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April 26th, 2015

Calipari never thought his team would lose to Wisconsin

Calpostgame

This post might be a little hard to read for some, I know it was hard to write.

When John Calipari was in Indianapolis on Friday, he told a group of high school basketball coaches that he thought his team would finish the season undefeated and find a way to beat Wisconsin.

“You know, it never entered my mind that we were going to lose,” Calipari told The Associated Press as he walked out of the high school gym. “When we were up four with five minutes to go, I thought it was over. Even when Wisconsin made that run, I thought we’d figure it out. We never, in my time at Kentucky, we just don’t lose that game.”

Calipari opens up about the game and the season in an article from The Associated Press. Reading the article might help in the continuing healing process a lot of you are still encountering.

 


Sunday Morning Links

Heritage Golf Links 18

Good morning KSR fans. Hope you had a fun and exciting Saturday. Now it’s time to relax with me on your Sunday morning. Let’s start with some must read links.

— With the NFL Draft only four days away, Bud Dupree’s name has been mentioned a lot in the past week leading up to the draft. Right now Dupree is projected to go No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Falcons in Mel Kiper’s mock draft. The Falcoholic compares Dupree to the Kansas City Chiefs’ Dontari Poe and states Dupree could be one of the best in the league.

— Sadly the Golden State Warriors completed the sweep on the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis. Before Davis’ final game this season, he told The New York Times that he plans to develop a three-point shot. Could you imagine if AD could sink 3s? Game over.

— A UAB football player wore his helmet to the graduation ceremony. Derek Slaughter refused to shake the school’s president’s hand as he walked across the stage. The school’s president, Ray Watts, oversaw the decision to get ride of the football program last December.

— Wesley Matthews of Toronto wore an ‘Iron Man’ mask to game three against the Memphis Grizzlies. Matthews has been sidelined with a season ending injury, but they didn’t stop him from sporting the mask. Matthews received the nickname ‘Iron Man’ after playing with injuries.

— This video will make you smile for the rest of the day. Devon Still’s daughter, Leah Still, scored a touchdown in Temple’s spring game on Saturday. The Bengals’ defensive tackle and his daughter were special guests at the Cherry and White game, and even conducted the coin toss.

 


April 25th, 2015

Saturday’s News and Views

Team JDRF

Team JDRF

The last Saturday in April wasn’t the most eventful in the world of Big Blue News, but something happened that we should all be excited for….THERE’S LESS THAN A WEEK TIL DERBY.  While some of y’all might not be as enthused as I, today officially kicks off the best week of the year.  This year’s wonderful tradition gets an added bonus with the biggest boxing match of my lifetime concluding May 2nd with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao slugging it out.

One thing you may not know about the the last Saturday in April, is the annual tradition of the Great Balloon Race and Mini-Marathon.  While I applaud all of those on my timeline that achieved the wonderful accomplishment of running for a long, long, long, long, long time, the biggest winners are the Kathleen crew.  Determined to make the race more enjoyable for the runners, each year they wake up at 3:00 am (I have a 3:19 Snapchat to confirm) to consume beverages before high fiving as many runners as possible as they start their race near Iroquois Park.  For the last three years I’ve tried to play my part in aiding the runners, but it’s a task too tall for even the tallest to conquer.

On behalf of the heroes of the half-marathon (and full marathon), thanks Kathleen crew.  The race wouldn’t be the same without you.

"If you're still running, we're still drinking."

“If you’re still running, we’re still drinking.”

Now onto the more serious side of news….

Lexington went Nuts for the EYBL

It wasn’t just the coaches recruiting and the crazy fans; Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Alex Poythress and Devin Booker were on hand to enjoy the elite basketball at KBA.

@UKBIGBLUENATION

@UKBIGBLUENATION

The Cats were there to watch 2016’s Malik Monk do work.  Monk was the showstopper of today’s tournament, but unfortunately the highlight game of the night between Monk and Jayson Tatum didn’t produce terrific results.  But at the end of the day, the play on the court wasn’t as cool as the play off the court.  Even Julius Randle was there.  It doesn’t get much cooler than that.

For updates from throughout the day, scroll on down to see all of the good work from Ryan Clark and Bobby Reagan.

Mychal Mulder was on Campus and Could Commit Soon

While there’s no new info on Mulder’s status, everyone expects a decision shortly after the trip.  Keep close to KSR tomorrow because we might have to play a game of Yahtzee!

Sorry, wrong sport.

If I didn’t mention the Earthquake in Nepal I’d be a Terrible Person

Like many of you, I woke up this morning with multiple alerts from CNN on the tragic earthquake that shook Nepal near the capital, Kathmandu.  The 7.8 magnitude quake has taken the lives of more than 1,800.  My remorseful mind was immediately reminded of the CBS report from earlier this week regarding man-made U.S. earthquakes, warning of an impending disaster at home.

Please keep those affected in your prayers.

Upper Deck Didn’t Do Their Research

This Thursday Bud Dupree will become UK’s first First Round Draft Pick since Dwayne Robertson in 2003.  Bud’s gonna make a ton of money, but he’s still getting less respect than Rodney Dangerfield.

Bud’s Upper Deck Rookie Card has the image of another #2, Jalen Whitlow.

@Bud_Dupree2

(@Bud_Dupree2)

Bud plays defense and rarely dives into the end zone.  In fact, the only touchdown I can recall him having, he wore all-black and chrome helmets as he waltzed into the end zone for the game-winner against South Carolina.

Shame, shame Upper Deck.

The BatCats hold on to take Game 2 against the Gators of Florida

After winning Game 1 of the 3-game weekend series, the BatCats were in control, up 7-3 entering the bottom of the 9th.  Then the proverbial ish hit the fan.  With two outs and the bases loaded, Florida had a 2-run single, followed by another single that cut the lead to 7-6.  With runners on second and third, the Gators went for the squeeze, but Logan Salow got an out to get the Dub.

UK goes for the sweep in the Swamp over the #6 Gators tomorrow at 12:30.

Ohio Valley Wrestling at the Chow Wagon is Amazing

ovw

But not as amazing as the time Drew Franklin is having in Vegas.  I’d post pictures, but I don’t think any of them are appropriate for the site.  Just check his Twitter and Snap Story and I’m sure you’ll stay entertained.


Davis tries to make 2nd round, EYBL updates from Lexington …

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty

Some notes as we continue to watch UK players in the NBA playoffs …

PELICANS UPDATE: Anthony Davis is doing his part to keep the Pelicans in their first round matchup versus Golden State, scoring 19 points and grabbing six rebounds. Unfortunately, for this season, it may not be enough as New Orleans trails 67-54 at the half. A loss would end their season. Still, the experience and strides the Pelicans have made this year will go far in making them a force in seasons to come.

EYBL UPDATE: Mailk Monk vs. Jayson Tatum became, as the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts called it, “a free-throw shooting contest.” Monk scored 19 points while Tatum scored 20. Neither shot well from the field (Monk was 3-13 while Tatum was 4-13) but each missed just one free throw, going 25-27 combined. Monk’s Arkansas Wings team beat Tatum and the St. Louis Eagles, 78-69.

Of course, none of this will make any difference. The pair are still two of the highest regarded prospects in the land, and UK would love to have either. Or both. We would always love both.

DEVON/LEAH STILL UPDATE: Remember the Stills? He’s the father, the one who plays for the Bengals as a backup so he can afford medical care for his daughter, who was suffering from cancer? Check this out: She’s in remission, together they helped flip the coin at Temple’s Spring Game, and then she scored a touchdown. You have to see it.

Nick Roush will be by later with a full recap from the day…

Go Big Blue!

 


Happy Birthday Andre Woodson, plus EYBL updates …

woodson1

Big Happy 31st Birthday to Andre Woodson, the former UK quarterback who beat No. 9 Louisville and No. 1 LSU in the same season and won back-to-back bowl games for the Cats.

Andre did a lot while he was a Wildcat, but what he may be most famous for is completely transforming himself into one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC. His 2007 campaign is one of the finest we’ve ever seen. His teams beat the aforementioned top 10 squads, as well as Florida State in the team’s second straight Music City Bowl victory.

Watch a GREAT CSTV story on Woodson talking about his transformation:

Here’s Woodson finding Stevie when he got loose (with the Tom Leach call):

 

And here’s a bit longer video of highlights from LSU. It’s hard to not watch all of these:

 

OTHER NOTES:

– Julius Randle reportedly showed up tonight in Lexington for the KBA EYBL. How cool is that? Other folks reportedly there included new EKU assistant Michael Bradley, Scott Padgett, Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress, Devin Booker, Willie Cauley Stein, Kenny Payne, Tony Barbee, Richard Pitino, Billy Donovan, and Tom Izzo.

– At the EYBL, the C-J’s Kyle Tucker called the first half of the Mailk Monk (2/9 FG) and Jayson Tatum (1/6) showdown “ragged,” while others say the defense was good, forcing tough shots from the stars. Both players had nine points at the half.

– IU’s Yogi Farell will decide tomorrow whether he’s staying in school or going to the NBA, the Indy Star says. Should he stay, IU could be very good. Should he go? The second round of the draft awaits, and with it no guaranteed roster spot or money.

More later!

Go Big Blue!


Kentucky vs. Florida: Game Two Primer

UK took the series-opener 3-0 at No. 5 Florida on Friday night (Photo by Tim Casey, Florida)

UK took the series-opener 3-0 at No. 5 Florida on Friday night (Photo by Tim Casey, Florida)

The No. 5 Florida Gators (32-11, 12-7) were blanked for the first time this season as Kentucky (24-16, 9-9) opened the three-game series in Gainesville with a 3-0 victory. The pitching staff, led by Zack Brown, was superb in game one, but the Cats can now solidify themselves as a serious threat in game two.

Today’s game is set for a 7 p.m. first pitch at McKethan Stadium and here is everything you need to know about the matchup:

  • UK came into the weekend ranked fourth in the SEC Eastern Division standings and 3.5 games back from first place. With a 9-9 overall conference record and a 4-3 division record, the Cats are still in fourth place after knocking off Florida. However, with the the top four teams in the East all playing each this weekend, UK can improve its standing with another win or two (no easy task).
  • Offensively, Kentucky and Florida have an identical .301 team batting average, which is near the top of the SEC team statistical rankings. The Gators boast much more power with 44 home runs on the season, while the Cats have just 19. Both teams have given up their fair share of homers, as Florida and Kentucky rank 13th and 14th, respectively, in the SEC with 32 and 37 home runs allowed.
  • Defensively, the two teams are polar opposites. Florida ranks first in the SEC with a .985 fielding percentage and just 25 errors, while Kentucky ranks next to last with a .965 percentage and 56 errors.
  • The game features some of the top sluggers in the SEC. UK’s Ka’ai Tom and Kyle Barrett and Florida’s Josh Tobias all rank in the top 10 in the conference in batting average, hitting .383, .368, and .359, respectively. In the RBI category, Tom (44) is joined by Gators JJ Shwarz (47) and Harrison Bader (43) in the top three of the SEC.
  • The tentative pitching matchup should be pretty even. UK will send junior righty Dustin Beggs to the mound, while Florida will start sophomore righty Dane Dunning. On the season, Beggs has a 5-2 record and a 2.78 ERA opposed to Dunning who is 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA.
  • You can catch all the action on SEC Network+, available via WatchESPN. Should be a good one so tune in.

@STHowle


Upper Deck Screws up Bud Dupree Card

CDUJnQFWgAEldkD.jpg-large

I will freely admit. I didn’t know that Upper Deck even still made cards. But they do and since they do, one would think they would do it well. Not this time. The Upper Deck NFL Draft card for Bud Dupree is actually Jalen Whitlow. As you can see, the card shows a player diving for the end zone (which maybe should have been a clue for Upper Deck since Dupree is a Defensive player and likely has dove with the ball only a couple of times ever) and the player is wearing #8. Everyone knows that Dupree was #2 with the Big Blue and the player shown is Jalen Whitlow. Dupree himself noticed the mistake and tweeted it out, likely slightly miffed. Getting a chance to see yourself on a card is pretty awesome…unless the player that is presumably you is actually someone altogether different.

I had the same reaction when my first Kentucky radio card showed a picture of Dick Gabriel.

UPDATE: A couple of you have pointed out that it may be #2 on the card as well, as Whitlow also wore #2. That makes sense and would help explain (a little) the Upper Deck goof. But it is still a goof.


More from the Scene at EYBL

As stated earlier, the EYBL event at KBA is the place to be this weekend if you want to watch some hoops. We know Calipari and staff are there as well as Tom Izzo, Billy Donovan and Roy Williams among other coaches. Joining the coaches are some former (still hurts saying that) Cats catching the action:

Cauley-Stein wasn’t just a spectator last night as he turned into Coach WCS:

Please stay away from his car, ladies:

Someone’s gotta convince Harry Giles that Kentucky is a better state than North Carolina, right?

Tatum bounces back from a slow start, but falls in OT according to Chris Fisher:

Keep an eye on this name, BBN:

Not sure Coach Cal ever sleeps. Also, Azubuike is no relation to Kelenna:

Just a reminder if you want to go catch any games this weekend, they are only allowing 300 fans in at a time. It will be a one-in, one-out type of deal, so get there early and be prepared to wait in line.


Updates from Nike EYBL Event – Day 2

malik-monk

We’ve been talking a lot about the Nike EYBL event taking place at the KBA this weekend. Well, this morning it seems like we found a star in Malik Monk. The Courier-Journal’s Kyle Tucker was there and calls Monk the most exciting player in the class of 2016, with Calipari and Kenny Payne glued to watching him score 39 points this morning.

Monk is an explosive scorer and seemingly has range from anywhere inside the gym. He shot 6-for-8 from behind the line while also showing off his athleticism by finishing at the rim in a variety of ways.

