The three-day event in Suwannee, Georgia finished this afternoon, effectively ending the regular season on the →
The Bluegrass Boys just got a whole lot taller. 7’3″
string bean center Shagari Alleyne is joining the team full of former Wildcats that will be playing for $2 million in The Basketball Tournament.
Shagari came to Kentucky in 2003 with Lukas Obrzut. As a 12-year old I fondly referred to them as “The Twin Towers,” even creating a poster for my locker with the cliched nickname adorned across the top.
At only 271 pounds, Alleyne couldn’t bring the same kind of physicality that Woo brought to the table, playing sparingly during his three seasons. He had a career-high 16 points against Georgia State as a junior and posted back-to-back games double-figures against Indiana and Morehead as a sophomore.
After his junior season, Shagari transferred to Manhattan. After school, he spent a year with the Harlem Globetrotters before heading overseas. His non-basketball ventures might be the most intriguing, acting in an alien movie and partaking in some salsa as a semi-professional dancer.
A video posted by Shagari Alleyne (@sevenfooter4life) on
Shagari will be one of the last additions to the team with only three spots still available. If you haven’t already, make sure you vote for them before tomorrow’s deadline.
You may have missed Game of Thrones over the Memorial Day weekend. We’re here to help you out. Even though you may not have missed too much in the episode, there is still plenty to talk about. A brief overview:
— Too much Samwell Tarley.
— Bran’s flashbacks will only get better.
Rick Pitino Walder Frey is back in the mix.
— Riveting speeches from Daenerys and Mace Tyrell.
— Kentucky basketball players are most like which characters in the show?
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 6:05pm
Cuonzo Martin now has his scholarship for Marcus Lee, should Lee commit to transferring to Berkeley.
California guard Jordan Mathews announced today he will graduate from the school and transfer for his final season of eligibility.
Will always be a Golden Bear at heart! pic.twitter.com/km5ioiPjSC
— Jordan Mathews (@JordanMathews22) May 31, 2016
Mathews averaged 13.3 points per game as a junior while shooting 41 percent from three-point land. He is not the player Cal wants to lose to be able to take Lee, considering he is one of the team’s only outside scoring threats. Gonzaga is reportedly the early favorite to land his services, but should Kentucky give him a call for a player-for-player trade?
As for Marcus Lee, he is on his visit to Cal today and could commit.
Ticket sales are down as Mark Stoops’ fourth season in Lexington draws closer. Today UK released its current tally of 31,841 season-ticket plans sold as of last Friday, with only an 81 percent renewal rate from 2015.
UK sold 45,710 season-ticket plans in last year’s first season after the Commonwealth renovation, which counts all of the student tickets and comps not completely accounted for in the current total for 2016.
Here is a look at the last six seasons of ticket sales in a graphic from UK:
If you’re sitting on the fence, let me push you off of it and toward UK’s ticket office to purchase your tickets today. There is a new $210 season-ticket plan with no K-Fund donation, available in Sections 201-203 and 209-211. This new ticket option is the latest example of UK Athletics working to provide affordable football tickets to its loyal fans. Plenty of other options available, too. (Obviously.)
Go to UKFootballTix.com to learn more.
Rick Pitino says Adidas has never gotten him one player, which might explain why he can’t get one elite player
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 5:03pm
The University of Louisville’s deal with Adidas is only for apparel, not for new players, according to Rick Pitino at his press conference today. Rick and his Cardinals prefer Adidas’ clothing, uniforms and shoes, but have never relied on the brand to land a recruit.
The same can’t be said for Nike and Under Armour schools, he says. #ShotsFired?
“I will say this: Adidas has not one time gotten me a basketball player in my 15 years here. Nike or Under Armour they will–not doing anything wrong–when those players go to those camps, you know which schools are Nike schools and which schools are Under Armour schools and they go after… Adidas is just not like that. They don’t promote their schools to recruits. They just don’t do that… Adidas has not one time directed a player my way, and I never once asked them for my help.”
A couple of observations here:
— Rick does not honestly prefer Adidas, nor does anyone in that locker room. True story: I once saw a former U of L basketball player at a Foot Locker in Louisville about a month after graduation, and he was buying lots of new Nike shoes. He told an employee he and his teammates couldn’t wait to get out of their Adidas shoes and into Nikes, and they had been looking forward to it for years. (That being said, Adidas shoes have improved recently, although Yeezy has not jumped over Jumpman, as he claims.)
— There is no way Pitino likes these:
— If your shoe deal is hurting your recruiting, maybe it’s time for a new shoe deal. Rick can say he doesn’t need Adidas’ help, but in this day and age, shoes are everything in basketball.
— The dig at Nike and Under Armour was salty.
— He wants shoe companies completely out of basketball recruiting. Meanwhile, everyone else wants hookers completely out of basketball recruiting. Did Katina help him get a basketball player in his 15 years?
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 4:27pm
Verne Lundquist will give it one more season in college football, then he is stepping down from his lead play-by-play role in the CBS booth, a position he has held since 2000. He will be replaced by Brad Nessler in the 2017 season as the voice of the “SEC on CBS.”
Lundquist will, however, continue his duties in college basketball and in golf. He will remain with the network for regular-season basketball, the NCAA Tournament, and CBS’s golf coverage, including The Masters and the PGA Championship.
Lundquist has been in the TV business for 53 years and he’s not hanging it all the way up just yet.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 3:27pm
Kentucky will be paid a lot of money for playing four of its non-conference games on neutral sites next season — a “whole lot,” as Tom Crean would DM.
Through an open records requests to the university, Kyle Tucker over at the Courier-Journal dug up the finalized contracts for the Cats’ upcoming games against Michigan State in the Garden; Hoftra in Brooklyn; Arizona State at Atlantis; and North Carolina in Las Vegas. Together, the four contracts are worth $950,000.
The majority of that money will be used to cover the trips, DeWayne Peevy told the C-J:
“You want to negotiate a guarantee to make sure that you at least can cover your expenses. That’s the goal, not to lose money,” deputy athletic director DeWayne Peevy said. “All four of those will cover our expenses, plus some additional revenue. That’s the biggest thing for us in going to more neutral-site games: with an away game, there’s not much revenue off it.”
A breakdown of each contract can be found in Tucker’s story.
Kentucky is not under contract for any 2017-18 non-conference schedule outside of Louisville and the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge.
The bizarre story of Enes Kanter, a tweet from a U.S. Attorney, and a man exiled from Turkey that may or may not be plotting to bring down the government
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 3:13pm
Enes Kanter is caught up in a bizarre situation today after receiving a tweet last night from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. Bharara congratulated Kanter on the Thunder’s NBA Playoff run, and now people in Turkey are freaking out over the connection between Attorney Bharara, Kanter and a reclusive Turkish cleric, exiled from the country and living in Pennsylania, who is accused by Turkey’s President of plotting to bring down the government.
It sounds like a really bad movie and it all blew up last night with this tweet:
— US Attorney Bharara (@PreetBharara) May 31, 2016
All of the connections and corruption and secretive religious movements fly way above my head without having known anything about any of it until five minutes ago. (I’m a little behind on my scandals within the Turkish government.) But Bloomberg has more on the former Wildcat, the US. Attorney, and some guy in Pennsylvania labeled as Turkey’s second-most powerful man and one of the country’s biggest terrorists.
Read all about it here.
I’ll offer my two cents by simply saying, “Free Enes.”
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 2:42pm
Father of the Year Watch in Paintsville where a man used his daughter as a human shield from a police officer trying to arrest him last week.
Deputies say Jonathan Morrow, who is wanted out of Tennessee on drug trafficking charges, showed up to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office to file an emergency protective order against his wife. When it was discovered Morrow is a wanted man, he shoved his own 14-year-old daughter out of the way and attempted to flee.
WYMT’s Haley Minoque, formerly of KentuckySportsRadio.com, has the story:
Deputy Danny Martin tried to tase Morrow, and later told WYMT, ‘Initially, after he started running, he picked his child up and actually tried to use her as a human shield and at that time I did not have a clear shot with it so I had to make sure that she was safe.”
Morrow was eventually tased, but pulled the barbs from his body and was able to escape in his vehicle, along with his daughter. He struck a State Police cruiser as he fled the scene and is currently on the loose.
#1 Dad, huh?
Be on the lookout for him in his mint green Ford. He’s probably wherever all of the terrible dads hang out.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 2:00pm
After last night’s Warriors-Thunder game received the third-highest overnight TV rating in the history of sporting events on cable, SportsMediaWatch.com took a look at the ten highest of all-time.
