Monday night was a celebration of the year that was in UK Athletics.
Laura Rutledge and Marcus Spears hosted The Catspy Awards at Memorial Coliseum where UK’s best and brightest were honored.
C.J. Conrad received one of the top honors, Mr. Wildcat. Conrad also earned the Community Service Award for “Tuesdays with C.J.” Two earned the title Miss Wildcat, softball’s Katie Reed and swimming and diving’s Asia Seidt. Josh Paschal won the “Heart of a Wildcat,” while four teams split the top spot for Elite Team: football, volleyball, men’s soccer and women’s track and field.
A complete list of awards:
Academic Team of the Year
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Female Rookie of the Year
Rhyne Howard, Women’s Basketball
Male Rookie of the Year
Jason Reyes, Soccer
Terry Wilson, Football
Will Shaner, Rifle
Danny Zhang, Swimming and Diving
Keldon Johnson, Men’s Basketball
Tyler Herro, Men’s Basketball
Dwight St. Hillaire, Track and Field
Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Marshall Gei, Baseball
Blake Best, Football
Miles Butler, Football
Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Katie Reed, Softball
Community Service Award
C.J. Conrad, Football
Morgan Duerr, Rifle
Merideth Jewell, Volleyball
David Bouvier, Football
Reid Travis, Men’s Basketball
Katie Stuart, Gymnastics
Cole Guindon, Men’s Soccer
McKenzie Watson, Volleyball
Blue Heart Award
Aimé Mabika, Men’s Soccer
Ogechi Anyagaligbo, Women’s Basketball
Katie Reed, Softball
Abbey Cheek, Softball
Maci Morris, Women’s Basketball
Taylor Murray, Women’s Basketball
Josh Allen, Football
Benny Snell Jr., Football
Sidney Dukes, Gymnastics
Alex Hyland, Gymnastics
Katrina Coca, Gymnastics
Danaea Davis, Gymnastics
Aubree Rosa, Gymnastics
Katie Stuart, Gymnastics
Asia Seidt, Women’s Swimming and Diving
Sydney McLaughlin, Women’s Track and Field
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, Women’s Track and Field
Marie-Josée Ebwea-Bile Excel, Women’s Track and Field
Tim Duckworth, Men’s Track and Field
Daniel Roberts, Men’s Track and Field
JJ Williams, Men’s Soccer
Leah Edmond, Volleyball
Madison Lilley, Volleyball
Leonie Bettel, Women’s Golf
Bill Keightley Assist Award
Randy Gregory, Men’s Basketball
Heart of a Wildcat
Josh Paschal, Football
Elite Team Award
Women’s Track and Field
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.
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#10 Andrew Nathe
— Andrew Nathe (@anathe2010) April 15, 2019
Beautiful shot, beautiful moment.
You can see the line better than ever before.
— Owen (@75toRupp) April 16, 2019
The toupee is real!
#8 Nick Issacs
— Nick Isaacs (@nisaacs54) April 15, 2019
Yeah, we’re gonna be good.
#7 Spirit of Big Bertha
— Spirit of Big Bertha (@DANKxBBN) April 15, 2019
As always *eye roll*
#6 Jessica Propes
— Jessica Propes (@fitchicjess) April 15, 2019
This is an impressive bobcat.
#5 Not Jerry Tipton
Terry Wilson wins Catspy for Rookie of the Year.
Not a huge surprise.
Not only did he lead Kentucky to a 10 win season and its first New Year’s Day bowl win since 1952, but he’s also undefeated at The Swamp. pic.twitter.com/rea8xLTalS
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) April 16, 2019
#4 Funny KSR Quotes
Welcome to Kentucky sports radio, April 15th, tax day, the only day I say I’m a republican-@KySportsRadio
— Funny KSR Quotes (@bewhoyouself) April 15, 2019
#3 Ray J. Vaske
— Ray J. Vaske (@outRAGEous02) April 16, 2019
#2 Colin Mosely
— Colin Moseley (@Cmose29) April 15, 2019
#1 Kentucky Dude
— KentuckyDude (@JHNNsports) April 15, 2019
EAT IT, DAWG NATION!
Follow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets: @BrentW_KSR
By Nick Roush on ©April 15th, 2019 @ 9:26pm
The 2019 UK Athletics Hall of Fame class features stars that took the program to new heights. DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Woodson and A’dia Mathies headline the six-person class.
Cousins will be John Calipari’s third player inducted into the Hall of Fame, following John Wall and Anthony Davis. Before he was selected fifth overall in the NBA Draft, Boogie was a consensus All-American who averaged 15.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.
In Woodson’s final two seasons as Kentucky’s quarterback, he led the team to a pair of eight-win seasons and back-to-back Music City Bowl victories. Six of those wins were fourth quarter/overtime comebacks. Woodson completed his career with two NCAA records, four SEC records and three UK records.
Only one other UK women’s basketball player scored more career points than A’dia Mathies. The Louisville native scored 2,014 points and is UK’s all-time leader in steals (320), games played (140) and started (139). The Cats advanced to four Sweet 16s and three Elite Eights with Mathies running the show between 2010-13.
Hall of Fame Weekend is set for September 13-14 when the football team hosts the Florida Gators. A look at the rest of the 2019 UK Athletics Hall of Fame class:
Henri Junghanel, Rifle, 2010-13
Olympic gold medalist, World Shooter of the Year, four-time All-American and the leading shooter on UK’s 2011 national champion rifle team … Led UK in shooting average for both air rifle and smallbore during the 2011 national champion campaign … Earned All-America distinction all four years as a Wildcat … Named World Shooter of the Year for 2013, his senior season … Won the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the 50-meter prone event … Broke the Olympics finals record with a score of 209.5 … Also holds the 50-meter prone world record with a score of 211.2 points … Graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Vic Nelson, Cross Country/Indoor Track/Outdoor Track, 1968-71
Won seven SEC individual championships, at least one in each cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track … Swept the SEC outdoor three-mile crown all four years as a Wildcat, first male athlete in SEC history to win an event four consecutive years … Won the individual SEC cross country championship in 1969 and helped UK to the 1970 SEC team title … Claimed the SEC indoor two-mile run in 1970 and 1971 … Advanced to eight NCAA Championships, participating in a total of 11 events … 1971 UK Athlete of the Year by the K Association … Won an NCAA post-graduate scholarship … Currently a professor and assistant head of the electrical and computer engineering department at Auburn … Has been a track meet official at Auburn since 1979.
Don Weber, Track and Field/Cross Country; Athlete 1968-72; Assistant Coach 1978-83; Head Coach 1984-2012
Spent 34 years on UK staff, including 28 as head coach of track and field and cross country … National Coach of the Year in 1988 when women’s cross country won the national championship … Athletes he coached earned 10 individual NCAA championships, 225 All-America honors, 92 SEC individual titles … Weber’s athletes also won Academic All-America nine times … A champion track and cross country athlete at UK from 1968-72 … SEC cross country title team member in 1970, which led to All-SEC honors … Also received All-SEC honors in indoor track from 1968-72 … SEC 1,000-yard champion in 1972, establishing a then-SEC record 2:10.20 … Two-time SEC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year … SEC Women’s Coach of the Year three times.
By Nick Roush on ©April 15th, 2019 @ 8:30pm
Friday night provided a wonderful opportunity to take spectacular pictures, like the significant one above, at Kroger Field. Before explaining the portrait’s significance, allow me to briefly explain why the 2019 Blue/White Game was much more than a photoshoot.
Mark Stoops’ 2019 spring game accomplished every imaginable goal. The team left the turf injury free. Fans saw the offense unleash points with explosive plays down the field. Terry Wilson dropped bombs and his receivers finished the catch.
Some may fear Kentucky’s secondary has been left in shambles by the mass exodus by future pros. Even though that may prove to be true, you cannot discount Wilson’s improvements. He was effortlessly throwing darts. In his first three drives Wilson completed 8-of-8 passes for 169 yards and 2 touchdowns. He had a quarterback rating of 360 and a touchdown at the end of each drive. For those who needed reassurance that Wilson can handle the lofty expectations, he did everything he could possibly do to instill confidence in the fans, coaches and his teammates.
Wilson’s timely performance should help Kentucky on the recruiting front.
Beau Allen is arguably the most important recruit of the Mark Stoops era. When the Drew Barker experiment did not work, Stoops had to scrape by with JUCO products. Each have produced magnificent results to this point, but Stephen Johnson and Terry Wilson can’t be Beau Allen. The four-star pocket passer is from Lexington. His dad played at Kentucky. He has the potential to be “The Guy” that takes Stoops’ program into the stratosphere, and bring a bunch of his talented friends along with him (like Andru Phillips and John Young).
Since Allen’s visit for the game, he’s conducted a couple of interviews, revealing he will finish the recruiting process in a month or so. In each interview he talked about Kentucky’s explosive offense. As Mike Leach and Neal Brown fight for Allen’s services, Eddie Gran’s offensive onslaught might have come at the perfect time.
Before I get to more recruiting, one more thing from the game…
The Depth Chart
Appearing in the press box for the first time, Adam Luckett was feeling froggy after the Blue/White Game. On top of his grades for the offense and defense, he shared a projected two-deep. I can only disagree with the “or” tag on Keaton Upshaw. Obviously, much will change, especially in the secondary, prior to August 31, but it’s a good look where everybody stands as of right now.
It’s a Photoshoot
How do recruits spend their time on unofficial visits? Taking pictures and talking Xs and Os. Instead of simply providing a list, here are some of the photos from Friday afternoon.
Up first, Randall Cobb. Ever heard of him? His nephew is three-star running back Tee Hodge. Could UK steal another talented athlete from beneath the shadows of Neyland Stadium?
The University of Kentucky ?? pic.twitter.com/PjNcIRigKp
— Tee Hodge (@TdotH44) April 12, 2019
Offensive tackle Richie Leonard has received plenty of love from Florida schools recently, but he still remains committed to the Cats.
— ?Prishonda? (@Prishonda) April 12, 2019
Shortly after snapping these photos, four-star wide receiver Kalil Branham de-committed from Michigan. The power of photography.
— Kalil Branham 2020 (@kbug_dash) April 15, 2019
This is the smirk of a man who has offers from Auburn, Alabama, Georgia and every other powerhouse program. Noah Josey is a rising junior from Brentwood, Tennessee who could be an incredible interior offensive lineman at the next level.
— Shannon Finch Josey (@shannonjosey) April 13, 2019
Matt Jones hosted Kentucky Congressman Jamie Comer on Monday night’s Hey Kentucky. In an eight-minute discussion the two talked about the latest political developments from Washington D.C., from the Mueller report to the problems with partisanship.
Congressman Comer and Matt Jones talked about a lot more than politics. Click here to see tonight’s entire episode.
For six more weeks, Game of Thrones is in our lives. Prior to the season eight premiere, the KSR crew collaborated to create a friendly competition.
Before an NFL football season, fans draft players to create a fantasy football team. In similar fashion, we picked which characters will die from our favorite fantasy show. There are four options for each character’s fate at the end of season eight:
Each person will get one point for a correct answer. To clarify, if a character dies and comes back to life at any time they will qualify as “undead.” Even though Jon Snow has technically already done that, it does not count. As for Bran, well, that’s a whole different ball game. If a person correctly predicts who will sit atop the Iron Throne, they get three bonus points.
