Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
April 23rd, 2014

UK Fan of the Day Wants Today’s Podcast

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Today’s show had a little bit for everyone–basketball, football, and even a fashion critique of Neal Brown’s UK polo shirt.

In the first hour, we heard Julius Randle’s taped interview from last night, which was AWESOME, by far the most open and candid Julius has been during his time at UK. Here’s the full audio:

In the second hour, Coach Mark Stoops and Offensive Coordinator Neal Brown stopped by to talk spring practice, and in between interviews, we found out Alex Poythress was coming back. There’s a ton of good stuff, so put on those headphones and enjoy.

[LISTEN TO KENTUCKY SPORTS RADIO]


Neal Brown breaks down the quarterback race

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Offensive coordinator Neal Brown and his awesome UK polo shirt also came on the show this morning, and Brown said he’s really pleased with the team’s progress, and that fans will see a “better product” on the field Saturday during the Spring Game. “We’re going to have a better product,” Brown said, teasing that it’s also going to be a “huge” recruiting day. “Some big names are coming in.”

Of course, everyone wants to know about the quarterbacks. Here’s Brown’s breakdown of each QB this spring:

Patrick Towles: “Towles is much improved. Fundamentally, before, he really had a hitch in his delivery, he was slow getting the ball out of his hands, he made big negative plays that would get you beat. He has taken those away. He’s not making those big negative plays. His ball is getting out of his hand faster. He’s got big time arm talent. He’s got as big an arm talent as you’re going to see. He’s a big kid, he can run too. People underestimate his athleticism. He’s a good natural runner.”

Drew Barker: “With Drew, I’ve always gotta remind myself, he’s 13 practices in. He should in high school. He does some things good. He does not carry himself like a high school senior. He came in and attacked, he’s really handled himself well, he’s studied well, he’s put himself in a position to win the job. He’s making too many mistakes right now, but young people do.”

Reese Phillips: “Reese is just steady. You go around, you don’t really notice him, he’s not the biggest guy, but he gets the ball out of his hand fast, he’s the most accurate of the three, and he probably does more things right. Top end talent? Maybe not, but he does a lot of things that your lay fan probably doesn’t notice.”

Brown didn’t say whether or not they’ll name a starter at the end of the spring, but stressed that the staff is ready for someone to step up and claim the job sooner rather than later: “We need somebody to win the job. We’ve trimmed it from four to three. We’d like to trim it some more, and then get into the fall and see. But we’re not going to drag this out. We’re going to name a guy, give him plenty of rope, and let’s go play.”

I’m ready.


Devin Booker is excited about practice

via gulflive.com

At this point, Willie Cauley-Stein, Marcus Lee, and Alex Poythress have announced they will return for next season, making the Cats’ front court absolutely loaded. For maybe the first time at UK, John Calipari will have two elite juniors on his roster, rubbing some major salt in his haters’ wounds and making the BBN a little giddy.

With three decisions (really just two) still to come, incoming freshmen Devin Booker tweeted what most of us are already thinking about next season:

Yeah, it is.


Stoops explains the Jalen Whitlow comments, says he’s pumped for the Spring Game

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Think he’s comfortable with us now?

KSR was live at Spring Practice this morning, and Mark Stoops stopped by in the second hour to talk about his team’s progress. Stoops’ brother, Bob, was one of the surprise visitors this morning, and our Stoops joked that he’s “putting him to work,” complete with a UK pullover. Earlier, he told reporters that his older brother, the head coach at Oklahoma, put on the pullover because he was cold, not because he lost a bet. Mmhmm. Sure.

Overall, Stoops said he’s pleased with his team this spring, and said they’re “much more efficient on both sides of the ball,” mainly because of the improvement at the quarterback position. Stoops praised Patrick Towles in particular for his progress, calling him a “perfect example” of how a redshirt season can help certain players. “I really appreciate what Patrick did,” Stoops said. “He worked hard, and it’s showing.”

When Stoops was on the show a few weeks ago, he notoriously said that if the Cats played a game that day, Jalen Whitlow would be the starting quarterback. A few days later, Whitlow announced he was transferring. What happened? Stoops says he regrets giving Matt a hypothetical answer, but at that very moment, he would have gone with Jalen because he was the most experienced. ”That was a hypothetical,” Stoops said, taking blame for trying to giving the show a soundbite. ”No more good sound bites from me! It was stupid for me to say as a hypothetical. I shouldn’t have said it.” Stoops added he’s sad to see Jalen go, but they had to go in a different direction at QB because of Neal Brown’s system, and Whitlow wasn’t interested in playing wide receiver.

