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Some Sunday Notes and News

Some Sunday Notes and News

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Its Sunday night, most of you are watching “Game of Thrones” and I have just returned from a two week vacation across this great country of ours. I went a number of places and have a ton of stories that I will share on radio, but I also come back with a little personal news. Last Tuesday I was fortunate enough to get to go to Bristol, Connecticut and spend some time at ESPN. It was one of the cooler days of my professional career and I had an amazing time. After my visit there, I was asked to be a fill-in panelist on First Take this upcoming Friday morning. I will be heading back to Bristol and doing the show Live at 10 am on ESPN2 with some other folks during the vacations of some of the regulars. It is obviously a huge opportunity for me and something that I am beyond excited about getting to do. I hope you wonderful readers will tune in and check it out as I try not to be so nervous that I throw up all over the set. I started this site as a side hobby nearly 11 years ago and never would have imagined that I would get the chance to do something like this and I am thrilled with the opportunity. As always, I thank all of you who have been following/reading/listening during that time for helping make it happen. I hope to do everyone proud. With that some quick thoughts on the stories that occurred while I was gone:

— I was slightly disappointed at how Draft night fell for the UK guys as all four of our players ended up with slightly worse situations than I would have hoped. Jamal Murray will lead the NBA in Rookie scoring in Denver and I think he can be very successful, but had he been on Boston or Minnesota, it would have been nice to get on a more likely playoff team. Skal falling to #28 was sad to watch, but was probably more in line with his talent than the lottery projections. I still think he has real upside, although I do wonder if Sacramento is the perfect place to achieve it. Tyler Ulis falling to the second round was a bummer, but he now joins the Phoenix Wildcats, a team I think he will make and excel on with Booker/Knight/Bledsoe/Archie. It is a pace of play that works for his game and I do like the fit. Alex Poythress not getting picked wasn’t shocking but since he didnt sign a complete deal, he now will have to work very hard in the Summer League to make a team. I hope it happens for him as he is a great kid who deserves success.

— After I left, the details of the Derek Willis arrest came out as did the video. While it was embarrassing to see and very tough to watch, I hope the entire situation makes Derek more focused going into his Senior year. Willis is very lucky that his punishment wasn’t greater but more importantly, fortunate that he didn’t hurt himself or someone else. Derek is a great kid with a terrific future, but he simply can’t make mistakes such as this going forward as his window of opportunity will close with any future mess-ups. It is also worth noting that some fans criticized KSR for posting the video and saying that it was a mistake on our part. I respectfully disagree. Willis and other UK players get the tremendous benefit of playing at a University where their mere presence can give them the set-up for life opportunities most only dream about. But with that comes scrutiny and when you mess up, especially when legal authorities become involved, such scrutiny (and embarrassing videos) will follow. Hopefully it will be a positive lesson for everyone going forward.

— On Friday of last week, we saw a huge explosion of news at UL as Governor Matt Bevin disbanded the UL board and announced the resignation of James Ramsey as President. At first I applauded the decision and thought it was a tremendous move to help pull away the huge dark cloud that has enveloped that University over the past year. But as time has gone on, I am becoming much more skeptical. First, it seems that Ramsey’s resignation hasn’t yet taken place and he has said he may stay on for another entire school year…an odd decision considering the immediacy of the dissolution of the board. Second and MUCH MORE IMPORTANT, nothing Bevin said addressed Ramsey’s role as head of the UL Foundation….this is important as it is the place where a huge part of his salary is generated and where most of the sketchy/scandalous behavior of his tenure took place. So right now all we have is a board that (correctly) wanted the President gone replaced while the President has been left in power potential for at least one year as President and maybe longer as Foundation chair. That strikes me as very little meaningful change and has me much more skeptical of the overall decision than I was initially. If Ramsey is the problem (which he is), why is he still in place while the Board that wanted him gone has been booted? The answer I guess is still to come.

