Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
July 3rd, 2015

Dumb Americans’ Friday Morning Wakeup

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 11.29.27 PM

This video is the saddest thing you’ll see all day. I couldn’t get through it. I threw in the towel after I heard America became independent when it defeated the South, the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1984, and we declared our independence from the country of California.

Be better, America.

If you didn’t know those answers, keep it to yourself. Keep it to yourself and look it up before you do anything else this morning.

 

Kash Daniel announces tomorrow.

He told the Herald-Leader, “This place will ignite on fire if I choose to go where everybody’s wanting me to go.”

Plenty more Kash talk throughout the day.

Julius Randle dunks on guy, asks, “What was he thinking?”

Listen closely. Also, what was he thinking?

Tiger playing well at the Greenbrier.

After hitting 14 greens and needing only 25 putts in yesterday’s opening round, eyes will be on Tiger Woods at Day 2 of the Greenbrier Classic. Woods’ 4-under-par was good enough for 12th place yesterday and he’ll look to improve on that score as fans continue to wonder if he’ll ever truly be ‘back.’

Woods tees off at 1:10 pm this afternoon. I’ll be following my PGA Tour app religiously while tailgating for the USMNT in Nashville.

Keep an eye on my good buddy Kent Bulle at the PGA’s Dakota Dunes tournament in Canada, too. I’ve got a feeling he’s going low today. Vamanos El Toro!

Anyone in Nashville tonight?

Tweet me or something. Let’s go.

The Knicks and Thunder competing for Enes Kanter.

Re-signing Enes Kanter is a priority for Oklahoma City this offseason, but the Phil Jackson has contacted the former Cat about a move to New York City. Talks will pick up today, and OKC is expected to match whatever the Knicks offer.

Rajon Rondo is also still in the middle of NBA free agency. The most recent report is Los Angeles reached out to him about becoming a Laker. He will also meet with the Kings today.

Doron Lamb named to Golden State’s summer league roster.

EAT D LAMB!!!!

Watch Roger Federer embarrass American Sam Querrey at Wimbledon.

Oh my. That’s filthy.

Magic Mike XXL opens today.

That in no way affects my day, but Jared Lorenzen appears to be pretty pumped about it.

Anyone got a Hollywood connection to get Jared in a Magic Mike XXL audition? The man’s got moves.

We’re at the Holiday Inn in Hopkinsville today.

See you there, Western Kentucky!!!


July 2nd, 2015

The Men of BBNmeetup.com

By now you’ve heard about BBNmeetup.com, the new dating website for Kentucky fans. The online dating service will go live on July 15th, but it opened today for users to begin creating their profiles.

While creating mine earlier this afternoon, which will surely get me at least half of a date, a glitch in the system gave me a sneak peek at some of my competition in the Man Seeking Woman category. And let me tell you, there are several recognizable faces looking for love around Big Blue Nation. I copied some of the profiles to share with you here on KSR tonight so you know what you’re up against when the matchmaking begins in two weeks…

 


kentucky-joe

Joe
kentucky_joe

Occupation: Country Music Star
Age: 49
Height: 5’8
Wants Kids: No
Drinks: No
Smokes: No
Favorite UK Player: I’m a Willie Cauley-Stein man
Favorite UK Moment: When Kentucky Joe sang to Aaron Harrison outside the Craft Center
The Perfect Date Is: Kentucky Joe singing to his lady

About Me: I work for Kentucky Sports Radio with Matt Jones.


doron

Doron
DLamb20

Occupation: Professional Basketball Player
Age: 23
Height: 6’4
Wants Kids: No
Drinks: Occasionally
Smokes: No
Favorite UK Player: Doron Lamb
Favorite UK Moment: 2012 National Championship
The Perfect Date Is: Eat with D. Lamb

About Me: Ladies if you not bringing anything to the table then I can’t talk to you then Period. I don’t have time for girls to be acting me for stuff and u can’t help me. You can’t have no car live with your mom and no money that crazy ladies. I can’t talk to a girl like that im sorry. That a turn off when a girl wear to much makeup.


goodman

Jeff
GoodManForU

Occupation: ESPN Basketball Insider
Age: Private
Height: 6’3
Wants Kids: No
Drinks: Occasionally
Smokes: Other reporters in scoop
Favorite UK Player: Not Andrew Harrison
Favorite UK Moment: Losing to Wisconsin in the Final Four
The Perfect Date Is: Sitting around a box of wine in a candlelit room, critiquing Andrew Harrison and John Calipari. Preferably with Bill Self at the Peach Jam.

About Me: Sources tell me things.


billy-g

Billy
BillyClyde69

Occupation: College Basketball Coach
Age: 55
Height: 5’9
Wants Kids: No
Drinks: Often
Smokes: When I’m drunk
Favorite UK Player: Mark Coury
Favorite UK Moment: Winning the Cancun Challenge, sleeping with college chicks
The Perfect Date Is: Merrick Inn

About Me: I once coached at the University of Kentucky. Now I am at Ranger Junior College in Texas. Whatever you’ve heard about me, it’s probably true. Sorry for partying.


john-short

John
Great_American

Occupation: Kroger Courtesy Clerk
Age: Private
Height: 5’7
Wants Kids: No
Drinks: Never
Smokes: Never
Favorite UK Player: Dan Issel because he scored 53 points against Mississippi on February 7 in 1970 and then he scored 51 points on February 21, 1970.
Favorite UK Moment: Meeting Jack Givens at the KSR pregame show
The Perfect Date Is: Smashburger

About Me: I’m a conservative and my Kroger schedule is 5-10 on Saturday and 3-6 on Sunday.


dancing-guy

Dancing Guy
Mony_Mony

Occupation: Dancer
Age: Private
Height: 5’7
Wants Kids: No
Drinks: No
Smokes: No
Favorite UK Player: Billy Idol
Favorite UK Moment: Second half TV timeouts
The Perfect Date Is: Toss and turn and feel all right

About Me: Moves like Jagger


forde

Pat
PattyVolleyball

Occupation: Yahoo! Sports Writer, Habitual Calipari Hater
Age: Private
Height: 5’10
Wants Kids: No
Drinks: When Kentucky loses
Smokes: When Kentucky loses
Favorite UK Player: None of them
Favorite UK Moment: Every one of Calipari’s losses
The Perfect Date Is: Hanging out with Rick Pitino

About Me: DTF


Wendy’s KSR Top Ten Tweets of the Day

Salads_500x500
Summer’s here and so is the perfect summer salad—Wendy’s Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad. Made with hand-sliced strawberries and crisp Romaine chopped right in our kitchens. All topped with warm, freshly grilled chicken. It’s only here for summer and it’s only at Wendy’s. At participating Wendy’s for a limited time


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 BBNmeetup.com


NO. NO. NO. NO. WHAT ARE YOU DOING? DON’T ENCOURAGE HIM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 James Martin


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 Nik Stauskas


This can’t be Boogie. He is just a thug. Right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 Kaylaaa♥️


I would encourage this, but apparently you CAN get arrested for taking down a flag. Oh what the heck. Go for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6 Hagan Fee


Hopefully they’re at least done by the time it’s our turn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 Josh house


Static/bad connection and all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 Just Being Frank


I can’t even deal with this right now. That’s a nice cat, tho.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Arash Markazi


I’ve never see anything explained so clearly before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Mark Titus


Yesterday was a great day! Only a year to go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1 Ray J. Vaske


I kinda feel like the future of BBN lies on Ray’s family.
@Hessler_KSR


Is Keith Bogans the most overachieving NBA Wildcat?

 

In 2003, LeBron James took his talents to the NBA. UK’s Keith Bogans was also a part of that draft. And so was I.

keith bogans

 

A journalist always remembers how his stories begin.

From The Washington Post, 2003:

After Prep Work, James Is Chosen One
By Ryan Clark
Washington Post Staff Writer

NEW YORK, June 26 – Hand it to LeBron James for stealing the spotlight in his first moments as an NBA player.

While the 2003 NBA Draft was expected to take on an international flavor, and did so with a record 20 foreign players taken mostly in the latter half, James commanded immediate attention.

And he didn’t even need a court to do it.

James, as expected, was selected No. 1 by the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, and the 6-foot-8, 240-pound 18-year-old came dressed for the occasion. He sauntered to the stage to shake Commissioner David Stern’s hand in a white suit, save a touch of black on the shoes.

White shirt. White tie. White jacket and pants.

“It wasn’t like I was wondering where I was going,” James said. “I’m still excited. The dream has finally come and the hard work had paid off.”

*

I still love how that story began. I love that I got a chance to write it, and I love that the 2003 draft, which also featured players like Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, can at least be in the argument as the best of all-time.

I was technically just an intern, fresh off graduating from Western Kentucky University. But I’d spent more than five years in school, mostly because I interned at some of the largest newspapers in the country. Baltimore. Atlanta. Orlando. I’d been lots of places and covered a lot of sports. I was more than just a young sportswriter.

But covering the draft was different – and it was an experience I’ll never forget. I remember sitting down to write and looking to my left – next to me, Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News was typing away. I had to laugh at that. Me, the intern, next to one of the loudest guys on ESPN. Of course, before I left for New York, Michael Wilbon (of PTI fame) and Rachel Nichols, who were both then writers at the paper, told me that if I needed any help I should just give them a call.

I was, indeed, in rare air. It was all very surreal.

But of course, I had a job to do, and it was so much fun covering the cocky, young, talented LeBron as he officially introduced himself to the NBA. In truth, I’ve been a fan ever since. I feel like I was there when it all began.

