By KSR on ©October 17th, 2019 @ 11:45am
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By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 17th, 2019 @ 11:00am
Lynn Bowden and Max Duffy continue to pull in the accolades. ESPN’s Chris Low and Mark Schlabach put Bowden and Duffy on their midseason All-American Team, Bowden for his performance as an all-purpose threat.
“Bowden was one of the sport’s most versatile players, even before injuries forced him to start at quarterback in last week’s 24-20 win over Arkansas. Bowden has 295 rushing yards, 348 receiving, 53 yards on punt returns and 200 yards on kick returns. After injuries to three quarterbacks forced Bowden under center, the former high school QB completed seven of 11 passes for 78 yards and one touchdown while running 24 times for 196 yards and two scores. He joined Antwaan Randle El and Julian Edelman as the only FBS players since 2000 with at least 20 rushing attempts, 10 passes and one punt return in a game.”
“Duffy is the latest Australian punter to invade college football, and the 26-year-old has been one of the best from down under. Duffy leads the FBS with a 50.4-yard average on 26 punts. The Wildcats are No. 1 in net punting, with only 30 return yards. Against South Carolina, Duffy averaged 51.1 yards on nine punts with four downed inside the SC 20. He averaged 54 yards against Toledo and had a 63-yarder against Florida.”
So far, Duffy has been named a Midseason All-American by CBS Sports, the Associated Press, and The Sporting News. Bowden received the honor from the Associated Press, while The Sporting News went with Memphis’ Kenneth Gainwell and CBS Sports UCLA’s Demetric Felton at the all-purpose/athlete spot.
By KSR on ©October 17th, 2019 @ 10:30am
We’ve got a great Aaron Torres Sports Podcast to get you into the weekend, as Aaron discusses all the comings and goings in college hoops and football, before welcoming CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish to the show. Here is the entire rundown of today’s show:
College Basketball News and Notes: Aaron opens the show by discussing a few major developments across college basketball, specifically, the Devin Askew commitment watch. Askew is set to commit on Thursday night. Aaron explains why he thinks Askew will choose Kentucky, reclassify to 2020 and what it means for the program. Also, how could it impact Cade Cunningham’s decision? Aaron then discusses the bizarre situation with N’Faly Dante at Oregon, before giving his Week 8 college football picks.
CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish Joins the Show to Discuss Memphis Hoops: There isn’t a more interesting topic in college hoops coming into the season than Memphis basketball, and Aaron welcomes on CBS Sports insider and Memphis native Gary Parrish to talk about the Tigers. Parrish discusses the excitement in the city over the Tigers, Penny Hardaway’s national championship prediction and how it all could go wrong. What is the floor and ceiling of this team? And also, what is both the good and bad impact, if the Tigers don’t have success this season? Finally, Parrish wraps up by talking some of the bigger topics in college hoops heading into the season.
Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or simply stream online through Spotify. Don’t forget to follow the show on Instagram too.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 17th, 2019 @ 10:00am
I love Rupp Arena. You love Rupp Arena. We all love Rupp Arena. But, we can admit that for the majority of games, it isn’t exactly the most intimidating place in college basketball. Yesterday at SEC Basketball Media Day, Tennessee’s Jordan Bowden said as much, telling me that Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena is a much more imposing environment.
“I feel like Arkansas gets more loud,” the Volunteers senior guard said. “I feel like Kentucky is not really, you know, a lot of screaming and stuff. But Arkansas is really unique.”
Tennessee’s Jordan Bowden loves the rivalry with Kentucky but says Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena is more imposing. “I feel like Kentucky is not really a lot of screaming and stuff” pic.twitter.com/KQQn0WOPcQ
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) October 16, 2019
This clip took on a life of its own yesterday, resonating mostly with Kentucky fans who agree with Bowden (“HE’S NOT WRONG, TYLER”), those who brought up that Tennessee lost in Rupp last season, and proud Arkansas fans just happy to see someone praise their program after so long.
Bowden wasn’t alone. LSU junior guard Skylar Mays said there’s no question that Bud Walton Arena is louder than Rupp.
“I don’t even think it’s a debate, honestly. It’s just louder.”
Arkansas’ Desi Still said he didn’t exactly find Rupp Arena intimidating last season, but was impressed by the fans.
“The biggest impression [I had] was the arena, Rupp Arena. No matter how far they’re up or down, how it rocked.”
