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Basketball Season Coverage

Photo: Daniel Löb, easyCredit BBL

All Darius Miller does is win, no matter what

Photo: Daniel Löb, easyCredit BBL

On February 19th, I wrote a post on here entitled “All Darius Miller does is win championships” in reference to his German team, Brose Bamberg’s recent tournament championship victory. Now here I am four months later, writing what feels like the same post but about yet another championship.

Miller and Brose Bamberg won their third consecutive easyCredit BBL Championship with the sweep over EWE Baskets Oldenburg. This is the team’s 9th total championship in the highest level German basketball league.

Miller was the MVP of last season’s best of five championship series and put in another strong performance this year. He averaged 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists per game in the sweep, to go along with hitting 10 of his 17 shots from 3-point land.

Huge congratulatory shout out to Darius on winning the back to back to back titles! The guy is a proven winner everywhere he has been, one of my all-time favorite Cats. For now, let’s all just enjoy Miller’s theme song.

*Warning some lyrics may be NSFW*

@BrettBibbinsKSR


UK Athletics

UK Athletics 2016-17 Recap

UK Athletics

UK Baseball’s elimination yesterday brought an end to the year for UK Athletics. It was definitely a memorable one. Here is a recap of how all of the teams did this season!


Fall 2016

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Football

Record: 7-6 (4-4 SEC)

Postseason: Lost to Georgia Tech in Tax Slayer Bowl 33-18

Best Moment: 

Heck this might be the best moment of the UK Athletics season.

Recap: The season could not have started any worse for Mark Stoops and company. The Cats jumped out to an early lead on Southern Miss with Drew Barker having a monster first half. The second half of the game? Well, you know what happened… the season continued with a big loss to Florida and an embarrassing start to the New Mexico State game. Fans immediately began to call for a change in leadership. To say that the Cats proved them wrong is an understatement. The win over Louisville may go down as the biggest win in program history. It changed everyone’s perception of Mark Stoops and those that were not sold on him are now buying back into the program. While the Cats lost the bowl game, the end result does not mean as much as just being there does. Kentucky not only just making a bowl game, but making one of the caliber of the Tax Slayer Bowl is massive for the program. It really does lead us to ask the question, What’s Next?

Via @KentuckyVB

Volleyball

Record: 23-8 (15-2 SEC)

Postseason: Lost to Washington 3-0 in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament

Best Moment: Sweeping Louisville 3-0 at the KFC Yum Center

Recap: UK Volleyball had another impressive season. Craig Skinner’s team finished with 23 wins marking the 9th time in the past 10 years that his team has won at least 20 games. Volleyball players Leah Edmond, Ashley Dusek and Olivia Dailey earned All-America distinction, with Edmond becoming the 11th player in school history to be named to 1st, 2nd or 3rd team All-American. Dusek was also named the SEC Libero of the Year. Next season will bring high expectations for the Cats as they bring in their highest ranked recruiting class in school history.

UK Athletics

Men’s Soccer

Record: 11-5-3 (5-3-0 C-USA)

Postseason: Lost to Creighton 3-2 in 2nd Round of NCAA Tournament

Best Moment: Selection Show (Team earned first ever national seed)

Recap: For the first time in team history, the Kentucky soccer team were given a national seed. With this, Kentucky hosted Creighton in the NCAA Tournament. This was the third straight NCAA Tournament bid for the Cats and the fourth in five years. Napo Matsoso was drafted with the 31st pick of the MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution. This selection made Matsoso the highest drafted player in program history. He ended his career with the third most assists in school history, and tied for the ninth most goals. Charlie Reyman also signed with Bethlehem Steel FC of the United Soccer League, which has teams in Louisville and Cincinnati.

UK Athletics

Women’s Soccer

Record: 5-9-4 (1-7-3 SEC)

Postseason: No Postseason

Best Moment: 2-1 Win over #9 Arkansas

Recap: The season was an obvious disappointment for Kentucky fans. Following their loss to Georgia to close the season, head coach Jon Lipsitz was relieved of his duties as head coach. Following a nationwide search, Mitch Barnhart decided to go in house and hired assistant coach Ian Carry to become the next head coach.

UK Athletics

Men’s and Women’s Cross Country

Postseason: Men: 5th in NCAA SE Regional

Women: 3rd in NCAA SE Regional

Best Moment: Katy Kunc finishing 33rd in NCAA Championship

Recap: Cross Country is a sport that doesn’t get nearly the respect it deserves. Both teams had an impressive season. The men’s team finished in 3rd in the SEC which was their best finish since 1992. The women finished 3rd in the region and narrowly missed qualifying as a team for the NCAA Championship. Katy Kunc was still able to represent the team by running a 6K in 20:20.

kentuckywgolf | IG

Men’s and Women’s Golf

Postseason: Men: 7th in NCAA Baton Rouge Region

Women: 16th in NCAA Regional

Best Moment: UK Women winning the Battle of the Bluegrass Tournament

Recap: The UK Men were highlighted by having 3 players finish in the top 20 at the NCAA Regional. Tyler McDaniel led the way for the Cats shooting a +3 over 3 days. The UK Women were led by Isabelle Johansson who finished tied for 22nd place in the region by shooting +9 over 3 days.

 

Be sure to click the more button to read the remainder of the recap and to vote on the best team and moment of the year!

(more…)


Isaiah Briscoe to work out for the Jazz today

Adam Zagoria is reporting that Isaiah Briscoe will work out for the Utah Jazz at some point today and the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow. This is another development in Briscoe’s draft stock. When he first entered the NBA Draft, he wasn’t on any of the major NBA Mock Drafts. While he still hasn’t hit that point, he has been getting more workouts in the past few weeks. Recently, he has worked out for the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and the Chicago Bulls.

For Briscoe, the best case scenario will probably be to go undrafted. This will give him the opportunity to choose his own team and in turn hopefully choose the situation that will be best for him to prove himself in the NBA Summer League. Briscoe may go down as one of the more frustrating players of the Calipari era, but once a Cat always a Cat. Good luck to Isaiah!


Did You Know De’Aaron Fox Taught Himself to Play Piano?

Before he became a point guard for the Kentucky Wildcats, De’Aaron Fox taught himself how to play piano with an electric keyboard and YouTube videos.  It’s one of the many things about Fox you may not know that’s featured in this pre-NBA Draft profile from NBA.com.

A player that’s often compared to John Calipari’s first point guard, John Wall, Coach Cal makes a distinction between the two, surprisingly favoring Fox.

“But let me say this,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “John Wall used his speed as a weapon. Wasn’t as good with the ball, scoring wise, at that age. De’Aaron has floaters. Not a great three-point shooter. Good. But neither was John. But John’s thing was, ‘I am getting to that rim and I’m going to dunk on you.’ This kid (Fox) didn’t use it as a weapon and my whole thing all season (was) ‘Sprint the ball for layups. Rebound it, they outlet it, try to shoot a layup.’ And when he did, it was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ He doesn’t view it as a weapon. Yet. When he views it as a weapon, it’s a wrap. You look at a John Wall, the difference he makes, it’s just speed. One thing. Speed.”

You know a lot about De’Aaron, but you can learn more by reading this.


Julius Randle Came to Town For Cal’s First Father/Son Camp

Lakers.com

Kentucky’s favorite Laker Julius Randle swung by the Joe Craft Center today to pay a visit to the first session of Coach Cal’s Father/Son Camp.

Julius Randle is in the house for our first Father/Son Camp!

A post shared by John Calipari (@ukcoachcalipari) on

It’s a pretty common scene to see former Cats pop up during these camps. If you’re interested in attending, Coach Cal’s official twitter has been selling a lot today:

@JayWinkKSR


Lakers not sold on Lonzo Ball after workout; still interested in De’Aaron Fox

When the Los Angeles Lakers drew the number two pick in the NBA Draft Lottery, everyone was sure they’d use it on UCLA star Lonzo Ball; however, in the past month, it’s become clear that may not be the case. Ball met and worked out for the Lakers on Tuesday and Wednesday, and sources tell Bleacher Report that while Ball carried himself well, he did nothing to blow them away or seal the deal for the number two pick. Not surprisingly, according to the report, Ball spent a good portion of his meeting with the Lakers trying to distance himself from his outspoken father. Poor kid.

The Lakers are reportedly still interested in Markelle Fultz (good luck getting him from Boston), Josh Jackson, and “to a lesser extent,” De’Aaron Fox, who will work out for the Lakers on Tuesday. According to this reporter, Kevin Ding, Fox “exudes an authentic confidence”:

They met with Fultz, the most advanced scorer available, and Fox, a rare speed demon, at the NBA Draft Combine last month. This week they’ve gotten to chat with Ball, whose best quality is setting up teammates, and Jackson, a four-position defensive monster.

A quiet and reserved Ball reinforced to the Lakers how different he is from his attention-seeking father, LaVar. Jackson is a go-getter with a clear killer instinct. Fultz aspires to be the best ever. Fox exudes an authentic confidence.

I laughed, but he actually does. Tuesday’s a big day for him.

[Bleacher Report]


Isaiah Briscoe working out for the Trail Blazers today

Kentucky’s draft prospects are criss-crossing the country to work out for various teams, and according to Adam Zagoria, Isaiah Briscoe will be in Portland today to meet with the Trail Blazers, who have the 15th, 20th, and 26th picks in the draft. Earlier this week, Briscoe worked out for the Philadelphia 76ers and the Detroit Pistons, and reportedly has workouts coming up with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers.

Briscoe isn’t listed on any of the major mock drafts, but interest in him has picked up in recent weeks. Yesterday, John Calipari took to Twitter to praise his former guard.

“Getting great feedback from our players at NBA workouts, especially on Isaiah Briscoe. I’m not surprised at all. Keeping doing your thing, Zay!”

Remember that time Briscoe got a triple double?

 


Sean Woods gets a job

After a rough couple of years, it looks like Sean Woods is getting another chance. Woods has been hired as an assistant basketball coach at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. Stetson’s head coach is Corey Williams, a close friend of Woods’. The Stetson Hatters are in the Atlantic Sun Conference, and went 11-21 last year.

Woods resigned from Morehead State last year after two of his players accused him of physical abuse during halftime of a game. In March, he plead guilty to misdemeanor battery charges and entered into a six-month diversion program.

In a press release, Woods said he’s excited to work for his longtime friend, whom he’s known since high school.

“I’m coming to work with my best friend,” Woods said of joining the Hatters. “The fact that Corey and I can sit on the sidelines and coach with each other is a blessing. Corey has Stetson moving in the right direction. I’ve heard so many good things about Stetson and DeLand. This situation couldn’t be any better for me and I’m really looking forward to getting started.”

Here’s hoping Woods can make the best of a fresh start.

[GoHatters.com]


Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Friday’s Top 10: Beat Louisville

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Let’s not mess around. There’s one story and one story only right now: Kentucky’s showdown with Louisville in the Super Regional. We’re about three hours from the first pitch, so let’s get to it.

1. You can watch the game on ESPN2

The game is completely sold out (although tickets have been available at weird hours because UofL is shady), but you can see it on ESPN2 at high noon. In the meantime, keep refreshing. Trey Hunstman has had about fifteen cups of coffee and is already waiting outside the ballpark to bring you the latest. This is his Super Bowl.

2. Zack Thompson will be UK’s starting pitcher

The freshman left-hander will get the nod today. He’s got an 80% win-loss percentage in his first year in Lexington, the best on the team this season, and a 3.52 earned run average. He started both games vs. Louisville this season, one win, one loss, and allowed seven earned runs in 7.2 innings while striking out 11 batters and walking nine. Most recently, he led the Cats to the win over Indiana in the Lexington regional last weekend, giving up four earned runs and striking out seven players in seven innings.

Meanwhile, Louisville will start Kade McClure, setting up a Sean Hjelle/Brendan McKay showdown for Saturday.

3. Here’s everything Nick Mingione, Connor Heady, and Riley Mahan had to say yesterday

4. The UofL Foundation audit is out

And, not surprisingly, the foundation found ways to hide millions of dollars of spending. Drew had a good rundown of the juiciest parts of the audit last night, but here’s a very quick summary:

  • Tom Jurich was paid $19 million (!!) over seven years
  • For some reason, his son (who did not work for the foundation) was paid almost a million
  • The foundation paid $300,000 for Captain Suntan’s terrible radio show, which was created to counter KSR
  • The UofL IT department erased and repurposed James Ramsey’s hard drive just before the audit
  • Ramsey’s former aide Kathleen Smith basically did everything she could to hide their shady dealings
  • The foundation spent more than $800,000 on season football and basketball tickets just to turn around and sell them

And that’s just the tip of the corrupted iceberg. Check out Drew’s post for more. WDRB’s Eric Crawford also has a good, in-depth summary.

5. Three Cats will try out for Calipari’s U19 National Team

The final list of players invited to try out for John Calipari’s U19 National Team came out yesterday and three Wildcats are on it: Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, and PJ Washington. Four of Kentucky’s top targets in the 2018 class also made the list: Romeo Langford, Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Reddish and Bol Bol.

The group of 28 will compete against each other at training camp in Colorado Springs June 18-25. From there, a group of 12 will travel to Cairo, Egypt to compete in the FIBA World Cup July 1-9.

6. Calipari’s excited

Cal has waited for years to get into USA Basketball and couldn’t help but share his excitement when the training camp invitations went out yesterday.

“I wanted to take a moment to reiterate how excited I am to be a part of USA Basketball. I’m excited about the opportunity on a lot of fronts. To be able to coach a team that represents the United States is a true blessing. And then to be able to do it with Danny Manning and Tad Boyle, who I coached at Kansas and have great respect for, will be an amazing experience. I can’t wait to have an opportunity to teach and coach some of the best young talent in our country. I want this to be an experience that is impactful for these young players.”

7. Calipari is also excited about the Penguins

Sadly, my Preds crapped the bed last night in Pittsburgh, and John Calipari was in the house to witness it:

If “amazing” means turning the game off in the third period because you can’t watch any more in fear of puking, then yes, it was amazing, Cal.

Alas, today’s a new day, and the series comes back to Bridgestone Arena for Game 6. There’s no way the Preds will lose at home on what will possibly be the most insane day in Nashville’s history. The gods of Broadway and 2nd Avenue just won’t let it happen.

8. The team’s making themselves at home in the gym

 

Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo uploaded pictures from the Joe Craft Center late last night and this morning, so they’re making themselves at home, which I’m sure makes the “get in the gym!” part of our fanbase very happy.

9. Ohio State is hiring Chris Holtmann

Holtmann, a Nicholasville, Kentucky native, has coached Butler the past three seasons. He’ll replace Thad Matta, who was fired earlier this week.

10. Ryan and Amanda Lemond are hosting KSR today

Which means it will be awesome. Tune in an hour from now to hear Amanda drop some truth, Ryan drop some uncomfortable bedroom talk, and Drew Franklin play referee.


Fox, Monk Invited to NBA Draft

De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk have reportedly received invitations to attend the June 22 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.  According to Draft Express, the former Cats are two of the first ten prospects to be invited to the life-changing event.

  • De’Aaron Fox
  • Malik Monk
  • Lonzo Ball
  • Zach Collins
  • Markelle Fultz
  • Jonathan Isaac
  • Josh Jackson
  • Lauri Markkanen
  • Dennis Smith Jr.
  • Jayson Tatum

The previous ten players are the just the first ones to receive invitations.  The list will grow up to 20 over the next week.

Draft Express currently projects Fox fourth to the Phoenix Suns, Malik Monk eighth to the New York Knicks and Bam Adebayo at No. 24 to the Utah Jazz.

[Draft Express]


Coach Cal tweets about his excitement to coach Team USA

We now know the 28 young basketball players John Calipari will coach at the upcoming USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team training camp, 12 of whom will go on to play for him in the 2017 FIBA World Cup in Egypy.

After the list of campers was released this morning, Calipari took to Twitter to share his excitement about coaching Team USA:

“I wanted to take a moment to reiterate how excited I am to be a part of USA Basketball. I’m excited about the opportunity on a lot of fronts. To be able to coach a team that represents the United States is a true blessing. And then to be able to do it with Danny Manning and Tad Boyle, who I coached at Kansas and have great respect for, will be an amazing experience. I can’t wait to have an opportunity to teach and coach some of the best young talent in our country. I want this to be an experience that is impactful for these young players.”

Training camp will be held June 18-25 at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The team of 12 will compete in lovely Cairo, Egypt July 1-9.


Wenyen Gabriel’s transformation is incredible

Wenyen Gabriel’s transformation is incredible

Wenyen Gabriel spent the last month working out with T1 Training up near his old high school in Massachusetts and HOLY MOLY IS THAT REAL???

You won’t believe the results over the course of a three-week span of training. Check this out:

It’s going to be tough to steal a starting spot from sophomore Wenyen Gabriel in the beginning of the season. Look at that guy.


Three Wildcats are going to USA U19 training camp

Three freshmen from the University of Kentucky have accepted invitations to attend the USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team training camp in Colorado later this month, UK announced today. They are Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, and P.J. Washington, and they will compete against 25 other players from both high school and college for a spot on the team that will travel to Egypt under the guidance of John Calipari. All three Wildcats have experience playing for USA Basketball.

Have a look at the entire list of training camp attendees:

 

 

The camp will also include four of UK’s targets top targets in the Class of 2018: Romeo Langford, Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Reddish and Bol Bol.

Advantage: Calipari.


Kentucky-Louisville Postseason Matchups Usually End Well for the Cats

This weekend the Kentucky baseball team needs two wins over the University of Louisville to advance to the program’s first College World Series.

The stakes have never been higher.  The first Super Regional appearance by Kentucky also falls on their rivals’ home field.  It doesn’t get much bigger than that.

The baseball team was in familiar territory just two years ago.  The Bat Cats advanced to the Regional Final from the losers’ bracket, only to fall 4-1 on the Cards’ home field.  It’s the only time the Commonwealth’s two teams have ever played each other in postseason baseball.

Postseason basketball is a completely different story.  Even though it’s apples and oranges, it provides another opportunity to laugh at Little Brother for losing when it matters most.  Since the Cats’ 80-68 overtime loss in “The Dream Game” back in 1983, Louisville has not beaten Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.

1984: Kentucky 72, Louisville 67

The Mideast Regional Final Loss to Louisville in 1983 opened the floodgates for the two teams to finally begin an annual duel.  In the first regular season matchup, the Cats took the Cards to the woodshed for a 21-point victory.  It was much closer affair in the Sweet 16, but Joe B. Hall’s Cats still got the win.

Jim Master and Dicky Beal led the team in scoring with 15 points apiece.  Melvin Turpin had 14 points and 5 rebounds, Sam Bowie had 8 points and 12 boards while Winston Bennett contributed 10 points to help end the Cardinals’ season.  Kentucky would defeat Illinois by three in the next game to take Coach Hall back to the Final Four before shooting an abysmal 24 percent against Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown in the National Semifinal.

2012: Kentucky 69, Louisville 61

This weekend Kentucky has nothing to lose, just like Louisville in the 2012 Final Four.  Their appearance came as a surprise, while Kentucky dominated the field with the National Player of the Year and the future top two picks in the NBA Draft.  Still without a National Championship, John Calipari’s first would have to go through Rick Pitino.

The Louisville baseball team has been extremely successful under Dan McDonnell.  They have won five consecutive Regional Championships, but the program has struggled to get over the hump.  In three College World Series appearances they are 1-6 with their best finish (5th) coming in 2007.  They’ve hosted two straight Super Regionals and lost with elite talent.  This year Brendan McKay will be a top two draft pick and he’s already won one National Player of the Year award.

All of the pressure was on Calipari’s Cats.  This year all of the pressure is on McDonnell’s Cards.

Calipari’s bonafide superstar put the Cats over the top in 2012.  Anthony Davis dominated the Cards with 18 points (7-8 FG), 14 rebounds and 5 blocked shots.  Louisville had a 15-3 run in the middle of the second half to tie the game, just enough to make the BBN nervous, but from there the Cats took control and never looked back.

2014: Kentucky 74, Louisville 69

Arguably the Sweetest victory in the Cats’ run to the National Title game, Kentucky came back to eliminate the defending National Champions in Indianapolis.  If you thought Aaron Harrison’s heroics were impressive in the Sweet 16, it was only the beginning.

This weekend we’ll see if the underdog Bat Cats have any Aaron Harrison-heroics in College Baseball’s Sweet 16 when they take the Jim Patterson Stadium field with a College World Series berth on the line.


The closest I could get to the courts.

Bryson Tiller Donates New Basketball Courts at Wyandotte Park

Tiller holds the ribbon with the youth teams that officially opened the courts, via @TVTabnie.

Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson are a pair of Kentuckians that have taken the music industry by storm, but they probably aren’t even the most popular musicians from the state.

‘True to Self,’ the second album by Louisville’s Bryson Tiller, debuted as the No. 1 album in America, ahead of Kendrick Lamar and Drake on the Billboard charts.  He celebrated his first No. 1 album by revitalizing the basketball courts down the street from his childhood home.

A product of Iroquois High School and the Hazelwood neighborhood, Tiller teamed up with Nike to create the three best outdoor basketball courts in the Commonwealth. “It’s Possible Here” adorns each baseline.  Even though people told Tiller, “You can’t make it out of Louisville,” he’s proof you can and he wants the community to know anything is possible.

“Not everybody can be Bryson Tiller. Not everybody can be Muhammad Ali. But everybody can do good,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Overhead image via @BigTimeYurts

Wyandotte Park, located near the Watterson Expressway and Taylor Boulevard, is usually pretty crowded, but I’ve never seen anything like this.  Approximately 2,500 people gathered to see their local hero and watch some basketball.

Kids did everything they could to see just a peek of Tiller.

This guy got his taller friends to give him a boost so he could see Tiller.

The closest I could get to the courts.

The crowd’s reaction when Tiller arrived.