Stoops says he’s pumped for the Spring Game, which is coming up Saturday at 3:30 p.m. While capacity will be limited to 42,500 because of construction to the stadium, Stoops thinks they can still replicate some of the excitement from last year’s record-breaking Spring Game, the benefits of which they’re still reaping. Stoops said he was stunned by all of the feedback they got from the Spring Game from recruits, some of which the marketing staff is using in their latest campaigns:

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Do your part, BBN.


Alex Poythress will return for his junior season

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

BREAKING NEWS! Alex Poythress just announced via press release that he will return to Kentucky for his junior season. Here are his quotes about coming back to school:

“Playing in the NBA has always been a dream of mine, but I want to make sure that I’m NBA-ready before I make that jump,” Poythress said. “By coming back, I’ll be so much closer to earning my degree in business and it will give me another year to prepare my game and my body for the next level.”

John Calipari said he’s excited for Alex, and proud of his decision:

“I’m excited for Alex and the decision he’s arrived at,” head coach John Calipari said. “I’m proud of the work he committed to this past season, on and off the floor, and think he’s ready to take that next step and lead this team next season.”

Welcome back, Alex. We’re proud of you, too.

Three to go…


AJ Legree is transferring, Jeff Badet has a broken fibula

A.J. Legree

Mark Stoops had a double-whammy of bad news for reporters Wednesday morning. Stoops says wide receiver AJ Legree has quit the team and will transfer. The junior caught 19 passes for 210 yards in his two seasons at Kentucky, as well as ten tackles on special teams. When asked about it, Stoops said “We want the guys who want to be here.”

In addition, Stoops announced wide receiver Jeff Badet has a broken fibula and will be out a few months. He’ll be back by the time fall camp starts, but for now, it makes an already thin position even thinner.

Stoops just wrapped up his interview on the show, Neal Brown’s coming up, and Nick Roush will have a full recap from practice later on.


Listen to Julius Randle’s interview on Kentucky Sports Radio

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Last night, Julius Randle taped an interview with Matt and Ryan that just aired on the radio show. In case you missed it, here are some highlights, along with the full interview:

– Julius said he told Cal pretty early on in his senior year that he wanted to attend Kentucky, but said he still wanted to take his other visits. Why did he want to come to UK? “Just the Players-First program. Coach invests into the players more than he invests into winning,” Julius said. “Coach loves to win, we all know he loves to win, but he invests into the players and you as an individual more than I feel like any other coach did, and that’s big time for me and my family.”

– What’s the reason Julius taped the interview on Tuesday night? He has class on Wednesday mornings from 10-noon. When Matt complimented him on that, Julius said academics have always been a priority for him. Eat it, Bobby Knight.

Julius admitted that the Florida game in Gainesville was a low-point of the season, something Willie Cauley-Stein has also said. Why was that the low point, as opposed to South Carolina? Julius said it was a combination of the loss and the disappointment of how their comeback in the second half failed: “We were all a little down just because of how we performed, but we were also down because in that game, we showed spurts of the team we possibly could be.”

– Julius had one answer that was better than all the rest. Matt asked Julius about the UK/UofL game in the Sweet 16 and whether or not the team could feel the animosity between the fan bases, and Julius said it was like the Texas/Oklahoma rivalry, but on a different level. Does he hate Louisville, too? “Yeah, I don’t like Louisville.” YES!

– What’s the first thing Julius is going to do when he gets his first NBA paycheck? “I’m going to do something for my mom,” Julius said. “It’s going to be an amazing feeling. I’ve seen all the sacrifices she’s put in, all the work she’s put in. She’s done a lot for me throughout my life. You can’t really pay her back, but I’ll try to.” (That sound you hear is the ladies of the BBN sighing.)

Enjoy the full interview below:

Want to wish Julius good luck in person? Here’s his autograph tour schedule:

Thursday, April 24 – Wildcat Wearhouse – Ashland 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Friday, April 25 – Hillbilly Days – Pikeville – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 26 – Hillbilly Days – Pikeville – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 26 – Lexington Sports Card – 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 27- Elizabethtown Mall – 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 29 – Tin Roof – Louisville – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.


Calipari visiting 2016 star Jayson Tatum in St. Louis today

Jayson Tatum

After a brief stop at spring practice this morning, John Calipari is off on the recruiting trail. His first stop? St. Louis, where he will visit 2016 shooting guard/small forward Jayson Tatum. Tatum is considered the fourth best player and the second best shooting guard in the 2016 class by 247 Sports Composite, and has offers from all the big schools, including Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Florida, Missouri, Michigan State, and UNC.

Tatum took an unofficial visit to Kentucky last season for Big Blue Madness. This will be Cal’s third trip to see him, and the second time this week he’s stopped in to see at 2016 star. Yesterday, he visited the top player in the 2016 class, Harry Giles. He also checked in on 2015 commitment Charles Matthews in Chicago. On Monday, John Robic visited 2016 PG Quentin Goodin, who will be EYBL teammates with Jayson Tatum this summer.

Tatum will have a full house today, with Cal, Coach K, AND Tom Crean expected to visit. Hopefully the stench of Crean’s desperation clears by the time Cal walks in.


Listen to Julius Randle on KSR, live from Spring Practice (Wednesday Show Thread)

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Good morning and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. You’re in luck, because this is a huge show. Last night, Matt and Ryan taped an interview with Julius Randle to talk about his time at Kentucky and the upcoming draft, AND the gang is live from spring practice to give you the latest on all the happenings.

We’ll air the interview with Julius in the first hour, and in the second hour, we’ll shift to football, with interviews with the coaches and all the behind-the-scenes scoop you’ve been waiting for.

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

Topics include:

– Julius Randle opens up about UK and his future in the NBA

– Dakari decision coming today?

– Alex and the Twins

– Spring football all around

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

KSR Affiliate List

WAIN (93.9 fm) Columbia
WHIR (1230 am) Danville
WCLU (1490 am) Glasgow
WHOP (1230am/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 11am-1pm
WVHI (1330 am) Evansville, IN 5pm-7pm
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 11-1 pm
WHAY (98.3 fm) Whitley City 2-4 pm


Calipari shows up at Spring Practice

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There were two surprise visitors at this morning’s spring practice: Bob Stoops and John Calipari. The Oklahoma coach stopped by to see how his brother was doing, and Cal, in true Cal fashion, showed up in a suit before heading off on the recruiting trail.

Matt, Ryan, and Drew will be doing the radio show live from spring practice in about twenty minutes, so stay tuned to hear more behind-the-scenes scoop.

In the meantime, give that picture your best caption.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: The KSR Records

We have now reached the 8 1/2 year mark here at KSR, with a lot of high points along the way.  When you consider where this website began (MATT’S FIRST EVER POST) and now where it is, with a radio show and summer tour and a national presence, it’s really been an amazing journey.  I thought we could reminisce for a minute about some of the records and interesting nuggets from our time on the internet.  Hope you enjoy reading back at some of the great posts of the past.

MOST COMMENTED ON POSTS
14,776: UK/IU Game Thread (December 9th, 2006)
3,154: Officially the Low Point for UK Fandom (July 14th, 2006)
2,414: Confessions from Canmore, Alberta (August 23rd, 2006)
1,799: Fan Outfitters College Basketball Fan Contest (January 12th, 2011)
1,795: A Tale of Two States (August 20th, 2006)

MOST COMMENTED ON BY YEAR
2005: My Conversation with 2007 UK Basketball Prospect Aaron Pogue (992 comments, December 20th)
2006: UK/IU Game Thread (14,776 comments, December 9th)
2007: Cats Make Auburn Cry, Win 84-57 (860 comments, January 10th)
2008: Kansas State Predictions and Game Thread (696 comments, November 28th)
2009: Gator Game Thread (656 comments, March 7th)
2010: Well That Sucked (630 comments, March 27th)
2011: Fan Outfitters College Basketball Fan Contest (1,799 comments, January 12th)
2012: Dick Vitale! Andy Katz! Tuesday Show Thread (701 comments, March 27th)
2013: KSR Tour Stop #19: Lexington (891 comments, July 25th)
2014: KSR is Back, Giving Away 2 SEC Tourney Books (690 comments, March 10th)

POSTS BY AUTHOR (Those over 1,000 career posts)
Matt Jones: 7,782
Drew Franklin: 5,949
Tyler Thompson: 4,883
Beisner: 4,048
Bryan the Intern: 1,689
Ally Tucker: 1,146

TOTAL KSR POSTS BY YEAR
2014: 2,948
2013: 7,996
2012: 6,838
2011: 5,624
2010: 4,402
2009: 4,075
2008: 2,765
2007: 1,465
2006: 1,049
2005: 96

MOST MENTIONED PEOPLE (*keep in mind multiple people can be mentioned in same post)
John Calipari: 4,994 posts
John Wall: 3,107 posts
Anthony Davis: 2,409 posts
Terrence Jones: 1,781 posts
Patrick Patterson: 1,770 posts
Demarcus Cousins: 1,651 posts
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: 1,439 posts
Nerlens Noel: 1,436 posts
Darius Miller: 1,434 posts
Brandon Knight: 1,396 posts
Mark Stoops: 1,369 posts
Joker Phillips: 1,316 posts
Billy Gillispie: 1,294 posts
Julius Randle: 1,278 posts
Randall Cobb: 1,023 points
Other Notables
Rich Brooks: 821 posts
Tubby Smith: 738 posts
Mitch Barnhart: 592 posts


KSR’s Top 10 Tweets of the Day

(Darrell Bird | Catspause)

(Darrell Bird | Catspause)

It’s time again for KSR’s Top Tweets of the day. You can participate by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTop10 or just by simply tweeting @KYsportsradio. We will focus most of our attention on Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as usual, there are no limits to our madness.
#10 Mike Greenberg

No. Just no. No grown man should be doing this. No.

 

 

#9 DrewFrog

Well. This should go well.

 

 

#8 Pat Forde

I really want some mac and cheese right now.

 

 

#7 Ryan Lemond

Ryan needs to lay off the Body Shapes Medical

 

 

#6 Patrick Towles

The struggle is real.

 

 

#5 Brad Calipari

If I were Booker I’d watch it….Brad might tell his mom not to make him any brownies.

 

 

#4 Cullen Smith

I would say that dude has no chance compared to Willie, but then I saw his shoe game.

 

 

#3 Suzy Bass

The next Anthony Davis.

 

 

#2 Brad Woodcock

Speaking of shoe game. (or lack there of)

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#1 Aaron Flener

Matt is contemplating his move to the NBA. KSR was nice while it lasted. (PS- how long did it take you to notice Willie was in the picture.)

@Sealey_KSR


Julius Randle’s Wednesday News and Views

 Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images

On Tuesday, Julius Randle announced he would enter the NBA Draft. It was by far the most predictable of the eight decisions we’ve been waiting on, but it wasn’t one taken lightly, according to Julius. In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Julius said he enjoyed his time at Kentucky so much that he actually considered coming back, despite being a projected top five pick. Julius spoke fondly of the season, and how he and his teammates became “brothers” by the end, coming up one game short of their ultimate goal. In fact, that great story Aaron Harrison so famously spoke about? Julius says he’ll tell it to his grandkids one day:

“It was, like I said, an experience I’ll never forget. Just all the adversity that we went through all year, and to finally have the opportunity to play for a national championship and to see how we came together during a postseason run, it’s just something I’ll never forget. And like I said, it’ll always — I’ll grow old one day and I’ll be able to tell my children or grandchildren about something that I did when I was 19 years old. It’ll always be a memory for me.”

Randle is now John Calipari’s twelfth one-and-done suceeder-and-proceeder at Kentucky, joining an elite group of freshmen, all ten of which have been drafted in the first round. Six of those were top ten picks, and Julius will surely be the next. He led all players in the country in double-doubles this season with 24, the second most by a freshmen in Division I history, behind only Michael Beasley with 28. All of that while being double and tripled teamed more than any other UK player I can remember. Cal calls it getting “Shaq’d,” and says that because of that, he believes Randle will be an even better pro than a college player. I’ve gotta agree.

Even five years into the John Calipari era, saying goodbye to players after only one season hasn’t gotten easier. It’s a cruel process, especially for a fan base as passionate as the Big Blue Nation. To us, these players are family, and it seems like it’s only when we really get to know them best that it’s time for them to head out the door. Until the rule changes, sadly, that’s just how it goes. But, over the past five years, I think the BBN has also learned that goodbye isn’t really goodbye. Players make a point to come back to campus, not only to get their degree, but to help the program and Calipari out, and reconnect with fans. James and Julius are good kids, and I’d expect to see them both at pro camps and alumni games down the line.

In fact, Julius couldn’t have been more complimentary of the program and Calipari in the press conference, calling Cal his “biggest supporter,” and thanking him and the rest of the staff for the “countless hours” they spent working with him, “night in and night out.” Randle added that when Cal told him that playing at Kentucky would be “the hardest thing you’ve ever done,” he didn’t really believe him, but once he was “in the fire,” he found out it was true, and more than anything, it’s helped him prepare for what’s next, on the court, and in life: “I think that’s really grown me as a person more than even as a basketball player, I think you can say, because I learned how to deal with things and I can apply it to life as well.”

Want to wish Julius good luck in person? Here’s his autograph tour schedule:

Thursday, April 24 – Wildcat Wearhouse – Ashland 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Friday, April 25 – Hillbilly Days – Pikeville – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 26 – Hillbilly Days – Pikeville – 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 26 – Lexington Sports Card – 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 27- Elizabethtown Mall – 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 29 – Tin Roof – Louisville – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Randle doing his interview with Matt and Ryan Monday night.

Randle doing his interview with Matt and Ryan Monday night.

On Tuesday night, Randle taped an interview with Matt and Ryan, which will be air during the morning show (live from spring practice). I can’t wait to hear Ryan ask him about his cramps.

Who’s next?

Here’s the rundown on the latest rumblings in each player’s decision:

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ALEX POYTHRESS: Poythress met with Calipari on Monday afternoon, and from what we’ve heard, the meeting went well. Our Alex Poythress expert, Ryan Lemond, says he still expects Alex will be back because that’s the decision Alex wants to make. Kyle Tucker, who previously had said Alex’s decision may be contingent on the Harrison Twins because of concerns about playing time, said on Tuesday that’s not the case anymore, and that Alex’s meeting with Cal cleared up any issues about that. The bottom line is, Alex isn’t even on most mock drafts, and could not only improve his stock by coming back, he can get his degree. Of those that are left, that makes his decision simplest of all to me.

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DAKARI JOHNSON: Dakari’s a bit of a different case, considering he’s projected as a solid second round pick, with some scouts saying he could slip into the end of the first round. However, Dakari’s upside is so big that he can improve his stock more than any of the others by coming back. He needs to decide whether he wants to work on his conditioning and skills at UK or most likely, in the D-League is he goes out. We’re hearing his decision will come on Wednesday.

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THE TWINS: We know this is true: on Tuesday afternoon/evening, the Twins and their dad had a meal somewhere in Lexington. You laugh, but the Twins’ decision is by far the most closely followed of the bunch, to the point that we got several “Twins spottings” throughout the day, which really only told us this: their dad came back to Kentucky with them. Their dad is very close to them, even coming to Lexington during one point of the season to help them through some struggles, so this isn’t surprising to me. At some point on Tuesday, the Twins had their meeting with Cal, and outside of that, there’s no use guessing what will happen. They’re not talking.

The Spring Game is coming…

One crappy thing about these draft decisions has been it’s bumped the Spring Game to the side, but over the next few days, we’ll try to shift our focus to football as much as we can. As I mentioned earlier, Matt, Ryan, and Drew will be live from spring practice in the morning. During the first hour, we’ll hear Julius’ interview and talk about the draft, and in the second hour, they’ll shift the focus to football and talk to Neal Brown and Mark Stoops.

See you then.


Julius Randle Reaction Round-Up

Well today it finally happened. The moment we all knew was coming ever since young Mr. Randle put on a UK hat one year ago in his Dallas press conference. Still, knowing it was coming doesn’t make it any easier. As a key part of a run to the title game Randle earned his spot among the legends of Kentucky and will go down as one of the most beloved players of the Cal era. With Julius declaring let’s take a look at what the pundits had to say about his decision:

[ESPN Via AP: Julius Randle Enters The NBA Draft]

Forward Julius Randle will leave Kentucky after one season to enter the NBA draft, where he is expected to be among the top five selections.

With five days left before the deadline for underclassmen to declare, the 6-foot-9 Dallas native announced the decision many expected even before he arrived as part of Kentucky’s best-ever recruiting class. Projected as a lottery pick from the outset, Randle solidified his draft stock by leading Kentucky (29-11) to the NCAA final behind a string of double-doubles despite being double- and triple-teamed.

[UK Athletic's Guy Ramsey: Quickly as it went by, Randle won't forget time at UK]

The 6-foot-9 forward arrived with a five-star pedigree and delivered. He was a dominant force from the beginning of the season onward in spite of facing double and triple teams after a 27-point, 13-rebound performance against Michigan State. Randle averaged 15.0 points and 10.4 rebounds, garnering Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year honors in the process.

