Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
September 14th, 2014

UK Fan Of The Day Wants Sunday Night Notes

Matt is experiencing technical difficulties at the KSR Louisville office this evening so I got a late Sunday night call-up from the night post bullpen to help out. Forgive me for being a little behind and messing up your Sunday bedtime reading routine; we’re doing the best we can given the circumstances. I should also point out that I just got in from a three-day bachelor party in Atlanta so there may be more typos than usual. Bear with me, friends. Now let’s get to some quick-hitters from the weekend…

*****

Rex Chapman’s arrest shocked us all.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when reading the text messages (lots of them) at dinner Friday night. Rex Chapman, King Rex, arrested for shoplifting at an Apple Store? No way, I thought. This has to be made up. But then I pushed my blue cheese wedge to the side and read the details from the Arizona news report and it blew me away, as I assume it did you. The former Kentucky great is alleged to have stolen $14,000 worth of Apple products on seven different trips to the Scottsdale store and pawned the goods off for cash. To me, that’s about as low as someone can get. The steal-and-pawn move is an act of desperation and it’s shocking to see Rex Chapman, King Rex, stoop to that level. I don’t know what’s going on in his life that put him in that situation but I hope he lands back on his feet and recovers from this embarrassing low.

Kentucky football landed a new commitment.

The Cats had a bye on the football field, but Stoops still managed to come up with a win off of it by landing a prized recruit from the 2015 class over the weekend. Jason Strowbridge, a four-star defensive end from South Florida, announced his commitment to Kentucky on Twitter, picking UK over the likes of Louisville, Miami, Tennessee, North Carolina and North Carolina State. He still plans to take five official visits and will consider the other schools, but he is the 15th member of UK’s recruiting class, for now. Yahtzee.

Ohio State offered Alex Stump.

Current UK commit Alex Stump picked up an offer from the Ohio State University on Sunday. The four-star wide receiver is from Cleveland, so Kentucky’s got some work to do to keep him around. Clearly Urban Meyer believes Stump can be flipped, but Stoops isn’t giving his prized receiver up without a fight. He and Vince Marrow attended Stump’s game in Cincinnati on Saturday, although Ohio State was also there.

Kentucky opened as a 10.5 point favorite over Vanderbilt and the line keeps moving.

Before the season, many people thought Vandy would enter that game as the favorite. Now the Cats carry a double-digit point spread after hanging with Florida in the Swamp. It is already up to 14.5 points after opening at 10.5. Time for that first SEC win under Stoops! #PackCWS

Skal Labissiere enjoyed his official visit to UK.

skal-selfie

He sent a selfie from his hotel on SnapChat and posed with Coach Cal in the locker room in Rupp Arena. “Visit to UK went great today,” he posted with the photo below.

skal-cal

We’ll have more from Labissiere’s official visit to Kentucky tomorrow.

John Cena attended a Kentucky basketball practice.

Cena wrestled Brock Lesnar in the main event of the WWE pay-per-view in Nashville tonight. I don’t know who won but I’m sure the spanish announce table was shattered at some point in the night.

Tyler Ulis CAN dunk…

… on a lowered goal.

I asked Ulis in the Bahamas if he can throw one down on a 10-foot goal and he told me his hands are two small to palm the ball but he can off a well-placed lob.

Matt took a selfie with Matthew Mitchell and John Calipari.

Wait a minute… He asked me to help out tonight because his Wi-Fi was down. That looks like a party to me.

 

 


Dy’Shawn Mobley is doing big things at EKU

 

Dyshawn Mobley celebrates after scoring a 69 yard touchdown against Georgia. (Photo by Erin O. Smith)

(Photo by Erin O. Smith)

Running back Dy’Shawn Mobley surprised a lot of people at the end of last season when he announced that he would be transferring to Eastern Kentucky University. Mobley was a break-out star in the final two games of UK’s year; he rushed for 92 yards and 1 TD against Georgia, then tallied 143 yards on 17 carries against Tennessee. However, Dy’Shawn cited difficulties with running backs coach Chad Scott as a catalyst for his decision to transfer, and he now suits up for the Colonels.

