Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
September 2nd, 2014

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

18j5rrirkkynujpgkeith-olbermann-yell

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:

Screen Shot 2014-09-02 at 1.12.28 PM

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:

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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:

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 11.55.15 AM

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.


Watch Anthony Davis, Boogie, and Team USA take on New Zealand

fotc-poster-2

Need something to watch during lunch? Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Team USA are playing New Zealand in the FIBA World Cup over on ESPN2 in 15 minutes.

So far, New Zealand has lost to Turkey and Orlando Antigua’s Dominican Republic, so it’ll likely be a lopsided affair, but another great chance to see two former Cats tear it up. Davis has looked like an absolute superstar with Team USA this summer, and actually leads the team in scoring with 18 points per game. Cousins, Davis’ backup, is averaging 10 points per game and 6.5 rebounds.

Go Cats. Go America.


ESPN doing a “30 for 30″ on the UK/Duke game in 1992

davislaettnertweet

According to Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN is working on a “30 for 30″ on the 1992 UK/Duke regional final. Wojciechowski tweeted last night that he had just wrapped up almost three hours worth of interviews about Christian Laettner, and that the “30 for 30″ will premiere on Selection Sunday next March.

I think I’ll need both tissues and a barf bag for this one.


Catching up after a long holiday weekend (Tuesday Show Thread)

Photo by Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Photo by Darrell Bird | CatsPause.com

Good morning and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from a radio studio in Manhattan. Matt and Drew are still in New York to cover the US Open for Tennis Channel, but they both saw the game this weekend and want to talk about it. Tune in to hear their thoughts on the Cats’ big opening win, along with some stories from the weekend and just how ridiculous Tom Jurich’s “Bobby has changed” speech on ESPN was last night.

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

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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Monday (errrr….Tuesday) Playcalling Breakdown

Every Monday (or in this case Tuesday because of the holiday) I will detail with little commentary how the offense generated yards after each game.  I will break it down into 1st down, 2nd and long, 2nd and short, 3rd and long, and 3rd and short situations and tell you how many passes and runs were called in each situation, along with the success or failure of those situations.  So without further ado, here were the stats for the UT-Martin massacre:

1ST DOWN
Run: 13 rushes for 75 yards (5.8 ypc), 3 TD
Pass: 11-14, 277 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

Limited Analysis: Obviously, some huge plays on 1st down.  Three touchdowns in the running game but the most impressive thing is the passing attack.  I like the 50-50 run to pass ratio as well.

2ND AND LONG (6 yards or more)
Run: 4 rushes for 19 yards (4.8 ypc)
Pass: 2-7, 21 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

Limited Analysis: Maybe the only real trouble spot is the completion percentage in this scenario.  That will need improve so UK can avoid too many 3rd and longs.

2ND AND SHORT (5 yards or less)
Run: 4 rushes for 97 yards (24.3 ypc), 2 TD
Pass: 3-3, 2 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

Limited Analysis: Braylon Heard’s long touchdown run the highlight here.  Otherwise, a decent but not spectacular group of plays.

3RD AND LONG (6 yards or more)
Run: 1 rush for 0 yards
Pass: 5-6, 110 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

Limited Analysis: BIG STAT HERE, UK converted 4 of 6 3rd downs when throwing the ball in this scenario, keeping those drives alive.  Often times a huge stat to have.

3RD AND SHORT (5 yards or less)
Run: 5 rushes for 51 yards (10.2 ypc), 1 TD
Pass: 1-2, 12 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

Limited Analysis: Cats did a nice job of converting the 3rd and shorts with the running attack.

4TH DOWN
Run: 1 rush for 1 yard
Pass: 0-1, 0 TD, 0 INT


KSR’s Top Ten Tweets of the Day

UK Hoops vs. UK Cheerleaders. This deserved to be on the site twice.

UK Hoops vs. UK Cheerleaders. This deserves to be on the site twice.

Yes there’s a lot of Louisville here, but what else happened (on sports Twitter) yesterday? Sorry guyz. We will focus most of our attention on relevant Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as per usual, there are no limits to our madness. You, the KSR fans, can also participate in our top-10 tweet countdown by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTopTen, or by tweeting @KySportsRadio.

