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After all of the hype and Johnny Football/Teddy Bridgewater talk earlier in the NFL draft season, the first quarterback to be taken in this year’s NFL draft was Central Florida’s Blake Bortles, who was selected with the 3rd overall pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars. For those hoping that Bortles’ girlfriend (just Google it if you’re a guy, trust me… or scroll down and I’ll help ya out in a second) would land somewhere that would continue to allow her to sport bathing suits, it was a big win. Bortles told the Orlando Sentinel that his first “big purchase” now that he’s officially in the NFL will be to buy the rest of his brother’s tuition at Ole Miss. Not a bad answer, fella. Not a bad answer at all.
The most entertaining part of tonight’s NFL draft though had to be watching the epic meltdown on Twitter of all of the fans who apparently wanted their NFL team to choose Johnny Manziel. I had no idea so many people coveted his services, but people were FREAKING OUT each time a team passed him up. Honestly though Cleveland fans, what did you expect? Kevin Costner cannot be trusted (*Update: Kevin Costner came through. Manziel to the Browns).
Oh, and as promised… the picture of Blake Bortles’ girlfriend…
And now on the news and views from the day…
The first of 2 potential HUGE Kentucky football Yahtzees came in today… Welcome, Jordan Jones
We have been hearing all week that Kentucky football might make some serious waves this week in recruiting, and so far Stoops and company have not let us down. On the heels of a contract extension and raise, the football staff delivered in the area in which they’ve shined so far in a short amount of time in Lexington. The days of hearing a recruit selected Kentucky over Miami of Ohio, Toledo and Marshall are long gone. Today, Kentucky landed a 4-star/3-star linebacker who picked the Cats over the likes of the more impressive of the Miamis (Fla), Oklahoma, Nebraska and West Virginia to name a few. Jordan Jones is a stud linebacker from Stoops and Vince Marrow’s stomping grounds of Youngstown, Ohio.
Oh, and also… Mark Stoops beat out his brother Bob for Jordan Jones. Not a bad day at the office.
The good news for the week might not be over yet, as Kentucky looks to be in good position to roll the Yahtzee dice again tomorrow. C.J. Conrad, a 4-star tight end out of LaGrange, Ohio will be making his decision tomorrow between Kentucky and Indiana. Surely, surely, surelyyyy there’s no reason any human being not named the Truth would choose Indiana football for any reason, ever. But we shall see. Conrad also held offers from Arkansas, Illinois, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.
The Ohio pipeline comes through again
Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops are capitalizing on their Ohio roots big time in the recruiting process. Youngstown, Ohio in particular, the hometown of both– has provided a great pipeline to Kentucky, as well as some of the surrounding areas. I know, I know…we’ve talked about it a lot… but this staff is absolutely killing it in the state of Ohio– a previously relatively untapped resource.
The non-conference schedule looks solid
Kentucky’s non-conference basketball schedule continues to round into form, and for the Kentucky fans– you have to like what you see. Kentucky will potentially face 4 pre-season Top 15 teams (Louisville, Texas, UNC, Kansas), and one has to think that UCLA could be in the Top 20. Providence will be a good game as well. Even the addition of Eastern Kentucky today, though not quite as sexy as some others– is still a solid game. Eastern Kentucky made the tournament last year. Hey, add them to the list of teams we will play in the non-conference that are probably better than Indiana.
The best news is that Kentucky’s Rupp Arena schedule will be better this season, with an exciting and talented Texas team making the trip to Lexington, as well as North Carolina and Providence.
Only at Kentucky could Jodie Meeks have a graduation press conference
Jodie Meeks’ press conference made up about 1/5 of the news on KSR today. What does that tell you? Well, two things. One– it’s the off-season. And two– only at Kentucky could a player returning to graduate hold a press conference for doing so. In all seriousness though, Jodie Meeks coming back and finishing his degree is a wonderful and impressive accomplishment. In the words of Jay Bilas, it just sucks that Meeks’ graduation is tarnishing Kentucky’s reputation as a basketball school.
P.S. Whoever writes the “Tell All” book on Billy Gillispie from that era…. I’m the first in line to buy 2 copies.
Interest continues between Kentucky and Eron Harris
The news emerged late last night that Kentucky is interested in West Virginia shooting guard Eron Harris, who will be transferring schools. Harris would have to sit out a year, but could provide the shooting touch needed in the 2015 recruiting class after the loss of Luke Kennard to Duke. Harris averaged 17+ points a game for West Virginia. Kentucky doesn’t necessarily appear to be the early frontrunner (Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue were the schools he mentioned for upcoming visits), but Harris admitted that when Kentucky calls, “of course you’d have to be interested.”
Does anyone else just wish he could play this year to watch announcers struggle with the whole Aaron Harris/Eron Harris thing? Bobby Knight would be going shot-clock mode on that one.
The women killed it today on KSR
I’ve rarely enjoyed 2 hours of radio as much as I enjoyed the KSR Ladies Day today. From the Nerlens Noel driving a dump truck story/picture, to Rose’s wisdom on cockfighting and sharing the same last name as a bootlegger, to Rob Bromley’s sex appeal… the ladies killed it today on KSR.
I am watching the Draft and want to get back to it, so these will be short…in the meantime, stare at the amazing selfie above, complete with UK players making excellent faces and enjoy:
— The UK schedule next year is going to be one of the best in the last 20 years here. Obviously the names are big, but the actual talent of the teams is just as big. We are looking at potentially four games against preseason Top 12 teams (Kansas, UNC, Louisville and Texas), the traditional power of UCLA, a Providence team that went to the Tournament and probably at least one other marquee game in the “exempt” tournament (likely a team such as UMASS or the like). A schedule like that is as good as we have seen and Calipari has the horses to handle it.
— I do think there is some legitimate interest from Kentucky for Eron Harris. Harris is the type of player that you rarely see as a transfer…a kid who has already excelled at a BCS school and still wants to transfer and sit out a year. You sometimes see mid-major guys transfer in those circumstances or top-level guys who have not hit the level they want…but a 17 points per game scorer from a school like West Virginia? Rare indeed. Kentucky thought a few months ago that they would get Luke Kennard and he and Matthews would be the 2/3s of the 2015 class. While the 2015 class is deep with big men, it isnt loaded at the guard position (at least for UK targets) and losing Kennard probably made Calipari think this was a viable option. This will be worth following as Harris is a major talent that virtually no one saw potentially being a Cat and in the next week or so, we will find out of if that is a long term option.
— Folks, the UK football recruiting is beyond amazing. Getting Jordan Jones today and potentially CJ Conrad tomorrow has to be beyond this staff’s wildest dreams. Jones picked Kentucky over offers from Oklahoma, Miami and Nebraska…read that sentence again…it is real. And Conrad is a 4 star Tight End that Vince Marrow has coveted since arriving in Lexington. I can’t get over how this group recruits and if they can keep the momentum up, the third recruiting class will be even better than the first two. Steps on the field have to be taken in year two and year three is a big judgment period. However in recruiting, no one could have seen this coming when Stoops was hired. He continues to amaze.
As of this moment, Johnny Manziel hasn’t been drafted…I am hoping for Dallas because it will be the most awesome assortment of fun in the NFL in years…I might even buy a Cowboys jersey. We shall see. Until then, Mike Evans got drafted and a nose pick. Have a big Thursday night folks and thanks to all the women who made the KSR Radio “Ladies Day” show today a success
pic by World of Isaac
By Jennifer Davidson on ©May 08th, 2014 @ 8:09pm
The University of Kentucky softball team advanced to the semifinals of the 2014 SEC Tournament for the first time in program history today after defeating No. 7 Tennessee. Kelsey Nunley threw seven scoreless innings and allowed only 5 hits, walked 1 and struck out 7. The shutout against the Lady Vols is Nunley’s sixth of the season and is now 23-7 from the mound. The Cats were paced offensively by Christian Stokes, who hit her seventh homerun of the season to help lead the Cats to the 2-0 victory over Tennessee. The Cats next opponent is highly touted No. 6 LSU, who they will face tomorrow at 3 p.m ET on ESPNU in the SEC semifinals.
Eron Harris (pronounced Aaron Harris) is a new name on the college basketball market. He has two seasons under his belt at West Virginia but is transferring out of Morgantown to offer his services to one lucky school in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Since receiving his release earlier this week, Harris has heard from several suitors, Kentucky included. So tonight let’s run down who he is and why the Cats are going after him.
At West Virginia:
Harris was Dub-V’s second-leading scorer in 2013-14 at 17.2 points per game. He averaged over 30 minutes per contest and shot over 40 percent from the field, including a team-high 42 percent from downtown.
As a true freshman in 2012-13, Harris led the Mountaineers in scoring with just under 10 points in 22 minutes per game. He was the first freshman to lead the Mountaineers in four decades.
Why he’s transferring:
To be closer to home in Indianapolis, he says, although he is considering UCLA for his next school. “If UCLA is interested and my family would be able to fly out and see me play, I’d look at that,” he told the Indy Star.
Who has been calling:
Butler, Indiana, Purdue, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Louisville, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA
What he is saying about Kentucky:
“If you hear Kentucky is interested, of course you’d have to be interested.”
Harris insists everything is wide open, but when asked which schools he plans to visit, he mentioned Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.
ESPNU Campus Connection profile with incredibly awkward host:
From February of Harris’ freshman season…
Coming out of high school in 2012:
A three-star prospect, Harris drew offers from West Virginia (obviously), Wisconsin, Dayton, Evansville, Kent State, Tennessee Tech and Buffalo. He was unranked at his position.
Harris’ father went to Purdue — he tried out for the basketball team but didn’t make it — and Purdue head coach Matt Painter scouted Eron in high school without extending an offer.
“None of those big Indiana schools offered me,” Harris told the Times West Virginian back in December.
Why Kentucky is considering him:
The 2015 recruiting class is very heavy on the big men and pretty light on the guard play, so UK could use another option for its backcourt. Malik Newman is the primary target in that class, but it wouldn’t hurt to throw a veteran Eron Harris in the mix, too.
I would say he’d make a good practice player next season but practices are already stacked.
Another video to take up space:
He can dunk!
Don’t kick his teammate.
If you do, this will happen:
Sooooo sign him up?
Twitter says he’s definitely ‘that dude’, @imthat_dude21
This morning Ladies’ Day on KSR was interrupted when 3-star linebacker Jordan Jones called in to announce his commitment to the University of Kentucky. As you’ve probably already heard, Jones comes from the same Cardinal Mooney blood as his lead recruiter, Vince Marrow, and his future head coach Mark Stoops.
The linebacker will be a phenomenal duo alongside the state of Kentucky’s best linebacker, Eli Brown. Both are listed as outside linebackers with great size and athleticism but Jones’ game is a bit different, getting his bread-and-butter from stopping the run on the inside. The way he makes tackles is the kind of stuff they put on instructional coaching videos: he sticks his nose right in the opponent’s sternum, thrusts his hips, then drives his legs until the whistle blows. To add to his badass pedigree, he displays the perfect form on the first play of his highlight reel…in the snow.
Jones’ ability to make plays at the line of scrimmage would make him the perfect replacement for Avery Williamson, but unfortunately we’re going to have to wait another year to watch him do work at 4.47 speed.
Well done Coach Stoops. Make sure brother Bob doesn’t forget it who won this round.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 08th, 2014 @ 6:30pm
Congrats to Jodie for completing five summer classes since leaving for the NBA to earn his degree from UK.
By T.Walters on ©May 08th, 2014 @ 6:00pm
Your mom spoiled you, now it’s time to spoil mom. And with berries and flowers, you can spoil her twice.
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The berries are dipped in white, milk, and dark chocolatly goodness and topped with chocolate chips, decorative swizzle, or nuts. The flowers are beautiful and classic and sure to put a smile on her face.
Spoil her twice! But hurry… THIS OFFER IS GOOD FOR TODAY ONLY!
She’s going to love it.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 08th, 2014 @ 5:00pm
Congratulations, Rupp Arena! You did it!
Something called a StadiumJourney.com ranked the arenas of all 351 Division I basketball programs and UK’s Rupp Arena finished first atop the list. The website claims to have visited every arena over the last four years (I don’t believe that for one second) and ranked the venues based on food and beverage, atmosphere, surrounding area, fans, access, overall return on investment, and a “catchall category for any extras.”
Here’s what the S-J (that’s what we’re calling it) had to say about our favorite hangout:
1.) Rupp Arena – Home of the Kentucky Wildcats
Named for 41-year and 4-time National Champion coach Adolph Rupp, this 23,000 seat venue in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, routinely draws over 24,000 spectators for marquee matchups. The eight NCAA Championship banners hanging from the rafters greet all fans as they enter Rupp Arena and provide a reminder of the history and tradition of the Kentucky basketball program.
Coming in a close second was Syracuse’s Carrier Dome, followed by the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Creighton’s CenturyLink Center, and Utah’s Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, which I had never heard of until this very moment.
If you noticed a couple extra hundred girls screaming when you got online today, it’s because today is Jarrod Polson Day, a national holiday in the 15-25 year old demographic.
Lady’s Man P celebrated his 23rd today by hanging out with Jon Hood in Madisonville, where I’m conveniently located, and I assume he’ll dance the rest of the night away, as he tends to do:
Shoot him a Happy Birthday message on Twitter at @JPolson05 or in the comments section below.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 08th, 2014 @ 3:00pm
TV crews in Lexington tracked down Neal Brown on his way to a Kentucky Rotary luncheon this afternoon to ask the UK offensive coordinator about Kentucky’s current quarterback situation. Brown couldn’t name a starter but said Patrick Towles looked the best in the spring game after reviewing the tape. However, Reese Phillips has been the most solid in practices.
Brown also said the Cats are still a year away from where they want to be, but they’re improving.
By Matt Jones on ©May 08th, 2014 @ 2:26pm
By Drew Franklin on ©May 08th, 2014 @ 1:48pm
Jodie Meeks spoke very highly of John Calipari during his press conference today. He said he talks to Cal whenever he is in town and Cal always says he wishes he could’ve coached him but he’s happy it worked out in the NBA.
Jodie is happy for Calipari’s success, too, and what he means to UK. “We’ve come a long way since the Billy Gillispie days,” he said, laughing.
Meeks also said he believes they could’ve gone undefeated in 2009-10 had he stuck around for his senior season.
He will graduate Saturday after five summers of coursework since turning pro.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 08th, 2014 @ 1:10pm
Two new non-conference games have been announced since we previewed the schedule yesterday, so let’s run it back today with an updated look at what we know.
Kentucky vs. Kansas
Champions Classic, Indianapolis, IN
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
The State Farm Champions Classic is back again in 2014, this time in Indianapolis. Kentucky will meet Kansas in Lucas Oil Stadium in the first game before Michigan State vs. Duke in the nightcap.
We’ll get a look at former UK targets Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander, plus Duke’s monster recruiting class.
Kentucky vs. Texas
SEC/Big 12 Challenge, Lexington, KY
Friday, December 5
ESPN announced yesterday that Kentucky has drawn Texas in its 2014 SEC/Big 12 Challenge game. The Cats will host the Longhorns in Rupp Arena as one of two marquee matchups in the challenge, the other being Florida at Kansas.
Myles Turner is coming to town! Rick Barnes too!
Kentucky vs. Eastern Kentucky
Sunday, December 7
One day after the Texas game was made official, UK announced Eastern Kentucky will make the short drive to Rupp Arena that same weekend. The Cats and Colonels will meet on a Sunday; game time to be determined.
Kentucky vs. Providence
Providence travels to Lexington in 2014 to complete the two-game agreement that included a game in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last season. UK won in Brooklyn, 79-65.
Kentucky vs. North Carolina
The UK-UNC regular season rivalry returns to Rupp Arena in 2014. We last saw the Tar Heels in Lexington in 2011 when Anthony Davis swatted John Henson to take the game, 73-72.
Kentucky will look to avenge its loss in Chapel Hill last season.
Kentucky vs. UCLA
CBS Sports Classic, Chicago Illinois
Saturday, December 20, 2014
UK will meet UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic, a new three-year round-robin event featuring UK, UCLA, North Carolina and Ohio State. The Cats and Bruins will play in the second game at 3:30 pm in the United Center. It will be the two teams’ first meeting since 2006 when Ramel, Joe, Randolph and the boys lost in the Maui Invitational.
Kentucky @ Louisville
We’ll be traveling to the Yum! Center (groan) to watch UK vs. Louisville as part of the home-and-home series that dates back to 1983. The game will likely be on Saturday, December 27 or Saturday, January 3.
The “Foreign Trip”
Bahamas? Puerto Rico? TELL US ALREADY!!!!!
With the new commitment of Jordan Jones, Kentucky went 2-for-2 on its top linebacker targets in the 2015 recruiting class. Jones and in-state prospect Eli Brown were at the top of the priority list, now they’re on a new list: 2015 UK commits.
Brown is the headliner of the current class and one of the three or four biggest commitments of the Mark Stoops era, along with Drew Barker, Matt Elam and Jason Hatcher. But Jones is no scrub and may have just as much potential, supported by an offer sheet that included the Oklahoma Sooners, Miami Hurricanes and West Virginia Mountaineers.
Kentucky could still add another linebacker or two as there are a few more highly-touted guys on the board with interest in the Cats — Marrow has eyes on another Ohio kid, Nick Conner — but if Brown and Jones are it for 2015, it’s still a great haul for the position, one that needs all it can get right now.
Go Cats, everybody.