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April 26th, 2015

UK Fan of the Day Wants to Know What Happened in UK BB Recruiting


The young girl above met Willie Cauley-Stein at an autograph signing this weekend and the two pictures are just about the most precious things that I have ever seen (and that may be the first time I have used the word precious since the movie). She may not yet have an opinion about basketball recruiting but if so, then she would be one of the very few UK fans that does not. The talk on the lips of virtually all UK fans recently has been the same. Why hasn’t John Calipari closed the deal with recruits in the last two weeks of the Spring signing period? After the devastating loss to Wisconsin, many fans went through a period of mourning…I have had a number of folks tell me that they have avoided all Cats news, simply because accepting the loss is too difficult. But for the rest of us, our thoughts have moved to more glorious things, like the chance to see Kentucky on the court again and that means the team next season. Nearly every Spring sees a plethora of the nation’s top players picking Kentucky at the last minute in order to fulfill their basketball dreams, and we assumed this year would be no exception. But as of today, it hasn’t yet happened. So what gives? I thought a quick rundown of how we got here and what we may be able to expect was in order.


The seeds of the 2015 recruiting class began the day last season when Willie Cauley-Stein and the Harrison Twins returned. All three players were expected to leave and mid-season and when various factors brought them back, the entire outlook of last season and this recruiting class changed. The decision begat one of the greatest years we have ever had in this program but it also made 2015 more difficult, as the entire roster was not only full, but in flux. Two elite recruits took the “I don’t care who is there, I am coming” mantra…Skal Labissiere and Isaiah Briscoe. I love the moxie of that thought process and their confidence/dedication to UK will be showcased next season. But for the rest, Kentucky as a final option could not be determined until the day seven players stood up and said they were leaving. Thus a couple of players that UK likely led on in the fall (Stephen Zimmerman and Malik Newman) had their decision stretched out, and in so doing allowed other schools to make up ground. They did and the hometown B-level programs (and let’s be clear, neither UNLV or Mississippi State will even sniff the top 10 next season) became the choice.


Calipari was of course thrilled when Willie and the Twins returned and the effect on future recruiting was secondary. But as the year progressed, the mindset around the UK program seemed to be that those three plus Karl-Anthony Towns were certainly gone. Trey Lyles had always wanted to play for only one year, so if he stayed on the Draft boards, the assumption was that he would leave as well (and he did). However Dakari Johnson and Devin Booker were wildcards. When the season began, the notion that Booker would leave seemed silly, as he was almost certainly projected as a two-year player. But then he got hot, the Splash Brothers took off in Golden State (providing a model for a Booker-type guard in Klay Thompson) and his stock immediately rose. Still no one was sure what Dakari and Devin would do all year. I talked to a good source in late February who told me the working assumption was that Dakari would leave and Devin stay…but both could be flipped. And in the end that is almost what happened. Booker was much more certain in his decision and Dakari wavered before declaring for the Draft. But the UK folks who hoped they would get at least one and maybe both, were left with then having to make up for the loss of seven players all en masse, a scenario that seemed unlikely until the end of the NCAA Tournament run.


If you have listened to me on the radio, you know that I have said this class is weird…and it is. A lot of guys have chosen schools that would have seemed like bizarre picks in years past, simply because of unique situations (Stepfather on the staff, father played at the school, wanting to stay in the same city with parents). However there has also been a change that is worth noting…more schools are making the recruitment of elite One and Dones in a group a priority. For the past 5 years, only two schools have tried to bundle One and Done players…Kentucky and Kansas. But spurred on by the success of those two programs, now Duke, Arizona, and UNC are doing it as well. Before, they might pick at a couple of guys here and there, but going for multiple players was not in the cards and UK/Kansas reaped the rewards. Now that luxury is gone…and every top kid is being recruited by all the blue chip programs. So far UNC hasn’t had a ton of success with this strategy, but Duke is becoming a player. So these top battles will become more difficult and while Calipari will surely win more than his fair share of them, the number of his opponents are likely to increase (this is especially true in 2016).

Coming into the Spring, it looked like UK would almost certainly get Zimmerman and likely would find a way to get Newman. Then Zimmerman got turned off by how good Skal Labissiere is (and he is REALLY good) and Ben Howland became the final piece at making Malik to Starkville happen. So UK was in some ways, back at square one. So what happens? Here is how the scene looks as of today:


Possibly the player that could fit a need the most for UK, Brandon Ingram was always going to be an uphill battle. He is from North Carolina, grew up a Tarheel fan and is in the state where the current National Champion is located. Getting him to Lexington is a chore…but UK has made up ground in the last few weeks. I am told that he is seriously considering Kentucky and when he makes his announcement at 6:10 tomorrow, I think the Cats have a fighting shot. I still expect his decision to be Duke…those that have followed him longer than I believe that it is what he will do. However Calipari has made it a race, after zeroing in on him when it was clear the Cats weren’t getting Newman (which was clear a few weeks ago). If he can pull it off, it will be a great come from behind upset grab.


UK has been all over the board with Diallo. He was Slice’s recruit when he came to Kentucky and at times, UK has led thanks to his time here. But then Mullin gets the job at St Johns and makes that a more plausible landing spot, Cliff Alexander gets ruled ineligible at Kansas and leaves an opening for him and Slice heads back home to New York, taking away UK’s best connection. Diallo is still expected to make his decision this week and he asked for the UK staff to make another visit a week ago, a good sign no matter how you look at it. I am not sure what he will do, but the Cats do have a shot. It isn’t a position of need necessarily, but if he comes here, then the Cats will have a great front line.


UK hadn’t even begun to recruit Murray until three weeks ago…now he might be the biggest prize out there to grab. Murray blew up at the Nike Hoop Summit and the working plan (that he would go to prep school next year) may have quickly changed. He is looking more likely to reclassify to this year and the Cats are doing everything to make up for lost time. He was the best perimeter player in basketball this All Star season and the Canadian now has to decide whether he goes with the school that has been on him the longest (Oregon, which has invested of time in him) or the shiny new power program that has arrived on his doorstep. UK is trying to get him to visit next weekend (he chose not to come to Lexington for the tournament with his AAU team this weekend because he would not have been allowed to meet with coaches or have a tour of the campus with anyone from UK during the trip)…if they are successful (which we should know by Tuesday), I like UK’s chances. If not, Oregon is likely the favorite. He is a potential superstar.


The wildcard of all wildcards. Brown might be the most explosive talent in the class. I have seen him do things on the basketball floor that no one else in this class can do athletically. He will be a superstar. But no one has any idea what he is thinking. It is assumed that Adidas schools are in the lead, with thoughts varying from Kansas to UCLA to Michigan. But Calipari has been going with him a long time and Brown has said that there is no place like Kentucky. Last summer Brown told me (and others) that there were people around him who didn’t want him to go to UK. But Calipari has been to see him many times and the UK folks haven’t given up. Will he go against his family and Adidas and come to Lexington and be a star (and likely give Kentucky 2 of the top 3 picks in next year’s Draft)? Most all the experts seem to think that is unlikely…but they dont’ know any more than the rest of us. He is the rarity in modern recruiting…an elite talent whose destination is anybody’s guess.


Mulder is on his visit to UK right now and leaves tomorrow. If he doesn’t commit to Kentucky within 24-48 hours, I will be surprised. He is a great shooter who will be a good role player for the Cats no matter who else they get. I asked someone to compare his role at Kentucky and they told me “think Darnell Dodson without all the baggage.” UK could use such a player next season.

