Kentucky picked up three commitments during the Friday Night Lights camp this past weekend, two →
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:00 pm
Yesterday, UK started the Kickoff Playoff bracket to help choose the song to be played right before kickoff on August 30. Eight UK players submitted their picks, and over the next week, fans will vote for their favorite. Yesterday, Bud Dupree’s pick “Knuck if you Buck” went up against Steven Bordon’s pick “Scatta,” and this morning, UK announced the results of the poll. “Knuck if you Buck” has advanced. Sorry, Steven.
Today, it’s time to vote between Braylon Heard’s pick, “Who Run It” and Mike Douglas’ pick, “Head Bussa.” Listen to the two below and head on over to UK’s BBN First site to vote.
“WHO RUN IT” Three 6 Mafia: Braylon Heard
“HEAD BUSSA” Lil Scrappy: Mike Douglas
It’s close, but I’m going with Mike Douglas and “Head Bussa” on this one.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:30 pm
Here’s some news that won’t be surprising to us: in a recent study, Louisville was named the third unhappiest city in America. The US National Bureau of Economic Research surveyed people who live in cities with a population of more than 1 million as of 2010 about their satisfaction with life, and Louisville came in third, behind New York and Pittsburgh. Here’s the top ten:
1. New York, NY
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Louisville, KY
4. Milwaukee, WI
5. Detroit, MI
6. Indianapolis, IN
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Las Vegas, NV
9. Buffalo, NY
10. Philadelphia, PA
Finally, proof that it’s depressing living in Calipari’s shadow. Maybe that explains all the Crown Royal.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:00 pm
For the second season in a row, UK Basketball was honored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches for team academic excellence. UK was one of eight BCS programs with a cumulative team grade-point average of 3.0 or better for the 2013-2014 season. The Cats posted a 3.11 cumulative GPA, making it six out of seven semesters UK’s team has had a GPA of 3.0 or better.
Tod Lanter, Sam Malone and Jarrod Polson were named to the NABC Honors Court, and Malone was the recipient of the Elite 89 award at the 2014 Final Four, which honors the student athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating in the Final Four. Nine Cats made various SEC honor rolls this season, including Dominique Hawkins, Dakari Johnson, Lanter, Marcus Lee, Brian Long, Malone, Polson, Alex Poythress and Derek Willis.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©12:00 pm
Is a football series with the University of Cincinnati in the works? According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati is discussing future football games with Louisville, Kentucky, and Pittsburgh. Groeschen also announced that Cincinnati will play a home-home series with Indiana starting in 2021.
Kentucky hasn’t played Cincinnati in football since 1996, and the (Wild)Cats hold a 21-9-3 lead on the Bearcats in the series.
Are you in favor of renewing the series with the Bearcats?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:30 am
Soon, you may be able to major in beer at UK. Legitimately, like in a classroom. According to the Herald Leader’s Janet Patton, UK is working on adding a brewers certification program, which means I really need to go back to college.
On a side note, shoutout to Country Boy Brewing in Lexington. A few of their beers are now on tap here in Nashville and they are delicious.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:00 am
2016 shooting guard Malik Monk turned a lot of heads at last week’s Peach Jam. In fact, Monk was so impressive that John Calipari flew back to North Augusta Friday night after hanging out with LeBron James just to see him play. Monk, who picked up an offer from UK late last month, told the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts that Cal leaving LeBron to see him play shows him he wants him pretty badly: “He says that he wants me real bad,” Monk said. “And I can tell that he does.”
Monk responded, putting up 40 points, including some dunks that impressed even the most cynical of pundits. Monk says that since he picked up the offer from UK last month, he’s been talking to Calipari once a week. In fact, he said he’s already a UK fan, telling Roberts he watches all of UK’s games and is friends with former Cat and fellow Arkansan Archie Goodwin. Right now, the home state Razorbacks are a favorite in his recruitment, but probably not for long if Cal keeps up the full-court press.
Read more quotes from Monk at the Herald-Leader, and watch him work below:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:15 am
UK’s annual Alumni Charity Game will take place on August 24 at 6 p.m. ET, and this morning, UK announced that tickets will go on sale Monday, July 28 at 10 a.m. ET.
All seats are reserved and priced at $101 (premium lower level), $31 (lower level), and $16 for premium upper level. Tickets can be purchased at the Rupp Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster Outlet or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. There is an eight-ticket limit per person. All orders will have additional fees attached. All proceeds from the game will go to charity.
For the first time ever, the game will feature a team of UK pros vs. a team of non-UK pros, making the matchup possibilities endless. We’ve heard that some former Louisville players may participate, along with some former Florida players…let’s hear your ideal lineups in the comments.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:55 am
Good morning and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, Matt and Drew are in Drew’s hometown of Madisonville at Hudson Automotive (1055 Crossing Place) to talk about the latest in UK sports, including the latest basketball practice report which has everyone in the BBN buzzing.
If you’re in the area, come on out to say hi to Matt and Drew and register for the chance to win some AMAZING prizes, including tickets to a UK game from GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com or the grandaddy of them all, the chance to be included in the drawing for a trip for TWO to the UK Bahamas Tour at the Atlantis…eight days, all expenses paid and tickets to every UK game. The winner will come from finalists that are picked on the tour, one at each stop.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
KSR Affiliate List
WBGN (1340 am) Bowling Green
WAIN (93.9 fm) Columbia
WHIR (1230 am) Danville
WCLU (1490 am) Glasgow
WGOH (1370 am) Grayson
WHOP (1230am/95.3 fm) Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060 am) Jamestown
WLAP (630 am) Lexington
WFTG (1400 am) London
WKJK (1080 am) Louisville
WFMW (730 am/94.9 fm) Madisonville
WXXL (1450 am) Manchester
WFTM (1240 am) Maysville
WKYM (101.7 fm) Monticello
WMSK (1550 am) Morganfield
WLME (102.7 fm) Owensboro
WKYH (600 am) Paintsville
WLSI (900 am) Pikeville
WPRT (960 am) Prestonsburg
WSFC (1240 am) Somerset
WTCW (920 am) Whitesburg
WBTH (1400 am) Williamson, WV
On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…
WVHI (1330 am) Evansville, IN 5pm-7pm
WMTL (870 am) Leitchfield 11am-1pm
WLBQ (1570 am) Morgantown 3-5 pm
WRIL (106.3 fm) Middlesboro Thur 8-10 pm
WPAD (99.5 fm/1560 am) Paducah 11-1 pm (going live August 18th)
WHAY (98.3 fm) Whitley City 2-4 pm
Here’s the rest of the tour schedule:
Thursday, July 24th: Hopkinsville- Holiday Inn Hoptown
Friday, July 25th: Paducah- BW3′s sponsored by IMAC Regeneration
Monday, July 28th: Danville- Bluegrass Community Bank
Tuesday, July 29th: Fort Wright/Northern KY- Dickmann’s Cafe
Wednesday, July 30th: Maysville- Mann Chrysler
Thursday, July 31st: Lexington- AllSports in the Fayette Mall
Friday, August 1st: Louisville- BW3′s Springhurst
By Bryan the Intern on ©9:00 am
If and buts can often make for more interesting conversation than the actual reality of sports, so today I thought about some ifs and buts with 3 of UK’s legendary head coaches. Each of these coaches had a crippling loss late in his career at Kentucky and I wonder which of them would have possibly stayed longer at Kentucky if they had won those games. And as a little bonus, the full games are posted as well.
JOE B. HALL
1984: Loses to Georgetown in Final Four
Hall’s 1984 team might have been just as good as the 1978 national title team. They had a legend in Kenny Walker, a healthy Sam Bowie and Mel Turpin, great guard play, etc etc. And for a half against Georgetown, it looked like the Cats were on their way to title #6 at that time. Then a 3-33 shooting half doomed the Cats and they were gone. Had they won, they would have played a Houston team they had already beaten that year. You have to wonder if Hall wins a title in 1984 if he retires then OR if he gets some extra motivation and stays around for another 5 years.
1997: Loses to Arizona in national title game
1997: Leaves UK for Boston Celtics
This might be a stretch but who knows? I could see Pitino going through the run in 1997 and then falling oh so short and deciding it’s just too tough anymore. Maybe if he wins in 1997, he sees himself as a modern day John Wooden. I don’t know if the Celtics offer would have still been too much to turn down, but back to back national titles sounds a lot better than back to back title games.
2005: Lose to Michigan State in 2OT in Elite 8
2007: Leaves for Minnesota
I think this is the most slam dunk of the 3. If Smith was able to get UK back to the Final Four in 2005, I have no question in my mind that the fanbase would have been more patient with him during the struggles the next 2 years. That doesn’t mean the heat wouldn’t have been on after 2007, but I don’t think the calls to fire Tubby would have been there. Now, would Tubby still have gotten tired of the job after 2007, we don’t know. But a Final Four in 2005 certainly would have given Smith a refresh from the pressure he was under from the fans. Alas, UK couldn’t get rebounds and Smith was gone.
It’s time again for KSR’s Top Tweets of the Day. You can participate by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTop10 or just by simply tweeting @KYsportsradio. We will focus most of our attention on Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as usual, there are no limits to our madness.
West Virginia's starting quarterback has a cool thought about women: http://t.co/nhCgk4xU1B
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) July 22, 2014
To all the men reading this: THIS IS NOT HOW YOU PICK UP CHICKS.
#9 Erin Wolf
— Erin Wolf (@_erinwolf) July 22, 2014
Close enough. I can see #Twinning and that is all that matters.
#8 Jon Hood
I can turn the music on in the car on the lowest setting and my grandparents will feel the need to yell to communicate
— Jon Hood (@jonnylightning4) July 23, 2014
All the more reason to never turn the music down.
#7 Zadarius Smith
For all the kids out there, remember you can be whatever you want to be. It may get hard sometimes but dont give up.Little advice.. Big Z!!
— Zadarius Smith (@TheRealZSmith) July 22, 2014
Or in the words of every fairy tale ever, “You can do anything if you just believe”!
#6 Perry Stevenson
Take 24 hours of intro-level courses and the school makes bank OR go to China for a year & make a million $$$.. boy that's a tough one!
— Perry Stevenson (@PsteveBBN) July 22, 2014
I don’t know… I hear some nasty things about China.
— backpack421 (@TheNameIsBrad) July 23, 2014
This guy is a genius.
#4 Chris Davis
— Chris Davis (@cmdcpa2) July 22, 2014
I knew Matt liked his mattress, but this is just crazy.
#3 Ryan Lemond
— Ryan Lemond (@ryanlemond) July 22, 2014
If any of you expected him to look like this you are a liar.
#2 Rob (Todd The Bod)
— Rob (Todd The Bod) (@ToddTheBodBBN) July 22, 2014
I gagged at the thought of ‘Hairy Razor’.
#1 J in Orlando
— J in Orlando (@jkour1) July 23, 2014
Oh! oh! Can’t wait to read this. When does the sequel of Pitino’s comeback come out?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:00 pm
Happy 28th birthday to Stevie Johnson of “Stevie Got Loose” lore. The former Cat turned 28 on Tuesday, and celebrated in his hometown of San Francisco, where he’s getting ready for the 49ers’ training camp. The Buffalo Bills traded Stevie to the 49ers back in May, but now it appears there’s a small chance Stevie may not make the roster. CSN Bay Area reports that Stevie will have to win the No. 3 wide receiver spot (behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree) in order to make the roster due to his scheduled $3.295 million salary this year. He’s the frontrunner–he was the No. 1 wide receiver in Buffalo after all–but it’s definitely a role change for the flamboyant wideout.
Just more motivation, right? Good thing Stevie knows all about that:
Now let’s go. News and views.
The latest basketball practice report is pretty exciting
Eric Lindsey had the enviable privilege of attending UK’s 90-minute practice on Monday, and wrote an in-depth practice report for CoachCal.com. Lindsey’s report echoes the scoop we’ve hear from the Joe Craft Center so far, specifically about the improvement of Alex Poythress. Lindsey writes that Alex “looked lighter on his feet than I’ve ever seen him,” and much more confident. Of course, the name of the game for Alex is consistency, and I’ll wait until I see that improvement transfer to a full game before breaking out the confetti, but the update is encouraging nonetheless.
Other notes from the report: Tyler Ulis continues to impress, the Harrison Twins and Dakari Johnson are in better shape, Devin Booker looks good, and Marcus Lee has developed a jumper. There’s something for everyone in the report, but this part about the matchup between Karl Towns and Dakari Johnson may be my favorite:
“Towns, without question, is one of the most all-around talented big guys Calipari has had at UK in his five seasons at Kentucky. But, like all freshmen, there’s a learning curve, and Towns was in for a bit of a lesson against an experienced Johnson. As assistant coach Kenny Payne tried to throw him the ball the top of the key – where Towns can play, I might add – Johnson fronted him and didn’t let him get around his frame. When Towns tried to fake him out with a couple of moves, Johnson didn’t budge and just leaned on him. Calipari eventually stopped play and told Towns that those moves that worked in high school won’t work in college before showing him how to get his leg around Johnson and then bump off. Once Towns got the ball in his hands, he was difficult to stop.”
Only 17 days until we get to see this team for ourselves.
Mike DeCourcy doesn’t think much of the 2015 class
It’s been hard to get a good feel on how UK’s doing in the 2015 class. Despite the fact that Cal’s handed out more offers to 2015 recruits than any other class since he came to UK, the Cats only have one commitment: Charles Matthews. Cal seems to be going outside of his box a little bit with 2015 recruiting. Why? Well, according to The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy, “the class of 2015 stinks.” DeCourcy, who was at the Peach Jam last week, says that aside from Ben Simmons, there isn’t any elite talent in the class, which could be bad news for programs that rely on elite talent to survive…like Kentucky:
The bad news is if your program requires an annual infusion of elite talent to thrive, or needs one in this particular recruiting year, your coach will need to land exactly the right guys to make it work.
It’s an interesting point, and could describe why UK’s offers seem to be all over the place in the class so far. To read more of DeCourcy’s thoughts on the class, click here.
This picture of Steve Spurrier is why I love Steve Spurrier
Spurrier and Nick Saban were part of Day 2 of the SEC Coaches Car Wash at ESPN today, and Spurrier threw this shade while Saban was describing how he sells playing time to recruits. After we finally beat Spurrier back in 2010, he became a much more lovable figure in my eyes. He’s not only hilarious, he’s not afraid to speak his mind, which makes him a prime candidate for a drinking buddy and a bridge partner. Ideally, both.
Have you voted in UK’s Kickoff Playoff yet?
UK has heard our plea for better music at Commonwealth Stadium, and in addition to partnering with local radio stations to allow fans to vote on game music, they’re getting input from the players. UK asked eight players to choose a song to be played right before opening kickoff on August 30. They’ve pitted the choices against each other in a bracket, with fans voting on their favorite each day. Tuesday’s quarterfinal is Bud Dupree’s choice, “Knuck if you Buck,” against Steven Borden’s choice, “Scatta.” Go vote here. On Wednesday, you can vote between “Who Run It” (Braylon Heard) and “Head Bussa” (Mike Douglas). So far, I think Za’Darius Smith’s “We Ready” has the best chance of winning.
Drew is putting together a bracket with the KSR crew’s selections, which you’ll see later this week. BTI’s selection is pretty much exactly what you would expect.
This picture of Adolph Rupp mixing mortar for Memorial Coliseum is great
The Herald-Leader started a Twitter account (@KYPhotoArchive) with photos from their archives, and Tuesday’s was pretty great. Check out Adolph Rupp mixing mortar at the construction of Memorial Coliseum back in 1949.
This picture of Jack White at the Chicago Cubs game is hilarious
On the flipside, we have this picture of Jack White at a Chicago Cubs game on Tuesday night. Where do you even begin?
Matt and Drew will be live from Hudson Automotive in Drew’s hometown of Madisonville in the morning to talk C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS, and probably a little Pat Forde. See you then…
By Matt Jones on ©10:40 pm
If you have been around these parts for awhile, you know that KSR’s favorite writer is not Pat Forde. Beginning with the hiring of John Calipari at Kentucky, Forde has used every opportunity to come after the UK coach, a trend that resulted not only in numerous rants about UK’s mistake in the initial hire, but many follow-up shots in Calipari’s direction. His rants became so personal and unprofessional, that during his tenure at ESPN, he was forbidden to write about Kentucky or Calipari except in the most general terms (a fact he has never publicly acknowledged but one that is true). After a year of his nonsense, I wrote this blog post about Forde’s past, bringing to light what most people in the industry knew but would never say, mainly that Forde’s has an extremely checkered past himself, including two “ethics” suspensions. One of those suspensions was due to releasing private information to the NCAA (for unknown, likely personal reasons when the pre-Jurich regime was in Louisville), and the other for a personal reason that related to his coverage of a UL team. After writing that article, Forde contacted my employer (Clear Channel) and refused to ever appear on a Clear Channel radio program in Louisville again…a stance he held for a couple of years until he got tired of not having his voice heard in his home area.
I write all of that as a background to say that we have never been a Pat Forde fan in the KSR Compound. Whether it was his decision to buy the media in St Louis a round of drinks as they watched Calipari lose to West Virginia in 2010 (a fact he admitted on a Louisville radio show, but explained by saying it was “his turn”) or his decision to “cover” the Karen Sypher trial by writing articles “investigating” his drinking buddy’s antics, he has always struck me as the worst of modern media….biased in all regards, full of hatred towards those he doesn’t like while taking up for his friends, all while couching his viewpoints as being “objective” journalism. So while my lack of respect for Forde goes way back, I must admit that even I was surprised to read his latest article today, a fluff piece for Bobby Petrino that is explained by the phrase in its title, “The Path to Redemption.” (In order to discuss this article, I am violating my general rule about not linking or promoting such national articles, but in this case it is necessary in order to make my overall point…plus you ought to read it just to laugh).
The article discusses how poor Bobby Petrino, the oppressed soul who has now left four jobs in under 10 years, either for greener pastures (UL, Falcons, WKU) or because he was having an affair with a subordinate that led to a sketchy motorcycle accident/amazing neck brace photo, has now become a new man. How has he become this new man? Well by caddying for his daughter as she plays golf across the country of course. Forde writes,
For a football obsessive, taking time away from an all-consuming job does not come easily. But caddying for Katie is an avocation that means a lot to a man who put his family and himself through an embarrassing public ordeal when he was fired at Arkansas for having an affair with a woman he hired onto his staff. It has been a means to connect with one of his four children, and to show the entire family – and everyone else – that he’s not the same guy who wrecked a Harley and derailed his career on one disastrous April day in 2012.
Rebuilding that trust will take time. But those closest to Petrino believe what they are seeing so far.
Forde seems to believe that because he is pushing around a golf cart for his daughter, Petrino must be a new man that has changed his ways and is ready to be a model citizen. But wait you say…in the same article Forde noted that he has done this the past three years and this isn’t a new action by Bobby the Neckbrace. So the same Bobby that abandoned Western after one year (which by the way never gets brought up when discussing how he is no longer a “drifter”…but I digress), also caddied for his daughter. I guess that can’t be what is “new and improved,” So if not, what shows Bobby to be a new man? Forde explains:
Last month he started the Petrino Family Foundation and made a $1 million gift that will go to Kosair Children’s Hospital, a scholarship for Louisville students and the school’s marching band – and the foundation is being run by daughter Kelsey. Petrino has been more of a team player within the Cardinals athletic department, attending several baseball games during the school’s run to the College World Series. And Monday he talked about becoming more attentive to his players beyond the football field, saying he related some of his personal travails to the team during meetings.
One million dollars? That is a very nice gesture actually. One could argue that paying money isn’t exactly “doing” anything, but we should never blast someone for charity, especially in helping those in need. But his decision to give money to the Children’s Hospital is not a new one. He actually gave a large sum of money to the same hospital in 2007, even honoring the pledge after he left. Now don’t get me wrong. That was a great thing by Petrino then and it is noble that he did it before and will do it again. But considering the fact that he gave money while in the midst of “Old Nasty Bobby”, how does giving money now show he is different? In fact, when Pat Forde took his strongest shots at Bobby Petrino, it was right after he made his first payment to the Louisville hospital in 2007. That didn’t stop Forde then, so it wouldn’t be proof of a changed man now would it? And as for the other “proof”, is it really that he attended a few baseball games (that are steps from his office) and “talked” about being more attentive to his players? Well, I guess Forde’s standard of change must be quite low.
It is clear however that Bobby has made quite an impression on Pat in order for him to write such a glowing piece. This is especially true when you contrast today’s article with what Forde wrote about him just a few years ago. In 2007, he wrote an article that he called one of the meanest of his career in which he named Petrino the “disingenuous drifter” and mocked Arkansas fans for thinking he would care about them at all. Forde then wrote,
The disingenuous drifter doesn’t love you or any other fan base. He doesn’t love any school or any NFL franchise. He loves himself, his playbook and his bank account.
That’s it. Don’t expect it to change.
Bobby Petrino will return your embrace, Hog fans. But while he’s hugging you he’ll be looking over your shoulder, scanning the terrain for his next hook-up.
Even in a profession rife with dishonest posturing, Petrino is singularly mercenary. Loyalty, allegiance, commitment and honesty are foreign concepts to him. It must be a sad existence.
Harsh words right? When Petrino was hired back in January, those words came back in Forde’s face as he now had to deal with the fact that his Daddy Jurich had hired a man that he once had annihilated (probably at his behest, since he had left Louisville before…but I digress). In the internet age, these words did not disappear, so how did Forde deal with them? Well he acknowledged them, but left open the possibility for change saying,
For now, those words are cheap. It will be all about actions for Bobby Petrino. He’s tasked with laying one brick of credibility on top of another in what will be a long and painstaking effort to rebuild his demolished reputation.
But the future must be a significant break from the past for Bobby Petrino, and he has to prove it with deeds that back up his words.
At the time, we commended Forde for holding Petrino to task and asking some difficult questions. While one could ask whether Pat would have given the same benefit of the doubt to Petrino had UK hired him the year before (hint…he would not have), it was at least on the surface, a line in the sand. Show us Bobby, then we will believe it. And now here we are seven months later and Forde is all-in on the “Bobby the Prodigal Son” narrative. After a few months caddying, some money, a day at the old ballgame and some kind words to his players, Bobby is a new man. Stand up and rejoice, the new Bobby Petrino has graced us with his presence! And Forde, a man who is so narrow-minded in his hatred of John Calipari that he famously gave up on him as a coach and wrote the “made your own bed” column right before UK engineered one of the most amazing turnarounds and tournament runs in college basketball history, is now back on the Petrino bandwagon, forgetting the words that once dissected the coach so sharply in the past. What is the difference? Only one, he is back with Daddy Jurich, Forde’s friend and purveyor of scoops.
Has Bobby Petrino “changed”? I don’t know, maybe. I tend to be the type of person who is forgiving to a fault, giving people multiple chances and trying to make it a point to do my best to judge their actions and not them as a person. I don’t know Bobby Petrino so I can’t say whether he is a good man or not or to what extent he has changed, if at all. And honestly, it doesn’t matter. I learned long ago that we don’t really even “know” the people that we deal with every day in our lives, much less a public figure that we only encounter at press conferences or on game day. Spending time trying to judge whether a coach or administrator is a “good person”, “classy” or the like is a waste of time. You spend your days deluding yourself in to thinking you know which people are good and which are bad, and I will just assume that as with virtually everyone, there is a little bit of both. At the same time Petrino was awful to his co-workers, abandoned all his teams and was cheating on his spouse, he was giving money to a hospital that was thousands of miles away from him, with few paying attention. Almost one is all good or all bad, no matter our society’s desire to put everyone into such an easy to digest box. Time will tell if Petrino was a hire worth the risk for UL, but one thing that is undisputed is that UL is one of the very few schools with such a low moral threshold that they would have ever even considered taking the chance.
But ultimately this isn’t really about Bobby Petrino. Had Petrino gone to another school, I have zero doubt that not only would Forde not have forgiven him, he would have bludgeoned the man again. He only loves you Bobby because Tom told him to, not because of your inherent goodness. The reality is clear. The National college sports columnist for Yahoo is a biased Jurich-man who will do whatever he can to make his friend look good. If that means taking up for a coach who has an embarrassing sex scandal and never at any point bring it up or criticize him, he will do it. If that means blasting the basketball coach down the road at every juncture in order to make Jurich’s coach/program look better, he will do it. And if that means eating his words, throwing away his self-respect and looking like a hypocrite by praising a man that he once considered to be one of the worst in coaching, well it looks like Pat will do that as well. Anything for Daddy Jurich and his UL barhopping buddies.
I am a biased homer who wants UK to win and am unabashed in my favoritism to all things Blue. I knew long ago that Pat Forde was essentially the same thing for UL, so long as Tom Jurich was running the Athletic Department. He has always been a wolf UL blogger in sheep Yahoo objective clothing, albeit one with great hair and the latest in stylish, hipster glasses. But today I also found out something I didn’t know, that Pat Forde is also a sellout, willing to take any stance depending on the situation. Bobby Petrino has gone from the “disingenuous drifter” who lived a “sad existence” to a new, changed man on a “Path to Redemption”…and all it took was one hire by his friend and pushing a golf bag around with his daughter a few days. Not a bad trade-off I guess. Hey Pat, remember what it was like to be a real objective journalist with self-respect, integrity and tremendous talent? Naw, we don’t either.
By Ally Tucker on ©10:00 pm
1) Nothing new here… but Kentucky football is taking over Ohio
This isn’t the first time you’ll hear this and it certainly won’t be the last time you hear this… but the presence of Kentucky’s football recruiting prowess in the state of Ohio just continues to grow. After receiving another Top-50 rated Ohio commit this weekend, Kentucky currently has 6 of the state’s top 50 players signed on for the 2015 class. That brings the total number to 17 Top-50 Ohio players in the last 2 years, as Kentucky signed 11 in this year’s class. For those keeping tabs with Ohio State, Kentucky currently has the same # of Top 50 players from Ohio committed for 2015 that Ohio State does… That’s impressive no matter how you slice it.
2) Kentucky has two key areas of need AND the staff is filling those needs quite nicely
The offensive line and the secondary are two of Kentucky’s biggest pressing needs moving forward. The coaching staff has clearly been putting a priority on locking up solid commitments in those two areas in the 2015 recruiting class. Kentucky’s thin secondary got a boost for the future last night when the Cats picked up two commitments from guys who can contribute and play right away next season. And that’s exactly what Kentucky will need.
Kentucky’s other key area of interest in strengthening the offensive line, which will take a few blows following graduation next year. Kentucky is also looking to beef up the line to entice guys like 5-star running back Damien Harris. Quarterback protection has been a weakness in the past few seasons at Kentucky, but the future looks bright with a number of key commitments (8 so far) already in the class of 2015 to go along with 5-star 2014 offensive lineman Matt Elam.
3) Vince Marrow is THE MAN, but Neal Brown is locking down the state of Kentucky
When you look at the impressive Ohio numbers in recruiting over the past two seasons, that’s in large part due to Vince Marrow’s work on the recruiting trail. Marrow has worked to lock down at least 6 of Kentucky’s current Ohio prospects in the class of 2015, with plenty of time left before National Signing Day.
On the other hand, Neal Brown hasn’t received quite as much notoriety for his achievements in recruiting thus far– but Brown has seemingly taken the lead on most of the top in-state talent. With a loaded 2016 in-state recruiting class looming, Brown figures to be a key contributor if Kentucky is able to lock down the majority of that talent.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©8:30 pm
Kentucky picked up three commitments during the Friday Night Lights camp this past weekend, two in the 2015 class (Marcus Walker and Kei Beckham) and one in the 2016 class (Zy’Aire Hughes). It’s been a while since we’ve recapped where the Cats are with the 2015 class and who they still want to bring in, so I spent my day updating the Big Board. Enjoy.
Bowling Green, KY
6-2 | 185
247Composite: 12 OLB | 204
247Sports: 19 OLB
Rivals: 10 OLB | 133
ESPN: 13 OLB | 234
Scout: 21 OLB | 239
Committed: April 21, 2014
Other Offers: Ohio State, USC, Ole Miss, Penn State, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky
Additional Note: Originally a Vanderbilt commit, Brown re-opened his recruitment in October shortly after an unofficial visit to Ohio State, UK’s biggest competitor for Brown at the time.
6-2 | 203
247Composite: 48 OLB | 696
247Sports: 48 OLB
Rivals: 32 OLB
ESPN: 36 OLB
Committed: May 8, 2014
Other Offers: Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan State, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana
Additional Note: Jones attends Cardinal Mooney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, alma mater of Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow.
6-4 | 240
247Composite: 18 WDE | 399
247Sports: 19 WDE
Rivals: 18 SDE
ESPN: 37 DE
Scout: 44 DE
Committed: June 28, 2014
Other Offers: Alabama, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Michigan State, NC State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Additional Note: Fullwood and Jabari Greenwood announced together at Fullwood’s home in DC, opening the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) pipeline for years to come. Fullwood cited the family atmosphere around the program and the ability to play in the SEC as reasons he chose the Cats over Virginia Tech, Duke, and Maryland. He also said he wants to be a leader in the 2015 class, like Drew Barker was for 2014.
Lake Wales, FL
6-0.5 | 176
247Composite: 19 S | 377
247Sports: 32 S
Rivals: 16 S
ESPN: 16 S | 196
Committed: July 18, 2014
Other Offers: Arkansas, Cincinnati, Duke, Florida, Illinois, Michigan State, Mississippi State, NC State, Ole Miss, Tennessee, UCLA, Vanderbilt, UVA
Additional Note: Walker first committed to Kentucky back in January, but decommitted in April. After picking up offers from Arkansas, Michigan State, Tennessee and others, Walker decided to recommit to Kentucky, in part because the staff kept in contact with him even after he reopened his recruitment. He was one of three commitments during UK’s Friday Night Lights camp this past weekend (two in the 2015 class, one in the 2016 class).
6-0 | 173
247Composite: 46 CB | 564
247Sports: 44 CB
Rivals: 42 CB
ESPN: 59 CB
Committed: July 18, 2014
Other Offers: Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Louisville, Minnesota, Purdue
Additional Note: Beckham also committed to the Cats during the FNL camp after an exclusive workout with Mark Stoops. He needs to bulk up before he can hold his own in the SEC, but he’s athletic, with good hands and quick feet.
Lake Wales, FL
6-3 | 295
247Composite: 9 C | 533
247Sports: 10 C
Rivals: 3 C | 247
ESPN: 4 C
Scout: 12 C
Committed: May 1, 2014
Other Offers: Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Nebraska, NC State, South Florida, Syracuse
Additional Note: A four-star product on Rivals.com, Hiers committed to Kentucky days after visiting Lexington for the Blue-White game. He was Rivals’ second-ranked center in the country at the time, but has since dropped a spot to No. 3. There are reports that he committed back in October but waited to see the campus before going public with it.
6-7 | 232
247Composite: 86 OT | 770
247Sports: 52 OT
ESPN: 75 OT
Committed: April 5, 2014
Other Offers: West Virginia, NC State
Additional Note: Livingston plays both sides of the line of scrimmage in high school and insists he can play either in college, however, the plan is to use him on the offensive line at Kentucky.
6-6 | 327
247Composite: 106 OT | 969
247Sports: 106 OT
Rivals: 9 C
ESPN: 109 C
Committed: April 5, 2014
Other Offers: UAB
Additional Note: Stenberg committed to UK on the same day as fellow offensive linemen Levon Livingston and Larry Wells.
6-8 | 295
247Composite: 127 OT
247Sports: 139 OT
ESPN: 81 OT
Committed: April 5, 2014
Other Offers: Cincinnati, Illinois, Akron
Additional Note: Wells committed on the same day as Levon Livingston and Logan Stenberg.
6-7 | 280
247Composite: 88 OG
247Sports: 98 OG
ESPN: 96 OG
Scout: 77 OT
Committed: April 7, 2014
Additional Note: Wolfe became the fourth offensive lineman commit in three days when he committed during an unofficial visit to UK in early April. He told 247Sports he just felt it was time and he was interested in Kentucky since the very beginning.
West Chester, OH
6-4 | 295
247Composite: 53 OT | 445
247Sports: 19 OT | 176
Rivals: 42 OG
ESPN: 58 OG
Scout: 35 OG
Committed: June 23, 2014
Other Offers: Akron, Cincinnati, UConn, Florida, Illinois, Louisville, Miami (OH), Minnesota, Syracuse, Toledo, West Virginia, Western Kentucky, Western Michigan
Additional Note: Asafo-Adjei is a former teammate of current UK players Kyle Meadows and Mikel Horton, and said he felt comfortable with UK’s players, coaches, and facilities. It doesn’t hurt that it’s close to home, as well. (Thank you, Vince Marrow.)
6-5 | 225
247Composite: 10 TE | 228
247Sports: 8 TE
Rivals: 7 TE | 195
ESPN: 11 TE
Scout: 7 TE | 203
Committed: May 9, 2014
Other Offers: Arkansas, Illinois, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
Additional Note: Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame were picking up interest, but he chose the Cats before they could close in. Vince Marrow was the lead recruiter, of course, and he liked how UK was on him early. Indiana was the other finalist with Kentucky.
6-3 | 190
247Composite: 39 WR | 305
247Sports: 33 WR
Rivals: 40 WR
ESPN: 75 WR
Scout: 31 WR | 235
Committed: May 3, 2014
Other Offers: Cincinnati, Miami (FL), West Virginia, Georgia Tech, Ohio, Harvard, Yale
Additional Note: Stump, who will undoubtedly see his ranking climb next season, called Kentucky the perfect fit when he committed earlier this month. “Their offense is a great offense for receivers,” he told the Herald-Leader. “Maybe, possibly I could have gotten ‘bigger’ offers, but this is the perfect fit for me. There was no reason not to do it.”
6-4 | 193
247Composite: 57 WR | 506
247Sports: 53 WR
Rivals: 42 WR
ESPN: 56 WR
Scout: 60 WR
Committed: June 28, 2014
Other Offers: Boston College, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Iowa, Marshall, Maryland, Michigan State, NC State, Pitt, Rutgers, UVA, Wake Forest, Washington State
Additional Note: Greenwood picked Kentucky over Michigan State, Virginia, and Maryland. At 6’4″, 193 lbs., he’s got the size to compete in the SEC, and more importantly, looks like a playmaker. Greenwood said WR coach Tommy Mainord played a huge factor in his decision, and his commitment was a big win for Mainord, who is the primary recruiter in the DMV area.
5-11 | 205
247Composite: 1 RB | 23
247Sports: 2 RB | 59
Rivals: 1 RB | 4
ESPN: 1 RB | 28
Scout: 1 RB | 34
Decision Date: December 13, 2014
Other Offers: Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Michigan, Arkansas, Florida State, USC, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin
Additional Note: Harris is the staff’s biggest priority in the class. If he does choose Kentucky, he’ll be the highest ranked recruit the program has ever landed, and have an impact on recruiting classes for years to come. Harris attended UK’s FNL camp this past weekend, one of several visits he’s taken to UK, and by all reports, the staff feels better than ever at their chances of landing him. However, December 13 is a long time from now, and UK may need to pull off more than one upset this season to convince Harris to take a chance on them.
GEORGE BROWN JR.
6-6 | 253
247Composite: 42 OT | 364
247Sports: 84 OT
Rivals: 13 OT | 118
ESPN: 63 OT
Scout: 39 OT
Decision Date: July 25, 2014
Final Five: Alabama (non-committable), Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU
Additional Note: Brown seemed close to committing during his visit to UK for the FNL camp this past weekend, but held off to take one last visit for Florida. If you read the tweet leaves, he seems torn between the two, but we’ll know for sure on Friday.
Winter Garden, FL
6-4 | 240
247Composite: 50 SDE | 1037
247Sports: 41 SDE
Decision Date: Unknown
Other offers: Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Wisconsin
Additional Note: Wilson visited UK last Tuesday, and reports say he enjoyed himself, especially getting to see his former teammate Garrett Johnson, who will be a freshman this fall. He’s looking for an offer from Georgia, and on Sunday, tweeted he’d also like to take an official visit to Wisconsin. While the Cats are in a good position, this is far from over.
Mount Dora, FL
5-11 | 170
247Composite: 42 CB | 504
247Sports: 39 CB
Rivals: 25 ATH
ESPN: 46 ATH
Scout: 69 CB
Decision Date: Unknown
Other offers: Arizona, Indiana, Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Louisville, Memphis
Additional Note: There have been conflicting reports about Davis’ interest in Kentucky, but according to 247 Sports’ Ryan Bartow, had Davis visited UK this past weekend, he would have committed. Keep an eye on this one.
[All images and star-ratings via 247Sports.com]