By Adam Luckett on ©June 10th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
It was a great recruiting weekend to kickoff the summer circuit for the Kentucky Wildcats and after scooping up power back Torrance Davis on Friday night, UK collected a running mate for him on Saturday. For the second time in three recruiting hauls, UK has take two running backs in one class.
JuTahn McClain is a composite four-star back out of Fairfield, Ohio which is just north of Cincinnati. In his junior season, McClain put up over 1,600 yards rushing and scored 31 touchdowns. He is a track star and will be bringing some highlight speed and quickness to Lexington. The Cats have found a thunder and lightning combination to add to their running back room.
Just like we did with Torrance Davis, we’re taking you inside the film room to show you just what JuTahn McClain is bringing to the UK running back room. The scat back is a player that could be used in a lot of ways and will have a great chance to play in his true freshman season.
Similar to class of 2019 member Travis Tisdale, JuTahn McClain is a one-cut runner who just needs a crease to create a big play. However, on his tape he shows some very quality patience when asked to run in between the tackles. On this long touchdown run, McClain lets his blockers do their jobs to create the lane for the big play. McClain needed to use hesitation to allow the backside tight end to pull around to clean up the linebacker. While that’s happening, it allows the playside wide receiver time to get up on the corner to allow an alley for the sideline. Eddie Gran talks about patience all the time with running backs and McClain shows he has that skill.
Similar to fellow commit Torrance Davis, McClain has the ability to spread out and be a factor in the passing game. Fairfield uses him a ton on your typical running back slip screens and in the slot on bubbles. But at times they allow to run actual routes and here you see his ability as a pass catcher. On the out and up route, McClain shows he can create separation and makes an impressive reception away from his body. On tape, he consistently catches the ball with his hands and should be able to factor in as a pass catcher.
The biggest reason that McClain could make an impact right away during his true freshman season will be because what he brings in the return game. The all-purpose back is excellent on kick returns and in his Hudl tape you see numerous returns where he creates a big play for his team. If Kentucky loses Lynn Bowden Jr. following the 2020 season, McClain should step in and be the team’s starting kick returner in 2021.
JuTahn McClain becomes Kentucky’s seventh member of the 2020 class and each is rated as a high three-star or above. That’s making a good living on the recruiting trail and it’s pretty easy to see McClain’s fit in the offense. Kentucky is in need of a change of pace back who can contribute in the passing game. That is what McClain brings to the table. Slowly the Wildcats have a really impressive group of backs set to be in Lexington next year. That’s what you expect after producing the 12th all-time leading rusher in SEC history.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 10th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Over the past few weeks, the folks behind the official Kentucky Basketball Twitter account have been running a series of polls to determine the best dunk of the John Calipari Era. The fans have spoken, and by a very narrow margin, Willie Cauley-Stein’s dunk at Florida in 2015 beat out James Young’s slam in the 2014 National Championship game for the title:
The championship matchup was every bit as close as anticipated.
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 10, 2019
I was fortunate enough to witness both dunks in person and, although Young’s was incredible, nothing will ever top Willie putting poor Devin Robinson on a poster. The energy in the O-Dome was at a fever pitch when Willie took flight, and the slam was so magnificent that even Gators fans got out of their seats. Looking back, it may go down as the perfect representation of how dominant that team was. We were all Rock Oliver:
What other dunks were on the list? Here were the original seedings:
- No. 1 seed: James Young with the nasty slam in the 2014 National Championship
- No, 2 seed: Willie Cauley-Stein’s throwdown from the SEC logo against Florida in 2015
- No. 3 seed: Willie Cauley-Stein poster slam against Cincinnati in 2015
- No. 4 seed: Jamal Murray climbing the ladder against South Carolina in 2016
- No. 5 seed: Darius Miller’s one-handed lob against St. John’s in 2011
- No. 6 seed: Darius Miller poster slam against Ole Miss
- No. 7 seed: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist breakaway dunk against Portland in 2011
- No. 8 seed: Anthony Davis’ throwdown vs. Louisville in the 2012 Final Four
- No. 9 seed: Eric Bledsoe’s cram on Wake Forest in the 2010 NCAA Tournament
- No. 10 seed: Marcus Lee’s off-the-backboard alley-oop from Tyler Ulis against South Carolina in 2016
I miss basketball.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 10th, 2019 @ 11:08am
Kentucky will have its shot at the top graduate transfer on the market.
According to recruiting insider Evan Daniels, Virginia Tech forward Kerry Blackshear Jr. is expected to visit Kentucky this week.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) June 10, 2019
According to Daniels, Blackshear will be also be taking an official visit to Tennessee on June 14th after taking trips to Florida (unofficial) and Arkansas (official) last week. The 6-foot-11 big man is also considering Texas A&M, along with a potential return to Virginia Tech.
For the Hokies last season, Blackshear averaged 14.9 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He will be eligible to play immediately next year.
Bring him on home, Coach Cal.