So that is where we are…Calipari needed one of a few things to happen for next year’s team to once again be elite. Either Booker returned, Newman came, Brown surprised everyone, Ingram spurned his hometown schools or Murray became a rabbit out of the hat. The first two options have passed. Now we wait for the last three. As of now the roster looks like this:

PG: Tyler Ulis
SG: Isaiah Briscoe
SF: ?
PF Alex Poythress
C Skal Labissiere

6th: Marcus Lee

Charles Matthews
Derek Willis
Dominique Hawkins
EJ Floreal

I put Poythress at the 4 because I am told that is where Calipari wants to use him most often next year, as that is his true college position. I expect the Cats to add Mulder and at least one other piece. Who that other piece is determines whether UK is just very good (which they still can be with the roster above) or elite. Cross your fingers.

Gators Top Cats 10-1 In Series Finale

Photo by Tim Casey, Florida

(Photo by Tim Casey, Florida)

Kentucky’s six game winning streak finally came to an end Sunday, as No. 5 Florida salvaged a 10-1 win to avoid the weekend sweep. After claiming the series on Saturday, UK was searching for its first three-game series sweep of the Gators since 1993. Unfortunately, the Wildcats just did not have enough left in the tank.

The Cats (25-17, 10-10) got out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning with Zach Arnold driving in Storm Wilson on an RBI single through the left side. That was the extent of the offensive excitement for the day, however, as the Gators scored 10 unanswered runs in the remaining seven innings of play. The Cats couldn’t capitalize at the plate, leaving eight base runners stranded on seven total hits.

UK starter Andrew Nelson, coming off a solid start last weekend against Tennessee, picked up his third loss of the season. In 3.2 innings of work, Nelson allowed five earned runs on eight hits, striking out two batters and walking one. Coach Henderson turned to relievers Zach Logue, Dylan Dwyer, Robert Zeigler, and Bo Wilson to stop the bleeding, but the Gators’ bats were too hot.


Weekend Takeaways:

1. Zack Brown and Dustin Beggs are blossoming into great SEC starting pitchers. In the series-opener on Friday, Brown threw 115 pitches in seven innings with six K’s and two walks. He also surrendered just five hits and zero runs in his fourth win of the season. Beggs tossed 8.1 strong innings of his own in the 7-6 win Saturday, giving up three earned runs on six hits, striking out six and walking two. Brown and Beggs are a combined 10-6 this season, but it’s how impressive they’ve been lately that stands out.

2. The Cats really need a reliable Sunday starter on the mound. It’s been documented how Kyle Cody entered the season as the 19th best MLB prospect but has struggled tremendously thus far. In fact, Cody has been so inconsistent that he was benched last weekend in the series win versus Tennessee. Instead, Coach Henderson has now turned to Andrew Nelson and a flurry of relievers in SEC series-finales. But that tactic was unsuccessful today. This means UK has placed a lot of pressure on the aforementioned Friday and Saturday starters, Brown and Beggs, to ensure victories. We’ll see how long this can last.

3. The bottom of UK’s batting order was sensational. While the top of the order was not its usual freakish self, with an underwhelming .184 average ( 7-for-38) at the plate, the Cats’ 7-8-9 hitters went 11-for-31 with a .355 combined batting average. To be fair, Evan White tallied four hits on the weekend in the number two spot. However, when sluggers Ka’ai Tom and Kyle Barrett failed to produce, guys like Thomas Bernal, Greg Fettes, Connor Heady, and Zach Arnold rose to the occasion. The 4-5-6 hitters held their own, batting .257, but the unlikely heroes were the story of the series.


Up next for the Cats is an in-state showdown with the No. 3 Louisville Cardinals on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. in Louisville, followed by a three-game series versus No. 13 Vanderbilt next weekend at Cliff Hagan Stadium.


“Basketball” is Kentuckians’ Favorite Dating Profile Word


How many of you have an online dating profile, raise your hand? Now include Tinder…now raise them again. Chances are if you are single and under 50, you either have had one or will have one at some point in your life, even if just for fun. And if you have, then the above map may be interesting to you. looked at a study of dating profiles and checked which word was used more often in a state than in the rest of the country…and the winning word in Kentucky was not surprisingly, “Basketball.” Kentuckians use the word basketball in their online dating profiles disproportionately more than any other state in the country…and I bet if we looked more into it, the phrases “#BBN”, “Calipari” and “Reload” probably would have been on the list as well.

