Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
December 17th, 2014

Shannon Dawson’s Wednesday Night Football News and Football Views

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Kentucky has its new offensive coordinator! As you know by now, West Virginia’s Shannon Dawson will leave Morgantown for the same position in Lexington. He received and accepted the offer from Mark Stoops on Wednesday and it didn’t take long for word to leak out, because that’s life in 2014.

Dawson brings old school Air Raid from West Virginia to Kentucky and we’re told it will be even faster than the way Neal Brown intended to play while he was here. Dawson comes from the Hal Mumme coaching tree, so he knows a thing or two about chucking the pigskin. Look for his offense to push the tempo and throw the deep ball. “He will play FAST, FAST, FAST,” we’re told.

In three seasons as OC at West Virginia, where he or Dana Holgorsen called the plays, depending who you ask, the Mountaineers racked up impressive numbers through the air. This season, Dawson’s offense ranked ninth in passing offense, 11th in total offense and 38th in scoring offense, nationally.

Prior to West Virginia, Dawson coached the nation’s No. 1 passing offense and No. 4 scoring offense in his third and final year at Stephen F. Austin. When Dawson took over the Lumberjacks in 2008, they were coming off a winless season and 16 points per game. Dawson quickly turned things around, into the top passing offense in the Southland Conference and third-best in the country in his first season.

Kentucky fans won’t truly know if this is the right call until we see the product Dawson puts on the field next fall, but for now, it’s exciting to know Stoops likes his hire and will stick with the Air Raid offense.

More football news from the day…

 

The job was down to Dawson, Lincoln Riley, and one other candidate.

Riley was the name tossed around most from the start and was the presumed favorite throughout the process. He was my favorite candidate of the bunch, but only because I enjoyed this photoshop from Bucky Small Hooves, not because I thought he’d make the best fit.

Lincoln… Riley… Get it?

Dawson will coach West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl.

Kentucky football will have to wait two weeks until Dawson moves into his new office in Lexington. Dawson will stick with the Mountaineers through the team’s bowl game with Texas A&M in the 56th AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis.

That game will kick off at 1:00 pm, Monday, December 29 on ESPN.

Damien Harris opened up about the current state of his recruitment.

The Courier-Journal’s Steve Jones tracked down Damien Harris at the Paul Hornung Award ceremony Wednesday to ask him how things stand coming off his official visit to UK. When asked if Kentucky and Alabama are his top two, Harris told Jones, “A little bit, but it’s not over. Any school can make any kind of run at you.”

Harris also said the departure of Neal Brown and Kentucky’s 0-6 finish have very little effect on his thoughts on UK. He is close to several coaches on the staff and understands it takes time to rebuild in the SEC.

Read the entire Q&A here. It’s good stuff.

Marcus Swain chose Auburn over Kentucky and Mississippi State.

The JUCO defensive tackle visited Kentucky last weekend but the Cats were never a favorite to land his services. Auburn was long believed to be the leader and it was Auburn getting the commitment in the end.

Kengera Daniel is officially a member of the Kentucky football program.

Daniel, a three-star defensive end from Raleigh, submitted his midyear paperwork to enroll at the University of Kentucky next semester and get to work with the football team. He tweeted this photo of the signing, below:

Daniel committed to UK in October.

George Asafo-Adjei also made it official.

Another UK football commit, offensive lineman George Asafo-Adjei, joined Daniel in making it official on Wednesday. Asafo-Adjei signed his paperwork at Lakota West High School in Ohio:

The three-star offensive tackle committed to Kentucky back in June and will join Lakota West grads Mikel Horton and Kyle Meadows at UK next month.

Sporting News named Boom Williams to its All-True Freshman team.

Kentucky’s freshman running back and leading rusher on the season earned a spot on Sporting News’ All-True Freshman team at kick returner. Boom’s acceptance tweet read, “Glad to be able to share this moment with my teammates coaches and family but the man above made it all possible.” Followed by, “Oh yeah and can’t forget about the whole BBN family!!”

Mark Stoops will be on Kentucky Sports Radio radio in the morning. You won’t want to miss it.

Plus the UK-UCLA ticket giveaway!

Check back on the site tomorrow for lots more Shannon Dawson talk, plus quotes from Calipari’s pre-UCLA press conference.

Go Cats.


