By Nick Roush on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 7:00pm
As the summer heats up, so do the college football takes.
The latest on the Kentucky football team comes from Tony Barnhart, the self-proclaimed “Mr. College Football.” An SEC Network analyst, he carries the title proudly, but this week he proved that title was not earned.
Now writing for an outlet called “TMG Sports,” Barnhart released his SEC East predictions after touring each school during the spring season. It’s no surprise Barnhart believes Kentucky can only beat Missouri and Vanderbilt in SEC play — Kentucky rarely gets preseason respect, if any — but his reasoning is shocking.
With running back Benny Snell (a two-time 1,000-yard rusher) returning and some potentially good quarterback play from JUCO transfer Terry Miller and redshirt sophomore Gunnar Hoak, the Wildcats might upset Mississippi State or South Carolina at home and improve on this record.
Uncertainty at the quarterback position strikes fear in the hearts of preseason prognosticators, and understandably so. The position will make or break a team, even though UK has had consecutive seven-win seasons with quarterback play that’s average at best. To doubt UK because of quarterback play makes, but you can’t condemn the quarterback when you don’t even know the person’s name.
Tony Barnhart is supposed to be Mr. College Football. Shouldn’t Mr. College Football of the SEC Network know Terry Wilson’s name? Barnhart watched Wilson throw passes on UK’s campus, but he couldn’t even take the time to double-check UK’s roster before writing this prediction?
People make mistakes. It happens every single day in this business. However, you can’t proclaim yourself Mr. College Football, then crush a team based on a quarterback that doesn’t exist. Mr. College Football should consider changing his name to Mr. Miller.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 6:00pm
I can’t believe this hadn’t happened yet, but Anthony Davis was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for the first time this afternoon. Davis, also a Defensive Player of the Year and MVP Award finalist, received the second-most points and First Team votes behind Utah’s Rudy Gobert. He’s been named to the All-Defensive Second Team twice.
Davis led the NBA in blocked shots for the third time (2.57 per game) and was fifth in defending the rim (minimum 250 field goals defended), allowing opponents to shoot only 52.4 percent at the basket. He also ranked fifth in rebounds per game (11.1) and 15th in steals (1.5).
Joining Davis and Gobert on the First Team are Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday and Philadelphia 76ers forward Robert Covington. The Second Team consists of 76ers center Joel Embiid, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, Boston Celtics forward/center Al Horford, San Antonio Spurs guard Dejounte Murray and Minnesota Timberwolves guard/forward Jimmy Butler.
Relive AD’s monster season with the highlight reel below:
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) May 23, 2018
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 4:57pm
In news that won’t surprise you, the University of Louisville tried to conceal records about the sex scandal that led the NCAA to vacate their 2013 National Championship.
According to WDRB’s Jason Riley, Jefferson Circuit Judge Barry Willett ruled today that the university made a “deliberate attempt” to keep “embarrassing and damaging information” from going public, including the material that led UofL to self-impose a postseason ban in 2016. Willett ordered the school to turn over those documents within 30 days and ruled that they must pay court costs for Dr. Peter Hasselbacher, who previously requested them in accordance with the state’s open records act.
“The University has consistently refused to produce those records based on an unreasonably narrow interpretation of Dr. Hasselbacher’s open records request,” Willett ruled. “Moreover, the University has never articulated a plausible legal basis for denying Dr. Hasselbacher access to those records. Under the circumstances, the University’s conduct appears to be nothing more than a deliberate attempt to conceal information that it considers to be embarrassing and damaging to its reputation.”
It’s always something with them, isn’t it?
By Trey Huntsman on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 4:30pm
Two weeks ago, Kentucky was preparing to host a regional for the second consecutive season. But four consecutive losses to end their season have dropped the BatCats to the bubble. The biggest of those four losses came in the first round of the SEC Tournament to Auburn. By losing the first game of the tournament, UK no longer controls their own destiny. The Cats will head home and hope that their total body of work gets them into the field of 64.
UK’s recent losses have given the selection committee a difficult decision. On one hand, the Cats have five wins against the RPI top five, including a road series win over Georgia and a series win over Texas Tech at home. The Cats have 16 wins against teams ranked in the top 50 in RPI. The strength of schedule is there as well as an impressive 21-4 record outside of the SEC. The factor that will play against UK is their 13-18 conference record.
When talking about teams that were penalized for poor conference records, it is impossible not to mention the 2016 North Carolina Tar Heels. UNC finished in the top 20 in RPI and recorded a 34-21 record over the course of the season. The Tar Heels fell short of the NCAA Tournament after finishing with a 13-17 record in the ACC. The 2018 UK team has an eerily similar resume as the 2016 UNC team. If the selection committee looks at UNC as a precedent, the Cats could find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble thanks to their conference record.
In the eyes of UK’s head coach, the Cats should not be penalized because the SEC was so strong this season. In an impassioned speech following his team’s loss to Auburn, Mingione said that “I don’t believe anyone in our league should be punished for how good it is. I think our RPI speaks for itself and then our wins that we’ve been able to accomplish speak for itself.”
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) May 23, 2018
Mingione is not wrong. The SEC was a bloodbath in 2018. Only five teams finished with a record above .500 in SEC play this season. 2018 was one of the toughest, most-talented years in the SEC. The level of talent from top to bottom in the conference could aid UK’s case. There was not a conference close to the SEC in talent this season, and UK did win three series against teams in the top seven in the league.
By losing to Auburn, UK lost the chance to even out their conference record in the SEC Tournament. The Cats failed to help their case in their conference tournament, so they now will rely on other teams losing across the country. Some notable teams to keep an eye on this week are Washington, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, and any potential bid stealers in the OVC, Southland, American, or Conference USA. Of the aforementioned bubble teams, UK’s resume blows them all away. There aren’t many strong bubble teams this season. UK’s total body of work is miles ahead of every team that is on the bubble right now. In fact, UK is one of two teams ranked in the top 25 in RPI that is not a one or two seed in D1 Baseball’s latest projections.
This is a new position for this group. One year ago, the Cats were playing for a national seed and preparing to host the school’s first regional since 2006. The last week of the season has put UK in a position that they will have to scoreboard watch and pray they make the cut over the remaining bubble teams. If the selection committee looks at the Cats’ season as a whole and compares it to other potential at-large teams in the country, UK should land in the field of 64. But the 13-18 SEC record hangs over the team’s head like a dark cloud.
The BBN will anxiously wait until next Monday to know the fate of the BatCats. The Selection Show will be broadcast at noon ET on ESPNU.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 3:30pm
It’s been over six months since the FBI rocked the sports world with its report about bribery in college basketball, but it turns out the investigation itself may be compromised. Sports Illustrated is reporting that the lead FBI operative in the probe is under fire for allegedly misusing federal funds, putting the prosecution’s case at risk.
The agent, Joe DeAngelo, went undercover a real estate magnate interested in investing in Christian Dawkins’ sports agency, giving Dawkins money to funnel to college coaches to lure stars to their services. Dawkins took the bait, and because he used government money, was guilty of a federal crime; however, DeAngelo messed up too, allegedly using federal money on gambling, food, and beverages before and after his interactions with Dawkins in Vegas. He was pulled off the case and now, the lawyers for James Gatto, the Adidas executive also accused of felony wire fraud and money laundering, are trying to use DeAngelo’s misconduct to derail the prosecution’s case.
What a mess. With criminal cases set to go to trial this fall, the only thing that’s really come out of the FBI probe so far was Louisville firing Rick Pitino, and after this report, you know he won’t be able to keep his mouth shut. Hand over the popcorn.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 2:59pm
Didn’t get enough KSR this morning? Tune in to ESPN Radio RIGHT NOW to hear Matt start his three-day stint as host of The Paul Finebaum Show.
Listen online via ESPN or Sirius Channel 81. You can normally watch Finebaum on the SEC Network, but not today since they’re showing coverage of the SEC Baseball Tournament.
Let the KSR Takeover begin!
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 2:44pm
Last week, the men’s basketball program was one of six Kentucky teams to be recognized by the NCAA for their high Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores; turns out that score was a perfect 1,000. This is the fifth consecutive year UK Basketball has posted a perfect single-year score and the third straight year the four-year composite has been perfect as well.
The NCAA just released the APR scores for all sports and 18 of the 20 UK team scores exceeded the national average and, for the first time in school history, every team scored at least 971. The APR marks are a four-year composite, covering the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years, measuring academic eligibility, retention and graduation. The 2016-17 school year’s scores were the ones just released, meaning De’Aaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, and Malik Monk’s squad helped the basketball program keep it 1,000.
“Our whole mindset is preparing our kids for the rest of their lives,” John Calipari said via press release last week. “It’s about taking that next step to what they are going to do once they leave Kentucky. For some kids that’s playing professional basketball. For others it’s outside of basketball. Whatever they decide to do – whatever their ‘genius’ is in – it’s our job to make sure they’re prepared when they leave here. With 18 players who have graduated over the last nine years, I believe we’ve done that. Our kids are committed to learning and take care of business in the classroom. We teach growth in all areas. It’s well documented what our players learn about giving back that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. If they decide to pursue their genius and play professional basketball, they know they have lifetime scholarships so they can come back and finish their degree. Whether they leave early or stay here, they’re in good academic standing and on schedule to graduate. Michael Stone and the CATS staff do a wonderful job of making sure our kids are lifelong learners.”
Remember, Calipari will collect a $50,000 bonus for his program’s high APR score, the only bonus in his current contract.
Meanwhile, the 2016 football team scored a 971, its highest mark in the 14 years the APR has been around, and a significant increase from the 2015 team’s score of 958.
Well done, everyone.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 1:42pm
One of the many moving pieces to next year’s roster is Ashton Hagans, the five-star guard who’s currently part of Kentucky’s 2019 class but is aiming to make the jump to join the Cats this fall. Kyle Tucker traveled to Georgia to check in on Hagans, who assured him he’s on track to reclassify in the coming months.
“Just be on the lookout,” Hagans said. “Tell them I’m coming. Coming soon.”
Hagans is so confident he’ll be able to reclassify that he’s making the one-hour trek from his hometown of Covington to Marietta to work out with EJ Montgomery, the five-star big man who will suit up for Kentucky next season. Kyle captured some footage of the two working out, and it’s enough to make you start counting down the days ’til the Bahamas:
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) May 23, 2018
Kyle has more quotes from Hagans and his family on the reclassification process over at SEC Country, so go check it out.
On a much more somber note, Kyle and his SEC Country colleagues were notified today that Cox Media is shutting the outlet down, meaning there is one hell of a free agent now on the college basketball media market. Kyle’s incredibly talented, so we know he’ll land on his feet soon; regardless, we’re thinking of him on what must be a very crappy day.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 1:12pm
Bam Adebayo should’ve been an All-Rookie selection.
The former Wildcat and No. 14 overall pick last summer was a nice surprise for the Miami Heat. The Heat took a gamble by taking him in the lottery when the so-called experts projected him as a late-first-rounder, but the gamble paid off as Adebayo quickly picked up the NBA game and stole playing time from Heat veterans, namely Hassan Whiteside.
But when the NBA announced its two All-Rookie teams, Adebayo fell one point shy of cracking the second team. Josh Jackson of the Phoenix Suns beat him out for the last spot, 45-44 in the voting.
Bam’s reaction matched his personality: not a lot of words.
Only an emoji.
— Bam Adebayo? (@Bam1of1) May 23, 2018
By Drew Franklin on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 12:30pm
With all the excitement around the postseason commitments of EJ Montgomery, Ashton Hagans and Tyrese Maxey, we haven’t made a lot of mention of UK’s other star commitment: DJ Jeffries.
Forward| 6-7 | 185 lbs.
Olive Branch, MS | Olive Branch
AAU: Team Penny
|ESPN||No. 16 | 4 SF||Top247||No. 41 | 10 SF|
|Rivals||No. 53 | 17 PF||247 Comp.||No. 36 | 9 SF|
Jeffries made headlines this week by earning the Clarion-Ledger’s Player of the Year award in the great state of Mississippi. The four-star small forward led his Olive Branch High School team to the 5A state championship in his junior campaign with an average of over 20 points per game. He beat out a couple of senior Mississippi State commits and a senior Alabama commit to take the POY award in the M-dotted letter-crooked letter-crooked letter-dotted letter-crooked letter-crooked letter-dotted letter-hump back-hump back-dotted letter.
So, Go DJ!
(‘Cause that my DJ.)
By Nick Roush on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 12:00pm
We haven’t made it to Memorial Day, but there’s already one preseason college football magazine on newsstands.
This week Athlon Sports released their college football preview, along with magazines for each major conference. In the SEC edition, six Kentucky Wildcats are all-conference selections.
- Benny Snell, First Team Running Back
- Mike Edwards, First Team Safety
- C.J. Conrad, Second Team Tight End
- Lynn Bowden, Third Team All-Purpose Back
- Bunchy Stallings, Third Team Offensive Guard
- Josh Allen, Third Team Linebacker
Usually Kentucky gets no respect. That’s not the case in Athlon, but there are a few people who might have a bone to pick.
Josh Allen is a third team selection, but he’s projected by ESPN as the No. 1 outside linebacker in next year’s NFL Draft. The SEC produced plenty of elite edge rushers, but I find it hard to believe there are six guys better than Allen. Another linebacker who could have made the cut was omitted, Jordan Jones. Injuries sidelined him for much of the 2017 season, but he was an All-SEC selection in 2016 as the conference’s third-leading tackler.
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 11:30am
Posted in Main
This morning visitmusiccity.com announced the 84th NFL draft is going to Nashville on April 25-27. The announcement was made at the Annual Spring Leauge Meeting in Atlanta. For full details, you can read the press release here.
This will be the first time the city of Nashville will host the NFL draft.
Nashville officially named as host of 2019 NFL Draft.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 23, 2018
It’s official. The 2019 @NFL Draft will be in Nashville April 25-27! @TaylorLewan77 and @KingsOfLeon are here to tell you about it: #TheFutureIsNow
The #NFLDraft Details: https://t.co/8P06EQVAui pic.twitter.com/a2SSdvBgPQ
— Nashville Tennessee (@visitmusiccity) May 23, 2018
The 2019 @NFL Draft is coming to Nashville! Official announcement: https://t.co/b2OQI6fLgQ | @VisitMusicCity | #NFLDraft | #TheFutureIsNow
Thanks to @EddieGeorge2727 and @TheTimMcGraw for helping us announce the big news! pic.twitter.com/Wm6wwL7HrA
— Nashville Tennessee (@visitmusiccity) May 23, 2018
This is big news for Kentucky fans, in a year where UK has several NFL draft prospects — Benny Snell, C.J. Conrad, Josh Allen, and a few others. It’s almost like it was meant to be.
Big Blue Nation, it looks like we have another great excuse to go to Nashville.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 11:00am
Kentucky lost its opening round game in the SEC tournament on Tuesday. The 10-seed Cats took Auburn to extra innings behind the arm of Sean Hjelle, but lost in the 11th inning, 4-3.
A lot of fans point to injuries for the reason behind the early exit and behind the disappointing close to the regular season — and injuries did play a big role. Others have said the team never really looked in sync throughout the year, which may also be a factor. Hitting slumps came at bad times, too.
But I know the real reason why Kentucky was eliminated from the SEC (and maybe the NCAA) tournament on Tuesday: Coach Mingione did not call in to Kentucky Sports Radio on Motivation Monday.
Motivation Monday has been vital to KSR since Mingione began making his weekly appearances last year. His pep talks have gotten all of our weeks off to a great start and inspired us to be better in our daily lives. But this past Monday, the phone never rang. We were left without Mingione’s uplifting words to fuel us for what was ahead. We were lost. I didn’t know if I should be a sink or a drain. Ryan forgot to take his thank you walk. Matt fed his negative dog and his positive dog starved to death. And it clearly impacted Mingione and his Wildcats down in Hoover as well.
Next week Kentucky will learn its NCAA fate in the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at noon. I’m sure Mingione will be a very busy man that morning, but we need a call to get our mojo back.
“Losers never have time. Winners make time.” – Nick Mingione
By Drew Franklin on ©May 23rd, 2018 @ 9:58am
On today’s episode of Kentucky Sports Radio radio, Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond will attempt to decipher PJ Washington’s Instagram post to determine whether or not he will be back at Kentucky next season. They’ll also get Matt ready for his three days of hosting Paul Finebaum’s show.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.
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The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are continuing their t-shirt sale for one final day. Head to ShopKSR.com to take advantage of their 2 for $32 short sleeve tee sale! Be sure to check out all of the great new designs. Add some new KSR and other Kentucky apparel to your summer wardrobe.
All of these new t-shirt designs are available now until they are sold out. Sale ends at midnight.