By Nick Roush on ©December 07th, 2018 @ 10:45pm
Two significant decisions by Josh Allen dramatically altered the course of Kentucky football history.
Last year Allen decided to return to Kentucky for his senior season. That decision reshaped record books and helped put Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl. His decision to play in the Citrus Bowl could give the program its first ever bowl win in the state of Florida.
“It just says a lot about who he is and the way he cares about this place, the way he cares about his teammates,” Mark Stoops said at Friday evening’s press conference.
Before Allen made his first decision, Kentucky’s head coach shared significant input throughout the process. That was not the case before he made the decision to play in Orlando.
“I was definitely a factor a year ago in helping him make that decision, but on this one, I really didn’t want any part of that. I wanted him to truly make that decision on his own. Whatever he felt in his heart and whatever he felt was the right decision, because we just respect him that much and he’s done so much for this place.”
Stoops told him earlier this week, “Josh, I want you to know that your legacy is set here. Nobody, myself or anybody would judge you any differently if you choose not to play in this game.”
Allen slept on it last night, then told Stoops this morning, “I just felt in my heart that’s what I’m going to do.”
While many other first round draft picks opt to sit out of their final game, Allen is going against the grain. It’s not anything new to Allen. Many would have bolted for the quick buck after their junior year, but not Josh.
“It sets a great example for his decision,” Stoops said. “I was talking with a couple pro scouts today, they’re using him as a reference to other juniors across the country because, I don’t want to put a dollar figure on it, but it’s absolutely significant the difference between going out a year ago and coming out now. He’s a great example for a lot of players, also with the way — once he decided, he never looked back. Once he decided to do that, there wasn’t any doubt. There wasn’t any ifs or buts. He just went to work.”
And he’ll take that exact same approach leading into Kentucky’s bowl game.
“He’s going to do things the way he’s always done — put his head down and do things a hundred miles an hour, play hard, practice hard, prepare the right way. He wants to continue to improve his stock and he wants to help us win a football game.”
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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.
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— SteelerCat (@SteelerCat) December 7, 2018
Yes, yes he is.
#9 Ben Davis
@KySportsRadio You should go downstairs at the hotel and read his book to all of the children!
— Ben Davis (@bdavis0423) December 7, 2018
Hmmm…don’t think that would’ve gone well.
#8 Mason Runyon
@KySportsRadio will you mail the prize in a series of gift cards 8 to 10 months?
— Mason Runyon (@mtrunyon14) December 7, 2018
#7 Jay in Lyndon
@KySportsRadio Maybe you should do a Mr. KSR for the year!
— Jay in Lyndon (@bigbluegoose) December 7, 2018
I love this idea!
— Dman (@DamenHensley) December 7, 2018
#5 Evan Meyer
@KySportsRadio Ryan is right about the Alabama song.
— Evan Meyer (@JokersDaddy) December 7, 2018
#4 I is what i is
@KySportsRadio Kris Kringle was Santa's adopted name, given to him by the toy makers named Kringle where he was left on there doorstep.
— I is what i is (@KillaCrawguilla) December 7, 2018
The more you know!
#3 Raymond Brooks
— Raymond Brooks (@According2Ray) December 7, 2018
#2 Mike Wynn
@KySportsRadio facts are optional and rules are flexible.
— Mike Wynn (@mbwynn50) December 7, 2018
That’s the motto.
#1 Larry Dukes
— Larry Dukes (@UKDuker) December 7, 2018
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 07th, 2018 @ 10:00pm
Get your dancing shoes ready, Boogie is about to return to the hardwood.
This afternoon, Golden State head coach Steve Kerr announced former Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins would practice and play with the franchise’s G-League team before making an official return in the coming weeks.
Kerr said DeMarcus Cousins will go to Santa Cruz in the next couple weeks to get in more practice with the G League team. Said there’s a chance Cousins could play a couple G League games.
— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) December 7, 2018
Kerr said he wanted Cousins to play with Santa Cruz because the Warriors’ midseason practices are “too light” and the former Wildcat needs to be in high-intensity environments during the home stretch of his rehabilitation.
DeMarcus Cousins will practice with the Warriors’ G-League team at some point soon, maybe as early as this week, to really ramp up toward return. Warriors midseason practices are too light. Kerr wants Cousins in high intensity environments.
