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Monday’s Top 10: Fox soars, John Wall has his moment, and some big breaking news coming soon…

Monday’s Top 10: Fox soars, John Wall has his moment, and some big breaking news coming soon…

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Greetings all, and welcome to a new week. Shoutout to KSR and UK fan Nick for repping the Cats at the Parthenon. Sure, it may be the full-scale replica that’s here in Nashville — built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition — but it’s still impressive and in close proximity to plenty of great hot chicken places and craft breweries. Nick, I hope you took advantage of all that.

Before I call Prince’s to see if they’re open at 9 a.m., let’s roll through the top ten, because that’s probably a decision that I’d regret later today.

1. Sorting through the aftermath of the NBA Combine

The NBA Draft Combine finally wrapped up yesterday in Chicago, and for Kentucky fans, there were two main takeaways: 1) Hamidou Diallo’s measurements/agility piqued the interest of several teams; and 2) De’Aaron Fox did himself some favors. We’ll start with Diallo, who has nine days left to make the decision to stay in the draft or come back to Kentucky. After doing some reading, it seems that Diallo’s 44.5″ vertical and 6’11.25″ wingspan were enough to make NBA teams want to hear more. According to Chad Ford, Diallo is now viewed as an “intriguing” prospect that could go in the 20’s, whereas if he stayed at Kentucky and had a good season, could go in the top 10 of the 2018 draft. The speculation surrounding Diallo is overwhelming and, honestly, a bit exhausting, but we’ll keep bringing you the news as it happens.

2. De’Aaron Fox charmed everyone

The other big takeaway of the Combine to me was the emergence of De’Aaron Fox. Fox was one of the few projected top 10 prospects to actually attend the Combine, and that decision seems to have worked in his favor. Fox charmed everyone, to the point that Chad Ford believes many squads would pick him over Lonzo Ball, putting him in contention for the second or third pick. That’s huge.

One of the many media opps Fox did this week:

Fox seems primed to become the next great ambassador of Kentucky Basketball. Let’s hope he lands somewhere good.

3. The NBA Draft Lottery is tomorrow

Here are the latest odds:

4. It’s Game 7 for Wizards/Celtics

Friday night was the night John Wall told the world that he’s an NBA superstar. Wall quietly put together an impressive regular season, and when some haters — cough, Cowherd, cough — still questioned that he had the talent and charisma to be among the league’s elite, he made a statement Friday night. After the buzzer sounded following his game-winning three, Wall leapt on the scorer’s table and motioned to the Washington crowd to get loud. The pictures and video of the moment have been everywhere, but this perspective from the crowd may be my favorite:

Tonight, the Wizards and Celtics will meet one final time in Boston to decide the series, the winner of which will advance to play the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. That game tips at 8 p.m. ET on TNT.

5. UK Baseball swept the Vols

UK Baseball made Senior Weekend one to remember by sweeping Tennessee at The Cliff. After a date with Northern Kentucky on Tuesday, the Bat Cats will turn their sights to a crucial weekend showdown with Florida with the SEC championship on the line. The Cats (36-16, 18-9 SEC) will need to win at least two of three games to claim a piece of the division – and possibly overall – crown in coach Nick Mingione’s first season as head coach.

We’ve said it a lot, but what Mingione has done this season is incredible. Keep it up, fellas.

6. The football team landed a three-star center

Mark Stoops added an eighth member to his 2018 class this weekend in the form of three-star center Quintin Wilson. Wilson is the third offensive lineman in the 2018 class and the fourth recruit from the state of Ohio, aka Vince Marrow land. UK’s 2018 class is now ranked 22nd in 247 Sports’ rankings, and Alex Reigelsperger, who has seized the role of lead recruiter, says more Yahtzees are coming soon:

Hmm…

7. UK Softball will host a regional

Last night, the UK Softball team drew the No. 14 national seed in the 2017 NCAA Softball Championships, and will serve as regional hosts this weekend at John Cropp Stadium. Illinois, Marshall and DePaul will come to town for the double-elimination style bracket, the winner of which will advance to the super regionals. Kentucky will open play on Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. ET against DePaul, which will be shown live on ESPN 3/WatchESPN.

Tickets are available now at the UK Ticket Office, so make plans to go support the ladies this weekend.

8. My Preds dropped Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals

Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals started well for the Nashville Predators, who quickly leapt to a 2-0 lead, but Anaheim didn’t give up, eventually winning by a final score of 5-3. Thankfully, Nashville won Game 1, so the series is tied at 1-1, and now comes home to Bridgestone Arena, which will be absolutely nuts on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Hopefully I can be there on Tuesday to cheer them on before leaving for vacation. Either way, I’m taking jersey with me to Italy.

9. Julius Randle won Mother’s Day

Shoutout to Julius Randle for a very impressive and creative Mother’s Day gift for his fiancée, Kendra. Guys, good luck topping this one:

10. Some big news is going to drop on today’s show

I suggest you be by your radio at 10 a.m. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


YAHTZEE! 2018 Offensive Lineman Quintin Wilson Commits to Kentucky

@Q_wil42

@Q_wil42

Cincinnati center Quintin Wilson has committed to Kentucky.  The 6’3″ 290-pound three-star recruit used his commitment as a gift to his mom on Mother’s Day.

@q_wil42

@q_wil42

Considered the No. 8 center in the country, the Walnut Hills High School star chose Kentucky over Duke, Virginia, Cincinnati and Minnesota.  Wilson becomes the third offensive lineman in the eight-man 2018 class and the fourth from the state of Ohio.  247 Sports hasn’t bumped UK’s ’18 class to No. 22, third in the SEC.

John Schlarman will get to work with the nation’s No. 32 offensive tackle, Darian Kinnard, the nation’s No. 4 offensive guard, Marquan McCall, and the nation’s No. 8 center, Quintin Wilson.  Watch Wilson do work:


Kentucky Coaches Visited Georgia for Jarren Williams’ Spring Game

Karl L. Moore

Photo by Karl L. Moore

Kentucky’s relentless recruitment of Jarren Williams continued last night.

According to Justin Rowland, Vince Marrow and Darin Hinshaw went to Central Gwinnett High School to watch the dual-threat quarterback’s Spring Game.  They were not alone.  Craig Kirschner reports coaches from the University of Georgia also attended the game.

Unlike most Spring Games, it was live action (h/t Turtle Man).  The full contact exhibition against another team didn’t prevent the opponent from hitting the quarterback.  Williams thrived under duress, leading his team to a 34-0 victory.  Don’t believe me?  Just watch.

For a more entertaining angle, check out Kirschner’s highlight reel.


Photo via @RowlandRIVALS

Boston College Linebacker Visiting Kentucky Soon

Photo via USA Today

Photo via USA Today

Justin Rowland from Cats Illustrated is reporting that top Linebacker Ethan Tucky is transferring from Boston College and visiting Kentucky soon.

Tucky was part of the 2016 class for Boston College, turing down scholarships from Wisconsin, Iowa and Cal to play for the Eagles.  It’s no secret that Stoops has a special connection with players from Ohio and lucky for us, Tucky was born and raised in Delaware, Ohio. That and the fact that UK recruited him earlier too seem to give us a nice little advantage.

Here’s a video from his high school days:


Tuesday Night Notes for the UK Fans of the Day

Tuesday Night Notes for the UK Fans of the Day

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It’s been a pretty busy Tuesday night in the world of UK Athletics.  It’s even busier when your car decides to die.  My sweet red Ford Escort, appropriately named Katina, may never purr again.  Before I figure out what’s next, here’s what’s now (h/t SVP).

Derek Willis Throws a First Pitch

Unfortunately, there is not better video evidence to share, but I think it’s safe to say it went right down the middle.

A Jarren Williams Update

It appears that Florida’s chances are dwindling.

While UK’s are rising (at least I think that’s what this Tweet means).

Before Williams’ Tweet, he talked with SEC Country, leading the Alabama writer to believe what we’ve been hearing: the odds for a recommitment to Kentucky are high.

C.J. Johnson’s Looking for a New Job

The former Kentucky defensive lineman and KSR Football Pregame Show Co-host is looking for a new home in the NFL.  Earlier today he was waived by the Kansas City Chiefs after a half-season with the franchise.

Little League World Series Champs 15 Years Later

I was waiting for somebody to do a good story on this group, and my friend John Boel nailed it.  A member of the Valley Sports 10-year old team back in 2002, my experience with the team was much different than most.  There were moments of respect and endearment, to times when I had to prevent myself from swinging on one in middle school, to pure happiness when I heard one player’s name called at a Lexington Legends game.  Watch how it all unfolded through an unbiased lens.

How Does Stoops Stack Up vs. the Power Five?

CBS’ five college football writers ranked all 65 teams in the power five conferences, and you might be surprised where Mark Stoops stands.  He is near the bottom at No. 56, the same position he was in a year ago.

Stoops has now finished four seasons at Kentucky, and is yet to take a step backward in any of them. Maybe if he takes another step forward in 2017 we’ll move him up in the rankings, too.

[CBS Sports]

R.I.P. Big Black

Christopher Boykin, better known as ‘Big Black’ from the MTV reality show Rob and Big, passed away today according to TMZ.  He was just 45 years old.  He was entertaining on television, but he holds a special place in KSR lore for his rivalry with Drew Franklin.  The Louisville fan talked a lot of trash, prompting the two to plan a duel at the Final Four, but unfortunately it never came to fruition.


Tuesday’s Top 10: The NBA Combine begins, UK Football lands a big Yahtzee

Good morning, friends, and happy Tuesday. Remember that time that Devin Booker came to school as a four-star shooting guard we all thought would be around for a while and turned out to be a lottery pick? That was fun. Let’s keep that in mind this week, because…

1. The NBA Combine begins

Today, De’Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, Isaiah Briscoe, and Hamidou Diallo will head to Chicago for the NBA Combine, which runs through Sunday at the Quest Center. All in all, 67 athletes will participate in the Combine, which, for some, means physical measurements, interviews, drills, medical and athletic testing, and scrimmages. According to Draft Express, Briscoe’s the only Kentucky player who will do the 5-on-5 scrimmages; initially, Diallo was going to, but then decided against it, meaning he will rely solely on his measurements and testing to impress scouts, a safe move, but one that may mean he’s leaning towards staying in the draft. If you’re Diallo and you really want to stay in, why risk getting exploited by older players in 5-on-5 action when you can persuade a team to take a chance on you based on your 6-10 wingspan?

2. Apparently the Nets, Pacers, and Mavericks are already interested in Diallo

…according to Adam Zagoria:

Where you going, Hami?

3. What about Malik Monk?

He was invited to the Combine, but opted out, meaning he thinks he’s showed scouts all they need to know about his game.

While the Combine does start today, the real interesting stuff happens later this week. ESPN2 will televise parts of it on May 11 and May 12 from 3 to 7 p.m.

4. UK Football landed the best player from the state of Michigan

Four-star offensive guard Marquan McCall is the fourth best offensive guard in the country and the best player in the entire state of Michigan, and last night, he decided he wanted to be a Kentucky Wildcat. Stoops put secondary coach Steve Clinkscale in charge of recruiting Michigan, and he hit a home run, pulling in the 6’4″ 320 lbs. McCall, a top 100 player with offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee, Missouri, Ole Miss, Penn State, and a bevy of other major programs. It’s a long way until signing day, but one piece of good news that can help Kentucky keep him on board is…

5. The early signing period now exists

Beginning this upcoming season, recruits can now sign their national letter of intent with the school of their choice from December 20-22, which is welcome news for programs like Kentucky that identify talent early and get them to commit only to lose them to bigger programs right before signing day in February. For more on this, check out Freddie’s post from last night.

6. ICYMI, a former UK Basketball staffer was indicted for defrauding pro athletes

Yesterday, we found out that Leon Smith, former UK wide receiver and Director of Basketball Opps under Tubby Smith, has been indicted on felony charges of defrauding clients for nearly $1.3 million, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Among the clients conned by Smith are former Cats Darius Miller and Josh Harrellson, and Jorts is claiming in a civil lawsuit that Smith defrauded him of $180,000. Wow. It’s important to note that Smith only worked at UK under Tubby Smith and Mitch Barnhart, and was gone by the time John Calipari came on board. Pat Forde got that one wrong in his initial report yesterday.

7. Marcus McWilson signed on with the Raiders

@UKFootball

@UKFootball

Congrats to former UK safety Marcus McWilson, who signed on with the Oakland Raiders yesterday, joining Boom Williams (Bengals), Ryan Timmons (Bears), JoJo Kemp (Buccaneers), and JD Harmon (Browns) on the list of former Cats to find a home since the NFL Draft. Still no word on Jon Toth, who went undrafted despite being projected in the fourth round. There were rumors Toth was going to sign on with the 49ers, but after that report was shot down, it’s been radio silence. Hopefully that changes soon.

8. UK Baseball takes on Indiana

After a disappointing weekend, the Bat Cats will look to get back on track tonight vs. a surging Indiana club that’s won eight of its last ten. It looks like a beautiful night to watch some baseball, so head on out to The Cliff, or tune in on the SEC Network at 7 p.m. This weekend, UK hosts Tennessee in a three-game series, and even though the Vols are second to last in the SEC East, every game is crucial for the Bat Cats, who fell behind Florida in the SEC East standings.

9. Calipari’s playing around with his new Time Set app

Calipari is always on the forefront of social media, and yesterday, he announced a partnership with Time Set, a goal-oriented social networking app. I’ll admit that I don’t know anything about the app yet, but Cal says he plans to announce a new game for the 2017-18 schedule on it this afternoon, so if you need me, I’ll be figuring it out.

10. Radio in an hour

In the meantime, check out this terrifying video of a rally driver slamming into a guardrail during a race on the Canary Islands:

Shew. May everyone’s day be less dramatic than that.


The New Early Signing Period and How it Impacts Kentucky

A NSD Throwback

A NSD Throwback

The Collegiate Commissioners Association (CCA) voted to enact an early National Letter of Intent period for football prospective student-athletes. Selected dates will be December 20th through the 22nd 2017 with the traditional National Signing Day being on February 7th, 2018. So yes, this recruiting cycle. This announcement marks a significant and potential slippery slope change for the landscape of all college football.

Think about it for a minute. December 20th is near the start of bowl season for approximately 80 college football programs. Actually, bowls started on the 16th last season. There will be teams at bowl locations on these dates. That time frame is unfortunately also the stretch of time associated with the firing and at times hiring of coaches. December 22nd is awfully close to the Holiday Season as well. Coming soon, prospects will be able to take official visits much earlier in the process. College football head coaches make millions. But, a continuous work clock can’t be sustained, can it? Yes, especially at programs with a support staff large enough to fill Memorial Coliseum. We’ll touch on that more in a little bit.

The date’s logistics will prevent the same holistic approach that the first Wednesday in February has warranted over the years. That may be a good thing. Maybe not. Networks and blogs such as this one dedicated countless hours to the traditional National Signing Day. Perhaps we’ve seen the last of the hat tosses, shirt changes, and live animals used as props with the new watered down announcement operations. Let’s only hope.

How will this impact Kentucky? Let’s take a look:

In all actuality the new signing period simply moves up the process a month. This proclamation will not be met with joy within the power circles of the Southeastern Conference. Traditional powers reserve the right to hand-pick commitments from the ROY’s (Rest of Y’all) in order to fill gaps in their signing classes. Please don’t feel sorry for Alabama and other “Powers” as they have the unique luxury of affording a overwhelmingly larger recruiting support staff to manage pending alterations. In other words, non-coaching coaches. Huh? An additional signing period was put into place but legislation regulating the number non-coaching personnel has not? Imagine that.

Full disclosure, I’ve yet to solidify my opinion on an early signing period and have to further research. However, I’m yet to be convinced that it will be a world-changer for Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow. A quick glance of UK’s Class of 2017 shows that only three signees committed after December 20th of 2016: Lynn Bowden, Yusuf Corker, and Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald. Corker and Bowden were highly sought after prospects. Abadi-Fitzgerald was a late riser.

True, several attempted to sway some of Kentucky’s signing day haul. An early day to make their commitment truly official could have spared Stoops late December and early February worries. But, the vast majority of the class committed early and stayed that way up until National Signing Day. The Class of 15 was the complete opposite and has arguably turned out to be Stoops’ best class to date.

Various hacks will proclaim the early signing period as a stone cold lock victory for programs like Kentucky, Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina. I think the prudent measurement will come with time and observation after at least two classes have cycled through the Collegiate Commissioner Association’s new modus operandi. In no manner do I project the December dates will hurt the Cats. It can only help, right? To what extent? We’ll see.

@UKFootball

@UKFootball

Kentucky Class of 2017 Commitment Dates

Tyrell Ajian-April 21st, 2016
Josh Ali-June 27th, 2016
Quinton Bohanna-February 24th, 2016
Lynn Bowden-January 14th, 2017
Danny Clark-October 26th, 2016
Yusuf Corker-December 26th, 2016
Jamin Davis-March 7th, 2016
Sebastien Dolcine-August 2nd, 2016
Cedrick Dort-August 2nd, 2016
Austin Dotson-March 5th, 2016
Isaiah Epps-December 15th, 2016
Abule Abadi-Fitzgerald February 3rd, 2017
Phil Hoskins-May 21st, 2016
Alex King-April 2nd, 2016
Lonnie Johnson-December 13th, 2016
Bryant Koback-January 17th, 2016
Michael Nesbitt-August 25th, 2016
Josh Paschal-December 13th, 2016
JaVonte Richardson-March 27th, 2016
Clevan Thomas-July 18th, 2016
Naasir Watkins-December 7th, 2016
Chris Whittaker-December 4th, 2016
Walker Wood-October 15th, 2015
Jordan Wright-December 21st, 2016


Top 100 Offensive Lineman Commits to Kentucky

Scout

Scout

Kentucky just got a lot better in the trenches.  The No. 3 offensive guard in the 2018 recruiting class, Marquan McCall of Oak Park, Michigan just announced his decision to be a Wildcat on Twitter.

@Mccallmarquan

@Mccallmarquan

The best player in the state of Michigan picked Kentucky over Michigan, Michigan State, Tennessee and many others.  Ranked as the No. 94 prospect in America by Rivals, McCall is the second four-star offensive lineman in UK’s 2018 class, joining Ohio’s Darian Kinnard.  After this morning’s decommitment, Kentucky now has seven members in the Class of 2018, ranked No. 25 in the 247 Composite Rankings.

Mark Stoops made a living recruiting some of the best in Ohio away from Michigan.  Now, Stoops has sent Steve Clinkscale to take some of Michigan’s best talent south to Lexington.  To start with McCall is an impressive achievement for Clinckscale, one that cannot be oversold.  See for yourself:


College football now has an early signing period

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Big news for college football today as the Collegiate Commissioners Association approved an early signing period for the sport.

Beginning this upcoming season, college football recruits will have a 72-day window in December to sign their National Letter of Intent with the school of their choosing. This season’s window will run from December 20 to December 22.

The new signing period is big for those programs that lose players late in the process when the top-tier programs swoop in and poach the talent ahead of signing day. In theory, schools will get their long-time commitments locked in so coaches can focus their efforts on recruiting others.

A couple of years ago, Mark Stoops told The Cats Pause he supported an early signing period. He said, “For the guys who are absolutely ready to go and have been committed for a good amount of time, let’s knock it out and get it over with.”


Jarren Williams opens up about his recruitment

@Jarren2Williams

@Jarren2Williams

Chris Kirschner over at SEC Country wrote about the latest in Alabama football recruiting and it includes a lot of stuff from Jarren Williams, including some very positive talk about Kentucky.

Williams told the website that his relationships with coaching staffs are very important and no one is closer to him than the staff at Kentucky. Kentucky is also one of only a couple of schools to let him know he is the No. 1 priority in the class, which is another point on the board for the Wildcats.

Williams also explained the decision to de-commit from UK after more and more offers rolled in this spring:

“I just talked to my dad and coach and came to the decision that the best thing to do was because I wanted to visit some other schools — and out of the respect to the University of Kentucky — I didn’t want to give them a bad look because I am the quarterback and considered the face of the program’s class. It was best to de-commit to give them the respect.”

If he announces his final decision in the next couple of weeks, as he said he plans to do, Kentucky is the very heavy favorite.

We may be in for the rare re-commitment with the top QB on UK’s board.

Read more on that here.


Kentucky football loses wide receiver commitment

Kentucky football loses wide receiver commitment

gaskin

Kentucky’s next great football class lost one of its members with the new decommitment of Cadarius Gaskin. Ryan Bartow of 247Sports fame broke the news this morning:

Gaskin’s commitment wasn’t even a month old. The 113rd-ranked wide receiver out of Florida committed to Kentucky back on April 16 after receiving his offer in January. Now he’s back open to the recruiting world.


Photo by Michael Clark

Jarren Williams invited to Elite 11 Finals

Photo by Michael Clark

Photo by Michael Clark

Former Kentucky three-star quarterback commit Jarren Williams has earned an invite to the Elite 11 Finals  in Los Angeles, California.

Williams competed in the Regionals this past weekend in North Carolina, where he earned his invitation.

Williams de-commited from UK on April 24th, but UK still remains in the top position according to his Crystal Ball, with a 75 percent chance of him going to UK and 25 percent chance to Florida. He’s also received an offer from Alabama.

The last Cat to play in the Elite 11 Finals was Drew Barker in 2014 and Mac Jones participated last year.


Friday’s Top 10: Happy Oaks Day!

Friday’s Top 10: Happy Oaks Day!

Happy Friday, everyone, or, rather, Happy Oaks Day. The Kentucky Oaks, aka the locals’ day to play (or is that now Thurby?), is upon us, and a few minutes after 6:12 p.m. ET, we’ll find out which filly gets the lilies. Unfortunately, the forecast looks awful, with highs barely reaching the 50’s and rain all day long, so take a poncho to protect all that pink you’re wearing. Here’s the hourly forecast for Louisville from weather.com:

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 7.12.57 AM

So, wear rain boots. Or, stay inside, read KSR, and watch the Oaks on NBC Sports Network. Your choice. Let’s roll through today’s top 10, shall we?

1. Here’s the Oaks field

Paradise Woods is currently the favorite at 5-2, followed by Miss Sky Warrior at 9-2:

# HORSE ODDS
1 Ever So Clever 20-1
2 Lockdown 20-1
3 Mopotism 20-1
4 Paradise Woods 5-2
5 Jordan’s Henny 30-1
6 Vexatious 20-1
7 Farrell 5-1
8 Sailor’s Valentine 30-1
9 Wicked Lick 30-1
10 Miss Sky Warrior 9-2
11 Tequilita 20-1
12 Daddys Lil Darling 20-1
13 Abel Tasman 5-1
14 Salty 6-1
15 Summer Luck 30-1

2. Keep an eye out for Matt’s purple suit

If you missed “Hey Kentucky!” last night, Derby suit expert Chip Cosby took Matt shopping for a suit to wear to the Oaks, and they came up with this purple number. When you think about it, this suit is a pretty wise investment because by day, Matt can attend the Oaks and by night, he can play the Joker in his community theater’s production of Batman.

Here’s the whole clip from last night:

Switching gears to basketball…

3. Kevin Knox is (probably) announcing tomorrow

It looks like there may finally be an end in sight for Kevin Knox’s recruitment. According to Jake Perper of Prep Sports Scouting, Knox will announce his final decision on Saturday. No word on the time yet, but knowing how this always happens, it’ll probably come out right as the Derby begins. Knox is down to Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Kentucky and Missouri, with Duke continuing to surge as the heavy favorite. Thankfully (hopefully), we’ll know for certain tomorrow.

4. Cam Johnson lists Kentucky as his early favorite

One person who will probably be very interested in Knox’s decision is Cam Johnson, the Pitt grad transfer that visited Kentucky last week. Yesterday, Johnson told Evan Daniels that Kentucky is his early favorite, although that’s mostly because he hasn’t taken many visits yet. This weekend, he visits Arizona, and next week, he’ll go to UCLA and Oregon. TCU and Ohio State are also in the mix. Here’s what he said about Calipari’s pitch:

“His pitch to me was pretty much the fact that the team is young and they need some experience and some age,” Johnson said. “They have a need for a player that can shoot like myself, along with the fact that it’s Kentucky. There are pro scouts at every practice. They compete every day. It’s just a competitive environment to get better in.”

Johnson also said he loved UK’s campus and the few remaining players that will be on next year’s squad. If Knox heads elsewhere (and it’s looking like he will), hopefully Johnson will decide to take advantage of the rare opportunity to be an immediate impact player on a perennial title contender.

5. Vince Marrow and Darin Hinshaw visited Jarren Williams yesterday

The talented dual threat quarterback decommitted from Kentucky last week, but this week, there have been rumblings he may come back on board. Last night, Vince Marrow and Darin Hinshaw traveled to Lawrenceville, Georgia last night to make Kentucky’s case, only hours after Williams picked up an offer from his home state Georgia Bulldogs. No word yet on how that visit went, but interpret this tweet from Williams how you’d like:

6. The baseball team starts its series with Georgia

The Bat Cats got a bit of bad news yesterday when Nick Mingione announced that reliever Zach Pop will miss at least two weeks with a forearm injury, but they’re poised to continue their impressive rise this weekend with a three-game series against the struggling Georgia Bulldogs. Today’s game will start at 2 p.m. (in anticipation of the bad weather tonight), tomorrow’s at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday’s finale begins at 1 p.m. All games will be broadcast on SEC Network+ (streaming), or you can listen on 630 WLAP.

If you go out to the ballpark, you’ll see this new wrap on “Big Blue Wall” in right field:

The wall now features the names of lettermen, coaches and season ticket holders. Neat.

7. You’ve gotta love Dickie V’s response to Lonzo Ball’s new shoe

If you somehow missed it on social media, Lonzo Ball and his dad revealed their new shoe, the ZO2, which retails for a ridiculous $495/pair. By now, everyone’s had a chance to weigh in on the shoe, a blatant ripoff of Kobes and Adidas Boosts, but Dick Vitale may have had the best response:

Get ’em, Dickie V!

8. John Wall went nuts last night

Wall’s stats may not seem that flashy, but he was absolutely incredible last night, scoring 24 points and dishing 8 assists to lead the Wizards to a crucial 116-89 win over the Celtics in Game 3:

Wall was great, but did you see Kelly Oubre???

As you might expect, he got kicked out for that.

9. Congrats to everyone graduating from UK today

Not only is today Oaks and Cinco de Mayo, it’s day one of graduation at UK (the ceremonies continue through Sunday). Congrats to everyone who’s making the walk. Enjoy today and relish in the fact that most of you accomplished something in four years that took Nick Roush seven. (Or was it eight? I lost track.)

If you know someone who’s graduating but can’t make it to Rupp (or if you’re just really bored), you can watch the ceremony on the live stream below:

10. The winner of the KSR Movie Bracket will be crowned

The show will be live from the Oaks today, where the gang will decide the winner of the KSR Movie Bracket, which is down to Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump. Who ya got??

Finally, what do you do when the betting machines at Churchill Downs break down? Dance it out, of course:

What happens when the betting system goes down at Churchill!

A post shared by Margaret Romine (@mrsromine12) on

Can’t top that on a Friday morning.


2018 Quarterback Will Visit UK Friday

247

247

Kentucky will host 2018 pro-style quarterback Kevin Doyle this Friday.  The three-star pocket passer from Washington D.C. told Justin Rowland he will make the trip to Kentucky after Darin Hinshaw and Steve Clinkscale watched him throw to his receivers today.

“We went through all our routes and (Hinshaw) was very happy with what I did,” Doyle said.  “He was really happy with my arm strength and he said everything he saw last summer was what he saw again, only I’m bigger, stronger and faster than I was last year.”

Doyle has been a priority recruit since Jarren Williams reopened his recruitment.  The Cats are still near the top of the dual-threat quarterback’s list, but Doyle could step in to fill the spot before Williams reconsiders.  The three-star quarterback is ranked nineteenth at his position.  Doyle is also considering Pitt, Boston College, Syracuse, West Virginia and others.  Watch him do work:

[Cats Illustrated]


National recruiting analyst makes a big prediction about former QB commit Jarren Williams

A week ago, 2018 dual threat quarterback Jarren Williams decommitted from Kentucky after receiving some major offers, most notably from Alabama. At the time, Williams’ decommitment felt inevitable, the tale as old as time of a bigger school luring away a top prospect; however, 247 Sports Director of Recruiting Steve Wiltfong just made a prediction that should calm everyone down a little bit. Wiltfong predicted Williams will return to Kentucky, picking the Cats above all others in Williams’ Crystal Ball.

A few days after Williams decommitted, he told Justin Rowland that he still has Kentucky number one on his list, and that Darin Hinshaw and Vince Marrow planned on visiting him on May 1 and 12. Today’s May 2, so if Wiltfong’s prediction is any indication, yesterday’s visit went very well.

Come on back, Jarren. We’ll leave the light on for you.

UPDATE: Hinshaw and Marrow had to reschedule yesterday’s visit to Thursday, making the good buzz in the Cats’ direction even more promising if you ask me.