Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
February 11th, 2016

Hornets announce Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a torn labrum

Some players just can’t catch a break. Seven games after returning from a torn labrum in his right shoulder, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injured the same shoulder in last night’s game vs. the Pacers. Sadly, the Hornets just announced that an MRI revealed that MKG tore his labrum yet again. 

It’s the second time in five months MKG has suffered that particular injury, the first coming in October during a preseason exhibition. Last night, Pacers center Ian Mahinmi fell on top of MKG under the basket, pinning his arm to the court:

There’s no timetable for his return, but it’s doubtful he’ll be back this season. The news is especially cruel when you consider that MKG was playing really well over the last seven games, scoring a season-high 20 points off 7-14 shooting against the Bulls on Monday. Since his return, the Hornets are 5-2 and flirting with playoff contention.

The Charlotte-Observer’s Rick Bonnell says MKG could either opt for season-ending surgery or rehabbing the labrum, the latter of which would make him more prone to future injury. The Hornets will re-evaluate him after the All-Star break.

Get well soon, MKG.

[The Charlotte-Observer]


Complex Magazine did an oral history of Drake’s airball at Big Blue Madness

Drake’s airball at the 2014 Big Blue Madness may have been a lowlight for him, but it was definitely the highlight of night. The airball was such a viral moment that Complex Magazine’s Eric Koreen did an entire oral history of it, talking to a panel made up of former UK players Patrick Patterson, Willie Cauley-Stein, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker, Tod Lanter, and Sam Malone; media, including our own Matt Jones; and for some reason, comedian Kevin Hart.

Cauley-Stein: I started laughing a little bit but then after he airballed, I was like, “Get this guy off the court. Give him the mic. Give him the mic.”

Kevin Hart, comedian: Drake SUCKS! Shot an airball in front of a thousand people.

Lyles: It was pretty funny. I was laughing.

Our pal Bomani Jones also chimed in:

Bomani Jones: I’m fascinated by the idea that this guy is No. 1 in the rap game. There have always been rules for a guy like Drake. It’s just odd that he is the guy. It’s very interesting that the No. 1 rapper isn’t really that cool. That was the least cool thing he possibly could have done—go out there and shoot an airball…It is another part of the tapestry that is Drake.

Entertaining stuff over at Complex, so check it out.

[The Oral History of Drake’s Airball]


If the NCAA Tournament Started Today…

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Hello, friends. Here we are, in February, with the ultimate wrap-up of the 2015-16 basketball season upon us. As we all know, next month begins the true trek to our next hopeful National Championship, it’s time to start keeping our eyes on the prize. But what would the situation be if the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament started today? We boiled down some hard facts to find out what we could look forward to.

Villanova, Iowa, UNC and Oklahoma would likely pull the one seeds.
There’s been a lot of parity in this year’s field, but these four teams have maintained the solid records to prove A team like Kansas or, to a lesser extent Xavier, might pull off one of these top seeds but should the tournament start today, these four would be most likely.

Kentucky would probably be a four or five seed in the Southern Region.
This would send them to either Oklahoma City, Denver or St. Louis, the latter being the easiest drive for Kentucky fans.

UK would likely not have many fans attending the games.
If the game were to be held in St. Louis today, we would have no prior notice to arrange travel, which means only fans within driving distance from St. Louis could make it to the games and, even at that, the fact that the NCAA Tournament was suddenly announced today would make it hard to find tickets. Oklahoma City or Denver, for in-state Kentucky fans, would depend upon flight times this morning to those cities, and buying a ticket at the last second is always very pricey.

Alex Poythress would miss the first two weeks of the NCAA Tournament.
Per Cal’s announcement this week, two weeks out for Poythress would make him again ineligible for the first two weeks of the NCAA Tournament, only rejoining the team should the Wildcats make it to a Final Four in Houston.

Many people would miss important events.
A sudden shift in time to March 17 would cause people to miss important dates in their lives. People who were to be married in late February were not able to get married as the date did not technically exist in this version of our universe. People who purchased tickets to Blake Shelton’s YUM Center concert next Friday would not be compensated for the money they lost when the event never occurred. If you had a dentist appointment in early March, you’d have to reschedule because your appointment never happened.

Our economic infrastructure would reach a state of panic.
The unpredicted removal a full thirty-five days of the financial quarter would toss the business world into total chaos, not to mention what the event would do to the NASDAQ. Also, every single person in the world will miss payment on anything due during the time between February 11 and March 17, creating a need for the government to step in as a mediator between individuals, corporations and credit companies.