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 7, 2018
Golden State forward Kevin Durant told reporters he can tell Cousins’ is nearing a return because he’s getting “a little bit louder than usual” around the team:
Kevin Durant said he knows DeMarcus Cousins is getting closer to return because he’s getting “a little bit louder than usual” around the team. pic.twitter.com/ekZc3FMBvc
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 7, 2018
This evening, Cousins was putting in some work with the resistance bands while the Warriors warmed up:
While Steph Curry gets up shots, DeMarcus Cousins doing light running against a resistance band pic.twitter.com/taITE6phK0
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) December 8, 2018
The Mercury News reported last week that Cousins is targeting a return from his torn Achilles “sometime after Christmas,” ahead of schedule from his original mid-January targeted return date.
Until we get back to official games, Boogie dominating against G-League competition? I’m all the way for it.
We’re looking forward to having you back, big fella.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 07th, 2018 @ 9:30pm
Kentucky quarterback commit Amani Gilmore has quickly become one of the best quarterbacks in the state of Louisiana.
In fact, he proved to be the leader of the best 2A team in his home state, winning the state championship for his Amite Warriors this afternoon.
In a 47-20 victory, Gilmore tossed for 286 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions on 11 for 17 passing. He also added 80 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries on the ground.
Here are two of Gilmore’s touchdown throws, with the first being a deep ball to Kentucky four-star receiver target Devonta Lee into the endzone:
— Jerit Roser (@JeritRoser) December 7, 2018
And the second being a 40-yard bomb down the left sideline and into the endzone:
— Jerit Roser (@JeritRoser) December 7, 2018
After the game, Amite head coach Zaphaniah Powell told Jerit Roser of TigerDetails.com that his quarterback is never shaken and always poised under pressure.
“Amani is humble,” he said. “He’s never too high. He’s never too low. He’s right there in the middle, and he had a fantastic game for us today.”
It was a performance worthy of the Class 2A title game MVP award:
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) December 7, 2018
Speaking of Devonta Lee, the talented wide-out prospect finished the day with three catches for 118 yards and a touchdown, to go with two rushes for 27 yards and a touchdown on offense. On defense, Lee finished with five tackles, one forced fumble, one interception, and one 97-yard pick-six (though it was called back for a penalty).
Not too shabby for one future Wildcat and another potential one.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 07th, 2018 @ 7:30pm
As you’ve surely heard by now, this season of Top Chef takes place in Kentucky, and as the resident reality TV expert here at KSR, I’ve taken on the task of recapping each episode to see how our beloved Bluegrass is portrayed. Last night was the season premiere, and, predictably, the state’s most famous event, the Kentucky Derby, was the theme. To the recap!
After a typical Kentucky B-roll (horses running, lakes, Louisville), we see the chefs walk out of the tunnel at Churchill Downs. In a wonderful bit of foreshadowing, Caitlin from Cincinnati says she hopes she doesn’t trip in horse poop. Oh, Caitlin. Horse poop is the least of your worries in this episode. Once by the track, they’re greeted by Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi, the latter in a strapless denim dress, because she’s in Kentucky but she’s also a renowned TV host, actress, model, author, executive producer, and ex-wife of Salman Rushdie, y’all.
After Churchill Downs Bugler Steve Buttleman does his thing, Tom and Padma welcome the chefs to Louisville and we learn there’s a Kentucky girl in the competition. Sara Bradley of Paducah is immediately my favorite chef because she admits that the only time she’s been to Churchill, she was in the infield and drunk. Same, girl. Same.
Right away, Tom and Padma introduce the episode’s Quickfire Challenge, which is to make a meal in 22 minutes. The catch? They can only use their knives for the first two minutes, aka “The Fastest Two Minutes in Cooking” (Get it? Derby). The 15 contestants are split into five groups of three and they’re off!
Considering the constraints, each team pulls off a pretty impressive dish. The Green Team (Pablo, Justin, Sara) ends up winning, which is doubly impressive because they originally planned to grill a steak, but forgot they couldn’t use knives to cut it, so improvised with a poached egg. The prize? VIP tickets to next year’s Derby, which means Sara finally gets to upgrade from the infield and a “a big ass hat.” You go, Sara.
Staying with the Churchill Downs theme, the main challenge this week is to create a dish for a VIP Derby Party with 200 guests. The chefs will be pitted against the other members of their teams from the Quickfire Challenge, with the top dish earning a “win,” the second best a “place,” and the worst a “show.” (Get it? Horse racing.) The winners of each group will be in the running for top dish, while one of the losers will go home. The guest judge for the challenge is David Danielson, the Executive Chef of Churchill Downs.
After shopping at Whole Foods, the chefs get to their workspace for the first time, where Justin from Minnesota makes a beeline for the bourbon wall and takes over Sara’s spot as my favorite chef on the show.
“My body is 60% bourbon, 20% pot, 40% fried food and a whole lot of sexy,” he says.
I don’t have the heart to tell him that math doesn’t add up.
After an atypical NFL Draft drought, Mark Stoops expects his senior class to make history in April.
After having discussions with various NFL scouts, Kentucky’s head coach believes 11-12 players will be taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. That estimation includes two juniors, running back Benny Snell and offensive guard Logan Stenberg, who have requested official feedback from the NFL.
“It’s another step,” Stoops said. “Definitely very proud of that, starting with the coaches, the recruiting and developing these players. You gotta give a big shout out to our strength and conditioning team.”
If 11 UK players’ names are called, it would make history. Last year Kentucky had zero players drafted. Only 11 UK players have been drafted over the last seven years. The most ever taken in the modern draft era is four. To reach this level of NFL success did not happen overnight.
“It’s year after year after year of signing quality players, developing them and working with them mentally, physically, in all areas of their life. As you do that, you’re going to start to see the fruits of your labor. It’s really gratifying for me because I love these guys and they work exceptionally hard. When they do the right things, when they work hard and take the medicine we’re giving them, then they’re going to have a chance to be successful. We’ve all done it. We feel like we have a platform and a plan for them to be successful. They have to do their part and we all have to do our part.”
Stoops did not pinpoint the potential picks, but here’s how it could happen (in no particular order):
1. Josh Allen
2. Mike Edwards
3. Benny Snell
4. Derrick Baity
5. Darius West
6. C.J. Conrad
7. Lonnie Johnson
8. Bunchy Stallings
9. Jordan Jones
10. Chris Westry
11. George Asafo-Adjei
Seven of the eleven will participate in postseason senior bowl games. If they perform well, Kentucky could make history April 26 in Nashville.
Shortly after Josh Allen’s flight from Atlanta landed, he told his teammates he will play in the Citrus Bowl. Needless to say, they were excited.
Mark Stoops expects the rest of Allen’s teammates to join him in the Citrus Bowl. He has not been able to find the time to meet with every single player yet, but nobody else has approached him about sitting out in the New Year’s Day game vs. Penn State.
This evening’s press conference was Stoops’ first since the end of the season. It’s also the first since Danny Clark transferred. Things may change after the bowl game, but no other players have approached him about transferring from Kentucky.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 07th, 2018 @ 4:15pm
Vegas has spoken and Kentucky opened as a seven-point favorite vs. Seton Hall in tomorrow’s game at Madison Square Garden. The line has already moved to six.
Kentucky’s on a bit of a hot streak when it comes to spreads, covering the last two in a row. Speaking of the Cats, they arrived in New York earlier this afternoon, practicing at Baruch College. (Madison Square Garden is hosting the Z100 Jingle Ball tonight.)
Friday NYC practice pic.twitter.com/9lkuOZuWYz
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) December 7, 2018
By Jack Pilgrim on ©December 07th, 2018 @ 3:59pm
Kentucky volleyball’s special season has come to an end.
In a 3-0 sweep, the Wildcats couldn’t get much of anything going, falling to the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the Sweet 16.
In three sets, the Cats fell by scores of 25-17, 25-20, and 25-23, with the offense struggling mightily from start to finish. They finished with a .100 hitting percentage in set one, .136 in set two, and .270 in the final set, to go with 17 hitting errors throughout the match.
To make matters worse, Kentucky finished with nine errors on serves, including seven alone in the first two sets. The disciplined and well-coached Wildcats we’ve come to love throughout the season just crumbled on the big stage, no other way to put it.
On the other side, Nebraska absolutely dominated in all facets of the game, including a remarkable 7-1 run at the end of the third set to turn a 22-18 deficit into a 25-23 victory over the Wildcats.
Star outside hitter Leah Edmond finished with just seven kills, as did Caitlyn Cooper. Avery Skinner finished second on the team with six kills. Madison Lilley also added a team-high 31 assists and 13 digs.
Kentucky finishes the year 26-5, including a program-record 18-0 mark in conference play to take home the SEC Championship.
