Part two in an eight part series previewing the 2014 Kentucky Football Wildcats. Cats hope →
10 For Tuesday
Coach Cal just tweeted about UK fan film “The 6th Man,” which just had its newest trailer released late last night.
The short clip features quotes from Cal, Steve Zahn (famous for his role in Daddy Day Care), and our own Matt Jones (and maybe Drew, too, if we’re lucky). The movie itself documents the fervor of the Big Blue Nation, and generally looks like it should be a lot of fun to watch when it comes out.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy the next three minutes. (It’s rare that I get to use my pickup lines in posts.)
Big Blue Nation added two new members late this afternoon when the Davis twins announced they’ll be transferring to Kentucky to play football.
Here are 10 things you should know about them…
1.) They were stars at Austintown Fitch High School just outside of Youngstown, Ohio.
Youngstown, of course, is the home of Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow, an area Kentucky is beginning to own in recruiting. Marrow is currently recruiting a running back, Darrin Hall, from Austintown Fitch in the 2015 class, also.
2.) They had offers from Oregon, West Virginia, UCLA, Baylor, Arkansas, Oregon State, Purdue and Vanderbilt.
The twins picked up a little more than 20 total offers in high school, mostly from the same programs. If a school only showed interest in one of them, that school was immediately removed from consideration.
“We knew from Day 1 we were going to go to school together,” Demitrious Davis told ESPN in 2012.
3.) They were top 40 prospects in Ohio and top 40 athletes in the 2012 class, according to Rivals.com.
Demitrious and Chris were the 32nd and 33rd ranked athletes, respectively. They were No. 39 and No. 40 in the state of Ohio.
4.) ESPN Recruiting called Demitrius “a blur of an athlete in space.”
An excerpt from his ESPN scouting report in 2012:
“This guy is an absolute nightmare to deal with at the high school level as a dual-threat, run first quarterback that will likely move to cornerback or slot receiver at the next level. He is dramatically undersized or he would be a national recruit as both an ATH and dual-threat QB because he throws the ball surprisingly well. He is a short prospect, but can flat out run. He is a blur of an athlete in space. Displays rapid acceleration, supreme top end speed and moves like a jack rabbit laterally. He has a low center of gravity, can jump cut, shows excellent vision with sharp cuts to exploit the cutback lane. He is the ideal zone runner and could be a spread offense utility back. He explodes through tiny creases in-line and once at the second level he is a homerun threat that can take it the distance. Will win most, if not all footraces at this level.”
ESPN ranked him the 25th best athlete in the class and the 10th best recruit in Ohio.
5.) Demitrious will play offense, Chris will play defense.
Demitrious will be used in the slot and at running back in Neal Brown’s Air Raid offense. Chris will help out on the defensive side of the ball in the secondary.
6.) They both bench 350, squat 450, and run a sub 4.4 40-yard dash.
Demitrious is listed at 5’10”, 175 lbs. in the Pitt media guide. Chris is 5’9”, 180 lbs.
7.) They announced their transfer from Pitt on May 12, 2013.
The twins cited a change in the offense as their reason for leaving. Former Pitt head coach Todd Graham ran a spread offense before his successor, Paul Chryst, implemented a pro-style offense. Demitrious and Chris were adamant about playing in a spread offense in college during their recruitment. After announcing the transfer, Chris tweeted that he had to put himself in the best position to succeed.
Pitt prohibited them from transferring to an ACC school or Arizona or Arizona State where former Pitt coaches are on staff.
8.) They will walk on this year.
But the opportunity to earn a scholarship in the future is there.
9.) They will have three years of eligibility at Kentucky beginning in 2014.
And they should be more than ready to go when their time rolls around. They will be able to run with the scout team all season and participate in fall and spring camps.
10.) They’re excited.
