Post Governor’s Cup and pre-Jacksonville talk featured bowl excitement and expectation for the 2017 season. →
By Drew Franklin on ©August 15th, 2017 @ 8:30am
Superstar-in-waiting Marvin Bagley shook up college basketball late Monday night when he announced his commitment to Duke during the 11 pm edition of SportsCenter out on the west coast. Bagley’s commitment to the Blue Devils also came with the news that he plans to forego his senior season of high school and enroll in college this fall.
What the blockbuster announcement means:
Duke is the No. 1 team entering the season, favorite to win the NCAA title.
I wrote about this at lunch yesterday: the addition of Bagley gives Duke the best starting five (on paper) this upcoming season. Coach K adds the best player in the country to a lineup that already had three five-star, top-10 signees from the ESPN100, plus a fourth-year Grayson Allen.
Bagley would make any team a Final Four contender, so adding him to the team that was already 7-to-1 to win it all, is dangerous for everyone else.
Coach K canceled Duke’s international trip for this.
The Blue Devils are supposed to be leaving for the Dominican Republic this week for two exhibition games against the Dominican national team, but the trip was canceled so Coach K could recover from knee surgery. If you think that’s the real reason Duke canceled the trip, you’re not staying woke.
The Bagley situation had everything to do with Duke pulling out of the DR at the last minute, not Coach K’s surgery, which he could’ve gotten anytime. That trip had been planned for months and it would be extremely beneficial for a team that lost all five starters from the end of the year, and you’re telling me Coach K just decided to have surgery on the Sunday before the team left?
Stay woke, people.
The days of criticizing the one-and-done system are officially over.
Most one-and-done critics went ghost when Duke won the title in 2014, but this move officially silenced what was left of them. We have an elite university working diligently behind the scenes to bend the rules so its basketball team can benefit by signing a star, and nobody will say a word about it because it’s Duke.
Do I have a problem with that? No, of course not. Do you, Duke. But save the “right way” talk when talking about the Duke basketball program in the future. I’m just noting that Coach K stooping to this level marks the end of any criticism of the system because nobody will talk negatively about Coach K.
Poor Marques Bolden.
Bagley still has to gain eligibility.
Bagley announced his intentions to reclassify to the Class of 2017, but he still needs his eligibility granted by the NCAA. That can be a seamless transition when a prospect plans ahead and takes the necessary coursework along the way; in Bagley’s case, however, his three years of high school are a complete mess.
Bagley attended three different high schools across two states in his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He began at Corona Del Sol High in Tempe his freshman year; then transferred to Hillcrest Hoops, a prep school in Phoenix; and spent the last year and a half at Sierra Canyon in California, where he was ruled ineligible his sophomore season due to transfer rules.
So, you’re telling me a kid that went to three different schools, was ineligible for competition at one of those schools, and spent the whole summer traveling for basketball, is going to skip his senior year and enroll in college (and not just any college) in mid-August?
I gotta see this!
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 11:41pm
The No. 1 player in the class of 2018 has reclassified to 2017 and will play for Duke.
Marvin Bagley III chose Duke over UCLA, USC, and Kentucky, among other schools.
The Wildcats always seemed to be on the outside looking in with Bagley, and all confidence in reeling in the star forward faded when rumors spread of his reclassification. Calipari would have loved to have him, but with so many forwards on the 2017 roster, it just wasn’t realistic to think he would end up in Lexington.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) August 15, 2017
Duke now takes the No. 1 spot in the 2017 recruiting rankings over the Wildcats, making it even funnier when the Blue Devils lose in the opening weekend next March.
Carry on with your night.
By Nick Roush on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 11:00pm
The first preseason football scrimmage has not been kind to Mark Stoops’ Cats the previous two years.
Last year they lost starting safety Darius West. This year they lost starting left tackle Cole Mosier. Without West, the UK secondary still posted the fifth-best pass defense in the SEC and ranked No. 35 nationally. He was missed, but they were able to move on and have success. The same can happen for the 2017 Kentucky offensive line.
Here’s what they’re missing and how they will respond to Mosier’s absence.
A Consistent Mauler
The former walk-on grew into the offensive line’s most powerful weapon. The second-largest player on the team at 6’6″ 335-pounds, Mosier was an above-average pass blocker and an excellent run blocker at left tackle. A former walk-on, he fought to earn a scholarship, a prized intangible for an offensive lineman.
We can toot his horn all day. It isn’t a perspective only seen through blue-tinted shades. The SEC Network’s Cole Cubelic, arguably the nation’s top offensive line analyst, ranked Mosier as one of the best overall linemen in the SEC in 2016. It’s difficult to mitigate Mosier’s loss, but there’s one person who can.
