If you’re a fan of Kentucky basketball, Immanuel Quickley is a high school prospect you need →
Football Recruiting News
By Sam Gormley on ©June 25th, 2017 @ 1:00pm
Kentucky has made the top seven for Samuel Baker, a three-star offensive guard from Saint Petersburg, Florida. Baker received an offer from the Cats on May 2nd and currently holds other offers from Rutgers and Indiana.
God is good 🙌🏾🙏🏾💯 pic.twitter.com/ODN6phKvZM
— Sam Baker 🇯🇲 (@Sammy_King77) June 25, 2017
You can watch Baker work below:
By Nick Roush on ©June 20th, 2017 @ 10:26pm
Three-star Florida wide receiver Akeem Hayes committed to Louisville on April 27. Today he dropped the Cards to become a Kentucky Wildcat.
Hayes’ timing was impeccable, announcing the decision on Twitter just moments after the Cards lost to Florida in the College World Series.
— Akeem Hayes9️⃣ (@9GoLive) June 21, 2017
Hailing from Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, Florida, he is now the third player from the South Florida football powerhouse in UK’s 2018 class, joining defensive end Davoan Hawkins and wide receiver Marvin Alexander.
Considered the No. 65 athlete in the nation, Hayes was offered by Kentucky a month after he committed to UofL. He camped in Lexington after making a stop in Louisville two weeks ago. Now he’s a Wildcat.
I’d like to think this poll had something do with it.
Who win this year 👀👀
— Akeem Hayes9️⃣ (@9GoLive) June 7, 2017
See what Hayes has to offer Eddie Gran’s offense.
Good morning, friends. Hope you had a nice weekend. This week, our focus will be training camp for the U19 National Team, which started last night in Colorado Springs. What does Colorado Springs look like in the summer? According to Google, something like the picture you see up there. Hopefully John Calipari and his squad can get out and enjoy the views, although I have a feeling they’ll spend most of their time in the Olympic Training Center. That’s where we’ll start today’s top 10.
1. Training Camp has begun for Calipari’s U19 National Team
Last night, the 28 players invited to try out for the U19 National Team arrived in Colorado Springs to begin training camp. That group includes current Cats Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox, and PJ Washington, and 2018 targets Bol Bol, Immanuel Quickley, Romeo Langford, and Cameron Reddish. Last night, the team practiced for two and a half hours, and today, they’ll go from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 4:30 – 7:00 p.m. this evening. Finalists will be announced tomorrow. In the meantime, we’ll bring you any news, pictures, or videos that leak out. Some already have…
2. Diallo to Knox sure looks nice
— Overtime (@overtime) June 19, 2017
3. Bol Bol looks great as well
Calipari said the transformation the 7’2″ Bol has made since he watched him last year to when he saw him this spring is unbelievable. Look how easily he handles the ball in transition, an impressive feat considering his ridiculous size:
Here's 7-2 Bol Bol in transition pic.twitter.com/7elE5G9p0H
— Ben Roberts (@BenRobertsHL) June 19, 2017
Plenty of more highlights like that in the post directly below this one, so scroll on down to get your first sneak peek of Diallo, Knox, Washington, and the 2018 recruits.
4. Keep an eye on Immanuel Quickley
The 2018 point guard has already narrowed his list to four (Kentucky, Maryland, Kansas, and Miami), and the Cats seem to be the overwhelming favorite. Last week at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, Quickley admitted that being around Calipari this week is a huge plus for Kentucky.
“Actually, I can’t lie,” Quickley said, via Adam Zagoria. “It does give him an advantage just because I get to spend more time [with him] but all the coaches tell me they’ll be able to see me in Colorado.”
With unprecedented access to many of his top 2018 prospects, it will be fascinating to watch Calipari recruit over the next month.
5. The Celtics and the 76ers have agreed to trade picks
The big news on Twitter this weekend was the Boston Celtics reportedly agreeing to trade the #1 pick in Thursday’s draft to the Philadelphia 76ers for the Sixers’ 3rd pick. The Celtics will also receive a protected 2018 first-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers, or the Sacramento Kings’ first-rounder in 2019. The trade should become final today, and the Sixers reportedly plan to take Markelle Fultz.