— I LOVED the Calipari vs Rick war of words over the past week. While I don’t know if Calipari truly meant his comments about what coaches know at their program to be about Pitino, it isn’t a shock that most took it like that (and let’s face it, he probably meant Rick at least a bit). I didn’t mind Pitino’s “keep my name out of your mouth” retort either as I suspect I would have done the same thing in his shoes. I did find it hilarious that Rick says he only does or says things to help the image of college basketball…one of the most hilariously absurd statements to come from a man that has plenty similar ones in his past. I love when these two go back and forth…it makes the rivalry better and proves publicly what everyone knows privately…they hate each other. Let it out in public. There is no reason to hide it..the rivalry is red hot and such antics only make it better.

Finally, I have heard a lot of good thing about the early pickup game reports for the UK Basketball team, along with some good info on each player. I will share that later in the week here on the site…but a short version that has me excited is that DeAaron Fox is the real deal Holyfield. Also, I want to thank all the folks who filled in for me on the radio show while I was gone. I thought there was a great variety of people and something for everybody during the two weeks. Finally (I say again), we are starting our “Where in The World is KSR Tour? tomorrow with our first stop in a small town close to Lexington. Every morning on the show we will let you know where we are and if you are close enough to come see us, you can win UK tickets. It is a different type of tour than in years past but one that I think will be entertaining on the air. I appreciate everyone supporting the show and site while I was gone and I look forward to getting back in high gear this week.


Photo Credit: FIBA.com   http://www.fiba.com/world/u17/2016/USA/#iset=9f4b695f-53be-4b43-bdc3-5d5c9a67d352&iid=31d5cbba-f620-45aa-b957-b4e4c7e0cbff

UK Targets Advance to Round of 16 in FIBA U17 World Championship

Photo credit: FIBA.com

Photo credit: FIBA.com

Team USA won their group and is advancing to the round of 16 to take on Argentina later this week in the FIBA U17 World Championship in Zaragoza, Spain.  We mentioned earlier today that Coach Cal and special assistant Joel Justus had flown across the Atlantic to watch some potential future Cats in action against the brightest young stars from around the world.  Immanuel Quickley, Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter, Kevin Knox and Javonte Smart are among the players representing the USA.

This afternoon, the United States knocked off Egypt by the score of 104-57, giving them an undefeated 3-0 record in group play.  Carter finished with 11 points, pulled down 9 boards and dished out 3 assists, Trent Jr. had 17 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals, while Smart had 5 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists.  Despite the large blowout, some players didn’t get any PT, most likely to save energy for later in the knockout rounds.  Quickley and Knox didn’t play against Egypt.  Quickley struggled through the first two games of group play, averaging only 3 points and 3 rebounds; however, Knox has been solid, pouring in 15 points, pulling down 4 boards and racking up 6 steals in the United States’ routing of Chinese Taipei last week.

You can find full stats, scores and schedule of the United States U17 team here.

Outside of the on-court action, Coach Cal seems to be enjoying himself in Spain, stopping to take this picture with some UK students who are abroad for the summer.

 

Side/Personal Note: This is my first post for KSR so I just wanted to give a little background about myself. My name is Brett Bibbins and I graduated from THE University of Kentucky back in May of 2015.  I’m now back living in my hometown of Florence, Kentucky in Northern Kentucky (NKY is the best KY, if you weren’t already aware). I’m extremely excited to start writing for Kentucky Sports Radio and even more excited to read the comments section on my first post that people don’t like. You can follow me on Twitter @BrettBibbinsKSR.


Vote to Get Karl-Anthony Towns Slimed

Vote to Get Karl-Anthony Towns Slimed

Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

Jordan Johnson/Getty Images

Karl-Anthony Towns has been nominated for the “Best Newcomer” award at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Sports Awards. So let’s all do Karl a favor and helped him win (and get slimed).

You can vote for Karl here.

The Kid’s Choice Sports Awards will be help on Sunday, July 17 at 8pm on Nickelodeon.

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 4.13.46 PM

No way Karl can lose.


The Reds Report: June 26

The Reds Report: June 26

Jay Bruce Homer

Do you remember that coming in to this week the Reds had a winning record in June? The offense looked like it was clicking. The pitching had been way better. There were genuine reasons to be optimistic.

I wouldn’t fault you for not remembering. This was a different kind of week. The Reds went 2-4 over the past seven days, and many of the teams early season struggles came to the surface again. Cincinnati split two games with Texas, but dropped three out of four to the Padres.

What went wrong? Lets get to the Reds Report for June 26.

1. On a positive note, Adam Duvall won’t stop hitting home runs. Here was a two-run shot from Thursday night.

Duvall is currently tied with three other hitters (Nolan Arenado, Mark Trumbo, and Todd Frazier) for the major league lead in home runs with 21.

2. Once again Jay Bruce was the best hitter in Cincinnati’s lineup for the week. His production this season has gone a long way toward reestablishing his trade value, and other teams are taking notice. Specifically, the San Francisco Giants recently inquired about the Reds right fielder. Wick Terrell broke down the news over at Red Reporter.

Bruce did his best to carry the load for the offense over the weekend.

3. This weekend Pete Rose was the topic of conversation around Cincinnati. On Saturday the controversial star was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame and his number was retired. Alyson Footer of MLB.com recapped the festivities, and spoke with the other players in attendance about Rose’s impact.

Pete Rose had a a lot of big moments throughout his career. Who could forget this one?

4. In honor of Cincinnati’s 1976 team, the Reds rocked these throwbacks on Friday night.

5. However, the celebration of teams from the past reminded some of the cruel reality of the present.

6. Maybe you haven’t been following the Reds that closely this year. What you need is one video that sums up the entire season in about thirty seconds. Eugenio Suarez provided that this week:

That wasn’t good enough? How about this one from Saturday?

7. How about some good news? Homer Bailey will restart his comeback from Tommy John surgery this week. C. Trent Rosecrans broke down the latest developments. Bailey will pitch two innings for Triple-A Louisville on Monday. If everything goes well he could be back in Cincinnati by the last week of July. In 2014 the Reds signed Bailey to a six year, $105 million contract. He is a key component of the rebuild, and the team is hoping to have him back at the top of their rotation soon.

8. Two important pieces of the Reds pitching staff returned this week. Raisel Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen both returned from injuries to bolster Cincinnati’s bullpen. Zach Buchanan had all the details.

9. The week did end on a positive note. On Sunday Anthony DeSclafani pitched eight shutout innings to help the Reds beat the Padres 3-0. It was a great performance that fans can be excited about heading in to a new week.

10. In non-Reds news: On Saturday former Kentucky Wildcat A.J. Reed made his debut for the Houston Astros. Reed started at DH and went 0-2 with 2 runs, 1 RBI, and 2 walks. Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America broke down what you can expect from Reed now that he’s reached the majors.

This week the Reds will host the Chicago Cubs for a three game series starting on Monday. On Thursday they’ll head to Washington for a four game set with the Nationals.

You can follow the Reds all season long, and read more of Eric’s writing, at Red Reporter.


Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting News Ranks College Football Coaches

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are the powerhouse coaches of the college football world and we all know it. Saban and Meyer combine for eight national championships, seven over the past 10 years.

Only three other active coaches have a national championship; Jimbo Fischer, Bob Stoops and Les Miles.

The question this upcoming college football season is whether or not someone else can be added to that small list.

Sporting News released their annual coach rankings, where they rank college football coaches from 1 one t0 128.

Sporting News ranked Mark Stoops 70th, four spots up from last year.

Here is where this season’s opponents’ coaches rank (last year’s rank):

  • 124. Jay Hopson, Southern Miss (NR)
  • 24. Jim McElwain, Florida (55)
  • 115. Doug Martin, New Mexico State (127)
  • 62. Will Muschamp, South Carolina (NR)
  • 1. Nick Saban, Alabama (2)
  • 97. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt (107)
  • 33. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State (50)
  • 67. Barry Odom, Missouri (NR)
  • 37. Kirby Smart, Georgia (NR)
  • 25. Butch Jones, Tennessee (40)
  • 22. Bobby Petrino, Louisville (34)

 


@J__Wood

Jim Harbaugh Needs to Cool It With the Jerseys

@JSChisenhall

@JSChisenhall

Jim Harbaugh has a new recruiting tool. The Michigan coach has started wearing the jerseys of local sports heroes wherever he goes.

The khaki and jersey tucking head football coach is obviously doing all this to get the attention of recruits. To him I guess he thinks it looks cool. To me, not so much but what do I know. I’m not a talented high school football player who wants to play at Michigan.

Harbaugh sporting an Allen Iverson jersey in Virgina.

@J__Wood

@J__Wood

Harbaugh wore both a Cal Ripken and Ray Lewis jersey while in Baltimore.

@JonSolomonCBS

@JonSolomonCBS

@jakelourim

@jakelourim

So what do you all think… weird or not weird?

 


Kentucky Track & Field Alum A Rising Star in Women’s 100 Hurdles

Kentucky Track & Field Alum A Rising Star in Women’s 100 Hurdles

kendra-harrison-track-and-field-ncaa-championships-850x560

As the 2016 Summer Olympics become closer and closer, athletes all over the country are competing to earn a spot on Team USA. Kentucky Track & Field Alum, Kendra Harrison, is one of them. The 23-year-old has become one of the rising stars of the women’s 100-hurdlers.

Harrison professional career is off to a great start and a spot on the Team USA Olympic roster would be the cherry on top.

Harrison not only won the national title during the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, but she returned on May 29 to set the American record during the Prefontaine Classic, running 12.24 seconds that defeated the previous record of 12.53.

Harrison’s time is the second-fastest ever in the world, behind the record of 12.21 set by a Bulgarian runner in 1988.

“Every time I step on the line these girls are my competitors,” Harrison said. “I raced against a lot of them in college. Coming into my first year as a professional, it’s nice to have them pushing me to get better and they’re getting better, too. We’re going to put on a show at the Trials.”

The USA Track & Field Olympic Trials are July 1-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR.


NBAE / GETTY IMAGES

ICYMI: Team USA Finalizes 12-Man Basketball Roster

NBAE / GETTY IMAGES

NBAE / GETTY IMAGES

The U.S. men’s basketball 12-man roster is finally complete. On Saturday it was announced that Kyrie Irving and Harrison Barnes were the final two players to accept invitations.

The other 10 players include:

  • Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant
  • Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins 
  • Golden State’s Draymond Green and Klay Thompson
  • Indiana’s Paul George
  • Toronto’s Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan
  • New York’s Carmelo Anthony
  • Chicago’s Jimmy Butler
  • Los Angeles Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan.

Even though big names like LeBron James, Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Lenoard turned down the invitation, the U.S. will still be favorites to win the gold medal for the third consecutive Olympic games.

 


Where There’s A Willis, There’s A Way

Where There’s A Willis, There’s A Way

 

Yesterday, Ryan Lemond retweeted a video that was shared for Derek Willis’ birthday. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s beginning to go viral around the Big Blue Nation.

Youtuber DonTupset shares this nice song about “our native son from Mt. Washington” on his YouTube channel. He’s actually uploaded more catchy UK tunes if you visit his page.


@UKFootball

UK Players Attend KY Pro Football HOF Ceremony

@UKFootball

@UKFootball

In case you missed it, the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony was this weekend. Chris Westry, Mike Edwards, Derrick Baity and Jon Toth represented UK as members of the All-Commonwealth team. The All-Commonwealth team is made up of current football players from colleges and universities within the state, that displayed outstanding achievements this past season.

Congrats, guys!

This year’s KY Pro Hall of Fame class included former UK offensive linemen Dermontti Dawson & Warren Bryant. As most of you already know, Dawson played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 12 years, where he was named to seven straight NFL Pro Bowls. Bryant played in the NFL for 13 years, after being selected 6th overall in the 1977 NFL Draft by the Atlanta Falcons.

Also inducted was former UK head coach (1954-1961) Blanton Collier. The Paris, KY native went on to coach the Cleveland Browns to an NFL Championship in 1964.

@UKFootball

Here you see Kentucky offensive lineman Jon Toth with both Dawson and Bryant. Could this be foreshadowing a future inductee of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame? Let’s certainly hope so!

Congrats to all of the inductees into this year’s KY Pro HOF class! 


Marcus Lee Opens Up About His Transfer

lee-cal

In a recent telephone interview with Jerry Tipton, Marcus Lee opened up about why he transferred from Kentucky. According to the HL article, he sounded happy as ever, and went on to express his gratitude for everything he experienced during his time at UK. As Coach Calipari had stated in previous weeks, Lee’s decision was made so that he could be closer to home. Marcus confirmed that over the phone, one day following the NBA Draft.

“It had nothing to do with (UK) and basketball,” he said. “I absolutely loved Kentucky and everybody at Kentucky. I still talk to them on a daily basis. My family just needed me at home, and I needed them.”

Lee also discussed how hard it was for his family to make the cross-country trip a few times a year to watch him play. “It’s too much money-wise,” he said. It was also the separation that made Lee feel uncomfortable during his time in Kentucky.

“They don’t know what’s going on in my head,” he said, “and I don’t know what’s happening in their lives. … I come from a family, we always keep in touch and know what’s going on in each other’s lives. I didn’t like that (separation). I was missing things.”

When asked what he’ll miss most about Kentucky, Marcus said the hardest part was leaving UK fans. He thanked them for their continued support, but was a little concerned at first.

“They supported me through everything. I was expecting a little backlash. I was actually expecting maybe being dropped in followers (on Twitter and Facebook). But they all kept with me. And I love that.”

Now that he’s made his way to California, Lee is focused on his role next season.
“I guess I’m the old head man,” he said with a chuckle. “Even though I’m new to the team, I’ve been around. I have a lot of knowledge.”
 That knowledge includes two trips to the Final Four.
“Not many can say they’ve done that,” Lee said.

Worst NASCAR Fight Ever Becomes Funniest Video of the Day

In case you missed it last night, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series was making headlines, and it was for all the wrong reasons. It was a long day, full of rain delays and multi-car crashes. It was just your usual short-track Saturday night race. The event went well passed midnight to complete at the Gateway Motorsports Park. The race, which was won by rookie Christopher Bell, will go down in sports history for one thing.

The fight between up-and-comer Spencer Gallagher and series regular John Wes Townley.

If the video above doesn’t get a laugh out of you, it’s probably because you’re in awe of how embarrassing it was. It was the most awkward thing I’ve ever witnessed on television; I didn’t know whether to laugh or feel bad for them. Nonetheless, it’ll probably cost both drivers, especially Townley (The Zaxby’s sponsored driver who actually landed closed-fist punches), a hefty fine from NASCAR. The fight was initiated after the two drivers intentionally wrecked each other twice on track. The penalties are usually handed out Tuesday morning, so it’ll be interesting to see how NASCAR handles the situation. The intentional wreck, which occurred just before the fight, will hold a much more severe penalty than the fight itself.

I blame track officials for not trying to intervene, but I think they were unsure whether the drivers were fooling around or actually trying to cause harm. Check it out, it’s a must see clip. For the wrestling fans out there, there wasn’t a lack of DDTs.


via herkentucky.com

West Virginia’s Sunday Morning Wakeup

IMG_1026.0
Trey mentioned last night the devastation that has hit West Virginia due to extreme flooding. With the lack of media coverage it has received, it is imperative that we get the word out as best we can. 23 deaths have been confirmed as well as thousands of others who have been devastated and homes lost to the extreme weather conditions. While we all keep them in our thoughts and prayers and dedicate this post to those affected, below are details on how you can help further.
You can help those impacted by the flooding by donating to the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or visiting the relief website. The site has locations where you can donate items for those in West Virginia and exactly what they need.

 Prayers for Pat Summitt

(Image via USA TODAY Sports)

(Image via USA TODAY Sports)

Unfortunately that isn’t the only difficult news to discuss this morning. Late last night news spread that legendary former Tennessee basketball coach Pat Summitt is in the hospital in critical condition and the family is “preparing for the worst.” We could go on and on about the impact Coach Summitt made not only on women’s basketball but the game of basketball in general in her 38 years. Her legendary status speaks for itself with 1,098 wins and eight national titles but the number of people she has impacted and inspired means even more. Coach Summitt even gave our own Matthew Mitchell his coaching start. He gave a wonderful statement back in 2012 when Summitt left the game to focus on her courageous fight with Alzheimer’s which you can check out here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Summitt family.
 ***
Now, on a positive note, some things you should know to get your Sunday off to a knowledgable start:

Happy birthday to Tyler Thompson!

via herkentucky.com

via herkentucky.com

Today is a big day for our girl Tyler so everyone be sure to give her a shoutout on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR! Have an AWESOME day filled with plenty of sandwiches made by your husband and all of the relaxation your heart desires.

Coach Cal is in Spain to watch some top UK targets

Bart Young/USA Basketball

Bart Young/USA Basketball

Immanuel Quickly, the second-ranked point guard in 2018, Kevin Knox, Wendell Carter, Javonte Smart and Gary Trent Jr. are all participating in the FIBA U17 World Championships and Cal will be in attendance to scope out the scene. Hopefully there are a a few (or all) future Wildcats in the mix. Cal also had an adventurous time flying commercial over the weekend, which you can see in his string of Tweets below. Always swaggy, Cal.

 Oh Cal…he really does know how to turn any situation into a comical one. We hope you enjoyed your flight!

Football season ticket holders are getting an added bonus

UK Football fans who have either chosen to renew or purchased season tickets for the first time are all receiving tours of Commonwealth Stadium. The team’s own Courtney Love and Jacob Hyde cleared their schedules in order to assist with giving the tours.

Former UK baseball star AJ Reed made his Major League Debut with the Astros

via milb.com

via milb.com

In his first game with the Astros, former Wildcat star AJ Reed made a splash even without a hit. He finished 0-for-2 with two walks, two runs scored and had a sac-fly RBI in his first game. Not bad for his MLB debut. Check out his RBI below.

The UK Football Women’s Clinic is next month 

Ladies, this is your reminder to sign up for UK Football’s annual Women’s Clinic on July 23rd!

Matt York, AP (via Kentucky.com)

Suns GM has high praise for Calipari

Suns Rookie Presser

 

When the Phoenix Suns held a rookie introductory press conference to give basketball fans in the desert their first look at the newest crop of NBA talent, it was no surprise that John Calipari’s name was mentioned. After drafting 5-foot-9 guard Tyler Ulis in the second round (No. 34 overall) of last Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Suns added to their collection of former Kentucky guards that already included Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Knight, Archie Goodwin, and Devin Booker.

 

“There’s nobody doing it any better in college basketball in terms of recruitment, player development,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said. “With Coach Calipari and his staff, they’re well coached, they’re well prepared.”

 

With the 26th, 27th, and 28th overall selections of the Calipari era, UK was the only school to have three different players chosen in the 2016 NBA Draft.

 

“I don’t mean this as an infomercial for Kentucky, but they really have a good thing going,” said McDonough.

 

Watch the entire rookie introductory press conference below.

 

 

UK Logo (Conclusion)

 

@Condre_3000


CBS Puts Three Cats In First 2017 NBA Mock Draft

deaaron-fox-uk

CBS Sports put out their “Way Too Early” NBA Mock Draft for 2017 on Friday. Three Kentucky players were listed as first round picks. Here are Sam Vecenie’s projected first rounders and notes on Bam.

5. Los Angeles Lakers- Bam Adebayo- Adebayo is Kentucky’s best prospect this season, a powerfully built 6-foot-10 power forward who operates well in the pick-and-roll due to his mobility and attacks there rim with impunity due to his explosiveness. He operated well in AAU with the No. 7 player on this list, Dennis Smith, and should work well with Kentucky next season. Something to watch for: he flashed a jump shot at lower levels. If he can bring that, he’s a potential top three pick.

10. Portland Trailblazers- De’Aaron Fox

22. Miami Heat- Malik Monk

SB Nation has four players in their top 30, with Wenyen Gabriel making an appearance.