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Photo Credit: Matt Jones

The New Rupp Arena’s Wednesday News And Views


Despite an all-around good day in college basketball, it was relatively a slow UK news day. Other than reaction to last night’s game and remembering Senior Day, the biggest UK news we brought to you today may have been UK’s plans to sign a long-term lease with Rupp Arena. This means that the University supports the plan to redesign Rupp into the palace you see above, and renovation plans can take a major step forward once the lease is officially signed. There have been too many renderings, announcements and press conferences to remember concerning this project, but it looks like it’s finally about to become a reality. The next time a press conference is called, it will likely be to announce that the school has officially signed the lease. The last remaining hurdle will likely be figuring out how the new Rupp will be paid for.

The night following Kentucky’s bounce-back win over Alabama on Senior night proved to be a significant one in college basketball. Most notably, No. 4 Duke lost by 10 points to a bad Wake Forest team (16-14, 6-11 ACC). No. 17 Saint Louis also fell at home to Dayton, losing its third straight. The Billikens had won 19 straight games since losing 70-65 to Wichita State on December 1st. This follows a night where No. 7 Syracuse lost its fourth in five games, falling at home on Senior Night to Georgia Tech (14-16, 5-12 ACC). The theme in college basketball of late is that a lot of really good teams keep losing. Well, everyone except Wichita State. But the Cats aren’t the only talented team struggling down the stretch, and this is another reason to be on #TeamJanice.

Also, Indiana lost to Nebraska at home on its Senior Night and our own Matt Jones and Drew Franklin were on the scene while on their college basketball road trip with Fox Sports.

Photo Credit: Matt Jones

Photo Credit: Matt Jones




–Matt and Drew are killing it on the road trip, and here are their latest works:

Michigan – The most interesting team in the world, by Drew Franklin

Stauskas’ closeup, UI alum’s Olympic bronze, by Matt Jones

And more soon from Bloomington!


–ICYMI, here are all of the Cats’ latest NBA draft projections:

(for links to the complete projections, click here)

Draft Express 2014 mock draft (updated 3/5)

4. Julius Randle
14. Willie Cauley-Stein
23. James Young
36. Alex Poythress

Draft Express 2015 mock draft (updated 3/5)

18. Dakari Johnson
26. Aaron Harrison
31. Andrew Harrison 2014 mock draft (updated 2/25)

4. Julius Randle
22. James Young
24. Willie Cauley-Stein 2015 mock draft (updated 2/25)

7. Marcus Lee
11. Karl Towns
27. Andrew Harrison
33. Alex Poythress
36. Aaron Harrison
49. Dakari Johnson

Also, James Young’s stock somehow improved after last night’s game in Chad Ford’s Mock Draft 3.0. It’s an Insider, but that’s the word on the street.

Who will stay and who will go?


–The UK baseball team deserves some love for whipping up on Cincinnati, sweeping the Bearcats in a doubleheader by scores of 7-0 and 11-4. KSR’s David Mulloy has the recaps for you right here.


–I’ll leave you with Jon Hood and Jarrod Polson’s senior day ceremony, because it’s worth viewing again and again:

Cats Sweep Doubleheader Against Bearcats

Cats Sweep Doubleheader Against Bearcats

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics


Game 1: UK 7, CIN 0

With the first game of the series pushed back a day due to the weather, sophomore Dylan Dwyer wasted no time asserting himself and pitched the first complete game shutout since first round pick Alex Meyer did it verses top ranked Vanderbilt in 2011.  Dwyer allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out eight on 113 pitches.

Offensively the Cats were led  by sophomore Ka’ai Tom and freshman JaVon Shelby adding two RBI each with Shelby hitting his first career homerun.



Game 2: UK 11, CIN 4

In the nightcap the Cats again wasted no time jumping on the Bearcats, scoring nine runs in the first three innings behind a 3-for-5 game by Austin Cousino.  A.J. Reed knocked in three runs and extended his NCAA RBI lead to 24 and has his hitting streak to 15 games.

Juco transfer Andrew Nelson made his first start as a Wildcat, working four innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out three before giving way to a bevy of relievers.  Fellow Juco transfer Spencer Jack earned his first win at UK, working two and a third scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Uk-CIN 2

The Cats will put their nine game winning streak on the line this weekend against Ball State, who will come to town for the final series before SEC play.  First pitch is 4pm on Friday.

Two Lexington football players talk about their paths to becoming special teams walk-ons at UK and UL

(Ryan Betlach in the UL sweatshirt, Jake Ryan in the UK sweatshirt)

When I set out to interview two high school seniors about their journey to becoming special teams walk-ons at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, the two biggest schools in their home state of Kentucky, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know if I would have to pull answers out of them, or what the story would amount to in the end. What I discovered were two very humble young men (both big fans of Jacob Tamme due to family ties in Danville), each set to take different paths at rival schools… yet both of whom were making childhood dreams come true in a way they might never have expected.  Jake Ryan and Ryan Betlach are both set to graduate from Tates Creek High School here in Lexington in June. The destination couldn’t be more different for the two seniors– with Ryan heading to Kentucky and Betlach venturing down the road to Louisville– but the journey and excitement about the opportunity that lies ahead strike eerily similar chords for both Ryan and Betlach. What I found when sitting down for the interview, was that both UK and UL are inheriting the kind of guys you would hope to have in your locker room. Both are mature for their age, well-spoken, gracious for the chance they’ve been given, hungry to succeed, and proud to be a part of their home state’s university. I couldn’t have been more impressed with either. Neither will be the most heralded name when glancing down the rosters they both hope to eventually make, but Ryan and Betlach are just the kind of guys you want to root for…

Ryan will be attending Kentucky to be a walk-on punter, while Betlach will be going to Louisville as a walk-on to be a long-snapper. Ryan nearly set the state record for the longest punt in Kentucky history earlier this season, with an 82-yarder against Henry Clay (The state record is 82 1/2 yards). Interestingly enough, Betlach was the long-snapper on the punt, and was the one to recover the ball in the end zone. Betlach was ranked as the #2 long-snapper (based on speed/accuracy) in the country after attending a pro-camp during his sophomore year. Ryan is currently ranked as the #42 punter in the country.


Q: Give a little background on your football careers and how you came about to be a kicker/punter (Ryan) and a long-snapper (Betlach).

Ryan: “I played quarterback my freshman year, and in and out my sophomore through senior year. I’ve kicked since my freshman year, and started punting my sophomore year. I went to a couple camps (for kicking), but it just kind of came naturally to me. Sometimes after practice, some of us would just kind of mess around and kick around. Lot of guys that can’t kick try to kick. It’s a lot of fun. I played soccer when I was younger, but it’s a lot different. I always kind of really wanted to kick in college, and my sophomore year when I started punting I thought– wow I’m not too bad at this. It’s been a process though to become better at it.”

Betlach: “I’ve played since I was 7 years old. I’ve played all kinds of positions. As I got into middle school and high school I focused more on defense. But when I was in elementary school, my Dad taught me how to long snap, so I’ve been a long-snapper ever since for every team that I’ve been on. I’ve been to a couple camps as well.


Q: Did your Dad teach you long-snapping in the backyard just for fun, or was it because he thought that special skill could be a ticket to college football down the line?

Betlach: “It was for fun, but he knew that long-snapping could be my ticket to college. He said, ‘You could go to a D-I school and long snap.’ I didn’t know how seriously to take him until a couple weeks ago when I got the call saying, ‘You have the opportunity to go to Louisville.'”


Q: When you were growing up, did you ever dream/imagine that you would be going to a Division I school to play college football?

Ryan: “I’ve grown up in Lexington, so I’ve always been a fan of UK. I couldn’t really see myself going there, cuz I’ll probably still be the smallest guy there. But it’s almost surreal at this point. I mean I know I’m going and I know I’m going to be there, and it’s going to be an awesome experience– but growing up I didn’t really see myself going to a D-I school. I saw myself going to a smaller school, maybe like Centre. D-I always just seemed like a dream really.

Betlach: “When I started when I was 7, I always said I was going to go to the NFL. That’s always everyone’s dream. But as you slowly progress through the years and see everyone’s talent, you say to yourself, ‘Okay maybe I’ll just go D-I.’ And then maybe after that, ‘Maybe I’ll just try to play in college.’ So it’s always been a dream of mine to go D-I, but as I slowly progressed through my career, my dream was more to play college football at any level. But when I got the opportunity to go D-I I was shocked. It was awesome.”


Q: Both of you had opportunities to play at smaller schools. What was it that made you decide to pass on those opportunities to walk-on at Kentucky and Louisville?