At least we aren’t Mississippi…what kind of word is “lookin” anyway?

Wall, Wizards Eliminate Patterson, Raptors

USA Today | Tom Szczerbowski

USA Today | Tom Szczerbowski

In just a few minutes, the clock will reach zero and the Washington Wizards will have swept the Toronto Raptors.  Tonight’s game wasn’t even close, as John Wall’s Wizards have held a double digit lead throughout most of the game.  As I write, Washington has a 30+ point lead over Toronto with under 8 minutes remaining.  For one former Wildcat, he’ll advance one series closer to the NBA Finals.  For the others, the season will come to an end.

John Wall and the Wizards have played great in this opening series.  It’ll be a clean 4-0 sweep of the Toronto Raptors, which includes Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes.  For the night, John Wall earned another double-double, currently with 14 points and 10 assist.  I’m pretty sure he’s done for the night, as the reserves will finish out the game.

On the other side, Toronto’s Patrick Patterson will end his season with a not-so-great-performance.  It looks like he’ll finish with just 6 points and 4 rebounds.

Back to John Wall, he posted a very special Happy Birthday message to his late father on Instagram today. Such a great role model!

Five Whiskeys for Your Derby Party this Saturday

Image via Bourbon Blog

The crime of the century has been solved, although the victim sits on death row.

As you’ve undoubtedly read, heard or swallowed (even if your only source of news is KSR), the mystery of the infamous $100,000 Frankfort bourbon heist has been solved: Nine members of a criminal syndicate/softball team were arrested this month for stealing more than 200 bottles and 18 barrels of prized Kentucky whiskey over a seven year period.  Worse yet, authorities plan to destroy much of the seized bourbon, prompting calls for a gubernatorial pardon from Carla Carlton, the self-proclaimed “Bourbon Babe.” Shamefully, my old boss, Governor Steve Beshear, has not immediately spared the whiskey’s 15-, 20- and 23- year old lives.

Still, executives at Sazerac’s Buffalo Trace Distillery must be clinking their bourbon glasses in celebration of the extraordinary publicity they’ve garnered for their signature product at the heist’s center: Pappy Van Winkle.  One of the rarest liquors on the market — due to long aging, minuscule production and colossal demand — it’s developed a cult following, name-dropped continuously on Justified and in movies such as Crazy, Stupid, Love and The Internship.  Purchasing a 1 and 1/2 ounce drink at a restaurant will generally cost you more than the price of your meal, and premium bottles — which for the average consumer are nearly impossible to find — can fetch up to $25,000.

But while sampling Pappy is a must for any bourbon-lover’s bucket list, unless you are planning to stock up your private jet in the coming weeks, it’s not worth the expense.  Instead, if you are planning a Derby party this coming weekend, or are just in the mood for expanding your taste-bud horizons beyond the typical Jack, Jim or Makers, I suggest sampling these five of my favorite moderately-priced whiskeys:

(WARNING: If you are making mint juleps, or prefer to dilute your whiskey with a cola product, stick to the cheap stuff.  If you are spending the extra bucks on fine bourbon, please drink responsibly — and serve it neat (straight), or maybe with an ice or two or a splash of water. And don’t you dare drink and drive.)

1.  Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($50-$70 for a 750 ml bottle)

For years, I felt incredible guilt over the contrast between the Brown family’s incredible support of my political career and my personal failure to identify a Brown and Forman bourbon that I could stomach.  Then I became a has-been, and Woodford Reserve introduced what has become my go-to drink — its Double Oaked product.  The liquor can best be described as a unique dessert bourbon, that smells like chocolate and caramel, and tastes fruity, like baked apples.  Its smooth and sweet character makes it the perfect starter bourbon for someone who’s new to the drink, but it will continue to satisfy snobs like myself in many multiple tastings.