We’ve been through the complaints about Rupp ad nauseam, so instead of calling for Kentucky to move the student sections to the sidelines (not gonna happen) or older fans to get loud (will only happen for big games), let’s just accept Bowden’s quote for what it is: the truth.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 17th, 2019 @ 9:55am
Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Thursday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from somewhere in Hancock County (Hawesville?) as Matt continues his travels across the state. Tune in to hear the gang break down Devin Askew’s decision, which is coming tonight, Kentucky’s turn at SEC Basketball Media Day, and Saturday’s Georgia game.
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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“I told you so.” — Larry Vaught, probably
Danville’s top-ranked sports journalist got into a quibble Tuesday night after Devin Askew’s coach told him the No. 1 point guard in the 2021 class would announce his decision Thursday night. Askew refuted the report, only to reveal Wednesday evening the decision would in fact happen Thursday night.
A silly recruiting case of “he said, she said,” what’s most important is that UK is expected to receive a commitment from an elite point guard that Louisville fans once believed would be a Cardinal. His 247 Crystal Ball is 100% in favor of the Cats. UofL, Arizona and Memphis hats will also be on the table when he announces his decision on tonight’s 11 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter. That decision will not likely lead the show, so you’ll have to wait till closer to 11:30 ET, and it will likely air on ESPN2 while Pac-12 football wraps up on ESPN.
It’s going to be a late night waiting for the announcement. If you’re too impatient, don’t you worry. Jack Pilgrim will have you covered on everything you need to know about Askew, like if he will in fact reclassify to 2020, once the point guard pulls the trigger.
SEC Basketball Media Day Leftovers
It was a long, hectic day in Birmingham, Alabama at SEC Basketball Media Days. Mrs. Tyler Thompson was in the building, providing excellent coverage, but there’s much more to share from the Cats’ big day in front of the camera. Until then, enjoy the hits.
- No Smile November: Duke loss inspires Kentucky’s new mantra
- 5 Notes from Kentucky’s Session at SEC Basketball Media Day
- Calipari still hasn’t read new California law
- Will Wade ‘comfortable and confident’ with how he’s run LSU’s program
- Kerry Blackshear on why he chose Florida over UK
Relive the Arkansas Win
Unlike previous behind-the-scenes looks at UK football wins, this one does not start at the stadium. The KyWildcatsTV crew was inside the meeting room for Mark Stoops’ pregame speech at the team hotel. The ball coach brought extra juice to make sure his team was prepared to play.
Mark Stoops’s Final Address to the Media
He’ll talk one final time this evening a day after Brad White talked about how his defense is preparing for Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift and the rest of the Georgia Bulldogs.
The KSR podcast feed has plenty of content flooding the airwaves. Last night we dropped a new 11 Personnel ahead of our road trip to Athens. If you prefer basketball talk, CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish talks about the Penny Hardaway era at Memphis and more on the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.
Sports on TV
Thursday and Friday are surprisingly good nights to watch sports, thanks to the ALCS. It coincides with a couple of football games, along with the addition of Friday’s Blue/White Game.
- 7:30 — Louisiana at Arkansas State on ESPNU
- 8:08 — Astros at Yankees on FS1, Astros lead series 2-1
- 8:20 — Chiefs at Broncos on Fox, Amazon and NFL Network
- 9:00 — UCLA at Stanford on ESPN
Sportsball is the term news folks use to describe athletics. As you can see, this reporter has mastered the art of Sportsball.
When news reporters do sports stories pic.twitter.com/sKSWXfk6tP
— Rachel Louise Just (@RLJnews) October 15, 2019
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Last year’s season-opening loss to Duke was a brutal wakeup call for Kentucky, and with another mega-debut on the horizon vs. preseason No. 1 Michigan State, Ashton Hagans is determined to learn from those mistakes. The sophomore point guard told reporters at SEC Basketball Media Day Kentucky has adopted a “No Smile November” mentality in hopes of being more focused when the season begins on November 5.
“No smiles,” Hagans said. “No Smile November. That’s our new term right now, so we’re just trying to go out there and compete.”
“Last November we got a little bit upset but that was the first game, so this year we’re just trying to go in with a different mindset. You know, just trying to stay more focused. Have everyone on all ten toes ready to go out there and fight the first game.”
When I think about the Duke game, I think of how confident Kentucky was in the tunnel, barking and yipping like a pack of dogs. Hagans admitted they didn’t know how to turn off the “fun button” and play, and it came back to bite them.