6. Boston fans seem to be taking it well
Let’s check in with #Celtics fans after the Markelle Fultz trade…
— 247Sports (@247Sports) June 18, 2017
What does this mean for De’Aaron Fox? The Sixers hosted Fox this weekend for a solo workout before deciding to trade up, and the Celtics don’t need another guard, so if the Lakers pick Lonzo Ball, look for the Phoenix Suns to take Fox at four, opening the door to trade Eric Bledsoe. If for some reason that doesn’t happen, Sacramento will be waiting at five.
7. Stoops got some big Yahtzees over the weekend
It was a good weekend for Mark Stoops and staff, who pulled in commitments from 2018 4-star outside linebacker DeAndre Square and 2019 4-star safety Keontra Smith. On Friday, Square picked the Cats over programs like Michigan State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, and LSU, becoming the 12th commitment in Kentucky’s 2018 class. Smith is a 2019 prospect, so it’s early, but the Hollywood, Florida native picked Kentucky over Auburn, Louisville, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ole Miss, Wisconsin, and others.
On Thursday, UK landed a commitment from 2018 JuCo defensive back Domonique Williams, and if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Jack Pilgrim’s interview with him from yesterday.
8. Kroger Field is one step closer to reality
The old Commonwealth Stadium sign is officially gone, as captured by Jen Smith last night:
The stadium, which shall remain nameless (for now anyway). pic.twitter.com/Nbg7XgZ16P
— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) June 18, 2017
Sigh. I guess it’s really happening.
9. J.B. Holmes finishes 12th at the US Open
Congrats to the former Wildcat, who finished 12th at the US Open this weekend, his best finish in that major ever. Holmes was one stroke off the lead going into Sunday, but no one could stop Brooke Koepka, who finished the final round -5 for a final score of -16. Meanwhile, Stephan Jaeger, caddied by KSR’s Aaron Flener, tied for 60th at +9. Someone remind Flener to take the flag back before they leave Erin Hills, please:
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) June 17, 2017
10. The KSR Summer Tour is in DANVILLE
In about an hour, the gang will be live from Dexter Insurance in my hometown. Who’s bringing the Burke’s Bakery?
4-star defensive end Stephen Herron, Jr. out of Trinity released his top ten college choices today. UK made the cut, along with a laundry list of elite schools:
TOP 10…🆘 pic.twitter.com/r4AOxOrKsw
— Stephen Herron, Jr (@stephenherron_) June 18, 2017
Funnily enough, hometown Louisville didn’t make the cut.
Because it’s always fun to envision the future of the football team, let’s take a look at Kentucky’s two newest recruits from the last two days.
DeAndre Square: 2018 Four-Star Outside Linebacker
Square is one of the best players out of Michigan in the 2018 class. Standing at 6’1″ and 205 pound, the defenseman out of Cass Technical High School in Detroit is sure to make an impact in two years for the Cats.
Keontra Smith: 2019 Four-Star Safety
Looks pretty savage to me. This guy will be suiting up for the Cats in three seasons, just in time to fill Mike Edwards shoes. I’m a fan.
By Haley Simpson on ©June 17th, 2017 @ 11:31am
Mark Stoops and his crew are rolling into the weekend with two back-to-back yahtzee’s.
Listed as a four-star prospect on both Rivals and 24-7 Sports, Keontra Smith tweeted his commitment to the Big Blue this morning, choosing the Cats over: Auburn, Louisville, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oregon and his home school of Miami.
— Keontra 🔑 (@IronMan794) June 17, 2017
Smith is a 5-11, 205-pound safety at Chaminade-Madonna Prep in Hollywood, FL – just another recruit for Stoops and Co. out of the Sunshine State.
This is the second commitment in two days for the Cats, as DeAndre Square – a 2018 four-star outside linebacker – committed to Kentucky yesterday.
What a way to start a Saturday.
Coach Stoops and the boys are rolling some dice on this Friday evening because class of 2018 outside linebacker DeAndre Square has tweeted that he is committing to the University of Kentucky.
— DeAndre Square (@d_square10) June 16, 2017
Square is listed as a 6’1″ and 205 pound outside linebacker out of Cass Technical High School in Detroit. The four-star defenseman is rated as Scout’s #20 outside linebacker in the class. This is a big time commitment for the Wildcats at a very critical position for an SEC caliber defense.
