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April 26th, 2015

Anthony Davis to Receive Max Contract from Pelicans

davis-ballot

According to sources from ESPN, the New Orleans Pelicans plan to offer Anthony Davis a five-year max contract that could exceed $140 million.  Whew, talk about breaking the bank. Davis will be eligible for a contract extension this summer, July 1st to be exact, and the Pelicans want to lock him up ASAP.  AD’s current contract is only worth $23 million during his first four years, which ends following the 2015-16 season.

Due to the NBA signing a new nine-year $24 billion TV deal, the projected salary caps are expected to spike, allowing max contracts to be over $30 million annually. If Davis is offered one of these max contracts (which he will), he’ll more than double his current earnings next season.  This is great news for a former Wildcat who potentially is a future NBA MVP.  It’s crazy to think that by age 28, Anthony Davis will have earned over $160 million.

For all of the technical details on Anthony’s new deal, follow this link.

I’m guessing he’ll have this reaction the first time he checks his bank account after signing it:

davis1.0_standard_709.0

 

I know I would…

 


Nike EYBL Sunday Afternoon Update

Today was the final session of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League at KBA.  Once again, the event was packed and standing-room only turned into no room at all.  Many UK basketball recruiting targets, from both 2016/2017 classes, were in action.  Among them were Harry Giles, Malik Monk, and Jayson Tatum.

@ChrisFisher247

According to Chris Fisher of 247 Sports, John Calipari was at the first game to watch UK target Harry Giles (#2 overall, #1 PF).  Giles would finish with 20 points and 11 rebounds, as his team earned a close 76-73 victory.  Coach Cal would then split time for the next set of games.

The 12:30 sessions featured Malik Monk (#6 overall, #3 SG) in one game, and Jayson Tatum (#3 overall, #1 SF) in another.  Calipari attended Monk’s first half, and then watched Tatum’s second half. Monk finished his final game of the weekend with 27 points and 4 rebounds, while Tatum had 14 points and 9 rebounds.

Not only were potential Wildcats in attendance, but past Wildcats as well.  The list includes former players Kenny Walker, James Blackmon, Trey Lyles, WCS, KAT, and Devin Booker.  Tyler Ullis was also in attendance to watch his former team.

@JDrumUK

 

 


The CATSPYs will take place on Monday

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The 13th annual CATSPY Award show will take place on Monday in Memorial Coliseum. The award show will celebrate the 2014-15 athletic year at the University of Kentucky.

The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. and doors open at 7 p.m. The event is open to the public. Tickets cost $5 each and may be purchased at the UK Athletics Ticket Office in the Joe Craft Center.

The list of awards includes:

  • Community Service
  • Wildcat Pride
  • Rookies of the Year
  • Bill Keightley “Assist” Award
  • Blue Heart
  • Scholar Athlete
  • Academic Team
  • Scratch
  • Supporting Role
  • Performance of the Year
  • K Club Male and Female Athlete of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • Teams of the Year
  • Mr. and Miss Wildcat

 


The future of Kentucky football

 

kentucky-football-helmet

With spring ball over, I thought we could take a look into the way future of Kentucky football. So here is a little bio on each of Kentucky’s 16 recruits for the 2016 class according to 247sports.com

Drake Jackson

— Drake Jackson is a 4-star offensive guard from Versailles, KY. He is ranked first in his position in the state of Kentucky. Jackson picked the Cats over Ohio St., Purdue and Alabama.

Landon Young

—Landon Young is a 4-star offensive tackle from Lexington, KY. He is ranked second in the state Kentucky and 20th overall in his position.

Jordan Griffin

— Jordan Griffin is a 3-star cornerback from Jonesboro, GA. He is ranked 46th in the state of Georgia. Griffin, recruited by Derrick Ansley, picked the Cats over Louisville.

AJ Rose

— AJ Rose is a 3-star running back from Cleveland, OH. He is ranked 19th in the state of Ohio and 39th overall in his position. Rose played both quarterback and running back in high school, but was recruited as a running back.

Tobias Gilliam

— Tobias Gilliam is a 3-star cornerback from Dayton, OH. He is ranked 32nd in the state of Ohio and 69th overall in his position. Gilliam picked Kentucky over Ohio State.

Jaylin Bannerman

— Jaylin Bannerman is a 3-star outside linebacker from Pickerington, OH. He is ranked 31st in the state of Ohio and 44th overall in his position. The 6-foot-6, 215 pound linebacker was recruited by Vince Marrow and committed in February.

Ben Snell

— Ben Snell is a 5-foot-11 running back from Westerville, OH. He is ranked 33rd overall in the state of Ohio and 55th in his position. The 3-star running back, recruited by Vince Marrow, committed to Kentucky in February

Roland Walder

— Roland Walder is a 3-star inside linebacker from Dayton, OH. He is ranked 37th in the state of Ohio and 25th overall in his position. The 6-foot-3, 220 pound linebacker committed to Kentucky in October.

Luke Fortner

— Luke Fortner is a 3-star offensive tackle form Sylvania, OH. He is ranked 38th overall in the state of Ohio and 76th in his his position. Fortner picked Kentucky over Maryland, Western Michigan, Marshall and Cincinnati.

Zy’Aire Hughes

— Zy’Aire Hughes is a 3-star dual-threat quarterback, wide receiver from Paducah, KY. Hughes is ranked 5th in the state of Kentucky and 61st overall in his position. Kentucky is looking to play Hughes at the wide receiver spot.

Dakota Holtzclaw

— Dakota Holtzclaw is a three-star tight end from Columbus, OH. He is ranked 42nd in the state of Ohio and 39th overall in his position. The 6-foot-7 tight end, recruited by Vince Marrow, picked the Cats over Louisville.

Justin Rigg

— Justin Rigg is a 3-star tight end from Springsboro, OH. He is ranked 4th in the state of Ohio and 38th overall in his position. Rigg picked Kentucky over Cincinnati, Pitt and West Virginia.

Gunnar Hoak

— Gunnar Hoak is a 3-star quarterback from Dublin, OH. He is ranked 44th in the state of Ohio and 53rd overall in his position. Hoak is Kentucky’s latest commit in the 2016 class and the first scholarship quarterback to be added since Drew Barker.

Kayaune Ross

— Kayaune Ross is a 3-star junior-college wide receiver from Phoenix College in Arizona. He is ranked 3rd in the state of Arizona and 3rd overall in his position. Ross is originally from Lakota West High in Ohio and is friends with current players Mikel Horton and Kyle Meadows.

Davonte Ross

— Davonte Ross is a 3-star cornerback from Lexington, KY. He is ranked 8th in the state of Kentucky and 101st overall in his position. Ross decided to stay home and play in his home state of Kentucky over Notre Dame.

Kordell Looney

— Kordell Looney is a 3-star defensive tackle from Springfield, OH. He is ranked 48th in the state of Ohio and 60th overall in his position. The 6-foot-4, 285 pound tackle was recruited by Vince Marrow and picked the Cats over Bowling Green, Illinois and Toledo.

 

 


Nerlens Noel was in Manila this past week

 

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@NBA_Philippines

Nerlens Noel served as a guest coach at the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2015 National Training Camp in Manila. Sixers.com writer, Max Rappaport was able to talk to Noel about his time at the camp and his goals for next season.

Here are some quotes that continue to show how great of a person Nerlens is.

“I definitely feel it was a culture shock. You know, especially going back to Haiti like I have last summer and seeing the conditions there, I think it was very similar. You know, just seeing all the progression they’re making in the Philippines, with their economy going up and all the new developments they’re making, it’s definitely great to see.”

“I think it’s very important. Especially to use my status to give the right message to these young kids, because they’re the next generation. And you always want them to see the positives in things and tell the next generation of kids when they’re older that they’ve got to set the path right and instill a hard work ethic in them so that they can be on the right path to success.”

You can read the full interview here. As a Kentucky fan, it makes me feel very proud to see former players doing great things to help others.

 


Former UK basketball player Mike Phillips has died

 

mike

Sources informed LEX 18 that former Kentucky center Mike Phillips has died. The sourced told LEX 18 that Phillips died from an accidental fall on Saturday in is home in Madisonville, Kentucky.

Joe B. Hall, Phillips’ former coach commented on the tragedy.

 “Oh, that’s terrible news. He was a pillar of strength. Very hard working. He and Rick Robey were the original Twin Towers.”

Phillips was a key part of the 1978 National Championship team. He averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds during his career at Kentucky.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Phillips’ family and friends.

 


Great days ahead for Anthony Davis and Pelicans

 

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@NBATV

Much respect between these two future NBA MVPs. 

Despite the sweep by the Golden State Warriors, there are bright days ahead for Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans. Davis scored 36 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked three shots in the 109-98 loss.

However, Davis left his mark on his first NBA playoffs by becoming the first player in 40 years to average more than 30 points and 10 rebounds a game in his first playoff series. The only other players to average to do this in their first four playoff games were Wilt Chamberlain with the 76ers in 1960, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with the Bucks in 1970 and Bob McAdoo with Buffalo in 1974.

