Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
May 22nd, 2015

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly From This Week

The world's first Beep Baseball Park opened today alongside the Kentucky River, the highlight of awesome and amazing from this week.

The world’s first Beep Baseball Park opened today alongside the Kentucky River, the Best of the Best from this week.

The Good

–  Contrary to popular belief, good things can happen in Florida.  Earlier this week a fire broke out in a Palm Coast garage.  After the resident failed to put out the flame, he quickly grabbed his daughter and exited the building.  He didn’t have enough time to save his dogs, but some courageous firefighters were there to save the day.  They saved six dogs in total, including these two puppies.

Barstool

Barstool

 

–  The UK Softball team has gotten so good, that winning a Regional title has become “business as usual.”  They went on the road to South Bend and simply brought it.  The Super Regional at Florida begins tomorrow at 1:00 on ESPNU and continues Sunday at noon on ESPN.  I predict the Cats, by 90.

–  American Pharaoh’s Preakness run was one I will not soon forget.  It wasn’t just that he won by seven lengths, it was the monsoon that hit Pimlico just before the horses hit the track, yet the mud never hit his face.  Mud was an even bigger problem off the track when a water-main break caused all of the toilets to quit working.  This year’s Preakness was one hell of an event, but hopefully the Belmont is even better with Pharaoh taking hom the first Triple Crown title since before most of us were born.

–  The non-conference schedule won’t be easy, but plenty of fun to watch.

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-  David Letterman’s send-off was eloquent and graceful, ending an extraordinary era of television.  The timing was right, losing an audience (my age group) that never saw him at his best.  In 109 days, we’ll get the best when Stephen Colbert takes the helm of the Late Show.

The Bad

–  The Knicks lost the lottery, because the Knicks lose at everything now-a-days.  Either way, Karl Anthony-Towns should end up in a sitaution that isn’t too bad (but it’s not his dream team…).

–  North Carolina has been running, but now they cannot hide from NCAA allegations after committing systemic academic fraud for years.  I don’t care how great Julius Peppers is, the highly-respected public institution should not be allowed to assign him fake classes.  It will be interesting to see exactly when, and how hard the NCAA will hit the Tar Heels.

–  JJ Watt’s leg

@JJWatt

@JJWatt

 Cal couldn’t stop talking.  I didn’t mind his first metaphorical statement, but let’s just give it a rest for awhile Coach.  At least through the weekend.

-  Will T.(rill) Scott lost in the Republican Gubernatorial Primary.  But Matt Bevin’s 83-vote win might be the closest election in the state since the 2014 UK Student Government Elections.  A tip of the cap for a job well done, Mr. Bevin.

The Ugly

–  The end of Sunday’s Game of Thrones.  Nobody wanted to see that, not even Theon Greyjoy.


“We Ask You Wednesday” (On A Friday) Vol. 45

The season is sadly now over, and the folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes. Last summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter.

Each week, the question will change and we will hit on a variety of topics, mostly UK-related… but you never know. Each week the best responses will make it on to the website.  This week’s twenty ninth volume of the “We Ask You Wednesday” allowed Kentucky fans to answer the following question via Twitter in 140 characters or less:  IF YOU COULD PICK ANY FORMER KENTUCKY BASKETBALL PLAYER TO BE THE ONLY SPOKESPERSON FOR THE PROGRAM, WHO WOULD IT BE AN WHY?

.

.

.

.

 

Darius is a Kentucky born and bred player. I kind of like that line of thinking…

I think he could definitely be a good representative from the Pitino era. Successful NBA and broadcasting career as well.

I wouldn’t argue with this one either.

Where he has a leg up on the competition? He also takes really great glamour shots.

  As long as he will promise to tell the story of his dog walking him to school and waiting for him every day…

Eh, maybe if a couple other people aren’t available first…. He would certainly be entertaining

Who doesn’t love Tony Delk?

Can we do this just to piss Colin Cowherd off?

That sounds like sound reasoning to me…

@AllyTuckerKSR Demarcus Cousins because he is Demarcus Cousins.

There is something about the Jorts…

No.

He does have a way with the words…


Chad Ford says Andrew Harrison stood out in Santa Barbara yesterday

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Andrew Harrison had a good showing during the NBA Draft Combine last week, and according to ESPN NBA guru Chad Ford, he also did himself some favors yesterday in Santa Barbara. Ford spent the day watching various prospects work out at the BDA Sports Camp, and named Andrew one of the five players who stood out:

Harrison has gotten some of his mojo back after playing well at the NBA draft combine. Suddenly his agent is getting lots of calls from teams wanting him in for workouts.

After going from being one of the top-five high school players in the country to a projected second-round pick last year to a possible undrafted pick this year, Harrison may be getting another shot at redemption.

[ESPN]

Yesterday, Draft Express uploaded this video of Andrew working out and answering questions in Santa Barbara:

Keep it up, Andrew.


KSR’s 2015 Summer Calendar

summercal

This weekend is the unofficial start to summer, which means we’ve only seen the beginning of those annoying Target commercials. While the Kentucky sports landscape may seem bleak over the next three months, I went through the calendar and raked up plenty of events to keep us entertained from now until kick off in the new Commonwealth Stadium in September.

Spray on some sunscreen and come along. I’ll show you.

THE REST OF MAY

Photo by David Wegiel | UK Athletics

May 23-24: NCAA Softball Super Regional

The UK softball team will make its fourth appearance in the NCAA Super Regional this upcoming weekend in Gainesville. As someone who cares very little about the little round balls, even I was captivated by their run last year. Here’s their schedule this weekend:

Saturday, May 23
Kentucky vs. Florida – 1 p.m. ET – ESPNU

Sunday, May 24
Florida vs. Kentucky – noon ET – ESPN
Kentucky vs. Florida – 3 p.m. ET – ESPN

JUNE

June 6: Saturday Night Prime Time Camp

UK’s football camps have taken a huge step up in the Mark Stoops era, and the staff is kicking things off on June 6 with the Saturday Night Prime Time Camp, which is open to rising high school junior and seniors only. The Sunday Showcase camp is on Sunday and both are great chances for Kentucky to host and court elite talent from around the country. According to the staff, the Saturday Night Prime Time Camp is HUGE.

June 6: The Belmont Stakes

Will American Pharoah become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978? For horse racing’s sake, I sure hope so. Many are calling Pharoah the best Triple Crown contender since Smarty Jones in 2004, and America will be watching to see if he can pull off something only eleven other horses have in the history of the sport.

ulis-blood

June 9: Basketball players report to campus

In recent years, summer workouts have become the norm for the basketball team, and if players aren’t able to come early, they’re noticeably behind the rest when the season starts. While some of us are still stuck on the end of last season, it’s comforting to know that the Tyler Ulis era at Kentucky begins in two and a half weeks.

June 22: The KSR Summer Tour of Affiliates kicks off

For the fourth year in a row, Matt, Ryan, and Drew will tour the state to visit all of the radio show’s affiliates. There’s over 30 affiliates now, which means the tour will take almost two months. The schedule is still being finalized, but we’ll post it as soon as it’s ready. Get your hole in the wall, down home cookin’ restaurant recs ready.

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

June 25: The NBA Draft (New York City)

Kentucky set the record for the most players drafted from one school back in 2012 when six Cats’ names were called: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller. There’s a good chance Kentucky will break its own record this go around as seven players wait to hear their futures.

Karl Towns will go either first or second, Willie Cauley-Stein most likely in the top ten, and Devin Booker and Trey Lyles possibly in the lottery. Dakari Johnson and Andrew Harrison could potentially sneak into the first round, while Aaron Harrison needs to impress in workouts over the next month to ensure his name is called. If all seven players are drafted, it will be a landmark moment for the program and the telecast will be even more of a UK informercial than in years past.

JULY

July 4: Happy Birthday America

Independence Day falls on a Saturday this year, but that won’t stop me and Richmond Bramblet from holding our annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest LIVE BLOG. (Richmond, if you’re reading this, you’re doing it.)

July 4-20: NBA Summer Leagues kick off

With potentially 25 former Kentucky players in the league after the Draft, there’s a good chance we’ll see several of them play in the Summer Leagues in Orlando, Utah, and Las Vegas. Here’s a list of teams participating:

Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, L.A. Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA D-League Select, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

And the different league dates:

  • July 4-10: Orlando Summer League
  • July 6-9: Utah Jazz Summer League
  • July 10-20: Las Vegas Summer League

July 13-16: SEC Football Media Days (Birmingham, Alabama)

For the third year in a row, I’m headed to lovely Birmingham to cover the SEC Media Days. Mark Stoops and the Kentucky representatives aren’t up until Wednesday, but I’ll head down Tuesday morning to take in the sights, sounds, and crazy Alabama fans in the Wyndham Hotel lobby.

Here’s the full schedule:

  • Monday, July 13: SEC Commissioner, Auburn (Gus Malzahn), Florida (Jim McElwain), Vanderbilt (Derek Mason)
  • Tuesday, July 14: SEC Coordinator of Football Officials Steve Shaw; South Carolina (Steve Spurrier), Texas A&M (Kevin Sumlin), Mississippi State (Dan Mullen), Tennessee (Butch Jones)
  • Wednesday, July 15: Alabama (Nick Saban), Kentucky (Mark Stoops), Arkansas (Bret Bielema), Missouri (Gary Pinkel)
  • Thursday, July 16: LSU (Les Miles), Georgia (Mark Richt), Ole Miss (Hugh Freeze)

July 15-19: EYBL Peach Jam (North Augusta, South Carolina)

Matt, Drew, and Tomlin will go to North Augusta once again to give you the latest buzz on the recruiting scene, the coaches and media in the bar scene, and the peaches scene. Peaches for you, peaches for me.

July 17: Friday Night Blue Lights Camp

Another big camp and opportunity for Mark Stoops and staff to impress the nation’s elite recruits. The 2016 class is already off to a good start, and clinics like this will give the staff a chance to show off the progress on the newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium and practice facility.

July 25: UK Football Women’s Clinic

I wasn’t able to attend last year’s clinic, but I’ll be there this year in hopes the coaches will give us a glimpse of the new stadium. Registration hasn’t opened yet, but ladies, go ahead and clear your calendars for a fun day of football.

AUGUST

Early August: Football Media Day, Fan Day, Fall Camp begins

Players report to campus and fall camp begins during the first week of August, which will be followed by Media Day and Fan Day. Exact dates haven’t been announced, but rest assured, Matt will walk around the field barefoot to interview coaches and players.

August 11-13: USA Basketball Men’s National Team Mini Camp (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall are all on the 34-player roster for Team USA, with Davis and Cousins participating in the FIBA World Cup last summer. The 2016 Olympics are around the corner, which makes this year’s mini camp even more important. Will any other Cats receive an invite?

kash-daniel

August 13: Kash Daniel announces his decision

The four-star linebacker currently has offers from Kentucky, Louisville, South Carolina, and Purdue, along with interest from Ohio State and Florida. The Paintsville native will narrow his list to four next month, and moving up his decision date has to be a good sign for the Cats, who were the first to offer and have the momentum in his recruitment so far.

August 14: The final KSR Summer Tour Stop in Louisville

The summer tour schedule hasn’t been finalized yet, but it traditionally includes an appearance from Mark Stoops to get us all fired up for football season. Is it strange that I’m already excited for Ryan Lemond’s pep talks?

SEPTMEBER

commonwealth

September 5: UK vs. Louisiana Lafayette

We made it. Bring on football and fall.


Thon Maker most in contact with Indiana and Arizona State

(Bob Blanchard/ RBJsports)

And now for a little bit of recruiting news. Some of you have asked why UK isn’t pursuing Thon Maker as much anymore, especially after missing on several elite recruits in the 2015 class. There are a few answers to that: 1) over the past few months, it’s become clear that Thon is much rawer of a prospect than originally thought; and 2) he won’t be able to enroll until December. Thon’s guardian has made it clear he wants to be one-and-done, but really, he’ll just be one half-and-done.

Therefore, Jeff Borzello’s tweet about Thon this afternoon doesn’t come as much of a shock:

Best of luck to Thon, but give me Skal any day:


It’s a beautiful day for Beep Baseball

John Short is ready for some baseball

It’s a big day in the Bluegrass, and not just because it’s the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. It’s opening day at the world’s first blind baseball park at the Panther Athletic Complex in Frankfort. To celebrate, Beep Baseball Kentucky held a ribbon cutting and an All-Star/Celebrity Beep Baseball game is currently going down. The Celebrity Team includes John Short, Drew Franklin, Ryan Lemond, Jared Lorenzen, WKYT’s Lee K. Howard, WKQQ’s Dead Air Dennis, Cpl. Matthew Bradford, and Congressman Andy Bar.

For those who don’t know, Beep Baseball is a game that exists to provide individuals with low to no vision the opportunity to play baseball by following the sound of the ball. (To learn more, check out the Facebook page.)

Here’s a shot of the opening ceremonies:

The ribbon cutting:

Drew, Freddie Maggard, Nick Roush, and Matthew Bradford getting ready for the big game:

And some of Freddie Maggard’s play by play:

Team KSR may not be doing great, but at least we’re not embarrassing ourselves like the TV guys:

Want to catch the action yourself? Don’t worry. Beep Baseball action will continue throughout the weekend in the Bluegrass Invitational, with games going on all day long tomorrow and Sunday.

Congrats to Dave Wickstrom, John Short, and the entire Beep Baseball Kentucky crew on a big, big day. Enjoy it.


Hey, ESPN, did you know UNC received its NOA today?

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 1.00.01 PM

One of the major sports stories today is UNC receiving its Notice of Allegations (NOA) from the NCAA. Yet, if you were to check ESPN’s front page, you’d have no idea. There is no mention of the NOA on the main page at all, which isn’t really surprising since ESPN President John Skipper is a UNC alum.

Don’t worry, ESPN does have the story up…as the third sub headline on its Men’s College Basketball page:

Screen-Shot-2015-05-22-at-1.04


UK flag flying high in Newport Beach, California wants a mock draft roundup

Shoutout to my friend Ryan, who spotted this UK flag flying on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, California this morning. He and his travel buddy were so excited to see it they broke out some more blue and white for the occasion. Cheers, guys.

With the NBA Draft order official set, it’s about time we did a mock draft roundup, right? Here are the latest draft projections from across the web:

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 10.34.39 AM

Predictably, most mocks are split between Karl Towns or Jahlil Okafor for the #1 pick, and it looks like both Devin Booker and Trey Lyles are trending upward, with a few even putting Devin in the top ten. What a year to be a shooter in the Draft, right?

Meanwhile, it looks like Aaron Harrison has some major work to do this month. Show ‘em, Aaron.


There’s a lot of blue going in to the new Commonwealth Stadium

The UK Ticket Office uploaded this picture on Twitter today of more blue bench backs in the lower level (North side).

Only 105 days ’til kick-off…


UNC confirms they have received the Notice of Allegations

This morning, it leaked out that UNC had received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. UNC just confirmed the news and released a statement on their website:

“We take these allegations very seriously, and we will carefully evaluate them to respond within the NCAA’s 90-day deadline,” the statement said. “The University will publicly release the NCAA’s notice as soon as possible. The notice is lengthy and must be prepared for public dissemination to ensure we protect privacy rights as required by federal and state law. When that review for redactions is complete, the University will post the notice on the Carolina Commitment website and notify the news media. When we respond to the NCAA’s allegations, we will follow this same release process.

“Consistent with NCAA protocols, the University cannot comment on details of the investigation until it is completed.”

We now go live to Chapel Hill…


ESPN says Ryan Flannigan can be UK’s “sleeper”

ESPN’s SEC Blog is rolling out previews for each team in the league, and Sam Khan Jr. is naming a “sleeper” for each program. Kentucky’s? Linebacker Ryan Flannigan.

In 2014, Flannigan’s impact wasn’t quite to the level the Kentucky coaching staff hoped for when it signed him, but toward the end of the season Flannigan came on strong. He started three of the final four games, and his last two games were his best, when he recorded 12 tackles against Tennessee and a team-high 11 tackles, plus a pass breakup, against Louisville in the season finale. Of his 57 tackles last season, 23 came in those last two games. This spring, head coach Mark Stoops remarked that Flannigan made a big improvement and the Blinn College prospect will benefit from actually participating in spring football — last year, Flannigan didn’t arrive on campus until August, just before preseason training camp. A full offseason in the program will benefit the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior immensely. Linebackers coach D.J. Eliot said Flannigan’s progress is evidence of why there is”nothing like a live rep.” Look for Flannigan’s role to grow and for his production to increase significantly in 2015.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s Chris Low has a full breakdown of the Cats. Here’s how he thinks Kentucky can beat teams on offense:

Shannon Dawson, a disciple of Hal Mumme’s Air Raid offense, takes over as the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator after four years at West Virginia. Dawson’s aim for this team? Be as physical as it is fast. That charge will be led by Kentucky’s versatile stable of running backs, particularly Stanley “Boom” Williams and Jojo Kemp, and what the Wildcats hope will be an improved line with four starters returning. Patrick Towles has to hold off redshirt freshman Drew Barker for the starting QB job, but Towles was a pleasant surprise last fall and should be able to handle a heavier load in his second full season as the starter.

Read Low’s thoughts on UK’s defense over at the Worldwide leader.


UNC receives Notice of Allegations from the NCAA

unc-f

It’s about to go down in Chapel Hill, y’all. According to Inside Carolina, UNC has received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA. No further details are available right now.

Almost a year ago, the NCAA had reopened its 2011 investigation into academic irregularities after additional people agreed to cooperate. In October, the Wainstein Report was released, revealing nearly two decades worth of academic fraud involving over 3,100 students, 1,852 of which were student-athletes.

Happy Friday of Memorial Day Weekend, Tarheel fans!

[Inside Carolina]


UK Football Women’s Clinic scheduled for Saturday, July 25

Ladies, get out your calendars: a little birdie tells us the UK Football Women’s Clinic is scheduled for Saturday, July 25. The details are still being finalized and registration isn’t open yet, but if I were you, I’d go ahead and make plans to spend that day with Stoops, the staff, the players, and yours truly. I wasn’t able to go last year, but there’s no way I’m missing it this go around.

Maybe we’ll even get a glimpse of the new stadium…


It’s official: UK promotes Tony Barbee to assistant coach

We told you it was coming earlier this week and now it’s official: UK just announced Tony Barbee has been promoted to assistant coach.

“I’m excited for Tony, who has been a part of my basketball family for more than 20 years,” Calipari said in a release. “Tony has proven himself to be one of the top coaches in the country. The knowledge and experience he brought to our staff last season was invaluable. To have him be a part of our staff is a blessing for all of us.”

“I really enjoyed my first season in Lexington and I’m looking forward to returning to the bench as a coach,” Barbee said. “I’m grateful to Coach Cal for giving me the opportunity to represent this prestigious program and university in this capacity.”

Barbee played under Calipari at UMass and later coached with him on the staff. After a stint as an assistant at Wyoming, he rejoined Cal as an assistant at Memphis before accepting the head coaching job at UTEP and later Auburn. Last season, he served as a special assistant to John Calipari, and will now fill the seat vacated by Slice Rohrssen, who recently accepted a job at St. John’s.

Glad to have you on board, sir.


Ask Anything Fridays are back! (Friday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Friday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. This weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and with it comes summertime traditions, including “Ask Anything Fridays.” That’s right, you can call in to KSR this morning and ask Matt, Ryan, and Shannon anything. Really, anything. And they have to answer. Come to think of it, this is a recipe for disaster.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

KSR Affiliate List

WCBL (1290am): Benton
WBGN (1340am): Bowling Green
WTCO (1450am): Campbellsville
WAIN (1270am): Columbia
WCYN (102.3fm) Cynthiana
WHIR (1230am): Danville
WCLU (1490am): Glasgow
WGOH (1370am): Grayson
WTUK (105.1fm): Harlan
WHOP (95.3fm): Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060am): Jamestown
WLAP (630am): Lexington
WFTG (1400am): London
WKJK (1080am): Louisville
WFMW (730am): Madisonville
WWXL (1450am): Manchester
WFTM (1240am): Maysville
WKYM (101.7fm): Monticello
WMSK (1550am): Morganfield
WLME (102.7fm):Owensboro
WPAD (1560am): Paducah
WKYH (600am): Paintsville
WLSI (900am) Pikeville
WPRT (960am): Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240am): Somerset
WTCW (920am): Whitesburg
WHAY (98.3fm): Whitley City
WBTH (1400am): Williamson

On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…

WVHI (1330am): Evansville, IN, 5-7pm
WMTL (870am): Leitchfield, 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570am): Morgantown, 3-5pm
WRIL (106.3fm): Middlesboro, Thur 8-10pm
WWTF (1580am): Lexington, 4-6pm