Every year, it’s the same. Fall camp starts, practice updates start rolling in, and you →
Basketball Recruiting News
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 31st, 2015 @ 4:30pm
How crazy has basketball recruiting gotten lately? Five-star guard Malik Monk is going on a radio show tomorrow night just to announce his visiting schedule. To be fair, the radio show is his brother Marcus’, but still. This is like players “cutting” their lists from 15 to 12. A bit much if you ask me.
Regardless, according to Eric Bossi, Monk has his visits set and at 7:05 p.m. CT tomorrow night, will unveil the list on the Raw Report on 99.5 fm in Fayetteville. I’m not going to say Bossi accidentally tweeted-then-deleted Monk’s list of visits, but if I were you, I’d pencil Monk in for Big Blue Madness.
Monk’s getting a ton of pressure to stay home and play for Arkansas, where his brother played both basketball and football. Right now, the Razorbacks lead his Crystal Ball 77% to UK’s 23%; however, if there’s any event that can change that, it might be Big Blue Madness.
Five-star center Marques Bolden was scheduled to visit Kentucky starting on Friday, but he’s now moved that visit up to Wednesday. The 6’10” 235 lbs. Texas native is considered the second best center in the 2016 class, and just cut his list to eight: Duke, Kentucky, Baylor, Oklahoma, TCU, Alabama, Wake Forest and Kansas. He’s already visited Wake, Duke, and Alabama, and after visiting Kentucky, will take another trip to Duke on September 18 and Kansas on September 25.
Duke and Kansas are considered the favorites for Bolden, but there is a Kentucky connection. His AAU coach Jeff Webster worked with former Cat Julius Randle; however, he also worked with current Dukie Matt Jones, so probably best not to read too much into that.
Let’s watch him work:
We did it, folks. The long national nightmare is finally over. Football is here.
It’s game week, and I don’t think I’ve been this excited for the oblong ball since Papa Brooks was in office. Expectations are high for Stoops and company in year three, with a few brave media souls predicting the Cats to go bowling for the first time since 2011.
First things first. Louisiana Lafayette comes to town Saturday to help christen the new Commonwealth Stadium, and we’ll have all the coverage you could dream of on the site this week, including a new podcast that will be taped on Tuesday night (Roush swears he has the audio figured out now).
Until then, here’s the agenda…
Mark Stoops will talk to the media at noon
Stoops’ first weekly news conference of the season is today at noon, so stay tuned to hear his thoughts on the Cats and the Ragin Cajuns. I’ll post breaking news as it happens and Nick will have a full recap this afternoon.
The depth chart will be released a little before then, so check in around 11:30 to analyze and over analyze.
We won’t know who Louisiana Lafayette’s QB is until the game
On Friday, Mark Hudsepth and his terrifying pectoral muscles told reporters that although he’s picked a starting quarterback, he’s not announcing it publicly. That means the Cats will have to prepare for both Brooks Haack and Jalen Nixon, as well as the Ragin Cajun’s star running back Elijah McGuire. The speedy junior rushed for 1,264 yards and 14 touchdowns last year, and will be an immediate test for the Cats’ run defense.
This picture of Commonwealth Stadium is awesome
This tweet from Matt Elam is even better
Forget Those 8-4 Predictions We Going 12-0 !! It's Game Week #BBN We Ready !!!
— Matt Elam™6⃣9⃣ (@FballIsLife69) August 31, 2015
Can we all agree Miley Cyrus is terrible?
For some reason, I watched the MTV VMAs last night and have never felt older. Not only did I not know who half the people were, I couldn’t get over how terrible Miley Cyrus was. Miley hosted the show and spent 89.9% of it swearing and telling the audience how much pot she smokes. I know the majority of child stars are doomed from the start, but Miley’s transformation is still jarring. As @Calipartytime put it on Twitter, she looks like she belongs at a Louisville tailgate. Poor Billy Ray.
Team Nicki all the way:
Nicki Minaj goes off on Miley Cyrus at the VMAs pic.twitter.com/5muLcCBDvA
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) August 31, 2015
It looks like Kobi Simmons enjoyed himself
The five-star combo guard took his official visit to UK this weekend, and after testing out the rims in the Joe Craft Center, posted this tweet about his trip:
My Official Visit To University Of Kentucky Was Great !😼 #BBN ⚪️🔵
— Shoogs (@JordanKobi) August 31, 2015
Simmons will take visits to UNLV and Ohio State before announcing his decision on September 19. Georgia’s also in the mix.
Randall Cobb’s okay
Saturday night was all about the KSR 10th Anniversary party, so I didn’t hear about Randall Cobb’s shoulder injury until Sunday morning, and at first, I thought my husband was playing a cruel joke on me. Thankfully, the Packers said yesterday that Cobb only sprained his AC joint and could be back in time for the season opener on September 13. He’s pretty much the only player I like on my fantasy football team, so that’s very good news.
KSR starts in two hours
Grab your squad and get ready.
Waiting on the season to start like… pic.twitter.com/Y56B13Je8C
— E (@E_Seldon) July 29, 2015
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 28th, 2015 @ 9:55am
Kobi Simmons arrives on campus today for his official visit, and according to reports this morning, the 6’4″ combo guard from Alpharetta, Georgia is ready to wrap up his recruitment in a few weeks. Simmons is down to Kentucky, Ohio State, UNLV and Georiga. His father, Desmond Stephens, told Adam Zagoria that his son will announce his decision after visits to UNLV on September 4 and Ohio State on September 11. Rivals’ TJ Walker is also reporting Simmons’ decision will come on September 19.
In case you need a refresher, Simmons was UK’s priority at point guard in the 2016 class for a long time before John Calipari also handed offers out to Dennis Smith and De’Aaron Fox. Both Simmons and his father downplay the notion that Calipari’s interest has waned, insisting that they talk to Cal and Kenny Payne daily. Both also admit they’re big UK fans, with Stephens telling the Herald-Leader that he grew up cheering for Kentucky.
#BBN 2 More Days ! Who's Ready ?
— Shoogs (@JordanKobi) August 27, 2015
While Simmons hit some rough spots on the summer circuit, he’s an incredible talent. At 6’4″, he’s long and athletic, with an explosive first step and decent outside shot. He’s considered the third best combo guard and the 15th overall player in the 2016 class by 247 Sports Composite.
Enjoy yourself, Kobi.
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Kobi Simmons will take an official visit to Kentucky this weekend
I mentioned this in the wakeup post, but it bears repeating. Tomorrow, Simmons will arrive on campus for an official visit, the first of three he’s taking in the coming weeks. Next month, the five-star combo guard visit UNLV and Ohio State, and he’s already visited Georgia, his home state school. His dad told Ben Roberts they will decide between the four programs next month, and laughed at the notion that Kentucky has cooled on his son.
“It’s just funny to me that people think that,” said Demond Stephens. “Cal talks to me. Kenny (Payne) talks to me. We talk every day.”
Marques Bolden visits next weekend
The best center in the 2016 class will come to town next Friday before taking officials to Duke on September 18 and Kansas on September 25. Reason to feel good: Bolden’s AAU coach and mentor is Jeff Webster, Julius Randle’s former coach. Reason to worry: Duke has a slight edge in his 247 Crystal Ball.
Here’s a reminder of what he can do:
ESPN released their new 2017 recruiting rankings
Here’s where those with UK offers stand:
1. DeAndre Ayton
2. Wendell Carter
3. Michael Porter, Jr.
5. John Petty
7. Jarred Vanderbilt
8. Mohamed Bamba
9. Gary Trent Jr.
13. Nick Richards
18. Zach Brown
25. Trae Young
Point guard Trevon Duval was ranked fourth, and although he doesn’t have an offer from the Cats yet, he’s expected to pick one up soon.
Don’t forget that Kash Daniel plays in Frankfort Friday night
Paintsville’s game against Frankfort High School is the BBN’s best chance to see the future Cat play in Central Kentucky. It kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Sower Field, which apparently is a little difficult to find. Here’s a map to help guide you:
Daniel scored three touchdowns in his season opener. What will he do this week?
3-star cornerback has UK in his top two
Three-star cornerback Carlos Becker is considered the 37th best corner in the 2016 class, and according to 247 Sports, he’s got the Cats in his top two, along with NC State. Ryan Bartow spoke with Becker, who says he’s going to take officials to Kentucky, NC State, Wisconsin, Ole Miss, and potentially Florida State. He said the Cats were the first “big SEC team” to offer him, and the fact that he considers UK a “big SEC team” speaks volumes to me.
He may be a NC State lean, but he was spotted by his classmates wearing a UK shirt on “college day” today:
Why not, right, Carlos?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 27th, 2015 @ 9:00am
Good morning, everyone. Pardon the delay, there was a bit of a mixup in the KSR offices this morning over who was supposed to do the wakeup post, so we’re off to a late start. It may be early here, but I bet these two Cats fans at Windsor Castle are already enjoying their high tea, or maybe even a Pimms Cup to start the afternoon right. Cheerio, old chaps.
Here’s what you have to look forward to today in the wide world of Kentucky sports…
We’ll hear from Stoops and the defense this evening
There was no media opportunity yesterday so the team could focus on their first day of classes, which probably has most of you itching for a football fix. Mark Stoops, DJ Eliot, and select defensive players will address the media this evening after practice, and hopefully, we’ll hear some good news about Ryan Flannigan, who has been battling a minor injury all camp. The linebacking corps is thin as it is, and Flannigan is a major leader on the defensive side on the ball. Simply put: we need him back and we need him to stay healthy.
Did you see the SEC Network picked UK to go 8-4 last night?
If I hadn’t seen it with my own two eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it myself. While I admire their optimism, I don’t feel quite as confident about UK’s chances at South Carolina and Mississippi State, the latter in particular. Nothing good happens in Starkville.
That’s all fine and dandy, but the real star of UK Football preview show was Patrick Towles’ hair:
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) August 27, 2015
Just let your soulllll glo. Just let it shine through.
Sacha Killeya-Jones is coming to Big Blue Madness
Add UK’s latest commit to the guest list, which includes Harry Giles, Miles Bridges, and Rawle Alkins. No offense to those four, but the real question remains, if Drake and Serena Williams are dating, does that mean she’ll come to Madness too?
Kobi Simmons will be on campus this weekend
Simmons was once John Calipari’s number one priority at point guard for 2016, though it’s unclear if that’s still the case since Cal’s offered several other guards in the class. Regardless, he’s coming to UK this weekend for an official visit, and his father, Desmond Stephens, told the Herald-Leader’s Ben Roberts his son is down to UK, Georgia, Ohio State and UNLV with a decision coming next month. Both Simmons and his father admit they’re UK fans, and Stephens says the family talks to Cal and Kenny Payne “every day.” That, along with these quotes, make me feel pretty good about UK’s chances:
“I rooted for Kentucky, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “I grew up watching Kenny Walker, Dicky Beal … I go way, way back. My friends and I have a rule – we can never change our favorite teams in life.
“And I really like Cal – I’ve been liking Cal since Memphis. And Kenny Payne, he’s the best of the best when it comes to teaching and knowledge. You gotta love it.”
Enjoy your visit, Kobi.
The seats in the new suites at Commonwealth Stadium sure look nice
Even if they have the new, crooked K.
Happy birthday to Mitch Barnhart
UK’s athletic director is celebrating his 56th trip around the sun today, although with that hair, he doesn’t look a day over 40. Live it up, Mitch. Two chocolate milks this morning!
Who will win the #KSRCandyBracket?
First was cereal, now is candy. It’s chocolate vs. sugar. Who will reign supreme? Tune in to KSR in about an hour to find out.
Add Sacha Killeya-Jones to the list of visitors for this year’s Big Blue Madness. UK’s 2016 commit announced today he plans to take his official visit to Lexington that weekend.
I will be taking my official Visit to UK on October 16th for Big Blue Madness‼️ #BBN😼🔵⚪️
— SKJ‼️ (@The_SKJ) August 26, 2015
Maybe Killeya-Jones can convince Rawle Alkins, Miles Bridges and Harry Giles, who will also visit that weekend, to join him in UK blue.
That class alone could win, like, the NBA Championship. Maybe Olympic gold with the right bench.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 26th, 2015 @ 11:10am
Three of the four main recruiting services updated their 2016 rankings today and Kentucky’s lone commitment in the class, Sacha Killeya-Jones, saw a huge bump across the board.
First, in the new Top247, Killeya-Jones moved up from No. 39 to No. 16 in the update. Up at the top, Harry Giles dropped from first to third, behind Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox, respectively.
Over at ESPN Recruiting, Killeya-Jones jumped from No. 57 to No. 31. Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Josh Jackson are the top three.
And in the updated Scout.com rankings, Killeya-Jones climbed from No. 48 to No. 29 overall. Giles is your top player there, too.
Hashtag Kentucky effect.
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Hello there, sports fans. It’s Tuesday at 3 pm… YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS! SLEEP OUTFITTERS’ TUESDAY RECRUITING ROUNDUP TIME!!!
Today we have news from both the basketball and football sides of recruiting. Let’s get to it.
Kash Daniel wants Big Blue Nation at his game Friday night.
Daniel asked that we let the BBN know he will be playing in Frankfort this Friday. He and his Paintsville teammates will line up against Frankfort High School at 7:30 pm. It’s the best chance for Central Kentuckians to see UK’s prized commitment in his senior season of high school football.
Frankfort plays at Sower Field and Ryan Lemond tells us it’s tough to find. Here’s a map that’ll help you get to it:
Get in there, you guys.
Drake Jackson unranked in new Rivals 250.
In case this is your first time visiting the site today, earlier we shared the news that UK commit Drake Jackson is no longer in the Rivals 250.
Jackson dropped to unranked on the updated list, while his future teammate on UK’s offensive line, Landon Young, is ranked No. 91.
Jackson was No. 224 prior to today’s update.
The cover of the Herald-Leader’s High School Football Preview is pretty funny.
Kentucky shouldn’t have a problem hanging on to the commitments from those three.
Name to Watch: Chauncey Manac
According to Justin Rowland at Rivals, Kentucky is very interested in the weakside defensive end, ranked sixth at his position in the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Manac is committed to Georgia and has been for almost a year now, but Mark Stoops and his staff are doing all they can to steal him away from the Dawgs before NSD.
Top-ranked big man sets visit to Kentucky.
Also from earlier, Marques Bolden, the No. 1 center in the 2016 recruiting class, will visit Lexington on September 4th. Duke and Kansas currently split Bolden’s Crystal Ball predictions at 65 and 35 percent, respectively. He also has an offer from Louisville and several others.
With Tai Wynyard, Sacha Killeya-Jones and Isaac Humphries projected to be in UK’s 2016-17 frontcourt, Calipari will have to sell him on playing with those three inside.
This dunk by Miles Bridges is absurd.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) August 24, 2015
Bridges will be at Kentucky for Big Blue Madness. Get him and Harry Giles and good luck to the rest of college basketball.
According to Jeff Goodman over at ESPN, Marques Bolden plans to visit Lexington on Friday, September 4th.
The top-ranked center in the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Bolden received a scholarship offer from Kentucky during Lexington’s EYBL tournament in the spring. The Texas native also has offers Duke, Kansas and Louisville, among others.
Duke and Kansas are believed to be UK’s top competition for Bolden. His AAU coach and mentor also coached and mentored Julius Randle in high school, so that helps the Cats’ chances.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 24th, 2015 @ 9:00am
After covering football for even just a few years, I’ve learned that sometimes a “bad practice” is nothing more than a gimmick by a football coach to fire up his squad.
After covering football for even just a few years, I don’t think that’s what happened this weekend in Lexington.
On Friday, fifteen days into camp, we finally saw “Angry Stoops,” and when the team didn’t rebound to his liking during Saturday’s scrimmage, it stopped seeming like a ploy and started to be a little bit worrisome. Admit it, long suffering UK football fans: fear creeped into your periphery. I mean, I had to talk Freddie Maggard out of putting on his old pads and running up to Lexington to straighten things out; however, all was for naught when Stoops collected his troops for a late night practice. The first thing I thought of was the scene from “Remember the Titans” where Denzel Washington and his staff woke the players up at 3 a.m. to run the trail around Gettysburg battlefield:
Almost every single football player tweeted about the “amazing” and “special” practice, but yesterday, Drew Barker told reporters the practice also reminded him of “Remember the Titans”:
“We know that first practice we had didn’t cut it,” Barker said. “He brought us back out here, something like out of Remember the Titans. It was awesome. It was just a great practice and it was great team bonding and team building last night.”
Can I get a little “Left Side, Strong Side” before we move on to today’s agenda?
STOOPS will be on KSR this morning
This afternoon, we’ll hear from Stoops and the defensive coaches and players. With less than two weeks until the opener, the team is inching towards game prep, and in turn, we are too. Tune in this week for tons of football coverage, including a way, way, ridiculously too early look at the Ragin Cajuns from Freddie Maggard this afternoon.
Before all of that, Mark Stoops will call in to KSR to talk about the eventful weekend. Tune in to hear what he has to say about the team’s eventful weekend.
The basketball team is back on campus
One by one, the basketball players are arriving back on campus for class, meaning you should be on the lookout for players and/or hordes of jersey chasers. The first person to send us a picture of Jamal Murray safe and sound in Lexington gets free KSR for life.
The visitor’s list for Big Blue Madness continues to grow
This weekend, five-star small forward Miles Bridges announced he’ll take five official visits, one to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness. He’ll join Harry Giles and potentially Rawle Alkins at the event, which is shaping up to be even bigger than usual. The Cats are gaining momentum with Bridges, who was long thought to be a Michigan State lean.
Bridges’ dunk this weekend in the Bahamas will show why we want to take him from Izzo:
That’s the same gym UK played in one year ago during the Bahamas tour. I can almost smell the $1 hot dogs.
I finally saw “The Gift”
And yes, it was just as good as everyone said it would be. Like “Gone Girl,” the twist at the end was a bit expected since everyone kept hyping it up, but I enjoyed it all the same. I also watched “The Theory of Everything” on HBOGO, and liked it. Two vastly different movies, but both kept me thinking long after they were over.
Will our own Matt Jones run for Congress?
Last night, Matt confirmed to the Herald-Leader that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has asked him to consider taking on U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in next year’s 6th Congressional District race. I know you guys love politics just as much as I love a vegan dinner menu, so I won’t go much further than to give you the link to the Herald-Leader’s story. I’m sure you’ll discuss it at length anyways.
Welcome to the Class of 2019
If the traffic in Lexington wasn’t indication enough, students are officially back on campus. The freshman class got together Saturday night to pose for this picture:
All this does is make me want the Power K logo back more and more. Oh well.
More coming all day…
By Kelsey Mattingly on ©August 23rd, 2015 @ 11:30am
The University of Kentucky can expect another a hint of excitement this October when Big Blue Madness rolls around. Five-star recruit, Miles Bridges, is set to make an appearance at the event along with several other UK hopefuls. The 6’7” small forward from Huntington Prep has four other visits planned to schools including Michigan State, Indiana, Michigan and North Carolina.
According to 247Sports, Kentucky is favored in Bridges’ top two schools, beating out Michigan State for the top contender. Bridges is the 16th overall ranked player in the 2016 recruiting class and ranked 3rd in small forwards nationwide. We can be hopeful that once Bridges experiences the atmosphere of Big Blue Madness, it will seal the deal like so many others before him.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 21st, 2015 @ 2:41pm
Well, so much for that. Kentucky is not even listed on Markelle Fultz’s final schools on the press release from ESPN. According to the Worldwide Leader, Fultz’s final three are Arizona, Louisville, and Washington, the three schools he took official visits to this month.
Final schools: Arizona, Louisville and Washington https://t.co/PXmM5NNLPn
— ESPNU (@ESPNU) August 21, 2015
You knew things were a little fishy earlier when Adam Zagoria posted a story quoting Fultz as saying he may take a visit to Kentucky this fall and minutes later, Paul Biancardi breaking the news that Fultz will announce tonight. Evan Daniels tweeted that he believes Fultz will commit to Washington, who has now taken over the lead in his Crystal Ball.
Last minute smokescreen? Perhaps. Either way, best of luck to the kid if he doesn’t pick Kentucky. We ain’t for everyone.