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February 9th, 2016

Will Jackson has been Dismissed from the Football Team

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Redshirt freshman cornerback Will Jackson has been dismissed from the Kentucky football team for a violation of team rules, a UK spokesman confirmed to Jon Hale of The Courier-Journal.

A product of the Washington D.C. area, Jackson was a late addition to the 2015 class after experiencing a rash of defections near National Signing Day.  A hulking, strong corner, Freddie Maggard was a big proponent of the raw talent, excited to see his development.  Unfortunately, that will not be at Kentucky.

Jackson’s absence should not be detrimental to the depth chart.  Two members of his recruiting class — Chris Westry and Derrick Baity — finished the year as starters with fellow freshman Kei Beckham redshirting.  Sophomore Jared Tucker is in the mix, J.D. Harmon will be back this fall for his Senior campaign and three of the best ’16 signees are cornerbacks.


WATCH Katina Powell on KSR

 

Due to length, the interview has been broken up into four parts for your viewing pleasure.

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Miss Katina Powell’s KSR interview? Here’s what happened

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Katina Powell just wrapped up her interview with Matt on KSR, and it’s all anyone in the Commonwealth can talk about today. Nick will have full video up on the site soon, but until then, here are some notes….

Who was the player that first opened to the door to Minardi Hall?

One of the most interesting moments of the interview came when Katina described her first trip to Minardi Hall. She said a player opened the door for the girls, but apparently Chuck Smrt, the investigator UofL hired to look into the allegations, told her it was a different player than she originally thought.

“We were let in by a player,” Powell said. “I don’t want to say [which player] because once I spoke with NCAA — or Chuck Smrt — he said it wasn’t the player that I said.”

That means that Smrt knew a player opened the door, validating that it did, in fact, happen.

The line heard around the Bluegrass

I’ve already posted the quote everyone in the state’s talking about, but because of that, it’s worth repeating. Powell said that she dealt with Andre McGee until McGee left Louisville for the University of Missouri-Kansas City, after which she dealt with “Coach Mike,” who had some very interesting demands for her.

“He was just telling me the type of girls that he wanted. He wanted white girls with big butts and big breasts and girls that could squirt to the ceiling and you know, things like that.”

😳 This will rank up there with “down my leg” and “15 seconds” in UofL quotes I can’t unhear.

The ledger was compiled later

Powell brought her journals with her to the show, and a big point of contention since the book came out was that the ledger (record of payments) looked as though it was done all at once, not after each show over the years. Powell confirmed that she compiled the ledger in 2013 from years of notes.

“Yes, and let me explain that. It was done in one sitting,” Powell said. “When I say that I did it as a I went, if you look at the top of my journals, you ‘ll see the amount that was paid at the top. I went back because I wanted to count up how many times I’ve done it and how much was paid and that’s how I did it. Then I sat down one day and went back in all my journals and counted up how many times I did it and how much I was paid and that’s why it was written in one sitting.”

Powell also confirmed that the $10,000 figure she mentioned in the book was only money SHE received, not money that was paid to other dancers.

Powell says she had a sexual relationship with one of the players

But declined to say who.

Peyton Siva only came to one party

Powell confirmed that Chane Behanan, Montrezl Harrell, Russ Smith, Chris Smith, Terrence Jennings, George Goode, and Wayne Blackshear all attended parties, and that Peyton Siva only came to one, near the end.

“He came to the last — close to the last party. He was leaving and he came in and we were shocked because he never had come to parties. You never see Siva. He came to that one party and that was it.”

Powell said that more players attended the parties than the ones she listed, but she couldn’t keep track.

“Right, there were a lot of players that came in,” Powell said. “The only one that I could say that wouldn’t come was Siva because, you know, once you see a lot of the players, you start to think they all look the same, as far as a lot of the white players or — I knew pretty much all the black players. I’m not trying to be racist. I knew the black players. Some of the white players would just step in, come in and do various things and leave back out.”

Powell’s answer about employing her daughters

Powell has been honest and up front about the fact that her daughters performed in shows for her. Today, she maintained that her daughters were “grown” (18 and over) when they started performing, but that one was 17 when she “started picking up money.” The question many of us have been asking is, as a mother, how could she willfully employ her daughters in activities like this?

“My daughters wanted to do it is what people don’t understand,” Powell said. “It was kids their age. They were high school kids, they were coming into college, this was a college setting, the guys weren’t that much older, they were not 17 and having sex with anybody.”

“A lot of parents don’t want to see a lot of their kids do a lot of things, but that’s just the cards sometimes that we’re dealt. I have good girls, I really do. I have really good girls. They’re smart. They don’t get in trouble — well, I can’t say they don’t get in — they do what average kids do. To say that I feel bad, I can’t say that I feel bad because I didn’t make anybody do anything. I never prostituted anybody, I never made anybody do anything. My girls begged and begged me for years to go. Finally, I’m like okay — the other were like, ‘let them go, let them go,’ so.”

Powell estimated that “7-8” members of the 2013 National Championship team participated in parties

Based on the players she’s already listed, I think you can guess who.

She feels bad for Damion Lee and Trey Lewis

Of course, the real losers in this whole mess are UofL fifth-year transfers Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, who were not part of the program when any of it happened and, because of UofL’s self-imposed postseason ban, won’t be able to play in the NCAA Tournament. Powell said that while doesn’t have a lot of regrets, she does feel bad that Lee and Lewis will miss out on the tournament.

“In a sense, I do have some regrets about what I did. I don’t feel like I did the wrong thing. I feel like a lot of people were punished that were innocent,” Powell said of Lee and Lewis. “They did nothing. I didn’t know of those guys, they had nothing to do with this. They had nothing to do with it whatsoever. It seems like it comes down on me because they can’t play in the tournament and you know — all of this. I do feel bad for them. Again, they had nothing to do with it and I never sanctioned those boys.”

She’s received threats

Powell said she plans to stay in Louisville, and for the most part, she only gets stares from Louisville fans when she goes in public; however, she did say that sometimes, she doesn’t feel safe.

“In a sense, sometimes. Sometimes I don’t feel safe. I get threats all the time. I’ve had a local radio station, 104.7, give away Bryson Teller tickets if someone could tell them my address.”

She feels bad for Andre McGee. Pitino? “No comment”

Powell wanted to clear up rumors that she and McGee were romantically involved, telling Matt and listeners that the two were simply friendly business partners.

“Andre and I had no relationship. We had no love affair, we didn’t have any of that. It was just business.” Katina said. “He called me and asked me to do business and I did exactly what I was asked to do. That was the bottom line.”

However, Powell said she does feel bad for Andre for having to go through this. Pitino? Ehh…

“No comment,” Powell said when asked if she felt bad for Pitino. “No comment.” Matt pressed her a little further, to which she finally said, “Do I feel bad? No.”

Check out that glance she gives her lawyer:

Later on, Matt asked if Powell was mad at Rick Pitino, and while she said she was not, she did admit she doesn’t like some of the things Rick has said about her in the media.

“I don’t. That’s his opinion. I’m not mad at Rick Pitino. I have no reason to be mad at Rick. Rick has done nothing personally to me. I’ve never talked to Rick, I’ve never had conversations with Rick.”

How would she feel if this scandal caused Rick to resign?

“That wouldn’t be my call, and I wouldn’t — I have no comment.”

AUDIO:


AUDIO: Katina Powell’s interview on KSR

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I’m working on notes from today’s big interview with Katina Powell, but in case you missed it, WLAP already has the audio up:

Notes and video coming soon…


Katina Powell just dropped a line that I don’t think any of us can forget

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Katina Powell is currently being interviewed by Matt, but there’s one moment that requires immediate attention. While discussing the mysterious “Coach Mike” that took over control of the parties at Minardi Hall after Andre McGee left Louisville for the University of Missouri–Kansas City, Katina Powell dropped a line that I don’t think any of us can un-hear. The language is NSFW or kids, so I’m putting it under the jump.

STAY AWAY KIDS! (more…)


Katina Powell is in the house

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Are you listening to 630 WLAP right now? You should be. The interview starts NOW.

