By Maggie Davis on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
A brand new music festival is headed to Lexington this August. The Railbird Festival will be held on the grounds of Keeneland and will be put on by the well-known festival producer AC Entertainment, which is also responsible for other popular festivals like Forecastle in Louisville and Bonnaroo in Tennessee. It will take place August 10-11, 2019.
Keeneland officials made the announcement Wednesday afternoon. The musical acts have not been announced yet, but festival planners say it will be a mix of rock, Americana, folk, bluegrass and more. The lineup, as well as ticket prices, are expected to be released on March 25.
We’re thrilled to introduce @RailbirdFest – Lexington’s brand new music festival happening right here on the grounds of #Keeneland August 10th & 11th, 2019! Enter to win the FIRST EVER tickets + sign up for access to exclusive pre-sale ticket prices here: https://t.co/A30L4pkhKr pic.twitter.com/bL2bEU2EWT
— Keeneland (@keeneland) February 20, 2019
Kentucky has been working on their music scene for quite some time, so it’s exciting to see another festival making its way to the Commonwealth. For the chance to win a pair of free tickets and to stay up to date on all things Railbird, check out their website here.
It’s going to be awesome (and hopefully more organized than the Fyre Festival – keep Ja Rule as far away as possible).
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 6:15pm
In a taped segment on his call-in show, John Calipari gave us an update on Reid Travis’ knee. The segment was taped before the team left Columbia this afternoon, so the MRI scan had not been done; however, Cal said he expects Reid to miss at least a week to ten days, possibly two weeks.
“I would say, at the least, he’s going to be out a week to ten days, maybe two weeks,” Cal said.
“He’s not going to have the scan done until we get back, so it won’t be done until 5 p.m. He was with me this morning and he’s — you just don’t know with this stuff. And I just say we’ll pray and let’s hope it’s good news and he’s out a couple weeks, but we don’t know. I feel bad for him. He’s worked so hard and having so much fun and having such an impact that fate intervenes sometimes. In this case, it was like a freak thing.”
Regardless of how long Reid is out, Calipari says he needs his big guys to step up, starting with PJ Washington.
“Not only that, he’s giving up — I told PJ, now you’ve got to be that guy. We have no one else to go roughhouse. You have to be that guy. And that’s what’s going to make it hard for PJ but let’s just hope he has to hold the fort down for a couple of weeks and we get Reid back and go.
“Now, the other thing is, one guy’s misery is another guy’s opportunity. So now you have Nick [Richards] and EJ [Montgomery], now you have that opportunity to get extended minutes. Now, any clutter you were hearing — you should be playing more, etc. — alright, now there it is. I always tell them, you don’t listen to all this flattery or where they’re trying to blame other people. When you hear that, you have to put the phone down. You have to stop. You have to get off the internet. Anybody that’s flattering you vs. being truthful, holding you accountable, it’s poison because at some point, you have to step in the ring. You either can or you can’t. I think because we coach every player like they’re starters, I think EJ and Nick, this is their opportunity and I have great confidence in those two.”
Ten days would mean Reid is back for the Tennessee game, two weeks for Senior Day vs. Florida. Everyone cross your fingers.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Duke may be the show this year, but Kentucky’s still drawing plenty of viewers. The Cats’ win over No. 1 Tennessee on Saturday was the third most watched game this season, trailing only the Duke vs. Virginia games on Jan. 19 and Feb. 9.
The Kentucky vs. Tennessee game drew a 1.75 rating and 3.01 million viewers on ESPN. According to this chart from Sports Media Watch, Kentucky has played in four of seven most watched games this season:
Those rankings are going to change after tonight’s Duke vs. North Carolina game, but it’s still good to see the Cats bring in big numbers.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 5:26pm
By Drew Franklin on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
The Kentucky baseball team will debut its new Kentucky Proud Park in the home opener next Tuesday when neighboring Eastern Kentucky comes to town. The Cats would love to have a big crowd to watch them play for the first time in their $49 million home, but the 4 p.m. start time isn’t ideal for the working class.
Realizing his team has a scheduling conflict on its hands, UK head coach Nick Mingione is offering a work excuse for anyone who wants to play hooky to catch the home opener at the new stadium. The note reads:
To Whom It May Concern:
Please excuse ____________________ from work today. As you are probably aware, it is officially an unofficial state holiday as the Wildcats begin their first season at Kentucky Proud Park. ____________________ will need to save all their energy and positive vibes for the game. If you do not have a team to cheer for, we invite you to watch and support this year’s Kentucky Wildcats in our pursuit of a national championship.
We appreciate your understanding. Go Cats!
It’s then signed by Nick Mingione and dated February 26, 2019, the date of the game.
Print one out for yourself and get to KPP next Tuesday.
By Nick Roush on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 4:00pm
There are a few reasons why Missouri fans did not show up to Mizzou Arena Tuesday night to watch the Tigers take on Kentucky.
First and foremost, their team is bad. “Inclement weather” was not a bad excuse; it did keep UK in town overnight. Both excuses avoid the real reason why nobody wants to go to Mizzou Arena: the in-house DJ.
If you thought the music at Old Commonwealth Stadium was bad, at least you didn’t hear, “everybody clap your hands,” from the Cha Cha Slide once every two minutes. When the DJ didn’t use that drop to fire up the hundreds of Mizzou fans in the stands, “I can make your hands clap” rang throughout the Arena. I will not be able to get those stupid, annoying phrases out of my head for weeks.
The obnoxious drops directed to the crowd set the tone for a night that was filled with songs I liked in middle school. I used to “2 Step” at mixers. I bopped to “Lollipop” and “Cyclone” plenty of times as a 12-year old. I never Partied like a Rock Star, but you better believe I cranked that up in my Mother’s minivan. I enjoyed those songs 15 years ago, however, it was an awful soundtrack for my Reid Travis anxiety.
I could deal with those songs. When the Mizzou Arena DJ turned up the volume on, “I like to Move It, Move It,” I almost moved out of the arena. Once the “Electric Slide” played, I gave up. The Mizzou Arena DJ won the war with old wedding jams. I am now broken. Somewhere that DJ is celebrating with Kool and the Gang.
By Drew Franklin on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 2:58pm
After more than a 12-hour delay, including an additional night in Columbia, your University of Kentucky Wildcats are finally coming home.
The @KentuckyMBB Twitter account showed a picture of the team aboard the plane as it got set to take off from Missouri.
Columbia, you’re nice and all, but we’re ready to get out of here and get back to Lexington. ?? pic.twitter.com/D2HFs5Hh4B
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 20, 2019
If you’re looking for Reid Travis, and I know you are, he is not pictured.
UPDATE: Upon arrival in Lexington, Kentucky confirmed that Reid was in fact on the plane.
Come on now #BBN, let's not go crazy over who is and isn't in a picture. All 12 players were there and accounted for.
? Home https://t.co/Os0ItH13rK
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 20, 2019
By Drew Franklin on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Reid Travis’ future remains uncertain until he has an MRI on the knee sprain he suffered Tuesday night at Missouri. Hopefully we soon find out he’s fine and won’t miss any time. That would be awesome. But just in case, let’s say Kentucky has to go without him, what happens then? The obvious answer is E.J. Montgomery and Nick Richards have to step up.
Coach Cal is confident they will, if called upon. He said after the game, “We coach every kid like they’re a starter because of this reason.”
And if anybody has been telling Montgomery or Richards they should be playing more, “Well, OK, you’re going to play more,” Cal said.
Statistically, there won’t be a huge drop-off in the numbers. Per 40 minutes, Travis averages 16.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks; the duo of Montgomery and Richards averages 12.5 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.8 blocks. That being said, we’d be completely naive to assume a Travis absence for any period of time won’t affect the team. Travis is the steady veteran that has been invaluable to Kentucky’s success against other elite big men, namely Grant Williams; and though Montgomery and Richards have had their moments, neither have proven they can battle like Travis, consistently.
But Kentucky is lucky in that its frontcourt depth is arguably the best in the country with two athletic big men with NBA potential sitting behind two of the best players in the SEC. If this were to happen to any other team, it would likely mean the end. For Kentucky, it’s just next man up. Let’s go.
Maybe it won’t come to this scenario, though, and Travis is back in action this Saturday against Auburn. That’s the news we hope to hear in the coming days.
TELL US SOMETHING
By Drew Franklin on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 1:26pm
Once he learned his team had to spend another night in Missouri due to inclement weather, John Calipari said he hoped the team plane would be able to depart before noon, in order to have his team back in Lexington by 2 p.m.
Well, 2 p.m. is almost here and the team is still in Columbia, awaiting the green light to fly back home. I can’t imagine Cal and his coaches, players and staff members are a happy bunch right now.
Normally the team’s travel complications wouldn’t affect our daily lives, but today it kind of does because the longer it takes UK to get home, the longer it takes Reid Travis to get his MRI. And the longer it takes Reid Travis to get his MRI, the longer it will be before we hear any news, good or bad. And that’s not good for our eager hearts.
Now who has an in with air traffic control in or around Columbia Regional Airport?
By Drew Franklin on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 12:59pm
Next Tuesday night’s game against Arkansas will be a 9 p.m. start, and we now know it will be televised on the SEC Network.
Until now, the game’s start time had been listed but never the network. Now it has been confirmed as an SEC Network production, live from Rupp Arena.
As you were.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
Tyler Herro had 18 points last night at Missouri, his best scoring output since the Florida game in Gainesville on February 2. Whether it be the thrill of playing in front of an opposing crowd or the chilly rims in Rupp, Herro has become Kentucky’s road warrior, a role he embraces.
“I just like hitting big shots against people who don’t like us,” Herro said after Kentucky’s big win at Auburn back on January 19. “If they don’t like us, we don’t like them.”
How much better is Herro on the road than at home? I spent the morning crunching the numbers. His rebounding, assists, and steals averages are pretty much the same, so I only focused on shooting.
12.3 points per game, 43.3 percent, 35.4 percent from three, 88.6 percent from the free-throw line
|11/9||vs Southern Illinois||0||20||0-6||0.000||0-2||0.000||0-0||0.000|
|11/14||vs North Dakota||18||25||7-12||0.583||1-2||0.500||3-3||1.000|
|11/23||vs Tennessee State||8||25||3-7||0.429||2-6||0.333||0-0||0.000|
|12/1||vs UNC Greensboro||18||35||6-12||0.500||2-6||0.333||4-6||0.667|
|1/8||vs Texas A&M||21||36||7-14||0.500||3-7||0.429||4-4||1.000|
|1/22||vs #22 Miss. State||18||37||5-10||0.500||3-3||1.000||5-5||1.000|
|1/26||vs #9 Kansas||6||38||2-9||0.222||0-4||0.000||2-2||1.000|
|2/5||vs South Carolina||11||29||5-11||0.455||1-3||0.333||0-0||0.000|
|2/12||vs #19 LSU||12||39||5-13||0.385||2-5||0.400||0-0||0.000|
|2/16||vs #1 Tennessee||15||32||3-11||0.273||1-3||0.333||8-9||0.889|
13 points per game, 34.1 percent, 20 percent from three, 87.5 percent from the free-throw line
|11/6||vs #4 Duke||14||34||4-11||0.364||1-6||0.167||5-5||1.000|
|12/8||vs Seton Hall||10||26||4-13||0.308||0-6||0.000||2-2||1.000|
|12/22||vs #9 North Carolina||15||36||6-17||0.353||3-8||0.375||0-1||0.000|
Given the small sample size and the fact that one of those games was against Duke, I’m not going to read too much into the neutral site averages (especially that 20 percent from three…yeesh).
On the Road
16.1 points per game (team high), 52.3 percent, 43.2 percent from three, 100 percent from the free-throw line
|1/19||at #14 Auburn||20||34||6-12||0.500||3-6||0.500||5-5||1.000|
|2/9||at Miss. State||12||33||5-9||0.556||2-4||0.500||0-0||0.000|
How significant is the number 16.1, Herro’s scoring average on the road? Kentucky is 13-0 in games Herro scores at least 15 points.
In March, it’s Kentucky against the world, right?
By Drew Franklin on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 11:30am
Many college basketball pundits and observers have already handed Duke this year’s title. The Blue Devils’ odds to win it all are all the way down to +165 (or 8/5), which is absurd, as folks act like this Duke team is the most unstoppable force in the history of basketball.
But if you’re like me and you enjoy any negativity surrounding Duke, I think you’re going to like this stat that is circulating around the internet today. From Paul Hembekides, a researcher for ESPN, for Duke to win it all, they’ll have to go against 50 years of history:
RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson have accounted for 52% of Duke points this season (1,128 of 2,161).
No team in the last 50 years has won the title when more than half of its scoring comes from 2 players. (@PaulHembo)
Another fun fact from Hembekides’ research for ESPN’s Get Up talk show: Duke is shooting 31 percent from outside this season and no team has ever won the title while shooting three-pointers that poorly.
By Drew Franklin on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 10:45am
Everyone’s favorite mid-game television segment with Jimmy Dykes returned last night with the season debut of “Jimmy’s Jet.” Dykes’ unique way of projecting the NCAA tournament field breaks teams up into airline cabin classes, and you’ll be excited to know Kentucky earned a spot among the four “First Class” teams.
“Kentucky is kicking the backseat of Duke,” Dykes said, an airplane analogy to UK threatening Duke at the top.
See the whole thing below, via the ESPN broadcast.
By Bryan the Intern on ©February 20th, 2019 @ 10:01am
We don’t know the extent of Reid Travis’ injury yet and certainly it is possible it is minor and he will be back on the floor in no time as UK makes a run for the Final Four. But in this time of uncertainty it is hard not to remember some of the other key injuries that have struck the Cats over the years. As a younger UK fan, I don’t remember the Sam Bowie injury or any other key injuries in the 1980’s or sooner. My mind immediately came up with 4 times an injury had a serious impact on a UK season in the last 25 years.
And interestingly enough, sometimes you can actually take a positive away from injury. I think a decent argument can be made the first injury below played a positive impact in UK winning the 1998 national championship. Hopefully Travis is just fine and this will all just be a trip down memory lane for naught, but in the meantime look back on some key losses and which ones you think might have had the biggest impact:
1997: Derek Anderson Blows out Knee
-Anderson, a potential All-American candidate, tore the ACL in his knee on January 18th against Auburn. At the time, Kentucky was 16-2 and ranked 5th in the country. The injury could have, in theory, cost the Cats a national title that season. But the reality is Anderson going down had a positive effect on three players: Allen Edwards, Cameron Mills, and Ron Mercer. Nobody saw a jump in minutes after the Anderson injury than Edwards. He went from around a 20-minute a night player to closer to 30. He was forced to take on a serious role with the team and stepped up in a big way. And you could argue it help lead to what we saw from Edwards the next season, when he was a key cog in a national title. Mills barely saw the floor before the Anderson injury. But the opening in minutes allowed him to get a sniff of 6-10 minutes a game and prove he deserved those minutes. Mills went on to hit big shots for the 2 years. And Mercer was already a star but he was forced to become an All-American from that point forward. Mercer took the reigns of that team and nearly led them to a title.
2003: Keith Bogans Sprains Ankle in Sweet 16
-Tough to say but Bogans was clearly limited in the Elite 8 game against Marquette. Would it had made a difference against a red hot Marquette team? Hard to say. But when your All-American is playing at maybe 50%, there has to be some kind of impact. The UK defense, anchored by Bogans and the best in the country, was sliced and diced by the Eagles and saw a premature end to the UK season.
2013: Nerlens Noel Blows Out Knee
-Noel hurt his knee at Florida on February 12th. The Cats were 17-6, ranked 25th in the country, and comfortably in the tournament. In fact, UK went into that game on a 5-game winning streak. The injury completely decimated that team. From that point on UK went 4-6, missed the tournament, and experienced a couple of the most embarrassing losses in the Calipari era. The hope was Willie Cauley-Stein would step up but WCS just wasn’t ready for that role. In fact, nobody was able to fill the void. Archie Goodwin tried but wasn’t up to the task.
2015: Alex Poythress Blows Out Knee
-Poythress was hurt during practice on December 11th with the Cats rolling as the #1 team in the country. While the impact of the injury was not immediately obvious because that team was so stacked with talent, it came back to bite UK at the worst possible time. Poythress was UK’s best perimeter defender and in the Final Four he would have been a perfect matchup with Sam Dekker. Without him, Dekker proved to be the difference in the game. So sometimes the injury doesn’t show its true impact until weeks or months later.