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Highlights from a WILD Night with James Ramsey and the UofL Board

Highlights from a WILD Night with James Ramsey and the UofL Board

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I don’t really know how to describe today’s marathon emergency UofL Board of Trustees meeting.  Cliches like “dumpster fire” or “s***show” don’t apply because I have never seen anything like this.

In order to truly understand the insanity, I’ll let you see how the ups and downs of the day through the eyes of the media members covering it on campus.

It began with Ramsey offering his resignation, on the condition that he remains in office until 2017 as the Interim President while making the same salary.  Then, things got wild.

First, the Board entered “executive session,” closing their doors to the public.

Ramsey gave a lecture on economics and higher education to a room of graduate students.  It’s something he’s done before, but that changed when he decided to address current events.

The slideshow wasn’t a short one.

The slideshow on life lessons included a clip from the 1984 Nick Nolte classic, “Teachers.”

There was an appropriate quote that aired just before, but is missing in the linked clip.

And this:

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That clip is Ramsey’s muse.

Once Ramsey was finished, he returned to his office, up the staircase from where the Board of Trustees was meeting behind closed doors.  Junior Bridgeman is the board chairman, but unfortunately that job doesn’t come with a runner.

Bridgeman spent the next two hours going back and forth, up and down the stairs.  On the bright side, he won’t have to worry about reaching his FitBit goal for the day.

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Six hours of meeting in public and private was not enough; the meeting rolls on.  Meanwhile, others seek shelter.

Will it ever end?  Stay tuned…


Can J.B. Holmes Carry British Open Momentum to the PGA?

Two weeks ago the Open Championship at Royal Troon was a two-horse race on the final day between Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson.  Not too far behind the pack was former Kentucky Wildcat and Campbellsville native, J.B. Holmes.

Holmes shot 6-under to finish third, his best career finish in a major tournament, one spot ahead of his fourth-place finish at this year’s Masters.  Those two tournaments have propelled him to fifth in the Ryder Cup Standings, and 16th in the world.

The PGA Championship could be Holmes’ time to strike.  With golf now in the Olympics, the final major of the year was pushed ahead, giving the players only a week in between Royal Troon and Baltusrol.  The short break should help Holmes keep a hot hand.  The long course should favor the long driver.

This gem from the people at ESPN Stats and Info also caters to the Kentucky native: The last four golf majors have been won by first-time major champions, all ranked in the top 12.  16 isn’t that far from 12.

It all sets up for Holmes to win the first major of his career, only five years removed from brain surgery.  Don’t call it a comeback.

Tee Times

Holmes — 7:20
Justin Thomas — 8:00
Rickie Fowler — 7:40
Phil, Rory, Jason Day — 8:30
Sergio, Spieth, Bubba Watson — 1:00

TV Coverage

Thursday — TNT, 1:00-7:00
Friday — TNT, 1:00-7:00
Saturday — CBS, 2:00-7:00
Sunday — CBS, 2:00-7:00

Or you can stream featured groups earlier in the day here.


Kentucky Football Adds Walk-On

Smith spending some time with Mark Stoops earlier this summer (@jkingjackson3)

Cassius Smith will walk-on to play defensive back for the University of Kentucky.  The Lexington native and Henry Clay alum announced on Twitter that he will join his high school football and track teammate, Davonte Robinson, in UK’s DB meeting room this fall.

Smith will be splitting his time on the football field with Army ROTC duty.  Smith received a four-year Cadet Command Scholarship, paying for his school before he graduates as a Second Lieutenant.

The kid is a hard worker.  You shouldn’t need more proof, but just in case:

He’ll join wide receiver Marvin Robinson and countless other walk-ons when camp begins next week.


My Greatest Fear as a Kentucky Football Fan

My worst nightmare is Bobby Petrino.  I fear that Petrino will dominate Kentucky football like John Calipari has dominated Louisville basketball.

Unfortunately, I believe Bobby is going to be Kentucky’s white whale.  We got him once at Arkansas, but that’s it.  In his first stint at UofL, he won four Governor’s Cup.  At WKU, he handed Mark Stoops his first loss as a head coach.  When he returned to UofL…..this is the part I can’t get over.

The scariest thing Bobby Petrino does is make quarterbacks really, really, really, really good.  In his first two years at UofL he has played four quarterbacks against the Cats. FOUR.  The backups came in when Kentucky was up more than two scores.  Last year the Cats revealed that Lamar Jackson is Petrino’s next great quarterback.  

If Kentucky held onto that 21-0 lead at home, maybe Jackson wouldn’t have been given the keys to the offense right away.  Maybe Kentucky would have gained unprecedented momentum heading into 2016.  Instead, the window to beat Bobby and retake the Governor’s Cup closed.

Even if they didn’t have a great defense this year, which they do, Lamar Jackson could beat Kentucky by himself.  Kentucky can’t beat Louisville with Jackson at quarterback.  Especially after having an entire offseason to learn from Bobby Slapdick.  To make matters worse, this year’s game is at Papa John’s.

Once Jackson’s tenure is over, (hypothetically he leaves after his junior season), the Cats will have lost seven straight to UofL.  SEVEN.  After that is an unknown I don’t even want to imagine.

My unpopular opinion is a fear that I can’t contain any longer.  Even though I’m glad the Cats didn’t take Petrino in when Joker Phillips was relieved of his duties, I’m not looking forward to the Governor’s Cup for the foreseeable future.

For more unpopular opinions, listen to today’s show


The Ice Bucket Challenge Actually Worked

It has been two summers since people poured buckets of cold water on themselves for social media glory and ALS.  While many curmudgeons at the time put it down as a stunt, calling it “slacktivism,” the Ice Bucket Challenge actually worked.

Increased awareness helped raise over $115 million for ALS research. The cause of the degenerative disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, was unknown, but today they identified the most common gene that is connected to ALS, NEK1.

It’s difficult to explain exactly how this scientific discovery will help, so I’ll leave that to Ryan Lemond and The New York Times.


image via UK Athletics

The Importance of Darin Hinshaw

image via UK Athletics

image via UK Athletics

If the 2016 Kentucky Wildcats make a bowl game, Darin Hinshaw will be a huge reason why.  I know he is going to have some play calling input during games, but that is not why he is so important to UK’s success.  Hinshaw’s primary duty, and the one that will pay the most dividends for the Blue and White, is as a quarterbacks coach.  My reasoning for this belief is simple:  coaches make players better.  A player with a coach whose primary duty is to develop them will have a better opportunity to develop.  Somebody has to coach ‘em up if they are to reach their full potential.  Our new quarterbacks coach’s main contribution must be on the practice field and in the meeting rooms with Drew Barker if the Cats are to improve significantly this year.

The last consistently decent quarterback that UK fielded was Mike Hartline, which coincidentally (or not so coincidentally in my opinion) was in 2009 – the last season that UK had a dedicated quarterbacks coach.  Since then UK quarterback play has varied from terribly inconsistent to downright terrible, all under the leadership of an Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach.  For whatever reason, this dual responsibility role has produced nothing for the Cats’ signal callers.  The guess here is it’s hard to be great at one thing when you are trying to do everything.  Too many other “big picture” things command the attention of the offensive boss, while the devil is in the details when it comes to developing a quarterback.  Maybe an OC simply doesn’t have the time necessary to truly develop a QB.  Sure there are other factors in the success or failure of every UK quarterback the past decade, but let’s not overthink this: we have had good QB play when we had a dedicated QB coach, and bad QB play when we didn’t.

The best example of the worth of a quarterbacks only coach is a tale of two Cats: Andre Woodson and Patrick Towles.  Woodson and Towles had a lot of similarities early in their UK career:  both were high profile in-state recruits, both were blessed with NFL size and arm strength, and both were given the opportunity to command the offense early in their time in Lexington.  Their careers started the same, but ended very differently.  Woodson finished up as a UK legend, Towles transferred out having never lived up to his potential.  So what made the difference for Andre Woodson?  The most glaring difference between the two was the presence/absence of a dedicated mentor.  When Woodson went from awful to awesome between his sophomore and junior seasons, his position coach Randy Sanders was given most of the credit for the transformation.  Sanders made Andre Woodson into one of the great quarterbacks in SEC history.  Towles on the other hand never had someone whose focus was developing his game, and he never reached expectations in Lexington.  It may seem an oversimplification to some, but I believe that Patrick Towles was inconsistent because his development was given inconsistent attention.  The lack of a true quarterbacks coach may have held him back from becoming the Patty Ice we only saw glimpses of.

I know that all football coaches have multiple responsibilities, and Hinshaw will be no exception working under Eddie Gran.  But if UK wants to be successful this year, he must emphasize his primary responsibility – turning Barker into a legitimate SEC player.  No matter how  improved the line play is, how much more consistent the receivers become, or how great Coach Gran is with running backs, this team will only go where Barker takes them.  Our bowl hopes ride on Hinshaw being a true quarterbacks coach.  Mark Stoops’ future may ride on Hinshaw being a true quarterbacks coach.  Barker will either become the next Andre Woodson or the next Patrick Towles.  38 days until Kickoff…show us what you got, Coach Hinshaw.

 

*This is my first post here with KSR, so thanks for having me!  I am a lifelong member of BBN (football slightly more than basketball oddly enough), and have been a big fan of all things KSR for years.  I am really excited, and thankful, to have the opportunity to contribute here.  My take on sports is an Every Man approach – I see the games through the same lens as most of you probably do.  I am knowledgeable enough to have an opinion, but do not in any way consider myself an expert.  Finally a bit about me personally…by day I am a human resources professional, and by night I am a devoted husband (hi babe!) and loving father of two (four year old son and a daughter due in November).   Thanks for reading, and Go Cats!


The OTT Podcast, Episode 5: Jennifer Maggard on the UK Football Women’s Clinic

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It’s been a while, but The OTT Podcast is back and gearing up for football season. The UK Football Women’s Clinic took place this past Saturday, and Jennifer Maggard, wife of Freddie Maggard, joins me to recap it, as well as tell some stories about her background and what it’s like to be married to a football and bubblebath nut.

Topics include:

— Jennifer’s background in the National Guard, which includes two deployments, one immediately after 9/11, and flight school

— Her take on the new training facility as the daughter of the former UK head athletic trainer at Shively and Nutter

— How her father helped Jerry Claiborne design the Nutter Training Facility (Did you know Claiborne was colorblind?)

— Her opinion of that joke, and why Eddie Gran is her favorite coach

— How she wears the pants in her relationship with Freddie

— Why the Versailles Kroger really is the best.

To listen, just subscribe to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or stream on Podbay.

Also, send Jen a thank you for coming on @JenniferMaggar2 on Twitter (she finally remembered her screen name!)


UofL President Ramsey steps down…kind of

UofL President Ramsey steps down…kind of

@CJ_Upshot

Well, UofL president James Ramsey did step down today, but in true form, he’s not really gone at all. In a special session of the Board of Trustees, Ramsey resigned as school president, effective immediately, but will stay on as interim president until June 30, 2017, or whenever the new president asks him to leave. During that time, Ramsey will collect his same salary and benefits, including one year of administrative leave. Talk about a golden parachute. And, of course, there was no mention of Ramsey stepping down as the president of the UofL Foundation, so, really nothing has changed.

The Board of Trustees is now in closed session to discuss Ramsey’s demands. Stay tuned to this thread for updates…


KSR After Show: Judgement Free Zone (7/27/16)

KSR After Show: Judgement Free Zone (7/27/16)

Welcome KSR and Cats fans, ladies and gentlemen, those of all shapes, color, size, gender, race, and religions! You have entered the safe zone of today’s KSR After Show. The Kentucky Sports Radio crew continued their week at the Democratic National Convention. Today, the guys aired their dirty laundry lists of controversial Kentucky sports takes and allowed us to air ours as well. So, in the spirit of democracy and our freedom to speak our minds in this land that we love, and on a show that we love, we will continue the debates here on the KSR After Show today. I am skeptical of our ability to be objective and not judge one another, but let’s try our best anyway.

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To continue all of these conversations and respectfully reply to today’s takes, do so here on the KSR After Show! Or feel free to keep in touch by:

  • Calling or Texting the KSR After Show Hotline at: (980)-50-KSRAS (980-505-7727) All messages will be posted to the following After Show.
  • Connect with the KSR After Show on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat: @ksraftershow
  • Or you can email the KSR After Show at: ksraftershow@gmail.com

Today on Kentucky Sports Radio:

What is the most controversial take you have on Kentucky sports?

I know this is going to be hard for everyone to do, but this is supposed to be a judgement free zone today. So, please be courteous and try not to judge when replying to any takes! You can disagree without being judgmental.

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Matt: “We will never be really good at football.”

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Matt goes on to explain that by “really good,” he means win the SEC or National Title.

Drew: “There is a type of Kentucky fan that I really dislike.”

Ryan: “The mystery around the Randolph Morris fax is bull. It stinks and something wasn’t right with that situation.”

Shannon: “We should be more appreciative of what Rick Pitino did while he was here.”

Tweet: “Matthew Mitchell is way overpaid.”

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Tweet: “Willie Cauley-Stein is the most overrated player of all-time at Kentucky.”

Tweet: “The Unforgettables should not have their jerseys retired.”

Tweet: “The ice cream at Rupp Arena is nothing special.”

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Caller Melissa: “I do not think Derek Willis should still be on the team [after his public intoxication incident].”

Tweet: “I’d rather have a dominant football team and mediocre basketball team.”

Tweet: “Rupp Arena is not even in the top 10 in game environment.”

Tweet: “Lee’s Famous Chicken is better than KFC.”

Tweet: “I think Ryan Harrow was wronged and was the scapegoat for a bad year.”

Caller Tim: “Rick Pitino’s first team was better than Cal’s first year.”

Caller: “Kentucky made Pitino, Pitino didn’t make Kentucky. I only liked Rupp and John Calipari as coaches, no one else.”

Tweet: “I think Tim Couch was overrated.”

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Tweet: “The Commonwealth Stadium upgrade is underwhelming.”

Tweet: “I don’t think Dancing Guy should be at the games dancing anymore.”

Tweet: “The fact that we only have 1 title under Cal is unacceptable.”

Caller Jay in Lindon: “I think Chester is a fake caller.”

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Drew: “The Christian Watford shot in the moment was pretty cool.”

Dec 10, 2011; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers forward Christian Watford (2) hits a three pointer at the buzzer to defeat the Kentucky Wildcats at Assembly Hall. Indiana defeated Kentucky 73-72. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Caller Dawson: “Tennessee has the best fight song in the country.”

Caller Jay: “I’m a diehard UK basketball fan, but there is something is fishy going on with recruiting.”

Tweet: “UK should be in the Big 12 or ACC instead of SEC.”

Caller Chad: “I don’t think they should have gotten rid of Big Bertha.”

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Caller: “I think Tubby Smith threw several games while he was at Kentucky.”

Drew: “Donna Smith got way to much TV time.”

Caller Kenny: “KSR takes to many calls from John Short.”

Caller Corey: “I think Anthony Davis did get paid a little bit of money.”

Caller Zach: “I think the 2007 football team was the best team in the SEC.”

Caller Tony: “If Cal stays another 10 years, we will be on probation at some point because of the odds of all of the great players coming through UK, one player will mess up.”

My take: “I believe there is something pretty big that we don’t know about the Marcus Lee transfer situation.”

Sandy Bell should be in the rafters.

100% agree.

When did wearing clothing with flags on it become ok?

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Yeah, I’m not exactly sure when that happened, and while it seems like it could be a disrespectful thing, the point of MOST articles of clothing that have the American flag on them is to honor or respect the flag and country, right? Kind of like wearing camouflage as a salute to the military. I could be getting that completely wrong, just what I assume.

If a player got a DUI today, should they be kicked off the team?

Bill Clinton gave a great speech last night.

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President Obama, Joe Biden, and Tim Kaine are the speakers at the DNC tonight.

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Thank you, BBN, for joining me here on today’s KSR After Show! Remember try to be respectful and don’t judge! Have a great Wednesday!


Malik Monk recruiting Jarred Vanderbilt to Kentucky

Last week, five-star small forward Jarred Vanderbilt announced his top nine schools via Twitter, and yesterday, that tweet caught future UK shooting guard Malik Monk’s eye. Monk, whose Arkansas Wings competed against Vanderbilt and Houston Hoops on the EYBL circuit last year, told Vanderbilt he already knows where he should go: (Spoiler: Kentucky)

De’Aaron Fox played with Vanderbilt for Houston Hoops, so I’m sure he’s putting a bug in his ear as well. So far, it seems to be working; Kentucky has the lead in Vanderbilt’s Crystal Ball, with 69% of the predictions, followed by Texas at 15% and Kansas at 8%.

If you’re really into reading the tweet leaves, Vanderbilt retweeted Monk’s message, which is a good thing, right? Learn more about Vanderbilt from my feature on him back in May, or just watch these highlights:


Coming soon to SEC Basketball: Better Refs!

(ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Ready for some good news? According to Gary Parrish, the SEC is nearing a deal with the American Athletic Conference (AAC) to share basketball referees. Parrish notes that it’s a complicated deal, but says it should ensure the SEC has better, more consistent refs working league games going forward, which is very welcome news. Between Doug Shows, Pat Adams, and Doug Sirmons, Kentucky has had more than their fair share of questionable calls over the past several years, most recently Adams’ technical on Isaac Humphries for spiking the ball at Texas A&M in February. If you remember, the SEC had to issue a statement about that call because there is no specific language about spiking the ball in the rule book.

We all like to gripe about officiating, but that call really was horrible, and, you could argue, a pivotal moment in the season given that Texas A&M ended up with a higher seed than Kentucky, despite the Cats’ win over them in the SEC Tournament.

Here’s hoping the AAC has better refs than Shows, Adams, and Sirmons. Hard to be worse, right?

UPDATE: It’s now official, the SEC, the AAC, and the ASUN conferences will now share refs.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with The American and the ASUN to continue the enhancement of men’s basketball officiating,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “We are focused on improving the quality of men’s basketball officiating and this consortium, with the leadership provided by Mark Whitehead, provides officials with coordinated assigning between our three conferences, offers opportunity for efficient evaluation and training of officials, and continues the SEC’s efforts to strengthen its commitment to men’s basketball.”

Huzzah!


The Week Before Fall Camp

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Most, if not all media types are flooding storylines with projections, keys to the season, position overviews, and more; heck, I’m right there with them. But with fall camp starting next week, I thought we would take a different look at college football’s preseason rite of passage.

First of all, camp stinks. I find no better way to describe 30 days of misery. It’s hotter than Hades and by practice eight, the vast majority of players will be sporting a serious case of “Camp Nose.” Camp nose is that ugly cut located on the upper bridge of the nose. This pain-in-the-rear injury is caused by the helmet and seems to last for the duration of the season. Another preseason practice wound is known as “Camp Ears.” Deriving from continuously putting on and taking off the helmet, camp ear describes paper-cut type slits that develop under the ears. See, these two insignificant yet painful injuries usually remain unseen on the injury report. Never the less, they drive you absolutely nuts. Sweat and daily re-cutting burns, stings, and exacerbates. You’re welcome for that hard hitting piece of KSR journalism.

The following are observations and experiences from 5 Kentucky fall camps and how they apply to the 2016 Cats:

De-Recruiting and Position Competitions

Even with the freshmen that reported in January, fall camp will be executed at a higher speed than any of the rookies have experienced. Starting with sprinting from drill to drill to actual 11-on-11 football, action is fast and furious. No matter how talented or aware the rookies may seem, most, if not all, will be lost in the first week or so. Eventually the speed of the game and their mental interpretation of practice tempo will slow down. When that happens, their talent begins to show.

De-Recruiting is the process in which freshman college athletes are welcomed to reality and realize that their “buddies” during the recruiting process are actually loud, intense, and highly-caffeinated maniacs. In other words, stars and ratings won’t save them from imminent coach-to-player motivational dialogue. To this point; Rivals, Scout, 247 and others have told the highly sought after commodities just how great and wonderful they are; but, the first weeks of camp will offer a dose of reality chased by a shot of humility. This annual “Welcome to College Football” moment happens across America. Veterans usually enjoy these moments by the way. Rookies.

Fast is good, furious is better. Furious is the most applicable term that I can think of to describe position competitions. Friends throughout the summer, for 20 days, teammates will ferociously try to one-up each other. Football is the ultimate team-first sport; however, early fall camp is 10 days of positional pugilism.

Examples

Kash Daniel, Drake Jackson, Tate Leavitt, Dakota Holtzclaw, Gunnar Hoak, Stephen Johnson, and Naquez Pringle enrolled in January. They should have a leg up on their fellow first-timers that arrived this summer. But August marks their maiden voyage into decision points that will influence them playing or redshirting. Rookie defensive and offensive personnel will be called upon to immediately contribute. They have 10 days to make their case.

A classic example of de-recruiting is starting left tackle Cole Mosier. Two highly ranked tackles, Josh Krok and Nick Richardson, are no longer with the team. The former walk-on (Mosier) has plugged along and is now sitting atop the depth chart at the position in which Krok and Richardson were supposed to already have established. Respect.


@UKStoopsTroops

@UKStoopsTroops

Consistency Trumps Flash

Camp drags on forever. If you frequent this site, I’m sure you’ve seen pictures or had a few laughs about the infamous Joker Phillips ice cream truck incident. To be honest, that’s more common than not. After days upon days of routine, monotonous repetition has to be segmented to maintain fresh legs and morale. When I played in the last century, we had days in which we were treated to cold watermelons, popsicles, and so forth.

Players that win position competitions are at times those that can maintain their teenage attention span the longest. How many times have you heard Mark Stoops preach, “Attention to detail”? Coaches reward those that practice at a dependable and high level. In a way, coaches value trust more than pizazz. I went into three camps embattled in a quarterback competition. Remember, I wasn’t very good. One competition was decided by injury, the other due to reliability. As my esteemed colleagues described the situation, I bored the coaches to death so they had to play me. I think that’s a nice way to say “game manager.” The third, well I lost and let’s not talk about that one ok. Dang Pookie Jones.

Examples

I see two positions in which this particularly applies: Linebacker and offensive tackle. In essence, who plays at linebacker could come down to attrition. For this position, fall camp is notorious and synonymous with injury. The 9-10 LBs that practice at a consistent level and stay healthy will play come September 3. Consistency benefits veterans like Josh Allen, Courtney Love, Denzil Ware, Jordan Jones, and Di’Niro Laster. Others will follow suit or be sent to the scout team. It’s as simple as that. With an overabundance of inexperience, those that make routine plays the most consistently will gain coach’s preference.

Most likely offensive tackle will rely less on injury and more on stability. An argument could be made that 2016 is Stoops’ first OL group that is comprised of sufficient SEC depth and quality. My take is that center Jon Toth is the only automatic starter as position competitions will be prevalent. Keep an eye on how Stoops and Gran describe tackle play. In definite passing plays; how they go, the offense will follow. Cole Mosier and Kyle Meadows are projected starters. This could remain consistent throughout or change 4-5 times during preseason practice. Camp competition is a coach’s best friend.


Southern Miss Prep

I’ve not shied away from voicing high respect for the Golden Eagles. Its offensive midpoint strength is off the chart dangerous. Remember, offensive midpoint is comprised of the center, quarterback, and running back. Experience at these three positions is vital, especially for visiting teams.

USM quarterback Nick Mullens is a poised and experienced senior with a world of arm talent. Fresh off a 4,000-yard plus 2015, Mullens will be one of the three best QBs that UK will face this season. Fellow veteran center Cameron Tom is accomplished and projects to the NFL. Tom is a very, very good football player and will pose an early benchmark challenge for Matt Elam. Running back Ito Smith is a dynamic runner with excellent pass catching ability out of the backfield.

USM was hit harder by graduation on defense but is still highly athletic and capable. I have a gut feeling that Kentucky will score a sufficient number of points in the opener. But will the Cats be able to stop Mullens and company? Get your popcorn and tickets ready. This one could come down to who has the football last.

Game sounds pretty serious huh? Well it is. The season will start, and could be heavily influenced in Week 1. I’m not solely referring to the win/loss column. I have to see Kentucky play against a quality opponent to establish a 2016 Wildcat reference point in talent, execution, and poise. That won’t take long as Southern Miss is such an opponent. A win would be a boost for Stoops and company as it would increase its chances for postseason football. However, I’m equally as interested in seeing Kentucky’s on-field product. Its performance on September 3 will paint the picture for the remainder of the season and offers an early personnel gauge. With defensive unknowns, a relatively new starting quarterback playing for his third offensive coordinator and scheme, my season projection ends here.

Examples

With such a critical opening game, you’d assume that UK will begin USM preparation on day 1 of fall camp. Not so. The Wildcat’s first 20 days of practice will be spent on, well, Kentucky. Scheme installation, position changes, group work (offense/defense/special teams), depth chart establishment, and individual drills will dominate the daily schedule. I’ve seen coaches go about first game prep in different manners. But normally it begins about 10 days prior to the season’s first kickoff.


What does all this mean?

Picture and Fan Days will be fun. Truth and separation will occur when the pads start popping. If Kentucky can beat Southern Miss, then it can win the winnable games on the 2016 schedule.


UK Football Fan Day set for Saturday, August 6

Get out your calendars! UK just announced that Football Fan Day will be held on Saturday, August 6. The event will begin with an autograph session at the Nutter Field House from 9 – 10:15 a.m., followed by an open practice at the new practice fields beside the new training facility from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

More details from UK:

•  Nutter Field House doors will open at 9 a.m. The autograph session is inside Nutter Field House.

•  2016 Kentucky football posters and schedule cards will be available at Nutter Field House.

•  To help the autograph session lines move along fans are asked to limit autographs to one autograph per person and to not pose for pictures with players or coaches.

•  Autographs will end at 10:15 a.m. and fans are invited to attend an open practice at the practice fields next to the Kentucky Football Training Facility. Practice is tentatively scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and last until approximately 12:30 p.m. Fans will be allowed to enter 20 minutes prior to the start of practice.

•  Parking will be available in the Glenn Hyundai Blue Lot adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium and Nutter Field House.

Who’s in?


De’Aaron Fox: UK has every piece needed to win a national championship

De’Aaron Fox: UK has every piece needed to win a national championship

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De’Aaron Fox is up in CoachCal.com’s “Meet the Wildcats” series, and like Sacha Killeya-Jones before him, Fox isn’t shying away from the high expectations surrounding this freshman class. Fox didn’t quite say “National Championship or bust,” but he is adamant the Cats have all the pieces required to win one.

“My goal is to win a national championship, and I feel like it’s not far-fetched,” Fox said in an exclusive interview with CoachCal.com. “I feel like we have every piece to do it. … I feel like we can win a SEC championship, take all that momentum and try to win a national championship – try to bring No. 9 to Kentucky.”

Since coming to campus in June, Fox says he’s gained five to six pounds of muscle and spends most of his time off the court watching old basketball games and playing video games in his room. Even in just a few months, Fox claims his game has improved from playing alongside and against Malik Monk and Isaiah Briscoe, the latter he says he’s already learning from.

“What I can learn from Isaiah is just how he moves. I’m more of a sprinter. He’s not as fast as me going this way (straight line), but laterally, he’s crazy laterally. And just his quick twitches. He can go from 15 miles per hour to 25 real quick, and then back down to 15. He just changes speeds really well.”

For more quotes and a nifty video interview, head on over to CoachCal.com.

[Meet the Wildcats: Give De’Aaron Fox a challenge and watch him thrive]


DeMarcus Cousins dominates in Team USA’s rout of China

DeMarcus Cousins dominates in Team USA’s rout of China

© Kyle Terada

The Rio Olympics are almost certain to be a hot mess, but at least we can enjoy what could be DeMarcus Cousin’s moment in the spotlight. Boogie dominated in Team USA’s 107-57 rout of China last night, putting up 21 points and 11 rebounds in 19 minutes, shooting 7-8 from the field and 7-11 from the charity stripe. Through three exhibition games, DeMarcus has two double doubles and is currently second on Team USA in scoring at 15.7 points per game and first in rebounding at 11 rebounds per game.

MIN FG FGA 3P 3PA FT FTA OR DR TOT A PF ST TO BS PTS
July 22, W vs. Argentina

16:12

4

6

0

0

6

8

7

8

15

1

1

2

2

1

14

July 24, W vs. China

18:00

5

6

1

1

1

3

2

5

7

2

2

0

0

0

12

July 26, W vs. China

19:16

7

8

0

0

7

11

5

6

11

1

4

1

1

1

21

Less talking, more highlights:

Being his brother’s keeper the best way he knows how:

Making China look like a high school team:

Here’s the complete highlight reel:

Team USA is back in action Friday, when they take on Venezuela at the United Center in Chicago.