Your boy is a Kentucky Wildcat!! #UK
— Chris Lamar Davis Jr (@chris_davis22) June 18, 2013
Its official! Im a Kentucky Wildcat! #UK
— Demitrious Davis (@Ddavis_2) June 18, 2013
This week, I’m taking over the “10 for Tuesday” segment with ten things I think will happen during this week’s SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Florida. If you’re not already aware, representatives from each of the league’s 14 schools are convening at the Hilton Sandestin to talk about all of the issues facing the league right now, from scheduling to the college football playoff, and of course, the SEC Network. Unfortunately, the KSR budget didn’t include enough for me to cover the events in person (BTI is expensive, y’all), but I put on my bathing suit and wrote up this preview anyways. Grab an umbrella drink and enjoy.
1) There will be plenty of talk about the SEC Network
The SEC Network was announced earlier this month with about as much subtlety as Kim Khardashian’s baby shower. The network means money, money, money (mon-ey!) for the league, but before the coaches and ADs get all Scrooge McDuck in their giant piles of money, they should probably figure out what’s going to play on the 24-hour channel. Last week, Paul Finebaum joined the party, and hopefully we’ll get some more announcements about the type of programming to expect. (No word on whether KSR will get the 2-3 a.m. time slot we applied for.)
2) The coaches will discuss going from eight conference games to nine
One of the biggest topics of debate will be whether or not to go from eight conference games per season to nine. Only one coach in the league supports that: Nick Saban. And that’s because Alabama’s pretty much the only team good enough to handle another SEC game. Saban argues that teams should improve their schedules because “if we all played good teams, it would be easier to quantify who the best teams are,” and another league game will bring in more revenue (if teams don’t make their schedules tougher, Saban says fans “are going to quit coming to the games”). While that’s true, adding another league game is a serious blow to the mid- to lower-tier SEC teams’ postseason chances. Kentucky has one of the the toughest schedules in the nation next season. Adding a league game would likely mean the end of the Louisville series because the staff will want to keep as many easy wins on the schedule as possible. The move to nine games isn’t expected to come to a vote this week, but Saban may have a powerful ally in ESPN, who wants as many prime league games as it can get for the SEC Network.
3) Steve Spurrier will sun his guns
And in turn, the women at the Hilton Sandestin will spend more time at the spa and less time around the beach bar.
4) Bret Bielema is happy to be at the big kids’ table
Former Wisconsin head coach and new Arkansas front man made it very clear today that he’s happy to be out of the Big 10 and hanging with the big boys. This morning, Bielema was reminded of a comment he made over a year ago about Urban Meyer’s recruiting tactics, in which he said “I can tell you this: we at the Big Ten don’t want to be like the SEC — in any way, shape or form.” Bielema’s response? He told reporters that “in the Big Ten, we disliked the SEC because of the success they had.” If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em?
5) Les Miles will suggest eliminating a league permanent opponent
For now, the league says it plans to stick to its 6-1-1 conference scheduling format, meaning six divisional games, one cross-divisional permanent opponent and one cross-divisional rotating opponent. However, as previously mentioned, Saban wants to go to nine conference games, and Les Miles wants to eliminate the permanent opponent because he feels its unfair that LSU has to play Florida each season while Alabama gets to play a weaker Tennessee team. The college football playoff starts in 2014, and with that, coaches are very worried about strength of schedule.
Also, some reporter will make a joke about Les Miles eating grass, and will likely get a sassy snarl in return.
6) Everyone will insult Urban Meyer
This morning, Nick Saban made the argument for tougher schedules, and in the process, got in a nice jab at Urban Meyer. Saban praised the strength of the SEC last season (at one point, the league had six teams in the top ten) and said asked what would happen if Ohio State had to play an SEC schedule: “How many would Ohio State have beaten? Would they have won three? I don’t know.”
7) There will be some kind of rookie initiation
Four coaches will be enjoying the SEC Spring Meetings for the first time this week: Butch Jones, Tennessee; Bret Bielema, Arkansas; Gus Malzahn, Auburn; and of course, our own Mark Stoops. This will be Malzahn’s first appearance as a head coach, which means he’ll still probably be included in the rookie initiation that, in my head, most certainly happens. Whether it’s bringing Nick Saban his morning coffee or being forced to put sunscreen on Steve Spurrier’s pimply back, the coaches must have some way of hazing the new guys.
8) Mark Stoops will get sunburnt
With that red hair and freckles, it’s bound to happen. Pack the SPF 50 and a hat, coach.
9) The SEC may get some new bowls
The college football playoff is coming in 2014, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about how it will work, especially after the announcement of the “Champions Bowl,” an annual postseason game between the SEC and Big 12 Champions. The Chick-fil-A and Cotton Bowls will join the playoffs, which means the SEC may need to find two new bowls to partner with. The Capital One, Outback, Gator, and Music City Bowl will likely remain SEC bowls, and there’s talk that the Belk Bowl (Charlotte) and the Meineke Car Care Bowl (Houston) will join the mix. Rumor has it that the league has brief bowl officials about a pool between the Belk, Music City, Gator, Meineke Car Care and Outback Bowls in which the league would have more say on which teams played in which games than in the past.
10) Nick Saban will not have any fun.
Seriously, is there a coach you’d want to go the beach with less than Nick Saban? Saban will probably go to bed at seven, wake up at five, and complain about the sand every hour in between.
“10 For Tuesday” is back for the second time and this week I’m airing out all the Andrew Wiggins stuff I have left in me. It was a long and tiresome run, following Wiggins, and now it’s finally over and (almost) out of mind. After today we can move on with our lives and enjoy the crop of talent John Calipari brought in and the crop of talent Mark Stoops is currently pursuing for the rebirth of UK football. No more Wigginsanity.
But first, enjoy “10 For Tuesday, Vol. 2″ featuring 10 random Andrew Wiggins thoughts and observations:
1.) The kid who waited entirely too long to decide, announced six minutes early.
I find it funny that Andrew was so quick to announce his decision once the ceremony got underway. The radio show took a commercial break to be back on the air for the scheduled 12:15 ET announcement, but Wiggins pulled the trigger during the first commercial of the break and KSR missed out on the live reaction, which is the only reason we were given a third hour today.
All those months and months of waiting and we missed it because he announced it six minutes earlier than expected.
2.) Kansas is going to be good. Eventually.
Prior to Wiggins’ commitment, Kansas was a good team but certainly not a title contender. Bill Self lost all five starters from last season’s team, a one seed in the tourney, and the only significant returning players combined for a little over 13 points last season. Wayne Selden highlighted the class up until today, but even he wasn’t enough to put KU in the preseason top ten.
But with Wiggins on board, things are different in Lawrence. ESPN’s Jason King bumped the Jayhawks up to No. 5 in his preseason rankings and the Vegas odds for Kansas to win the title shifted from 30-1 to 10-1.
It’ll take a little while for Bill Self to figure it out — this is his youngest team at Kansas — but when they get it going, look out for a potential NCAA runner-up basketball team.
3.) The Champions Classic just got even better.
That Kansas-Duke matchup we’ll be seeing in Chicago on November 12? It now features Andrew Wiggins versus Jabari Parker.
Get your popcorn ready.
4.) The real loser in all this is Marcus Smart.
Smart returned to Oklahoma State despite being a top-five prospect in the 2013 NBA Draft. He would’ve been the heavy favorite for Big 12 Player of the Year entering next season, but now it is Andrew Wiggins’ trophy to lose.
Not to mention, Kansas is now in position to win its, like, 40th consecutive Big 12 title.
5.) I take that back. The real loser is Nike.
If Nike execs had their way, Andrew Wiggins would’ve signed with Kentucky weeks ago. Kansas is the last decision they wanted to see.
But you don’t believe all that sneaker talk, do ya?
6.) I wonder what kind of role the twins played in Wiggins picking KU.
No, not Andrew and Aaron Harrison, although they could’ve been a factor.
I mean the Gonzalez twins at Kansas…
THOSE twins. Wow.
7.) Grant Traylor still has over 10,000 Twitter followers.
That’s a huge following for the beat reporter for Marshall softball, and the number is way down from where it was this morning. Traylor made it all the way up to 17,800 followers after it was announced he’d be the only media in attendance.
You people are crazy.
8.) Has anyone checked on Leonard Hamilton?
That’s a tough loss for Florida State. The national media predicted Hamilton to win the Wiggins sweepstakes, but it was his former assistant, Bill Self, who won out in the end.
Florida State needed this one.
9.) James Young.
10.) Kentucky still has the No. 1 recruiting class in America and will be ranked No. 1 to start the season.
Don’t forget that.
10 For Tuesday, Vol. 1: Derby Memories, Stories and Celebrity Sightings (The Ones We Can Talk About)
By Drew Franklin on ©8:01 pm
The 139th running of the Kentucky Derby attracted 16.2 million viewers across America last weekend, but it’s the events outside of NBC’s Saturday afternoon broadcast that make Derby weekend what it really is: a non-stop party full of booze, gambling, celebrity interactions and funny hats.
Though it’s technically a stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds, the most prestigious of its kind, the Kentucky Derby is also #TeamNoSleep’s Super Bowl. And we were in it to win it.
Here are some of KSR’s favorite memories, stories and celebrity sightings (the ones we can talk about) in this first edition of ’10 For Tuesday’…
1.) Peyton Siva is the nicest guy on the planet.
Let’s get this one out of the way because I know I’m going to get crushed in the comments section.
Peyton Siva is the nicest guy on the planet. There, I said it. Want me to say it again? Peyton Siva is the nicest guy on the planet. I can go all night.
Matt and I were introduced to the face of the 2012-13 Louisville Cardinals at Thursday night’s Ferdinand’s Ball on the rooftop of the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville. We knew the meeting would happen once Siva was announced as the host of the event; we just didn’t know how it would go down. It couldn’t have gone smoother.
Peyton immediately recognized Matt as “that guy on Twitter” and confessed to reading the website. Yes, the website that teased him for four years. That one. The one you’re reading now.
At that point, I closed my eyes, tightened up and waited for the inevitable punch to the face. 3… 2… 1…
But Peyton’s reaction to meeting two of his biggest haters was exactly the opposite of what I expected. Like I said, he couldn’t have been nicer. He complimented what we do, said he read KSR all the time and that he knew it was all in good fun and part of the rivalry. He actually meant it, too. It wasn’t some B.S. he felt he had to spew because we were at a public event in suits and ties. There were plenty of opportunities to slug us.
Then, as some of you have seen by now, the three of us took a photo — one that drew a lot of attention from party-goers — and continued to pal around throughout the night and on through the weekend. Peyton would randomly stop me at the Ferdinand’s Ball and other parties to ask if my right hand had recovered from the photo, and I’d tell him to use his celebrity status to find me a plastic knife so I could saw it off and burn it to ashes to punish myself for the blasphemous hand gesture.
I kept telling him to quit being so damn likable and to do something to make me hate him again, but when you catch Peyton Siva off the basketball floor and out of his Louisville jersey, Peyton Siva is one good dude.
Writing this makes me want to throw up, but it’s true.
2.) The Ferdinand’s Ball gets better every year.
It wasn’t all about Peyton Siva and his endearing little line beard at Thursday night’s Ferdinand’s Ball; we also enjoyed everything else the party had to offer. The Ferdinand’s Ball is a KSR favorite every May and we’re amazed by how it continues to grow and grow, from venue to venue, year after year.
Kim and Aimee, sisters and founders of the event, have a good thing going and, in my opinion, it is already one of the better Derby parties in Louisville after only four years of doing it. The Ferdinand’s Ball draws a great, fun-loving crowd with special guests, entertainment, gourmet food and Old Fashioneds, all to raise money for retired thoroughbreds.
And if you’re looking for KSR’s favorite non-Siva story from the gala, Matt walked away from the silent auction with a framed and signed photo of Mike Ditka flipping off the camera in his ’85 Bears sweater. Look for it in the KSR offices next fall.
3.) Orb won the Kentucky Derby.
I walked away from the Run for the Roses with a pocket full of wadded up tickets and mint leaves, but Matt and some friends of KSR did very well at the track on Saturday thanks to the Derby-winning Orb. It made for a great mood while making the brutal post-Derby exit from Churchill Downs.
Matt, with some help from an incredibly profitable tip sheet, hit the exacta in the Derby race, while a friend of ours walked away with $32,000 cash after putting $5,000 on Orb to win. The friend, who I won’t name but can assure you is a member of #TeamNF, was so nervous he turned his back to the track for the entire race. You can only imagine his excitement when Orb crossed the finish line.
Orb’s win also means Ryan Lemond has to camp out in Waddy where a mysterious creature is terrorizing the night. And because I’m a good friend and worry about his safety, I volunteered to keep Ryan company and join the hunt for the mysterious beast. I immediately regret agreeing to do it, too.
4.) Worldwide Wes reads K-R-S.
We’ve already told the story on the radio and on the blog, but it’s still one of our favorites from Derby weekend so it gets a spot in ’10 For Tuesday.’
Worldwide Wes, one of the most powerful men in sports, told us he checks his e-mail, his stocks, ESPN and then reads KentuckySportsRadio.com every morning when he wakes up.
But when attractive women are around from MAXIM Magazine, we’re his boys from “K-R-S.”
We’ll take it, Uncle Wes. We’ll take it.
5.) Shaquille O’Neal flew in to party.
Matt and I enjoyed chatting it up with Worldwide Wes outside the MAXIM party, but Wes was quick to leave the conversation when a big black SUV arrived just outside the velvet ropes. When the back passenger door of the SUV opened up, a size 22 shoe hit the red carpet.
Shaquille O’Neal, ladies and gentlemen.
Shaq took advantage of a rare night off from TNT during the NBA Playoffs by flying to Louisville for the evening. Game 7 of the Chicago and Brooklyn series was Saturday night at 8:00, so I can’t imagine him being able to stick around for the actual Derby, which means he was only in town to party for the night.
It was crazy to look up and see him on the TNT set with Ernie, Kenny and Charles on Saturday, after looking over and seeing him at the table next to us at 2:30 a.m. Friday night. Then again, people like Shaq don’t travel the way you and I do. I’m sure it was nothing to him.
6.) Don’t tell Julius Erving he is 63-years-old.
Dr. J was up until the wee hours of the morning with all the younger folk at the MAXIM party Friday night, living it up like life were a Ke$ha video and he was its leading role. In a room filled with young athletes, musicians and actors acting a fool, The Doc was kicked back at his VIP table with his bow tie undone like a boss.
It’s the second time KSR has collided with Dr. J in less than a month, for those of you keeping score at home. We can’t wait to see him at the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife fishing trip later this summer.
7.) The TwinSpires.com people know how to watch the Kentucky Derby.
TwinSpires.com invited some of its favorite gamblers, and KSR, to take in the sights and sounds of the Kentucky Oaks and the Kentucky Derby in Churchill Downs’ TSC Elite Gold Room. The room is reserved for VIP gamblers, but there was a small table towards the front for those who blog in the most ridiculous manner possible. (That’s how we fit in.)
Matt and I were joined by our friends the Turkey Hunter and Perrin Johnson in the Gold Room for two days of fine dining, free drinking and convenient gambling. I’m not sure we spent more than an hour outside of the room on those two days, except maybe during the Oaks when we piled into an outdoor box with some buddies.
As someone who has logged far too many hours in the Churchill Downs infield, it was nice to see how the other half does Derby weekend and I found no reason to wander away from the hand that kept serving us Grey Goose Lillies and Mint Juleps.
Thank you, TwinSpires.com. Thank you.
8.) Eddie Montgomery can’t sing anymore.
I know, I know, I know. He’s a Kentucky guy. I’m supposed to be nice. But, man, his performance at the Barnstable Brown party was one we all could’ve done without. Luckily, he had Travis Tritt up there with him to lend a hand.
Other performances: Miranda Lambert; Kid Rock; Smokey Robinson; and DMC singing “Walk This Way” featuring Joey Fatone.
9.) A bird took a sh*t on Clay Matthews.
Of all the people for a bird to drop a deuce on, the bird soaring above the entrance to the Barnstable Brown party picked Clay Matthews as its human commode.
Matthews, who was at the party with a handful of his Green Bay teammates, didn’t even make it from the red carpet to his table before his suit was covered in bird sh*t.
Enjoy that one, Bears and Vikings fans.
10.) Nerlens Noel and Kelly Melton walked the red carpet together.
This is my favorite Kentucky Derby moment in 2013, and probably ever: