It’s the start of a new month, which means it’s time to look back and →
By Stuart Hammer on ©4:30 pm
As we enter December, the college basketball non-conference schedule is nearing its final stages. Most teams have faced off against a headliner foe by now, while others still have more waiting in the wings. One such team is Kentucky, which has four of its next five opponents receiving votes in the AP Poll. Providence was a quality warm up, and that victory will be a boost for the RPI come tournament time because the Friars are a solid team. But this next stretch of games can really set the Cats up well, not only for conference play, but also to help solidify a No. 1 seed in March.
Here is a brief rundown of the schedule and what you can expect to see out of each team. The arrows indicate how much better or worse the teams are compared to Kentucky in each respective stat. You’ll notice outside shooting and assists are the biggest weakness Kentucky has in these matchups. But that’s not exactly the bread and butter of this hard-nosed squad.
Fri, Dec 6 – (20) Baylor Bears
Tue, Dec 10 – (31) Boise State Broncos
Sat, Dec 14 – (29) North Carolina Tar Heels
Sat, Dec 21 – Belmont Bruins
Sat, Dec 28 – (7) Louisville Cardinals
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©3:00 pm
There were some major recruiting developments this week, with Kentucky picking back up on their recruitment of Rashad Vaughn, a 2014 wing player from Las Vegas. While in Vegas to see Stephen Zimmerman, Orlando Antigua stopped by to see Vaughn, 24/7 Composite’s 12th best player in the 2014 class. Vaughn has offers from UNC, Kansas, UNLV, Iowa State, and Baylor, but told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi that he plans to visit Kentucky. He hasn’t set anything up yet, but UK is trying to get him to come to campus for an official visit. To read more, go on over to ESPN Insider.
That’s huge news for what could now be a pretty great 2014 class.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:00 pm
The UK coaching staff visited Matt Elam last weekend, and he is the number one remaining target on UK’s 2014 wish list. 24/7 Sports is reporting that Elam is unlikely to take his official visit to Alabama this month, which, if true, is huge news for the Cats.
Elam will take his official visit to Kentucky next weekend, with Drew Barker and the rest of the 2014 commitments. Here’s hoping they show him a good time.
By Drew Franklin on ©1:00 pm
U of L assistant coach and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse rewards member Clint Hurtt recently took a jab at Kentucky football on his Facebook page when he wrote, “Alright I had some idiot Kentucky fan say to me we need to get ready for the Wildcats because their young players got better because they play in the SEC … I said correction you don’t play in the SEC you just participate. You only play when you actually WIN.”
It didn’t take long for Hurtt to delete the idiotic comment (via Bat-phone, I assume) but not before it made its way around the internet. On this morning’s radio show, Matt asked Mark Stoops about the message and his response, though very brief, was brilliant.
“Do you really want me to respond to Clint Hurtt?” Stoops asked. “That’s too easy of a target. Come on, Matt. I can’t respond to him.”
He said it one more time, just in case some of the listeners didn’t get the message.
“It’s too easy of a target,” he reiterated.
By saying he can’t response, Mark Stoops delivered a perfect response.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:25 pm
Next season the Kentucky football team will go through its 3rd season in a row without a definite starting Quarterback. Jalen Whitlow and Max Smith traded duties throughout the year in-between injuries, Reese Kemp and Patrick Towles took the year off with a redshirt, and “God’s gift to Kentucky football” Drew Barker is enrolling in the Spring and will be available for Spring practice. Barker has been the talk of the town throughout, but can a true freshman start at Quarterback for the Cats next year in the difficult SEC? “Absolutely,” was Coach Stoops’ answer this morning on Kentucky Sports Radio.
Coach Stoops also said that he does not expect any on the long list of 5 QBs to leave the team, making for an interesting competition during Spring practice.
By Nick Roush on ©11:35 am
During Mark Stoops’ first postseason interview this morning on KSR, Stoops said that all of his assistant coaches will be returning next season. The win/loss column does not depict it well, but Stoops is very pleased with his coaches’ performance, even giving one a promotion. Vince Marrow will now officially serve as the team’s recruiting coordinator. Marrow’s title is now rather extensive, adding to his role as tight ends’ coach and NFL liaison.
There’s plenty more juicy news coming soon, and don’t forget to listen to the full interview on podcast.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:30 am
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:55 am
Good morning and welcome to the Thursday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, coming to you live from Memphis, Tennessee. Matt, Drew, and Aaron Flener stopped in Memphis last night for some rest before the #KSRAcrossAmerica tour rolls on, hopefully ahead of Friday’s big ice storm.
Today’s show is extra special, because MARK STOOPS will call in during the second hour to talk about his first season as UK’s head football coach and where the Cats go from here. Be sure to tune in to hear his first interview since the season ended last Saturday.
Join in the fun and give them a call at (502) 571-1080.
Today’s topics include:
– Getting ready for Baylor
– What’s up, Memphis?
– Winter Storm Cleon trying to ruin all our fun
– Much more…
KSR Affiliate List
WAIN (93.9 fm) Columbia
WHIR (1230 am) Danville
WCLU (1490 am) Glasgow
WHOP (95.3 fm) Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060 am) Jamestown
WLAP (630 am) Lexington
WFTG (1400 am) London
WKJK (1080 am) Louisville
WFMW (730 am/94.9 fm) Madisonville
WFTM (1240 am) Maysville
WKYM (101.7 fm) Monticello
WMSK (1550 am) Morganfield
WLME (102.7 fm) Owensboro
WKYH (600 am) Paintsville
WLSI (900 am) Pikeville
WPRT (960 am) Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240 am) Somerset
WTCW (920 am) Whitesburg
WBTH (1400 am) Williamson, WV
On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…
WBGN (1340 am) Bowling Green 3-5 pm
WMTL (870 am) Leitchfield 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570 am) Morgantown 3-5 pm
WRIL (106.3 fm) Middlesboro Thur 8-10 pm
WPAD (99.5 fm/1560 am) Paducah 5-7 pm
By Bryan the Intern on ©9:00 am
It is still incredibly early in the season to start comparing players on this year’s team to those of the past 4 years, but there is no doubt Julius Randle is likely to go down as one of Calipari’s best players in his time at Kentucky. While it seems very unlikely he will end with the accolades that Anthony Davis had, I tend to think he appears to be the best offensive player we have seen at Kentucky in 5 years. So below I put what I thought were the other contenders for best player ON THE OFFENSIVE FLOOR ONLY since 2009-10. That is why total rebounding is not listed, only offensive rebounding. Steals and blocks also not listed.
I came up with 6 serious contenders (not including Randle). And since I know it will be said, no I did not include Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG’s game was so much more than just offense. It was passion, heart, leadership, etc etc. But in the end, he averaged a little over 11ppg and under 2.0 apg in his 1 season. He wasn’t a dominant offensive player like the 6 guys below.
16.7 ppg, 6.5 apg
Off. RPG: 0.8
Highest Point Total: 25
Lowest Point Total: 6
20+ point games: 8 of 37 games
15.1 ppg, 1.0 apg
Off. RPG: 4.1
Highest Point Total: 27
Lowest Point Total: 5
20+ point games: 4 of 38 games
14.3 ppg, 0.9 apg
Off. RPG: 3.1
Highest Point Total: 23
Lowest Point Total: 4
20+ point games: 6 of 38 games
17.3 ppg, 4.2 apg
Off RPG: 0.6
Highest Point Total: 30
Lowest Point Total: 2
20+ point games: 14 of 38 games
Terrence Jones (2 seasons)
14.0 ppg, 1.5 apg
Off RPG: 2.5
Highest Point Total: 35
Lowest Point Total: 0
20+ point games: 12 of 76 games
14.1 ppg, 1.2 apg
Off RPG: 2.9 rpg
Highest Point Total: 28
Lowest Point Total: 3
20+ point games: 6 of 40 games
18.1 ppg, 2.1 apg
Off RPG: 4.7 rpg
Highest Point Total: 27
Lowest Point Total: 10
20+ point games: 4 of 8 games
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:00 pm
Maybe it’s because I was around Aaron Flener for part of the day and like usual, he was dressed in golf clothes, but this trick golf shot jumped out at me while looking for a News and Views honoree. Matt Wheatcroft played in the British Par-3 Championship a few months back, but this ridiculous shot is just now making the rounds on the internet. Wheatcroft found himself almost out of bounds and instead of accepting an unplayable lie and coping with a bogey, he decided to get all Michael Jordan on the ball, bouncing it off fence post and unbelievably, mere inches from the hole.
Bonus points for Brian Barnes’ getup. Those are some tall socks.
Busy day around these parts, so let’s get to the news and views.
Julius Randle is ready for his homecoming
One of the storylines of UK’s trip to Dallas this weekend is Julius Randle’s homecoming. Randle will return home to Dallas for one of the first times since coming to UK this past summer, and several of his teammates have given him their extra tickets so more of his family members and friends can attend the game. When speaking to the media today, Randle said that playing in his home state is a dream come true:
“I would say it’s a dream of mine just to be able to come back to my home state and be able to play in front of family and friends and fans in the city too, so I’m looking forward to it.”
In fact, Julius said that he knew while UK was recruiting him that the Baylor game and the Final Four would take place at Cowboys Stadium. Now that he’s a Cat, he said that getting back to Dallas a second time this season for the Final Four is “the most important thing this year.”
The bigger the stage, the harder Julius plays, so expect a big game out of him Friday night. Hopefully the same goes for the Harrison Twins, who hail from just outside Houston, Texas.
Everyone’s excited to play in Cowboys Stadium
I’ll be honest: half of the reason I’m so excited to go to Dallas is to see
Cowboys Stadium AT&T Stadium Cowboys Stadium. “Jerry World” is downright fascinating to me, from the spaceship-like exterior to the giant jumbotron that spans almost the entire field. On Wednesday, John Calipari admitted that he’s also excited to play in the stadium, and not only because it’s where this season’s Final Four will take place:
“We aren’t going to have 80,000 there but my hope is that because of the games that are being played there, everybody is ranked, it’s going to be a terrific environment. I haven’t been in the building but everybody tells me it’s just ridiculous. They are moving the court to one side, but the court will be raised, so it will be like that kind of environment. I am excited.”
