Kentucky Sports Radio

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January 26th, 2015

Monday Night News and Views

As our friends in New York and the northeast brace for this potentially historic blizzard, the show must go on here in Kentucky. We’re over halfway through the regular season basketball schedule, football signing day is right around the corner, and one former Cat is gunning for LeBron’s crown as the NBA’s best. Read all about those, and more, in tonight’s News and Views.

 

Kentucky is the unanimous No. 1 in the USA Today Coaches poll, finally.

Meanwhile, the Cats received all but one of the first place votes in the AP poll. John Feinstein was the only media member to put Virginia ahead of Kentucky in the ballots. The 64 other voters respectfully disagree.

Dominique Hawkins likely to return to the starting lineup.

Coach Cal used Trey Lyles with the blue platoon and played only nine players against South Carolina, leaving Dominique Hawkins on the bench. Today, Cal said missed practice time was the reason behind the decision to sit Hawkins after moving him to the starting lineup against Vanderbilt.

“Dom’s been injured,” said Cal. “So he didn’t get put in the rotation.”

There ya go.

Devin Booker won this week’s Devin Booker Award, given to the SEC’s best freshman.

Booker is the SEC Freshman of the Week for a third consecutive week and the fourth time this season. He scored 18 points in Saturday’s win in Columbia and had an easy six at home against Vanderbilt last Tuesday.

Marcus Lewis will commit to either Kentucky or Miami next Tuesday.

Lewis, a top-100 player in the 2015 class, announced that he will announce his decision next Tuesday, one day before Signing Day. The four-star defensive back is down to Kentucky and Miami and it could go either way at this point.

Mark Stoops and members of the UK staff will make an in-home visit on Saturday for one last pitch to join the BBN. Immediate playing time will be one of the many selling points they throw his way, no doubt. It also helps that Jabari Greenwood, Lewis’ good friend and high school teammate, is already committed to Kentucky.

Realllllly need this one to boost the 2015 class.

UK added a new preferred walk-on quarterback.

Davis Mattingly from Louisville Male committed to Kentucky on Monday, he announced on Twitter. Mattingly will be a preferred walk-on and plans to redshirt next season.

“I thought UK was the best option for me, and I thought it would fit me well with the new offensive coordinator,” he told the Courier-Journal. “They told me they have been trying to get me for a long time. … It’s a very cool opportunity for me. My dad went there. My sister goes there now. I’m very excited to get to play for my home state.”

Three-star defensive tackle flipped from UK to Ohio State.

DaVon Hamilton from Pickerington, Ohio has flipped from Kentucky to Ohio State. Word leaked over the weekend that Hamilton was slipping when he received an offer from Urban Meyer and he made the switch Monday night.

Hamilton is the second commit to leave UK’s class to join the Buckeyes. Wide receiver Alex Stump flipped his decision back in October.

Stoops expected to hire Andy Buh to coach safeties, per WKYT.

According to our good friends at WKYT, Mark Stoops was “very impressed” during a recent interview with Andy Buh, a former defensive coordinator at California. Buh will likely take over Craig Naivar’s role as safeties coach if Stoops makes the hire.

It was reported earlier this month that Buh will join the staff at Arkansas, but that never happened.

Anthony Davis is really good at the game of basketball.

Davis had 32 and 10 against Nerlens Noel and the Sixers and he needed only 30 minutes to do it. The former Cat went 12-of-19 from the field, 8-for-8 at the stripe, and added three assists, three steals, four blocks and zero turnovers.

Nerlens went 1-for-9 from the field for two points in equal minutes.

John Wall, man.

The ol’ left-handed, between-the-legs, split-two-defenders assist for a dunk. Just the way you draw it up.

Go Cats.


KSR’s first SEC road trip was a success

The Kentucky Sports Radio crew made its first SEC road trip over the weekend to UK’s away contest at South Carolina, a big win for the Cats. You saw the game and you’ve read the aftermath, so tonight I’ll share with you a recap of our trip.

 

The ride down was a tight squeeze.

Only six more hours of this. #CantFeelMyLegs

A photo posted by Drew Franklin (@drew_franklin) on

We went 6’2, 6’4 and 6’7 in the backseat, not the ideal length for almost seven hours of car time. Luckily the Ford Explorer had an extra third row seat for Flener, although it didn’t offer much more space with all of our luggage.

