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October 6th, 2015

Volleyball Cats battle Arkansas for top SEC spot tomorrow

(h/t @KentuckyVB)

Can I take back any doubt I had for this volleyball team earlier in the season? Because Kentucky is currently killing it in conference play.

After barely holding on to a ranking, the No. 20 Cats  (11-5, 4-0) are now coming off of seven-straight victories and will host the No. 22 Arkansas Razorbacks (13-2, 3-0) tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum. Both teams are sitting undefeated as top teams in the SEC and will be fighting for the top spot in the league.

The match will broadcast live on the SEC Network. Also, all student’s in attendance will get free pizza for attending the match. That alone sounds worth it.


Catching up 

Kentucky moved to seven straight wins and a perfect 4-0 SEC record after wins over Mississippi State and Alabama over the weekend. The Cats swept the Bulldogs 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-20) Friday and took down Alabama in four Sunday, 3-1 (25-19, 27-25, 24-26, 25-20). Sunday’s win over Alabama was the Cat’s 400th in Memorial.

Morgan Bergren moved to sixth all-time on Kentucky’s career assists leaderboard after Friday’s 32 assist performance. Kaz Brown is also getting attention by being among the national leaders in blocks per set. Brown is currently averaging 1.45 blocks per set, coming in at No.16 in the nation.



Chris Bosh says Kentucky life is “good livin'”

The Miami Heat play an exhibition game against Orlando Magic in the Yum Center tomorrow night, and in a media opportunity this afternoon, Heat star Chris Bosh may have endeared himself to the entire Bluegrass state. According to Heat beat writer Jason Lieser, when asked about Louisville, Bosh said it’s nice, he thinks.

“You know what? Louisville has some good stuff. I think. I don’t know much about Louisville.”

But he apparently does know about the state of Kentucky.

In Kentucky, there’s nothing to do but cook and watch basketball. And drink bourbon. That’s good livin’.

Yes, it is. You, sir, just gained a fan.

Dominique Hawkins gives the BBN a thumbs-up in post-surgery pic

IG: dhawk_25

IG: dhawk_25

Last night, we found that Dominique Hawkins broke his hand in practice over the weekend, and it appears his surgery went just fine. Hawkins posted this post-surgery pic on Instagram this afternoon with the caption “Just wanted to thank everyone for your prayers, support, and love. I’ll be back SOON!”.

Love the choice of cast color and the big thumbs-up. From Dominique, would you expect any less?

Sleep Outfitters’ Tuesday Recruiting Roundup

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It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time to go over the latest recruiting news and convince you to buy a mattress. Let’s get on it!

  Edrice “Bam” Adebayo will be on campus this weekend

The biggest recruiting development this week is news that five-star power forward Edrice “Bam” Adebayo will take an official visit to Kentucky this weekend. The North Carolina native is considered an NC State lean, but Calipari has been putting on the press lately, visiting him twice in eight days last month. Getting him on campus this weekend is huge, especially with ESPN in town to film UK’s practice Sunday night.

  Calipari visited Marques Bolden today

Ben Roberts is reporting that Cal visited the nation’s top center again today in advance of his visit to Kentucky next week for Big Blue Madness. Cal and Tony Barbee went to see Bolden on September 17. This weekend, the 6’10” Texas native will visit Kansas for Late Night in the Phog.

  Here’s the guest list for Big Blue Madness as we know it

Big Blue Madness is next Friday, and over the past several days, the guest list has grown. Here’s the latest list of recruits who’ll be in town to hopefully rock that Kentucky blue:

  • Marques Bolden
  • Harry Giles
  • De’Aaron Fox
  • Malik Monk
  • Sacha Killeya-Jones (commit)
  • Trae Young (2017)
  • Kris Wilkes (2017)

Bolden announced a few days ago he’ll be making the trip, and gave Rivals’ TJ Walker this encouraging quote about his latest visit with Cal:

“Coach Calipari came and he really just preached to me the way he does things and the way he helps his players. He told me he really wants to coach me and we’d go from there. It was a strong message he sent out, all the success he’s had and all the players he’s coached. It’s great to hear that from him.”

Nice to hear. Hopefully he’ll enjoy seeing that message hammered home during Madness.


  Stoops is spending his bye week on the recruiting trail

Don’t worry, Stoops isn’t slacking during the bye week. Last night, he told Tom Leach and his call-in show listeners that he’ll spend the bye week recruiting. Last week, he watched Kash Daniel in Paintsville and Davonte Robinson and Henry Clay play at Pulaski County. He told a hilarious story about how DJ Eliot wrecked his car when they were headed to one of the games last week.

“We don’t get out of the parking lot before he gets in a wreck. Ray, you’ll be glad to know it was in the Ford, not the Mercedes,” Stoops said. “He goes up on a curb and comes down and my whole running board falls off on my Ford. I said ‘get out,’ and he gets out and gets in the passenger seat and I have to drive there and back. I’m worried about my own safety.”

Something tells me Stoops will be driving to the games this Friday as well.

  In case you missed it on Friday, here’s Kash Daniel’s awesome pregame speech

Kash is the gift that keeps on giving. What will he do this week?

MKG will have his shoulder surgery tonight

Earlier this afternoon, the Charlotte Hornets announced that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder tonight. Hornets team orthopedist Dr. Marcus Cook will perform the surgery at Novant Health Orthopedic Hospital in Charlotte.

The Hornets did NOT say how long MKG will be out. Yesterday, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski cited a source who said MKG is likely to miss the entire season. 

Send some good vibes to the Queen City this evening.

Pitino doesn’t deny allegations in another bizarre interview

Rick Pitino taped an interview with John Ramsey and Mike Rutherford this afternoon, and well, it was bizarre. Once again, Pitino didn’t come out and deny any of the allegations surrounding his program, insisting that the only person who knows for sure what happened is Andre McGee, and he’s not talking.

“None of us — right now — can see any reference to what was written because only Andre McGee knows those questions right now, and obviously he hasn’t talked,” Pitino said.

When discussing how the alleged activities could have taken place for four years and the coaches not known about it, Pitino oddly brought up Roy Williams.

“Think about this. I’m a big Roy Williams fan. I know Roy Williams. He has never cheated in the game since he’s been a coach. You mean to tell me that for 20 years, 2-3,000 students went by and not one student after they took the course wrote in to the university anonymously saying ‘this was a bogus course’? So if something goes on for 20 years and nobody finds out, if there’s something wrong here — which we don’t know — then that doesn’t necessarily mean that nobody knows or doesn’t know. Until you investigate everything that’s said, you don’t have the answers to things. And I certainly don’t have any answers right now to any of this. I have no knowledge of what went on, what didn’t go on, if anything went on.”

Huh? After comparing himself to Roy Williams — I think — he compared himself to the Pope:

“You know what I love about the Pope? The Pope is probably the most popular in some time because when they ask him about things, whatever it may be, he said ‘I’m spreading our doctrine, but I’m going to let God judge. I’m not the judge. I’m going to let God judge.’ And that’s the way I feel about this tough game of life. I’m going to let God judge my integrity.”

From there, Pitino talked about how upsetting it was that all of these things allegedly went down in the dorm named after his brother-in-law, who died on 9/11.

“When I heard all of this and it took — it allegedly took place in the dorm I named after him, quite honestly guys, I cried myself to sleep that night hoping that it wasn’t true because it was Minardi Hall. It still bothers me. I have not slept because the allegations are it took place in Billy Minardi Hall. That’s really a knife in my heart.”

Next, Pitino brought up the “Kentucky’s Shame” Sports Illustrated cover as proof he can keep his program successful amidst scandal:

“Many, many years ago when I took over at Kentucky, there was a little boy on a cover called, and the cover read, I remember it cause I had it hanging in my basement, and the little boy and it said something like, um, Kentucky Shame. That was the title: Kentucky Shame. And I went in there and said, you know what? I didn’t focus on the shame part, I focused on the solution to the problem. Two years later, we had the largest crowd ever, we were on two years without television and Jamal Mashburn chooses the University of Louisville (sic),” Pitino said, obviously misspeaking.

“No NCAA, no television, the first year we had record crowds and we had the largest crowds in the history of Rupp, and then the second year we win the conference and it’s turned around. We found the solution to the problem. I didn’t dwell on whatever went on, I didn’t want to know the problems. Right now, we’ve got to find the solutions to what’s true and what’s now true. Right now there’s only one person who knows the answers and he’s not talking.”

I’ll give Pitino this: he repeatedly said that if it comes out that the allegations are true, he and his program will own up to it. In listening to this interview, he sounds more convinced than ever that’s the case.

De’Aaron Fox really wants to know if the UofL stripper allegations are true

Kentucky seems to be in the driver’s seat for De’Aaron Fox, but Louisville is also his list. The nation’s top point guard told reporters over the weekend that, after taking his official visit to Louisville on September 26, he’d like to know whether or not the allegations surrounding the Cards are true.

“No coach has been in contact with me about it, or players,” Fox said of the UofL scandal. “Of course fans are gonna … things get blown out of proportion, but fans are going to be the first ones you hear from, honestly. I’ve heard it from fans of Louisville, saying it didn’t happen; fans of other schools, saying it did happen, so I don’t really know what happened. But I’m nosy, so I’ll try to find out. I really want to know.

Me too. De’Aaron, if you find anything out, let us know.

In addition to Kentucky and Louisville, Fox is considering LSU, Kansas, and Arizona, according to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello. On Thursday, he’ll be at Kansas, and next Friday, Lexington for Big Blue Madness. Maybe we can all meet up to go over our notes on the investigation. After an official visit to Arizona, Fox says he wants to wrap up his recruitment.


To see a video of Fox’s remarks, click here.

[ESPN Insider]

Single-game tickets to the first four basketball games go on sale at 5 p.m.

Are you ready for some basketball? Tickets for UK’s first four home games go on sale tonight at 5 p.m. on Ticketmaster. That includes UK’s two exhibition games vs. Ottawa (Nov. 2) and Kentucky State (Nov. 6), and the first two regular-season home games against Albany (Nov. 13) and NJIT (Nov. 14). Prices range from $27 upper/$50 lower for the exhibition games and $47 upper/$60 lower for the regular season games.

Tickets will only be available online at, by calling Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000 or at statewide Ticketmaster outlets. Tickets for the Blue-White Scrimmage at Rupp Arena on Oct. 27 are still available. Lower-level tickets (singles only) are $10 and upper-level tickets are $5.


Happy Ticketmaster hunting.

The Eye in the Sky Don’t Lie: UK vs. EKU

© Mark Zerof | Getty

© Mark Zerof | Getty

Have to be honest, normally I start to re-watch UK games on Sunday evening. Given UK’s lackluster 53-minute effort, procrastination and dread-triumphed routine, Monday afternoon was spent with pad and pen in hand and remote control at the ready to relive a nerve-wracking Saturday evening. The following are observations broken down by quarters:


— First series started the same as against Missouri. Easy completion to a running back followed by another confidence boosting pitch and catch to Garrett Johnson.

— 3rd play of the game, Jeff Badet was stripped of the football. Result was Kentucky’s first 2015 fumble.

— In the first quarter, UK defense effectively played within the system. This would not be the case for the next 37 and half minutes.

— A dangerous trend began on the second drive. EKU presented UK offensive line all kinds of problems as it pressured, hurried, and sacked Patrick Towles. The Colonels did so by winning line of scrimmage one on one matchups with its elite DE Noah Spence, a disruptive linebacker corps, and interior DL that provided inside disruptive penetration.

— Chris Westry missed a pick-6 opportunity.

— Eastern Kentucky’s first of five quarterback sacks, DE Noah Spence moved inside to beat Zach West as a blitzing LB Chris Kelly combined to bring down Towles. EKU blitz packages weren’t creative but highly productive. Concerning.

— UK’s first scoring drive was highlighted by Patrick Towles hitting Blake Bone on 2nd and 9 scramble drill completion. Bone found the void in the Colonel’s secondary. Perfectly executed by Bone, excellent throw by Towles. UK eventually scored on a quarterback sneak.


— Kentucky defense answered on 3rd and 5 when Josh Forrest forced a Benny Coney fumble, Farrington Huguennin recovered.

— Interception number one ensued. On 2nd and 1, on a play action pass, Patrick Towles was influenced by DE Noah Spence. Towles then underthrew Dorian Baker on a vertical route during which CB Stanley Absannon outdueled Baker in the 50/50 ball. Football happens. Saturday’s Baker-Absannon matchup won’t be their last. Both are Sunday players.

— The above play was a critical turning point in the game. Up 7-0, following a turnover on 2nd and 1, the Cats didn’t take advantage of momentum or situation.

— EKU offense became reliant upon a successful inside zone run play in which it repeatedly ran for positive yardage. An undersized OL got under UK DL to provide enough push for EKU RBs to break the line of scrimmage.