Golden State head coach, Steve Kerr, had nothing but praise for the future MVP.

“I said I am really glad not to have to against you anymore (this season),” Kerr said. “He is an amazing player and he causes problems at both ends, all over the floor. Defensively, he was fantastic jumping out on Step (Curry). Not many big guys can do that, really jump out on Steph and bother him on the screen-and-rolls, so we dealt with that the whole series. The guy will be the MVP within the next few years, I think.”

Warriors guard and potential MVP, Stephen Curry, simply describes Davis:

“He’s a bad boy,” Stephen Curry said.

Davis, in his third year in the NBA, needed this playoff experience to improve his game in the off-season. Now that Davis has played in his first playoff series, he will return as fourth-year veteran knowing exactly what to expect. Even though the Pelicans got swept, these games will prove very important to the Pelicans team next season.

“In the NBA playoffs you’ve got to beat a team four times, and that’s very tough to do,” Davis said. “You’re going against guys that know you inside and out, and you’ve got to try to produce every night.”

In conclusion, the Pelicans are going to be just fine as long as Anthony Davis is on their team.

 


Calipari never thought his team would lose to Wisconsin

Calpostgame

This post might be a little hard to read for some, I know it was hard to write.

When John Calipari was in Indianapolis on Friday, he told a group of high school basketball coaches that he thought his team would finish the season undefeated and find a way to beat Wisconsin.

“You know, it never entered my mind that we were going to lose,” Calipari told The Associated Press as he walked out of the high school gym. “When we were up four with five minutes to go, I thought it was over. Even when Wisconsin made that run, I thought we’d figure it out. We never, in my time at Kentucky, we just don’t lose that game.”

Calipari opens up about the game and the season in an article from The Associated Press. Reading the article might help in the continuing healing process a lot of you are still encountering.

 


Sunday Morning Links

Heritage Golf Links 18

Good morning KSR fans. Hope you had a fun and exciting Saturday. Now it’s time to relax with me on your Sunday morning. Let’s start with some must read links.

— With the NFL Draft only four days away, Bud Dupree’s name has been mentioned a lot in the past week leading up to the draft. Right now Dupree is projected to go No. 8 overall to the Atlanta Falcons in Mel Kiper’s mock draft. The Falcoholic compares Dupree to the Kansas City Chiefs’ Dontari Poe and states Dupree could be one of the best in the league.

— Sadly the Golden State Warriors completed the sweep on the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis. Before Davis’ final game this season, he told The New York Times that he plans to develop a three-point shot. Could you imagine if AD could sink 3s? Game over.

— A UAB football player wore his helmet to the graduation ceremony. Derek Slaughter refused to shake the school’s president’s hand as he walked across the stage. The school’s president, Ray Watts, oversaw the decision to get ride of the football program last December.

— Wesley Matthews of Toronto wore an ‘Iron Man’ mask to game three against the Memphis Grizzlies. Matthews has been sidelined with a season ending injury, but they didn’t stop him from sporting the mask. Matthews received the nickname ‘Iron Man’ after playing with injuries.

— This video will make you smile for the rest of the day. Devon Still’s daughter, Leah Still, scored a touchdown in Temple’s spring game on Saturday. The Bengals’ defensive tackle and his daughter were special guests at the Cherry and White game, and even conducted the coin toss.

 


April 25th, 2015

Saturday’s News and Views

Team JDRF

Team JDRF

The last Saturday in April wasn’t the most eventful in the world of Big Blue News, but something happened that we should all be excited for….THERE’S LESS THAN A WEEK TIL DERBY.  While some of y’all might not be as enthused as I, today officially kicks off the best week of the year.  This year’s wonderful tradition gets an added bonus with the biggest boxing match of my lifetime concluding May 2nd with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao slugging it out.

One thing you may not know about the the last Saturday in April, is the annual tradition of the Great Balloon Race and Mini-Marathon.  While I applaud all of those on my timeline that achieved the wonderful accomplishment of running for a long, long, long, long, long time, the biggest winners are the Kathleen crew.  Determined to make the race more enjoyable for the runners, each year they wake up at 3:00 am (I have a 3:19 Snapchat to confirm) to consume beverages before high fiving as many runners as possible as they start their race near Iroquois Park.  For the last three years I’ve tried to play my part in aiding the runners, but it’s a task too tall for even the tallest to conquer.

On behalf of the heroes of the half-marathon (and full marathon), thanks Kathleen crew.  The race wouldn’t be the same without you.

"If you're still running, we're still drinking."

“If you’re still running, we’re still drinking.”

Now onto the more serious side of news….

