Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
July 1st, 2015

Larry Fitzgerald reaches out to Devin Booker

bookerfitz

 

Devin Booker is settling in to his new home in Phoenix, and last night, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald reached out to offer to show him the ropes:

What a nice gesture, right? In case you’re wondering who Ric Elias is, he’s the CEO of Red Ventures, a technology-driven marketing and sales services company headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Elias is close pals with John Calipari and has participated in Cal’s Fantasy Camp for the past few years, which may be where he met Devin. He’s apparently also tight with Fitzgerald. Six degrees of John Calipari?

Ladies, here’s a closeup of Devin’s new Twitter avatar because I know you want it:


KSR is live from Hudson Toyota in Madisonville! (Wednesday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, Matt and Drew are at Hudson Toyota (1055 Crossing Place) in Drew’s hometown of Madisonville for stop #6 on the KSR Summer Tour. Come on out to say hello, listen to them talk about the Cats, and the chance to win tickets from GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com.

**POLL QUESTION OF THE DAY**

survey software

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

Here’s an updated list of tour stops. We’re still finalizing a few, so be sure to check back as the week goes on.

July 1: Madisonville – Hudson Toyota
July 2: Morgantown – Final Finish
July 3: Hopkinsville – Holiday Inn

July 6: Morganfield – Southern States
July 7: Grayson – Simply The Best Bar & Grill
July 8: Pikeville – Bank 253
July 9: Williamson – Appalachian Wireless at South Side Mall
July 10: KY Speedway

July 13: Cynthiana – Cynthiana County Club
July 14: Whitley City – McCreary County Public Library
July 15: London – Sleep Outfitters
July 16-17: TBD

July 20: Whitesburg – Pine Mountain Grill
July 21: Manchester – Clay County Middle School
July 22: Somerset – Sleep Outfitters
July 23: Harlan – Core Fitness
July 24: Fort Wright – Dickmann’s Sports Bar

July 27: Campbellsville – Mr. Gatti’s
July 28: Owensboro – Don Moore GM Center
July 29: Benton – Kennedy’s Fan Shop
July 30: Paducah – Buffalo Wild Wings
July 31: Fancy Farm

August 3: Bowling Green – Chaney’s Dairy Barn
August 4: McKee – Old Courthouse Community Room
August 5: Glasgow – Papa John’s
August 6: Jamestown –Lawless-Smith True Value and Appliance Center (Russell Springs)
August 7: Monticello – Conley Bottom Resort

August 10: Frankfort – Governor’s Mansion
August 11: Maysville – Laurel Oaks Golf Course
August 12: Danville – Sun Tropic Outdoors
August 13: Lexington – All Sports at Fayette Mall
August 14: Louisville

gotc-ksr

GuyOnTheCornerTickets.com is giving away UK basketball and football tickets at every tour stop this summer. That’s 33 chances to win, and all you have to do is come out to listen to your favorite radio show. That’s so easy even Ryan Lemond could do it!


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Ranking the Losses of the Calipari Era

Wisconsin v Kentucky

We have had 190 wins in the 6 years of John Calipari.  And there are more wins during that time that will forever be remembered than I care to count right now.  It’s been just a golden era of UK basketball.  But sometimes you take the bad with the good and we haven’t been perfect in these 6 years.  When you have an elite program like Kentucky, the losses hurt that bad too.  I thought I would rank the 38 losses of the Calipari era.  These games are a mixture of how “bad” a loss was and also how much that loss “hurt” to see.  I split up the losses into 4 categories: Crippling Forever, Memorable, Forgettable, and Positive.

