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Four Cats earn Preseason Media Days All-SEC Honors

Four Kentucky Wildcats were recognized by the media in the SEC preseason All-SEC voting.

Benny Snell landed a First Team All-SEC spot at running back after leading the conference in rushing touchdowns (19) and ranking third in total rushing yardage (1,333) and rushing yards per game (102.5) in 2017. Snell recently said he is the best back in the SEC.

Josh Allen and Mike Edwards earned Second Team All-SEC honors. The two seniors came back for another year when they could’ve been picked high in the draft, and they’ll go into their final seasons with the All-SEC tag by their names.

Tight end CJ Conrad makes four Wildcats with All-SEC honors with a Third Team All-SEC selection.

See it all:

 

OFFENSE

First-Team

QB Drew Lock, Missouri
RB Damien Harris, Alabama
RB Benny Snell Jr., Kentucky
WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
OL Jonah Williams, Alabama
OL Greg Little, Ole Miss
OL Martez Ivey, Florida
OL Trey Smith, Tennessee
C Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama

Second-Team

QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn
RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
RB Trayveon Williams, Texas A&M
WR Terry Godwin, Georgia
WR Ryan Davis, Auburn
TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia
OL Andrew Thomas, Georgia
OL Lester Cotton, Alabama
OL Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas
OL Garrett Brumfield, LSU
C Lamont Gaillard, Georgia

Third-Team

*QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State
*QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
RB Aeris Williams, Mississippi State
RB Jordan Scarlett, Florida
WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
WR Emanuel Hall, Missouri
TE C.J. Conrad, Kentucky
OL Matt Womack, Alabama
OL Zack Bailey, South Carolina
OL Javon Patterson, Ole Miss
OL Marquel Harrell, Auburn
C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M

DEFENSE

First-Team

DL Raekwon Davis, Alabama
DL Cece Jefferson, Florida
DL Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
DL Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
LB Devin White, LSU
LB Anfernee Jennings, Alabama
LB Mack Wilson, Alabama
DB Deandre Baker, Georgia
DB Greedy Williams, LSU
DB J.R. Reed, Georgia
DB Deionte Thompson, Alabama

Second-Team

DL Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia
DL Terry Beckner, Missouri
DL Derrick Brown, Auburn
DL Isaiah Buggs, Alabama
LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
LB Deshaun Davis, Auburn
LB D’Andre Walker, Georgia
DB Mike Edwards, Kentucky
DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
DB Jamel Dean, Auburn
DB CJ Henderson, Florida

Third-Team

DL Dontavius Russell, Auburn
DL Rashard Lawrence, LSU
DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn
*DL Kingsley Keke, Texas A&M
*DL Landis Durham, Texas A&M
LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
LB David Reese, Florida
LB De’Jon Harris, Arkansas
DB Mark McLaurin, Mississippi State
DB Marco Wilson, Florida
DB Javaris Davis, Auburn
DB Santos Ramirez, Arkansas

SPECIAL TEAMS

First-Team

P Corey Fatony, Missouri
PK Rodrigo Blankenship, Georgia
RS Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
AP Deebo Samuel, South Carolina

Second-Team

P Joseph Charlton, South Carolina
PK Daniel LaCamera, Texas A&M
RS Mecole Hardman, Georgia
AP Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Third-Team

P Zach Von Rosenberg, LSU
PK Tucker McCann, Missouri
RS Trevon Diggs, Alabama
AP Kadarius Toney, Florida


Kentucky picked fifth in the SEC East

Your University of Kentucky Wildcats were picked fifth in the East in the official SEC preseason poll put out by the media. The Cats edged out Tennessee and Vanderbilt, and somehow earned one first-place vote from someone.

Georgia is the overwhelming favorite to win the division:

SEC EAST
1. Georgia (271)
2. South Carolina (8)
3. Florida (4)
4. Missouri
5. Kentucky (1)
6. Tennessee (1)
7. Vanderbilt

Over in the West, Alabama took the top spot for like the millionth time in a row:

SEC WEST
1. Alabama (263)
2. Auburn (19)
3. Mississippi State (2)
4. Texas A&M
5. LSU
6. Ole Miss
7. Arkansas

Thoughts, comments, concerns?


Matt Jones talks with Tubby Smith on Hey Kentucky!

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Jones spoke with former UK head coach Tubby Smith at the Barbasol Pro-Am. The two played together, along with John Michael Montgomery and Rick Dees, and the gang won the whole doggone thing.

Jones caught up with Tubby to talk about his time in Lexington, and he spoke with Montgomery and Dees.

“We really love Kentucky,” Tubby said. “Obviously there’s no better basketball fans, or better fans period anywhere in Kentucky.”

Tubby is the man. The dude won a championship for UK and although it didn’t work out long term we were lucky to have him.


Meet the Wildcats Podcast: T.J. Beisner discusses P.J. Washington’s return and interviews Keldon Johnson

Our buddy T.J. Beisner from CoachCal.com released his third edition of his “Meet the Wildcat” series on the Behind Kentucky Basketball series. The purpose of the podcast was meeting and interviewing freshman Keldon Johnson, but Beisner started the podcast discussing Washington’s return to practice. The sophomore forward finished the season with a broken pinky and played a few months with the injury.

Here are the P.J. Washington highlights:

  • P.J. Washington has been a leader, even when sidelined after his surgery. “P.J. has shown at this point he is a leader.” Beisner said he was always engaged during practices and would point out mistakes and give advice. That’s pretty cool to hear.
  • Beisner said the team was having great practices but when things were starting to possibly get stale Reid Travis was added to the mix. Then once things may have started slowing down P.J. Washington is now back. Adding these experienced pieces have to be great for the younger guys.
  • Don’t read into who’s wearing blue/white jerseys in practices, says Beisner. That’s smart advice because these guys switch jersey colors multiple times throughout a practice.
  • P.J. stayed nearly two hours after practice on Tuesday night going through individual drills. “P.J.’s practice was only part of the work he put in last night.” Beisner said he’s embracing the process and the grind. “You need a leader to be the first one there and the last one to leave,” he said.

Great stuff regarding P.J. Washington. On the Soundcloud link you can listen to Beisner’s thoughts on Washington from the start to the 6:20 mark of the podcast.

Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images North America

Keldon Johnson

  • Beisner said he loves watching him practice. “He makes everyone better because if you don’t play better you’re going to get run into the ground.” He said that Johnson is having to guard every player on the team and putting him in uncomfortable situations and he’s thriving.
  • Beisner notes that Calipari said last week on KSR that Johnson was UK’s most consistent shooter. “I like my job so I won’t disagree.” It sounds like there may have been a little Cal fluff on Johnson’s shooting, but Beisner said he’s been impressed with his outside shot.
  • The interview starts at 8:48 in the podcast.
  • Keldon Johnson said practices get a little chippy because everyone wants to compete.
  • Keldon Johnson’s brother is a senior at Georgetown and he grew up with the mindset that he needed to be better than him. Johnson said he is better than his brother although his brother would disagree. Kaleb Johnson averaged 7.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and two assists per game during his junior season for the Hoyas.
  • Johnson said every player is different on the team, so each player has to expand their game to be able to keep up with their teammates.
  • “I’m a dog. I do whatever it takes to win. I’m the ultimate competitor. I score the basketball very well. I lock up on defense. My shot has improved a lot and I’m starting to knockdown more shots,” Keldon said when describing his game.
  • Keldon said interacting with the Big Blue Nation is a once in a lifetime experience. He said he maybe signed 2k-3k autographs during the summer.
  • Keldon said one of his first basketball memories was watching Jodie Meeks scoring 54 points against Tennessee. After that Keldon wanted to play with UK on video games and shoot threes with Jodie Meeks.
  • The interview ends at the 16:30 mark.

Other tidbits

  • The teams in the Bahamas are better than the ones they played four years ago. Beisner was told by Calipari that UK may lose some games, maybe all the games, but no one should hit the panic button.
  • Beisner said the last game in the Bahamas will feature UK squaring off against former Cat Kyle Wiltjer. I did not know that and that will be incredibly cool.
  • Beisner said no one is really separating themselves, but he said Calipari is adamant there will not be any platoons, but Beisner said you just never know with Calipari, but the plan will be to not platoon.
  • Beisner said UK is NOT switching from Nike to Jordan Brand. The practice jerseys were a one time deal and they were immediately available. Those are temporary practice jerseys and it was a “technical” issue.

You should listen to the entire interview. Beisner is informative and has been killing it on the CoachCal.com beat.

 

 


Prep Circuit

2019 big man says he’s still hearing from Kentucky

Prep Circuit

The No. 24 player in the Rivals150 says he’s still hearing from Kentucky. 6-foot-10, 255-pound Kofi Cockburn from Middle Village, N.Y. told Rivals.com that he is considering UK and hears from the Cats’ staff.

“I’ve heard from them a little bit, Coach (John) Calipari told me that I’ve improved lot since my freshman year and that I should look into coming to Kentucky,” Cockburn told Rivals’ National Analyst Eric Bossi.

You can read  Cockburn’s thoughts on several other programs HERE.

The 2019 center is looking at cutting his list to 12 soon, and it’s unclear if the Cats will make the cut. That may come as a surprise because you just read that Cockburn still hears from UK, but sources tell KSR that UK isn’t currently looking at Cockburn. The Cats did not watch the powerful big at Peach Jam last week and it’s supposedly been weeks or months since Kentucky reached out. It’s not to say Cockburn is lying, he did say he’s heard from UK “a little bit” and he never said exactly when he last heard from the Cats. Recruiting can be tricky.

UK’s top big targets are James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr., and Matthew Hurt. Yesterday we posted how the Cats have recently started recruiting Armando Bacot, who was named MVP of Peach Jam. Kentucky is also interest in Jaden McDaniels, but he’s more of a wing than a big. UK’s staff will watch Wiseman and Hurt this week in California.

Kentucky will lose Reid Travis and all signs point towards this being P.J. Washington and E.J. Montgomery’s last year in Lexington. The Cats will need some bodies next year, and although UK isn’t currently recruiting Cockburn if he waits until the spring like Bossi suggests you never know what may happen.