Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.





April 19th, 2018

247Sports finalizes rankings for the 2018 recruiting class

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

It’s class ranking season and 247Sports-dot-com is the next up to finalize its 2018 list.

In 247Sports’ version, EJ Montgomery, not Keldon Johnson, is Kentucky’s top-ranked player. Montgomery earned a No. 6 overall ranking and is considered the No. 1 power forward, ahead of Zion Williamson. Let me write that again: ahead of Zion Williamson in the rankings.

Johnson is ranked much lower in the Top247, way down at No. 16 overall, a one-spot drop in the final update. However, the website named Johnson an honorable mention for its “Best Competitor” award in the class, which went to Duke’s RJ Barrett, the top-ranked player.

Right behind Johnson, you’ll find Immanuel Quickley at No. 17. Quickley is the third-ranked point guard among his peers.

Tyler Herro rounds out the group at No. 36 overall with a four-star rating.

See the entire Top247 here.

Kentucky sits in second place behind Duke in the team rankings, but John Calipari might not be done.


Calipari told Quade Green he wants him back next season

Rumors are flying about a potential transfer for Quade Green, but his head coach wants him back at Kentucky for a sophomore season.

A source close to the truth told KSR that John Calipari met with Green to encourage him to stick around for a second year.

To fans on the outside looking in, it has seemed like Calipari is pushing Green away by recruiting more and more guards to join the backcourt, but that assumption is far from the case. Coach Cal wants Green to return to be the leader of the Wildcats in 2018-19, and that’s exactly what he pitched to him during their offseason meeting.

This news is much better than that silly report that was passed around yesterday.


Lexington’s CentrePointe is actually going to be called City Center

Last weekend I was in downtown Lexington enjoying all the city’s nightlife has to offer, and I noticed some serious construction work going on where the infamous pit was once located. Turns out, the massive CentrePointe project is actually happening, albeit a little behind schedule, and they’ve made some significant progress on the development in recent months.

But there’s a new plot twist in the process: the CentrePointe development (as it’s been known since it was first introduced like 50 years ago) will now be called “City Center.” The new name will be formally introduced a little later today, but I’m telling you now so you can tell your friends and they’ll think you’re in the know. Big time street cred there.

With the name change comes other name changes: the Marriott hotel that will take up a large chunk of the property will be called “Lexington Marriott City Center” and the office building will be known as “One City Center.”

I would tell you when it’s scheduled to be completed but we all know it’ll be another decade or seven before the doors open on that new Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse and all the other places we’ve heard about it. At least it’s got a fancy new name and it’s not a big hole in the ground anymore, though. That’s good.


“Is Ryan Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader?” and more (Thursday Show Thread)

Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond are back in studio with Shannon The Dude on the ones and twos. I don’t know what they’ll be talking about (truth be told, I never know before the show starts) but I do know they’ll be playing “Is Ryan Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader?” because we didn’t get to it yesterday.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.

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Today on KSR: Another Domino Falls

Yesterday the KSR meow returned to reveal that Wenyen Gabriel will declare for the NBA Draft.  He will not hire an agent, leaving the door open for a possible return to the team for the 2018-19 season.  The expected move was the right one for right now, but what happens next is anyone’s guess.

There are now just two Wildcats who have yet to state their status publicly, Jarred Vanderbilt and Quade Green.  Vanderbilt’s injury makes it a complicated mystery, something Kentucky fans have grown accustomed to over the last year.  On the other hand, Green is in the center of speculation.  None of the transfer rumors have come from the point guard’s camp, but last night a NBC Sports Boston reporter said he’s likely heading to La Salle.  Huh?

REPORT: Quade Green could transfer from Kentucky, La Salle would be top option

There’s still very little information from either camp.  All we can do is continue to play the waiting game as next year’s roster remains fluid.

It’s a Photoshoot

I’m not posting this video because I wanted to make a dated Gucci Mane reference.  I am posting this video because somebody asked about Dorian Baker on yesterday’s KSR.

The answer: Dorian is healthy enough to jump on C.J. Conrad’s back (who is healthy enough to support him).  If the caller wants to know more about Baker’s road to recovery, read this and know that he’ll be back in time for the season to start.

New Football Flex Packs Available 

Miss your chance to get season tickets?  Don’t worry, you can still get inside Kroger Field this fall with UK’s three-game flex pack from $107 to $175.

  • South Carolina or Georgia
  • Mississippi State or Vanderbilt
  • Central Michigan, Murray State or Middle Tennessee

If that’s not enough, you can get a four-game package from $172 to $248 that will get you a seat to watch the Cats play Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi State and the season-oopener, Central Michigan.  You can also now buy tickets in UK’s allotment for the 2018 road games.  Click here to get in on the action.

New Podcasts Everywhere

For the first time in more than six months, KSR’s fearless leader has recorded a podcast.  The Matt Jones Podcast made its triumphant return with a wonderful conversation with Rex Chapman.  His relationship with the Wildcats provides unique insight into the 2018 basketball team you won’t hear anywhere else.

But wait, THERE’S MORE!  The Funkhouser crew is getting today to recreate the situation, while Aaron Torres brings some heat on the podcast airwaves with NBA draft expert Sam Vecenie.

Tonight’s NBA Playoff Schedule

  • 7:00 — Heat (1-1) vs. Sixers on TNT
  • 9:00 — Pelicans (2-0 lead) vs. Portland on NBATV
  • 9:30 — Spurs vs. Warriors (2-0 lead) on TNT

April 18th, 2018

Tracking Calipari: Cal’s schedule during April recruiting period

Today marks the end of college basketball’s early recruiting period. Sad, I know.

But no one is more sad than John Calipari, who will now have to find new things to do to occupy his time, because the rules restrict him from visiting high school prospects for a while. (Although he’ll soon be traveling to watch them play AAU ball throughout the summer.)

It was a busy April for Calipari, though; maybe his most grueling to date. You see, since losing Zion Williamson to Duke and falling behind Coach K in recruiting in the eyes of the college basketball public, Coach Cal has been on a mission to reclaim his throne as the best in the business. He was very active over the 10-day recruiting period — which began at noon on April 5, had a short intermission of dead time April 9-12, and ends today — and it didn’t take long at all for him to produce results. He landed two commitments only days into the session, and put Kentucky in great position to land several others, at least one of whom could decide soon.

Calipari checked in with several of the top-rated players in the Class of 2019, and though there is still a lot of work to be done, it seems to have been a successful April. Lord knows how much jet fuel he burned in the process, too.

Here’s what we do know about his travels:

 

Thursday, April 5

The first day of the live recruiting period saw a double-header of visits for Calipari. One of those visits was to Covington, Ga., to see Ashton Hagans, a five-star guard in the 2019 class. You should know Hagans’ name and story by now because he committed to Calipari on the spot, and then announced his commitment publicly the following Tuesday.

Ashton Hagans
Point Guard| 6-4 | 185 lbs.
Covington, GA | Newton
AAU: Georgia Stars
ESPN No. 18 | 3 PG Top247 No. 6 | 1 PG
Rivals No. 6 | 2 PG 247 Comp.  No. 8 | 1 PG

Calipari also saw another five-star point guard on opening day when he traveled to Garland, Tx., to see Tyrese Maxey.

Tyrese Maxey
Guard | 6-3 | 185 lbs.
Garland, Tx. | South Garland
AAU: RM5 Elite
ESPN No. 14 | 3 SG Top247 No. 17 | 2 PG
Rivals No. 11 | 3 SG 247 Comp. No. 13 | 2 PG

His pitch to both prospects was the same: commit to Kentucky, reclassify to play college basketball next fall, and be a part of something special in Lexington.

Hagans did the first part, and is expected to eventually do the other two. Maxey may also join him.

Friday, April 6

Day 2 of the recruiting period sent Calipari to Rochester, Mn., where he visited Matthew Hurt, and to Fort Wayne, Ind., where he met with Keion Brooks.

Matthew Hurt
Power Forward | 6-9 | 200 lbs.
Rochester, MN | John Marshall
AAU: D1 Minnesota
ESPN No. 5 | 2 PF Top247 No. 4 | 2 PF
Rivals No. 5 | 3 PF 247 Comp. No. 4 | 2 PF

He told Hurt he will only recruit shooters in the future, which is a change in strategy from his emphasis on athletes who can drive but may not be great shooters. Hurt fits the mold.

Keion Brooks
Forward | 6-8 | 185 lbs.
Fort Wayne, IN | North Side
AAU: Spiece Indy Heat
ESPN No. 30 | 9 PF Top247 No. 16 | 5 SF
Rivals No. 36 | 13 PF 247 Comp. No. 22 | 6 SF

Brooks, though not ranked as high as many of the other prospects on UK’s board, has been a target for a long time and Cal’s trip to see him early in the spring is a sign that he is still a priority.

Saturday, April 7

While many of you were enjoying the Blue Grass Stakes Race during the first weekend of Keeneland, as was I, Calipari was pulling his third straight two-a-day on the recruiting trail.

He traveled to just outside of Memphis, Tn., to visit his first commitment in the 2019 class, DJ Jeffries, to check in on things since the hiring of Penny Hardaway.

DJ Jeffries
Forward| 6-7 | 185 lbs.
Olive Branch, MS | Olive Branch
AAU: Team Penny
ESPN No. 17 | 4 SF Top247 No. 27 | 8 SF
Rivals No. 47 | 16 PF 247 Comp.  No. 26 | 8 SF

He also paid a visit to the No. 2 player in the class, Vernon Carey, despite heavy speculation Carey prefers Duke.

Vernon Carey
Power Forward/Center | 6-10 | 245 lbs.
Fort Lauderdale, FL | University School
AAU: Nike Team Florida
ESPN No. 2 | 1 C Top247 No. 2 | 1 PF
Rivals No. 1 | 1 PF 247 Comp. No. 2 | 1 PF

Carey lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., and is the son of the former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman of the same name. He’s considered to be just as good as James Wiseman; Rivals.com even has him ranked ahead of Wiseman.

Sunday, April 8

Sunday was a big day for Calipari because it earned him a commitment for the current class. He stopped by Marietta, Ga., to see EJ Montgomery, who announced his commitment to Big Blue Nation the very next morning.

EJ Montgomery
Power Forward | 6-10 | 215 lbs.
Marietta, Ga. | Wheeler HS
AAU: Atlanta Celtics
ESPN No. 16 | 5 PF Top247 No. 6 | 2 PF
Rivals No. 11 | 2 PF 247 Comp. No. 12 | 3 PF

EJ Montgomery was also considering Duke.

It was Calipari’s last stop of the weekend before an intermission in the visits.

Monday, April 9

DEAD PERIOD

Tuesday, April 10

DEAD PERIOD

Wednesday, April 11

DEAD PERIOD

Thursday, April 12

DEAD PERIOD

Friday, April 13

When the action picked back up for a second weekend, Calipari was spotted drinking coffee and making phone calls in New York City.

If there were ever a person to actually Run On Dunkin’, it’s Cal. He loves that stuff.

I have no idea what he did with the rest of his time in the Big Apple.

Saturday, April 14

He visited a pair of New Jersey teammates, Scottie Lewis and Bryan Antoine, on Saturday. Unrelated: I think it’s unfair two top-10 players are on the same high school team.

Scottie Lewis
Small Forward | 6-5 | 177 lbs.
Eatontown, NJ | Ranney School
AAU: Team Rio
ESPN No. 8 | 1 SF Top247 No. 9 | 2 SF
Rivals No. 9 | 2 SG  247 Comp. No. 6 | 1 SF
Bryan Antoine
Shooting Guard | 6-5 | 175 lbs.
Eatontown, NJ | Ranney School
AAU: Team Rio
ESPN No. 7 | 1 SG Top247 No. 8 | 1 SG
Rivals No. 7 | 1 SG 247 Comp. No. 7 | 1 SG

He also met with Jalen Lecque, a New York product who is playing his high school ball in North Carolina.

Jalen Lecque
Guard | 6-4 | 175 lbs.
Bronx, NY | Christ School (NC)
AAU: Southern Stampede
ESPN No. 10 | 2 PG Top247 No. 10 | 2 CG
Rivals No. 13 | 2 PG 247 Comp. No. 12 | 2 CG

Lecque is a five-star point guard in the class and he too is hearing the same reclassify pitch as Hagans and Maxey.

Sunday, April 15

Maxey received another visit, his second in April, when Calipari returned to Texas for more.

Tyrese Maxey
Guard | 6-3 | 185 lbs.
Garland, Tx. | South Garland
AAU: RM5 Elite
ESPN No. 14 | 3 SG Top247 No. 17 | 2 PG
Rivals No. 11 | 3 SG 247 Comp. No. 13 | 2 PG

It’s clear Calipari really wants him.

Monday, April 16

Cal finally made it to Memphis to see his top target of them all, James Wiseman, on Monday. Wiseman is the No. 1 overall prospect in the class and, until the hiring of Penny Hardaway at Memphis, was heavily favoring Kentucky.

James Wiseman
Power Forward/Center | 6-11 | 210 lbs.
Memphis, TN | Memphis East
AAU: Team Penny
ESPN No. 1 | 1 PF Top247 No. 1 | 1 C
Rivals No. 2 | 2 PF 247 Comp.  No. 1 | 1 C

Wiseman is still favoring Kentucky, but it will be a fight now that his AAU coach is the head coach of the Tigers, and he is staying put in the Class of 2019.

Wiseman shared this photo from the visit:

First In-Home Visit was a Success. #BBN???

A post shared by James Wiseman (@bigticket_j13) on

Tuesday, April 17

Calipari visited a 2020 prospect on Tuesday when he saw Ethan Morton, the No. 59 overall high school sophomore, just outside of Pittsburgh. It’s likely the case that Calipari was in the area for other reasons and took a moment to check in on Morton, although his interest in the 6-4 shooting guard is legitimate.

Wednesday, April 18

Relaxing somewhere secret.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowell


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.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 Jonathan Kyle Reed


Well okay then.

#9 Christopher Bryan


I need this.

#8 Benjamin Farrell


What’s wrong with that?

#7 Blake Hawley


They are a married couple.

#6 Terry Settles


But it’s so cute.

#5 Danny Palmer


Well re-subscribe!

#4 Dwayne Craig


Yes please.

#3 Adam Saalwaechter


One of my favorites!

#2 Joanna


BBNBA

#1 Derek Petrey


We love you Wenyen!!!


WATCH: Matt Jones moderates Hey Kentucky Democratic Primary Debate

Tonight, Hey Kentucky hosted the Sixth District Democratic Primary Debate at the Carrick Theater at Transylvania University.

Matt Jones moderated the event, where he asked Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, retired Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath, and State Representative Reggie Thomas some hard-hitting questions about their thoughts on several different issues in the state.

You can check out the entire debate below:

.


Louisville Wide Receiver, UK Target, Decommits from the Cards

@SWiltfong247

One Kentucky kid has made it known that he’s available, and looking.

Louisville Butler wide receiver Demontae “TaeTae” Crumes announced on Twitter that he has reopened his recruitment.  “I just want to make sure I’m making the right decision for me,” Crumes said.

The 6’1″ senior-to-be committed to Louisville on February 19.  It just so happens that Mark Stoops’ staff extended a scholarship offer to Crumes five days later.  Coincidence?  I think not.

A three-star prospect, he was an All-State Honorable Mention after catching 30 passes for 770 yards and 14 touchdowns.  I watched him catch a couple of those you’ll see in the highlight below.  His spectacular playmaking ability almost single-handedly defeated my alma mater.  Crumes has got jaw-dropping juice, and that’s exactly why Kentucky is heavily pursuing him.


The Matt Jones Podcast E65: Rex Chapman

After an extended hiatus, Matt Jones has picked back up the podcast microphone.  The 65th edition of The Matt Jones Podcast is an extended conversation with former Kentucky Wildcat and current UK Sports Network broadcaster, Rex Chapman.  They touch on a variety of topics, like…

—  Is Rex worried that UK has developed a culture of failure if you stay in school?

—  Why Rex believes Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is the most NBA-ready Wildcat.

—  Will P.J. and Wenyen stay in the NBA Draft?

—  Rex had to convince Rondo not to leave UK, on more than one occasion.

—  His relationship with Cal…and his infamous National Championship pregame Tweet.

—  How his opioid addiction started and what makes it different.

—  The rehab process and Rex’s message to those who are fighting addiction.

You can have every podcast delivered straight to your phone by searching for “The Matt Jones Podcast” on iTunes and clicking “subscribe.” If you aren’t an iTunes person, you can also stream every podcast on Podbay or check it out on the Stitcher app.

Today’s podcast is brought to you by:


REPORT: Quade Green could transfer from Kentucky, La Salle would be top option

There have been rumors circulating about a potential Quade Green transfer for weeks, and now, we have our first school attached to those whispers.

Robert Snyder, a reporter for NBC Sports Boston, says John Calipari is “prepping for the loss” of Green and La Salle “would be the choice.”

Reminder: Robert Snyder, a guy I had never heard of before this report, is…

A. Affiliated with NBC Sports Boston

B. Considers himself a “bracketologist”

C. Only has 518 followers (as of now)

Of his followers, though, are Kevin O’Connor, Kyle Draper, Brian Robb, Jared Carrabis, and Tom Curran, very prominent and respected Boston sports writers/reporters.

With La Salle being located in the heart of Philadelphia, Green’s hometown, maybe Snyder has sources located in the northeast talking to the Kentucky freshman’s family/inner circle. Maybe he has talked with La Salle sources directly, and they told him Green is set to pack his bags and head up north.

Could be nothing, could be something.

As a side note, one source close to Quade Green told KSR those at home believe he wasn’t used properly in his first season at Kentucky.

“I thought he did well especially since he had to do a lot of adapting considering his role changed a few different times,” the source said. “He definitely has more to offer than he was asked to give is all I can say.

With John Calipari selling five-star guards Ashton Hagans, Tyrese Maxey, and Jalen Leque on reclassifying to 2018, maybe that’s his version of “prepping for the loss.” With Green, Hagans, Quickley, Herro, Baker, etc. already manning the Wildcat backcourt, why would Coach Cal be pushing for players to jump up a year when he could save them for a loaded 2019 guard class?

I don’t think it’s a secret Green has contemplated a transfer from Kentucky. But a five-star guard averaging nearly 30 minutes a game as a freshman transferring to La Salle…? I don’t buy it.


Why You Shouldn’t Expect James Wiseman to Reclassify into the Class of 2018

USA Basketball

There are no shortage of topics which interest Kentucky fans right now – be it what players are going pro, what players are returning for the 2019 season, and overall just what the heck the roster will look like by tip-off of the first game next year. Yet there might not be a topic more intriguing than the future of James Wiseman. The Kentucky staff met with him yesterday and everyone wants to know where the Wildcats stand, and when he will make his college choice.

Oh and there’s one other question too – will Wiseman, the top ranked player in the class of 2019, actually stay in the 2019 class at all? For months there have been all sorts of rumors that Wiseman is seriously considering a move to the class of 2018, to try and get eligible for next season.

Yet while that’s been the talk for months among fans, it isn’t something that most media members are taking seriously… yet. At least not 247 Sports’ recruiting guru and FS1 college basketball analyst Evan Daniels.

Daniels joined KSR’s “Aaron Torres Sports Podcast” earlier this week, and when Aaron asked Wiseman, and why everyone keeps bringing up a possible reclassification, Daniels shared his thoughts.

“I get why people keep asking,” Daniels said. “But he keeps answering it the same way. So until James Wiseman says something differently you have to take him at his word.”

Daniels explained that while sometimes reclassification rumors are legit, on this one, he hasn’t actually heard from anyone credible that it is a serious conversation.

Instead, it’s mostly fans that are stirring the pot and creating the narrative.

“Sometimes you hear things in the background,” Daniels said. “Sources and people recruiting the kid will say that the kid is going to do something; whether it’s commit [or] reclassify. I haven’t heard any of that with him. There’s just been speculation among fans. At this point he says he’s not reclassifying, he’s staying in the 2019 class. I’ll start to take another stance seriously when he makes a public statement saying otherwise.”

Ultimately while the potential reclassification of a star like Wiseman is exciting, there is plenty of reason to pump the breaks here a bit. There is Wiseman repeatedly denying the rumor, something that his mom did as well on Wednesday. Also, keep in mind that Wiseman is young for his age. While players like Marvin Bagley and Ashton Hags (who is trying to reclassify for next year) were a year old, and tried to get back into their proper age group, Wiseman is the age of a normal high school junior. He just turned 17 a few weeks ago and won’t be 18 for another, full, calendar year. If he stays in his class, he will enter college at the normal age for most of his peers.

So while the Wiseman/reclassification buzz is exciting, it’s probably too early to take things seriously. At least according to the biggest name in the recruiting game.

Also, to hear the rest of Evan Daniels’ entire interview with Aaron Torres, including conversation about the 2019 recruiting class as a whole, how Jeff Capel’s departure impacts Duke and more Wiseman talk, be sure to download the show by clicking here.


Watch the “Hey Kentucky” Congressional Primary Debate

It’s almost time for the first Democratic Congressional debate LIVE on “Hey Kentucky,” moderated by our own Matt Jones.

The hour-long debate will air Wednesday night at 7 pm on WLEX 18 and will feature all three candidates: Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, retired fighter pilot Amy McGrath and state Sen. Reggie Thomas.

Kentucky’s 6th District race is a very important election for the state and you can see it all begin to unfold as the Democratic candidates go head-to-head-to-head for the first time tonight.

Watch live on your television or via live streams at LEX18.com or on Facebook.


68 Wildcats named to SEC Winter Sports Honor Roll

Congratulations to the 68 student-athletes from the University of Kentucky who were named to the Southeastern Conference’s Winter Sports Academic Honor Roll today. UK placed third in the league for the most student-athletes earning a spot on the honor roll.

The most notable are the three from John Calipari’s UK basketball team: Jonny David (exercise science), Dillon Pulliam (computer engineering) and Brad Calipari (marketing). Pulliam will graduate this spring and will pursue a master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon.

The UK women’s basketball team had seven representatives in Makenzie Cann, Jessica Hardin, Maci Morris, Taylor Murray, Paige Poffenberger, Alyssa Rice and Jaida Roper.

The SEC academic honor roll is based on grades from the 2017 spring, summer and fall terms. Among other qualifications, student-athletes must have a 3.0 grade-point average to be on the honor roll.

Go Cats.


James Wiseman’s mom talks Kentucky, Penny Hardaway

This morning, James Wiseman’s mother Donzaleigh Artis did an interview with 92.9 FM in Memphis to discuss her son’s recruitment, including his in-home visit with John Calipari and Joel Justus, and his relationship with Memphis head coach Penny Hardaway, whom she said the family will host tonight.

With the early recruiting period ending tonight, it only makes sense that Penny, Wiseman’s former high school and summer league coach, will drop by to make his pitch. Artis said that although Penny is “family,” that doesn’t necessarily mean James will follow him to Memphis.

“He’s family to us. That doesn’t make my decision as to where James goes to college. Penny has to do what he has to do to get James. Even though I love Penny, I don’t play basketball.”

Interestingly, Artis insisted that her family moved from Nashville to Memphis not so James could play for Hardaway at Memphis East, but instead to support her daughter, who will be a senior at the University of Memphis this fall.

“We didn’t come here for Penny. I have a daughter that goes to University of Memphis. We came here to support her because James can go play basketball anywhere. We didn’t want — it just so happened to be the situation. We lived with the situation. We enjoyed the situation.”

Memphis fans had some fun with the picture Wiseman posted of his visit with Cal and Justus, photoshopping a framed picture of Penny on the table, which Artis laughed about but confirmed was fake.

“Yeah, I saw it,” Artis said through laughter. “I can confirm that is not Penny in the picture. I have a picture of my mother on the table. That was pretty neat. I was like, ‘Wow, okay. Somebody’s got a pretty vivid imagination.'”

@Tigerblueblood

How was that visit with Kentucky?

“The in-home visit was really good,” Artis said. “We had fun with Cal and Joel [Justus] coming in to visit. It was really nice.”

Artis said Kentucky’s been interested in her son since the ninth grade, but now that he’s almost a senior, the visits are much more intense.

“They can show him those numbers now on what they can do or how they can bring him up for visits, what he needs to get to move forward.”

Other fun tidbits: Wiseman’s favorite food is chicken and that’s about it. Maybe french fries.

“James is nothing but chicken and water. He loves him some chicken and water.”

We knew this already, but he studied Mandarin at Ensworth in Nashville before transferring to Memphis East and “is a scholar first.”

“He really likes school,” Artis said.

Artis reiterated that she wants her son to stay in the 2019 class so he can enjoy being a kid, a sentiment that is especially poignant when you learn he had an older brother who drowned when he was only five years old.

“The one thing I’ve learned about life is life’s not promised,” Artis said. “I want James to be able to say, one thing I was able to do in life was be a kid. I got to laugh. I got to be silly, jump around, play. I want him to experience that because once he decides to go to college and the NBA, no more playing. We’re in a grown man’s world now. I want him to enjoy life.”

Can’t argue with that.

[92.9 FM ESPN Radio]