There’s pretty much only one reason I look through the media guide each season: the →
By Brennan English on ©10:30 pm
There’s a great event happening here in
Lexington Midway this Saturday–the inaugural Moontower Music Festival at Equus Run Vineyards. Following Kentucky’s biggest 3-day festival, Forecastle, Moontower is a one-day celebration of music and local food, drink, and culture. The fest’s planners hope to move it to a 2-day event in 2015.
The lineup features bands from a variety of genres: A Lion Named Roar (pop rock), Brave Baby (indie rock), Tyler Childers (Americana), Machines Are People Too (synth-pop), Buffalo Rodeo (alternative/progressive rock), and DJ Gary Klass; shockingly he’s a DJ. Many of the artists are from our broader region too, with guys hailing from Bowling Green, Paintsville, Tennessee (gross), Prestonsburg, and Lexington.
The headliners for the fest are Redmon’s favorites, the more than up-and-coming country duo, Sundy Best. KSR readers may recall their Senior Day rendition of my “Old Kentucky Home“ (*SOB) and their CMT Award three goggle moment that was caught on camera. Good guys. Poor spellers. Tell them so at 7 pm Saturday.
Your big headliner is Nashville’s indie-progressive band, Moon Taxi. The guys were a featured late show at Forecastle last weekend, and I was fortunate enough to see them for the ….. well, not the first time. They play in the area a lot ok? The group is phenomenal live, putting on a high energy, intimate show no matter the venue. I encourage you to come ride the Moon Taxi at 8:45.
Full schedule here.
Buy tickets here.
And why not read my Forecastle review here?
On to the news:
George Brown Jr. chooses Florida
Three-star offensive tackle, George Brown Jr., once thought a strong Kentucky lean by most recruiting pundits went with the baby gators today–much to the chagrin of BBN. And shock. Mostly at the baby gator. How would he have pulled that off with a baby elephant…
I'd love to beat FL. in recruiting, but If I'm an elite O-Lineman, I'm not going to a school that already has 5 OL in my class alone
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) July 25, 2014
Brown may have been the best OL of them all, but this helps ease the sting a bit perhaps? That, plus the fact that we are actually surprised to be losing out on a top-tier recruit from Ohio. Isn’t that nice?
I now challenge all UK recruits to commit using kittens, held up Simba style.
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) July 25, 2014
Also, the prospect of kittens. I love kittens.
Stoops on the Louisville series
After causing quite a stir skipping Wednesday’s Governor’s Cup luncheon, leading to speculation that Stoops & Co. may distancing themselves from the series, Stoops put that to rest today. Speaking at the Greater Louisville UK Alumni Luncheon, during this time of the year he calls “talking season”, Stoops said that he feels the Louisville game is “very important.”
Any time you’re an in-state rivalry, it’s important. I think both groups, both institutions, have such strong fans and fan bases, it’s important to them; it’s important to our players, it’s important to us. There’s no denying that. If you ask me, and certainly Charlie (Strong) and I have had discussions — I don’t know Coach (Bobby Petrino) as well — but sometimes people don’t realize there’s 11 other games that we’ve gotta get to. But it is important, and we embrace that challenge.
Even if the SEC moves to nine conference games, the rivalry will continue.
“Oh, yeah, I do,” Stoops said. “As you know, that’s probably above my pay grade, but I do anticipate that staying.”
Neal Brown and Stoops on the Kentucky offense
– Not much news on who’s winning the QB race. So there.
– Brown was asked about potential playmakers on offense,”Ryan Timmons, Braylon Heard, Javess Blue and Jojo Kemp.” Stoops got in on the conversation and added running back Josh Clemons. Brown then said, “His power output is right behind Bud (Dupree).”
– Stoops said the freshman on offense look “how they’re supposed to look” and the WRs are very physically tough.
– Neal Brown went on and on about how good Ryan Timmons’ body looked, how he got a 4.0 last semester, and how much he’s matured. Someone has a crush! Don’t blame ya Coach.
Read more of the transcript from today’s talk with Stoops, Brown, and D.J. Eliot here.
The Pelicans re-signed Darius Miller
One of our favorite Kentuckians is reunited with one of our favorite unibrows. Congrats Darius. Also, Ivory Coast star Didier Drogba re-signed with Chelsea. Big day for re-signing. Perhaps Stephen A. Smith should resign….?
Jalen Rose (maybe) considered taking a position at Kentucky?
“There are a few college coaches that I would consider working for; John Calipari is one of them.” When Jacoby asked he if had spoken to Cal about it, Rose said, “I plead the fifth.”
When John Calipari calls; you listen.
Thamel implies UK+5 other schools may have had racial reasonings not hiring Charlie Strong
Or have been racist. Or something. Doing real research on the unique situations at each university for his piece would have been too hard.
In other news, KSR still doesn’t like Pete Thamel. Read Matt’s thoughts here.
The Kentucky football women’s clinic is tomorrow
And I’ll be there! Looking forward to seeing what this event is all about and hearing knowledgeable gals talk some football. See, KSR does talk about football!!
By Andrew Cassady on ©9:30 pm
Football is just a month and a week away but there are still many questions to be answered about the 2014 football Cats. Everyone is looking for improvement this coming year but what exactly does that mean? Here are three improvements I’ll be watching for this coming season:
3. Consistency at Quarterback
Ever since Mike Hartline left the sidelines of Lexington Kentucky has struggled to find a consistent starter at the quarterback position. Last year Neal Brown attempted the two QB approach and as such the Cats converted on just 51 of 165 third downs which was among the worst in the nation at 118th. This year the Cats need to improve and show some consistency at the quarterback position and end the battle for the next couple years. Someone needs to step up with the confidence of the staff behind them and lead the team. Otherwise we could continue having the same question year after year of who the starting QB will be.
2. Win The Turnover Battle
The Cats recorded just three interceptions last season which was tied with Utah and Temple for the worst total in the nation. If not for 12 fumble recoveries UK would have finished with a losing margin instead of the big 0 they finished with. With 9 fumbles given up and 6 interceptions thrown Kentucky took care of the ball pretty well but next season it’d be nice to see a few more takeaways. Winning the turnover battle is the key to pulling off some upsets and moving beyond a 3-4 win season. However, it won’t mean much if we can’t make some plays on third down/
1. Improvement In The Secondary
Last season the secondary was expected to be one of the team’s weaknesses and despite not giving up many big plays there was still a lot of room for improvement. Kentucky allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 194 out of 300 passes for a 65% completion percentage. A.J. Stamps is expected to make a big difference right away out of the JuCo ranks and should be able to help contribute to the turnover battle I mentioned earlier. Bringing in more than just three interceptions would be a major improvement.
What specific improvements do you want to see in 2014?
By Drew Franklin on ©8:00 pm
When Orlando Antigua left Lexington for sunnier pastures back in April, there was a rumor floating around that Jalen Rose was a candidate to fill his seat on the UK bench. At the time, it was just that: a rumor. But today, Rose released his latest podcast and it included some talk that adds a little credibility to that rumor.
Rose told his podcast co-host, Dan Jacoby, “There are a few college coaches that I would consider working for; John Calipari is one of them.” When Jacoby asked he if had spoken to Cal about it, Rose said, “I plead the fifth.”
Rose then went on to talk about how much he loves his job on ESPN’s NBA coverage and with Bill Simmons on Grantland, adding that it would take a special opportunity to pull him away.
Listen in the video below around the 6:45 mark:
By Courtney Sealey on ©7:00 pm
Sophomore cornerback Jaleel Hytchye has had a busy off season working on his latest single, ‘I Just Wanna Dance’. The song follows the release of “Why Not”, which was released after the spring game and “Love Unconditional”. Out of all the amateur music posted by KSR over the years I have to say, this isn’t bad.
At least he knows he has a fallback if football doesn’t work out for him. I am going to say go with your heart on this one, Jaleel.
Thinking about switching my major to music performance…..these math classes are hard af!
— Jaleel Hytchye UK#19 (@TheRealLeel_19) July 25, 2014
By Drew Franklin on ©6:00 pm
Jaylen Brown’s outstanding play in July has him holding down the No. 2 spot in the new 247Sports rankings for the 2015 class, updated today. Fellow UK target Cheick Diallo moved up from fifth to third, behind Brown and LSU commit Ben Simmons, the top prospect. Malik Newman and Ivan Rabb round out the top five.
