Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
April 16th, 2014

Calipari had lunch with President Clinton today

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Photo @UKCoachCalipari

What did you do for lunch today? Odds are you didn’t dine with a former President. John Calipari just tweeted that he had a two-hour lunch with President Bill Clinton this afternoon, and thanked him for his support on his new book, “Players First.” President Clinton wrote an endorsement of the book, which he called “terrific,” and said it’s a good example of why he’s long admired Cal’s leadership style.

Now we just need to get Clinton down for a game.


Wednesday Practice Wasn’t All Bad News

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-  It’s hard to call losing your most experienced quarterback a positive, but today the coaching staff took their first step in deciding who will be the starting Quarterback.  Whitlow’s decision to leave caught many off guard, especially after Mark Stoops said on KSR last week that Whitlow would be the starter if the Cats were starting the season today.

Even though it’s straight from the horse’s mouth, I never got the feeling from the coaches that it was Whitlow’s race to lose, rather he was their option if they wanted a running quarterback.  Neal Brown was adamant that it was not a slight against Jalen’s progress, the other three were just playing exceptionally well.  Saturday’s scrimmage wasn’t the only deciding factor, but the three pocket passers proved themselves on the bigger stage.

Whitlow has always been option 1A at quarterback, dating back to high school and throughout his time at UK.  I respect Whitlow’s decision; he wants to be THE guy and that did not work at UK.  Best of luck young fella.

-  There was also some bad news in the recruiting front when 3-star safety Marcus Walker reopened his recruitment.  To counter the negative, 4-star Ohio tight end C.J. Conrad paid a visit to campus today.  Conrad has been a top priority for the Cats, with Kentucky as one of the first schools to heavily pursue the big tight end.  The Cats are competing against Arkansas, Ohio State and other Ohio MAC schools for the tight end’s services.  

-  The NCAA has started to listen to complaints, announcing yesterday that athletes will now be able to receive unlimited meals with their scholarship.  It’s a step that Stoops thought was necessary, especially considering how big of a role nutrition plays in High Performance training.  ”I don’t have all of the answers, but I support whatever we can do to make their life a little more comfortable.”

Shabazz Napier’s remarks about going hungry did not come to a surprise to coach Stoops.

“I definitely think there’s times when those guys struggle,” Stoops said.  ”There are defeintely times when kids go through some tough situations.  I don’t think a lot of people realize through all of the time we’ve been in this, you could see players that feel such an obligation to send their (food) money home so there little baby brother or sister isn’t starving too.”

-  For some news straight from the field, I spoke with Thaddeus Snodgrass about his transition from high school to the SEC.  Coming from a triple option school, the change to a no-huddle offense hasn’t been the easiest for Snodgrass, “I think it’s even bigger (a transition) because I didn’t think it was going to be this fast and this physical.  Every practice is like playing a game in a high school, so it’s making me more physical.”  Even though there’s been a big jump, Snodgrass has greatly benefited from seeing many high quality reps with the first and second groups.  


Ohio State transfer granted release, will visit Kentucky

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The football news wasn’t all bad today. As first reported by Justin Rowland and later confirmed by 247 Sports’ Josh Edwards, Ohio State redshirt freshman safety Jayme Thompson has been granted his release from the Buckeyes and will visit Kentucky for the Spring Game on April 26.

Thompson, 6’2″, 185 lbs., was considered the 12th best safety in the 2013 class by 247 Sports Composite, and picked Ohio State over Louisville, Missouri, Vandy, Michigan, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and others. He’ll likely have to sit out a year, but if he picks the Cats, that’s huge news for an area that still needs help.


Watch Calipari on “Morning Joe” and “Squawk Box”

John Calipari’s national book tour wrapped up this morning with appearances on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” In case you’re in Calipari withdrawal after yesterday’s whirlwind tour, enjoy the clips above and below, in which Cal applauds the NCAA for finally approving unlimited meals and snacks, and lobbies for additional pay for players in the form of stipends.


3-star safety Marcus Walker decommits from Kentucky

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On Monday, Kentucky lost their first 2015 commitment in four-star DB Montrell Custis, who flipped his commitment to Alabama. Now, they’ve lost another in 3-star safety Marcus Walker, who opened up his recruitment this morning. Walker made this statement via Twitter:

“I just open up my recruitment. I need more time to think things through. After talking to my mom and family it’s better to wait it’s to much pressure on me. Kentucky is still at the number 1 spot of my list.”

Walker is also being recruited by Georgia, and has offers from Florida, Ole Miss, UCF, South Florida, and others.


