By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 14th, 2018 @ 10:30am
Early Signing Period for football starts Wednesday. Will Kentucky add a few more players to their class by then? Future Cat Nik Scalzo thinks so.
Scalzo, who is recovering from a torn ACL, hosted Mark Stoops and Eddie Gran at his home in Fort Lauderdale last night, and hinted that some Yahtzees are on the way this weekend.
— Nik Scalzo (@NikScalzo) December 14, 2018
Scalzo is one of many commitments and prospects who will be in Lexington this weekend. Nick Roush will be by in a bit with a preview, but until then, who do you think Scalzo is talking about? Also, what is more impressive in this picture: the Scalzos’ TV or tree?
By Bryan the Intern on ©December 14th, 2018 @ 10:00am
Let me start this post by saying I am not suggesting that John Calipari should retire from coaching. And I think he has earned enough goodwill in his first 10 years at Kentucky to get more wiggle room to struggle from season to season. But it would be incredibly naive and require blinding yourself from reality to not say that something seems off with the program right now. Recruiting has taken a slip for sure. But Calipari seems less confident in himself and his teams. I felt it last year and if not for a nice SEC Tournament and the draw opening wide for the NCAA Tournament, we would be coming off a highly disappointing season followed by a very disappointing beginning to this year. That follows a stunning Final Four loss, a 2nd round exit, and an Elite 8.
Are we still the gold standard in the college basketball? Probably not. But what should concern us more is how it becomes the gold standard again. Does John Calipari still have the “juice” to get us back into the elite fold of college basketball. Because if I asked you right now which is more likely, a return to the Top 10 or dropping out of the Top 25, I think many would say a drop.
Which brings us to this very difficult point. John Calipari is a Hall of Fame coach. He is also 60 years old this February. Coaches to win national titles after 60 in the modern era: Roy Williams (2017), Coach K (2015, 2010), Jim Calhoun (2011), Dean Smith (1993), John Wooden (1975). That’s it. Five titles out of the last 55 titles won by guys over 60 years old.
Calipari is a legend at Kentucky, really no matter how things ends (beyond probation). And I don’t see Calipari hanging on if his program becomes some mediocre, .500 level program, like John Cheney or others did. But John Calipari has a 77.0% winning percentage for his career. In the last season plus, that dips to 71.0%. Still very good but this season could end up going a lot of ways. Last year, that team went 26-11. Could this team lose 11 games? Not out of the question.
There is a lot of precedent that Hall of Fame coaches don’t always leave the game in the smoothest way possible. Here are nine coaches that I found WITH LITTLE EFFORT who had winning percentages 10 points lower in their final 3 years of coaching than for their career winning percentage:
Henry Iba (Career Win%: 68.9%)
Last 3 Years: 46.8% (Zero NCAA Tournament Appearances)
John Cheney (Career Win%: 70.4%)
Last 3 Years: 52.2% (Made NIT in Final FIVE seasons)
Don Haskins (Career Win%: 67.0%)
Last 3 Years: 51.2% (Zero NCAA Tournament Appearances)
Denny Crum (Career Win%: 69.4%)
Last 3 Years: 54.3% (Zero NCAA Tournament Wins)
Nolan Richardson (Career Win%: 71.1%)
Last 3 Years: 56.5% (Zero NCAA Tournament Wins)
Bob Knight (Career Win%: 70.9%)
Last 3 Years: 56.3% (Zero NCAA Tournament Wins, Just 1 Appearance)
John Thompson (Career Win%: 71.4%)
Last 3 Years: 58.1% (Zero NCAA Tournament Wins)
Jerry Tarkanian (Career Win%: 79.5%)
Last 3 Years: 68.3% (1 NCAA Win)
Phog Allen (Career Win%: 73.9%)
Last 3 Years: 63.0% (0 NCAA Tournament Appearances)
Now, this doesn’t mean there are not exceptions to the rule. There are a handful of coaches who did go out performing at the same level as their career numbers:
John Wooden (Career Win%: 80.4%)
Last 3 Years: 92.3% (Won 2 National Titles in Final 3 Years)
Al McGuire (Career Win%: 73.9%)
Last 3 Years: 85.2% (Retired After Winning National Title)
Dean Smith (Career Win%: 77.6%)
Last 3 Years: 76.2% (2 Final Fours in Final 3 Years)
What’s the point BTI? The point is John Calipari has had a Hall of Fame run here at the University of Kentucky and for his entire career as well. That doesn’t mean that this all ends with sunshine and parades. It actually normally means that it ends with a thud. We haven’t had that thud yet, or really anything close to that thud, but I hate to wonder if the cliff isn’t getting closer as our coach passes 60. And will he, and this fanbase, recognize it before it’s too late?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 14th, 2018 @ 9:55am
Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Friday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, the gang is at Sky’s the Limit Indoor Trampoline & Adventure Park in Elizabethtown (3026 Ring Road). Come on out to bounce around and listen to the gang preview tomorrow’s game vs. Utah.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.