And to the surprise of no one, the Kentucky Wildcats have a strong presence in sports’ most-watch games, ranking first, ninth and tenth — all in the last two years.
The 2015 Final Four game against Wisconsin–which we are still not ready to talk about–drew the highest rating with a 13.3 overnight rating, two points higher than last night’s Game 7 in Oakland.
Also on the list: the 2014 Final Four game against Wisconsin and the 2015 Elite Eight game against Notre Dame.
The Southeastern Conference’s head coaches, athletic directors and power brokers are all gathered together down in lovely Destin this week for the SEC Spring Meetings. Beginning today and concluding on Friday, the biggest names in the SEC will hit a variety of issues facing the conference, whenever they’re not at the t-shirt stores, Go-Kart tracks or Fudpucker’s.
Below I have listed a wide range of potential topics they’ll hit, and maybe resolve, this week in the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village, along with a couple of other notes:
Conference realignment: Auburn to the SEC East? Missouri to the SEC West? It makes total sense, geographically, and will make for better divisional rivalries in football: Auburn-Georgia, Auburn-Florida, Mizzou-Texas A&M, Mizzou-Arkansas. But for us Kentuckians, the thought of playing Auburn every year sounds awful.
Satellite camps: The hottest topic of the offseason will for sure be one of the hottest topics at this week’s meetings. The conference went back-and-forth with its rules regarding camps this spring, and will try to figure it out for the long-term while in Florida.
Instant replay: The SEC will introduce a new centralized replay center in Birmingham for the 2016 college football season. The league’s coaches will get a better look at how the center and its decisions will factor into lives game this fall.
Player conduct and NCAA violations: It was yet another ugly offseason around the SEC in its off-the-field conduct and abiding by NCAA rules. That will all be addressed, and Ole Miss’ attendance will be mandatory.
CBS game times to be announced: Expect a partial schedule from CBS while in Destin, as is the case every year. Do not expect Kentucky to be in any of the marquee games.
Saving basketball: The conference brought in Mike Tranghese as a consultant this spring to help improve basketball as a whole in the SEC. There is no easy solution to the problem, but the problem and some potential solutions will be discussed.
No talk of money: Unlike in years past, we’ll have to wait until the fall to learn just how much revenue the conference and its 14 schools raked in. Revenue distribution is scheduled for an October public release this year.
No Steve Spurrier: Destin will be without Spurrier this week for the first time in 11 years.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 12:12pm
A couple of weeks ago we reported the Kentucky-Louisville game will be moved ahead of Christmas this year, to be played on Wednesday, December 21. Today Rick Pitino confirmed that news in a press conference at UofL to release the Cardinals’ schedule and talk about the current state of the program.
The time of that game has not been established, but it will be played on the Wednesday before the Christmas holiday. Louisville will play Indiana on New Year’s Eve.
** Update **
Pitino said his team will have the length and athleticism to try to match his ’96 team’s style at Kentucky.
Never change, Rick.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 31st, 2016 @ 12:00pm
While many of you continue to debate the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla incident, I’m over here doing everything I can to make sure I don’t accidentally run into this alligator on the golf course one day.
Video of an unbelievably large alligator walking Buffalo Creek Golf Course surfaced today out of Palmetto, Florida. A golf course employee said it’s aware the alligator lives nearby and it is “like a mascot” for the course.
Nope. Nuh-uh. No. Hmmmmm-mmmmmm. Nope. Don’t want anything to do with that.
Tai Wynyard is in Kazakhstan to defend his FIBA 3-on-3 U18 World Championship title this week with New Zealand. Wynyard led his home country to eight straight wins and the gold medal at last year’s games, earning himself MVP honors in the process.
New Zealand begins group play Thursday against the Philippines. Fans can watch Wynyard and the entire FIBA 3-on-3 U18 World Championships on FIBA’s 3×3 YouTube page.
For now, this video of Wynyard warming up the three-ball will have to hold you over.
— FIBA3x3 (@FIBA3x3) May 31, 2016
A friend of the website stumbled upon a house for sale in San Diego with the worst realtor of all time on its For Sale sign.
Apparently there is a man named Duke Won who works for Century 21 of San Diego. I’m sure he is a very nice man and an even better realtor, but with a name like Duke Won, he automatically becomes our least favorite Century 21 agent on the planet.
I wouldn’t buy beachfront property in San Diego from this man if he charged me three dollars for it. (That’s a bit of a lie but you get it.)