2. Booker’s True Barrel Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey ($50-$70)

Back in college — after I turned 21, of course — my vice of choice was Jim Beam.  Today, due to the inappropriate volumes I ingested in my late adolescence, even a slight whiff of Jim sends sympathetic pangs of nausea and Sunday morning hangovers through my body.  However, Mr. Beam’s grandson, Booker Noe, now annually produces a small batch of a distinctly tastier and more satisfying product.  Booker’s is sweet, with strong cinnamon and cedar sensations.  But watch out — it packs a punch: Depending on the batch, the proof ranges from 120 to 130 (meaning it is 60-65% alcohol content).  Not for beginners.

3. Pearse Lyons Reserve Whiskey Single Malt ($30-$40)

When I first learned that a Nicholasville company named Alltech had agreed to serve as lead sponsor of the 2010 World Equestrian Games, like many Kentuckians I wondered what a phone company had to do with horses.  As most of us soon learned, however, Alltech actually was an animal nutrition conglomerate that is now serving humans a wide variety of adult drinks.  Its CEO, Pearse Lyons, is a charismatic, peripatetic force of nature, an Irishman who has emerged in less than a decade as one of Kentucky’s greatest corporate citizens.  And with a previous career as a biochemist in the Irish whiskey industry, he is now mixing his two worlds by aging his eponymous single malt in old bourbon barrels.  The end product is sweet like molasses — smooth going down, with a woody bite at the end.  Pearse recommends adding a splash of water; I prefer mine straight with a slice of lime.

4. Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon ($35-55)

If your mood favors crisp over sweet, head over to the drink named after the late legendary Master Distiller.  I know this sounds like heresy, but I prefer this Buffalo Trace bourbon to its cousin Pappy.  And it is certainly much, much more affordable.  It smells like an old leather baseball glove dipped in vanilla, and its light and spicy taste has hints of honey. Pretty much every bartender in Lexington has heard me ask for it, because since Lee’s death in 2013, it’s been very difficult to buy retail.  So if you find any Elmer T. at your favorite bar or neighborhood liquor store, please tweet at me, and I will be right over.

5. WhistlePig 10 Year Straight Rye Whiskey ($70-$90)

No, this is neither a Kentucky product, nor is it bourbon, but it has close connections to both.  And it is an extraordinary whiskey.  Made in Vermont under the supervision of former Maker’s Mark Master Distiller Dave Pickerell, and finished in bourbon barrels, the rye with the funny name is the epitome of smooth.  The aromas resemble ginger and nutmeg, while the flavors are reminiscent of mint and butterscotch.  It’s the only product on the market that’s both 100% rye and 100 proof, and it is so crisp and creamy that at times you don’t feel like you are drinking alcohol.  If all you want to do is sip straight whiskey on your front porch swing, this is your perfect drink.  Just be prepared to share it with your neighbors.


So KSR Nation — what am I missing?  Share you favorite whiskeys in the comments below.

Bud Dupree will workout with Washington Redskins


It was reported on Friday, via the Baltimore Sun, that Kentucky edge-rusher Bud Dupree will workout for the Washington Redskins. The Redskins will head down to Macon, Ga., just 30 miles from Dupree’s home, to get a closer look at the potential top-10 pick on Monday. Washington currently owns the right to the 5th pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Most draft analysts have Dupree being selected between the 4th and 13th picks. The Raiders are 4th on the clock, and the Saints hold the 13th pick. Dupree is listed as the 3rd best edge-rusher in the draft, but multiple factors are still to be determined. With trade-talks taking place within the top-10, the only sure pick will be Jameis Winston at #1.  Some teams could trade up or down, depending on their needs and who’s still on the board.

Will Bud be selected 5th overall by the Redskins?  We’ll have to wait until Thursday night to find out. While we wait, check out Bud’s cool “First Draft” segment on

Anthony Davis to Receive Max Contract from Pelicans


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:



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.


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.




The CATSPYs will take place on Monday


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



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

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




Nerlens Noel served as a guest coach at the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Philippines 2015 National Training Camp in Manila. 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



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




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


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.