So far, he’s adjusted pretty well. Here are his stats from 2014:

@ Robert Morris (Aug. 28th): 25 carries, 142 yds, 0 TDs, 5.7 yd avg
@ Miami Ohio (Sept. 6th): 13 carries, 28 yds, 0 TDs, 2.1 yd avg
vs. Morehead St. (Sept. 13th): 6 carries, 123 yds, 1 TD, 20.5 yd avg
@ UT Martin (Sept. 20th): 11 carries, 183 yds, 3 TDs, 16.6 yd avg

2014 average: 13.75 carries, 119 yds, 1 TD, 8.65 yd avg
2013 average (at UK): 7.17 caries, 50 yds, .17 TDs, 6.97 yd avg

Besides the clunker against Miami (OH), Dy’Shawn has been tearing it up in his new home. His team hasn’t been doing so bad either; Eastern Kentucky is currently 4-0 and sits atop the standings in the Ohio Valley Conference. While the decreased level of competition has contributed to Mobley’s improved performance, it’s good to see him succeed at EKU. Best of luck, Dy’Shawn.

 


Kentucky opens as a 10.5 point favorite against Vandy

kentucky-vanderbilt-ncaaf

The folks in Vegas have released their NCAAF lines for the week, and Kentucky has opened as a 10.5 point favorite over Vanderbilt. For what it’s worth, 5Dimes Sportsbook (one of the biggest on the internet) currently has UK as a -13.5 point favorite.

For a team that hasn’t won an SEC game in two years, some might worry that opening a conference game as a double-digit favorite will put some added pressure on UK. However, coming from someone who has watched the Commodores in person several times – there really shouldn’t be much to worry about. Go Cats.

EDIT: The line has now moved up to -14.


Former Cat Todd Svoboda is doing well in his battle with cancer

photo by David Perry

photo by David Perry

This winter, former UK walk-on and fan favorite Todd Svoboda was diagnosed with osteosarcoma – an aggressive form of bone cancer.  The River City News in Covington, Kentucky, published a great piece yesterday about Todd and his fight. Apparently, he’s winning:

“His treatment is working. Todd is once again fighting a hard battle and winning. He says he’s got a couple of rounds of chemo to go, then he’ll be in “surveillance mode” – basically making sure the cancer doesn’t come back.”

That’s certainly great news. However, Todd’s battle isn’t over. He still has a few rounds of chemo left, and he wants to share this message:

“Just tell all the fans out there – no matter who they cheer for – that I need your prayers,” he said. “And I thank them for that.”

I’m sure that won’t be a problem. Get well soon, Todd.

 


ESPN’s Football Power Index really likes the SEC

sec_media_day_1-004

With 8 teams in the top 25 of today’s AP poll, it’s safe to say that the media likes the SEC. However, after yesterday’s action, ESPN’s Football Power Index is even more in love with the conference. What is the FPI? Good question. Here’s how ESPN describes it:

The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.”

Yay, computers! Here are the latest FPI rankings (I’ve also listed each team’s position in the AP poll for comparison):

1. Alabama (3)
2. Texas AM (6)
3. Auburn (5)
4. Georgia (12)
5. Florida State (1)
6. Oklahoma (4)
7. Oregon (2)
8. Ole Miss (10)
9. Baylor (7)
10. UCLA (11)
11. Mississippi St.(14)
12. LSU (17)
13. USC (18)
14. Notre Dame (8)
15. Stanford (16)
16. Clemson (unranked)
17. Ohio State (22)
18. BYU (20)
19. Wisconsin (19)
20. Arkansas (unranked)
21. Florida (unranked)
22. S. Carolina (13)
23. Arizona St. (15)
24. Michigan St. (9)
25. Utah (unranked)

As you can see, the computers are very reverent of the SEC. Not only are there 10 teams in the top 25, the FPI also says that the four best teams in the country are in the conference. It’s certainly a small sample size; we’ll see if it holds as the schools continue to beat up on each other in league play.

In case you were wondering, Kentucky currently comes in at 45th with a projected 6-6 record. I’ll take it.

[Full List]


Noel had a barber in London for the draft

nerlens-draft

Nerlens Noel looks amazing at the draft last year, didn’t he? I am glad his hair turned out so well since he apparently went to London to get it done, according to the London School of Barbering. The school is offering a great deal on Pro Demo- Afro Caribbean Haircuts so we can look just like Noel! All we have to do is pay for travel to London to get it.

Noel
You might remember that picture from Noel’s instagram last year after he got his hair cut at Denny Moes Barber Shop.

S/o to Denny Moes Barber Shop for hooking me up with the fresh cut! #DraftReady

London….Denny Moes…..Same difference, right? I know websites like this never really use real pictures, I just thought it was funny they picked Noel’s out of anyone in the world.

 

(H/t: Blue Jesus)

@sealey_KSR


SEC comes in strong for AP top 25

sec-nation

The SEC is coming in strong this week for the AP Top 25. The SEC came in with eight teams, which is good for the conference, but bad for Kentucky. Pac-12 came in with five teams and the Big Ten and Big 12 had 4. the ACC only had one along with the AAC, after Louisville dropped out.

Here is a full look at the rankings.

 

 

@Sealey_KSR


Madness in the sky

So cool! Wildcats TV flew a drone around tent city to get a look from above. This really helps you soak in how big it really is for anyone who hasn’t seen tent city in person before.

@Sealey_KSR


Urban Meyer opens up about Florida

It can get VERY stressful being fans. There is a lot of pressure on us for our teams to do well so we don’t have our friends harassing us about a loss. It is enough to drive a person crazy. However, if it is that bad for fans, just think how hard it is to be a head coach of one of the best football programs in the country.

After his departure from Florida for personal health reason, there was a lot of judgement toward Urban Meyer. The college football world was even more upset when only a few months later he took the head coaching job at Ohio State.

Now, Meyer is sitting down and telling his side of the story four years later. It is heartbreaking to watch looking back I can’t believe how sickly Meyer actually looked after the 2008 championship. However, There is the question of if he was so stressed and sick at Florida, why would he go to another top program with the same amount of pressure, if not more.

I am sure that will be answered Sept. 23 at 10 pm on HBO when Real Sports debuts the interview. I cannot wait to watch the entire program to get the full story.

@Sealey_KSR


The rumors are true….

(@DifferentBreedP)

(@DifferentBreedP)

I thought Matt was just joking when he talked about this Sting window on the show a couple weeks ago, but apparently not.  This has been seen around town and fans are taking pictures all over the place.

Would you put this on your car?

 

@Sealey_KSR


Rob Bironas’ Sunday Morning Links

(h/t operationsports.com)

(h/t operationsports.com)

Kentucky native and  nine-year vet of the Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas was killed overnight in Nashville car crash at the age of 36. Police say Bironas lost control of his SUV at a high speed and the vehicle went off the road striking several trees before stopping. Bironas leaves behind his wife Rachel Bradshaw, daughter of Terry Bradshaw, who he just married in June. Our thoughts are with the family in their time of mourning.

On to this morning’s links:

 

—     ­Rex Chapman was released from jail quietly yesterday and was not reachable for comment, according to USA Today. No new information has been released, but Chapman still faces 14 different felonies after allegedly stealing from an Apple store in Arizona.

—     Class of 2015 Safety Reggie Rogers committed to Marshall last night. The 3-star recruit was someone Vince Marrow and D. J. Eliot had been recruiting and it was thought that Kentucky was a shoe-in for the recruit. Oh well. On to the next!

—     No. 15 Kentucky Volleyball used a strong defensive effort to defeat Xavier in its fourth consecutive victory. This was the last non-conference match before the start of SEC play and the Wildcats (10-2) used 11 blocks and a 24-dig effort from Jackie Napper to pull off the win.

—     CBS Sports Jeff Borzello did a small recap on who went where for basketball recruiting this weekend and where is next for some big recruits. Hint: Kentucky is said at least once for all but one player.

—     In case you missed a little football around the SEC yesterday here is a roundup of what went down. What I learned after they took down No. 8 LSU is that Mississippi State is not playing around. Also, Mizzou is weaker than (I) thought.

—     Jason Hatcher enjoys the multiple roles he has been playing this season. Hatcher has been used in multiple defensive packages this year, using his size and speed to help. Read a couple quotes, including him calling out Tennessee coaches if they didn’t recruit him right.

 

@Sealey_KSR


Artis Gilmore’s Saturday Night News And Notes

Photo via Sports Illustrated

 

With the idea of an NBA team in Louisville being floated around in the last couple of years, it’s important that we remember where the history of professional basketball in Kentucky was originated. The Kentucky Colonels folded after the NBA/ABA merger but their legacy will live on in the Bluegrass forever, or at least until they return to professional ranks. Arguably the best player to don a Colonels jersey was Artis Gilmore from Chipley, FL. He was drafted by both Kentucky and the Chicago Bulls of the NBA in 1971 after dominating the competition at Jacksonville University. Gilmore still holds the record for rebounds in a game in NCAA play with a career average of 22.7 rebounds per game.

In his first season with the Colonels he was voted the ABA’s Rookie of the Year and MVP and led the Colonels to their only ABA Championship in 1975. After the ABA folded, Gilmore was selected #1 overall in the merger draft by the Chicago Bulls. He bounced around between San Antonio and Chicago before ending his NBA career in Boston in 1988. When it was all said and done, Gilmore was selected to the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2011 and was named to the ABA’s All-Time Team with career averages of 18.8ppg and 12.2rpg while still to this day remaining the NBA’s all time leader in field goal percentage. Artis turns 65 on Sunday and we want to wish one of the best basketball players in the history of the state a happy birthday.

 

uk-logo-150x105 The Rex Chapman situation made it to the news in Arizona. It’s sad to see another loved former player running afoul of the law, here’s to hoping this was just an isolated incident.

 

uk-logo-150x105 It was YAHTZEE! time in Lexington again today as high 3-star recruit DE Jason Strowbridge committed to Mark Stoops and the Wildcats this morning. Strowbridge had tweeted out a Top 6 of Kentucky, Tennessee, Miami, NC State, Louisville, and North Carolina earlier in the day. The 6’4 247lb. end is rated as the #29 strong-side defensive end in the country by 247Sports’ Composite rankings. With UK’s 15th commitment, they move into 24th in the recruiting rankings, sandwiched in between Wisconsin and West Virginia.

 

uk-logo-150x105 John Cena is the only person in the world I would bet for in a pushup contest with Alex Poythress. He could probably put someone on their back while taking a charge. Holy bench press. Also, a nice #BFM for the Chivers out in BBN.

 

 

uk-logo-150x105 John Calipari also had some of the players over for a good time tonight, as we got to see Tyler Ulis elevate and throw down on a 7-foot goal earlier (scroll up to see) and this gem of what looks like Devin Booker doing his best Javess Blue impression with a bevy of flips on the Calipari family trampoline.

 

 

uk-logo-150x105 Mark Stoops used his bye week to check on the nation’s #1 high school football team, St. Edwards of Lakewood, Ohio playing against Cincinnati Elder. Stoops was keeping an eye on 4-star WR commitment Alex Stump and also hoping to nail some brownie points with 4-star twins Andrew and David Dowell. It’s good to see Stoops has a good relationship with a program as reputable as St. Edwards, and Elder is no slouch at producing D1 talent as well. Stoops gets it.

 

That’s all for tonight. Keep bleeding blue, Kentucky. I’m Ron Burgundy? 

 

–@WillTottenKSR


Where In The World Is Mark Stoops?

 

As I stated earlier, bye week is usually a boring, disappointing time for fans. Watching a college football Saturday isn’t the same knowing that the ‘Cats haven’t played or will later in the day. However for coaches, especially with the staff that Mark Stoops has created, this bye week is a chance to get out and see some recruits that they normally wouldn’t have the time to check out.

Tonight, Mark Stoops is spending his bye week Saturday in Ohio (shocking development) watching the #1 ranked high school in the nation, St. Edward (Lakewood, OH) face off against perennial Ohio and national power, Cincinnati Elder. Kentucky already has a commitment from 4-Star WR Alex Stump of St. Edward, and are also in on twins Andrew and David Dowell of St. Edward, both 4-star players at RB and Safety respectively. Clearly having a good connection to a team ranked #1 in the nation, that usually sends 4 or more players to Division 1 football every season is a fantastic thing for Kentucky football.

Stoops.


Tyler Ulis: “You Thought He Was A Point Guard”

 

John Calipari likes his team, that much is obvious. He also wants you to know just how skilled his players are. More specifically, Tyler Ulis. Coach Cal wants all of #BBN to know something, that Tyler Ulis CAN dunk (<cough> 7-foot goal <cough>) and has more elevation than you would suspect from a 5’9 point guard. End of sarcasm. Coach Cal is having fun, which means all is well throughout the Big Blue Nation.

 

–@WillTottenKSR


Cesaro Likes UK’s Facilities


As the WWE wrestlers trickled into town for the WWE Live event at Rupp Arena today, it seems that the Joe Craft Center became the work out spot for some of WWE’s stars this morning. The wrestler pictured above is Cesaro (real name: Claudio Castagnoli), a Swiss wrestler who joined the WWE in 2011, and held the US Championship for a period in 2012-13. The fact that UK’s workout equipment is suitable to help beef up some of the largest people on the planet is a very good sign.

One more thing, I’m not huge into wrestling and have never been, but when researching who exactly Cesaro was I stumbled onto a Bleacher Report article titled “7 Curious Facts About Antonio Cesaro” and found number 3 very entertaining. Apparently, in 2007 he was part of a wrestling group called “The Los Ice Cream Trio” and wrestled under the identity of “Very Mysterious Ice Cream”. Seriously. This is a photo from the Bleacher Report, he’s the one on the far right.

 

 

–@WillTottenKSR