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August 19th, 2017

WATCH: Highlights from UK Football’s Second Preseason Scrimmage

Kentucky’s second preseason scrimmage was closed to the public, but you can take an inside look thanks to KY Wildcats TV.  In the one-minute highlight reel you’ll see a few freshmen wide receivers shine, a nice catch by C.J. Conrad, impressive throws from the quarterbacks and much more.


Three New Names Added to the Alumni Game Guest List

The rosters for the UK Legends Game were set yesterday on Kentucky Sports Radio.  The list of names is impressive, but that’s just the undercard.

NBA rules prohibit UK from announcing who will play in the main event, but thanks to Twitter and a few sources, we’ve got a good picture of who will playing Friday night.  Trey Lyles, Darius Miller and Eric Bledsoe will play in the Alumni Charity Game.  All three said on Twitter they’re excited to return to Rupp.  Here’s who we know will be joining them:

  • Derek Anderson
  • Keith Bogans
  • Rex Chapman
  • Joe Crawford
  • Tony Delk
  • Jamaal Magloire
  • Antoine Walker
  • Terrence Jones

The game will not be televised.  The only place you can see it is in the Rup Arena stands.  Tickets start at just $5 and you can buy them here.


Josh Paschal “Wowed” Mark Stoops at Today’s Scrimmage

UKFootball | IG

Josh Paschal did something crazy during today’s scrimmage.  Normally coaches are hesitant to praise individuals before watching film, but Mark Stoops couldn’t help himself.

“He made a play or two that really stood out to me, WOWed me,” Stoops said.  “He showed three or four plays in the scrimmage that he just stood out today.”

The edge rusher from Good Counsel High School in Maryland is one of the highest-ranked defensive recruits ever signed by UK.  An explosive athlete, most expected him to play in some capacity this fall.  Even though he got dinged up a little early in camp, he’s forcing the coaches to put him on the football field.

“He’s a big physical, athletic guy that is a sponge,” defensive coordinator Matt House said. “I think he’s really coachable.  He’s progressed over these last three weeks really well.”

Stoops tried to pump the brakes, but he absolutely loves what he’s seeing from Paschal.

“I don’t want to get everybody all excited — he’s a freshman, he’s got a lot of work to do — but he’s very very talented and he does stand out out there.  He’s a physical guy who’s got a lot of twitch.  He has good instincts.  He’s smart.  We can move him around and do some different things with him.  He’s one of those versatile guys.”

Paschal’s versatility and eagerness to play are characteristics he shares with many of his freshmen classmates.

“I love this freshmen group,” said Stoops.  “I think they’re instinctual.  They’re ball players. They love playing.  They’re here all the time.  They’ve been impressive.”

It’s the most experienced team Mark Stoops has fielded during his time at Kentucky, but do not be surprised if Paschal and a few other freshman are put on the field to WOW fans this fall.


Another Senior Injured During a Preseason Scrimmage

Another scrimmage, another significant injury for a senior on the Kentucky football team.

Mark Stoops revealed that Dorian Baker suffered a “substantial” ankle injury during today’s scrimmage at Kroger Field.  His status will be updated next week.  The senior wide receiver’s injury occurred a week after Kentucky lost senior left tackle Cole Mosier for the season with an ACL tear.

Baker’s battled a variety of injuries throughout his career.  Last season’s hamstring injury hampered him for most of the season.  This spring was the first time he was healthy enough to compete in spring practice.  His only goal for this year was “stay healthy,” a goal he is unable to achieve.


TV News Reporter Thinks Blue Smith is Going to Ohio State

In eight days L’Christian “Blue” Smith will commit to either Kentucky or Ohio State prior to his nationally televised season opener. The Cats were the first team to offer Blue, but in the last two weeks many reporters and recruiting analysts have changed their predictions from UK to Ohio State.

Of all the predictions, this one from Mike Hartsock of Dayton’s WHIO-TV is my favorite.  In the 1:30 VOSOT, almost a minute of it is the sports guy doing at stand-up at Wayne practice.  You won’t learn anything new from the package but you might be slightly entertained.

“It would be shocking if it’s not scarlet and gray.”  That package-ending sentiment is shared by everyone who has flipped their prediction to Ohio State.  There’s no certainty and little substance, just “buzz” about Ohio State.  Instead of a prediction, the more appropriate term is assumption.

Vince Marrow once put the fear of God in Drew Franklin, “Never doubt me.”  Assuming Blue is locked in to Ohio State will make an ass out of you and everyone, so long as the Big Dog is still in the fight.


Georgia UK Football Commits Star in Season Openers

Chris Rodriguez via Henry Herald

A pair of Kentucky football commitments from the Peach State started their senior seasons with impressive victories.

Playing in a rivalry game between South and Central Gwinnett, Central Quarterback Jarren Williams‘ needed a fourth quarter touchdown to secure a victory.  Eight plays and 60 yards later, Williams threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach and give his team a 28-24 victory.

The future UK star completed 20 of 36 passes for 301 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.  Williams’ touchdowns came from 8, 11 and 20 yards and his lone interception was a diving “game-changing” catch by the defense.  He added 43 yards on the ground.

Not far down the road from Williams, running back Chris Rodriguez had to put the team on his back in the second half.  Trailing at halftime, the three-star prospect scored immediately to give Ola High School the lead.  They never gave it back.  Rodriguez scored two more second half touchdowns to finish the game with four and give his team a 41-25 win.

Williams and Rodriguez were the only two UK commits in action this week.  High school football in Ohio, Michigan and Florida does not begin until next week.

Closer to home, a pair of 2019 UK targets were fantastic.  Western Hills wide receiver recruit Wandale Robinson failed to lead his team to a victory over Franklin County, but he did account for 198 rushing yards in 27 carries and 35 yards in three receptions.  He scored every touchdown for Western Hills on rushes of 48 and 57 yards, and a 30-yard touchdown reception.

CAL athlete Milton Wright doesn’t primarily play quarterback, but he still completed 4 passes for 35 yards and a touchdown as a wildcat quarterback.  Wright ran the ball three times for 21 yards and a touchdown and he caught three passes for 29 yards in a 28-14 win over South Oldham.


Big Plays are a Focus of the Second Kentucky Football Scrimmage

The Kentucky football coaches gauge improvement rather simply.  Whatever you did poorly last time, make it an emphasis and get better at it the next time you step on the field.

Last Saturday that Kentucky running backs struggled in the red zone.  On Monday, they responded by running like “grown men.”  What they did do well was bust a few big plays.  Now it’s the defense’s turn to respond and improve.

“We just want to see guys tackle better,” senior defensive team Captain Courtney Love said yesterday.  “We gotta stop the run.  No explosive plays.  That’s something we had last scrimmage that Coach House didn’t like; too many explosive plays.  We just have to limit that and I think we’ll be fine.”

The same thing applies on the other side of the ball, except they’re focused on making explosive plays.

“The only thing I’m hoping for is that everybody makes big plays, because a lot of people are doubting us a little bit. That’s what we’ve got to do is come out here, make big plays and catch the ball,” wide receiver Tavin Richardson said yesterday.

That dichotomy represents the the odd nature of preseason scrimmages.  While one side does something well, you question the other side’s competence.  The only way to truly judge whether or not the team played good football is in the film room.  That’s why you should be a little leery when you hear the initial reports from coaches following today’s scrimmage.

Until we hear the reports of big plays (or the lack of), hear Courtney Love mic’d up during yesterday’s practice.


Today on KSR: Last Saturday Without College Football

The longest major sports drought of the year is almost over.  Next week the college football season gets an early kickoff on the West Coast.  Two weeks from today, your Kentucky Wildcats will open the season in Hattiesburg against Southern Miss.  Game prep begins soon, but first, a scrimmage.

UK Football’s Second Scrimmage

Today is arguably the most important day of preseason training camp.  The intensity increases in the second scrimmage as players compete for positions.  How they perform today will determine where they fall on the depth chart.

There are a few position groups where today’s scrimmage matters more.  There should be some clarity in the crowded wide receiver room.  Can Matt Elam play up into the No. 2 spot behind Naquez Pringle, or will Jacob Hyde and Quinton Bohanna earn the right to split reps with Mr. Pringle?   Steve Clinkscale and will learn who he can trust to play safety while Mike Edwards is the nickel.

The first scrimmage provided mostly negative reviews, defined by red zone turnovers and a significant injury.  Can the Cats stay healthy and protect the ball in scrimmage No. 2?  We’ll find out today around 1:30.

High School Football is Back

Even though we are still waiting for college football, it’s officially football time in the Bluegrass.  Kentucky high schools started their season last night.  It was chalky for the most part, but there were still a few nail-biters.

  • Louisville Central 7, Manual 0
  • Perry County Central 64, McCreary Central 58 (3OT)
  • Nicholas County 38, Bellevue 36 (OT)
  • Campbell County 27, Dixie Heights 23
  • Scott County 56, North Bullitt 19
  • CAL 28, South Oldham 14
  • Bell County 42, Middlesboro 21
  • Knox Central 27, Letcher County Central 20
  • St. X 35, Cathedral (In.) 28
  • DeSales 37, Ballard 22
  • Lafayette 28, Bryan Station 0
  • Tates Creek 48, Henry Clay 0

One of those Tates Creek touchdowns came from Lamar Thomas’ son.

If you couldn’t get to the games, there’s about a dozen left on this week’s schedule.  See who’s playing in Saturday bowl games and find the rest of the scores form around the state here.

What in the World?

Meanwhile in Georgia high school football, they’re wasting no time to get to trickery.  This attempt to trick the defense to jump offsides is one of the strangest plays ever ran in the history of football.

Who’s Going to Win the UK Legends Game?

That is a rhetorical question.  The correct answer is Ryan and Drew’s team.  It will not even be close.  In fact, this matchup is so lopsided, David Stern is being accused of freezing the envelopes.

Matt/Shannon Ryan/Drew
Heshimu Evans Julius Mays
Cliff Hawkins Jarrod Polson
Shagari Alleyne Bobby Perry
Andre Riddick Perry Stevenson
Jon Hood Ravi Moss (via trade)
Jeff Sheppard Marquis Estill
Dale Brown Lukasz Orbzut
Kyle Macy Jared Prickett
Kenny Walker Jared Carter
Goose Givens Kevin Grevey
COACH: Chip Rupp COACH: Joe B. Hall

Yet shockingly, there are still a few hundred people who believe Matt and Shannon’s team will win.  I don’t get it.  Correct them by voting here and don’t forget to get your tickets for next week’s game here.

Former Cats Back in the Bluegrass

Ahead of next weekend’s alumni game, former players are returning to town and hosting meet and greets with fans.  The first is about to begin.  Dakari Johnson and Dominique Hawkins will be signing autographs at All Sports today from 11:00 a.m. to noon.  If the notice is too late, Keith Bogans will be at All Sports this Thursday from 6:00-7:30.

End Summer the Right Way

As we count down to the start of football season, we must start saying goodbye to summer. There are plenty of appropriate activities available to properly enjoy the final Saturday of summer.

You could head to your favorite Kentucky lake, or argue about which one is best in the comment section.  In Hopkinsville, it’s never too early to start preparing for the Eclipse.  For a more low-key Saturday, you can experience the Woodland Art Fair in Lexington.  If you see Kindsey Bernhard working a booth, tell her “Sup.”  In Louisville, the State Fair is underway.  If you can’t enjoy fried food, award-winning agriculture and exceptional people-watching, you might need to reevaluate your standards for fun.  Unfortunately, I can’t be there because I will be taking a ride on the Moon Taxi at the Iroquois Amphitheater to say so long to the summer of 2017.

School has already started for most, but you can still enjoy one final weekend of summer.  Don’t waste it.


August 18th, 2017

Logan Stenberg wants to “Pop Somebody in the Mouth”

247

Described by his defensive teammates as Kentucky’s “enforcer,” redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Logan Stenberg is anxious to deliver blows to opponents after a month of making his teammates suffer.

“I cannot wait until Southern Miss.  I cannot wait.  I just want to pop somebody in the mouth.  I’m tired of my team.”

His team is tired of him.  Linebacker Courtney Love got in a scuffle with Stenberg in practice earlier this week, a decision he now regrets.

“You gotta be careful when you see 71,” Love said.  “When he comes downhill, he’s coming hard and he will not take no for an answer.  He’s going to block you as hard as he can.  If he loses, watch out.”

Agile for his size (6’6″ 330 lbs.), Stenberg’s nasty streak is even nastier when he’s moving “downhill.”  Once he gets some momentum, that train is not slowing down until contact is made.  As an offensive guard, he gets many opportunities to pull and attack linebackers downfield.

“I like being in the interior,” Stenberg said.  “I like down-blocking, pancaking.  I like being the one they want to run behind to get a yard or two.  I really take pride in that.”

The nasty hitter is also a nasty trash-talker.  Denzil Ware knew he could throw jabs at Stenberg in the media without immediate retribution.  The outside linebacker called Stenberg, “a big dude with a ponytail.”  He responded: “I’d rather pay for a ponytail holder than a haircut.”

And right now his teammates would rather see him hit an opponent than them, something that happens as they get through the long days at training camp.

“We just joke on each other, always clowning,” Stenberg said that’s how the offensive line passes the time.  “We’re always messing people’s lockers up. Throwing their helmets up.  It seems stupid, but it helps us get through the day.  Being here ten hours a day, it can drive you to want to punch somebody, you know?”

 

Hear more from Stenberg below…

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KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

#10 barnstorm

But, in FOOTBALL?

#9 Ryan Steffey

Mark your calendars now

#8 Allen Harris

Taco Bell, obviously.

#7 Terry Jordon

We’ve made it.

#6 Jay Lawless

Good one.

#5 Eric Stovall

Hands down.

#4 Kentucky Brandon

Happy Birthday Coach.

#3 Heather Bartley

What a sight.

#2 Benjamin Haynes, Esq

I hope you did a good job.

#1 Nick Carroll

Now it’s history forever.


UK Basketball Recruiting Rewind: Terrence Jones

It’s time for another Recruiting Rewind, and this time, we look back on one of the more convoluted recruitments of Coach Cal’s tenure at UK: Terrence Jones.

Most college commitments are pretty cut and dry. The kid sets a date, decides a few days before, then announces it to the world with complete certainty. The saga that Terrence Jones went through, however, was pretty much everything but cut and dry.

The Recruitment

In a class topped off by Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes, and one flat-earther Kyrie Irving, it would’ve been easy to dismiss a lot of players outside the top 5 of the 2010 recruiting rankings.

But T-Jones did his best to stand out.

At the high school level, Jones was athletic enough to dominate at pretty much every position on the court. His skillset was worthy of a player with the right to choose between Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, UCLA, Washington and Kentucky.

By commitment time, the race would pretty much come down to UK, with Cal about to have 5 players drafted in the 1st round, or Washington, where Jones could stay close to home and join his high school teammate Terrence Ross.

The Commitment

Ah, a twist!

I’ve personally never seen a commit less confident in their own choice. The Seattle Times’ Percy Allen knew Jones wasn’t exactly euphoric after his decision:

The news conference is over, but the drama may just be starting.

Almost everyone has left the Jefferson High gymnasium, however, Terrence Jones is huddled with his parents in the corner of the gymnasium and folks are keeping their distance. Seems like a major pow-wow.

I spoke to Jones and I can tell this recruiting stuff hasn’t been fun for him. On what is supposed to be a joyous occasion, he sighed heavily and said he was happy that it was over.

Unlike Terrence Ross, who was decked out in Husky purple and said he made his choice a month ago, Jones didn’t know where he was going until the moment he picked the UW hat.

[Seattle Times]

From there, Jones was still in talks with Coach Cal, and based on an interview Calipari did with Seattle’s 95.5 The Fan, Terrence immediately regretted choosing the Huskies:

Well, we thought that he was coming with us and when he said ‘Washington’ we were like ‘what just happened?’ That was the first thing. Then he called about an hour later and said ‘Cal, I made a mistake. I don’t know what I was doing.’ That is when the thing went like ‘You what?’ So we talked to him and said that we are going to do whatever you want. I am holding your scholarship.”

[ESPN]

It’s a good thing Cal left the door open, as Jones would flip the script and commit to the Wildcats just 3 weeks later.

The Performance

Jones’ freshman year at UK saw him average 15.7 points and 8.8 boards per game. He was named the SEC Rookie of the Year, and was a 1st Team All-SEC selection in 2011.

His sophomore year saw his statistical performance drop, averaging only 12.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Of course, with the additions of AD and MKG, Terrence no longer had to be the only dominant forward on the floor at times for Kentucky.

Jones’ and Doron Lambs’ decisions to stay at Kentucky for their sophomore seasons bolstered the maturity of the 2012 squad. Many fans cite this maturity as the missing link in Calipari’s teams since then.

Of course, we know what their leadership did for this team.

@JayWinkKSR


FLASH SALE: Today only at the KSR Shop!

The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are having a FLASH SALE today only! From noon until midnight, we will be offering 25% OFF the entire site! Come take advantage of this big sale by picking out some KSR hats, UK or KSR t-shirts, a KSR Nike DriFit polo, and more. Football season is here. Make sure you are game day ready with lots of new gear.

 

[FLASH SALE: Today only at the KSR Shop!]


Is Mitchell Robinson headed back to WKU?

2018 five-star big man Mitchell Robinson shocked the world last June when he decided to play for Rick Stansbury at WKU. With the ability to play just about anywhere in America, Robinson easily became the biggest recruit in school history.

Last month, Robinson made it to campus and began practice for the Hilltoppers, only to pack up his dorm and leave just a few weeks later. Stansbury then pulled the ole “You’re not breaking up with me, I’m breaking up with you” move and suspended the New Orleans native indefinitely.

The star big man then set visits to LSU, Kansas, and the University of New Orleans, with most believing the Jayhawks were the team to beat.

He even sent out a tweet during his visit to Lawrence saying “Kansas is nice.” Signed, sealed delivered, he was a Jayhawk, right? Wrong.

Reports surfaced that the Privateers of New Orleans were the favorite.

And then William Guillory of NOLA.com reported that a final decision for Robinson was in the works, with the final two schools being Kansas and New Orleans.

Just when we thought we had some sense of this recruitment/decision, yet another curveball was thrown.

According to the official WKU Barstool sports account, Robinson is “seriously considering” a return to Bowling Green.

When a random Twitter follower asked Robinson about a potential makeup with Stansbury, the 7-footer didn’t necessarily shut down the rumors…

Would he be welcome back in Bowling Green?

This has officially become the most bizarre recruitment in recent memory.


Madisonville Mayor declares August 18th Drew Franklin Day on Hey Kentucky!

It’s official: Drew Franklin has hit it big-time.

This afternoon, the Mayor of Madisonville officially declared August 18th as “Drew Franklin Day” while KSR was in town for the radio show.

As you guys probably know, Drew was born and raised in Madisonville, and shows his city love and support as often as possible.

Read the Mayor’s entire Proclamation here:

Take a look at Drew’s big day on Hey Kentucky!

For more Hey Kentucky!, head on over to HeyKentucky.com

 


Here’s 50 KY High School Football Players to Follow This Season

(Photo by Paul Gray)

Freshly painted grass. Cooler evenings. Teenagers walking around a track with their cell phones.

Football is back, at least at the local level.

While we’ve still got a few weeks left before the college and pro ranks kick off, tonight, we can whet our appetites with some good old fashioned high school football.

If you’re out of the loop on who to watch this year in the Commonwealth, the Herald-Leader’s Josh Moore has compiled a list of the 50 best in-state players for 2017. If you just wanna see a stud tear it up on the gridiron, may I suggest checking out 247’s number 1 ranked in-state recruit for 2018, Trinity’s Rondale Moore, who has already committed to Texas. If you want someone to root for after they’ve gone off to college, at least if you live in the western part of the state, you can check out the highlights from Doss Magnet Career Academy’s Terez Traynor, a WKU commit and 247’s 6th ranked KY recruit. Traynor is expected to miss this season with a broken leg, but hopefully he’s fully recovered by the time he gets to Bowling Green.

Of course, feel free to cherry pick the players closest to your hometown as well. If you’d like to see a list of all 83 games going down tonight, MaxPreps has you covered.

@JayWinkKSR