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May 30th, 2015

Boom Named a Top Sophomore in SEC

IG: UKStoopsTroops

IG: UKStoopsTroops

The good folks at Saturday Down South put out a ranking of the Top 5 sophomores in the SEC East and Kentucky’s own Boom Williams came in at the #4 spot.  Boom’s big-play ability was the focus of the piece.

We all know about his playmaking ability, three of his five touchdowns this season came from 50+ yards and he averaged an impressive 6.6 yards per carry.  However, he failed to reach 500 yards on the season so we are definitely still expecting more from Boom this year.  High expectations for the 5’9” 196 pound running back have now extended beyond just Big Blue Nation.  Boom has caught the eye of the country and will have a target on his back each time he steps onto the field this coming fall.

To see more of what Saturday Down South had to say about Boom click here.  

Brandon Ramsey

@Coach_BRamsey


Tai Wynyard Playing Well at USA U16 Trials

Tai-Wynyard-1200

Our favorite son of lumberjacks, New Zealand native Tai Wynyard has been playing great at the USA Basketball U16 Training Camp according to reports.  Jonathan Givony of Draft Express tweeted that Wynyard has lost a lot of weight since the Nike Hoop Summit and was looking great.

Wynyard is currently ranked as the #37 overall player in the 247Sports 2016 rankings.  A tweet yesterday from Jeff Borzello gave the latest insight into what the 6’10” New Zealander’s college plans are.  Wynyard kept the door open to coming to the United States, and potentially joining the ‘Cats in December, but no plans have been made yet.

Check out the full update on Tai here.  

Brandon Ramsey

@Coach_BRamsey


Saturday Morning Links

 

links

Good morning everyone!  The sport’s world is patiently waiting for the NBA Finals to start and with both UK baseball and softball done for the season we are left without a ton of day-to-day news.  Let’s just go ahead and jump in the Saturday Morning Links.

The Chicago Bulls parted ways with Tom Thibodeau after 5 years as their head coach.  No, John Calipari is not going to the Windy City, but Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg seems to be the most likely candidate to take over for Thibs.

Despite recent controversy regarding corruption in FIFA, Sepp Blatter was named President for a 5th term.  Surely you have already seen the viral video of his acceptance speech, but if not please go watch it and make your day.  “I am now the President of everybody.”

Check out this Q&A with new UK Assistant Tony Barbee in the Courier-Journal.  Lots of interesting conversation in there.

The Orlando Magic introduced Scott Skiles as their new Head Coach.  Skiles spent half of his playing career in Orlando and is making his 5th stop in the NBA.  He holds a 443-433 record in 10 seasons on the sidelines.

That is it for now.  I will be here bringing you UK news all morning and afternoon.  Have a great Saturday!

Brandon Ramsey

@Coach_BRamsey


Dakari, Devin, Trey, and Willie enjoy some time at the beach

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 8.53.01 AM

Could that be Kyle Wiltjer in the lower right corner?

Summer is finally here, and according to Instagram, the draft Cats are having some fun in the sun in between their pre-draft workouts. Dakari Johnson, Devin Booker, Willie Cauley-Stein, and Trey Lyles all posted Instagram pics from sunny locales yesterday.

Let’s start with Dakari, who posted that classic Dakari pic above and this one from somewhere in Cali a few days back:

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Is it just me or is Dakari looking skinny again?

Meanwhile, Willie is shilling some headphones in Malibu:

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And Devin is being Devin, posting pics that will make ladies across the Bluegrass swoon:

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Looks like Devin’s got a little chin fuzz going. He’s a man now!

I don’t think Trey is with the rest of the gang in Malibu, but he’s definitely somewhere sunny:

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May 29th, 2015

Friday Night News and Views

@UKSTOOPSTROOPS

@UKSTOOPSTROOPS

In case you missed it, yesterday was a milestone step in the renovation of Commonwealth Stadium; the construction team at CWS started laying the new artificial turf yesterday and boy do those endzones sure look beautiful. As of today, we are 99 days away from kickoff. UK Students, in case you haven’t checked you email lately, student season tickets go on sale Tuesday (June 2) at 9 am. 

Now, onto the news…

Jamal Murray canceled the Oregon Trip.

In what has got to be good news for Kentucky, Chris Fisher of 24/7 reported today that Jamal Murray will not visit Oregon. Last week, Murray said that he could take up to two months to make that decision, but with the Oregon trip scratched, that puts Kentucky within sights of the number one recruiting class. Come on down, Jamal.

Isaiah Briscoe breaks out the type writer for The Players’ Tribune. 

Okay, so I doubt he composed his article on a type writer, but still yet, Briscoe’s piece for Derek Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune is pretty impressive. In “Gone in 15 Seconds”, Briscoe talks about growing up in the Instagram generation where people are much too worried about social media and sharing everything with the world. Although he admits he is also guilty of sharing on social media, his goal is to live in the moment. Click over here to read the article.

The SEC has increased the fines for rushing the field. 

One of my favorite things about last season was getting the opportunity to rush the field after that huge win against South Carolina. Now, if Kentucky pulls an upset this season, there will be a $50,000 fine for the first offense, $100,000 for the second, and $250,000 for the third.

I like that kind of talk, Pat.

The Joe Craft Center is getting an upgrade. 

Coach Cal revealed to the Cats Pause that the Craft Center will undergo some updates.

“We have to do a little re-do in the locker room area at the practice facility,” Calipari said. “It’s going to be beautiful. This stuff is seven years old now and we’re in there 300 days a year.”

The SEC is rolling in dough. 

The SEC made a NCAA-record 455.8 million bucks in revenue in the last year, which will be spread throughout the fourteen schools in the conference at $31.2 million each. The conference has also banned incoming transfers who have been disciplined for sexual assault, domestic violence, etc. while enrolled at another school. If the player had the charges dropped, the conference would then review the circumstances and make the call from there.

Ole Miss got commemorative rings for the bowl game they lost. 

Yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong with the Rebels either. In a very Hoosier-like move, Ole Miss handed out commemorative rings for the bowl game that they lost by 39 points to TCU.

Come on guys, y’all are better than that.

That’s it for me. Brandon and Ryan will be around all day tomorrow to bring you the latest. Have a great weekend, everyone!

@JC_KSR


USA Today: Willie Cauley-Stein Among Safest Draft Picks

Via CoachCal.com

Derek Bodner of USA Today has been breaking down some of the best and worst prospects available in this June’s draft and it should come as no surprise that Willie Cauley-Stein is on the list being with positive remarks. Earlier this week it was revealed that the Knicks have been eying WCS with the number 4 pick while the Boston Celtics are considering trading up to acquire him. Larry Bird even called Trill a “100-million dollar player”. Is he worth all of the hype and a top ten selection? Bodner thinks so as he named WCS the safest NBA draft pick available. Here’s a bit of what he had to say:

Cauley-Stein has always been a good shot blocker, having averaged 2.5 per game over his first two seasons at Kentucky. With the arrival of Karl-Anthony Towns this season Cauley-Stein, was pushed out on the perimeter defensively. While doing that caused a drop in his shot blocking numbers, it also helped showcase just how versatile and unique of a defender he really is.

Cauley-Stein’s as quick and athletic as any 7-footer in basketball. He has physical traits which not only allow him to defend perimeter-oriented big men but also allow him to jump out on ball handlers on the pick and roll, slow them down, and recover back to his man. Cauley-Stein even shows an ability to switch out on, and hold his own against, quick guards that would eat slower-footed big men alive.

[USA Today: Top 3 Safest Draft Picks]

With Willie Cauley-Stein NBA GMs should know exactly what they are getting. A freakish athlete that can guard any position and finish at the rim. He’s been doing that for the past 3 years in Lexington and that makes him a pretty safe bet that he won’t end up a bust like a Kelly Oubre could. In today’s NBA slow footed big men are falling to the wayside in favor of guys who can defend against the guard attack strategy teams are using. No wonder WCS could go as high as fourth.

 

 


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly From This Week

WAAAAAAAAAY Up, Riley Curry is blessed to be the best from this week. (USA Today)

WAAAAAAAAAY Up, Riley Curry is blessed to be the best from this week. (USA Today)

The Good

–  It’s a little disheartening to hear South Campus’ Kirwin and Blanding Towers will be left vacant next year, but it’s probably for the best.  For one semester I I roamed the 21st floor of K-Tower, and it was a hell that I will always think of fondly.  We ordered $6 “Student Specials” from Papa John’s, played Super Smash Bros, and played laser tag on the 23rd floor.  I can’t even mention what went on during the B-Tower floor parties.  Most importantly, broken elevators gave me an excuse to start a habit of showing up to class casually late.

Here’s to you Towers, don’t crumble too quickly.

–  The SEC made some serious doll hairs this year, $455 million to be exact.  Each school will get a piece of that pie, $31.07 to be exact.

–  KSR’s Fearless Leader, Matthew Harper Jones, will emcee this year’s Fancy Farm picnic to kick-off the Fall political season.  I’m sure the not-so-subtle jabs thrown around between the politicians will make fighting off the heat worth your while.

–  This week a fan named their newborn “Cauley-Malone Clark.”  I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and place this in “The Good” category, but this poor baby girl is gonna have it rough in middle school.  They couldn’t at least name her “Sammie-Cauley” or do the three first names question, “Will-Sam Clark?”

–  Mrs. and Mr. Tyler Thomspon celebrated three years of marriage this week, a feat that should not be celebrated likely.  Cheers to many, many more.

–  The New Commonwealth Stadium Turf is coming together, piece by piece.

@UKSTOOPSTROOPS

@UKSTOOPSTROOPS

The Bad

–  Two words: Sepp. Blatter. FIFA (which is technically an abbreviation, not a word).

–  The Bulls fired their head coach, Tom Thibodeau, despite having one of the best winning percentages in the league.  The Calipari rumors are inevitable, so strap on your seatbelts and prepare for the BS.  Cal did have a pretty timely response to The Cats Pause, “For me to leave something like this, you’re going to have to uproot me.”

–  You can now get a ticket in the New York City subways for “man spreading” – spreading your legs to take up two seats.  The city that never sleeps is now searching for perps late at night that just can’t keep it together.  Regardless of your disposition, you should probably just stay away from New York City subways.

–  The people from CBS must be insane to open the college football season with Louisvillle.  Seriously, who wants to watch that?

–  A member of John Wall’s crew got him kicked off a flight home from Vegas.  As a person that just started watching Entourage, I can understand someone pulling a “Johnny Drama golf club road rage incident,” but it’s the type of bad pub that makes Colin Cowherd’s mouth run wild.  But hey, it could have been much, much worse.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.45.34 AM

–  Ladies’ lingerie in Lexington and Louisville is in danger.  The parade of panty stealing perpetrators has scoured through local Victoria’s Secrets, leaving some employees to worry for their lives.  As a fellow panty raider, I understand the thrilling nature of swiping undershorts, but there are succinct differences: my motive was fraternal, whereas there’s are sinister.  This type of practice is no laughing matter and I urge the panty parade to reconsider their insidious actions.

The Ugly

–  It’s been a couple of days, but I’m still finding it difficult to fathom how you can stab someone in the eye with a fork over the last rib at a barbecue.  As an unofficial expert in deliciousness from the grill – especially when it comes to marinading chicken – I understand what it’s like to put the pork on a pedestal.  I’ve fought to be in the front of lines, I’ve pushed and shoved fat people out of the way, but never EVER have I considered stabbing someone.


Jamal Murray is not visiting Oregon this weekend

Hey, everybody! We have good recruiting news for Kentucky! I think?

Jamal Murray canceled his plans to visit Oregon this weekend, his father told Chris Fisher over at The Cats Pause. Following his trip to Lexington, Murray said he will take other visits before making any kind of a decision, and Oregon was to be the first stop. Now that trip is at least on hold for another date, or hopefully called off for good.

Get in here, Jamal.


John Wall is getting the Joker’s clown mask tattooed on his leg

dark-knight-clown

Should we worry about John Wall? Yesterday we learned he was removed from an American Airlines flight after someone in his entourage got into an altercation with another passenger; and today he shares a video of his new tattoo: the Joker’s clown mask from The Dark Knight’s bank robbery scene.

Wall can tattoo anything he wants on his body — it’s his body and he’s a G.A.M. — but that’s a very bizarre choice. I guess people will say that about me when I finally get that arm sleeve of my favorite scenes from Forrest Gump.

Do you, John. (But maybe dial it down with the entourage plane fights.)

Back at it wit my guy @tattoosbyrandy !!

A video posted by johnwall (@johnwall) on

While we’re on the subject of Wall, Colin Cowherd went on another Wall rant today on his show.


SEC bans transfers disciplined for “serious misconduct”

bobby-petrino

Any chance of Louisville joining the SEC one day is completely out the window now that the conference has banned incoming transfers with “serious misconduct” issues. That’s any player who was disciplined for sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence while enrolled at another school. In the case the player had the charges dropped, the league will review the circumstances and make a ruling.

When asked about the new rule, Bobby Petrino said, “MORE FOR ME!”


The Southeastern Conference made a $%#& load of money last year

slive-rach

Each of the Southeastern Conference’s 14 institutions will receive a $31.2 million payout from the league’s NCAA-record $455.8 million in revenue during the 2014-15 fiscal year. That’s an increase of over $10 million from last year’s $20.9 million payment, per school.

The league revenue was generated through the SEC Network, TV deals for both basketball and football, the SEC Championship, bowl games, the SEC Tournament, and the sale of Dr. Pepper and Texas Pete hot sauce at the SEC Tournament, among many other things. For a little perspective, the wittle ol’ Big Ten distributed only $338.9 million in 2013-14.

I assume a large chunk of UK’s $31.2 million will go toward those new outrageous basketball salaries and all of the facility upgrades around the football program. And maybe one big party at Mitch’s house this fall.


The comments section is still down

For reasons that go way beyond my expertise and pay grade, our comments section is down and has been down for going on two days now. Hubby has been working tirelessly around the clock with the WordPress people to get the matter fixed and we hope to have it up and running again by the weekend.

Many of you have asked about the problem and I apologize that you’ve been unable to complain about our typos and grammatical errors these past two days. Even worse, some of you have been unable to insult our mothers and question our sexual orientation, and for that, I’m truly sorry. (You can @ me on Twitter if you’re ’bout that life.)

Just hang in there and we’ll get you back to commenting as soon as possible. We just have to find where that ‘Add Comment’ button ran off to. If you find it, let us know.

As you were…


Get your checkbook out, Mitch… SEC increases fines for field storming

UK Volleyball’s @KazBrown11

Bad news, Mitch…. The Southeastern Conference has increased its fines for storming the field in college football. Now it will cost $50,000 for the first offense; $100,000 for the second; and $250,000 the third time. That’s a substantial increase from the previous scale of $5,000, $25,000 and $50,000.

UK should go ahead and set aside $50K for that Florida game on September 19 and it might be a good idea to start a GoFundMe account for the Thursday night contest with Auburn in mid-October. I’m not saying Kentucky will win, I’m just saying let’s get it in the fall budget just in case.

Patrick Towles agrees; he tweeted, “Well I hope we got some money saved up.”

The new increased fines also apply to college basketball, but we have bigger problems than money if we’re rushing the floor in Rupp Arena.


Isaiah Briscoe writes for The Players’ Tribune

The Players Tribune

The Players’ Tribune, founded by Derek Jeter, describes itself as “a new media platform that presents the voices of professional athletes, bringing fans closer to the games they love than ever before.” Stars like Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Allen Iverson and Patrick Patterson have all been contributors, and today UK signee Isaiah Briscoe joined that group.

Briscoe wrote “Gone In 15 Seconds” about growing up in what he calls the Instagram Generation, a time when too many people are worrying about uploading a 15-second video to the social media app or sending a tweet out to the masses. He admits he is guilty of spending too much time sharing photos and clips, but says we can’t forget to live in and enjoy the moments. Briscoe’s moment was winning New Jersey’s Tournament of Champions.

Coach Cal’s next great point guard also wrote about the upcoming changes in his life, namely moving to Lexington to play for UK:

I am at a different point in my life than I have ever been because major changes are coming. Next year I will have a new team and a new home at Kentucky, but my goals will be the same: to be the best player and teammate I can be — to work harder than anyone else.

Read his entire contribution here.


Is Kentucky On Week One Upset Alert?

Network Talking Heads love to use the phrase “Upset Alert”.  The make upped ones can be seen and heard proclaiming alarming prognostications to provoke fan bases and at times try to prove an intellectual point.  Some Heads are very good at this, others waste oxygen. Question remains, is Kentucky on upset alert in its opener against Louisiana Lafayette?

Complicated answer, yes and no both apply.  Prior to game week I’ll provide an in-depth and understandable scouting report on the Ragin Cajuns, but to answer the upset alert question we first have to take a step back and analyze recent history.

In Mark Stoops’ inaugural game against Bobby Petrino and his band of merry Hilltoppers, the Cats were outmanned across the field.  From my nearly melted Nashville seat, one pre-game look at the Toppers led to a feeling of trepidation mixed with a healthy dose of humility.  WKU had better and more developed players at many positions.  WKU was more athletic, faster, skilled, and just plain better for the lack of a better term. Result was an 11 point Kentucky loss that could have been much worse. ULL beat that same Western team by 17 in Bowling Green.  In 2013, a mythical UK-Lafayette match-up would have been ugly and that’s coming from an optimistic homer viewpoint.

In 2014, another mythical matchup between the Cats and Lafayette would have been considerably closer but I’m still not confident if I would have declared UK a preeminent favorite.  ULL again would have been more experienced with developed talent and considerate depth advantage. Coming off back to back 9-4 records including two bowl wins is the basis of my theory as is the objective eye test.  For some reason, I’ve watched their last two bowl games and have been impressed with ULL’s intensity, coaching, and team speed.  Folks, this was and is a very good football team.  Don’t be logo fooled.

September 5th 2015 is right around the corner.  Newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium will open its doors to the BBN whose last viewing was embarrassing as the Georgia Bulldogs demolished and demoralized the home team. Thru three years of the Stoops’ regime, 15 is the first I’d consider UK a favorite.  A close favorite but still a favorite. ULL lost defensive linemen to the NFL and will enter the game with two new co-defensive coordinators and a team with recent history of struggles against the pass.  With questions of who will rush the passer and also who will cover receivers, this game could be a timely and welcome scenario for Shannon Dawson’s debut.  Defensively Kentucky will face a SEC caliber running back, one that will most likely be a Sunday player in Elijah McGuire.  But, with a new quarterback and unproven receivers, a one dimensional day sets up nicely for a defense that limped across the 2014 finish line. A defense I might add that needs a fast start and a boost of three and out confidence.

All this means is that Kentucky’s collective personnel is to the point in which a game against a quality 9-4 Sunbelt team is winnable.  That my friends is year three improvement. Those that think my sky was falling rants were nonsense, please see above 2013 UK-WKU-ULL scenario.  Mark Stoops has clawed his way through a personnel conundrum to have his team in a situation to beat a quality opening game opponent.

I don’t think UK is on upset alert but surely that term will be thrown around by hair sprayed Heads. Should there be Nutter Center summer concern?  Absolutely. This game could go back and forth. But Kentucky should win, how it wins will be more telling with a demanding early SEC schedule to navigate.