Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
April 21st, 2017

De’Aaron Fox in the top three of latest Sports Illustrated Mock Draft

fox-bam-bench

Of all of Kentucky’s draft prospects, De’Aaron Fox helped himself in the month of March. Fox was fantastic in the postseason, most notably vs. one of the other elite point guards in the draft, Lonzo Ball. As a result, Fox is climbing the mock drafts. Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo has Fox in the top three of his latest mock, a considerable jump from his previous spot at #11.

“Admittedly, this isn’t as much reflective of Fox’s stock rising as it is a major shift in opinion that was partially influenced by his stellar play down the stretch,” Woo writes. “When it comes down to positional size and strength, end-to-end speed, defensive instincts and highlight-reel talent, Fox may be tops in this draft class. He’s extremely competitive, aggressive and shone as Kentucky’s best player in the second half of the year. He’s offered plenty to suggest that he’ll be highly impactful regardless of the questions about his jump shot — which to his credit, doesn’t look broken, but will need addressing. Fox was not always an efficient scorer and is less polished offensively than Fultz and Smith (who also favor driving off the bounce), but in terms of pure malleable talent, there is a case for him to be selected even higher than this. The shooting issues give him a slightly lower floor, but the ceiling is massive.”

Also in Woo’s mock: Malik Monk at #7 and Bam Adebayo at #27. Bam has yet to decide whether or not he’ll stay in the draft or return to school (he has until May 24). Like many NBA writers, Woo seems torn on Bam’s prospects.

“Adebayo’s lost a bit of his five-star luster and may still return to Kentucky,” Woo writes. “He’s got a great build, works hard on the glass, plays above the rim and doesn’t eat up a ton of touches in order to be effective, but also doesn’t do too much else. His post skills aren’t far along, he doesn’t shoot jumpers very comfortably in games, and you can see his physicality paling a bit in comparison once he’s lined up against grown men every night. The big question is what else he can offer, and whether going back to school will unearth any new dimensions to his game. As-is, he’s still a useful role player.”

Hmm. Read more at the link below.

[Sports Illustrated]


Kentucky lands commitment from 3-star Florida athlete Shocky Jacques-Louis

@ShockyMVP

@ShockyMVP

You’re looking at Shocky Jacques-Louis, a three-star 2018 athlete from Dunbar High School in Fort Meyers, Florida, and according to Patrick Loney on Twitter, he just committed to Kentucky.

The 6’2″ 165 lbs. Jacques-Louis has a three-star ranking from Rivals and Scout, and is ranked the 48th best athlete in the 2018 class by Scout. He had offers from Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, Maryland, North Carolina, and several other major programs, but apparently, Eddie Gran’s offer was too enticing to pass on.

What a name. Let’s watch him work:

UPDATE: Here’s the official announcement from Mr. Jacques-Louis himself…

Welcome aboard.


Rajon Rondo out indefinitely with fractured thumb

WSU-9179

Well, here’s some news I didn’t expect to see this morning. The Chicago Bulls just announced that Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a thumb fracture. The injury won’t require surgery, but comes in the middle of the Bulls’ first round series vs. the Boston Celtics, game three of which will take place tonight at 7 p.m.

Rondo suffered the injury during game two of the series on Tuesday night, but you wouldn’t have known it judging by his performance. Rondo had 14 assists in Chicago’s 111-97 win over Boston, looking like the Rondo of old:

Get well soon.


BBNBA: Harrison and the Grizzlies steal one from the Spurs

bbnba-playoffs

Another night of three games in the NBA Playoffs, and another two former Kentucky Wildcats took the floor for their respective teams. Andrew Harrison and the Memphis Grizzlies managed to take a game at home against the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs. In the East, Patrick Patterson and the Raptors stood essentially no chance from the beginning of the game against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Raptors were down 20 after the first quarter, while only scoring 12 points, and the Bucks never looked back.

Here’s how the two former Cats looked on the stat sheet. Spoiler alert: There’s nothing too impressive from last night.

bbnba-harrison-andrew

Andrew Harrison, Memphis Grizzlies (105-94 win over Spurs)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 25  1-6  1-3  2-2  1  1  2  6  1  0  1  3  +2  5

A triple from deep for Harrison’s only field goal of the night.

bbnba-patterson

Patrick Patterson, Toronto Raptors (104-77 loss to Bucks)

MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
 23  1-5 1-2  0-0  0 2  2  1  1  0  0  1  -21  3

Not much going for Patterson or any of the Raptors last night, as they only had 46 points at the end of the third quarter. Patterson has fallen in a bit of a funk lately and his production has diminished. In fact, Patterson has only scored in double figures four times in the last month’s worth of games. Hopefully, for both his sake and the team’s sake, PPat can find his rhythm and the Raptors can even up the series in their next game.


Tonight’s NBA Playoff action gives us three games and three chances to watch a total of four former Cats try to extend their season.

  • Boston Celtics (James Young) at Chicago Bulls (Rajon Rondo), 7pm ET on ESPN
    • Chicago Bulls lead the series 2-0
  • Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder (Enes Kanter), 9:30pm ET on ESPN
    • Houston Rockets lead the series 2-0
  • Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz (Trey Lyles), 10pm ET, on ESPN2
    • Series tied at 1-1

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Pitt transfer Cam Johnson includes Kentucky in his final list

Pitt grad transfer Cam Johnson is one of the last players John Calipari is pursuing for next season, and this morning, he told ESPN the feeling was mutual. According to Jeff BorzelloKentucky is in Johnson’s top six, along with Arizona, Ohio State, Oregon, UCLA, and TCU.

The 6’8″ shooting guard averaged 11.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists last season for Pitt, shooting 44.7% from the field and 41.5% from the three-point line. He picked up an offer from Kentucky back on April 7, and will have two years of eligibility remaining at whichever school he picks. Not only does Johnson hail from Moon Township, Pennsylvania, John Calipari’s hometown, his father, Gilbert, played at Pitt while Calipari was an assistant there. So, plenty of connections for a player who could be huge for next season, especially if the Cats miss on Kevin Knox.

It doesn’t seem that Johnson’s in a hurry to make his decision, so, in the meantime, enjoy these highlights:

 


KSR is live from Red State BBQ in Lexington! (Friday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Friday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from Red State BBQ at 4020 Georgetown Road in Lexington. Come on out to see the gang, enjoy the show, and register for some prizes. Sounds like a great way to start a Friday to me.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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Friday’s Top 10: Preds complete the sweep, UK Baseball starts a doubleheader, the Unicorn Frappuccino looks disgusting

Photo via Yahoo Sports

Photo via Yahoo Sports

It’s a happy Friday at the KSR South Compound because last night, the Nashville Predators completed their improbable sweep of the Chicago Blackhawks. As they did the entire series, the Preds dominated, winning 4-1 to advance to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they’ll face either St. Louis or Minnesota (probably St. Louis). Shoutout to goalkeeper Pekka Rinne, who has been phenomenal in the postseason, stopping 123 of 126 Chicago shots over four games. Unbelievable.

I wasn’t there, but the scene outside Bridgestone Arena after the win was crazy, with fans flipping over the Blackhawks “smash car” in celebration:

And that was only round one.  Phew. Let’s go over today’s agenda, shall we?

1. Kevin Knox will announce his decision in May

If you were hoping for an April announcement from Kevin Knox, well, sorry. Rob Jones spoke with Knox’s father, who said his son will announce his decision sometime between May 1-7. Which means it will certainly come while everyone’s busy celebrating Oaks or Derby.

2. Meanwhile, I’m going to try not to read too much into this tweet from Jarred Vanderbilt

I mean, that could be about anything, right? He could be talking about losing a game of NBA2K, not his foot injury, of which we still haven’t heard the severity despite it being almost an entire week.

…Right?

3. ICYMI, Calipari says he’s “not done quite yet” with the 2017 class

Calipari’s been a busy man this week and yesterday, took to Twitter to tell fans he’s “not done quite yet” with his 2017 class:

“Been a great last few days meeting with potential future Cats and learning about their dreams and aspirations, talking about what UK is and isn’t,” Calipari wrote. “For those asking about our current signing class, we announce the entire group together when we are finished with the class. Not done quite yet!”

Sounds like a confident man to me.

4. Louisville met with the NCAA Infractions committee

Yesterday, UofL met with the NCAA Infractions Committee for over ten hours to discuss the ongoing investigation into the sex scandal, during which they were able to appeal the charges against them. We won’t know the verdict for another six to eight weeks, which makes June quite an exciting month in the Bluegrass.

5. Because of a schedule change, UK Baseball will play a doubleheader with #8 LSU today

Bad weather is expected in Lexington tomorrow, so UK had to change the schedule for their series with #8 LSU. Starting at 2 p.m., the Bat Cats will take on the Tigers in a double header. The third game will take place Sunday. If you’d like that laid out in an even simpler format, here you go:

  • Game 1: Friday, 2 p.m.
  • Game 2: Friday, one hour after end of game 1 (about 6:30 p.m.)
  • Game 2: Sunday, 1 p.m.

If you had tickets to Saturday’s game, don’t worry, you can use them today. Or watch on SEC Network+ on your computer. Or listen on ukathletics.com, 630 WLAP, or iHeart Radio.

6. Last night in the NBA Playoffs…

…Patrick Patterson’s Raptors lost to the Bucks, while Andrew Harrison’s Grizzlies beat the Spurs. Meanwhile, LeBron James messed around and got a triple double to lead the Cavs over the Pacers. This dunk was impressive:

King things 👑 #SCtop10

A post shared by SportsCenter (@sportscenter) on

He’s pretty good at this basketball thing.

7. Tonight’s games

  • 7:00 PM: Celtics (James Young) at Bulls (Rajon Rondo), ESPN
  • 9:30 PM: Rockets at Thunder (Enes Kanter), ESPN
  • 10:00 PM: Clippers at Jazz (Trey Lyles), ESPN2

8. The 2017 NFL Schedule was released

Last night, schedules were released for the 2017 NFL season. You can see them all here, but I’ll do you a solid and copy and paste the Bengals’ slate:

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Sep. 10    Baltimore Ravens    1:00 PM
  • Sep. 14    Houston Texans (Thu)    8:25 PM
  • Sep. 24    at Green Bay Packers    4:25 PM
  • Oct. 1    at Cleveland Browns    1:00 PM
  • Oct. 8    Buffalo Bills    1:00 PM
  • Oct. 15    BYE
  • Oct. 22    at Pittsburgh Steelers    1:00 PM
  • Oct. 29    Indianapolis Colts    1:00 PM
  • Nov. 5    at Jacksonville Jaguars    1:00 PM
  • Nov. 12    at Tennessee Titans    1:00 PM
  • Nov. 19    at Denver Broncos    4:25 PM
  • Nov. 26    Cleveland Browns    1:00 PM
  • Dec. 4    Pittsburgh Steelers (Mon)    8:30 PM
  • Dec. 10    Chicago Bears    1:00 PM
  • Dec. 17    at Minnesota Vikings    1:00 PM
  • Dec. 24    Detroit Lions    1:00 PM
  • Dec. 31    at Baltimore Ravens    1:00 PM

And the Titans’:

Tennessee Titans

  • Sep. 10    Oakland Raiders    12:00 PM
  • Sep. 17    at Jacksonville Jaguars    12:00 PM
  • Sep. 24    Seattle Seahawks    3:05 PM
  • Oct. 1    at Houston Texans    12:00 PM
  • Oct. 8    at Miami Dolphins    12:00 PM
  • Oct. 16    Indianapolis Colts (Mon)    7:30 PM
  • Oct. 22    at Cleveland Browns    12:00 PM
  • Oct. 29    BYE
  • Nov. 5    Baltimore Ravens    12:00 PM
  • Nov. 12    Cincinnati Bengals    12:00 PM
  • Nov. 16    at Pittsburgh Steelers (Thu)    7:25 PM
  • Nov. 26    at Indianapolis Colts    12:00 PM
  • Dec. 3    Houston Texans    12:00 PM
  • Dec. 10    at Arizona Cardinals    3:05 PM
  • Dec. 17    at San Francisco 49ers    3:25 PM
  • Dec. 24    Los Angeles Rams    12:00 PM
  • Dec. 31    Jacksonville Jaguars    12:00 PM

Is it September yet?

9. The Unicorn Frappuccino looks absolutely disgusting

In case you somehow missed it this week, everyone’s talking about Starbucks’ new “Unicorn Frappuccino,” which, as the title implies, looks like a unicorn crapped into a cup. Seriously, this thing looks gross, which, of course, means everyone wants to try it:

Blegh. I’ll stick to tea and cappuccino as God intended, thanks.

10. KSR is at Red State BBQ in Lexington

Come on out to 4020 Georgetown Road to enjoy the show, register for some prizes, and eat some delicious BBQ.


Keeneland Weekender: 4/21/17

Image result for keeneland images

Each Friday during the Keeneland spring meet I will preview some of the most noteworthy races of the weekend, offering handicapping insight and hopefully pointing out a few winners along the way.  Follow me on Twitter @chadlashbrook for more racing thoughts and analysis.

Hopefully everyone was able to profit last weekend as we lit up the tote board with $29 winner Pour Girl and $23 winner American Patriot on Friday.  The super talented Lady Aurelia followed suit on Saturday, besting her elders in stylish fashion and making the $4 win payout look like a gift.  She’ll now head back across the pond to contest the Group 1 Kings’ Stand against the best sprinters in Europe at the prestigious Royal Ascot meet.  The stakes action at Keeneland dies down for this last full weekend of the spring meet, but there are still plenty of interesting wagering opportunities to be dissected.

Friday, April 21st, 2017 – 1st post 1:05pm

The 4th race on Friday features a very intriguing cast of seven 3yo fillies.  Most interesting is Runway Doll (# 4), a Majestic Warrior filly trained by Steve Asmussen, who aired by 13+ lengths in her Saratoga unveiling last July.  Following that victory, the Heiligbrodts (owners) sold an interest in the filly to celebrity chef Bobby Flay and connections thought well enough of her to point to the Grade 1 Spinaway at the end of the Saratoga meet.  She ran 6th that day behind recent Keeneland Beaumont Stakes winner Sweet Loretta, but exited the race with an injury that forced her to the sidelines for the remainder of 2016.  Her work tab shows a consistent pattern since early March, including a splendid gate drill over the local surface on April 9th in which she went 1:12 and 3 for 3/4 of a mile – a very strong drill for an Asmussen trainee.  Runway Doll could be any kind of filly and is definitely one to keep an eye on going forward, but this looks to be a difficult spot for her comeback attempt.  On paper the race appears to be chock full of speed, with morning-line favorite Our Majesty (# 5), Unchained Melody (# 6), White Gold (# 1), and Runway Doll all having shown front running tendencies in the past.  A hot pace would certainly set things up for Champagne Problems (# 2) who has been facing some pretty elite company in south Florida for Ian Wilkes.  She adds blinkers and cuts back in distance in addition to returning to the track where she recorded her maiden win back in October.  I simply can’t resist pairing up Champagne Problems with Never Hungover (# 3).  The Wayne Lukas charge needed 8 trips to the post to get her first win, but she has improved with each start this year and her off-the-pace running style seems well suited for this particular contest.

The 6th race offers a full field of 12 3yo maidens going 8 1/2 furlongs on the grass.  The race looks completely wide open with Sakonnet (# 1), Knight’s Dream (# 3) and Sentry (# 5) likely to vie for favoritism.  While they all offer decent credentials in this spot, the winner could come from anywhere, and I’ll focus on two interesting long shots.  Royal Ruse (# 9) makes his debut for turf aficionado Jonathan Sheppard who owns an 18% strike rate with 1st timers.  The Hat Trick gelding out of a Royal Academy mare was certainly bred with the grass in mind and has a very unique pattern of morning drills in preparation for his initial foray into afternoon competition.  Sheppard sent him out to a spritely mile and a quarter breeze in 2:08 and change just three weeks ago in Camden, SC.  He returned last week with another solid 3/4 mile work in 1:13, so he should be plenty fit for this first outing.  He looks well meant in this spot and is worth a stab at the 15/1 morning line price.  Super Buddy (# 11) makes his first start on the lawn for trainer Jimmy Toner and top rider Paco Lopez.  He ran well in his first start to be 3rd, beaten 5 lengths, behind two horses that went on to spend time on the Derby trail this spring, Impressive Edge and Patch (2nd in the Louisiana Derby).  Super Buddy lost all chance when bumped at the break in his last start and may well improve with the surface switch and addition of blinkers.

Race 9 is the Friday feature, the Grade 3 Doubledogdare.  Unbridled Mo (# 5) is a very deserving favorite in this spot for Todd Pletcher and Johnny Velazquez.  She is a multiple graded stakes winner with superior speed figures over this group and her versatility will serve her well against these inferior foes.  Look to create some value by using Power of Snunner (# 1) underneath as opposed to 2nd and 3rd morning line choices Lady Fog Horn (# 2) and Dear Elaine (# 3) who both failed to impress when running 2nd and 3rd in a local warm-up for this on opening weekend.  Power of Snunner has been running well against graded competition in Arkansas this winter for trainer Joe Sharp and picks up Hall of Famer Mike Smith for her Keeneland debut.

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 – 1st post 1:05pm

The weather forecast for Saturday looks terribly atrocious, and all the Saturday selections have been made with that in mind.  The 3rd race is a contentious 6 horse affair led by Limousine Liberal (# 4) who returns quickly after running 3rd in the Grade 3 Commonwealth on opening weekend.  While Limousine Liberal is a deserving favorite and certainly the most likely winner, I find enough reasons to play against him at even money.  He has never seen an off-track and is also running back much quicker than ever before after a taxing effort against stiff competition.  Both No Hiding Place (# 1) and Wyeth (# 3) offer logical options against the top choice.  No Hiding Place relished the sloppy going here a year ago when drawing away by 3 lengths in an allowance event over this same 6 furlong distance.  He has been away since a troubled trip against stakes company in Saratoga, but trainer Wesley Ward does very well getting horses fit off the bench.  Wyeth has been running some decent races on the Fairgrounds lawn over the winter, and turf horses often run well over wet tracks.  By Candy Ride out of a Smoke Glacken mare, he is bred to appreciate the off going, and trainer Tom Amoss wins at a rate of 39% moving horses off the lawn and onto the main track.

In the 6th race, Meantime (# 7) must be respected exiting two salty maiden races at Gulfstream Park, but he was backing up at the finish of both of those shorter contests and may lack the necessary stamina for a two-turn romp in the mud.  Professor Snape is bred both for the distance and the off going and should be respected from a barn that fires 31% with 2nd time starters.  Tapsolute (# 4) has been improving with each start, but regular rider Ricardo Santana Jr. lands on Vandelay (# 5) who finished a neck in front of that foe two starts back at Oaklawn Park.

Race 8 is a 6 furlong allowance event that drew seven 3yos.  Aquamarine (# 6), aptly named for the expected conditions, broke his maiden over a sloppy track in impressive fashion, besting recent San Pedro Stakes winner Aristocratic in the process.  While those credentials may well land him the favorite’s role, there is significant reason to look elsewhere.  Aquamarine left the barn of Bob Baffert and is making his first start for hall of famer Wayne Lukas.  Baffert excels at developing top notch 3yos and older handicap horses, and he asks a lot of his horses in the process.  The animals that leave his barn are usually not cut out for the rigors of such a demanding training regimen and in most cases never reproduce the early promise they may have flashed while under his care.  Jersey Street (# 7) earned his diploma over a sloppy track at Churchill Downs and ran 2nd to subsequent stakes winner One Liner in his most recent dirt effort.  The outside post will allow Corey Lanarie to take a patient approach and astutely assess the pace scenario before committing to tactics with his mount.

The 9th race Saturday feature event is the Grade 3 Elkhorn Stakes, a three-turn mile and a half route for older horses on the grass.  A well matched field of 11 is signed up, though the course condition may well force a few scratches.  Assuming Keeneland officials elect to keep the race on the grass, there are several key contenders.  Interpol (# 1) has tactical speed and carries a 2 for 4 record at the distance, including a Grade 1 win over a yielding course in Woodbine’s Northern Dancer back in 2015.  He makes his second start off the extended layoff for Jimmy Toner under able grass rider Jose Lezcano.  Bigger Picture (# 5), one of several entered from the Mike Maker barn, rates as the top selection with Jose Ortiz aboard.  He is 1 for 2 at the distance with his second place finish being just a nose short over the Keeneland green in the fall edition of this race, the Sycamore, over ground labeled “good”.  The race looks to have ample speed signed on to insure an honest pace, and expect Bigger Picture to be rolling late as usual.

Best of luck to all and try to stay dry this weekend.


April 20th, 2017

Pros and Cons: Making Bamba’s Decision For Him

mohamed-bamba

Time is winding down on the recruitment of Mohamed Bamba, the No. 2 high school senior in America. Bamba has made no plans to make and announce his decision in the near future, but as May draws closer, Bamba’s decision does too.

Once the seven-footer’s college destination is announced, it will be one of four schools: Duke, Kentucky, Michigan or Texas. All good schools, all with their own pros and cons. Let’s break those pros and cons down tonight and decide which is the better option for Bamba. (We’ll be unbiased here.)

 


Pros:

1. Academics. Of the four schools Bamba is considering, a diploma from Duke will look best on the mantle. Education is important to Bamba and Duke would challenge him in that area, if not for the fact he will likely be there for only one year.

2. Coach K. Best college basketball coach ever? He’s in the conversation.

3. Elite program and title contender. Per usual, Duke will be one of the top teams in the preseason rankings and conversations. That will continue ad nauseam throughout the season up until somewhere around the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Cons:

1. Wendell Carter and Marques Bolden. Duke’s frontcourt is pretty much set already with incoming freshman Wendell Carter and returning sophomore Marques Bolden inside. Bamba would obviously challenge those two for a spot, but somebody ain’t going to be happy in the end.

2. Having to play with Grayson Allen. Earlier this week Grayson Allen announced his return to Duke. And who would voluntarily share a locker room and play basketball with that guy? He’s a crazy person.

3. Google ‘Jahlil Okafor’. With all due respect to Coach K’s greatness, he doesn’t have the track record of other coaches (*cough* Calipari *cough*) when it comes to star one-and-done big men.


Pros:

1. Academics. Like Duke, Michigan provides a great education. It’s considered one of the best public schools in America, while bringing the big-time university atmosphere, unlike Duke.

2. Football tickets? Game’s at the Big House look fun. I hear Michigan has a pretty nice campus too.

3. I got nothing. Literally can’t think of a third pro.

Cons

1. Big Ten. Why would anyone want to play in the Big Ten? I’m falling asleep just thinking about it.

2. John Beilein’s never had a young star. In his 10 years at Michigan, John Beilein has never had a five-star prospect. Can he coach one up? Can he get one ready for the NBA? I wouldn’t want to be the first to find out.

3. It’s not Duke, Kentucky or Texas. Sorry, Michigan fans. Good luck against Ohio State in football next year. Harbaugh should have you in the playoff.


Pros:

1. Living in Austin, Texas. Austin is awesome.

2. Chance to put Texas basketball on the map. One of the top two or three athletics schools in the country is lacking in basketball. Bamba could bring the program to the top and put an end to Kansas’s Big 12 dominance.

3. The spot’s wide open. Texas lost its star big man, Jarrett Allen, to the NBA. Bamba would walk into his position with nobody challenging him for one minute of action. It’d be his show, although with little help.

Cons:

1. Farthest from home. Bamba is originally from Harlem and he played his high school basketball in Philadelphia. Of the four schools he is considering, Texas is the farthest by about a million miles.

2. Shaka Smart. He’s not at VCU and it’s not 2011. Smart is still milking all he can get out of that one magical run six years ago.

3. Nobody cares. Unless Bamba is playing defensive end or tight end, nobody at Texas is going to care that he is on campus. I don’t think anyone on campus today knows Kevin Durant played there, nor could they find the basketball arena on a map.


Pros:

1. Quade Green and Hamidou Diallo. Bamba has been open about his close friendships with Quade Green and Hamidou Diallo, the projected starting backcourt at Kentucky next season. Green has been the lead recruiter for Bamba, while Diallo has been in his ear about what it’s like to be a Wildcat. Together, the three are best buds.

2. No. 1 overall pick. John Calipari’s pretty good at producing those. He’s responsible for four of the last nine.

3. National Championship. Kentucky’s due for one.

Cons:

1. Having to sign all those autographs. And having an entire Nation adore him.

2. Being on TV every game. It must get exhausting playing in front of so many people every single game and building his own brand for the future.

3. Picking friends and family for green room table. The NBA draft won’t let its top player bring everyone to New York, so there’s the difficult decision of narrowing friends and family down to one table. Plus he’d have to buy a nice suit and pay all those taxes and all of the other struggles that come with being a superstar before the age of 20.


 

OBVIOUS PICK: KENTUCKY

(Unbiased opinion, of course.)


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowellThe 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 

Now. On to the tweets:

 

#10 Kenny Hayes

I do not have a response.

 

#9 Kara

Glad to be of service. Just trying to help out.

 

#8 John Robic’s Hair

This is the only time that the Backstreet Boys are okay.

 

#7 Trey Minton

His shirt can’t get any tighter.

 

#6 Jay Moore

15 seconds of battery is just useless.

 

#5 matt boatman

That would just be straight up entertainment.

 

#4 TLS

We do it all at KSR.

 

#3 Ray Bratcher

We got gossip just for your birthday.

 

#2 Bread Uminger

Putting his name in the history books.

 

#1 Corey Burkhead

Same, Corey, same.

 

@haleysimpKSR


Kentucky’s Spring Practice was Uncharacteristically Quiet, and That’s a Good Thing

The 2017 edition of Kentucky spring football was unlike any I’ve covered in five years for Kentucky Sports Radio.  It was quiet, almost too quiet.

Spring practice has been quiet in the past, mostly due to apathy.  Since Mark Stoops arrived four years ago, spring football personified the season.  Optimism filled the air like pollen, creating unsubstantiated expectations that created plenty of noise, but would slowly turn into a nuisance.

In his first year, more than 50,000 fans showed Stoops they cared about the football program.  Just hearing Stoops’ rhetoric brought fans in droves.  They knew there wasn’t much to see, but it was enlightening to hear hope from the head football coach.

The following year, fans received their favorite spring football storyline: two Kentucky kids battling to be the starting quarterback.  A former Mr. Football spent a redshirt year learning from an Air Raid alum.  A four-star Elite 11 quarterback turned down Steve Spurrier to help bring in the highest-ranked recruiting class in school history.  Adding to the hype was a $110 million stadium renovation, announced just a few months earlier.  There was plenty of hope, even though it only produced three more wins.

The third year of spring ball for Mark Stoops was unlike any other spring in Kentucky.  A stadium under construction eliminated the game, yet fans prepared for a breakthrough.  It was the second year for a lot of things: the starting quarterback, the explosive freshmen playmakers and more star-studded recruits.

The season started with a Boom in a new stadium, but the Cats could not break through, or as Stoops would later describe it, “knock down doors.”  They were close many times, but fell flat when it mattered most to fans, at home, under the spotlight.

The close calls filled the spring air with tension last year.  More questions were being asked about Stoops’ ability to develop, the theme for every college coach during spring ball.  His greatest achievements at Kentucky were all in the realm of recruiting, and even that was under a microscope after a rash of decommitments leading into 2016’s spring practice.

The 2016 team contrasted heavily with the one we heard about in the spring.  They “knocked down doors.”  They won on the road.  They took the Governor’s Cup from a Heisman Trophy winner.  They went bowling.

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Stoops’ success in his fourth season as head coach took away what normally defined spring practice: expectations.  There isn’t an ultimatum at Stoops’ feet.  There isn’t even a marquee position battle for people to point to.

On offense, a 1,000 yard-rusher and Freshman All-American gets to run behind one of the nation’s best offensive lines that lost just one player.  A quarterback that outplayed the Heisman Trophy winner got to spend six weeks creating better chemistry with wide receivers that have collectively played more snaps than any group in recent memory.  On the other side of the ball, the focus wasn’t on, “Who will make all the tackles?”  The storyline was, “Who will back up the best safety and linebacker in the SEC?”  The young secondary is no longer young.  The young pass rushers that surpassed Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith are no longer young.  The defensive line that struggled a year ago has new, aggressive leadership.

All of it culminated Friday night by showcasing competitiveness at every position.  The stars — Johnson, Snell, Jordan Jones, Denzil Ware, Juice — did not need to play a ton of reps to prove their worth.  Instead, Stoops got to show off his young troops.  Early enrollees Jamin Davis and Clevan Thomas impressed.  Redshirts that spent the season on the scout team — Gunnar Hoak, Boogie Watson, A.J. Rose and Zy’Aire Hughes — provided even more optimism for the future.

Stoops spent his first four years finishing spring ball by discussing important position battles.  This year he simply sang the team’s praise for improving as a whole, the purpose of spring practice.

“I was very proud of our players,” Stoops said after the game.  “We talked last summer about their capacity to handle more. Well they took a lot of coaching for a long time.”

That quote bores the casual observer and does not create headlines for journalists.  It’s how programs quietly develop into major players in the college football landscape.  The quiet is exactly what Mark Stoops needed before a season that could take Kentucky football to new heights.


You Can’t Mock Kentucky’s Bowl Rings After Seeing Oklahoma State’s

Eric Gay | AP

Eric Gay | AP

When the Kentucky football team received rings celebrating their TaxSlayer Bowl appearance and Governor’s Cup victory, plenty of people picked up their torches and pitchforks.  Criticism came from all directions, including Kentucky fans, but it’s not the most ridiculous college football ring from the 2016 season.

Mullet man Mike Gundy guided the Oklahoma State Cowboys to an Alama Bowl victory.  We can all agree, they deserve a ring for their bowl win.  It’s what’s on the side of the rings that makes them abnormal.

@BP_State

@BP_State

Oklahoma State had a 10-3 record, not 11-2.  Gundy isn’t counting the Cowboys last-second loss to Central Michigan.  The game ended on an untimed down, an untimed down Central Michigan should not have been awarded.  The Cowboys lost on a miracle play thanks to an official’s error.

Even though they were wrongfully handed a loss by the officials, Oklahoma State still got embarrassed by an unbelievable Hail Mary.  If I was wearing the ring, the edited record would only remind me of that painful loss every time I wore it.  It’s silly to change the ring, but I can’t hate on anybody’s athletic ring because I wish I had one.

“They hate us, cause they ain’t us.” – Mike Gundy, probably.  


Congressman James Comer joins Hey Kentucky!

Screen Shot 2017-04-20 at 7.07.01 PM

Kentucky Congressman James Comer sat in the co-hosting chair for tonight’s episode of Hey Kentucky!  As usual, they discussed today’s topics, but things get a little more interesting when Comer discusses his time in Washington.  Comer’s served the state of Kentucky for years, but a politician’s life in Frankfort is much different than a politician’s life in Washington D.C.

Watch the entire episode after the jump.

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UofL Expects to Learn their Fate in Six to Eight Weeks

Inspired by Dan Koob, this is @DanielleLerner's artist rendering of the hearing.

Inspired by Dan Koob, this is @Danielle_Lerner’s artist rendering of the hearing.

Today the University of Louisville had their day in court.

Behind closed doors in Cincinnati, UofL made their case to the NCAA Committee of Infractions.  After deliberating for about eleven hours, UofL Interim President Greg Postel believes they’ll receive the final word from the NCAA in six to eight weeks.  Read the statements from the president and Tom Jurich, courtesy of Eric Crawford.

Mark your calendar for the first week of June.


Mark Stoops has a Top 25 Recruiting Class

stoops-wave-ksr

Before the summer camp season begins around the football world, ESPN released their first team rankings for the 2018 recruiting class.  Mark Stoops’ 2018 class is ranked No. 22 by the Worldwide Leader in Sports.  Alabama is currently ranked No. 25.

Stoops only has six commits so far in the 2018 class, headlined by dual-threat quarterback Jarren Williams and defensive end Alex Reigelsperger.  Both are four-star recruits ranked in the Top 300 of their class; Reigelsperger is No. 147 and Williams is No. 257 overall.

Obviously, much will change before the recruiting calendar year comes to a close ten months from now on National Signing Day.  If the class can finish better than No. 22, it will be the highest-ranked recruit class in school history, surpassing the 2014 class.  A look at how Stoops’ class stacks up in all four major recruiting services:

  • ESPN: 22
  • 247 Composite: 23
  • Scout:
  • Rivals: 21