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Kentucky Basketball once again posts perfect APR score

Last week, the men’s basketball program was one of six Kentucky teams to be recognized by the NCAA for their high Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores; turns out that score was a perfect 1,000. This is the fifth consecutive year UK Basketball has posted a perfect single-year score and the third straight year the four-year composite has been perfect as well.

The NCAA just released the APR scores for all sports and 18 of the 20 UK team scores exceeded the national average and, for the first time in school history, every team scored at least 971. The APR marks are a four-year composite, covering the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16  and 2016-17 school years, measuring academic eligibility, retention and graduation. The 2016-17 school year’s scores were the ones just released, meaning De’Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, and Malik Monk’s squad helped the basketball program keep it 1,000.

“Our whole mindset is preparing our kids for the rest of their lives,” John Calipari said via press release last week. “It’s about taking that next step to what they are going to do once they leave Kentucky. For some kids that’s playing professional basketball. For others it’s outside of basketball. Whatever they decide to do – whatever their ‘genius’ is in – it’s our job to make sure they’re prepared when they leave here. With 18 players who have graduated over the last nine years, I believe we’ve done that. Our kids are committed to learning and take care of business in the classroom. We teach growth in all areas. It’s well documented what our players learn about giving back that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. If they decide to pursue their genius and play professional basketball, they know they have lifetime scholarships so they can come back and finish their degree. Whether they leave early or stay here, they’re in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate. Michael Stone and the CATS staff do a wonderful job of making sure our kids are lifelong learners.”

Remember, Calipari will collect a $50,000 bonus for his program’s high APR score, the only bonus in his current contract.

Meanwhile, the 2016 football team scored a 971, its highest mark in the 14 years the APR has been around, and a significant increase from the 2015 team’s score of 958.

Well done, everyone.


Photo by Kyle Tucker

Ashton Hagans on track to reclassify, working out with EJ Montgomery

Photo by @KyleTucker_SEC

One of the many moving pieces to next year’s roster is Ashton Hagans, the five-star guard who’s currently part of Kentucky’s 2019 class but is aiming to make the jump to join the Cats this fall. Kyle Tucker traveled to Georgia to check in on Hagans, who assured him he’s on track to reclassify in the coming months.

“Just be on the lookout,” Hagans said. “Tell them I’m coming. Coming soon.”

Hagans is so confident he’ll be able to reclassify that he’s making the one-hour trek from his hometown of Covington to Marietta to work out with EJ Montgomery, the five-star big man who will suit up for Kentucky next season. Kyle captured some footage of the two working out, and it’s enough to make you start counting down the days ’til the Bahamas:

Kyle has more quotes from Hagans and his family on the reclassification process over at SEC Country, so go check it out.

On a much more somber note, Kyle and his SEC Country colleagues were notified today that Cox Media is shutting the outlet down, meaning there is one hell of a free agent now on the college basketball media market. Kyle’s incredibly talented, so we know he’ll land on his feet soon; regardless, we’re thinking of him on what must be a very crappy day.

[SEC Country]


Bam Adebayo emoji-reacts to All-Rookie snub

Photo: Issac Baldizon | NBAE via Getty Images

Bam Adebayo should’ve been an All-Rookie selection.

The former Wildcat and No. 14 overall pick last summer was a nice surprise for the Miami Heat. The Heat took a gamble by taking him in the lottery when the so-called experts projected him as a late-first-rounder, but the gamble paid off as Adebayo quickly picked up the NBA game and stole playing time from Heat veterans, namely Hassan Whiteside.

But when the NBA announced its two All-Rookie teams, Adebayo fell one point shy of cracking the second team. Josh Jackson of the Phoenix Suns beat him out for the last spot, 45-44 in the voting.

No former Cats on NBA All-Rookie teams for only second time under Calipari

Bam’s reaction matched his personality: not a lot of words.

Only an emoji.

 


Photo: Kelly Kline | Under Armour

Go DJ: UK commit Jeffries named Player of the Year in Mississippi

Photo: Kelly Kline | Under Armour

With all the excitement around the postseason commitments of EJ Montgomery, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey, we haven’t made a lot of mention of UK’s other star commitment: DJ Jeffries.

DJ Jeffries
Forward| 6-7 | 185 lbs.
Olive Branch, MS | Olive Branch
AAU: Team Penny
ESPN No. 16 | 4 SF Top247 No. 41 | 10 SF
Rivals No. 53 | 17 PF 247 Comp. No. 36 | 9 SF

Jeffries made headlines this week by earning the Clarion-Ledger’s Player of the Year award in the great state of Mississippi. The four-star small forward led his Olive Branch High School team to the 5A state championship in his junior campaign with an average of over 20 points per game. He beat out a couple of senior Mississippi State commits and a senior Alabama commit to take the POY award in the M-dotted letter-crooked letter-crooked letter-dotted letter-crooked letter-crooked letter-dotted letter-hump back-hump back-dotted letter.

So, Go DJ!

(‘Cause that my DJ.)


Six Wildcats Named Preseason All-SEC by Athlon

We haven’t made it to Memorial Day, but there’s already one preseason college football magazine on newsstands.

This week Athlon Sports released their college football preview, along with magazines for each major conference. In the SEC edition, six Kentucky Wildcats are all-conference selections.

  • Benny Snell, First Team Running Back
  • Mike Edwards, First Team Safety
  • C.J. Conrad, Second Team Tight End
  • Lynn Bowden, Third Team All-Purpose Back
  • Bunchy Stallings, Third Team Offensive Guard
  • Josh Allen, Third Team Linebacker

Usually Kentucky gets no respect.  That’s not the case in Athlon, but there are a few people who might have a bone to pick.

Josh Allen is a third team selection, but he’s projected by ESPN as the No. 1 outside linebacker in next year’s NFL Draft.  The SEC produced plenty of elite edge rushers, but I find it hard to believe there are six guys better than Allen.  Another linebacker who could have made the cut was omitted, Jordan Jones.  Injuries sidelined him for much of the 2017 season, but he was an All-SEC selection in 2016 as the conference’s third-leading tackler.

[Athlon Sports]


The 2019 NFL Draft is Coming to Nashville

This morning visitmusiccity.com announced the 84th NFL draft is going to Nashville on April 25-27. The announcement was made at the Annual Spring Leauge Meeting in Atlanta. For full details, you can read the press release here.

This will be the first time the city of Nashville will host the NFL draft.

This is big news for Kentucky fans, in a year where UK has several NFL draft prospects — Benny Snell, C.J. Conrad, Josh Allen, and a few others. It’s almost like it was meant to be.

Big Blue Nation, it looks like we have another great excuse to go to Nashville.


Here’s why Kentucky was eliminated from the SEC Tournament

Kentucky lost its opening round game in the SEC tournament on Tuesday. The 10-seed Cats took Auburn to extra innings behind the arm of Sean Hjelle, but lost in the 11th inning, 4-3.

A lot of fans point to injuries for the reason behind the early exit and behind the disappointing close to the regular season — and injuries did play a big role. Others have said the team never really looked in sync throughout the year, which may also be a factor. Hitting slumps came at bad times, too.

But I know the real reason why Kentucky was eliminated from the SEC (and maybe the NCAA) tournament on Tuesday: Coach Mingione did not call in to Kentucky Sports Radio on Motivation Monday.

Motivation Monday has been vital to KSR since Mingione began making his weekly appearances last year. His pep talks have gotten all of our weeks off to a great start and inspired us to be better in our daily lives. But this past Monday, the phone never rang. We were left without Mingione’s uplifting words to fuel us for what was ahead. We were lost. I didn’t know if I should be a sink or a drain. Ryan forgot to take his thank you walk. Matt fed his negative dog and his positive dog starved to death. And it clearly impacted Mingione and his Wildcats down in Hoover as well.

Next week Kentucky will learn its NCAA fate in the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at noon. I’m sure Mingione will be a very busy man that morning, but we need a call to get our mojo back.

“Losers never have time. Winners make time.” – Nick Mingione


Tune in to KSR now! (Wednesday Show Thread)

On today’s episode of Kentucky Sports Radio radio, Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond will attempt to decipher PJ Washington’s Instagram post to determine whether or not he will be back at Kentucky next season. They’ll also get Matt ready for his three days of hosting Paul Finebaum’s show.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.

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KSR Shop: 2 For $32 short sleeve tees!

KSR Shop: 2 For $32 short sleeve tees!

The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are continuing their t-shirt sale for one final day. Head to ShopKSR.com to take advantage of their 2 for $32 short sleeve tee sale! Be sure to check out all of the great new designs. Add some new KSR and other Kentucky apparel to your summer wardrobe.

All of these new t-shirt designs are available now until they are sold out. Sale ends at midnight.

[KSR Shop: 2 For $32 tee sale]


@Robinson_era

Ohio State Offers Wandale Robinson

@Robinson_era

Well, this changes things.

Wandale Robinson, arguably Kentucky’s top remaining recruit from the Commonwealth, officially received a scholarship offer from Ohio State, he announced this morning on Twitter.

Considered the No. 9 all-purpose back in the nation, the Frankfort native has been recruited by Ohio State for quite some time.  Two weeks ago Robinson told KSR, “Ohio State’s been on me really hard, but still has not offered me.  It’s kind of weird.”

Robinson’s recruitment appeared to be a two-horse race between Kentucky and Duke, but now that Ohio State has firmly entered the picture it will be exponentially more difficult for Vince Marrow to keep one of the Commonwealth’s best from leaving the state of Kentucky.  Marrow has taken top recruits from the state of Ohio for years.  Now Ohio State is out for revenge.


Today on KSR: Peak NBA Draft Decision Season

Today on KSR: Peak NBA Draft Decision Season

There are multiple stages in the NBA Draft process.  You know the official ones: draft declaration, NBA combine, then private workouts.  Those provide some insight into a prospect’s decision, but not like the step of the process we just entered: Ambiguous Social Media SZN.

All it takes is one emoji to send the fanbase into a frenzy, and it started last night on P.J. Washington’s Instagram.

But wait, there’s more!

@ThomasHunley8

One sarcastic comment from UK’s strength coach and our pets’ heads are falling off.  The only thing that’s better than one ambiguous Instagram post, is TWO ambiguous Instagram posts.

I love it.  Give me more silly speculation, all day, everyday until the draft deadline arrives one week from today.

UK Baseball Falls in SEC Tournament

The Bat Cats’ ninth-inning rally was not enough to get a win at the SEC Tournament.  Kentucky was eliminated by Auburn 4-3 in 11 innings.  Health in the bullpen has been a problem, but yesterday it was all at the plate.  UK was 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left ten base-runners stranded.

Does the loss end UK’s season?  The Bat Cats are on the bubble — earlier this week D-1 Baseball said UK was one of the last five in the field — but with a Top 25 RPI, it will be hard to keep them out of the NCAA Tournament.

BW-3s Wins the KSR Food Bracket

Outback’s Bloomin’ Onion could not overcome B-Dubs’ saucy press.  Buffalo Wild Wings’ coronation is complete as the 2018 KSR Food Bracket Champions.  They celebrated by cutting the nets to One Shining Moment.

The Rockets make it a Series

The Houston Rockets are not done.  The NBA team with the best regular season record proved their worth in game four last night, upending the defending champion Golden State Warriors 95-92.  Maybe a Golden State repeat is not a foregone conclusion?

The 2-2 Eastern Conference Finals return tonight with an extremely important game five.  Boston will host Cleveland at 8:30 on ESPN.

Game Seven

Tonight we will find out if it actually is the Caps’ Year.  They will be in Tampa Bay for Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at 8:00 on NBCSN.  A day after PFT Commenter was doxed by Deadspin, the Caps owe their biggest fan a Stanley Cup-clinching W.

Wow

And you thought you were good at ping-pong.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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

You mean they didn’t have either on Tatooine?

#9

Fellas, always remember your lady’s birthday. C’mon Tony.

#8

The Fortnite god has spoken.

#7

He may be onto something here.

#6

Not a bad idea…

#5

Wow! A response from Queen Bey? She must love their lemon pepper wings… get it?…no?…okay, nvm.

#4

Honestly, same.

#3

It’s all about perspective, Matt!

#2

Looks like KSR is here to stay for generations. (Yes, this was yesterday, but how could it not make the list?)

#1

We’re honestly really sorry, maybe a free meal at Bdubs to make up for it?


I Voted 6 Times Today And Here’s What I Learned

I Voted 6 Times Today And Here’s What I Learned

Editor’s Note: The following was written by Harold Leeder, editor-in-chief of The New Circle Circular, Lexington’s #1 source of fake news you can’t count on.

KSR gave me 4 hours of paid leave today to get out there and vote, and like any good citizen I wanted to vote early and vote often. Unfortunately, I was only able to vote 6 times before I had to come back to work.

I learned a lot about statewide elections today since I was able to participate in half of a non-baker’s dozen of them. Hopefully, you can take what I learned today and apply them to when elections actually count for something in November.

Lesson 1: There are no bathrooms in the voting booths and the staff gets mad if they have to clean up after you. Pro Tip: Go before you get in line.

Lesson 2: An Inez Subway stamp card counts as a voter ID in Martin County.

Lesson 3: The choice isn’t always yours, you can pick your candidates but you can’t pick your seat. Many precincts don’t take reservations, the first voting hostess I met kept saying “Sir come this way, your booth is over there,” um thanks but no thanks I don’t want to have to wait I’ll just sit at the bar.

Lesson 4: If you see people wearing an “I voted” bracelet in Louisville, it only means they voted in the statewide election today. Unfortunately, the color of the bracelets are not an indication of what base they’re willing to go to with you.

Lesson 5: Dress for the job you have, don’t dress for the candidate you want. Kudos to 3 separate election officials I saw in Lexington that detained voters wearing a sweet leather jacket within 100 feet of a polling place. Rules are rules, and technically this counts as a campaign violation for Amy McGrath.

Lesson 6: There is nowhere to write in your opinion on Outback vs. Buffalo Wild Wings!!

To keep up with The New Circle Circular, like the Facebook page or follow Harold Leeder’s Twitter Account.


Lexington named one of the Best Cities in the South

Last week, Forbes named Lexington one of its top cheap summer destinations. This week, the city earned another honor, making Southern Living‘s list of the 10 Best Cities in the South:

1. Charleston, South Carolina
2. Savannah, Georgia
3. Asheville, North Carolina
4. Nashville, Tennessee
5. Greenville, South Carolina
6. Austin, Texas
7. San Antonio, Texas
8. Chattanooga, Tennessee
9. Sarasota, Florida
10. Lexington, Kentucky

Southern Living based the rankings on regional cuisine, culture, music, design, and traditions. Given the number of new restaurants, breweries, and bike trails popping up around Lexington and, of course, Keeneland, I’m happy to see the city get the recognition it deserves for the recent boom. That being said, there are some pretty amazing cities on this list; after visiting Charleston and Asheville in the past week, I can safely say I’d be happy living in almost any of them.

Feel free to do your own rankings in the comments.

[Southern Living]