Over the past few weeks, the Cats going to the pros have been circling the →
By Drew Franklin on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 2:00pm
Just a reminder, folks…
We’re an hour and a half away from Mychal Mulder’s big announcement, expected to be his commitment to the University of Kentucky. The four-star JUCO shooting guard plans to announce his decision and sign his paperwork at 3:30 pm this afternoon in the Vincennes gym.
We will have a live stream of the ceremony here on KSR, via Team 1 Sports, assuming the technology holds up. So check back soon as Kentucky hopes to add its shooter to next season’s roster.
By wpengine on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 1:00pm
One of my favorite sayings of Big Blue Nation is, “They hate us cuz they ain’t us” because it’s mostly true.
As a Buckeyes fan, I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a fan base that’s witnessed a lot of accomplishment (especially) on the football field and (to a lesser extent) the basketball court. Two National Championships and a pair of Final Four Appearances in the past 15 years is pretty good.
But it’s not Kentucky good.
I neither hate BBN nor do I want to be a part of it—I have to stay true to my Buckeye roots—but there’s no question that people envy not only what the University of Kentucky basketball team has accomplished but also its fan base.
Churchill Downs is similar in this way. In what many call “a dying industry,” “The World’s Most Legendary Racetrack” has built the most successful racetrack operation in the country thanks mostly to playing host to the world’s most prestigious race, and with all that has come the burden of shouldering an entire industry.
Just as the University of Kentucky is often the focus of what is wrong with college basketball and tired commentaries on the “one-and-done” culture, Churchill Downs faces criticism of running itself as a business rather than a horse racing charity.
But unlike college basketball writers who use the NCAA’s biggest stage to pillory one of its most storied programs, Kentucky Derby week offers a sort of cease fire—a time to appreciate the horse and the Blue Grass.
Baffert’s barn, The #horseracing version of hanging banners from the rafters
photo posted by TwinSpires.com (@twinspireshorsebetting) on
Even as a Buckeyes fan, it’s impossible not to get swept up in the atmosphere at Rupp Arena, and even if you’re not a degenerate like me, the same can be said for Churchill Downs this week, and thanks to Kentucky Sports Radio and TwinSpires.com, Gene Todaro and Rick Berry will get to experience the Derby and Oaks, respectively.
Even if you didn’t win the tickets, KSR and TwinSpires.com want you to experience the Derby through the joys of legal wagering. Not fantasy but real honest to goodness gambling.
Winning a Kentucky Derby bet is as “easy” as picking the winner. No spreads, no gimmick scoring like other “fantasy” sports sites, just good’ol fashioned gambling, and I’ll be back later this week with some tips for wagering on the Oaks and Derby day cards at Churchill Downs.
In the mean time, enjoy Derby week.
– Ed DeRosa, TwinSpires.com
By Drew Franklin on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
Shortly after word spread that Shaun Kirk has an offer from Kentucky this morning, Kyle Tucker dialed up Jerry Singleton, Kirk’s high school coach, to gauge the three-star forward’s interest in the Cats.
Singleton told Tucker, “I think he’s very interested in what Kentucky has going on out there. He’s just overwhelmed a little bit, because when you talk to a person like Calipari on the phone, he was like, ‘Wow, Coach, I didn’t know this could happen.’ I love N.C. State, but when you go home and – from a business aspect – Kentucky calls you, I know what I would do.”
Kirk committed to N.C. State while on a visit to Raleigh yesterday, a decision he would’ve held off on, had he known the phone would soon ring with John Calipari on the other end.
Now it sounds like he’s torn between sticking to his word and accepting an offer from one of the top programs in college basketball.
Like his coach said, “I know what I would do.”
By Drew Franklin on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 11:30am
With all due respect to this Baltimore councilman, we’re going to have to disagree on this one.
Last night he compared the scene in Baltimore to the scene in Lexington after Kentucky “lost that basketball game.” Maybe I missed it, but I don’t remember 15 injured police officers or burning buildings and squad cars in Lexington.
