Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
June 22nd, 2016

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 Derick Harper

Probably not, but that would be fun.

 

#9 Jason Burnett

I don’t know how this happened, but I’m glad it did.

 

#8 John H. Kelly

Hey. I used to love Horton Hears A Who, don’t mock it.

 

#7 Toby Durham

That’s a pretty big assumption.

 

#6 Tim Shearer

Cruisin’ down the street in my 6-4…

 

#5 Brian

I’d watch that.

 

#4 Jeremy McGinty

I want this. I need this.

 

#3 bigbluemagoo

This is the best one I’ve seen all day.

 

#2 Wes

Canadian humor, I like it.

#1 Patrick Butcher

Please, please, please happen.

 

@haleysimpKSR


Play the Jamal Murray Draft Predictor

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Where will Jamal Murray go in tomorrow night’s NBA draft?

Click the video to find out.


Jamal Murray: No other school prepares you for the NBA like Kentucky

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Jamal Murray is projected to go anywhere from third to eighth in tomorrow night’s draft, and this afternoon, he credited part of his success to Kentucky, which he says prepares players for the league like “no other school.”

“[Kentucky] prepared me a lot,” Murray said. “There’s no other school that has that kind of preparation. There are high schools that prep you for college, well, Kentucky preps you for the NBA. They have the previous players to show that, the history, so I’d say Kentucky is the number one school.”

I think John Calipari would agree with that. Speaking of, what was Calipari’s advice to Murray on the eve of his big day?

“Just be a pro, just be professional. Stick to who I am and my opinions and my philosophy and don’t change that. He knows I’m very confident in what I do and how I see things, so he wants me to keep that.”

As Murray showed us time and time again this season, confidence is key.


Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere acting like kids will make you smile

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This afternoon, I tagged along with the top NBA Draft prospects as they gave back to the New York community through an event with NBA Cares. Along with 135 children from area schools, Jamal Murray, Skal Labissiere, Ben Simmons, Brandon Ingram, and the other players invited to the Draft Green Room made care packages for children in area hospitals before having a little fun during a youth basketball clinic. Life’s about to get real tomorrow night for Jamal and Skal, so it was nice to see them let loose and be kids one last time.

First, they had to go to work, putting together bags of coloring books, crayons, candy, activity books, and other goodies into bags for children in hospitals in New York and New Jersey (keep an eye out for Jamal’s photobomb at the end):

Next up? Basketball. While Skal manned a dribbling drill, Jamal had to help kids learn to slide for loose balls and go through some pretty intense contact drills:

Maybe it’s because it’s been a while since I’ve eaten and I’m a little loopy, but that last clip sped up is really, really funny:

I doubt Jamal woke up this morning expecting a bunch of kids to run into him full force, but hey, I guess that’s further preparation for the jersey chasers he’ll soon encounter in the league.

Finally, this kid’s reaction to getting his picture with Skal Labissiere is what it’s all about:

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Jamal Murray shows off his new Canadian-themed adidas kicks

From the minute he donned a Canadian flag cape at his college announcement, we knew Jamal Murray was a proud Canuck. At today’s NBA Cares event, Jamal showed off his new Canadian-themed adidas kicks, a gift from the shoe company after he signed with them earlier this week.

As @WYankowy pointed out on Twitter, shouldn’t they say “Murr-eh”? 


Skal Labissiere sought advice from Karl Towns last night

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Karl Towns is the best role model for any player looking to get to the league these days, which is why it makes total sense that Skal Labissiere reached out to him for advice in advance of tomorrow night’s Draft. Skal told reporters today that Karl is one of his best friends, and last night, the two got together and talked about making that big jump to the NBA.

“Karl Towns is one of my best friends. After going through the rookie year that he did, I ask him for advice. We still talk, we are very close,” Skal said. “He’s like my brother, man. We talk about anything. I’ve got to see him a little bit last night, so it’s always good to catch up with Karl.”

What advice did Karl give? Skal said he wanted to keep the specifics to himself, but gave us a general idea.

“Bring it every night, basically,” Skal said. “Just be ready. We talked more in detail about it, but just be ready.”

One of the things Skal said he admires most about Karl is how smart he’s been with his off the court decisions, like how he manages his money, not always an easy feat for the number one pick in the Draft and NBA Rookie of the Year.

“Karl Towns, one thing that I admire about him is he’s very very cautious about his money, what he does off the court, and that’s something,” Skal said. “To be that young and be that cautious about that, he’s very smart.”

Agreed. Watch my entire interview with Skal on our Facebook page by clicking here.


UK assistant in Spain for FIBA U17

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UK special assistant Joel Justus is representing the program in Spain during the FIBA U17 World Championship, which begins tomorrow.

Immanuel Quickley, a five-star guard in the 2018 class, said Calipari told him he would make the trip as well, but for now it is Justus roaming around Zaragoza until the basketball tournament begins. Cal will be at the draft tomorrow, obviously, but I guess he could fly to Spain after that, if what Quickley said is true.

Justus will have eyes on several UK targets who are suited up for the USA in the tournament while he is there. Among the notable participants: Quickley, Kevin Knox, Wendell Carter, Javonte Smart and Gary Trent Jr.

Justus asked, in Spanish, who wants to be next?

 

 


Skal Labissiere predicts Malik Monk will be the best player on this year’s team

Skal Labissiere’s time in Lexington may be done, but he’s already making some bold predictions about next year’s squad. While Skal was living in Memphis, he was teammates with Malik Monk on the Arkansas Wings EYBL squad, and Skal told reporters today that he thinks Monk could be the best player on this year’s team, which, as we love to remind you, is loaded with talent.

“I think they’re all going to be really good,” Skal said. “Malik Monk was one of my teams and I think he can be the best player on that team. He’s a high flyer that can really shoot the basketball, very athletic, and has hang time in the air. And he’s very competitive, a winner. I think he might end up being the best player on that team.”

Skal pointed out that when he and Monk were teammates, the Wings went 42-2.

“We were winning a lot,” Skal said proudly.

Monk’s numbers support Skal’s claim. As a senior, Monk took his Bentonville Tigers to the Class 7A State Championship game, averaging 28.6 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.4 assists. To say he’s explosive is an understatement. A few weeks ago, he took flight in a late night session at Memorial Coliseum:

Watch my entire interview with Skal on our Facebook page by clicking here.


Chad Ford releases Mock Draft 9.2 for ESPN Insider

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Chad Ford has one last mock draft update (or maybe more) for ESPN Insider subscribers and it has Jamal Murray projected to go to Minnesota, his ideal spot, according to John Calipari.

Yesterday, Calipari said on his pre-draft teleconference, “Jamal loves Minnesota. Matter of fact, that’s where he’d like to go…. He looked at that situation and said, ‘They need me and I’d love to be there.’ He’s met Karl and been around Karl and knows what a great kid he is.”

For Skal Labissiere, Ford remains firm on his prediction of Labissiere to Orlando at No. 11.

As for Ulis, you’ll have to read it for yourself on Ford’s updated mock draft.


Iceland announcer with the best call in sports history

Iceland has been the Cinderella story in this year’s Euro Cup, and today they made history by becoming the first team to not lose in the group stage in a Euro debut. Iceland now moves on to the knockout stage, but they needed some late heroics to defeat Austria to advance.

Iceland’s announcer lost his damn mind as it all unplayed in the final minute. If I had been in Tom Leach’s seat when Aaron Harrison hit the three-pointer against Wisconsin, the radio call would’ve sounded exactly like this:

Fun fact: Iceland has the same population as Lexington and they’re in the Round of 16 in the Euros. That’s pretty remarkable.


Alex Poythress got one last workout in today

Alex Poythress worked out for the Boston Celtics today to wrap up his pre-draft auditioning for the NBA. The trip to Boston was Poythress’ 11th of the process and the hope is one of those 11 teams will give him an opportunity tomorrow night.

Here’s a summary of AP’s workouts, in photos, in order:

Yesterday, John Calipari said, “I am so proud of Alex right now. These teams are calling me back like, saying, he’s gotten healthy, he has leg strength on both sides, which some of that falls on us where he was probably injured more than we thought throughout this year. But shooting and all that. All of a sudden, he becomes that solid second round – maybe he slips late first.”

We want nothing more than for Poythress to hear his name called. He’s one of our all-time favorites.


The best #BasketballMovies from today’s show with the Sklar Brothers (and the Podcast!)

The Sklar Brothers and I had a lot of fun filling in for Matt Jones on today’s show, especially interacting with our listeners with the #BasketballMovies hashtag. In case you missed it, the Sklars asked everyone to change up the name of popular movies to make them basketball-related, and the responses were amazing.

Here are some of the best:

You can listen to plenty more of those and lots of Conway Twitty action on today’s podcast.

Hour 1:

Hour 2:

And remember to check out their new show, Finding Funny, on the Travel Channel.


Jamal Murray will shoot the arrow when his name is called tomorrow night

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NBA Draft Media Day is wrapping up, and I’ve got a ton of great content to share with you over the next day and a half from Jamal Murray and Skal Labissiere. When Kentucky fans think of Murray, they think of him shooting the arrow in the second half of the season. The move became so iconic that bows and arrows showed up on t-shirts and in every arena the Cats played.

I asked Jamal whether or not he plans to shoot an arrow tomorrow night. His answer?

“Hell yeah!”

I tried to get Jamal to shoot a bow and arrow to the KSR nation, but his suit was a little restrictive:

Jamal claims he doesn’t care which team drafts him, but between you and me, he really did light up when reporters asked about Minnesota (5th pick).

Best of luck, Jamal. We’ll be shooting the bow and arrow with you tomorrow night.


Another KSR Football Glossary Post; And a Muddy Jerry Claiborne

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Based on your feedback from our last Glossary post, I thought we could discuss more football terms and situations…

Defensive Line Twists

Defensive twists are preplanned, schematic maneuvers of two or more defensive players (mainly defensive linemen and linebackers) in which they exchange roles, positions on-the-field, and or responsibilities after the football is snapped with intention to confuse offensive blockers. In other words, defensive lines have the same deception capability as their offensive foes. This is just another accurate example of how football can be compared to chess.

*Please note that depicted in football X and O diagrams: X’s represent defensive players, O’s the offense.

TrojanFootballStatistics.com

How offensive personnel can predict twists?

Experience is an overused and underestimated term which doesn’t merely refer to the number of game snaps a player has under his belt. Operational experience is the functional description that describes the ability to accurately foresee the opponent’s actions prior to the football’s snap. Using the above example in practical terms, predicting defensive line twists can be predicated by down and distance (1st and 10 for example) as well as the defensive line’s stance variation. I’ll try to explain; when a defensive lineman’s hand is barely touching the turf, most likely the defender’s path will require lateral, directional movement. With knuckles or fingers firmly planted in the ground, a bull-rush or straight forward path is likely.

How to counter twists

If the called play is a run, even the most experienced quarterback usually just has to roll with it and hope for the best. In a game of odds; at times straight forward rushes can gash defensives that are twisting and turning all over the place. After being burned a couple times, twisting defenses usually cool their heels. The offensive line coach is critical in scouting report preparation as well as fundamental instruction in order for the OL (Offensive Line) to adjust for twists. Communication is the key.

Cover 3

-This term describes a defensive pass coverage during which two traditional cornerbacks are responsible for the deep third of the football field. The free safety is tasked with the middle of the field and acts in similar fashion as a baseball center fielder. His role is to stay deeper than the deepest receiver threat. Additionally, a strong safety controls the flats or the outside passing lanes of the football field. His role is similar to a weak-side linebacker and is heavily counted on for run support. Historically, strong safeties were called “Monster” or “Rover” backs. The side of the field in which the strong safety is aligned is labeled the “strong-side”. 

How to identify the Cover 3

Cornerbacks are aligned outside the widest receiver normally 7-10 yards off the line of scrimmage. Free safety is lined up in the middle of the field, or moves to that area post-snap.

Best Way to Attack

Short or intermediate passes toward the sidelines are mostly automatic completions. Again by referencing today’s spread offenses, it’s simple to counter. Put more eligible receivers on the field than a typical Cover 3 personnel set can manage.

SmartFootball.com

What do QBs and coordinators talk about on their headsets?

I often get this question. Got to remember, the game has drastically changed since I played in the late 80’s and early 90’s. However, I’d assume that that in general, the quarterback to coordinator communication has remained fairly constant.

Example

Offense is forced to punt, the QB exits the field and is first received by the head coach. Depending on the situation, this interaction includes words of encouragement or a good ole fashion butt chewing. Then if the coordinator is stationed in the booth, the QB puts on the headset and an onslaught of verbal interaction ensues. This process can be one of dread or triumph.

