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October 12th, 2015

Big Blue Madness 2015 Guest List


Kentucky basketball’s biggest recruiting event is only days away and some of the nation’s top high school talent will be in attendance to take it all in Friday night. This year’s confirmed guest list features the top rated point guard, shooting guard, power forward and center, as well as others, including one of John Calipari’s two commitments from the class.

Get to know them below as we await their highly-anticipated arrivals later this week…



Sacha Killeya-Jones (COMMITTED)
Power Forward

6’10”, 207 lbs.
Lynchburg, Virginia (Virginia Episcopal School)

Top247: No. 16 | 4 PF
247 Composite: No. 26 | 8 PF
Rivals: No. 26 |  8 PF
ESPN: No. 31 | 7 PF
Scout: No. 29 | 7 PF

Kentucky’s first commitment in the 2016 class, Sacha Killeya-Jones will take his official visit to his future school for Big Blue Madness. A five-star power forward, Killey-Jones committed to the Cats back in August. He received his scholarship offer while on an unofficial visit in Lexington in June.

Killeya-Jones named Calipari as one of the key factors in luring him to UK. He said at the time of his commitment, “I look at what Coach Calipari has done with players like myself, and I see the way he prepares them for the next level and it’s impressive. “He is a really genuine person who is a demanding coach. I felt very comfortable with him and trust him.”


Marques Bolden

6’10”, 254 lbs.
DeSoto, Texas (DeSoto)

Top247: No. 34 | 3 C
247 Composite: No. 20 | 1 C
Rivals: No. 16 | 1 C
ESPN: No. 2 | 2 C
Scout: No. 12 | 1 C

The No. 1 center in the 2016 class, Marques Bolden will attend Madness, his second trip to Lexington in a little over a month. Bolden took his official visit back in early September, but he will take another look at the program on Friday.

Bolden is very high on the Cats at the moment and he could very well become the final piece to Calipari’s frontcourt in 2016-17. With Killeya-Jones and Wenyen Gabriel committed, plus Tai Wynyard, Isaac Humphries and Marcus Lee’s potential return, Cal is looking to add one last body to his group of skilled big men. Bolden, as well as “Bam” Adebayo, Jarrett Allen and Harry Giles, is on the short list of players to join that bunch. Duke is Kentucky’s toughest competition in his recruitment.


De’Aaron Fox
Point Guard

6’3″, 185 lbs.
Katy, Texas (Cypress Lakes)

Top247: No. 2 | 1 PG
247 Composite: No. 3 | 1 PG
Rivals: No. 5| 2 PG
ESPN: No. 7 | 2 PG
Scout: No. 4 | 1 PG

If things go as expected, De’Aaron Fox will be the next great point guard to play for Calipari at the University of Kentucky. Fox is Cal’s favorite point guard in the class and the feeling is mutual. The Cats currently lead by a wide margin, and we may see a commitment shortly after his official visit to Lexington this weekend. It helps that Fox recently canceled his official visit to Arizona, which was set for November. All signs point to him joining Kentucky’s 2016 recruiting class, sooner than later.


Harry Giles
Power Forward

6’10”, 210 lbs.
High Point, North Carolina (Oak Hill Academy)

Top247: No. 2| 1 PF
247 Composite: No. 3 | 1 PF
Rivals: No. 2| 1 PF
ESPN: No. 1 | 1 PF
Scout: No. 1| 1 PF

Harry Giles, arguably the best overall player in the class, will take his official visit to Big Blue Madness. Giles is somewhat of a pipe dream for Kentucky fans, but as we’ve seen in years past, anything can happen once John Calipari gets someone on campus, especially during the greatest spectacle in this history of college basketball practice.

Duke is the presumed favorite for the five-star power forward, considering his close relationship with Blue Devil commit Jayson Tatum and he is from nearby High Point, NC. He is also considering UNC and Wake Forrest, as well as UK, but Duke is the likely pick.

Giles is the No. 1 overall pick in’s 2017 NBA Mock Draft.


Malik Monk
Shooting Guard

6’4″, 187 lbs.
Lepanto, Arkansas (Bentonville)

Top247: No. 5 | 1 CG
247 Composite: No. 5 | 1 CG
Rivals: No. 6 | 2 SG
ESPN: No. 5 | 1 SG
Scout: No. 6 | 1 SG

Malik Monk is a name we’ve followed closely ever since he blew up in last year’s Nike Peach Jam. It has long been believed Kentucky is the only program that can pull him out of Arkansas, and that mindset is still the same, although Kansas is attempting to make a run. Monk visited Kansas over the weekend for Late Night In The Phog, along with the aforementioned Bolden, Fox and Giles.

For Kentucky, assuming Fox joins the class, the key will be convincing Monk to play off the ball with Fox. Monk is a combo guard and can play the two as well as anyone, but he wants to go somewhere that will give him the ball. His relationship with Fox could be the ultimate deciding factor in whether he stays home at Arkansas or makes it to Lexington.

This weekend will be Monk’s official visit to UK. He will follow it with his official visit to Arkansas next week.



Kris Wilkes (2017)
Small Forward

6’7″, 190 lbs.
Indianapolis, Indiana (North Central)

Top247: No. 21 | 4 SF
247 Composite: No. 17 | 5 SF
Rivals: No. 10 | 2 SF
ESPN: No. 26 | 5 SF
Scout: No. 12 | 3 SF

One of the two high school juniors attending this year’s Madness, Kris Wilkes is a product of Indianapolis and one of the Hoosiers’ top priorities in 2017. He does not hold a scholarship offer from the Cats but he has already visited Lexington once before and hopes to one day obtain that coveted offer. He does have offers from Kansas, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Maryland, Illinois, Purdue and IU, among a few others.


Trae Young (2017)
Point Guard

6’1″, 170 lbs.
Norman, Oklahoma (Norman North)

Top247: No. 31 | 5 PG
247 Composite: No. 28 | 4 PG
Rivals: No. 26| 5 PG
ESPN: No. 25 | 4 PG
Scout: No. 32 | 6 PG

Unlike Wilkes, Trae Young, the other confirmed guest from the 2017 class, does have a scholarship offer from the Cats. Young is a high school teammate of Michael Porter Jr., the top rated small forward in the class, and the two would make a very nice package deal in college. While Young is good in his own right, his friendship with Porter Jr. makes him an even more attractive candidate at point guard. But that’s not to take away from his own game.



Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 11.59.58 AM


Toronto, Canada (OVO)

Will he be back?

Wendy’s KSR top 10 tweets of the weekend


Wendy’s® BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich and Pulled Pork Cheese Fries feature premium pork shoulder smoked for hours with real hickory chips and topped with your choice of smoky, spicy or sweet barbecue sauce. Try it today on a brioche bun with crunchy slaw or atop our natural-cut cheese fries.

You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Jamie DeWitt

Someone please get this for Shannon and mail it to the studio, ASAP.


#9 Jamie DeWitt

It’s like when you think your ex girlfriend is crazy until you get more exes.




#8 Levi Vandygriff ‏

How salty are Louisville fans?



#7 Isaac Humphries

I think BBN and this guy will get along just fine.



#6 Bweet Da Dee

That sounds about right.



#5 Ellie Williams

Good luck in your quest, Ellie.



#4 J in(Orlando)the Bay

No comment.



#3 Regina Lexi Rickert

Hey, Jared….where are the ‘In Sandy we trust’ shirts?



#2 Darrell

I find it helps if you just let it happen. Turn the song on full blast and let it go.



#1 Corey J

If we could all just be so lucky.


Bill Simmons wants Colin Cowherd to Back Off John Wall

The Big Lead

The Big Lead

Colin Cowherd has a vendetta with John Wall that he just can’t seem to drop.  After doing the Dougie during his first game, Cowherd’s criticism has been unjustifiably relentless. Wall has since embraced his role as a public figure, performing so many good deeds in the community that I don’t think I could fit them all into one post. 

Most of the sports world knows Cowherd’s playing a shtick, but we’re kind of getting sick of it.  Bill Simmons hopes to be the bearer of the olive branch. Simmons returned to the sports world on October 1st with “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” and in the second week he’s already brought up the issue.

“I like Cowherd,” Simmons said. “I think he did a good job for ESPN. I think it’s really hard to do radio three hours a day. I like him personally. I get, you know, some of what he does is schtick. You’re not gonna bat a thousand. Not everyone’s gonna agree with every opinion you made. The biggest mistake he’s made, other than what he said about Dominican Republic players this summer, which wasn’t great … was not just what he said about John Wall a couple times, but not retracting it.”

Simmons didn’t get into details, but his podcast partner for the day, D.C.-based Joe House, was not shy.

“All of [Cowherd’s] assignations, his problems with Wall at the outset and what he was describing, it emanated from this thing where Wall was doing the Dougie early on. Not a good look, but all of the criticisms that Colin then put on him were classic racial coding kind of stuff,” House said. “It was loathsome, and he doubled down on it.”

Simmons said he will bring the issue back up with Cowherd when joins his podcast in the next few weeks.

[The Washington Post]

Hope For Revenge With The Latest Bowl Projections


While the Cats may have had the weekend off to rest up the rest of college football didn’t. That means updated win and loss records and a change in the bowl opponents the Cats could face if they win two more games. Without further ado, here are your updated bowl games from the national media:

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach: Liberty Bowl Vs Kansas State (Saturday, January 2, 3:30 p.m, ESPN, Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium, Memphis,TN)

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy: Belk Bowl vs. Duke (Wednesday, December 30, 3:30 p.m., ESPN, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm: Belk Bowl Vs. Virginia Tech (Wednesday, December 30, 3:30 p.m., ESPN, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)

SB Nation’s Jason Kirk: TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Penn State (Saturday, January 2, 12:00 p.m., EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL) Music City Bowl Vs. Wisconsin (Wednesday, December 30, 7:00 p.m., Nissan Stadium, Nashville,TN)

Thoughts? As fun as a trip to Jacksonville in early January would be, I’ve got my fingers crossed for a match-up with the Badgers in Music City. First, its a chance to end the year with some revenge for the Final Four loss. Second, its Nashville on the day before New Years Eve. Please football Gods make this happen!

Another SEC Shakeup: Spurrier to Retire?

For the Win | USA Today

For the Win | USA Today

The early departure of Florida’s Will Grier for the remained of the season really turned the SEC upside down this morning.  But, that’s nothing compared to the bomb Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans just dropped: the Head Ball Coach is hanging up his visor. 

The “R” word has been hanging over Spurrier’s head for a while.  Before the season began, he tried to silence the haters with an impromptu press conference, where he said:

“I got some enemies out there, I got some guys talking and writing and it’s all part of the game,” the coach said Wednesday. “Some of our enemies out there want to make you think, ‘Spurrier’s getting old, he can’t do it anymore.'”

Apparently his enemies were correct.  After losing to the Cats in back-to-back seasons and failing to keep a quarterback healthy, the hole South Carolina has dug in the SEC is too deep to survive.

If Evans’ sources are correct, it is indeed a sad day in the SEC.  Stay tuned for more.


ESPN “and multiple media reports” say that the retirement is effective immediately and South Carolina will name an interim coach tomorrow morning.  Here’s to hoping that a TV career is in Spurrier’s future.

Russ Yeast is Done for the Season

Russ Yeast II’s junior year is ending early.  The son of UK’s all-time leading receiver and class of 2017 commit announced on Twitter earlier today that his high school season is over.  He told Scout’s Patrick Loney that a nagging high ankle sprain and ligament issue is the cause of the shutdown.

Playing quarterback and cornerback for his Dad, Fremont’s head football coach, Russ threw for 1171 yards, and 10 Tds.  On defense, he forced 2 forced fumbles, picked off a pass and had 19 tackles in only 5.5 games.

Best of Luck to Russ.  We’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.

Monday Night Football Practice Notes

monty closeup

“No matter who the QB is, we’re going to try to take him out.”

  • C.J. Johnson has had his fair share of hits on the QB the last two weeks, and doesn’t plan on making an exception this week, if his ankle permits it.  Who knows exactly who Malzahn will throw out there first, but you better believe the defense will have their ears pinned back to ensure they fail to find a rhythm.
  • If you’re worried about his ankle (you probably should be), it’s up in the air.  The coaches seem confident, but he was uncertain.  It was wrapped up and he seemed pretty laid back, but he always seems pretty laid back.  Just sit back and stay tuned in because we won’t know anymore until game time.

—  We should all aspire to be Alex Montgomery (the guy pictured above).  Maybe that’s hyperbole, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea.  A testament to perseverance and mental fortitude, Montgomery has fought his way back into the rotation.  “Fighting” would be a proper term, along with “grinding” and “working hard.” It was tough to crack into the deep rotation, but after taking some time to get his body right and staying mentally focused, Alex’s size will be an asset in blocking and catching at inside receiver this week.

His quarterback provided him some praise, “We need more guys like him.” 

“Obviously, we want him to use two hands at all times.”

  • WR coach Tommy Mainord on Dorian Baker, even though he doesn’t mind seeing spectacular one-handed grabs every now and then.

—  A perfectly timed Bye Week.  I’ve talked about it before, but now I mean this in a different way.  It isn’t just because the schedule was strenuous, it’s because of how this week works.  Instead of having three or four days to unwind and lose focus, the Thursday Night game gave them only one day to truly be away.  Stoops said on his radio show that he liked the format of the week because it was a break, but it wasn’t a huge one.

The ying and yang balancing this Bye Week is essential when dealing with injuries.  Jordan Swindle is back to 100%.  C.J. Johnson probably wouldn’t have been able to play last Saturday after rolling his ankle, but could be fine by Thursday.  Luckily, his running mate, Regie Meant, will be back in time to provide much-needed depth.  Patrick Towles had enough time to get a little cold out of his system.  And, if there’s another unfortunate injury on Thursday, they’ll have an extra two days to get healthy before visiting Mississippi State.

“They’re going to be hyped too.”

  • Jason Hatcher knows that this game could define the second half of the season.  He’s also well-aware that Auburn is in a similar situation.  The environment should play into the Wildcats favor, but you better believe Auburn will be bringing their big guns as well.

“When I walk across that white line, it’s business.”

  • Jimmy Brumbaugh will be friendly with his former coaches, colleagues and acquaintances at his alma mater until the rubber meets the road.  Football is supposed to be fun, but it’s also an occupation.  The goal is to win games.  He’s played his alma mater four times and doesn’t have a problem taking it to the Tigers.

KSR’s SEC Power Rankings, Week 7


It’s Monday, and even though the Cats didn’t play, I watched a LOT of college football this past weekend. Here are my thoughts on the SEC after Week 6:

1.  LSU (5-0)

Last weekend: Beat South Carolina 45-24; This week: vs. #8 Florida

The Leonard Fournette Show rolled on, with Fournette putting up 158 yards rushing and his teammate Derrius Guice (which is a real name) putting up 161 of his own. Even more impressive was quarterback Brandon Harris, who threw for 228 yards, a career high. Uh oh, y’all. LSU’s got balance.

2.  Alabama (5-1)

That’s Saban’s happy face

Last weekend: Beat Arkansas 27-14; This week: @ #9 Texas A&M

Arkansas gave it their best, but Alabama was too much for the Razorbacks. The bigger story is Bret Bielema’s pathetic sideline antics, which came to light this morning. Check out Bielema hopping in front of Alabama lineman Cam Robinson and attempting to “break up” a scuffle that didn’t exist, and when Robinson made a slight movement in his direction, stagger backwards dramatically to draw a flag.


3.  Texas A&M (5-0)

Last weekend: Off; This week: vs. #10 Alabama

I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched a single second of Texas A&M football this season, but they’re 5-0, so I guess that’s good. I will be watching when the Aggies host Alabama on Saturday. HUGE game for the SEC West.

4.  Ole Miss (5-1)

Last weekend: Beat New Mexico State 52-3; This week: @ Memphis

Ole Miss rebounded from their loss to Florida by routing New Mexico State, but Carlos Davis’ fumble on a punt return was still pretty embarrassing. 

5.  Mississippi State (4-2)

Last weekend: Beat Troy 45-17; This weekend: vs. Louisiana Tech

Dak Prescott was sick and played lass than a quarter, but that didn’t stop the Bulldogs from taking care of business against Neal Brown and Troy.

6.  Florida (6-0)

Last weekend: Beat Missouri 21-3; This week: @ #6 LSU

Well, I had Florida a lot higher on this list when I started it this morning, but after the news broke that starting QB Will Grier is suspended the rest of the season for taking performance-enhancing drugs, it’s time to reevaluate the Gators. Treon Harris will presumably get the nod, but will Florida be able to keep up their impressive momentum without Grier? Doubtful.

7.  Tennessee (3-3)

Last weekend: Beat Georgia 38-31; This week: Off

It pains me to say it, but the Vols got a huge, huge win over Georgia this past weekend. Fortunately, that puts Kentucky in second place in the SEC East, and with Florida having to regroup after losing Will Grier, the Cats could make some noise. Unfortunately, the Tennessee game looks tougher now that the Vols proved they can finish a game.

8.  Georgia (4-2)

Last weekend: Lost to Tennessee 38-31; This week: vs. Missouri

The low point of the weekend by far was Nick Chubb’s injury. Georgia’s star running back suffered a horrific injury to his knee on his first play against Tennessee, and it was so bad CBS refused to show the replay again; however, they did show a lot of pictures of sad Chubb on the sideline, being helped to the locker room, on the injury cart, etc. I could have done without all of that. Understandably, Georgia was rattled the rest of the game. Will they rebound vs. Missouri this week?

9.  Kentucky (4-1)


Last weekend: Off; This week: vs. Auburn

This is a big week for the Cats. Beat Auburn and we could be talking about Atlanta (if Florida slips off). Lose to Auburn and we’ll be back to debating which low to mid-tier bowl is better. Hopefully the team learned a lesson from the Florida game and won’t let the hype affect them this week.


Cory Johnson practiced today, should be fine for Thursday

Joe Robbins/Getty Images North America

Good news! According to defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, senior DT Cory Johnson practiced today and should be good to go Thursday night vs. Auburn.

This morning, Mark Stoops gave us all a scare when he listed Johnson as questionable after a minor injury in practice last week. After two career games vs. Missouri and Eastern Kentucky, Johnson is an anchor on the line and having him back is a HUGE relief to UK’s defense.

Say it with me: PHEW. Knowing Cory, he probably just really needed to poop.

In a Must-Win Game, is the Auburn QB Competition Reality or Gamesmanship?

Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson

Expectation has not met result. The Auburn Tigers were voted to represent the SEC West in Atlanta. Through five games, it hasn’t played up to billing. Football experts confused sports and voted QB Jeremy Johnson onto preseason All-SEC Teams as well as naming him to Heisman Trophy watch lists. In regard to preseason accolades, football and basketball are vastly different. In football, proven result trumps potential. Given Johnson’s starting career entailed all of two games, 2015 has not produced the Cam Newton comparison that was prominently thrown around during SEC Media Days. Disclosure, I fell into that same Johnson hype trap.

The Tigers are 3-2 and like UK, will be coming off a much-needed bye week. Word from the Plains is that Gus Malzahn had opened up competition at quarterback as well as every other position on the team. Common from an underachieving, youthful team. As for the QB race, some think it’s real, others indicate it’s merely motivation for its current starter. Candidates are: Jeremy Johnson, Sean White, and former WR Jason Smith. Let’s take a deeper look into Auburn’s signal callers:

Jeremy Johnson 6’5″, 240 lbs. junior, 3 starts

In week one, the nation waited to be wowed. Johnson disappointed in the Tigers win over Louisville. Even with Auburn opening a sizable lead and holding on for the victory, fans and media left the game perplexed. 11-21 for 137 yards were accompanied by three interceptions and one touchdown. Of his ten incompletions, some were baffling and led to more questions than preseason affirmations.

Next week, Auburn faced Jacksonville State. An overtime win led to more reservation. In AU’s victory, Johnson was 21-32 236 yards, 2 INTs and 2 TDs. Numbers weren’t all that bad, but misreads and inexplicably errant throws continued from week one. Hesitancy was common. For an athlete of his stature, Johnson pocket discomfort was troubling and hard to watch.

Johnson’s final start came against LSU. 11-19 for 100 yards led to 2 TDs, one more INT, as he endured 5 QB sacks. For many Plainsmen, a QB change was inevitable. LSU and Leonard Fournette beat AU 45-21.

For the year, Jeremy Johnson’s numbers are as follows: 43-72 for 473 yards, 6 INTs, and 5 TDs. He’s also run for two scores.

Sean White 6’0″, 200 lbs. freshman, 2 starts

Not a typical Gus Malzahn quarterback, White is more of a pocket passer. He came to Auburn highly recruited. His first start was statistically better than his predecessor by going 20-28 for 188 yards and 1 INT. White also showed flashes of being able to effectively run the football. However, Auburn dropped another conference game to Miss. State 17-9. The projected West champions were 0-2 in league games.

The next week, Auburn got back on the winning track by beating San Jose State 35-21. However, the final score was misleading. The Spartans had critical turnovers and Auburn scored late. White attempted just 10 passes, completing 6 for 108 yards. In his two starts, White has yet to throw a touchdown pass.

Jason Smith 6’1″ 180 lbs. sophomore, zero starts

Smith is the wild card. The former Mobile Register Player of the Year signed with Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Smith played quarterback and led his team to an 8-2 record and 7th national ranking. He passed for 1566 yards and 18 TDs. He also rushed for 10 scores. Smith is believed to be more of a Malzahn QB than Johnson or White. His expertise is the read option.

On the current Auburn roster, the 6’1″ 180 lbs. Jason Smith is listed as a WR. Season totals: 3 catches for 17 yards. Former Tiger QB Nick Marshall was a cornerback at Georgia prior to transferring to Auburn and eventually led it to a national championship loss to Florida State. Could we be seeing a similar trend in Smith? Would Auburn start a WR at QB on the road in a must win situation?


Plenty of Kentucky in Top 100 College Basketball Players

skalmurray came out with their top 101 players in college basketball this season and to the surprise of no one Kentucky is well represented on the list. They explain the list isn’t made for MVP’s, overall value to a team or how one might look at All-Americans, but rather you’re playing a game of pickup and want to pick the best players.

Jamal Murray led the way for the Wildcats at No. 5 as Skal was right behind him at No. 6. In an ironic fashion Kyle Wiltjer came in at No. 4, just goes to show you how good Cal is at finding talent. Also on the list were Tyler Ulis at No. 33 and Alex Poythress at No. 87. North Carolina, Kansas, Maryland and Duke also had four players on the list.

Kris Dunn was voted No. 1 by the staff. Now, I know he’s not on the list now but at the end of the season don’t be surprised to see Isaiah Briscoe on this list. Thoughts? Complaints? Let me hear them.

Auburn WR says Tigers “have a point to prove”

To say things haven’t gone as expected this season for Auburn would be a major understatement. The preseason top 10 Tigers are 3-2 so far this season, making Thursday’s game against the Cats a must-win situation. Senior wide receiver Melvin Ray says they’re ready to make a statement.

“It’s big for us,” Ray told reporters today. “This is SEC play. Kentucky is a good team, and we still have a point to prove. It’s going to be a big point.”

Ray has nine catches for 84 yards and two touchdowns so far this season, and his production will likely increase with star wide receiver Duke Williams off the team. Who will throw him the ball? Good question. Today, Gus Malzahn said the competition for the starting quarterback spot is still ongoing.

“I really feel like Jeremy (Johnson)’s done a solid job,” Malzahn said. “He’s back in the mix. I think it’s been good for both of them. We’ll make a call on that later in the week.”

In the preseason, many considered Johnson a Heisman candidate, but he was benched after throwing six interceptions (and five touchdowns) in his first three starts. Redshirt freshman Sean White started the last two games and hasn’t thrown a touchdown yet. There’s even been talk of adding JuCo QB/WR Jason Smith into the mix.

“I could see why there’s a battle between those two now because it could go either way,” Ray said. “It’s just all about whoever can give us the best chance.”

Stay tuned…

[Ledger-Enquirer, AP]

UK airing a 90-minute special before Big Blue Madness

Did you ask for more Big Blue Madness coverage? You got it. UK just announced it will air a 90-minute Big Blue Madness special from 5:30-7 p.m. before the event on Friday. The show will be hosted by Dave Baker and Christi Thomas and will feature exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content.

The entire show will air on You can also see it on the following TV channels:

Market Station
Bowling Green WKBO
Evansville, Ind. WTVW
Hazard WYMT
Huntington WSAZ
Lexington The CW Lexington
Louisville WYMO/WDRB

Big Blue Madness itself will begin at 7 p.m. ET and will air live in its entirety on the SEC Nework and the WatchESPN app. ESPN’s Dave O’Brien will be on hand to make the call alongside analysts Sean Farnham and Kara Lawson.

It’s almost here, folks. Help Tyler Ulis get ready:

Clip of the Day: Matt on “The Louisville Man”


On this morning’s show, Matt read an article entitled “Being a Louisville Man” from a website called The Crunch Zone. The author, Mark Blankenbaker, aka @UofLSheriff50, wrote a lengthy and dramatic defense for his fan base after a week of scandal, and well, it was hilarious. What does it mean to be a Louisville Man? A few excerpts…

It’s a source of pride.  A “Louisville Man” does the right thing.  He’s honest.  He does what he needs to do.  He loves his family, he takes pride in his work, he attempts to make himself better EVERY DAY.  A “Louisville Man” has integrity, he displays his ethics, he is honorable. A “Louisville Man” is not perfect, but he strives to be.

A “Louisville Man” does not turn his back on other “Louisville Men” in hardship, but there are certainly times when someone can lose the honor of distinction…….but until that time, we remain together.   Who better than to lead Louisville now than Rick Pitino?  A man who knows precisely how to rise from the ashes burned either by his own hand or by the hand of others…….. “A Louisville Man”.


(Sadly, no word on what it means to be a “Louisville woman,” although I’m scared to ask in case it requires a credit card number.)

Matt’s dramatic reading of the article is priceless, and you should stop what you’re doing to listen:

While you’re at it, tune in to the rest of the podcast:

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Seven Takeaways from Monday’s Press Conference

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.47.39 PM

With the Thursday night game Mark Stoops, Shannon Dawson and D.J. Eliot spoke during Stoops’ Monday’s weekly press conference. 

Stoops believes there are still areas of improvement

Stoops stated two specific areas that his team needs to get better at. On the defensive side of the ball, the team needs have a better position on the football and making good tackles and finishing plays. On the offensive side of the ball it’s consistency. One player has the ability to derail a whole series, so having all 11 players on the same page is key to the offense’s success.

It doesn’t matter who is at quarterback on Thursday night

Both Stoops and Eliot said that the defense’s preparation will not change when Auburn named a starting quarterback, which they will do later this week. Kentucky will prepare the same way it has been the last two weeks. “I know that each quarterback has different talents, but the attack I don’t think is much different. They have the scheme that they run and you have to be able to defend a lot of things,” Eliot said.

The bye week helps develop younger players

Some of the members of the scout team were able to get some reps this week with the offense and defense. Stoops notes the importance of  developing some of the young players on the team. Kentucky is in a good place where they can redshirt some of the more talented freshmen to even further develop their game.

Consistency continues to be the key for the offense 

The most frustrating thing for the coaches and even fans is the inconsistent play of the offense. We’ve seen the offense come out and play some really good football and then come out and play a horrible after the halftime. “You can get frustrated with it or you can just keep working. My mind set is to keep pushing along,” Dawson said. Dawson attributes the inconsistency to an execution issue and not a lack of effort, which they continue to work on and improve on each week.

The defense has been preparing for a quick tempo offense

When facing an fast tempo offense, a defense has to “think fast, you have to be able to line up fast and you have to be able to communicate fast,” Eliot said. These type of offenses can get you if you aren’t lined up quickly, and the coaches has emphasized that this week. The defense has done a good job of handling the tempo of the offense this in practice and Eliot expects them to do just fine against Auburn.

The coaches are high on Dorian Baker

When the game has been on the line, Baker has been the player to step and save the game (and season). Stoops and Dawson both appreciate the consistent play Baker brings to the offense. His focus to execute and make plays when the game is on the line is a key aspect of his game. “He brings an energy that you appreciate as a coach,” Stoops said.

We will see more of Alex Montgomery 

After tearing his ACL as a freshman back in 2013, Montgomery’s long road to recovery has finally come to an end. The junior wide receiver has played really well the last two weeks and the coaches have taken notice.