Fun Shannon Dawson Facts!

Shannon Dawson will soon become Kentucky’s new offensive coordinator and he’s a guy who didn’t pop up on the public’s radar until this week. Therefore he’s unknown to many, if not all UK fans and followers out there.

But don’t you worry, Big Blue Nation. KSR has some interesting facts on Stoops’ new assistant:

 

— He’s from the Hal Mumme coaching tree, having spent two years under Mumme at Southeastern Louisiana followed by one season at New Mexico State.

— KSR has been told his offense is similar to Neal Brown’s but faster with more shots downfield. “He will play FAST, FAST, FAST,” said one person in the know.

— In 2010, serving as the offensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin, he guided the nation’s No. 1 passing offense (362.2) and No. 4 scoring offense (36.3), ranking No. 6 in total offense (442.9).

— His first offensive coordinator job was at Millsaps College in Mississippi, where his offense averaged more than 35 points a game.

— He played quarterback and wide receiver at Wingate, where he led the team in receiving as a senior with 43 catches for 584 yards and seven touchdowns. He was second on the team as a junior with 31 catches for 410 yards and one touchdown. That same junior season, he completed 45 passes for 549 yards with seven interceptions and two touchdowns as a quarterback.

— He was named “Mr. Silliman Institute” in high school:


Shannon Dawson is the New Offensive Coordinator

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We can now confirm that Shannon Dawson will be the new Offensive Coordinator at Kentucky. Dawson comes to us from West Virginia, where he was the leader of a high octane attack that was ranked 11th in the country. He however did not call plays there, which may be part of the reason that he has decided to make the move to Lexington (that and I would guess a raise). I spoke tonight to a source about Dawson’s offense and he told me that it would be “like Neal Brown’s only faster and with more shots downfield.” That is probably music to the ears of UK fans everywhere. Dawson has worked for a number of Air Raid coaches, including Hal Mumme and Dana Holgerson and certainly is known for a high octane offense.

I am told that the final choice came down to Dawson, Lincoln Riley and another candidate, with Dawson being picked because of the most compatible offensive philosophy with Mark Stoops. So there you go. More later and remember Stoops will join us on the air on KSR Radio tomorrow

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Dawson to coach West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl

If we’re to believe FootballScoop.com, and we have no reason not to, Shannon Dawson will ride out his time with West Virginia through the Liberty Bowl before moving to Lexington as Mark Stoops’ new offensive coordinator. Dawson’s Mountaineers will meet Texas A&M in the 56th AutoZone Liberty Bowl on December 29, then he’s ours at the University of Kentucky.

Welcome aboard.


Shannon Dawson New UK Offensive Coordinator

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Football Scoop is reporting that West Virginia Offensive Coordinator Shannon Dawson will leave Morgantown to take the same position at Kentucky. We will have more in the moments ahead.


A Look At UCLA’s 11 Games This Season

If you’re like me, you’ve got better things going on in life than watching UCLA basketball. I think we all have bigger priorities than tuning in to Bruins games out west, with the exception being a couple Battle 4 Atlantis games over Thanksgiving break. (Food coma = ESPN binge.)

But unlike me, you were probably too busy this afternoon to dissect UCLA’s 11 games this season for a post on KentuckySportsRadio.com. What can I say? Wednesdays can be slow for me. I went to Fayette Mall for new socks and drove to Madisonville, too. BIG DAY.

So, below you’ll find a rundown of how UCLA has fared thus far through 2014-15.

(Spoiler: It’s not all that impressive.)

 


[W] UCLA 113, Montana State 78
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

Somehow, some way, UCLA gave up 78 points to Montana State, the same team that managed to score only 22 points on Kentucky before the third platoon checked in with five minutes left. The Bobcats shot over 47 percent from the field against the Bruins with 10 players getting at least a bucket, including four players in double-figures.

However, UCLA still escaped with a 35-point win, led by 25 points from Norman Powell and another 20 from Kevin Looney in his college basketball debut. Powell and Looney were responsible for 23 of their team’s 26 made free throws.

I can’t fathom Montana State scoring 78 points on anyone.


[W] UCLA 84, Coastal Carolina 71
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

UCLA found itself in a tight one with Coastal Carolina in the first half of the Bruins’ second game of the season, until UCLA pulled away in the second half with a 24-8 run.

