Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
May 23rd, 2015

Linnae Harper Named to U.S. Pan American Games Roster

Photo Britney Howard | UK Athletics

Photo Britney Howard | UK Athletics

Kentucky’s Linnae Harper will get the opportunity to represent these fifty United States once again as one of the twelve members of the 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team. Harper is not a stranger to USA Basketball, as one of the seven members on the squad who has at least one gold medal, she was on the 2012 USA U17 World Championship Team and the 2011 FIBA Americas U16 Championship Team. After averaging 7.9 ppg, 6 rpg, and 2.4 assists she was named the to the 2012 FIBA U17 Word Championship All-Tournament Team and was awarded an honorary bronze metal in the inaugural 2011 FIBA 3×3 U18 World Championship.

Harper, who earned her spot on the team after three days of trial in Colorado said that, “[…] it was a great feeling to get another chance to represent my country. I felt like I gave it my all. […] I am beyond grateful to be here.”

Besides Linnae, there are three other SEC players included on the team: Tiffany Mitchell and Alaina Coates from South Carolina and Courtney Williams out of Texas A&M.

The players and coaches will return to Colorado on July 3rd to begin training and will depart for Toronto on July 8th. The team has been placed into Group A and will play Brazil on July 16, the Dominican Republic on the 17th, and Puerto Rico on the 18th in preliminaries. Two teams from each preliminary Group A and B will advance to the medal round on July 19th. The semifinal winners will play for the gold on July 20th.

 

‘Murica, for the win.


Big Blue Africa

(@UKFootball on Instagram)

(all photos in this post courtesy of @UKFootball on Instagram)

There’s a blue mist in Africa right now. UK Football’s Alex Montgomery, Austin MacGinnis, and Marcus McWilson have been in Africa this week on a service trip to Ethiopia. Not only has UK Football been flooding their Instagram with photos of the boys on their trip, but Nikki McLaughlin, the photographer who accompanied them, also shared her thoughts on the UK Athletics Cat Scratches blog,

I will never forget watching Marcus McWilson tirelessly pound nail after nail into mud homes so that several widows would be ready for rainy season. I will always remember watching Alex Montgomery quietly offer a big smile to each child who ran up for a chance to compare their (tiny) hand against his.  And Austin MacGinnis, he must have dedicated an entire suitcase to candy, toys and soccer cleats. I loved watching him put his heart into sharing each of these things with the sweet babies here. Although on the opposite side of the globe from home, all three of these guys seemed to be “right at home” as they took time to play football and soccer with countless little ones.

The pictures are amazing, and even though there are too many to post here, all of them can be seen on UK Football’s Instagram. Here are some of my favorites:

UK Football Service Trip

 

UK Football Service Trip

UK Football Service Trip

UK Football Service Trip

UK Football Service Trip

“This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. This is why we’re here.”- Andre Agassi

 


Kentucky Softball drops first game of the Super Regional

(H/T UK Athletics/ David Wegiel)

(H/T UK Athletics/ David Wegiel)

The Kentucky softball team got off to a rough start in the Super Regionals after dropping their first game of the series to top ranked Florida in Gainesville this afternoon. After a bases-clearing double by Florida’s Kvistad in the bottom of the first inning to take the 4-0 lead, the Gators never looked back, ending the game ahead 7-0.

The Cats will now look to redeem themselves in game two tomorrow at noon. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.

Let’s go Cats!


C-J says Briscoe bringing confidence with him to UK

briscoe

He’s 6-3, 215 pounds, and the consummate winner.

UK fans, meet Isaiah Briscoe, who will be starting for your Kentucky Wildcats next fall. All indications are you will love him, writes the C-J’s Steve Jones.

“I’ve never second-guessed myself, never short-changed myself,” Briscoe told Jones this spring. “I am who I am. I feel as though I’m the best player, and I think everybody should feel like that.”

Well I’m sold. This Ulis/Briscoe backcourt is going to be sick.

UK Softball Falls to Florida in Game One

The UK softball team’s luck has not changed against No. 1 Florida in the Super Regionals. The UK squad had trouble finding offense in a 7-0 loss. The good news, if you can say that, is they play again at noon tomorrow on ESPN in the best of three.

And one other thing: Van Gundy now in the mix for Pelicans

According to Dime Magazine, Jeff Van Gundy is now being considered for the Pelicans’ coaching job. Why do we care? Because it’s another name that isn’t John Calipari’s.
Keep following us throughout the day as we bring you all the relevant and ridiculous info you need to know!
Go Big Blue!

Former KSR Intern and UK Tennis Star Hanging with Venus

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Over the years we have gotten to know a lot of UK athletes while doing KSR and their personalities have spanned a wide range of types. But there may be no more unique or funny UK athlete that I have met than former UK tennis star Tom Jomby, who also spent a semester interning with us at KSR. Tom wrote a journal for the site and also participated on the radio, including the bit “Put Your Hands on Tom Jomby” that we used to give away UK basketball tickets. Well now Tom is pursuing his tennis professional career and he is spending this week helping Venus Williams as her hitting partner at the French Open. Tom, who is also French, posted these pictures today of him and Venus and it is worth noting that even while enjoying the red clay of Paris, he is still representing the Wildcats.

It is very cool to see Tom doing well and showcasing to the fine folks at Roland Garros the appeal of Kentucky Life.

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Two months until Jamal Murray decides?!?!

JamalMurray

 

It’s true – at least as of right now, it could be.

In an article on ZagsBlog, Murray discusses a decision that could come in two months, as well as a desire to be the No. 1 pick and a need to take more college visits.

He apparently has no concern though, over playing alongside two other point guards at UK.

“We’ll be good in the backcourt,” he says. “I would complement them. We’ll complement each other.”

Oh my – wouldn’t that be lovely, Cat fans?

More later!

Go Big Blue!


Karl-Anthony Towns goes home; L.A. now looking at guards?

Athlon Sports

Athlon Sports

 

 

In a great video by the NBA, Karl-Anthony Towns returns to Saint Joseph High School in Metuchen, NJ, to meet with fans and reflect on his accomplishments.

“This is where everything started,” Towns says. “It was a special moment.”

He was a three-time state champ. A Gatorade Player of the Year. And he was always a heckuva nice guy.

But will he go No. 1? Or even No. 2?

Seems like L.A. is not certain they want either Towns or Okafor for their No. 2 pick.

Still, I can’t seem to see Towns at No. 3. But it could be the Philly 76ers get ridiculously lucky and have a great pick fall in their laps.

We all know that no matter where he lands, Towns will grow into a force for his new team.

More later! Go Big Blue!

 


Saturday Morning Links

links

Good morning BBN! It’s a beautiful day for KSR links!

– If you haven’t heard, ZagsBlog reports it may be two months before Jamal Murray makes his decision. That’s right – two months. Our recruiting class may not be finished for a long while.

– LeBron gave a masterful performance last night, dropping 30/9/11 on the hapless Hawks, giving Cleveland a 2-0 series lead without the efforts of Kyrie Irving. It looks like LeBron may drag these guys to the Finals, which means they’ll probably keep their coach, too. Good for Big Blue Nation.

– Remember to root for the UK Softball Cats!

softball

– Gary Parrish says he knows how the whole Fred Hoiberg to Chicago thing will go down. Another job that won’t be for Cal.

– And if you haven’t experienced enough sentiment for Dave Letterman just yet, be sure to read this great piece from The Atlantic on the legacy he leaves behind.

More later as we root on the Cats, watch Karl Towns at a special Homecoming, and learn more about Isaiah Briscoe.

Go Big Blue!

 


May 22nd, 2015

Friday Night News and Views

JamalMurray

Jamal Murray plans more visits, says ZagsBlog

Settle in, everyone, this could take a while.

Even though everything seems to have gone well with the guard’s recent visit to UK, don’t expect anything to happen anytime soon, ZagsBlog says.

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

The Cleveland LeBrons win big

Looks like our Cleveland boys are doing their jobs, winning big over Atlanta, 94-82. LeBron? Just a cool 30 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists. And he came out of the game with three minutes to go. Exhale, UK fans. A team can’t fire their coach if they make it to the Finals, can they?

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

(AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

All the other stuff that happened today:

UNC is in trouble – how much? Who knows

ESPN Previews Kentucky Football

Andrew Harrison is going to crash the NBA Draft party as a 1st-round pick

There’s a lot of blue going in to the new Commonwealth Stadium

It’s official: UK promotes Tony Barbee to assistant coach

***

That’s it for tonight! Celebrate the Cavs win and we’ll be back in the morning!

Go Big Blue!