Other UK targets:
11. Brandon Ingram
12. Carlton Bragg
14. Antonio Blakeney
16. Diamond Stone
17. Stephen Zimmerman
20. Derrick Jones
23. Skal Labissiere
24. Caleb Swanigan
50. Doral Moore
Charles Matthews, once a top 15 player in the class, is all the way down at No. 58. UK’s lone commit in the class has been in and out of action all summer with an injury.
By Drew Franklin on ©5:00 pm
Mark Stoops discussed a number of topics at today’s football luncheon in Louisville (although nothing was all that newsworthy) and increased fan support for the program is one of the things he addressed. Stoops, who often gives praise to Big Blue Nation, said it has been “fantastic”:
Yeah, I was so pleasantly surprised with that passionate fan base. I knew we had good fans, just by the numbers, if you look at the history of attendance. But to feel that energy and feel that passion since we’ve been here, it’s been fantastic. And you all know that. I think local media get a good feel for that. Sometimes national media doesn’t get the fact that we have great fan support and how passionate the Big Blue Nation is. Basketball, I get asked that question all the time, but they deserve that. We embrace that. They deserve the attention they’ve gotten. They’ve been good for a long, long time. How many years? A hundred years? I don’t know. A long time. But anyway, we feel very good about the support. That’s evident by the attendance, by the support of people and by the way people are making donations to improve our facilities.
Stoops also said he embraces the occasional basketball question, but one would assume it must get annoying at times. One of the first questions at SEC Media Day last week was about UK being a basketball school, to which he also said, “We embrace it.”
Soon we’ll all be in Commonwealth Stadium, embracing Stoops and his Wildcats on the field.
By Drew Franklin on ©4:07 pm
Interesting technique by the Ol’ Ball Coach.
By Nick Roush on ©3:00 pm
Two weeks from today, the football season will begin with the circus of media and fan day. The eyes of the fans will be on Mark Stoops’ 2014 recruiting class, the highest ranked class the BBN has ever seen. Most of them will not be able to contribute immediately (after all, they are FRESHmen), but they’re doing everything they can to find the field.
- Ryan Flannigan isn’t on campus, but he’s still doing work. The biggest concern for the defense is filling the gap left by Avery Williamson at linebacker, which DJ Eliot reiterated today to the media today in Louisville. The job will be left to either TreVaughn Paschal (returning from injury), Josh Forrest (only part-time experience), or JUCO transfer Ryan Flannigan.
Flannigan won’t be on campus until next week, but Eliot doesn’t believe Flannigan will be stuck behind the 8-ball.
“He’s doing the workout that he needs to do. I’ve been on the phone with him on a regular basis explaining the defense to him, so he’s gonna be ahead of the game before he gets here,” Eliot said.
- Bulking up the Big Boys. There aren’t any pictures posing with chains in the weight room (cough Iowa State), but the big boys have been getting after it this offseason. Trimming the high school baby fat with new workouts and diets isn’t the easiest transition. Neal Brown would like to give them a year to ease into their new lifestyle.
“We’d like to red-shirt all those O-linemen if we could. I think that’s important. We were able to do that last year and you were able to see Ramsey Meyers is a much better football player after red-shirting, sitting out and learning. Nick Haynes and a couple of those other guys also. So I think the freshmen really need that.”
- It’s never to early to watch film. Neal Brown said today that he needs one of the big wide receivers, Dorian Baker and Blake Bone, to “step up and play.” Both guys seem to be taking all of the right steps to finding the field.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:30 pm
UK’s Kickoff Playoff rolls on, and this morning, they announced that Blake McClain’s “Down” advanced over Javess Blue’s “Encore.” Today, Za’Darius Smith’s choice, “We Ready” by Archie Eversole, goes up against Jordan Swindle’s choice, “Returns A King,” from the 300 soundtrack.
Listen to both songs and vote for your favorite at the BBNFirst site.
If you haven’t yet, also vote for your favorite in the KSR Kickoff Playoff, which Drew unveiled last night:
The intro to “Lose Yourself” is pretty chilling…just saying.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:05 pm
George Brown may have picked Florida over Kentucky, but UK recruiting wizard Vince Marrow says the war for the three-star offensive tackle isn’t over yet. Marrow tweeted this minutes after Brown’s announcement:
Big Blue Nation… Relax. It's only the first round. This is a Title Fight. #BBN
— CoachMarrowUK (@vincemarrow) July 25, 2014
Stay calm and classy on Twitter, folks. It’s a long way ’til Signing Day…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:50 pm
Well, it turns out all of those signs we’ve seen this week were correct. Three-star offensive tackle George Brown Jr. committed to Florida over Kentucky this afternoon in the most ridiculous manner I’ve ever seen, by pulling a LIVE BABY GATOR out from under the table:
Another of the baby gator because I can’t get over this:
— Josh Edwards (@JEdwar247) July 25, 2014
Wow. Tough loss, but remember, it’s not over ’til Signing Day. Who knows, if the UK staff keeps on him and Florida struggles this season, Brown may be pulling a kitten out of his pocket in the near future.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©12:30 pm
We’re thirty minutes away from three-star offensive tackle George Brown Jr.’s college announcement, and right now, the tide looks to be heading in Florida’s direction. Kentucky still holds a 61%-39% lead in his Crystal Ball, but in the past few days, several major recruiting analysts have flipped their picks to the Gators, including 247 Sports’ Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong.
Meanwhile, Brown continues to keep fans guessing on Twitter. This is pretty much the only tweet that is a good sign for the Cats, and that’s a stretch:
Just Saw A Cat And It's Wild So I Guess That's My Key
— ⭐George Brown Jr⭐ (@MADDAWG_G) July 25, 2014
We’ll know for sure in 30 minutes.
UPDATE: Good news for the Cats? Brown followed 2015 UK commit CJ Conrad and freshman Matt Elam this morning:
UPDATE x2: HATS ON THE TABLE!!!
UPDATE x3: Brown tweets that no one knows where he is right now.
Nobody Knows Where I'm At Right Now #Relaxing
— ⭐George Brown Jr⭐ (@MADDAWG_G) July 25, 2014
I hope he means that figuratively, not literally, because he’s got a huge crowd waiting to hear his decision.
UPDATE x4: Oh great, someone moved the Florida hat to the middle of the lineup.
George Brown watch: Someone moved the Florida hat to the middle of the table. … pic.twitter.com/6tQsPv4ZV9
— Ben Roberts (@NextCats) July 25, 2014
What does it mean??????
UPDATE x5: Hey, UK signee Mike Edwards is there! Brown is Edwards’ cousin.
UPDATE x6: Finally, we have video, courtesy of 247 Sports’ Josh Edwards:
UPDATE x7: Brown says he’s not announcing until 1:50.
Announcing at 1 :50
— ⭐George Brown Jr⭐ (@MADDAWG_G) July 25, 2014
Good grief. Until then, let’s keep enjoying the music, which sounds oddly like my old Zumba mix.
LAST UPDATE: He picked Florida. Refresh and scroll up.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©12:00 pm
This morning, Mark Stoops met with the media before the Louisville UK Alumni Luncheon, and, predictably, was asked about the future of the UK/UofL football series. Stoops decided not to attend the annual Governors’ Cup lunch earlier this week, which many took as a sign that UK is distancing itself from the rivalry, especially with the SEC considering adding a game to its conference schedule.
This morning, Stoops cleared up any misconceptions, and said that even if the SEC moves to nine conference games, the rivalry will continue. Stoops said that he believes the Louisville game is “very important” to the coaches and players, but added that “sometimes people don’t realize there’s eleven other games.” In other words, “I have better things to do right now than attend a luncheon about a game that’s four months away.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:30 am
The crowd for today’s show at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Paducah is absolutely nuts, by far the biggest of this year’s tour so far, and possibly the biggest in the tour’s three-year history. Here’s the line outside at 6:45 a.m.:
And, of course, Matt and Ryan checking their phones:
You people are crazy.