 

#10 Pat Forde

Sigh.

 

 

#9 Micah Corey

Make it rain on dem.

 

 

#8 Chris Travis

He takin overrrrr.

 

 

#7 Tyler Thompson

L’s UP.

 

 

#6 Davey Rudolph

ACC ACC–SEC SEC

 

 

#5 Bomani Jones

Well now that’s unfortunate.

 

 

#4 Sports Pickle

Careful Bobby.

 

 

#3 Scott

Read? That sounds difficult so I will take your word for it.

 

 

#2 Tyler Montell

Forgive me Father.

 

 

#1 SB Nation

Blacc Out.

 

@BrennanKSR + Funkhouser


Monday Night Notes From The Waldorf Astoria, KSR’s Manhattan Office

Hello there, sports fans. Drew here, coming to you live from bed at the Waldorf where we’ve been living for what feels like four months. Matt and I are still on the tennis beat in New York City but the end is in sight. A Friday afternoon flight will have us back in Lexington for dinner and ready for Saturday’s pregame show outside Commonwealth Stadium. Until then, we’ll continue pretending to know about tennis, eating street meat and trying to blend in on the Queens-bound 7-train.

Tonight I have some football talk and a couple basketball recruiting tidbits before it’s lights out. We’ll be back on the KSR airwaves in the morning from the same studio that gives you the CBS Morning News and whatever show Queen Latifah is on.

Let’s do it…

 

Mark Stoops sees several things that need improvement.

During his weekly press conference on Monday, Mark Stoops, at times, sounded like a head coach coming off a loss, not a 45-point victory. Though he is very pleased by his team’s energy and attitude in the season opener, there is still plenty of room for improvement across the board.

The second team defense drew a lot of criticism from Stoops; he was disappointed to see that unit give up two fourth quarter touchdowns after the Wildcats held UT Martin scoreless through the first 45 minutes of the game. “We need to get some depth and we need some guys to step up and compete,” he said of the defensive reserves. “To give up two touchdowns and a bunch of yards the last four possessions is something that we can’t do and we won’t do.”

Fundamentally, the first team defense has some work to do. Even the stars of the starting 11, defensive ends Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith, had their faults. “I saw a couple instances when they were trying to do too much,” Stoops said of Dupree and Smith. “They’re very unselfish players. You have to be to play defensive line. I think that’s not going to be an issue. I think they just wanted to do some good things, and fundamentally got a little bit irresponsible.”

“There’s certainly areas we need to improve. And our depth is an issue. We need to put it all together, do some things. In this game I wanted to play very fundamental. I didn’t want to have to scheme a million different ways to stop them. Our guys need to learn how to play football, learn how to play blocks, learn how to have proper fits, learn how to do tackles and do the fundamental things.”

Neal Brown gets a thumbs up for the Week 1 gameplan.

Stoops believes his offensive coordinator did a very good job with the playbook in Week 1. He said, “What we’ve got to continue to watch is kind of zeroing in on what we’re doing because we got a lot of young guys. Not so much Patrick. I think he can handle more. He’s been around for a while. With playing that many freshmen wide receivers, some young guys on the O‑line, you got to be careful about doing too much. I thought he did a very good job of putting together a nice game plan, something they were able to execute.”

Brown will work new things in each week while still keeping it simple enough for all of the new guys. It’s a process, as Coach Cal would say.

Javess Blue and Braylon Heard may or may not play in Week 2.

Two of UK’s best offensive playmakers are still TBD for Saturday after suffering minor ankle injuries against UT Martin. The team’s athletic trainer likes to give ankle injuries two days before making a call, giving players a little time to respond. Heard’s is still lingering; Stoops said he is the one still feeling soreness, while the others with tweaked ankles felt better on Monday.

A decision on their playing statuses will be made in the coming days.

Lots of Vegas money going toward UK early in the week.

The Cats opened as a six-point favorite over Ohio in the sportsbooks. Now, heavy action on UK has the line sitting at -10 for Kentucky. Gamble responsibly.

Jon Toth is your SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week.

Toth has been quite a surprise since taking over the starting center job as a redshirt freshman last season. He opened up some big holes for Kentucky’s run game, including the key block that sent Braylon Heard to the house on a 73-yard run.

He got some help from redshirt freshmen Kyle Meadows and Ramsey Meyers, too. Stoops was impressed by both of the first-timers’ debuts on the line.

Damien Harris gave his unofficial visit a perfect 10.

On a scale of 1 to 10, Harris rated his Saturday visit to Lexington a “definite 10.”

“I always have a great time when I’m on campus at UK. Its always a great atmosphere,” added Harris. “Especially being an in-state kid. They show me a lot of love from the fans, coaches and players. My favorite part other than the game is being with Coach (Mark) Stoops and Coach (Chad) Scott. I love trying to develop a closer relationship with them.” [Bleacher Report]

Harris will take his first official visit to Ohio State this coming weekend.

Three basketball recruiting nuggets:

– Jayson Tatum named his top ten and, yup, UK is still in the hunt. The class of 2016 shooting guard is down to Arizona, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Mizzou, North Carolina, Saint Louis, UConn and Wake Forest.

– Kentucky made Carlton Bragg’s final five schools. The Cats join Kansas, Illinois, Arizona and UCLA in the mix for the five-star power forward.

– Brandon Ingram is down to six schools and plans to attend Big Blue Madness. Jaylen Brown is the priority at small forward, but Ingram is still getting love from Kentucky, one of the six schools he announced as his finalists on Monday.

 

Go Cats.


Best-case, Worst-case for The Ohio Bobcats

Image Via BleacherReport.com

Monday is a day for moving on to the next week at hand and as such it’s time to turn our attention to the Ohio Bobcats. This past weekend Kentucky basically nailed the best case scenario against the Skyhawks. How will they fare this Saturday? Let’s break down the best case and worst case scenarios:

Best-case Scenario

The best case for the Cats would obviously be another crushing victory. Ohio is on another level from UT-Martin but they don’t appear to have the firepower to combat UK’s potent playmakers. The offense looks sharp once again as Patrick Towles completes 65% of his passes and delivers yet another 300 yard game. Ryan Timmons demonstrates his explosiveness by breaking loose for his first touchdown of the year.

Against Kent State on Saturday, Ohio fumbled the ball 4 times and against Kentucky they have a similar result. A such the Cats continue to lead the nation in Turnover Margin heading into Week 3. Bud and Za’Darius notch their first sacks of the season when Coach Stoops opens up the playbook and calls some blitzes for week 2.

Kentucky is ready and waiting for all the MACtion Ohio can muster as they win 24-3.

Worst-case Scenario

Image Via AthensOhioToday

The worst case scenario this Saturday would be the Cats picking up a loss from a mid-major program for the third straight season. Since taking over the Bobcat program in 2005, former Nebraska coach Frank Solich has gotten the program rolling. He’s amassed a 66-50 record and even had Ohio ranked in the top 25 for a brief period in 2012. Under Solich Ohio is nothing if not consistent as they’ve been to 5 straight bowl games. Kentucky will be seeing a major step up in competition from UT-Martin and as such this is a potential trap game.

If Ohio wins the game they would do so behind the strength of their defense. Kentucky’s running game was one of the many highlights from this weekend but Ohio’s line will be much more formidable. The Bobcat line was instrumental in holding Kent State to just 31 yards on 22 carries. They kept the Flashes to just 6-14 third down conversions which allowed them to stay in a close game and win on a last second field goal. The boys in Blue need to make sure they get by Ohio’s defense and have this game put away before the fourth quarter.

The Likely Scenario

Ohio has done well against the MAC in recent years but have struggled outside of the conference. Louisville beat the Bobcats last season 49-7 but that was with their best offense/defense ever. Expect the Cats to win but the game should be much closer than this past weekend’s rout.

How do you think the game will go against Ohio?


The Titans’ 14″ tall linebacker is the best thing you’ll see today

His name is Christian Kirksey, and according to the Madden ’15 video game, he’s 14″ inches of fury and plays for the Tennessee Titans. Except, in reality, he’s 6’2″, 233 lbs. and plays for the Browns. This hilarious glitch in the video game is by far the best thing you’ll see tonight.

Look at him go!

He’s got the ball!

@FreshCarbon

H/t CBSSports.com