Matt’s music selection is improving.

There’s still plenty of old country to suffer through, but he’s opened up to sprinkling in the occasional 90s rap song to keep me sane. Keith Whitley and Jagged Edge have never sounded so good together.

The Triangle Stop in Saluda, NC is the best gas station in America.

When we stopped for gas between Asheville and Columbia, we didn’t expect a booze-fueled half hour of hanging out with the locals inside the store. What was supposed to be a quick stop to break the seal and stretch the legs turned into a beer tasting session for the passengers at the bar in the gas station. Yes, there was a bar. Inside the gas station.

The Triangle Stop looked like any other gas station you’ve ever been in, but tucked away in the back corner, next to the bathrooms and across from the Doritos, was a small bar with eight or nine taps coming out of the wall. We had to try a couple of pints and talk about Coon Dog Day, the small town’s summer festival. It would be wrong to leave such a wonderful opportunity behind.

triangle-stop

Karen there in the orange, she told us everything one could want to know about Saluda. We’re like best friends now.

saluda

I miss her.

Friday night in Columbia was fun.

Dinner was blackened sustainable red fish, Spanish chorizo and pepper etouffee over a classic low country chicken bog at Motor Supply Bistro. We followed that up with drinks at Tin Roof and drinks, dancing, paying the DJ $20 to play Taylor Swift and bumping shoulders with Hells Angels at Woody’s.

If you’re ever in Columbia, go to Woody’s.

It was tough to pay attention during Saturday’s pregame show.

Matt and I were courtside at 9:30 am for the pregame show and we were not alone in the building. The South Carolina dancers were rehearsing their halftime peformance in front of us, and they could hear everything we said.

I’m not mad at Saturday morning right now. A video posted by Drew Franklin (@drew_franklin) on

What were we talking about again?

Arena security tried to remove the blue from the student section, but two UK fans wouldn’t budge.

By now you’ve heard the story of the two girls in the student section who were asked to cover up their Kentucky gear. We were standing there as it all played out and I have to commend them for not giving in. They pay tuition like all of the other students (the students who were yelling “KICK HER OUT”) and they deserve to wear whatever they want.

That was a B.S. move by arena security.

Kentucky fans were everywhere.

AND THEY WERE SOOOOOO LOUD.

Gamecock Jesus is a real thing and he loves South Carolina basketball more than anyone should.

He has arrived! Yes Gamecock Jesus. YES. #GoCocks #MensBasketball #BeatKentucky @jkhucks @callmecourt1107 @emilyelizabethmason

A video posted by Rachel Johnson (@rachelwjohnson) on

That’s an old man in the South Carolina student section and he did not sit down the entire game. Someone told me he’s been going to games for 30 years and the students love having him around in their seats.

Also, he was wearing Crocs. I feel like you should know that about him.

We should do this more often.

But with smaller people in a larger car. And we have to stop in Saluda, even if it’s not on the way.

LSU? We’re going through Saluda.

Missouri? Mandatory stop in Saluda.

Vandy? Yep, Saluda.


Marcus Lewis to decide next Tuesday

Marcus Lewis is down to Kentucky and Miami and he will commit to one of the two schools next week. Lewis said today he will announce his final decision on Tuesday, the day before National Signing Day.

Lewis is a four-star safety, ranked No. 8 at his position and 80th overall by Rivals.com. He took his official visit to Kentucky back in December and gave Miami his last visit, earlier this month.

Landing him would be HUGE for the Cats.


Mark Stoops may add former Cal defensive coordinator to staff

WKYT is reporting UK may hire former Cal defensive coordinator Andy Buh to join the football staff in Lexington. A source told WKYT Mark Stoops was “very impressed” by Buh in a recent interview.

He will likely fill the opening Craig Naivar left behind, if hired.


Further proof that Anthony Davis isn’t human

Davis slammed in this impossible lob, somehow.

He’s not real.


Male High School’s Davis Mattingly commits to Kentucky

Male High School’s Davis Mattingly committed to Kentucky today. The 6-foot-4 quarterback will join the team next season as a preferred walk-on.

Yahtzee.


Could Coach Cal Be Coach Of The Year?

Despite the many, many accomplishments Coach Calipari has notched during his time in Lexington being named Coach of the Year hasn’t been one of them. Perhaps this is the year that the best coach in the game is finally recognized for the work he has be doing this season. At least Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo Sports seems to think that could be the case as he included Coach Cal on his rankings for COTY. Here’s what Jeff had to say:

5. John Calipari, Kentucky

If the common complaint about including Calipari as a coach of the year candidate is that he has more talent to work with than any of his peers, allow me to poke holes in that. First, one of the primary responsibilities of a college coach is to stockpile talent via recruiting, so Calipari should get credit for having nine McDonald’s All-Americans at his disposal rather than being penalized for it. Second, it’s a challenge to keep that many guys with NBA aspirations happy but so far Calipari seems to be successfully managing the egos on his team. Top-ranked Kentucky is 19-0 and has shown no signs of animosity between the players either on or off the floor. The Wildcats are winning because their impressive collection of long, athletic big men has gobbled up offensive boards and made it very tough on opposing teams to score in the paint.

[Yahoo Sports: Ranking the leading contenders for national coach of the year]

Not that the award matters in the long run. Here are the last 5 Naismith Coach of the Year winners and their finish in the season compared to Kentucky’s

Year Coach Team Lost Kentucky’s Finish
2009–10 Jim Boeheim Syracuse Sweet 16 Elite 8
2010–11 Steve Fisher San Diego State Sweet 16 Final Four
2011–12 Bill Self Kansas Runner-Up National Champs
2012–13 Jim Larrañaga Miami (FL) Sweet 16 NIT
2013–14 Gregg Marshall Wichita State Rd of 32 Runner-Up

On second thought, you can keep your awards. Cal is doing just fine without them.


Calipari on Karl: “He must master five feet and in”

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

If you’ve been paying any attention at all to John Calipari on the sidelines lately, you’ve noticed he’s been pretty hard on Karl Towns. Karl has struggled with the physical nature of conference play, to the point that you might even say he’s in an SEC slump. “I’ve been kind of tough on him,” Cal said on his radio show tonight. “I love him. He’s one of the best kids of all time, but I told him, ‘You can’t talk your way out, you can’t nice your way out. You’re gonna do this. You’re gonna be our threat in there.'”

To make that happen, Cal said that the staff is focusing on getting Karl to master “five feet and in.”:

He’s gotta master five feet and in before we do anything else. You know why? For him. I’m cheating him if I accept him saying ‘I can’t play in there, just let me shoot jumpers.’ Well, then I’m cheating him. That’s not why I came to Kentucky. He must master five feet and in. He must sit down, he must play lower, he must fight with his hips, he must use angles better. All of the things that he’s capable of doing, we’re demanding. We’re not accepting anything other than that.”

Cal did say that he’s proud of Karl for his improvement on pick-and-roll defense. “For him to be the big man he wants to be at the next level, he must play pick-and-roll defense,” Cal said. “If you cannot play pick-and-roll defense, you’ll be in pick-and roll defense every play of every game that you’re in. That’s why he’s getting better. We never accept it.”

You got this, Karl.


KSR shirts in Ladies’ styles now available at KentuckyBranded.com!

ksr_ladies

HEY LADIES! Like the KSR shirts but want some in a more flattering cut? You’re in luck. Now in stock at KentuckyBranded.com: KSR shirts in several ladies’ styles. Don’t sacrifice fashion to show your KSR pride in these great tees, which range in size from small to x-large.

Free shipping with orders over $40!

The KSR Ladies Collection at KentuckyBranded.com


Kentucky on pace for college basketball’s best defense in 15 years

Today in wonderful and pleasing statistics: Kentucky is currently allowing 77.2 points per 100 possessions. If that holds up, it would be the best for any defense in college basketball in at least the last 15 seasons.

Cheers to that.


“SEC Now” will broadcast from Rupp on Saturday afternoon

Like this but not quite.

The latest sign Kentucky basketball is the only story in the sport right now: “SEC Now,” the SEC Network’s news and information studio show, will broadcast live from Rupp Arena on Saturday afternoon before the Alabama game.

Host Dari Nowkhah will be joined by analysts Dane Bradshaw and Darrin Horn on the baseline of Rupp Arena beginning at 2 p.m. to preview Kentucky’s game against Alabama and provide highlights and analysis of the rest of the day’s conference games. They’ll also stick around after the conclusion of UK/Alabama to recap all the action.

Cool.


Kim Anderson calls Devin Booker’s shooting “pretty salty”

This morning, Devin Booker won SEC Freshman of the Week for the third straight week, a testament to his blazing hot shooting from the outside. Over the past nine games, Booker is 22-33 from behind the arc, causing Missouri head coach Kim Anderson to label him “pretty salty” in today’s SEC Coaches Teleconference.

“He’s playing way too good,” Anderson laughed. “He’s shooting the ball well, and for a freshman is really mature. You think about it, he’s shooting 50 percent from three. That’s pretty salty.”

Salty, smooth, hot, whatever you want to call it, the BBN likes it. John Calipari said that while he’s pleased with Booker’s play, especially his defense, he wants to see him drive the lane more often. “I want to see him attack the basket better,” Cal said on today’s teleconference. “Right now when he attacks the basket, he doesn’t avoid people. He’s still flailing a little bit. I don’t want him to just be a catch-and-shoot player. I want him to be an offensive threat.”

This gets better?


Malik Newman’s dad calls what Calipari’s doing “special”

Malik Newman remains one of Kentucky’s top prospects for the 2015 class, and yesterday, his father, Horatio Webster, called into the Sunday Morning Sports Talk show on 630 AM to talk about his son’s recruitment. Webster told Mark Buerger and Larry Vaught that with the number of players on the roster, this year’s Kentucky team “could’ve been a disaster,” but John Calipari’s use of the platoon system has instead made it something special:

“It’s special what Coach Cal is doing down there because [to keep] almost a McDonald’s All-American team together and all of them gel as one, that takes a special coach to do that,” Webster said. “In order to keep everybody happy and keep a smile on everybody’s face. That team could’ve went any way, it could’ve been a disaster or it could turn out like it is now. And you have to give Coach Cal and his staff all the credit for  that. I don’t know how he did it, I don’t know how he do it, but that’s why he gets paid the big bucks.”

Newman is considering Kentucky, Kansas, NC State, Ole Miss, and others, and plans to visit Kentucky soon. He got his first taste of the Big Blue Nation at the Marshall County Hoops Fest in December. “The fans–I really can’t describe it, but it was unbelievable. You looked, they reacted to everything Malik did. I don’t know if that was part of the recruiting plan, I don’t know if y’all sent out a memo before we got there, but whatever the case may be, whatever Malik did, they reacted to in an excited way. It was fun. He really enjoyed it.”

Webster says Malik won’t announce until late April, and he has no clue where he’ll end up. “No idea” Webster said. “I was talking to him two nights ago and I said, ‘Malik, April is approaching really fast, so you need to be doing something and he just looked at me and smiled and said, ‘OK.’ I can’t get anything out of him.”

If Devin Booker ends up going to the NBA, could we end up trading one Mississippi shooting guard for another?

[WLAP]


2015 SAG Awards Recap + Winners

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Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Kevork Djansezian

 

Award season continued last night at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, when Hollywood’s elite paid tribute to the year’s best work in both television and film. It may not be as widely acclaimed as the Oscars or as fun as the Golden Globes, but the SAG-AFTRA Awards is the night when the actors’ union honors their own.

Those familiar with the award show know it always opens with actors reciting an anecdote about the beginning of their career and ending with the famous line, “I am an actor.” Well this year, Zach Galifianakis started the night on a lighthearted note by simply questioning, “I am an actor?” Well Zach, according to Birdman’s win for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, you are indeed an award-winning actor now. The full cast of A-listers, including Michael Keaton, Naomi Watts, Emma Stone, and Edward Norton, beat out Boyhood for the top honor of the night. The rest of the film awards seemed to agree with the Critics Choice and Golden Globes with Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), J.K Simmons (Whiplash), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood) and Julianne Moore (Still Alice) accepting acting wins.

Many TV awards, though, were surprising. Netflix’s Orange is the New Black ended Modern Family’s long streak as the best comedy ensemble cast. New SAG member Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) won the first award of the night for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series, beating out heavy hitters Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julie Bowen, Edie Falco, and Amy Poehler. Viola Davis won over a whopping six contenders for Female Actor in a Drama Series for her (not- even-finished-with-the-first-season) How to Get Away With Murder. That woman knows how to act and give an acceptance speech.

Take a look below at all the winners and tune into Funkhouser on Hollywood’s biggest night, The Academy Awards, on February 22!

Theatrical Motion Pictures

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

“Birdman” (*WINNER*)

“Boyhood”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel”

“The Imitation Game”

“The Theory of Everything”

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Steve Carell- “Foxcatcher”

Benedict Cumberbatch- “The Imitation Game”

Jake Gyllenhaal- “Nightcrawler”

Michael Keaton- “Birdman”

Eddie Redmayne- “The Theory of Everything”- (*WINNER*)

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Jennifer Aniston- “Cake”

Felicity Jones- “The Theory of Everything”

Julianne Moore- “Still Alice” (*WINNER*)

Rosamond Pike- “Gone Girl”

Reese Witherspoon- “Wild”

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Robert Duvall- “The Judge”

Ethan Hawke- “Boyhood”

Edward Norton- “Birdman”

Mark Ruffalo- “Foxcatcher”

J.K. Simmons- “Whiplash”- (*WINNER*)

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Patricia Arquette- “Boyhood” (*WINNER*)

Kiera Knightley- “The Imitation Game”

Emma Stone- “Birdman”

Meryl Streep- “Into the Woods”

Naomi Watts- “St. Vincent”

 

Television

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

“Boardwalk Empire”

“Downton Abbey”- (*WINNER*)

“Game of Thrones”

“Homeland”

“House of Cards”

 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

“The Big Bang Theory”

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

“Modern Family”

“Orange is the New Black”- (*WINNER*)

“Veep”

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Steve Buscemi- “Boardwalk Empire”

Peter Dinklage- “Game of Thrones”

Woody Harrelson- “True Detective”

Matthew McConaughey- “True Detective”

Kevin Spacey- “House of Cards”- (*WINNER*)

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Claire Danes- “Homeland”

Viola Davis- “How to Get Away with Murder” (*WINNER*)

Julianna Marguiles- “The Good Wife”

Tatiana Maslany- “Orphan Black”

Maggie Smith- “Downton Abbey”

Robin Wright- “House of Cards”

 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Ty Burrell- “Modern Family”

Louis C.K.- “Louie”

William H. Macy- “Shameless”- (*WINNER*)

Jim Parsons- “The Big Bang Theory”

Eric Stonestreet- “Modern Family”

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Uzo Aduba- “Orange is the New Black” – (*WINNER*)

Julie Bowen- “Modern Family”

Edie Falco- “Nurse Jackie”

Julia Louis- Dreyfus- “Veep”

Amy Poehler- “Parks and Recreation”

 

Outstanding Performace by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Adrian Brody- “Houdini”

Benedict Cumberbatch- “Sherlock: His Last Vow”

Richard Jenkins- “Olive Kitteridge”

Mark Ruffalo- “The Normal Heart”- (*WINNER*)

Billy Bob Thorton- “Fargo”

 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Ellen Burstyn- “Flowers in the Attic”

Maggie Gyllenhaal- “The Honorable Woman”

Frances McDormand- “Oliver Kitteridge”- (*WINNER*)

Julia Roberts- “The Normal Heart”

Cicely Tyson- “The Trip to Bountiful”


Bracket Racket: Lundari and Palm have four SEC teams making the dance

It’s Monday, and the Cats haven’t lost yet, so they’re still the overall #1-seed in the latest mock brackets making the rounds this morning. Joe Lunardi projects four SEC teams to make the tournament: Kentucky (1), Arkansas (7), Georgia (9), and LSU (9).

Not surprisingly, Lunardi has Louisville in Kentucky’s bracket once again as the 4-seed:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 9.35.36 AM

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm also has the Cards in Kentucky’s bracket as the 4-seed:

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 9.40.02 AM

Palm also has four SEC teams making the dance: Kentucky (1), Arkansas (6), Georgia (7), and LSU (7). Alabama and Texas A&M are in his first four out, along with my alma mater, Davidson.

Which bracket do you prefer? I’ll take Palm’s, please. No desire to face a team like Notre Dame.