CRIPPLING FOREVER
1. 2014-15: #3 Wisconsin (71-64, Final Four, The Perfect Season Implodes)
2. 2009-10: #6 West Virginia (73-66, Elite 8, Jodie Meeks Missing Game)
3. 2012-13: Robert Morris (59-57, NIT)
4. 2011-12: at Indiana (73-72, Christian Watford buzzer-beater)
5. 2013-14: UCONN (70-64, NCAA Championship, Cats Surprise Run Hits a Wall)
6. 2012-13: Vanderbilt (64-48, SEC Tournament, Sends Cats to NIT)
7. 2010-11: #9 UCONN (56-55, Final Four, Liggins Late Miss Ends Surprise Run)

These will stay with any fan old enough to remember them forever.  Each NCAA Tournament loss has been tough to take under Calipari.  Throw in the Christian Watford game plus the final 2 games of the disaster season of 2012-13 and you have my top 7 losses.  I think it’s hard to argue adding many to this list but the order is probably up for debate.

MEMORABLE
8. 2012-13: at Tennessee (88-58, Worst Margin in Cal era)
9. 2013-14: at South Carolina (72-67, Cats Bomb Against SEC’s Worst)
10. 2012-13: Baylor (64-55, 54-game home winning streak snapped)
11. 2012-13: at #4 Louisville (80-77, Only Loss to Cards in Cal era)
12. 2013-14: #20 Baylor (67-62, Midnight Start Time)
13. 2013-14: #2 Michigan State (78-74, Champions Classic, #1 vs #2)
14. 2009-10: at South Carolina (68-62, Demarcus Cousins/Obama)
15. 2011-12: Vanderbilt (71-64, SEC Tournament Final)
16. 2013-14: Arkansas (71-67 ot, Cats NCAA Tournament Hopes Get Shaky)
17. 2012-13: Texas A&M (83-71, Elston Turner’s 40-point game)
18. 2013-14: #3 Florida (69-59, Cal’s 2nd double digit home loss)
19. 2012-13: at #7 Florida (69-52, Nerlens Noel season-ending injury)
20. 2013-14: at Arkansas (87-85, ot, Buzzer-Beating Dunk)
21. 2012-13: Duke (75-68, Champions Classic)
22. 2013-14: at #1 Florida (84-65, Cal’s 2nd largest loss)
23. 2012-13: at Notre Dame (64-50, Big East/SEC Challenge)
24. 2013-14: at #21 North Carolina (82-77)
25. 2010-11: UCONN (84-67, Maui Invitational Final)
26. 2010-11: at Alabama (68-66, Calipari/T Jones MF**** game)
27. 2010-11: at Ole Miss (71-69, Chris Warren late 3 beats Cats)

A lot of games that Kentucky fans will remember, mostly for one moment or key theme with the game.  While all of these losses hurt in the moment, I think all of them fade away as time goes.  They will simply be footnotes for Calipari’s reign here, more than define his career in any way.

FORGETTABLE
28. 2010-11: at North Carolina (75-73)
29. 2010-11: at Arkansas (77-76, ot)
30. 2010-11: at Florida (70-68)
31. 2009-10: at #19 Tennessee (74-65)
32. 2013-14: at LSU (87-82)
33. 2012-13: at Georgia (72-62)
34. 2012-13: at Arkansas (73-60)
35. 2010-11: at #23 Vanderbilt (81-77)
36. 2012-13: at Alabama (59-55)
37. 2010-11: at Georgia (77-70)

Did these even happen?  I remember maybe 1-2 of these 10 games.  Anything I am missing with this group?

POSITIVE
38. 2013-14: #1 Florida (61-60, SEC Tournament Final, Cats Gives Fans Hope)

That’s right, I am calling this loss a positive in the Calipari era.  Above all else, this gave fans hopes that this team had found it’s groove.  Which turned out to be true in that NCAA Tournament.  It’s rare you come out happy after a loss, but I think this was the one time that UK fans did.  Or at least me.


The USWNT’s Wednesday Morning Wakeup

Mornin’ everybody. Tell me you watched the U.S. Women’s National Team defeat Germany last night in the semifinals of the World Cup. The Germans were ranked No. 1 in the world, but it didn’t matter last night. They can take that ranking back with them to Germany on the first flight out of Canada today. Auf Wiedersehen.