Monk is high on Kentucky’s list as evidence of Calipari leaving Indianapolis this morning just to get back to Lexington to see him in person. Monk’s brother played basketball and football at Arkansas, which many people believe will be the only other school in contention to land Monk.

 

jaysontatum

Jayson Tatum is taking the floor around 12:30, which we’re sure Calipari and crew will be watching. More importantly the biggest game of the day comes at 6:30 when Tatum squares off against Monk. If you want to follow along, Chris Fisher is providing live updates on the 247Sports site which can check out right here.

It’s been a somewhat quiet day for Tatum in front of Calipari so far. He might be holding off for tonight’s big game against Monk.

Kyle Tucker at the Courier-Journal also has a great piece breaking down who Kentucky will be watching this weekend.

Stay tuned for more from the EYBL event right here on KSR.


Gunnar Hoak Competing at Rivals Challenge

(H/T @RowlandRivals)

(H/T @RowlandRivals)

The Rivals Quarterback Challenge presented by Under Armour stopped in Cincinnati today and future Kentucky quarterback Gunnar Hoak competed in the event. The quarterbacks competing in the event will be asked to demonstrate their skills in accuracy, velocity, ability to throw on the run and downfield vision.

The Rivals Camp Series takes place in four cities, with the winners advancing to the finals in Baltimore during the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge from June 5-7.

It’s safe to say Kentucky should be just fine at the quarterback position in the future.


Mychal Mulder On Campus

(H/T northpolehoops.com)

(H/T northpolehoops.com)

With Malik Newman signing with Mississippi State, all eyes are on junior college transfer Mychal Mulder, who is visiting Kentucky this weekend. Mulder, is a 6’4″ guard from Vincennes University and would provide Kentucky the wing scoring that the Wildcats are used to having.

Larry Vaught talked to Mulder’s coach at Vincennes, who said he expects the recruiting of Mulder to come to a head very quickly and doesn’t expect it to go on for long. Mulder, who was barely recruited coming out of Ontario in high school turned into an All-American at the junior college level.

This past season Mulder shot 44 percent from deep, something that will be much needed with the loss of Aaron Harrison and Devin Booker. Other schools recruiting Mulder includes Creighton, Wichita State, Minnesota, Indiana and Louisville.

Come on down, Mychal. Lexington is wonderful year round.


The Transformation of John Wall

This was said five years ago about John Wall by holier than thou Colin Cowherd:

“J-Wow’s 30-second yo-dog-I’m-the-man, out-of-control-style told me all I need to know,” Cowherd said back in 2010 regarding Wall’s egregious violation of the NBA’s sacred pregame ceremony. “Not a sharp guy, all about him.”

You gleaned all that from a dance? Yo dog, you’re the man!”

Five years later everyone who is a John Wall fan would kindly like Cowherd to shut up. Even as of last week Cowherd was still talking about he knows what Wall is as he somewhat struggled in Game 1 against the Raptors despite battling through a shoulder injury. Well, Colin, I also know what John Wall is as a player. He’s one of the best players, no, check that, one of the best players in the NBA right now.

If you disagree, here’s a little snippet of what John Wall has done in the last week during the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Now, this shouldn’t surprise anyone from Kentucky as Wall was a star from the moment he stepped onto the court at Rupp Arena during the 2009-10 season. His personality was contagious as he became a fan favorite and still is beloved throughout the Commonwealth.

(Photo: John Wall, USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo: John Wall, USA TODAY Sports)

It’s not a coincidence that Wall turned the Wizards around quickly after being drafted No. 1 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. In the first three years of Wall’s career, the Wizards lost more games than everyone in the league not named the Charlotte Bobcats or Cleveland Cavaliers sans LeBron James. Wall now has the Wizards on the brink of sweeping the Raptors and in the second round of the NBA Playoffs for the second straight year.

(Photo: Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports)

(Photo: Brad Mills, USA TODAY Sports)

The biggest area of improvement for Wall has been his in-between game, something that many pundits believed would never come for Wall. He’s obviously an uber-athletic guard that can finish at the rim, but he shot nearly 50 percent from the midrange this season.

His passing has been fantastic as well, despite the fact many people see him as a scoring point guard. Wall finished second in the league in assists, averaging 10 per game, just .2 behind Chris Paul for the league lead.

Not bad for a guy who didn’t ‘possess leadership.’

 


UK Softball Game Start Time Moved

Per UK athletics the softball game today against Georgia has been moved from 3 p.m. to 1 p.m. The change in time is due to the inclement weather that is expected across the state today, as officials believe if the game starts at 1, the game will be done before the storm comes. Kentucky is looking to even up the series after losing 3-0 last night to the Bulldogs. It’s the last home series of the year for Kentucky, so make sure to get out to John Cropp Stadium and support them against Georgia.