Mark Stoops struggled to find good things to say last week after UK’s first scrimmage →
By Nick Roush on ©August 17th, 2017 @ 1:05pm
For the second time in two days, a tall South Florida cornerback has committed to play football at the University of Kentucky. Less than 17 hours after Stanley Garner picked UK over Alabama, Jamari Brown picked UK over Auburn.
Respect my decision 🙏💯 pic.twitter.com/jKXYSVJssg
— Jamari Brown (@Brown3Jamari) August 17, 2017
A three-star prospect from Pompano Beach, Florida, Brown’s 13-school offer sheet also included the likes of Louisville, Oregon, South Carolina and Mississippi State.
Brown is Kentucky’s 18th commitment in the 2018 class. The Cats now have three cornerbacks and five Florida natives (all recruited by Eddie Gran) in the upcoming class that is ranked No. 16 in the country, one spot ahead of USC.
Gifted with South Florida speed, what makes Brown stand above the rest is that he literally stands above the rest of the crowd. At 6’3,” Brown has the length that Stoops searches for in cornerbacks.
A look at just a few of Brown’s highlights:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2017 @ 12:31pm
Marvin Bagley heading to Duke makes the Blue Devils the definitive preseason No. 1 team in the country, but what about everyone else? ESPN’s Myron Medcalf just released his “Way-Too-Early Top 25” and Kentucky made the top five, behind Duke, Arizona, Kansas, and Michigan State. Medcalf said that while the Cats are loaded with talent, he has two major concerns: shooting and leadership.
“The class Calipari put together resembles his past assemblies. They’re young, gifted and athletic. But he must overcome a pair of significant questions with this group. Can the Wildcats shoot?”
“The other question for Kentucky: Who will lead this squad? Calipari’s best teams featured elite veterans. He had Willie Cauley-Stein on the 38-1 squad in 2014-15. He had Darius Miller on the 2012 national championship squad. Based on experience, Calipari’s 2017-18 group looks like the team that failed to make the NCAA tournament the year after that title run. But this season doesn’t come with an abundance of guarantees. Question marks decorate this entire top-25 list.”
Both valid concerns, although I worry more about the latter than the former. Even last year’s team had veterans. Here’s where Medcalf ranked Kentucky’s opponents this season:
8. West Virginia
Check out his thoughts on each over at the Worldwide Leader.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2017 @ 12:04pm
Last week, the ladies of the Commonwealth lost their collective minds when Channing Tatum was spotted in Lexington and Harlan on a press tour for his upcoming film Logan Lucky. Last night, Tatum released a video on Facebook documenting his trip across Kentucky, including the moment he gave a 20-year-old cook at the Windy Corner Market in Lexington a brand new Harley Davidson:
Tatum, who also visited the Harold White Lumber in Morehead, said he chose to start his press tour in Kentucky because he wanted to honor the people his movie is about.
“Usually when an actor like me does a film to promote it, they stick us in a hotel room. And so, instead of going to New York or LA and talking to the press, we decided to go to the heartland and talk to the people we actually made a movie about.”
Come back anytime, Channing. Really.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 17th, 2017 @ 10:51am
One of the most frequently asked questions this summer has been, “What’s up with Jarred Vanderbilt’s ankle?”. Vanderbilt injured the ankle during the Jordan Brand Classic back in April, but the extent of that injury was never really disclosed, leading to an avalanche of speculation amongst Kentucky fans. John Calipari assured fans that Vanderbilt’s ankle is fine a few weeks ago, but today, Vanderbilt is opening up about it for the first time in the latest installment of CoachCal.com’s “Meet the Wildcats” series.
“When I hurt my ankle (during the Jordan Brand Classic), I think the timing actually was good,” Vanderbilt said. “You don’t want nothing like that happening, but I think the timing was good when it happened. That was the last event so I was able to rest after, get ready for summer, get ready for the season. But it wasn’t really that bad of an injury. It was all pretty good. We were just playing it cautious. I didn’t have any other events left, so I just got rested, tried to get 100 percent and just prepared for the next level.”
Vanderbilt insists he’s back to 100% and “good to go” for this season, which is great news when you read his comments about teaming up with fellow forwards Kevin Knox and PJ Washington. You’ll have to head to CoachCal.com to read those, but he uses the word “dynasty,” which gets me very excited.
Vanderbilt’s ankle and jumper look just fine in his “Horse with the Cats” showdown with Josh Hopkins:
We’ve always known John Wall to be a star, but in the past few years, he has separated himself as one of the top point guards in the NBA.
After signing a $207 million extension with the Wizards last month, the former Wildcat is getting paid like one, as well.
Most people know him for his ridiculous speed and scoring ability, but his knack for finding open teammates is second to none.
As you can see in the video below, Wall’s court vision is jaw-dropping:
Could you pass the #JohnWallChallenge?
(I’m going to vote no.)
Good morning, friends. Can you believe we’re only 16 days from Kentucky football? It can’t come soon enough. Sadly, there’s no football availability today, but we’ve still got plenty of news from the gridiron.
Will Kentucky get another Yahtzee?
The 2018 class got a major boost last night in the form of four-star cornerback Stanley Garner, who chose Kentucky over Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Louisville, and other ridiculously high-profile programs. Today, more good news could be on the way from the state of Florida in the form of three-star cornerback Jamari Brown. The Pompano Beach native is considered the 63rd best cornerback in the 2018 class and will choose between Kentucky, Auburn, and Temple this morning. The Cats currently lead his Crystal Ball, and should he pick Kentucky, he’ll be the 18th member of UK’s 2018 class, which already includes four players from the state of Florida. Eddie Gran’s doing work, y’all.
Drew and I unveil our 2017 UK Legends Game Mock Draft
Yesterday, we received an updated list of former UK players participating in the Legends game that will precede the main UK Alumni Game next Friday night, and for kicks and giggles, Drew and I did a draft to make two squads. Who did I choose with the first pick? You’ll have to wait until this afternoon to find out.
UNC continues to meet with the NCAA Infractions Committee
Just down the road from me here in Nashville, UNC basketball coach Roy Williams, football coach Larry Fedora, athletic director Bubba Cunningham, women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell, university officials, and their lawyers are meeting with the NCAA Infractions Committee for the second straight day. This will be UNC’s chance to make their case in front of the committee, which isn’t expected to hand down a punishment for several months. That makes @DaggumRoy a must-follow this week:
Jon Rothstein Tweet of the Day
Hearing Kentucky may toy with a super long lineup that features Kevin Knox at SG. Would give Cats four guys on floor over 6-9. Zone? #BBN
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 16, 2017
It think most of us already expected Cal to use Knox as a third guard just because he can, but I’d be lying if I said that didn’t get me excited to see this team play. Stay hungry and humble, Jon.
Cool Eclipse News of the Day
I’m burnt out on most of the Eclipse stuff, but I do think it’s cool that Bonnie Tyler will sing her hit song “Total Eclipse of the Heart” during the actual Eclipse on Monday. Royal Caribbean’s Total Eclipse Cruise will be positioned in the path of totality and Tyler will perform the hit for guests just as the moon travels across the sun. In a nice blending of generations, she will be backed up by DNCE, the pop-rock band helmed by Joe Jonas and made famous by their obnoxiously-addictive 2015 hit “Cake by the Ocean.” But that’s not the song I want stuck in my head today. This is:
Summer Tour Stop of the Day: Benton
Come on out to CFSB Bank on West 5th Street to enjoy the show.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 11:00pm
The addition of Marvin Bagley may have given Duke the edge over Kentucky in the race for the nation’s best recruits, but there’s already another battle on the horizon. Earlier today, Cameron Reddish told Krysten Peek of Rivals.com that he’s nearing a decision, and although he has five schools on his list, most believe it’s down to Kentucky and Duke. The five-star small forward could be the most versatile player in his class, and with all the momentum swinging towards Duke lately, John Calipari desperately needs to land a superstar. Let’s break down Kentucky’s chances, starting with the Cats’ biggest advantage.
PRO: Reddish played for Calipari this summer
Reddish got a taste of what it would be like to play for John Calipari at the FIBA World Cup this summer, and judging by his remarks to Peek, he enjoyed the experience.
“Playing for Team USA under coach Cal gave me a pretty good idea of how he is as a coach. He likes to go and he’s super competitive. I totally understand why players want to play under him because he pushes everyone to be better.”