Funny, I don't seem to recall any UK fans burning down an apartment complex for the elderly, which happened tonight. pic.twitter.com/Wtnk2xyix6
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) April 28, 2015
By Drew Franklin on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 11:01am
Let’s call it like it is, Kentucky fans…
John Calipari is getting desperate.
The news of a new scholarship offer to a three-star forward, this late in the process, signals desperation for UK on the recruiting front. This new offer likely means there’s not a lot of confidence in landing Jaylen Brown and Cheick Diallo this week. Could those guys still commit to UK? Yeah, it’s possible. But leading off a huge recruiting day with this new offer isn’t a glowing sign of hope for the fan base.
Then again, maybe Cal saw Shaun Kirk’s athleticism over the weekend and likes the potential to mold him into a player. I don’t know. I’m not in John Calipari’s head. Maybe he extended the scholarship offer just in case he misses on the other two. Again, I don’t know.
But offering the No. 192 player in the 247Sports Composite Rankings on April 27 isn’t the Kentucky basketball recruiting we’re used to seeing under Cal.
I will say, however, Kirk is VERY athletic. I’m in no way spinning this into THIS GUY IS A STEAL!, but we will be the biggest fans of Shaun Kirk if he does indeed end up at Kentucky after this new offer.
Still hoping for Diallo and/or Brown, though.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 10:30am
There is a new name in the mix for Kentucky’s 2015 recruiting class after John Calipari extended a scholarship offer to Shaun Kirk, a three-star forward, last night.
Kirk committed to N.C. State on Monday before hearing from Calipari by Monday evening. According to Evan Daniels at Scout.com, “He intends to explore that option.”
A 6-foot-7 athletic forward, Kirk had offers from Auburn, East Carolina, VCU and Wake Forest. He did not sign any paperwork after committing to N.C. State.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 9:55am
At least one of Kentucky’s remaining targets will announce his college decision today. Mychal Mulder is set to announce at 3:30 pm this afternoon in a ceremony from his college, while rumor has it Cheick Diallo may end his recruitment today as well.
On today’s KSR, Matt and Ryan will preview their decisions and talk Jaylen Brown, too.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
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By Drew Franklin on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 9:30am
If you have any interest in attending the fourth annual John Calipari Basketball Fantasy Experience, you need to sign up soon because the roster is almost full. I’d hate for you to miss out on all of the camp’s awesomeness by waiting too late to get on board.
Details and contact information for the camp can be found in the flyer below.
(Note: The camp was pushed back one day from September 11 to September 12 so Calipari can attend his Hall of Fame induction in Massachusetts.)
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 9:00am
Last night, Kentucky held the CATSPYs, and down at Auburn, the Tigers held their version, the AUSPYs. Because Bruce Pearl gonna Bruce Pearl, he dressed up as Taylor Swift and lip synced “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Oh what, you think I’m joking?
Please never change, Bruce.
By Courtney Sealey on ©April 28th, 2015 @ 8:30am
We’re kicking up the heat with 5 layers of spice on our new Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken sandwich. It’s our classic spicy chicken breast topped with fresh, diced jalapeños, ghost pepper sauce, Colby pepper jack cheese all on a red jalapeno bun. It’s too hot to last, so try one today! ___________________________________________________________________ You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top Ten Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtopten. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:
#10 District 5
— District 5 (@xKenJ) April 27, 2015
He’ll find it next season.
#9 Nick Carroll
— Nick Carroll (@NICK07WKU) April 27, 2015
#8 Bryce Bailey
Men's basketball is likely heading toward reducing its shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds, chair of NCAA rules committee tells @ESPNAndyKatz.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 27, 2015
— Bryce Bailey (@BaileyDontTweet) April 27, 2015
#7 aaron kizer
— aaron kizer (@kizerarts) April 28, 2015
I wish I had a tenth of this talent.
#6 Mark Winslow
I guess Pat Forde didn't get a vote on CATSPY coach of the year. #ksrtop10
— Mark Winslow (@WinstonUK) April 28, 2015
I wonder why.
— abby (@a_yates15) April 28, 2015
This sums up the end of the season so well.
