Kentucky Sports Radio

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

May 17th, 2018

UK’s 2018-19 Basketball Schedule As We Know It

As more and more key dates leak out on Kentucky’s 2018-19 basketball schedule, it’s time we put it all together for a glimpse at how next season will look on our calendars.

You will find the games we know as of today in the list below. Plan your winter accordingly.

Bahamas National Team (Foreign Exhibition)
Paradise Island, Bahamas | The Atlantis 
Wednesday, August 8
San Lorenzo de Almagra (Foreign Exhibition)
Paradise Island, Bahamas | The Atlantis 
Thursday, August 9
Mega Bemax (Foreign Exhibition)
Paradise Island, Bahamas | The Atlantis 
Saturday, August 11
Team Toronto (Foreign Exhibition)
Paradise Island, Bahamas | The Atlantis 
Sunday, August 12
Big Blue Madness
Lexington, KY | Rupp Arena
Blue-White Game
Lexington, KY | Rupp Arena
Kentucky vs. Duke
Indianapolis, IN | Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Champions Clasic
Tuesday, November 6
Lexington, KY | Rupp Arena
Wednesday, November 28
UNC Greensboro
Lexington, KY | Rupp Arena
Saturday, December 1
Kentucky vs. Seton Hall
New York, NY | Madison Square Garden
Citi Hoops Classic
Saturday, December 8
Lexington, KY | Rupp Arena
Saturday, December 15
Kentucky vs. North Carolina 
Chicago, IL | United Center
CBS Sports Classic
Saturday, December 22
Kentucky @ Louisville
Louisville, KY | KFC Yum! Center
Kentucky vs. Big 12 Opponent
Lexington, KY | Rupp Arena
Big 12/SEC Challenge

You’ll have to wait until late summer/early fall for the full schedule in its entirety.

UK confirms Las Vegas as site of 2019 "destination" double-header

The University of Kentucky men’s basketball program confirmed it will play two games in Las Vegas in 2019-2020.

It is the “destination spot” John Calipari teased two weeks ago.

The Cats will play Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic double-header on Saturday, December 21. But first they will play Utah on Wednesday, December 18, in the same arena. It’s a pretty genius move by UK’s genius coach.

“We are always trying to put together a schedule that our fans will enjoy while preparing us to be at our best at the end of the season,” Calipari said. “One of the things I hear most about from our fans is they enjoy traveling with us and staying at a destination location for multiple games. That was our goal in scheduling this game with Utah. It gives us a great opponent for our fans at home next season, and then in 2019, our fans can spend a week with us at one of our favorite stops over the last few years. I still get people who come up to me and tell me about how much fun they had in 2016 when we played North Carolina.”

See you there.

Kenny Payne’s son, Zan Payne, signs with Kentucky

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Lexington Catholic’s Zan Payne made his commitment to Kentucky official today by inking his paperwork during a ceremony at his school.

Payne is of course the son of UK assistant coach Kenny Payne, and his addition to the roster may have a big impact on his dad’s future on John Calipari’s coaching staff.

In an exclusive interview with KSR, Coach Payne said, “I get to monitor him and make sure he’s doing what he needs to do. I get to be hard on him, to push him beyond what he thinks he can go because he’s my blood. I’m not one of those fathers that is going to ever be easy on mine. I’m going to be harder on mine because I know this is bigger than basketball. It’s life.”

He also said he hopes he and Calipari can win a title while their sons are on the team.

“It would be a great experience for them. It would be really gratifying for me and Cal, but more importantly for the Big Blue Nation, the fans, the administration, for the kids, their families.”

Zan Payne ranks 14th in Lexington Catholic history with 1,282 points in his career. He also ranks fourth in school history in rebounds, while earning All-City and All-Region honors his last two seasons.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: What Are the Limits on Attire?

I will be upfront and honest with you from the beginning.  I have clothing and hats for other college and universities in my closet.  I have stuff from WKU, my alma mater.  I have EKU, Centre, Texas A&M, Harvard, and Florida College attire as well.   I’ll be honest: I AM NOT ASHAMED BY THIS.  And here is the simple reason:


It bothers me a little when people throw a fit over fans wearing the gear of other teams because it shows the most negative side of the fanbase.  It shows people who are too tightly wound and too consumed in a sport and a team.  There are a couple people I know who will own nothing that has the color red in it.  There are people who actually hold grudges against those who might wear a red tie with their suit.  And we’ve all heard the stories of car vandalism if you have the wrong bumper sticker.  It’s absurd if you ask me.

But, I am a reasonable person.  If you can convince me why I shouldn’t wear any other clothes besides UK attire, I am willing to hear it.  Of course, I am not including that 1 UL shirt which I use to wipe sweat off my pits after a long run.  So here are the questions I have for you:

1. Can you wear the gear of another college team?

2. If so, what are the limits to what teams you can wear?  Is only UL stuff out?  How about all other SEC teams?

3. Would you ever hold it against a friend if they wore UL gear?  Friendship over?

It’s the KSR Food Bracket Sweet 16! (Thursday Show Thread)

You know why we’re here. Tune in now for Day 3 of the KSR Food Bracket.

But with only eight matchups remaining, the guys will have lots of time to talk about other stuff too.

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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NBA Combine Begins And Other Things You Should Know Today

Good morning, dear friends of KSR!

It’s yet another gorgeous day outside the KSR imaginary office with tons of stuff ahead to be excited about. I’ll catch you up to speed on everything you need to know before we lace up our tennies and carpe this diem at full speed.

Let’s go.


The NBA Combine begins in Chicago.

Kentucky has four NBA hopefuls at this year’s combine: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, Hamidou Diallo and PJ Washington.

You can follow their professional tryout today on ESPN2 beginning at 3 p.m. and concluding at 7 p.m. The schedule is the same for Friday.

Maria Taylor will host the two-day coverage, and will be joined by Jay Bilas, Adrian Wojnarowski, NBA Draft experts Mike Schmitz and Jonathan Givony, and front office expert Bobby Marks.

Viewers will be treated to interviews with NBA coaches and general managers in attendance, one-on-one interviews with draft prospects, free agency news and updates, and player breakdowns and mock drafts.

Go Cats.

The KSR Food Bracket will be voted down to the Elite Eight on today’s show.

(Click to enlarge)

This year’s KSR Food Bracket gave us two hilarious days of radio on Tuesday and Wednesday, so the gang will keep it going today as they trim the field to eight restaurants. Tune in to hear which of the remaining restaurants will live to see another day.

Former SEC commissioner Mike Slive passed away.

The man who took the Southeastern Conference to the top died Wednesday after a long battle with prostate cancer. Slive, 77, held the position of “commish” for 13 years before his retirement in 2015. UK head coach John Calipari took the news especially hard. Calipari considered Slive a mentor and had written a post on his website about Slive shortly before Slive’s passing. You can read that here.

Vernon Carey Jr. named his five finalists — Kentucky included.

Five-star big man Vernon Carey Jr. will only consider five schools throughout the remainder of his recruitment, he announced Wednesday. Kentucky made the cut, along with Duke (once the heavy favorite), Michigan State, Miami and North Carolina.

Carey is the No. 2 player in the class behind James Wiseman, another top UK target. John Calipari is selling them on the opportunity to play side by side in Lexington.

Former UK wide receiver Alex Montgomery is one hell of a bowler.

Montgomery joined Team KSR as our rotating fourth player in the KSR Bowling League last night and he guided us to our first win of the season. He told me his career-high is a 274 and that he got so good by playing with fellow former Wildcats Stephen Johnson and Nick Haynes, who are also very good. They made weekly trips to the bowling alley while at UK together.

Montgomery also provided individual instruction that turned me into a real threat. With his coaching, I turned a 69 total score in Game 1 into a 144 in Game 2. (Never mind the fact we ordered a bucket of beer between games, although that probably played a little bit of a factor, too.)

I could also tell you we needed Lee Cruse to get four pins (FOUR!) in the final frame to win the third game, and he rolled two gutter balls, but I won’t embarrass him.

Rick Pitino might be a psychopath.

Pitino did his last radio interview yesterday, for the fourth time, and babbled on like a crazy person to our friend Mike Rutherford and our not-friend John Ramsey. If you missed it, give it a listen here and then try to think back to happier times, like when he was “A Man Possessed” on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

May 16th, 2018

EXCLUSIVE: Kenny Payne speaks with KSR about his son and future plans at UK

Larry Vaught

Just like John Calipari, Kenny Payne will be able to coach his son at the college level. The longtime UK assistant spoke exclusively with Kentucky Sports Radio about his son, Alexander Payne, walking-on at UK. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound wing was the star of Lexington Catholic’s team before suffering a serious knee injury in his last regular season game in December.

The road to recover has been long for Alexander Payne and he will continue to rehab over the summer and possibly into the fall if need be, but Kenny Payne is happy to have his son on UK’s campus.

Kenny Payne spoke with KSR about his son, his future at Kentucky and even Louisville’s Chris Mack.

Kentucky Sports Radio: On how Alexander Payne ended up playing for you and John Calipari at Kentucky

Kenny Payne: First off he’s a good kid that had an unfortunate injury, a really unfortunate injury. He tore his knee up. I thought he was headed into the right direction before that happened. So, after that the main priority became rehab and having the right surgery and getting the leg strong enough to be able to first play basketball again. When he did it we got with the doctors and my only question was asking if he still wanted to play basketball. He told me that he did.

I was proud of that. It meant he had the fight. The first part of our process was getting him to admit that he still wanted to play and he wanted to play on a big scale. His mother always wanted him to be a part of Kentucky so she could keep her hands on him. I could have gone either way with it. Coach Cal was gracious and really good with the situation which made me feel proud and happy I’m working for a man like that who really cares about me and my son. For (Alexander) it’s an opportunity where nothing will be given to him. I’ll probably be harder on him than anybody. He gets no breaks. He gets no leeway. For him, I want him to fight. It will be similar, and I don’t know how many people know this, but Brad Calipari fights. He fights to earn that respect on that basketball team. You do that with your work ethic. How Alexander handles it will be no different. He will earn everything he gets. I will push him beyond where he thinks he will go.

Hopefully the goal is that he makes Kentucky basketball coaches proud and I’m included in that as a coach. I’m already proud as a father but I want to let him know that I want him to make me proud as a coach and the other coaches as well.

Kentucky Sports Radio: On Alexander’s injury and how he’s doing in rehab

Kenny Payne: It happened in the last regular season game with a few seconds left on the clock. They were down one. He drove the ball and was fouled. The guy went up under him or bumped him and he landed awkwardly and had an injury to his knee. So, it’s been long and hard. He’s done a really good job of doing the rehab to this point. We have to continue to do it to get the leg stronger than it was before. It’s going to take a lot of pain and hard days of fighting through it.

Kentucky Sports Radio: On if he’s ever seen anything like this or been on a staff where two sons have been on the same team

Kenny Payne: I’ve never imagined it. I would listen to Cal talk about what a joy it is to take care of your own son and have him with you everyday. I watch (Calipari) before every pregame speech, when he finishes he kisses his son. It shows a side of what we do and that it has another side. We’re fathers, we’re men and we become examples to the other kids of how a man, a father, a leader should act. From that standpoint I’ve watched Cal deal with it with the way he’s done it. Now I get to be a part of it as well, probably a little meaner, but it’s a blessing for me to watch him.

I get to monitor him and make sure he’s doing what he needs to do. I get to be hard on him, to push him beyond what he thinks he can go because he’s my blood. I’m not one of those fathers that is going to ever be easy on mine. I’m going to be harder on mine because I know this is bigger than basketball. It’s life. And what’s out there in life for these young men is that you have to earn everything you’re going to get. In today’s society our kids are disillusioned or they have a falseness about what they expect to get and what they have to put out to get it. I want my son, like all kids and all the kids we deal with, I want them to know they have to be borderline ready to fight and die for what you want in this life. 

Kentucky Sports Radio: On if this sparks a new fire for you and Calipari wanting to win a championship with your kids as players

Kenny Payne: Well, I never thought about that until you just said it. I’ve had conversations with Cal and Cal has had conversations with me but more about building a team and surrounding it with kids that we can win a national championship with. There are times and years where the talent level may be down and now you can’t really have a young group that can really fight and see why they’re there, if that makes sense. They’re so young and they need a year or two, two years to figure it out.

Well, we’ve had conversations about putting together a team that can win a championship and not that we don’t do it every year. Obviously that’s our goal more than I can tell you, but having really thought about it but now that you said it and with my son and Cal’s son, it would be great. It would be a great experience for them. It would be really gratifying for me and Cal, but more importantly for the Big Blue Nation, the fans, the administration, for the kids, their families. To be a part of a special group that wins a national title you’re never forgotten when you do.

Kentucky Sports Radio: On what you would tell fans that think you’re locked in for a few years now that your son is on the team

Kenny Payne: Yeah, it’s a tough question. I think that me being at UK I have a dream job. I work for a great man who’s really, really good to me. I work in a unique institution where basketball is a priority and I love my job at UK. It would be hard, hard for somebody to… I do want to be a head coach. I do want my own program, but they better come correct because I have a really, really unique situation. I don’t say that lightly and I respect it. It’s been a blessing. A blessing to be with kids.