 


ESPN Previews Kentucky Football

Via Pig Skinnerd

With just over 100 days left until the start of the football season the hype train is beginning to chug along. Just what will Kentucky be bringing to the SEC table for 2015? Chris Low of ESPN takes his turn with what the Cats may look like in year three under Stoops. First up a bit about the offense:

Offense

How the Wildcats beat you: Shannon Dawson, a disciple of Hal Mumme’s Air Raid offense, takes over as the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator after four years at West Virginia. Dawson’s aim for this team? Be as physical as it is fast. That charge will be led by Kentucky’s versatile stable of running backs, particularly Stanley “Boom” Williams and Jojo Kemp, and what the Wildcats hope will be an improved line with four starters returning. Patrick Towles has to hold off redshirt freshman Drew Barker for the starting QB job, but Towles was a pleasant surprise last fall and should be able to handle a heavier load in his second full season as the starter.

If that paragraph doesn’t get you pumped up you may not have a pulse. And what does ESPN think about the Defense?

Defense

How you beat the Wildcats: While Kentucky will look to bring pressure from different angles, it’s unclear whether the Wildcats can rush the passer without having to sell out and blitz, especially with Dupree and Smith no longer around. And if Kentucky winds up in a lot of single coverage in the secondary, it could be disastrous. The Wildcats gave up 157 points in their final three games last year and were torched for more than 40 points in five of their last six (they averaged 31.3 on the season). They simply ran out of gas on defense last season, and a big part of that was a lack of depth.

For the rest of what the worldwide leader had to say about the 2015 Cats head on over to ESPN and read the rest of the article with a click of the link below.

[ESPN: Kentucky Wildcats preview]


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly From This Week

The world's first Beep Baseball Park opened today alongside the Kentucky River, the highlight of awesome and amazing from this week.

The world’s first Beep Baseball Park opened today alongside the Kentucky River, the Best of the Best from this week.

The Good

–  Contrary to popular belief, good things can happen in Florida.  Earlier this week a fire broke out in a Palm Coast garage.  After the resident failed to put out the flame, he quickly grabbed his daughter and exited the building.  He didn’t have enough time to save his dogs, but some courageous firefighters were there to save the day.  They saved six dogs in total, including these two puppies.

Barstool

Barstool

 

–  The UK Softball team has gotten so good, that winning a Regional title has become “business as usual.”  They went on the road to South Bend and simply brought it.  The Super Regional at Florida begins tomorrow at 1:00 on ESPNU and continues Sunday at noon on ESPN.  I predict the Cats, by 90.

–  American Pharaoh’s Preakness run was one I will not soon forget.  It wasn’t just that he won by seven lengths, it was the monsoon that hit Pimlico just before the horses hit the track, yet the mud never hit his face.  Mud was an even bigger problem off the track when a water-main break caused all of the toilets to quit working.  This year’s Preakness was one hell of an event, but hopefully the Belmont is even better with Pharaoh taking hom the first Triple Crown title since before most of us were born.

–  The non-conference schedule won’t be easy, but plenty of fun to watch.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 2.20.53 PM

-  David Letterman’s send-off was eloquent and graceful, ending an extraordinary era of television.  The timing was right, losing an audience (my age group) that never saw him at his best.  In 109 days, we’ll get the best when Stephen Colbert takes the helm of the Late Show.

The Bad

–  The Knicks lost the lottery, because the Knicks lose at everything now-a-days.  Either way, Karl Anthony-Towns should end up in a sitaution that isn’t too bad (but it’s not his dream team…).

–  North Carolina has been running, but now they cannot hide from NCAA allegations after committing systemic academic fraud for years.  I don’t care how great Julius Peppers is, the highly-respected public institution should not be allowed to assign him fake classes.  It will be interesting to see exactly when, and how hard the NCAA will hit the Tar Heels.

–  JJ Watt’s leg

@JJWatt

@JJWatt

 Cal couldn’t stop talking.  I didn’t mind his first metaphorical statement, but let’s just give it a rest for awhile Coach.  At least through the weekend.

-  Will T.(rill) Scott lost in the Republican Gubernatorial Primary.  But Matt Bevin’s 83-vote win might be the closest election in the state since the 2014 UK Student Government Elections.  A tip of the cap for a job well done, Mr. Bevin.

The Ugly

–  The end of Sunday’s Game of Thrones.  Nobody wanted to see that, not even Theon Greyjoy.


“We Ask You Wednesday” (On A Friday) Vol. 45

The season is sadly now over, and the folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes. Last summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter.

Each week, the question will change and we will hit on a variety of topics, mostly UK-related… but you never know. Each week the best responses will make it on to the website.  This week’s twenty ninth volume of the “We Ask You Wednesday” allowed Kentucky fans to answer the following question via Twitter in 140 characters or less:  IF YOU COULD PICK ANY FORMER KENTUCKY BASKETBALL PLAYER TO BE THE ONLY SPOKESPERSON FOR THE PROGRAM, WHO WOULD IT BE AN WHY?

.

.

.

.

 

Darius is a Kentucky born and bred player. I kind of like that line of thinking…

I think he could definitely be a good representative from the Pitino era. Successful NBA and broadcasting career as well.

I wouldn’t argue with this one either.

Where he has a leg up on the competition? He also takes really great glamour shots.

  As long as he will promise to tell the story of his dog walking him to school and waiting for him every day…

Eh, maybe if a couple other people aren’t available first…. He would certainly be entertaining

Who doesn’t love Tony Delk?

Can we do this just to piss Colin Cowherd off?

That sounds like sound reasoning to me…

@AllyTuckerKSR Demarcus Cousins because he is Demarcus Cousins.

There is something about the Jorts…

No.

He does have a way with the words…


Chad Ford says Andrew Harrison stood out in Santa Barbara yesterday

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Andrew Harrison had a good showing during the NBA Draft Combine last week, and according to ESPN NBA guru Chad Ford, he also did himself some favors yesterday in Santa Barbara. Ford spent the day watching various prospects work out at the BDA Sports Camp, and named Andrew one of the five players who stood out:

Harrison has gotten some of his mojo back after playing well at the NBA draft combine. Suddenly his agent is getting lots of calls from teams wanting him in for workouts.

After going from being one of the top-five high school players in the country to a projected second-round pick last year to a possible undrafted pick this year, Harrison may be getting another shot at redemption.

[ESPN]

Yesterday, Draft Express uploaded this video of Andrew working out and answering questions in Santa Barbara:

Keep it up, Andrew.


KSR’s 2015 Summer Calendar

summercal

This weekend is the unofficial start to summer, which means we’ve only seen the beginning of those annoying Target commercials. While the Kentucky sports landscape may seem bleak over the next three months, I went through the calendar and raked up plenty of events to keep us entertained from now until kick off in the new Commonwealth Stadium in September.

Spray on some sunscreen and come along. I’ll show you.

THE REST OF MAY

Photo by David Wegiel | UK Athletics

May 23-24: NCAA Softball Super Regional

The UK softball team will make its fourth appearance in the NCAA Super Regional this upcoming weekend in Gainesville. As someone who cares very little about the little round balls, even I was captivated by their run last year. Here’s their schedule this weekend:

Saturday, May 23
Kentucky vs. Florida – 1 p.m. ET – ESPNU

Sunday, May 24
Florida vs. Kentucky – noon ET – ESPN
Kentucky vs. Florida – 3 p.m. ET – ESPN

JUNE

June 6: Saturday Night Prime Time Camp

UK’s football camps have taken a huge step up in the Mark Stoops era, and the staff is kicking things off on June 6 with the Saturday Night Prime Time Camp, which is open to rising high school junior and seniors only. The Sunday Showcase camp is on Sunday and both are great chances for Kentucky to host and court elite talent from around the country. According to the staff, the Saturday Night Prime Time Camp is HUGE.

June 6: The Belmont Stakes

Will American Pharoah become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978? For horse racing’s sake, I sure hope so. Many are calling Pharoah the best Triple Crown contender since Smarty Jones in 2004, and America will be watching to see if he can pull off something only eleven other horses have in the history of the sport.

ulis-blood

June 9: Basketball players report to campus

In recent years, summer workouts have become the norm for the basketball team, and if players aren’t able to come early, they’re noticeably behind the rest when the season starts. While some of us are still stuck on the end of last season, it’s comforting to know that the Tyler Ulis era at Kentucky begins in two and a half weeks.

June 22: The KSR Summer Tour of Affiliates kicks off

For the fourth year in a row, Matt, Ryan, and Drew will tour the state to visit all of the radio show’s affiliates. There’s over 30 affiliates now, which means the tour will take almost two months. The schedule is still being finalized, but we’ll post it as soon as it’s ready. Get your hole in the wall, down home cookin’ restaurant recs ready.

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

June 25: The NBA Draft (New York City)

Kentucky set the record for the most players drafted from one school back in 2012 when six Cats’ names were called: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, and Darius Miller. There’s a good chance Kentucky will break its own record this go around as seven players wait to hear their futures.

Karl Towns will go either first or second, Willie Cauley-Stein most likely in the top ten, and Devin Booker and Trey Lyles possibly in the lottery. Dakari Johnson and Andrew Harrison could potentially sneak into the first round, while Aaron Harrison needs to impress in workouts over the next month to ensure his name is called. If all seven players are drafted, it will be a landmark moment for the program and the telecast will be even more of a UK informercial than in years past.