630 WLAP stream on iHeart Radio


Katina Powell Comes to KSR (Tuesday Show Thread)

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Katina Powell will be join Matt and Ryan at a Double Super Secret location for the second hour of today’s show.  I really don’t know what more I could say to make you listen to what might be the biggest show in the history of Kentucky Sports Radio.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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Rick Pitino Addresses his Future on Mike and Mike

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In a situation where most are advised to keep quiet, Rick Pitino can’t stop talking.  This morning he took it to a national stage on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning, addressing his future and calling the NCAA a “broken system” multiple times.

Instead of penalizing these innocent players (“I’d work for free if we could get into the Tournament for my players”) Pitino wants a President to step up, and make change.  What’s his suggested change?  Have schools pay fines for cheating, because that wouldn’t make it easy for wealthy programs to get away with cheating, not at all.

Pitino reiterated what went behind the decision on a postseason ban — Jurich made the decision with the President’s OK.  “The only thing you have to do is you have to trust people, and there’s nobody I trust more in life than Tom Jurich with handling a crisis.”  He’s glad Tom made the decision, but he still insists that Jurich should be included in the investigation process, calling it “the biggest mistake Louisville ever made.”  “You don’t keep the smartest man in the room, who knows the most about NCAA procedure out of the workings,” Pitino said.

It was hard to take some of his comments seriously.  Pitino said Andre McGee initially “misled” him in a phone call, saying that Powell was a “party planner” that she would “bring girls over to listen to music.”  I guess you could call her a “party planner,” just like how you could call Billy Minardi Hall a “sanctuary,” which is exactly what he did.  “If someone broke a chair in that dormitory, I would immediately go over there and get that chair fixed. That’s how much this dormitory meant to me it.  It was a sanctuary.”

For the first time, Pitino gave telling statements on his future at UofL.  “The future is going to be bright for Louisville.  They’ve got a great leader in Tom Jurich.”

If that doesn’t sound like he’s trying to wash his hands on the situation…

“My future is really irrelevant and unimportant.  It’s the University of Louisville I care about,” Pitino said.  “When that day comes, I’ll make that decision, but it won’t be because of this incident.”  He added, “In the end, I’ll be totally vindicated, and people will understand how it happened.”


Wake Up for a Wild Tuesday on KSR

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Tonight at 9:00, the Kentucky Wildcats will try to stand alone in second place in the SEC with a win over the Georgia Bulldogs in Rupp Arena.  Normally, that would be today’s primary talking point, but today is not a normal day.

Just four days after UofL prescribed a postseason ban for the men’s basketball team for the sex scandal first alleged in “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” the woman at the center of scandal will join Matt Jones for a live interview on Kentucky Sports Radio at 11:05.  Powell has said few words publicly since the scandal became front page news.  Today’s interview drew so much early attention that it has been moved to a Top Secret location.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to watch it all unfold.  Who knows what we’ll learn from today’s talk with Katina Powell.

There is a Basketball Game Tonight

Tonight’s matchup vs. Georgia at home isn’t the most appealing, but the Bulldogs have started to figure things out.  They’ve won two in a row, a streak that started with a dominating 13-point win over South Carolina.  Calipari is 9-2 against Georgia, but don’t forget that the Dogs almost ended Kentucky’s perfect season late last year in Athens.

However, it’s hard to worry when the Cats are at Rupp Arena.  You can sit at home for the call from Brad Nessler and Sean Farnham, or you can get upper level tickets for only $25.  All you have to do is use the offer code SNOW on Ticketmaster for sections 234-244, and you’re in the stands for less than face value.  Hurry, before they’re all gone.

More “Cal to the NBA Rumors” are Coming

Yesterday Derek Fisher was let go by the Knicks, and now Marc Stein is reporting that the Kings are going to fire George Karl.  Don’t worry too much, Cal already has a Tweet ready in his Drafts.

Buddy Hield is Icy

Game tied with less than 10 seconds left?  No problem.  A cold-blooded killer.

MKG is Making Threes

Hard to believe but it’s true.  Since returning from injury, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a new facet to his game — a jump shot.  Tonight he made his third 3-pointer of the year.  Before this season he had only hit three three’s in three years (say that five times fast).  He finished the game with a season-high 20 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.

