Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
June 21st, 2017

The OTT Podcast: NBA Cities Draft

On this episode of The OTT Podcast, Fake Barney and I get into the NBA Draft spirit with a different sort of mock draft. Tune in to hear us draft the best NBA cities to live in, regardless of the teams themselves. Highlights include…

— What’s more important in a city: threat of natural disaster or craft beer scene?

— Beach vs. mountains

— What is there to do in Salt Lake City?

— Cleveland vs. Detroit

— Our take on the NCAA’s findings in the Louisville scandal

…and much, much more. To listen, just subscribe to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or stream on Podbay.

Click through the jump to see which cities we picked and vote on whose list of cities is the best.

(more…)


Rick Pitino Pens Two-Page Letter to Supporters that “Tells the Truth and the Only Truth”

Two years after the world discovered parties with prostitutes were used to recruit basketball players at Billy Minardi Hall, Rick Pitino is still defending his case.  This time it’s in the form of a two-page letter.

The letter was sent to KSR by a little birdie and is addressed to the “Friends of the Ville.”  The group is described as “close supporters” of the program, most likely a group of donors.  Pitino attempts to use the letter to reassure the close supporters that everything will be alright.  He does so by telling his side of the story, or as he puts it, “The truth and the only truth.”

Pitino begins by issuing a New Yorker’s threat to anyone that would do anything to dishonor Billy Minardi’s name.  That’s followed by his recollection of the first conversation Pitino had with Andre McGee after the news broke.  Still trying to debate the NCAA, he states:

“Did the NCAA enforcement staff believe that Andre would ever tell the truth if we were face to face? Absolutely not.  He would have lied and lie some more.  He knew what that dorm meant to me.”

Pitino finishes the letter by referencing Bernie Madoff, the Karen Syphor incident and says, “I am not concerned about the outside world and what they think.”

(click to enlarge)

When this scandal started two years ago, Rick was advised to keep his mouth shut.  Two years later he still can’t help himself.


Malik Monk tells Finebaum: “I don’t think there is a better place than Kentucky.”

Malik Monk wrapped up his pre-NBA Draft media blitz by making an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show.  Monk’s already dished out a few compliments for the Cats today, but he saved the best for last.

“I don’t think there is a better place than Kentucky,” Monk said.  “The experience was great.  The best experience of my life so far, of course.  I learned a lot there.  I learned a lot about the NBA.  We basically were the NBA of college, the NBA team of college basketball.”

A quote that can be used as a recruiting pitch for John Calipari, he also shared Cal’s recruiting pitch.  It’s pretty simple; Cal tells it like it is.

“Whatever he tells you when he comes to your house for in-home visits, or however he recruits you, that’s exactly how it’s going to be.”

The appeal of Kentucky drew him away from his home state of Arkansas.  The younger brother of a Razorback legend, Marcus Monk, Arkansas fans did not hide their hate for Monk once he committed to Kentucky.  The criticism does not bother him.

“If they stay mad their whole life I can’t do nothin about that.  I’m going to continue to be Malik Monk and focus on my future,” Monk said.  “I know the Arkansas fans are being loyal to Arkansas so there’s no hard feelings.”

There were a few other noteworthy media appearances throughout the day.  For The Crossover, Monk selected a starting five of former Wildcats to take on the Golden State Warriors.  You’ll be surprised to see who he initially left off his list.

If you want to hear more from Monk, he previewed the NBA Draft for 30 minutes on the Hang Time Podcast.


Does this look like a guy who would steal $5K in hair products?

A Lexington man allegedly stole $5,000 worth of hair products from Fayette Mall and I’m a little curious as to what he planned to do with all of it.

Seen in his mugshot with a fresh buzzcut, Joshua Campbell has been charged with two counts of third-degree burglary after he was caught on camera pulling off the heist, according to our friends at LEX 18. Cameras caught him take over $2,000 worth of flat irons on Sunday, June 4 after the mall had closed; then he was seen doing it all again a week later at the same kiosk.

As someone who believes in having salon quality hair, I get it. Hair gets results. But maybe don’t steal $5K in hair products from the mall, especially when you’re rocking a $4 haircut. Maybe don’t steal anything, ever.

[Police: Man Steals $5K Worth Of Hair Products]


Week One SEC East Loss Probabilities

For quite some time the SEC East has been considered the lesser of the league’s two divisions. Some go as far as labeling it the SEC LEast. Week one matchups offer several opportunities to improve upon or maintain its reputation within the conference and all of college football. 

Two neutral site games vs. Power 5 opponents are accompanied by one home matchup against a 1AA foe as well as two road games and two at home vs. Group of 5 opponents.

Let’s take a look:


Florida vs. Michigan, Arlington TX | September 2nd

Michigan is favored by 3. The Gators must find a resemblance of an offense with a new quarterback while replacing 8 defensive starters. Florida’s kicker and punter are excellent; that should make Steve Spurrier proud. Redshirt freshman QB Feleipe Franks or incoming grad-transfer Malik Zaire will compete for the starting job in fall camp. Zaire makes three grad-transfer quarterbacks to call Gainesville home in a very short period of time. At some point in time continually bringing in mercenaries at the team’s most vital position could cause friction.

Michigan was also hurt by attrition. It lost 17 starters, 10 from the defense. This will be a contest of the unknowns in both personnel and team quality. Both teams are talented and extremely well coached. Annually Florida reloads defensively. New coordinator Randy Shannon may not have an overabundance of experience, but his unit will possess elite talent across the board. The Wolverines should be refreshed and bonded from its Italy vacation but may lack the athletes to keep up with the speedy Gators. 

Florida Loss Probability: Low


Kentucky at Southern Miss | September 2nd

Kentucky is favored by 12. Former Wildcat offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson put it to his former team a year ago. In a game that was defined by two distinct halves, Southern Miss won the contest by dominating momentum, tempo, and the scoreboard in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Last year’s game was no fluke. Southern Miss out-played, out-toughed, and out-ran the home team.

USM will be without the services of longtime starting quarterback Nick Mullens. But, it returns RB Ito Smith. You’ll read this many more times this summer; Ito Smith is a bad, bad man that must be taken seriously. Reminder, he rushed for 173 on the Cats in 2016. Don’t be logo fooled, Smith will be one of the better running backs that UK will face all year. 

The Wildcats are nearly a two-touchdown favorite for the 4:00pm kickoff in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It’s going to be nasty hot which could benefit the team with the most line-of-scrimmage depth. Kentucky’s offensive line has a dominant advantage in this category. Defensively, not so much which could be a cause for concern; see the Ito Smith and 2016 outcome reference above.

Golden Eagle fans have this game circled on the scheduled as it marks a shot to knock off a SEC team at home. Mark Stoops should have no problem motivating his team after last year’s second half meltdown. September 2nd will be a heated game, and I’m not talking about the 100-degree temperature.

Kentucky Loss Probability: Low-Medium


Georgia vs. Appalachian State, September 2nd

Georgia is a 14-point favorite. The game is between the hedges and the Dawgs have a potent offensive that should be able to score touchdowns in bunches. Only question on that side of the football is offensive coordinator Jim Chaney’s ability to effectively utilize the plethora of talent under his control. Chaney’s play calling a year ago baffled fans, media, and players alike. Here’s a foolproof game plan; hand the football off to RB’s Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Then, use future NFL QB Jacob Eason to throw play action passes to elite TE’s Isaac Nauta and Jeb Blazevich. Game over. UGA is arguably the most talented team in the East and returns 10 defensive starters off a Top 20 unit a year ago.

Appalachian State is favored to win the Sun Belt Conference. It put a scare into Tennessee a year ago as the Volunteers required an overtime period to win 20-13 in Knoxville. Expect the fearless Mountaineers to put up a valiant fight.

Georgia Loss Probability: Low


Missouri State at Missouri | September 2nd

Spread not available. Missouri State (1AA) went 4-7 in 2016. The Tigers may score 80 in this one with South Carolina coming to town the next week.

Missouri Loss Probability: Extremely Low


South Carolina vs. North Carolina State, Charlotte | September 2nd

North Carolina State is favored by 4. South Carolina is the trendy pick to contend for a division title. The Gamecocks will have their collective hands full in Charlotte. NC State returns 11 starters, 8 of which are on defense. The Wolfpack also sports one of the better defensive lines in college football.

Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley impressed as a true freshman. He’ll be surrounded by 8 returning starters that include talented and fast skill players that have the potential to light up a scoreboard. Unlike the vast majority of media types, I’m yet to be completely sold on USC. But, I will become a complete believer in the Fighting Muschamps if Carolina consistently blocks the Wolfpack defensive line that’s led by Bradley Chubb (22 TFL, 10.5 QB sacks).

South Carolina Loss Probability: High


Vanderbilt at Middle Tennessee State | September 2nd

Vanderbilt is favored by 9 against a dangerous MTSU team. Two questions surround this neighborly grudge match: 1. How will the Vanderbilt defense cope without the services of All American LB Zach Cunningham? 2. Will MTSU QB Brent Stockstill be fully recovered from a February shoulder surgery?

MTSU beat Missouri 51-45 in Columbia a year ago. Ironically it now has former Mizzou Tiger Walter Brady leading its pass rush. Vanderbilt has 17 players on its depth chart that saw extensive action in 2016. QB Kyle Shurmer and RB Ralph Webb led the Commodore offense to a strong finish to the 2016 regular season before falling flat in a 41-17 loss to NC State in the Independence Bowl. I’d be more confident in the Blue Raiders if Stockstill was completely healthy.

Vanderbilt Loss Probability: Medium


Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech, Atlanta | September 4th

Tennessee is a 4-point favorite. The Champions of Life trophy wasn’t exactly the prize that Volunteer fans coveted going into 2016. Head coach Butch Jones has many sets of shoes to fill after several of his building block stars moved on. For beginners, he has to find a new starting quarterback to fill a void vacated by Josh Dobbs. Furthermore, the program’s all-time leading sacker Derek Barnett now plays his football on Sundays.

Georgia Tech finished last fall much like as senior led team should. The Yellow Jackets beat its archrival (Georgia) then went on to win the Taxslayer Bowl with a victory over Kentucky. Coach Paul Johnson must also find a replacement for his starting quarterback as Justin Thomas finally graduated. Seems as if he’d led that option attack for a decade. But, don’t fret my cut blocking friends, several key offensive pieces are coming back to Atlanta including Clinton Lynch and Dedrick Mills.

Butch Jones will be joined by six new assistant coaches and a bus load of new non-coaching coaches (aka support staff) to prepare for Johnson’s perplexing rushing attack in the offseason. A Tech win would give it three consecutive victories over SEC East opponents (Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee).

Tennessee Loss Probability: Medium


It’s June. Suspension and Dismissal Season hasn’t gotten into full swing just yet. Fall camp injuries will also play a factor in projections changing from now until September. Mizzou is the only team that will be serving dessert in its opener. The other six programs best be on their toes in order to quiet the SEC Least detractors.


Anthony Davis grades his top five NBA draft prospects

Anthony Davis took a break from riding roller coasters at Disneyland to grade some of the prospects in tomorrow night’s NBA draft.

And by the looks of his notes, Davis is very high on five very familiar players:

@AntDavis23

That looks like a perfect A+ for De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo, Isaiah Briscoe and Isaac Humphries. If he had gone top six, the safe money is on Dominique Hawkins or Derek Willis taking that next spot with another A+ report.

Ya gotta love Davis repping Kentucky any chance he can get. Not only is he the best player, he’s one of the best ambassadors, too.


Kentucky’s Evan White earns his second Gold Glove award

Evan White has another Gold Glove award to go with his other Gold Glove award.

Now a two-time winner, White was named the Rawlings Sports Collegiate Gold Glove First Basemen for the 2017 season. He took in the prize for the first time around this time last year following the 2016 season.

White is considered one of the most accomplished players in Kentucky baseball history and he recently became the fifth Wildcat to be selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft when the Seattle Mariners picked him at No. 17. He’s also a three-time member of the All-SEC Defensive Team in only three seasons at UK, as well as Second Team All-American and two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.

Go Cats.


Three former Wildcats join many others with Nike

Nike has three new Kentucky Wildcats to represent the swoosh now that UK’s top three NBA draft entrants have signed with the brand.

Darren Rovell reported De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk and Bam Adebayo all signed their first shoe contracts with Nike. We told you about Adebayo’s deal last week, but I think this is the first we’ve heard of Fox and Monk joining the team.

Other NBA Wildcats with Nike sponsorships include DeMarcus Cousins, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Davis, Devin Booker, Eric Bledsoe, Patrick Patterson and Julius Randle, among others.

Jamal Murray and Brandon Knight are the lone Adidas endorsers, while John Wall remains a free agent in the shoe game.


P.J. Washington injured in USA training camp

First it was Kevin Knox, now it is P.J. Washington who has gone down to injury at the USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team training camp in Colorado.

According to Kyle Tucker, who made a special guest appearance on this morning’s show, Washington “vanished” from the floor before the team’s Wednesday morning practice. He has since reappeared and was spotted courtside with a trainer  working out his left leg:

Hot take here: With Knox and Washington both dealing with minor injuries, any chance this is their out to avoid the trip to Egypt?

I’ll hang up and listen.

And hopefully neither injury will linger on into the summer.

 

UPDATE

Washington told Fletcher Page his lower back got tight in shooting drills and he probably won’t practice tonight.


Malik Monk says go to Kentucky if you want to go to the NBA

The good people over at Sports Illustrated shared an interview one of its NBA writers, Andrew Sharp, had with Malik Monk recently as Monk gets ready for the draft.

Monk’s responses were short and sweet (if you heard his interview with KSR, you know he’s not a big talker) but he dropped some nice lines in there about his time at Kentucky, his relationship with other Wildcats, playing for John Calipari, what he expects in the NBA, wearing JCPenney, and more.

Maybe the best of Monk’s quotes came when he was asked about his one year at UK, to which he said, “If you want to go to the NBA and you want a career as a basketball player, if you’re getting recruited by Kentucky, go there.”

I’m also a fan of his answer when asked who he patterns his game after: “Malik Monk.”

For more from Monk, including Trump vs. LaVar Ball and Twitter vs. Instagram, check out SI.com’s Q&A here.


Mountain Dew truck catches fire in Kentucky #Pray4BullittCounty

A semi-truck carrying 4,400 pounds of Mountain Dew caught fire on the Carroll Cropper Bridge in Boone County. The fire shut down all lanes of Interstate 275 in both directions on Tuesday afternoon.

There’s no word on what ignited the flame that ruined the multi-ton load of the sugary, citrus soda, but I can assure you the people of Bullitt County will not rest until justice is served.

For more on the story, read Fox 19’s report here.


Kevin Knox pulls out of USA training camp with minor injury

Kevin Knox is on his way back to Lexington, his head coach, John Calipari, announced Wednesday morning.

According to Calipari, Knox tweaked his hamstring out in Colorado, so he is pulling out of training camp and going back to UK to rest up; therefore he will not be on the U19 World Cup team.

“My suggestion was that he go back to Lexington to rest it and focus on class, which he is,” Cal tweeted. “But he was great this week at USA Basketball training camp. Proud of him.”


VIDEO: Portrait time at the NBA Draft for Monk and Fox

While you and I are chugging coffee and trying to overcome another Wednesday morning, De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk are taking their portraits for tomorrow night’s NBA draft.

The draft’s Twitter account shared some behind-the-scenes shots of the Wildcats’ photoshoot this morning and it looks like they’re having lots of fun today, the last day before they become millionaires.


KSR is in Louisville! (Wednesday Show Thread)

Today’s stop on the KSR Summer Tour is in Louisville at Academy Sports + Outdoors. The gang is at Academy’s Outer Loop location (not the other one) to talk about the NBA draft, Coach Cal’s U19 team, thew new football commitment and more, so stop by if you can or tune in on your radios.

Tour schedule:

06/12/17: Prestonsburg – StoneCrest Golf Course
06/13/17: London – Sleep Outfitters
06/14/17: Russell Springs – Lawless-Smith True Value Supply
06/15/17: Somerset – Ashley HomeStore
06/16/17: Lexington – Don Franklin Auto Mall

06/19/17: Danville – Dexter Insurance
06/20/17: Leitchfield – Future Designs Building Materials
06/21/17: Louisville – Academy Sports + Outdoors
06/22/17: Henderson – Sleep Outfitters
06/23/17: Owensboro – Don Moore Automotive Group

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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Barleycorn’s Wednesday Top 10: New Car Edition

A message from our friends at Barleycorn’s…

Looking for a place to hang out with other UK fans? Take your family and friends to Barleycorn’s!

Barleycorn’s has over 30 beers on tap, jumbo wings with 10 delicious sauces, sandwiches, salads, and our famous handcrafted burgers!

Barleycorn’s has three locations in Northern Kentucky – Cold Spring, Lakeside Park, and Florence – and is open seven days a week! For hours and information, follow them on Facebook or visit Barleycorns.com.

Get over here!



1. Hamidou Diallo, Kevin Knox and P.J. Washington named finalists for Calipari’s U19 World Cup team.

In the least surprising news of the week, all three of Calipari’s current players and all of his current recruiting targets made the cut when the USA U19 team field was trimmed to 18 on Tuesday.

Here’s the full list of finalists:

Bol Bol
Jordan Brown
Hamidou Diallo
Carsen Edwards
Kevin Huerter
Louis King
Kevin Knox
Romeo Langford
Brandon McCoy
Chuma Okeke
Josh Okogie
Payton Pritchard
Immanuel Quickley
Cameron Reddish
Mitchell Robinson
Quinton Rose
PJ Washington
Austin Wiley

“I think we’ve got a good group of finalists,” Coach Cal said in a news release. “We’re pretty long and athletic. It looks like we’re going to be somewhat positionless and we’re going to have some 6-8 guys that can play point guard, bring it up and make plays.

“We’re young, there is a group of six rising (high school) seniors that now, in this setting, it’s a little different. Now you’ve got some cagey veterans that have gone through a college season and played, some of them started for their teams or were significant players, and you’re a high school rising senior playing against that kid, now you see where you are as a player.”

“I told some kids in our meeting (after naming the finalists) that if you want make this team you’re going to have rebound, and show us you’re going to rebound; if you’re going to make this you’re going to have pass the ball, you can’t be trying to shoot every ball. You’re responsible for you.  I went around the room, not every guy, but I wanted to let them know I’m going to keep it real. I’m going to be real about what we have to do. The reason is we don’t have time, we have three practices and then we’ve got to make another cut and get it to 12.”

2. The fun continues today in Colorado Springs.

Now that Calipari has his finalists, the work will continue at U19 training camp out in Colorado. And if things continue as they’ve been going, we’ll continue to hear nothing but good things about Diallo, Knox and Washington, as well as some of the high school guys.

Plenty more U19 talk to come.

3. Kentucky got a big football commitment last night.

The Cats stole one from the Cards as three-star Florida wide receiver Akeem Hayes flipped his commitment to the good side. Hayes originally pledged his commitment to Louisville back in April, but after talking it over with his family, he decided Lexington is the place for his college football career.

Suck it, Petrino.

4. Blue will get in at the NBA draft.

Kentucky leads the way with three invites to the NBA draft room:

Bam Adebayo, Kentucky
Jarrett Allen, Texas
OG Anunoby, Indiana
Lonzo Ball, UCLA
John Collins, Wake Forest
Zach Collins, Gonzaga
De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
Markelle Fultz, Washington
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State
Josh Jackson, Kansas
Justin Jackson, North Carolina
Luke Kennard, Duke
T.J. Leaf, UCLA
Lauri Markkanen, Arizona
Donovan Mitchell, Louisville
Malik Monk, Kentucky
Frank Ntilikina, France
Justin Patton, Creighton
Dennis Smith, N.C. State
Jayson Tatum, Duke

Consider me surprised by Bam Adebayo’s invite. I hope it doesn’t turn into one of those awkward, lonely moments in the green room

5. It looks like former KSR writer Hayley Minogue is enjoying her reporting gig down in Florida.

Your cubicle is always open here at KSR if the tropical storms get too intense down there, Hayley.

6. Longtime UK equipment manager given a brand new car.

Tom “TK” Kalinowski has worked within the UK football program for over 40 years and this week the K Club (with help from Paul Miller Ford) surprised him with a brand new Ford Escape for his hard work and commitment to the Wildcats.

I hope to get a new computer and long-term benefits when I hit the 40-year mark with KSR here in about three decades.

7. I need some advice on traveling to Ireland (and England and Scotland).

Friends, I’ll be landing in lovely Dublin, Ireland in a little over three weeks with a couple of days to kill before traveling over to Manchester for the Open. I am just now beginning to plan the Ireland leg of the trip, so, please, if you have any, send me your recommendations for places to visit, places to stay, things to do and things to know. Any rental car/Ryanair and other advice will also be greatly appreciated. Really anything you would like to share will be very kind and helpful. I’ll also listen to advice on Manchester/Liverpool (most of my trip will be spent there) and Scotland (couple days there before traveling home). E-mail me: drewfranklin@kentuckysportsradio.com. Thanks in advance. You’re the best.

8. Tristan Pompey to compete in College Home Run Derby.

UK outfielder Tristan Pompey has been selected to the roster for the eighth annual College Home Run Derby at the College World Series in Omaha. The Derby is set for Saturday, July 1 and will air live on ESPN2 at 9 p. ET. Pompey will be going up against five other power hitters from college baseball; the full list will be announced at a later date.

9. Get signed up for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass golf scramble!

Golfers, there is still room to get in the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Golf Fore Kids’ Sake at Keene Run Golf Course on July 24, 2017 at 1 p.m. The golf scramble is open to anyone and everyone interested in participating, and all proceeds are invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass’ mentoring programs. Prizes will go to the top three teams along with other giveaways and fun activities throughout the day. Plus this year they will have a list of VIPs and celebrities that teams can privately bid on to gain as a fifth player on their team. Everything will wrap up with an awards presentation and dinner catered by Johnny Carino’s.

Click here to sign up.

10. The KSR Summer Tour is in Louisville today.

The KSR caravan will make its way into Louisville today for another stop on the summer tour. Matt, Ryan and the gang are at Academy Sports + Outdoors (Outer Loop location) for two hours of exciting KSR radio. Get in there.