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September 2nd, 2014

The 1783 Treaty of Paris’ Wednesday News and Views

The British delegation refused to pose, resulting in this famous unfinished portrait.

The British delegation refused to pose at the signing of the treaty, resulting in this famous unfinished portrait.

Tomorrow marks the 231st anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War and sealed our country’s status as a free and independent state. Whoo, liberty!

The treaty ended seven years of fighting between the colonies and Great Britain and was signed by Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Jay, and David Hartley (who represented the British). It included a lot of terms that never really came to fruition, including an American acquisition of Quebec and a promise to return all confiscated Loyalist property. In fact, none of the Ten Articles that were negotiated remain in effect today, save one:

Acknowledging the Colonies to be free, sovereign and independent states, and that the British Crown and all heirs and successors relinquish claims to the Government, property, and territorial rights of the same, and every part thereof.

I’ll take it. ‘Merica.

On to the news:

Gray is (probably) on the way

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The UK Equipment staff has been dropping hints about a surprise this Saturday, and it’s looking like gray uniforms may be on the way. The above picture was tweeted today, and when coupled with this tweet from earlier.. the outcome seems imminent.

Keith Olbermann vs. Kige Ramsey

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KSR Hall-of-Famer Kige Ramsey and former-MSNBC/current- ESPN talking head Keith Olbermann had a lengthy debate on Twitter this morning about the Washington Redskins, and the results were exactly what you’d expect. In a historical turn of events, Kige became the first person to ever be convinced of the other party’s viewpoint after an argument on the Internet. Scroll down to read the entire exchange.

Anthony Davis continues to wow

Photo © Bob Donnan

Photo © Bob Donnan

Once again, Anthony Davis was the star for Team USA today in their 98-71 rout of New Zealand. Davis finished with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals in just 22 minutes. Reminder: Anthony’s only 21 years old. Embrace it; he’s really going to be special.

Team USA plays against the Dominican Republic tomorrow at 3:30 PM on ESP2.

Blake Bone was born ready

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In one of the better quotes you will see this year, freshman receiver Blake Bone was asked where he got his confidence. His response: “It was probably 1996, April 11th.  I came out the womb I actually knew that I could be a pretty good receiver here at Kentucky.” Keep doing you, Blake. 

That’s it for now on this slow news day. See ya’ll later.


Kentucky On The Rise In ESPN’s SEC Power Rankings

Image Via USAToday.com

Week 1 of the 2014 season is in the record books and the SEC has already been shaken up a bit. South Carolina was shocked at home when their defense was exposed by Texas A&M’s Kenny Hill. Vanderbilt let out a clunker against Temple at home in the rain. Georgia unleashed Todd Gurley on Clemson and rolled to a  45-21 victory. Kentucky looked sharp against some FCS competition. As such they are on the rise two spots in ESPN’s power rankings, here’s what the worldwide leader had to say about the Cats:

#12 Record: 1-0 overall, 0-0 conference
Sure, the Wildcats looked good in the season opener, but how much can we really tell from a win against UT-Martin? Running back transfer Braylon Heard was better than advertised, rushing twice for 116 yards and two touchdowns, and the defense pulled down two interceptions, one fewer than it had all of last season. Week 2 should provide a stiffer test for Kentucky.

Based on the Week 1 games Kentucky’s schedule appears to have opened up. ESPN goes on to rank the Cats’ SEC opponents: #5 LSU, #6 Mississippi State, #8 Missouri, #9 South Carolina, #10 Tennessee, #11 Florida, and #14 Vanderbilt. Oh, and some team ranked #1 in Georgia but let’s not focus on that just yet.

With a new look group in Blue and White it’s not unfathomable that the team could start to make some moves in the conference hierarchy a little ahead of schedule. We will know a lot more about what to expect this season depending on how things go this Saturday. Just imagine if Kentucky is able to take down Ohio, eleventh ranked Florida, and fourteenth ranked Vandy to start the season? The hype train will be rolling out of control when South Carolina is coming to Lexington.