Kentucky boy Dominique Hawkins also gushed about the chance to see, it calling it a “neat experience” for a “small-town kid”:
“It’s going to be a neat experience for me. I’m just a small-town kid from here and going to Dallas Cowboys Stadium is insane. I never expected to be playing in a stadium that big and that’s that well known. It’s just going to be amazing to play there.”
Dominique added that he hopes to see a few celebrities in the audience. Any guesses as to which VIPs may show up?
The Ice Storm cometh
For those of you traveling to Dallas, there’s no sugarcoating it: travel may be difficult on Friday. Winter Storm Cleon (yes, they are naming them now) is rolling across the Midwest, and is knocking on Dallas’ door. They’re expecting ice in Dallas, but thanks to warm temperatures on Wednesday, it may not be as bad as expected. If you have a flight from Lexington/Louisville to Dallas on Thursday and early Friday, you may be okay, but any shift in the storm’s projection could change things drastically. Right now, they’re saying there could be as much as 1/4″ inch of ice in Dallas through Friday night, so please check your flight status and if you’re driving, BE CAREFUL. (Hear me, Matt, Drew, and Aaron?) I am a bit of a weather nerd, so I’m channeling my inner Bill Meck and staying on top of the situation as best I can.
What you’ve missed on Funkhouser
There’s some awesome stuff happening on our pop culture site, Funkhouser. Check it out before you’re even more out of the loop:
“The Anglo Files: Five British Television Shows You’ll Love (That Aren’t Downton Abbey, Doctor Who or Sherlock)”: While you’re stranded at home in the upcoming ice storm, why not discover a few new TV shows? Funkhouser editor CM Tomlin put together a great list of cool British TV shows to try out to tap your inner Anglophile this winter.
“Ho! Ho! Ho! It’s Time for the December Don LaFontaine Awards”: Review the latest movie trailers with JD Holler (Bonus points for the Jennifer Lawrence Photo)
Plenty more where that came from: Take me to Funkhouser!
I don’t understand North Carolina
As of this posting, they lead #1 Michigan State by 10 on the road. How is this the same team that lost to UAB and Belmont??
The UK football staff visited Blake Bone and Mike Edwards on Wednesday
The UK football coaching staff is currently making the rounds visiting their 2014 commitments. On Wednesday night, that included wide receiver Blake Bone and safety Mike Edwards, who was bumped up to a 4-star by Rivals earlier in the day:
Vince Marrow is huge.
Mark Stoops will be on KSR Thursday morning
Finally, Mark Stoops will be making an appearance on KSR Thursday morning to talk about his first season as coach, what they’re working on in the offseason, and the future of the program. The guys will be live from Memphis to take his call, so tune in to hear Stoops and some stories from the road. And please, prepare for Cleon.
See you then.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:30 pm
It’s no secret that student attendance hasn’t been great at football and basketball games this year. On last night’s KSR minute, Matt sounded off about the issue, calling the students out for not coming out for UK’s game against Tennessee.
Cold weather is not an excuse.
By Corey Nichols on ©10:00 pm
Beep boop on the nose.
It’s not been a great week of news for our NBA Cats, as many are facing injury, or worse, the D-League. While struggles with health and fickle coaches can be difficult, life isn’t all bad for these guys:
-Anthony Davis left the first quarter of a game with a fracture in his left hand earlier this week. Proving that some bonds are stronger than family, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has now followed suit with a left-handed fracture of his own. What, like going #1 and #2 in the Draft didn’t make them close enough, now they gotta go break their same hand together? It’s like they just now saw Stand by Me and it changed their lives. Both players are expected to be out 4-6 weeks, which is just enough time to come spend some time in Lexington mentoring our young Cats.
-Marquis Teague has had a roller-coaster time this week, after the Bulls both sent him to, and then recalled him from the D-League in the span of a few hours. Being sent to the D-League is frustrating enough, but I’m sure Marquis is most relieved that he doesn’t have to play in Iowa after getting used to the cozy metropolitan life in Chicago.
-DeMarcus Cousins was not making fun of Derrick Rose. He really cannot stress that enough.
Let me clear this up now! In no way shape or form was I taking a shot at drose! Stop trying to make a story!!!
— demarcus cousins (@boogiecousins) December 4, 2013
-Rajon Rondo is still hurt, and the Celtics still suck. Brad Stevens is still trying to figure out how he can get a Rondo for Gordon Hayward trade out from under Danny Ainge.
-John Wall, Eric Bledsoe, and Anthony Davis are all making notable Fantasy Basketball impacts, which you would know about if micro-managing imaginary rosters four times a week for no measurable benefit was your thing.
Oh, and in case you were looking for updates on former Louisville players, I hear that Peyton Siva’s Genesis Diamonds commercial is still airing in the 502. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice.