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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
August 29th, 2014

Trey Lyles is up in CoachCal.com’s “Meet the Wildcats” series

Photo via UKAthletics

CoachCal.com’s “Meet the Wildcats” series rolls on, and freshmen Trey Lyles is up. The BBN doesn’t know a lot about Lyles, who has been sidelined with a mysterious leg injury, but he opens up in Eric Lindsey’s piece, talking about how eager he is to get back on the court and the hobby he has that clears his head: puzzles. Lyles says he works puzzles all the time and once put together a 3,000-piece puzzle of Elvis. 

Lyles also talks about why he chose Kentucky over Louisville, and I think you’ll like his answer:

“Coach Cal just stuck out more to me for what he’s able to do and how much he cares for us,” Lyles said. “I came here quite a few more times than I went to Louisville, so I just felt more comfortable here. Just the family atmosphere. All the guys get along. Everybody’s always together. The fans really helped out a lot. Having great people that back you really helps out a lot.”

Check out CoachCal.com for more great quotes from Trey, who will be back on the court very soon.

[Meet the Wildcats: Lyles chomping at the bit to join teammates on the court]


UofL’s official DJ’s Tailgating Mix sounds nothing like mine

DJK Dogg, UofL’s official DJ (because of course Louisville has an official DJ), just released his Tailgate Mix for Game 1, and shockingly, it sounds nothing like mine. To be fair, I don’t think that’s what he was going for, but nothing says Cards like hardcore rap on a Monday afternoon at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.


UK announces “fan experience enhancements” for game day and they include FREE WATER!

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UK is doing their best to improve the gameday atmosphere at Commonwealth Stadium, and this morning, sent out a release detailing all of the “fan experience enhancements” in place for tomorrow’s game against UT-Martin. It’s a LONG list, but here are some of the highlights

  • Fans’ choice in music: UK is partnering with four local radio stations to allow fans to vote on songs from four genres–hip hop, pop, rock, and country. The vote’s been going on all week, and the winning songs will be played during timeouts. If you haven’t checked out the list yet, I encourage you to do so. Some of the options are…interesting. I’ll leave it at that.
  • Players’ choice in music: Earlier this summer, eight UK players chose songs they want to hear right before kickoff and fans voted for their favorites. Tomorrow, you’ll hear Braylon Heard’s choice of “Who Run It” before the the Cats run it back for a touchdown (hopefully).
  • They can play songs and videos between downs now: The SEC changed the rules to allow video, audio and music to be played between downs, which hopefully means we’ll see Za’Darius Smith leading the crowd in some chants on the jumbotrons.
  • The mysterious pre-fourth quarter tradition: UK will unveil a new tradition for the break between the third and fourth quarter tomorrow. What will it be? Randall Cobb leading the crowd in the CATS chant? Please???
  • In-game score updates – Game scores from across the country will be played on a continuous loop on the ribbon boards during the game so you won’t miss a thing.
  • FREE WATER! – Complimentary 10-ounce cups of water will be available to fans at stadium concession stands this season. That means you have no excuse not to rehydrate from your pregame tailgating festivities.

Go Cats. Go free water.


EJ Floreal has earned a Scholarship

AP Photo

AP Photo

A Congratulations is in order for Mr. EJ Floreal.  After one walk-on season, Floreal has been rewarded for his hard work by receiving a scholarship from John Calipari.  He didn’t have any numbers or miraculous plays to point out (except for the dunk in the Bahamas, that was awesome), but he did prove that he’s much more than the track coach’s son: he deserves to be on the court.

EJ brings the intensity to every practice, along with this:

 

That’s scholarship worthy if you ask me.


Calipari hopes half of the UK players in the NBA have the chance to make the 2016 Olympic Team

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True to form, John Calipari is doing a little work on his vacation. Yesterday, Cal spoke to USA Today’s Sam Amick about former Cats and current Team USA members Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins, and how he believes the benefits of being on Team USA outweigh the risks. Cal spoke at length about how much he feels being on the national team has helped Derrick Rose and Davis, the latter of which he predicted could be “the best player in the NBA” in five years. Cal said he hopes the same will happen for Cousins, who he believes could be a “10-time All-Star” thanks in part to the maturity and experience he gains from being on Team USA.

Davis and Cousins make it two Cats on the roster, but by 2016, Cal says he hopes John Wall also makes the squad, along with “half of the guys we have in the league”:

“[Cousins] is going to have more of a desire to make that Olympic team in 2016, as is John Wall (who didn’t make the USA roster) and I’m hoping half of the (former Kentucky) guys we have in the league, 20-something, will have an opportunity to make that roster.”

Whoa. Let’s think about this. By 2016, the following Kentucky players will likely be in the league:

  • Tayshaun Prince
  • Keith Bogans
  • Chuck Hayes
  • Rajon Rondo
  • Jodie Meeks
  • John Wall
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • Patrick Patterson
  • Enes Kanter
  • Brandon Knight
  • Anthony Davis
  • Marquis Teague
  • Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
  • Terrence Jones
  • Darius Miller
  • Nerlens Noel
  • Archie Goodwin
  • James Young
  • Julius Randle
  • Andrew Harrison
  • Aaron Harrison
  • Willie Cauley-Stein
  • Dakari Johnson
  • Marcus Lee
  • Karl Towns
  • Alex Poythress

First of all, good grief, that’s a lot, and I didn’t even include Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, and Trey Lyles. Cal’s estimate that half of the UK alums in the league will have the chance to make the team is, in true Cal fashion, a bit much, but I could see Davis, Cousins, Wall, Noel, Randle, and maybe Karl getting a shot. Maybe with Calipari as coach? Thoughts?

[USA Today]


KSR’s predictions for the 2014 football season

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Matt, Drew, Ryan, Jared Lorenzen, BTI, Nick Roush and I have turned in our picks for UK’s 2014 football season. Let’s hear yours.


Kentucky opens as a 20-point favorite over UT-Martin

The line for tomorrow’s game is finally out, and the Cats opened as a 20-point favorite over UT-Martin.

Cats by 24.


Diamond Stone cuts the Cats from his list

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Last night, five-star center Diamond Stone trimmed his list to five, and Kentucky did not make the cut. Stone narrowed his list to Maryland, Duke, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, and UConn, dashing dreams of a Malik Newman/Diamond Stone package deal in Lexington.

UK being cut from an elite recruit’s list is a rarity these days, but don’t freak out. Stone and UK have been distancing themselves from each other for several months now, and UConn is considered to be his favorite. The Huskies have also offered Malik Newman, but as the days go by, the Newman/Stone deal seems increasingly less likely to happen. Stone will announce his decision on November 12th on ESPN, while Newman will wait until the spring.

With Stone out of the picture, I don’t expect UK’s strategy to change much, if at all. They’ll continue to pursue big men Doral Moore, Stephen Zimmerman, Skal Labisssiere, and Caleb Swanigan heavily. Moore was supposed to visit UK last weekend, but couldn’t make it. Many believe it’s only a matter of time before he commits, so stay tuned…


Jalen Whitlow punted the ball three yards last night

© Brad Rempel | Getty Images

© Brad Rempel | Getty Images

Last night was Jalen Whitlow’s debut for Eastern Illinois, and well, it was an up-and-down affair. The former UK quarterback did a little bit of everything in Eastern Illinois’ loss to Minnesota, passing for 14-for-23 for 110 yards and 1 interception and rushing on 19 carries for 77 yards. He even caught a pass for 25 yards and punted the ball. Yes, he punted! Unfortunately, the ball only went three yards:

First game jitters?


UK FOOTBALL TOMORROW! (Friday Show Thread)

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We’re almost there, folks. In 26 hours, we’ll finally be watching Kentucky football, which means the long offseason is finally over. Get ready for tomorrow’s game by tuning into Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from a radio studio in Manhattan. The guys went out to celebrate Matt’s birthday last night, so hopefully we’ll hear some good stories, as well as all of the football previews you can dream of. For some of you at least.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

KSR Affiliate List

WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WAIN (93.9fm): Columbia
WHIR (1230am): Danville
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

On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…

WCBL (1290am): Benton, 12-2pm
WVHI (1330am): Evansville, IN, 5-7pm
WMTL (870am): Leitchfield, 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570am): Morgantown, 3-5pm
WRIL (106.3fm): Middlesboro, Thur 8-10pm


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The Streak You’d Rather Break

When you go through the down times that Kentucky has over the last several years, you tend to develop some negative streaks that can be quite the embarrassment for the fans.  And certainly at UK, we have become accustomed to streaks.  The Tennessee losing streak hovered over this program for nearly a quarter century.  The current Florida losing streak is starting to do the same, where every year the game is played the first thing brought up is the length of the losing streak.

But right now, there are 2 streaks that are attached to this program that I think are the ones that we should struggle with the most.  I wonder which of these 2 you are most embarrassed about as a fan and would rather see broken this season, if only 1 of the 2 can be broken:

1. 16 STRAIGHT LOSSES IN THE SEC

-Currently it’s the 2nd longest conference losing streak in UK history.  But the record is 17, so if Kentucky doesn’t want to surpass that, they will have beat either Florida of Vanderbilt.  But whether they get past 17 straight losses or not, the number that we absolutely can not get to is 24.  A 3rd straight 0-8 conference season would be an utter disaster for this program.  We would turn into the Northwestern of the early 1990′s or Rutgers or Temple of more modern times.  Personally, I don’t really care where it comes from, there has to be an SEC win in there somewhere.  The schedule sets up to give Kentucky several shots at a win and I fully expect them to execute.  But the longer that number remains and gets bigger, the more pressure for each game.

2. 3 STRAIGHT LOSSES TO LOUISVILLE

-Kentucky lost 4 straight to Louisville at the end of the Bobby Petrino Era #1.  But it’s been especially tough recently as UL has gone to another BCS Bowl and now brought back Petrino.  UL fans believe they have a grip on this rivalry now and for the future long term.  Which is more reason that Kentucky breaks that losing streak sooner than later.  Not only are there actual ramifications on the recruiting trail if that streak continues, but the general misery of UK fans until basketball season begins having to hear crap from Cards fans needs to stop.

Now, I am not sure that both of these streaks can’t be broken this season, but if I told you that only one of them could happen in 2014, which one would you rather see happen?  Personally, give me an SEC win this year and a win over Louisville next year in Commonwealth.


KSR’s Top Ten Tweets of the Day

So .... this made me smile

So …. this made me smile

FOOTBALL IS BACK. We will focus most of our attention on relevant Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as per usual, there are no limits to our madness. You, the KSR fans, can also participate in our top-10 tweet countdown by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTopTen, or by tweeting @KySportsRadio.

 

#10 Mark Ennis

BwIFY3kCIAIEBA8

 

 

#9 Gnash

#AWinForUsPlease

 

 

#8 Evan Daniels

Sorry Evan.

 

 

#7 Kimburllee

Of course we do.

 

 

#6 Tom Fornelli

OK.

 

 

#5 Lee Howard

Get rowdy.

 

 

#4 Jason Oaks

Kid has taste.

 

 

#3 John F. Cox

Sponsor this.

 

 

#2 Bandit

Finebaum smash.

 

 

#1 Oscar Combs

GET EM OSCAR

 

@BrennanKSR + Funkhouser


Kenny Football’s Thursday News and Views

Photo Credit: USA Today

Photo Credit: USA Today

All eyes tonight were on Kenny Hill, Johnny Manziel’s replacement under center at Texas A&M. Under the bright lights of college football’s first big game of the season, Kenny Hill stepped into Johnny Football’s shoes by breaking Manziel’s Texas A&M single-game records for completions and passing yards. Hill went 44-60 for 511 yards and three TDs in his debut as a starting QB, snapping No. 9 South Carolina’s 18-game home winning streak, which was the longest in the nation. The Aggies’ 680 total yards was the most South Carolina has ever allowed in its history. Hill joins Kentucky’s Tim Couch in the SEC record books by becoming the third QB, along with Eli Manning, to complete 40 passes in a game. Let’s consider ourselves lucky that the Cats won’t face the Aggies this year.

Now, on to the UK news and views of the day …

– Before we head into another academic year, take a look back at the year that was in UK sports (and Rifle) courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV:

(At about the 3:24 mark, Ryan Lemond makes an appearance)

Kentucky announced the addition of two new basketball staff members. Joel Justus was added to the staff as the team’s director of analytics.

According to UK, Justus’ main responsibilities will include analyzing player and team performance by utilizing various stats and data to help develop efficient strategies through video. Justus comes to UK after serving as the head coach at Davidson Day High School in Davidson, N.C., since 2012. In both years at the helm, he guided the Patriots to the Elite Eight in the state tournament.

The other addition to the staff is Robert Harris, the Cats’ new assistant strength and conditioning coach. Harris previously held the same role at Arkansas and worked with the Bengals for three years.

– At the time of this posting, kickoff at Commonwealth Stadium against UT Martin is less than 37 hours away. Click here for the highlights from Mark Stoops’ Thursday press conference:

If you’re going to the game Saturday, get there early. Mitch Barnhart, Eli Capilouto, and Lexington mayor Jim Gray held a press conference to discuss the gameday changes at Commonwealth Stadium for this season. Click here for more details from TT.

Bruce Pearl pulled in another big recruit. Trayvon Reed, a former Maryland signee, committed to Auburn. Reed is considered the ninth best center in the 2014 class by 247 Sports Composite. It’s the fourth commitment Pearl has received since his recruiting ban ended Sunday at midnight. His 2015 class is shaping up very well.

– Bobby Petrino was named to a top-10 national list today.

– Last but certainly not least, Happy Birthday to Matt, who was serenaded by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, Kentucky Joe and Fake Barney on the air today.

A variety of special guests also called in to give their predictions for the football season. If you haven’t listened yet, you’ll definitely want to check out the podcast. And of course, tune in tomorrow at 10 a.m. for the last regular KSR radio show before the season kicks off Saturday. Go Cats.


2014 Season Football Preview of Non-Football Players

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Graham

Last Year: 2013 was a rough year for Graham, as he had that one night where he got really drunk at the Alabama State game and his foot went through that sewer grate, requiring some minor medical attention. He also was really into the Black Keys then, and talked about them all the time; it was really annoying. You remember.
This Year’s Outlook: If Graham’s going to be valuable at a tailgate, he’s going to have to stop telling everyone about his gallbladder surgery over the summer — we’ve all heard the story and it’s gross and we don’t care. Graham is on the bubble for the 2014 season; he could turn out a great tailgating season or he could blow it all by mid-September.
What the Media is Saying: “Graham is one to watch on Saturday, because it’s really a make-or-break day for him. If he brings his A-game and can just be cool about things, that’s good. If he has more than four bourbons, all bets are off — we wouldn’t want to be cleaning up that mess. And who’s he into these days? Ed Sheeran? Yeah, he best just leave all that at home.”

——–

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Rick

Last Year: Rick had a great thing going in 2013; despite a long trip in from western KY on Game Day he was pretty good about rallying. We won’t soon forget his scathing “Taylor Hudson Sucks” chant about the Vanderbilt punter or the colorful and creative impromptu songs he made up about Alabama’s Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix. He only urinated in his pants twice that we know of, a strong uptick since 2012 when that was a frequent occurrence.
This Year’s Outlook: Rick has a new truck, a crew cab F450 adorned with UK magnets, and has been boasting an optimistic outlook on Stoops & company for the new season. “Rick said he’s going to get tore up this year,” said his longtime friend Charles Ray, “but not so tore up that he doesn’t make it to the game. That’s big for him. He means it.”
What the Media is Saying: “Tailgating with Rick is like drinking Chardonnay at a wedding. It’s fine because it’s there, but cross the line and it’s just too much. Sure, he’s really fun when he’s leading everyone in a chorus of  ‘Country Girl (Shake it for Me)’, but the next thing you know he’s shoving you by the shoulder and telling you nobody wants you there. You can have too much of a good thing. Let’s hope he keeps things in the green zone for 2014 and we don’t have a repeat of the messy ‘Big & Rich has still got it’ fiasco of 2013.”

———–

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Shawn P.

Last Year: Shawn P. struggled during halftime rushes at the north concourse concession stand, a problem which led to write-ups from Brad twice during the season; he regularly suffered from customer complaints of not enough ice and the occasional “being creepy.” Also, he had the unappetizing habit of regularly putting his thumb into a customer’s ice cream cone, something he claims was an accident because “the cones are too small for his hands.”
This Year’s Outlook: This year has seen some changes which should help Shawn P. — not the least of which is a relocation to the lower south concourse, requested because his staring was making Brittany uncomfortable. This stand boasts a new cheese dispenser, which should be easier to maneuver, and fill line marked inside the cups this year will serve as a benchmark for the amount of soda to provide.
What the Media is Saying: “Shawn has the rare opportunity to really turn things around for himself this year. For starters, no one else at his location is into anime, which should cut down on the distracting small talk. He’ll also be second in command by seniority, which should help put him into a leadership role. All of this can change for Shawn P., but only if he can keep that weird white dried up spittle from collecting in the corners of his mouth. He has to keep an eye on that if he wants to succeed, because no one wants to see that; it’s nasty.”

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Tracy

Last Year: Tracy’s 2013 started strong but really took a downturn in late October; she was really fun to be around for the first few games, and her friends were okay too, but then she broke up with Cameron and things really took a dark turn for her. She was constantly asking people what Cameron was doing, and whether he was hooking up with anyone else, and then she brought that guy everyone hated to the Tennessee tailgate and told us all she loved him and that he was so much better than Cameron. Whatever. We all knew she was just looking for attention from Cameron.
This Year’s Outlook: Tracy had a fling with one of the guys at her apartment complex over the summer so she seems pretty happy at the moment; his name’s Tad and I guess he’s okay even if he seems like kind of a chode. Anyway, we better get used to him because he’s going to be around every tailgate. Cameron’s with Serena now, and I don’t know if Tracy knows that yet — when she finds out she might go crazy. So, you know, 2014 is going to be interesting.
What the Media is Saying: “If Tracy’s really over Cameron, like she says, she might have a shot at being a solid tailgater in 2014. If not, look for more of her crying and being weird, like that really sad moment last season she was hitting herself in the head with the barbecue tongs and telling herself she didn’t deserve to be loved. Could go either way for Tracy this season.”

———

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Duke

Last Year: Keith brought Duke to every tailgate.
This Year’s Outlook: Keith will bring Duke to every tailgate again, and Duke will just stand there and occasionally eat a hot dog or some chips that fell on the ground. So look for more of the same from Duke in 2014.
What the Media is Saying: “Look, everyone knows Duke’s only here because Keith has to be the cool guy who brings his dog everywhere. And that’s fine, I guess. We all get it, just like we get that Keith goes hiking and eats quinoa and bikes around. Yeah, fine, okay, you’re outdoorsy. Leave the dog at home, Keith.”