Take a look at Square’s recent camp work:
Love the recruiting ability of the staff that Stoops has assembled in Lexington. Solid effort across the board.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 16th, 2017 @ 9:00am
You’re looking at Cora and Catina, two wolf pups recently born at the Louisville Zoo. The zoo held a naming contest for the pups and announced the winners yesterday, and you’re never going to convince me that “Catina” (“Cat” for short) won because it means “pure” in Portugese; in fact, that makes the irony even more wonderful. “Catina” won because zoo fans in Louisville either have a really awesome sense of humor (Kentucky fans) or they wanted to make it clear a wolf got in their hen house and ruined their basketball program (Louisville fans). Regardless, I’m happy the zoo has a living, breathing reminder of UofL’s depravity, and a pretty cute one at that.
Let’s jump right into today’s top 10, because there’s a lot to go over.
1. The NCAA is after UofL’s banner
The national media thinks the headline is Rick Pitino being suspended for five conference games, but to anyone who’s followed the situation, far more interesting is the NCAA making it clear UofL’s 2013 National Championship and 2012 Final Four banners will come down. Three players were ruled ineligible due to their participation in the sex acts/stripper parties, putting 108 wins and 15 NCAA victories in peril. Per standard procedure, UofL must submit a list of those games to the NCAA in the next 45 days, and even then, they plan to appeal the findings.
2. The appeal is a very, very long shot
UofL’s defense coming into yesterday was that because the sex acts/stripper parties didn’t cost much ($5,400), the banner shouldn’t come down. The NCAA thoroughly debunked that by making it clear that the monetary value has zero correlation to the reprehensible nature of the acts themselves. So, just because your strippers were cheap doesn’t change the fact that they were strippers, and pressuring 16 and 17-year-old kids into participating in these acts makes it a million times worse.
3. Yet, Rick Pitino remains confident they’ll win the appeal
Pitino went on a tirade about the NCAA’s “over-the-top,” “unfair,” and “unjust” findings, telling reporters he’s completely lost faith in the institution. That was just the start. Here’s a brief list of outrageous things Pitino said yesterday:
- He doesn’t stay up past 10 p.m., so he shouldn’t be held responsible for what his players do between then and 8 a.m.
- He shouldn’t have to answer questions because he doesn’t want to
- A reporter must not be from Louisville because he asked a valid question
- The NCAA investigation of NC State gave Jimmy Valvano cancer
He’s lost it, guys. Meanwhile, at home…
4. Calipari leaves for Colorado Springs tomorrow
Training Camp for the U19 Men’s National Team begins on Sunday in Colorado Springs, and tomorrow, Calipari will head west to prepare. Kevin Knox, PJ Washington, and Hamidou Diallo are among the 28 players who accepted invitations to the camp to try out for the 12-man team that will compete for the FIBA World Cup in Cairo next month. Also on the invite list: 2018 targets Bol Bol, Immanuel Quickley, Cameron Reddish, and Romeo Langford.
5. Shai Alexander is skipping the FIBA World Cup to stay in Lexington
Alexander initially planned to play for Team Canada, but according to Adam Zagoria, he has decided to skip it and stay in Lexington to train with his new squad. Tai Wynyard is still expected to play for New Zealand. Hopefully they’ll play Team USA and we’ll get to see them do the Haka:
6. Malik Monk’s workout with the Sixers went well
Yesterday, Monk had a solo workout with the Philadelphia 76ers, who have the third pick in the NBA Draft, which is less than a week away (!). Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Nik Stauskas, and a handful of other Sixers watched Monk’s workout, and he delivered, knocking down threes and driving the lane with ease. When reporters asked him what he was best at, he quipped, “Everything.” Clearly, he’s confident. You can see more below:
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) June 16, 2017
Elsewhere, Bam Adebayo will work out for the Nuggets today and Isaac Humphries will work out for the Sixers. On Saturday, De’Aaron Fox will take his turn working out for the Sixers.
7. UK Football holding a reunion for the 2006, 2007, & 2008 teams
Saturday, October 28 will be a huge day for UK Football. Not only are the Cats taking on the Tennessee Vols that day in
Commonwealth Stadium Kroger Field, the program is also holding a reunion for the 2006, 2007, and 2008 teams. Rich Brooks, Jacob Tamme, Andre Woodson, Stevie Johnson, and John Conner are just a few of the names that could be back in town, which I’m seeing as a very good omen for our chances of an upset.
8. The football team got a Yahtzee
In case you missed the news late last night, JuCo DB Domonique Williams committed to Kentucky, picking the Cats over Colorado State, Arkansas State, Iowa State, and others. Last year, he finished with 49 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions. He announced his commitment via this video on Twitter:
Romans 12:12 🙏🏽 pic.twitter.com/oV7QRUFmuO
— Dom Williams 🤧 (@dom21_) June 16, 2017
Williams will be part of Kentucky 2018 class. Welcome, young man.
9. J.B. Holmes is tied for 11th at the US Open
Holmes is three under going into the second round of the US Open, and will tee off at 1:47 p.m. ET today, giving you the perfect excuse to take off work early to watch on FS1…or, just stream it on PGATour.com/live like the rest of us. Stephen Jaeger, caddied by former KSR writer/viral video star Aaron Flener, is tied for 28th at one under. He tees off at 2:31 p.m.
Speaking of the US Open, did you see that blimp go down?
— madison seigworth (@msiggyy) June 15, 2017
Just like the University of Louisville, amirite? (Thankfully, the pilot survived, suffering some serious burns)
10. Today’s KSR is one you won’t want to miss
The gang is at Don Franklin Auto on Richmond Road in Lexington to recap a crazy day. Get on out there to enjoy the show and register for the chance to win tickets to a game. Sounds like a perfect way to start the weekend if you ask me.
By Nick Roush on ©June 13th, 2017 @ 6:51pm
On Sunday Kentucky football fans received some good news and some bad news. First, the bad news.
Early Sunday morning three-star Florida athlete Shocky Jacques-Louis withdrew his pledge to Kentucky in light of recent offers from Michigan, Louisville, Tennessee and many more. Even though fans did not know him for long — he was only committed to UK for six weeks — he was an elite athlete from Florida with a memorable name.
A few hours later, three-star Lakota West defensive tackle Tyler Bentley committed to Kentucky after camping with the Cats over the weekend. One of the most sought after defensive linemen in the midwest, few expected him to make an early decision after Louisville, LSU, Alabama and many other traditional powers extended offers. Despite the push, the Cats presented enough to convince Bentley to commit to Kentucky.
There is a crowd of fans that say, “Wait till Signing Day!” after every commitment. Jacques-Louis’ decision only fueled their fire, leaving them unable to enjoy an important and impactful decision that happened just a few hours later.
That crowd is relatively small, however, for a majority of fans that are not football nerds (the equivalent of Cal’s “Basketball Bennies”), it’s difficult to get excited about a player who performs in the trenches. It’s much easier to notice elite athlete when you see breakaway speed on a highlight reel, but it’s tough to tell if a defensive lineman is a stud unless they’re plowing over opponents on a regular basis.
I’m here to tell you not to get distracted by the fancy lures explosive athletes bring to the table. Even though it’s important to see recruiting progress in South Florida, there are dozens of players just like Jacques-Louis in his neighborhood. They don’t make many like Bentley. It takes a special talent to take on two blockers, read a backfield, shed the blocker, react and make a play in the backfield.
For the second consecutive year, Mark Stoops has lost a starter on the defensive line, the weak link in UK’s defense, in the preseason. Bentley is the ideal player filling an ideal position for the Cats.
He is the lowest ranked commit in the 2018 recruiting class, but he’s the third-most important commit in the class and that’s worth being excited. Yeah, I gotta say it was a good day.
By Freddie Maggard on ©June 13th, 2017 @ 5:13pm
Florida receiver Shocky Jacques-Louis de-committed from Kentucky. Ohio defensive tackle Tyler Brentley pledged his loyalty to the Wildcats. This all happened within a short period of time. Following summer football recruiting can be a tiring proposition. Commitments, de-commitments, camps here-combines there are all challenging to track and even more confusing to interpret. Terms like “committable offer” also pop into the equation which makes even less sense.
Four improbable Wildcats committed to Mark Stoops late in the process and were described by some as being “reaches”. Reach is a word that’s used to describe prospects that don’t rate high in the eyes of recruiting services and are questionable to contribute quality minutes while in college. In this post you’ll read that these four “reaches” substantially contributed to the success of the 2016 season. How much you ask? Keep reading.
Imagine if these Wildcats hadn’t signed. Oh boy, things may have turned out differently a year ago. It’s important to remember that National Signing Day was held on the first Wednesday in February for the context of this post.
Let’s take a look:
Josh Allen, Outside Linebacker
Committed on January 31st, 2015; three days prior to National Signing Day (NSD).
Chose UK over Monmouth and Buffalo.
2015: Allen played in all 12 games as a true freshman after being forced into action following the Jason Hatcher fiasco. Finished the season with four tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss and .5 QB sack. A redshirt would have been ideal.
2016: Played in all 13 games, starting nine. Ended the season as Kentucky’s 7th leading tackler with 62 total. Led the team and SEC with four forced fumbles. Finished 12th in the SEC with 7 QB sacks, also good enough for tops on the team. -2017 Outlook
Rated as one of the SEC’s top outside linebackers. Projected starter and is on NFL Draft watch lists. A 2-star prospect at the time of his Kentucky commitment; Josh Allen has evolved into an upper-level producer for Mark Stoops. His best football lies ahead.
Stephen Johnson, Quarterback
Committed on January 16th, 2016; 18 days prior to NSD.
Chose UK over Hawaii and Arkansas State
Entered fall camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind starter Drew Barker. Led the Cats to seven wins in its last eleven games of 2016. Holds a 5-4 record as a starter but entered the game early in relief duty in wins over New Mexico State and Austin Peay.
Completed 145 of 265 passes (54.7%) for 2,037 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also rushed for 327 yards and 3 touchdowns. Johnson was named SEC Player of the Week by Gridiron Now and the Manning Award Start of the Week for his 16-27, 338 yard, 3 TD, and 83 rush-yards performance in the Cats win over Louisville. He was also selected as the Taxslayer Most Valuable Player after completing 19 passes for 175 yards and 2 touchdowns. Johnson did not throw a 4th quarter interception in 2016.
Stephen Johnson was a program lifesaver. Wasn’t always the prettiest quarterback in the league, but the California native simply won games. At times, UK quarterbacks in the Stoops era appeared to become rattled in the face of adversity. Not the unflappable Stephen Johnson. He made mistakes, sure. But the positives greatly outweighed the negatives.
Nobody could have guessed that he would eventually lead the team to a New Year’s bowl after being thrown into the early fire following Barker’s injury. I think most agree that Johnson has much to improve upon. But; his composure, leadership, and tendency to play his best in big games were essential to Kentucky’s 7-6 season.
Coaches insist a quarterback competition will ensue but Johnson is considered to be the team’s starting quarterback and team leader going into fall camp.
TJ Carter, Defensive End
Committed on January 29th, 2016; three days prior to NSD.
Chose UK over Memphis, Samford, and Wyoming
2016: Not a lot of folks jumped up and down following the Georgia native’s commitment. One that did was former UK great Jeremy Jarmon. Jarmon took one look at his film and proclaimed that “this kid will be a starter.”
The former 2-star prospect earned playing time as a true freshman. Carter registered 11 total tackles, .5 tackle for loss, and 1 pass breakup in his rookie year. He earned PFF (Pro Football Focus) top grade for all defensive Wildcats in the Taxslayer Bowl.
Projected as the starting defensive end following the news of Alvonte Bell’s dismissal. His January 29th commitment now has major win/loss ramifications and Stoops and company appear ingenious in hindsight. Extremely high ceiling.
Naquez Pringle, Nose Tackle
Committed on January 17th, 2016; seventeen days prior to NSD.
Chose UK over Appalachian State and Central Florida
Given the direness of the nose tackle position, an argument could be made that Naquez Pringle was the most essential Class of 2016 signee. Pringle came on to the scene with very little fanfare but quickly earned respect by inserting himself into the lineup and becoming a key component of the Wildcat defensive line. While the BBN awaited Matt Elam’s emergence as a reliable starter, it was Pringle that went on to lead the defensive line in tackles.
2016: Started five games after recording his first start against Vanderbilt. Did not play vs. Southern Miss, registered 5 tackles and a TFL in game two against Florida. Finished last season as the team’s top interior defensive line tackler with 39 total tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QB sack.
Projected to start at nose tackle. Transformed his body into a more durable down-lineman. Was in my opinion the most improved player on the team from spring to fall. Diligent worker, Pringle’s best football lies ahead.
What does all this mean?