Anytime there’s an injury, the motto “next man up” must be invoked. In Kentucky’s case, the next man up is rarely a five-star All-American, but that’s what John Schlarman is working with now that Mosier is unavailable.
Uncertain if Young would play the difficult left tackle position as a true freshman, his services were needed in the second game of the season against Florida. He initially struggled in Gainesville and even caused his quarterback to fumble, but once comfortable, Young fit in just fine. From that point on, he was a part of the regular offensive line rotation at left tackle.
In Young’s true freshman season he recorded 27 knock-down blocks for an offensive line that led the way for two 1,000-yard rushers. That’s great at every level of football.
The experience he received as a true freshman is unquantifiable. Even if he only played a little, there would be reason to worry about the person charged with protecting the quarterback’s blind side. There’s no reason to worry about Young’s ability to step in and play right away. Young was able to get comfortable and find a rhythm against the speed of the SEC as a true freshman. He doesn’t need reps to know what to expect this fall. He’ll be prepared to step in and take on full-time duties as UK’s starting left tackle.
The Next, Next Man Up
Before the injury, Schlarman had a solid two-deep at every position, with some spots good three, even four spots deep. At left tackle there are fewer options. Unlike interior linemen, tackles are not so easily moved around. Tasked with stopping SEC edge rushers, playing left tackle is arguably the toughest challenge on the offensive line.
Young was poised to see significant snaps in a rotating role with Mosier. As Young fills Mosier’s role as the primary option at left tackle, is there another player who can step into Young’s role?
The most likely candidate is Mason Wolfe, but the Henderson native was just moved down to guard and is even seeing reps at center. Stout in the interior, don’t be surprised to see Wolfe move back outside, unless Schlarman likes what he sees from redshirt freshman Luke Fortner.
As much as we love the game of football, it’s a game of give and take. It gave Mosier a scholarship to attend college. Now it’s temporarily taking away the use of his right knee, an injury that will provide painful reminders for the rest of his life. His football career may not be over, but his time playing for Kentucky is. That’s gut-wrenching.
A message Mosier shared on Instagram alongside the picture at the top of the page:
“It was extremely hard for me to hear I tore my ACL in the scrimmage this past Saturday. I think it is even harder to write this… I want to thank all the coaches and staff members especially Coach Schlarman for everything y’all have done for me these past 5 years. I also want to thank all of the BBN for the endless support throughout the years. Lastly want to thank all my brothers on the field for all the memories these years especially us Redshirt Seniors. Y’all are my family and always will be. I will still be with the team this following season as much as I can with rehab as I prepare to train for the NFL pro day in March. This team is going to be special this year and will do big things! I’m excited to see us have one of the best seasons in school history this year! Thank you all for your time. #BBN “
This one hits home even more for me. My younger brother Nathan, another walk-on who fought to earn a scholarship, did not make it through two weeks of WKU preseason camp before tearing his ACL.
Injuries suck. There’s a sense of helplessness that sweeps over the player and their loved ones. Even though you may not think it’s much, any kind words can go a long way. You can reach out to Cole and thank him for his time in Kentucky blue on Twitter at @ColeMosier71 or on Instagram.
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 McDowell’s KSR 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 Nick Beasmore
*goes to check KSR for football updates* pic.twitter.com/I0JobXOM4a
— Nick Beasmore (@nickobeazo) August 14, 2017
Yeah, it’s been a rough day.
Preseason #1 is not post season #1 so they can have preseason and we will take post season
— Ghova13 (@FGrahovac) August 14, 2017
#8 Wes Ledford
— Wes Ledford (@wesledford) August 14, 2017
I think most people would prefer the trumpet.
#7 Ray Bratcher
— Ray Bratcher (@BratcherRay) August 14, 2017
It’s the fight of the season.
#6 Anita Biles
Kids listen to Uncle Matt @KySportsRadio about college……..everything he says is CORRECT……..
— Anita Biles (@UKBiles) August 14, 2017
Uncle Matt’s advice is gold.
— Jared (@realWildcatsFan) August 14, 2017
Time to redecorate!
#4 Chris Adams
— Chris Adams (@CAdams0912) August 14, 2017
#3 Philip Grigson
@KySportsRadio 5 week vacations are good for your soul… And temper!
— Philip Grigson (@PhilipGrigson) August 14, 2017
A little R&R and Matt’s better than ever.
#2 Braden Nevius
— Braden Nevius (@BradenNeviusBBN) August 14, 2017
BBN is behind you and sending you well wishes!
— SJ23 (@SilkyJohnson23) August 14, 2017
Most of BBN today.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 10:15pm
Last week, country music legend and Glen Campbell passed away after a hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 81.
Campbell, a Kentucky athletics fan and friend of former football coach Fran Curci, was famous for songs such as Galveston, Rhinestone Cowboy, Gentle on My Mind, and Southern Nights, among countless others.
In a concert last Thursday, Grammy award-winning artist and Kentuckian Chris Stapleton covered the famous Campbell song “Rhinestone Cowboy” in tribute to the late music star.
Watch the outstanding performance below:
In case you missed it, read Mrs. Tyler Thompson’s feature on Campbell’s unique connection to UK athletics and his passion for the state of Kentucky here:
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 10:00pm
BallIsLife.com has been rooming with John Wall this summer, filming a documentary on the former Kentucky star’s ridiculous offseason training regimen.
(The term “offseason” is certainly used loosely here.)
BallIsLife caught up with some of the trainers, Washington team personnel, and Wall himself on how he prepares for the NBA season.
See what it’s like to be John Wall for a summer in part one of the documentary:
Basketball, cardio, boxing, repeat.
Could you keep up with Wall’s schedule?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 9:30pm
It’s been five years since he’s been at Kentucky, but after four different coaching stops, Joker Phillips has finally found a home in Cincinnati.
In an interview with Cincinnati.com, Phillips discussed his time in Lexington, recent coaching moves, and the development he’s seeing as the wide receivers coach for the Bearcats.
Phillips said he has no regrets and appreciates the opportunity he had with the program, but mentioned he didn’t have enough time to implement the program in Kentucky.
“It was a great opportunity,” Phillips said. “A lot of things have to be lined up at a place like that, similar to this. You’ve got to have time to implement your program. We just didn’t have that, and I get that. The opportunity was a great opportunity for me, my family and the staff I put together. We’ve moved on from that and tried to help other places out.”
Phillips became the Bearcats’ WR coach back in January, and he believes it’s been nothing but positive in his first seven months on the job.
“It’s been a great experience,” Phillips said. “Coming back and seeing all the improvements that the program has made facility-wise and that the city has made, and also the university.”
Phillips was on the Cincinnati staff back in 1997 and 1998, but the former Kentucky coach says it’s a whole new ball game being there now.
“It’s a different job than it was 20 years ago,” Phillips said. “Being with coach Fickell, I’m not chasing any goals and I’m not chasing bigger money. I’m chasing good people, and I’m with a good person. I’m happy to be here with him.”
For Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, Phillips brings the experience necessary to take the next big steps to building a program.
“You need those guys on your staff that have obviously been in this situation, been in this position, been a head coach,” Fickell said.
You can hear everything Fickell had to say about Phillips being on the Bearcat staff here:
Above all else, it’s great to see Phillips taking a break from the creepy recruiting tactics he created at Florida:
Immanuel Quickley’s AAU director: “I do believe Kentucky is the leader,” decision expected in September
By Jack Pilgrim on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 9:00pm
It’s not a secret five-star point guard Immanuel Quickley is a big fan of the Kentucky Wildcats, and most experts believe it’d be a massive upset for him to end up anywhere other than UK.
Quickley has cut his list to Kansas, Miami (FL), Maryland, and Kentucky, and he told KSR in June a final decision is expected before his senior year begins.
SEC Country caught up with Jide Sodipo, executive director of Team BBC and advisor for Quickley, on the star point guard’s recruitment, play style, potential future teammates, and what he knows about the decision date.
When asked about Quickley’s experience playing for Coach Calipari in Egypt, Sodipo said it was Cal’s coaching intensity that intrigued his star guard the most.
“I think he enjoyed it, because he’s the kind of kid who loves to be pushed,” Sodipo said. “That’s one thing he took away from it: Cal coaches tough and likes to push you. He’s going to push you to the limit and sometimes you’re going to love him and sometimes you’re not going to like him, but at the end of the day, you’re getting better.
“He really liked that experience, because he’s a kid that likes to learn. He’s like a sponge; he soaks in everything.”
Most people know about Quickley’s desire to play with high school phenom Zion Williamson, but Sodipo mentioned another name that may be of interest to Kentucky fans.
“I know him and Zion have been roommates [on AAU trips] and that’s something they talk about, and I know he’s played with some other guys like (Cam) Reddish with USA Basketball, and those guys like to play with him,” said Sodipo.
Williamson, Reddish, and several other top prospects in the nation have raved about Quickley in the past and have expressed their desire to play with the Maryland native. But why?
“The kind of young man he is, it’s very easy for a lot of people to want to play with him. He’s so unselfish,” Sodipo said. “He doesn’t mind sacrificing all the points if someone else is doing well. He’s going to make the right basketball play every time, so that attracts a lot of people.”
So when does he plan on making a decision? According to Sodipo, we’re just a month away.
“(After taking his official visits, Quickley will) sit down with me and his family and make a decision,” said Sodipo. “I expect him to make a decision in September.”
As far as favorite schools go, Sodipo says the Wildcats are the team to beat for the 6’3 guard.
“In recruiting, anything can happen, but I do believe Kentucky is the leader,” Sodipo said.
Similar to Quade Green last year, Quickley could start quite the domino effect of five-star recruits wanting to join in on the fun at Kentucky.
Read the rest of Sodipo’s interview with SEC Country here.
By Hey Kentucky! on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 8:30pm
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray joined Matt Jones on Hey Kentucky! following the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia to discuss a big change coming to Lexington.
Gray expressed his desire to remove the Confederate statues of John Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan in Lexington.
Watch the conversation below:
You can watch the rest of the episode after the jump:
By KSR on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 7:00pm
The KTR crew has a lot to discuss after an extremely eventful Game of Thrones episode. “Eastwatch” picked up after a battle of fire and left off in the icy tundra north of The Wall. Nick and T.J. talk about everything that happened, starting with…
— Is the show moving too fast?
— Gilly’s shocking revelation and its implications.
— The confusing connections between Bran and the Night King and a bold theory.
— The Baratheons are back and T.J. can’t contain his emotions.
— It’s a cat-and-mouse game between Littlefinger and Arya, but who is in control?
— Two BOLD predictions from Nick for next week’s episode.
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 to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 6:00pm
Kentucky is trending in the wrong direction for its top football target: four-star athlete and wide receiver, L’Christian “Blue” Smith.
One of the top prospects in the state of Ohio, Smith is considering Ohio State and Kentucky for his college football career. The Dayton product will announce his commitment to one of those two schools sometime during the weekend of his Wayne High School’s season opener, which will be televised on ESPN, at the end of August.
Smith has already made up his mind, he told Scout.com’s Bill Greene, but he won’t give any clues as to which way he is going, only saying several factors went into the decision:
If you’re to believe the experts who make up his Crystal Ball predictions, Ohio State is in the best position to add Smith to its passing game in the 2018 college football season. The last thirteen predictions have Smith becoming a Buckeye, giving Urban Meyer’s program an 82 to 18 percent advantage in the poll.
Kentucky Sports Radio radio listeners have an “expert” of their own in caller Dawson, a Madison Central High School student who befriended Smith and Smith’s teammate, UK commit Alex Reigelsperger, on social media. Dawson insists Smith will commit to Kentucky, but his credibility is definitely in question.
So who do we trust? The analysts and bloggers who predict Smith to Ohio State? Or do we trust Dawson and his online friendship with Smith and Reigelsperger? Dawson stuck to his guns on Monday when he called in to the show to say, “It might be a ‘me against the world’… but I’ll stick with it.”
I won’t pretend to know either way because I have had zero meaningful conversations about Smith with anyone. But as a Kentucky football fan, I’m concerned by the latest chatter I’ve read online, specifically the prediction from Greene.
That being said, Greene admitted to the Herald-Leader he simply made an educated guess with no definitive inside information. “He told me nothing, and his dad told me nothing,” Greene said of his conversation with Smith. “So I got no inside info there.”
The best we can do now is play the “If” game until Smith goes public or any new info leaks out.
If he picks Kentucky…
… Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow can thank Smith’s relationships with current and future Wildcats. Alex Reigelsperger (H.S. teammate), Tobias Gilliam (cousin) and Jarren Williams (friend and UK QB of the future) are among the Cats’ best player-recruiters. Then there is the opportunity to play wide receiver, the position Smith wants to play in college; as well as Big Blue Nation’s relentless support and recruitment of Smith online. He has often mentioned BBN and feeling at home in Lexington in past interviews.
If he picks Ohio State…
… it’s because it’s Ohio State. When you look at the two programs and the two coaches who run them, they’re not even in the same conversation. Ohio State is a perennial title contender with a Hall of Fame head coach, and it’s only an hour-drive east of his hometown. It helps that Urban Meyer recently told him he is a wide receiver as of now, which wasn’t always the case in past conversations throughout Smith’s recruitment.
Regardless of which way Smith goes at the end of the month, it is pretty amazing that the University of Kentucky is in this situation in the first place. Mark Stoops and his staff are in a battle with The Ohio State University for one of the most sought-after playmakers in the entire country.
Win or lose, it is uncharted territory for the Kentucky program.
But let’s hope it is a win and Smith has a long career catchings touchdowns in Lexington.
By Drew Franklin on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 5:30pm
Louisville’s own Justin Thomas has said he wants to be the city’s best athlete, and he took a huge step in that direction over the weekend by winning the PGA Championship. Thomas’ first major championship was also the first for a Kentuckian in 50 years, and it likely won’t be the last major victory for Thomas and his state, as he is one of the bright young stars in the sport at only 24 years old.
In an old video shared online following yesterday’s PGA Championship win, a much younger Thomas said he hoped to play golf professionally one day. Only 10 years old at the time, Thomas said in the video, “I’d like to turn pro like in (my) early 20s or something.”
— Stadium (@WatchStadium) August 14, 2017
In another video from his youth, Thomas said he wants to go on tour and “see what he can do from there.”
— Titleist (@Titleist) August 14, 2017
10-year-old Justin would be happy to know he’s earned $13.7 million with five wins since turning pro in 2013.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 4:44pm
Flair was hospitalized over the weekend for heart-related issues and was placed into the coma while he awaits surgery. After downplaying the issue on Saturday, Flair’s agent Melinda Morris Zanoni asked for prayers and positive energy late last night:
Are u a Fan/Friend of Ric Flair?If so, we need prayers & positive energy 4 our Living Legend as he is dealing w/some tough medical issues🙏🏻
— MelindaMorrisZanoni (@LegacyTalentCEO) August 14, 2017
With a career spanning 40 years and over 20 world championships to his name, Flair is considered by many the greatest pro wrestler of all time. His larger-than-life personality transcended the sport, which bloomed in popularity during his reign. Everyone knows his trademark “Woo,” including our own John Calipari, who used it to describe Jamal Murray back in 2016:
— Keith (@_KeithGarrett) March 12, 2016
Get well soon, Nature Boy.
By Nick Roush on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 3:39pm
Cole Mosier will miss the 2017 UK football season after the left tackle suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during the Cats’ first preseason scrimmage. The injury will end his senior season and his career; UK announced in a press release he is not eligible for a sixth season.
“We’re extremely disappointed about Cole’s injury,” Coach Mark Stoops said. “He has been with us all five seasons we’ve been at Kentucky. He helped set the example of hard work that is the theme of this program, as he came in as a walk-on and earned a scholarship. We know Cole will continue to support his teammates this season and we wish him the best in his recovery and in the future.”
A former walk-on from Walton, Ky., Mosier earned a scholarship after becoming the No. 1 left tackle as a redshirt freshman. Last season he started in ten of UK’s 13 games, sidelined for three after a minor injury at Florida.
“Tearing my ACL was a big blow and it’s unfortunate because I wanted to finish my career here at UK with my teammates,” Mosier said in a statement. “However, I’m going to have surgery on Thursday and I plan to rehab my knee in order to participate in UK’s Pro Day in March. I want to thank Coach Stoops and Coach Schlarman for everything they’ve done for me. I also want to thank the Big Blue Nation for their support. Coming here as a walk-on and then earning a scholarship was a dream come true. I’m going to continue being around the team to cheer them on and help the team as much as I can.”
In Mosier’s absence Stephen Johnson will rely on sophomore Landon Young to protect his blind side. The former five-star recruit from Lexington played regularly in John Schlarman’s 2016 offensive line rotation and registered 27 knock-down blocks as a true freshman.
There have been a few players “banged up” here and there, but it’s the first major injury of preseason camp. Mosier’s injury marks the second consecutive year an injury in the Cats’ first preseason scrimmage has caused a player to miss the entire season. In 2016 safety Darius West’s season ended early with a similar knee injury.
By Nick Roush on ©August 14th, 2017 @ 3:29pm
Kentucky quarterback Stephen Johnson was not dressed for today’s football practice at Nutter Field House and was seen wearing a boot on his right foot.
The photo above was posted on the UK Football Instagram account. As running back A.J. Rose sprints down the open field, Vince Marrow’s celebration in the background casts a shadow over UK’s starting quarterback, who is not dressed for practice and is wearing a boot on his right foot.
After Saturday’s scrimmage, Johnson mentioned the brace on his knee when asked by the media, but there was no news concerning an injury to his right ankle or foot. The coaches and players did not meet with the media today, but it will be addressed with the offensive players and coaches after tomorrow’s practice.
Also it must be noted that wearing a boot does not mean much. It’s often a proactive measure taken to prevent further injury. For now, don’t geek. It’s probably nothing. We’ll know more tomorrow.