Stoops says Whitlow’s decision to transfer comes after they asked him to switch positions

(Photo by Jim Brown. USA Today Sports)

(Photo by Jim Brown. USA Today Sports)

During his press conference this morning, Mark Stoops said he was “disappointed” by quarterback Jalen Whitlow’s decision to transfer from UK, but said that it came after the staff asked him yesterday if he’d be open to changing positions. Stoops said he broke down the quarterback situation with Jalen, and then asked him if he would switch to wide receiver. Jalen told him last night that he had decided it was in his best interest to transfer elsewhere to play quarterback, because, according to Stoops, that’s where his heart is.

Just last week, Stoops told us on KSR that if the season ended that day, Whitlow would be the starter. Reading between the lines, it seems they told Jalen yesterday that they’re moving in a different direction, perhaps to Drew Barker, who had an impressive scrimmage on Saturday. Patrick Towles has also shown a lot of improvement this spring, with Reese Phillips presumably in third, followed by Maxwell Smith, who is sitting out the spring to recover from shoulder surgery.

Best of luck to Jalen. Nick Roush will be by in a little bit with a full recap.


Jalen Whitlow to transfer from Kentucky

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BREAKING NEWS: Jalen Whitlow has decided to transfer from Kentucky. UK announced the news this morning via press release at spring practice. Whitlow started eight games for the Cats last season. Here are Mark Stoops’ and Jalen’s comments about his transfer:

Stoops:  “We respect Jalen and his decision as we want the best for him. I thank Jalen for his contributions to the team. I want everyone to understand how hard he has worked and the effort he has given since our staff has been here.”

Whitlow: “I appreciate the University of Kentucky and what the coaching staff and administration have done for me. I also thank the community and the fan support I have received here. I wish the coaches and my teammates the best of luck.”

Jalen will finish the spring semester at UK. Patrick Towles, Reese Phillips, Drew Barker, and Maxwell Smith (recovering from shoulder surgery) will now compete for the starting quarterback position.

We’ll have more information as soon as we know it.


Sam Malone takes another shot at Jeff Goodman

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Sam Malone is quickly becoming one of my favorite players on Twitter. He’s always been funny, but lately, he’s been downright snarky with Jeff Goodman, the BBN’s favorite national media member (ha!). A few weeks ago, Goodman ranked all of the players in the Final Four, “even Sam Malone!”, he tweeted, and Malone responded, “Still wouldn’t pay $40 a year for Insider.” +1 Malone, right?

This morning, as a response to Thomas Beisner about waiting for the players to announce their decision, Goodman tweeted “I think @SamMaloneuk13 should make an announcement today.” Once again, Malone couldn’t help but respond:

+1,000 Malone.


Come to Sleep Outfitters on Hurstbourne Parkway for the chance to win a trip to Vegas or Miami! (Wednesday Show Thread)

Good morning and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which will be coming to you live from the brand new Sleep Outfitters on 2105 S. Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville.

Come on out to hear Matt and Ryan talk about the latest rumblings concerning which players will stay and which will go to the NBA next season and register for the chance to win a FREE TRIP to Las Vegas, Miami or another destination of your choice. All that for coming out and listening to your two favorite radio hosts talk about the Cats. Sounds like a can’t miss opportunity to me.

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

Topics include:

– Who will stay and who will go?

– Rupp Arena renovation funding dies in the Sentate

– Much more…

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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WAIN (93.9 fm) Columbia
WHIR (1230 am) Danville
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WHOP (1230am/95.3 fm) Hopkinsville
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WLAP (630 am) Lexington
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WKJK (1080 am) Louisville
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WBTH (1400 am) Williamson, WV

On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…

WBGN (1340 am) Bowling Green 11am-1pm
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WHAY (98.3 fm) Whitley City 2-4 pm


Spend an evening with John Calipari and Matt Jones

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Want to meet John Calipari, get a signed copy of his new book, AND hear Matt Jones interview him for an hour? You’re in luck. On Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m., Carmichael’s Bookstore  is hosting “An Evening with John Calipari” at The Clifton Center (2117 Payne Street, Louisville). Cal will speak to Matt about his new book, “Players First : Coaching from the Inside Out,” take a few questions from the audience, and sign books for fans.

This is a TICKETED EVENT. Tickets are $30.00, which gets you admission to the event at The Clifton Center, one copy of Calipari’s new book, “Players First,” and a designated place in the book-signing line based on the letter on your ticket stub. Seating at the event will be general admission—no reserved seats.

“Players First” will be published on April 15. You can pick up your book at the event or at Carmichael’s (1295 Bardstown Road, Louisville or 2720 Frankfort Avenue, Louisville) between April 15 and April 24. Additional copies will be available for purchase at the event.

To buy tickets, click here.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Just How Much Have Calipari Players Made in the NBA?

John Calipari often talks of “changing players lives” as his top goal as coach of the University of Kentucky.  What does that actually look like?  Now that he has 4 draft classes (with a 5th right around the corner) in the NBA, just how much wealth have Calipari guys accumulated?  And how much do they have coming in future seasons?  Take a look:

John Wall (4 seasons): $24,050,165 (signed to make $78.78 million more over next 5 seasons)
Demarcus Cousins (4 seasons): $15,800,134 (signed to make $60.97 million more over next 4 seasons)
Patrick Patterson (4 seasons): $8,985,302 (no contract for next season)
Eric Bledsoe (4 seasons): $7,415,553 (no contract for next season)
Daniel Orton (4 seasons): $3,285,056 (no contract for next season)

Enes Kanter (3 seasons): $13,081,920 (signed to make $5.70 million next season)
Brandon Knight (3 seasons): $8,112,840 (signed to make $3.55 million next season)
Josh Harrellson (3 seasons): $1,712,094 (signed to make $0.95 million next season)
Deandre Liggins (3 seasons): $1,287,816 (no contract for next season)

Anthony Davis (2 seasons): $10,520,040 (signed to make $12.68 million more over next 2 seasons)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (2 seasons): $9,412,560 (signed to make $11.35 million more over next 2 seasons)
Terrence Jones (2 seasons): $3,036,840 (signed to make $4.11 million more over next 2 seasons)
Marquis Teague (2 seasons): $2,103,120 (signed to make $1.12 million next season)
Doron Lamb (2 seasons): $1,438,872 (signed to make $0.92 million next season)
Darius Miller (2 seasons): $1,262,476 (no contract for next season)

Nerlens Noel (1 season): $3,172,320 (signed to make $11.12 million more over next 3 seasons)
Archie Goodwin (1 season): $1,064,000 (signed to make $4.37 million more over next 3 seasons)

TOTAL: 46 seasons, $115,741,108
FUTURE: 26 seasons, $195.62 million

Depending on how long Calipari stays at Kentucky, I don’t think it will be out of the realm of possibility that Calipari UK guys make over 1 billion dollars in the NBA combined.  This doesn’t take into account Derrick Rose or Marcus Camby, who combined to have made 185.9 million in their careers, with Rose under contract for another 60.3 million over the next 3 years.  And it also doesn’t consider what Anthony Davis and MLG are likely to bring in with their 2nd contracts, which Wall and Cousins prove is where the big money is made.  And let’s not even consider endorsements for many of these guys as well.  Truly staggering numbers.

Cal uses a lot of hyperbole to describe what he is doing at UK, but when he says he is changing young men’s lives, these numbers prove there is nothing exaggerated about that.


KSR’s top 10 tweets of the day

(Darrell Bird | Catpause)

(Darrell Bird | Catpause)

It’s time again for KSR’s Top Tweets of the day. You can participate by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTop10 or just by simply tweeting @KYsportsradio. We will focus most of our attention on Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as usual, there are no limits to our madness.

 

#10 Not Jerry Tipton

#ESPNlogic

 

 

#9 Keith Farmer

Well there goes a fourth of the average salary a sports journalist makes. Someone seems bitter.

 

 

#8 Matt Norlander

Good luck blocking a shot off that ladder.

 

 

#7 Brandon Walker

Someone needs to put a muzzle on Ryan before he blabs everything!

 

 

#6 John Robic’s Hair

That lady is so offended by Matt’s bangs.

 

 

#5 Seth Davis

I can’t wait to see what they write on their rock about this.

 

 

#4 Bob Littral

I have one thing to say:

Stephen

 

#3 Randall Cobb

You know what they say….you are what you eat.

 

 

#2 Eric Bledsoe

OHHHHH. BURNNNNNNNNN.

 

 

#1 Łukasz Obrzut

Welp. You’ve reached the end of the internet guys. Goodbye.

 

@Sealey_KSR

 


Kentucky Senate Shoots Down Rupp Arena Funding

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photo courtesy of Lexington Herald Leader

It is late so we will make this quick. The Senate is not going to pass the Rupp Arena funding proposal. After giving $75 million to the Yum Center and another $60 million in this session to the Louisville Convention Center, the Kentucky Senate has denied any funding for the new Rupp Arena project. The decision was lead by Senate President Robert Stivers, who earlier in the evening had said he was undecided on the project. We will look more into this tomorrow for details and discuss on the radio. This is a definite blow for the Rupp renovation and a big step in keeping UK behind Louisville on the facility/revenue side for the near future.


Hillsborough’s Wednesday News and Views

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I spent a good portion of tonight watching the ESPN “30 for 30″ on the English football disaster that occurred in 1989 entitled “Hillsborough.” For those of you that don’t know the story, at a FA Cup Semifinal game (the major tournament that is part of the English football season), 96 Liverpool fans were killed after being crushed in the stands during an overcrowding situation. The scenes and video from the disaster are haunting and the documentary describing the events is one of the more heartbreaking things I have ever seen. I can remember as a kid seeing a picture of the scene in Sports Illustrated that showcased people being crushed against the metal fences, and the image haunted me for a very long time. After watching the documentary tonight, it will be in my mind once again. After telling the story of the events, the documentary also features a good deal on the coverup perpetrated by the police and authorities in England to try to blame the fans for errors that were caused by those in charge. Now even 25 years after the events, there are FINALLY open investigations taking place about what happened and justice may come for the 96 fans that passed away on that day. If you get a chance, make sure and watch the documentary on ESPN (it replays Sunday at 10 pm) or read more about the story here.

With that, some notes on the stories of the day:

Players Making Their Draft Decisions:

The NCAA deadline came and went today and as expected, no UK players announced their decisions. The real deadline is the one imposed by the NBA and that is April 27, giving all players 12 more days to decide their futures. Rumors began to spread today that the Harrison Twins could be close to announcing a return, likely fueled by speculation from a couple of UK reporters suggesting that good news was on the way. While I think it is perfectly possible that the Twins could return, I also think that all opinions on this subject are complete guesses. There are people “around” the Twins who are talking about the decision but I firmly believe that those folks are speaking with little knowledge. I was told by Mr Harrison at the Final Four that the decision would be made by his family and his family alone and there would be no leaks. I believe that and I don’t think the folks around UK know what the twosome are going to do either. Any guess by me would be just that…a guess and I think all speculation is exactly the same. Hopefully we will find out soon, although it could come at any time.

As for the rest of the players, I still believe we will hear a decision on Randle and Young this week and I expect both to enter the Draft. If either were to reach a different decision, I would be shocked. Alex Poythress has been the subject of some speculation today, but I still believe he returns to Lexington, where he is happy. That leaves Dakari Johnson, who is a true wildcard. One week ago, I think he was assured to come back to UK for another year, but at this point I am not sure. I still think smart money is on a return but he is definitely now actively considering leaving, something that didn’t seem possible just a week or so ago. These are anxious days for UK fans, but Willie returning does make everything a little brighter.

Calipari Continues to be Everywhere

At this point, I would be shocked if John Calipari does not end up on “Duck Dynasty” or “Party Down South” over the course of the next week or so. Calipari has been everywhere and is doing a great job at all his appearances. He will show up bright and early tomorrow on “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and then will find his way next week to “The Colbert Report” on Comedy Central (which has the potential to be epic. He continues to harp on the same themes about institutional change to the NCAA and there is no doubt that this is his focus throughout his travels. I am currently reading his book “Players First” (which is actually really interesting) and will be doing an event with him in Louisville on April 24th that I think you should check out. One of the things we have learned over the last couple of days is that Calipari is the master of the media and his appearances this week continue the theme of sports world domination that he is undertaking.

SUMMER TRIP:

For what its worth, I am hearing that the Yahoo report of a UK basketball trip to Spain is not correct. The Cats are going to take a summer trip in August and my assumption is that it will be somewhere that isn’t Windsor, Canada. But I am hearing that it is much more likely to be a place like the Bahamas, or the like, rather than to Europe. Either way, save some time on your schedule for August basketball.

RUPP ARENA

AT the time of this writing (a bit before 11), we are still waiting to hear what will happen to the Rupp Arena funding. The legislators have until midnight to make it happen and the Republicans in the Senate are still the ones holding up the process. We will know what they do by the morning and will deal with it then. If they don’t pass the money, after the University and city of Lexington made a number of the changes requested by them and after giving similar money not only to the Yum Center but to the Louisville Convention Center in this session…well somebody has some explaining to do.

Big day tomorrow…we are doing KSR Radio LIVE from Sleep Outfitters on 2105 Hurstborne Parkway in Louisville and giving away a trip to Las Vegas, Miami or another destination of your choice. If you don’t come, that is on you. So see you there…


New Walk-Ons Podcast about Calipari and More

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For those of you that don’t know, I occasionally (not as often as I would like) do a podcast on the side about college basketball called “The Walk Ons.” My co-host is Ben Swain (a Duke fan) and we talk about whatever is going on in college basketball. Today’s episode is one you might want to catch as we talk a ton about Calipari and the Final Four experience, including some backstage stories from my trip to Dallas. It is entertaining for hopefully everyone, but I am certain it will be enjoyed by UK fans. So take a listen at the link below or subscribe below on iTunes. I promise you will be entertained or your money back:

WALK-ONS episode with Matt and Ben on Calipari

Subscribe to Walk-Ons on iTunes


The NBA Playoff Teams Are Set!

Following last night’s slate of NBA games all 16 playoff spots have been locked up and a bunch of former Cats will be making some noise this May. The only question now is where the teams will finish and what teams the Cats will face for a playoff run:

Chuck Hayes and Patrick Patterson: Eastern Conference 3-seed Toronto Raptors

Chuck Hayes: 4th playoff appearance, 1st with Raptors

Patrick Patterson: 1st playoff appearance.

The young Raptors are here and ahead of schedule as they need just one more win to lock up the third seed. Toronto will bring a core of players making their playoffs debut and Patrick Patterson is chief among them. Pat’s numbers have fallen back a bit since going down to injury in March but I expect he will be ready to play in his first playoff run. Former Cat and head coach Dwayne Casey will have his work cut out for him if the Raptors have to take on the Heat in the second round but let’s not overlook the Wizards.

Nazr Mohammed and the 4th seeded Chicago Bulls

Marquis Teague and the 5-6 seed Brooklyn Nets

John Wall and the 6-7 seed Washington Wizards

MKG and the 6-7 seed Charlotte Bobcats

Currently the Wizards are tangled with the Bobcats in a battle for the 6 or 7 seeds in the East with the Nets controlling their own destiny for the fifth seed. Teague got some playoff experience last year with the Bulls but for Wall and Kidd-Gilchrist this will be their first appearance in the playoffs. The former Cats may not make much noise this season but the future is bright for these young players. Also don’t forget about former Cat Frank Vogel who led the Pacers to the top seed in the East.

In the West:

Terrance Jones and the 4th seeded Houston Rockets

After a strong start to the season the Phoenix Suns fizzled down the stretch and now Terrance Jones is the lone Cat who will be playing in the West. Jones has been an revelation in Houston this season averaging 12 points per game with Dwight Howard drawing the defensive gameplan.  The Rockets could take on the Spurs in the opening round with a chance to steal a spot in the finals due to Tony Parker’s recent back injury. Could be a very wild west this summer.

 

Which former Cat will you be pulling for during this playoff run?


Tennessee Probz

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Cuonzo Martin’s abrupt rocky-top exodus on the heels of the Sweet 16 is a tough blow for Tennessee Athletics. It’s bad from a personnel standpoint, obviously, and yet another spill in the PR aisle for the already unsanitary Volunteer Athletic Department as well as the Paid Athletic Department.

While the University of Tennessee is unquestionably a Women’s Basketball School, it does boast a large, fervent fan base and an athletic department with deep pockets. There was once a decent football team here they say, way back before such esteemed gridiron names as Kiffin and Dooley…’s idiot children were paid millions to roam the sideline.

Heck, even the men’s basketball team had a few good runs. There was the Bert & Ernie Show, and Jerry Green cobbled together a couple decent squads thanks to strong chemistry formed by players who never ran out of eligibility. And of course Bruce Pearl rallied the Vols all the way to the midseason AP Poll summit and an Elite 8 before his run in Knoxville went up in weed and barbecue smoke.

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The gorgeous Thompson-Bowling Arena, on the pristine waters of the Stinkin Creek, is home to the Lady Vols and on super special occasions, the men are allowed to play here too they just have to clean up afterward.

 

Women’s Basketball is the pillar of UT Athletics, and there’s certainly no shame in that game. The Lady Vols are one of the greatest traditions in women’s hoops and the way things are trending, they’ll probably still be a top 10-ish program in that sport for the foreseeable future. How many schools can lay claim to a top 10-ish women’s sports team anchoring its athletic program?

Still, don’t be surprised if UT swings for a walk-off hire to replace Martin. After striking out on its last two football hires in an attempt to replace the Hall of Fame coach it fired, they swung hard and landed Butch Jones. As the great Harmon Killebrew might have said, “Sometimes you swing for the fence and you fly out to shallow center, but you sleep easy knowing you took an honest hack.”

Going to the Elite 8 in the Women’s NCAA Tournament year in and year out is what makes the University of Tennessee a special place. It also has a top-notch marching band. And, Knoxville has a Cheesecake Factory. Strong campus attributes, no doubt, but you have to wonder: just what exactly is the cost of living in the Lady Vols’ shadow?