Lexington went Nuts for the EYBL

It wasn’t just the coaches recruiting and the crazy fans; Marcus Lee, Tyler Ulis, Alex Poythress and Devin Booker were on hand to enjoy the elite basketball at KBA.

@UKBIGBLUENATION

@UKBIGBLUENATION

The Cats were there to watch 2016’s Malik Monk do work.  Monk was the showstopper of today’s tournament, but unfortunately the highlight game of the night between Monk and Jayson Tatum didn’t produce terrific results.  But at the end of the day, the play on the court wasn’t as cool as the play off the court.  Even Julius Randle was there.  It doesn’t get much cooler than that.

For updates from throughout the day, scroll on down to see all of the good work from Ryan Clark and Bobby Reagan.

Mychal Mulder was on Campus and Could Commit Soon

While there’s no new info on Mulder’s status, everyone expects a decision shortly after the trip.  Keep close to KSR tomorrow because we might have to play a game of Yahtzee!

Sorry, wrong sport.

If I didn’t mention the Earthquake in Nepal I’d be a Terrible Person

Like many of you, I woke up this morning with multiple alerts from CNN on the tragic earthquake that shook Nepal near the capital, Kathmandu.  The 7.8 magnitude quake has taken the lives of more than 1,800.  My remorseful mind was immediately reminded of the CBS report from earlier this week regarding man-made U.S. earthquakes, warning of an impending disaster at home.

Please keep those affected in your prayers.

Upper Deck Didn’t Do Their Research

This Thursday Bud Dupree will become UK’s first First Round Draft Pick since Dwayne Robertson in 2003.  Bud’s gonna make a ton of money, but he’s still getting less respect than Rodney Dangerfield.

Bud’s Upper Deck Rookie Card has the image of another #2, Jalen Whitlow.

@Bud_Dupree2

(@Bud_Dupree2)

Bud plays defense and rarely dives into the end zone.  In fact, the only touchdown I can recall him having, he wore all-black and chrome helmets as he waltzed into the end zone for the game-winner against South Carolina.

Shame, shame Upper Deck.

The BatCats hold on to take Game 2 against the Gators of Florida

After winning Game 1 of the 3-game weekend series, the BatCats were in control, up 7-3 entering the bottom of the 9th.  Then the proverbial ish hit the fan.  With two outs and the bases loaded, Florida had a 2-run single, followed by another single that cut the lead to 7-6.  With runners on second and third, the Gators went for the squeeze, but Logan Salow got an out to get the Dub.

UK goes for the sweep in the Swamp over the #6 Gators tomorrow at 12:30.

Ohio Valley Wrestling at the Chow Wagon is Amazing

ovw

But not as amazing as the time Drew Franklin is having in Vegas.  I’d post pictures, but I don’t think any of them are appropriate for the site.  Just check his Twitter and Snap Story and I’m sure you’ll stay entertained.


Davis tries to make 2nd round, EYBL updates from Lexington …

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty

Layne Murdoch/NBAE/Getty

Some notes as we continue to watch UK players in the NBA playoffs …

PELICANS UPDATE: Anthony Davis is doing his part to keep the Pelicans in their first round matchup versus Golden State, scoring 19 points and grabbing six rebounds. Unfortunately, for this season, it may not be enough as New Orleans trails 67-54 at the half. A loss would end their season. Still, the experience and strides the Pelicans have made this year will go far in making them a force in seasons to come.

EYBL UPDATE: Mailk Monk vs. Jayson Tatum became, as the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts called it, “a free-throw shooting contest.” Monk scored 19 points while Tatum scored 20. Neither shot well from the field (Monk was 3-13 while Tatum was 4-13) but each missed just one free throw, going 25-27 combined. Monk’s Arkansas Wings team beat Tatum and the St. Louis Eagles, 78-69.

Of course, none of this will make any difference. The pair are still two of the highest regarded prospects in the land, and UK would love to have either. Or both. We would always love both.

DEVON/LEAH STILL UPDATE: Remember the Stills? He’s the father, the one who plays for the Bengals as a backup so he can afford medical care for his daughter, who was suffering from cancer? Check this out: She’s in remission, together they helped flip the coin at Temple’s Spring Game, and then she scored a touchdown. You have to see it.

Nick Roush will be by later with a full recap from the day…

Go Big Blue!

 


Happy Birthday Andre Woodson, plus EYBL updates …

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Big Happy 31st Birthday to Andre Woodson, the former UK quarterback who beat No. 9 Louisville and No. 1 LSU in the same season and won back-to-back bowl games for the Cats.

Andre did a lot while he was a Wildcat, but what he may be most famous for is completely transforming himself into one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC. His 2007 campaign is one of the finest we’ve ever seen. His teams beat the aforementioned top 10 squads, as well as Florida State in the team’s second straight Music City Bowl victory.

Watch a GREAT CSTV story on Woodson talking about his transformation:

Here’s Woodson finding Stevie when he got loose (with the Tom Leach call):

 

And here’s a bit longer video of highlights from LSU. It’s hard to not watch all of these:

 

OTHER NOTES:

– Julius Randle reportedly showed up tonight in Lexington for the KBA EYBL. How cool is that? Other folks reportedly there included new EKU assistant Michael Bradley, Scott Padgett, Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress, Devin Booker, Willie Cauley Stein, Kenny Payne, Tony Barbee, Richard Pitino, Billy Donovan, and Tom Izzo.

– At the EYBL, the C-J’s Kyle Tucker called the first half of the Mailk Monk (2/9 FG) and Jayson Tatum (1/6) showdown “ragged,” while others say the defense was good, forcing tough shots from the stars. Both players had nine points at the half.

– IU’s Yogi Farell will decide tomorrow whether he’s staying in school or going to the NBA, the Indy Star says. Should he stay, IU could be very good. Should he go? The second round of the draft awaits, and with it no guaranteed roster spot or money.

More later!

Go Big Blue!


Kentucky vs. Florida: Game Two Primer

UK took the series-opener 3-0 at No. 5 Florida on Friday night (Photo by Tim Casey, Florida)

UK took the series-opener 3-0 at No. 5 Florida on Friday night (Photo by Tim Casey, Florida)

The No. 5 Florida Gators (32-11, 12-7) were blanked for the first time this season as Kentucky (24-16, 9-9) opened the three-game series in Gainesville with a 3-0 victory. The pitching staff, led by Zack Brown, was superb in game one, but the Cats can now solidify themselves as a serious threat in game two.

Today’s game is set for a 7 p.m. first pitch at McKethan Stadium and here is everything you need to know about the matchup:

  • UK came into the weekend ranked fourth in the SEC Eastern Division standings and 3.5 games back from first place. With a 9-9 overall conference record and a 4-3 division record, the Cats are still in fourth place after knocking off Florida. However, with the the top four teams in the East all playing each this weekend, UK can improve its standing with another win or two (no easy task).
  • Offensively, Kentucky and Florida have an identical .301 team batting average, which is near the top of the SEC team statistical rankings. The Gators boast much more power with 44 home runs on the season, while the Cats have just 19. Both teams have given up their fair share of homers, as Florida and Kentucky rank 13th and 14th, respectively, in the SEC with 32 and 37 home runs allowed.
  • Defensively, the two teams are polar opposites. Florida ranks first in the SEC with a .985 fielding percentage and just 25 errors, while Kentucky ranks next to last with a .965 percentage and 56 errors.
  • The game features some of the top sluggers in the SEC. UK’s Ka’ai Tom and Kyle Barrett and Florida’s Josh Tobias all rank in the top 10 in the conference in batting average, hitting .383, .368, and .359, respectively. In the RBI category, Tom (44) is joined by Gators JJ Shwarz (47) and Harrison Bader (43) in the top three of the SEC.
  • The tentative pitching matchup should be pretty even. UK will send junior righty Dustin Beggs to the mound, while Florida will start sophomore righty Dane Dunning. On the season, Beggs has a 5-2 record and a 2.78 ERA opposed to Dunning who is 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA.
  • You can catch all the action on SEC Network+, available via WatchESPN. Should be a good one so tune in.

@STHowle


Upper Deck Screws up Bud Dupree Card

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I will freely admit. I didn’t know that Upper Deck even still made cards. But they do and since they do, one would think they would do it well. Not this time. The Upper Deck NFL Draft card for Bud Dupree is actually Jalen Whitlow. As you can see, the card shows a player diving for the end zone (which maybe should have been a clue for Upper Deck since Dupree is a Defensive player and likely has dove with the ball only a couple of times ever) and the player is wearing #8. Everyone knows that Dupree was #2 with the Big Blue and the player shown is Jalen Whitlow. Dupree himself noticed the mistake and tweeted it out, likely slightly miffed. Getting a chance to see yourself on a card is pretty awesome…unless the player that is presumably you is actually someone altogether different.

I had the same reaction when my first Kentucky radio card showed a picture of Dick Gabriel.

UPDATE: A couple of you have pointed out that it may be #2 on the card as well, as Whitlow also wore #2. That makes sense and would help explain (a little) the Upper Deck goof. But it is still a goof.