#4 Michael Mingus
— Michael Mingus (@mingus7892005) April 27, 2015
I actually would be all in for this.
#3 Leslie Green
— Leslie Green (@pandlgreen) April 27, 2015
I guess as long as you kepp febrezing it…
#2 chris ireland
— chris ireland (@irish1_73) April 28, 2015
One hair at a time.
#1 Whitney Hays
— Whitney Hays (@SunshineWhitney) April 27, 2015
If Kentucky Sports Radio can’t bring you together, I don’t know what will.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 27th, 2015 @ 11:00pm
The 13th annual CATSPY Awards, UK’s version of the ESPYs, was held tonight in Memorial Coliseum, saluting another academic year with tons of success in sports and in the classroom. A total of 36 honors were presented to six teams and 26 individuals.
The big winner of the night was men’s basketball (shocker) with Male Rookie of the Year (Karl Towns), the Blue Heart Award (Willie Cauley-Stein), Male Performance of the Year (Karl Towns vs. Notre Dame), Co-Coach of the Year (John Calipari) and Male Team of the Year honors. Male Athlete of the Year went to baseball’s A.J. Reed, understandably.
A complete list of the awards can be found here.
We hope to see plenty of videos from the awards show tomorrow, but for now, stop what you’re doing and watch the event’s intro video. Karl Towns’ appearance at the end is fantastic:
And now for the news…
Mychal Mulder will announce his decision tomorrow.
Four-star JUCO shooting guard Mychal Mulder will announce his decision tomorrow at 3:30 in a ceremony at Vincennes University. I’m told there will be no hats or suspense, just an official announcement followed by the signing of the paperwork.
The safe money is on Kentucky, considering Mulder spent the last three days in Lexington with the team and enjoyed his stay. Something called a Hoops Hype Canada reports the Ontario native will indeed pick the Cats.
Too many people are afraid to dream big 🙇🏽
— Mychal Mulder (@MychalMulder) April 28, 2015
If it is Kentucky for Mulder, he will most likely be next year’s go-to shooter. Vincennes head coach Todd Franklin — whose team policy prevented Mulder from signing with Wichita State in the fall — believes Mulder is more than capable of playing the Devin Booker role for John Calipari.
Don’t let the JUCO route fool you. This will be a good get for Kentucky.
Cheick Diallo to announce very soon, maybe tomorrow.
Diallo is expected to announce by Wednesday at the latest and Kentucky has as good of a shot as anyone for the best available power forward in the 2015 class. Jerry Meyer of 247Sports hears it’s a toss-up between Kansas and Kentucky, while Evan Daniels agrees those two are the co-favorites, along with St. John’s.
Jaylen Brown trimmed his list to five.
He is down to California, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina and Kansas, eliminating UCLA, surprisingly. UCLA was believed to be a serious contender so it was good news for Kentucky to see him drop the Bruins. Cutting UCLA also suggests the Adidas ties may not have the impact everyone, including Brown, once believed. He said last summer we would only play for an Adidas school, but three of his remaining five are Nike or Jordan Brand schools.
Brandon Ingram picked Duke.
Therefore we no longer like Brandon Ingram.
Mark Stoops extended a new in-state scholarship offer.
Kash Daniel from Paintsville received an offer from UK football on Monday, he announced on Twitter earlier tonight. Daniel, an unranked inside linebacker in the 2016 class, has other offers from Ohio, Marshall, Ball State, Charlotte and Eastern Kentucky.
He grew up loving the Cats and visited campus earlier this month.
College basketball will likely go to a 30-second shot clock next season.
“Now there’s a real decent chance,” NCAA rules committee chairman Rick Byrd told ESPN.com on Monday. “It’s pretty evident a lot more coaches are leaning that way. The opinion of coaches on the shot clock has moved significantly to reducing it from 35 to 30. And all indicators are pointing toward that.”
I’m all for the move to 30. That’s much better than the 36-second shot clock Wisconsin had in the Final Four.
John Wall and his Wizards teammates sat front row at the Caps game.
