Kentucky Sports Radio

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





August 20th, 2019

UK has a Tailgate & Ticket Special Offer

Here’s a fun offer for your Kentucky-Toledo game day experience:

UK has partnered up with TailgateGuys.com to provide a unique experience at Kroger Field on opening Saturday. With the new Tailgate & Ticket Special Offer, fans can get a lower-level seat at the game plus two hours of tailgating fun with free Lyles BBQ and more.

For more information or to purchase the package, click here.

It is also available for Kentucky’s second game against Eastern Michigan.

The deal costs $40 per game.

Go Cats.


2020 five-star guard Daishen Nix commits to UCLA

Last night, 2020 five-star point guard Daishen Nix cut his list to five schools, with UCLA, Kentucky, Alabama, Maryland, and Kansas all being included.

Today, after telling reporters that he was planning on taking visits to all five schools on his list, including one already scheduled for late September to Alabama, Nix shocked the world by announcing his commitment to UCLA this afternoon.

“Most of my family is round the west coast, so if I leave to go to UCLA it’s not that hard for them to fly over and drive over to see me,” Nix explained to Evan Daniels of 247Sports. “I loved the weather out there, the visit I had over the weekend was just unbelievable. It just really caught my eye.”

Nix also said he felt UCLA prioritized him the most among all the schools on his list.

“[Mick Cronin] prioritized me from the start,” he added. “As soon as he got there, and it was only him recruiting me, none of the assistant coaches.”

Now, Kentucky will turn its attention to Josh Christopher and Jalen Green to join BJ Boston in the backcourt.

We will have more on the decision on the Sources Say Podcast, set to debut this afternoon. I will also have another post on the site breaking down what this means for Kentucky in a bit.


A UK Football Open Practice Report 11 Days Away from the Start of the 2019 Season

Mark Stoops opened the doors of the Joe Craft Football Training Facility to the media for practice No. 15. Enjoy observations from sideline on each position group after watching the Cats in action for an hour.

Secondary

  • The first group in 7-on-7: Cedrick Dort, Jordan Griffin, Yusuf Corker and Jamari Brown.
  • Stoops asks Mosley why he is covering grass. The head coach is giving lot of individual attention to the DBs.
  • Jamari Brown plays physical in bump coverage vs. Wagner.
  • Mosely has some work to do in man coverage. The JUCO transfer is too slow to react when receivers break.
  • Brown makes another physical play as the ball arrives. This guy has the potential to bring what Baity and Lonnie brought to the secondary.
  • Echols is the only guy who’s come close to covering Bowden.
  • Corker breaks up stuff across the middle in zone from safety. He was much more efficient as a safety than a nickel.

Linebackers

  • Paschal blowing up running plays while defending the slot. Covering nicely too, giving Rigg nothing on the wheel route.
  • Wright getting in work at Sam linebacker. Stoops said he’ll work both spots, likely the No. 2 option at each.
  • Weaver and Casey are rolling with the twos; Casey is doing a good job keeping his outside shoulder free and forcing everything inside.
  • Peters is way too good to be with the threes, especially in pursuit from the backside, but that’s what they have to do until they receive word from the NCAA.

Defensive Line

  • Q moves so damn well for his size. He’s an enormous nose guard that’s as agile as an end.
  • Calvin Taylor has gotten quicker out of his stance.
  • Bohanna is taking up two and sometimes three guys each snap. That’s how you blow up the middle of an offense.
  • T.J. Carter practiced sparingly, slightly banged up after a grueling camp.

Offensive Line

  • Schlarman: “The cameras are on you. Your ass better not look like crap.”
  • I really like the counter action they use with the tight end/H-back. It happens fast and gives the RB an extra two yards to get a head full of steam to get to and through the second level of the defense.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

  • Bowden makes Griffin look stupid in one-on-ones.
  • Wagner is exponentially quicker out of breaks, getting better separation.
  • Nobody can guard Lynn Bowden at all.
  • Ali gets a 1-on-1 with Dort and makes him pay. Terry delivered the deep ball to him in stride on the fade.
  • Marrow absolutely lost his mind when Rigg dropped a pass over the middle. He’s heaped plenty of praise on his guys in the preseason. They can’t let him down when the lights turn on Saturdays.
  • B.J. Alexander makes a great catch through solid coverage on a deep out from Smith. He probably won’t play this year, but he’s showing a lot of potential to contribute next year, while still making simple mistakes like carrying the ball in his inside arm.

Running Backs

  • Gran refuses to curse. “Do you understand it? Gosh almighty, dang!”
  • C-Rod shows patience in Wildcat.
  • Smoke is rocking a red jersey, but still participating in 11-on-11.

Quarterbacks

  • Sawyer Smith is hitting guys in stride out of their breaks.
  • Bowden is throwing in WR drills and 7-on-7s. Most are under thrown, but they’re good looking spirals.
  • Bowden’s favorite ball to throw is the deep ball.
  • Smith is making the right reads in 11-on-11, dropping a beautiful ball in Clevan Thomas’ bucket on a wheel route. This guy is a solid back-up for TW3.
  • Terry is getting to his third and fourth reads pretty seamlessly. He had a great start to the day but had a few throws he’d like to get back in the second half of practice.

The Big Takeaways

1. “Quarterback Lynn Bowden”

Kentucky’s top wide receiver is also QB3. This year the Wildcat quarterback will not just be a running threat. If Bowden shows anything in the passing game, opposing defenses must honor the deep threat every time he takes a snap. He’s thrown a few balls before, but the former high school quarterback failed to deliver right away. He has enough arm power and accuracy. As training camp nears a conclusion, they’re working him into the action more often in practice to improve his timing, and more importantly, keep him from receiving too much contact from the defense.

2. Brandin Echols HAS to play

The JUCO cornerback simply doesn’t let the opposing wide receivers do what they want. Nobody can cover Bowden, except Echols. Wagner is at least six inches taller than Echols, but it did not matter. Echols knocked him off his route and took him out of the play. He will be the closest thing Kentucky has to a “lock down” corner. Coming off a summer hamstring injury, UK’s coaches need to do whatever they can to make sure Echols receives as many snaps as possible.

3. Finding a Nickel will be Difficult

The Cats are really going to miss Mike Edwards. UK’s secondary has a few different candidates who can provide competent run support, but Corker, Ajian and Griffin struggled to cover slots in man coverage. To be fair, they’re usually covering Lynn Bowden. Davonte Robinson’s absence will be felt until one player rises to the occasion.

4. Ahmad Wagner will Contribute

The former basketball player’s greatest advantage is also a disadvantage. Corners can’t match up with his size, but it also slows him down. You can tell Wagner’s anticipation at the position has exponentially improved. He wasn’t just catching jump balls, he was beating corners cutting out of breaks. When he’s not catching passes, he’ll be a valuable asset blocking on the outside.

5. Leaning on 12 Personnel

Kentucky’s base offense will feature Josh Ali, Lynn Bowden, Justin Rigg and Keaton Upshaw as the H-back. The big guys make the Cats more dynamic in the run game and they’re big targets in the middle of the field. There’s a ton of potential out of this personnel grouping, but the inexperienced bigs must grow up fast to become consistent weapons.


Derek Anderson, Nate Northington, and Ralph Hacker inducted into Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame

The Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame inducted six new members last night, with three of them being former University of Kentucky legends.

The Wildcats included? Former Kentucky basketball star Derek Anderson, UK football trailblazer Nate Northington, and Kentucky radio legend Ralph Hacker.

The 42nd KSOF class was officially introduced last night, with former Louisville football star Deion Branch, KSU legend William Exum, and U.S. Olympian Willis Augustus Lee.

Here were the former Wildcats last night:

Anderson, a Louisville native, won a national championship at Kentucky in 1996 before playing in the NBA for 11 years, winning a title with the Miami Heat in 2006.

Northington was an all-state high school football player before playing at Kentucky, where he became the first African-American ever to play in an SEC football game.

To round out the UK representatives, Hacker was a long-time radio color analyst and did play-by-play for the University of Kentucky.

Congratulations to the former Wildcats for their impressive achievement!


KSR Show Thread 8/20: Turn on that radio

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, the gang will break down Kentucky’s latest football commitment, look ahead to the season, and probably discuss a lot of random stuff.

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

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Today on KSR: We talkin’ bout practice

Not a game, but practice.

The Kentucky football team is about to hit the field for Practice No. 15 of fall camp. Unlike only one other before, today the media will be able to see what’s happening outside of the Joe Craft Football Training Facility. That means instead of the typical interviews you hear from coaches after practice, you’ll hear it from my perspective.

Updates will come in fast and furious around lunchtime. The practice open to the media isn’t the only thing happening around the Big Blue Nation this Tuesday.

Kentucky Picks Up a Football Commit

Another talented lineman from Michigan has joined the Cats’ 2020 recruiting class. A four-star prospect ranked as the No. 24 offensive tackle in America, Detroit’s Deondre Buford became the third prospect from Michigan to commit to Kentucky when he put on the basketball checkerboards in a commitment ceremony at his school Monday afternoon.

And they could Add Another

A Kentucky recruit on the other side of the line of scrimmage could don a UK hat this afternoon. Dickson, Tn. defensive lineman Tre’vonn Rybkka is set to make his college announcement this afternoon. Choosing between the Cats and the Vols, most believe Derrick LeBlanc will land a commitment, pushing Kentucky back into the top 25 of Rivals national team rankings.

Kentucky is a Finalist for Daishen Nix

The top-ranked point guard in America shrunk his list to five and the Cats made the cut. UK is still in the mix for the 6-5 prospect, even though Nix still does not officially hold a scholarship offer to Kentucky. Allow Jack Pilgrim to explain the situation.

@djfromveg

What a Deal

If you still haven’t made plans for Kentucky’s first two home games of the season, allow me to make them for you. In a partnership with Tailgate Guys, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat Lyles BBQ before watching the Cats take on Toledo and Eastern Michigan from the lower-level of Kroger Field. Each game will only set you back $40 a person. Take advantage of this opportunity that’s too good to be true before it’s gone.

A Chance to Kick for $10,000

Let’s say you want to take a chance and not purchase tickets to the home-opener. There’s another way you can win a pair of free tickets, Skyline Chili for a year and $10,000. One lucky person who signs up here will receive the tickets and the free Skyline. To get the cash, all you have to do is knock down a field goal from the 20-yard line at halftime of the home-opener. Ain’t no thang, but a chicken wang, on a strang. Register before August 26 for your chance to win.

Kickers Don’t Just Kick

The 49ers’ kickoff specialist learned how to lower the boomstick playing Aussie rules football.

Whoa!

Wrap your mind around this for a second.

Brian Needs a Kidney

Many have tried to honor our late friend by donating to the Jared Lorenzen Memorial Fund in a variety of ways. There’s another more ambitious way to honor Jared. Another Kentuckian, Brian Craighead, is suffering from renal failure. It’s a big ask, but Brian is willing to do whatever it takes to find a new kidney and sharing this flyer is the least we can do to help.


Ralph Hacker defends Kyle Macy, says John Calipari is ‘shortchanging fans’

KYWildcatsTV

This evening, UK broadcasting legend Ralph Hacker was inducted into the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame.

Before that, though, the former Voice of the Wildcats ruffled feathers in a major way during his appearance on the Terry Meiners Show.

On the show, Hacker was asked about his legendary career with the UK Radio Network as a basketball and football analyst, breaking down some of the top sports moments he has had while on the job.

At the tail end of his segment, Meiners brought up John Calipari’s time in Lexington, along with Kyle Macy’s recent controversial comments about the current Kentucky head coach being too focused on the NBA and not enough about doing what is best for the program.

To start with, Hacker complimented Calipari, saying he developed a system and title formula similar to what Eddie Sutton tried during his time in Lexington.

But unlike Sutton, the broadcast legend believes Calipari has gotten the system to work in his favor at Kentucky, with multiple titles almost certainly coming through the program if those elite players stuck around for more than one season.

“What he has done, and people will probably have a hard time drawing this relation, he has recruited every year for an NCAA championship,” he said. “He says it’s for one-and-done, and perhaps it is. But you don’t go [for] one-and-done [guys] unless you have NCAA championship-type players on there. That’s what Sutton tried to do. He had it all planned out to where if he got this player this year, this player, and this player, he could build up a dynasty of where it was just a matter of getting one player the next year and win that NCAA championship many times. Cal has pretty much done that. And if they had stayed [as opposed to entering the draft], he certainly would have done it.”

He added that he likely learned the system during his time in the NBA, seeing the level of talent he would need to win titles at the college level.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if, like Rick [Pitino], he figured it out in the pros. Basically said, if I go [recruit this way] in college, I can do this and get this caliber of player.”

The only issue, according to Hacker, is that the system hasn’t worked because those players are not staying in Lexington for multiple years. Thus, multiple championships haven’t come during Calipari’s time at Kentucky.

And because of that fact, and that fact alone, Hacker stood up for Macy, saying he believes the UK head coach is “shortchanging fans.”

“I know Kyle Macy took a lot of heat for what he said. But I [told him] “I think you’re right.” I said they’re shortchanging the fans by doing what we’re doing now,” he said. “Even though we’re proud of the University of Kentucky basketball team, we cheer for them, pay for the tickets, all that stuff, but in the end, you’re not doing right by the fan.”

To explain his point, he created a hypothetical for Meiners, telling him to imagine a scenario where he took a lazy approach to his radio show until the spotlight was on him when it came time for ratings.

And after a long-winded explanation, he tried to drive the point home that the diehard fans simply want to see more titles in Lexington.

“It’d be like if you decided you were going to come in here and not do your work to get your show done every day and you were going to do just enough to get by,” he said. “Like, “I’m going to have a good show today because it’s ratings week. But after ratings week, I’m not going to do anything.” And maybe that’s a bad analogy, but they’re working their butts off, they’re winning ball games, doing all this stuff, but I still think the people in Kentucky – the further you get from Lexington, the more rabid the fans are – I think they’d like to see championships.

Long story short, he ultimately defended Macy’s comments, saying those around Lexington may be okay with settling for what we see at Kentucky now, but fans around the state aren’t content with Calipari’s one title in ten years as head coach.

“They don’t see Coach Cal every day, they don’t run into him at Wheeler’s Drug Store,” he said. “They don’t do these things, they don’t get to see Coach Cal. These people, they’d like to see championships. People in [Lexington], maybe they can say, “Coach, you’re doing a really good job and maybe it’s okay if you don’t win them.” Maybe it’s okay? Maybe that’s the way the people of Lexington feel, but I think Macy was right.”

To finish off the segment, he added that despite all of the criticism Macy has received over the last several weeks, he knows that the Kentucky basketball legend is just as passionate about his Wildcats as the rest of us.

“And he loves the Wildcats, he loves the University of Kentucky,” he said. “His children go there. One of them graduated, the other is in school there. Does he love them? He pays the tuition.”

You can listen to Hacker’s entire interview on the Terry Meiners Show here:

Listen to “Ralph Hacker talks his radio career, the coaches and more” on Spreaker.


August 19th, 2019