CON: Reddish’s BFF just committed to Duke
Unfortunately, in that same interview, Reddish raved about Tre Jones, the 2018 point guard that just committed to Duke. Not only are the two close friends, their parents are as well, and Reddish said Jones is already in his ear about coming to Duke. Not helping matters is Reddish retweeting Jones’ tweets about being in the Duke “Brotherhood”:
PRO: Calipari has proven he’ll showcase Reddish’s versatility
At 6’7″, 180 lbs., Reddish is considered a small forward, but he’s so versatile that Calipari started him at point guard on occasion at the FIBA World Cup. Reddish delivered, leading the team in steals and dishing out the second-most assists while averaging 10.7 points per game. By giving Reddish the reins, Cal showed he’s not afraid to let him be a positionless player at Kentucky, a pitch which surely appealed the versatile wing.
CON: He’s playing with Duke players and commits all weekend
The Nike Skills Academy is taking place this week in Los Angeles, bringing together 29 of the top high schoolers and 20 of the top current college players. Unfortunately, zero Kentucky players are there but three current Dukies (Marques Bolden, Grayson Allen, Trevon Duval) are, along with the aforementioned Jones, who will be Reddish’s roommate. That’s a whole lotta people talking about Duke, and none about the Cats, right on the heels of the Blue Devils landing Marvin Bagley.
Double ugh. Can I list the part about Cal starting Reddish at point guard again?
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 McDowell’s KSR 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 Zac Oakes
— Zac Oakes (@Zoakes13) August 16, 2017
Caption contest anyone?
Someone quick, I found Tom Jurich his next football coach.
— Jackson (@jaxontyler) August 16, 2017
It does fit the type of Coaches he likes to hire.
#8 matt boatman
— matt boatman (@thelast_boat_in) August 16, 2017
That explains it.
#7 Kami Little Parham
— Kami Little Parham (@KamiKaziKy) August 16, 2017
Come on #BBN let’s take it over!
#6 steve mardis
— steve mardis (@MardisSteve) August 16, 2017
That doesn’t seem like a compliment.
#5 Corey Burkhead
— Corey Burkhead (@CoreyBurkhead) August 15, 2017
The perfect accessory for a “car ride with the boys”
#4 Nick Carroll
— Nick Carroll (@CickNarroll) August 16, 2017
It’s tough to decide which one I’m more excited for too.
#3 Jack Klompus
@KySportsRadio Street Smarts means the ability to hang a picture.
— Jack Klompus (@btmac11) August 16, 2017
Is it lack of ability or lack of motivation?
— TheVanzant (@Vanzant1976) August 16, 2017
I mean, that’s a valid argument.
#1 Tyson Davis
STICK TO SP…Oh, wait, I agree with you on this.
— Tyson Davis (@tysondavis1) August 16, 2017
Something everyone can agree on.
By Nick Roush on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 10:15pm
See “The Big Dog” Vince Marrow like you’ve never seen him before. Marrow’s received much of his notoriety as UK’s lead recruiter, but fans rarely get to see him doing his day job as the Wildcats’ tight end coach.
You’ll see Marrow give personal instructions to C.J. Conrad, Greg Hart and Justin Rigg. You’ll also see his less serious side. There are quite a few off the wall statements like, “I like to hear a little cracka-lackin,” and, “Can I have some Pringles?”
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) August 17, 2017
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 9:35pm
UK’s biggest superfan has rocked Kentucky blue for several years now, and he doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.
In a workout at UCLA with Ben Simmons today, Grammy award-winning artist Drake wore some pretty sweet UK shorts.
Here’s an on-court video of the artist sporting a full UK uniform:
Drake playing basketball at UCLA today pic.twitter.com/2FKYSrwya3
— DS (@TheDrizzySource) August 16, 2017
Unfortunately, there was no footage of him putting up any shots, but hopefully it was better than the last time he played basketball in UK gear…
Drake is also reportedly friends with Kentucky recruit Zion Williamson, so that can’t hurt either.
By Nick Roush on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 9:00pm
Moments after Stanley Garner committed to Kentucky, the four-star cornerback from Dillard High School in Ft. Lauderdale FaceTimed another four-star Dillard football player, UK freshman Jordan Wright.
Wright, a pass-rusher who’s impressed the Kentucky coaches in the early stages of training camp, played alongside Garner on the football and basketball teams. The most success the multi-sport stars shared was actually on the basketball court. Wright and Garner helped Dillard win state championships the last two seasons.
Once Garner was able to put down the FaceTime to get to Twitter, he released this statement:
In less than two years, Eddie Gran has picked up 11 commitments from South Florida, five of which have come from one powerhouse, Chaminade-Madonna Prep.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 8:35pm
We interrupt your Wednesday night to inform you of a massive YAHTZEE for the Kentucky football program…
2018 four-star cornerback Stanley Garner III just committed to the Kentucky Wildcats.