Kentucky would not have enjoyed a winning season in 2016 if not for the four late, unheralded pickups listed above. Plain and simple. Think about it; this group includes the team’s highest offensive stat producer, most QB sacks and forced fumbles, top defensive line tackler, and the future at defensive end.
Football recruiting is a strange business. Yes, I said business. The premise of this post is based on the significance of four prospects that were late additions that chose Kentucky over the likes of Appalachian State, Samford, Buffalo, Arkansas State, and Monmouth. Efficient roster management requires all types of players: From 4-stars to 2, early and late commitments, JUCO and high school prospects alike.
Full disclosure; I tried my best to watch last weekend’s recruiting showcase camp at Kroger Field. I lasted all of three minutes. I understand their importance but I can’t imagine having to watch those type events on a regular basis throughout the duration of the summer.
I know; I’m old and suffer from a severe case of old-schoolitis. The game has passed me by. Fill in the blank with any other reaction that will likely be made here. But, call me when the pads start popping for accurate evaluations. The truth of the matter is that we really don’t know which players will decide the fate of a season until they get onto campus. Very few if any predicted that the foursome comprised of Josh Allen, Stephen Johnson, Naquez Pringle, and TJ Carter would quickly become fundamental members of a bowl team that is currently trending upward in the SEC East.
Discover Prestonsburg, the “Star City of Eastern Kentucky”. Whether you’re into outdoor adventure, musical entertainment, theatre, history or science, Prestonsburg has a little something for everyone. Located along U.S. 23, the country music highway, Prestonsburg offers an array of musical entertainment. The Mountain Arts Center is a performing arts venue that hosts the Billie Jean Osborne’s KY Opry. Be mesmerized by the local talent on stage that will leave you understanding why we say, “There’s something in the water”. The KY Opry kicks off June 17. If you’re looking for just a relaxing music evening, checkout some of our local restaurants such as McGuire’s Brickhouse or Lizzie B’s on Friday and Saturday Nights that have local bands performing into the night.
Catch an outdoor theatre show at the Jenny Wiley Theatre this summer. This year’s summer shows will include Tarzan and Madagascar. Shows start June 23 for a magical experience under the stars. For history buffs, educate yourselves at the Battle of Middlecreek, the largest Civil War battle in Eastern KY or tour through the Historic Samuel May House. Explore the East Kentucky Science Center & Varia Planetarium one of the most technologically advanced planetariums in the nation. You also don’t want to miss out on the Hubble Exhibit on display until September.
For the outdoor enthusiast, enjoy Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. The park features plenty of hiking, biking, fishing, birding, boating opportunities and even elk tours during the fall & winter season. Check out our newly created Sugar Camp Mountain Trails that add an additional 26 miles of mountain biking that are like no other in the region. Like Kayaking? Experience our Levisa Fork PaddleFest, the fourth Saturday May – Sept., and kayak up the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River into Paintsville. Of course no trip to Prestonsburg is complete without a trip to StoneCrest Golf Course, whether an avid golfer or just there to take in the views, this reclaimed strip mine is a beauty like no other. Call Prestonsburg Tourism at 800-844-4704 or visit prestonsburgky.org for more information.
Good morning, friends. Let’s do this.
1. The team is on campus and working out
The basketball team rolled into town last week, and over the weekend, we got lots and lots of pics of them hanging out with fans at John Calipari’s first father-son camp of the summer. On Saturday, former Cat Julius Randle came to town to help out with the camp, as you can see in this pic from Cal:
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 9, 2017
No word yet on who’s impressing in pickup games, but it’s only a matter of time before some chatter leaks out.
2. Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries are working out for the Lakers
The NBA Draft is a week from Thursday, and today, both Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries will work out for the Los Angeles Lakers, who have the 2nd and 28th picks in the draft. Neither Briscoe nor Humphries are listed in any mocks, but a good performance could land them in a summer league. Meanwhile, De’Aaron Fox will be in LA tomorrow to meet and work out with the Lakers, who are still considering taking him at #2. As I told you on Friday, they’re still not sold on Lonzo Ball.
3. Mark Stoops lost and gained a commitment
Football recruiting giveth, and football recruiting taketh away, right? Yesterday, Florida wide receiver Shocky Jacques-Louis decommitted from Kentucky and, a few hours later, three-star defensive end Tyler Bentley committed to Kentucky. The 6’2″ Bentley is considered the 64th best defensive tackle in the country and the 35th best player in the state of Ohio. Not too shabby.
4. It was a big weekend for Kentucky track
The UK Women’s Track and Field team finished fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon this weekend, its second best team finish at the event in the program’s history. The women’s 4x100m relay got things off to a great start, winning the first event on Saturday:
— ESPNU (@ESPNU) June 10, 2017
I’m tired just watching that.
5. Darius Miller got another German championship
Shoutout to Darius Miller and Brose Bamberg for winning their third straight easyCredit BBL Championship in Germany this weekend. The former Cat averaged 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in the best of five championship series, hitting 58.8% of his shots from the outside. Miller has a championship in high school, college, and now, three in the pros, so the saying is true, all he ever does is win, win, win no matter what what what.
6. Game 5 of the NBA Finals tonight
Honestly, I was surprised the Warriors didn’t sweep the Cavs last week, but the Cavs forced a Game 5, which takes place tonight at 9 p.m. on ABC. There’s no way the Warriors lose at home, right?
7. Marshall Henderson found himself a Kentucky girl
If theres one thing I've learned this weekend …. GET YOU A KENTUCKY GIRL!!! THEY LOVE HOOPS!!!
— marshall henderson (@NativeFlash22) June 10, 2017
He’s not wrong. If you’re curious what Marshall’s up to these days, well, not a whole lot. After a stint with the Reno Bighorns in the D-League, he most recently played for Pavia Basket in Italy. Now, apparently, he’s dating Kentucky girls.
8. What a season for the Nashville Predators
It didn’t end how I wanted it to, but my Nashville Predators had a hell of a run in the Stanley Cup Finals. Watching the city lose its mind over hockey was incredible, and even though that early goal totally should have counted, I’ll remember the run fondly, right down to the last sequin-hat wearing catfish. To go from the 16th seed all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals is a heck of an accomplishment, so there will be no head-hanging in this house. Now, everyone please leave Nashville and let us get back to normal.
9. Happy birthday, Drew!
Everyone take a moment to wish my compadre Drew a happy birthday. Last I heard, he was partying hard on Broadway in Nashville, so I’m sure he made the most of it. Enjoy your day, Drew.
10. The KSR Summer Tour begins
Today, Matt and Ryan kick the 2017 KSR Summer Tour off in Prestonsburg, so if you’re in the area, come on out to hear them discuss the UofL audit, Matt’s trip to Charleston, and lots of other fun and random stuff.
By Sam Gormley on ©June 11th, 2017 @ 6:10pm
Kentucky Football has just received a commitment from Tyler Bentley a 3-star defensive tackle from Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio. Bentley is 6’2″ member of the Class of 2018. 24-7 Sports ranks him as the number 35 player in the competitive state of Ohio. Bentley also held offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida, LSU and Louisville.
— 🔱Tyler Bentley🔱™ (@Tbcheese45) June 11, 2017
Watch him work below:
This weekend, UK Football is hosting one of its’ football camps. For a recap of yesterday’s events, check out this article from Nick Roush.
The event has also left three players with UK Offers. Here is what you need to know about each of them:
Henle is a 3-star tight end from Arlington, Texas. In his junior season, he finished with 579 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. He currently holds offers from Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Houston, Illinois and now Kentucky. Watch Henle work below:
Gibson is a JUCO Wide Receiver from McDonough, Georgia. He currently attends East Central Community College. In his freshman season there, he hauled in 29 passes for 563 yards and 9 touchdowns. Gibson currently holds offers from schools like Colorado, Mississippi State and West Virginia. Watch him work below:
A.J. Kirk Jr.
From the Class of 2021, Kirk landed his first D1 offer, with the Cats offer. He has yet to play a down of high school varsity football as he will be entering his freshman year in Columbus, Ohio this coming season. He is the younger brother of former NFL Safety Mike Doss. Watch some highlights of him from this weekend from Scout.com below:
Follow me on Twitter @GormleyKSR
By Jay Winkler on ©June 11th, 2017 @ 11:00am
Mark Stoops’ 2018 class took a potentially big hit this morning, as highly touted wide receiver Shocky Jacques-Louis has decided to decommit from the program and weigh his options:
— Shocky Jacques-louis (@ShockyMVP) June 11, 2017
Jacques-Louis would’ve made for a big recruiting victory for Darin Hinshaw. Hopefully the kid comes back around.
By Nick Roush on ©June 10th, 2017 @ 11:00pm
The summer season for Kentucky football began with more than a hundred campers the Kentucky football facility. Split between the stadium and practice fields, coaches spent more than three hours working with some of their top recruits.
Here’s what we learned, along with a disclaimer: there are no rosters at these events. Figuring out who is who can be difficult, but I think I got all I needed. Check it.
— Jarren Williams went to the Elite 11 Camp. If you didn’t know who he was, all you had to do was see the quarterback’s Elite 11 swag. From his shoes to his backpack, he brought everything from L.A. to Lexington. Williams did not throw today, instead he spent his time talking with Darin Hinshaw and future teammates.
— Williams’ wide receiver dominated. A pair of Central Gwinnett wide receivers made the trip to Kentucky, Jallah Zeze and Khmari Thompson. One player in yellow shorts — I’m almost certain it was Thompson — took on all takers in one-on-one drills and never lost. He caught everything that went his way all over the football field. Only once did he get bested with a bump at the line of scrimmage, and that was by arguably the most talented player at the camp.
— Top 20 Cornerback from Michigan Visits. I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out who the wide-bodied cornerback in adidas cleats was. My Google search led me to Kalon Gervin, the No. 2 player in the state of Michigan, a Top 200 player overall and Top 20 cornerback in the nation.
Gervin is a teammate of DeAndre Square at Cass Tech in Detroit. Square, a safety/outside linebacker, spent the day with Matt House, who often used Square as a teaching example during drills. Gervin received that individual attention from Steve Clinkscale, the UK defensive backs coach and Gervin’s primary recruiter. On one occasion, Clinkscale wouldn’t let Gervin get a water break with the rest of the players until he walked him through some man coverage tricks of the trade.
— “Stay Up.” Those two words were uttered more than any other by Steve Clinkscale during one-on-one period. Everybody wants to be at their best in front of the coaches. After getting beat, a few DBs tackled the WRs instead of letting them run the play out into the end zone.
“You ain’t going to get a scholarship by tackling somebody!” Clinkscale had to yell after his initial instructions were not followed. One of the few who got a scholarship offer was a 2021 recruit, A.J Kirk Jr. from Columbus. Kirk is the younger brother of former NFL and Ohio State DB Mike Doss.
— “Big Dogs.” That was of course what Vince Marrow required the tight ends to say when they broke out of the huddle. Tight end commit Brenden Bates was in Lex, but Keaton Upshaw received most of Marrow’s attention.
“You ever been in a fight?” Marrow asked after seeing Upshaw fire out of his stance for the first time. After Upshaw replied negatively, Marrow implored, “Bring your whole body. STRIKE! PUNCH!”
Upshaw ferociously followed Marrow’s instructions. It was impressive. Normally 6’7″ 17-year old tight ends are gangly pass-catchers. That’s not the case with Upshaw. The Lima, Ohio native is jacked. UK needs a second tight end in the 2018 class and Upshaw would be the perfect fit.
— Talented underclassmen running backs. This is where figuring out names became too difficult. There were some good looking guys working out with Eddie Gran, but differentiating the short, explosive underclassmen from one another was too much to handle. Still, they were much more talented than I anticipated.
— Nepotism. Strength coach Corey Edmund’s son was one of the underclassmen at the camp. A wide receiver, every current player on the field was watching him during one-on-ones. He did not disappoint. After one catch down the sideline, Coach Ed turned to the players and said, “Stay off his back,” causing the crowd to erupt in laughter.
— One Player with Buzz. There was a good crowd of current players at Kroger Field watching today’s activities. Mike Edwards, Derrick Baity, Tobias Gilliam, Kayaune Ross (his younger brother camped), Clevan Thomas, Tymere Dubose, Jamin Davis, Cedrick Dort and A.J. Rose stayed the longest. One player who wasn’t there was the most talked about newcomer: Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald.
Freddie was right, again. The steal of the 2017 class, people around the program marvel at the freshman’s size and work ethic. He is in the weight room every single day, so much so that they’re probably going to have to tell him to slow down soon. Losing Alvonte Bell doesn’t hurt so bad after hearing about the progress of our boy Abule.