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UK Men’s Basketball, Football Student Tickets Going Mobile

The student ticketing process for University of Kentucky men’s basketball and football games just got a whole lot easier. Beginning this season, students will now be able to purchase and receive their tickets through a new mobile system, eliminating the need to go to the ticket office or participate in a lottery. Paper tickets are also a thing of the past; students will be able to access their tickets through the UK Athletics app on their phone to be scanned at Kroger Field and Rupp Arena.

UK will offer three different season ticket options, along with single-game tickets: the BBN Student Football pass, which is strictly for football games; the BBN Student Pass, which is for all football and men’s basketball games; and the BBN Student Pass Plus, which includes a K Fund donation. Details on each package from UK:

  • BBN Student Football Pass ($35) – This season pass will guarantee admission for all home football games in 2018, provided the student claims a ticket during specified windows. The BBN Student Football pass offers savings versus buying single-game tickets, which would cost $70 for all games.
  • BBN Student Pass ($175) – This season pass will guarantee admission for all home football and men’s basketball games in 2018-19, provided the student claims a ticket during specified windows. It also comes with a Team Wildcat membership (t-shirt and other membership benefits). Students are also able to purchase the BBN Student Pass through a two-installment, no-interest payment plan. The BBN Student Pass offers savings versus buying single-game tickets, which would cost $270 for all games.
  • BBN Student Pass Plus ($200) – This season pass will guarantee admission for all home football and men’s basketball games in 2018-19, provided the student claims a ticket during specified windows. The price includes a $25 K Fund donation that will come with five K Fund bonus points so students can begin to “Invest In Blue.” In addition to the Team Wildcat membership that comes with the regular BBN Student Pass, the BBN Student Pass Plus comes with a tumbler, access to an exclusive facility tour, and priority access to postseason football and men’s basketball tickets, based on availability. Students are also able to purchase the BBN Student Pass Plus through a two-installment, no-interest payment plan. The BBN Student Pass Plus offers savings versus buying single-game tickets, which would cost $270 for all games.
  • SingleGame Tickets – A limited number of single-game tickets will still be available for purchase for students who do not wish to purchase a season package or are unable to do so. All single-game football and men’s basketball tickets will cost $10 apiece. Guest tickets will still be available after students have access to purchase tickets, based on availability. These are specially priced tickets for guests of UK students that do not require a student ID for admission.

Season passes will be available for purchase exclusively online at UKStudentTix.com beginning July 17 at 9 a.m. ET. Admission to all other regular season UK Athletics events besides football and men’s basketball games will remain free with valid student ID. As mentioned earlier, single-game student ticket prices for football games are increasing from $5 to $10, the first increase in over a decade, to be in line with men’s basketball ticket prices.

How will students claim their tickets for each game? Gone are the days of sitting in Memorial Coliseum for hours on end for the lottery. Now, season pass holders will be alerted when it’s time to claim their tickets with a push notification on their phone and single game tickets can be purchased through the UK Athletics app. On game days, students with season passes and single game tickets will be given a wrist band or seat location when they arrive at Kroger Field or Rupp Arena, allowing for groups of friends to sit together more easily. Tickets can also be transferred to other UK students through the UK Athletics app.

How will the upcoming renovations to Rupp Arena affect student ticket allotment? According to UK, lower level student seating will remain the same; however, upper level seating will decrease due to construction, but will meet the demand measured in recent seasons. (Given the poor student attendance in years past, that’s not surprising.) Student allotment at football games will stay the same.

Students, your voices have been heard. Kudos to UK for catching up with the times.


NCAA Eliminates Rule that Allows Schools to Block Transfers

The NCAA is doing something right.  In one of the biggest rule changes of the modern era of college athletics, the NCAA will allow student-athletes to transfer to the school of their choice without asking their current school for permission.

The transfer process will be simplified October 15.  When a student-athlete wishes to transfer, the school has two business days to enter the individual’s name into a national transfer database.  Once the information is processed, other coaches are free to contact the individual.

The intention of the old rule was to prevent one school from recruiting its competitor’s players.  On the surface it makes sense — Why should one program prosper from the resources another program invested into that player? — but often times it forced the athlete to suffer.  There are many examples, but Sidney Moss is the first player that comes to mind.  After one season at Florida, the former Kentucky Miss Basketball wanted to attend school closer to home.  After Florida blocked her from attending UK, Moss settled for the closest option, Division III Thomas More.

To keep the heart of the previous rule, the NCAA has a new way to deter schools from recruiting another team’s players.  Tampering is now considered “a significant breach of conduct” and has been upgraded to a Level 2 violation.

Most will celebrate the change as a victory of student-athletes, while critics will say this move will only exacerbate rising transfer rates across college athletics.

Click here for more details on the rule that will change college athletics.


Mark Stoops Expects Consistency from his Defense in 2018

Entering Mark Stoops’ sixth season at the University of Kentucky, the expectations have been raised.  After consecutive seven-win seasons, to take the next step UK’s defense must improve in 2018.

That sentiment is unanimously shared throughout the Big Blue Nation.  Mark Stoops echoed that this afternoon when asked about program expectations in an appearance on “3 Man Front,” a program co-hosted by Cole Cubelic on 95.5 Jox-FM in Birmingham.

“We have some very good football players with some experience coming back defensively,” Stoops said. “We need to make a big jump there because we have the personnel to do that and I feel like we have some experience.  Now we’re getting some decent depth, so I feel like defensively we need to make a big jump as far as being more consistent.  I think we’ve shown some flashes and done some really good things at times, but across the board I’d like to see the consistency there.”

In 2017 Kentucky finished 12th in the SEC in total defense (426.9 yards per game) and 13th in passing defense (251.6 yards per game).  There are a few reasons why Stoops believes Kentucky’s numbers will be better in 2018, starting up front on the defensive line.

“I feel like we’re in a better position than we have been in some years.  Quinton Bohanna at nose is a guy who was just a true freshman a year ago and did some really good things.  He’s a big, strong guy in the middle there that I like.  I feel like with Josh Paschal — we moved him from an outside linebacker to an inside position playing with his hand in the dirt every snap — he’s a very athletic guy and looks really good inside.

“Another guy, Adrian Middleton, has played a lot football for us, but battling with him is Phil Hoskins.  He’s a junior college transfer that was a three-for-three (years of eligibility) a year ago who was coming off a couple shoulders (injuries).  He did a couple things good a year ago, but now you’re starting to see him with an offseason getting stronger, more athletic.  I like the presence he brings us inside as well, along with T.J. Carter getting another year and another offseason under his belt.  So I feel like we have some options inside.”

Not far behind the deeper defensive line is a playmaker that could be a first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Josh Allen.  Stoops said Allen has used the offseason to build muscle, something I can confirm after spotting Allen at Saturday night’s football camp.  All the way up to 260 pounds, Allen is doing all of the right things before a big year.

“I expect him to be if not the top, one of the top outside backers in the country.  He’s a difference-maker.  He’s a guy that does a lot of things well,” Stoops said.  “Josh really is the whole package and we’re really excited about his senior year.”

Mark Stoops talked about more than his defense during the 11-minute interview that you can find here. Highlights:

Who’s the Starting Quarterback?  Naturally, Stoops responded with a chuckle and a “we’ll see.”

“We’ll see where it goes.  Gunnar and Terry both have some very good qualities, look calm back there and make good decisions.  They’re getting better with every opportunity so I don’t feel the need to rush that decision.”

Will Ahmad Wagner Play?  The former Iowa basketball player and current 6’7″ UK wide receiver has all the athleticism in the world to become a playmaker on UK’s offense, but Stoops preached patience as he explained how Wagner got to UK.

“We knew Ahmad out of high school recruiting him to play football, and he was a dual-sport guy and decided to go play basketball.  When he reached out to us and felt like he wanted to give football a shot, it was worth the scholarship to us because we knew how athletic he was coming out of high school.

“Visiting with him when he came here to see us face-to-face, I just liked what he had to say and the direction he wanted to go.  He’s a very, very athletic big man.  We’re excited about him and the options we have.  We know he’s going to take some time, it’s going to take some work for a while, but we feel like he has big upside.”

Is Rose Ready? After a big spring and a promising summer, Stoops is anxious to see what A.J. Rose brings to the table this fall.

“A.J. was a guy that we felt like has an awful lot of talent.  He’s been working hard, but he needed to be more productive.  He did that in the spring.  He really stepped up and had a great spring.  He’s working hard right now this summer, so we’re excited about getting back into camp and seeing what he can do.”

During the 11-minute interview, Stoops also talked about Dorian Baker, Benny Snell and shared some old stories about Frank Gore.  Check it out.


Jared Casey to Visit Kentucky for Third Time in Three Weeks

@Jared_casey01

Jared Casey will be on Kentucky’s campus tomorrow.  The four-star linebacker from Louisville Ballard told KSR he will make the trip to Lexington to work with defensive coordinator Matt House during the Cats’ single-day camp.

After the linebacker earned MVP honors at a Rivals Camp in Nashville, Casey received a scholarship offer from Kentucky.  Tomorrow’s trip to Lexington will be Casey’s third unofficial visit since UK extended an offer on May 21.

Casey will not be the only local talent in attendance.  Sources tell KSR that two other prospects from Louisville, Moore defensive end J.J. Weaver and Butler wide receiver TaeTae Crumes, will be in Lexington for unofficial visits.  Weaver and Crumes hold UK offers, and along with Casey, are considered top ten players in the state of Kentucky by the 247 Composite Rankings.

The players from the state of Kentucky will not be alone.  UK is hosting four-star Michigan defensive end Michael Fletcher and three-star Georgia outside linebacker Tra Wilkins on official visits.  There’s also another big name on UK’s board that may join the recruiting party tomorrow in Lexington.


Where UK Football Stands with Kentucky’s Top In-State Football Prospects

Marrow with Frankfort’s Wandale Robinson (@Robinson_era)

The state of Kentucky is not well-known for producing top high school football talent, but the class of 2019 features five consensus Top 300 players.  It’s not a top-heavy class either.  Two of the next six players in the 247 Composite Rankings are considered four-star prospects by at least one recruiting service.

Over the last two months, Mark Stoops reassigned Vince Marrow to recruit the state of Kentucky.  Marrow’s addition gave Kentucky quite a bit of momentum entering the summer.  Here’s where UK currently stands for the state’s top ten eleven football prospects according to the 247 Composite Rankings.

Stephen Herron  
Defensive End | 6-4 | 235 lbs.
Louisville, Ky. | Trinity
Committed to: Michigan 
ESPN No. 137| 14 DE Top 247 No. 140 | 9 DE
Rivals No. 51| 4 DE 247 Comp. No. 83 WR | 6 DE

The top-ranked player in the state visited Kentucky multiple times before committing to Michigan 11 months ago.

Jacob Lacey
Defensive Tackle | 6-2 | 300 lbs.
Bowling Green, Ky. | South Warren
Committed to: Notre Dame
ESPN No. 116| 14 DT Top 247 No. 119 | 7 DT
Rivals 18 DT| 2 KY 247 Comp. No. 142 | 9 DT

Lacey had a scholarship offer from Kentucky, but the Cats were never really in the picture.  He committed to Notre Dame on the same day Herron committed to Michigan, July 29, 2017.

Milton Wright  
Athlete | 6-3 | 190 lbs.
Louisville, Ky. | Christian Academy of Louisville
Committed to: Undecided
ESPN No. 274 | 44 WR Top 247 No. 54 | 3 ATH
Rivals No. 188 | 33 WR 247 Comp. No. 149 | 12 ATH

The No. 3 player in the state has kept his recruitment close to the vest.  We know his top five — Ohio State, Alabama, Purdue, Kentucky and Louisville — but everything else remains a mystery.  A receiver at the next level, Wright could pick any of the five schools and it would not be a surprise.

Bryan Hudson  
Offensive Lineman | 6-4 | 295 lbs.
Georgetown, Ky. | Scott County
Committed to: Virginia Tech
ESPN No. 250 | 13 OG Top 247 No. 184 | 8 OG
Rivals No. 242 | 25 OT 247 Comp. No. 214 | 10 OG

Kentucky extended the three-sport star a scholarship offer during his freshman season, but Hudson was set on attending college outside of the Commonwealth, ultimately choosing Virginia Tech in April.

Tanner Bowles 
Offensive Tackle | 6-5 | 280 lbs.
Glasgow, Ky. | Glasgow
Committed to: Alabama
ESPN No. 217 | 23 OT Top 247 No. 146 | 19 OT
Rivals 53 OT| 6 KY 247 Comp. No. 250 | 27 OT

Kentucky was Bowles’ first offer, but that didn’t matter after he attended Alabama’s Spring Game.  Bowles committed the day after unofficially visiting Tuscaloosa for A-Day.

Jared  Casey 
Inside Linebacker | 6-3 | 220 lbs.
Louisville, Ky. | Ballard
Committed to: Undecided
ESPN — | — Top 247 20 ILB | 8 KY
Rivals — | — 247 Comp. 18 ILB | 6 KY

After an injury forced him to miss his junior season, Casey surged onto the recruiting season at Rivals’ Nashville Three Stripes Camp.  After earning MVP honors, he picked up scholarship offers from anybody and everybody.  He’s visited Kentucky twice since Vince Marrow extended a scholarship offer, but Louisville, his favorite team as a child, appears to be in the lead.

JJ Weaver 
Defensive End | 6-6 | 235 lbs.
Louisville, Ky. | Moore Traditional
Committed to: Undecided
ESPN 52 DE| 7 KY Top 247 21 DE | 6 KY
Rivals — | 8 KY 247 Comp. 35 DE | 7 KY

Weaver gave rave reviews after he visited Kentucky for the first time last month, but he’s since visited Louisville and taken an official visit to Purdue.  Those trips have put Kentucky back behind the 8-ball for the Louisville athlete that grew up in Florida.

Shawnkel Knight-Goff 
Outside Linebacker | 6-4 | 215 lbs.
Louisville, Ky. | Doss
Committed to: Undecided
ESPN 54 DE| 11 KY Top 247 47 DE | 9 KY
Rivals 33 DE | 5 KY 247 Comp. 44 DE | 8 KY

Knight-Goff committed to Kentucky on May 18, only to reopen his recruitment less than two weeks later on May 31.  Kentucky is still an option as Louisville tries to steal the Cats’ former commit.

Demontae “TaeTae” Crumes  
Wide Receiver | 6-1 | 165 lbs.
Louisville, Ky. | Butler Traditional
Committed to: Undecided
ESPN –| — Top 247 93 WR | 11 KY
Rivals –| — 247 Comp. 79 WR | 9 KY

Crumes pulled a reverse-Knight-Goff.  After committing to UofL in February, he de-committed in April.  Crumes made the move after UK, Oregon, Michigan State and Michigan extended scholarship offers.

Wandale Robinson  
All-Purpose Back | 5-9 | 180 lbs.
Frankfort, Ky. | Western Hills
Committed to: Undecided
ESPN 35 ATH| 6 KY Top 247 5 APB | 7 KY
Rivals — | 9 KY 247 Comp. 5 APB | 10 KY

Robinson is at the top of UK’s recruiting board for in-state prospects.  After an unofficial visit last month, it appeared that UK made a move to the top as Robinson neared a decision.  Then Ohio State offered.  The Buckeyes’ move, and an official visit to Purdue, completely opened up Robinson’s recruitment and pushed Kentucky back with the rest of the pack.

Aidan Robbins 
Running Back/Linebacker | 6-3 | 225 lbs.
Louisville, Ky. | DuPont Manual
Committed to: Undecided
ESPN 40 ATH| 8 KY Top 247 47 RB | 10 KY
Rivals — | 10 KY 247 Comp. 51 RB | 11 KY

Once considered a lock at Vanderbilt, Vince Marrow changed the game by pitching Robbins the opportunity to play either running back or linebacker.  He scheduled an official visit to Kentucky for June 22, after official visits to Purdue and Missouri.  A day after returning from Mizzou, Robbins announced he will commit Wednesday afternoon.  That’s not a good omen for Kentucky.


Kentucky stuck with the early offer strategy that’s worked before for in-state recruits.  When that did not work, Vince Marrow entered the picture and moved the needle in recruiting battles with Louisville.  After temporary gains, Purdue and Ohio State have emerged as the most-credible foreign threats to Kentucky’s in-state recruiting success.


Q&A: Tyrese Maxey talks Calipari, reclassification and Cole Anthony

Q&A: Tyrese Maxey talks Calipari, reclassification and Cole Anthony

Tyrese Maxey spoke with the media after Monday’s game. The USA thumped Panama 118-26 and Maxey finished with 14 points, three assists and three steals.

Maxey was asked about playing for Bill Self (his USA coach), his relationship with John Calipari, playing with Cole Anthony and plenty more.

On what Bill Self said at halftime when leading 70-8: Coach was just telling us to work on our stuff, work on our half court defense and stuff that we’re going to have to do down the road.

On college coaches watching: They’re just showing their face. They have to show some interest in guys they need to see.

On recruiting Cole Anthony and Matthew Hurt: I always talk to them. I joke with them about Kentucky but it comes down to their decision.

On not having to worry about his recruitment: I’m happy. I’m probably the most happy person in the world. I know when I committed I was at peace with my decision. I know that’s where I wanted to go. I’m at peace.

On possibly reclassifying: I talked with my family a lot about it. A lot of long nights, and we just came to the conclusion that it would be best for me to keep progression of my game and get a little bit stronger before I head out to college.

On playing with other good guards on team USA: It helped a lot because of course Coach Cal likes to be guard heavy, which is also really good. If you have a lot of guards on the floor, a lot of good guards that can make good decisions that’s always good. Just playing with these guys helps me a lot.

On wanting to play in all-star games as another reason to stay in high school: Of course. You work so hard all your life to play in certain games and certain all-star games and have certain experiences. That’s one thing I wanted to do.

On playing for Self, who will be a rival when he’s in college: It’s great. I mess with him all the time about it. He’s really cool. He really pushed us today and gave us a long speech just talking about playing for USA and how he would be happy everyday. I think that’s one reason why we came out here so strong and started so fast today.

On how often he talks with Calipari: He just tries to help me get better always. He tells me little things I need to work on and he checks in and says hello all the time. He asks me how I’m doing.

On if he thought it was going to be a shutout: We were just trying to get better honestly. I was just trying to work on my stuff. The real competition starts tomorrow. We have Puerto Rico and they’re 2-0 as well, so we’re trying to win this pool.

On his relationship with Cole Anthony: We see each other a lot at camps. All of us actually see each other a lot at camps but I first talked to him at NextGen USA and down at the Final Four we talked a lot then. He’s really cool. He’s high energy. He’s very high energy and he’s always up. He’s a good friend to be around.

On if they text: We talk sometimes.

On if he’s looking ahead to playing Canada: No sir, I’m looking ahead to playing Puerto Rico tomorrow.

On if he was surprised to see P.J. Washington return to UK: A little bit. I was kinda surprised. I’m glad he came back and did what was best for him and I think he’s going to have a great year this year.

On if he looks ahead to what the roster could look like when he gets to UK: It’s just pretty much who’s there is there. I like to compete, but either way I hope we have a lot of really good players to make me better and we can win a national championship.

On UK fans: Kentucky fans keep going. They mean business. That’s one thing I really like. I like when the fan base is behind you and it brings the best out of me.

On Calipari’s personality when he’s not talking recruiting: He’s not gonna tell you no bluff. I call it bluff. If someone comes in tells you they like you and you’re gonna do this and do that with the ball in your hands. If he says it he means it. He’s gonna tell you what you need to get better at. That’s one reason I wanted to go to Kentucky. I feel like he’s gonna push me to get better and help me get to the next level.

On if he’d be able to reclassify if UK asked: Yes sir, I would. I think I have to take a certain class. Maybe two classes, but I haven’t thought about it so far.