Garner chose UK over Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Louisville and many more. Take a look at his offer sheet:
The 6’4 prospect out of Fort Lauderdale, FL is considered the No. 31 cornerback in America according to Rivals.com.
With the commitment, the Wildcats move up to No. 18 in the 2018 recruiting rankings according to 247 Sports.
Garner unofficially visited Kentucky back in June, and then came back for camp in July. The star defensive back was already rumored to favor the Wildcats, but following his two visits to Lexington, UK became the leader by a wide margin.
In an interview with Rivals’ Rob Cassidy last week, Garner said he already made a silent commitment a while back, but wanted to wait for an official announcement with his peers at school.
In the same interview, the Florida native raved about the family atmosphere established in Lexington.
“At Kentucky it’s a family tradition there,” Garner said. “They show a lot of love and play freshman. I’m looking forward to that.”
In case you were wondering, he seems pretty happy to be wearing a Kentucky uniform:
— Stanley Garner lll (@StanleyG_9) July 15, 2017
Here he is rocking Kentucky blue following his commitment:
Watch the newest Wildcat go to work below:
Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 8:30pm
Have you ever wondered why your $10 ticket for a minor offense like running a stop sign comes out to $150 total after court costs?
The New Circle Circular has you covered.
In an interview with the District County Clerk, we learned today where your money goes on Hey Kentucky!
You can watch the rest of the episode after the jump:
By Nick Roush on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 7:45pm
Kentucky fans learned Jamar “Boogie” Watson’s name after the 2017 spring game. The redshirt freshman was excellent in the pass rush, credited with three sacks.
Playing behind all-SEC outside linebacker Denzil Ware, finding reps this fall will be difficult. That’s why the coaches teaching him to play inside linebacker. Even though their names only slightly differ, it’s an extremely difficult adjustment.
“It’s way different, about like speaking Chinese and speaking Japanese. They sound really similar but there’s a whole lot of differences. It’s the same thing,” said outside linebackers coach Dean Hood.
It is not easy, but defensive coordinator Matt House knows Watson is physically and mentally capable to handle both positions.
“He’s an athletic guy that can move,” House said. “Boogie’s a smart guy. It’s hard. It takes reps. He’s definitely grown and improved in there. He’s a really intelligent football player and a loose football player, which is good.”
As difficult as it may be, Watson’s experience is easing the transition. In high school he played “Sam” linebacker in a 4/3 defense, which required him to line up on the line of scrimmage and five yards off the ball.
“I think I have a good foundation,” said Watson. “It’s definitely different. In high school I was a tweener. I did a little bit of both. I think coming from there, and coming here and having to do the same thing made it a little bit easier.”
The move to “Mike” linebacker, the same position as Courtney Love and Kash Daniel, is not permanent. Hood said they still want to use Boogie as a pass rusher, but they want to give him every opportunity to see the field on Saturdays.
“He has natural pass-rush ability, so we’re not going to say he’s full tilt inside because we need outside pass rushers. You can never have enough of those guys, so it’s good that he can still come rush the passer. But it’s helpful inside because we’re thin in there.”
Even though he might not get as many opportunities to rush the passer if he’s at middle linebacker, he doesn’t care where he’s playing. He just wants to play.
“I just want to make plays,” Boogie said. “I just love football.”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 16th, 2017 @ 7:10pm
The No. 1 player in the class of 2018 just cut his list to five, and the Kentucky Wildcats were included.
RJ Barrett, a 6’7 small forward out of Canada, recently reclassified to 2018 from 2019, and nearly all recruiting services list him as one of the top two players in the nation.
I want to thank all the schools that have recruited me.. these are my top 5 in alphabetical order. Haven't figured out any visits yet. pic.twitter.com/hID9BVGWUg
— Rj Barrett (@RjBarrett6) August 16, 2017
After seeing Kentucky’s recent success with Canadian prospects, it’s no surprise the Wildcats are one of the top schools on his list.
247 Sports’ Crystal Ball currently has UK in third, but most recruiting experts believe Kentucky is in fantastic position to land the five-star forward.
Watch him drop 38 points and 13 rebounds on Calipari’s Team USA squad in Egypt:
Bring him on home, Coach Cal.