— Ryan Flannigan missed on a sack, EKU took advantage and started its scoring drive. Kentucky’s defense missed tackles, was penalized for illegal substitution, as the Colonels eventually scored on a 3rd and 6 fade route. 6’6″ receiver Borders versus 6’4″ CB Westry were locked up 1-on-1. Borders won. Football happens but fundamental breakdowns and substation penalties indicated a lack or regard. UK 7 EKU 6.

— Kentucky’s next two offensive drives resulted in a sack and interception. EKU’s QB sack was simple in nature: DE Noah Spence beat Cole Mosier on an edge speed rush. Towles’ second pick of the night was a QB judgment error. EKU’s cover 2 safety broke on a vertical route intended for Dorian Baker. A veteran QB should recognize the coverage and either go elsewhere or drive the ball to Baker.

Fortunately for Kentucky, halftime. UK 7 EKU 6.


— Third quarter opened with a Stanley Absannon 47 yard kickoff return. Heck of a football player.

— The return gave EKU a short field. 2nd quarter defensive incompetence led to Dean Hood going for it on 4th and 6. Onions. Josh Forrest missed Coney in the backfield for a sack, then Coney proceeded to make Jason Hatcher as well as Jabari Johnson miss to gain 7 yards and a first down. This play summarized UK’s defensive effort.

— Kentucky followed with another illegal substitution penalty for 12 men on the field, EKU eventually scored on a Coney zone read option run. 13-7 Colonels. Atrocious sequence of events.

— Cats answered with a scoring drive after converting a 4th and 2 on a Patrick Towles bootleg run. The touchdown came from a perfectly executed play action 36-yard pass to Jeff Badet on a post route. Then, and typical for the evening, reserve kicker Miles Butler missed the PAT. UK 13 EKU 13.

— UK benefitted from an offensive pass interference call to force EKU to punt. The Cats quickly punted the football back to the Colonels following another 3rd down QB sack. At this point in the game, EKU was dominating both sides of the line of scrimmage at an alarming rate.


— Last drive of the 3rd quarter into the beginning of the 4th saw more of the same. EKU pressured Patrick Towles that led to hurries, scrambles and eventually a sack. Noah Spence proved to be unblockable. That was expected from the former Buckeye and All-Big 10 player, but for Eastern linebackers and defensive linemen to achieve line of scrimmage superiority were unexpected happenings. EFFORT advantage EKU.

— Kentucky backup punter Bryan Kirshe booted a 21-yard line drive punt to Stanley Absanon that led to a 34-yard return deep into UK territory. Theme from Sunday post, “it could have been worse, but barely.”

— Eastern Kentucky went back to the inside zone run which consistently gashed the middle of the Wildcat defense. Majority of Colonel 1st down runs led to 2nd and 5 or less situations. A powerful 6-yard TD run by Dy’Shawn Mobley appropriately finished the drive. EKU 20 UK 13.

— Most troubling defensive note was how Eastern continued to run the inside zone play with very little UK resistance. In multiple drives, OC Dane Damron called the same play up to five times with every attempt achieving positive yards. Wildcat interior defensive line did not adapt to tempo or scheme. Linebackers missed tackles. Only CJ Johnson answered the bell for the majority of the game.

— UK’s special teams answered EKU punt return explosion play with an illegal block in the back that reversed the Cats to half the distance to the goal line. On 3rd and 1, JoJo Kemp attempted an inside run where he was met in the backfield by five EKU defensive players. Forced to bounce outside, loss of 2 occurred. Punt. Troubling.

— Colonels followed by another efficient scoring drive that featured a heavy dose of more between the tackles runs and play action passing. WR Devin Borders beat Cody Quinn on a slant, touchdown visitors. Unimaginably, and painful to watch, EKU 27-13.


There’s a petition going around to move Halloween in Lexington to October 30

Halloween weekend in Lexington is going to be insane. Both the UK/Tennessee football game and the Breeder’s Cup at Keeneland will take place on October 31, which is why some Lexington residents have started a petition to move the Halloween festivities to Friday, October 30.

Luther Andal started the petition on and so far, it has over 500 signatures. He plans to forward it to the Lexington Fayette Urban County Council if he gets 1,000 signatures. Here’s his reasoning:

With two major events already scheduled for October 31st adding a 3rd major event like Halloween would stretch city resources such as police even further, increase pedestrian and vehicle traffic in these congested areas causing more congestion and potentially even dangerous situations and potentially discourage adults from participating in Breeder’s Cup and UK Football game which are major economic drivers for our community.

He’s got a very good point, at the very least for the city’s trick-or-treating events. To sign the petition, click here, and then vote in our super unscientific poll:


Tyler Ulis is finishing Cal’s sentences & more from the latest practice report



Ready for a good lunchtime read? No, not “Breaking Cardinal Rules.” That’s more of an after-dinner book. Thanks to Metz Camfield of, we’ve got a new basketball practice report to pore over. Here are a few of the highlights to whet your appetite:

  • Alex Poythress is now going through entire practices: No more limited drills for the senior, who Camfield writes is getting back to his “posterizing” ways.

There were a few plays throughout the practice where he went baseline and tried to cram on someone. None of these chances were successful, but the fact that he’s thinking about it and attempting it has to be something that Calipari likes to see – and fans will love to see.

  • Tyler Ulis is finishing Cal’s sentences: Camfield writes that Tyler continues to shine, and he and Cal are so in sync that the sophomore point guard can finish Cal’s sentences.

A couple times each practice Calipari will give most of an instruction to the team and then point to Ulis asking him to finish what he was going to say. I don’t think Ulis has ever not been on the same page with Coach Cal in finishing his sentence.

  • Derek Willis update: This should make some of you happy. Camfield says Willis looked good during Monday’s practice, positive news considering we didn’t hear much about him during the offseason.

He knows his role and as Coach Cal has said, he’s trying to “carve his space.” He’s a wing with a lot of athleticism who can cause matchup problems for opposing defenses. On his first offensive possession in a five-on-five drill, freshman Isaiah Briscoe penetrated and hit Willis in the corner, who buried the 3.

Go check out the rest at

Skal gives us another sneak peek at the Madness intro video

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 10.03.05 AM

Big Blue Madness is next Friday and thanks to social media, we’ve gotten a few sneak peeks of the intro video. This morning, Skal Labissiere posted this clip on Instagram of his shoot:

#comingsoon #WeAreUk

A video posted by Skal Labissiere (@skallywally) on

That looks like the UK/Alabama game from 2012 in the background to me. Is it a coincidence Skal is playing in front of an Anthony Davis highlight? I think not…

Montgomery Gentry will perform before the Auburn game; Marlana VanHoose to sing the national anthem

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 9.38.42 AM

In news that will make Larry Vaught giddy, UK announced this morning that MONTGOMERY GENTRY will perform the concert before the Auburn game. The country duo, made up of Kentucky natives Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry, will take the stage in the Green Lot at 4 p.m., break for the Cat Walk, and then perform an encore. So much for Waka Flocka, I guess?

In news that really makes me happy, Marlana VanHoose will sing the national anthem, which means I’m going to have to bring tissues for Drew. He’ll be a mess.

I always think of “My Town” when I hear Montgomery Gentry’s name, or, more appropriately, the WKYT “My Town” jingle. Here’s the official video, which features tons of footage of my town, Danville:

And some Marlana VanHoose to make your morning better:

Montrezl Harrell says he knows nothing about the allegations

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 9.05.27 AM

…and here come the denials. Four days after the UofL stripper scandal broke, former Louisville players continue to deny Katina Powell’s story. The latest is Montrezl Harrell, who is quoted by the Houston Chronicle saying he had no knowledge of the scandal:

“I don’t know anything about any of that,” Harrell said. “Apparently, my name is in there. I don’t have anything to do with that. U of L is doing their job, holding an investigation, looking at it. That’s where I’m leaving it. Simple as that.”

Harrell is a rookie for the Rockets, and claims he never heard or saw a party like the ones described in the book, although he’s mentioned in the book several times. Powell even said he had a certain joke he would keep making with the escorts that’s not safe for us to share.

“Somebody told me my name was in there,” Harrell said. “It goes without saying, I don’t know anything about it. I didn’t too much stay at the dorm. I stayed off campus. I had a girlfriend off campus.”

Keep toeing that company line, Montrezl.

[Houston Chronicle]

KSR is at the McDonald’s near Hamburg to celebrate all-day breakfast! (Tuesday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, the guys are at the McDonald’s near Hamburg Pavilion (1921 Plaudit Place) to talk about the Louisville stripper scandal, the EKU game, the Auburn game, and celebrate the start of McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu, which rolls out today.

That’s right, even if you’re late and arrive to the show after 10:30 a.m., you can still get some delicious McDonald’s breakfast items. Not the entire menu, but who are we to be greedy?

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

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