“I would say my one year here was fantastic because (John Calipari) goes into your home when he recruits you and he says, ‘It’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done,’ ” Randle said. ” ‘You’re going to work the hardest you ever did.’ You say OK, but you may not believe it. But once you’re in the fire, what he said is true.”

[SB Nation: Julius Randle declares, but how good of a pro prospect is he?]

Randle’s combination of strength and touch around the rim made him a force in college, but there are concerns about him at the next level. It’s mostly because he struggles finishing over length due to a wingspan that will be one of the shortest among starting NBA power forwards.

Another concern for Randle centers on his ability to develop a face-up game. As more and more power forwards are asked to stretch the floor to keep the paint unclogged, Randle is going to have to focus on improving his range if he’s going to be an All-Star-caliber player.

Randle is on to the association and I couldn’t be happier for the kid. He is making his dream a reality and it’s a great thing to see. What was your reaction to Randle’s announcement?


Julius Randle taped his interview with KSR tonight…

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…and it was awesome, according to Matt and Ryan. Randle sat down with the guys for about a half hour to talk about his career at UK and his future in the NBA, and Matt said he opened up more than he has all year, which resulted in a great interview.

Tune into KSR tomorrow morning to hear it. The show will be live from spring practice, so there’s plenty to get excited about.


Julius Randle’s top moments at Kentucky

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It’s time to say goodbye to Julius Randle. Earlier today, Randle announced he will enter the draft, hardly a surprise given that he’s a top five prospect. Randle came to UK as the most heralded of a highly touted freshmen class, and lived up to all of our lofty expectations. Before we break out the Sarah McLachlan tape, let’s look back at some of the best moments from Julius’ career at Kentucky…

The second half of the Michigan State game

The Champions Classic was billed as the nation’s first look at three highly-touted freshmen: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle. Randle struggled in the first half against Michigan State, but stormed out in the second, leading a Kentucky comeback that came up just short. Randle was dominant, scoring 23 of his 27 points in the second half to go along with 13 rebounds. He fought off double teams and showed that when he’s on–really on–he’s unstoppable.

The first half against Louisville (and I guess the cramps)

On today’s show, Ryan Lemond said he’ll remember Julius Randle most for his cramps during the Louisville game. I’d argue that Randle’s 17 points during the first half of that game were much more memorable. Randle manhandled (or manRANDLEd?? Eh???) Chane Behanan and Montrezl Harrell in the paint before the cramps sidelined him.

It’s okay, Ryan. I will say that because of Randle, I learned more about cramp remedies this season than in any of my twenty-nine years of being a woman.

The game winner against LSU

In terms of big game moments, this is at the top for me. Down to LSU by one with eleven seconds left in overtime, Andrew Harrison kicked it out to James Young on the perimeter, who drove the lane and slipped, the ball flying loose. Julius scooped it up and in to the basket with 3.9 seconds left, giving the Cats the win. Randle had only eight points in the game, but the last two mattered the most.

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The spin move

As much as we love Julius, that spin move had everyone in the Bluegrass groaning by March. Julius’ spin move worked wonders against high school competition, but after a few games, everyone had it figured out. However, in small doses and against the right matchups, it can be deadly, as we learned during the Wichita State game.

The putback dunk against Wichita State

After Cleanthony Early hit yet another three to put Wichita State up by nine at the start of the second half, things didn’t look good for the Kentucky. However, in what became their trademark, the Cats clawed back, led by Julius Randle. In one of those moves that only he could pull off, Julius grabbed the rebound off James Young’s missed jumper and slammed it in one-handed. That sparked a 10-0 run by the Cats, and eventually, the win. It’s only fitting that for Julius and this team, a rebound started it all.

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All of his faces

I couldn’t pick just one, but Cal did:

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The assist to Aaron Harrison against Louisville

A common refrain this season was “PASS THE BALL, JULIUS!,” so I thought it fitting to include the one pass that was above all the rest. With under a minute left against Louisville, Randle spun into the paint only to be faced by five defenders, so he passed the ball out to Aaron Harrison, who was wide open on the perimeter. The rest is sweet, Cardinal-beating history.

What’s your favorite Julius Randle memory?


Coach Naivar was Mic’d Up up practice yesterday

He wants your fantasy points!!!