Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
August 27th, 2015

If Matt Jones runs for Congress…


By now you know our own Matt Jones is considering a run for Congress. Betcha didn’t see that one coming, huh? I was taken back when he told me months ago. I had no idea he ran at all.

Anyhow, Jones’ jump into politics is officially a thing that could happen, and it’s been the talk of the town since the Herald-Leader leaked the story Sunday evening.

We promised to keep it all sports (well, mostly sports) on the radio and around here, but I wouldn’t be KSR’s resident political reporter if I didn’t put my knowledge of American government, and my knowledge of Matt Jones, to good use. So allow me to break down what you can expect if he does indeed drop hooded sweatshirts and visors for wrinkled suits and, well, visors.

If Matt Jones ran for Congress…


KSR will be fine.

Let’s get that one out of the way. It’ll take more than a Congressman Jones to completely end all of KSR. Though he wouldn’t be on the show every day, the show will go on, as well as the website.

Now if someone were to dig up that old video tape from our trip to Canada, then we worry about the future of KSR. Until then, we’re all good. And I’m pretty sure we threw it in the Detroit River.

This will be his campaign sign:


Be sure to use promo code Jones when you vote.

(Signs courtesy of Vistaprint.)

If elected, he will leave empty McDonald’s cups and Skittles wrappers all over the House.

There may be 434 other representatives, but the big House will be no different than his own house.

Kentucky Joe will tell everyone he is the campaign manager.

In fact, Kentucky Joe is already telling everyone he is Matt’s campaign manager.

This Qdoba will see a spike in sales.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 12.48.03 AM

No Roosters on The Hill, unfortunately for him.

Get ready for the BACK Act.

Jones’ Ban All Crying Kids Act will attempt to crack down on noisy children in restaurants, stores and airplanes. He will push for imprisonment without bail for anyone between the ages of two months and 12 years who are caught disturbing the peace.

It will be his first priority in office.

He will drop out of the race the moment someone hands him their baby.

That’s it. Gone. No questions asked.

Baby, he’s out. Deal breaker.

He will attempt to end every debate with, “I appreciate your call.”

He will begin every debate with, “Andy, I love you but…”

He will probably win.

Then we sit back with our popcorn and see what happens. I, for one, love the idea of him representing my district, so long as he promises to do so in the most ridiculous manner possible. I can’t wait to read “UK Fans of the Day Want Afternoon Legislation.”


But all this is hypothetical. He’s a long, long way from making a decision.

Position Previews: The Schlarman Nine, Previewing the Offensive Line


Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman has quietly constructed a formidable position group. The Schlarman Nine includes his starting five rotation plus four pivotal reserves. Going into fall camp, the Wildcat OL was considered Shannon Dawson’s most consistent group. That pre-camp assumption proved to be accurate. Up front, the Wildcats average size is 6’5 314 pounds and have 89 collective starts under their belt, the 15th most returning starts in college football.


Right Tackle-George Asafo-Adjei 6’5 325 true freshman, 0 starts. This rookie can flat out play the game of football. He’s also established himself as a team leader within a short period of time. George assumed his starting role when junior tackle Kyle Meadows missed a portion of camp due to migraines. He’s not relented. Right tackle is the best position for a true freshman offensive lineman to play.

Right Guard-Ramsey Meyers 6’4 320 sophomore, 12 starts. In 2014, Ramsey solidified his position and hasn’t looked back. Meyers’ experience will benefit right tackle Asafo-Adjei. His strengths include double team blocking and drive blocking, plus releasing downfield to clear a path during screen plays.

Center-Jon Toth 6’5 310 junior, 23 starts. Jon is the anchor of the offensive line and provides a consistent presence for the group. Highly intellectual, yet can move mammoth nose guards due to his understanding of leverage and technique.

Jon Toth is the anchor, and 2014's Offensive MVP. (Big Blue Insider)

Jon Toth is the anchor, and 2014’s Offensive MVP. (Big Blue Insider)


Left Guard-Zach West 6’4 305 senior, 30 starts. The old man of the unit, Zach has played a great deal of football for the Cats. He had an exceptional game against South Carolina in 2014. Untimely injuries have somewhat hampered his career. West is now healthy as Coach Schlarman is counting on his experience and consistency.

Left Tackle– Jordan Swindle 6’7 309 senior, 24 starts. Moving from right to left tackle is not an easy transition. From all accounts, Jordan’s move has been effective. Optimal size for a LT, Swindle will be called upon to protect Patrick Towles’ blind side.

Key Reserves-Nick Haynes 6’3 308 sophomore OG, 1 start. Kyle Meadows 6’5 298 sophomore RT, 1 start. Cole Mosier 6’5 335 sophomore G/T, 2 starts. Zach Meyers 6’3 300 junior OG, 1 start.


The Schlarman Nine is an efficient group with sufficient skill to accelerate 2015 offensive production. Three key reserves are vital due to their versatility. Mosier, Haynes, and Meadows are capable of starting and playing every OL position other than center. LT Jordan Swindle was named to the preseason All SEC 3rd team. Expect a more physical unit due to player development and familiarity. Due to his age and lack of experience, Asafo-Adjei will be tested early by opposing defenses. Having the steady Ramsey Meyers beside him will help.

More Love for Tyler Ulis – This Time from Sports Illustrated



It seems like every day there’s a new media outlet falling in love with Tyler Ulis – and rightfully so. The kid is easy to like, no matter if you’re a Kentucky fan or not. This time it’s Chris Johnson at who lists the 10 high-impact sophomores for college basketball this season.

Ulis checks in at No. 4 behind Melo Trimble, Jakob Poeltl and Grayson Allen. Now, I understand the Trimble and Poeltl picks as they have been talked about for quite some time and showed what they can do as freshmen. However, Greyson Allen ahead of Ulis? I’m sorry but Allen really played one game as a freshman and it just happened to be in the national title game, so everyone is living by the what have you done for me lately theory. Give me Ulis ahead of Allen 100 out of 100 times.

Johnson talks mostly about the crowded backcourt and how it will be tough to figure out playing time for Ulis, Briscoe and Murray (hint: just play them all together). He call Ulis a great distributor and reminds everyone he was second on the team last year in offensive efficiency behind Karl-Anthony Towns.


Practice Notes from a Pleasant Mark Stoops

I don't think I've ever seen a smile so big on Stoops' face.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smile so big on Stoops’ face.

It had been almost a week since the media has seen Mark Stoops in a good mood.  With camp letting out and the start of school yesterday, the Cats were in full pads to begin preparation for Louisiana- Lafayette.  The changes in practice put a much better product on the field, “There was good concentration and I felt like guys were locked in,” Stoops said.

Although Angry Stoops can be entertaining, I prefer Stoops when he’s cracking jokes.

“He’s doing a good job, but don’t tell him I said.”

The first question of the day was about strong safety Marcus McWilson.  After being consistently challenged by Stoops, he’s had a pretty consistent preseason.  They were speaking during a break in practice when Stoops told him he wasn’t going to compliment him.  McWilson replied, “Don’t even say a word till after the season (starts).”  So Stoops won’t play nice…just yet.

It’s a great sign to see from someone who has everything down pat physically, but needs to prove it with consistency on the field.

True Freshmen that Will See the Field

Stoops’ short list of guys that are guaranteed to make the field: LB Eli Brown, CB Chris Westry, OT Big George, CB Derrick Baity, TE C.J. Conrad, RB Sihiem King, OLB Josh Allen and ILB Jordan Jones.

Jordan Jones has been out due to illness for the last few weeks, “He tells me he’ll be cleared next week,” Stoops said.  “But we all know he’s not a doctor.”

The young receivers, Tavin Richardson and Jabari Greenwood, are “in the mix” but they will play the waiting game to see if their services are needed.

Flannigan’s Shoulder is in Question for Week One

It’s the burning question on the defense.  After taking a hit from 330-pounder Jacob Hyde (OUCH!), he’s stayed in a no-contact jersey.  His range of motion has returned, needing to add strength to be able to suit up on Saturday.

“He’s got to get 100% strength back in his shoulder before we can let him have contact.  Hopefully that will happen in the next couple of days, Stoops said.  “With the injury that he has, nobody can really tell me that (he’ll be ready), so we have to wait and see.  We gotta prepare as if he won’t be there, but he is getting some reps.”

Flannigan is confident that he will be fully recovered and ready for the first game, but added, “Right now we’re just waiting to see.  Everything is looking fine so far.”

Problems ULL Presents the Defense

If you’ve followed Freddie Maggard’s analysis, Public Enemy #1 is running back Elijah McGuire, last year’s Sun Belt player of the year.  Stopping that facet of the run game is only one aspect to their offense – they’ll also have to contain a running quarterback.  Stoops’ defense have done better than most in the past, but the pressure mostly falls on the shoulders of the defensive ends and outside linebackers to make plays in one-on-one situations.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.  It’s a new year.”

Mark Stoops has put Jordan Swindle’s false start problems in the past.  We won’t know if Swindle’s work with the sports psychologist has paid off until the season starts but, “If things don’t work out, then Ben (the sports psychologist) may be in trouble,” Stoops said.

World’s Tallest Man made Enes Kanter look short today

At 8’3″, Sultan Kösen is the world’s tallest man. At 6’11”, Enes Kanter is a very, very tall man. The two Turks met today at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the Fulton Science Academy in Atlanta, and the pictures are pretty awesome.

For perspective, here is tall Enes with some children:

And Sultan and Enes with normal-sized adults:

According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, Sultan’s record-breaking height resulted from a tumor affecting his pituitary gland and he actually had to have surgery to stop the growth in 2010. He also holds the record for the largest hands of a living person, each one measuring 28.5 cm (11.22 in) from the wrist to the tip of the middle finger. Take that, Jahlil Okafor!

Kendra Harrison Advances at World Championships

Kentucky track star Kendra Harrison will run in the semifinals of the 100m hurdles. Harrison will race in the semifinals on Friday, which is scheduled for 7:25 a.m. ET.

Harrison advanced to the semifinals by running a 12.90 in her first heat, which was good enough for second place. She’s expected to contend for a medal based on her previous experience, including having the third fastest time among athletes in the field.

Best of luck to Harrison as she hopefully brings the USA and UK a gold medal.

Karl Towns posts emotional tribute to Darryl Dawkins

Earlier this afternoon, the unfortunate news came out that NBA great Darryl Dawkins passed away from a heart attack at the age of 58. Dawkins, known as “Chocolate Thunder” for his monster dunks, was the first NBA player to make the leap to the league straight from high school.

The news was especially hard for former Cat Karl Towns, whose father knew Dawkins. The two practiced together during Karl Sr.’s playing days at Monmouth University and kept in touch, to the point that Karl Jr. referred to Dawkins as “Uncle Darryl.” Karl posted this touching tribute on Twitter this afternoon:

In a loss of words….

I’m going to miss you so much Uncle Darryl. There will never be another Chocolate Thunder. Love you so much and going to miss you so much..

Always told you I would make it to the NBA since I was little, I thank the man above  for allowing me to come through on my promise to you.

Rest in peace, Darryl.

Why Kentucky was Voted the Best Coaching Job in the Country

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

CBS Sports wrapped up their Candid Coaches theory yesterday by asking the roughly 100 Division I to Division III coaches what are the top three coaching gigs in the country. They voted in order Kentucky-Duke-North Carolina. Now, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that Kentucky was voted the best coaching job in the country, but let’s look at why. Remember, this is the best coaching job, not the best program, which does make a difference – and why Duke shouldn’t be on the list.

One of the coaches polled said the following about Kentucky:

“Fan base is unwavering. They’re consistent. Kentucky owns the state in terms of the fan base. They travel well, are willing to put in any amount of money. There’s a blank check for those guys to do what they need to do dot maintain a level of greatness.” 

But, for me that’s not the main reason why Kentucky is the best coaching gig. It’s because each coach wins in Lexington. Since Adolph Rupp, only two coaches haven’t won a title and that is Eddie Sutton and Billy Gillispie. So, the fear of following up a legend like Coach K in Duke isn’t as strong. Again, that’s why Duke shouldn’t be on the list along with the terrible facilities in Durham from a recruiting standpoint. Yes, the pressure is immense, but there’s a constant stream of success in Kentucky, which no other program can talk about.

Then there’s the obvious reasons of the practice facilities, living quarters for the players which make it easy to recruit coupled with the extremely competitive salary that goes along with the pressure of being the coach at Kentucky. So, after Kentucky what are the best coaching gigs – again, not programs – in the country? For me, it’s North Carolina and Texas.

Sleep Outfitters’ Thursday Recruiting Roundup

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 Kobi Simmons will take an official visit to Kentucky this weekend

I mentioned this in the wakeup post, but it bears repeating. Tomorrow, Simmons will arrive on campus for an official visit, the first of three he’s taking in the coming weeks. Next month, the five-star combo guard visit UNLV and Ohio State, and he’s already visited Georgia, his home state school. His dad told Ben Roberts they will decide between the four programs next month, and laughed at the notion that Kentucky has cooled on his son.

“It’s just funny to me that people think that,” said Demond Stephens. “Cal talks to me. Kenny (Payne) talks to me. We talk every day.”

 Marques Bolden visits next weekend

The best center in the 2016 class will come to town next Friday before taking officials to Duke on September 18 and Kansas on September 25. Reason to feel good: Bolden’s AAU coach and mentor is Jeff Webster, Julius Randle’s former coach. Reason to worry: Duke has a slight edge in his 247 Crystal Ball.

Here’s a reminder of what he can do:

 ESPN released their new 2017 recruiting rankings

Here’s where those with UK offers stand:

1. DeAndre Ayton
2. Wendell Carter
3. Michael Porter, Jr.
5. John Petty
7. Jarred Vanderbilt
8. Mohamed Bamba
9. Gary Trent Jr.
13. Nick Richards
18. Zach Brown
25. Trae Young

Point guard Trevon Duval was ranked fourth, and although he doesn’t have an offer from the Cats yet, he’s expected to pick one up soon.

  Don’t forget that Kash Daniel plays in Frankfort Friday night

Paintsville’s game against Frankfort High School is the BBN’s best chance to see the future Cat play in Central Kentucky. It kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Sower Field, which apparently is a little difficult to find. Here’s a map to help guide you:

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 2.29.53 PM

Daniel scored three touchdowns in his season opener. What will he do this week?

  3-star cornerback has UK in his top two

Three-star cornerback Carlos Becker is considered the 37th best corner in the 2016 class, and according to 247 Sports, he’s got the Cats in his top two, along with NC State. Ryan Bartow spoke with Becker, who says he’s going to take officials to Kentucky, NC State, Wisconsin, Ole Miss, and potentially Florida State. He said the Cats were the first “big SEC team” to offer him, and the fact that he considers UK a “big SEC team” speaks volumes to me.

He may be a NC State lean, but he was spotted by his classmates wearing a UK shirt on “college day” today:

Why not, right, Carlos?

KSR’s 2015 College Football Preview Podcast

As Coach Stoops loves to say, “It’s been a process” creating this podcast but nonetheless, an absolute blast.  I would like to apologize in advance because at times, it isn’t the best quality, but it improves later in the podcast and will continue to improve in the future.   It’s what I call a “learning experience” (like when it begins and Matt says I’m shaking, because I was, and still am).

We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed making it.  If you have any future suggestions, send them my way.

On iTunes search “Kentucky Sports Radio” and hit “Subscribe,” and it should then appear on your phone or computer.

UPDATE: You can also listen to it by clicking here.

The winner of the #KSRCandyBracket is…

…SNICKERS. The chocolate/caramel/nutty goodness beat out M&Ms, Skittles, and Starburst to win KSR’s candy bracket. The bracket was a huge topic of debate, with several people having several bones to pick, including yours truly. Matt didn’t include Reese’s Pieces, one of the best candies in the entire world, which is totally bunk. Twix got knocked out in the first round, upsetting Jared Lorenzen to the point that he left work and drove to the studio to protest.

Here’s the bracket so you can play along at home:



1. M&Ms
8. Dove Bar

4. Butterfinger
5. Baby Ruth

3. Reeses
6. 3 Musketeers

2. Hershey Bar
7. Whatchamacallit


1. Snickers
8. Almond Joy

4. Twix
5. Crunch Bar

3. Kit Kat
6. Heath Bar

2. Milky Way
7. Mr. Goodbar



1. Skittles
8. Good And Plenty

4. Tootsie Rolls
5. Candy Corn

3. Jelly Belly
6. Sweet Tarts

2. Twizzlers
7. Pez


1. Starburst
8. Pop Rocks

4. Gummi Bears
5. Junior Mints

3. Hot Tamales
6. Fun Dip

2. Nerds
7. Blow Pop

Tune in to today’s podcast to weigh in on all of the crew’s picks.

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

Skal Labissiere named preseason All-American First Team by Blue Ribbon

Believe it or not, college basketball preview magazines are already coming out, and our very own Skal Labissiere is on the cover of Blue Ribbon’s College Basketball Yearbook as a Preseason All-American.

Skal and LSU’s Ben Simmons are the only two freshmen on the First Team, which Blue Ribbon editor Chris Dortch says is a sign of the times.

“For a long time, the criteria we primarily used to select our All-America teams was past accomplishment in college basketball,” said Blue Ribbon editor Chris Dortch, who has been in charge of the book’s direction for the last 18 editions and was a Blue Ribbon writer and co-editor for years before that. “But in recent years I’ve been fortunate to assist and NBA TV with their coverage of and preparation for the NBA Draft, and I’ve realized that NBA potential, especially when you’re talking about lottery picks, has to be used as a criteria if you’re choosing a team of the five best college players in the country.

“Kentucky has proven many times over in the John Calipari era, with players such as John Wall, Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, etc., that freshmen can impact the college game to a first-team All-America level, and then move on to become the first pick in the NBA Draft.”

Congrats, Skal. The first of many preseason accolades, I’m sure.

Game day preparation, every second counts

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

There are several minor details that go into gameday operations that may seem simple, but in reality requires repetitive rehearsal. Here are a few:

Locker room clock management

The Cat Walk starts approximately two hours prior to kick-off. What happens between stadium arrival and the first play of the game is a precise procedure. In a prior post, I described the Hotel Abyss and misery of waiting around until game time. As for stadium arrival, the clock starts the minute the bus stops. Minutes are managed. For example, players don’t go onto the field to warm-up at their own leisure. Specific groups depart the locker room at certain times. The culmination is when the entire team is gathered before returning to the locker room. This also works in reverse. Captains go onto the field for the coin toss, then the main body exits to smoke and loud bangs. May seem simple, but prior to the first game, the team will go through this entire process. Coaches want to ensure gameday provides zero surprises. Below is an example itinerary. It’s been decades, so it’s probably not close to reality. However it may give you a better understanding:

5:00 – Taping (wrists/ankles)

5:20 – Specialist on field

5:25 – Offensive skill players out

5:30 – DB’s and LB’s

5:40 – OL and DL

5:45 – Team stretch

6:00 – Position work

6:20 – Team

6:30 – Punt team

6:35 – Return to locker room

6:52 – Captains out

6:55 – Team out

7:00 – Kick-off

Play call charts

Offense and defensive coordinators require specific data to be collected on each play. This may include the play call, opponents pre-snap look, result, and individual personnel involved. Charts are revised and modified to provide the most efficient amount of information for future decision making. This process is rehearsed and revised throughout camp and will get ramped up in final team or scrimmage situations.

Time outs

Players practice, but so do coaches. Throughout situational and unscripted scrimmage situations, decisions that factor just when timeouts are called or not called are also rehearsed. And, the next factor is the support or athletic training staff’s role during stops in play. You’ll notice that during a time-out, towels and water are sprinted onto the field to hydrate players during that brief down time. All that is practiced.

Halftime operations

Just like pregame, every halftime minute is accounted for. Normally, the first time allotment is for the coaches to gather for a quick after action review to discuss second half adjustments. Players hydrate, use the bathroom, etc. Then, position groups briefly meet before the coordinators install adjustments or reinforce game-modifications. See, the entire team is rarely together in both pregame and halftime. The locker room is divided into offensive and defensive segments. The final moments prior to going back onto the field belongs to the head coach as the whole team gathers. During this time is when the “motivation” speech occurs. Re-entering the field is also on a strict time schedule. There are multiple managers that track the clock and provide time hacks to coaches to ensure processes are met. When the team goes back onto the field, proper stretching and warmup exercises are in place. All this will be practiced believe it or not.

On-field clock management

Offensive pace just doesn’t occur on game day. From Shannon Dawson’s mind to Patrick Towles’ signal, there is zero time to waste from play call to snap. This is practiced throughout camp. Same is executed on the defensive side. DJ Eliot to Josh Forrest communication must be instant and without confusion. Areas that aren’t commonly discussed but continually practiced are during two minute offense scenarios. The quarterback must understand when the play clock starts, when time is stopped, and other specifics that can decide the difference in a late touchdown or failing drive. For example, when the offense gains a first down, the play clock is started upon placement and movement of the chains. The game clock stops following a player going out of bounds. But, do you know the clock process differences for offensive and defensive penalties? Many varying factors that have to become second nature for quarterbacks and linebackers.

Factor in the ridiculous NCAA 20-hour rule, as you can imagine, practice time must be managed down to the second. A team can efficiently prepare for any circumstance and yet face unique situations that presents player uncertainty. So now, I hope you understand why experience is critical for primary decision makers (quarterbacks and linebackers) and why wasted practice time is so detrimental to program growth.

Make your kid the ultimate VIP at the Cats Legends Youth Fantasy Experience


Want to be your kid’s hero? Send him or her to the inaugural Cats Legends Youth Fantasy Experience, which takes place September 12-13. Open to boys and girls ages 10-18, the camp will include instruction from famous former Cats like Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Karl Towns, and give your kid the chance to play in Rupp Arena in a game called by Jay Williams and Seth Greenberg.

Like the older campers at the John Calipari Fantasy Experience, your kid will get to tour the Rupp Arena locker room, participate in mock press conferences with Paul Biancardi and Seth Greenberg, get plenty of cool swag AND attend the Saturday night VIP party in the locker room.

There are only about 20 spots left, so HURRY! Register at or

Chuck Hayes will NOT sign with the Rockets

Last month, Chuck Hayes agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Rockets, but apparently, he’s going to pass. Hayes’ agent Calvin Andrews told Yahoo’s Marc Spears that Hayes will NOT sign with the Rockets due to salary cap issues.

Hayes has discussed a future in coaching, and apparently has multiple coaching/front office job offers, but according to his agent, he still wants to play. In a statement, Andrews said Hayes has spent a lot of time preparing and training for this season, and is “in better shape than he has been in years.” While it didn’t work out with Houston, Hayes and his agent will look for other playing opportunities.

Best of luck, Chuck.