Kevin Looney recorded his first career double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds, while Bryce Alford, the coach’s son, added 17 of his own.

Coastal Carolina went on to beat Auburn at Auburn three weeks later.


[W] UCLA 107, Nicholls State 74
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

Nicholls State, UCLA’s third opponent in six days, caught the Bruins on a hot shooting night from outside. UCLA went 11-for-21 from three-point land and eclipsed the 100-point mark for the second time in its first three games.

Baby Alford led all scorers with 28 points and a career-high 13 points. Kevin Looney added another double-double with 12 and 14.


[W] UCLA 77, Long Beach State 63
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

Long Beach State gave UCLA its closest contest of the young season, trailing by only two possessions with three minutes to go. But UCLA buckled down and got the job done with an 11-2 run to close out the game.

All five UCLA starters scored in double-figures, led by 24 from Norman Powell. Kevin Looney added yet another double-double, his third in his first four games, with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bruins scored only four points off the bench, all from guard Noah Allen.


[L] Oklahoma 75, (22) UCLA 65
Imperial Arena, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Now a Top 25 team, UCLA traveled to the Bahamas for the Battle 4 Atlantis, where it ran into Oklahoma in its first game in paradise. UCLA looked to be in good shape with a 57-49 lead in the second half, that is until Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield, a native of the Bahamas, went on a personal 10-0 run to give the Sooners the lead. Oklahoma went on to win, 75-62, with 24 points from Hield.

The Bruins shot 26-of-69 from the field, 4-of-17 from deep, and 9-of-21 at the foul stripe.

Looney recorded another double-double 16 points and 15 rebounds.


[L] (5) North Carolina 78, (22) UCLA 56
Imperial Arena, Paradise Island, Bahamas

UCLA dropped its second game in a row with a loss to fifth-ranked North Carolina (also coming off a loss) thanks to an ugly showing from the Bruins. Steve Alford’s team committed 23 turnovers to only seven assists and missed all but one of their 14 three-point field goal attempts.

Alford said afterward, “Our guard play wasn’t very good, our frontcourt wasn’t very good, and that’s not a very good combination.”

UCLA held a lead at 18-11, but that was as good as it would get for the Bruins in this one.


[W] (22) UCLA 88, UAB 76
Imperial Arena, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Still in the Top 25 and still in the Bahamas, UCLA drew UAB in the seventh-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis, meaning the loser of this one would finish dead last at the event.

Things were going great for the Bruins with a 22-point lead with eight minutes left, then UAB made it interesting with a 17-5 run. Luckily for the Californians, they got it together late and held on to the lead for their only victory in the tournament.

Five Bruins scored in double-figures, powered by Isaac Hamilton’s 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting.


[W] UCLA 73, CS Fullerton 45
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

After dropping two games in the Bahamas, UCLA returned home to Westwood to host nearby California State Fullerton and they returned to early season form with a blowout. The Bruins held Fullerton to 24 percent shooting and cruised to a 73-45 victory.

Once again, all five starters reached double-digit scoring and Kevin Looney filled up the box score with another double-double. Tony Parker was one rebound shy of joining Looney.


[W] UCLA 75, San Diego 68
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

UCLA got off to a rough start against San Diego, trailing by two going into the break in Los Angeles. The Bruins were beat on the glass and on the scoreboard through the first 20 minutes, causing Steve Alford to lose his mind in the locker room.

UCLA would respond, however, taking over the lead and stretching it out to nine on two separate occasions. They went on to win by seven in the end, and yes, you guessed it, Kevin Looney had a double-double, his sixth through nine career games.


[W] UCLA 77, UC Riverside 66
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

UCLA came out sluggish once again against UC Riverside, trailing at the half in a second game in a row, this time by eight. But Normal Powell sparked a Bruin rally in the second half with seven straight points and UCLA went on to win by 11.

Tony Parker had a career-high 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Looney added a double-double of his own for his Pac-12-leading seventh of the year.


[L] (9) Gonzaga 87, UCLA 74
Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, California

A familiar face lit UCLA up for 24 points in Gonzaga’s 13-point win on UCLA’s home floor last weekend. Kyle Wiltjer was 9-of-13 from the field and 3-of-5 from outside en route to those 24 points, followed by another 20 from his Bulldog teammate Byron Wesley.

The loss was UCLA’s third on the season, snapping a four-game winning streak and an undefeated record at home. It was never close.


[?] (1) Kentucky __ , UCLA __
United Center, Chicago, Illinois

Good luck!

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Mark Stoops will be a guest on KSR tomorrow

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Here’s your friendly reminder: Mark Stoops will be a guest on Kentucky Sports Radio radio tomorrow morning. UK’s head football coach is scheduled to join the guys in studio in the second hour, beginning around 11:05 am.

If listening to Stoops isn’t your thing, you should still considering tuning in if you have any interest in going to Chicago. Matt and Ryan also plan to give away tickets to Kentucky’s Saturday game with UCLA.

It’s going to be a goodin’.


Harris says losing Neal Brown and UK’s poor finish have little effect on his decision

damien harris in uk gear

The Courier-Journal’s Steve Jones was in attendance when Damien Harris received the Paul Hornung Award today and he was able to chat with Harris after the ceremony about recruiting things.

You can read Jones’ Q&A with Harris here, but I’ll share with you two comments that stood out to me:

When asked about Neal Brown’s departure, Harris said, “The loss of Coach Brown doesn’t really affect me very much because I’m very close with a lot of the coaches on the staff. Losing that one coach isn’t really that vital, although I did really like Coach Brown. Like I said, I’m really close with three or four coaches on the staff. Losing one doesn’t automatically turn me away from the program.”

And if UK’s 0-6 finish matters, Harris told Jones, “You can’t go from winning two games to winning nine or 10 games, especially not in the SEC, the hardest conference in America. How they finished the season didn’t really affect me in any way.”

Read the entire interview over at the C-J.


Bud Dupree checks in at #30 on Todd McShay’s Mock Draft

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Bud Dupree’s name has consistently popped up on NFL mock drafts since the season ended. The latest mocks have Dupree going in the end of the first round, with ESPN’s Todd McShay projecting him as the 30th pick to the Arizona Cardinals:

30. Bud Dupree, Arizona Cardinals

Arizona’s quarterback situation has been complicated by Carson Palmer tearing his ACL the same week he signed a contract extension with the team, but the Cardinals aren’t going to find a solution at this spot, even if they’re looking for one. Dupree is a bit of a tweener but projects best as a 3-4 outside linebacker, making him a good fit for Arizona’s scheme at a position of need. He is an outstanding athlete for his size, with very good speed and redirect skills.

The same mock has the Titans picking Jameis Winston at #2. For the love of God, PLEASE NO.

[ESPN Insider]


The SEC Network is breaking out the yule log and fight songs for Christmas morning

Tired of the Christmas station on Pandora? The SEC Network just announced their programming plans for Christmas day, and from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. ET, the network will feature video of a yule log burning in a fireplace accompanied by SEC fight songs and holiday music. Open up presents, drink coffee, and clean up wrapping paper to the tune of…

• Yea Alabama
• Arkansas Fight
• War Eagle (Auburn)
• Orange & Blue (Florida)
• Glory, Glory (Georgia)
• On! On! U of K (Kentucky)
• Fight for LSU
• Hail State (Mississippi State)
• Forward Rebels (Ole Miss)
• Fight, Tiger (Missouri)
• Step to the Rear (South Carolina)
• Down the Field (Tennessee)
• Aggie War Hymn (Texas A&M)
• Dynamite (Vanderbilt)

…along with holiday favorites like “Oh Christmas Tree”, “Jingle Bells” and the “12 Days of Christmas”, all commercial free. 

Mississippi State’s football team is already getting into the spirit by listening to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (aka one of the best Christmas songs ever) during practice:

A video posted by MSU Football (@hailstatefb) on


Anthony Davis hugging a giant teddy bear will give you all the feels

@NOLA_Bounce

Davis, Ryan Anderson, and Jeff Withey took children in New Orleans on a shopping spree yesterday. Click here to see more pictures, or just get all your “awwwww”s out with the one above.


Willie Cauley-Stein soars eight spots in Chad Ford’s latest Big Board

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

Huge performances against Texas and North Carolina have Willie Cauley-Stein’s NBA stock soaring. Draft Express still lists Willie as the 4th pick in their 2015 mock, while Chad Ford bumped Willie up eight spots to #8 on his latest Big Board of prospects:

8. Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky

Cauley-Stein is having the best two weeks of his college basketball career. He had an amazing 21-point, 12-rebound, 3-block, five-steal performance against Texas’ huge frontline. He posted another double-double against Columbia and versus North Carolina on Saturday he had 15 points, six rebounds, two blocks and four steals. After sitting in the late lottery for the past two years, he’s finally started to live up to that potential scouts saw in him as a freshman. Not only has Cauley-Stein continued his elite defensive presence, but he’s become more active offensively and shown a more consistent motor and toughness. He has become the unlikely leader of this Kentucky team and scouts are taking note of it. While he’s still somewhat limited offensively and will turn 22 in August, scouts still believe he has the potential to be a starting center in the NBA in the mode of Tyson Chandler.

Meanwhile, Ford has Karl Towns at #3, Trey Lyles at #21, and Dakari Johnson at #29. In his weekly chat, Ford said that although Willie’s rise has been impressive, he doesn’t see him going higher than #5:

Q. What do you honestly think Cauley-Stein’s draft projection can top out at? Could he become a top 3 pick?

That may be a little high for a couple of reasons. One, while he’s improved offensively, he’s still pretty limited. Two, he’s already 21 years old. There are guys at 19 who have similar types of stats who he’s competing with. We have him at 8 on our Big Board. I think 5 is as high as he would go, but I think the 7-10 range is most likely.

[Big Board 4.0, Weekly Chat]


George Asafo-Adjei signs with Kentucky

@westfirebirds

Mid-year Signing Day rolls on, and four-star offensive tackle George Asafo-Adjei is the latest UK commit to make it official today. The West Chester, Ohio native will join his former teammates Mikel Horton and Kyle Meadows at UK in January, along with fellow early enrollees CJ Conrad and Kengera Daniel.

Welcome aboard.


LAST CHANCE TO GET KSR GEAR BY CHRISTMAS wants some late lunch notes

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Hey procrastinators: you’ve got one last chance to get your KSR gear before Christmas! Order by noon tomorrow and you’re guaranteed to get your KSR merchandise by Christmas Day. Even better: it’s all 20% off with free shipping for orders over $40.

What are you waiting for? ORDER NOW!

KSR gear at KentuckyBranded.com

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With a week between games and the offensive coordinator search still ongoing (for now), it seems like we’re all in standby mode here at KSR. Fortunately, we’re hearing that the search is wrapping up, and hopefully, we’ll know who UK’s new offensive coordinator is by the time Mark Stoops comes on KSR tomorrow morning. Until then, Drew and I will be watching the Twittersphere like hawks, only taking bathrooms breaks every five hours and wearing wrist supports to prevent carpal tunnel. Blog so hard.

Some notes to keep us rolling…

@WYWH_Daniel22

Today is mid-year signing day, and three-star defensive end Kengera Daniel wasted no time in making his commitment to Kentucky official. The 6’6″, 245 lbs. Daniel picked UK over Alabama, Louisville, NC State and Virginia in October, filling a big hole left by Darius Fullwood’s decommitment. He’ll enroll at Kentucky in January to get a head start on his freshman year. Congrats on signing, Kengera. Get on up to Lexington.

@vaughtsviews

Damien Harris is currently receiving the Paul Hornung award, given annually to the best high school football player in the state of Kentucky. In a cool moment, Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers called to speak to Harris, the picture of which you can see above, thanks to Larry Vaught. And before you call out Harris for still having a flip phone (although I hear those are making a comeback), that’s Paul Hornung’s phone, not his.

Auburn plays Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day in a game I normally wouldn’t care much about, but apparently, if Auburn wins, Outback will give away free Bloomin’ Onions nationwide on January 2. If Wisconsin wins, they’ll give away Coconut Shrimp.

War damn Eagle, right?

Finally, this is the best letter to the tooth fairy I’ve ever seen:


Updated construction pics of Commonwealth Stadium

The folks over at UK Athletics shared some pictures of the ongoing construction at Commonwealth Stadium with us today, and whoa, things are looking different. Just look at how much work they’ve done to demo part of the lower bowl for the new Field Club level.

That press box that used to hold all our media friends and Alan Cutler’s farts? Gone:

What will be the team’s new facilities in the east end zone:

Check out all of the pictures of the progress at TheNewCWS.com.