CATS READY pic.twitter.com/l0aOjeeHZS
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) November 7, 2018
Kentucky players howling and barking during warmups. Keldon Johnson is terrifying. pic.twitter.com/53fFwXvBR1
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) November 7, 2018
“Our coaches would say we sounded like a concert in the locker room but I would say people were just amped and ready to play that game than just more focused on it. But this year, everyone’s just locked in. We had a few jokes about us getting blown out but it’s past that so we ain’t looking back at that no more.”
John Calipari brought up the Duke game as an example of a young team going through growing pains, telling reporters the Blue Devils should have won by 100.
“So you want to bring the Duke game up when they beat us by 70 in the first game last year, maybe?” Cal said (the reporter did not). “We lose by 70 in the first game and literally, they could have run it to 100. It could have been a Wilt Chamberlain with the piece of paper, by a ‘100.’ We come back at the end of the year, I thought we should have won the national title. We get by that game and we’re in that Final Four, I felt comfortable with my team. So, it’s a step at a time. We’re not preparing to play Michigan State. I can’t do that. If I do, we’re screwed the next month and a half. This is what we have in when we play Michigan State; hopefully it’s enough to win.”
EJ Montgomery said Hagans was the brainchild behind “No Smile November,” and the whole team has embraced it…even Tyrese Maxey, who has been known to smile in his sleep.
“It’s hard for him. Me and him both love smiling, having fun with the game,” Montgomery said. “Just trying to stay focused, go at each other every day in practice so we’ll just be ready for all these games we’ve got coming.”
Montgomery said the rule only applies on the court, so this very fun group will continue to be all smiles off it; however, when the ball is tipped, it’s business.
“The name says it for itself,” Hagans said. “No Smile November. Just coming out with a chip on your shoulder ready to play against any team we’re going against and just ready to fight.”
KSBar and Grille is the place in Lexington to catch University of Kentucky games (pre and postgame too) as well as other events such as the NBA Playoffs, UFC fights, the World Cup, MLB games, PGA tour events, and more.
KSBar might be known for their smoked wings but don’t miss out on the brisket platter, fried katfish, chicken and waffles, and the great assortment of burgers. Start off with the house chips loaded to the ceiling smothered with pulled pork or chicken straight off the smoker topped with the house BBQ sauce.
Head to the KSBar and Grille website ksbarandgrille.com to see a full menu and drink list.
Be on the look out for different specials and events.
KSBar and Grille is located at: 1030 South Broadway, Lexington, KY 40504
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.
— KentuckyDude (@JHNNsports) October 17, 2019
How I don’t miss Bobby Portis at Arkansas.
Lower level be like…. pic.twitter.com/Oi55lNX9wf
— Trey (@tr3yuk) October 16, 2019
#8 Chase Jones
“That’s an awful lot of sweater vests!”- Jordan Bowden #ksr
— Chase Jones (@chasejones606) October 16, 2019
Again, not wrong.
— Wildcat4Life (@BrianKGOBIGBLUE) October 16, 2019
I’m going to need a size 17, thank you Nike!
— alia$ (@yaboiigotitall1) October 17, 2019
Ah, this gives me flashback of the shot he made down the stretch against LSU.
#5 Nick McCardell
Living in Wisconsin as a Kentucky fan the growing buzz is that 2021 5 star Forward Patrick Baldwin Jr will leave the state and at the end of his recruitment it will come down to Kentucky and Duke. #BBN
— Nick McCardell (@UKhoops1_BBN) October 16, 2019
Would be huge!
#4 Chris Hay
— Chris Hay (@BigBlueFanatic4) October 16, 2019
Would be some duo!
#3 Jeremy Faulkner
— Jeremy Faulkner (@jfaulk6) October 16, 2019
This makes me appreciate the crowd the team gets in Memorial so much.
#2 Dustin Wade Cordell
Tyrese Maxey will fail at this ?
— Dustin Wade Cordell (@DCordell_BFTBG) October 16, 2019
He won’t last two hours.
#1 Michael Rains
— Michael Rains (@RuppArenaMike) October 16, 2019
Happy global Cat day everyone!
Follow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets:
By Noah Banks on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 10:20pm
The No. 20 Kentucky Wildcats prevailed 2-1 in their first non-conference matchup of the regular season Wednesday night as they played host to the visiting Ohio State Buckeyes.
The Cats entered Wednesday’s matchup looking to avenge a heartbreaking 2-1 loss that they were given in their last outing at the hands of Florida International University last Sunday in Lexington.
Despite Kentucky taking 8 shots in the first half while Ohio State only managed 1, neither team was able to find the back of the net and ended the 1st half in a 0-0 tie.
Coming out in the 2nd half, in just the 53rd minute, the Buckeyes sophomore Xavier Green was able to strike first to put OSU up 1-0 while scoring just his 2nd goal of the season.
With the Cats trailing, it wasn’t until the 81st minute when sophomore Robert Screen was able to score his first goal of the season and tie the contest at 1 apiece off the direct kick.
??Robert Screen's high-octane play in the last seven matches culminated with his first career goal late in the second half, tying the match and sparking Kentucky's comeback effort versus Ohio State. #WeAreUK pic.twitter.com/iLetUZ7XWq
— Kentucky Men’s Soccer (@UKMensSoccer) October 17, 2019
Following the goal, Kentucky was still looking for more and found it in just the 85th minute as junior Kalil ElMedkhar scored his 5th goal of the season and gave the Cats the 2-1 lead.
— Kentucky Men’s Soccer (@UKMensSoccer) October 17, 2019
Staying true to the pattern, Kentucky has now beaten Ohio State the last three times they have matched up and have improved to a 6-5-4 all-time record between the two schools.
The Cats improve to 7-2-3 and will take the field again this Saturday, Oct. 19th at 7pm as they travel to Old Dominion to do battle with the Monarchs.
By Maggie Davis on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Two more former Wildcats will be joining the latest professional football league. Jordan Jones and Farrington Huguenin have been selected in Wednesday’s round of the XFL Draft.
Jones, who participated in the 2019 NFL Combine but ultimately went undrafted, was selected by the DC Defenders. The Defenders also picked up former Cat Jon Toth.
Huguenin, who played for Kentucky during Mark Stoops’ first three years with the Wildcats, went to the St. Louis BattleHawks. The defensive end originally went undrafted in 2016 before bouncing around through various NFL practice squads. He was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month.
Jones and Huguenin join former UK kicker Austin MacGinnis in the fifth and final round of the inagural XFL Draft, while Toth and Jeff Badet were selected during earlier rounds Tuesday.
The XFL league has announced its season will begin Feb. 8, the weekend after the NFL season ends with the Super Bowl.
Before Nick Roush and Adam Luckett hop on I-75 for an 11 Personnel road trip, KSR’s resident football guys talk about Kentucky’s victory over Arkansas, what makes Georgia so good, and…
— UK found its formula with Lynn Bowden.
— A lesson A.J. Rose needs to learn about making chicken salad.
— South Carolina took disrespectful to a new level at Sanford Stadium.
— Georgia loses when Jake Fromm airs it out.
— New Georgia is the old Bama.
— Please, stop deferring.
— Luckett’s new best friend.
By Maggie Davis on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
Kentucky’s Josh Paschal is the latest nomination for the 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl FWAA Courage Award. One player from across college football earns a nomination each week, and a committee of writers from the FWAA will vote on the winner at the end of the season.
The requirements for nomination include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living through hardship. The Wildcat linebacker was nominated following last year’s diagnosis with an aggressive form of skin cancer -malignant melanoma – on the bottom of his foot. He underwent three surgeries before beginning immunotherapy and taking medications.
Now, he’s a redshirt sophomore who has started in all six of Kentucky’s games this season. He is currently UK’s co-leader in tackles for loss (five), along with one sack, one fumble recovery, one pass breakup and 19 total tackles. Paschal also recorded one stop for a loss in Saturday’s 24-20 win over Arkansas.
We won’t know if Paschal is a winner until the end of the season. The overall winner of the Courage Award will be included in festivities during Capital One Orange Bowl week and will receive his trophy during an on-field presentation. Best of luck to Josh Paschal!
By Maggie Davis on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
Kirby Smart met with the media down in Athens Tuesday afternoon, and he provided some insight into Georgia’s preparation for their matchup with Kentucky this Saturday. UK’s questionable quarterback situation creates a week of “tough prep” for the Bulldogs, according to their head coach.
“We don’t know what the quarterback situation is really going to be. They could use both of them, and they have a third component – which is the wildcat component – so there’s really three things there.”
Smart went on to describe the Wildcats as a “good, physical football team” with a defense that is “really big up front.”