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By ShopKSR.com on ©December 14th, 2018 @ 9:45am
Posted in Main
We are approaching the final stretch of the holiday shopping season. The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded don’t want you to panic so they are having a big 3-day holiday sale!
Head to ShopKSR.com to receive 50% off select sweatshirts and 20% off everything else. Pick out some super soft KSR or UK sweatshirts, long sleeve tees, and lots of other great gift ideas to complete your holiday shopping. This 3-day holiday sale ends Sunday at midnight.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 14th, 2018 @ 9:00am
Happy Friday, everyone! The weekend is almost here, and we’re excited to help you through the finish line today.
We’ll start with the biggest news from last night:
Josh Allen is a consensus All-American
The University of Kentucky announced last night that Kentucky star pass-rusher Josh Allen was just one of eight consensus All-Americans this season, earning honors from American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, The Sporting News and Walter Camp Foundation.
With the prestigious honor, Allen becomes Kentucky’s first consensus All-American since wide receiver/kick returner Derek Abney pulled it off in 2002. He was also the first unanimous selection since defensive lineman Art Still in 1977, with those two being the only Wildcats in history to accomplish that feat.
Here is the list of Kentucky’s consensus All-Americans:
- 1950 Bob Gain, T
- Babe Parilli, QB
- 1951 Babe Parilli, QB
- 1956 Lou Michaels, T
- 1957 Lou Michaels, T
- 1965 Sam Ball, T
- 1977 * Art Still, DE
- 1998 Tim Couch, QBm
- 1999 James Whalen, TE
- 2002 Derek Abney, AP/KR
- 2018 * Josh Allen, LB
Allen was also named a First Team All-American by Sports Illustrated, TheAthletic.com, ESPN, College Football News, USA Today, CBS, and Athlon.
Vince Marrow is trying to steal Louisville’s entire recruiting class
Louisville’s recruiting class is down to just three players, but Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow is looking to bring that number to zero by the time National Signing Day rolls around.
Yesterday afternoon, the Big Dog was in Louisville to see three-star athlete and Cardinal commit Aidan Robbins at Dupont Manual High School.
— Ron Robbins (@TheRonRobbins1) December 13, 2018
The Wildcats are also making a push for Louisville offensive tackle commit Zach Williamson, a three-star out of Huntington, West Virginia.
That would leave just one commitment for the Cards: three-star offensive guard Ty Murray.
Go big or go home, Big Dog. Go for the trifecta and try to flip them all.
Brandon Knight makes his season debut
After tearing his ACL in July of 2017, former Kentucky guard Brandon Knight made his season debut last night for the Houston Rockets.
And after sitting out an entire season, he was just a little bit rusty from the jump.