I hate Nebraska.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 07th, 2018 @ 3:15pm
Top five draft projection be damned, Josh Allen is putting on the blue and white one last time. The best defensive player in college football just announced on Twitter that he will play in the Citrus Bowl to help his team settle some “unfinished business”:
— Joshua Allen (@JoshAllen41_) December 7, 2018
What an awesome kid.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©December 07th, 2018 @ 3:00pm
Here’s a fun stat: Kentucky is undefeated in Madison Square Garden under John Calipari.
The Cats are 4-0 in the famous arena since Cal took over, beating UConn back in 2009, Kansas in 2011, Michigan State in 2016, and Monmouth last year. Overall, Kentucky is 13-3 in Madison Square Garden, and can move the winning streak to five tomorrow vs. Seton Hall.
Reid Travis and EJ Montgomery spoke to reporters yesterday, and although both have played in Madison Square Garden before, said they were looking forward to being back on basketball’s biggest stage.
“It’s crazy,” Travis said of playing in the Garden. “It’s crazy. When you’re walking through the halls and you see all the pictures of people that have done concerts there, the big games that are there, you can just feel it. When you get in the building, there’s a different feeling about it. I’m excited to get back there and just feel that feeling and just try to put on a good game on Saturday.”
Montgomery, whose high school team played in the Dick’s National Championship game at the Garden, agreed.
“I won that game, so I’m hoping to get another win. As a high school (player), it was very big. All the greats that have played on that court, it was a special moment.”
After being embarrassed in their first neutral site game this year, Travis said the team is anxious to show what they’ve got (even if it’s vs. Seton Hall, not Duke).
“Very excited. Anytime we can kind of get away and play at a big neutral site like that and play against another big-time program, we’re excited for it. We’ve had a good week of prep, preparing ourselves and really think this is a big game to put ourselves on the right step as we go into more non-conference games.”
Let’s hope for another big performance in the Big Apple. Until then, I’m going to relive my favorite Madison Square Garden memory, Kentucky’s win over UConn back in 2009:
Good afternoon, folks. Thursday night was a lame one for both the NBA and BBNBA. I still have some NBA to talk about, though.
- So nothing happened in the NBA on Thursday. There were two TNT games that both ended in blowouts and a third game on League Pass that suffered a similar fate. Only Enes Kanter and Kevin Knox were representing the BBNBA, and while they both hit double-digits in scoring, the Knicks team were tossed aside by the Boston Celtics 100-128.
- Now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to do a bit of a different recap for today’s post. Basically, I’m just going to dip the pen and let words spill onto the page however they choose to – related to NBA topics, of course. Might even step outside the BBNBA realm a bit.
Brandon Knight’s return
- Let’s start with Brandon Knight, who is oh-so-close to finally making his return to the court. He went through his first full practice with the Rockets on Wednesday and the end to his year-and-a-half-long ACL recovery is right around the corner. He could step in right in time, too. The Rockets – if you haven’t heard – are horrendous right now. Their blowout loss to the also struggling Utah Jazz on national TV was all the proof you needed. Turns out the (Scape)GOAT Carmelo Anthony wasn’t the issue behind a team based almost entirely off of isolation offense that also lost their two best perimeter defenders for nothing. But I digress. I never really believed that Melo was the root of their problems anyway, and I say that as a major Melo hater. Sure, Melo shooting 1-11 was never helpful, but replacing the production lost on both ends of the court that Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute brought to the team has been even more outstanding than originally thought. Aside from losing basically their entire core of wing players and forcing 6-foot-6, 33-year old P.J. Tucker to play upwards of 34 minutes per game as a power forward, they have zero options at backup guard. Michael Carter-Williams is just as bad as you’d expect him to be. Knight’s return almost feels necessary for them at this point, which really isn’t a good thing. Do I think the Rockets will turn it around regardless of how much Knight impacts the game? Absolutely. They have two All-Star backcourt players (one being the reigning MVP), plenty of shooters, a brilliant offensive-minded head coach and an even smarter front office. They’ll make moves if they need to (moves that might potentially involve Knight), but right now, they need any sort of change to their system. Knight can be that change. It all depends on how confident he can play after sitting out for 18 months.
