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





May 24th, 2019

Kentucky’s run defense will set the tone in 2019

For the first time since his arrival last season, Mark Stoops fielded a top notch defense. The Wildcats were paced by a bunch of seniors including All-American edge Josh Allen who became the best individual defender in the country. Thanks to these efforts, the Wildcats finished 15th in defensive efficiency per S&P+, ranked 37th in the country in yards per play allowed, and ranked second in the SEC in scoring defense. Kentucky did all of this with just 20 takeaways forced (ranked 57th nationally). That’s really impressive.

Gone are Allen and all of UK’s secondary starters to the NFL. So it’s clear where first year coordinator Brad White is having to rebuild heading into 2019. Leaving the spring session, Kentucky still has major concerns at corner in addition to finding a consistent option to play the edge opposite of Boogie Watson (Florida State transfer Xavier Peters could help in this regard). However, UK looks to be very strong in the belly of the defense. You usually would rather have that opposed to the opposite.

It starts in the middle of the unit with your Mike linebacker and Kentucky has a good one in Kash Daniel. The former blue-chip recruit finally lived up to his recruiting hype last season in his first time starting. The Paintsville native posted 84 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss in 12 starts. Very solid numbers for any linebacker in their first year starting.

Where Daniel really shined was defending the run. He has some kinks to work out when asked to play in space, but he was excellent when playing downhill. The inside linebacker flashed some really solid instincts shown by his ability to consistently get home on run blitzes and having great timing when shooting gaps. His 9.5 run stuffs (tackles at or behind line of scrimmage on rushes) ranks fourth among all inside linebackers returning to the SEC in 2019. He’s a quality starter and will be a key cog in UK’s run defense.

During the draft season the story of Josh Allen and his development within the Kentucky football program became national news. The former high school receiver went from two-star to top 10 pick after just four years in Lexington. Following the historic year, he collected every individual award you could nab and will go down as one of the greatest to ever wear the blue and white. It will be hard to top his story, but the one of Calvin Taylor, Jr. has put together will be pretty close.

The Georgia native was an unranked recruit out of high school and a late addition to the class of 2015. Recruiting services pegged the 6-foot-9 prospect as an offensive tackle, but the UK staff liked what they saw from Taylor on the defensive side of the football. After two years of development, he finally cracked the rotation in 2017.

That year as a bench piece, Taylor ranked second among all defensive linemen with 22 stops before breaking through as a redshirt junior. This past fall he posted 26 tackles, but became much more effective with his six tackles for loss. But where Taylor really made an impact was in the running game.

The upperclassmen who has played both defensive tackle and defensive end in UK’s 3-4 scheme and recorded 9.5 run stuffs which tied for second on the defense. Obviously, Josh Allen left some big holes after posting 24 run stuffs, but Taylor feels like a guy who be due for a big time senior season. Keep up the development and the versatile defensive lineman who will be a very intriguing 2020 NFL Draft prospect.

Despite recording over 90 tackles and 19 sacks on a very good Cordova High School team in the Memphis area his senior year, Quinton Bohanna was marked a low three-star prospect by the recruiting services. Despite the ranking, Bohanna quickly became one of the most valuable players out of the class of 2017. The nose guard was a full-time starter by the end of his true freshman season and seemed poised for a breakout sophomore year. Unfortunately, an ankle injury suffered against Florida limited him this past season.

Despite the issues, Bohanna flashed during his sophomore season and recorded four tackles for loss to go with 4.5 run stuffs. He will need to prove he can stay healthy and play for a larger sample size, but he has the frame (now over 360 pounds) and ability to make a prominent  impact.

Quinton Bohanna, Kash Daniel, and Calvin Taylor, Jr. are set to be key cogs in Kentucky’s defense this fall. New defensive coordinator Brad White needs each to play at a high level. However, they are not the only answers this defense will have. Chris Oats and Joshua Paschal were both blue-chip recruits entering their sophomore season. They could be due for a big leap. T.J. Carter, Phil Hoskins, and Kordell Looney are three defensive linemen who have all played a lot of snaps. Davonte Robinson has all of the tools to become UK’s next draft pick out of the secondary.

The secondary and edge rush is a concern that will not be solved until the real football is played. It is vital that the belly of the defense steps up their game during this transition time. It’s clear that they have the personnel to take advantage. Stop the run and you’ll a great shot at success no matter who you’ll play in the SEC.

 


BBNBA: Enough Jokes, Kawhi Leonard is an Actual Robot

(Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)

Good morning, folks. The Toronto Raptors are one win away from the NBA Finals. Let’s talk NBA Playoffs.

RECAP

(2) Raptors – 105 @ (1) Bucks – 99 (TOR leads 3-2)

  • So this is a turn not many expected. After falling in a 0-2 hole following the first two games in Milwaukee, thoughts of another postseason collapse surfaced into the minds of every Toronto citizen. The exact same script that doomed the Raptors year after year was playing out once again, just replace the lead villain of LeBron James with Giannis Antetokounmpo. But Kawhi Leonard is a different type of protagonist than say DeMar DeRozan. One presumably built deep in the basement of David Stern’s laboratory.
  • What Leonard did in Game 5 – and throughout this entire postseason – was drag his mortal teammates through a three-game winning streak and one game from the NBA Finals. Leonard posted 35 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists while knocking down five of his eight three-point attempts. He was magical once again, during a time when his team and new city needed him the most. The most mysterious man in the NBA has been hiding a serious knack for demoralizing entire fanbases. But he’s letting it all out en route to the NBA Finals.
  • ”I’m not afraid of the moment,” Leonard said. ”This is what I work out for in the summer. I’m just trying to win. It’s a matter of me being aggressive and don’t shy away from anything.”
  • Milwaukee had only suffered back-to-back losses once all season before Game 4 and never lost three straight before Thursday night. The Bucks held a 10-point lead after the first 12 minutes and it ultimately ballooned to 14 before the Raptors brought the game back for a halftime score of 49-46 favoring Milwaukee. The game was tied at 93 with under three minutes left before a Fred Van Vleet triple gave Toronto the lead and ultimately the victory. Antetokounmpo added 24 points for the Bucks while Malcolm Brogdon contributed another 18 points and 11 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe played a much better game than he had in previous outings, although still not exactly up to his standards. He finished with 20 points on 6-14 shooting from the field but missed five of his seven attempts from deep (why does he keep shooting threes???). Behind Leonard’s 35 and seven triples from the former Wichita State guard, Van Vleet, Toronto is now one home win away from advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.
  • Also, just listen to this dude’s deadpan humor. I want to know so badly what software goes in that computerized brain of his.

  • I’m all here for the Raptors winning this series and advancing to face the Warriors, but there isn’t anything on this entire world that would exemplify the tragedy of Toronto basketball more than Milwaukee winning these next two games. If it does, it’ll likely happen in embarrassing fashion, too. I don’t make these rules, people, I just follow the ordinance of NBA law. Remember… No one is immune from these jokes.
  • Also, Drake was everywhere – again – and being weird with young girls on social media – again.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)99-105 L vs. TOR206-14 (2-7)42004+533
Jodie Meeks (TOR)105-99 W @ MILDNP-CD----------------

SATURDAY IN THE NBA

8:30 (TNT): Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Raptors (Meeks) (TOR leads 3-2)


KSR Show Thread, 5/24: Live from Mount Vernon

On today’s edition of Kentucky Sports Radio, Matt Jones and the radio crew are live from Rockcastle County this morning for the first time in show history.

Starting now, they will be discussing all of the latest happenings around the state and in the world of UK Athletics at Marcella’s Farm to Fork in Mount Vernon.

Make sure you tune in.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (772) 774-5254.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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May 23rd, 2019

EJ Montgomery Might Be The Most Important “Stay or Go” Decision Left in the NBA Draft

Late Tuesday night, under the cloak of darkness, one of the last big puzzle pieces in the 2019 recruiting class officially fell. After a back-and-forth recruitment, one that left even the best recruiting experts uncertain of where he’d land, Jaden McDaniels officially decided to play at Washington.

Although Washington was the spot that McDaniels’ recruitment had trended for weeks, no one really knew where he’d end up… until he actually ended up there, choosing the Huskies over Kentucky while most fans slept the night away.

But with McDaniels’ recruitment officially closed, another reality set in for Kentucky on Wednesday morning: For the Wildcats to reach their full potential next season, they need EJ Montgomery to come back to Lexington. As a matter of fact, I think you could make a legitimate case that of all the players who are still truly “testing the waters” in the NBA Draft process, Montgomery is the most important decision left anywhere in college basketball.

Now to be clear, this isn’t just about McDaniels’ decision to go elsewhere, as it was never really an “either/or” kind of deal between the two. Although both are listed at 6’11, they play a completely different style of game, with McDaniels much more comfortable putting the ball on the floor as more of a hybrid, new-age four-man in the mold of Kevin Durant, Tracy McGrady or Michael Porter Jr. (to be clear, I’m not comparing McDaniels upside to any of those players – just his style of play). Montgomery, as we all saw last year, is more of a traditional four-man, not quite as comfortable making plays for himself, but more competent around the rim and in the paint.

Had McDaniels chosen Kentucky he wouldn’t have necessarily been a player to “replace” Montgomery, but instead one to compliment him.

Still with McDaniels finally of the picture, Reid Travis graduated, and PJ Washington gone after his sophomore year, there is in fact a gaping hole in the Kentucky front-court. And the best option to fill that spot and maximize the potential out of this entire Kentucky team would be for Montgomery to return.

The bottom-line is that Montgomery fills an incredible void for the Wildcats next year as a big-time threat down low. Admittedly, he didn’t have a great offensive season last year (averaging just four points a game) but did show flashes, with 11 points and 13 boards against South Carolina, and a couple other double-figure scoring games, to go along with several more where he helped the team on the glass. Considering his pedigree as a McDonald’s All-American it doesn’t seem far-fetched to assume that he would make a leap similar to PJ Washington last summer and become a focal point of the offense. He might not become an All-SEC caliber player like Washington. But it isn’t necessarily inconceivable either.

Just as important, his skill-set certainly fits with the other guys that Kentucky is projected to have back. If the Wildcats want to go big, Montgomery can play the four-spot, with Nick Richards (assuming Richards returns as well) serving as a rim protector and true center. If they want to go small, Montgomery would fit in well as a new-age five-man, with Kahlil Whitney stepping in at the four-spot. John Calipari wants to play position-less basketball, and the two of them really would make a dynamic duo together.

Because of that, Montgomery is the missing piece for Kentucky. The guy who makes them the heavy favorite in the SEC, and a legit national championship contender.

But without him? There is that gaping hole in the middle, with no obvious replacements available.

Looking at the other options, we all know that Richards doesn’t have the offensive upside of Montgomery, and I do worry about Nate Sestina’s ability to transition to the increased competition in the SEC. Kerry Blackshear is of course a possibility, but he seems hell bent on staying in the draft if at all possible. Beyond that, it seems like a reach to get any other high school players to reclassify, and no other grad transfers have been linked to UK either.

Yup, EJ Montgomery remains the best available option for a consistent front-court presence for the Wildcats next year.

Will he be back?

It could be the difference between the Wildcats being a legit title contender and a good, but not great team.


KSBar’s Top 10 Tweets of the Day

KSBar and Grille is the place in Lexington to catch University of Kentucky games (pre and postgame too) as well as other events such as the NBA Playoffs, UFC fights, the World Cup, MLB games, PGA tour events, and more.

KSBar might be known for their smoked wings but don’t miss out on the brisket platter, fried katfish, chicken and waffles, and the great assortment of burgers. Start off with the house chips loaded to the ceiling smothered with pulled pork or chicken straight off the smoker topped with the house BBQ sauce. 

Head to the KSBar and Grille website ksbarandgrille.com to see a full menu and drink list. 

Be on the look out for different specials and events.

KSBar and Grille is located at: 1030 South Broadway, Lexington, KY 40504


You can be a part of KSR’s Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 TW

Yes.

#9 a

I’m here for it.

#8 Carlie

Alexa, volume up 10.

#7 Dave Zipper

It’s good to see he has visitors.

#6 Michael Rains

WE NEED IT.

#5 KSJail

sincerely, KSGhost

#4 Bobcat017

What is happening?

#3 Not Jerry Tipton

“This brings a smile to my face.”- Thanos

#2 Danny Albertson

What a glo up.

#1 Shannon the Gal

It is honestly absolutely powerful. Just wow.


Follow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets: @BrentW_KSR


Joe Sonka discusses the Primary election results on Hey Kentucky!

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is set to face Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear in a highly-anticipated general election this November, but the back-and-forth has already begun.

On Hey Kentucky this evening, Joe Sonka of Insider Louisville stopped by to talk about Tuesday’s night’s Primary election results and what it means for the state moving forward.

Take a look here:

In the entire episode, Matt Jones and Josh Corman discuss the campaign ad war between Bevin and Beshear already taking place, C. Wesley Morgan filing to run against Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, and why you should be on the lookout for “Zombie Racoons” plaguing Kentucky.

Take a look: