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Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Today on KSR: Controversy Swirls as Country House takes 145th Derby

Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

I watched the Kentucky Derby from Great American Ballpark minutes before the Reds and Giants played. My dad and I saw Maximum Security win and made our way to our seats thinking that was the end of everything. It was until I got a notification that said that Maximum Security was DQ and Country House was declared the winner.

I am the furthest thing from an expert when it comes to horse racing. Did Maximum Security “impede” the progress of another horse? I don’t even know that I would know what to look for.

To watch the stewards discuss the ruling, click the link below:

Again, I would be the first to admit that I don’t have a true understanding of the rules that go into a race. What I do know is that this will be a finish that is talked about for the next 145 Derbys.

Now onto the other news of the day:

Jalen Johnson includes Kentucky in Top Four

D1 Circuit Nike EYBL

One of the top juniors in the class of 2020 announced yesterday that Kentucky, along with Wisconsin, Arizona and Duke, are finalists in his recruitment.

Johnson is a 6’8 forward from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He told reporters last year that the hometown Badgers had a slight lead, but his recruitment was still wide open. While their games aren’t the same, if I am John Calipari, I 100% send the five-star prospect footage of Tyler Herro. Show what Kentucky can do for a kid from Wisconsin.

For more on Johnson, including his opinions on Kentucky… and Duke, click this link for a write up from KSR’s recruiting expert Jack Pilgrim.

Beau Allen talks decision

@BeauAllen11

To say the last week has been good for recruiting in Kentucky would be an understatement. Tomorrow could be the cap off of a true trifecta with Lexington native Beau Allen announcing his commitment.

Allen, a four star quarterback, will make his decision between Kentucky, Washington State, West Virginia and Duke. In a recent interview with Rivals, Allen talked about what he likes about each school and his response to Kentucky is interesting. You might think the “hometown hero” card is the biggest factor, but it is something else that he likes.

To find out what that is, and his opinion on other schools, click here.

Cats visit five-star guard Daishen Nix

@SimplyFunBBall

The recruiting didn’t end for the Kentucky coaching staff as Joel Justus was in to see Alaska native Daishen Nix. I admittedly don’t know a lot about Nix, but the minute I saw Alaska native, I knew exactly why the Cats were recruiting him. While he now plays in Las Vegas, you never know if an in-home visit could happen in Alaska and isn’t that Coach Cal’s dream to go there? I kid…

Nix is the #13 player in the class of 2020 and holds offers from most of the major west coast programs.

From yesterday’s KSR article, “Josh Gershon of 247 Sports says Nix is an ‘outstanding facilitator’ with ‘elite vision’ and ‘strong natural instincts.’

Good size for position with strong, sturdy frame. Elite vision; outstanding facilitator who is creative as a distributor. High basketball IQ with strong natural instincts for position. Improving shooter with range to perimeter although he is more efficient as he get closer to basket. Quick hands and impressive instincts on defense. Could improve as a shooter but it’s an area he’s shown progress and in general has been on a high trajectory since arriving in Nevada from Alaska prior to his freshman season. Projects as a successful college point guard with NBA upside.

This seems like a good guy to get to join Ramon Harris as Cats from Alaska.

Baseball DH at home this afternoon

UKBaseball

If you are looking for a good way to spend your Saturday, make your way to Kentucky Proud Park where the Kentucky Baseball team will take on Arkansas in a DH beginning at 1pm.

I have heard nothing but good things about the new stadium and with the rain gone, I can’t think of a much better way to spend a Sunday.


@KentuckyWBB

It’s official: transfer Dre’una Edwards will be a Wildcat

@KentuckyWBB

Utah standout Dre’una Edwards has made it official: she’ll be transferring to the University of Kentucky next season. Although she announced the news yesterday, she has now officially signed all of the paperwork required to become a Wildcat.

Her official commitment also means Coach Matthew Mitchell and his staff are able to comment on the Las Vegas native and the immediate impact she could have on the program.

“We are thrilled Dre’una is a Wildcat,” Coach Mitchell said. “She will be an incredible addition to our family. Her positive energy and unbridled enthusiasm are infectious and will impact our program immediately. Dre has a game that fits our system perfectly and her competitive spirit will help us win. We all are excited for the future.”

Unfortunately, Edwards will have to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. However, she’ll be able to actively participate in practices as soon as she arrives in Lexington. Her presence alone will help her teammates in practice, and she plans to join the team beginning this summer.

In one year at Utah last season, Edwards averaged 11.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while shooting over 50 percent from the field. She suffered a knee injury late in the year that kept her from playing in Utah’s last four games, but the 6-2 forward still did enough to earn the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year award.

Along with Edwards, UK will add true freshmen Emma King (a native of Stanford, Kentucky) and Deasia Merrill, alongside transfers Sabrina Haines, Nae Nae Cole and Chasity Patterson.

Next season is shaping up to be a good one for Wildcats.

You can show Edwards some BBN love on Twitter HERE.


Rhyne Howard will represent UK across the country this summer

Rhyne Howard will represent UK across the country this summer

(Photo via UK Athletics)

Kentucky freshman star Rhyne Howard is traveling the country this month, all while representing the University of Kentucky. She’s heading to Las Vegas this weekend, where she’ll compete against some of the best collegiate players in the nation. She’s been selected to participate in the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s 3×3 National Championship. Howard has also just been chosen for the USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team Trials, to take place May 16-19 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The 3×3 tournament is considered highly selective: the participating teams include three teams that qualified from other 3×3 tournaments from the past year, 13 teams representing the top Division I programs across the country and two teams comprised of eight high-caliber athletes. Howard was selected for one of those 16 individual spots, which means she’ll have the opportunity to participate in a “minicamp” that began earlier Wednesday afternoon.

Later this month, Howard will be one of 30 athletes competing for 12 spots on the U19 World Cup team. If she makes the cut, she’ll travel to Bangkok, Thailand in mid-July to represent the United States.

Howard is no stranger to Team USA – she led the national team to the 2018 FIBA Americas U18 gold medal last summer. Her efforts helped the team go on a 5-0 gold-medal run, and she came home with the tournament MVP honors.

@KentuckyWBB

At UK, she finished with an average of 16.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. By the end of her rookie year, Howard was named the unanimous National Freshman of the Year by espnW, USBWA and WBCA, along with a slew of conference awards.

If you happen to find yourself in Vegas this weekend and are in the mood for some collegiate basketball, the event will be held for the first time outdoors at the Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, located in the heart of downtown. If Howard’s team advances to the championship round, the action can be streamed live at www.usab.com/live. That game is set tip at 10 p.m. PDT Saturday.

Make the Bluegrass proud, Rhyne!


via UK Athletics

UK finalizes series win over No. 3 Alabama in dramatic fashion

via UK Athletics

After a long evening in Tuscaloosa, the Kentucky softball team came away with an incredibly-impressive victory. The No. 23 Cats defeated No. 3 Alabama 3-2. With the victory, the Wildcats move to 32-19 on the season and 14-10 in the SEC at the end of regular-season conference play. For the sixth time in the last nine seasons, the Cats finished SEC play with a .500 record or above against conference competition under head coach, Rachel Lawson.

Sunday evening’s victory finished as the longest game in program history – it was Cats v. Tide for 13 total innings. After earning an early 2-0 lead, the score remained steady until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Alabama tied the game. Neither team scored in the seventh inning, and the game went into extra innings. Kentucky was finally able to seal the deal when Katie Reed singled and Abbey Cheek was intentionally walked. Alex Martens delievered an RBI single back up the middle, and Reed was able to score from second.

Grace Baalman was UK’s starting pitcher, and she went 5.2 innings while allowing eight hits, two runs, no walks and three strikeouts. Winning pitcher Autumn Humes was incredible for the Wildcats, allowing just one hit throughout 7.1 innings of relief against one of the top scoring offenses in the nation. She allowed just two walks and struck out four Alabama batters on exactly 100 pitches.

Here’s a look at the game’s highlights. With 13 innings of action, there are plenty of great moments:

The game saw Cheek, UK’s all-time career home run leader, hit her 19th home run of the season. Sunday’s victory also marked the first time the Wildcats have won a rubber match in SEC play this season, notching the series win over Alabama for only the second time in program history.

Congrats, Cats!


photo by UK Athletics

Two Kentucky Softball Players selected in Pro Draft

photo by UK Athletics

Two Wildcats heard their names called and will now get to see their dreams come true: Abbey Cheek and Katie Reed were both drafted to play professional softball in the National Pro Fastpitch league. Even better? The Cats will be sticking together – both women were selected by the Chicago Bandits.

Cheek, Kentucky’s all-time home run leader, currently leads the SEC with a .482 batting average. She was selected No. 14 overall as a member of the third round.

Reed has been another valuable asset for the Wildcats, picking up multiple conference and All-American honors throughout her time at Kentucky. She was selected by the Bandits as the No. 19 overall pick

“I want to thank the Chicago Bandits for offering Katie and Abbey both chances to continue their careers at the highest level,” head coach Rachel Lawson said. “Both Katie and Abbey are two of our very best players and people – and it’s great to see that all of their hard work at Kentucky has paid off.”

Their next step may be guaranteed, but their work in the blue and white isn’t finished just yet. They have a pretty big game going on right now:

Go Cats. Beat Cards.


Bailey Vick Robs a Home Run, Makes SEC Network’s Top Play of the Week

@BaileyVick

The UK Softball team has had a fantastic year thus far in 2019. Sitting at 26-17 this year and ranked 24th in the nation, Kentucky made the trip to Baton Rouge this weekend to take on No. 5 LSU in a game that will almost certainly play a huge role in Regional seeding.

In a tie game in the bottom of the third with one out, Paducah’s Bailey Vick made an amazing catch at the wall to rob LSU of a two-run home run.

With Kentucky winning 3-2, that catch was considerably game-changing, as it kept LSU from hanging up four runs before the end of the third. Kentucky would drop the final two games against LSU.

While the catch was excellent, the dance moves could maybe use a little work.


Check out the rest of the highlights from the 3-2 victory on Friday:


Go Cats. @BrentW_KSR