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October 10th, 2015

A Bye Week Wakeup


The Good News: UK can’t lose this weekend.  The Bad News: we can’t watch UK this weekend.

After five consecutive weeks of excitement, it’s time to recharge the batteries.  I am going to enjoy the hell out of it because frankly, it has been exhausting.  This football team refuses to win easily, with all five games decided by 8 points or less, a first in school history.  The timing of the Bye Week is perfect, allowing the team to get healthy after some tough early games.  The next stretch of four weeks – Auburn, Miss. State, Tennessee and Vandy – will be just as grueling before things lighten up down the stretch.

For all of you that can’t afford time to recharge your batteries, listen to the KSR Podcast and catch up on all your KSR football coverage from this week.

Almost Midseason Grades

Seven Things We’ll Miss Seeing on Saturday

Watch Mark Stoops and Patrick Towles on SEC Film Room

Guz Malzahn Doesn’t Know Who His QB Is

Bye Week Reflections from a Very Satisfied UK Football Fan

Something Will Probably Happen in the Louisville Scandal

It’s almost inevitable.  For the last 8 days, the story has continued to grow, adding different twisted elements each day.  It was funny to start, but now it’s just kinda sad.  I feel bad for my UofL fan friends.  I really do.  I can’t imagine the emotional stress they’ve been put through, and they don’t even have a football game to act as a distraction.

I do not feel sorry for Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich or President Ramsey.  You reap what you sow and they are finally seeing their hard work come to fruition.

Bam Adebayo is in Town

Edrice “Bam” Adebayo is a Top Ten player in the nation.  The 5-star power forward is one of the top three at his position, but he’s much different than current UK commit, power forward Wenyan Gabriel.  Gabriel is lengthy and plays with more finesse, whereas Bam plays with a lot of BAM!  He goes strong to the hole in the paint before finishing with authority.

Bam has been a top priority for Calipari, but it will be tough to sway him away from his home state of North Carolina.  UNC is very active in his recruitment, and there is talks of a package deal at NC State along with 5-star point guard, Dennis Smith Jr.  We’ll keep you updated on any developments as the day goes on.




Kash Daniel once again unleashed his inner wrestler, spending his Friday night suplexing players all over the football field.  After Mark Stoops saw Kash put on a show in Paintsville last week, he spent last night in Woodford County at Drake Jackson’s Senior Night.  Trey will be around later today with recaps from a wild night of high school football.

LSU is Embracing South Carolina with Open Arms



The flooding disaster in South Carolina has forced the Gamecocks to move their home game to Tiger Stadium.  Arguably the most difficult place to play in the nation, LSU is at least trying to make it feel somewhat like home.  They’ve lent South Carolina a charter jet, the band is learning South Carolina’s fight song, and the team is giving Spurrier the keys to the stadium, a touching symbolic gesture.  It’s easy for LSU because South Carolina is terrible, but nonetheless, it’s an encouraging sign for humanity to see SEC brethren helping one another out.

Keeneland will be CRAZY

Everyone I know within a 20-mile radius of Lexington will be at the beautiful racecourse today.  Unfortunately, my day off will be spent at a wedding in the Buckeye State, which cannot compare to shooting the Kenneland Breeze with the ponies.  I do have a race tip for today: #2’s will be hot, don’t hesitate to put them in your exacta box.

The Martian is DEFINITELY Worth Watching

We’ve given it a lot of free pub on the site this week, but it’s well-deserved.  I always thought going to the movies alone was weird, but I attended a matinee on Wednesday by myself and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.  It’s not too long, but long enough at around two hours.  Interstellar was cool, but I’ve seen it multiple times and still can’t understand it.  The Martian is great because it’s practical – you can imagine this as a possibility in the near future.  It will put you on the edge of your seat, and you will leave the room smiling.

USA and Mexico are Facing Off

It’s being hyped as one of the biggest U.S. Soccer matches ever played outside of the World Cup.  Jurgen Klinnsman’s job will be in jeopardy if he loses to Mexico and fails to qualify for the Confederations Cup.  Without regular football, you can at least get crazy at a bar for America’s other football.  The action begins at 6:30 from the Rose Bowl on Fox Sports 1.

And now, relive the most exciting soccer moment of my lifetime.

October 9th, 2015

UK Fans of the Day Want The Week’s Best Posts


First of all, shoutout to the brave and loyal KSR fans who stuck around for this morning’s show despite the pouring rain. You the real MVPs.

It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? Despite there being no football game on Saturday, there’s been plenty of news courtesy of the school down the road. In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of the best posts of the week:

How Pitino Can Survive, Jonathan Miller

While I find myself, like much of KSR Nation, instinctively rooting against the Cards at every opportunity, I’ve moved past my hard feelings toward Rick personally, choosing instead to remember his role in restoring our Cats to greatness.  In that spirit, I’ve gathered my team of recovering politicians: With crisis management skills forged as former targets of the piercing glare of the national media spotlight, we advise clients on managing and surviving public crises like this.  Below, my colleagues share guidance from their own painful experiences, as well as a few of our  twelve step mantras to counsel Coach Pitino…

Listen to Bomani Jones talk about the Louisville scandal on KSR

“No, no, no. This does not happen everywhere,” Bomani said. “I assure you because if it happened everywhere, we would know that. This does not happen everywhere if for no other reason than I don’t think there are that many college coaches who are either going to spend their own money or get the money from somebody else for this. Where does the money come from? That’s what I want to know. Is this coming on Andre McGee’s debit card, is this coming from straight from the pocket of a booster? How is this getting paid for because the services being rendered don’t sound like they’re cheap.”

Matt on “Outside the Lines”

Matt went on ESPN to discuss the Louisville scandal, which, as you might imagine, thrilled Cardinal fans.

So Many Questions About This Louisville Scandal, Drew Franklin

So let’s say nightwalkers are your thing. Maybe you prefer a seasoned vet in the sack and the way she smells like USA Gold menthols, knockoff Dolce & Gabbana perfume, and week-old Long John Silver’s. It’s not my style, but who am I to judge someone else’s tastes in women? The heart wants what it wants. I get it. No judgment here. Do you.

But why take them to the dorms? Hookers, bless their hearts, traditionally perform their craft in half-star motels and dark alleys. (So I’ve heard.) You don’t take them out of their element and into a new arena. Not only are they fish out of water; in this case, they took pictures and kept a journal and now it’s all over the place.

John Calipari at the UK Basketball Tipoff Luncheon in Louisville

“This year’s team, as we speak, we stink,” he admitted. “I said to them two days ago; I said, ‘There’s one really good thing that is happening.’ And they said ‘What’s that, Coach?’ I said, ‘We’re not playing tomorrow, so we’re okay. I’m not going to panic yet.’”

I have the new Sports Illustrated cover, Drew Franklin

A dramatic reading of “Breaking Cardinal Rules”, Tyler Thompson

A Ridiculous Bye Week KSR Podcast

LISTEN to Rick Pitino’s Interview with Terry Meiners

Even though Terry and Rick are friends, it was not friendly conversation.  Terry asked tough questions, and Pitino answered (most of) them firmly.  Pitino doesn’t plan on stepping down, and he didn’t sound like he was planning on missing any games.  It was a strange interview, but a MUST LISTEN.  It’s one of those interviews that will be talked about for years to come.

Seven Things We’ll Miss Seeing On Saturday, Nick Roush

Almost Midseason Grades and Miscellaneous Rankings, Freddie Maggard

Quarterback: B

Overall, the junior has been an offensive catalyst. Kentucky has scored 16 touchdowns. Patrick Towles has directly contributed for 11 of those. For some, this grade will be too high. But his 68 percent total touchdown contribution rate is too high for a C, and his sporadic play doesn’t warrant an A. Strip the name, read above stats and assign a grade. That may help.

Enjoy your bye weekend, guys.


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day


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:

Courtney had a conflict with work tonight, so she let me take over for the night. Enjoy.


#10 Kennedy Hardman 

This makes me proud to be a Kentucky fan.



#9 Chris Collins

If a girl sends you nuts, marry her.



#8 TheZimMaster

But really, I wonder what Jennifer Lawrence thinks about all this?



#7 Steven Luke Nash 

Not sad. It’s important to stay informed Steven.



#6 Matthew Mahone

This could not be more perfect.



#5 Leonard Wilcat

I cannot stop looking at the picture with Seth Greenberg.



#4 Jason

This QB will definitely become a Heisman candidate after he plays us on Thursday.



#3 Corey J

We’ll just blame her unpleasantness on the rain and not on KSR.



#2 Aaron Huff

The whole Louisville basketball department is definitely getting coal for Christmas.



#1 Matt Heintzman 




Checking In On The Race For the SEC East

Kentucky gets a chance to rest up this weekend and prepare for a major showdown with Auburn that could have major implications on the SEC. Why is that? Well this weekend and next are going to go a long way in deciding who is going to represent the East in Atlanta. If Kentucky beats Auburn and can get a little bit of help from their friends then they should be sitting pretty for the back half of the season. While we all enjoy the bye-week let’s take a look at tomorrow’s games and how they can shape the race for the East:

Florida (3-0) @ Missouri (1-1) : 7:30 pm on the SEC Network

The last two meetings between the Tigers and Gators saw Mizzou winning by a combined score of 78-30. Granted, this year’s version of the two teams are very different. The Gators’ defense has looked like one of the best in the nation the past three weeks and their offense has shown that they are capable, if not overly impressive. Florida’s October will decide if they return to the top of the SEC East. They passed the test against Ole Miss but their games @Missouri, @LSU, and in Jacksonville against Georgia will decide their fate.

Missouri on the other hand has been a team trying to find their identity and freshman Drew Lock will be taking the reins for tomorrow’s game. With a win Missouri would insert themselves into the East race once again. Their remaining SEC schedule sends them to Georgia, Vandy, and Arkansas with home games against Mississippi State and Tennessee. If they can beat Florida 6-2 is a real possibility.

Georgia (2-1) @ Tennessee (0-2): 3 p.m. on CBS

This game has quickly become a must-win for the Vols after blowing a 13 or more lead in each of their last three games.  Coming into the year UT was touted as a contender for the SEC East but if they drop this one to UGA then that dream is over. Especially when you factor in that their next game is at Alabama.  It isn’t crazy to think that the Vols could be 2-5 when they make the trip to Lexington on the 31st. The Bulldogs have won 5 in a row over the team in the throw-up orange, in all  likelihood it will be six tomorrow.

Following Tennessee, the Dawgs move on to play Missouri, Florida (neutral), Kentucky, and @Auburn. If Kentucky is going to leapfrog UGA they will probably need to win on the road in Athens. That’s a tall task.


So let’s say Kentucky beats Auburn next Thursday, the SEC standings could look like this at the halfway point of the season:

Georgia (3-1)

Florida (3-1)

Kentucky (3-1)

Missouri (2-1)

Tennessee (0-3)

South Carolina (0-4)

Vanderbilt (0-2)




Stand Up, Shut Up, and Talk: Lessons Learned From a Rookie Broadcaster


My friend Jeff Piecoro had the unenviable task of covering the Cincinnati Reds on the same day as the EKU-UK football game. I got the call from the bull pen. Mixed emotions ensued: excitement to be in the Big Boy Booth, and pity for Jeff for well, having to cover Reds baseball.  The show must go on. The following are lessons learned from a broadcast booth rookie:

Tom Leach is the Picasso of the Press Box

His “charts” are color coded, alphabetized, and best I could tell, encrypted. The manner he described game action had me mesmerized. In the first quarter, I found myself just listening to Tom as if I had my head set on in the stands. A Leach glare was all it took to remind me that I had to eventually talk. Can be best described as being a Peyton Manning receiver. Tom was going to throw me open, just don’t drop the pass.

Don’t drink 4 Diet Cokes prior to entering radio booth

You can figure out why on your own. The first half couldn’t end quickly enough.

Sitting down hindered enthusiasm

Standing and talking is much more natural. With 7:36 remaining in the fourth quarter, I couldn’t take it anymore. Stood from that point on and throughout overtime. Conversation flow and perspective came much easier while semi-pacing.

Stat folks are everywhere

A spotter sits between Tom and Jeff. In front the spotter is a giant computer screen with updated numbers. Once I warmed up, I started spouting stats that made me sound a whole heck of a lot smarter than reality. Papers also come flying after each quarter. Keeping up with current sheets was a challenge.

There’s a fine line between objectivity and being a complete homer

As the game wore on, the latter won out. During UK’s final touchdown drive to send the game into overtime, I’d broken out pom poms.

No matter how much you prepare, it’s impossible to memorize numbers on opposing teams

By the time I realized who made the tackle or catch and looked down to get a name, the next play had started. I extensively over-used “EKU defender” or “Eastern’s 6’6” receiver.” Rookie mistake.

Staying away from “we” was difficult

I’m five months into a part-time media career. I’m just now understanding the proper use of “it” instead of “them or they.”

When UK faltered, so did I

Not so much in anger, but in maintaining composure. Couldn’t find the mute button, so at times of intense ineptitude, I just shut up. Restraint is a PhD level of broadcasting. Emotion did override common practice. After sustained incompetence, kinda lost my cool. But not too bad.

It’s ok to be quiet to let the radio audience hear the crowd

Small problem, until the end of the fourth, not too many moments for the crowd to roar.

Said, “Have to credit EKU” at least 59 times

Looking back, were the smartest words said all night.

When the play starts, shut up

That’s when Tom works his magic. Again, working with him was an incredible and memorable experience. Even with doing a weekly radio show with Leach, observing him in his element was a whole new reality. When we entered the booth, Tom was like a boxer in the ring. All business. It’s really cool to see in person.


It’s Senior Night for four in-state commits

It’ll be a soggy Friday night for football, but for four of UK’s 2016 in-state commitments, it’s Senior Night. Landon Young (OL), Drake Jackson (OL), Davonte Robinson (DB), and Zy’Aire Hughes (ATH) are all playing their last regular season game at home tonight. Grab your poncho and go see them at one of the following stadiums:

  • Landon Young, Lafayette: vs. Clark County, 7:30 p.m.
    • Bonus! Check out two of his teammates, junior five-star Jedrick Wills and quarterback Walker Wood. If I were a betting woman, I’d say Mark Stoops may stop by this one.
  • Drake Jackson, Woodford County: vs. Anderson County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Davonte Robinson, Henry Clay: vs. Scott County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Zy’Aire Hughes, McCracken County: vs. Henderson County, 8 p.m.

What about Kash Daniel? Paintsville is at Fairview tonight. His Senior Night is in two weeks against Raceland.

By the way, did anyone else spot Landon Young congratulating Patrick Towles on Saturday?

Could Auburn play three quarterbacks against Kentucky?

On Wednesday, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn admitted he doesn’t know who his starting quarterback will be against Kentucky. So far, the quarterback battle has been between Jeremy Johnson, who started the first three games, and Sean White, who started the last two.

Now, it looks like there may be a third contender. Alabama radio host Keith Hill tweeted today that he’s hearing JuCo quarterback Jason Smith could also be thrown in the mix. Hill says Smith reminds the staff of former Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall, who led the Tigers to the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. Smith enrolled at Auburn in January, and has only played wide receiver for the Tigers thus far. As a JuCo QB, he threw for 1,566 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for another 10 touchdowns in 10 games.

While dual-threat quarterbacks are Kentucky’s kryptonite, I’m going by the old adage that if you have three starting quarterbacks, you actually have none.

Here are Smith’s JuCo highlights if you’re curious:

The football training center is coming right along

We’ve talked plenty about the new Commonwealth Stadium, but the progress on the new football training center deserves a mention too. @UKAthletics tweeted out these pictures of the construction yesterday, and it shows you just how massive this new $45 million, 100,000-square foot facility is going to be:




That big flat patch of dirt will be training fields and a good portion of the wall that faces it will be glass garage-style doors the staff can open during good weather. This facility will be HUGE for the future of the program. I’d go as far to argue it will have just as big an impact as the renovations to the stadium.

For more details on the facility, check out my feature from this summer. Here are renderings of what it will look like once complete (July 2016):

The 2015 Draft Cats are on the wall at the Joe Craft Center


One of the most impressive features of the Joe Craft Center are the large posters of each UK player in the NBA that line the walls of the practice gym. Today, @CoachCalDotCom tweeted out pictures of the new posters that went up of the 2015 Draft Class, highlighted by the #1 pick Karl Towns.

They also updated the posters that needed it:


In the immortal words of Roy Scheider, pretty soon, we’re going to need a bigger gym.

UK opened the Joe Craft Center doors to EKU basketball today


Earlier this week, EKU canceled classes after officials found threatening graffiti in a men’s bathroom. The message read “Kill all by 10-8-15” and the administration took it seriously, shutting down classes and moving the football game on Saturday to Georgetown.

Turns out the EKU basketball team isn’t practicing on campus either; according to this photo from WTVQ’s Kennedy Hardman, UK opened up the Joe Craft Center for EKU to practice in, a very cool gesture. Head coach Dan McHale tweeted his appreciation:

Awesome. Good on ya, Cats.

That’s not the last we’ll see of the McHale, Bradley, and the Colonels this season. UK plays EKU in Rupp on Wednesday, December 9.

Auburn WR Duke Williams punched 4 people in a bar, including his own teammate

Earlier this week, we found out that Auburn’s star wide receiver Duke Williams was dismissed from the team for an incident at Skybar, a local nightclub. Turns out Williams did quite a lot in that nightclub.

Witnesses say Williams punched four people in the bar: two security guards, a bartender assistant, and Auburn reserve center Xavier Dampeer, his own teammate.

What ticked Williams off? Apparently, a member of his posse was kicked out of the bar for not removing his sunglasses, which violated the bar’s dress code. After trying to use his celebrity to get his friend back in, Williams was thrown out himself, and that’s when the major drama started. Not surprisingly, witnesses say Williams was intoxicated at the time.

Williams was one of Auburn’s leading receivers, with 12 catches for 147 yards and a touchdown this season. If those numbers seem low, it’s probably because Auburn’s passing offense is ranked 116th in the country according to Now they’re down one more receiver amidst a quarterback battle. After Florida, I don’t want to go there and say the stars are aligning for a UK win, but thing are certainly looking up for the Cats.


Andy Katz says Louisville could be subject to a Level 1 case

Andy Katz’s three-point shot today is all about the Louisville scandal. Katz spoke to an NCAA expert who gave him the rundown on the penalties the Cards could face. The expert said IF the allegations are proven true, Louisville would be subject to a Level 1 case. What does that mean? According to Katz:

  • Recruiting sanctions
  • Coach game suspensions
  • Scholarships taken away
  • Postseason ban

The expert also said the NCAA will require full cooperation from current players, former players, and recruits, and that historically, if the allegations aren’t categorically denied immediately, that’s not a good sign for the school. So far, no one in the Louisville administration, especially Rick Pitino, has denied anything except knowledge of the situation.

Rawle Alkins joked that he committed to Buffalo on Twitter

Rawle Alkins is considered the second best shooting guard in the 2016 class. He’s scheduled to take an official visit to Kentucky next Friday for Big Blue Madness and the Cats have a 53% lead in his Crystal Ball. A few minutes ago, he sent out this tweet:

Huh??? Buffalo wasn’t even on Alkins’ list. Gotta be a joke, right? Actually, yes, yes, it was:

Alkins later tweeted that people at his school were playing with his phone and that he’s not really committed. Why Buffalo? His teammate Jalen Harris committed to Buffalo on Monday.

Buffalo basketball fans be like:

Tickets for UK/Duke in the Champions Classic go on sale Monday

There are a lot of great road trips for Kentucky basketball fans this season, but the most exciting matchup may be UK vs. Duke in the Champions Classic on Tuesday, November 17 at the United Center in Chicago. Want to go to the Windy City to see the Cats take on a longtime rival? Tickets go on sale Monday at noon. 

Ticket prices range from $50 to $200 and can be purchased at, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or by visiting the United Center box office.

Oddly, UK/Duke is the first game of the doubleheader and will tip at 7:30 p.m. Kansas/Michigan State will tip at 10 p.m., even though, to me, it seems the lesser of the two games. But whatever. At least we won’t be dragging as much on Wednesday morning.

Don’t forget: Monday at noon. Go ahead and set a reminder on your phone.

SI nails it: “Louisville created and continues to nurture dangerous culture for women”

For years, the University of Louisville has had a major problem with the way its athletic program deals with women. What do you expect when its two major coaches, Rick Pitino and Bobby Petrino, have a sordid history with women, the former an affair with a woman in a restaurant that resulted in him paying for her abortion and being extorted, and the latter an affair with an employee that resulted in him getting fired. And now, the partially-confirmed allegations that a Louisville staffer paid for prostitutes to entertain players and recruits, some of which were underage.

It’s sad that it took a scandal like this to open the national media’s eyes to the problem. Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg took Louisville to task this morning for “teaching its male athletes that women can be used and discarded.”

We keep looking at this story about prostitutes through the wrong lenses. We see it as players having casual sex, which goes on everywhere. Or we wonder what the NCAA will do. We’re missing the point. If Louisville is guilty, the school has created a dangerous environment for women, and it has opened itself to lawsuits from all angles.


More logic where that came from over at, so check it out.

[Michael Rosenberg: Louisville created and continues to nurture dangerous culture for women]