The Wizards have plenty of free time before their next series after sweeping the Raptors, so they took in a hockey game tonight. Wall’s team awaits the winner of the Atlanta-Brooklyn series and it’s now tied up at 2-2 with a Brooklyn overtime win tonight.
That’ll do it for now. I’ll leave you with a picture of Rick Pitino having a good time in Vegas over the weekend…
By Trey Huntsman on ©April 27th, 2015 @ 10:17pm
With May quickly approaching, the postseason is drawing nearer and nearer for the BatCats. Kentucky has a big stretch ahead with five games against top ten opponents in the next eight days. The Cats are coming off a huge series win over Florida in Gainesville and have seen their RPI rise because of the two wins. There has been plenty of news steaming from the UK Baseball program as of late, so here is a rundown of everything going on.
Kentucky is now 30th in RPI- By upsetting Florida in Gainesville, Kentucky’s RPI raised seven spots up to #30 this week. Quality wins over LSU and Florida have helped to balance out bad losses against Western Kentucky (twice), Indiana, and Ohio. The #30 RPI is a huge help on Kentucky’s tournament profile.
D1 Baseball believes Kentucky would be in the NCAA Tournament Field- “So, diving deeper into the Wildcats’ resume, they entered the day with an RPI of 37, and that will improve in Sunday morning’s update. Meanwhile, they are now 10-9 in the SEC with those two road series wins over LSU and UF. UK would definitely be in the field if the season ended today. What a weekend it has been for the big blue,” said Kendall Rogers.
Zack Brown was named SEC Pitcher of the Week- Following his seven shutout innings against Florida on Friday, Zack Brown was given the honor of Pitcher of the Week. Brown struck out six and allowed five hits in Kentucky’s 3-0 win to open the series. The sophomore now has a scoreless innings streak of 15.1.
JaVon Shelby is heating up- The second baseman for the Cats has seen his average rise to .346 and his on-base percentage to a team-high .482. Shelby also leads the team with five home runs and a slugging percentage of .529. In conference play alone, Shelby has led the team in average against SEC teams and is second in RBIs.
Gary Henderson was right about Evan White- Henderson said that White was very skilled at the first base position before the season. The freshman has proved his coach right. White has not committed an error this year and is batting .329 as a true freshman.
Looking Ahead- Following their series win over #5 Florida, Kentucky faces one of the most difficult weeks of their season. Beginning Tuesday, the Cats will play five games in eight days against top ten opponents. Kentucky plays #3 Louisville Tuesday night, #10 Vanderbilt this weekend, and Louisville again next Wednesday. For a team on the bubble, these games could propel Kentucky into the Field of 64.
Kentucky vs #3 Louisville- 6 p.m, Tuesday, April 27, 6:30 Wednesday, May 6- After a rain out, Kentucky will travel to Louisville for the first game of the season series. The second game will be the following Wednesday at Cliff Hagan Stadium. The biggest rivalry on the hardwood is beginning to develop on the diamond as well. Last year’s regional championship between the two teams saw tempers flare late in the game. This is the first matchup between Louisville and Kentucky since the Cardinals won the regional in 2014. Kentucky swept the regular season series against Louisville last year, outscoring the Cardinals 12-4 in two games. Logan Salow will pitch the first game on Tuesday night. As a freshman, Salow stepped up and threw six one-run innings in the regional championship against Louisville.
Louisville has climbed to #3 in the D1 Baseball Top 25 with a record of 34-10. It is doubtful that Kentucky will see top pitching prospects Kyle Funkhouser or Brendan McKay for the Cards, but Louisville’s offense will still be a tough test. Beating the number three team in the nation in a pair of midweek games would make up for several bad losses Kentucky has had throughout the season.