Time to slow down, Cass. The season isn’t built on week one performances and this weekend will tell us more about all of the teams in the SEC. MACtion comes to the South as the Cats take one a nice measuring stick in the form of Ohio. Missouri takes on MAC power Toledo and Florida will finally take the field against Eastern Michigan. Then Vandy will kick-off SEC action against #18 Ole Miss . If Kentucky has a chance to climb the East ladder we will have an idea after Saturday’s games.

Where would you rank the teams of the SEC after Week 1?

[ESPN: SEC Power Rankings: Week 1]

 

 


2015 recruit Skal Labissiere could be home-schooled

 

Picture via ZagsBlog

Picture via ZagsBlog

The recruitment of 5-star forward Skal Labissiere has been a complicated one to say the least. Skal moved to the Unites States as a 16-year-old eight months after a devastating earthquake in Haiti. He was adopted by Gerald Hamilton – who brought Skal to America as part of his non-profit organization called “Reach Your Dream.” Hamilton has played an active role in Skal’s recruitment and has recently been searching for a school for Labissiere this year; Skal was ruled ineligible at his desired prep school after attending a few spring practices with his previous steam. Apparently, home school is now on the table.

“...His guardian, Gerald Hamilton, has explored home-schooling the five-star senior, according to sources.

It’s unclear how being home-schooled could affect Labissiere’s competitive eligibility. The Memphis-Area Home Education program does have a varsity boys basketball team and competes against both public and private schools. 

 School started last Tuesday at ECS. Labissiere is not in school.”

Skal is considering Kentucky – along with Georgetown, North Carolina, Memphis and Ole Miss. He’s also debated heading overseas until the 2016 NBA draft, so there’s really no telling what will happen.

Stay tuned.


Don’t Call Blake Bone Cocky, Call it Confidence

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The first time a football touched Blake Bone’s hands in Commonwealth Stadium, he took a screen play 29 yards down the sideline for a touchdown.

Making plays is something Bone has prepared for, “”It was probably 1996, April 11th.  I came out the womb I actually knew that I could be a pretty good receiver here at Kentucky.”

Bone’s confidence is infectious, with a personality larger than his 6’5″ frame.  His high school coach made sure that personality only made him better, “If you’re not confident at what you’re doing, than you’re never going to be good at what you’re doing.”

Bone showed that he’s a diverse receiver Saturday.  Along with the screen pass, he had a key block on Patrick Towles’ rushing touchdown and caught a deep ball at the highest point for a 39-yard gain.

Bone’s ability makes Towles’ job much easier, “It’s super nice.  It takes a lot of stress off me knowing every ball I have doesn’t need to be perfect.  Coach Mainord always says, ‘Just get it in our zip code’ and Blake really put that on display Saturday.”

Bone’s athletic ability and confidence set him apart from other young receivers, but like most of the young guys he could not have been more nervous before the game, “I knew there was going to be some (butterflies) there, but I didn’t know you could be so nervous where your hands would shake.  But after that first play I made everything just came natural.”

During Media Day interviews, when I asked what the BBN should expect when he took the field, he replied, “They’re going to see the Ghost get off!”  It’s only been a week, and he’s living up to his own words.

One more time to the highlight reel, because “Why Not?”

Notes

- After an exceptional first start at quarterback, Patrick Towles received tons of calls and texts congratulating him.  The praise he appreciated the most was from his offensive coordinator, “He doesn’t necessarily tell people they did a ‘good job’ a lot.”

-  Neal Brown kept his scheme simple during Week 1 to mitigate as many mental errors as possible.  When I asked him if they were going to throw a lot more “wrinkles” in the game plan this week, he replied, “Have you seen our depth chart?  We’re playing pups, so it will be pretty simple.” 

-  The offense was clicking Saturday, showing off Neal Brown’s NASCAR better than ever with only two scoring drives over 3 minutes long.  The game was much faster, but Brown wants them to be faster.  Last week was “weird”: there were a ton of big plays but the offense actually didn’t have a lot of snaps.  Brown doesn’t mind one bit, “Anytime the defense wants to return a touchdown 90 yards, we’ll take that and hang out over on the sidelines for awhile.”


DeMarcus Cousins: I am a role model

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DeMarcus Cousins recently sat down for an interview with USA Basketball in Spain to talk about his new spot on USA World Cup Team. Cousins discussed everything from his knee injury to his feelings on making the team. We have all followed Cousins through his basketball career from high school to where he is now. The entire world has seen his emotional ‘won’t back down’ attitude on the court, but only Kentucky fans know the true Cousins off the court. That is why it was not surprising to see him open up the way he did in the article.

“I am a role model, absolutely. There are different types of people out there, and I come from a different type of place. So, I absolutely think I am a role model. I come from a place where there are not a lot of opportunities,” Cousins explained. “People there, they don’t ever really dream big because they don’t think it ever really exists. Like the things you see on TV, they think it’s just a false world. And them seeing me make it, they believe it is possible. Those people grew up with me; they have seen the struggles; they have seen me fight and work my way to where I am now, so I absolutely believe I am a role model.”

Cousin’s has angered his fellow players and fans alike with his defensive attitude on the court. He is never one to shy away from letting people know when he thinks he has been jibbed on the court. However, it is quotes like this that make us fall in love with him.

Read more quotes from Cousins on making the team here.

 


Fun With Photoshop

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The above picture has taken on a life of its own in the past two days, as the UK Hoops team/UK cheerleader group shot has gone viral. It looks photoshopped but it is not and showcases the difference between heights of the young women.

But in order to illustrate the picture’s inherent appeal, someone on Reddit photoshopped the cheerleaders to the basketball players’ height. It is also awesome in a different way and showcases that the internet is a magical thing

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Blake Bone has the quote of the day

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Freshman wide receiver Blake Bone got to meet with reporters today, and if you couldn’t tell from his play on the field, he’s not shy. When asked when he got his confidence, Bone quipped “April, 11, 1996. I came out of the womb knowing I’d be a wide receiver for UK.

Well, alright. Let’s take one more look at his first touchdown as a Cat:


Neither Brayon Heard nor Javess Blue practiced again today

Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Both Braylon Heard and Javess Blue tweaked their ankles vs. UT-Martin, and both sat out practice for the second straight day on Tuesday. However, offensive coordinator Neal Brown isn’t ready to rule them out for Saturday’s game against Ohio. “we’re optimistic, but we’ll see.”

Nick will be by with a full recap of Brown’s comments in just a little bit.


Donors give UK practice facility a big boost

If you want to see Mark Stoops get excited, ask him about the plans for the new training facility. Stoops is pumped for the 98,000-square foot training center and practice fields, and he’ll be even happier when the UK Board of Trustees approves nearly $4 million worth of donations for the facility on Friday.

Who broke open their checkbooks for the future of the program? One name should be pretty familiar: Chris Sullivan, a UK alum and founder of Outback Steakhouse. According to the agenda of the meeting, Sullivan has pledged $1 million towards the facility, with half of it coming in 2014 and the other half in 2015. Roger Nicholson, a UK College of Law graduate who works in the coal and natural resources industry, has pledged $900,000, while another UK grad with coal connections, M. Lynn Parrish, has committed $800,000. Finally, Matthew Mitchell and his wife’s $1 million pledge, to be paid in 10 installments starting this year, will be approved and put towards the facility, which is scheduled to be completed in 2016.

The board will also vote on replacing Commonwealth’s current playing surface with a “synthetic in-fill type surface,” a project that will cost around $1,000,000 and will be privately funded.


Yet another gray uni hint…

Over the weekend, the UK Equipment staff hinted that fans could see something new when the Cats take the field on Saturday, and judging by the little crumbs they keep tossing out on Twitter (like the graphic above), it’s looking pretty likely we’ll see the debut of the gray uniforms. Let Drew Barker model them for you:

barker-grayunis

Remember, the kids will probably love it.


Let’s play “Guess that Coach” with Malik Newman’s latest blog

Image via IAmMalikNewman.com

Malik Newman has kept his recruitment close to his chest more so than any other 2015 prospect, and the 6’3″ combo guard continues to be coy in his latest blog entry for USA Today HS. Newman touches on a lot of topics in the entry, including his skills in NBA2K (“with those sticks in my hand I’m like Wilt Chamberlain!”), literature (he thinks John Grisham’s The Runaway Jury is “really interesting”), rapping (his rapping name is “Lil Leek”), and of course, recruiting.

Newman says he’s “close” to setting his official visits, and wants to go somewhere for Midnight Madness, but didn’t specify where. Newman did give us some clues as to what certain coaches are telling him…let’s see if we can guess who those coaches are.

I had a coach that’s recruiting me tell me that they were gonna set the record for points per game as a team this year and their point guard was probably gonna lead them in scoring. That was interesting to me because he said if I came there I could do the same thing. I thought that was pretty cool.

I had another coach tell me that I could be one-and-done and probably average about 25 points a game; so they tell me a lot of different things. I just sit back and listen to everything.

Right now, Kentucky, Kansas, UConn, Mississippi State, NC State, Ole Miss, and Duke are considered the top contenders for Newman. Both clues are pretty cryptic, and while the Cats gave John Calipari plenty to crow about in the Bahamas, I can’t see him saying that Andrew will be the team’s leading scorer. (Aaron, maybe.) Kansas lost their starting point guard, but have Devonte Graham coming in, and Bill Self seems very high on him, so maybe that’s it. Same can be said about Duke and Tyus Jones. The second clue doesn’t tell us much at all, but I can’t imagine Coach K encouraging a kid to come to Duke to be a one-and-done without sneering or puking from disgust on the spot.

To read the rest of Lil Leek’s blog, head on over to USA Today.

[Malik Newman talks going back to school in his latest blog]


Twitter Brawl of the Day: Kige Ramsey vs. Keith Olbermann

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It’s been a pretty slow news day so far, but thankfully, KSR Hall of Famer Kige Ramsey and ESPN’s Keith Olbermann are here to provide some entertainment. Earlier today, Kige shared his thoughts on the debate over whether or not the Washington Redskins should change their name. He predicted Keith Olbermann would take the bait, and he did:

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Here comes Keith!

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Well, Olbermann took the fight to a different level from here, breaking out the Grammar Card, a go-to move in Twitter brawls:

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Despite the spirited debate, Kige says he’s cool with Olbermann, and even likes his suggestion for the Redskins’ new name:

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 1.28.11 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-02 at 1.22.28 PM

Kige Ramsey: giving them hell since 2007.


Anthony Davis is a cartoon character

@sportando

Team USA just wrapped up a nice little 98-71 rout of New Zealand, and, in what is becoming a familiar refrain, Anthony Davis was the leading scorer with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Two of those points came from this alley-oop, in which Davis looks more like a cartoon character than an actual human.

Here’s the full highlight:

I’m just glad New Zealand’s war dance didn’t throw Team USA off their game:


The Cats will face the dreaded dual-threat quarterback on Saturday

(Photo by Nick Bolin)

The UT-Martin win was fun, but the Cats will face a much tougher opponent on Saturday when Ohio comes to town. Yesterday, Mark Stoops said the Bobcats, who have gone to five straight bowl games, are a “much bigger challenge,” with sound fundamentals on both sides of the ball. “They’re a team that’s not going to beat themselves,” Stoops siad.

Ohio also has a dual-threat quarterback, which has always been an Achilles’ Heel for the Cats. Derrius Vick is a redshirt junior and got his second career start against Kent State this past weekend. He looked every bit the poised veteran, completing 18 of 24 attempts for 262 yards and two touchdowns to go with 35 rushing yards in Ohio’s 17-14 win over Kent State. His performance was enough to catch Mark Stoops’ eye. “I was very impressed with their quarterback,” Stoops said. “He just was very poised, very good quarterback. He can run it and throw it.”

Vick’s come a long way since this snap scared the crap out of him as a redshirt freshman back in 2012.

DERRIUS-VICK


It’s time to vote for your favorites in this week’s Fans’ Choice polls

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UK has heard our cry for better music at football games, and they’re teaming up with 98.1 The Bull, 100.1 WKQQ, 104.5 The Cat and 103.9 WiLD to poll fans on which songs they’d like to hear during games.

There are four polls for each station’s genre (country, rock, pop, hip-hop) with five options each. You can sample the songs on WLAP’s website and vote for your favorite. Here are the options:

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CLICK HERE to go vote and share your favorites in the comments section. Don’t judge me for picking “Bang Bang,” either. It’s catchy.