Ryan: “I think definitely playing for your home university was my biggest thing. When Coach Harmon (TC coach) told me I had an offer, I was like, ‘You don’t have to contact anyone else.’ It’s been really fun. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s just awesome that UK is giving me this opportunity to play.”

Betlach: “I had a couple of different options, especially Division 3 schools. I was really struggling to make a decision. The smaller schools were a lot more expensive. But I got accepted to Louisville’s Speed School (Engineering program) and it’s one of the top programs in the country. When Coach Harmon found that out he contacted Pete Nochta at Louisville. He’s in charge of the long-snappers at UL. He made that connection, and told Nochta my times and that I was a good snapper. So he gave me that chance. And I took it.”


Q: How exactly did the recruiting process go about to get you all to Kentucky and Louisville?

Ryan: “I didn’t personally get a call but Coach Harmon did. And it was right before the dead period so we had to wait a few weeks. Then I met with Neal Brown at a basketball game one afternoon. It was like right after Matt Elam signed, so he was running all over the place. That was the extent of my recruitment. He didn’t really have to recruit me. I was set on going there.”

Betlach: “Once I found out I had the opportunity, there wasn’t much recruiting involved. I was really excited and it’s always been my dream to go D-I in any position.”


Q: Both Kentucky and Louisville football have a lot of excitement surrounding the the programs right now, with blockbuster recruiting classes at UK ignited by a new staff, and a returning successful head coach in Bobby Petrino at Louisville. Talk a little bit about what it’s like and the excitement you’ve felt as you head into those programs…

Ryan: “Personally, I’ve been watching the recruitment process by Coach Stoops and his staff. I’ve been a fan my whole life. The excitement around the program is great. I’m excited for the program as a fan, and he’s doing a great job bringing in talent. But I try to stray away from telling people I’m walking on to UK. If they ask, I’ll tell them. But I don’t walk around telling everyone.”

Betlach: “Louisville just got into the ACC and got a new coach. They have one of the hardest schedules in college football this year. It’s an exciting time for Louisville, too.”


Q: Betlach, is it a little strange to go from being a lifelong Kentucky fan growing up in Lexington, to now being part of the Louisville program?

Betlach: “Yeah, I grew up in Lexington. My room was all decked out in UK. It’s been a bit of a transformation. A lot of my friends jokingly call me a traitor. But I’m excited about the opportunity, and I guess I am a Louisville fan now.”


Q: Have you all thought about a moment when you all take the field at the same time, on opposing sides, as former teammates?

Ryan: “Yeah, and I’ve talked about it with my family. Actually, my stepmom and his Mom went to high school together in Danville. They are just like ‘Ah man, you and Ryan are gonna be on the field at the same time.’ Some of our friends have talked about us jogging out to midfield and shaking hands.”

Betlach: “Yeah, we have thought about it. Coach Harmon has said he can’t wait til we are both playing on the field at the same time. Well, obviously not at the exact same time.”


Q: You two had to have had a chemistry on the field as the punter and long-snapper. Does that make it even more special for the two of you to see each other reaching your goals?

Ryan: “I’m excited for him and I’m excited for myself. I mean, without him, I couldn’t do anything. When I heard about him going to Louisville, I actually pulled him out of class and we talked about it for a few minutes. It’s pretty awesome for one program (Tates Creek) to have 2 guys going D-I, at opposing schools in the same state. It’s pretty fun.”

Betlach: “Yeah, Jake was actually one of the first people to say something to me. He found out the same day I did. Like he said, he pulled me out of class. I guess Tates Creek is known for its special teams. Obviously, David Akers.”


Q: What are you all most excited about when it comes to playing at Kentucky and Louisville?

Ryan: “I really want to say the clothes. (laughs) But I know that’s not the right answer. Just the people that I’m going to be around. I like being a part of a team, and I miss hanging out with my teammates every day, and weight lifting and joking around and seeing everyone. Being part of a team and the road trips and all of that, that’s the part I’m looking forward to the most. Creating memories with teammates. Stepping on the field is going to be cool– seeing thousands of fans. I mean we have season tickets, but we are waaaay up there. It’s going to be unreal. I don’t even know how to explain it yet, but I’m really looking forward to that.”

Betlach: “Like I said, it’s always been my dream to play Division I football and now it’s a reality. I’ll get to play against some of the best teams in the nation and be on one of the best teams in the nation. I’ll be excited to go play at places like Notre Dame. That’s one of the most traditional stadiums and programs.”


Q: Who’s your favorite UK/UL player of all time?

Ryan: “Do I have to pick a special teams person? Actually, when I go to UK games I’m like, ‘Landon Foster! He’s so good.’ I tell my friends that all the time, and they make fun of me. (After going on a tangent about Johnny Football)…Or I guess Randall Cobb.”

(Betlach interupts): “I’m surprised you didn’t say Jacob Tamme.”

Ryan: “AH! That’s who it is! I have a pair of Jacob Tamme signed gloves because he went to Boyle County and my stepmom knows his Mom. Okay, he’s my favorite.”

Betlach: “I guess I would have to go with Teddy Bridgewater. I think he’s a great quarterback and a great guy. I hope he goes #1 in the draft. As far as UK guys go, Jacob Tamme. My Aunt’s a counselor at Boyle County, so that’s a connection. I mean I don’t have any signed gloves like he does or anything.”


Q: Jake, you know UK’s special teams guys are a pretty funny group. They have their own Twitter account and everything.

Ryan: “I guess I have to be come a little bit funnier so I can become a part of that team.”


Q: Have you guys talked a little trash to each other yet about the rivalry?

Ryan: “I don’t know if I can talk trash now since I have a good friend on the team. I mean I really want to, but I feel like it’s going to be difficult.”

Betlach: “Obviously it’ll be a little tough to talk trash about UK.”


Q: Last but not least, what are your academic plans at UK and UL? (Both are very strong students)

Ryan: “I want to go into chemical engineering or pharmaceutical work.”

Betlach: “I got accepted to UL’s Speed School , which is very exciting. It’s a 5-year program, but you get your master’s in 5 years. It’s a very difficult program, but I’m hoping I can get through it.”


Good luck to both guys as they head to Kentucky and Louisville in the fall to make the rosters. As you can tell, Ryan and Betlach are both grateful and excited about the opportunity they are being given at their home state programs.

Oh, and the guys both have Twitter and they asked me to score them a couple of followers. So do your thing, BBN. Just don’t make any Sixteen Candles jokes toward Jake Ryan. “She pretends like she didn’t know, but I think my Mom did it on purpose.” He has a flip phone though, so he probably won’t see your Tweets until a few days later. See if we can’t get these guys to 800 followers, BBN. 




The Best Faces on the Rupp Arena Fancam

The Best Faces on the Rupp Arena Fancam

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If you were at last nights’ game, odds are you’re in the HD picture taken by the Rupp Arena fancam before the game. I spent a ridiculous amount of time zooming around the picture today to bring you some of the best snapshots.

As always, we’ve gotta start with Johnny Short, who’s dutifully listening to the last few minutes of the pregame show with Oscar Combs and Dave Baker:

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What a great American. Hey, look, it’s KSR’s favorite tweeter, Lonny Demaree!

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Lonny just wants to know why there was a chicken in the opening scene of “The Hangover.”

What do you think Jimmy Dykes and Brad Nessler are talking about?

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Some people were ready for the fancam:

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Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 3.35.12 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 3.52.30 PM

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…While others were clearly more interested in eating Rupp ice cream:

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(There were hundreds of these.)

These three thought they were going to a Mardi Gras party:

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This guy snuck in a pregame nap:

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Hey look, it’s Ryan Lemond, his son, and Kyle Macy!

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Light up peepers looked a bit evil in the upper deck:

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And this woman is really into traveling. Or hosting. Or hosting travelers:

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Even Eli Capilouto got in on the fun:

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Well, kind of.   

John Calipari’s new book, “Players First,” will come out on April 15

John Calipari’s new book, “Players First,” will come out on April 15


Cal’s been dropping hints about his new book lately, and now we know its release date. Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out will be released on April 15th, and is now available for pre-order on Cal’s friend Bill Clinton has already read a copy, and has these praises to sing:

“If you are a college basketball fan like I am, you’ll understand why I’ve long admired John Calipari’s leadership style. While no coach treasures a win more than John, this terrific book reveals his greater purpose–to lead his young players to better lives, and then challenge them to give back to others.” –President Bill Clinton

A little sad it wasn’t titled Pooping Ice Cream: Turning talent into Orange Leaf.

Mark Cornelison/ AP

John Calipari vs. Other Major Coaches

Mark Cornelison/ AP

Mark Cornelison/ AP

There’s no denying it; these past two years have been incredibly frustrating. In back-to-back seasons, Kentucky has gone from a preseason favorite to win the title to a lower-tier tournament team in early March. In looking for an outlet for this confusion, many fans have turned toward the man at the helm of the program – John Calipari. While few rational fans have called for a coaching change, numerous people  have questioned Calipari’s recruiting philosophy and his ability to lead the team. How warranted is this criticism?

Let’s take a look at Coach Cal’s resume in his time at Kentucky compared to some of college basketball’s other premiere coaches. What follows could restore your potentially waning faith:

John Calipari 

Tenure: 5 years
Record: 145-34 (81%)
Conference Titles (reg. season): 2
Tournament Appearances: 3
Final Fours: 2
National Titles: 1

Rick Pitino (Louisville)

Tenure: 13 years
Record: 334-116 (74.2%)
Conference Titles (reg. season): 3
Tournament Appearances: 10
Final Fours: 3
National Titles: 1

Roy Williams (North Carolina)

Tenure: 11 years
Record: 305- 86 (78%)
Conference Titles (reg. season): 6
Tournament Appearances: 9
Final Fours: 3
National Titles: 2

Jim Boeheim (Syracuse)

Tenure: 38 years
Record: 946-318 (74.8%)
Conference Titles (reg. season): 11
Tournament Appearances: 30
Final Fours: 4
National Titles: 1

Tom Izzo (Michigan State)

Tenure: 19 years
Record: 461-185 (71.4%)
Conference Titles (reg. season): 7
Tournament Appearances: 16
Final Fours: 6
National Titles: 1

Bill Self (Kansas)

Tenure: 11 years
Record: 322-66 (83%)
Conference Titles (reg. season): 10
Tournament Appearances: 10
Final Fours: 2
National Titles: 1

Coach K (Duke)

Tenure: 34 years
Record: 907-244 (78.8%)
Conference Titles (reg. season): 12
Tournament Appearances: 29
Final Fours: 11
National Titles: 4

Billy Donovan (Florida)

Tenure: 18 years
Record: 443-168 (72.5%)
Conference Titles (reg. season): 6
Tournament Appearances: 13
Final Fours: 3
National Titles: 2

As you can see, Calipari’s numbers at Kentucky rival many of college basketball’s elite coaches. Despite consecutive disappointing seasons, only Bill Self has a higher winning percentage at his current school than Coach Cal. Calipari’s two final four appearances are similar to most of the premiere coaches – and they’ve been at their respective programs much longer.

While some of his approaches need to be evaluated in the offseason, our coach has done enough in his short time at Kentucky that he should not be on the hot seat any time soon. Perspective is a good thing; let’s use it.

Toronto loves Patrick Patterson

Via twitter @Raptors

Yesterday, former UK star Patrick Patterson and his teammate, Landry Fields, visited a local Toronto middle school.  They were there to help promote the MLSE Shape Up program, a program based in Toronto which encourages healthy, active lifestyles for children.  This is only one of many programs and organizations Patterson promotes within the local community.  Since joining the Raptors in early December by way of a trade, Patterson has made the most of his experience.  He’s been known to help out local communities with other NBA Cares programs, and he continues to be rewarded.  For the month of February, Patterson was named the Toronto Citizen Community MVP for his services given off the court.

With all of his help and time given to the community surrounding Toronto, its hard not to believe he’s become a fan favorite.  Just check out the reactions from the kids, they love him!

It’s great to see a former Kentucky player doing great things, on & off the court.  Congrats Pat Pat!

For more pictures and silly videos from Patterson’s visit yesterday, head on over to the Raptors’ page by clicking this link.

Sports Illustrated: “It’s Not as Bad as it Looks”

Sports Illustrated: “It’s Not as Bad as it Looks”


Photo via GunShowComics

If you were one of the many who thought last night’s win looked rough, Seth Davis from Sports Illustrated has some good news: this Kentucky team is better than they look.

And maybe admitting that is what being #TeamJanice is about.  Instead of being prone to wild swings of expectations (“They’re going undefeated!” … “They’re going to the NIT!”), we should instead give these guys the benefit of the doubt.  It’s clear they’re playing hard, it’s clear they like each other, and having us constantly on their backs makes it hard for them to have fun.

Over at SI, Davis highlighted a few points to consider when discussing this Kentucky team, and why we can let off the pressure a little bit.  First, there aren’t any obviously bad attitudes.  Anybody that regularly watches the team knows that the Harrisons and Randle give their best efforts every night.  We’re not really lacking in “hustle plays” or motivated players, but we already knew that.

More importantly, though, is Davis’ diagnosis for the Cats on the offensive end (where they so desperately struggled last night): do what you do well.  That’s advice you’ve heard before if you watched Tracy Morgan’s SNL tenure almost a decade ago.


“Do what you know. And I know booze.”

We (and by “we” I mean “they”) know how to do at least two things: get boards, and get fouled.  Bringing those things back to the forefront of the offense, which they really should be under the Dribble Drive, should do wonders for the point-phobic Cats.

Finally, just accept that Cal can coach.  Remember when he came here, and he said he didn’t have any magic wands?  Two years ago, we thought he was lying to us.  But he doesn’t.  He’s trying to figure each team out, too. Don’t let this year (and last year) sway your opinions on that.  Some people have the memory of a fish.


Worrying’s not going to do us any good in the post-season.  So take this team for what it is, hope they do what they do well, and let Cal coach.

Image @JohnRobicsHair

Coba Cocina’s New Menus Want Late Afternoon Notes

With almost a year under its kitchen, golden dome, and belt, Coba is pleased to announce a menu offering new and updated signature dishes, a broader selection, an extensive wine list, and the ability to order and enjoy gelato and cheesecake at your table. Need another reason to check out Coba? What about the value? Variety and value go hand in hand with this menu. And, there is something for everyone from the cheeseburger connoisseur to the fajita fan, from the sirloin lover to the enchilada enthusiast to the gelato groupie. Why take our word for it? Well, we’re pretty plum tickled over the new menu and think you will be too!

Barbecue Baby Back Ribs Buffalo Chicken Tacos

New Dinner Menu Features:

Dinner Combinations: We are thrilled to offer dinner combinations. Simply select any two combinations including Papa G’s Chicken, Crispy Chicken, Top Sirloin, Ribs, Shrimp Diablo, Agave-Glazed Salmon, and Brisket Tacos. Served with roasted red skin potatoes and Latin vegetables for only $18.

Buffalo Chicken Tacos: Crispy chicken with buffalo sauce, ranch dressing, jack cheese, shoestring fries, and poblano slaw.

Crispy Chicken Dinner: Lightly fried chicken with shoestring fries and poblano slaw.

Crispy Chicken Salad: Lightly fried breast, romaine, tomato, cheddar, bacon, and tortilla strips. Might we suggest the avocado ranch or cilantro-lime vinaigrette dressing?

Agave-Glazed Wild Salmon The Cheeseburger

New Lunch Menu Features:

Wouldn’t you rather be watching the jellyfish than watching the clock?  With a streamlined new lunch menu, fast service, and tons of space, we will get you seated, satisfied, and back to work.

Lunch Combinations: Select any two options for $6.75 or any three for $8. Selections: Any taco, enchilada, burrito, bowl of soup, Coba salad, or 1/2 Cuban sandwich.

Taqueria: Interested in tacos? Select any two options for $8.5 and any three for $9.75. Crispy beef, seasoned chicken, brisket, fish, or buffalo chicken tacos. Served with rice and beans.

Agave-Glazed Wild Salmon:  Fresh, hand cut, seared salmon roasted with agave glaze on a bed of poblano slaw. Served with Latin vegetables and rice.

The Cheeseburger: Two quarter pound patties, American cheese, romaine lettuce, romatomato, Coba sauce, shoestring fries, and poblano slaw.

Need an excuse for dessert? Why not try our homemade gelato or cheesecake? Gelato flavors rotate on an ongoing basis and our cheesecake flavors include New York style with lemon sour cream topping and choice of fruit topping; Key Lime; Chocolate; White Chocolate Raspberry, and Peanut Butter & Jelly.

Coba Cocina is located in the Idle Hour Shopping Center at 2041 Richmond Road, Lexington, KY 40502, 859-523-8484www.CobaCocina.comCoba and Cocoh! hours: Sunday 11am-10pm; Monday-Thursday 11am-10:30pm; and Friday & Saturday 11am-11:30pm. Cobar hours: Thursday 4-10:30pm and Friday & Saturday 4pm-12:30am


Good afternoon, folks. We’re officially over the hump. While you salivate at those pictures of Coba Cocina’s new menu up there, I’m going to churn out these afternoon notes…

—  There’s been a lot of talk about James Young’s draft stock today, with Chad Ford bumping Young up to #9 in his latest mock draft. In his SportsCenter chat today, Jeff Goodman said that he still thinks Young will go to the draft, and NBA teams still consider him a late lottery pick:

The issue with Young is that he was thought to be a shooter — and he’s not consistently making shots. However, NBA guys still think of him as a late lottery pick. My gut says he still comes out.

— There’s also been a lot of talk about James Young’s hair, which it looks like is here to stay:

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Rock it, Wanda.

—  On today’s show, you may have heard Matt mention the Kentucky Kernel story about Brad and Haden Pike, a father and son from Garrard County. Haden is a 20-year-old UK student who suffers from Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare disorder that affects muscle coordination. He’s also blind, and largely confined to a wheelchair. Haden’s father, Brad, drives 45 minutes to Lexington every morning to pick Haden up at his apartment and take him to his classes. If they’re ever in the car together from 10 a.m. to noon, they tune into Kentucky Sports Radio, a very touching tradition that we’d like to thank them for. If you get a minute this afternoon, click on over to the Kernel and read their story, which is truly inspirational.

— Earlier, we shared the video of Steve Zahn doing the “Y” from last night. Did you happen to spot this great American in the crowd?

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Thankfully, the Cats covered the John Short spread last night.

— If you were at the game last night, you likely made the Rupp Arena fancam. I’m working on a post with the best screencaps from it right now.

— The SEC Tournament starts in ONE WEEK, and it’s time for us to start reminding you where you can catch the KSR Crew. Once again, we’ll be stationed at STATS Restaurant and Bar near the Georgia Dome, which is where the guys will do the morning show on Friday, as well as all the pregame and postgame shows. Hopefully, it will be warm enough to enjoy that rooftop patio.

— Last night, John Calipari admitted that his hip has been giving him some problems lately and that he’ll have to get it replaced after this season. In the meantime, maybe we can get him a segway, as suggested by John Robic’s Hair?

Image @JohnRobicsHair

Image @JohnRobicsHair

UK spokesman says UK is behind the Rupp redesign, will sign a long-term lease


Good news: UK spokesman Jay Blanton told the Herald-Leader today that UK is behind the Rupp Arena redesign, and confirmed that the university will sign a long-term lease:

“As the primary tenant, the University of Kentucky and its athletic department are supportive of this project,” Blanton said. “We continue to work on our financing plan to help support this initiative. The UK plan includes a long-term lease and new project revenues generated solely from premium seating and other revenue opportunities created by the new Rupp Arena.”

Blanton added that no university funds support Rupp now, and none will be used for the project. Meanwhile, the city of Lexington filed a bill today to raise the hotel tax by 2.5% to help pay for the Rupp Arena project, which is estimated to cost $310 million.

Awesome news for the future of the program.

Game of Arms Ep. 2 – Let’s Rename This Show

Game of Arms Ep. 2 – Let’s Rename This Show


For full disclosure, I intended yesterday’s recap of Game of Arms to be a one-off recap, but then I realized, there’s something to this show.  No, it’s not the next Mad Men, Breaking Bad or Walking Dead, but it’s interesting.  There will be another recap next week, so we can meet the Erie Wrecking Crew, and after that, I’ll go on your comments/tweets on whether I should keep going with this.  I will do a series finale at least, if not more.


Last Tuesday, AMC debuted “Game of Arms”.  The show is a reality based program about the world of professional arm-wrestling.  During the series, viewers get to meet five regionally based teams who will compete against one another for money and glory.  If you missed the recap of the debut episode, check it out here.

So yesterday, after the first recap came out, I got this tweet:

To which I replied…

and then we finished with:

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I’m a sucker for a good pun. Do you have a better name for this show?  Let me know on Twitter: @rbramblet or in the comments below.

Now, let’s meet our two teams for this week’s episode.  First:


Andrew “Cobra” Rhodes — Cobra is a sixteen-time world champion, not unlike “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.  Cobra looks like a villain in a Jean-Claude Van Dam movie, except he’s a father of five, a chef, and a “Zen Master”.  Looking to be a mentor to Ethan Fritsche.  Also, he played a referee in the movie “Over The Top”.

Ethan Fritsche — Fritsche is the son of arm wrestling legend, Don Fritsche.  Ethan is a competitive gamer and his home is supposedly the Mecca of arm-wresting: The Ponderosa.  He can climb two vertical ropes, simultaneously, using one arm for each rope without using his legs… WHAT?!?!

Don Underwood — #10 ranked arm wrestler.  He’s a former pro wrestler and football player, and a world arm wrestling silver medalist.  Now, he’s a motorcycle salesman.

Nick Zinna — Zinna is a simple guy, it doesn’t take much to get him going.  He’s a four-time national champion.  From working on his parents’ farm, Zinna claims he gets his strength from that work.

Bill Logsdon — Logsdon is a two time national champion.  He is known for making custom arm wrestling arm exercise machines.  He makes tables, he makes forearm strengthening devices and more.  Someone has a lot of time on their hands…

And their opponents…


Matt “Chop” Bertrand — Chop is a good-ole boy from Baton Rouge, and a two-time national champion.  When he’s not arm-wrestling he’s a part-time shrimp fisherman and oil worker on his family farm.  After his wife left him, and a gang killed three of his friends, arm wrestling is the only thing holding Chop together.

Josh “Turbo” Borrow — Turbo is Chop’s best friend; clearly as they both have silly nicknames for each other.  He’s a bar manager and has a degree in digital communications.  At 420 lbs., Turbo relies on strength, while being new to arm wrestling.

Ray Hennerichs — Has been arm wrestling for 20+ years.  Rides around the bayou on his speedboat, and is a large-scale oil refinery construction super intendent.

Larry Alexie — Larry is a tugboat captain, aged 39, with four daughters and three grandkids.  Notably, he’s missing the index finger on his left hand after losing it in a tugboat accident.

Craig Tullier — Craig is one of the strongest “pullers” in the south.  He took a break after a bad divorce, but came back last year strong.  Works as an oil plat construction manager, working long hours and has s teenage daughter.

Episode results after the jump…


Chad Ford thinks James Young’s stock is rising

Photo © Mark Zerof

Photo © Mark Zerof

Right after I posted a bunch of mock drafts for you guys this morning, Chad Ford went and updated his. In his latest version (3.0), Ford actually moves James Young up from #17 to #9.


Are we watching the same player? Ford says that even though Young has “struggled at times with his jump shot this season, many NBA scouts believe he has the chance to be a star.” That is certainly true, but surely those NBA scouts have seen Young try to pass the ball in the past few months.

Where did Ford rank our other Cats? Julius Randle dropped to #6, and Willie Cauley-Stein moved up a few spots to #21. Go check out the rest of his mock draft here.

Why we should all be #TeamJanice

It’s been a rough week in the Big Blue Nation, but the Cats got a win they absolutely had to last night, lifting everyone’s spirits just a bit. This morning, Janice, a 77-year old grandmother, called into the show to tell Matt to get off Shannon’s back and encourage the BBN to be positive about this team going forward. Janice has some ideas about what Cal can do to help the team make a big run in March, including playing Randle, Poythress, and her man Willie Cauley-Stein together, along with a few of the “little boys” to play guard. I definitely felt better after listening to Janice’s call, and you will too.

I, for one, am all #TeamJanice. After seeing the Cats hit rock bottom in person in South Carolina, and dealing with all the rumors about Cal leaving, I will admit, I was pretty depressed. It was almost like the BBN was in mourning for the team that was supposed to be. However, during last night’s game, I came to the realization that this team is what it is, and probably will be for the rest of the season. Like Cal said, we’re not going to blow teams out, so why not put down all the expectations and just be happy if they win at all? Anthony Davis isn’t walking through that door. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist isn’t walking through that door. So, for the rest of the season, let’s stop pulling our hair out over what could have been and just enjoy the ride. If James Young wants to keep looking like Wanda, even better. Seeing his hair like that was the first thing to make me laugh in days.

Be sure to listen to the rest of the show, which was good old school KSR fun.


Are you #TeamJanice?

Coach Cal makes an appearance in Tyler Ulis’ New Mixtape

Tyler Ulis wears awesome shoes and Coach Cal waves to the crowd in the 2014 commit’s newest highlight reel.  There’s also some great basketball played on this mixtape (SPOILER!); step-back jumpers, deeeep threes and flawless passes.

Short people rule! #EatItDrew