If you’re wondering how the other NBA Cats are doing, they’re still really, really, really, really good at basketball.  Julius Randle had 15 points and tied a career-high in rebounds with 19, his 21st double-double of the year.  Karl Towns had his 29th double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds in 29 minutes, but Anthony Davis got the win, thanks to his 27 points and 8 rebounds.

Stoops is Interviewing a New Defensive Backs Coach

Former South Carolina defensive backs coach Grady Brown will reportedly be interviewing for Derrick Ansley’s old job this week.  Ed Reed was in the picture for only a moment, and there will likely be more names that surface in the coming weeks.  If you’d like your name to be in the mix, you can apply for the position here.

There’s Somebody Crazier than Rick Pitino on UofL’s Bench

It isn’t the first time long-time strength coach Ray Ganong has provided us with a candid emotional moment.  It also happened last year at the Yum! Center, and during UofL’s first win this Summer in Puerto Rico.  Bless his (rapidly beating) heart.

Tonight is the New Hampshire Primary

I know we have plenty of people out there that love when we discuss politics on the site.  Don’t worry, this political science major is going to stay away from the subject and let Ryan Lemond give an informed report on the radio tomorrow.

Sacha Killeya-Jones Received his McDonald’s All-American Jersey

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Before the Kentucky signee received his All-American jersey, he played a double-header in Pulaski County.  I’ll break down his game later today.

Basketball on TV Tonight

  • #8 Michigan State at #18 Purdue, 7:00 on ESPN
  • #10 West Virginia at #6 Kansas, 7:00 on ESPN2
  • Pitt at #12 Miami, 7:00 on ESPNU

SEC Schedule 

  • Auburn at Tennessee, 7:00 on SEC Network
  • Arkansas at Miss. State, 9:00 on SEC Network
  • Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 on ESPNU

February 8th, 2016

Ranking UK’s 8 Remaining Games from Easiest to Hardest

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Believe it or not, there are only eight games left in the regular season. Kentucky is currently 17-6 overall and 7-3 in conference play, which is good enough for a 4-seed in the SEC Tournament; however, there’s a LOT of basketball still to play, and with trips to South Carolina and Texas A&M on the horizon, the Cats are still in control of their own destiny.

With that in mind, I spent the day ranking the last eight games in terms of difficulty. In addition to my own gut feelings and analysis, I factored in the Sagarin ratings for probability. Without getting too geeky, that means taking each team’s current Sagarin rating (Kentucky’s is 87.28, 21st in the country) and comparing it to their upcoming opponents using the “home edge” variable. Sometimes, I agreed with Sagarain’s predictions, other times I didn’t.

Here’s the rest of Kentucky’s schedule, ranked easiest to hardest…

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7 p.m., Rupp Arena, ESPN/ESPNU/SEC Network

Kentucky handled Alabama easily in Tuscaloosa, and, although Avery Johnson’s squad rebounded from that loss with a win over South Carolina, they’ve lost four of their last seven. We’ll know more about the Crimson Tide after they host Texas A&M on Wednesday, but for now, I feel very confident about Kentucky’s chances against them in Rupp.

Sagarin says… KENTUCKY by 13 points


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7 p.m., Rupp Arena, ESPN

Yes, Tennessee beat Kentucky less than a week ago, but as we’ve discussed ad nauseam, the Cats’ collapse was due more to their own demons than the Volunteers’ strong play. No offense to Rick Barnes’ group, but before said collapse, Kentucky was up 21 points, and after seeing UK dismantle Florida, I’m willing to allow myself to believe the loss in Knoxville was just a fluke. Not only is the rematch in Rupp, something tells me the Cats will be out to avenge their most humiliating loss of the season.

Sagarin says… KENTUCKY by 13 points


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9 p.m., Rupp Arena, ESPN

Georgia beat South Carolina, but they also lost to Texas A&M by 34 points. At home. Yikes. Mark Fox’s team is led by veteran guards JJ Frazier and Kenny Gaines and they’ll use a zone against the Cats, but Kentucky’s guards are pretty decent themselves. With Isaac Humphries expected to play more, I have a feeling UK will build on a big win over Florida tomorrow night.

Sagarin says… KENTUCKY by 10 points


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7 p.m., O’Connell Center, ESPN

Here’s where I start to disagree with the Sagarin ratings, which say Florida will win this game by two. While I’ve witnessed first-hand that the O-Dome is nuts, it’s hard to look past Kentucky’s 19-point shellacking of the Gators in Rupp. Yes, Kentucky is notoriously terrible on the road, but, as we saw on Saturday, the matchups are in the Cats’ favor. In my mind, it really is a toss-up as to which game is tougher between this and LSU.

Sagarin says… FLORIDA by 2 points


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2 p.m., Rupp Arena, CBS

The Cats fell hard in Baton Rouge, and even then, Ben Simmons only scored 14 points. Since then, LSU’s lost at Florida, at Texas A&M, and to Oklahoma after leading the #1 Sooners by as many as 14 points. If this game was in Baton Rouge, I’d give the Tigers the nod again, but in the friendly confines of Rupp on Alex Poythress’ Senior Day, I have to go with the Cats. Nine points seems like a pretty big margin right now, but we’ll see what happens over the next month.

Sagarin says… KENTUCKY by 9 points 


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Noon, Colonial Life Arena, ESPN

The Gamecocks are out of the AP poll, but ranked one spot higher than Kentucky in the Coaches’ Poll. Similarly to Kentucky, South Carolina’s either looked great or atrocious this year, beating Texas A&M in College Station on Saturday a few days after losing at Georgia by 13. Another head-scratcher: their 23-point loss to Alabama back in January. If you follow of Kentucky’s (loose) pattern of great game, great game, dud, the Cats could be due for a clunker in Columbia, especially when you consider Drew Franklin will be in the house. In fact, that could make this the hardest game left.

Sagarin says… KENTUCKY by 1


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4 p.m., Memorial Gymnasium, CBS 

Yes, Kentucky beat Vandy by almost 20 points at home a few weeks back, but you have to take their stupid gym into consideration. As UK has learned over the years, they don’t call it “Memorial Magic” for nothing, and if there’s an environment in which this Jekyll/Hyde team could fall apart, it’s the opera-house-come-gym on West End. 

Sagarin says… VANDY by 2 points


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6:30 p.m., Reed Arena, ESPN

Texas A&M is the only team ranked higher than Kentucky (in the AP poll) left on the schedule, and as recently as two weeks ago, they were considered a top-five team. The Aggies have lost three of their last four games, the most puzzling being Saturday’s loss at home to South Carolina; however, Kentucky being Kentucky, you know the atmosphere at Reed Arena will be insane when the Cats come to town. Given Texas A&M’s talent and depth, I consider this Kentucky’s biggest challenge left in the regular season.

Sagarin says…TEXAS A&M by 3 points


Agree? Disagree? Rank UK’s remaining games from easiest to hardest yourself below:


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Weekend

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We’ve partnered with Wendy’s for the Pic & Roll at Rupp Sweepstake! Visit a participating Wendy’s in the Lexington, KY area, take a pic with the in-store Pic & Roll At Rupp sign, and post to Instagram or Twitter using #WendysRuppVIP for your chance to win!
– – – – – – –
Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of Kentucky, 18 years of age & older. Sweepstakes begins at 9:00:00 am EST on February 5, 2016, and ends at 11:59:59 pm EST on March 7, 2016. Void where prohibited. For full prize details, go to http://bit.ly/WendysRupp


You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Alec Stout

Literally.

 

 

#9 Trey Minton

That boy reeeaaallll good.

 

 

#8 Zachary Mockbee

Woman: Yes hair dresser, I’d like the UK secondary logo.

 

 

#7 Ken Gatton

Seems about right.

 

 

#6 Julia Ritchie

I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

 

 

#5 James Martin

Adidas to announce new Louisville logo on Friday.

 

 

#4 Zachary Mockbee

The official Valentine’s Day card of UK Athletics.

 

 

#3 Trevor Stine

KSR being sneaky having the interview at the last place Louisville fans would think.

 

 

#2 Hayley Minogue

Louisville doesn’t need another Scandal. *slaps knee*

 

 

#1 Stewart Mandel

Or he’d blame the speed limit signs for being hard to read.

 

 

@kbernhardKSR


How ESPN Ranked the 2015 Kentucky Football Team

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Even though we want to move forward into 2016 and “Finish,” it’s interesting to see how Kentucky’s 2015 performance looked through the lens of an outsider.  The guys at ESPN’s SEC Blog spent the last few weeks ranking each position group in the SEC.

It’s no surprise that none of them are ranked that high, but some of the rankings might surprise you.

Quarterback – #11

The quarterback position was supposed to be a strength for the Wildcats, but returning starter Patrick Towles struggled with turnovers, throwing an SEC-worst 14 interceptions, and eventually gave way to redshirt freshman Drew Barker. The former ESPN 300 recruit showed flashes, but he too was inconsistent.

Running Back – #7

The Wildcats’ passing game might have been inconsistent, but they were typically effective on the ground. Leading rusher Stanley “Boom” Williams (855 yards) averaged 7.1 yards per carry and Jojo Kemp (555 yards) nearly averaged 6 yards per attempt. Mikel Horton complemented those two shiftier backs, adding a between-the-tackles element to a rushing attack that averaged 162.7 ypg.

 

 

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends – #8

Even with consistency issues on offense, the Wildcats still had two receivers — Garrett Johnson and Dorian Baker — who ranked inside the top 20 of the SEC in receiving. Johnson led Kentucky with 694 yards, while Baker had 608. They combined for five touchdowns. Fellow sophomore Jeff Badet caught another 29 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman tight end C.J. Conrad could blossom into a solid player.

Offensive Line – #10

The Wildcats were right around the middle of the pack statistically running the ball in conference play: 151.5 rushing yards per game (eighth in the SEC), 4.4 yards per rush (seventh) and 2.3 yards per rush before contact (seventh). Quarterbacks were pressured 25.7 percent of the time (seventh) in SEC games, and Kentucky was seventh in total sacks allowed in SEC games (18).

Defensive Backs – #12

Despite starting a pair of true freshmen at cornerback (Chris Westry and Derrick Baity), the Wildcats got better against the pass. They surrendered 14 passing touchdowns (14th nationally) and 198.1 ypg (28th) although opponents generally passed the ball effectively against Kentucky.

Front Seven – #13

The loss of Bud Dupree and ZaDarius Smith was greater than most people expected as the Wildcats struggled to generate any pressure on the quarterback, ranking lasts in the SEC in sacks (17).

 

 


Karl Towns’ Jaw-Dropping Dunk on the Pelicans

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@NBACom

Anthony Davis is one of the best defenders in the NBA, but tonight he couldn’t stop his fellow former Wildcat and #1 overall pick.  Dante Cunningham had to pay for Davis’ mishap.  The Brow should apologize to Cunningham after the game.  Watching Karl abuse the backboard is painful.

OUCH!


SEC Week 5 Power Rankings: Tigers Take Charge

One month from tomorrow the SEC tournament will be tipping off in Nashville. But before we can get down to Music City, 8 games still remain to decide who will be resting until Friday. LSU has made a charge to grab first place but you have 5+ teams still in contention. Who has a shot at the crown? Find out in this week’s edition of the SEC power rankings:

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Derrick Ansley’s Potential Replacement

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After being turned down by Ed Reed, Mark Stoops is now turning to a former SEC assistant.  According to Justin Rowland, former South Carolina defensive backs and special teams coach, Grady Brown, is in Lexington to interview for Derrick Ansley’s old job.

Brown previously worked at LSU and was a cornerbacks coach for Southern Miss, before taking the South Carolina job in 2012.  After spending two seasons coaching the DBs and special teams, he as demoted to quality control assistant when Spurrier re-organized the defensive staff by adding Jon Hoke as a defensive coordinator.

What could set Brown apart from other candidates?  He has strong recruiting ties to South Florida.  Arguably his best recruit is one you can’t forget from his matches with UK — All-SEC linebacker Skai Moore.

Even though Brown’s name has popped up quickly, don’t expect Stoops to have a quick trigger with this hire.  We’ll keep you updated as more names surface throughout the process.