Good evening, sports fans. Drew here, back at the KSR Lexington office after defying the odds →
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:00 pm
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 25 years since “Saved by the Bell” debuted. For people of a certain era (my era), “Saved by the Bell” was mandatory viewing on Saturday mornings, and pretty much encapsulated what it meant to be a teenager in the early 90′s. All the girls had a crush on Zack Morris or A.C. Slater, and all the guys worshipped Kelly Kapowski. We all longed to have the giant cellphone, “TIME OUT!” life, or hang out at The Max. There were iconic moments, such as the unforgettable scene with Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) strung out on caffeine pills, sobbing “I’m so excited! I’m…so…scared!!!!” in Zach’s arms. While every episode had some kind of PSA for viewers, that one was particularly ridiculous, and may be the series’ most memorable moment.
Here’s a bit of trivia for you: the show was originally a spin-off of “Good Morning, Miss Bliss,” a show that aired from 1987-1989. More: Mark Paul (Zack) dyed his hair blonde for every episode, and Berkley went through a can of hair spray each shoot. Scott Wolf, Denise Richards, Soleil Moon Frye, and Tori Spelling all guest starred on the show, which, because it starred a lot of teenagers, had a lot of teenage drama. In fact, the drama has spawned a Lifetime movie about the series, which seems flat out hilarious:
Maybe it’s because I’m old now, but those kids look WAY too young to be playing those parts. Regardless, if you loved/watched “Saved by the Bell,” the Lifetime series will be hilarious after a few, if only to see the scene where the actor playing Dustin Diamond yells “I AM NOT SCREECH” at a fan.
News and views…
After a rough day, the Cats responded with “enthusiastic” practice
DJ Eliot called Wednesday’s practice “the most enthusiastic” of fall camp, which is comforting after the Cats’ apparent lackluster effort the day before. Eliot said he liked how energetic his defense responded after a bad day, although Mark Stoops wasn’t quite ready to recognize the “Bad Boys” nickname they’ve given themselves. “We’ll see if they play like bad boys. I’ve been around some Bad Boyz, so we’ll see,” Stoops chided.
On the other side of the ball, freshman wide receiver Blake Bone had a big catch and continues to impress, and linebacker Ryan Flannigan is quickly catching up after a late start.
The football team saw the movie “Lucy” this past weekend
The most random tidbit from practice is the news the team went to see the movie “Lucy” this past weekend. If you haven’t seen it, “Lucy” starts Scarlett Johansson as a woman “accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic,” according to IMDB. I haven’t seen the movie, but one of my best friends almost walked out on it, so the fact that the UK football team went to see it this past weekend cracks me up. Scarlett Johansson may be pretty, but you can only stare at pretty so long before being bored.
John Calipari says David Blatt is a better coach for the Cavs than he would be
After seeing the Cats play in the Bahamas, I can’t get enough of John Calipari talking about how he doesn’t want to coach the Cavaliers. The latest comes via Sirius XM NBA Radio show “The Starting Lineup,” in which Cal said that current Cavaliers coach David Blatt “can really coach,” and is “a better choice than me to coach that team.” With an epic season in the wings and a possible exodus of talent to the NBA afterwards, I will never tire of hearing those words. Rock on, David Blatt. Please.
His guessing games continue
Who is this? pic.twitter.com/hCYS9i0uN2
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) August 20, 2014
Last night, he had fans guess where he was, when the picture he took clearly read “YANKEE STADIUM” in the background. Tonight, he posted this picture and asked his followers who it was. Non-Googled guesses?
(It’s NY radio host Mike Francesa.)
Team USA beat the Dominican Republic 105-62
Eloy Vargas, Karl Towns, and the Dominicans were no match for Team USA tonight. Anthony Davis had 7 points and 4 rebounds and DeMarcus Cousins 2 points and 8 rebounds in USA’s 105-62 win. Eloy Vargas had 2 points and 3 rebounds, while Karl Towns failed to score, but Coach O and his crew will get another chance to prove themselves on Friday. If you missed it earlier, Karl Towns will NOT play with the Dominican team at the FIBA World Cup in Spain because he wants to focus on academics. Because he’s perfect:
As much as it hurts to not be playing in Spain, I am a STUDENT-athlete first and committed to my studies at the University of Kentucky #BBN
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KATis32) August 20, 2014
According to Chris Sheridan, final roster cuts for Team USA will start after Friday’s game against Puerto Rico. Here’s hoping Boogie puts in another good performance to solidify his spot.
Keith Bogans and five other Cats are headed to the Hall of Fame
(…and the world’s gonna know their name…sorry. I hate you Rory McIlory)
On Wednesday, UK announced that Keith Bogans, Pat Etcheberry (track and field), Marty Moore (football), Passion Richardson (track and field), Terry Shumpert (baseball), and Sarah Witten (tennis) have been inducted to the UK Athletics Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place in late September during Hall of Fame weekend. It is a well-deserved honor for each former Cat, specifically Bogans, who is still playing in the NBA. Bogans ranks fourth on UK’s all-time scoring list with 1,923 points, and is second to only Tony Delk on UK’s three-point field goals made list with 254.
Nerlens Noel is worried about his britches in the Ice Bucket Challenge
I’m sorry, famous people doing the Ice Bucket Challenge hasn’t gotten old yet. I’m sure it will tomorrow.
KSR is live at the State Fair in the morning
What do Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond, Drew Franklin, and pigs all have in common? They’ll all be at the State Fair Thursday morning to talk Cats and do the “shooting game,” as Matt calls it. Sounds like a recipe for a hilarious show to me. See you then.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:00 pm
John Wall is in China right now promoting adidas, and this morning, posted this impressive shot of his new tattoo, which reads “Great Wall,” atop the Great Wall of China. I’m not even mad about those puns. That’s impressive.
So is the lighting on the Great Wall(s) for the adidas event:
Wall is promoting his new Cherry Blossom-inspired shoes for adidas:
Would you wear them?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:10 pm
Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Team USA handled Karl Towns, Eloy Vargas, and the Dominican Republic pretty easily tonight in New York by a final score of 105-62. Here are the stats for our current and former Cats:
Anthony Davis: 7 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
DeMarcus Cousins: 2 points, 8 rebounds
Karl Towns: 0 points, 2 rebounds
Eloy Vargas: 2 points, 3 rebounds
Final roster cuts for Team USA could happen as soon as tomorrow. Cousins put in a good effort tonight, and we’ll be crossing our fingers for him.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©8:00 pm
Football is right around the corner and KSR is getting you ready with in-depth profiles of the team’s top players. First, we profiled Za’Darius Smith, one of the leaders of the defense, and now, we’re switching to offense and UK’s leading receiver last season, Javess Blue.
When Mark Stoops took over the UK Football program, he knew he needed to get talented players as soon as possible, preferably with some experience. Like Za’Darius Smith, a fellow JuCo star, Javess Blue had an immediate impact in his first season at Kentucky, a lone bright spot in a very thin wide receiving corps. Here are eight things about our boy Blue to refresh your memory heading into next week’s opener.
1. He is the Cats’ top returning wide receiver
Blue led the Cats in receiving last season with 43 catches for 586 yards and four touchdowns. He was 14th in the SEC in receptions per game (3.9), 15th in receiving yards per game (53.3), and 13th in all-purpose yards per game (103.2). UK has six freshmen wide receivers on deck to finally give the QBs some targets, but Blue will still be the go-to guy.
2. Blue’s 88-yard TD grab against Miami is the fourth-longest in UK history
And it was glorious.
3. That shoulder is ready to go
Blue injured his shoulder during offseason workouts and had to sit out spring practice. The staff has been cautious with him so far in camp, but yesterday, he was in full pads for the first time.
4. He’s one of UK’s cover boys this season
Blue and Bud Dupree grace UK’s double-sided schedule posters this season. One side shows the players going through Erik Korem’s training program and the other how it will translate to their performance in games.
5. He’s looking forward to the Cats picking up the tempo this season
Last season, the Cats just had to make do with what they had on offense. With another year for players to learn Neal Brown’s system, more receivers, and Patrick Towles taking over quarterback, Blue is looking forward to things picking up on offense. At today’s practice, Blue told Larry Vaught that he wants more touchdowns like that 88-yard grab vs. Miami:
“That is something I am looking forward to getting done this year. A lot of those 88-yard touchdowns or going longer than that,” he said. “Coach (Neal Brown) told us we are going to be picking up the tempo this year.”
6. This summer, he lost all of his belongings in a fire
7. He says he’s much more comfortable in his second year
Blue was one of the few things working in UK’s offense last season, and he admits that being thrust in the spotlight was a bit abrupt. However, he told reporters today that he’s much more comfortable this season, and ready to make his final season count:
“I am more comfortable right now. I can say that. Last year it was like more of an iffy situation. I knew I was being put on the spot, but at the same time I had to locked in and get everything down pat because I knew I was going to be that guy and they needed me to make plays and be that player,” Blue said. “Now I really needed to focus up. Now I am more focused and I take things more comfortable, which makes it easier to play.
8. He’s still flipping, it’s still impressive
An accomplished tumbler, Blue showed off his skills at the UK Gymnastics complex last month. If that doesn’t impress you, the video of him flipping in the snow has to. Good lord.
By Drew Franklin on ©7:24 pm
A guy wearing a Michael Kidd-Gilchrist jersey caught a black tip shark in what I assume is the ocean, only to see his prized catch get nabbed up by the world’s largest grouper.
Several people on the internet find it amusing so I’ll leave it here in case you feel the same way. I think it would be better if he reeled both fish in and pounded his chest toward the coast. That’s what MKG would do.
By Drew Franklin on ©6:48 pm
SB Nation has an excellent (and fancy) piece on how to rebuild a college football program, featuring six coaches from around the game. Mark Stoops is one of the profiled coaches, as well as his brother Bob, Bill Snyder, Bob Diaco, Justin Fuente, and Kevin Wilson.
Stoops’ section of the article, called “CLAIM YOUR TURF,” focuses on his early success in recruiting at Kentucky and the role the state of Ohio played. Stoops told SB Nation the SEC is a “goldmine” for high school talent and “nearby” Ohio is where he went to work.
It’s a reflex to tie Kentucky into the Southeast and only the Southeast. And it’s easy to assume that a new Kentucky coach is going to have trouble competing for elite high school kids in Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. They don’t have the same history to sell — they have been ranked in one of the past 29 seasons, and they didn’t finish that season ranked. Upon reaching eighth after defeating No. 1 LSU at home in 2007, the Wildcats lost four of five, and even after defeating Florida State in the Music City Bowl, they finished 8-5 and unranked.
While many of us looked to the south and wondered, Stoops turned and faced north. He signed three Ohio high schoolers (one a four-star prospect) in his abbreviated 2013 recruiting class, but given a full year to prepare, he outright invaded. According to Rivals.com, Ohio produced 19 four-star prospects in the 2014 class. Ohio State landed seven of them, other Big Ten schools reeled in two, Notre Dame landed two, and Oklahoma and Tennessee got one each. Kentucky signed five. In the past five recruiting classes, UK had signed five four-stars, period.
In all, nearly 40 percent of UK’s 2014 class hailed from the Buckeye State.
“It’s home base,” Stoops says. “Ohio was part of the plan all along.”
Give it a read here.
By Drew Franklin on ©5:39 pm
John Calipari was a guest on SiriusXM NBA Radio and the hosts of The Starting Lineup were interested to know his thoughts on the Cavaliers, the franchise he turned down to return to UK. Cal told them, “David Blatt can really coach. He’s a better choice than me to coach that team. I coached against him. I’m not sitting here just saying it. I coached against him in FIBA basketball. I watched him coach Russia, the guy can coach, OK? Those players, all they want is respect. If they respect you as a coach they’re going to play like crazy. Now you just have to have really good players. Guess what? Cleveland has really good players.”
Cal also said, “Dan Gilbert is a great guy who wants it for the right reasons. That’s why Cleveland will win.”
You can listen to the entire interview below. I really like when he says he maintains a solid relationship with NBA teams, not for himself, but because he calls them every summer to tell them to draft his UK players.
By Matt Jones on ©5:05 pm
I love Jamaal Magloire…he was the greatest for about 500 reasons. My email address is still Magloire52@hotmail.com because of my Magloire fandom. But there may have been no better moment for Magloire (with the exception of putting Wojo in the rack) than the one below. End of the Miami (Oh) first half, Saul Smith hits a big shot and then running off the court, Magloire nails the Miami mascot and knocks him to the ground. A great moment that is best shown here on a terrible version of a videotape…but unfortunately it is all we have (and this should have been a three)
By Drew Franklin on ©4:31 pm
The University of Kentucky announced today that it will induct six new members to its Athletics Hall of Fame this fall. Headlining the group is former basketball standout, Keith Bogans.
Bogans ranks fourth on UK’s all-time scoring list with 1,923 points and second in three-point field goals made with 254, trailing only Tony Delk’s 283. He’s about to enter his 12th season in the NBA and his UK trophy case includes AP Third Team All-American, NABC Second Team All-American, All-SEC, All-SEC Tournament Team, All-SEC Freshman Team, and 2003 SEC Tournament MVP honors.
Bogans is joined by:
Pat Etcheberry, Track and Field (1963-67, 1967-89)
Etcheberry won the SEC Championship in javelin in 1966 and later became assistant track coach, head track coach and UK’s first strength and conditioning coach. According to the release from UK, he also trained several world class athletes such as Pete Sampras, Monica Seles, Nick Faldo, Dan Jansen and Charles Woodson, plus former Wildcats Rex Chapman, Kenny Walker and Dermontti Dawson.
Marty Moore, Football (1990-93)
Moore played linebacker on the UK football team before an eight-year career in the NFL. He was named First Team All-SEC by both the AP and Coaches in 1993, his senior season, earning him Mr. Irrelevant honors as the last pick in the 1994 NFL Draft.
Passion Richardson, Women’s Track and Field (1994-97)
Richard was a four time All-American in the 55 meters, 100 meters and 4×100-meter relay during her time at UK. She went on to win a bronze medal on the U.S. 4×100-meter relay team in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Terry Shumpert, Baseball (1985-87)
Shumpert was a standout on the UK Baseball team, where he ranks third in school history in stolen bases with 66. He was drafted in the second round of the 1987 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals and played 14 years in the bigs.
Sarah Witten, Women’s Tennis (2000-03)
The older sister of former men’s tennis star Jesse Witten, Sarah Witten ranks as the only player in UK women’s tennis history to earn three consecutive All-America selections. She is also one of only two players with four career All-America accolades, one in singles in 2003 and three in doubles in 2001, 2002, and 2003.
The six Wildcat greats will be inducted in late September during Hall of Fame Weekend when Vanderbilt comes to town for a football game.
By Drew Franklin on ©3:55 pm
Retired NBA point guard TJ Ford knows all about being undersized and outmatched on the basketball court. The one-time Texas Longhorn was listed at six-feet tall during his eight-year NBA career, a career that could’ve gone longer if not for frequent injuries. Upon retirement in 2012, Ford said, “I think I succeeded at beating the odds, of being the little guy, making it to the NBA and lasting as long as I did. I think I achieved a lot.”
Today, Kentucky point guard Tyler Ulis is drawing comparisons to TJ Ford, although Ulis is listed three inches shorter. And this afternoon, Ford tweeted his support for the UK freshman:
I like this kid game a lot. https://t.co/olg3F06uLv
— TJ Ford (@tj_ford) August 20, 2014
Ford’s footsteps would be a nice set for Ulis to follow. Being the short guy doesn’t necessarily rule out a lengthy and successful career.
By Drew Franklin on ©3:00 pm
Here’s a glance at Jared Lorenzen’s feature, “You Can’t Quit Cold Turkey,” in the new issue of ESPN The Magazine, which hits shelves soon. Jared told me he is looking forward to reading it as soon as it’s out, but he hasn’t seen anything from it yet.
By the looks of the teaser tweeted out by senior writer Seth Wickersham, the article will focus heavily on Jared’s appetite for food and the game.
We’ll have more when we get our hands on a copy. Be looking for it.
By Drew Franklin on ©2:30 pm
Posted in Main
It’s football season again, which means you can win lots and lots of money via Fantasy Football and no one does it better than DraftKings. The daily fantasy sports website has teamed up with KSR for a Week 1 contest with a $100,000 prize pool. First place will take home a cool $10,000, while the top 11,500 will receive some form of payment for performing well.
Click here to sign up and draft your Week 1 squad. You’ll get a $50,000 salary cap to select nine spots: eight offensive players and one team defense. The contest beings on Sunday, September 7 at kickoff of the first game.
As always, first time depositors will receive a 100% bonus up to $600, plus free entry into the contest. It will cost returning players $2 to enter.
Dibs on Randall Cobb.
- When Coach Stoops walked off the field yesterday, I was glad he wasn’t speaking with the media. His steps seemed to push the ground out of the way and his normal smile was nowhere to be found. Today he said he was glad he didn’t speak with the media yesterday, but he is happy that the team responded this morning with what DJ Eliot described as the “most enthusiastic” practice of Fall Camp. The wear and tear of camp will get the best of them at times, but today’s response revealed their fighting mentality.
The Cats are going to get punched this year. Their success will be determined by how well they punch back.
- When Eliot uses the word “enthusiasm” it can only mean that the defense did not shut the hell up. The defense has been EXTREMELY vocal in camp, getting the entire sideline to cheer on most plays during “team” period. Bud Dupree knows hot to push his unit’s buttons. When he starts the “Baaaaaaaaad Boyz” chant, they go absolutely nuts. Mark Stoops loves the energy, but isn’t quite ready to award them the Bad Boyz title, “We’ll see if they play like bad boys. I’ve been around some Bad Boyz, so we’ll see.”
- Another day of camp, another day where Blake Bone makes a big catch. Stoops said today that Bone had another “go up and get it” moment. Simply put, the young buck can do things that many can’t.
- JUCO linebacker Ryan Flannigan once again received praises from DJ Eliot and Mark Stoops. Eliot said that he isn’t quite game ready but, “close to where I need him to be” for games. Unless the Cats win at Death Valley, entering the season nothing would have surprised me more than seeing Flannigan on the field Week 1. There are so many hurdles for him to overcome: he didn’t get to have summer workouts, he never had a playbook in JUCO, and the most difficult position to learn on the field will be more difficult to learn when Stoops is running multiple defenses this season.
Despite all of the obstacles, Flannigan has continually been moving forward. I’m less surprised by the coaches statements after attending practice. Flanningan and the other young guys (Firios, Walker, Hendrix) stay close to each other at all times, teaching themselves when the coaches cannot. The extra effort is paying off, giving the Cats much needed depth at the inexperienced linebacker position.
- Safety Mike Edwards wasn’t expected to be here this fall. His situation seems complex, but luckily he has been able to get on campus and enroll for fall semester classes. Edwards will meet with Mark Stoops today, but it would be “unreasonable” to expect him on the field this year.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:55 pm
Karl Towns will not travel to Spain with the Dominican Republic for the FIBA World Cup later this month, the DR announced on Twitter this afternoon. An official statement from the club says, “Karl Towns no podrá acompañar al equipo a España. Se conversó con la UK y no puede hacer el viaje. Más detalles en unos momentos.”
Towns will still suit up for Coach Antigua and the boys tonight in New York against Team USA before returning to Lexington. That exhibition game is at 7 pm on NBA TV.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:31 pm
The SEC Network is currently airing the 2007 clash between Kentucky and Tennessee in Commonwealth Stadium. The four-OT classic featured some of your UK favorites like Andre Woodson, Rafael Little, Jacob Tamme, Stevie Johnson, Dicky Lyons and Keenan Burton, plus UT villains Erik Ainge and Arian Foster.
After making a big comeback in the second half, Kentucky lost on a failed two-point conversion try to force a fifth overtime, one of those sports moments I will never forget. The Cats were sooooo close.
Tune in now for the flashback, unless you’re, like, working or something.