People aren’t too confident Dany is going to live to see the end of the show. On the other hand, nobody believes Samwell will die. Jon Snow was the most popular pick to win the Iron Throne, while Jaime and Sansa received some surprise love.
While we wait for the results, enjoy the dulcet tones of Kentucky Thrones Radio. A new podcast will be on iTunes each Monday afternoon. Valar Morghulis.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 15th, 2019 @ 5:59pm
With the NFL draft right around the corner, several of Kentucky’s NFL hopefuls are bouncing around the country to visit with potential employers.
Josh Allen will spend Monday and Tuesday in Oakland with the Raiders organization, according to Adam Schefter. Many mock drafts have Allen going to Oakland with the fourth overall pick in next week’s draft, so he could be getting a taste of what life will be like in the very near future (until the team moves in 2020).
Mike Edwards spent Monday morning in Cincinnati with the Bengals and then popped up in New Jersey for a meeting with the Giants. Edwards, a third/fourth-round projection, was born and raised in Cincinnati and my guess is he would love to keep living near Skyline Chili.
Edwards’ former teammate in the secondary, Lonnie Johnson, met with the Titans in Nashville on Monday. He too is looking at a third or fourth round pick.
Then there is Bunchy Stallings in Denver with the Broncos. Stallings will likely have to wait until after the draft to sign with a team as a free agent.
The draft begins next Thursday, April 25, in Nashville.
Expect a lot of action and skewed gambling odds on the 9 horse in the second race at Keeneland on Thursday. His name is “Snell Yeah” and the two-year-old Colt will be making his Keeneland starting debut.
Owner Scott Stephens invited us out to cheer on “Snell Yeah,” but it is probably best if we stay away from any kind of KSR Curse situation.
If he runs half as hard as Benny Snell, go ahead and put him in the winner’s circle.
It’s the beginning of the end. Following the final Game of Thrones season premiere, Nick Roush and T.J. Walker discuss the reunions, revelations and everything in-between from “Winterfell.” In this episode of Kentucky Thrones Radio you’ll hear…
— There’s a new intro, but what does it mean?
— The origins of the Golden Company and their “unbreakable” contracts.
— Is Sansa actually the smartest person in the show?
— Jon’s love for caves has transitioned to waterfalls.
— Where in the hell is Ghost?
— Jon knows he’s a Targaryen, how will Dany take the news?
— Who had the best one-liner?
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 15th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
One of the most talked about moments from UK’s Blue-White game didn’t come from Lynn Bowden or Terry Wilson or AJ Rose or anyone else in a football uniform. It came from Todd Spurling and Courtney Cox, a couple from Campbellsville, Ky., who got engaged before the start of the fourth quarter.
And it appeared to go really, really, really wrong.
From the stands (and even on television, I’m told) it looked like Courtney wanted no part in Todd’s proposal as she walked away soon after he popped the question. There was a collective gasp from many of the 16,000-plus fans in attendance, myself included, because things looked a little rocky as the newly engaged lovebirds left the field.
Turns out, Courtney was just overwhelmed by the situation and didn’t want to cry in front of everyone at Kroger Field, her first time there. Todd called in to Monday’s show to let us know it all went well and that Courtney even said it was “perfect” and a “dream proposal.”
Listen to Todd explain his big evening:
Later in the show, Courtney called in to confirm it was the happiest moment of her life and those were tears of joy:
Lynn Bowden played a secondary role in the engagement. He presented Courtney with an autographed football that read, “Courtney – will you marry him?”
It’s good to know it all went well and they plan to marry next year.
The Kentucky baseball team has gotten off to a rocky start this season, but it picked up a Sunday double-header sweep of tenth-ranked Ole Miss down in Oxford yesterday. The successful trip down south was followed with Monday afternoon’s news that T.J. Collett is the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after he hit game-winning home runs in both victories over the Rebels. The bombs gave Kentucky its first road series win against a top 10 opponent since 2015.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) April 14, 2019
Collett now leads the team with nine home runs and 36 RBI.
The Cats have a big week ahead with Louisville in town on Tuesday, followed by a three-game home series against Tennessee in Kentucky Proud Park.
PJ Washington hired his agent representation and it is none other than Jay Z’s own Roc Nation Sports, the sports management division of Roc Nation.
Washington announced the news on Twitter, saying, “Very excited to continue my journey and announce that I’ve signed with @rocnationsports in preparation for the NBA Draft! Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way – BBN and my entire support system. Can’t wait to get started. #RocFam”
The Roc’s NBA client list is headlined by Kevin Durant, but also lists former UK players Willie Cauley-Stein and James Young among its current client list. You may remember Young sitting courtside with Rihanna at an NBA Playoff game shortly after joining Roc Nation back in 2014. Let’s hope the Roc can do more for Washington’s career than it has done for James Young’s NBA dreams.
The Roc Boys in the building tonight. Oh what a feeling, I’m feeling life…
Beau Allen’s recruitment is nearing a conclusion.
Shortly after watching Eddie Gran’s offense score 74 points in the 2019 Blue/White Game, the four-star quarterback told Rivals’ Justin Rowland he’ll be making his final decision in “around one month.” Before the commitment, Allen will be taking a few official visits.
This weekend Allen will travel across the country to Pullman, Washington to officially visit Washington State. After his weekend with Mike Leach, Allen will officially visit UK. The Lexington Catholic quarterback also plans to take an official to West Virginia, the new home of Neal Brown. The other players in Allen’s recruitment are Michigan State, Penn State and Duke.
Considered the No. 15 pocket-passer in America by Rivals, Kentucky’s offense does not have the same reputation as Mike Leach or Neal Brown’s air raids. Mark Stoops does have the hometown advantage and Allen’s former head coach, Mark Perry, on staff.
Kentucky began recruiting Allen as a freshman. If the Cats finish strong, Stoops could have an early commitment from a game-changer.
By Zack Geoghegan on ©April 15th, 2019 @ 11:30am
Good afternoon, folks. Enes Kanter has arrived. Let’s talk NBA playoffs.
(5) Pacers – 74 @ (4) Celtics – 84 (BOS leads 1-0)
- Despite the final score resembling something out of an Alabama-Mississippi State SEC basketball game, the first half between the Pacers and Celtics was quite fun. While the turnovers were endless and missed shots rained from the heavens, it was a highly entertaining first two quarters with the Pacers holding a 45-38 lead (which might resemble the score of an Alabama-Mississippi State SEC football game). Then…. the Pacers scored only eight points in the third quarter – and only 29 for the entire second half. Through the first 8.5 minutes of the third, the Celtics were on a 22-3 run…. We do a lot of brain-melting math here at the BBNBA recaps but we can all agree that three points in almost nine minutes is most definitely not good. That type of run is literally something straight out of an SEC hoops game. Boston’s defense suffocated the Pacers the entire second half and made enough shots on the other end to put the game out of reach for practically all of the final 12 minutes.
(6) Thunder – 99 @ (3) Trail Blazers – 104 (POR leads 1-0)
- Enes Kanter balled the hell out in the playoffs and I’m sure his nipples were as erect as ever. But you didn’t need to see his nipples (wow, that sure was a sentence) to know that he was ready to go in his first playoff appearance since 2017. Kanter posted 20 points and 18 rebounds in his first ever playoff start on 8-15 shooting. The most impressive aspect of his game, however, was his defense. He still got burned more than a handful of times in the pick-and-roll and gave up 17 points to Steven Adams, but had a couple of impressive blocks and was fully engaged on the defensive end. He’s not going to ever be some sort of forcefield protecting the paint, but he did more than enough to keep the Thunder out of the paint. It also didn’t hurt for Portland that Paul George is clearly still battling a shoulder injury. If Paul George isn’t playing at 100 percent, the Thunder don’t have that great of a chance to win this series, in my opinion.
- Oklahoma City received 11 fantastic minutes from Nerlens Noel, as he added eight points and six rebounds on 4-5 shooting. He also yammed all over Zach Collins with this nasty baseline dunk.
Nerlens Noel ? pic.twitter.com/Gcmr5vGXDj
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) April 14, 2019
- Noel was active and playing scrappy. He just played sound basketball and did everything that was asked of him – nothing more.
(8) Pistons – 86 @ (1) Bucks – 121 (MIL leads 1-0)
- Go ahead and mark this one a sweep, folks. Blake Griffin was out of Game 1 for Detroit and now it’s being reported that he’ll miss the entire first round with a sore knee. The Bucks were up 20 after the first quarter, led by as many as 43, and never trailed. Nothing about this game was fair for the Pistons and the next three won’t bring any sort of optimism.
- But in the Bucks blowout victory, Eric Bledsoe recorded 15 points, three rebounds, and five assists with no turnovers on 5-9 shooting. Bledsoe was a plus-27 in only 25 minutes. The Pistons suck.
(5) Jazz 90 @ (4) Rockets – 120 (HOU leads 1-0)
- To cap off the second night of the NBA playoffs, the Houston Rockets easily took care of the Utah Jazz behind 29 points from James Harden. The Jazz tried something I have not seen from any team this season, which was to force Harden into the middle of the floor near the free throw line. Let me explain… Jazz defenders were, quite literally, letting Harden go by them so the defender was always on Harden’s back as he barrelled towards the basket and a sitting Rudy Gobert waiting for him under the basket. In my personal analysis, the plan didn’t work. I believe the goal of this was to make Harden shoot as many floaters as possible. Keep him off the three-point line and away from the rim – his two most efficient shots. The Jazz defending Harden this way also took away his ability to get to the free throw line. Harden is best at creating fouls either on three-pointers or when driving to the rim. He can’t do that when he has to shoot floaters over Gobert.
- Whenever the Jazz did force Harden into a floater, the scheme worked. While Harden can make the floater, he missed at least half of those attempts he put up. If we’re looking at it from purely an analytic standpoint, the Utah defense created the shot they wanted. But Harden is an offensive genius. There’s a reason he’s the most unguardable scorer since Michael Jordan. When the Jazz forced him to the middle, he would draw Gobert as close as possible before flicking up a lob to Clint Capela or rifle a pass into the corner for a stand-still P.J. Tucker or Danuel House. Harden posted 10 assists to only three turnovers. He still shot over 40 percent from the field. The Jazz lost by 30 and Gobert (the presumed Defensive Player of the Year) was nearly played off the court by Harden’s exploitation of the Jazz newfound defensive plan.
- So to summarize, the Jazz tried to force Harden into the high paint and into floaters that are statistically worse shots than three-pointers, layups, and free throws, but the Rockets had it beat by the second half. Houston would set screens in the corner to pop open shooters once Harden got into the paint and the rest if history. Utah’s scheme accomplished the primary goal but failed to account for the variable that Harden is just way too damn good to let him purposefully drive into the paint with no resistance. Game 2 should probably look a bit different from the persecptive of Utah’s defense on Harden.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Enes Kanter (POR)||104-99 W vs. OKC||20||8-15 (0-1)||18||2||1||2||2||+15||34|
|Eric Bledsoe (MIL)||121-86 W vs. DET||15||5-9 (2-4)||3||5||1||0||0||+27||25|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||99-104 L @ POR||8||4-5 (0-0)||6||0||0||0||0||+8||11|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||99-104 L @ POR||DNP-Elbow||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Patrick Patterson (OKC)||99-104 L @ POR||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||104-99 W vs. OKC||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
8:00 (TNT): Nets @ Sixers
10:30 (TNT): Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) @ Warriors (Cousins)