JULY

July 4: Happy Birthday America

Independence Day falls on a Saturday this year, but that won’t stop me and Richmond Bramblet from holding our annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest LIVE BLOG. (Richmond, if you’re reading this, you’re doing it.)

July 4-20: NBA Summer Leagues kick off

With potentially 25 former Kentucky players in the league after the Draft, there’s a good chance we’ll see several of them play in the Summer Leagues in Orlando, Utah, and Las Vegas. Here’s a list of teams participating:

Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, L.A. Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA D-League Select, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

And the different league dates:

  • July 4-10: Orlando Summer League
  • July 6-9: Utah Jazz Summer League
  • July 10-20: Las Vegas Summer League

July 13-16: SEC Football Media Days (Birmingham, Alabama)

For the third year in a row, I’m headed to lovely Birmingham to cover the SEC Media Days. Mark Stoops and the Kentucky representatives aren’t up until Wednesday, but I’ll head down Tuesday morning to take in the sights, sounds, and crazy Alabama fans in the Wyndham Hotel lobby.

Here’s the full schedule:

  • Monday, July 13: SEC Commissioner, Auburn (Gus Malzahn), Florida (Jim McElwain), Vanderbilt (Derek Mason)
  • Tuesday, July 14: SEC Coordinator of Football Officials Steve Shaw; South Carolina (Steve Spurrier), Texas A&M (Kevin Sumlin), Mississippi State (Dan Mullen), Tennessee (Butch Jones)
  • Wednesday, July 15: Alabama (Nick Saban), Kentucky (Mark Stoops), Arkansas (Bret Bielema), Missouri (Gary Pinkel)
  • Thursday, July 16: LSU (Les Miles), Georgia (Mark Richt), Ole Miss (Hugh Freeze)

July 15-19: EYBL Peach Jam (North Augusta, South Carolina)

Matt, Drew, and Tomlin will go to North Augusta once again to give you the latest buzz on the recruiting scene, the coaches and media in the bar scene, and the peaches scene. Peaches for you, peaches for me.

July 17: Friday Night Blue Lights Camp

Another big camp and opportunity for Mark Stoops and staff to impress the nation’s elite recruits. The 2016 class is already off to a good start, and clinics like this will give the staff a chance to show off the progress on the newly renovated Commonwealth Stadium and practice facility.

July 25: UK Football Women’s Clinic

I wasn’t able to attend last year’s clinic, but I’ll be there this year in hopes the coaches will give us a glimpse of the new stadium. Registration hasn’t opened yet, but ladies, go ahead and clear your calendars for a fun day of football.

AUGUST

Early August: Football Media Day, Fan Day, Fall Camp begins

Players report to campus and fall camp begins during the first week of August, which will be followed by Media Day and Fan Day. Exact dates haven’t been announced, but rest assured, Matt will walk around the field barefoot to interview coaches and players.

August 11-13: USA Basketball Men’s National Team Mini Camp (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall are all on the 34-player roster for Team USA, with Davis and Cousins participating in the FIBA World Cup last summer. The 2016 Olympics are around the corner, which makes this year’s mini camp even more important. Will any other Cats receive an invite?

kash-daniel

August 13: Kash Daniel announces his decision

The four-star linebacker currently has offers from Kentucky, Louisville, South Carolina, and Purdue, along with interest from Ohio State and Florida. The Paintsville native will narrow his list to four next month, and moving up his decision date has to be a good sign for the Cats, who were the first to offer and have the momentum in his recruitment so far.

August 14: The final KSR Summer Tour Stop in Louisville

The summer tour schedule hasn’t been finalized yet, but it traditionally includes an appearance from Mark Stoops to get us all fired up for football season. Is it strange that I’m already excited for Ryan Lemond’s pep talks?

SEPTMEBER

commonwealth

September 5: UK vs. Louisiana Lafayette

We made it. Bring on football and fall.


Thon Maker most in contact with Indiana and Arizona State

(Bob Blanchard/ RBJsports)

And now for a little bit of recruiting news. Some of you have asked why UK isn’t pursuing Thon Maker as much anymore, especially after missing on several elite recruits in the 2015 class. There are a few answers to that: 1) over the past few months, it’s become clear that Thon is much rawer of a prospect than originally thought; and 2) he won’t be able to enroll until December. Thon’s guardian has made it clear he wants to be one-and-done, but really, he’ll just be one half-and-done.

Therefore, Jeff Borzello’s tweet about Thon this afternoon doesn’t come as much of a shock:

Best of luck to Thon, but give me Skal any day: