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Golden Flake’s Thursday News and Views

Golden Flake’s Thursday News and Views

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Three things come to mind when I think about the SEC Tournament: Golden Flake, Sunkist, and BC Powder. Just like the old Jefferson Pilot logo, those three things are ingrained in my mind from childhood, so it was no surprise that when I walked into the media room to cover my first ever SEC Tournament last year, it was like an SEC Tourney commercial break had come to life. On the table next to the media guides? Stacks upon stacks of BC Powder (cherry flavor). In the soda fountain? Not one, but TWO heads of Sunkist, taking over the spot normally reserved for Diet Pepsi. (Who needs two heads of Sunkist? A bunch of Diet Cola haters, that’s who.) In the corner next to the door? Racks on racks of Golden Flake potato chips, in every flavor you can imagine. Is there a more random potato chip brand than Golden Flake? Not as popular as Lays, hip as Dirty Potato, or fancy as Cape Cod, Golden Flake is like the forgotten chip, only relevant for that week in March when it gets to take it’s turn in the southeastern spotlight.

It turns out the SEC’s ties with Golden Flake run deep. Golden Flake and Coca-Cola were the primary sponsors of “The Bear Bryant Show” back in the day, and at the beginning of each show, cohost Charlie Thornton would pour out a bag of Golden Flake on the table. Here’s an ad Bear did for them back in 1973:

Now that you’re all good and hungry, let’s go over the news of the day…

South Carolina & Mississippi State move on, Tony Barbee fired

Those fans who showed up to the SEC Tournament Wednesday night got to see South Carolina beat Auburn and, unless things change drastically in the last five minutes of play, Mississippi State beat Vanderbilt.

The big news of the night happened off the court. Less than two hours after Auburn lost to South Carolina, Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs fired head coach Tony Barbee at the team hotel. Ouch. Barbee, who played under Cal at UMass and later coached with him at Memphis, ends his Auburn career with a 49-74 record, 18-50 in SEC regular season games. Barbee and Cal are tight, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him join the UK staff, especially if one of the assistants (Antigua?) gets a head coaching job this summer.

In a more honest summary of my night’s activities, I packed eleven blue and white shirts for a four-day trip to Atlanta and “Modern Family” was really funny. Here’s Thursday’s slate of games:

(9) Texas A&M vs. (8) Missouri – 1 p.m.
(13) South Carolina vs. (5) Arkansas – App. 3:30 p.m.
(10) Alabama vs. (7) LSU – 7 p.m.
(14) Mississippi State vs. (6) Ole Miss – App. 9:30 p.m.

The Big Blue Mist rolls into Catlanta

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Kentucky fans taking over the SEC Tournament. Despite the fact that the team doesn’t play until Friday night, there were more Kentucky fans than all other teams combined at the first night of the Tournament, a true testament to Big Blue loyalty. Since most of the KSR Crew didn’t arrive until late Wednesday night, Matt and Drew took the opportunity to invite some fans up to the KSR suite, including Nettie and her husband, who called into the show Wednesday morning:

Photo @KySportsRadio

The team arrived in Atlanta Wednesday evening, using the Miami Heat’s plane for the first time since they traveled to LSU. (Hopefully we’ll get better results this time around.) Until we know whether UK will play LSU or Alabama, there’s not much more to say about Friday night’s game, other than we hope the “tweak” a) is real, and b) works, and that the team follows through on their promise to be more physical. Even if it’s not real, the tweak has given the BBN something to talk about this week. I’ve had several debates over the last few days as to whether or not the tweak is legit, or just a smoke and mirrors scheme by Calipari. The cynic in me thinks it’s the latter, but the optimist, dragging itself across the desert in search of water, is clinging to the hope that it’s real, and even more, will make a difference. Let’s put it to a vote:

surveys

Aaron Harrison is amused by the term “Catlanta”

Joe Lunardi says the Cats are in the “6-7 range”

Everyone’s favorite bracketologist released his latest update on ESPN Wednesday, and has the Cats as a 7-seed in the East Region, facing SMU. Lunardi also did a conference call Wednesday afternoon, in which he said that Kentucky is currently in the 6-7 seed range, and can only move higher if they beat Florida. Lunardi said that if the Cats lose to a team below them in the tournament (so, anyone but Florida), they’ll fall to the 7-8 range, which he believes is a much more likely scenario.