#10 Vanderbilt vs Kentucky- 6:30 p.m Friday, 6:30 p.m Saturday, 1 p.m Sunday- Kentucky hosts the defending National Champions this weekend at Cliff Hagan Stadium. Guess what? They are still really, really good. Vanderbilt brings back College World Series MVP shortstop Dansby Swanson, pitcher Carson Fulmer, and pitcher Walker Buehler. Luckily for Kentucky, the Commodores have been inconsistent as of late. Vanderbilt swept Missouri last weekend, but were beat by South Carolina and Ole Miss the two previous weekends. One constant for Vanderbilt has been Fulmer. Perhaps the most dominant player in college baseball, Fulmer will take the mound this Friday against Kentucky. Beating Fulmer and Vanderbilt would be a HUGE series victory for Kentucky. The Cats already have series wins over #1 LSU and #5 Florida, a win over the defending champs would be icing on the cake.
By Andrew Cassady on ©April 27th, 2015 @ 10:00pm
While Kentucky basketball has become a pipeline to the first round of the NBA things on the turf have been just the opposite . In the past 30 years of Kentucky Football only 3 players have gone on to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft. That’s George Adams, running back, selected with the 18th pick in 1985. Tim Couch in 1999, drafted first to the Cleveland Browns. And in 2003 Dewayne Robertson was drafted 4th overall to the Jets. This Thursday night Bud Dupree looks to become the fourth player to be drafted in the first round and it could end up bringing his talent full circle.
That kid above is a young Alvin “Bud” Dupree who attended high school at one Wilkinson County, GA which is just two hours south of Atlanta. The Atlanta Falcons hold the 8th pick in this Thursday’s draft and they are in desperate need of someone who can pass rush. Seems like a match made in heaven.
A career back home is exactly where Charley Casserly of NFL.com has Bud Starting out this summer. Two other pundits have him 6th to the jets and one has him 13th to the Saints. Regardless of where he ends up this Thursday, seeing a Cat go in the top 32 has been a rare occurrence in Lexington and is something deserving of special recognition. Way to go Bud! Keep making the Big Blue Nation proud!
By Drew Franklin on ©April 27th, 2015 @ 9:30pm
By Drew Franklin on ©April 27th, 2015 @ 8:45pm
Tai Wynyard will need some company in Kentucky’s 2016 recruiting class and there are several options out there for John Calipari and his staff to bring on board. Many of UK’s top targets were in Lexington over the weekend for the Nike EYBL event, while others were only a short trip away for Cal to get a quick look outside of Kentucky. Needless to say, it was a busy weekend for the coaches as they scout the LOADED crop high school juniors.
Of course, there is still some work to be done with the current recruiting class, but here are some names to remember as the summer AAU circuit and 2016 recruiting picks up…
6’10”, 280 lbs.
Jacksonville, Fla. (Potter’s House Christian)
247Sports Composite: No. 14 overall, No. 1 C
247Sports: No. 12 overall, No. 2 C
Rivals: No. 13 overall, No. 1 C
ESPN: No. 10 overall, No. 1 C
Scout: No. 24 overall, No. 6 C
Notable offers: Duke, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland and Texas
Udoka Azubuike (no relation to Kelenna) picked up his offer from Kentucky last summer during the AAU circuit and the Cats are high on his list, although it’s still very early in his recruiting process. He has yet to take any visits, but he was in Lexington over the weekend at the EYBL event at the Kentucky Basketball Academy, where the UK coaching staff and some of the returning players were among the many people in attendance to watch him play.
The native of Nigeria has drawn comparisons to a young Shaquille O’Neal. Watch him dunk and you’ll see why.
6’10”, 230 lbs.
Winston-Salem, N.C. (Wesleyan Christian Academy)
247Sports Composite: No. 2 overall, No. 1 PF
247Sports: No. 3 overall, No. 1 PF
Rivals: No. 2 overall, No. 1 PF
ESPN: No. 2 overall, No. 1 PF
Scout: No. 1 overall, No. 1 PF
Considering: Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio State, Syracuse, UNLV and Wake Forest
It won’t be easy to lure Harry Giles out of his home state of North Carolina, but Kentucky is making an effort for the one-time No. 1 player in the class. Like Azubuike and others, he played in front of Calipari in Lexington over the weekend. In fact, Cal did not miss any of Giles’ games.
The second member of the 2016 class to receive a scholarship offer from UK, Giles was also one of the first to receive an in-home visit with Cal during the April recruiting period.
Shooting Guard/Small Forward
6’6″, 184 lbs.
Napa, Ca. (Prolific Prep)
247Sports Composite: No. 1 overall, No. 1 SG
247Sports: No. 1 overall, No. 1 SG
Rivals: No. 1 overall, No. 1 SG
ESPN: No. 3 overall, No. 2 SF
Scout: No. 2 overall, No. 1 SF
Considering: Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, North Carolina State and UCLA
There is no reported offer for Jackson from Kentucky, but he’s No. 1 in three of the five major player rankings, so he’s certainly one to keep an eye on. The coaching staff watched him play a mediocre game yesterday at the Under Armour Association, one day after he scored 41 points with seven rebounds and six assists.
6’7″, 179 lbs.
Fairfax, Va. (Paul VI High School)
247Sports Composite: No. 15 overall, No. 2 SF
247Sports: No. 23 overall, No. 4 SF
Rivals: No. 11 overall, No. 2 SF
ESPN: No. 18 overall, No. 4 SF
Scout: No. 12 overall, No. 5 SF
Notable offers: Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Kansas, Connecticut, Georgetown, Michigan State and Syracuse, among others
Keep an eye on V.J. King but don’t fall too in love because he has a very close relationship with Louisville, via assistant coach Kenny Johnson, formerly of the staff at King’s Paul VI High School in Virginia. King recently set up an official visit to Louisville for May 19 and he speaks very highly of the UofL program. That trip to see the Cards will be King’s first official visit and it is the only trip he has scheduled as of now.
Kentucky is still fighting, however. King said he hears from the Cats once or twice a week.
6’3″, 170 lbs.
Bentonville, Ark. (Bentonville High School)
247Sports Composite: No. 6 overall, No. 3 SG
247Sports: No. 13 overall, No. 5 SG
Rivals: No. 7 overall, No. 3 SG
ESPN: No. 14 overall, No. 4 SG
Scout: No. 4 overall, No. 1 SG
Considering: Arkansas, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina
Kentucky’s toughest competition for Malik Monk is Arkansas, Monk’s home state school. Calipari was in Arkansas last week to talk to Monk during an in-home visit, before watching him drop 39 points in a game over the weekend at KBA.
It wasn’t the first time Monk went off in front of Cal, either. He had a similar performance last summer in the Nike Peach Jam, shortly after receiving his offer from UK.
6’5″, 177 lbs.
Alpharetta, Ga. (Saint Francis High School)
247Sports Composite: No. 9 overall, No. 1 CG
247Sports: No. 16 overall, No. 3 CG
Rivals: No. 12 overall, No. 4 PG
ESPN: No. 5 overall, No. 2 PG
Scout: No. 7 overall, No. 2 PG
With Derryck Thornton reclassifying to 2015 to play for Duke next season, Kobi Simmons is the new priority for Kentucky at point guard and the interest is mutual between both parties. Simmons received his offered from UK two weeks ago and he was so excited he had to call Calipari back to make sure it was real.
Though he was ecstatic to receive the offer and UK is believed to be the leader, Simmons still plans to wait until the end of the summer to make a decision.
6’8″, 190 lbs.
St. Louis, Mo. (Chaminade College Prep)
247Sports Composite: No. 3 overall, No. 1 SF
247Sports: No. 4 overall, No. 1 SF
Rivals: No. 3 overall, No. 1 SF
ESPN: No. 1 overall, No. 1 SF
Scout: No. 3 overall, No. 2 SF
Final list: Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Saint Louis
Kentucky’s track record with sending players to the NBA has the school in Jayson Tatum’s final four, a list he announced earlier this month. Calipari was in St. Louis to meet with Tatum last Tuesday and the NBA was a major topic in their conversation.
Tatum was in Lexington over the weekend and he threw down a nasty dunk on a defender with Calipari sitting courtside, looking on.
He was the first member of the 2016 class to receive the coveted scholarship offer from UK, so his relationship with Cal goes way back.