A few weeks ago I wrote on here about how this is going to be the “Summer of Transition” on KSR as we move to some new endeavors and expand what we do on this site. We are very excited about the changes and looking forward to announcing new additions to the site in the months to come. One of those additions is bringing on some new writers, a couple of which are names from the past (BTI and John Wilkinson), some new names you don’t yet know and a couple of folks you do know that you will be excited (and surprised) to see in the KSR environment.
But along with that, it is time to once again cast a net and add some new writers to the KSR family from our readership. It has now been 2 1/2 years since our last blogger contest and in these 30 months, we have not added on any new writers from outside the KSR world or the KSR College environment. This summer that changes. Over time, the most important names at KSR have come from either the Blogger contest or writing on separate blogs and then joining Kentucky Sports Radio. Now we will set out to look for the new Beisner, Drew Franklin and Tyler Thompson from our KSR Readership. So we are asking you, do you have what it takes to write for KSR.
Here is What We are Looking For:
1. Creative Writers to Cover UK Sports: You know the KSR style. Do you think you can do it? If so, we would like to read your submission. If you decide to apply for one of these positions, make sure and let us know what sports you would focus on and what you consider your expertise. Remember, most will say basketball and football, so if you have an interest in another area, please let us know. You can be any age, any walk of life and have any profession…just a desire and ability to write at a high level about Kentucky sports.
2. College Students: Many of our best writers have come from KSR College and we are continuing another year of that starting in August. The form of KSR College will alter slightly and the posts will be integrated into the main site as part of the redesign. But if you are interested in joining the KSR College group, you should apply for this position. This involves actual covering of UK games, press conferences and events (last year writers from KSR College were able to cover the John Calipari Fantasy Camp). We prefer to have students who can be in the Lexington area for events, although this is not required. If you are a college student, this is the best position to apply for and we have had a number of writers coming from KSR College land full time sports reporting jobs after their time with us.
3. Creative non-UK Sports Writers: Part of our new endeavor will be to create a “Culture” page, similar to what Bill Simmons has done with Grantland that will include writing beyond the world of UK sports. Some of our best writers, such as Tomlin, Drew and others will be writing extensively here. If you think you are particularly capable of writing about interesting, non-UK topics (movies, politics, pop culture, long features), this is the position for you and you can be part of building a spin-off phase of KSR going forward.
These are the three main types of writers we are now seeking. We are adding a KSR Photographer, but she has already been picked and will be joining us in June. What we are looking for now are great writers and I know you are out there. If you come down this path, it can literally change your career, just as it did for Thomas Beisner, Drew Franklin and Tyler Thompson. And now is the time for you to try as as well.
To Apply, EMAIL KSRJOBS1@gmail.com with this information:
— Reference in SUBJECT OF THE EMAIL as to which position/s you are interested in
— A couple of paragraphs on who you are, where you live, what you do for a living, why you are interested…a biographical look at the person applying. Make sure to use this as a time to sell us on you as it will be (at least until we interview you) our only chance to know who you are as a person.
— At least 2 WRITING SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK. This can be created specifically for this application or something you have done elsewhere. But we are interested in seeing your writing ability.
— Contact information and schedule availability. If you are chosen, how often, and when, would you be available to write.
Our vision is that you will join us as a secondary hobby to whatever career you are pursuing now, but with the possibility of advancement, just as other KSR writers have done before. We need your submission by TUESDAY MAY 28 at 5 PM. We will spend some time reviewing the applications and then be in touch by mid-June. This is an exciting time for KSR and we are eager to pursue the next phase of the site’s growth this summer. We hope to have you a part of it and look forward to reading your submissions. Thanks!
The always venerable Wikipedia defines an expatriate as “a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country or culture other than that of the person’s upbringing.” In other words, they’re strangers in a strange land. University of Kentucky fans have always identified themselves as members of “Big Blue Nation,” and in many cases, the BBN really CAN be found almost anywhere your travels take you. With that in mind, the series “The Ex-Pats of Big Blue Nation” will profile those Kentucky fans who have moved away from the Bluegrass State for whatever reason, asking how they’ve managed to maintain their devotion and fanhood despite living in areas where every exhibition game isn’t televised or where no one in the neighborhood understands the significance of the date April 2, 2012. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Derek in Albania. Read on and enjoy hearing about life as a UK fan outside of Kentucky.
Let’s start with the basics. Please state your name, where you’re from, and current location for the official record. No need for exact addresses, I don’t want to get you in trouble on the Internet.
My name is Derek Dennis and I grew up in Oldham County. I graduated from UK in 2011 with an undergraduate degree in business management. I currently live in northern Albania.
How did you get from Point A (Kentucky) to Point B (where you are now)?
After graduating, I went into the Peace Corps and was selected to serve in Albania. I have been working with a local government office on economic and youth development projects for over a year now. While I miss Kentucky, Albania has been a great place to work and live.
What team’s fans dominate your area? (College or professional)
The KS Besëlidhja Lezhë futbol klub represents my community in the Albanian national soccer league. Though, the European Champions League is king here. It dominates the coffee shop conversations year round.
Was it a hard adjustment going from living where everyone knows every detail about UK sports, to where people may conceivably think UK and Louisville are the same team?
Not only do people here not know about UK, but some of our behaviors don’t translate very well. For instance, the act of throwing up 3 goggles means something entirely different. It’s vulgar. Something to keep in mind during your next trip to Albania.
How many Kentucky fans would you say are in your general vicinity? Is there a local UK alumni group or bar?
Zero. I can go weeks without seeing another American.
How do you show off your fandom while living away from Kentucky?
UK shirts, hats, and flags.
Derek hung this flag in his village during the 2012 championship run.
What’s the hardest thing about being a fan outside of the geographic BBN? The best thing?
Bad: Watching live games. Obviously, the 6 hour time difference for night games automatically cuts into my sleep. But I also have the occasional prolonged power or internet outage. Good: I don’t have to hear about UL.
What do you do for games?
Since most games are at night, I set my alarm, try to sleep as much as possible, and wake up a couple minutes before the start. I can usually stream into Tom Leach on my computer. It’s odd listening to a game in Commonwealth or Rupp from my soviet-style block apartment at 4 am. In an environment so different from home, I try to keep up as much as I can because it helps make my fall and winter months feel somewhat normal.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to follow a game live?
During the game against Maryland in Brooklyn last November, my power went off early in the second half. It was in the middle of the night here, but I stayed up in the dark and luckily caught the final minute when the power came on.
How do you keep up with UK news without the local media readily accessible?
I’m able to stay updated through KSR and other sites. KSR helps out the most because I can stream the radio show periodically. Where else can I get news about Wiggins, the Waddy Werewolf, and the Bachelorette in the same place?
Since becoming an ex-pat, have you returned to Kentucky to watch the team play or seen the team play live in a different area?
No, I haven’t had the chance to come back to UK.
You’re in Albania, a place that I could not locate on a map with a gun to my head. How do the locals respond to your fandom? Have you incorporated being a UK fan into your Peace Corps job?
A large aspect of my job includes culture exchange, so it’s a great opportunity for me to represent Kentucky. One of the ways I’ve introduced them to UK is through YouTube videos. The introduction clips seem to be the unanimous favorite within my office. People here also seem to love Wiltjer’s dance from big blue madness.
What advice do you have for anyone who may be considering a move from Kentucky who is concerned about missing out on following UK?
You can keep up with UK almost anywhere!
Any general stories that the readers of KSR would be interested to hear about living as a BBN ex-pat?
During the tournament run last year, I was living a rural village for an extended training period. It was bittersweet for me because I had no way to watch or follow the games. I found out about the Final Four wins by making my brother call internationally after each game. I wasn’t able to actually watch the games until a couple months later. But I went through them all… from IU and Baylor, to UL and Kansas. Even though it was June, MKG’s block was still new to me. It was awesome to finally watch the clock run out in New Orleans!
Disclaimer: The contents of this interview are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.
If you’re an ex-pat of BBN who enjoys talking about yourself, email email@example.com
When the ping pong balls get to bouncin’ at tomorrow night’s NBA draft lottery, I will be pulling for the Charlotte Bobcats to win the rights to the draft’s No. 1 overall pick.
Am I a Bobcats fan?
Absolutely not. But I will be if the balls bounce in Charlotte’s favor. And so will you.
With Nerlens Noel currently projected to hear his name called first and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist already on the payroll, Charlotte provides the best scenario for fans of Kentucky basketball. Nerlens and MKG are two of Big Blue Nation’s all-time favorites, therefore putting them together gives UK fans a professional team to love a little more than others, and the Bobcats franchise could use all the extra support it can get.
You followed New Orleans for the first time in your life this season, didn’t you? I bet you checked Sacramento’s box scores from time to time, too. If Charlotte wins the No. 1 pick and selects Nerlens, the Bobcats’ bandwagon will be mobbed by UK fans, t-shirt money in hand, looking to find a seat on board.
But that ACL injury is a concern, some people will tell you. It’s too much of a gamble with that first pick, they say.
It’s not. It’s the opposite, really. In my opinion, the injury is even more of a reason the Bobcats, and Kentucky fans, need Nerlens Noel in Charlotte. Some say it’s a concern; I see it as a bonus, on top of the incredible athleticism, upside, work ethic, personality and marketability he already offers.
Look at it this way: Noel will be out until Christmas at the very earliest, so whichever team he ends up with will have to play the first half of the season with the same incompetent roster that got them in the draft lottery in the first place. That means another underwhelming season, and in turn, potentially the best odds to win the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. If you’re Charlotte, what’s it hurt to wait another year to make a stab at the playoffs in 2014-15? The team has been near the bottom of the standings throughout all nine years of its existence, it might as well tank one more time to be the favorite in the Andrew Wiggins Sweepstakes. If it works out that way, Charlotte will be on its way to becoming a contender with a young trio of Wiggins, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nerlens Noel to build around.
Of course, Wiggins to Charlotte isn’t guaranteed if the Bobcats take Noel and compile the league’s worst record next season, which will almost certainly happen. In fact, you and I would love to see another franchise go first and take the soon-to-be Jayhawk. That would bust the gates wide open for the Bobcats to draft one of the four, five, or six Wildcats that will be projected to go in the top 10 in the 2014 draft.
How does a Noel-MKG-Andrew Harrison NBA connection sound? Can you imagine the hustle a frontcourt of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Nerlens Noel and Julius Randle would give? I’d drive to Charlotte once a month to see that lineup. The Bobcats would undoubtedly become the unofficial NBA team of the state of Kentucky during a time when Kentuckians have so many to choose from. Former Wildcats will soon be on half of the league’s rosters, but none will compare to a trio of UK stars headlining an NBA starting lineup only six hours away. Kentucky will finally have that professional NBA team it has so desperately wanted.
Not to mention, Charlotte needs help in the paint. Bismack Biyombo is running out of time to prove himself and Josh McRoberts’ deal with the devil to stay in the NBA this long has to be up soon. Nerlens, though too skinny right now, will one day be a defensive force at the next level. He will defend the rim, alter shots and stop drives, just as we saw him do in Lexington prior to the injury. He’ll need to bulk up to be able to bang with the big boys — that’s what the down time is for — but his shot blocking ability is too good to not make him one of the league’s better defenders after a couple of years. And, again, Bismack Biyombo and Josh McRoberts. Don’t even make me mention Byron Mullens.
So when representatives from the NBA’s fourteen worst teams get together tomorrow night to determine the order for next month’s draft, I encourage you to join me and the small group of Charlottonians who aren’t doing something NASCAR-related in cheering on the Charlotte Bobcats. The franchise has the second best odds in the lottery (19.9%) and Nerlens Noel’s fate, and the fate of our NBA fandom is on the line. Last year, if you recall, the Bobcats were in position to acquire Anthony Davis but New Orleans swooped in and stole him away like a bad mascot name. The Bobcats hope to do the same to the Orlando Magic this year.
The NBA draft lottery is Tuesday night at 8:30 ET. It will be televised on ESPN.
The Bobcats might be the Hornets again by then.
Editor’s Note: This is all based on the assumption Michael Jordan doesn’t do something dumb with the first pick. I can easily see M.J. drafting Reggie Bullock No. 1 overall or throwing the pick in a trade for Harrison Barnes or John Henson. Or losing the pick to Charlie Sheen in a game of Texas Hold ‘Em.
A big KSR shout out to Josh Teater, who qualified for the British Open by shooting 7 under in the 36 hole United States qualifying event. With just a few people left to finish, Josh was leading all qualifiers and has played his way into the field for the Open in July. Teater is a huge UK fan (as shown above by his sporting an Enes Kanter jersey during a PGA Tour round) and a regular KSR reader. We will be pulling for him during the blustery Open conditions as he tries to bring the Claret Jug to the Bluegrass.
If you enjoy reading articles about the UK men’s basketball team, please visit my webpage at http://kybasketball.blogspot.com. You can also follow my webpage on Twitter. My webpage has been around for several years and I update it several times per day so UK basketball fans have access to the best and most recent articles about the team.
Now, The Article Links-
Whatever Calipari says, the most fascinating thing about the coach this season will be how he changes to meet the unique demands of what he’s trying to do in Kentucky
Calipari will be even more keen to get next year’s Wildcats back into the upper echelon of the nation’s elite defenses
Emmanuel Mudiay has definite interest in Kentucky
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is hot on the trail of Tyus Jones
No one is predicting a Hall of Fame career for Nerlens Noel, the likely No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft
Daniel Orton will serve as the walk ambassador for this year’s Lupus Walk and 5K run to End Lupus NOW on June 1 in Oklahoma City
What in the Sam Hill is going on at Baylor? The basketball roster has more moves than BTI at his ‘Welcome Back’ party last night.
First, Deuce Bello announced last week that he will transfer to another program. Then, just twenty-four hours later, L.J. Rose, a top 10 point guard in the 2012 class, also went public with news that he will leave Baylor for
greener not-as-green pastures. Now a third player has opted out of playing in Waco next season when news broke this morning that Dominic Woodson backed out of his commit to the Bears and will look elsewhere. Woodson, a Huntington Prep product, is the ninth-ranked center in the 2013 recruiting class.
Cory Jefferson and Isaiah Austin, two guys that’ll give UK’s frontcourt fits, are still on the roster, though. They may be the only players on the team when Dec. 6 rolls around.
And for you Deuce Bello fans out there, you’ll still get your Bello fix in SEC play. He’s taking his high-flying talents to Mizzou. That dude can soar.
Above is time-lapse video of the devastation in Oklahoma after a tornado in Oklahoma City and Moore. The video is shocking, but the reports are even worse. A local tv reporter just said he is at an elementary school where 75 children were trapped when the tornado hit and many are still being rescued. Prayers go out to everyone involved.
Congratulations to Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, and Julius Randle, who were named SLAM Magazine All-Americans this afternoon. The trio of future Cats makes up half of the SLAM All-American First Team, which also includes Duke’s Jabari Parker, Arizona’s Aaron Gordon, and of course, Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins. James Young made the second team, Dakari Johnson the third, and Marcus Lee got honorable mention. SLAM calls the 2013 All-Americans “a potentially historic class of up-and-comers,” with the most prep talent the sport has seen since the 2007 class that included Derrick Rose, OJ Mayo, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin and James Harden.
Here’s what SLAM had to say about the Harrison Twins and Julius Randle:
Meanwhile, the Harrison twins have garnered attention for their superior guard skills and many believe they are the next great guards coming up the pipeline. And then there’s Julius Randle, who has proven to embody college-ready (or possibly even pro-ready) physique for the last few years.
Check out their individual portraits after the jump. Go Cats.
While enthusiasm surrounding the football program is at an all-time high, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s still going to take time for that enthusiasm to carry over to on-field results. Each major recruit that Stoops and company brings in creates more positive momentum, but we are still at least a year from seeing most of these guys in action. Stoops did his best with the 2013 class, pulling off major last minute coups like Jason Hatcher and Ryan Timmons, but it will take time for the team as a whole to resemble an SEC caliber squad. Playmakers at the skill positions will be key, especially considering the lack of depth at wide receiver.
The past few months have been thrilling for Kentucky football fans, who have been thirsty for a competitive squad for years, but immediate success in the SEC might as well be a mirage in the desert. A simple look at next year’s schedule will tell you why:
08/31/13 vs. Western Kentucky TV (Nashville, Tenn)
09/07/13 vs. Miami (Oh)
09/14/13 vs. Louisville
09/28/13 vs. Florida
10/05/13 at South Carolina
10/12/13 vs. Alabama
10/26/13 at Mississippi State
11/02/13 vs. Alabama State
11/09/13 vs. Missouri
11/16/13 at Vanderbilt
11/23/13 at Georgia
11/30/13 vs. Tennessee
Based on this schedule, what are your realistic expectations for next season’s record (excluding a bowl game)? Vote in the poll below and leave your reasons in the comments section.
For what it’s worth, I see Kentucky beating Western, Miami, Alabama State, and Tennessee to finish at 4-8, with a possible upset at Mississippi State or Vandy.
Even though Frontier League Baseball coverage is often overlooked by KSR, our Northern Kentucky friends have a promotional offer that is almost too good to be true. If the showdown between the Freedom and the Schaumburg Boomers won’t get you in the seats of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center Stadium on Thursday night, Lennay Kekua bobbleheads for the first 1,000 fans should do the trick. The empty box should be a great mantle centerpiece over your fireplace.
Is it too late to keep joking on Manti? NO WAY! Thanks Freedom!
(P.S. does anyone have a clue what the Freedom’s logo is supposed to be? All I can see is what appears to be a 5-year old’s rendition of the yin/yang sign.)
The Green Bay Packers’ “Tailgate Tour” wrapped up on Friday after five days, 691 miles, and endless Randall Cobb photo ops. Cobb and his teammates traveled around Wisconsin and Iowa in a bus to throw tailgate parties for fans, raising over $300,000 for area charities. The players stopped by schools, hospitals, fire stations, and more to talk to fans, and Cobb even got a chance to try his hand at making pizza. As you can see from the picture above, it didn’t go too well. Next time, Randall.
Because I can’t end any Randall Cobb post on a bad note, here’s a picture of him in a full firefighter’s uniform from one of the stops:
Photos by Aaron Popkey, Packers.com
The lines are out for the first week of college football and BetOnline has your University of Kentucky Wildcats as a 3-point favorite over Western Kentucky. The season opening Stoops-Petrino clash will be played in Nashville on Saturday, August 31.
Cue the sirens.
About a month ago, 3-star safety Mike Edwards was on the verge of committing to UK, but postponed his announcement due to pressure from his coach and family to take his time with his search. If his Twitter account is any indication, Edwards is still very interested in UK, and today, will bring his parents to Lexington to tour the campus and meet the staff. Having his parents on board for his decision is very important to Mike, who is ranked the 28th best safety in the nation by Rivals. He’s also got offers from Louisville, Nebraska, Missouri, Vandy and Wisconsin, among others.
Edwards and Darius West have gone on record saying they want to play college ball together, and Edwards is also close friends with Derek Kief. Landing Edwards would be a big enough deal on its own, but add in the other two and it would be absolutely huge.
Stay tuned, and if you see the Edwards out and about in Lexington today, please make them feel at home.
24/7′s new 2014 player rankings are out! Check out how UK’s seven commitments rank above, along with this list of UK’s top 2014 targets, which I put together for you below:
Raleigh, North Carolina
247 ranking: 3-star, #37 athlete, #12 in North Carolina
247 ranking: 4-star, #135 nationally, #21 WR, #5 in Ohio
247 ranking: 4-star, #20 safety, #12 in Ohio
247 ranking: 4-star, #242 nationally, #20 DT, #2 in Kentucky
Right now, UK’s 2014 class ranks 25th nationally, and 9th in the SEC. Rivals is expected to update their rankings today as well.
Former Tennessee basketball player Kenny Hall wants everyone to know that he did not sleep with Jenny Wright, the former UT administrator in trouble for allegedly getting too close to student-athletes.
“I like to think of myself as an attractive guy so she could’ve been given me some kind of eye, I mean, if she did I ain’t bite on it,” Hall told WATE 6 news in Knoxville. “I looked at her like, yeah, she’s an attractive woman, you know… had given the opportunity… you know… but, it didn’t even cross my mind.”
Welp, I’m glad we got that cleared up.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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