Teams that suck
- This is a short list, actually. The Cavaliers, Bulls, and Hawks are all garbage. My Cavaliers play basketball like we are still in the 1990s. The Bulls fired their head coach randomly for reasons that I honestly don’t understand (they do know they’re tanking, right?). The Hawks are at least somewhat entertaining with Trae Young and John Collins, although Young is shooting 23.9 percent on threes (he’ll be fine, don’t let his first 25 games work you into saying something that Twitter will destroy you for in two years. Twitter never forgets). But the Phoenix Suns, man. The Phoenix Suns are downright torture to watch. Even when Devin Booker isn’t in and out of the lineup due to whatever one-wheeled contraption he’s falling off of, the Suns are awful. Their roster is comparatively better than last season’s with the addition of Deandre Ayton, Mikal Bridges, Trevor Ariza, and Ryan Anderson, yet they have just four wins. They have zero point guards. None. Booker has spent wayyyy too much time playing point guard for his – and the team’s – own good. Their front office is borderline drunk. I bet you they trade a first-round pick for some middle of the road backup point guard like Terry Rozier or Frank Ntlikina. Mark it down.
Do I even need to talk about John Wall?
- I think we all know what’s going on in the nation’s capital. But let me refresh you a bit. The Wizards are a dysfunctional group of middle-schoolers. It’s hardly all Wall’s fault, but he’s certainly part of the issue. But without getting into all the drama that has fueled headlines for two months now, let’s just talk about Wall’s contract situation. He agreed to a four-year $170 million contract that doesn’t even kick in until next season when he’ll be 29. Think about that money for a second. By the final season of that deal, Wall is set to earn $46 million at age 33. That’s a lot of money for some bad knees with plenty of mileage and a playstyle that demands he be aggressive and attack the basket. Unless Wall adapts a consistent perimeter shot (he’s a career 32 percent three-point shooter), there is a huge chance that he isn’t going to age well in relation to his contract. The longer he stays in Washington, the more difficult it’s going to be to trade him away. Now before you fire up those trigger fingers and start pecking away at your keyboard let me say that Wall is still a very good and valuable player. He’s not the top-5 point guard he believes he is, but still an All-Star nonetheless. But judging by his lack of motivation and the tension within the locker room, I don’t foresee a situation where Wall and the Wizards finish this ride out together and on good terms.
The Magic and Kings are still good
- I’ve been bragging about the Kings for months now – as they are my favorite team of all time and always have been – but the team I haven’t hyped up nearly as much despite having unexcepted success are the Orlando Magic. We know the deal with the Kings. De’Aaron Fox is the second-coming of Michael Jordan himself and Willie Cauley-Stein is already better than Shaq, but Orlando has quietly put together a 12-13 record. At the center of their success is Nikola Vuceivc, their floor-spacing center. Vucevic is putting together a legitimate All-Star campaign, averaging 21 points and 11.4 rebounds per game while shooting 55 percent from the field and 41 percent from three. The Magic also employ Isaiah Briscoe, who has appeared in eight games this season. They’re a messy team to watch – and you’ll see what I mean when you watch Jonathan Issac and Mohamed Bamba try to learn the game of basketball on the fly – but they have a lot of fun and interesting prospects. Terrence Ross has also redefined his career at age 27. Fun times in Orlando.
I think that’s enough for today. There are 10 games tonight, so we’ll be back to our regular BBNBA recap on Saturday.
|Enes Kanter (NYK)||100-128 L @ BOS||14||7-12 (0-0)||11||1||0||1||1||-8||23|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||100-128 L @ BOS||11||4-12 (2-6)||4||2||0||0||2||-19||24|
|Brandon Knight (HOU)||91-118 L @ UTA||DNP-Knee||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||86-108 L @ POR||DNP-Hamstring||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Nuggets (Lyles, Murray, Vanderbilt-out) @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)
7:00 (ESPN): Sixers @ Pistons
7:00: Pacers @ Magic (Briscoe)
7:30: Raptors @ Nets
7:30: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Cavaliers
8:00: Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Bulls
8:00: Grizzlies @ Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Randle, An. Harrison)
8:30: Lakers (Rondo-out) @ Spurs
9:00: Heat (Adebayo) @ Suns (Booker-out)
9:30 (ESPN): Warriors (Cousins-out) @ Bucks (Bledsoe)
Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan
The boys may be out of town, but we’ve still got a big weekend on tap at KSBar and Grille. Here’s the schedule:
2 p.m.: UK Volleyball vs. Nebraska in the Sweet 16
5 – 7 p.m.: Alabama Concert Pre-party
10 a.m.: Doors open
Noon: UK vs. Seton Hall
3 – 7 p.m.: Snoop Dogg Concert Pre-party
10 p.m.: UFC 231
1 p.m. – Close: NFL all day long
Come watch with us!