But there’s another reason why I loved being a part of that draft. It was much more insignificant in the whole scheme of things. Still, as the night wore on, I felt a little sense of pride when the Orlando Magic used the 43rd pick to choose UK’s Keith Bogans.

I remember I stopped typing when I heard his name announced. Way to go, Keith, I thought.

*

We all know the story about Keith Bogans. Came to UK as a McDonald’s All-American. Tough as nails. Reliable three-point shooter. Great defender. Became a great leader. Stayed four years and led UK to an undefeated SEC run. Sprained his ankle and lost to DWade in the 2003 Elite Eight. Finished his college career as an All-American and became UK’s all-time scoring leader at guard.

I never would have thought that in 2015 Bogans would still be earning an NBA paycheck. Yet it’s true. Whether Keith ever dons another NBA jersey. He’s still getting paid, in part because he was added to the blockbuster trade that Brooklyn made to land Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce in 2013. Keith was given a gift of several million dollars just so he could make the trade work.

Shouldn’t we all be so lucky?

But before Bogans became trade fodder, he was exactly what he was in college: a hard-nosed, defensive stopper who could shoot the three and help lead a team. He became a fixture in the league, which is something we cannot say for his long-ago and much ballyhooed high school teammate Joe Forte, who went to North Carolina. In fact, when Bogans entered the league in 2003, Forte was completing his last of two total seasons in the NBA. He now plays for a team in Tel Aviv.

Fans tend to forget that just four years ago, Bogans was the backcourt mate of league MVP Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls and Bogans started at shooting guard for all 98 of the team’s regular season and playoff games.

So, we pose the question: Is Keith Bogans the most overachieving NBA Wildcat?

*

First, I suppose we should look at those UK players who have gone to the league. A quick visit to Jon Scott’s website gives us the answer:

UK players in the pros

Obviously, I won’t go over the whole list. If you want, go and check it out for yourself.

But I do think we need some parameters when talking about the topic. I mean, I can hear some people now: Keith Bogans was a high school and college All-American. He should have played 12 years in the NBA.

Good argument. I get it. Still, something about the plucky Bogans makes me include him on this list. After all, college achievement does not equal NBA success. So then, perhaps we should think about where the player was drafted – or, even if he was drafted at all.

It makes sense that we should then think about longevity and success of the NBA career, especially relative to the expectations we had for that player.

Lastly, we should include what I would call the intangibles – was the player expected to do well, but then exceeded those expectations? Was there something the player had to overcome to reach this dream?

That said, I’ll invite you to look at the list of Kentucky pro players. But there were a couple of things that stood out to me:

  • I’m not going to reward one season of play, so the cup of coffee that Reggie Hanson and Wayne Turner had don’t count for much.
  • A lot of our most revered players did not have great professional careers. (Jack Givens, Kenny Walker, Winston Bennett, etc.)
  • If I haven’t heard of you, you probably didn’t do a whole lot.

So here’s my list of most overachieving NBA Wildcat players.

5. Scott Padgett – I cannot believe this guy spent parts of nine seasons in the league. I remember when Rick Pitino recruited Padgett out of St. X high in Louisville, and I thought: Are you kidding? What are we going to do with this guy?

padgett1

Turns out we were going to win. A lot. And after bowing out in the Elite Eight to Michigan State in 1999, the 6-9, 240-pound Padgett was drafted in the first round by Utah. He started in nine games as a rookie and by his fourth season, he was a regular in the rotation, averaging 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

He’d then go to New Jersey, then Houston as a backup, and then Memphis before going to Spain before retirement.

It just proves that if you’re big and you can shoot, you’ve got a spot in the NBA.

4. Keith Bogans – See above. I know he was an All-American. But he was a second round pick who not only made a team, he was still a starter on a playoff squad a decade later. He overcame a lot of people who said he couldn’t make it. Kudos to KeithBo.

3. Mark Pope – This is an incredible story. After transferring from Washington and helping UK win the 1996 national championship, Pope became the fourth player drafted off that Cats squad – the 52nd pick, in the second round, to Larry Bird and the Indiana Pacers.

mark_pope

Pope, a 6-10, 235-pound center, spent a year overseas before joining the team the next season. He then played two years before being cut. He went overseas again for a year before coming back to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he then started 45 games.

You read it right – he was a starter in the NBA. He averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

After two years Pope moved on to Denver, and after two more seasons there, he was cut. His NBA career was over.

But it doesn’t make it any less amazing.

2. Nazr Mohammed – Probably the most unreal transformation from a player we UK fans have ever seen. The only thing that keeps Nazr from being No. 1 is he had the body. He was, at his trimmest, 6-10, 250-plus pounds. He had soft hands and feet. He was made to play in the NBA.

nazr_mohammed

And that’s why, out of all the stars who came from the 1996 champs (Tony Delk, Ron Mercer, Derek Anderson, Antoine Walker, Walter McCarty, Pope, Jeff Sheppard, etc.) Nazr is the one who is still playing in the NBA. This year he played for Chicago, his eighth NBA squad.

He’s averaged 5.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as a professional, and in 2005, he started every playoff game, averaging more than seven points per for the eventual world champion San Antonio Spurs.

1. Chuck Hayes – This one, to me, makes perfect sense. Chuck wasn’t big enough. He wasn’t fast enough. He couldn’t shoot.

 

chuck_hayes

But he could rebound. And he had a heart as big as Secretariat. And he just wins, baby.

Yes, he was California’s “Mr. Basketball.” Yes, he led Kentucky to some of its most successful regular seasons in its history, though his senior year ended in disappointing fashion (again) to Michigan State in the Elite Eight. But he went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Instead, he went to the Developmental League, where the 6-6, 240-pound forward became a star, leading the DL in rebounding with a 12.2 per game average. Then, in January 2006, when half the Rockets team seemed to be on the disabled list, Hayes was called up for a 10-day contract.

He would never go back to the D-League.

In his second game, he posted a double-double in a win over Chicago, and by the end of his 10-day deal, the Rockets signed him to the squad for the rest of the season. He became known for his defense, and after the season, Houston picked up his contract option for the next year.

Finally – officially – Chuck was a pro. He started most of the games for the Rockets in 2006-07, became a fan favorite, and even signed a shoe deal in China worth a reported $5 million. Life was good for Chuck Hayes.

The success story continued, as Hayes signed a 4-year, $8 million contract with the Rockets, and in 2009-10, he became a co-captain of the team. It was then the 6-foot-6 player filled in at center for the injured Yao Ming. Hayes held his own.

In 2011, Hayes signed with a four-year deal with the Sacramento Kings worth $22.4 million. Two years later he was dealt to the Raptors, where he still plays with former Cat Patrick Patterson.

That’s nine seasons and millions of dollars. Not bad for a guy who was never drafted.

 

bledsoe-uk

Honorable Mention:

Eric Bledsoe – I guess living in the shadow of John Wall wasn’t that bad, was it, EBled? Who’s our next NBA All-Star from UK? It should be this guy, who grew up on dirt floors – and sometimes had no house at all – in Alabama. He came to UK, quick and athletic but undersized, not expected to be a one-and-done, and he has fought to be one of the biggest surprises in the league. Selected 18th overall in the first round by Oklahoma City in 2010, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Bledsoe balled in 2015 to the tune of 17 points, six assists and five rebounds per game. Did anyone expect this kid to be this good?

 

Patrick Patterson

 

Patrick Patterson – I know. McDonald’s All-American. Comes to UK. He may have single-handedly kept everything together during the whole Gillispie fiasco. But Patterson decides to stay for a season with Cal to work on his outside game. Well, look now – PPatt, all 6-foot-9, 235 pounds of him, is a full-blown three-point shooter. Drafted 14th overall by Houston in 2010, he shot 41 percent from behind the arc last season, and he made nearly two threes per game for a Raptor playoff team that needed what he provided. He’s also become a fan favorite, and with career averages of eight points and nearly five rebounds per game, he should stay in the league for a while.

 

Never gets old. (from ukathletics.com)

Never gets old. (from ukathletics.com)

 

Jorts Harrellson – Why didn’t this guy make the top five? He just didn’t do it for that long. I know he’s in the Phoenix camp right now, but I’m not sure Jorts will ever be back in the league. Still, even if he’s not, his two-plus NBA seasons were an amazement. He came to UK as a transfer under Gillispie, stayed under Cal, became a surprise starter, led his senior year team to the Final Four, and then – the surprise of all surprises – he got drafted by New Orleans with the 45th pick in 2011. Josh played his first season with the Knicks, and started four games, before bouncing to Miami for just six games the following season. He then played in Puerto Rico and China, before catching on with the Pistons in 2013-14. Last season, he was back in Puerto Rico and China. Over his NBA career he’s averaged 3.5 points and three rebounds per game.

*

So … Keith Bogans? Jorts? Nazr? Chuck Hayes? Which UK player do you think has overachieved the most in the NBA? Leave your comments below and let us know. Or email me at clarkr9@nku.edu or hit me up on Twitter: @rhinoKSR or my website: ForRyanOutLoud.com and maybe I’ll share them.

Go Big Blue!

 

 

 


An Interview With Paintsville’s Last Wildcat

joey-couch

In 1987, Joey Couch was the last Paintsville Tiger football player to pledge his allegiance to the University of Kentucky.  Couch was an All-State linebacker who also played tight end and fullback.  On the basketball court, Joey scored over 2,000 career points.

In the 1980s, tiny Paintsville High School produced several major college student athletes: Tony Mayes (UK), John Pelphrey (UK), Joey Couch (UK), Keith Adkins (Notre Dame), Mike Minix (Vanderbilt), and Lance Daniels (WKU). That incredible run may never be repeated by a Class A, public school.

I recently spoke to Couch and asked him a series of questions regarding his decision to sign with the Wildcats as well as his Kash Daniel prediction.

*****

Q. Why did you sign with UK?

Couch: Because that’s our University. The state’s school.  I wanted to be a Wildcat. I wanted to play where Cawood Ledford would call my name on the radio.

Q: What other schools did you consider?

Couch: Navy, Vanderbilt, and Kentucky were my final three choices.  I was Vanderbilt’s number one defensive recruit.  Coach Watson Brown was the only coach to recruit me as a defensive lineman.

Q. What was your best UK moment?

Couch: Indiana game goal-line stand.  IU came in ranked with Heisman Trophy candidate Anthony Thompson.  Craig Benzinger, Ronnie Robinson, and I tackled him on the 1 yard line on 4th down to seal the win late in the 4th quarter. Other great moments were beating Georgia my freshman and junior year. 

Q. What is your take UK Football in 2015?

Couch: I went to CWS and saw updates. Amazing. Everything is coming together at the right time.  The program is getting ready to take the next step. UK is finally serious about football.

Q. What do think will happen Saturday?

Couch: Selfish part of me wants to see him be a Wildcat.  I know what kind of kid he is, he’s a good player with high character.  He’s got leadership qualities and extremely coachable.

Q. Will Kash Daniel commit to Kentucky?

Couch: My gut says yes, but really I have no clue.  Again being selfish, I want to see him play in Commonwealth Stadium, not on television.  Just my gut feeling, but who really knows.  Totally his decision. I will be happy for him wherever he goes. In the 80’s, Paintsville people had a lot of reasons to go to Lexington to watch their native sons play. It’s been 25 years too long.

Joey Couch was a two-time All SEC DT.  While an undersized defensive lineman, for a career Joey had over 264 tackles and 12 sacks.


Antonio Blakeney predicts NCAA title for LSU

blakeney

Antonio Blakeney and his fellow LSU basketball freshmen met with the Baton Rouge media for the first time yesterday, and Blakeney did not shy away from making the boldest of predictions for his first season. He told reporters, “I think we’re going to win the national championship.”

Once a Louisville commit, Blakeney flipped his decision in January to join the nation’s top recruit, Ben Simmons, in the Tigers’ recruiting class. Simmons reportedly held his own against James Harden and Anthony Davis in a Nike camp last week, so it’s not all that crazy to think LSU will be very good.

But a title? LSU’s been to only one Final Four in the last 30 years, and never played in the championship game. Hell, Shaquille O’Neal and Chris Jackson couldn’t even get LSU there.

Good luck to Blakeney, though. I admire the confidence. We’ll see you next season.


Chad Ford Says What We’ve All Been Thinking

cal

Chad Ford was on the Grantland Sports Podcast with Ryen Russillo when he said what everyone in the country has been thinking the last seven years. If he had a son he would send him to Kentucky to play for Coach Cal.

Here’s the exact quote from Ford:

“If I had a kid, who was a good basketball player, who could make his team, I’d send him to John Calipari because he prepares these kids for the pros. He did Karl-Anthony Towns a huge favor by telling him, ‘don’t play on the perimeter, I’m going to teach you how to play in the post. I’m going to live through it.’ He did a great thing with Willie Cauley-Stein. I think he did great stuff with Devin Booker. He helps these kids get drafted and I’m a Calipari fan for that reason. From a draft perspective, I love him.”

Just further proof that it’s mind boggling when these top recruits pick a school like, I don’t know, UNLV over Kentucky. Calipari is the best at getting these guys ready for the NBA, which is the end goal for those top guys each year.

Russillo had kind words to say about the program as well, saying:

“These Kentucky guys, it was no joke. None of it was fake. They all talked about each other. They were all invested in each other. The minutes thing, which I would think as young kids would have driven a lot of people crazy. They genuinely seem to really like each other.”

Hearing that about the guys, which we saw all last year reminded me how much I miss them already. It’s a great podcast and you can catch it over at Grantland.com


The Most Important Player on the 2015-16 Basketball Team Is…..

poythress1-e1396763840123

While everyone is beyond excited – and rightfully so – about the Jamal Murray commitment along with the star-studded incoming freshman class, the most important player to Kentucky’s success this season continues to quietly work on his game.

Not Tyler Ulis, who is undoubtedly a fan-favorite due to his diminutive size and constant hustle. Not Marcus Lee, the high-energy player who always seems to bring a smile to his teammates face. But, the senior Alex Poythress – who is the most important player on Kentucky’s roster this season.

There are a couple of reasons why Poythress is the most important player, but there are two main reasons.

The first is the versatility Alex brings to the table, with the ability to play three positions, especially if the game does go to true small ball. As we’ve discussed on this site before, the Wildcats can mimic the Golden State Warriors, with Poythress filling the role of Draymond Green. He’s an exceptional defender that can switch onto a guard while also playing in the post. Offensively he’s a decent enough shooter from the outside that he can draw a bigger defender away from the rim while still grabbing the rebounds Kentucky needs him to get.

The second is the fact he’s the biggest question mark on the team solely because of his injury. Despite the majority of guys in the rotation never playing a game in Rupp Arena before, we have a general idea what to expect. Poythress could be the key to what Calipari calls a ‘crazy season’ again. If he comes back healthy and looks the way he did during the 2014 NCAA Tournament and to start last season, Kentucky will be the favorite to win the national title again. However, if he is sluggish and takes a step back due to injury, Kentucky will have to rely on an already depleted frontcourt line and will resemble more of the 2010-11 team, who scrapped their way to a Final Four.

If you think someone else will be more important to the team this year, let us know in the comment section.


The All-Rick Pitino Team

pitino-smoke

It’s the offseason right now, which usually means news is slow and allows us to have some fun with what we post and ideas we have. To be honest, it’s probably the last slow news week of the year with plenty happening starting this weekend. So, the past couple of weeks we’ve taken a trip down memory lane and looked at the All-Coach Cal Coached Team and All-Tubby Smith Coached Team, which brought up extremely fond memories and great debate about who should start at what position. So why not take a look back even more? What about the John Calipari of Kentucky before John Calipari came to Kentucky?

Who would make up the All-Rick Pitino Team?

Think of it like the All-NBA team, so there has to be a point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. This time you can’t cheat and put a point guard at Kentucky into the shooting guard role – I’m looking at everyone who tried to beat the system with Brandon Knight at shooting guard before. Also, since Nazr Mohammed was on the All-Tubby Smith Team he isn’t eligible for the All-Rick Pitino Team. You also can’t just take a bunch of guards and one post player and play like the Golden State Warriors, which wouldn’t be a bad idea. Going through the rosters and coming up with my choices, there were a couple no-brainers with Mashburn at the power forward and Delk at the point guard. However, you had to get tricky with what you wanted on the wing. The other noticeable finding was the lack of a great center, especially with Mohammed off the books. During the national title run, the starters were Walter McCarty and Antoine Walker.

This takes into consideration only the time they played college basketball. Don’t try to think about how they transitioned into the NBA or how long they played in college.

Point Guard: Tony Delk

Shooting Guard: Derek Anderson

Small Forward: Antoine Walker

Power Forward: Jamal Mashburn

Center: Andre Riddick 

What does everyone think? Agree, disagree, let your voice be heard. What’s your All-Rick Pitino team?

@uklefty22

 


Melvin Lewis will be featured in the “Beyond the Field” initiative at SEC Media Days

Get ready to hear a lot more about senior defensive tackle Melvin Lewis. This afternoon, it was announced that Lewis will be UK’s representative in the league’s new “Beyond the Field: Stories of the SEC” initiative at SEC Media Days in a few weeks. The series will feature student-athletes from each school with compelling stories outside their athletic endeavors.

Here’s a little bit of Lewis’ story:

Kentucky – Melvin Lewis (Senior, Defensive Tackle) grew up in Compton, California, and earning a college degree would have been a challenging goal without the opportunity presented by an athletics scholarship. After two years at Fullerton College, he signed with Kentucky and has completed his bachelor’s degree in community and leadership development. His dream job, other than the NFL, is “doing anything to help my community.”

I can’t wait to talk to Melvin and find out more. Media Days start a week from Monday, and I’ll be down there from Tuesday to Thursday to bring you all the happenings from Hoover. (“Happenings” meaning news, whiny media folk, and anything else worth Periscoping.)


More details on UK’s July 4th SEC Network Takeover

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Yesterday, we shared the programming schedule for UK’s SEC Network Takeover on July 4th, and today, the university released a more detailed schedule to help you figure out what to record and what not to record while you’re out and about on Independence Day:

  • Kentucky vs. Kansas (Nov. 11, 2011): In this early-season contest, freshman stars Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a coming-out party on the national stage at Madison Square Garden in a preview of the eventual 2012 National Championship game.
  • Kentucky vs. Tennessee (Sept. 26, 2012): Behind unbelievable defense and brilliant offensive execution, the UK volleyball team achieved a feat it had not completed since 1995. Juniors Whitney Billings and Alexandra Morgan combined for 19 kills without committing a single error in one of the more dominating performances in program history.
  • Kentucky vs. Arkansas (Feb. 20, 2015): Sparked by a season-high vault score, the Kentucky gymnastics team rallied from behind on the final rotation to topple No. 14 Arkansas.
  • Kentucky vs. Florida (Oct. 19, 2014): Fourth-ranked Florida with a high-powered offense met a determined UK soccer team ready to deliver head coach Jon Lipsitz a signature victory. Behind goals scored within 17 minutes of each other, Lipsitz and the Wildcats secured their first victory over a top-five opponent in program history.
  • Kentucky vs. Mississippi State (March 14, 2010): First there was the ‘Call Me’ game, and then there was ‘The Put-back.’ In one of the more exhilarating SEC Tournament Championship games in league history, DeMarcus Cousins forced overtime against the Bulldogs with a put-back shot as time expired in regulation to steal all of the momentum and set the stage for a Wildcat victory in overtime.
  • Kentucky vs. South Carolina (March 16, 2012): Trailing by a run with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, junior catcher Luke Maile crushed a two-run, walk-off home run to centerfield to lift No. 16 Kentucky to a series-opening 4-3 win over No. 2 South Carolina. It was the start to a series-sweep over the second-ranked Gamecocks and one of the most exciting series victories in program history.
  • Big Blue InterNATIONal: Kentucky Volleyball to China: A documentary-style video showcases a two-week trip to China, where the team combined competition and culture into an once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Wildcats visited five cities, played seven matches against some of the elite Chinese professional teams and went on an educational journey along the way.
  • Big Blue (P)Review: Eleven two-minute hits with Kentucky’s head coaches will allow fans to relive the 2014-15 season and look ahead to 2015-16.
  • Kentucky vs. LSU (May 9, 2014): The 2014 softball season was a season of firsts which included a memorable run to its first-ever Women’s College World Series. But, the magic began with an improbable run to the SEC Championship game highlighted by an exciting victory over LSU in the semifinals. Tied 2-2, in the top of the ninth the Wildcats executed a two-run, two-out rally to fuel the magic.
  • Kentucky vs. South Carolina (March 1, 2015): Second-ranked and SEC Champion South Carolina arrived in Memorial Coliseum on March 1, 2015 ready to spoil Senior Day festivities for the Wildcats. But, 20 forced turnovers and 22 second-half points from Jen O’Neill and Makayla Epps helped the Wildcats celebrate in a BIG way.
  • Kentucky vs. Kansas (Nov. 18, 2014): Some will say the party began the day the Harrisons announced their return for their sophomore seasons. Some will say the party began in the Bahamas. But, everyone joined the party when Kentucky met Kansas in the Champions Classic in the third game of the season in 2014-15. That’s when everyone realized what ‘Let’s Ball’ really meant.
  • Kentucky vs. Louisville (Sept. 15, 2007): Where were you the night ‘Stevie Got Loose?’ In an epic showdown between instate rivals which was capped by a finish for the ages, the Kentucky-Louisville game was the start of something special that made the entire Big Blue Nation believers in 2007.
  • Kentucky vs. South Carolina (Oct. 4, 2014): A blackout. Chrome helmets. Nifty dance moves. And one unforgettable victory. Jojo Kemp scored three touchdowns, while Bud Dupree picked off a pass and ran it back for a touchdown to help lead the Wildcats to the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in Kentucky history and the biggest win thus far in the Mark Stoops era.
  • Kentucky vs. Louisville (Dec. 27, 2014): In the final non-conference game of the season for the historic 2014-15 Wildcats, UK traveled to Louisville in a top-five matchup just days after Christmas. Both teams entered the game undefeated. Only one emerged unscathed.

John Calipari and Mark Stoops will serve as hosts, popping in from time to time and taking over the @SECNetwork Twitter account. Get ready to see a lot of #positionless and #AllIn hashtags.


Sleep Outfitters’ Thursday Recruiting Roundup

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Today, we’re starting a new feature on KSR with some help from our friends at Sleep Outfitters. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we’ll bring you the latest recruiting news for both basketball and football. Let’s start with the oblong ball…

FOOTBALL

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Obviously, the biggest recruiting news this week centers around 4-star inside linebacker Kash Daniel, who will announce his decision on July 4th like a great American. The announcement is set for 1 p.m. Saturday at Paintsville High School, and the three hats on the table will be Kentucky, South Carolina, and Louisville. (If you’ve seen the picture of the hats, it’s pretty clear the Louisville gas station hat has no chance.)

All signs continue to point in Kentucky’s direction to the point that if Kash picks South Carolina or Louisville, it will be the biggest troll move in UK football recruiting history. I have it on good account that WON’T happen and the Cats are in great shape.

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Craig Yeast’s son goes by the name of Russ and looks ready to follow in his dad’s footsteps at Kentucky. The 2017 athlete/wide receiver has offers from Kentucky, Indiana, Louisville, Maryland, and Iowa to go along with interest from Notre Dame, Tennessee, Michigan, and Florida State. Earlier this week, he told CatsPause he enjoyed his visits to UK and Notre Dame the most, going as far to say he’s come very close to committing to the Cats.

“Every visit I take to Kentucky is an opportunity for me to see if that’s a place for me to see if I would like to play. I have been there a few times and I have came very close to committing but I realized that it is not time for that so I am going to back off of that.”

[CatsPause]

If the Cats keep trending upward, it’s only a matter of time until he’s on board.

BASKETBALL

 

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Alkins picked up an offer from Kentucky in May, and the Cats’ interest in the 6’5″ shooting guard has ramped up considerably in the past few months. ZagsBlog is reporting that Kentucky will watch Alkins and his AAU team over the next three weeks in events in Georgia, Long Island, and Vegas. This dunk he threw down ten days ago should tell you why the Cats are so interested:

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Simmons participated in the Steph Curry Select Camp this week and talked to Evan Daniels about his game and recruitment. I can’t embed the video here, but he mentioned Kentucky A LOT. Kentucky was the first school he mentioned when Evan asked which head coaches had visited him, the visits he’s taken, the visits he still wants to take, and the schools who have prioritized him recently.

Kentucky has been the favorite for Kobi for a while now, and although he hasn’t given a time frame for his decision, he says he’s thinking more and more about it every day.

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Kentucky may not be considered the favorite for the number one player in 2016, but I had to include him because he’s tearing it up in the U19 World Championships in Greece this week. Yesterday, Giles scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in USA’s 93-45 win over Argentina, his second straight double-double of the tournament. In USA’s four wins, he’s averaged a team-high 14.5 points and 9.2 rebounds, looking every bit the best player in his class. For that reason, he remains one of Cal’s top priorities.

While most analysts think Giles will stay in-state and go to either UNC, Duke, or Wake Forest, Kentucky could sell him on immediate playing time assuming Skal Labissiere (and/or Marcus Lee) heads to the 2016 Draft.


The Best of the Worst Rupp Arena Trip Advisor Reviews

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I love Rupp, you love Rupp, we all love Rupp. When it’s rocking, there’s an electricity in the air that’s hard to beat; however, I think we can all admit that Rupp needs some updates. Like our favorite old dive bar, Rupp has its charm, but when you go to the nice new BW3s down the street, you can’t help but long for their big HDTVs, nice bathrooms, and stools that don’t wobble. Hopefully, upgrades are on the way in the form of new ribbon boards and a center-hung video scoreboard, but until then, we have to love Rupp, warts and all.

In that spirit, shoutout to KSR superfan Matthew Mahone for tipping me off on the treasure trove that is the Rupp Arena Trip Advisor review page. As you might expect, most of the reviews are positive because everyone loves Rupp and the CAYTS, but there were a few negative reviews that are too good not to share. Here are my favorites:

This Butler fan blamed Rupp for their loss to Marquette in the 2013 NCAA Tournament

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As Kentucky fans, we’ve all been there when it comes to depression over a loss irrationally taking over our lives and logic, but blaming Rupp for Butler losing is a junior-high move.

This UK Alum Architect doesn’t just have problems with Rupp

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If you’re such a proud alum, why slam your own school? Talk about “a lack of meaningful life skill values.” Good luck with that, buddy.

Rupp apparently closes for floor waxing in the summer

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Good to know.

“The natives were restless”

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Since Rupp doesn’t serve booze during games, I’m guessing this was during a concert. Either way, “no better,” middle aged folks.

Louisville fan is “at a total lost” as to why Rupp Arena isn’t nicer

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After spending a weekend in the Yum Center last March, I kind of agree with him/her.

“Just fill the structure with bats”

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Technically, I think UK’s 49-point win over Missouri in January counted as a “game to the death,” but this review takes the cake.


Go behind-the-scenes of Karl’s first week with the Timberwolves

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Karl Towns is currently tearing up the greens at Bethpage Black, but when he gets off the course, he’ll be treated to this great behind-the-scenes video from his Minnesota Timberwolves about his first week with the franchise.

Timberwolves play-by-play announcer Dave Benz interviews Karl about the stress of the draft (Karl says he was just glad he didn’t trip on stage), the opportunity to be mentored by Kevin Garnett, and what he brings to the team (versatility, giving Wiggins more space).

I could watch the first twelve seconds on loop.


For some reason, I find this video of Will Gardner describing the new UofL uniforms hilarious

It’s been a week since Louisville unveiled their awful new adidas “Uncaged” uniforms, but for some reason, I’m just now seeing this video of Louisville QB Will Gardner giving his reaction. I came across it this morning and find it absolutely hilarious:

“Uh, these uniforms feel good, it’s uh a loose fit and they’re uh a lot more comfortable, you’ve got a little more room in the pants and um…”

“The cardinal is different but I think it’s going to be a big attraction, uh, for a lot of fans, bring a lot of attention. It’s different than what is normally done here at the University of Louisvillle, you normally see the generic like with the mouth open and all, but this is a realistic cardinal bird, so it’s gonna be different.”

“Underneath, you have a full red bird like the full the claws and everything and a red L set in the middle of it, so it’s really neat to see the full bird and the L there together.”

Never change, Louisville. Never change.