The Bulldogs’ coach certainly has a point about Kentucky’s quarterback situation. Although Eddie Gran, who also met with reporters Tuesday, said both UK quarterbacks are available and practicing at “full speed,” Georgia still has to spend time preparing for both Sawyer Smith and Lynn Bowden. That means extra time is required of their coaches in the film room, as well as extra time spent by the team’s defense preparing for two different styles of play.
Bowden’s particular style of play has impressed Smart, who compared the Wildcat quarterback/wide receiver/punt returner to a great NFL player and, conveniently, a former Bulldog: Hines Ward. The Steelers selected Ward in the third round of the 1998 NFL Draft, and he went on to become the team’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yardage and touchdown receptions. Ward was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL. At the time of his retirement, he was one of 11 NFL players to have at least 1,000 career receptions.
As for Smart, he sees streaks of Ward in Bowden’s athleticism and ability to create plays.
“It reminds me of Hines Ward… You forget the guy back there is always open,” Smart said. “Probably the most dangerous plays [Bowden] has as a football player are when he has the ball in space. Every play at quarterback is that. He’s sitting there with seven lanes in front of him where he can take off and run.”
Bowden’s ability to make such a play in critical moments for the Wildcats also stands out, according to Coach Smart.
“Some of [Bowden’s] most explosive plays the other night [against Arkansas] were third downs [or] were drop back passes. It makes you just play the game so different – it’s unusual. In college football you are not used to playing that kind of game, so it makes you call the game differently.”
Maybe – just maybe – forcing Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs to call Saturday’s game differently is exactly what Kentucky needs.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Kentucky’s time at SEC Basketball Media Day has come to an end, which means the Cats are probably already in their private jet heading back to Lexington. I’m about to hit the road myself for Nashville, but first, a few notes.
Calipari covered a lot of old ground
Between UK Basketball Media Day and his interview on KSR last week, John Calipari didn’t cover much new ground during his 20-minute Q&A today. Once again, he expressed his concerns about the potential expansion of the G-League, claimed hasn’t read the California Fair Pay to Play Law, and talked about how EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards need to be more physical.
Here’s his response when a reporter asked him how EJ compares to PJ Washington, who also returned to Kentucky for sophomore season:
Everyone is raving about Ashton Hagans’ defense
Ashton Hagans was named Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season, and his name came up plenty today as the league’s toughest defender.
“Big fan of his game,” Florida’s Mike White said. “I mean this all positively, he’s a junkyard dog in my opinion. Pitbull. Tough as they come. Probably as good an on-ball defender as there is in the country.”
John Calipari has had plenty of talented point guards, but said Hagans is the best defender of them all. Like a leader, Hagans credited his teammates when a reporter informed him of Calipari’s praise.
“Just keep doing what I do. Keep trying to do my best each and every day when I go to practice. Compete against the guards, Immanuel [Quickley] and Tyrese [Maxey]. Immanuel is looking ten times better than he was last year, so for him to keep putting in the work that he’s putting in to make himself better, it’s just going to make our team even better as the season goes on. Tyrese is a hard worker. No one’s really seen him play except for high school and the McDonald’s [All-American] Game but I guarantee he’s going to bring the same thing he brought in those games to Kentucky. Johnny Juzang, he came to college a year earlier, he’s ready to work and show everybody what’s he’s got. The guards are just ready to come out here and compete.”
…But he also hit 60 threes in 5 minutes in a recent drill
Ashton Hagans isn’t exactly known as a shooter, but Calipari told reporters that Hagans recently hit 60 threes in the team’s five-minute shooting drill, which is an eye-opener to say the least. Hagans said that last year, he would average around 39-45 threes in the drill, but this year, has hit as many as 65.
EJ Montgomery is back on Twitter
Did you know EJ Montgomery took a Twitter hiatus? Me neither. He’s back on social media as of yesterday, and encouraged fans to follow him @EJMontgomery23.
“I just felt like I needed a break, but I’m back now, so everybody go follow me.”
With no social media to distract him, Montgomery said he spent his extra time in the gym.
“I was just more focused, trying to get myself better, staying in the gym.”
He and Nick have been battling in practice
Calipari has forced his bigs to face off in practice recently in hopes of sparking their competitive fire.
“It’s a lot of battles,” Montgomery said. “A lot of cuts and bruises. We’ve just been trying to go at each other and just fight every possession as we try to compete.”
Cal said he’s noticed a big change in Nick so far.
“Nick is in the best shape I’ve ever seen him, which has built his own confidence now in himself,” Cal said. “He’s like running out ahead and has a smile on his face. Nick now, you’re seeing jump hooks. We did rebounding stuff and he’s getting every rebound. Proud of him. Proud of EJ.”
I’ll have more from SEC Basketball Media Day tomorrow, but in the meantime, you can watch my interviews with Ashton and EJ below.
Trivia is back in action inside Lexington’s finest establishment, KSBar and Grille, tonight. The fun is set to begin at 7:00, so begin making your way to South Broadway now!
Wednesday night trivia is in for a special treat tonight, as it will be hosted by our own Drew Franklin! He’s making his trivia debut, so come out and show your support for one of KSR’s own.
— Drew Franklin (@DrewFranklinKSR) October 16, 2019
Start studying Forrest Gump now, and we’ll see you there.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 5:02pm
2021 five-star guard Devin Askew will be making his college decision on Thursday evening.
According to ESPN’s Paul Biancardi, the the No. 1 point guard in the junior class will decide between Kentucky, Louisville, Arizona, and Memphis live on ESPN.
Devin Askew, the No. 1 PG in the class of 2021, will be announcing his college commitment exclusively with ESPN via @SportsCenter this Thursday, Oct. 17. His final schools are Arizona, Kentucky, Louisville and Memphis.
— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) October 16, 2019
According to Evan Daniels of 247Sports, who put in a Crystal Ball pick for Kentucky earlier today, Askew will make his reclassification decision in the spring.
Askew’s father, Brian Askew, told Daniels that he will “commit as a 2021 [prospect]” tomorrow and then “re-evaluate” down the road.
“He’s going to commit as a 2021 and then we’ll re-evaluate after the season,” Askew added.
Daniels is reporting that the commitment ceremony will take place at Stance Headquarters on Thursday evening at 11:00 PM ET.
The 6-foot-3 guard out of Santa Ana, CA took an official visit to Kentucky on October 4 and raved about it to reporters at the Team USA Minicamp this past weekend.
“Coach Calipari doesn’t care who you are or where you’re ranked,” Askew told Jason Jordan of USA Today this weekend. “I had a vision of him being like that, but to see it was different. I love that. If you don’t want a coach like that then you’re not playing the right sport. I don’t want someone telling me how great I am all the time. I want to be pushed.”
“I liked the practices the most, just how hard they go, how hard they’re pushed, nothing’s easy,” he told Evan Daniels of 247Sports. “I like to be pushed, I like everything not to be easy because when it’s easy it’s not fun and when it’s hard it makes you want get in there and work harder. … [My favorite part other than practice was] definitely just sitting down with Coach [Calipari] and picking his brain, seeing where he’s at with his recruitment of me and if it’s more than just a want. He’s definitely an honest man. I liked it a lot.”
Kentucky leads in Askew’s Crystal Ball with 90% of all predictions, including nine consecutive picks over the last month.
While we wait for his official decision, check out some of his most recent highlights from Peach Jam below:
Come on down, Mr. Askew.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 4:47pm
Before taking the grand stage at SEC Media Days down in Birmingham, John Calipari took a seat on the Paul Finebaum Show set with fill-in host Tom Hart. One of the topics that came up in their discussion was how Calipari sees the landscape of college basketball in a few years now that California got the ball rolling with its Fair Pay To Play Act. It’s at least the third time Calipari has been asked since the law was passed, and he is still hesitant to go all the way in with his opinion.
However, he did remind Hart and Finebaum listeners, “I’ve been saying for ten years, these players deserve to own their own name and likeness and image. I was the only guy. I wish other people had come in with me because we would be five, eight years ahead of this. Now, they say, ‘California’ — what do I think about the California law? Did you read it? I didn’t read it either. I didn’t read it, I don’t know. But I know there’s a New York law now and there’s a Florida law and Kentucky’s going to do a law. Well guess what? What are the unintended consequences?
“I’ll give you an example,” he continued. “A football player who is an unbelievable quarterback and really a powerful guy, we’re going to pool all the money so every athlete — soccer and volleyball and swimming and golf — everybody gets the same, including that football quarterback. There’s unintended consequences! How do you have a kid go do what he wants, but it doesn’t hurt the athletic department and other programs?”
Calipari predicted there will be forty state laws similar to California’s, and it will eventually go on to Congress.
“Don’t even ask me my opinion. It doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’m reading the tea leaves again. Have I been wrong doing that?”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 4:30pm
University of Kentucky student-athletes managed to break one graduation rate school record and tied another.
According to an annual report released on Wednesday by the NCAA, UK’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR), a four-year composite statistic for the freshman classes of 2009-10 through 2012-13, was 91%. That rate tops the previous school record of 88% set last season, continuing Kentucky’s streak of breaking or tying the mark every year since the NCAA began tracking the statistic in 2005.
“Our student-athletes make us proud in the way they pursue an education and a degree at our world-class institution while competing at the highest level of college athletics,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “It is our responsibility to equip them with the resources they need to do that. I am thankful for the commitment our student-athletes make to academics and the support our coaches, staff, and CATS counselors and tutors provide along their path.”
The GSR includes all student-athletes who are on scholarship during their first semester of enrollment. Athletes who transfer or depart for the professional ranks in good standing do not count against the school’s GSR.
“These outstanding graduation rates highlight a foundational component of the Kentucky student-athlete experience, and serve as evidence of our commitment to comprehensive excellence,” Executive Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Experience Jason Cummins said, via UK Athletics. “Our students learn from a world-class faculty in the pursuit of life-changing knowledge, one of our Department’s five core values.”
Here are UK Athletics’ GSR scores in the 15-year history of the measure.
Year NCAA GSR
Kentucky also tied its own previous record set last season in the Federal Graduation Rate, a four-year composite statistic for freshman classes from 2009-10 through 2012-13, with a mark of 61%.
According to UK Athletics, in the FGR, “student-athletes who transfer or depart early for the professional ranks count as non-graduates, regardless of their academic standing or subsequent graduation from another institution. Incoming transfer students, from junior college or four-year schools, who graduate at UK are not counted as graduates. These factors account for the difference between the FGR and the NCAA GSR.”
99 Wildcats walked across the stage and received diplomas during the 2018-19 academic year, with 49 of those individuals graduating with honors.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 3:41pm
Somehow, Will Wade is still LSU’s coach despite being caught on an FBI wiretap making a ‘strong ass offer’ for Javonte Smart in June 2017. LSU suspended Wade in March, but reinstated him once the season was over, even amid an NCAA investigation. After Wade dodged the topic in an extremely awkward press conference at SEC Basketball Media Day last year, it was only a matter of time before it came up today.
“I felt good about things,” Wade said when asked if he believed he would be here this year. “Obviously, it was a difficult time but I was always in communication with LSU. I was always in communication with our folks.”
…Now feels like a good time to remind everyone that LSU only suspended Wade after he refused to meet with officials…
“I felt like once we could kind of get to the table with everybody that things would work out,” Wade continued. “I’m certainly excited to be here. Excited to be back. Excited to coach LSU and looking forward to doing that for a long time.”
In June, Yahoo Sports listed LSU as one of the six programs expected to receive harsh penalties from the NCAA over the scandal, but Wade told reporters today he feels good about how he’s run his program.
“I have no idea what the NCAA is going to do at this point but we’re very, very comfortable and confident with how we’ve run our program and I’m excited about this season and moving forward.”
If you’re curious, Wade did not handle sitting out the postseason very well.
“I watched on TV. I’m not a very good fan. I’m not a very good fan. I was yelling at the TV. It’s tough. You always tell your guys you’re going to be there for them but it’s something that because of the circumstances, you couldn’t. You never like to let your players down, let your guys down. It was tough for me, but it’s part of it. Now we’re moving forward and I’m looking forward to coaching this team and we’ve got to get this team to the NCAA Tournament.”
By Drew Franklin on ©October 16th, 2019 @ 3:13pm
University of Kentucky kicking legend Austin MacGinnis heard his name called on Day 2 of the XFL Draft on Wednesday.
MacGinnis was selected by the Dallas Renegades in the first round of Phase 5 of the draft. Phase 5 is the “open” part of the draft after four phases designated to selecting specific positions. Phase 5 was the first opportunity for teams to draft a kicker, and Dallas did not waste any time in landing the former Wildcat.
Dallas is coached by Bob Stoops, brother of Mark Stoops, who has MacGinnis to thank for his current good standing at his job. Dallas has another Kentucky connection on its roster: the Renegades’ first pick in the draft was Jeff Badet, a former UK wide receiver and teammate of MacGinnis under Coach Stoops.
So I guess we’re Dallas Renegades fans now? (Unless the Patriots sign MacGinnis.)