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Snell Yeah won’t race at Keeneland today after all

Snell Yeah won’t race at Keeneland today after all

Here’s a bit of a bummer for those of you headed to Keeneland today: Snell Yeah, the horse name after former Kentucky star Benny Snell, has been scratched from his debut race this afternoon.

According to the Herald-Leader, Snell Yeah wasn’t breathing 100 percent this morning so his trainer removed him from today’s race, a 4 1/2 furlong race for maidens at 1:39 p.m. Have no fear; his owner said they’ll attempt to get Snell Yeah into another maiden race on April 25 at Keeneland, and if he’s still not good enough to go, a race at Churchill Downs next month.


WATCH: The Big Blue Road Trip discovers the true meaning of BBN

WATCH: The Big Blue Road Trip discovers the true meaning of BBN

[Ed. Note: Keifer Winings and Chris Smith are two University of Kentucky graduates who took a road trip across the country to visit UK Alumni Clubs. They wrote about some of their stops for KSR and now, their documentary is complete and ready to share with the Big Blue Nation.]

A couple of years ago, myself and a friend took a road trip with the goal of experiencing the Big Blue Nation in person. Up until that point BBN had been abstract to us, and we wanted to find out what the term meant.

So, we contacted alumni and fans and scheduled a watch party for each UK basketball game of the 2015-2016 season in a different city across the country, with a different group of fans. When November came around, we bought a cheap camper van to live out of, stocked up on ramen and Easy Mac, and hit the road.

Over those five months we met some truly incredible people and made some of the best memories of our lives. In the years since, we have cut through hundreds of hours of footage to put together a documentary that tells the stories of thousands of UK fans that have left the Bluegrass and make the Big Blue Nation as far reaching as it is.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Let’s Work On Some Perspective…

I will admit I was not, and am not, thrilled with another group of UK players headed out the door for the NBA Draft this year.  I just don’t think anybody can reasonably say that the games of Keldon Johnson or Tyler Herro are “ready” for the NBA.  We certainly can be proven wrong in the next year but having watched them for 37 games, they looked more like freshman than NBA prospects most of the year.  Nonetheless, their dreams, the money, and the overall atmosphere surrounding the program consistently is pushing these type of guys out after 1 year.  Same happened with Marquis Teague, James Young, Devin Booker, Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, etc.  Some of these guys have flourished in the NBA but it didn’t seem like they were slam dunks when they left UK after 1 year.

But it is also important to take a step back and have some perspective about many of the names they have rolled through UK for just 1 season.  We have become blinded to just how unbelievable it is that we get the kind of production we have seen out of 18 and 19 year olds over Calipari’s 10 seasons.  I fall into the trap too.  Keldon Johnson will go down as one of the most frustrating players of this era for me.  And yet, he scored 498 points this year, a 13.5 points per game average.  Rex Chapman scored 464 points in his freshman season, a 16.0 points per game average.  Rex is thought of as an all-time legend and having one of the greatest freshman seasons in school history.  Keldon nearly matched that season and many call him a disappointment.  In fact, consider this

FRESHMAN POINTS BEFORE CALIPARI
1. Rex Chapman: 464 points
2. Chris Mills: 459 points
3. Sam Bowie: 440 points

Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson both scored more points than those guys this season.  Along with another 17 freshman in the Calipari era.  A total of 19 players have beaten the previous freshman scoring record since Cal’s arrival.  And many of them were considered disappointments as freshman: Kevin Knox, Aaron Harrison, Archie Goodwin, Keldon.

Similar numbers can be produced for rebounds, steals, assists, blocks, whatever you want to come up with.

We have actually become a little distorted in what we expect of these players.  It’s hard, no doubt.  High preseason rankings doom these guys much of the time.  The Bahamas trip actually became a burden for this team because it only increased expectations unnecessarily.  But the reality is that Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro just completed two of the best freshman seasons in UK history.  Better than Sam Bowie.  Better than just about anybody before 2009.

But the catch is those players pre-Calipari came back and expanded their legacy within the program.  Can you imagine a Tyler Herro for 3 seasons, like Patrick Patterson.  Or a Keldon Johnson for even 2 seasons, like a Ron Mercer.  Unfortunately that is not the world we live in.  And I think it has created a mentality within this program and fanbase that has caused us to completely lose perspective on just how special the players we have seen over the last 10 years have actually been.


KSR Show Thread 4/18: So long, Jemarl

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Thursday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, the gang will discuss Jemarl Baker’s decision to transfer from Kentucky, what it means for next year’s roster, and whether it’s further proof of a growing trend in the Calipari era. Plus, they caught those guys driving around Louisville in a white van giving people money for their DNA!

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (772) 774-5254.

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Today on KSR: More Roster Moves?

(Photo: USA Today Sports)

Wednesday morning the Big Blue Nation learned two Wildcats would not remain in Lexington for another year. As expected, Keldon Johnson announced he would keep his name in the NBA Draft. The small forward explained the move on Kentucky Sports Radio.

“I got the feedback from the NBA scouts and it was what I wanted,” Johnson said. “They said that I have a really good chance of going in the lottery.”

Most fans probably had a feeling Johnson would make the jump to the NBA. Few expected Jemarl Baker to depart. The redshirt freshman announced he will transfer after two seasons in Lexington.

“After talking with Coach Cal, the staff and my family, I feel it’s in my best interest to continue my academic and basketball career elsewhere,” Baker said in a release. “I’ve made life-long relationships with my brothers and the staff at Kentucky and have improved so much as a player. I’m thankful for the opportunities it’s given me to be a part of this historic program.”

Baker only averaged 2.3 points in 9.1 minutes per game in 2019, but he really hit his stride in the final month of the season. Baker saved his best games for the postseason, playing a career-high 24 minutes in the first round and scoring a career-high eight points in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Without Baker, Kentucky probably does not get past Wofford.

Following Baker’s departure, the Cats’ eight-man 2017 recruiting class is now down to just one, Nick Richards. As one Wildcat enters the transfer portal, fans set their sights on who could potentially come to Kentucky from the mysterious portal.

Will Calipari add a replacement?

Virginia Tech’s Kerry Blackshear Jr. is the top grad transfer on the market. Calipari is looking to add depth in the post, but will he try to find an immediate replacement for Baker? Texas A&M’s Armond Gilder and Little Rock’s Rayjon Tucker have been the subject of speculation. They could be nice additions, but Cal already has three guards and three wings on board for next season. Adding another piece to the puzzle isn’t necessary and could rub some the wrong way. We’ll find out in the coming days if Calipari still believes he needs another player in the backcourt.

John Young sets Decision Date

The four-star offensive tackle from Christian Academy of Louisville revealed he will announce his commitment Monday, April 29. Young is down to six schools: Georgia, Louisville, Purdue, Michigan, Ohio State and Kentucky. In an interview with KSR’s Jack Pilgrim, Young said he’s been impressed with UK’s growth since they started recruiting him.

“I’m going on my third year of being recruited by Kentucky, they offered me as a freshman, so I’ve really gotten to see the development there. They develop players and turn them into high-caliber draft picks like they did with Josh Allen and Benny Snell. Those guys weren’t super highly recruited guys out of high school, Josh wasn’t really recruited at all, but they turned those guys into very high caliber guys who are going to make millions of dollars playing football. Just the way they’ve developed players is the most impressive thing for me.”

Keeneland? Snell Yeah

Benny and the Jets are taking their talents to the racetrack. The thoroughbred that bears Benny Snell’s namesake is making his debut this afternoon in a 4 1/2 furlong race for maidens. “Snell Yeah” has 15-1 odds in race 2, which is set for a 1:39 p.m. post.

UK Baseball Hosts Tennessee

The Bat Cats open a three-game series tonight against the Volunteers. First pitch at Kentucky Proud Park is set for 6:30 and can be seen on SEC Network+.

Stop it, Zion

We’re not supposed to like Duke basketball players, but he’s making it awfully difficult. Gender reveals are typically cheesy, cliched events. That’s not the case when you add a dunk from Zion. I guess we don’t have to hate him as soon as he finds a new pro team?

Three Game 3s

The first round of the NBA Playoffs continues tonight. All three series are currently tied at 1-1. Who will break free to take a significant series lead?

  • 8:00: 76ers at Brooklyn Nets on TNT
  • 9:00: Nuggets at Spurs on NBATV
  • 10:30: Warriors at Clippers on TNT

An Incredible Schedule Announcement

The annual NFL schedule announcement receives more hype than it deserves. This video from the Carolina Panthers has earned every piece of praise it gets. Let the classic video game nostalgia sweep over you.


Kentucky Basketball’s 2019-20 roster as we know it

In the past 48 hours, we’ve learned quite a bit about Kentucky’s 2019-20 roster. First, Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson are definitely gone to the NBA, which was expected. Second, Jemarl Baker is definitely going to transfer, which wasn’t entirely unexpected, but still came as a bit of a surprise. Third, there could be another grad transfer on the way in the form of Kerry Blackshear Jr., a 6’10” junior from Virginia Tech.

It sounds like Blackshear’s going to take his time with his decision, which could still include going to the NBA Draft, but let’s go ahead and take a look at where Kentucky’s 2019-20 roster stands as of now, and how it could change in the coming weeks.

Guard: Ashton Hagans/Immanuel Quickley

Guard: Tyrese Maxey/Immanuel Quickley/Brad Calipari

Forward: Khalil Whitney/Keion Brooks/Dontaie Allen/Zan Payne

Forward: EJ Montgomery/Nate Sestina/Keion Brooks

Center: Nick Richards/EJ Montgomery

Obviously, having a sophomore Ashton Hagans and Immanuel Quickley is huge. Any kind of roster turnover is diminished by an experienced backcourt, and I’d expect Hagans and Quickley to both make considerable jumps in their sophomore years. Given his ability to score, I see Tyrese Maxey starting at the two, but Quickley backing up at both guard spots as a strong sixth man. Should Brad Calipari stay at Kentucky (remember, Cal mentioned he might transfer), he could get some time at the two as well. So, backcourt, good.

Khalil Whitney and Keion Brooks will give Calipari some interesting looks on the wing, as will Dontaie Allen if he’s healthy enough to go early in the season. On the inside, you’ve got veterans in EJ Montgomery, Nick Richards, and Nate Sestina, although I don’t believe the dust has settled on the frontcourt. As long as Leah Edmond is at Kentucky, I feel comfortable about Richards staying, but I wouldn’t rule out Montgomery testing the waters. You may scoff at that, but towards the end of the season, EJ showed a lot a lot of potential. If he returns, I think he could have a monster season and be the anchor Kentucky needs on the inside. While Nate Sestina is not Reid Travis, he should provide valuable minutes and an outside presence to keep teams honest, ala PJ Washington this season. If Kerry Blackshear Jr. does come to Kentucky, at 6’10”, 250 lbs., he could be a very important piece to the puzzle, but let’s not get too excited about that just yet.

On the recruiting front, Matthew Hurt and Jaden McDaniels are still out there, but it’s looking more and more like Hurt’s going to Duke and McDaniels to Washington. (I’d love to be wrong about that.) Five-star combo guard RJ Hampton could also reclassify to 2019, but that’s still to be determined.

As it stands, do you like your team?


KSR’s Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowell


The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of KSR’s Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 Overly Humbled Man

The iHeart Radio parking lot is a warzone.

#9 Fake TG ThunderShuck

Maybe jussssst maybe that will get me to listen to country music…probably not.

#8 Ricky

That’s pretty good, right? #LsDown

#7 Sibbie Marsh

They’re onto us.

#6 Chet Lemond

hahahaha, you got to love it.

#5 Brian

We’re expecting a championship.

#4 Anthony Dietrich

The accuracy of this tweet.

#3 W Stumbo

This arlmost the perfect tweet, I do like the gist though.

#2 Barstool UK

What a picture, man.

#1 Spalding, John

Why aren’t we funding this?


Follow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets: @BrentW_KSR


The top-five quotes from Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro on KSR

If you haven’t heard by now, two (now-former) Wildcats stopped by the radio station today to chat with Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond and Drew Franklin. Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro made their KSR debuts Wednesday morning, and they had plenty to say. You can listen to their entire interview here, or you can cheat a little bit (you’re welcome).

Here are the top five things the roommates said Wednesday morning:

Speaking of roommates… Do either of them do that one thing that drives the other one crazy? Probably, but they wouldn’t quite admit to it on the radio. Maybe one’s a little messy or maybe one snores – we’ll never know. But we do know one thing:

We’re both crazy. That’s why we get along.” -Keldon Johnson

There was plenty of talk throughout the season regarding Tyler Herro’s impressive ability to perform on the road – he seemed to thrive in the “villain” role for the Wildcats. Herro admitted his de-commitment from his home state of Wisconsin prepared him for that very role, and he grew to love the welcoming chorus of “boos” once he entered an opponent’s arena.

“I kind of live for that moment. I just like being the villain on the road. I just liked going into other team’s arenas and ruining their weekends.” – Tyler Herro

They also learned a thing or two during their time in Lexington. Both Johnson and Herro told Matt they’re honor-roll students in the classroom, and Johnson even gave a shoutout to one of his favorite professors. He also shared a piece of advice he’s learned during his time here.

“Don’t treat nobody different. It doesn’t matter if it’s the janitor or the CEO of a company, treat everyone with respect.” – Johnson.

Some poignant words for a freshman in college.

Johnson and Herro certainly treated fans with respect this season. This team was great with the BBN all season, likely posing for more pictures than they can remember. But, according to Herro, that’s a small price to pay for what they got in return.

“Without the fans, we really wouldn’t be anything. They’re the people who come to the games and cheer us on. Me and Keldon – and I really think the whole team – this year embraced that and how much they supported us. If you [saw] how we started the season, I don’t think many people would have supported us after we lost by 40. They stuck with us and we really appreciated that.”

Unfortunately, part of sticking with the Cats meant supporting them after a demoralizing loss to Duke to open the season. Even after November 6, there were obviously other highs and lows of the long (but not quite long enough) season.

Of course, the pair picked some of their biggest wins as their favorite moments in a Kentucky uniform – the UNC win and the Kansas win, namely. But they also had to address some of the lows. Johnson said the team just didn’t “execute like we wanted to coming down the stretch” against Auburn, and it cost them the opportunity to play in a Final Four. There was one team in particular they wanted to face, and it’s the team that beat them at the very beginning of their year.

“We wanted to see [Duke], obviously, in the National Championship. That’s kind of what we wanted to do,” Herro said. “I definitely think if we saw them again, we’d get after them.”

Even if the Cats had advanced to the Final Four, Duke had already been eliminated. Regardless, Johnson and Herro were confident they could have won over the Blue Devils, had they been given a re-do.

Once again, the pair showed this year’s team was full of not only good players, but good peopleas well.


Johnson and Herro were both on the show for a few segments, so they had plenty of other note-worthy quotes. Check out what Herro (and his teammates) thought of his “Bucket” nickname here, and click here for what they learned from talking with NBA scouts.

For information on their signing tours (including stops at KSBar & Grille), click here.


Hey Kentucky and Ryan Lemond with Andy Beshear!

Hey Kentucky and Ryan Lemond with Andy Beshear!

Hey Kentucky is hitting the campaign trail with all three Democratic candidates for Kentucky’s Governor seat. TONIGHT, we sent Ryan Lemond to catch up with Andy Beshear while he balances running for Governor with being the state’s Attorney General.

Then Matt Jones and Lee Cruse will weigh in on all of today’s hottest topics. Mitch McConnell officially announces his 2020 candidacy, Betsy Devos visits Kentucky and will Alexandria Ocastio-Cortez visit Kentucky as well? Oh yeah, they’ll talk about UK basketball, too. Check it out!