By KSR on ©June 10th, 2019 @ 10:30am
We’re starting the week with a very special episode of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. Aaron is joined by one of the iconic names in all of grassroots basketball, Sonny Vaccaro. Vaccaro talks about all the issues plaguing college hoops, including assistant coaches going to jail, and his thoughts on RJ Hampton, in a wildly entertaining interview. But before Sonny, Aaron talks about some developments from over the weekend, including:
What’s next for Kerry Blackshear? On Friday, surprising news emerged, as Virginia Tech transfer Kerry Blackshear ended up taking an official visit to Arkansas. Aaron explains why Blackshear’s recruitment might not be as simple as we once thought, shares what he believes Arkansas’ pitch was, and how serious a threat the Hogs are in his recruitment. He also discusses Jordan Brown’s commitment to Arizona, and why this is way bigger for the Wildcats than most realize.
Sonny Vaccaro joins the show: Next up, Aaron is joined by an icon in the world of grassroots basketball, Sonny Vaccaro. Vaccaro discusses his role in getting the shoe companies involved in college basketball, and how it snowballed to the point that assistant coaches are now going to jail. Also, after he helped Brandon Jennings go overseas out of high school, he shares his thoughts on RJ Hampton. He also explains why he’s never seen a prospect quite like Zion Williamson. This is a MUST listen interview for any college hoops fan.
Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app. You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. Don’t forget to follow the show on Instagram too.
By Bryan the Intern on ©June 10th, 2019 @ 10:00am
UK had amazingly fun seasons in 2010, 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2019. They made the Final Four in only 2 of those 5 seasons and won the title only once. Fans were very disappointed in how each of those seasons ended except for 2012 and maybe 2017. Upset losses in the NCAA Tournament absolutely taint a season in a fanbase like this. But the reality is those five seasons were five of the best seasons in UK history. Not only were the teams wildly successful, bringing home SEC titles and many NCAA Tournament wins, the players themselves were easy to enjoy and some of the best to wear blue and white.
And yet, only 20% of them ended in a title and 40% ended in the Final Four. The best teams in the Calipari era still made the Final Four less than half the time. Now he has supplemented those disappointments with surprising runs to the Final Four in 2011 and 2014 so that helps balance things out for Calipari. But this upcoming team will certainly start the season in the Top 4 and has all of the pieces, at least on paper, to make a run for a title. We must face the reality though that it is still more likely we will miss the Final Four than make it.
My point is not to be a downer. My point is recognize the journey more than the conclusion. My point is to have some better perspective of the difficulty of making it to the Final Four, no matter how good the team is.
Consider that Calipari has had a preseason Top 4 team in 8 of 10 seasons. He has made the Final Four in only 3 of those 8 seasons.
2009-10: Preseason #4 (no Final Four)
2011-12: Preseason #2 (Final Four)
2012-13: Preseason #3 (no Final Four)
2013-14: Preseason #1 (Final Four)
2014-15: Preseason #1 (Final Four)
2015-16: Preseason #2 (no Final Four)
2016-17: Preseason #2 (no Final Four)
2018-19: Preseason #2 (no Final Four)
Only time will tell but this season and this team could be quite fun to watch this season. If they meet expectations, they will probably be a 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament. But even that lofty seed means you will almost certainly have to play THREE quality opponents just to get to the Final Four. Winning three straight quality games on neutral floors in a high pressure situation is tough. The fact that UK has done it 4 times in 10 years is pretty impressive. But getting beat before the Final Four should be put in perspective for the whole season.
Should UK have beaten WVU in 2010, Wisconsin in 2015, Kansas State in 2018, and Auburn in 2019? Of course they should have. But they are not machines. They consistently get themselves in position to make the Final Four. And sometimes they finish the job and sometimes they don’t. This team will probably do the same this year. Let’s enjoy the ride no matter how the finish comes.
By Nick Roush on ©June 10th, 2019 @ 9:55am
Tony Vanetti is spending his Monday morning on Kentucky Sports Radio. Standing in for Matt Jones, Vanetti will be joined by the World Heavyweight Radio Champion. Maybe Shannon the Dude will throw him through a table? Tune in to hear all the action.
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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By Nick Roush on ©June 10th, 2019 @ 9:00am
The St. Louis Blues did not stand a chance.
Hosting game six of the Stanley Cup Finals with a 3-2 lead, the Blues had a chance to clinch the cup and win the franchise’s first ever championship. Unfortunately, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch put the cart before the horse.
Hours before the puck was dropped, the St. Louis newspaper published a thank you letter online from Blues’ ownership, thanking the fans for helping carry the team to a championship. The letter, meant to be seen after a fourth win in the Stanley Cup Finals, was only visible to the paper’s subscribers in their e-edition, but the damage was already done.
After the Blues failed to capitalize on a few first period opportunities, the Bruins scored four goals in the third to win 5-1 and force a decisive game seven in Boston. Everyone makes mistakes. Luckily, ours are not quite as costly as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s.
Kentucky Adds Two Running Backs
It was a good weekend to be a Kentucky football fan. The Cats landed not one, but two incredibly talented 2020 running backs from the state of Ohio.
Torrance Davis and JuTahn McClain rolled the dice on their official visits. Now UK’s seven-man class is ranked 21st in America by Rivals.
Davis and McClain will create an exceptional combo in the backfield. Davis, who pulled the trigger Friday night, is a big-body back who can run opponents over after catching passes out of the backfield. The Cleveland Glennville product can be used in a variety of ways, just like McClain. A 5’9″ all-purpose back from the Cincinnati suburb of Fairfield, the home run hitter can score on any given play. The future is bright in Eddie Gran’s backfield.
Football Camps Continue
Kentucky’s wave of recruiting momentum isn’t slowing down anytime soon. One-day camps are rolling along today, while more official visitors are set to arrive on campus tomorrow. After three days of camp, Jack and I still have much to share from the eye-opening events that brought unprecedented talent to the Bluegrass.
On The Road
Camps aren’t just for football players. The basketball team will be at South Oldham High School this afternoon for a three-hour satellite camp. After seeing what happened in Bardstown, I have a feeling there will be a block party.
Good morning from Bardstown!
— CoachCal.com (@CoachCalDotCom) June 9, 2019
Game Five of the NBA Finals
The death of a dynasty is on our doorstep. The Golden State Warriors trail 3-1 to the Toronto Raptors. Kawhi Leonard could give the franchise their first Larry O’Brien Trophy and Canada its first pro sports championship in 26 years.
That will not happen if Kevin Durant has anything to say about it. Yesterday the superstar practiced for the first time since he injured his calf. Will KD put the team on his back and become a legend or will this be an ugly swan song for the Warriors? We’ll find out tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.
Women’s World Cup is Underway
You’ll have to wait one more day before the United States takes the pitch. Until then, there are a few games on the schedule in France. Argentina takes on Japan at noon, followed by Canada vs. Cameroon at 3:00 p.m. ET on FS1.
It’s a Fight
In today’s edition of, “things I thought I’d never type on the internet,” Justin Bieber wants to fight Tom Cruise.
I wanna challenge Tom Cruise to fight in the octagon. Tom if you dont take this fight your scared and you will never live it down. Who is willing to put on the fight? @danawhite ?
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) June 10, 2019
Aaron Torres has a HUGE Guest
The biggest name in the shoe biz is on today’s Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. Sneaker mogul Sonny Vacarro joins Aaron to talk about the FBI’s investigation into college basketball and much more. Subscribe to make sure you get the podcast on your phone first when it hits the feed later this morning.
Tony Vanetti is on the mic
There’s been a slight change in the KSR guest hosting lineup. The Italian Stallion was called out of the bullpen to host this morning. Kyle Tucker, Curtis Burch and the Johnny Juzang train will take over Tuesday, moving Laura Rutledge to June 21. The show will go on beginning at 10:00 a.m.
By John Reecer on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Indiana swept Kentucky as the state won both games of the annual all-star showcase over the weekend by more than 30 points each. Indiana was victorious in the first matchup on Friday night by a score of 97-64, and the state won again on Saturday by a score of 120-74.
The series sweep comes after Kentucky split the last four games over the last two years. Indiana now leads the all-time series, 99-44, and has won 30 of the last 34 games played. However, it is important to note that this year saw several talented Kentucky players not able to participate in the showcase. Dontaie Allen, was not able to play due to continuing recovery from off-season knee surgery and an injury suffered in an April car accident. Michael Moreno of Scott County who signed with Eastern Kentucky, did not play as well due to injury, and Kyle Rode of Lexington Christian Academy who signed with Liberty University did not participate as well.
Despite those heavy losses, Kentucky still had very talented players like KyKy Tandy, David Johnson, Isaiah Cozart on the court. However, the team was just simply outclassed by Indiana’s all star team. Considering the overall dominance displayed in this series by the hooiser state, Kentucky needs to start competing more consistently to justify this showcase’s existence. Otherwise, tweets like this from verified accounts would not exist:
Trayce Jackson-Davis and the Indiana All-Stars need to humiliate irrelevant Kentucky tonight and tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/3nwwotNwaa
— Kent Sterling (@KentSterling) June 7, 2019
Oh well. Congrats to Indiana on being good on just one level of basketball.
By John Reecer on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
With just 11 days before the 2019 NBA Draft, former UK Stars PJ Washington, Tyler Herro, and Keldon Johnson are patiently waiting to see where they will be selected. As June 20th draws closer, many scouts and different websites are routinely making new mock drafts.
Here is where the Kentucky trio is slated to be selected in some of the most well-regarded mock drafts on the internet:
CBS Sports: Round 1, Pick 13 to the Miami Heat
The Ringer.com: Round 1, Pick 10 to the Atlanta Hawks
NBA Draft.net: Round 1, Pick 18 to the Indiana Pacers
Bleacher Report: Round 1, Pick 11 to the Minnesota Timberwolves
Tankathon.com: Round 1, Pick 13 to the Miami Heat
CBS Sports: Round 1, Pick 15 to the Detroit Pistons
The Ringer.com: Round 1, Pick 18 to the Indiana Pacers
NBA Draft.net: Round 1, Pick 21 to the Oklahoma City Thunder
Bleacher Report: Round 1, Pick 15 to the Detroit Pistons
Tankathon.com: Round 1, Pick 21 to the Oklahoma City Thunder
CBS Sports: Round 1, Pick 19 to the San Antonio Spurs
The Ringer.com: Round 1, Pick 27 to the Brooklyn Nets
NBA Draft.com: Round 1, Pick 22 to the Boston Celtics
Bleacher Report: Round 1, Pick 26 to the Cleveland Cavaliers
Tankathon.com: Round 1, Pick 25 to the Portland Trail Blazers
Overall, most of this speculation is not too different from earlier in the draft process. Washington seems destined to be a lottery pick as teams really like his wingspan and improved shooting capabilities. The Miami Heat are the most popular destination as they need a leader in the frontcourt who can foster a competitive culture. While there is always a risk that he could fall in the draft due to his undersized height at the position, it seems almost certain at this point that Kentucky will have a player selected in the lottery for yet another year.
Slowly but surely PJ Washington is becoming my clear cut No.1 option for Minnesota at pick 11. 42% 3-point shooter, decent roll, cut, and post game, not a minus defensively with potential to become a plus (imo). Think he might be a very nice player. pic.twitter.com/hcm7VTsRNt
— Jake Paynting (@jakepaynting) June 9, 2019
Herro has seen his stock slightly improved in the past few weeks. After reports of him having a legendary workout with the Boston Celtics, it seems that Herro’s reputation as a shooter has improved in the eyes of many front offices. Seeing him projected to go as high as 15th to Detroit is the highest I’ve seen since he declared. Being selected by the Thunder is the most popular prediction as they badly need more outside shooting. Seeing Herro play alongside NBA stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George would be a dream for many Kentucky fans.
Hearing from a couple sources that it is a very real possibility that Boston takes Tyler Herro with the 14th pick. In my opinion, Herro is the best pure shooter in the 2019 class
— Dalton Pence (@dpenceNBA) June 5, 2019
It is difficult for me to get too low on Tyler Herro because there's a real chance he becomes a special pullup shooter, so smooth and fluid with his release. pic.twitter.com/7VP6P5DADm
— Ben Pfeifer (@Ben_Pfeifer_) June 1, 2019
Johnson on the other hand has seen his stock slowly fall ever since the midway point of Kentucky’s season as he finished the year on a bit of a quiet note. The consensus from many experts is that he will go somewhere in the late 20’s at the end of the first round. This is a bit disappointing, but the bright side of that is Johnson might get picked by a very good team at the end of the first round. The mock draft by CBS was the kindest to Kentucky as it predicted that all three players will be taken in the first 20 picks. If that happens, then this will be yet another great draft night for the Wildcats.
By John Reecer on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
As reported by Justin Rowland of rivals.com and our very own Jack Pilgrim, class of 2020 4-star defensive lineman Octavious Oxendine made an unofficial visit with Kentucky on Sunday.
By day, 4-star DL. By night, Marvel villain in training. https://t.co/j04ZYft7hT
— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) June 9, 2019
2020 three-star DT target Octavious Oxendine is here at the Kentucky Sunday Showcase. Vince Marrow is showing him around the facilities.
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) June 9, 2019
The Radcliff, Kentucky native is ranked as the third best prospect in the state by Rivals and the 17th best defensive tackle in his class. Oxendine spent his junior year at North Hardin High School where his play on the field earned him SEC scholarships from Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Tennessee.
Rivals currently gives the Volunteers a 100% chance of landing Oxendine while Oklahoma and Purdue are in the mix as well. But today’s news is certainly encouraging as the very talented 6’3, 296 pound athlete is certainly considering the Wildcats.
— Billy Embody (@BillyEmbody) January 4, 2019
Considering that this news comes on the same weekend that Kentucky lands two highly regarded running backs, its safe to say that the Wildcats are on a warpath right now on the recruiting trail. Landing Oxendine would possibly pair him with recently committed 5-star DT Justin Rogers which would create quite the duo at that position.
Continue to follow KSR as we will report any further news on Oxendine’s recruitment.
By John Reecer on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Former Kentucky Wildcat and Michigan Wolverine Charles Matthews unfortunately tore his ACL at a draft workout with the Boston Celtics as reported by his agent Adam Pensack.
Michigan's Charles Matthews suffered a torn ACL at a workout with the Boston Celtics, his agent Adam Pensack told ESPN. Matthews was garnering interest as one of the top defenders in the 2019 NBA draft class. ESPN news story with more details: https://t.co/WKsQozofhl
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 9, 2019
Obviously, this is one of the worst things that can happen to prospects as they prepare for the NBA Draft. Matthews was widely considered to be a late second round selection. However, in recent weeks his stock rose a bit as many scouts consider Matthews to be one of the top defenders in this year’s draft.
With this news, it would not be surprising at all if the 22-year old is not drafted at all now. His agent still remains optimistic that Matthews will still be selected as the former Michigan star impressed NBA teams considerably at the combine and in private workouts.
CHARLES MATTHEWS CALLS GAME! MICHIGAN ESCAPES WITH THE WIN pic.twitter.com/TgQnNwECmb
— Wolverine Corner (@WolverineCorner) January 23, 2019
Matthews averaged 12.2 points and 5 rebounds per game last season for the Wolverines. He spent three seasons with Michigan after spending his freshman season in Lexington where he played 36 games but averaged just ten minutes per outing.
Hopefully, this promising athlete will still have his dream of getting selected in the NBA Draft fulfilled on June 2oth. Prayers up for Charles!
By Sam Gormley on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
The countdown is officially on. We are less than 12 weeks until the Kentucky Football team opens the 2019 season at Kroger Field against the Toledo Rockets.
With the date approaching quickly, multiple sports books are beginning to release the opening numbers as to who is favored in the season opening contest.
The SportsBook in Las Vegas has Kentucky opening as a 13-point favorite against the Rockets.
Last season, Kentucky finished 6-7 against the spread and 2-5 at home. I am admittedly the last person that you should take gambling advice from, in fact I’d highly recommend Matt and Drew’s “Free Money” podcast that will come out in the fall for more informed advice.
At first glance, I would be worried about the 13 points. One thing that Mark Stoops’ teams have been consistent about is starting the season opener with a game that is closer than it probably should have been.
Other notable lines include Notre Dame as a -19 point favorite over Louisville (take the points all day there right?), Auburn as a 2.5 point favorite over Oregon and Alabama as a 31.5 point favorite over Duke.
By Sam Gormley on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
Tates Creek High School has won the 2019 KHSAA Baseball State Championship.
The Commodores defeated McCracken County 4-2 Sunday afternoon to claim their first state title since 1986.
Champions of the 11th Region, Tates Creek finished the season with a record of 34-7; winning 16 of their final 17 games and 9 in a row.
Whitaker Bank/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament: Tates Creek 4, McCracken County 2
A double play ends it. The ‘ship is coming home to Centre Parkway: For the first time since 1986, TATES CREEK IS YOUR KENTUCKY STATE BASEBALL CHAMPION! pic.twitter.com/DxKIKCvYD5
— Josh Moore (@HLpreps) June 9, 2019
The Commodores are the first Lexington area school to win the state title since Woodford County won the title back in 2012.
— Tates Creek Athletics (@TCDORES1) June 9, 2019
To get to the championship game, they defeated Pleasure Ridge Park, Breckinridge County and the Mustangs of McCracken County.
Next weekend, the final state champion of the year for the KHSAA will be crowned as the girls will take over Lexington for the state softball championship. That tournament was supposed to be this weekend as well, but due to weather they pushed it to next weekend.
Male, Boyle County, Madisonville-North Hopkins, Clay County, Ashland Blazer, Warren East, Pendleton County and Central Hardin will all compete to take home the crown.
By Nick Roush on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
Schools go to great lengths to get a leg up in recruiting. Some use tradition or geography to their advantage. Others must rely on creating early connections. That’s exactly what Kentucky has done for a pair of freshmen from the Commonwealth.
Last December Corbin’s Treyveon Longmire and Male’s Selah Brown each played in state championship games at Kroger Field. After seeing the talented freshmen play firsthand, Vince Marrow made sure UK was the first to extend a scholarship offer.
Entering his first year of high school, Selah (SAY-luh) Brown did not anticipate playing varsity football. The powerful defensive end, who also spends some time as a running back, was just hoping to get healthy enough to get his feet wet on the football field following summer meniscus repair surgery.
“As I came back from my injury, I started practicing. I played like two freshman games to get it kicked off. I came back just in time for the playoffs. I experienced some stuff in the first game of the playoffs. I got in a little bit. I was like, okay, I’m getting the feel for varsity, big guys, showing up and doing big things,” Brown told KSR earlier this week.
Everything changed after one special teams play.
“As it proceeded, we got to the St. X game. I was put in on punt return and I had a big block. That’s when I got really rowdy. I like this varsity stuff. It’s really cool. All the student section and all the people there getting rowdy. It was really cool.”
Brown showed flashes in small doses. After all, he was just a freshman, and an inexperienced one at that. Little did he know that he was about to be thrown face-first into the fire.
“The week leading up to the state championship, we were watching film on them (Scott County). We were watching this one guy who was a four-star lineman. They were looking around and said, ‘We need somebody to go against this dude. You’re the only one,'” Brown recalled.
That one linemen was Bryan Hudson, a top ten offensive guard and ranked as the No. 149 player in America by 247 Sports.
“I knew I had to step up,” Selah said. “He’s a senior already committed to college. I’m just this freshman he doesn’t even know about.”
Hudson learned quickly who Selah Brown was.
“We got into the game. It was really cool playing at Kroger Field. It was a good atmosphere. I’d never played on a college field. As we got into the game, I started getting into a groove. I was jumping around just happy, jittery, just glad to be there in a state championship game,” Brown recalled.
“On the first drive we had a safety and once I pushed him back a few times, I was like, man, I got this dude this game. It’s going to be a fun game. He’s going to have a long time vs. me. He doesn’t even know I’m a freshman, but he’s going to get this work.”
Even though Brown did not show up in the box score, his contributions showed up on film and helped Male defeat Scott County 37-20 to win the 6A State Championship.
“It was really cool to be a freshman, hurt for most of the season, stepping up in a big role to play against a top prospect in the country, just standing my ground as a freshman.”
Brown was proud of his state championship game contributions, but quickly moved onto basketball. A varsity letterman, the 6’2″ 245-pound athlete also plays for Kenneth Faried’s Team Manimal on the Adidas Gauntlet AAU circuit.
“Last month I was just going to school and it was regular. Football season’s coming up in a couple weeks. I’m playing basketball right now. Then one day, Kentucky came in.”
One Monday afternoon Selah was called down to head coach Chris Wolfe’s office. Vince Marrow was waiting for him.
“I met Coach Marrow and talked to them. They gave an offer that day and it was really cool. It was my first college offer, from an SEC school. I was just like, wow, that’s crazy.”
It only got crazier.
“The next day Louisville offered me, Coach Dennison. I went on a visit there and I liked that. I like their school. It’s really good. As the week went on, Purdue came. I like them and their coaches. They really care about you. The next day after that, it was West Virginia. I was like, okay, I’m on to something.”
The influx of college scholarship offers was completely unexpected. He’s still somewhat at a loss of words to describe the situation. Brown just knows he can’t let the college attention get to his head.
“I still need to be humble,” he said. “Sometimes I think about it (college), but I don’t let it get the best of me because I’m still a freshman, of course. I have a lot of time to choose. It’s cool to talk about and think about colleges and stuff like that, but you really don’t want to get that deep into it. Me being a freshman, I still have a lot of time worrying about my next three years of high school football, rather than my freshman year of where I go to college, so I’m just focusing on what I need to do here to create my legacy here and leave here and go to any college I want to go to.”
On Monday Brown will attend Purdue’s football camp. Aside from that, he’s taking one step at a time. If he continues to improve at this rate, you’ll hear a lot more from Selah Brown over the next three years.
By Sam Gormley on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 2:30pm
As we approach the second week of the KSR Guest Hosts while our fearless leader Matt Jones is on his vacation, we do have some updates to the schedule. This past week, you heard from Aaron Torres, Myron Medcalf, the Pardon My Take guys and Sam Panayotovich.
Due to a scheduling conflict from ESPN, Laura Rutledge has been forced to change her guest host date to next week. So instead of her on Tuesday, we will hear from the Athletic’s Kyle Tucker and Curtis Burch.
Sometimes ya gotta change the pitching rotation up a little bit to keep the hitters off balance. New order of KSR guest hosts:
Mon – @tonyvanetti
Tues – @KyleTucker_ATH & @curtisburch
The 21st – @LauraRutledge#ESPNchangedLaurascheduleonuswithoutaskingus
— Ryan Lemond (@ryanlemond) June 9, 2019
This makes our remaining schedule for the next two weeks as such:
Monday, 6/10 — Tony Vanetti | Louisville radio host
Tuesday, 6/11 — Kyle Tucker, Curtis Burch | Locked On Kentucky
Wednesday, 6/12 — Tom Hart | ESPN/SEC Network
Thursday, 6/13 — Barry ‘Slice’ Rohrssen | Former UK basketball assistant
Friday, 6/14 — DeWayne Peevy | UK Deputy Director AD
Monday, 6/17 — Michael Eaves | ESPN
Tuesday, 6/18 — UK Football Staff
Wednesday, 6/19 — KSR Football Podcast
Thursday, 6/20 — Matthew Mitchell | Kelly Clarkson Superfan
Friday, 6/21 — Laura Rutledge | ESPN/SEC Network
These next two weeks have some heavy hitters with some making their KSR hosting debut, so be sure to head towards your nearest affiliate.
If you missed any of last week’s guests, you can catch up below. Is there a better way to spend a rainy Sunday?
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
The Ringer listed eight NFL veterans who need to bounce back in 2019. Randall Cobb is one of them.
After eight seasons with Green Bay, Cobb signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys.
Cobb is the youngest NFL player named at 28 years old and has a lot left to prove.
Green Bay let the eight-year vet walk in free agency after 38 catches, 383 yards, and two touchdowns in nine games last year—a season marred by concussion and hamstring injuries. Cobb’s performance dwindled even when he was on the field, as he notched career lows in receptions per game (4.2), yards per game (42.6), and yards per target (6.3) while watching his catch rate drop to 62.3 percent—second worst of his career.
With Dallas’ loss of Cole Beasley in free agency and the reported already strong chemistry between Cobb and quarterback Dak Prescott, Cobb can make a splash in Dallas.
With the team’s receiver depth chart muddled after clear-cut no. 1 Amari Cooper, the Cowboys could lean hard on a veteran player like Cobb to master the necessary nuances of the passing game and provide Prescott with a security blanket and playmaker over the middle.
I still have no idea what to do with my Green Bay Packers Randall Cobb jersey…
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
As I was scrolling through Twitter this morning, I saw this tweet from @hoodie2times asking to start a thread of the coldest pictures in sports.
And that made me think of some of the most iconic pictures in Kentucky sports history.
Lets start a thread of the coldest pictures in sports I’ll start pic.twitter.com/J7QkT1sV4V
— nick (@hoodie2times) June 7, 2019
So here are some of the “coldest” pictures in Kentucky sports:
Anthony Davis Block Against North Carolina
Taylor Wyndham Hit On Tim Tebow
Anthony Davis Arm Length
Mark Stoops After Missouri Win
DeMarcus Cousins “Call Me”
Tyler Ulis Bleeding
And the “coldest picture” in KSR goes to…
Ryan Lemond in Las Vegas
Okay, Big Blue Nation, what pictures am I missing? Let me know in the comments.
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 11:00am
Enes Kanter used to put on basketball camps in different countries, but now that he can’t leave the United States he has turned his attention to putting on camps all across America.
“Throughout the season, I see all NBA fans supporting not just us but every team,” Kanter told NOLA.com while in New Orleans for his camp on Saturday. “America has given me so much. First of all, gave me a home. That’s why I wanted to do something like this not just for the city I play for or where I live, that’s why I wanted to give back to all of America.”
— Enes Kanter (@Enes_Kanter) June 8, 2019
After the end of the season, Kanter said he was going to put on 30 free basketball camps in 30 states during his offseason. That number has increased to 42 free camps in 32 states.
“I think we’ll get up to 50 camps,” Kanter said.
Kanter is hosting camps in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
“I feel like every NBA player goes to Miami, Los Angeles or New York to do basketball camps,” Kanter said. “What I wanted to do is, I wanted to go to places where NBA players have never been. Very different places. It’s so much fun. Just having fun with the kids. For the kids to see an NBA player for the first time in their lives, that is definitely amazing.”
I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but I really wish we saw Kanter in a Kentucky jersey and on the floor.
Good Morning, BBN! As a good friend of mine would say, it’s a great day to be a Wildcat, but today seems even better coming off the heels of two commitments at the running back position in the 2020 class.
It started with top 25 running back Torrance Davis on Friday night, KSR’s Nick Roush and Adam Luckett have everything you need to know on Davis.
His commitment was followed by four-star Juthan McClain at around 10 pm last night. KSR’s Jack Pilgrim made sure to dish out the scoop last night.
2020 commit and lead recruiter amongst the players, John Young, seems to be pretty happy with the two.
— John Young (@the_johnyoung) June 9, 2019
Summer Camp Continues
After a very successful first two days, the Kentucky football camp will continue today with the kicking camp and the Sunday Showcase. Here are the sights and sounds from yesterday’s Saturday night primetime camp from KSR’s Jack Pilgrim.
What’s next for today? Or should I say, who’s next?
Kawhi Leonard is a Strange-Strange Man
Kawhi Leonard has slowly turned into a fan favorite in the NBA, with his unorthodox personality in which he essentially shows zero emotion, which is a strange thing to have in sports, let alone a league as flashy as the NBA. With his personality, Twitter has been a gold mine for memes, especially after it was reported that Leonard’s trash talk was…something.
Kawhi Leonard trash talk is the best of trash talk pic.twitter.com/cIhMh7avnC
— Matt E. Spears (@wulfstanlee) June 5, 2019
The story of Leonard’s trash talk sparked memes such as this one, which is scarily accurate.
Someone said Kawhi Leonard talks like Dave Chappelle’s Prince skit come to life and I can’t get that out of my head. pic.twitter.com/tiNVVFwm6f
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) June 8, 2019
If you think he’s strange now, a story came out yesterday that claimed at a team dinner, Leonard didn’t order anything, but he ate 12 apples instead with a fork and knife. Now, I’m not so sure that this story isn’t a joke, but the fact that people are questioning if it’s real or not is a testament to how different the man actually is.
damn Kawhi really is a different dude pic.twitter.com/bLTBSDZQy2
— Mike Camerlengo (@MCamerlengo) June 8, 2019
Regardless, Raptors in five.
Sir Winston Wins The Belmont Stakes
After the first two legs of the Triple Crown were eventful, with he controversy-ridden Kentucky Derby, and the jockey-less horse at the Preakness, Sir Winston quietly won the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes.
An impressive final stretch gives Sir Winston the WINston at the #BelmontStakes!
Watch the full race replay ?? pic.twitter.com/mHHJdh4VyA
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) June 8, 2019
Kumar Rocker Throws No-Hitter
For the first time in NCAA Super-Regional history, Vanderbilt’s Kumar Rocker threw a no-hitter last night in a 3-0 victory over Duke. Not only did he make history by doing such last night, but he also did it by throwing 19 STRIKEOUTS! Absolutely incredible. Watch the highlights from his performance below:
.@_KumarRocker struck out 19 batters in his no-hitter vs. Duke.
There have been 300 no-hitters thrown in MLB history, and the most strikeouts in any of those was 17 ? pic.twitter.com/ocS2S0o1pP
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) June 9, 2019
Coach Cal Speaks on Kentucky Basketball Camps
To wrap up this Sunday post, we look to Kentucky basketball’s summer which has included the first father/son camps and the Satellite Camps. Here is what Cal had to say about the last few days in this twitter thread:
Every year I seem to think there’s no way we can get a better group of kids, and yet every year a new group comes in and I’m reminded how fortunate we are Kentucky to be able to work with the best kids in the country. pic.twitter.com/Q5L9IFG9r7
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 8, 2019
Our first Father/Son Camp this weekend has been a blast. I appreciate all the fathers making time for their sons. Even as bodies grow older, fathers stay competitive, some to the point where they’re putting their bodies at risk just to compete and have fun w/their sons. Love it! pic.twitter.com/IDJoT6SqRg
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 8, 2019
Side note from this heart-warming post, are we feeling Kahlil Whitney’s hair?
These camps, including the first father/daughter camp on June 22nd, are still going and it’s not too late to sign up. If interested, check the information below:
Camp season begins next week with plenty of opportunities in June for your young one(s) to learn from us.
? Satellite Camps
? Father/Son Camps
? Father/Daughter Camp
? Overnight Camps
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) May 31, 2019
Happy Sunday! Go Cats.
By Beth Dunston on ©June 09th, 2019 @ 9:00am
In 1990, Terry Pratchett, acclaimed British satirist and creator of the Discworld fantasy series, and Neil Gaiman, a then-rising talent known for dark meditations on mythology like Sandman and American Gods, joined forces to find out what two demons were doing lurking in a graveyard. The result was the instant classic best-seller Good Omens. Never before or since has the apocalypse been so enjoyable, so heart-warming, or so very, very British. I am happy to say that the Amazon Prime TV adaptation of the same name, directed by Douglas Mackinnon, is every bit as wonderful as the source material, if a little less biting.
Here’s the basic pitch: An angel, Aziraphale, and a demon, Crowley, have “gone native” and find themselves enjoying their time on Earth, as well as the humans that inhabit it. After decades of cautious friendship, the two join forces to try to avert Armageddon by preventing the Antichrist from activating his powers. Unfortunately, when their charge comes of age, they realize they’ve been keeping track of the wrong kid – they’ve mislaid the Antichrist. With less than a week until the end of the world, the pair is in a race against time to save the planet both Heaven and Hell want to destroy.
This novel is challenging to adapt for television in the best of circumstances, and I will admit to being nervous about it. Good Omens the book is a sprawling story in every sense of the word, stretching from quiet countryside gardens to Satanic convents to the deepest pits of Hell. It keeps multiple plates spinning in the air at all times, including a giant cast of characters, the looming threat of the end times, baffling prophecies, and a narrator who can’t seem to decide whether to praise humanity’s flaws or condemn them. Not all these plates stay afloat even in the novel (I’ll get back to this), so deciding which would make the final cut in an adaptation must have been a monumental task. Fortunately, the man doing the adapting was none other than the novel’s co-author Neil Gaiman.
Gaiman is massively successful in penning the screenplay, capturing the warm-hearted spirit of the apocalyptic satire. He has wisely eliminated some of those spinning plates and focused more exclusively on the two main characters, Aziraphale (played by Michael Sheen) and Crowley (David Tennant). Several memorable new sequences involving these two have been added, and they only serve to deepen your love for these characters, while also bringing the story to perhaps a more satisfying conclusion than what was presented in the original novel (in my opinion). Sheen and Tennant have excellent chemistry, and fully embody their roles in what are sure to be iconic performances. Sheen dithers along as the fussy, naïve angel, and Tennant’s arrogant swagger alone should be enough to earn him an Emmy. The scenes they share are easily some of the best in the series. You don’t just believe these two supernatural entities care for each other – you feel it deep within your bones in each and every one of their conversations as Aziraphale stares fondly into Crowley’s yellow snake-eyes.
As the world races on towards destruction and the cast balloons, we’re treated to even more talented British (and not-so-British) actors. Jack Whitehall shines an unlucky witchfinder, and Adria Arjona brings an air of no-nonsense girl power to Anathema Device, the witch he eventually finds. A plucky cast of newcomers plays the young, impressionable Antichrist Adam Young and his three loyal (human) friends, known collectively as “Them,” the best collection of child actors on television since Stranger Things. Ned Dennehy is particularly hilarious as Hastur, a demon who incompetently dogs Crowley throughout the miniseries, and Jon Hamm brings cheerful bureaucratic menace to the warmongering archangel Gabriel.
These characters are only a small portion of the overall cast, which brings me to the only real flaw in both the novel and the TV series – the cast becomes so sprawling that at times the narrative begins to feel a little bit uneven. The trimming of several non-essential characters and plots has greatly helped this in the adaptation, as has the renewed focus on the two main characters, but the plot can sometimes begin to feel unfocused and a mite confusing.
Part of this is intentional: Good Omens shares the same non sequitur pacing as classic British comedy shows like Monty Python, jumping from one unrelated scene to another. If you’re unsure whether you’ll like this style of storytelling, it makes itself very apparent in the opening minutes of the show, so you’ll be able to quickly judge whether it works for you. Even though Gaiman has somewhat streamlined the story, it’s still full of many of the wonderful asides that make the novel so memorable and its world so rich. And the genius of Good Omens is the final realization that none of these seemingly unconnected scraps were unconnected after all – each one was necessary to get us to our final destination.
Setting aside the few added scenes and the even fewer lost ones, Good Omens is a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the source material, right down to the wry, all-knowing narrator (Frances McDormand as an exuberantly ineffable God). I was personally both overjoyed and shocked by how closely the series clung to the novel, both in terms of plot and character. I’m so used to blockbusters not trusting a story enough to put butts in seats (looking at you, Hobbit), that a piece of media that is so trusting of the authors’ original vision is a breath of fresh air. Sometimes an added action set-piece isn’t necessary to build tension and raise stakes.
The TV-MA rating is probably necessary. Parents, there are a few dropped f-bombs (one very memorably by Aziraphale, one of Sheen’s best line deliveries), and some non-graphic nudity, as well as a troubling scene involving the crucifixion of Jesus that made me wince and think, “Wow, they really went there.” On the whole, however, the adaptation is missing some of the book’s sharper edges. The series touches on the book’s eviscerations of fast food, capitalism, and humanity’s environmental misdeeds, as well as the human tendency to overvalue one’s individual importance, but all of that feels a bit softer in the TV series. This isn’t entirely a bad thing, and I would argue that for this series the decision to move further away from satire and more towards a heart-warming tale about the power of human love made for a more accessible and pleasurable viewing experience. It gave me the warm and fuzzies.
More than anything else, Good Omens is simply a pleasure to watch. At its core, it is a story of people who are told not to love and care for each other daring to do it anyway. An angel and a demon who save each other throughout history. An Antichrist who comes to love the place and the people he was born to destroy. Witch-hunters who find belonging among witches. The list goes on. Good Omens posits that for all the flaws Heaven and Hell see in Earthlings, the human capacity to love when tradition and society insists one should hate is the greatest weapon at the end of the world. It’s an inspirational and optimistic idea that could, dare I say it, change the world. Or at least end it.
Go watch this series. I give it 9 out of 10 misplaced flaming swords.