the chance to watch Chris Hardwick’s Comedy Central show @Midnight.  They combine comedians and internet awesomeness into a game show format.  The Sklar Brothers slug home runs every time they’re on KSR, but they might hit an even better average @Midnight.  Thursday night’s uncensored show is stupendous and worth a watch.

Oh, and in case you don’t know who to yell at during the Super Bowl, Deadspin’s got ya covered.

I’d like to apologize for being so Deadspin-y today, but man they sure know how to insult Roger Goodell’s intelligence.


January 30th, 2015

Friday’s News and Views

 

cousins

There are a few times in sports where you feel like things just went right, you know? Like justice was done.

Today was one of those times, when Boogie was named to his first All-Star team. I feel like all of us in Big Blue Nation just let out a sigh and said, “Way to go, D Cuz.” After everything everyone had said about Cousins – right or incredibly wrong – no one can argue with his 23.8 points, 12.3 rebounds and 26 double-doubles. That spells All-Star.

And no one seems to point out that he does it all in Sacramento, one of the poster children for instability in the NBA. (Will the franchise stay? Will they go? Who is their coach now, anyway?) In fact, as coaches come and go in Sac-Town, Cousins is the only stable force on that team. I hope he manhandles everyone in that All-Star game.

I’ll call it right now – Boogie for All-Star MVP.

And finally, an apology

Cousins actually got something else that may be even more shocking today – an apology from Clay Travis.

clay

 

After our own Drew Franklin found a five-year-old Tweet from Clay in which Travis stated Boogie would be arrested within the next five years, the world seemed to blow up on the issue Friday, calling out Travis for his insensitive remarks. Big Cuz called out Clay on Twitter (above), and our man Bomani Jones even gave Drew a shoutout on Around the Horn.

Again, justice was served as Travis apologized to Boogie and pledged five thousand dollars to the charity of Cousins’ choice.

Still on All-Star watch for Knight

Brandon Knight has also been putting together quite an NBA season, one many argue is worthy of an All-Star selection if Dwyane Wade cannot play in the game due to injury. His averages this year? 17.9 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

More good and bad for UK football

First, the good.

4_2845670

Highly regarded three-star wide receiver Tavin Richardson from South Carolina committed to UK this afternoon. Richardson picked Kentucky over Central Florida, with other offers from Louisville, Nebraska, Arkansas, Mississippi State and Miami (Fla.).

Yahtzee!

But, in following a troubling trend, another UK player switched his commitment. This time it was Tyrone Riley, a three-star defensive end, who flipped to NC State.

That’s now four lost commits this month.

Alabama comes in short-handed

As if getting beat by 22 on your home court two weeks ago, then coming into Rupp Arena for the rematch wasn’t enough of a challenge, Alabama will be doing so without their starting point guard Saturday. Ricky Tarrant, the Tide’s second-leading scorer, hung back in Tuscaloosa with a leg injury, which means we may have to revisit the 20-point spread Vegas has set for the game.

Robic not worried about WCS

After a less than stellar performance Thursday night, John Robic reinforced that no one is worried about big man Willie Cauley-Stein.

“It might’ve been a tough game for him yesterday,” Robic told reporters this afternoon. “He had a lot of family and friends that were there from the Kansas City area. I think you can think about that a little bit. It just wasn’t one of his better games, but I think he’ll rebound.”

“We’re not concerned at all,” he continued. “We’ll put that one behind him.”

***

We’ll be back in the morning to get you ready for Kentucky-Alabama!

 


Checking In With Alabama

(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Just two short weeks ago the Cats were gearing up for what many thought would be a tough road trip to Tuscaloosa. In the end, the Cats proved to be too much for the Tide to handle as they held them to just 17 points in the first half. Since then the Cats have kept things rolling with four more wins. How about Alabama? Lets check in and see if they bring any momentum to tomorrow’s game:

@ Arkansas : Lost 93-91 In OT

After the humbling loss to Kentucky, Alabama was 2-2 in conference play and still desperate for a resume building win. Arkansas was also 2-2 and searching for a way to right the ship. Both teams needed the win and it showed as the two teams battled it out all the way to overtime. In the end Arkansas won in the same manner they beat Kentucky last season. A game winning putback dunk.

Vs Auburn : Won 57-55

The iron basket’s (Is that what they call it?) 150th meeting  took place in Tuscaloosa and Alabama was on the ropes late in the game. However, Levi Randolph took over and brought the Tide back to a tie late with 7 straight buckets. His eighth shot missed but Rodney Cooper was there waiting to grab the ball for the go-ahead score. Auburn has yet to win on the road this season which is bad news for the Tigers on the 21st.

