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Andy Katz Ranks Ashton Hagans The Most Important Player In The SEC Next Season

Andy Katz Ranks Ashton Hagans The Most Important Player In The SEC Next Season

All we can do in these summer months is wish it was August, so Kentucky football can get going, and speculate as to how good, or not so good, the Wildcat basketball team will be.

As it stands right now, John Calipari’s squad looks like a Final Four threat. If they can add Kerry Blackshear, Jr., who is visiting Lexington on Tuesday, then they’re undoubtedly the favorite to win the 2019-20 national championship.

However, the Cats aren’t the only team in the SEC with high hopes for next season. The conference will have arguably the most talent it’s ever had, including the addition of Blackshear to one these schools.

With that in mind, NCAA.com’s Andy Katz ranked the five most important players in the SEC for next season. And coming in at No. 1 was UK’s very own Ashton Hagans.

1. Ashton Hagans, 6-3, So., Kentucky: The Wildcats have a rare returning point guard and that’s why Kentucky is one of the teams projected to go on a Final Four run. Hagans emerged as the leader midway through the season and embraced the role. His numbers in all areas should increase, and as long as turnovers don’t as well, Kentucky will have the lead guard it needs to shepherd in another elite recruiting class.

There’s no question Hagans has the potential to be an incredible talent in his upcoming sophomore campaign. He seems to be working extremely hard this offseason and his maturity as a person and player will grow exponentially.

There are things Ashton needs to improve on, however. He needs to find a more consistent outside shot (while also getting his foot off the line). He has to be more explosive, slow down, and limit turnovers. And he needs to be better conditioned, which will, in turn, allow him to be more explosive and continue to be a menace on the defensive end of the court.

With that being said, Hagans is the starting point guard for the team with the best chance of winning the title next season in the SEC. The Gators are second, and could move into first with the addition of Blackshear, but I think that’s why Katz has Hagans so high on this list. Of course, it’s always important to be balanced in the frontcourt and backcourt, but in my opinion, point guard is the single most important position come March.

Now, if Blackshear does join the Cats or Gators, he’d probably take over the top spot. If he goes to Tennessee, Arkansas, or Texas A&M, he’d definitely make the list, but probably not No. 1 due to those team’s low probability of making any postseason noise.

As for the rest of the list, Florida’s Andrew Nembhard came in at No. 2, followed by Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, LSU’s Skylar Mays, and Auburn’s Austin Wiley.

You can check out Katz’s rankings here.


Follow me on Twitter: @nickwheatley23


USA Today

O.J. Simpson has a Twitter Account and People are losing their minds

USA Today

Over time, we’ve seen many people dominate headlines. People like Michael Jackson, Kanye West, or Lebron James usually comes to mind when talking about media darlings, for lack of better words, in my time. But no one has dominated headlines more than one O.J. Simpson. From a football star to actor then to his famous trial in 1994, no one causes a stir like the juice.

Simpson has kept a low profile since his release from prison in  2017 for robbery and kidnapping over an attempt to steal back some of his sports memorabilia from a Las Vegas hotel room. It looked like O.J. was about to fade away out of our lives for good. Well, I was wrong.

The Juice is loose (on Twitter).

Image result for oj simpson chase gif

The 71-year-old joined twitter a few days after the silver anniversary of the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. As well all know, O.J. famously went to trial and was acquitted of all charges.

O.J. definitely had some things to say about launching his twitter. “I got some gettin’ even to do,” Simpson said, which is never something you want to hear from the controversial figure.

In the only other tweet he posted, he said he gets to challenge a lot of people who have said things about him with no accountability.

It seems like O.J. is going to take to Twitter to dish out some hot takes on football, politicals, and probably everything in between, all while challenging the people who challenge his character.

Naturally, Twitter has lost its ever-loving mind.

While most people have made jokes and memes about O.J. joining Twitter, many others were skeptical and questioned why anyone would follow him.

So, I ask you, will you follow O.J. on twitter? What do you think of it? I have a feeling his PR person might be sweating bullets.


If he doesn’t twit, you must acquit. @BrentW_KSR


Shame on these People for not Wishing their Dads a Happy Father’s Day

Shame on these People for not Wishing their Dads a Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is about to come to an end, and these people have yet to wish their fathers a happy Father’s Day. So before it’s too late, I decided to help them out a little bit and do it for them as a nice father’s day gesture.

Let’s begin.

Mississippi State to Benny Snell

We might give Mississippi State a pass on forgetting to wish their father of one year, Benny Snell a happy father’s day, but then again, how could one forget the night Mississippi State found out who their daddy was? After a full week on denial and refusal that Benny Snell would run through any defense, the results turned out that Benny Snell was indeed their father.

Image result for maury you are the father gif

Sometimes, Fathers and their sons’ quarrel. So after a pregame scuffle, Benny Snell made sure to teach them a valuable lesson. Rushing for 165 yards and four touchdowns to break Randall Cobb’s record for touchdowns scored in a career at Kentucky, Benny Snell shut up the Bulldogs while launching himself and the Wildcats into the national spotlight as a legitimate football team in 2018.

Remember Kylin Hill, you a clown in real life.

Benny Snell on behalf of Mississippi State, Happy Father’s Day!

South Carolina to Mark Stoops

Do you guys remember the time when South Carolina just seemed always to beat the Cats? No? Me either, it feels like forever ago. Nearly six years, in fact, because Mark Stoops has completely owned the Gamecocks in his tenure at UK.

After losing the first go around to South Carolina with essentially Joker Phillips’ team, Stoops has beaten the Gamecocks on five straight occasions. Over those years, these games have given us some of the best moments in the Stoops era. The first time he beat South Carolina, birthed Grove Street Party as the Kentucky football anthem while JoJo Kemp put the Wildcats on his back in a 45-38 victory at a ruckus Commonwealth Stadium decked in all black.

We’re just getting started bro,” Stoops told Matt Jones on the post-game show, and he was right.

Beating South Carolina next year in Columbia which ran Steve Spurrier out of town, then again in 2016 with his career at UK on thin ice, Stoops once again toppled South Carolina with the emergence of Benny snell.

How could we forget the year after that with the second straight victory in Columbia that was won on fourth down-goalline stands and an iconic picture?

Todd Bennett | Getty Images

Then, of course, Stoops once again got the victory over the Gamecocks en route to a 10-win season last year.

Mark Stoops, on behalf of South Carolina, Happy Father’s Day!

Lonzo Ball to De’Aaron Fox

Poor Lonzo Ball. If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to have their father in the spotlight at all times, it is Lonzo Ball especially after his father, De’Aaron Fox, dropped 39 points in a Sweet 16 game two years ago in Las Vegas.

Since then, Fox just won’t leave the spotlight. After a stellar Sophmore season in the NBA, Fox has earned himself a shoe deal with Nike, while being in plenty of commercials and being heralded as one of the NBA’s young bright stars.

It’s so bad Ball tries to stay away from Fox. Seemingly coming down with an injury or a reason not to play every time Fox is in town, Ball just doesn’t want to be associated with Fox. Maybe it’s just a phase. I’m sure getting traded by the team that drafted you while your father is still proving to be a worthy pick will help open your eyes, Lonzo.

I hope these two can patch it up. So, on behalf of Lonzo Ball, Happy Father’s Day De’aaron!

Louisville to Coach Cal

If we want to get technical, John Calipari has only lost to Louisville once at Kentucky. (Thank you, Andre McGee) So with a record of 10-1 and an average margin of victory of nine points, Cal has OWNED the Cardinals at Kentucky. Some of Kentucky’s best moments came from the Louisville games in the Cal era. Here’s some, for example.

Image result for Anthony Davis final four

Image result for Tyler Ulis blood

Image result for willie cauley stein staredown

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

Coach Cal, on behalf of Louisville, Happy Father’s Day!

Tennesse Fans to Matt Jones

You know what, Matt’s on vacation, we probably shouldn’t go into to details on this one. But, as a little KSR secret just for today, we all know it’s free real estate on Vol twitter.


Sincerely though, happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, especially mine! We wouldn’t be possible without you all and if you’re able to and haven’t called your pops up yet to tell him happy father’s day, don’t be like these guys on the list and do it.


@BrentW_KSR


@matthewa_18

VIDEO: Star Wars fans, get ready for Football season

@matthewa_18

We are only 69 days away from football season (nice) and a few months away from the ninth and final installment of the latest Star Wars film in the Skywalker era.

So, if you are like me and patiently waiting around for both, @Mattheww_18 has us covered with an amazing Star Wars themed hype video to get you through the summer.

You can watch more of Matthew’s videos by following him on Twitter.

Go Cats, beat the Sith.


@BrentW_KSR


Kentucky commit Justin Rogers on official visit to Alabama

@AllAmerican52JR

Just under one month ago, offensive guard Justin Rogers announced his commitment to Kentucky. The Michigan native became one of the highest ranked recruits in the history of the Kentucky Football program.

At the time, Rogers said that his recruitment was shut down, but later announced that he would take one more official visit.

It was no secret that this visit would be to Alabama. This weekend, that visit came to fruition as the top commit in the class of 2020 made the visit to the Tide.

Like Jared Lorenzen said on KSR this past week, you cannot blame him for taking a visit to Alabama. The former UK quarterback added that facility wise, there is not a big difference between the two schools, but it is no secret what the Tide have that the Cats don’t; championships.

Rogers making this visit really could mean nothing at all. It is very possible that he comes out this week and doubles down on Kentucky.

If Rogers does decide to come to Lexington, it is no secret what he could bring to Stoops and company. For each prospect that 24/7 Sports rates, they give a specific rating/prediction on what their career will turn out to be. For example, they call recent Kentucky commit John Young a “Power Five Starter.” Rogers’ prediction is even better. The site says he is already a projected second round NFL pick. That fact alone should excite Kentucky fans.

We will hopefully know more about his visit and what is next for Kentucky in his recruitment soon, but I think it is safe to say that no news would be good news.


Courtesy: Florence Freedom

Florence Freedom debuting “Dad Bod” jerseys at Sunday’s game

Courtesy: Florence Freedom

I love Minor League Baseball. Whether it be watching guys attempt to live out their dreams, cheap tickets, or smaller atmospheres; there is a lot to love about it. The best part though? Minor league promotions.

The Frontier League’s Florence Freedom have continued to pave the way in this category. You may remember a few years back, they had “Manti Teo’s Girlfriend Bobblehead Night” which turned out to be an empty box.

Situated off the Florence exit, about 20 minutes before Cincinnati, the Freedom are once again putting their creativity to work for a promotion for tonight’s game.

When the team takes the field, they will be wearing “Dad Bod Jerseys.” You really have to see it to believe it.

Courtesy: Florence Freedom Equipment

For it being Father’s Day, I think this is a great way to celebrate. The best part about it is the Freedom are allowing fans to bid on the jerseys to presumably donate the money to charity.

So I now ask you, what are your thoughts on “Dad Bod Jersey Night?” Fantastic or not?


John Calipari’s newest statistical recruiting pitch

Kentucky head coach John Calipari doesn’t need many more “bullets in his recruiting gun.” We could sit here and list everything that he has to offer players who are considering coming to Lexington. Cough cough… Kerry Blackshear… cough cough

What he is still trying to figure out is how to surpass Duke when they go head to head. Well, if he is recruiting a big man, ESPN has helped him out with a stat that no one can argue.

Only three active players have averaged at least 20 points and at least 10 rebounds since they entered the league, all three played basketball at Kentucky.

I doubt Calipari has to sit and show recruits about what these guys are doing, but this is definitely a stat to keep in the back of his mind to throw out when necessary.

Now with Davis making the move to Los Angeles, it will be interesting to see if he could combine with LeBron to make a run at an NBA Title. It is obvious that the Lakers are going to need a lot more help than Davis, James and Kyle Kuzma, so could we see DeMarcus join him and Rondo in LA as well? It will be interesting to watch.


Final Week of KSR Summer Guest Hosts begins Monday

10 shows down and only five more to go in this year’s KSR summer guest host schedule. This past week, we had Tony Vanetti, Kyle Tucker/Curtis Burch, Tom Hart, Jared Lorenzen and DeWayne Peevy/Ellen Calipari.

If there was ever a year that the Pardon My Take guys could see themselves knocked from the pedestal as the best summer host, it would be this year. Each day has brought their own positives. Whether it being the Vanetti vs. Shannon rivalry, PJ Washington Sr. calling in to the show, Tom Hart and Ryan Lemond on snakes, Chris Lofton joins KSR or Billy Joe calling in on Friday.

This week, the heavy hitters continue with ESPN’s Michael Eaves making his KSR debut tomorrow.

Week 3
Monday, 6/17 — Michael Eaves | ESPN
Tuesday, 6/18 — UK Football Staff
Wednesday, 6/19 — KSR Football Podcast
Thursday, 6/20 — Matthew Mitchell | Kelly Clarkson Superfan
Friday, 6/21 — Laura Rutledge | ESPN/SEC Network

For those that like football, this is definitely your week as Tuesday and Wednesday will be strictly focused on the gridiron as we get you ready for this year’s Kentucky football team.

The fun begins tomorrow so be sure to find your local affiliate to tune in and if you missed anything last week, catch up with the podcasts below:


Today on KSR: Anthony Davis is a Laker

(Photo via Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images North America)

Davis and the Lakers Win Big, Pelicans Waste A Generational Talent

Last night, Anthony Davis was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers where he will be joining superstar LeBron James. This is an amazing trade for Davis no matter how you slice it. He got exactly what he wanted by teaming up with James and by ending up in the desirable city of Los Angeles.

At just twenty-six years-old, Davis has the better part of his career in front of him with arguably the greatest basketball player of all-time. With the Golden State Warriors being depleted with injuries for most of next season, this was the perfect window for anyone to snatch up Davis for at least a one-year rental. If you think that’s a bad idea, then just ask Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors who are still partying it up in Canada after winning the NBA Finals this year.

The point is that no other team wisely went after Davis with the exception of the Lakers so kudos to them. Not only did they secure Davis, but the Lakers also kept Kyle Kuzma who was their best young player. Sure, they gave up Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and three first-round draft picks. However, Ingram and Ball are riddled with injuries and have disappointed so far in their careers. Hart is just a simple bench player, the fourth overall pick isn’t going to be that great this season, and the other two draft picks will be late in the first round.

Overall, it’s a risk to give up so much for the Lakers, but nothing they gave away was great or even good for that matter. The Lakers gave away a bunch of “fine” assets for a generational talent who New Orleans never surrounded with adequate talent. Congrats to the Lakers and to Davis!

Now, let’s see what Lavar Ball has to say about his son getting traded….

Did you really expect him to say anything different? At least the man is consistent in his personality.

Another Great Boxing Moment

Two weeks ago, the boxing world witnessed a historic upset as the chubby Anthony Ruiz jr. defeated heavy favorite Anthony Joshua for the heavyweight title of the world. However, there is a newcomer who has stepped onto the scene in a big way. His name is Tyson Fury, and just look at how he entered last night’s fight against Ton Schwarz.

Doing the iconic Apollo Creed entrance from Rocky 4 is a bold, bold move. One could say that its a stupid and even disrespectful decision. Apollo died shortly after his entrance. Yes, its just a movie, but I still have hard feelings about it. However, Fury did an amazing job living up to Creed’s namesake as he knocked out Schwarz in just the second round of the fight. What’s even cooler is that he looked a lot like Creed while doing it.

Boxing has been on a bit of hot streak this month with Ruiz Jr.’s upset and now with Fury’s entertaining and flashy performance. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the sporting world talk about this sport this much. Who knows? Maybe boxing is making a full comeback onto the national scene. Personally, I’m just glad that some sport is keeping my attention while we must wait for college football to come back.

Big Blue Nation Waits on Blackshear’s Decision

After taking visits to Florida and Arkansas, Virginia Tech star Kerry Blackshear Jr. will be visiting Tennessee as reported by Evan Daniels on Friday. An All-ACC forward that averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game at Virginia Tech in 2018-19, Blackshear is reportedly still interested in Kentucky, Texas A&M, Gonzaga, Michigan State and Memphis.

It is widely believed that not only will Blackshear make a visit to Kentucky, but that Lexington will be the last campus he will visit before he transfers. While this may seem like positive news, the visit still needs to happen first. The mind of a recruit can change awfully fast so I won’t be convinced that the best transfer left on the market is truly considering the Wildcats until that visit happens.

Blackshear will most likely be a preseason All-American by many publications so it’s safe to say that Kentucky could really use his services. With E.J. Montgomery and Nick Richards believed to be leading the frontcourt, the Wildcats certainly need more star power there.

Adding the former Hokie would vault Kentucky up to a preseason No. 1 ranking in most publications as the Wildcats would have a truly stacked team for the 2019-2020 season. Cross your fingers on this one Big Blue Nation. This is a guy Kentucky really does not need to miss on.