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Basketball Season Coverage

Dear NCAA…

Hey guys… KSR here. Long time, no talk, am I right?

I guess the last communication we had was our little tiff in Indianapolis following the Wichita State game. What a day that was. Hopefully we’re good now.

We know you have a lot on your plate and we haven’t been the best of friends lately, but I figured it was necessary to discuss the chrome pole in the room.

Today’s verdict sent shockwaves throughout the nation, and we feel the need to thank you for that. It gave us a plethora of content on the site, radio, and TV, along with an infinite supply of created memes and jokes to last us quite some time. We’re not the fondest of those guys an hour down the road, and neither is the Kentucky fan base. You guys helped spark that tension yet again.

You see, we’ve been on the tail end of jokes since Coach Cal arrived at Kentucky. Calipari was seen as a slime ball by opposing fans, a travesty waiting to happen in the recruiting department. There’s no way he could rake in all these five-star prospects legally, right? If you ask the average fan, good ole “PayPal Cal” was certainly going to put the Wildcats back on probation and any success “earned” would be erased from the record books.

Rick Pitino, aside from some replaced tablecloths at Porcinis, was seen by UofL fans as a guy that did it the “right” way. The Cardinals won games because of their relentless work ethic and energy. They were the blue-collar, “bring a lunch pail” guys you had so much respect for. The UofL program would never stoop so low to, dare I say, cheat.

Even Pat Forde wrote an elegant post following Calipari’s introductory press conference at UK talking about how we’d all see vacated wins and banners taken down in the near future. (You can read it here if you want to take a stroll down memory lane.) Who knew the Cards would be on the receiving end of said punishment, eh?

Eight years later, we’re the good guys. The UofL fanbase can never say a harsh word about the Wildcats again, it’d be like bringing a bendy straw to a knife fight. The only two words ever discussed again will be “strippers” and “banners.” The “Cal-8, Pitino 2…err 1” jokes aren’t even necessary anymore. The content has written itself.

Above all else, you laid the hammer on an absolutely disgusting matter that deserved exactly what it got. The NCAA reports showed 16 and 17-year old kids were pressured into these actions by Andre McGee. An assistant coach called out players for a bad practice because they had been with strippers all night. When you read through the entire NCAA report on the specific activities in Minardi Hall, it’s impossible not to shake your head in embarrassment and disgust. In my time discussing this verdict with UofL fans, the common statement sent my way was, “You wouldn’t be this hard on the matter if it was your team.” The thing is, I absolutely would. The majority of the Kentucky fanbase would. I would expect the book to be thrown at my program, the same way it was thrown at UofL. It was unequivocally one of the most repulsive matters in NCAA history.

All regular season and postseason wins from 2010 through 2014 that included any ineligible players will be erased. Two banners in the Yum Center will be coming down. Any and all trace of said victories in the form of trophies, record books, and media guides must disappear.

You guys certainly made the right call today and we appreciate you for that.

With that, I’ll admit it, you guys have screwed up horribly on some of your past decisions. Enes Kanter’s eligibility, not allowing active military members come back and compete in the college ranks, the nitpicky violations on insignificant matters, etc. Hell, the entire idea that college athletes should be paid is one of the most heavily debated topics in the world of sports. There’s still some ground to make up.

Today’s decisions, however, proved the new leadership on NCAA violations and punishments handed down isn’t messing around, and rightfully so.

After the dust settles on this matter, there are some folks in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that could use some serious attention. Over two decades-worth of academic fraud-type of attention.

You’ve done great with the UofL verdict, but let’s keep it going.


With deepest love,


What the national media is saying about the Louisville scandal

1. ESPN: Mark Schlabach

Schlabach calls out both Louisville and NCAA on the handling of today’s events. Schlabach says the NCAA infractions commitee “once again looked toothless” in their punishment of high-profile NCAA programs and coaches.

“Anyone expecting contrition from Pitino was mistaken. And his bosses are standing beside him, vowing to overturn the punishment on appeal. It was a brazen response given the sordid details of the scandal and the weakness of the punishment.”

2. Yahoo: Pat Forde

Forde believes that some of the NCAA’s ruling came from the fact that the infraction committee was appalled by the nature of the violations. Committee of Infractions chief hearing officer called the violations “repugnant”.

“I don’t believe the Committee on Infractions has ever encountered a case like that.” With that as backdrop, she alluded to a requirement for McGee to “act with honor and dignity,” which is basically invoking a morals clause that probably cannot be found anywhere in the very thick NCAA rules manual.

3. USA TODAY Sports: Nicole Auerbach

Auberbach believes that the NCAA’s message to head coaches has been made clear today regarding wrongdoings under their watch. It doesn’t matter if you did or did not know what was going, but that you should have known.

That’s what this whole process has been about, from their side: Protecting that title. It hasn’t been about how irresponsible a head coach must be to be actually unaware of strippers and prostitutes being called to entertain his players and his recruits — many of whom were minors — in an on-campus dormitory 12 times (plus twice off campus) over a four-year period.

4. CBS Sports: Reid Forgave

Forgave calls this the biggest NCAA ruling since the penalties given to the SMU program in the 1980s. Forgave doubts this decision will ruin Louisville’s basketball program like the ruling ruined SMU’s football program.

They’re going to take down a banner.

By God, the NCAA is going to take down a banner.

That’s really the only conclusion that can be taken from Thursday’s release of the NCAA report on the Louisville basketball program’s strippers-and-sex scandal, right?

5. WDRB: Rick Bozich

Bozich was happy that the Committee of Infractions found the situation “repugnant” as himself and many other did as well. Bozich says the “nonsense” that went on in Minardi Hall would have been repugnant in many other places as well.

This was paying for sex for players and prospects who were sometimes 17 years old (or younger) — and I can’t believe I had to write that sentence to make my point.

All of those items are a violation of NCAA bylaws. Only the last one makes you cringe and wonder why there wasn’t more oversight of the good times going on at Minardi Hall.

6. ESPN: Seth Greenberg


Monk shined with confidence in Philadelphia workout

We take a break from tap dancing on Louisville’s misery today to update you on one of Kentucky’s future lottery picks.

Malik Monk had his private workout in Philadelphia on Thursday and it went well, according to several people in attendance.

Monk said afterward that he would be a “great fit” to play alongside Ben Simmons in the Sixers’ offense. When asked what skills he would bring to the table, Monk simply said, “Everything.”

See more from his workout here:

Louisville acknowledges title is in serious jeopardy

Louisville acknowledges title is in serious jeopardy

In today’s press conference at the University of Louisville, Chuck Smrt, who Louisville hired to run its internal investigation, said publicly, “At this time we believe it could impact 110 regular season games and approximately 15 NCAA wins.”

Of course those 15 NCAA wins would include the 2012 Final Four and 2013 national championship, so Louisville is admitting and acknowledging the banners are in jeopardy.

Tom Jurich said he didn’t see this coming, adding that he thought they went above and beyond in penalizing themselves with the postseason ban.

Rick Pitino said, “I’ve lost a lot of faith in the NCAA for what they just did.”

Calipari invites Capitol Police officer shot during today’s attack to be the Y at a Kentucky game

You’re looking at David Bailey, one of two Capitol Police officers that was injured during today’s shooting at a GOP congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia. Bailey, age 32, was shot in the leg as he charged the gunman, 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson. While recovering in the hospital this afternoon, Bailey, a North Carolina Central University graduate, received a phone call from John Calipari thanking him for his heroics and inviting him to be the honorary “Y” at an upcoming Kentucky game.

“Just got off the phone with David Bailey of Capitol Police, one of two police officers who saved a lot of lives today,” Cal tweeted minutes ago. “David was hit in the ankle as he charged the gunman. What a hero and what courage. I told him he’s gotta come to a game and do the Y. #BBN, make sure our prayers are with all those who were injured today in the shooting.”

This morning, Senator Rand Paul told CNN that the only reason everyone at the field was still alive was because of Bailey and his fellow Capitol Police officers.

“Our lives were saved by the Capitol Police. Had they not been there I think it would have been a massacre,” he said. “The field, I mean, was basically a killing field.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan agreed.

“We are, as ever, awed by the tremendous bravery of the Capitol Police,” Ryan said. “I expressed our profound gratitude to them. It is clear to me, based on various eyewitness accounts that without these two heroes — Agent Bailey and Agent Griner — many lives would have been lost.”

Hopefully Agent Bailey will take Calipari up on his offer this season so Kentucky fans can give him a proper ovation.

Power Ranking the Best Football Players on the Kentucky Basketball Team

Tampa Bay Times

This morning the Kentucky basketball team took over the Nutter Indoor Training Facility to work out on the football team’s turf.  The first thing that came to mind: “I would love to have heard the junk the football players said to the basketball team as they left their field.”  The second thing that came to mind: “Could any of these guys play football?”

For the first time in four years, Dominique Hawkins isn’t the basketball team’s “Most Likely to Be Great at Football.”  Even if Hawkins was still on the team, he would probably be bested by a couple of guys on Calipari’s 2017-18 team.

1.  P.J. Washington: If this basketball thing doesn’t work out, P.J. is built like an NFL tight end.  The big dog has a wide frame, long arms and big hands.  Give him six months with Vince Marrow and he’ll be looking like Antonio Gates in no time.

2.  Kevin Knox: People forget Knox’s father played in the NFL with Vince Marrow.  Knox Sr. was a National Champion wide receiver for Florida State in 1994.  His son was a pretty damn quarterback until he grew too much, from SB Nation:

Knox enrolled at Tampa Catholic as a high school freshman mostly known as a quarterback. At 6’4, he had NFL size for the position at 13 years old. He started on varsity as a sophomore and was considered an ESPN top 150 recruit as an “athlete.” He says he can throw a football 65 or 70 yards.

3.  Sacha Killeya-Jones: Just like Knox, SKJ was a quarterback until a growth spurt helped him decide to stick to basketball.

4.  Tai Wynyard:  If Mark Stoops keeps losing defensive linemen, he might consider calling Coach Cal’s Kiwi.  The lumberjack is built like a brick “you know what” house and his wood-chopping skills could easily be transformed into an excellent swim move.

5.  Quade Green: A fast-footed scat back from Philly, Quade would take no crap from nobody on a football field.

6.  Shai Gilgeous-Alexander:  The Canadian had to play just a little bit of hockey as a child.  The hockey physicality and mentality combined with his length would make SGA an exceptional safety.

7.  Nick Richards: There’s no place for seven-footers in football, but if there was going to be a Willie Cauley-Stein part 2, it’d be the guy who started his athletic career playing soccer, volleyball and track and field.

8.  Hamidou Diallo: With that wingspan, if Diallo can tackle players as hard as he dunks on them, he could play safety for me every day of the week.

9.  Brad Calipari: There’s no denying Brad would earn respect on the football field.

10. Jemarl Baker: Three-point shooting doesn’t translate well between sports, unless you have a large foot.

11.  Jarred Vanderbilt:  The small forward is too fragile for the game of football.

12. David/Pulliam: Sorry guys, but the walk-ons get lumped together.

177.  Wenyen Gabriel: Simply put, this man should not be playing football.

If you’re curious as to who is the best basketball player on the football team, there are plenty of above average ballers, but I’m taking offensive lineman Nick Haynes all day.

The NCAA just approved a rule change that should make John Calipari happy

John Calipari has a habit of inching outside of the coach’s box to talk to his players, so he’s probably going to be very happy to hear the latest rule change from the NCAA. Yesterday, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved extending the coach’s box from 28 feet to 38 feet to allow coaches to communicate better with their teams, especially when they’re on the opposite side of the court.

The panel also approved the SEC’s request to use a separate individual(s) to collaborate with the on-court officials on all monitor reviews during its league games this season. Apparently, this collaboration will take place from a central location that is not at the game site, so perhaps the league headquarters in Birmingham?

Other rules approved by the panel:

  • Resetting the shot clock to 20 seconds when the ball is inbounded in the frontcourt after a foul by the defense. If more than 20 seconds remains on the shot clock, the shot clock will not be reset.
  • More consistent throw-in spots in the frontcourt when the offensive team retains possession after a non-shooting foul or other stoppages in the game.
  • Referees can use the instant replay rule in the last two minutes of the second half or last two minutes of overtime to see if a secondary defender was in or outside the restricted-area arc but only when a call has been made. If the player is in the restricted area, a block will be called on the defender. If the secondary defender is in legal guarding position and outside the restricted area, a player-control foul will be called. The Big Ten and Mid-American conferences experimented with this rule last season.
  • A mandatory minimum of 0.3 second will be taken off the game clock when the ball is legally touched, and an official immediately blows his whistle.
  • A legal screen was redefined to require that the inside of the screener’s feet be no wider than his shoulders.
  • The cylinder rule was adjusted to allow more freedom of movement for the offense. If a defensive player straddles an offensive player’s leg in a way that prohibits him from making a normal basketball move — which now includes pivoting — contact that creates a common foul will be called on the defensive player.

There you go. All of these rules will go into effect in the 2017-18 season.


More footage from today’s early morning UK Basketball workout

More footage from today’s early morning UK Basketball workout

Earlier today, I shared a short video from UK’s early morning workout at the Nutter Fieldhouse, and now, I’ve got another one for you to overanalyze. Check out KyWildcatsTV’s footage of the workout, including a very buff Sacha Killeya-Jones:

Only 121 days until Big Blue Madness…

Three Cats in the first round of the latest Draft Express mock draft

Three Cats in the first round of the latest Draft Express mock draft

The NBA Draft is a week from tomorrow, which means we’ve only got eight more days of mock drafts! Hooray! The latest comes from Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony, who predicts three Cats will go in the first round:

  • 4. De’Aaron Fox, Sacramento Kings
  • 8. Malik Monk, New York Knicks
  • 24. Bam Adebayo, Utah Jazz

Givony has Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson going 1-2-3 to the Celtics, Lakers, and 76ers. He also updated his Top 100 rankings, which include Isaiah Briscoe at #71 and Isaac Humphries at #91. No sight of Derek Willis or Dominique Hawkins.

Here’s an updated rundown of where the Cats stand in the latest mocks:

Bam Adebayo working out for the Bucks today

Today in tracking the draft Cats: Bam Adebayo is in Milwaukee to work out for the Bucks, who have the 17th and 48th picks in the NBA Draft. Bam will work out alongside Antone Warren (Antelope Valley), Hassan Martin (Rhode Island), Sebastian Saiz (Ole Miss), Jack Gibbs (Davidson), and Dallas Moore (North Florida). On Monday, Bam worked out for the Bulls, who have the 16th pick, and yesterday, John Calipari told reporters that everyone who’s seen Bam work out recently has been “stunned” by how well the big man is shooting the ball.

“Right now, everybody is stunned at how Bam shoots the ball. I must have had 10 calls. Like, ‘I didn’t realize he shot the ball this way.’ But they also didn’t realize Karl shot the ball that way and you also didn’t realize that Anthony (Davis) shot the ball the way he does. And so, you would think following this thing how we do it, they all have to share, they all have to give up something to each other to be able to do what they’re doing here.”

“That’s why I look at this stuff and say, like, ‘Bam, I can’t believe he –’ well, you could if you were here watching this stuff. He’s doing it, and he’s been exciting people.”

Other Cats working out today:

  • Malik Monk: Philadelphia 76ers (3rd, 36th, 39th, 46th, 50th picks)
  • Derek Willis: Detroit Pistons (12th pick)

De’Aaron Fox worked out for the Lakers yesterday and will work out for the 76ers this weekend.

By the way, if you ever wonder what these guys do in their downtime between workouts, the answer for Bam is playing with a fidget spinner:


For more, check out bam1of1 on Snapchat/Instagram.

UK Basketball put in an early workout at the Nutter Fieldhouse today

UK Basketball put in an early workout at the Nutter Fieldhouse today

Last summer, UK strength coach Rob Harris made a habit out of getting the basketball team to the Nutter Fieldhouse bright and early for morning workouts. This summer, he’s doing the same. The team was up early today to put in work, and the folks from KyWildcatsTV were up with them to capture it for a video coming out later today. Here’s a sneak peek from @KentuckyMBB:

The players have also documented the workout via Instagram, and judging by Hamidou Diallo’s selfie with Wenyen Gabriel, Wenyen’s transformation is legit:

More coming later…

WATCH: Lonzo Ball roasts dad in hilarious Foot Locker commercial

WATCH: Lonzo Ball roasts dad in hilarious Foot Locker commercial

Father’s Day is on Sunday and Foot Locker’s getting in the spirit with this commercial featuring several NBA Draft prospects talking about his dad. De’Aaron Fox, Jonathan Isaac, and Jayson Tatum speak lovingly of their father’s sacrifices for them over the years, but there’s no denying that UCLA star Lonzo Ball steals the show. Ball deadpans about his outspoken father, LaVar, undeniably the hottest topic in college basketball and the NBA over the past year.

“Of course there’s that big day when your dad berates your high school in front of an entire crowd for not giving you enough touches,” Lonzo says. “Or that special moment when your dad sits you down and tells you where you’re going to college, or copyrights your name to be part of a family lifestyle brand.”

He goes on and on:

We give Lonzo a lot of grief, but this is hilarious. Well done.

Wednesday’s Top 10: PJ Washington’s threes, former Cats working out, baseball Cats getting drafted

Wednesday’s Top 10: PJ Washington’s threes, former Cats working out, baseball Cats getting drafted

Between the giant fire at a high rise in London and GOP Majority Whip Steve Scalise being shot at the GOP baseball practice in Virginia, it’s a pretty sobering morning, which makes pictures like the one above an even more welcome respite. Shoutout to these Kentucky fans for repping the Cats atop this beautiful mountain. Location is unknown, but man, that’s pretty.

Our thoughts out to all of those affected by the fire in London and the shooting in Virginia. Kentucky senator Rand Paul was at the practice at the time of the shooting and is unharmed. He’s doing interviews on all the major outlets, so turn one of them on to hear his account of it. The shooter, thankfully, is in custody.

There’s no way to transition from this, but so let’s just move on to today’s top 10.

1. Basketball jersey numbers were released

Yesterday, UK released the jersey numbers of the new guys and the returning guys. Two “vets” switched numbers: Hamidou Diallo from No. 4 to No. 3 (if you read KSR on Monday, you already knew that) and Brad Calipari from No. 20 to No. 12. Maybe he can pay for his mom and sister to get new jerseys.

Here are all of the numbers:

0 – Quade Green
1 – Sacha Killeya-Jones
2 – Jarred Vanderbilt
3 – Hamidou Diallo
4 – Nick Richards
5 – Kevin Knox
10 – Jonny David
12 – Brad Calipari
13 – Jemarl Baker
14 – Tai Wynyard
22 – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
25 – P.J. Washington
30 – Dillon Pulliam
32 – Wenyen Gabriel

2. ICYMI, Calipari says Jarred Vanderbilt will be fine

The biggest news from Calipari’s summer presser was that he expects Jarred Vanderbilt to be back to playing basketball in about two weeks. Vanderbilt suffered a mysterious left foot injury during the Jordan Brand Classic two months ago and hasn’t played since, but Calipari said the UK medical staff examined him and they’re holding him out for two more weeks just to be cautious.

“He’s not started playing. Probably two weeks before he’ll really get full going into what we’re doing here, but I think he’ll be fine. There aren’t any issues, it’s just – like I told his family – this is June. I just want to make sure when we get in November he’s in his stride. Right now, taking a couple weeks off. We had him with our doctors and with the trainers, just making sure, giving him a couple weeks. But he’ll be fine. He’s in good shape.”

Good to hear.

3. PJ Washington’s three-point shot looks pretty nice in this video

Before arriving at Kentucky last week, Washington worked on his three-point shot in Dallas, Texas. Let this video serve as a reminder of just how versatile Washington and fellow forwards Jarred Vanderbilt and Kevin Knox are.

4. Malik Monk is working out for the 76ers

The Sixers have the third pick in the draft, in addition to a boatload of second round picks, and today, they’ll host Malik Monk for an individual workout. I’d be surprised to see Monk go as high as three, but Calipari wouldn’t be.

“No, I think Malik is, I would say he’s a (No.) 3, 6, 7 (pick) maybe,” Cal said during yesterday’s teleconference. “That’s what I would guess. Fox is a (No.) 2 to 5 (pick), possibly. I would say Bam is anywhere from (No.) 9, 10 to 14, 15 (pick), in that range. There were teams that Isaac went and worked for and they liked him. The job that I’m hearing Isaiah is doing, and those guys, they’re going to have their opportunities now. That would be my guess of what I’m hearing.”

5. De’Aaron Fox thought his workout with the Lakers went well

Yesterday, Fox had his all-important solo workout with the Lakers, who have the second pick in the draft, and told reporters he thought it went well. Hear all of his comments below:

In other workout news, Derek Willis will work out for the Detroit Pistons today. Good luck, Derek.

6. Calipari will be at the draft

Even though Cal will be in Colorado Springs next week for the U19 National Team training camp, he will fire up the private jet to detour to New York the night of Thursday, June 22 to see his guys on “graduation night.” Jerry Tipton seemed to be doing his best to frame the question to make it seem like flying to the draft for the night would mean neglecting his duties at training camp, but Cal ended all of that with a simple, “My plan is to be at the draft.” Nice try, Jerry.

7. Five more baseball Cats were drafted

The Major League Baseball Draft continued yesterday, and several more Cats got opportunities at the next level following Evan White’s selection at No. 17 Monday night:

  • #89 (3rd round): Sophomore INF Riley Mahan, Miami Marlins
  • #171 (6th round): Senior RHP Logan Salow, Oakland Athletics
  • #220 (7th round): Junior RHP Zach Pop, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • #279 (9th round): Junior LHP Zach Logue, Toronto Blue Jays
  • #310 (10th round): Senior OF Zach Reks, Los Angeles Dodgers

Head coach Nick Mingione was also named the 2017 Perfect Game/Rawlings Coach of the Year for college baseball. Congrats, everyone.

8. Workout video of the day: UK Strength Coach Rob Harris

Need some motivation to get in the gym? All you need to do is watch this video of UK Basketball Strength Coach Rob Harris punishing the ropes and sled in a recent workout:

Okay, no more complaining about my Tracy Anderson tapes.

9. Anyone watch the 30 for 30 on the Celtics/Lakers last night?

I wasn’t able to start it last night, but I’ve heard ESPN’s three-part, five-hour documentary on the Celtics/Lakers rivalry is awesome. That rivalry was a little bit before my time, so I’m really looking forward to delving into it when I get some time this weekend.

10. KSR is in Russell Springs today

If you’re in the area, get on out to the Lawless-Smith True Value to check out the show and register for the chance to win tickets to a game this season. As an extra treat, country star Wheeler Walker will call in, which means Shannon better have his finger on the dump button because anything could happen.

5 Life Events That Are Perfectly Acceptable To Skip For A Kentucky Game

On this morning’s radio show, Matt and the guys raised an interesting topic: is it acceptable to skip a wedding for a Kentucky game? If you’re reading this website, you probably answered “yes” with no hesitation; however, weddings during football and basketball season are a touchy subject for couples across the Bluegrass. More than once, I’ve had to decline invitations to weddings because of Kentucky games, but as someone who covers them for a living, I’ve got a pretty easy out; for fans, it can be a much more delicate matter. So, in hopes of easing scheduling snafus across the state, I came up with this guide for which events are acceptable to skip in favor of a Kentucky game and which are not.

For sake of argument, let’s assume that the Kentucky game in question is a pretty important one, like Louisville, not a cupcake, and you’ve got a ticket to it. For some of you diehards, it may even mean just watching it.

Friend’s wedding: ACCEPTABLE TO SKIP

Unless: You’re in it; you’re a family member 

Now, this will probably make me enemy number one of brides across the Bluegrass, but if you want to make things easy on your guests, schedule your wedding in April (but never the first weekend), May, June, July, or August. Fall weddings are beautiful, but problematic, so if you absolutely must get married amongst the falling leaves, schedule on a cupcake or bye weekend (although you may run into issues with the rehearsal dinner and Big Blue Madness). If you don’t, either have the game available somewhere on a TV at the reception, or just expect some people not to show up, especially during March.

As outlined above, there are a few exceptions to this rule: you can’t skip if you’re in the wedding or the bride or groom is a family member. There’s a little wiggle room if they’re a second/third cousin or niece or nephew you’ve only seen a few times, but your family will probably be pissed and it might not be worth the drama. If you’re an extremely close friend of the bride or groom, you’re probably going to be involved in the wedding, but if you’re not, this could be your revenge. (Kidding. Sort of.)


Unless: It’s your graduation; it’s your kid’s graduation

To me, graduations are a colossal waste of time, and it seems like for kids these days, there are about ten of them. Because most take place in the spring, they don’t conflict with football or basketball games very often, but December graduations certainly do, and unless it’s your graduation or your kid’s graduation, you’re probably safe to skip it.

Birthday parties: ACCEPTABLE TO SKIP

My only “unless” here would have been if it were your kid’s birthday party, but come on, if you’re reading this article, you’re not dumb enough to schedule that during a UK basketball or football game. In fact, you’re probably making your kid’s year by taking him or her to an actual UK game as their present. Well done.

As far as other birthday parties go, fulfilling your duty as a Kentucky fan to cheer on the Cats trumps your friend’s kid’s sixth birthday at Monkey Joe’s or your work buddy’s birthday happy hour. If you don’t have a ticket and the party in question centers around the game or has a designated area where you can watch it and get loud, by all means, party on. Otherwise, you’re just going to be checking your phone the whole time, which will probably get you in more trouble than skipping the party to go the game in the first place.

Kid’s sporting event: ACCEPTABLE TO SKIP

Odds are your kid has five million soccer/softball/baseball/peewee football games during the year. You can miss one to cheer on the Cats.


So your family rented a chalet in Gatlinburg for the weekend or is gathering at grandma’s house for a Saturday cookout. Hopefully, because they’re related to you, they’re also Kentucky fans and understand the importance of cheering on the Cats in person and will give you a pass. If not, then they probably won’t be cool with you watching the game at the house either, or checking the score on your phone, so just skip it.

Kid’s parent/teacher conference: DEPENDS

This is totally dependent on circumstance. If it’s a parents’ night at the school or a routine parent/teacher conference, I’d say do your best to reschedule. If it’s an actual issue that warrants calling an emergency meeting, then you gotta go be there for your kid, and double the punishment for whatever they did to have them make up for you missing the game.


If it’s a family member or close friend, don’t even consider it. And definitely don’t try to use the excuse, “It’s what [insert name of deceased person] would have wanted.” That will get you smacked.

Your child’s birth: NOT ACCEPTABLE TO SKIP

Are you kidding me? Never acceptable to skip that. Also, they have televisions in hospitals.

Calipari Could Coach Against Two Players in Egypt


On this morning’s teleconference with John Calipari, much of the focus was on the UK players trying out for Team USA.  Three current players and five Kentucky recruits will participate in the 28-man tryout next week in Colorado.  The additional experience with Calipari is invaluable, but many are overlooking the important international basketball experience for two other Calipari players.

A few weeks ago we discovered junior forward Tai Wynyard will play for New Zealand in the FIBA U19 World Cup in Cairo.  Today we learned freshman guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will tryout for the Canadian National Team this week in Toronto.

We will not likely be able to see the most productive parts of Calipari’s time as Team USA’s head coach.  Let’s face it, they’re going to blow everyone away in Egypt.  But if Team USA is matched up with New Zealand or Canada from July 1-9, it will be can’t miss TV for the BBN.