Brandon Knight might be a little rusty pic.twitter.com/VDKS8W67gn
— Matt Spendley (@mattspendley) December 14, 2018
Nonetheless, Houston head coach Mike D’Antoni is excited to see Knight work his way back to the All-Star caliber player he finally became in Milwaukee:
D’Antoni on how Brandon Knight has looked over the past two weeks or so of practices: “Pretty good. The first day was kind of shaky… but you can see he’s getting better every day.”
— Ben DuBose (@BenDuBose) December 13, 2018
In four minutes, Knight finished with zero points (0-2 shooting), one rebound, and one assist.
Jacob Tamme represents the University of Kentucky with the Players’ Tribune
The Players’ Tribune hosted an SEC Championship Party with several former stars in the conference, and former Kentucky tight end Jacob Tamme was selected to represent the Wildcats.
In his brief interview, Tamme talked about his passion for Kentucky and why he’s so proud to bleed blue.
Take a look:
— Jacob Tamme (@JacobTamme) December 13, 2018
John and Ellen Calipari kick the kids out of the Christmas card
Remember back in June when cameras caught a “John Calipari hates puppies” sign in the audience at the Today Show?
He immediately set up a meeting with the Kentucky Humane Society to prove the sign wasn’t true, but apparently it wasn’t enough…
Nothing a Louisville fan has EVER said to me has ever bothered me but this one got to me a little bit. McGruff and Palmer were so mad that they came to my office to ask me about it. pic.twitter.com/EE0BlqtKxD
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 26, 2018
Yesterday afternoon, Coach Cal took it one step further by sending out a Christmas card with him, his wife, and his pets. His three children, Erin, Megan, and Brad, were nowhere to be seen:
— Dr.SicilianoCalipari (@TheErinCalipari) December 13, 2018
You also might notice Coach Cal pulling off his best Tyler Herro impression with the short-shorts…
I think it’d only be fair if Erin, Megan, and Brad created their own Christmas card and left out their parents.
Los Angeles Chargers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs on a two-point conversion
In non-Kentucky news, the Thursday Night Football game between the Chargers and Chiefs was an instant classic.
Down by seven with 2:37 remaining, Phillip Rivers led Los Angeles down the field on a game-winning touchdown drive, capped off with a gutsy two-point conversion for the upset victory.
It’s even better with the Titanic music:
The Chargers victory over the Chiefs is even better like this (sound on) pic.twitter.com/pV5WsadwNB
— Eric Rosenthal (@ericsports) December 14, 2018
After the game, Kansas City fans threw beers on the field while Los Angeles player Michael Davis taunted them for the loss.
It was quite the scene:
— Jordan Betts (@JordanBettsTV) December 14, 2018
Get through one last day of work/school, BBN. I have a feeling this weekend is going to be better for us than last.
By Adam Luckett on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 11:00pm
With the loss of Danny Clark to a transfer, Kentucky currently has just three scholarship quarterbacks entering the Citrus Bowl. This position was essential to address in the class of 2019. Mark Stoops and his offensive staff casted a wide net and entered the state of Louisiana to scoop an under the radar prospect.
The slender 6-foot-2 and 200-pound lefty committed to UK shortly after the program’s upset win over Mississippi State and had a very successful senior season. After a high school trans for sidelined him during his junior season, the dual-threat quarterback led Amite High to a 14-1 record and a state championship. In the final game, Amani Gilmore stole the show with six total touchdowns.
He’s not just a football player, though. The Louisiana native is considered a legit MLB prospect and he plans on pitching for Nick Mingione’s squad while he is on campus.
On the football field, Gilmore is a very raw prospect but he fits the mold of UK’s last two starting quarterbacks. He has established a winning pedigree, can make plays with his legs, and throws a very good deep ball. It’s not crazy to think that he could become the program’s next QB1 after a couple years in the UK program.
We should start off with the obvious and that is the athleticism that Amani Gilmore brings to the table. The multi-sport star is a longstrider who can quickly pick up yards in a short amount of steps. Even in sloppy conditions he can be a threat in the quarterback run game.
Here Gilmore is used on a read option played similar to what UK has used in the past. The athletic quarterback makes the correct read and quickly gets north/south to big up a chunk play. He breaks a tackle in the middle of the field and then gets outside for the big gain. He doesn’t have that straight line speed that UK currently has with Terry Wilson, but he can still be a productive runner at the FBS level when used correctly.
Now let’s get to some throws. In any offense in the SEC, at times you’re going to ask your quarterback to make some throws in some tight windows. The middle of the field can be dark and full of terror, but sometimes you just have to trust your arm and pull the pin.
In the state title game, Amani Gilmore hits his target behind the linebackers dropping in coverage and just between the safeties. You must have courage to be a quarterback and that just doesn’t mean being able to stand in and take in a hit. A good quarterback must be able to trust your talent to make a precise throw to beat solid defenses.
Oh, yeah. He can throw it deep.
Amani Gilmore only has one other Power Five offer other than Kentucky, but it’s important to remember that this is a special circumstance. The two-sport star did not fully participate in the camp circuit due to playing baseball and he sat out his junior season due to transferring high schools.
He is definitely a raw quarterback prospect and needs a couple years of seasoning, but it’s clear he has some very intriguing tools. The lefty is an above average athlete for the position who can spray the ball all over the field. He’s an effective thrower when on the move and he led his high school to its first state championship since 2004.
When you look at UK’s last two starting quarterbacks, they share some of the same attributes that Amani Gilmore brings to the table. They were all true dual-threats, had potential as a vertical passer, and a competitive nature. Except with Gilmore Kentucky’s staff will have him under their roof for a couple seasons instead of a junior college.
The Louisiana native needs to put on some strength and weight in addition to proving that he can withstand pressure in his face. There’s also the baseball aspect that could take away from his development during spring ball. Either way, he’s a long-term project who could easily be starting games as soon as his redshirt sophomore season.
By Maggie Davis on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 10:30pm
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That means that we provide opportunities for growth, benefits for stability, and community outreach to show just how much we care. Visit www.morethanabakery.com for more information.
#10 Mission Chaos
— MissionChaos (@MissionChaos) December 13, 2018
#9 Roy Combs
— Roy Combs™ (@broncofan4life) December 13, 2018
#8 Jamie Stogsdill
— Jamie Stogsdill (@jamiestogs13) December 12, 2018
Bummer this fat head will go to waste.
#7 Tyler Brandenburg
— Tyler Brandenburg (@Tbburg16) December 13, 2018
That was a fun one.
#6 UK Alumni
Let’s get together and cheer on the Wildcats! Go to https://t.co/4L3pWIUtZx to find a UK Alumni Club Game Watch Party for the Wildcats’ home game against Utah on Saturday. #BBN #DreamBIG pic.twitter.com/dYlWEUDwfg
— UK Alumni (@kentuckyalumni) December 13, 2018
If you can’t be in Lexington, these are some of your next best options!
#5 Corey Price
— Corey Price (@coreyp08) December 13, 2018
Heck of a Christmas present.
#4 Amanda Wiseman
— Amanda Wiseman???? (@UK_addict22) December 13, 2018
Saturday needs to get here already!
#3 Keith Peel
— Keith Peel (@bigblueview56) December 13, 2018
A great group.
#2 Tim Meredith
Zion Williamson Is The Best College Basketball Player In At Least A Year
— Tim Meredith (@RealTimMeredith) December 13, 2018
A more accurate headline.
#1 Kenny B
— Kenny B (@kennymarv) December 13, 2018
Blue gets in. Enjoy your vacation and go Cats!
By Zack Geoghegan on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 10:00pm
First, it was Derrick Rose, the 2010-11 NBA MVP, three-time All-Star, and John Calipari’s first official superstar guard (unless you’d like to count Dajuan Wagner). Next, it was John Wall and Eric Bledsoe, the two electric guards built for speed who introduced Kentucky fans to the type of dominant lead guard play that Calipari has become known for. Jamal Murray is in the early stages of becoming a premier point guard for the Denver Nuggets, despite playing as the two-guard at Kentucky. Now, the torch is already being passed along to two incredibly young yet insanely talented guards; De’Aaron Fox and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Fox and SGA’s time at Kentucky were separated by only one season, but the two unique players couldn’t be more different from each other. Despite their discrepancies, these two are in a position to take over the NBA as not just the next great group of Kentucky point guards, but the next great group of guards across the entire league.
Fox is the lightning quick, elusive, rim-running acrobat, who has transformed from an inefficient rookie into a future All-Star lock just one season later. You don’t have to watch much film on Fox to realize the superstar potential that he possesses. He’s already one of the fastest players in the league and has developed an uncanny ability to slice defenses to shreds from either inside or out. Once his defensive instincts catch up to his next-level athleticism, his ceiling is one that might be too high to see.
Gilgeous-Alexander is the more fundamental of the two, but with unheard of size for a guard. 6-foot-6 point guards with a seven-foot wingspan are as rare as you might think they are. Like Fox, SGA’s ability to get to the rim appears to come naturally to him, but his approach is much more technical. SGA relies on his length and versatility to beat his defender. He can change speeds quicker than any player I’ve watched this season – save maybe James Harden – and he’s a surgeon when he dissects his way through a bloated defense. On the other end of the court, if you think you’ve beaten him to the rim, you’ll realize it was all a part of his plan as his pterodactyl arm pins your layup against the backboard.
Calipari-era point guards have – for the majority – been elite level prospects. Even those who haven’t seen their NBA careers pan out (Brandon Knight, Andrew Harrison, Tyler Ulis) were at one point special and necessary components to deep postseason runs at Kentucky. But not many of them have seen wild success in the NBA. Yes, Rose won an MVP and Wall is a five-time All-Star, but none of them have been able to do the one thing at the next level that they were brought to Kentucky to do in the first place. Win.
Wall has never been to an Eastern Conference Finals while Rose has appeared in only one. Knight has battled constant injuries – but still has some upside. Bledsoe has never been the featured player on a team that can reach the playoffs (although he has the best shot at making the NBA Finals this season compared to any other former Kentucky guard). Ulis is not built for the NBA. Murray is still learning how to play point guard. Andrew Harrison and – more specifically – Marquis Teague aren’t currently NBA players, either. I wouldn’t even count Isaiah Briscoe as a point guard. And while we’re on this subject, there really hasn’t been any former Calipari player that has experienced unparalleled NBA success in the postseason. A lot of this has to do with the fact that some of Cal’s best prospects – Anthony Davis, Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker – are still all under the age of 26 and far away from their eventual primes. But most of these former Wildcats have been placed in situations where they are deemed the savior of consistently struggling franchises. Great players plopped in untenable situations expected to fix a decades worth of front office malfeasances.
Fox is facing the same challenge in Sacramento and SGA is viewed as the Clippers safety net and prized possession if their current rebuild strategy doesn’t result in one of Kevin Durant or Kawhi Leonard joining them in the summer. There is noticeable pressure on both of these players to thrive and I believe they’ll be the first two to actually bring home substantial success to their respective organizations. They may not be the first batch of great Calipari-era NBA point guards, but they’re going to be the first batch that exceeds expectations.
Let’s dive into their individual situations a bit more.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 9:30pm
There’s nothing this Kentucky team loves more than the experts picking against them, so I hope this post makes its way around the football training facility this week. USA Today’s six football writers made their bowl picks today, and not a single one of them predicted Kentucky to beat Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.
Penn State is a great team and all, led by a great quarterback in Trace McSorely. In Vegas, they’re a 6.5-point favorite. But Kentucky’s got Josh Allen. And Benny Snell’s got a record to break.
Guess we’re just going to have to go prove them wrong. Again.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 9:00pm
Kentucky’s always on the hunt for the top recruits in the country and who better to help John Calipari determine who’s elite and who’s not than Hey Kentucky! producer Noah Day?
That’s right! The popular “Noah Talks Sports” segment is back. Watch below as Perrin Johnson and Noah break down film and Noah hands out his own star rankings.
See the full episode below or at HeyKentucky.com.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 8:00pm
Usually when we post a Lynn Bowden tweet, it’s to figure out whether he’s talking about his future at Kentucky or his favorite song lyric, but today, the sophomore phenom used the Twitter machine to call out one of our own.
After Bowden’s punt return for a touchdown vs. Missouri, Drew Franklin tweeted that he was going to get a Lynn Bowden neck tattoo in his honor. A month and a half later, Bowden wants to see that ink.
Make it happen ? https://t.co/YzNvXrqBoB
— Lynn Bowden (@H_Huncho) December 13, 2018
Who wouldn’t have been willing to get a neck tattoo after that play? Bowden’s 67-yard return was a career first and sparked Kentucky’s comeback. We all remember CJ Conrad’s game-winning catch, but it wouldn’t have been possible without that return.
Here’s what Drew will look like once he follows through on his promise:
Drew, you’re on the clock.
By KSR on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 7:45pm
Have you been struggling to find that perfect gift this holiday season? You’re in luck! KSBar and Grille gift cards are now available online. You can purchase them in $25, $50, $75, and $100 increments. Plus, you will receive $5 free for every $25 you purchase!
Simply head to ShopKSR.com, select your gift card amount, enter the address and payment info, and your special gift is on the way.
You can finish all your holiday shopping right now with these KSBar gift cards! Cards must be ordered by December 18th to arrive in time for Christmas. Tell your family and friends.
By Maggie Davis on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 7:30pm
The Kentucky women’s basketball team has made a change to their schedule: the No. 18 Cats will now take on the Sacred Heart Pioneers Saturday, Dec. 29 at 11:30 a.m. inside Memorial Coliseum. The game was originally scheduled for 1 p.m.
The time change means fans will be able to watch the Kentucky-Louisville men’s game, which is slated to tip at 2 p.m., directly after the conclusion of the women’s game. The rivalry game will be shown on Memorial Coliseum’s enormous (1,800 square foot) LED video board. Coach Matthew Mitchell and his wife, Jenna will be providing free pizza to fans who attend the WBB game and stay for the watch party. It’s a nice gesture by Coach and the perfect way to watch both match-ups.
Tickets are $10 in reserved seating areas, while general admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children (ages 6-18) and seniors (age 65+). UK students get into all WBB games free with a valid student ID, and UK faculty and staff can receive free admission for themselves and a guest to all WBB games with a valid employee ID.
Mark your calendars for Dec. 29 and get ready to support your Cats.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 13th, 2018 @ 7:00pm
Each weekday from now until the end of the year, KSR will be bringing you tidbits about the Citrus Bowl to get you ready for Kentucky’s showdown with Penn State. First up: a little bit of bowl history.
This will be Kentucky’s first Citrus Bowl appearance, but did you know Kentucky’s never won a bowl game in Florida? This will be the Cats’ fourth time playing a bowl in the Sunshine State, but so far, no Ws.
|January 2, 1950||Orange Bowl (Miami)||Santa Clara||L, 21-13||Bear Bryant|
|January 1, 1999||Outback Bowl (Tampa)||Penn State||L, 26-14||Hal Mumme|
|December 31, 2016||TaxSlayer Bowl (Jacksonville)||Georgia Tech||L, 33-18||Mark Stoops|
In fact, the Cats haven’t won many games in Florida period. As we know all too well, prior to this year’s 27-16 victory, Kentucky hadn’t beaten the Gators in Gainesville since 1979. In the 69-game series between the two teams, Kentucky’s only won 18 times, eight times in the state of Florida.
Time to break another streak.