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REPORT: Kentucky in “great spot” with Kerry Blackshear Jr., decision expected soon

© Michael Thomas Shroy | USATSI

Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. is the top available graduate transfer on the market, and Kentucky is reportedly right in the thick of things in the home stretch of his recruitment.

Fresh off an official visit to Lexington, Corey Evans of Rivals.com told the Herald-Leader that the Wildcats are a frontrunner to land the 6-foot-11 big man and that a final decision could come in the next few days.

“I think Kentucky is in a great spot with him,” Evans told the Herald-Leader on Friday afternoon. “Right now, it’s Kentucky or Tennessee for him. I think a commitment is going to come within the next four or five days. That’s the vibe I’ve gotten.”

KSR reported on Thursday that Blackshear left Lexington without making a commitment, though the Kentucky coaching staff still felt very confident about their standing with the star forward.

When asked about Texas A&M, who has always been associated with Blackshear’s recruitment and was rumored to be the final visit coming off his trip to Kentucky, Evans wasn’t as optimistic about their chances. While they have never been seen as a serious favorite, it was always expected that the Virginia Tech transfer would at least listen to his former head coach’s pitch.

Now, Evans doesn’t believe that visit will be taking place and thinks the Aggies are out of the running.

“I don’t see A&M as a legitimate suitor anymore,” he said.

As far as who he does think is the leader between Kentucky and Tennessee, Evans said he wasn’t certain yet because Blackshear isn’t even certain.

“I honestly don’t know,” he said. “And that’s because the kid doesn’t know yet, I don’t think. I don’t think he knows what exactly he wants.”

Breaking down both schools in play, Evans says Tennessee is offering a premier role in the offense, while Kentucky is offering the spotlight and opportunity for improved draft status in his final year of eligibility.

“Tennessee can offer him the idea of playing more of a ‘4-5’ role and kind of expanding his game and having more of a chance to be ‘the guy,'” he said. “Compared to Kentucky, which offers, of course, the blue-blood platform and all that. They’re in the same conference, but they’re two separate opportunities. So, I think it’s whichever one that he really feels comfortable with and which one can put him in the best spot possible for the NBA.”

Sources told KSR earlier this week that even if Blackshear left campus without signing, a decision was expected before the start of next week, whether a visit to Texas A&M was on the table or not.

Now, the wait begins continues…

(Herald-Leader)


Charlotte Hornets select PJ Washington with the No. 12 pick

Former Kentucky power forward PJ Washington is officially a member of the Charlotte Hornets.

Selected No. 12 overall, Washington is set to join former Wildcats Malik Monk and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in Charlotte.

“Without it, I don’t think I would have been a first-round pick,” the former Wildcat said on ESPN after getting drafted. “I definitely credit Coach Cal and the Kentucky program for getting me to this point.”

In 35 games this past year, the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.2 blocks per contest.

While this is the first time in the John Calipari era Kentucky hasn’t had a top-10 pick, Washington’s selection at No. 12 gives the UK head coach his 20th lottery pick during his time in Lexington.

Congratulations, PJ!


Vince Marrow pissed off the national media is still overlooking Kentucky

Over the past several years, we’ve seen how Kentucky’s coaching staff and players have used low expectations from the media as fuel to reach new heights. Even though Kentucky won ten games last year and went to a New Year’s Day bowl, the “disrespect” continues, with many college football writers predicting the Cats will slide back to the SEC cellar. As you might expect, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow had plenty to say about that on today’s Kentucky Sports Radio.

“I’m knocking down doors to national media because these guys are really pissing me off,” Marrow said. “It’s pissing me off.”

The most recent example of this is Phil Steele not including Kentucky on his list of SEC teams he expects to go bowling this year, but Marrow’s anger was directed towards another media member, ESPN Radio Nashville’s Braden Gall, who ranked Terry Wilson as the worst quarterback in the SEC.

“I was listening to Tom Leach and, those guys — I should stop listening to radio. I guess they said Terry was the last rated QB in the preseason? We should start a poll, and I’m going to talk to the BBN, just like coaches get fired for wins and losses, when all these reporters come out and say, hey, this team is going 4-8 and this team ain’t gonna do that. If they’re wrong, they should get fired.”

Hoo-boy. Lynn Bowden said those articles have made their way around the locker room as well.

“I see a lot of things that are going to be overturned, opening people’s eyes. We’re not even ranked, I think. That’s crazy…Some people do [use it as motivation]. I kind of look at it like, dang, they really just don’t like us. It’s just got to be because we’ve got Kentucky on the front of our uniforms or something. It’s like, why hate us?”

Marrow has a fun theory.

“Don’t get it twisted; I think our head dog is pissing them off too,” Marrow said of his boss and lifelong friend Mark Stoops. “I think people think — I’ve known Mark for years. I think people think because he’s a fun-loving, jovial guy that there ain’t no toughness in him. He’s more tougher than — look, he’s from Youngstown, man. He’s from Youngstown. Trust me. When it’s time to be tough, he’s going to be tough. When it’s time to be something else, he’s going to be something else.”

Listen to Big Dog host Hour 1 of today’s show below:


Will 2021 phenom Terrence Clarke reclassify to 2020? He says he’ll be looking into it soon

John Calipari and the UK coaching staff is focused on reeling in some of the elite prospects in the class of 2020, but there are two rising juniors that have been so impressive that they’ve already earned scholarship offers from Kentucky.

Those individuals? Consensus top-three prospects in the class of 2021 Jonathan Kuminga and Terrence Clarke.

While the former wasn’t able to participate in the NBPA Top 100 Camp in Charlottesville, VA this weekend, KSR was able to catch up with the latter at the prestigious event about his recruitment and what he thinks of Kentucky’s early offer.

Clarke, a 6-foot-7 shooting guard out of Boston, MA, has received nine offers over the last week to add to his list of 26 overall. The No. 3 prospect in the nation says he has no idea where the recent spike in interest came from, but he’s certainly appreciative of it all.

“I got a couple [new offers] this week, yeah,” he said. “To be honest, I have no clue [where it came from]. I’ve been hearing of a lot of offers coming in, coaches wanting to talk to me. But I always like hearing of new offers and interest.”

During the Nike EYBL regular season this year, the Brewster Academy guard averaged 17.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. Playing against the best rising seniors in the nation, Clarke proved to be not only one of the best players in his class, but all of high school basketball.

As a result, the question being asked about Clarke isn’t necessarily where he’ll going to college quite, but when. 

Like we’ve seen time and time again with elite prospects over the last several years, there are rumblings that Clarke is a serious reclassification candidate for 2020. And after seeing him this past weekend in Charlottesville, it’s obvious why, as there isn’t much doubt that he’ll be ready to play college basketball in a year from a physical standpoint. He could probably play this year, if we’re being totally honest.

When asked about the rumors, Clarke said it’s not something college coaches have been asking about quite yet, and he honestly hasn’t thought too much about the idea of it.

“Coaches haven’t really been talking to me about [reclassifying] and I haven’t focused on it much either,” he said. “It’s not really popping up that much yet.”

That being said, the 6-foot-7 five-star says the discussions are coming soon.

“I’ll probably explore it soon, most likely,” he said. “Just to see if I can, see if it’s a possibility that’s in my favor. If it’s not the situation that’s not good for me, I probably won’t do it, but I’ll definitely go over it with my coaches.”

After talking to a source very close to Clarke this weekend, while the 6-foot-7 star is confident he could thrive at the college level a year early physically, there are concerns that he would not be able to meet graduation and NCAA requirements from an academic standpoint in just three years. While other reclassification candidates in the past were held back a year when they were younger, Clarke is true to his class and age. To put it simply, while his grades are in great shape, it would be a tight squeeze to fit in two years of school work over the next year, even including potential summer classes.

Nonetheless, it’s noteworthy that he will at least attempt to explore the possibility.

Moving on to specific schools of interest, Kentucky, who offered back in May, has always been associated with Clarke as a possible destination. He’s visited the school, the UK coaching staff has already visited him personally on two separate occasions, and they go out of their way to watch him play on a regular basis.

When asked about his interest in the Wildcats, the elite wing said his interest with the blue blood program is serious and he will “definitely be staying in contact” with the coaching staff.

“I’ve talked to a lot of [guys at Kentucky] like Kenny Payne, I talked to Coach Cal before,” he said. “Just having them offering me, it’s fabulous. With them being a blue blood school, a ton of pros going there, I’m just honored, blessed, everything. I definitely talk to them here and there, and I’ll definitely be staying in contact with them.”

Clarke, who visited Lexington for Big Blue Madness back in October of 2018, said his recent trip was “crazy.”

“It was great. Kentucky’s Midnight Madness, it was just crazy,” he said. “Just the atmosphere, seeing those guys out there competing, even if it was just like an All-Star scrimmage, it was just a great experience.”

So what will it take to win out in the end for the five-star prospect? What is he looking for in a school?

Go figure, he hit a Calipari buzzword.

“Just seeing how I’d fit in that system,” he said. “Basically, since it’s a positionless game now, I just want to go out there and be able to show I can play any position. Show my versatility, my skill, be a playmaker. Just be the best player I can.”

In terms of what he brings to the table, Clarke says he love showing his versatility and playmaking ability.

“I think when I’m out on the floor, I’m a playmaker,” he said. “I can go out there and score, but I love to get other people involved. Everybody says I’m a wing, but I think I’m a guard because I can definitely help other people get open and stuff like that. Me driving into the lane, people come to me, I can kick it. I think I’m a good passer, I just like getting everybody else better.”

This past weekend at the NBPA Top 100 Camp, college coaches and NBA scouts filled the sidelines and stands to see the participants in action. For Clarke, it was an opportunity for him to show what he is capable of not only in the college ranks, but how he projects as a professional basketball player.

“First impression is the best impression,” he said. “I just wanted to go out there and show them everything I’ve got. I wanted to show off my skill, highlight my playmaking ability, everything I can do on the court. That’s the main thing, I just wanted to show them what I can do [at the college level] and when I get to the league.”

So what’s next for Clarke in terms of his recruitment? Does he plan on cutting his list anytime soon?

“Right now, I’m just listening to all the offers I’m getting,” he said. “But I’m sure sooner or later I’m going to want to cut my list, but I don’t really know yet. I’m just really focused on getting better.”

While it’s to be determined when he’ll be playing college basketball, it’s evident that Kentucky will have a decent shot when it comes time for a decision.


Shame on these People for not Wishing their Dads a Happy Father’s Day

Shame on these People for not Wishing their Dads a Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is about to come to an end, and these people have yet to wish their fathers a happy Father’s Day. So before it’s too late, I decided to help them out a little bit and do it for them as a nice father’s day gesture.

Let’s begin.

Mississippi State to Benny Snell

We might give Mississippi State a pass on forgetting to wish their father of one year, Benny Snell a happy father’s day, but then again, how could one forget the night Mississippi State found out who their daddy was? After a full week on denial and refusal that Benny Snell would run through any defense, the results turned out that Benny Snell was indeed their father.

Image result for maury you are the father gif

Sometimes, Fathers and their sons’ quarrel. So after a pregame scuffle, Benny Snell made sure to teach them a valuable lesson. Rushing for 165 yards and four touchdowns to break Randall Cobb’s record for touchdowns scored in a career at Kentucky, Benny Snell shut up the Bulldogs while launching himself and the Wildcats into the national spotlight as a legitimate football team in 2018.

Remember Kylin Hill, you a clown in real life.

Benny Snell on behalf of Mississippi State, Happy Father’s Day!

South Carolina to Mark Stoops

Do you guys remember the time when South Carolina just seemed always to beat the Cats? No? Me either, it feels like forever ago. Nearly six years, in fact, because Mark Stoops has completely owned the Gamecocks in his tenure at UK.

After losing the first go around to South Carolina with essentially Joker Phillips’ team, Stoops has beaten the Gamecocks on five straight occasions. Over those years, these games have given us some of the best moments in the Stoops era. The first time he beat South Carolina, birthed Grove Street Party as the Kentucky football anthem while JoJo Kemp put the Wildcats on his back in a 45-38 victory at a ruckus Commonwealth Stadium decked in all black.

We’re just getting started bro,” Stoops told Matt Jones on the post-game show, and he was right.

Beating South Carolina next year in Columbia which ran Steve Spurrier out of town, then again in 2016 with his career at UK on thin ice, Stoops once again toppled South Carolina with the emergence of Benny snell.

How could we forget the year after that with the second straight victory in Columbia that was won on fourth down-goalline stands and an iconic picture?

Todd Bennett | Getty Images

Then, of course, Stoops once again got the victory over the Gamecocks en route to a 10-win season last year.

Mark Stoops, on behalf of South Carolina, Happy Father’s Day!

Lonzo Ball to De’Aaron Fox

Poor Lonzo Ball. If there’s anyone who knows what it’s like to have their father in the spotlight at all times, it is Lonzo Ball especially after his father, De’Aaron Fox, dropped 39 points in a Sweet 16 game two years ago in Las Vegas.

Since then, Fox just won’t leave the spotlight. After a stellar Sophmore season in the NBA, Fox has earned himself a shoe deal with Nike, while being in plenty of commercials and being heralded as one of the NBA’s young bright stars.

It’s so bad Ball tries to stay away from Fox. Seemingly coming down with an injury or a reason not to play every time Fox is in town, Ball just doesn’t want to be associated with Fox. Maybe it’s just a phase. I’m sure getting traded by the team that drafted you while your father is still proving to be a worthy pick will help open your eyes, Lonzo.

I hope these two can patch it up. So, on behalf of Lonzo Ball, Happy Father’s Day De’aaron!

Louisville to Coach Cal

If we want to get technical, John Calipari has only lost to Louisville once at Kentucky. (Thank you, Andre McGee) So with a record of 10-1 and an average margin of victory of nine points, Cal has OWNED the Cardinals at Kentucky. Some of Kentucky’s best moments came from the Louisville games in the Cal era. Here’s some, for example.

Image result for Anthony Davis final four

Image result for Tyler Ulis blood

Image result for willie cauley stein staredown

Pictures are worth a thousand words.

Coach Cal, on behalf of Louisville, Happy Father’s Day!

Tennesse Fans to Matt Jones

You know what, Matt’s on vacation, we probably shouldn’t go into to details on this one. But, as a little KSR secret just for today, we all know it’s free real estate on Vol twitter.


Sincerely though, happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there, especially mine! We wouldn’t be possible without you all and if you’re able to and haven’t called your pops up yet to tell him happy father’s day, don’t be like these guys on the list and do it.


@BrentW_KSR