But if you missed it, the U.S. dodged a bullet when Germany went wide left on a penalty kick in an 0-0 game, and then added two goals of their own for a 2-0 final to advance to the championship game. Japan and England play today in the other semifinal. The winner will meet the USWNT on Sunday at 7 p.m. for the cup.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

 

Governor Beshear is playing with Tiger Woods in the Greenbrier Pro-Am today.

He and Tiger were scheduled to tee off at 7 a.m. in the first group of the day at the Greenbrier Classic in West Virginia. Governor Beshear played with Phil Mickleson in 2012 and Bubba Watson in 2013.

Other amateurs this year include Shaquille O’Neal, Mike D’Antoni and the Duck Dynasty clan.

NBA free agency is underway.

Today marks the first day of free agency in the league and some of the game’s biggest stars have decisions to make. Anthony Davis signed his new deal at midnight, while Brandon Knight is set to lock down a huge contract with the Suns. Then there are two key unrestricted free agents in Cleveland: LeBron James and Kevin Love. Both are expected to stick around. The biggest name on the move will likely be Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge to the Lakers, possibly with Rajon Rondo.

A.D. was celebrating last night.

He has a lot more money than you and me combined.

Georgios Papagiannis still considering Kentucky, deciding soon.

The seven-footer has a Round of 16 game at the U19 World Championship today, so don’t expect any big news until Greece is eliminated and he’s back home to weigh his decision. But that decision will be coming in the near future and he insists UK is still in the hunt. He’s also considering N.C. State and St. John’s with intentions of playing college basketball next season.

Will we hear more Coach Cal rumors?

“I WILL BE AT KENTUCKY” was a pretty convincing tweet from Calipari yesterday. I think the Kings rumor was our last scare for the summer. Hopefully.

We’re at Hudson Toyota in Madisonville today!

So come on out and hear the show if you’re in or around The Best Town On Earth.

 


Anthony Davis signs ridiculous extension with New Orleans

Anthony Davis has agreed to a five-year contract extension worth roughly $145 million with the Pelicans, beginning next season. His 2015-16 salary will be around $26 million, then it’ll only get better once the NBA salary cap increases next summer. The new deal makes him the highest paid player in the NBA.

Congrats, AD!


June 30th, 2015

Cal shoots down Kings rumor: “I WILL BE AT KENTUCKY”

john-calipari-ncaa-basketball-final-four-kentucky-practice3

Just like that, here comes John Calipari on the white horse to make us all feel better. Cal sent out this statement seconds ago:

For the 100th time, I have the best basketball coaching position in the world. I am not looking for any other coaching position. Since he bought the team, Vivek Ranadive and I have talked on and off about DeMarcus Cousins. Vivek has asked me what I thought about DeMarcus and I told him he would be an all-star, and I was right. In the last two weeks, we’ve also talked a bunch about the draft and on draft day, obviously because of Willie Cauley-Stein. At no time has Vivek offered me a job. I will be at Kentucky.

That last part in tweet form because it was awesome:


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

Salads_500x500
Summer’s here and so is the perfect summer salad—Wendy’s Strawberry Fields Chicken Salad. Made with hand-sliced strawberries and crisp Romaine chopped right in our kitchens. All topped with warm, freshly grilled chicken. It’s only here for summer and it’s only at Wendy’s. At participating Wendy’s for a limited time


You can be a part of Wendy’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. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Ben Collins


This makes me sick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#9 Stormie


You’re a good sibling. Keep it up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#8 John Wall


Wasn’t Matt just talking about players taking pictures in front of cars yesterday on the show?

 

 

 

 

 

 

#7 Brian Jeffiers


Seems to add up right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#6 Wanda Shepherd


Very accurate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 Mike C


Mike makes a strong point. Someone send that tweet to Forde.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#4 Hayden Flash Mosley


Okay, guys. Now I am worried. That seems like a dream job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3 Trey Lyles


Looks like someone is a little upset he left the team. It could have been you, Trey.

(Tyler had a good reason why that didn’t happen though:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2 (Fake) Lou Holtz


Lou Holtz just ruined pizza for me for life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1 Roy Combs


I wasn’t worried Cal would leave this morning until I saw Roy’s tweet. It was very scary to see this.

 

@Hessler_KSR


Jason Hatcher: The Defensive X Factor

Via USA Today

When Mark Stoops arrived on campus in 2012 he made locking up local kids in his first class a priority. Ryan Timmons was the first Kentuckian to commit to Mark Stoops and on signing day Jason Hatcher joined him when he flipped his commitment from Southern Cal. The consensus top 20 Defensive End prospect was one of the crown jewels of Stoops first class but he enters his junior season as almost an afterthought. In fact in ESPN’s article today “Why Kentucky will or won’t make a bowl game” cited the lack of Bud Dupree and Za’Darius as a reason why they wouldn’t. Here’s what the worldwide leader had to say:

  • No Dupree or Smith: Kentucky’s defense was supposed to be one of its strengths last season, but it finished No. 95 nationally in scoring defense, allowing 31.3 points per game. To make matters worse, last season’s group lost its two best players — Bud Dupreeand Za’Darius Smith — to the NFL. The coaches hope Jason Hatcher can fill the void left by Dupree, but replacing a player who had 12.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks is never easy. At this point, the Wildcats might be deeper on that side of the ball, but there’s no proof yet that they will be better. And they need to be better.

Let’s see how Hatcher can replace Bud’s 12.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. As a freshman Hatcher played in 10 games behind Z and Bud and despite the limited minutes he recorded 19 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks. Last year Hatch Attack tallied 27 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 10 games. Once, again he was playing behind a future first and fourth rounder. That’s allowed Jason Hatcher to fly under the radar and enter this season ready to breakout.

One of the strengths of last seasons defense was the ability to put some pressure on opposing defenses and force them into bad passes and interceptions. Jason Hatcher can bring that pressure this upcoming year. Some think the defensive line is a poisitionof concern for the upcoming year but I think its secretly going to be the X-Factor. Hatcher may not be Bud Dupree but he the has talent to win games for the Wildcats. If the Cats don’t make a bowl it won’t be because Dupree and Smith have gone on to the league.

 


Coach Cal has turned down so many jobs

cal-no

No coach in America is connected to more job openings than Kentucky’s John Calipari. If an NBA franchise fires its coach, a report naming Calipari as a potential replacement immediately follows. He has even been named a candidate for jobs that aren’t open, the most recent being today’s report he could possibly take over for George Karl in Sacramento.

Yahoo! reported the Kings were probing Calipari about his interest in running the front office and coaching DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein in the NBA. Cal quickly denied any job offers from Sacramento:

“For the 100th time, I have the best basketball coaching position in the world. I am not looking for any other coaching position. Since he bought the team, Vivek Ranadive and I have talked on and off about DeMarcus Cousins. Vivek has asked me what I thought about DeMarcus and I told him he would be an all-star, and I was right. In the last two weeks, we’ve also talked a bunch about the draft and on draft day, obviously because of Willie Cauley-Stein. At no time has Vivek offered me a job. I will be at Kentucky.”

But before the Kings, it was the opportunity to coach two more of his favorite former players, Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans, in New Orleans. A report back in May said Calipari made it known to the Pelicans he had interest in the job, only to be shot down by Calipari hours later on Twitter:

“Even though Anthony and Tyreke are in NOLA, I have no interest in the Pelicans or any other job. I have a great job and I’m happy at UK.”

And then there is this release from Calipari in the spring, turning down another opportunity in college:

“While I respect the program’s tradition and have enjoyed the rivalry these past six years, I have no interest in mentoring Rick Pitino at the University of Louisville. Coach Pitino and Tom Jurich reached out to me about leaving the University of Kentucky to serve as a special advisor to the Louisville program, but our conversation was very brief. I look forward to beating them again this upcoming season.”

What about the time he was offered an unpaid internship?

“Who is Bryan The Intern and why would I leave UK to write about hypothetical stats every morning at 9:00 am? There’s not a chance in hell I quit coaching to become a KSR blogger.”

A similar position opened up in Lexington:

“No, I do not want to become the UK basketball beat writer for The Herald-Leader, although I do believe Jerry Tipton needs to be replaced. He has cost the paper a large portion of its readership and our fan base deserves better. That being said, I will not accept a job offer from a dying entity, or any other offer, for that matter.”

This is the closest we were to losing him:

“Big Blue Nation, I’ve always been completely open and honest with you from the very beginning. That is why I want you to know I considered stepping down as head coach of the men’s basketball team to accept an opportunity to play keyboard for the popular Train cover band, Drops of Jupiter. However, in the end, the late nights and long trips around the country in the band’s Dodge Caravan, and the lack of a long-term contract, weren’t enough to lure me away from the University of Kentucky, where I change the lives of entire families.”

This one may be worth keeping an eye on:

“I have not had any conversations with Tommy Bahama about management opportunities at its Tanger Outlet location in Myrtle Beach. I would need full control of employee scheduling and more than a 35% discount before even considering a position with the company. Until then, I will continue to support the brand while vacationing with Ellen. “

And lastly, a final release on a previous offer:

“As I’ve said before, I have zero interest in leaving the University of Kentucky to mentor Rick Pitino at Louisville. I ask that Coach Pitino respect my family’s privacy going forward. The late night phone calls and constant begging must stop.”

 


Lexington Pizza Hut fires employee for fondling himself on the job

I haven’t checked out Pizza Hut’s employee handbook recently but I’m pretty sure masturbating on the job is a huge no-no. In fact, I can’t think of many jobs that condone such behavior, especially in the food industry.

But one Pizza Hut employee (now former employee) in Lexington got him a handful of his own brand while on the clock and a photo captured through the drive-thru window has gone viral. Here’s the Facebook post that accused him of “playing with himself the whole time” as two teenage girls patiently waited for a pizza.

There are so many jokes running through my mind right now. I could go all day, but I won’t. I’ll show some restraint and just encourage you to stay away from Pizza Hut for a while.

Can we cut off this guy’s hand?

[Gawker: Pizza Hut Fires Man After Customers Say They Caught Him Masturbating]


Another 2016 mock draft has Skal and Jamal Murray going in the lottery

skalmurray

On Saturday, CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish got an early start on his 2016 mock draft and predicted Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray to go first and third. Today, Sports Illustrated’s David Gardner also has Skal and Murray going in the lottery, Skal first and Murray twelfth:

1. Skal Labissiere, Kentucky
Freshman | 7-foot, 216 pounds | center

Labissiere could become the second Kentucky 7-footer in a row taken atop the NBA draft. He isn’t yet the post player that Karl Towns is, but remember that Kentucky coach John Calipari forced Towns to play more in the paint as a freshman and helped him to develop those post moves. If Labissiere can develop a few go-to post moves to pair with his perimeter skills, he’ll be a no-brainer in the top spot. The biggest potential problem for Labissiere would be an NCAA investigation into the prep school he played for in high school.

12. Jamal Murray, Kentucky
Freshman | 6’5”, 201 pounds | guard

Murray may be the quickest riser in this NBA draft. He quickly reclassified from 2016 to 2015 so that he could play at Kentucky this fall. Murray made an impression at the Nike Hoops Summit in April, leading all scorers with 30 points. With Tyler Ulis seemingly locked into the point guard slot for the Wildcats, Murray will have a chance to play off the ball and become the next in a line of strong Kentucky guards under Calipari.

Right now, Skal and Murray are the only Cats Gardner projects will go in the first round. Will we see four number one picks in seven years? Good golly.

[SI.com]


Landon Foster named one of 15 smartest college football players

(h/t nfl.com)

NFL.com started a series back in May called “15 for ’15: Countdowns of college football’s best”. It’s a great series, but often overlooked because its common for people to forget NFL.com actually writes several articles.

One of those articles was overlooked by Kentucky fans and I believe it at least deserves to be mentioned.

Kentucky Punter Landon Foster was named ninth on the list of college football’s smartest players. The list doesn’t just look at academics. It also adds the requirement of significant on-field contributions. Here is what they had to say about Landon:

Along with a punting average of better than 42 yards, the Wildcats’ senior-to-be averages a 4.0 in the classroom on a finance and marketing track. He was chosen as an Academic All-American last year. You want an on-field track record? He’s logged more than 60 punts per year over the last three seasons and is on pace to finish his UK career with more than 250.

If Landon is as smart as his twitter (@BigBlueKick12) is funny, then it is totally deserved.

You can see the other 14 players who made this list here or look at the entire series here.

 

 

@Hessler_KSR

 


Karl Towns has 7/1 odds of winning Rookie of the Year

Karl Towns may have been considered the best overall player in the draft, but that doesn’t mean he’s the favorite for Rookie of the Year. Bovada Las Vegas released the early odds on the award, and Karl is tied for the third favorite with Emmanuel Mudiay at 7/1, behind Jahlil Okafor and D’Angelo Russell.

  • Jahlil Okafor: 7/2
  • D’Angelo Russell: 4/1
  • Karl-Anthony Towns: 7/1
  • Emmanuel Mudiay: 7/1
  • Justise Winslow: 9/1
  • Joel Embiid: 10/1
  • Mario Hezonja: 22/1
  • Jerian Grant: 22/1
  • Willie Cauley-Stein: 22/1
  • Frank Kaminsky: 25/1
  • Kristaps Porzingis: 25/1
  • Myles Turner: 25/1
  • Sam Dekker: 25/1
  • Trey Lyles: 33/1
  • Devin Booker: 33/1
  • Cameron Payne: 33/1
  • Bobby Portis: 33/1
  • Stanley Johnson: 33/1

Odds, schmodds. Now here’s a fun GIF of Karl and Karlito as Dr. Evil and Mini Me from TimberTrolls:

karlitoGIF


Greek center Georgios Papagiannis says Kentucky is still on his list

A while back, I told you about Greek big man Georgios Papagiannis. The 7’1″ 235 lbs. center is currently playing in the U19 World Championships in Crete, Greece, where he’s talking to reporters about his plan for the future. Kentucky contacted Papagiannis several months ago to see if he’s interested in attending college in the States, and this afternoon, he told Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony that college is still an option and Kentucky, NC State, and St. John’s are on his list.

Back in April, Papagiannis said he would decide in June whether or not to keep playing basketball in Greece (he signed an amateur deal last summer) or play college basketball in the States. If he does come to the States, he’d be in the 2015 class. Is there still a chance Cal could add another player to this year’s roster? It wouldn’t hurt to have another big guy in the middle until Wynyard comes in December.

I’m skeptical, but let’s watch him work anyways.


Kash shows us the hats

Four-star linebacker Kash Daniel’s announcement is only a few days away and to keep the hype flowing, Kash tweeted out this picture of the three hats that will be on the table Saturday. “The hat game” is always one of the best parts of recruiting announcements and based on this sneak peek, I think it’s safe to rule out Louisville. Seriously, that looks like a gas station hat.

The Kentucky and South Carolina hats look much nicer, and we know Kash wears the CATS one quite often:

kash-stoops

And it’s in the middle…the signs continue to point in Kentucky’s direction.