The OC (Offensive Coordinator) starts the communication by calming the nerves of a jumpy QB or motivating the other that may be lacking passion. Call it the pep talk or motivation portion of the discussion. Then the inevitable question from the OC, “What are you seeing?” By asking this, the coordinator is assessing his offensive leader’s mental state of mind. The QB normally replies with a series of X’s and O’s stuff which can either reassure or concern the coach.

However, there are aspects of the game that only the on-field QB can sense. For example, observations on defensive voice calls or audibles, eye direction or other blitz indicators, and secondary verbal and non-verbal communication. This information greatly assists the OC in play calling.

If things are going really well, the two may talk freely or better yet, no communication may occur at all. When things are bad, oh boy.

Quarterbacks during a timeout

Another frequently asked question. I normally don’t like to tell old football stories, but I couldn’t pass on this one. In the final seconds of a rain-soaked, sloppy and boring game against North Carolina, UNC Coach Mack Brown called his last timeout. With only one more snap to move to 2-0 on the season, I dreadfully trotted to the sideline with full mullet blowing in the CWS wind expecting a colossal butt chewing. You see on the previous Victory Formation play, like an idiot I fumbled the snap, we recovered. On the sideline, Claiborne was animated to say the least. He yelled for a football and demonstrated the proper manner in which to take a snap and then get on one knee. So in a 20-year-old sarcastic tone I asked, “so you want me to take the snap and then jump on the ground”? He didn’t think that was funny. He went on to again coach me up on the proper mechanics of a Victory Formation play. With muddied pants, nostrils flaring, and 12 “good gollies”, Coach Claiborne had made his point abundantly clear. I slapped him on the rear end and laughed my tail off all the way back to the huddle. I didn’t screw it up for a second time as we won the track-meet 13-6. I loved my coach. 

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Back to on subject, water is distributed as a plethora of towels are thrown in the quarterback’s direction. Managers and athletic trainers are the unsung heroes of every football team. If time permits, headsets are dawned and a coordinator conversation is included. During timeouts are when scouting reports morph from paper (now virtual) to practicality. For example, if the upcoming play is 3rd and 2 in the middle of the field with the football inside the opponent’s 20-yard line; scouting report data suggests that the opponent favors man-to-man blitzes. This helps in proper plays being called to counter. Situational awareness, gut feeling, and hours of film study pays off. During timeouts, head coaches are primarily motivators, coordinators are subject-matter-experts.

Keep your questions coming. Hope this helps.


Jamal, Skal, and Tyler in the top 30 of Chad Ford’s final Big Board

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

This morning, ESPN’s Chad Ford released his final Big Board, which differs from his mock drafts because it ranks the top 30 prospects based on feedback from scouts and executives, not on team needs. Kentucky’s top three draft prospects dipped slightly from the previous Big Board, with Jamal Murray sliding from #3 to #4, Skal Labissiere from #13 to #14, and Tyler Ulis #23 to #28.

Here’s a little of what he had to say about each:

 

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Jamal Murray

“Murray’s versatility and scoring ability really stand out. He’s an aggressive scorer who can shoot with deep range and get to the basket. He’s likely to be a 20 PPG scorer in the NBA.”

Draft range: Nos. 3-8, with the Celtics, Wolves, Pelicans and Kings showing the most interest.


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Skal Labissiere

There aren’t a lot of 7-footers who can shoot the 3 like a guard and have the athleticism to come back and be an elite rim protector,” Ford wrote. “In theory he’s all those things. He rarely showed much of anything at Kentucky. He looked afraid of contact and constantly had his confidence shaken. He’s also a year older than most of the freshmen in his class, which limits his upside somewhat.”

Draft range: Nos. 7-16, with the Nuggets, Raptors, Bucks, Magic, Jazz, Suns and Celtics all looking at him hard.


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Tyler Ulis

“He’s the best “pure” point guard in the draft and an elite playmaker with excellent balance between scoring and getting others involved. He’s also super quick, tenacious on the defensive end and a leader on the floor. He plays with heart,” Ford said. “He’s just 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds. The height is a big issue, but so is the weight. The small guys in the NBA who have excelled have been much stockier. Some teams are also concerned about a potential hip injury.”

Draft range: Nos. 19-35, with the Nuggets, Pacers, Sixers and Clippers having interest in the first round.

 

For more, break out your wallet and check out ESPN Insider.