Your feel-good read of the night

Our pal Gregg Doyel has a nice article up on CBSSports.com right now about “Coach Black,” a member of the Northwestern State athletic staff. Coach Black is an autistic savant notorious for his memory, and Doyel has some great interviews about him, including one with former UK assistant Bradley Dale Peveto. Go check it out, I guarantee it will put a smile on your face.

[Best mind in the college game? Northwestern State's 'Coach Black']

Come visit KSR at STATS

On Thursday and Friday morning, KSR will be live from STATS (300 Marietta St NW) near the Georgia Dome from 10 a.m. to noon, so come on out to say hello. We’ll also be doing the postgame show Friday night from STATS (pregame TBD), and if you’ve been with us in Atlanta in the past, you know it’s a party win or lose.

Friday at 2 p.m., the Greater Atlanta UK Alumni Club is holding the official UK Pep Rally at the Hawk Walk at Philips Arena. The cost is $15/person, $10/UK Students, and children 10 and under free. The pep band and cheerleaders will be there, and the first 500 people will get a FREE T-SHIRT!

Thursday will be a fun day on the site, with Matt, Drew, and Aaron Flener continuing the annual KSR SEC Tournament Live Diary throughout the day, sharing behind-the-scenes tales from the KSR suite and press row. I don’t join the crew until Thursday night, so I’m sure there will be plenty of talk about opposing schools’ dance teams.


Report: Tony Barbee fired

barbee

Multiple outlets are now reporting that Auburn head coach Tony Barbee has been fired following their loss to South Carolina tonight. The Opelika-Auburn News’ Mike Szvetitz was the first to report the news, which was later confirmed by ESPN and CBS. Barbee, who played under Cal at UMass and later coached with him at Memphis, ends his Auburn career with a 49-74 record, 18-50 in SEC regular season games.

Fired less than two hours after the game’s over? He got Kiffen’d.


Is this year’s SEC tournament really the most important of the Calipari Era?

(From USAToday.com)

A few days ago, BTI wrote a post about the importance of SEC tournament results in predicting success in the NCAA tournament. BTI’s statistics and results showed that the SEC tournament is often a great indicator of how a team can hope to perform in the NCAA tournament, especially at Kentucky. Putting aside how Kentucky has performed in the past, and how they will perform this weekend– leading into the start of the SEC tournament this weekend, is this the most important SEC tournament for Kentucky in the John Calipari era? I would argue yes. Let’s take a look at what the SEC tournaments have meant to and will mean to the teams John Calipari has coached in his 5 years at Kentucky.

2009-2010

Kentucky didn’t enter the SEC tournament that year with much left to prove. Kentucky was in the driver’s seat to be a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament regardless of the results of that weekend. Kentucky was also in good position to receive the #1 overall seed, though winning the tournament would likely solidify that for the Cats. Kentucky had only lost 2 SEC games all season, the upset loss at South Carolina and a loss on the road to a good Tennessee team. The SEC tournament for John Wall and Company was more of a victory tour for one of the most exciting seasons in years for Kentucky basketball. The event was a celebration for fans and a return to glory after a tough drought in previous seasons.

Result: Kentucky went on to win the SEC tournament in dramatic fashion, taking Mississippi State to overtime on one of the most memorable plays in the Calipari era (when DeMarcus Cousins tipped in a missed free throw, before being pummeled by his teammates in celebration).

Level of Importance: Low… The tournament was a celebration.

 

2010-2011

Kentucky entered the SEC tournament on a bit of a roll, having won 3 SEC games in a row after an up and down SEC season up until that point. Kentucky still had much left to prove about itself heading into the tournament. Kentucky hadn’t show much consistency and already had 8 losses on the season. The momentum was starting to turn though for the Cats, with Brandon Knight molding into form and the team showing promising moments. The SEC tournament gave Kentucky a chance to really hit its stride before entering the NCAA tournament.

Result: Kentucky ended up going on a great run to win the SEC title, with a very convincing win over Florida in the finals. Although the win didn’t count toward seeing (Kentucky had already slid up to a 4-seed just by making the finals), the win gave Kentucky a boost of confidence before heading into the tournament.

Level of Importance: Very High… It’s safe to say that winning the SEC tournament was the light that ignited the fire under this Kentucky team, sending them all the way to an unexpected Final 4.

 

2011-2012

Much like the 2009-2010 season, Kentucky had all but wrapped up the #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament before the SEC tournament even started. Kentucky was on a path seemingly destined for a national championship. The SEC tournament results weren’t going to do much to steer Kentucky off track.

Result: Kentucky ended up losing to a strong Vanderbilt team in the SEC title game. The loss, though not “necessary” for Kentucky to win the title, probably added just enough fuel to an already burning fire to give Kentucky a little chip on its shoulder before NCAA tournament play started.

Level of Importance: Low… Kentucky didn’t need to win the whole thing, but the loss might have given them an extra edge.

 

2012-2013

In a sense, the SEC tournament was incredibly crucial for Kentucky because the Cats basically knew they HAD to win at least 1 game to keep its hopes alive of making the NCAA tournament. Kentucky was hanging on to the “bubble” by dear life, and desperately needed at least one win, maybe even more to sneak into the Big Dance. Kentucky’s season essentially went down the drain though when Nerlens Noel tore his ACL against Florida. Even though Kentucky was not mathematically eliminated at that point, any chance the Cats had for making a splash even if they made the NCAA tournament field was all but lost. Kentucky could have possibly made the tourney by winning a game or two in the SEC, but the realistic chances of a momentum-building run like 2 years before was very, very slim.

Result: Kentucky got crushed by a lowly Vanderbilt team, sending the Wildcats packing to the NIT.

Level of Importance: High… In a way, the tournament was important because it was Kentucky’s only shot to make the NCAA tournament, but in a way– even that would have likely ended in an early exit. The SEC tournament wasn’t going to catapult a depleted Kentucky team into much of a March run.

 

2013-2014

Kentucky doesn’t need the SEC tournament to make the NCAA field, but Kentucky needs the SEC tournament for other reasons this year. Following a disappointing 22-9 regular season that didn’t nearly live up to the high expectations at the beginning of the season, Kentucky desperately needs a big boost of confidence heading into the NCAA tournament. Kentucky has enough talent to put together a little run if they can get some positive momentum going this weekend. Kentucky also has a chance to improve its seeding one way or the other, depending on how the tournament goes. More so than Kentucky needs this tournament for seeding purposes, this team needs something good to happen to it. The young Cats really do.

Result: Unknown

Level of Importance: Very High

 

If I was to rank the importance of the SEC tournaments at Kentucky during the John Calipari era, from most important to least important…here’s my list below. What’s yours?

1. 2010-2011 (Brandon Knight’s team)

2. 2013-2014 (Current Kentucky team)

3. 2012-2013 (Last year’s Kentucky team)

4. 2009-2010 (John Wall’s team)

5. 2011-2012 (National championship Kentucky team)

 

I think an argument could be made for 1, 2 and 3 on that list in any particular order.


Facts optional at SEC TV, too

Facts optional at SEC TV, too

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Never thought I’d point to a win over Alabama to prove someone wrong, but come on. It’s bad, but it’s not that bad.


KSR Readers’ Guide To Atlanta

With no Atlantans on staff, KSR turned to you to give us some recommendations on where to eat, drink, and play this weekend. I went through over a hundred comments and tweets to give you a sampling of places to try, and I encourage those of you going to look at all of the recommendations here.

For those of you staying downtown, I recommend using either cabs or car services like Lyft or Uber. Parking and traffic can be a hassle, and if you’re planning on enjoying adult beverages, driving is just plain stupid.

EAT

Near the Dome

The Varsity (61 North Avenue NW) – Burgers, hot dogs

“The Varsity on North Ave. Still has carhops. Order couple all the way dogs, rings and a pc. Great!!!!”

Pittypat’s Porch (25 Andrew Young International Blvd) – Southern comfort food

“BEST FRIED CHICKEN I HAVE EVER EATEN”

Cab/Car/MARTA

The Vortex (878 Peachtree St NE and 438 Moreland Ave NE) – Burgers

@bbranham01: A burger at The Vortex is a must! Cool place and awesome food! @DrewFranklinKSR should try to eat the Triple ByPass Burger!

“Vortex if you’re looking for a good burger. Watch out for the weirdos though”

“Vortex definitely. Best burger and huge variety. Insane customers and servers, loud music, hopping place. Allows smoking. Their philosophy. . . ‘If you don’t like something here, shut up or leave.’ It’s a sight to see. I’m a local here, originally from KY and love it. Relaxed dress and atmosphere.”

Murphy’s (997 Virginia Ave NE) – Brunch, bakery, wine shop

@jtvinson61: Murphys is great for breakfast. Think they serve all seatings, only been for breakfast. Travel a lot, one of top 5 bkfst. spots

Gladys Knight’s Signature Chicken & Waffles (529 Peachtree St NE)

Fox Brothers BBQ (1238 DeKalb Ave NE)

“This is some of the best BBQ you can find in ATL. Not too far from downtown either.”

“Not some of the best. It’s the best in ATL. Period.”

“I was born and raised in Lexington and moved down to ATL 2 years ago and I have to agree with Atlanta Cat. Fox Bros BBQ is not only the best BBQ in ATL, but its the best I’ve ever had. Good beers too.”

Antico Pizza Napoletana (1093 Hemphill Ave NW)

“Antico is the best pizza in the city”

“Antico Pizza – never had a better pizza in NY or anywhere else”

“Antico is hands down the best pizza in the city and a cool atmosphere (BYOB with no corking fee)”

Taqueria del Sol (2165 Cheshire Bridge Rd)

“Affordable tacos, enchiladas, margaritas; slightly more authentic than your normal tex mex”

Crawfish Shack Seafood (4337 Buford Hwy, #170)

@tommykeene12: best seafood place in town. Profiled in NY Times.

Farm Burger (410 W Ponce De Leon Ave) – burgers

“Way better than the Vortex but doesn’t have the same Atlanta history/credentials”

Mary Mac’s Tea Room (224 Ponce De Leon Ave NE) – Southern comfort food

“Incredible southern cooking served family style!”

The Wing Factory (4279 Roswell Rd #605)

“If you want the best wings around, go try The Wing Factory on Roswell Rd. Get the honey jerk and hot ranch… you will not be disappointed.”

“Wing Factory on RR is unreal. I’m a fan of the Hot Garlics, and Hot Lemonyakis”

atlanta-stats

DRINK

Near the Dome

STATS (300 Marietta St NW), Home of KSR, awesome rooftop patio and beer taps on the table

Drew Franklin: “Try the sweet potato fries”

Taco Mac (100 Techwood Dr NW)

Dantana’s (One CNN Center #269)

Cab/Car/MARTA (no drinking and driving!)

Sweetwater Brewery (195 Ottley Dr NE), Open W-F 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“10 bucks to take the tour.. and you get 6 half-pints…that’s right for all you math nerds out there… that is 3 pints of delicious craft beer for 10 bucks! How can you beat that?”

“They give you more than half a pint per. They’re the best brewery in town at filling up your glass.”

Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House (685 11th St NW)

The Ivy Buckhead (3717 Roswell Rd)

Johnny’s Hideaway (3771 Roswell Rd)

“Awesome and hilarious party scene til 3am.”

A brief listing of other bars recommended: El Bar on Ponce de Leon, MJQ, Graveyard Tavern, Dark Horse, Euclid Avenue Yacht Club, Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living, Republic, Independent, Kimball House (Oysters and Absinthe), Leon’s Full Service, Holeman & Finch

SEE

Near the dome

Georgia Aquarium (225 Baker St NW), Open M-F 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“the whale sharks and the manta rays are a must”

The World of Coca-Cola (121 Baker St NW), Open M-Th 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday & Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“If you go to the Coke Museum, be careful. It has been three years and I still can’t get the taste of Beverly out of my mouth!”

“If you go to the coke museum, don’t taste the coke called Beverly. Has a reputation for being nasty for a reason”

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site (Auburn Avenue Northeast)

“Go see the MLK childhood home (Nat’L Landmark), MLK museum down the street. Took the wife and kids- pretty cool place. “

Stone Mountain Park — Beautiful park east of Atlanta with several hiking trails

As always, add your recs in the comments section.


Chad Ford thinks 4 or 5 Cats will enter the draft

(Darrell Bird | Catpause)

(Darrell Bird | Catpause)

At the beginning of this season, John Calipari said that as many as eight Kentucky players could go pro after this year. With the regular season over, only three are consistently listed in mock drafts: Julius Randle, James Young, and Willie Cauley-Stein. In his ESPN Insider chat this afternoon, NBA guru Chad Ford said he believes that “at least four or five” UK players will enter the draft after this season:

For the second straight year, UK has under performed and this year, they can’t blame some of that on a major injury. From what I can gather, most, if not all of them want to come to the NBA now — including the Harrison twins. Randle is the only clear cut guy. He’s a Top 10 pick and probably Top 5. Lots of scouts like James Young. The rest is a pretty mixed bag at this point. But I think you’ll see at least four or five in the draft this year

Ford later said that right now, the chances the Twins go in the first round is “very slim.” Last week, Ford had a lot of us scratching our heads when he raved about James Young, whom he has going ninth in his latest mock draft. Today, Ford was asked about Young, and continued to sing his praises:

Scouts fell in love with him before the season in Kentucky practices when he couldn’t miss a shot. He’s proven to be a more streaky shooter during the season, but has a smoothness to his game that teams really like. He’s a player you draft on potential and I still think he’s a late lottery pick, despite some up and down games of late.

 At least he didn’t mention his passing skills.

Let’s watch basketball because we can: Wednesday night games

Let’s watch basketball because we can: Wednesday night games

Photo brianhelge.com

Conference tournaments are starting all across the nation today, which means procrastinators everywhere have another excuse to avoid work and watch the games on their computer/mobile device. Because we’re basketball junkies too, I put together a viewing guide for the games throughout the day, and now it’s time for tonight’s slate. Here’s how to watch basketball tonight, just because we can:

AAC Tournament

AAC

7:00 p.m.: South Florida vs. Rutgers (ESPNU, WatchESPN.com)
9:30 p.m.: UCF vs. Temple (ESPN2, WatchESPN.com)

ACC Tournament

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 10.27.44 AM

7:00 p.m.:  Georgia Tech vs. Boston College (ESPN2, WatchESPN.com)

Big East Tournament

BigEast

7:00 p.m.: Butler vs. Seton Hall (FOX Sports 1)
9:30 p.m.: DePaul vs. Georgetown (FOX Sports 1)

Big 12 Tournament

Big12

7:00 p.m.: Oklahoma State vs. Texas Tech (WatchESPN.com)
9:30 p.m.: Baylor vs. TCU (WatchESPN.com)

Conference USA Tournament

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 10.28.37 AM

8:00 p.m.: UTEP vs. Eastern Carolina  (ConferenceUSA.com)
10:30 p.m.: UAB vs. Charlotte (ConferenceUSA.com)

PAC 12 Tournament

PAC12

9:00 p.m.: Oregon vs. Oregon State (Pac-12.com)
11:30 p.m.: Stanford vs. Washington State (Pac-12.com)

SEC Tournament (yeah buddy)

SEC

7:00 p.m.: Auburn vs. South Carolina (SEC TV, WatchESPN.com)
9:25 p.m.: Vandy vs. Mississippi State (SEC TV, WatchESPN.com)

Feel free to discuss the games in the comments section.


Karl Towns, Jr. Is Excited, But Won’t Speculate On Next Year

Karl Towns, Jr. Is Excited, But Won’t Speculate On Next Year

KarlTownsAntDavis

Towns’ maturity and skill may give flashbacks to Anthony Davis, MKG.

Recently selected to both the Jordan Brand Classic and the McDonald’s All-American games, Karl Towns, Jr. is riding something of a hot streak lately.  And by lately, I mean all year.  He’s averaging a double-double, excited to come to Kentucky, and his high school squad is poised to enter the Tournament of Champions, should they win tonight against Paul IV.  So what’s on his mind these days?  Well, according to SNY.Tv, a lot about high school, apparently.

Cool.  Good to see he’s not jumping ahead.  But if he, you know, were to jump ahead, just a little bit, and think about Kentucky instead of New Jersey, what would he say?  He’d apparently share the opinion of a lot of Kentucky fans, in realizing that freshmen can be freshmen, and maybe 2012 was the exception to the rule:

I just think it’s freshmen pains right now.  It was fortunate enough for Coach Cal to have Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and some seniors to the point where freshmen pains weren’t so bad. Right now I just think it’s two young teams in a row and they’re just trying to gel, find each other’s tendencies and consistencies with one another.

Two young teams in a row?  More like five.  But it has been two back-to-back struggling seasons, so maybe he has a point.  Some young people just act older than others their age.  Anthony Davis didn’t have a single drink for his 21st birthday because he wanted to stay sharp for practice the next morning.  MKG started the Breakfast Club of his own initiative.  So maybe it’s not about how old you are, but how old you act.  Certainly those two acted older than their ages indicate.  And from what we know of him so far, Towns sounds like that kind of guy, too.

Especially when it comes to speculation.  If Karl knows anything we don’t about who’s staying, he’s not saying.  What he will say, though?  The more, the merrier.

I just think that’d be an even greater support for us if any of them were to stay.  We’d have experience from years of playing together. Them having played at Kentucky for a year or for some of them, two or three years. It’s going to be a big help for us because we’ll have that experience. We’ll know how to handle college life and also how to keep the freshmen pains to a minimum. So that’s a big help especially for me, Trey Lyles, Devin Booker and Tyler Ulis. We’re really just going to go in there and do the best we can. If we have the support like that, it’s going to make the world a lot easier for us.

Some great stuff from one of the premier players in the 2014 class, who might have a lot in common with another first-committer (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist).  Focus and patience seem to be his hallmarks, as well as a ridiculous range on his jumper for a seven-footer.  What’s his mantra right now?

We’ll worry about the Kentucky team when we’re there.


Lunardi thinks the Cats will be a 7-seed in the East, have to beat Florida to move up

Lunardi thinks the Cats will be a 7-seed in the East, have to beat Florida to move up

Screen-Shot-2014-03-12-at-3.50

Joe Lunardi updated his Bracketology through last night’s games, and currently has the Cats as a 7-seed in the East, playing SMU in Raleigh (Duke or Eastern Kentucky as a potential matchup? Ohh, the anxiety).

This afternoon, Lunardi spoke with reporters on a conference call and said that right now, he thinks the Cats are still in the “6,7 range,” and the only way they can move up is to beat Florida in the SEC Tournament:

So they’re in like the 6, 7 range at the moment.  Short of beating Florida in the final that’s where they’re going to stay.  And the real risk for UK in this tournament is having a loss to somebody below them and actually falling into the 7, 8 range, which is actually more what their profile would suggest.

Come on Joe, haven’t you heard about the tweak??


No booze for Anthony Davis at his 21st birthday party

No booze for Anthony Davis at his 21st birthday party

Image via TMZOn Tuesday, Anthony Davis turned 21 years old, but according to TMZ Sports, he didn’t ring in the milestone birthday as many of us have. TMZ reports that Davis’ friends and teammates (including LoLo Jones) threw him a party at New Orleans steakhouse Desi Vega Monday night, and afterwards, the crew rang in the big moment at The Walk-Ons bar, but Davis passed on having his first legal drink because he wanted to be “fresh for practice” in the morning:

But when the clock struck midnight, and Davis was legally allowed to booze … we’re told Anthony stuck with iced tea and sodas — and told employees he was serious about sobriety because he wanted to be fresh for practice in the morning.

Most mature 21-year-old ever.


Duke gaining on UK for Luke Kennard?

Duke gaining on UK for Luke Kennard?

kennard

Franklin (Ohio) 5-star guard Luke Kennard isn’t shy about the fact that he grew up a Kentucky fan, taking a liking to former Wildcat Tayshaun Prince at an early age.

His father, Mark, played at nearby Georgetown and his family is from Paintsville and even hold season tickets at Rupp Arena.

So, when John Calipari offered the 6-foot-5 guard a scholarship last summer and Kennard responded in kind by visiting the UK campus five times over a span of 119 days in the fall, most assumed it was a foregone conclusion that Kennard would be a Cat.

But Kentucky has seen its stranglehold on Kennard’s recruitment start to slip.

At one time the overwhelming favorite in Kennard’s Crystal Ball, the Wildcats have seen its lead virtually erased following his official visit to Duke over the weekend where he saw the Blue Devils exact revenge on archrival North Carolina.

Ranked as the No. 15 overall prospect and No. 2 shooting guard in the 2015 class by the 247Sports Composite, Kennard averaged 40 points per game as a junior this season.

For more on where Kentucky stands with Kennard, visit CatsPause.com [FREE]

@ChrisFisher247


Erik Korem is the face of High PErformance, by dietician Monica Fowler

The Woman Behind High Performance

Erik Korem is the face of High PErformance, by dietician Monica Fowler

Erik Korem is the face of High Performance, by dietitian Monica Fowler is one of the most important work horses in the program. (Chet White/ UK Athletics)

Erik Korem’s High Performance has brought many new things to the Kentucky football program: a new weight room, new exercises, but what might be the most important is the players’ new diets.  I first encountered dietitian Monica Fowler last January in Blazer Hall, assisting defensive tackle Mike Douglas with his dinner choice at the buffet-style dining hall.  Since then, Mama Fowler (as the player’s like to call her) has been present at every football function I have been around, preparing post-practice shakes and snacks for the team.

It isn’t easy convincing enormous football players to trade-off greasy fast food for healthier options.  The Herald-Leader’s Jen Smith spoke with Mama Fowler about her job, one that requires a lot of time and persuasion.

If players need to lose weight, she helps them with illustrations of how their plates should look.  She sits down with a player and his schedule and makes lists of food options on campus near his classes… When the players are going to eat bad things – and she knows they’re going to eat bad things – she encourages them not to “go ham” on it.

I’ve seen Donte Rumph and Mister Cobble argue who is the better cook; needless to say they “go ham” on ham all of the time.

The hardest part is convincing them that the balanced nutrition will work.  Results take much longer than lifting weights, but the Mike Douglas I saw on campus yesterday is much different than the Mike Douglas I saw in Blazer Hall last Spring.

I encourage you to read all about Monica’s long work days and her process. [Jen Smith: 'Mama Fowler' enters UK football players' hearts through their stomachs.] 


KSR wants YOUR recommendations on what to do in ATL!

KSR wants YOUR recommendations on what to do in ATL!

atlanta_skyline_sunset

Over the next 48 hours, the Big Blue Nation will descend upon Atlanta for the SEC Tournament. With no native Atlantans on staff, we’re turning to you for advice on what Kentucky fans should do before, between, and after games, or, in the unhappy scenario that Kentucky loses on Friday night, the rest of the weekend.

Georgia peaches, this is your time to shine. Give me your best recommendations for where to eat, drink, and sightsee in ATL. I’ll compile them all for a post tonight.


Photo @Beisner_cn2

Mark Stoops will be on the next Keeneland Maker’s Mark bottle

Photo @Beisner_cn2

Photo @Beisner_cn2

According to Thomas Beisner, Mark Stoops will be the next Keeneland Maker’s Mark bottle soon. Beis posted this rendering of the bottle on Twitter earlier today.

What will they do when we win a bowl game? Stoops bourbon barrels?

UPDATE: A better view of the label, from @janetpattonhl…

Photo @janetpattonhl

Photo @janetpattonhl


11,500 tickets have been distributed for the Spring Game

Photo by Regina Rickert

Photo by Regina Rickert

So far, 11,500 tickets have been distributed to UK Football’s Spring Game, set for Saturday, April 26 at 3:30 p.m. On Monday, the tickets became available for season ticket holders and students, and now, the general public can get in on the fun. To get yours, head on over to Ticketmaster and use the promo code “WHYNOT” when prompted. The tickets are free, and the limit is six.

This year, capacity will be limited to 42,500 because of construction at Commonwealth Stadium, which means we won’t be able to break last year’s record of 50,831, but it will still be a blast, and the first time we’ll be able to see guys like Drew Barker, Thaddeus Snodgrass, Dorian Hendrix, Mikel Horton, and more.

Go on and getcha some:

I WANT UK SPRING GAME TICKETS