By Zack Geoghegan on ©March 19th, 2019 @ 1:30pm
Good afternoon, folks. Julius Randle cares not about your New Orleans Pelicans hot takes. Let’s talk NBA.
- Brandon Knight is finally starting to settle into his role with the Cleveland Cavaliers after bouncing around the league with a bm knee for the last few years. Knight put up 16 points, four rebounds, and five assists on 7-13 shooting in the Cavs win over the Detroit Pistons. The former Kentucky guard has averaged 11.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists over his last six games while shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 10-23 from deep. He’s pairing quite nicely next to rookie point guard Collin Sexton, acting mainly as the two-guard in the starting rotation while Sexton dictates the offense.
- The Denver Nuggets clinched a playoff spot for the first time in six years after taking down the Celtics in Boston. Jamal Murray added 11 points on 5-11 shooting to go along with four rebounds. Trey Lyles and Jarred Vanderbilt were both available but did not appear in the game.
- Kevin Knox struggled from the field against the Toronto Raptors, who were without Kawhi Leonard. Knox shot 4-14 from the field for 12 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes, as the New York Knicks were obliterated by the Raps, 128-92.
[33-36] Heat – 116 @ [42-28] Thunder – 107
- Bam Adebayo continues to impress for the Miami Heat, this time posting eight points, seven rebounds, four blocks, two steals, and a block in 29 minutes. It was Adebayo’s 11th straight start and Miami is now 1.5 games ahead of the Orlando Magic for the final playoff spot in the East.
- For the Thunder, who have now lost an uncharacteristic three straight games, the trio of former Wildcats didn’t make much of an impact. Nerlens Noel sat out to nurse a minor quad injury and is considered questionable for OKC’s upcoming game on Wednesday. Patrick Patterson and Hamidou Diallo played only nine combined minutes and failed to register a point.
[30-42] Pelicans – 129 @ [28-41] Mavericks – 125 (OT)
- Our BBNBA leading scorer of the night, Julius Randle, continued his month-plus-long reign of terror on the opposing defense. Randle went off for 30 points on 14-24 shooting in addition to nine rebounds and four assists. After missing six games in late January and into early February, Randle has averaged 24.6 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game while shooting 49.6 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three since Feb. 6 (19 games, 15 starts).
- With Anthony Davis on a minutes restriction, Randle has been asked to step up and has done so in impressive fashion. However, Davis still contributed 20 points on 8-11 shooting with six rebounds and five assists in 20 minutes. Darius Miller also brought in 10 points, shooting 3-8 from the field to go along with four boards and four assists.
- Devin Booker and his Phoenix Suns fell at home to the Chicago Bulls despite 25 points from the former Wildcat. Booker needed 24 shots (on only nine makes) to reach that 25-point mark but he also registered eight rebounds and seven assists with three turnovers.
- In Portland, Enes Kanter added six points and four rebounds in 16 minutes for the Trail Blazers, who held off the Indiana Pacers by a score of 106-98.
- Check out the full stat sheet below.
|Julius Randle (NOP)||129-125 (OT) W @ DAL||30||14-24 (2-4)||9||4||1||1||1||+5||34|
|Devin Booker (PHX)||101-116 L vs. CHI||25||9-24 (1-8)||8||7||0||0||3||-15||40|
|Anthony Davis (NOP)||129-125 (OT) W @ DAL||20||8-11 (1-2)||6||5||1||1||3||+2||20|
|Brandon Knight (CLE)||126-119 vs. DET||16||7-13 (2-4)||4||5||1||0||0||+7||29|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||92-128 L @ TOR||12||4-14 (2-6)||6||1||2||0||1||-18||27|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||114-105 W @ BOS||11||5-11 (1-3)||4||2||0||0||3||+8||28|
|Darius Miller (NOP)||129-125 (OT) W @ DAL||10||3-8 (2-7)||4||4||0||0||4||+1||31|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||116-107 W @ OKC||8||4-9 (0-0)||7||4||2||1||4||-11||29|
|Enes Kanter (POR)||106-98 W vs. IND||6||2-4 (0-1)||4||0||0||0||2||+10||16|
|Hamidou Diallo (OKC)||107-116 L vs. MIA||0||0-1 (0-1)||2||0||0||0||0||-14||4|
|Patrick Patterson (OKC)||107-116 L vs. MIA||0||0-1 (0-1)||1||0||0||0||0||-6||5|
|Skal Labissiere (POR)||106-98 W vs. IND||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)||114-105 W @ BOS||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Trey Lyles (DEN)||114-105 W @ BOS||DNP-CD||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|Nerlens Noel (OKC)||107-116 L vs. MIA||DNP-Quad||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|John Wall (WAS)||95-116 L vs. UTA||DNP-Heel||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
|DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)||105-111 L @ SAS||DNP-Foot||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: 76ers @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)
7:30: Rockets @ Hawks (Poythress-out)
8:00 (NBATV): Lakers (Rondo) @ Bucks (Bledsoe)
8:00: Warriors (Cousins-[day-to-day]) @ Timberwolves (Towns)
10:00: Nets @ Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox)
10:30 (NBATV): Pacers @ Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander)
By KSR on ©March 19th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and what better way to celebrate than breaking down the bracket with Tyler and Fake Barney? After grilling some meats, the OTT Podcast crew got down to business, charting out Kentucky’s path to their ninth national championship. Highlights include…
— Barney’s reaction when he found out Kentucky was in North Carolina’s region
— An intense encounter at a grocery store
— Going through the bracket game-by-game
— Why Auburn is the Kevin Bacon of college basketball
— Why Bruce Weber is the Mariah Carey of college basketball
— Whether or not we think Kentucky can REALLY win it all
…and much, much more. You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly on your phone by subscribing to The OTT Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app. Please leave us a review!
Today’s Episode is brought to you by:
It’s tournament time! This year, you can build your bracket for FREE and compete for a share of $64,000. Here’s how:
1. Pick your teams
2. Rack up points for each correct pick
3. Get the most points and you win
This offer ends at tipoff on March 21st, so get your brackets in now. Just go to dkng.co/KSR to sign up. 21+. Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©March 19th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
Kentucky has made yet another Final Four run this season, and it has nothing to do with basketball. In fact, it’s a tournament based solely on academics.
Inside Higher Ed’s has released the 2019 edition of their annual Academic Performance Tournament, and the Wildcats made it all the way to the national semifinals before falling to Villanova in the Final Four.
Last season, Kentucky finished as the national runner-up, falling to Belmont in the championship game.
The primary metric used to determine each outcome is APR — the NCAA’s academic progress rate. They also factor in players who leave for the NBA early, but still maintained a strong academic standing at the time of their departure. In the event of a tie, the school with the best graduation success rate advanced.
Take a look at the entire bracket:
(Click to Enlarge)
Not that we’re paying attention, but both Duke and Virginia fell in their opening-round games, with the No. 1 Blue Devils falling to No. 16 seed North Dakota State and the No. 1 Cavaliers falling to No. 16 seed Gardner-Webb.
Another year passes, and the question remains: I thought one and-done players didn’t go to class or care about school?
(KSR’s Nick Roush also contributed to this post)
By Jack Pilgrim on ©March 19th, 2019 @ 11:15am
ESPN released their latest 2019 NBA Mock Draft early this morning, and as expected, Kentucky is represented pretty darn well.
Four Wildcats made the list, including three in the first round.
Kentucky forward PJ Washington was the first Wildcat off the board, joining Bam Adebayo on the Miami Heat as the No. 13 overall pick.
After Washington, forward Keldon Johnson fell just outside the lottery, heading to the Orlando Magic with the No. 15 pick.
From there, freshman shooting guard Tyler Herro made a massive jump on the list, coming in at No. 20 overall to the Oklahoma City Thunder. There, he would join former Wildcats Patrick Patterson, Nerlens Noel, and Hamidou Diallo.
In fact, in an interview with Scott Van Pelt last night on SportsCenter, NBA draft analyst Mike Schmitz said he could actually see Herro jump even higher when the draft rolls around this summer.
“Tyler Herro is the name that I could see climbing, potentially, even to the late lottery,” he said. “He’s had monster games. He’s been arguably Kentucky’s most valuable player this season. So I look him for him to have a huge tournament. Really, really high on Tyler Herro.”
Also touching a bit on all of Kentucky’s potential first round prospects, ESPN continued to rave about Herro and Washington, while touching on Johnson’s recent slip on the draft boards.
“Although Kentucky got bounced in the semis, freshman guard Tyler Herro continues to climb draft boards as scouts are intrigued by his dynamic shooting stroke, feel for the game and defensive energy at 6-foot-5,” they said. “It’s not out of the question that Herro has a rise similar to that of Jerome Robinson or Kevin Huerter. While PJ Washington stays put in the lottery, Keldon Johnson slides to the mid-teens, as teams see a bit of a ceiling with him as a role-playing wing despite his positional size, straight-line slashing and intensity.”
Moving on to the second round, ESPN has freshman point guard Ashton Hagans heading back to Georgia, going No. 41 overall to the Atlanta Hawks.
In Pilgrim’s Insider Notes over the last few weeks, I have said that those within the Kentucky program absolutely expect Washington, Johnson, and Herro to make the jump, with Hagans’ status based solely on how he performs in the NCAA Tournament. With a stretch similar to what we saw from late December to early January, there is no doubt in my mind he’s gone. He has said publicly on multiple occasions that his goal was to be a one-and-done.
If we see what we have to close out the regular season, however, we could see him back for one more season. Finishing in double-digits in five of Kentucky’s last eight games, the point totals and general shooting efficiency have been there, but sloppy play has canceled some of it out. Turnovers are up, while steal numbers (and overall defensive dominance) are down.
We’ll see what happens in the NCAA Tournament.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©March 19th, 2019 @ 10:30am
As the dust settles on yesterday afternoon’s NCAA Women’s Tournament bracket snafu, it’s time to turn our attention to Kentucky’s opening-round opponent: the Princeton Tigers.
The No. 11 seed Tigers finished the regular season with a record of 22-9, including a winning streak of 12 to close out the year. They finished 8-3 at home, 12-3 on the road, and 12-2 in conference play this season, but starting this Saturday, the slate is wiped clean when they take on the Wildcats in Raleigh, NC at 11:00 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
And they’ll do it with their superstar forward, Bella Alarie, running the show.
Alarie, a 6-foot-4 junior out of Bethesda, MD, finished the season averaging 23 points (53 percent overall, 33 percent from three, 83 percent from the free throw line), 10.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, three blocks, and 1.2 steals per game.
With Alarie, it’s must-see TV every time she takes the floor, as she has very few, if any, holes in her game. And it’s why she’s set to make history when her college basketball career comes to a close, becoming the first Ivy League player since Allison Feaster (Harvard graduate in 1998) to carve out a lengthy WNBA career.
“I talk to WNBA coaches all the time about her,” Princeton head coach Courtney Banghart said in an article published by the New York Times. “So certainly, she’s no secret to the WNBA.”
So what has made her such a dangerous threat? At 6-foot-4, she’s a forward with immaculate guard skills. Her defensive instincts are second-to-none. She’s gifted with both hands, she’s an elite rebounder, and her basketball IQ is through the roof.
It’s why she’s expected to be a sure-fire first-round draft selection.
“I think a lot of it was really focusing on my guard skills,” Alarie said in the article. “I think my dad knew that from a young age, that developing skills early would really benefit me in the long run. We didn’t really know how tall I would be, so I’m really lucky that I kept growing.”
This season alone, Alarie has scoring outputs of 45 (Ivy League single-game scoring record), 41, 38, 33, and 31, including double-digit point totals in all 22 games she touched the floor.
When she missed the team’s first nine games of the season with a broken arm, Princeton had a record of 2-7. With Alarie back on the floor, the Tigers finished the season 20-2.
Princeton may be considered a No. 11 seed overall, but right now, they’re playing like one of the best teams in the nation with their star forward leading the way.
The No. 6 Wildcats are certainly talented enough on their end to pull off the opening-round victory on Saturday, but they’ll certainly have their hands full with Bella Alarie.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 19th, 2019 @ 9:55am
Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Tuesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, the gang is in Matt’s stomping grounds of Middlesboro on their way to Jacksonville, Florida. Tune in to hear about the start of their adventure from Matt’s childhood living room.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.
|Ashland||WCMI||93.3 FM T||LIVE|
|Bowling Green||WKCT||930 AM||LIVE|
|Bowling Green||WKCT||104.1 FM T||LIVE|
|Elizabethtown||WIEL||106.1 FM T||LIVE|
|Grayson||WGOH||100.9 FM T||LIVE|
|Hopkinsville||WHOP||95.3 FM T||LIVE|
|Lancaster||WZXI||1280 AM||5-7 PM|
|Lancaster/Stanford||WZXI||95.5 FM T||5-7 PM|
|Leitchfield||WMTL||870 AM||10A-12N CST|
|London||WFTG||106.9 FM T||LIVE|
|Madisonville||WFMW||94.9 FM T||LIVE|
|McKee-Booneville||Peoples Rural Telephone||Cable TV Channel 209||LIVE|
|Morganfield||WUCO||98.5 FM T||LIVE|
|Paducah||WPAD||99.5 FM T||LIVE|
|Pikeville||WLSI||95.9 FM T||LIVE|
|Prestonsburg||WPRT||104.5 FM T||LIVE|
|Whitesburg||WTCW||95.1 FM T||LIVE|
|Whitley City||WHAY||98.3 FM||LIVE|
|Williamson, WV||WBTH||1400 AM||LIVE|
|Williamson, WV||WBTH||102.5 FM T||LIVE|
|50 Radio Affiliates|
1 TV/Cable Affiliate
*Affiliates subject to change without notice
By Nick Roush on ©March 19th, 2019 @ 9:15am
There’s no time to rest. The KSR crew is already on the road to Jacksonville to watch Kentucky play in the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Before the Cats return to the Sunshine State, Coach Cal had some business to take care of back home.
John Calipari has been feeling himself since the bracket was revealed on Selection Sunday. He reached Peak Swaggy Cal when he dropped a “Tweak” into the end of last night’s call-in show.
“We’ve done some tweaking over the years where we tweaked a little bit of offense and it totally changed who we became as a team,” said Coach Cal. “Now we’ve done that and I’ve done that with this team throughout the year, and I hate to tell you, we’re not done yet.
“I even did some things today that changed up stuff. We had Nick and E.J. in together. I said, ‘Let’s put these two together and let’s play like this.'”
And that wasn’t even the craziest part of the program. ESPN’s Marty Smith crashed the call-in show with a LIVE hit on SportsCenter.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) March 18, 2019
In the middle of it all, he still found time to insist he could survive in the Alaskan wilderness. Hours later he doubled down on Twitter.
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) March 19, 2019
The First Four
You only had to wait a day for more basketball. Tonight the First Four begins in Dayton. The 16 seeds rarely provide any fireworks, but Belmont-Temple is intriguing. With an extra week of rest and Dylan Windler, who dropped 32 and 21 in the OVC semifinals, the Bruins have the potential to make a nice little run if they get off to a good start tonight.
- 6:40: #16 Prairie View vs. #16 Farleigh Dickinson on truTV
- 9:10: #11 Temple vs. #11 Belmont on truTV
Anthony Davis has Completed his Bracket
You’ll never guess who he picked to win it all.
— Anthony Davis (@AntDavis23) March 18, 2019
Have you filled in your bracket yet? Get in the KSR Bracket Challenge for your chance to compete against the KSR crew and win a few amazing prizes.
UK Women Hit Tobacco Road
The Road to the Final Four for the Kentucky women’s basketball team is Tobacco Road. Matthew Mitchell’s team will begin its journey against Princeton this Saturday in Raleigh. If the No. 6 seed can get past N.C. State, Baylor awaits in Greensboro. A look at the entire bracket (that was leaked four hours early).
Spring Football Returns
I’ll be back at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility this morning to talk to the team after Spring Practice No. 4. It should provide a slight reprieve from the Madness before it really gets crazy this weekend.
Bats and Legends get Makeovers
Kentucky’s minor league baseball teams are paying homage to the Commonwealth’s Hispanic and Latino heritage by participating in the Copa de la Diversion.
The Bats will transform into the Los Murcielagos de Louisville for a three-day weekend in late June. The Leyendas will take the field almost a dozen times in Lexington. Who do you think created the best uniform?
KSR’s Dog of the Day
Sawyer enjoys cold ones from his Wildcat koozie while singing, “On, On, U of K!”
KSR will be live from Matt Jones’ Middlesboro living room in one hour.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 19th, 2019 @ 9:00am
Remember “Inside the Madness: Kentucky Basketball,” Facebook’s behind-the-scenes series on last year’s team? Turns out John Calipari made $1 million from it and gave it all to charity.
USA Today discovered the income through its annual survey of college basketball coaches’ salaries, and when they asked Kentucky about it, Cal said he told his players before they voted on whether or not to participate in the series that if they said yes, he’d be donating his profits from it to charity.
“In a perfect world, some of the money we made from the Facebook series would have been distributed to our players,” Calipari said in the statement to USA Today. “Our rules simply won’t allow it. Instead, I’m proud of how they chose to allow themselves to be part of doing something that would make a difference in the lives of so many other people through charitable donations.”
More than $600,000 went to eight nonprofits, including the Jimmy V Foundation and the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County, with an additional $141,000 towards debt relief for 19 students in Kentucky’s College of Education. Cal also placed $100,000 in an educational fund to relieve debts for staff, managers and former players at UMass, Memphis, and Kentucky.
Another interesting note: the producers of “Inside the Madness” initially wanted to air the show on Showtime, but Kentucky declined. They reconsidered closer to the start of the 2017-18 season when it was pitched for Facebook because they thought it could reach more people.
“We felt like we were getting a lot of stuff about people being disconnected from our team because of the changeover in roster,” DeWayne Peevy said. “So really we thought it was a vehicle for people to be able to get to know our kids.”
Reading this story, I was reminded of something Calipari said during his preseason roundtable with reporters last fall.
“Being here, seeing the other side of it, which is, you have what you need, and your focus becomes what you’re doing within the program, or you have more time to be involved in charity work. I’m doing more of that, ten times more than I’ve ever did when I was younger. I would say my wife and I always try to give back and be charitable, but not to the level of what we do here, which means I’m probably spending twice the time doing that than I’ve ever spent in my entire life.”
I like my coach.
By Nick Roush on ©March 18th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
John Calipari’s transformation to Swaggy Cal is complete. Tonight he used the word, “Tweak.”
After almost an hour of conversation on the John Calipari Show, Kentucky’s head coach revealed that his team is still growing as they enter the NCAA Tournament, just like a few of his previous teams.
“We’ve done some tweaking over the years where we tweaked a little bit of offense and it totally changed who we became as a team,” said Coach Cal. “Now we’ve done that and I’ve done that with this team throughout the year, and I hate to tell you, we’re not done yet.”
The changes were made as recently as this afternoon. The only problem is, Calipari forgot the one rule about Kentucky Basketball Tweaks — they must remain a secret. The Cat’s already out of the bag this time.
“I even did some things today that changed up stuff. We had Nick and E.J. in together. I said, ‘Let’s put these two together and let’s play like this.'”
I’ll let you enjoy the rest of his comment because it ended with a jab at the officiating from Saturday’s game, something he did throughout the entire call-in show.
“That’s the exciting thing about coaching these teams the way we have, which is a new team every year. You are coaching them the entire season. It’s not the same lesson plan, it’s different every year. What you’re trying to do is different. We’ve never had this many post-up players, and I’ll be honest with you, this is a terrific three-point shooting team too. We don’t take as many because you know what, we’re able to get to the basket and get to the foul line more than any team…until last game.”
There’s one thing you should have picked up from Calipari’s last two days in front of a microphone: he likes his team.
“We’re good. I’m not trading my team for anybody. I know we’re young,” he said, “but I wouldn’t trade the team for anybody. Let’s go. We’re throwing it up. The talking is done. Now everybody has to step in the ring.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 18th, 2019 @ 10:45pm
Kentucky’s rounded into postseason form nicely now that Reid Travis is back in the lineup, but John Calipari still thinks the Cats have some room to improve. On today’s SEC Teleconference, Cal said he likes where his team is at, but wishes they would become even more empowered.
“I think they’re in a great frame of mind,” Cal said. “We’re as ready as we can be. I wish we were a little more empowered than we are, but they’re starting to understand you’ve just got to play to the training and play to 40 minutes and it’s not the opponent, it’s not the tournament. It’s how do we train and what are we trying to do and how are we trying to play.”
When asked to elaborate, Cal said he wants the players to step up and run the show, a common trait of Cal’s best squads.
“The different teams, by the end of the year, they would run themselves more. This team has done it at times. I’ve watched Ashton [Hagans] at times do it. I’ve watched PJ take hold of the team. Reid [Travis] has done it at times, but it’s still not enough of that. Now, it’s time. Look, we’re only running these one or two things. Go play. We’re trying to — I keep convincing them that we don’t run plays. We’re running an action get you started and then play. That becomes a little more random and a little more of an empowerment to the team.”
Here’s looking at you, Ashton.
By Brent Wainscott on ©March 18th, 2019 @ 10:30pm
The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.
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 Tim Seeberger
— Tim Seeberger (@timseeberger) March 17, 2019
Tom Hart, adopted king of the KSR masses.
#9 BBN FanMom
— BBN FanMom (@bbnfanmom) March 18, 2019
The wait from Selection Sunday to Thursday is always the WORST.
#8 The Max Cramer
Today on #KSR
— The Max Cramer (@MaxxCramer) March 18, 2019
Who doesn’t get excited about meatloaf???
#7 Mike Schenkenfelder
— mike schenkenfelder (@micmikemic87) March 16, 2019
I need this shirt as well.
#6 Jackie Watson
— Jackie Watson (@JcWatson810) March 18, 2019
A classic Matt Jones mistake has now gone viral
#5 Jess TGG
— Jess TGG (@12jessica22) March 16, 2019
Jess, you NAILED this.
— Drew (@DrewMerriman) March 18, 2019
I just can’t force myself to do any different.
#3 Josh Mackey
Anthony Davis went 38-2, won the National Championship, SEC Player of the Year, SEC Defensive Player of the Year, 5 out of 6 National Player of the Year Awards, National Defensive Player of the Year, National Freshman of the Year, Newell Award winner & Final Four MVP. Facts. #BBN https://t.co/Lu4hIsr9fK
— Josh Mackey (@JMackey1981) March 18, 2019
You can’t argue with facts.
#2 Not Jerry Tipton
He makes some good points. pic.twitter.com/VAVhkZIOTX
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) March 18, 2019
Accurate? Yes. Wrong? No.
#1 CJ Conrad
Thank you GOD ?? pic.twitter.com/L8TdGKy8Ba
— CJ Conrad (@cjconrad1) March 18, 2019
This list is typically reserved for fans, but how is this not number one? This is great to hear from CJ! Prayers have definitely been answered.
ollow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets: @BrentW_KSR
By Nick Roush on ©March 18th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
As Kentucky’s future NFL stars prepare for Pro Day, Avery Williamson has returned to Lexington to train alongside the Wildcats. This afternoon the New York Jets’ linebacker posted the picture above with Benny Snell and Josh Allen. Could they all end up New York City next season?
The Jets currently hold the No. 3 overall pick. Even though we’re currently in the doldrums of draft season where every mock drafter is trying to be cute (the amount of trades and the disparity across the board is ridiculous), many still believe Allen will be taken after Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa with the third overall pick.
As for Benny, seeing another Snell in a Jets uniform got a lot more complicated once they signed Le’Veon Bell. However, Bell could use a bully behind him. After cutting Isaiah Crowell and letting Bilal Powell walk, Snell could be worth a fourth round pick.
That all may be a stretch, but we should receive more clarity as to who is inquiring into all of the Wildcats at the end of the week. Expected to be the most star-studded UK Pro Day since Mike Tomlin and Joey Porter attended Bud Dupree’s Pro Day, Friday morning is going to be a great day to make some money.
While you’re focused on the fallout from Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament first round win, I’ll be at the Nutter Field House soaking in the entire experience. Expect your first updates on KSR around noon. Mike Edwards will not be participating, but he’s almost ready to run.
April 8th ? pic.twitter.com/cswNnzqit8
— Mike Edwards (@M__Edwards7) March 14, 2019
April 8 is UK’s second Pro Day. Edwards will be accompanied by C.J. Conrad. The UK tight end learned today he’s been cleared to return to football and we could not be more ecstatic.
Before UK’s Pro Day we will speak to the Kentucky football team Tuesday and Thursday after the fourth and fifth spring practices. There will be some chatter with early enrollees and we’ll learn who decided to stay in Lexington with Terry Touchdown over Spring Break. Until then, a little more NFL chatter…
Za’Darius is Back in the Bluegrass
Speaking of Wildcats in town, Za’Darius Smith celebrated his $66 million deal in the Bluegrass. The Green Packers’ defensive end kicked it with Vince Marrow just a few days after putting pen to paper.
— Za'Darius Smith (@TheRealZSmith) March 17, 2019
Seeing Big Z make it big time is incredible. It feels like just yesterday he was teary-eyed on top of a billboard.
Smith will wear No. 55 for Green Bay, an homage to his former Ravens’ teammate, Terrell Suggs.
Randall Cobb to the Cowboys?
The slot receiver has spent the first eight seasons of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers. He might go from one of America’s teams to the other. The free agent is reportedly meeting with the Cowboys today to potentially fill the hole left by Cole Beasley.
America’s No. 1 Cowboys fan, Drew Franklin, cannot contain his excitement over the news.
In Good Company
Kentucky is one of 29 schools to make a bowl game and the NCAA Tournament this year. Of those 29, only three teams have done that for three straight seasons: Virginia Tech, Michigan and Kentucky. Not too shabby.
Austin MacGinnis has a Famous Teammate
And he still hasn’t missed a field goal. UK’s all-time leading scorer is 5-for-5 through three games.
5/5 – Austin MacGinnis is perfect on the season pic.twitter.com/Zq4m7xok3r
— Memphis Express (@aafexpress) March 16, 2019
This week the Memphis Express signed Johnny Manziel. The 1-5 team desperately needs some offense and Johnny Football is the perfect person to inject some energy into the franchise. He started practice today and should get the start this Sunday when Memphis hosts the Birmingham Iron at 8:00 p.m. ET on the NFL Network. It should be a nice little nightcap after a weekend of March Madness.
Meet the Wildcats
Before we meet them face-to-face, UK Football is profiling each new early enrollee throughout spring practice. Defensive tackle Isaiah Gibson was one of the first to get the nod. There are still quite a few more to get to, including his high school teammate, Moses Douglass.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) March 15, 2019
By Maggie Davis on ©March 18th, 2019 @ 9:30pm
The Kentucky women’s basketball team now knows where they’re going this weekend, who they’ll play and what time they’ll tip off (you can get all of that info HERE). Although they didn’t get the “normal” Selection Show experience, the team still got together for a Selection Monday feast. I didn’t score any food, but they did let the media speak with Coach Matthew Mitchell as well as seniors Maci Morris and Taylor Murray. Here are the day’s biggest takeaways:
On the bracket leak…
Overall, they didn’t seem too upset. The team must have been practicing when the news broke on Twitter, because Murray said their coach told his players he had a “surprise” for them. Of course, this surprise was an early peak at their bracket. For Morris, it was a relief.
“I’ve been anxious to find out who we play and where we’re going, so finding out a little sooner wasn’t too bad,” the guard laughed.
This year, the team wasn’t necessarily worried about whether or not they’d make the tournament – Coach Mitchell said they felt pretty confident they’d qualify after earning their eighth conference win back in mid-February. Instead, they were really just interested in their opponent and their location. And besides, mistakes happen.
“You have to take life the way things come at you… Things happen. We’ve all made a lot of mistakes and whoever did that, just made a mistake,” Mitchell said of the graphic flub. “We’ll extend them some grace and move on – we’re just happy to be playing.”
On comparing this year to last…
A year can make a huge difference. Last year on Selection Monday, the Kentucky Wildcats did not hear their name called – plus, there was no bracket leak to soften the blow. Mitchell recalled the “crushing” experience.
“You think back to a year ago today when your name’s not called, and it was an incredible disappointment for the first time in eight years,” the head coach said. “The players felt that; they knew what that meant. It was incredibly crushing, incredibly disappointing.”
Fast forward to a year later, and the Cats have earned a No. 6 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The results of last year’s hard work didn’t culminate in a 2018 Tournament bid, but it did carry over throughout the off-season and into this year. Two years of hard work made today even sweeter, according to the Wildcats’ coach.
“This is a team that was able to make the sum be greater than the parts,” he said. “That is a true team and a true testament to these players. I’m particularly proud of this particular bid to the tournament.”
Last year, the team felt what it feels like to experience a season cut short. It stung at the time, sure, but it made the returning players all the more hungry for this season. Morris said the experience taught her about “definitely not taking [the Tournament] for granted.”
This year, there are only a few competing players on the roster who have even experienced post-season play. What do these two particular veterans tell their younger teammates?
“It’s the most fun time of the year,” Murray said. “This is what we’ve worked all season for – to try and make a run in the NCAA Tournament and again, to try and make it to the Final Four. We just have to take it one game at a time and enjoy the moment.”
On how ready they are to get back on the court…
Very. Kentucky hasn’t played in a game since March 8, when Missouri beat them 70-68 in overtime to advance in the SEC Tournament. While ten days may not seem like a long time away from the game, it’s a lifetime compared to the rigor of conference play. Mitchell said he gave his team three whole days off to rest and recover after the loss, then it was back to business. But those few days off were a huge help, according to Mitchell and his players.
“For this particular team and this particular year, it was really good for us,” Coach said. “Coming down the stretch, we were playing tough, tough games… Our last five games were a real grind and, I thought, had just depleted us from an emotional standpoint and from an energy standpoint.”
He went on to discuss the team’s effort after their short break, saying they were more energetic, more enthusiastic and just had more of a “pop.” During this time of the season, where there’s the possibility of playing multiple games in a very short period of time, that’s more important than ever.
The time off also helped Morris get back into the swing of things, after a minor leg injury affected her performances during the back-half of the season. As the team heads into the Tournament, Mitchell is confident she’ll be back to 100 percent.
“She’s one of the most incredible competitors I’ve ever been around, and I can promise you she wants to win on Saturday. She will move Heaven and Earth to get it done,” Mitchell said. “On my list of concerns, she’s way down on the list. I can tell you she’ll be ready to roll Saturday.”
As for Morris, she’s feeling pretty good about herself, too.
“Time is on your side when it comes to trying to heal yourself,” she said. “Luckily, we’ve had time for my leg to heal up, so I’m just excited to get back out there and play like I used to.”
On their opponent…
The No. 11 Princeton Tigers. Coach Mitchell says he knows their coach, Courtney Banghart, well, but he hasn’t had the chance to catch a Princeton game yet this year. Starting tonight, that’ll change.
“After this, we’ll start digging into the Princeton Tigers,” Mitchell said. “You don’t know who you’re playing, so we just work hard to become the best version of Kentucky… and I like what I’ve seen from that standpoint.”
The Cats got Saturday’s early game: they’ll face the Tigers at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.
By KSR on ©March 18th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
Who will come out of each bracket to make it the Final Four in Minneapolis? On Hey Kentucky Matt Jones and Perrin Johnson go through each region to predict who will be cutting down the nets at the end of the NCAA Tournament.
Click here to see tonight’s entire episode of Hey Kentucky.