Bears would wake up from hibernation too late.
Bears have adapted their internal rhythms to coincide with the cold months, where food shortages often occur. Harsh winters often kill off a percentage of animals like deer and elk, leading the bears to feast on their carcasses when they wake in late February. Shortening the winter by a month would allow more animals to remain alive, shorting the bears this food when they waken – which, given that they are asleep during the time change, will probably now be early April.

Bears, suffering from a lack of food, would turn their sites on other prey.
While our human brains would undoubtedly find it confusing to wake up today and have it suddenly be March 17, for a bear to wake up at arguably the end of spring would be difficult for the bear to comprehend. Add to this the fact that food will be more scarce and bears will naturally turn to other sources for food, possibly humans, creating a dangerous environment.

Children would be going to school until July and the government would have to add a month to the calendar.
With snow days, many Kentucky children are already looking at an early June dismissal. With the complete disappearance of an entire month of the school calendar, classes will extend into the summer. The government, in addition to rescheduling debates creating a committee for bear control, will have to add a “thirteenth month” to the calendar, which means that New Year’s Eve would not be on December 31 but instead on the last day of this new invented month, which doesn’t have a name or a number of days yet.

You wouldn’t have to spend any money on Valentine’s Day.
Hey, at least there’s a silver lining to February 14 never having occurred in 2016. Unfortunately, the Vermont Teddy Bear company has gone out of business anyway as nearly all of its corporate board members were eaten by confused bears at an off-site ropes course training event. All previously-placed orders will be refunded.


Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray make Naismith Trophy Midseason List

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Congratulations to Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray, who were named to the midseason watch list for the Naismith Trophy, given annually to the best player in college basketball.

Ulis is currently averaging 16.2 points and 6.4 assists per game and has scored 20 or more points in nine of his last 13 games. Murray is currently averaging 18.5 points per game, good enough for fourth in the SEC and fifth nationally among freshmen. Here’s an interesting tidbit from UK: if the season ended today, Murray would finish with the highest scoring average in the John Calipari era at Kentucky. Brandon Knight, in 2010-11, ended the season at 17.3 points per game.

Here’s the entire watch list from @NaismithTrophy:

The winner will be announced on Monday, April 4.


What Valentine’s Day gift do Kentuckians google more than any other state?

Valentine’s Day is Sunday, which means if you don’t have a dinner reservation yet, stop what you’re doing and make one right now. If you don’t have a present for your special someone yet, the folks at Estately are here to help with this interesting graphic of which Valentine’s Day presents each state googles more than any other state. What was Kentucky’s? Couples tattoos. Interesting.

That’s slightly more classy than Tennessee’s most searched for item, cheap sex toys, but nowhere near as classy as Washington’s bearskin rug. Also, of course South Carolinians google matching outfits for Valentine’s Day. With palmettos on them, I’m sure.


Jamal Murray now the top Kentucky prospect in latest Draft Express mock draft

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Skal Labissiere’s draft stock has been a hot topic this season, and in the latest Draft Express mock draft, Skal is no longer the top Kentucky prospect. That spot now belongs to Jamal Murray, who comes in at #8 in Draft Express’ 2016 mock draft; however, Skal is still in the top ten, which is further proof that despite low numbers, he could still be drafted high based on potential.

Isaiah Briscoe and Tyler Ulis also made the mock draft, projected to go in the second round:

#8: Jamal Murray
#10: Skal Labissiere
#32: Isaiah Briscoe
#51: Tyler Ulis

Meanwhile, if you really want to peer in the crystal ball, three of UK’s 2016 signees made Draft Express’ latest 2017 mock draft:

#4: De’Aaron Fox
#8: Bam Adebayo
#15: Malik Monk

This morning, Bam posted this pic on Instagram, and you cannot convince me he’s only 18 years old:

"Believe In Yourself, Turn Adversity Into Ambition"🖐🏾 #WeMatter💂🏾 #GAMEDAY

A photo posted by Mr.Productivity🍀🏀 (@bam2.0) on

As JT would say, that’s one G.A.M.


Four years ago today, we Occupied Memorial

Normally, Facebook’s “Memories” feature only shares really unflattering pictures of me from years past, but this morning, it reminded me that four years ago, we occupied Memorial. That’s right, on February 11, 2012, back when I was blogging for KSR part time in addition to my full-time job, I was one of about 500 UK fans that crashed “College GameDay” at Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym before UK’s game against the ‘Dores that night. Looking back, it’s one of my favorite things I’ve done for KSR.

KSR and the Nashville UK Alumni Association worked together to plan the siege, meeting at 7 a.m. at the McDonald’s across the street from Memorial Gym to share some free sausage biscuits and swap strategy. Upon entrance to the gym, everyone in blue was ushered up to the third level of seating by Vandy officials, who also confiscated several signs from Kentucky fans. It was clear Vandy knew about our plan, and their tone in dealing with us was hostile to say the least; however, they were docile in comparison to Digger Phelps, who took the mic and lectured UK fans before the taping began:

That video ended up going viral, showing up on Deadspin and several other national sites. You’re welcome, Digger!

Fortunately, Digger’s righteousness didn’t extend to the rest of the “College GameDay” crew, and our group in the third level finally got on camera during the show:

As did former KSR College writers Ally Tucker, Tara Bilby, and Laura Leigh Rossoll, who managed to infiltrate the Vandy student section:

That day also gave us Helmet Guy and a 69-63 win over the Commodores. In a season full of great memories, it still ranks up there as one of the best.


Karl Towns scored 35 points last night

While my main accomplishment last night was branching out and trying a new sushi roll, Karl Towns was doing real work, putting up a career-high 35 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks in the Timberwolves’ 117-112 win over the Raptors.

As that nifty little graphic tells you, Karl’s now the third youngest player to have 35 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks in one game behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James. That’s just one of many historic milestones Karl’s reaching these days. Last night’s double-double was his eighth straight and 30th of the season. Over the last 12 games, Karl’s averaging 22.5 points, 12.5 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks, absurd numbers that make him a clear favorite for Rookie of the Year.

Some highlights:

I need to see this dunk again:

In true Karl fashion, when asked if his production as of late surprises him, he only had criticism for himself.

“I do surprise myself sometimes. Missing two free throws, missing open jump shots.”

Oh, Karl. Never change.


Tyler Ulis, Dancing Guy, Tom Jurich, and Archie Goodwin, oh my! (Thursday Show Thread)

Ulisyeaaaah

 

What do Tyler Ulis, Dancing Guy, Tom Jurich, Archie Goodwin, and the CentrePointe project all have in common? They’re all topics of today’s KSR. Tune in to hear Matt and Ryan break them down, along with a look forward at Saturday’s game against South Carolina.

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

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Robert Lewis’ Thursday Morning Wakeup

Photo via USATodayHSS.com

This morning, I’ve got a feel-good story for you from Franklin Road Academy (FRA) here in Nashville. FRA senior Robert Lewis has Down syndrome and, for the past three years, has served as the boys basketball team manager. On Friday, he was given the chance to play in the final minutes of FRA’s Senior Night game, and what did he do to mark the occasion? He airballed a three; however, he more than made up for it on the next possession, hitting a three from the same spot with only five seconds left in the game:

As Kentucky fans, we are spoiled by great basketball, but this is better than any “One Shining Moment” montage. I especially love that the opposing players go out of their way to congratulate him. Just awesome.

On that note, let’s go over today’s agenda…

South Carolina beat LSU last night

After a win over Texas A&M and losses to Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia, it was hard to get a good read on this South Carolina team, but last night, they beat LSU 94-83 in Columbia, which means the Cats better bring their A-game if they want to keep the good times rolling. Kentucky, LSU, and South Carolina are now all tied for first place in the SEC, making Saturday’s game even bigger. 

Meanwhile, Texas A&M lost at Alabama, their fourth loss in the last five games. Just when you think you’ve got college basketball figured out this season, something like this happens to shake it all up.

Shannon Dawson may be taking the offensive coordinator job at Southern Miss

In case you missed it in the post directly below this one, Dan Wolken is reporting that former UK offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson will take the same job at Southern Miss. The Cats open the 2016 season with Southern Miss at Commonwealth Stadium, and suddenly, that game’s a little more interesting.

The second episode of “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” was awesome

I was only ten when all the OJ stuff started up, so I’m fascinated by FX’s miniseries. The first episode was promising, but I finally got to see Tuesday night’s episode, and it was even better. I’d wager that anyone over 30 will remember where they were during the Bronco chase, and even though I’m still not sold on Cuba Gooding, Jr. as OJ, I was glued to the TV yet again. If you haven’t yet, check it out.

It looks like Nerlens Noel may not be able to play in the Rising Stars Challenge

The NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge is Friday night, and Karl Towns, Trey Lyles, and Nerlens Noel are all scheduled to participate; however, it seems Noel’s recent knee injury may hold him out. Who could replace him? According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Myles Turner or Julius Randle. I vote for the latter.

Meanwhile, Karl Towns scored 35 points last night, the highlights of which I’ll have on this site a little bit later. Devin Booker, who will participate in the three-point contest on Saturday, almost got a triple double vs. the Warriors, finishing with 15 points, 10 assists, and 7 rebounds. Watch him go up against Klay Thompson:

College basketball on TV tonight

No SEC games and only two Top 25 games tonight, but if you’re really desperate, tune in to ESPN at 9 p.m. to see if Indiana is legit:

  • 9 p.m.: #4 Iowa at Indiana, ESPN
  • 9 p.m.: #11 Oregon at California, ESPN2

KSR in an hour

Tuesday was so crazy we’ll probably still go over the leftovers.


Shannon Dawson reportedly taking offensive coordinator job at Southern Miss

Well, the 2016 season opener just got much more interesting. According to Dan Wolken, Shannon Dawson is expected to take the offensive coordinator position at Southern Miss. The same Southern Miss that will open the season against the Cats at Commonwealth Stadium on September 3.

Suddenly, I feel a lot better about that game.


February 10th, 2016

Popcorn, Point Guard, Pregame, and Pace: A Novice Take on Kentucky Basketball

Photo by Gary Moyers (@gmoyers)

On Tuesday, Kentucky Sports Radio allowed me to cover my first Kentucky basketball game. When I say cover, realize that term is used loosely. I primarily had periphery observations and football comparisons struck my interest. Since the Unforgettables, the Georgia game marked my second UK Basketball experience in twenty-five years.

Here are observations from a rookie basketball quasi-media type:

— I arrived at Rupp Arena around 6:00 for the 9:00 tip-off. Periscoped in the parking lot. Oscar Combs parked alongside me to make a cameo appearance. After rolling down the window, Oscar looked like he had just seen a ghost. While periscoping he asked who I was speaking with on my phone. Parallel technology-minds think alike. Mr. Combs then reached into his trunk and presented me with a 1990 Cats Pause with yours truly on the cover. Being media savvy, I used the picture to illustrate that during my less than distinguishable career, UK’s uniforms and logo changed three times within five years, bringing relevance to today’s conversation.

—  Then I went through Rupp Arena security gate and immediately got lost. Found the media table, and consistent with Commonwealth Stadium, UK hosts were professional and were overly nice. They probably could tell that I was nervous.

— On media row, Jerry Tipton and I were the first on the scene. I observed him going over notes and wearing out what I later learned was free popcorn. I tried to mimic but was more amazed at the new ribbon boards. Rupp has changed over the years. As other media hacks began to arrive, the ongoing joke was, “Are you lost?” and “You do realize this isn’t a football game?” All in good fun, but the nerves were still present.

— Pregame warmups started well before the 60-minute countdown clock started. Basketball pregame is vastly different than football. While on the gridiron, team is the primary focus. On the court, individual shooting took precedent. At this point, I became infatuated with Derrick Willis’ focus and routine. He must have taken two hundred three point shots. There is no way a quarterback could warm up in the same manner. The arm only has so many passes in it before tiring. Another interesting tidbit is how “position groups” dialed in on specific game-like drills. At this point, similarities between football and basketball took shape. Wildcat big men, or as I related to on Twitter, the O and D linemen worked on specific, close to basket fundamental moves. This correlates with linemen working “fits” or close-quarter blocking and shedding. On the basketball court, pregame is much more lengthy than in football. It can be argued that players exert as much energy before tip-off as they do after. Fascinating.

— As the media hoard trekked towards a top-secret, behind curtain room in Rupp’s bowels, I followed. Popcorn, cookies, water, coffee, and sodas were free. That still baffles me, you know the whole feeding the media deal. Reverting back to initial check-in, a concession stand gift card was presented to me. One thing is certain, you’ll never read or hear complaining about free chow from me. I gave my card to Nick Roush, he’s still a growing boy and all. In the media room, I noticed that conversations about basketball were technical (X’s and O’s) by nature. CWS media pregame discussions revolve around non-UK games on the big screen and other chatty topics. At times, I forget just how procedural football can be and how difficult it is to describe. Basketball is a simpler game with fewer moving players and moving parts. I will give the UK-based media credit, they know their basketball. Sitting around circular tables draped with blue tablecloths, I eavesdropped on Mike Pratt and others. A casual conversation for them translated into a classroom for me.

— Game started. Other than the obvious greatness of Jamal Murray, the most striking observation was Tyler Ulis’ eyes. As one of, if not THE best point guards in the game — yes Mr. Danwich I said that — Tyler’s court vision amazed me. He senses and envisions two plays ahead. That innate trait reminded me of Oregon’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. Mariota perfected the RPO, or Run/Pass/Option football play in which the quarterback has the choice to hand the football off to a running back, run himself, or attempt a forward pass. All three of these decisions are executed within one play call. Ulis has the same quick thinking ability and an incredibly high basketball IQ. In essence, every basketball play is a RPO.

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

— The size of the players is not well represented on television. Neither is the elite athletic movements of which are mandatory in virtually all basketball action. On a side note, sneaker squeaks are louder on television than in person. The Network must have sneaker speakers secretly hidden, much like football’s pylon camera.

— For those that think that John Calipari merely throws a basketball on the court and says, “go” you are truly the crazy ones. While dialing-in on the Wildcat leader I became exhausted. Working referees, calling plays, being vocal on corrections and so forth, started at the tip and ended just before the postgame handshakes.

— During Kentucky scoring spurts, the house got loud. Really loud. Rupp Arena’s sheer size and brand is intimidating. Another football/basketball difference was that I counted maybe eight or nine Georgia fans in the stands. The Dawgs football traveling party is much, much greater. Other than UK, I assume that’s the norm in SEC basketball. Sticking with that comparison, the two team’s skill and talent level were noticeably dissimilar. Georgia basketball obviously doesn’t recruit on the same level as its football counterparts.

— The pageantry and show that entails UK basketball is second to none. During the game, I tried to put myself in the Georgia player’s enormous shoes. To the best of memory, it is similar to traveling to Bryant-Denny in Tuscaloosa or Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge. While crowd noise impacts football games, it does more so in basketball. Football teams are versed in running silent. Basketball is different in the manner of coach to player communication. When the Rupp crowd erupted, the Cats also got a little extra bounce in their step. That little extra bounce was well above the rim by the way.

— Much, much respect to the media for being able to keep up with the pace of action. After actually trying for the first three possessions, I quickly surrendered a futile attempt in applicability. Action is fast. Possessions change rapidly.

— Could go on with more, but reaching the realm of complaints due to word count. One more. UK is a Nike school. In basketball, the game ball is dictated by the home team’s brand. Thus, players are forced to use a different variation of basketball due to game’s location. Football is much different. Regardless of Nike, Under Armor, Adidas, or Pro Ked; the team with possession of the football uses their own product. An unbranded, universal basketball seems as if it would make sense.


 

Overall I had an absolute blast. However, throughout the experience I felt a sense of responsibility to honor the tradition that is Kentucky Basketball and Rupp Arena. For Kentuckians, both are considered holy.


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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We’ve partnered with Wendy’s for the Pic & Roll at Rupp Sweepstake! Visit a participating Wendy’s in the Lexington, KY area, take a pic with the in-store Pic & Roll At Rupp sign, and post to Instagram or Twitter using #WendysRuppVIP for your chance to win!
– – – – – – –
Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of Kentucky, 18 years of age & older. Sweepstakes begins at 9:00:00 am EST on February 5, 2016, and ends at 11:59:59 pm EST on March 7, 2016. Void where prohibited. For full prize details, go to http://bit.ly/WendysRupp


You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Cross Section

AMEN.

 

 

#9 holly

I think we can all take a guess…

 

 

#8 Jackie Watson

Could he also revise my English paper while he’s busy saving lives and winning games or??

 

 

#7 Travis Workman

And the ads keep on coming!

 

 

#6 Billy

Well…he is!

 

 

#5 John Calipari

Happy birthday Cal, still swaggy even then!

 

 

#4 John Newton

I don’t think anyone in BBN thought they would end the night that way.

 

 

#3 Doron Lamb

Always missing you Lamby!!

 

 

#2 Corey Burkhead

THIS.

 

 

#1 Billy Crutcher

I vote yes, happy Ash Wednesday and good luck on all that everyone is giving up!


Shannon Spake’s Stair-Running Skills

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Shannon Spake is an excellent ESPN sideline reporter.  Last night, she proved that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the story is covered, even if it means climbing to the top of Rupp Arena in these shoes:

@SSpakeESPN

@SSpakeESPN

Apparently, it’s nothing new for her.  Spake actually has a stair-running routine.

“It was a fun moment,” said Spake, who regularly runs stadium and arena stairs at the sites of her assignements, a tradition she began last football season. “You don’t often times get to do things like that, but because of the score of the game, we took advantage of the opportunity.”

You can watch her perform the feat from last night’s game below, or read more about her stair-running hobby here, from ESPN Front Row.


Archie Goodwin gets in a Scuffle on the Sideline

Kelly Cox | USA Today

Kelly Cox | USA Today

The Suns are heading into the All-Star break on a sour note.  During a timeout in tonight’s game against the Warriors, Markieff Morris shoved and choked former Wildcat Archie Goodwin while he was sitting on the bench.

It’s unknown what started the scuffle, but it’s clear that Morris initiated the argument.  Both players remained in the game following the sideline fight.