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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
April 29th, 2016

The Wildcat releases his own swaggy workout video

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By now, you’ve seen John Calipari’s swaggy workout video in which he says he has to get into shape because he won’t have Tyler Ulis to help him coach next season. This morning, the Wildcat mascot released his own workout video in which he says (with the help of signs because cats don’t talk) he’s getting in shape because Jamal Murray won’t be around any more to fire arrows into the crowd to get them hyped:

He even has a picture of Murray propped up on his elliptical to motivate him, along with Calipari’s favorite song, “Hey Soul Sister,” playing in the background.

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Props to the Wildcat and the KyWildcats crew for a funny follow-up, although, if his performance in the halftime shooting contest with Ryan Lemond is any indication, the Wildcat really needs to get in the practice gym and work on his jump shot.


UK’s 2017 commits and targets got Draft Day photoshops last night

The NFL Draft began last night, and the UK Football photoshop crew had some fun with the festivities, sending out custom “Draft Day” edits of each commit and recruit they’re going after in the 2017 class, starting with the top target, 5-star OT Jedrick Wills.

Here’s Wills’ teammate at Lafayette, 3-star QB commit Walker Wood:

4-star WR commit JaVonte Robinson:

3-star WR target DJ Edwards below:

3-star running back commit Michael Warren:

The photoshop crew wasn’t done there, churning out this riff of Drake’s cover for his new album, Views:

@UKStoopsTroops


KSR is live at Conway-Heaton in Bardstown (Friday Show Thread)

Good morning, and welcome to the Friday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, which is coming to you live from Conway-Heaton in Bardstown (810 N. 3rd St.). Come on out to see Matt and Ryan talk about Calipari’s workout video, the NFL Draft, and to register for the chance to win Big Blue Madness tickets.

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

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The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon’s Friday Morning Wakeup

I am not a “natural runner.” You know the type: long legs, lean body, gliding along the ground effortlessly while holding a conversation and barely breaking a sweat. That ain’t me. I’m the short, curvy, determined one who can’t run without music and generally looks as though she’s on the verge of passing out. For all of these reasons, I avoided running like the plague growing up, choosing instead to swim, a sport in which you can’t feel your sweat and, most of the time, feel graceful and powerful, even if you’re the clumsiest person in the world.

So, if when I cross the finish line tomorrow at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Nashville, pardon me if I’m pretty damn proud. I hated running until about four years ago when I signed up for a couch-to-5K program with some friends, and honestly, I still hate from time to time; however, the competitor in me loves a challenge, and those brief, beautiful moments when the runner’s high kicks in were enough to get me to sign up for a half marathon. (Crazily enough, I actually hula hooped a half marathon five years ago, but running one feels like a totally different feat.) Eighteen weeks of training and too many blisters later, I can honestly say, if I’m not ready now, I may not ever be.

With lots of races going on this weekend, I’m sure many of you are in the same boat, so good luck to everyone running in the Rock ‘n’ Roll, Kentucky Derby Festival, and Cincinnati Flying Pig half and full marathons. Hopefully Mother Nature will give us a break.

Plenty to do before then, so let’s go over today’s agenda…

Calipari will publish another swaggy video of himself lifting weights

If you missed it yesterday, John Calipari posted a video of himself working out, and it may be the best thing we’ve seen all month. In the video, Cal — with Tyler Ulis by his side — vows to get in shape for next season and beyond, talking openly about being at Kentucky for another 20 years. Calipari has done plenty of swaggy things in his life, but this video may take the cake:

Calipari promised the video of him lifting weights would drop today, so stay tuned. In the meantime, what would it be like if Calipari stayed at Kentucky until he was 75? I’ll explore that topic later today.

I actually feel bad for Laremy Tunsil

The story of the NFL Draft wasn’t the two QBs going 1-2, it was offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil’s slide after someone hacked his Twitter and Instagram and posted videos of Tunsil smoking marijuana from a gas mask bong and incriminating text messages from Tunsil to Ole Miss assistant AD and manager of football operations John Miller asking for money. Tunsil eventually went 13th to the Miami Dolphins, but the leak cost him millions of dollars. Was Tunsil stupid for letting someone film him smoking weed? Absolutely. Are the texts between him and Miller a bad look? Certainly for Ole Miss. However, I couldn’t help feeling a little bad for the kid last night. What was supposed to be the culmination and celebration of hard work turned into an embarrassment, and it all gets worse when you find out it may have been his stepfather that did it. That’s just wrong.

In the scheme of things, the kid is still getting paid millions of dollars to play football and he’s going to live in Miami. The real loser here is Ole Miss, who is already under investigation by the NCAA, with some of the allegations pertaining to Tunsil. It’s going to be a really stressful day in Oxford.

Regardless, the NFL Draft continues today, but don’t expect any UK players to go until the later rounds tomorrow. For a breakdown of who may go where, check out Nick’s post from yesterday.

Three NBA Playoff games tonight

Patrick Patterson got his first playoff start earlier this week in Toronto’s win over Indiana. Will he start again tonight? Here are the times for tonight’s games, which could each decide who moves on to the next round:

  • 7:30 p.m.: Raptors at Pacers, NBATV/ESPN News
  • 8:00 p.m.: Heat at Hornets, ESPN
  • 10:30 p.m.: Clippers at Trail Blazers, ESPN

KSR is live at Conway Heaton in Bardstown

Drop what you’re doing and drive on out to Conway Heaton at 810 N. 3rd Street in Bardstown to check out Shannon the Dude’s favorite Ford dealership, hear today’s show, and register for the chance to win Big Blue Madness tickets. It’s Friday, after all.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Friday Summer Fan Stories

Ramel, Erica, and Joe!

Every Friday from now until football season, I give this post up to you.  You give me your favorite, most memorable, funniest, saddest, whatever story related to UK athletics.  It doesn’t have to be any minimum length although the person who send me a 1-sentence post probably will not make it.  But I just want the story that you always tell your friends or means the most to you.  You don’t have to use your name.  Just send it to me at bryanhash2010@gmail.com.  Today, I give you a 2-story post, including one that might make you feel a little better about Billy Gillispie.

I know we all give Billy Gillispie a hard time, but I have to say he did something very nice for me and my daughter.  She was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2007 (she was 15) and had gone through chemo and radiation.  I contacted UK and asked if there was any way she could meet with Joe and Ramel, her two favorite players at the time.  Billy had one of his aides arrange for her to meet them after the next to last home game.  I too am glad he is gone but I have to give him props for what he did for us.  Thanks.

-Phil

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It was in the Fall of 2009 after a Kentucky football game. I was a Sophomore in high school and my younger cousin and I were throwing football outside of Nutter Fieldhouse in the grassy area waiting for the players to come out of the locker room. I had my back facing Nutter and heard a voice behind me yell, “throw it here!”. I turned around to find John Wall standing there with his arms up in the air, and Eric Bledsoe and Demarcus Cousins standing right next to him.  We begin throwing football with them and continue to do so for about five minutes. After a couple throws, John got his confidence up and told my cousin to go further away, waving him to keep backing up. John dropped back and threw the ball as far as he could, which went way over my cousin’s head. BAM! Hit an elderly man straight in the back. The whole group that he was with turned around to see who threw it. I turned around and John, Eric, and Demarcus had ran away and hid behind the big concrete posts in front of Nutter. So there I was, looking like I had just hit someone in the back with a football. I put my hand up to them as to say “sorry”, and John, Eric, and Demarcus snuck away laughing.  To that man, I apologize for John’s actions. To John, Eric, and Demarcus, thank you for a memory I will never forget.

-Chris

Laremy Tunsil and Ole Miss had an Awful, Awful Draft Night

@jasonmcintyre

@jasonmcintyre

It all began before the draft began.  A video tweeted from Laremy Tunsil’s account show the Ole Miss offensive lineman smoking weed from a gasmask bong.

If you thought that was bad, we’re just getting started.

The left tackle was perceived as the best pound-for-pound athlete in the draft.  If there wasn’t a need for quarterbacks, he’d be the first overall pick.  Instead, he dropped to the Dolphins at #13.  Tunsil thought the social media nightmare was over, but it was just getting started.  Instagram messages between Tunsil and John Miller, an assistant A.D. and manager of Football Operations at Ole Miss, were released.  They do not bode well for Hugh Freeze’s football program.

Then Tunsil went to the podium for a post-draft press conference.  Unbelievably, he dodged ZERO questions.  He was so truthful about the situation that he had to be run off stage by unknown media relations personnel.  Before he was away from the mic, Tunsil confirmed that he received money from an Ole Miss football coach.  

Tunsil sat out seven games this season for receiving impermissible benefits, but I think it’s safe to say that the fury from Pandora’s Box has been unleashed on an Ole Miss program that is already under NCAA investigation.


April 28th, 2016

Swaggy Calipari is getting in shape for next season — and beyond

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Leave it to John Calipari to drop a little bit of gold on a slow news day. Cal just posted a video of himself working out to get in shape for next season, and man, is it swaggy. Calipari is on the elliptical machine at the Joe Craft Center while Tyler Ulis cheers him on.

“I gotta be ready to coach. It’s not like this year — I had someone else coach the team,” Cal quipped, to which Ulis responded, “I think I should have gotten some of the salary.”

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Cal is also watching tape of the 2012 National Championship game to stay motivated.

“Oh yeah, I’m trying to get my mindset right, my body right, because it’s going to be wartime,” Cal vowed.

It’s not just about next season. Cal said that he has to get in shape so he can coach beyond that. OH YEAH!

“I gotta get my body right. Can I coach to my mid-70’s? Maybe. And what would that mean if I’m at Kentucky for another 20 [years]? What would that mean? Championships, draft picks, #1, lotteries. No doubt, I would have 12 guys in the NBA All-Star game. No doubt. What about wins? So, let’s see if I can get in that type of shape so when I’m 75 I’m still doing this stuff.”

G-g-g-g-gigggity! More videos coming tomorrow…


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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Spicy food isn’t for everyone, it’s for you. That’s why Wendy’s is bringing back the heat with The Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken. With pepper jack cheese, fresh jalapeños, a jalapeño bun, AND ghost pepper sauce, we really kicked it up a notch. And don’t forget the Ghost Pepper fries – for those that really want to crank up the heat.


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 Luke Hatcher

Caution: KSR is known to cause coffee burns.

 

 

#9 Todd

Could you even imagine…

 

 

#8 Andrew Petrucci

I think three.

 

 

#7 Aaron Sisco

I don’t know who or what this is, but I love it.

 

 

#6 Chet Lemond

Everything is just fine…

 

 

#5 Bucky Small Hooves

Beshear totally wins that.

 

 

#4 billy

Or both.

 

 

#3 Colton Covington

The iPhone is probably smarter than the NCAA.

 

 

#2 Jon Hughes

Probably reads articles on the scandal when he is cooling down.

 

 

#1 Will

I’m going to have nightmares.

 

 

@kbernhardKSR


UK Fans of the Day want this Week’s Football Offer Sheet

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The Kentucky football coaching staff has been on the road recruiting since spring practice ended. Here’s a look at who has received offers, primarily players who will be juniors and sophomores next season.

Ohio Offers

Chris Julian Jr.–  From Howland High in Warren, Ohio, the 6’2″ 215-pound inside linebacker from the class of 2018 received his first scholarship offer from UK. Highlights

L’Christian Smith–  Vince Marrow has become a frequent visitor to Wayne High School.  Tobias Gilliam is the first from the nationally ranked school to come to Kentucky, arriving in the fall.  Alex Reigelsperger is a defensive end in ’18 that has visited UK multiple times, but his teammate L’Christian “Blue” Smith will likely be the highest-rated athlete at the Dayton school.

Smith only has five offers, but they’re all from big schools: Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Michigan. At 6’6″ 205 pounds, he is a huge target at wide receiver.  He’s also a great basketball player, Tweeting this out yesterday:

It should be taken with a grain of salt, but if basketball attracts him to play football at Kentucky, I’m down with that.  Highlights

Michigan Men

New defensive backs coach Steve Clinkscale has hit the recruiting trail hard in Michigan.  The Cats have taken some guys from Ohio that would normally head to Michigan or Michigan State.  Now the Cats are hoping to pull some from the state of Michigan by offering early.

Justin Rodgers is the earliest offer.  The Detroit native is only in the 8th grade.  The 6’4″ 260 pound offensive lineman visited UK earlier this spring.  But Rodgers wasn’t the only 8th-grader to receive a scholarship offer.  His future Oak Park teammate, defensive back Enzo Jennings, also got an offer from Clinkscale.

Oak Park’s dual-threat quarterback, a freshman last year and member of the 2019 recruiting class, Dwan Mathis was offered by Clinkscale.  Sophomore-to-be wide receiver Julian Barnett was the fourth Michigan man to receive an offer on Clinkscale’s trip to Michigan.

Extending a Pipeline to…Pennsylvania?

Paris Ford– A Pitt commit, Kentucky was the 30th offer for the Pittsburgh native.  The safety is considered the #104 player overall by the 247 composite in the class of 2017.  Ford has offers from everyone — Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida State — leading many to believe he’ll drop his pledge to the Panthers.  Highlights

Kevin Doyle– The 2018 pocket-passer from Malvern Pa. has offers from Pitt, Toledo, Temple, and West Virginia.

He’s already visited Kentucky three times.  Here’s what Doyle told Steve Wiltfong of 247 after receiving his offer:

“It is a great university and I really liked it there,” Doyle said adding that several things stand out.

“The conference, the campus, and bright future because of the coaching staff. I like how it is also one of the biggest SEC cities in the conference.”

Highlights

A Few from Florida

OJ Tucker– Jimmy Brumbaugh extended an offer to the 2017 cornerback from Ocalaca, Fl. He has 13 offers total, including Mississippi State, Iowa State and Nebraska. Highlights  

Isaiah Bolden– The 2018 cornerback from Jacksonville received nine other offers before Kentucky came into the picture, most notably: Auburn, Clemson, FAU, USF & nearby Florida. Highlights

C.J. Smith– A junior-to-be, the strong safety from Oxbridge Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida also has offers from Nebraska, Iowa State and FAU.  Highlights


Throwback Thursday: A Lucky Day with Pat Day

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Derby Week, 1992

It had been a long day for seven-month old Nicholas Roush.  After spending the morning at Dawn at the Downs and a full day at the races, I was pretty pooped out, yet the day was not done.

Previously, the Derby custom was to draw the post positions at the Kentucky Derby Museum.  The event was open to the public, allowing fans upstairs in the mezzanine area to observe the spectacle.  My dad and his buddy Virga planned on ending the day with post selection.

While waiting for the show to unfold in the paddock, legendary jockey Pat Day was talking to former trainer Frank Wright.  A fan nearby asked Day if he could take picture with him.  A family man, Day pointed to my dad and said, “What you need is a picture of that man and his son.”

My smooth-talking father overheard the conversation and suggested, “Well, you could just take a picture with us.”

Day was more than happy to oblige for a photo with a sleeping Baby Nicholas.  He joked, “Somebody told me the other day, ‘Hey Day, QUIT SLEEPING IN THE SADDLE!'” He pointed to me, “Now THAT is sleeping in the saddle.”

That encounter is not what makes this story worth telling.  It’s what happened on Saturday.

Breeders’ Cup juvenile winner Arazi was the talk of the Derby, giving few others any chance for victory.  Pat Day was saddled with Lil. E Tee, a horse named for his size and sold for only $2,000 as a yearling.  Without significant pedigree and a second-place finish in the Arkansas Derby, he was a longshot that would enter the race with 17-1 odds.

After spending all week handicapping the race and debating numerous bets, my mother made the smart one.  “You better bet Pat Day after the way he treated you and your son,” she insisted to my father.  A woman’s wisdom should never be doubted.

After a clean trip, Pat Day was prepared for one of the greatest upsets in Derby history.

With $10 across the board, it paid out roughly $250.  While celebrating my dad told anyone who would listen: “My son’s won more money in one day than I’ve won in 20 years at the Derby.”

 

It was the Hall of Fame jockey’s first and only Derby victory.  You’re welcome, Mr. Day.


ESPN: UK’s Offense is in the Top Half of the SEC

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

With all of the SEC spring practices wrapping up last weekend, ESPN’s SEC blog is ranking position groups from each team.  Even though Kentucky’s offense was far from being a high octane threat in 2015, Edward Aschoff, Alex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf like what they see from the Wildcats moving forward.

As they work their way through offensive position groups, the running backs obviously have the most depth, coming in at #6.

This might be the offensive position with the fewest questions for the Wildcats. Stanley “Boom” Williams has plenty of potential, but off-field issues have eaten into his production. He averaged 7.1 yards per carry last year, but should have been better than his 855 yards. Jojo Kemp added 555 yards, while Mikel Horton got a fresh start after registering 318 yards last fall.

And they didn’t even include the leading rusher from the Blue/White Game, Sihiem King.  To the surprise of many in the BBN, they put Kentucky’s pass-catchers on the same level as the running backs, coming in at #6.

Don’t sleep on this group. Garrett Johnson and Dorian Baker each flashed next-level ability at times last season. Just go put on the tape of the Auburn game, and you will see how good Johnson could be. And after those two, there are plenty of potential weapons with wide receivers Ryan Timmons, Jeff Badet and Blake Bone, as well as tight end C.J. Conrad.

To round off the skill positions, they like what they saw from Drew Barker, ranking him at #7.  Even though he’s only played in a few games, he’s one of the few quarterbacks in the SEC who won’t be fighting for a starting spot in the fall.

Drew Barker didn’t scoff at going through yet another position battle. Instead, he went wire-to-wire as first-team QB this spring, fending off juco transfer Stephen Johnson. While Barker wasn’t sharp in relief of Patrick Towles late last season, it will be interesting to see how he settles in now that Towles is gone, and he’ll have gone through an entire offseason with the comfort of knowing he’s the starter.

A pessimist might see this simply as offseason conjecture.  If nothing else, an outsider’s perspective validates what we have seen from the Cats.  The potential for Kentucky to reach a new level under Mark Stoops this fall isn’t farfetched.

[ESPN]


Barnhart still has Matthew Mitchell’s Back

Britney McIntosh | UK Athletics

Britney McIntosh | UK Athletics

To use Matthew Mitchell’s words, the initial “upheaval” surrounding the women’s basketball program seems to have come to a close (knock on wood).  Yesterday Mitchell had a chance to defend and explain the events surrounding his program.

The defections seem to have stopped as the program attempts to move forward.  The only person we hadn’t heard from yet is Mitchell’s boss, Mitch Barnhart.  Kyle Tucker of The C-J spoke to UK’s athletic director today about the fallout.  Barnhart’s best reasoning for why all of this has happened…

“I think sometimes, as you try and replicate things over and over and over – if you had something you really liked, and it changes, for instance the staff that he had four or five years ago, you say, ‘I really liked that,’ and you try to replicate it over and over and over. Sometimes, that style – it’s really hard to do. You get to a spot where you’re just chasing what you used to have. So being able to adjust is important, and you have to understand that you might not have exactly what you had before.

Barnhart never saw the situation as a fireable offense or a “this is the last straw” type of ordeal.  He described their close and candid relationship.

“I’ve talked to him. He’s not only my women’s basketball coach. He’s a friend. When friends are hurting, you’re going to make sure that you pay attention to them. And then the other piece of that: I’ve got a friendship, and then he’s my head women’s basketball coach, and I’ve got to make sure that I balance both those things out. I don’t want to get clouded by either view.”

For the entire Q&A click here.


Sports Illustrated Makes the Case for the Timberwolves Thanks to KAT

Getty Images

Getty Images

Andrew Sharp of Sports Illustrated makes a case for buying the Minnesota Timberwolves – not that it’s a surprise. The Timberwolves are one of the youngest and most exciting teams in the NBA and that’s in large part due to a large human.

Sharp – like most others – say the reason to buy Minnesota starts with Karl-Anthony Towns. He calls the former Kentucky great someone who is alarmingly close to what you create in a video game because of his size, age and ability to play both sides of the ball and anywhere on the court. 

For those NBA and/or Karl fans it’s a great read about what Tom Thibodeau brings to Minnesota as well. Just more accolades coming in for Towns, even when he’s not playing.


NFL Draft: Will any Cats hear their name called?

bud-pittsburgh

Last year Bud Dupree heard his name called on the first night of the draft, taken off the board with the #22 pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Za’Darius Smith had to wait until Saturday, selected in the 4th round at #122 overall by the Baltimore Ravens.

This year’s draft eligible Wildcats could be waiting even longer.

Josh Forrest, A.J. Stamps, C.J. Johnson, Melvin Lewis and Jordan Swindle are the five highest-rated Wildcats by NFL scouts.  However, they have not been able to exponentially improve their stock leading into the draft at All-American games, Pro Day or the NFL Combine.

Forrest and Stamps were initially on the fringe of the seventh round and free agency.  Forrest struggled at the combine in Indianapolis, apparently fighting off an illness at the time, but managed to bounce back at Pro Day.  Stamps never did anything bad, but never did anything great.

The other three have showed promise as of late.

Scouts do not like C.J. Johnson’s measurements, but he could be a surprise success coming out of free agency.  Melvin Lewis could have been a lock for the league before his injury.  The one silver lining from the injury is that timing is on his side.  He has been able to workout and could start using his injured leg in drills soon, if he hasn’t already.  Swindle might have more momentum than any other player.  The offensive tackle had visits with the Rams, Browns and Texans earlier this week.

Last year was an exciting first night, but you could be waiting all weekend to hear a Wildcat’s name called.  However, that might not be a bad thing.  “Everybody gets a shot,” Jacob Tamme told me at Pro Day.  Signing as a free agent will give them all an opportunity, and maybe an even better one because they get a say in where they are going.


Les Miles is talking ’bout texts, baby

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While John Calipari’s video obviously wins video of the day, Les Miles definitely gave us a runner-up. This afternoon, the ban on unlimited texting for recruiting purposes was lifted, and to celebrate, LSU posted this video of Miles getting ready to text, aka stretching out those fingers:

LSU Football – Here Come the Tigers from LSU Football on Vimeo.

When you get over the fact that he made a video about texting teenage boys, it’s pretty funny.