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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
April 27th, 2015

LIVE DIARY: Brandon Ingram’s announcement

Hello, friends. Another day, another recruiting announcement to cover. Unfortunately, it’s another one in which Kentucky isn’t the favorite, but nonetheless, we are here to bring you all the latest on Brandon Ingram, the 6’8″ small forward from Kinston, North Carolina.

Scroll down for my updates.


6:09 p.m.: Aaaand, it’s Duke:

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On to the next…

6:06 p.m.: The newscast hasn’t switched over yet, but until they do, here’s another stream of the announcement. Ingram is wearing a tux:

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6:05 p.m.: One last look at Ingram’s Crystal Ball, which is 82% Duke:

6:02 p.m.: The best Ingram-related rumor I saw today? That he must be headed to Duke because he got the same haircut that most of the Duke starting five had this past season:

Here’s the Duke starting five:

Coincidence? We’ll see…

6:00 p.m.: The table is set:

@kenmedlin


Jaylen Brown trims list to five

jaylenbrown

Of the few uncommitted elite recruits left, Jaylen Brown is definitely the wildcard. In a telling sign of how wide open his recruitment still is, Brown just trimmed his list from eight to five: Cal, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan, and North Carolina. Georgia, Georgia Tech, and UCLA were eliminated.

There’s a rumor floating around that John Calipari snuck in an in-home visit last week after Brown said he wasn’t hosting any more coaches. Cal was in Alpharetta, Georgia to visit Kobi Simmons on Tuesday…maybe he dropped by nearby Marietta to see Jaylen? Hmm…


Gunnar Hoak says he “really loves” Kentucky’s offense

@Rivals

Three-star 2016 quarterback Gunnar Hoak committed to UK a little over a week ago, and this past weekend, participated in the Rivals Quarterback Challenge in Cincinnati. Rivals’ Josh Helmholdt interviewed Hoak, a Dublin, Ohio native, about his decision to commit to Kentucky and what he likes about the Cats.

“It was a great choice, I thought, it was a great situation to get into knowing how many quarterbacks they have on their roster right now and how they didn’t take a quarterback in the class of 2015, I think I can get there and see myself playing early. I didn’t want to pass that opportunity up.”

Hoak is particularly a big fan of Shannon Dawson, Kentucky’s new offensive coordinator.

I really love the offense, I can definitely see myself playing in that,” Hoak said. “They throw it around a lot. I know Coach Dawson, he set records at other schools throwing it 89, 90 times a game, so I like that, definitely.”

To see the entire interview, in which Hoak also discusses what he wants to improve on in his senior season, head on over to Rivals.com.

[Rivals]


Coroner says former Cat Mike Phillips died after falling down the stairs

Mike Phillips (left) with James Lee, Matt, and Goose Givens

Yesterday, we shared the unfortunate news of former Kentucky center Mike Phillips’ passing. The details were vague, but according to Jerry Tipton on Twitter this afternoon, Hopkins County Coroner Dennis Mayfield says Phillips died after falling down a flight of stairs at his house and there was no foul play. No one else was home when it happened.

Phillips was one of the “Twin Towers” in UK’s 1978 National Championship season alongside Rick Robey, and finished his UK career 25th on the program’s all-time scoring list. A visitation will be held Thursday from 5-8 p.m. CT at Victory Church in Madisonville, and the funeral service is set for Friday at 11 a.m. CT, also at Victory Church.

Our thoughts go out to his family in this difficult time.


Mr. Redlegs almost took out a Chicago Cubs third baseman yesterday

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I know there’s a strong Reds following on this blog, Matt included, so for you guys, here’s a laugh. During yesterday’s game against the Cubs, Cincinnati mascot Mr. Redlegs almost took out a Chicago Cubs third baseman during the Mascot Race in the 5th inning at Great American Ballpark:

The Reds went on to lose the game, 5-2. As Patrick Towles said earlier, being a Cincinnati sports fan is the most unforgiving thing in the world.


Adam Zagoria’s hearing that Cheick Diallo will announce tomorrow or Wednesday

The latest guessing game on Twitter is predicting when Cheick Diallo will announce his decision. Adam Zagoria’s sources are telling him that Diallo will announce at the earliest tomorrow and latest on Wednesday, while Evan Daniels agrees it could happen as early as tomorrow and Kentucky, Kansas, and St. John’s are all “in good shape.”

Interestingly, Diallo posted this picture of Skal Labissiere on Instagram last night with a shoutout to the future Cat, then deleted it:

@tbird22btown

Hmmm…come on down and join your French-speaking brother, Cheick?

[ZagsBlog]


Brown Named SEC Pitcher of the Week

(Photo by Tim Casey, UAA Communications)

(Photo by Tim Casey, UAA Communications)

Kentucky starter Zack Brown was named the SEC Pitcher of the Week following his seven shutout innings against Florida on Friday. Brown improved to 4-4 on the season and extended his scoreless inning streak to 15.1 innings by defeating the #5 Gators in Gainesville. Following 7.1 shutout innings against Tennessee, Brown struck out six and allowed five hits against the Gators in a 3-0 Kentucky win. The sophomore righty has developed into one of the best weekend starters in the SEC over the course of conference play. With wins over Mississippi State, Tennessee and Florida, Brown has solidified his place among the top starters in the SEC. Brown will look to continue this dominant streak when he goes up against the defending National Champions, Vanderbilt, this Friday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. 

@TreyHuntsmanKSR


Patrick Towles explains how much being UK’s starting QB means to him

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The SEC Network’s Greg McElroy visited Lexington last week to get a tour of the UK Football facilities and catch up with the Cats after spring practice. McElroy hung out with Patrick Towles and chatted about growing up as a Bengals/Reds fan, how much he loves basketball, and what it means to represent his home state as the starting quarterback. I think a lot of you all will identify with what Patrick had to say about being a Cincinnati sports fan.

As a Cincinnati sports fan, it’s the most unforgiving thing in the world,” Patrick said. “Great regular season, always blow it in the playoffs.”

Towles also gave McElroy a pretty awesome sales pitch on why recruits should come to Kentucky.

“This place is wonderful, you’ve got to love the city of Lexington, you’ve got to love all it has to offer,” Patrick said. “The coaching staff has done everything they possibly can to get this program on its feet. The new renovations on the stadium over there, we’re getting a whole new facility. It’s really a huge swing of momentum. Kentucky is here and we’re here to stay. We’re here to play with the big guys and beat the big guys.”

Most interesting to me were his remarks about how much it means to him to represent his state. Patrick said when he found out he was going to be the starter last year, he broke down in tears.

“I love it. I love it. It’s such a part of me. It’s something I dreamed of my entire life is to play here, for this school,” Patrick said, mentioning past home state heroes like Jared Lorenzen and Tim Couch. “When I got the call last year I was going to be starting quarterback, I cried for a while. It’s a wonderful thing. I love it and I never take a day for granted because it’s not going to last forever.”

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While it hasn’t been officially announced, the odds are very good that Patrick will once again be UK’s starting QB this season, a job he has truly earned. Check out that graphic above, and the entire interview below.


The latest Draft Express mock has all seven Cats getting drafted

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I’m a huge fan of Draft Express’ latest mock draft. Why? It has all seven Cats getting picked. Here’s the order:

1. Karl Towns (Minnesota)
6. Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento)
15. Devin Booker (Brooklyn)
17. Trey Lyles (Milwaukee)
34. Dakari Johnson (LA Lakers)
47. Andrew Harrison (New Orleans to Philadelphia)
60. Aaron Harrison (Golden State to Philadelphia)

The projected teams are kind of useless until the Draft Lottery on May 20, but this is one of two major mocks that has all seven Cats getting drafted. Here’s a roundup of the rest:

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Patrick Patterson wears a “Kentucky against the World” shirt that we all need in our lives

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The Raptors just wrapped up their season-ending press conference and Patrick Patterson walked in wearing a “Kentucky against the World” sweatshirt. Needless to say, we’re all big fans. Here’s another shot of it:

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Pat Forde says timing of USBWA COY award was “less than ideal,” takes a shot at the BBN

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Yesterday, someone sent me a Snapchat of what appears to be Pat Forde’s inaugural column as the President of the US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) in “Basketball Times.”

As you may remember, the USBWA named Tony Bennett their Coach of the Year, the only major coaching award John Calipari didn’t receive. In this column, Forde mentions the “less than ideal” timing of the coaching awards, which led to “considerable backlash from one particular fan base that believed its coach was more deserving,” a clear shot at the Big Blue Nation. Here’s the paragraph in full:

Timing of our coach and player awards. As you may know, the release of our 2015 Hank Iba Coach of the Year award was less than ideal–Virginia’s Tony Bennett was honored two days after the Cavaliers were upset in the NCAA Tournament round of 32. This led to considerable backlash from one particular fan base that believed its coach was more deserving, and a fair amount of external media criticism of our organization. We have begun discussions about changing the release date of our award winners so that the announcements more closely coincide with the end of the voting period. Delaying the release two weeks does not seem to help anyone.

Even if the vote was held two weeks before its release–so, March 9 instead of March 23–I still don’t understand how you could have picked Bennett over Calipari. Kentucky had just capped off an undefeated regular season while Virginia was coming off a loss to Louisville. There was a reason the decision was panned by every media member brave enough to speak up. Regardless, leave it to Forde to sneak in a shot at the BBN from the bully pulpit.


Duke still the heavy favorite for Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram will announce his decision tonight at 6:10 p.m. ET, and right now, Kentucky’s chances don’t exactly look great. Duke is still the heavy favorite for the 6’8″ small forward from Kinston, North Carolina, with 79% of the 247 Sports Crystal Ball predictions. North Carolina is next with 12%, followed by 6% other and 3% Kentucky. Eeek.

This isn’t surprising–Ingram grew up a Duke fan and Coach K and his staff have pulled out all the stops since winning the National Championship two weeks ago (ugh), visiting Ingram twice in five days. And while we’ve learned never to count Calipari out, brace yourselves for what may be another dose of bad recruiting news in a little less than eight hours.

Regardless, we’ll have full coverage on the site tonight because that’s what we do.


This dunk from Jayson Tatum may have been the play of the weekend

A lot of basketball went down this weekend in Lexington, but one of the most buzz-worthy moments may have been this dunk from Jayson Tatum, a 6’8″ wing from St. Louis. Tatum is considered the best small forward in the 2016 class and dunks like this are why. Watch him posterize his defender, who was lucky he didn’t get injured:

The best part? This happened right in front of John Calipari. Tatum’s final four are Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, and St. Louis. Duke’s considered his favorite, with 62% of the 247 Sports Crystal Ball predictions, but there’s plenty of time for Calipari to turn the tide.


Gearing up for a big recruiting week (Monday Show Thread)

@UKBIGBLUENATION

@UKBIGBLUENATION

Good morning and welcome to the Monday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from the Lexington and Louisville studios. Today, Matt and Ryan will catch you up on all the latest recruiting news this weekend and preview a few big, big days for the 2015 class.

Brandon Ingram and Cheick Diallo are announcing their decisions in the coming days and Mychal Mulder is still on campus. And don’t forget about Jamal Murray. Where does Kentucky stand with each? Tune in to find out.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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Wendy’s KSR Top Ten Tweets of the Weekend

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We’re kicking up the heat with 5 layers of spice on our new Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken sandwich. It’s our classic spicy chicken breast topped with fresh, diced jalapeños, ghost pepper sauce, Colby pepper jack cheese all on a red jalapeno bun. It’s too hot to last, so try one today!
___________________________________________________________________ You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top Ten Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtopten. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Hal Heiner

Great! Now they’re all in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 Conor Dirks

Genius.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 X-Wing @Aliciousness

This is really what they’re signing up for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 Regina Lexi Rickert

I’m so sorry you had to see that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6 LJ

ALL MY DREAMS ARE COMING TRUE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 John Michael Lawler

Sick burn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 Josh JB Bowen

There are plenty of people to ask.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Brian Alexander

We really need to solve this problem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Bud Dupree 2™

this is both sad and funny at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1 Tony Carroll

This is everything. I am so jealous.

@sealey_KSR