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Neither Maximum Security nor Country House will run in the Belmont

Yesterday, Maximum Security’s co-owner Gary West offered $5 million to War of Will, Long Range Toddy, Country House, and Bodexpress for a rematch of the Kentucky Derby, but it won’t happen at the Belmont.

West said Maximum Security, who was disqualified from the Derby and skipped the Preakness, will not run in the Belmont Stakes on June 8. Country House, who was declared the winner of the Derby, won’t run either due to a cough he developed after the race. War of Will, who won the Preakness on Saturday, will run. Still no word on Bodexpress, who became a social media phenomenon after throwing his jockey at the start of the Preakness and finishing the race on his own.

So, it won’t be at the Belmont, but this rematch needs to happen. It’s been a rough year for horse racing, so the sport could use it.

[Herald-Leader]


KSR Show Thread 5/20: Lexington Golf Scramble

Today’s show is coming to you live from the University Club in Lexington ahead of this afternoon’s golf scramble and Ryan’s Putt for Prison. Tune in to hear the gang preview a big day, which also includes five-star Juston Rogers’ announcement.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (772) 774-5254.

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KSR Shop: 2 For $32 Memorial Day t-shirt sale!

KSR Shop: 2 For $32 Memorial Day t-shirt sale!

The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are here to get you ready for the Memorial Day weekend. Stock up on great new designs with a variety of Kentucky and USA pride designs. To celebrate, you can head to ShopKSR.com to take advantage of a 2 for $32 t-shirt sale. Sale runs through Wednesday.

[KSR Shop: Memorial Day sale]


Today on KSR, presented by Silent Guard

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We’ve got quite a busy Monday ahead of us, culminating with Ryan’s Putt for Prison sponsored by the fantastic folks at Silent Guard, so let’s get to it.

Five-star OL Justin Rogers announces his college decision at 4:30 p.m.

While Ryan’s putts are on everyone’s mind, the biggest UK Sports news of the day centers around five-star offensive lineman Justin Rogers, who will announce his college decision at 4 p.m. The 6’3″ 314 lbs. Oak Park, Michigan native is considered the best offensive guard in the country by Rivals and 247 Sports and is down to Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, and Tennessee.

Kentucky’s had the momentum in his recruitment for a while, but Alabama made a late push; will Stoops and company be able to hang on and land the program’s highest-ranked recruit since Micah Johnson? If so, current Cats and fellow Michigan natives Marquan McCall, Tyler Markray, and DeAndre Square also deserve some credit:

Right now, Kentucky holds the lead in Rogers’ 247 Sports Crystal Ball with 59% of the predictions. We’ll have full coverage of the decision all day leading up to 4:30 p.m.

We’re still waiting to hear about Jaden McDaniels

If you were offline this weekend, don’t worry; you didn’t miss much with the Jaden McDaniels’ saga. We’re still waiting to hear what the five-star forward will do, but it’s looking more and more like he’s heading to Washington, with Evan Daniels switching his pick to the Huskies on Saturday. McDaniels’ high school coach told Adam Zagoria that they’ll discuss the decision this week, so hopefully an end is in sight. Or not. Probably not.

ICYMI, UK Softball advanced to the Super Regional

The Hittin’ Kittens will take on Washington in the Super Regionals in Seattle this weekend. Dates, times, and TV information are still TBD.

Frank Vogel will be introduced as the Lakers’ head coach

It’s not every day a former UK Basketball manager is named the head coach of one of the most storied franchises in sports. This afternoon, Frank Vogel, who served as a manager under Rick Pitino from 1995-96, will be formally introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Jerry Tipton chronicled Vogel’s journey — including his appearance on David Letterman’s stupid human tricks segment as an eighth-grader — over at the Herald-Leader.

Game of Thrones is over

And don’t worry, I don’t spoil it. It was fine. For my own sake, I may just pretend the series ended with Jamie knighting Brienne in episode two and call it a day. In other HBO news, maybe Aaron Paul can save Westworld after a horrible second season?

Ryan’s Putt for Prison will be live on LEX18 at 7:30 p.m.

The event we’ve all been waiting for goes down tonight at 7:30 p.m. after the KSR Golf Scramble at The University Club in Lexington. Hey Kentucky! will broadcast Ryan’s five putts from five feet live on LEX18 starting at 7:30 p.m. If you’re not in the viewing area, LEX18 will live stream it on their website here. For each putt Ryan makes, he’ll get $1,000 and for each putt he misses, he spends two days in KSJail, complete with a potty:

You probably don’t got this, Ryan, but think of all the wings and beer you’ll consume.


Major fire damages Conley Bottom Marina on Lake Cumberland

Conley Bottom Resort on Lake Cumberland has been one of our favorite KSR Summer Tour stops over the years, which is why this morning’s news that a fire destroyed a large part of the marina is so upsetting. Overnight, a fire started in the marina’s restaurant and quickly spread, destroying the building that housed the restaurant, store, and office and damaging the main dock and several boats.

From LEX18:

Our hearts go out to the folks at Conley Bottom.

[LEX18]

UPDATE: Here are some more pictures of the damage at Conley Bottom from Matt Wood on Facebook:

Posted by Matt Wood on Monday, May 20, 2019

Unbelievably, the marina still plans to operate this weekend for rentals.

Despite our loss, we are anticipating doing all rentals for the weekend. If you have any LODGING reservations in 2019…

Posted by Conley Bottom Resort on Monday, May 20, 2019


Five-star Justin Rogers to announce commitment Monday

@AllAmerican52JR

Five-Star offensive lineman Justin Rogers will announce his commitment tomorrow afternoon a 4pm at his high school. The Oak Park, Michigan native has long thought to be a Kentucky lean, but over the past two weeks, Alabama has entered the fold to possibly throw a wrench in the recruitment of the prospect.

A member of the class of 2020, Rogers is the No. 1 player in the state of Michigan and the No. 1 offensive guard in the entire country. Currently, 24/7 Crystal Ball has him as 59% Kentucky with Tennessee, Ohio State and Georgia filling out the remaining percentages.

It is hard to know the impact Alabama coming at him late will have on the prospect. He is coming off of official visits at Kentucky, Georgia and Tennessee over the past month, but hasn’t made a trip to Tuscaloosa.

For each prospect that 24/7 Sports rates, they give a specific rating/prediction on what their career will turn out to be. For example, they call recent Kentucky commit John Young a “Power Five Starter.” Rogers’ prediction is even better. The site says he is already a projected second round NFL pick. That fact alone should excite Kentucky fans.

It’s no secret what a player of Rogers’ caliber could do to the Kentucky program. When I heard a five-star guard is possibly committing to Kentucky, I never would have thought it would be on the gridiron. That, though, is starting to change. Stoops and company have changed the game in Lexington and if he can get one five-star, who says he can’t get another?

We’ll have an update on Rogers’ commitment once he makes his official announcement Monday afternoon. Stay tuned.


Watch UK commit John Young go to work at “The Opening”

John Young is doing plenty of work for Mark Stoops on the online recruiting trail, but he’s also keeping up his end of the bargain on the football field. The four-star Kentucky commit spent the day in Nashville, participating in “The Opening,” a national football camp that makes regional stops across the country.

The offensive tackle is listed as the No. 4 prospect from the Commonwealth and the No. 30 OT in the nation for the class of 2020, according to 24/7 Sports’ final rankings. Based on these videos, it’s easy to see why.

Young is currently listed at 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds. He currently attends the Christian Academy of Louisville, but soon enough, he’ll be a Wildcat.


UK Athletics

Rhyne Howard named to USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team

UK Athletics

Rhyne Howard continues her domination. After spending a weekend of tryouts in Colorado, the Kentucky freshman has qualified for the 2019 USA Women’s U19 World Cup Team. She’s one of just 12 players from across the nation selected to participate, and she’ll be traveling around the globe to prepare and compete.

After leaving the trials, held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, she’ll have some time at home before heading to Tokyo, Japan in early July for a scrimmage against the Japanese team. Then, she’ll spend several days in Bangkok, Thailand in mid-July to compete for the country’s eighth gold medal.

There were 30 women competing for a spot on the team, and the final 12-player roster includes some of the top talent in the nation, including 10 returning gold medals (including Howard) and two NCAA Champions. Selections were made by the USA Basketball Women’s Junior National Team Committee, chaired by George Washington University head coach Jennifer Rizzotti.

via USAB

This summer won’t be the first Howard spends competing on the international stage. She spent last summer in Mexico, helping the U18 team to a 5-0 gold-medal run, earning MVP honors along the way.

This year, she’s the only current SEC player to make the cut. Here’s the rest of the roster:

Francesca Belibi (Regis H.S./Centennial, Colo.); Aliyah Boston (Worcester Academy, Mass./St. Thomas, USVI); Cameron Brink (Southridge H.S./Beaverton, Ore.); Paige Bueckers (Hopkins H.S./St. Louis Park, Minn.); Caitlin Clark (Dowling Catholic H.S./West Des Moines, Iowa); Queen Egbo (Baylor/Houston, Texas); Naz Hillmon-Baker(Michigan/Cleveland, Ohio); Rhyne Howard (Kentucky/Cleveland, Tenn.); Jordan Nixon (Notre Dame/New York, N.Y.); NaLyssa Smith (Baylor/Converse, Texas); Celeste Taylor (Long Island Lutheran/Valley Stream, N.Y.); and Hailey Van Lith (Cashmere H.S./Wenatchee, Wash.).

Howard is the real deal, and she’s representing Matthew Mitchell and the UK women’s basketball team on the international stage (again). It’s going to be fun watching her skills continue to develop over the next three seasons.


Wesley Woodyard hosts free football camp (and talks some smack)

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Wesley Woodyard may still be a Wildcat at heart, but that doesn’t stop him from talking smack about some fellow former Kentucky boys. Or, at least about Benny Snell.

Woodyard, now a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, spent some time back at his old stomping grounds this weekend. 

On Saturday, he hosted a golf scramble to raise money for his foundation – the 16Ways Foundation, which is focused on helping kids reach their full potential through education, physical activity and mentorship. Then, he spent his Sunday downtown at the Charles Young Center, where he put on a free youth football camp. Fellow Cat Keenan Burton and current Titans teammate Jurrell Casey also volunteered their time and talents at the camp.

The UK Hall of Famer also used the opportunity to catch up with reporters about the current state of Kentucky football. After one of the most successful seasons (and NFL Draft nights) in UK football history, Woodyard is excited to face-off against some fellow Cats in the league.

“I’ll see a couple of those guys. You know, Lonnie Johnson [and the Texans], I’ll see those guys twice a year,” Woodyard told WTVQ’s Austin Miller. “I’m pretty excited about that.”

Woodyard also hopes he’ll suit up against Benny Snell and the Steelers eventually – he’ll have a special message waiting for him.

“Of course, man, one day maybe I’ll get a chance to see Benny in the A gap or the B gap. And I’m going to say ‘Snell Yeah’ on top of him,” Woodyard laughed. 

To learn more about Woodyard’s foundation or to donate to his cause, click here


@MaggieDavisKSR


USA Today Sports

Head-to-head recruiting: Coach Cal vs. Coach K

USA Today Sports

When the college basketball season ends (and sometimes before), the recruiting season begins, and it’s no secret that John Calipari is a master recruiter (despite how much he may downplay it). Since 2011, Kentucky has been the only school with a consensus top-5 recruiting class among 247SportsScout, and ESPN. Furthermore, the Wildcats have had a consensus top-2 class every year except for 2019 (though they could rise in the rankings if Jaden McDaniels goes against predictions and chooses the Cats).

While Coach Cal’s recruiting prowess has paid dividends, it’s placed a target on his back, and other schools have elevated their game in the recruiting arena. Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway has put together the No. 1 recruiting class so far this cycle, but the most consistent competition comes from Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

From 2014 to 2018, the Wildcats and the Blue Devils have shared the top-2 spots in recruiting, and the latter has owned the consensus No. 1 class the past two years. Last year, Duke boasted the first class in the modern era with the No. 1, 2 and 3 ranked players on their roster.

A variety of factors go into the players a coach chooses to recruit and the schools a player is interested in joining. Coach Cal and Coach K have different play styles which call for different skill sets and, as such, they often recruit different players. However, players inevitably come along who are so talented that both coaches compete for them. These head-to-head battles are where things get extra competitive – and interesting.

These decisions, the ones made by the most sought after players in a class, often come down to Kentucky, Duke and a handful of other schools. It may be worthwhile then to examine those cases and see how Cal and K stack up as “closers” when they’re vying for the same prospect. These are the athletes (and their ESPN rankings) since 2014 who were considering both UK and Duke at the time they made their final decision:

2019

Matthew Hurt (No. 11)—Duke

2018

R.J. Barrett (No. 1)—Duke

Zion Williamson (No. 2)—Duke

Cam Reddish (No. 3)—Duke

E.J. Montgomery (No. 14)—Kentucky

2017

Kevin Knox (No. 10)—Kentucky

2016

Harry Giles (No. 1)—Duke

Jayson Tatum (No. 3)—Duke

Wenyen Gabriel (No. 14)—Kentucky

Marques Bolden (No. 16)—Duke

2015

Brandon Ingram (No. 3)—Duke

Luke Kennard (No. 24)—Duke

2014

Karl Anthony-Towns (No. 9)—Kentucky


So, since 2014, the score is 9-4 in favor of Krzyzewski. Of course, there were players considering both schools who eventually dropped one and went to the other (i.e. Trey Lyles), but when it comes down to arguably the two most prestigious programs in college basketball history, Duke seems to be winning out on the recruiting trail, at least right now.

This is not to say Calipari & Co. has not done extremely well on said trail. Like previously mentioned, the Wildcats have had a consensus top-2 class every year until 2019, and things could still change in that department. Regardless, it hurts just a little bit more when the Cats miss out on top talent to none other than Coach K and his Blue Devils, right?


The Warriors could see Demarcus Cousins back on the court before Kevin Durant

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

While the guarantee that a former Wildcat is gonna go home with an NBA Finals ring is a fun selling point for the BBN, it’d be even more exciting if said former Cat could contribute heavily to their team’s victory. The best candidate for that this season? Definitely Demarcus Cousins.

Cousins’ injury at the start of the Playoffs was a major downer for the Warriors, but thanks to some tenacious rehab, it seems the 6’11” bruiser may be poised for a Game 1 return in the Finals, possibly even beating KD back to the hardwood:

“He’s working really hard and he’s been in the training room religiously over the last month,” Kerr said. “And now he’s getting out on the court. So he is ahead of Kevin, in terms of the ability to get out on the court and run and really get a good basketball workout.”

While Durant has not returned to the practice court, Cousins has been cleared for contact. It’s conceivable, if not likely, he could return should the Western Conference finals against Portland be extended deep into next week.

[Yahoo Sports]

Golden State’s victory last night all but locked up their spot in the Finals, meaning Steve Kerr will be in no rush to get Boogie back on the floor. He’ll now have until May 30th, Game 1 of the NBA Finals, to reclaim his starting 5 spot.

Now the question becomes, will he meet Eric Bledsoe or Jodie Meeks there? Bucks vs. Raptors Game 3 tips at 7PM tonight.

@JayWinkKSR


Is John Calipari subtweeting Reid Travis’ father?

John Calipari is back from his European vacation, just in time to make a trip to… Wisconsin? Coach Cal tweeted he was headed to one of Kentucky’s least favorite states (no offense, Tyler Herro), but he also mentioned some interesting conversations he’s recently had with a few Kentucky parents. In fact, he specifically referenced conversations with Herro’s dad as well as comments made by PJ Washington’s dad.

This could be totally harmless… Or, could it be Calipari’s sneaky rebuttal to Reid Travis’ father’s comments that went public last week? Let us remind you:

In a feature by the Herald Leader published last Tuesday, Nate Reid expressed some “uncertainties” regarding Kentucky and his son’s potential draft stock, saying he thought his family would have “a little more of an understanding of when he’d fall in the draft” after his son’s decision to spend his final season in Lexington.

“He probably had more of a leadership role as far as helping younger players develop. Maybe his abilities got somehow shifted a little bit for the sake of helping younger players develop and understand the process,” Nate told Jerry Tipton. “He kind of took that role and kind of got away from what he wanted to do when he came there.”

Now, Calipari has taken to Twitter to post about his positive interactions with two other fathers. Coincidence?

In a series of tweets, Calipari said:

“Tyler Herro’s father, Chris, heard I was going to be in Wisconsin and gave me a call today. We had a great conversation about [what] our program meant to them. After that call and what I read from Paul Washington Sr., I’m reminded of how proud I am of this program and this university.

We want everyone to leave Kentucky with the feeling that it was more than what they thought it would be. The words from those two parents make me happier than I can explain. I’m so proud of what we do here.”

As for the aforementioned comments from Paul Washington Sr., Calipari is referencing Kyle Tucker’s latest work for The Athletic, where Washington Sr. gives UK and Calipari a glowing review. Here are a few of his comments:

“[PJ] is more well-rounded from being at Kentucky. Experiencing all that at the college level will definitely help him in the NBA — he’ll be balanced and able to contribute right away… I think he learned all that at Kentucky.”

“They have so many All-Americans, I didn’t expect them to be able to get to each one and figure out how they tick and motivate them and get the most out of them, but Cal and [assistant Kenny Payne] did.”

“From a parent’s standpoint, the quicker you learn how to be there for your kid and help develop them mentally while leaving the other stuff alone, the better off you’re going to be when they get to the NBA… If LaVar Ball couldn’t do it, what makes you think you can?”

Could Calipari be “subtweeting” Nate Travis? Is this simply some sort of recruiting pitch? Or, could it be actually genuine and Coach Cal just wanted to share a piece of his inner monologue with the BBN? 

There’s no way of knowing for sure – if only we could get inside Calipari’s head! – but nothing Cal does ever strikes me as random.


Maximum Security’s owner wants a rematch, puts $5 million on the line

The drama from the 145th Kentucky Derby just keeps on coming.

After having his KHRC appeal denied, Maximum Security’s co-owner Gary West is now taking matters into his own hands, offering up $5 million if any of his horse’s rivals can take down the would-be Derby winner.

West is extending the offer to Long Range Toddy, War of Will, Bodexpress and Derby winner Country House, bringing the total to $20 million. The horses don’t even need to win to collect the money — they just need to beat Maximum Security before the end of the year.

“Most experts agree that Maximum Security was the best horse in the Kentucky Derby,” West said in a statement. “I don’t care to discuss the controversy surrounding the events of the race and the disqualification of my horse at this time, but I firmly believe I have the best 3-year-old in the country and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.”

[CBS News]

West’s offer isn’t one sided; he expects the other owners to match his wager, with his potential winnings to be donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. With War of Will taking the Preakness yesterday, a bonus competition could make for quite the spectacle at the Belmont.

So what’ll it be, owners? Time to “pony” up?

…sorry.

@JayWinkKSR