Vs Florida : Lost 52-50

Earlier this week Alabama played host to a  Florida team that had lost three in a row. The Gators dominated the first half but Anthony Grant’s team came storming back and the game was tied at 50 in the final minute. But it was another go-ahead dunk that proved to be the downfall for Bama. Well that and 17 turnovers.

 

So Alabama doesn’t appear to have much momentum coming into the tomorrow’s match-up but you always have to be weary of the trap. Kentucky is on game two of a 3-games-in-6-days stretch. They killed Alabama on their home court. Alabama is desperate for a win to keep their coach employed at the end of the year. The Cats should win with ease but the key will be putting them away early like they did two weeks ago.


The Harrisons have got their groove back

harrison-twins

The most exciting part of last night was probably not even in the game. It was the post-game interview between Calipari and Greenberg. However, Andrew Harrison did put a glimmer of excitement into the matchup, scoring 15 points, eight of those scored in a row after Mizzou tried to make a comeback by cutting the lead it six. Aaron even scored the second most for the Cats last night.

Whether it be John Robic doing a better job at ‘contact duty’ — we all know there has been less squinting on the floor lately — or Andrew just making better decisions, there has been an improvement in his performance on the court throughout the year.

Last night, Andrew showed the world that their life problems were not his fault (The rain and car accidents included like Cal said.) Cal even compared Harrison to Derrick Rose last night, saying Harrison has fallen to the same type of sensitivity as Derrick Rose did with his own struggles in college.

“He is too self-critical, and it’s OK to be self-critical if you’re using it to improve yourself. But if you use it–your inner dialogue buries you, then you gotta change your inner dialogue.”

That statement alone shows we are seeing an entirely new Andrew this year. Last year, it seems the most important thing for the twins was what the media had to say. This year, according to Cal, they have raised their self-esteem to make their own opinions what is most important.

Like some type of cheesy beauty queen statement, it looks like the Harrisons have been able rise above all the negativity surrounding them to find the best players they can be inside of them on their own terms.

I hate myself for that last sentence, but I will go the Harrison’s route and say:

cal-dealwithit

 

 

@Sealey_KSR


Watch John Robic preview tomorrow’s game

robic

Coach Robic filled in for Calipari — who was probably still at coffee with JoJo — during today’s press conference and he had lots of interesting things to say. Watch/listen as he talks all about last night’s win at Missouri, then previews the upcoming contest with Alabama.

Cats.


Kentucky Football’s Class of 2015 Big Board: 5 Days til NSD

2015-commits

Things haven’t exactly been popping in recruiting since the Cats were dumped turned down by Damien Harris.  Five commitments have since decided to go elsewhere, including the coveted Dowell twins, taking the total count down to 15.  Nonetheless, Stoops still has five days to make a splash.  Here’s a look at where the class currently stands.

*****

COMMITMENTS

Linebacker

ELI BROWN
Outside Linebacker
Bowling Green, KY
6-2 | 185

Ranking: 
247Composite: 20 OLB | 277
247Sports: 18 OLB
Rivals: 23 OLB
ESPN: 15 OLB | 244

Committed: April 21, 2014

Other Offers: Ohio State, USC, Florida, Ole Miss, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky

Additional Note: Originally a Vanderbilt commit, Brown re-opened his recruitment in October shortly after an unofficial visit to Ohio State, UK’s biggest competitor for Brown at the time. Brown had to rehab a lower leg injury heading into his Senior season, but did not fail at turning heads on the offensive and defensive side of the ball for Warren East High School.

JORDAN JONES
Outside Linebacker
Youngstown, OH
6-2 | 210

Ranking: 
247Composite: 34 OLB | 410
247Sports: 51 OLB
Rivals: 41 OLB
ESPN: 36 OLB

Committed: May 8, 2014

Other Offers: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan State, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana

Additional Note: An early enrollee, Jones is an alumnus of Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, just like his coaches Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow.  Stoops has watched Jordan grow up in football, making the next few years a special opportunity for the pair from Youngstown.

Defensive Line

4_1277021KENGERA DANIEL
Defensive End
Raleigh, NC
6-6 | 250

Ranking: 
247Composite: 33 WDE | 699
247Sports: 37 WDE
Rivals: 39 SDE
ESPN: 37 DE

 

Committed: October 22, 2014

Other Offers: Alabama, Florida State, East Carolina, NC State, Appalachian State

Additional Note:  Kengera “KG” Daniel has already enrolled and taken an important number on the defensive-side of the ball: Bud Dupree’s #2 jersey. For an early enrollee, I honestly didn’t know much about the kid until recently. The in-person ‘eye test’ was enough to convince me this kid can make some noise.

 

4_1280947JASON STOWBRIDGE
Defensive End
Deerfield Beach, Fl.
6-4 | 250

Ranking: 
247Composite: 26 SDE | 495
247Sports: 48 SDE
Rivals: NR
ESPN: 29 DE****

 

Committed: September 20, 2014

Other Offers: North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Miami

Additional Note:  Stowbridge’s wide shoulders give him a great frame to add muscle, which is probably how he’ll spend his freshman season at UK: pumping iron with a redshirt, like most of Stoops’ freshmen linemen.

 

4_2924179JAVON PROVITT
Defensive Tackle
Warren, OH
6-3 | 305

Ranking: 
247Composite: 76 DT | 1148
247Sports: 79 DT
Rivals: NR
ESPN: 62 DT

 

Committed: January 25, 2015

Other Offers: Akron, Cincinnati, Ohio

Additional Note:  Provitt’s commitment could not have come at a more crucial time as defensive linemen seemed to be dropping out of the Cats picture faster than flies on a warm, summer day.  We can only hope he has some awesome RecSpecs to replace those glasses beneath his helmet.

 

Secondary

4_1075475MARCUS WALKER
Safety
Lake Wales, FL
6-0.5 | 176

Ranking: 
247Composite: 25 S | 432
247Sports: 27 S
Rivals: 31 S
ESPN: 15 S | 214

Committed: July 18, 2014

Other Offers: Arkansas, Cincinnati, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Michigan State, Mississippi State, NC State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, UCLA, Vanderbilt, UVA

Additional Note: Walker first committed to Kentucky back in January, but decommitted in April. After picking up offers from Arkansas, Michigan State, Tennessee and others, Walker decided to re-commit to Kentucky, in part because the staff kept in contact with him even after he reopened his recruitment.

4_2930064KEI BECKHAM
Cornerback
Dayton, OH
6-0 | 173

Ranking: 
247Composite: 57 CB | 580
247Sports: 53 CB
Rivals: 44 CB
ESPN: 70 CB

Committed: July 18, 2014

Other Offers: Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Purdue

Additional Note: Beckham committed to the Cats during Stoops’ summer Friday Night Lights  camp after an exclusive workout with Mark Stoops. He needs to bulk up before he can hold his own in the SEC, but he’s athletic, with good hands and quick feet.

 

4_2977266CHRIS WESTRY
Cornerback
Orange Park, Fl.
6-4 | 180

Ranking: 
247Composite: 87 CB | 951
247Sports: 125 CB
Rivals: 74 CB
ESPN: 55 CB

 

Committed: January 20, 2015

Other Offers:  Florida, Arkansas, Auburn

Additional Note: Before his Senior season of high school football, WEstry chose Auburn over Florida.  However his recruitment picked right back up as soon as his season was over.  After battling off Arkansas and Auburn’s addition of former Florida coach Will Muschamp as their defensive coordinator, Mark Stoops flipped Westry to the blue and white.

 

Offensive Line

LEVON LIVINGSTON
Offensive Tackle
Washington, DC
6-7 | 232

Ranking: 
247Composite: 83 OT | 788
247Sports: 48 OT
Rivals: NR
ESPN: 86 OT

Committed: April 5, 2014 

Other Offers: West Virginia, NC State

Additional Note: Livingston plays both sides of the line of scrimmage in high school and insists he can play either in college, however, the plan is to use him on the offensive line at Kentucky.

LOGAN STENBERG
Offensive Tackle
Madison, AL
6-6 | 327

Ranking: 
247Composite: 74 OT | 674
247Sports: 58 OT
Rivals: 59 OT
ESPN: 134 OT

Committed: April 5, 2014

Other Offers: UAB (which couldn’t have ended well.)

Additional Note: Stenberg committed to UK on the same day as fellow offensive linemen Levon Livingston.

 

MASON WOLFE
Offensive Lineman
Henderson, KY
6-7 | 280

Ranking: 
247Composite: 98 OG
247Sports: 130 OG
Rivals: NR
ESPN: 132 OG

Committed: April 7, 2014

Additional Note: Wolfe became the fourth offensive lineman commit in three days when he committed during an unofficial visit to UK in early April. He told 247Sports he just felt it was time and he was interested in Kentucky since the very beginning. Since his commitment he’s been a frequent flyer to Lexington, visiting for multiple games and, more importantly, working with the other offensive line commits at camps.

4_2929835GEORGE ASAFO-ADJEI
Offensive Lineman
West Chester, OH
6-4 | 295

Ranking: 
247Composite: 47 OT | 448
247Sports: 22 OT | 199
Rivals: 27 OG
ESPN: 58 OG

Committed: June 23, 2014

Other Offers: Akron, Cincinnati, UConn, Florida, Illinois, Louisville, Miami (OH), Minnesota, Syracuse, Toledo, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan

Additional Note: Asafo-Adjei is a former teammate of current UK players Kyle Meadows and Mikel Horton, and said he felt comfortable with UK’s players, coaches, and facilities. It doesn’t hurt that the early enroll is close to home too.

Tight End

C.J. CONRAD
Tight End
LaGrange, OH
6-5 | 225

Ranking: 
247Composite: 11 TE | 289
247Sports: 9 TE
Rivals: 8 TE
ESPN: 11 TE

Committed: May 9, 2014

Other Offers: Arkansas, Illinois, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

Additional Note: If there’s a player that will come in to make an immediate impact on the field, it’s C.J. Conrad.  There’s been a handful of commitments from Ohio to jump ship upon the recent emergence of the Buckeyes, but the early enrollee never thought twice that Kentucky was the place to be.

Wide Receiver

4_1299074JABARI GREENWOOD
Wide Receiver
Washington, DC
6-4 | 193

Ranking: 
247Composite: 58 WR | 515
247Sports: 58 WR
Rivals: 51 WR
ESPN: 61 WR

Committed: June 28, 2014

Other Offers: Boston College, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Marshall, Maryland, Michigan State, NC State, Pitt, Rutgers, UVA, Wake Forest, Washington State

Additional Note: Greenwood picked Kentucky over Michigan State, Virginia, and Maryland. At 6’4″, 193 lbs., he’s got the size to compete in the SEC, and more importantly, looks like a playmaker. Greenwood said WR coach Tommy Mainord played a huge factor in his decision, and his commitment was a big win for Mainord, who is the primary recruiter in the DMV area.

4_2845670TAVIN RICHARDSON
Wide Receiver
Duncan, SC
6-3 | 200

Ranking: 
247Composite: 114 WR | 924
247Sports: 210 WR
Rivals: 20 WR
ESPN: 72 WR

Committed: January 30, 2015

Other Offers: Louisville, Pitt, Arkansas, Nebraska, Boston College, UCF

Additional Note: Richardon’s commitment was the Cats to lose, right up until the last minute.  After losing a pair of playmakers in the Dowell twins, Richardson’s size and frame are exactly what the Cats need in playmaking wide receivers.  His stock dropped in the rankings throughout the season, but Kentucky’s persistence should pay dividends in the future.

 

[All images and star-ratings via 247Sports.com]


Bomani gave Drew a shoutout on today’s Around The Horn


Alabama will be without its starting point guard

As if Kentucky needed any more help tomorrow, Alabama will be without its starting point guard in the game. Ricky Tarrant, the Tide’s second-leading scorer, stayed back in Tuscaloosa with an undisclosed lower leg injury. He suffered the injury Tuesday night against Florida.

Tarrant averages 13.1 points and two steals this season.

About that point spread…


Kentucky opened as a 20-point favorite over Alabama

Vegas released its line for tomorrow’s game in Rupp Arena and Kentucky finds itself as a 20-point favorite at home against the Tide. The Cats won by 22 a couple weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, so that’s a line I can get behind.

Your thoughts?


YAHTZEE! Cats add three-star wide receiver

Finally, some good news for the football program…

The Cats added three-star wide receiver Tavin Richardson from South Carolina this afternoon. Richardson picked Kentucky over Central Florida, with other offers from Louisville, Nebraska, Arkansas, Mississippi State and The U.

Yahtzee!


And another one… Tyrone Riley flips to NC State

4_2929789

TYRONE RILEY
Defensive End
Savannah, GA
6-6 | 230

Ranking: 
247Composite: 39 WDE | 775
247Sports: 41 WDE
Rivals: 27 WDE
ESPN: 51 OLB
Scout: 124 DE

Committed to UK: November 18, 2014

 

Kentucky’s 2015 recruiting class lost another commitment today, although this one isn’t a huge surprise.

Tyrone Riley, a three-star defensive end, flipped his pick to NC State today. One of Craig Naivar’s recruits, Riley seemed to be wavering recently. He visited NC State earlier this month.

That’s now four lost commits this month, however. Not a good look.


Coach Robic isn’t concerned at all about Willie Cauley-Stein

robic

Willie Cauley-Stein was a complete no-show last night in Missouri on both ends of the floor. Kentucky’s star big man didn’t score a bucket (or attempt one) until late in the game and, defensively, a rare zero blocks and zero steals. Only four total rebounds, too.

Today, Robic said he expects Willie to bounce back and return to form.

“It might’ve been a tough game for him yesterday,” Robic told reporters this afternoon. “He had a lot of family and friends that were there from the Kansas City area. I think you can think about that a little bit. It just wasn’t one of his better games, but I think he’ll rebound.

“We’re not concerned at all,” he continued. “We’ll put that one behind him.”

Luckily Willie’s off-night came against Missouri, a team Kentucky can beat without him. As we said last night after the game, it’s okay for Willie to zone out in those games but he needs to be 100 percent Willie when the lights are brightest.

Shrug it off and move on.