Two days ago I get a text message from Karl-Anthony Towns wishing my wife a happy Mother’s Day. I can go on and on. Devin (Booker), Anthony Davis, I had dinner with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist last week. Bam came in and we went to the Kentucky Derby together. All I can say to you is that you can’t draw up a better scenario than what I’ve lived over my last eight years and I want it to continue to be special as long as I can. If that means I’m in Kentucky another five years, four years, six years, whatever that number is I appreciate and love every single day that I’m on the job.

Courier Journal

Kentucky Sports Radio: On Louisville hiring Chris Mack

Kenny Payne: I think they hired a good coach. I think Vince (Tyra) is really happy. The administration is really happy. I think he’ll do a good job. I think he has some obstacles to overcome trying to get that program back to national prominence, which he’s capable of doing. I wished him well. I’m a fan of Louisville and I want those kids, who don’t deserve a lot of this negativity that has happened there. They don’t deserve it. I wished him well.

Obviously I went to school there and won a national championship there. There will always be a special place in my heart for the University of Louisville.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day


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 Justin Tucker

You may have an issue…

#9 Shane and Jocelyn Sams

Defintely 0.

#8 Katelyn Clark

The KSR effect!!!

#7 Stephen Phillips

Have some respect!

#6 Cody Fannin

I can’t take this madness anymore!!!!

#5 Tanner

HAH! I get it.

#4 Sean C Nix

Rick, lie? NEVER!!!

#3 Tashina Clark

Ahhh, I miss them.

#2 Walker Terhune

Uh oh….

#1 Rick Wood

They have the meats, but do they have the win?

Kraft Beer With Kindsey: Paducah Beer Werks

It is no secret that bourbon dominates this state, but the craft beer industry is growing in Kentucky. There are locally owned breweries and microbreweries scattered all around the state and it is my mission to travel to each and every one and tell their story.

Only two items flowed through the building on the corner of 4th Street and Monroe Street in Paducah before 2015, buses and movies.

Greyhound occupied the building from 1966 until 2010. But not only was it a bus stop, but also a dinner with a short order cook and a mailing services called Package Express.

“The entire bus station was being used,” owner and head brewer of Paducah Beer Werks Todd Blume said. “They also had a thing called Package Express and every movie up until, I believe, 1988 came through this building. So that’s how they would deliver them.”

When UPS and FedEx came around, it ended Package Express and Greyhound had to relocate because of people started to travel by bus less often.

So the bus station sat vacant for four years until Todd Blume, a native of Graves County, moved back home to Western Kentucky.

Blume graduated from Murray State University with a degree in computer science and the only jobs available in his field were in data entry.

“I really wasn’t interested in data entry, I wanted to do more on the creating side,” Blume said. “So my dad was like “what are you doing to do?” So we started looking around and he said, “what is one thing Paducah doesn’t have?” 

A brewery.

But where this idea come from?

Blume previously lived in Franklin, North Carolina and loved going to a nearby brewery in Sylva.

“The one I went to was called Heinzelmannchen, which was well-known and had some of the best beer,” Blume said. “The guy was just doing it in a basement and he was winning medals. He also made sodas. And that kind of got me really interested in doing something.”

Blume started homebrewing and then began traveling back and forth from Colorado to take an immersion course with Tom Hennesey, a brewery owner who teaches people how to build breweries.

Kentucky for Kentucky

When Blume decided to bring a craft brewery to Paducah in 2015, he saw the bus station and knew it was the place.

“But at that point and time, I didn’t know how fast I could grow or how the community would take it,” Blume said. 

Even though the closest brewery at that time was in Clarksville, Ten. (almost 100 miles away) the people of Paducah took to it very quickly.

His worries were officially put to bed that summer in Denver at the Great American Beer Festival. Beer Werk’s PBW Pale Ale won a bronze medal in the Classic English-Style Pale Ale category.

Blume had attended the festival while living in Colorado but had never seen an awards ceremony, so he figured he’d check it out. 

“We were all in the way in the back and we were all split, there were three of us,” Blume said. “And we were sitting there listening and were like “I remember trying that one, yeah that one was good.”  And then they call our name, and I said “Huh? What’s going on?” So we all had to kind of find each other cause we were all dispersed in the crowd. Everybody was just kind of blown away.”

Before worrying about accepting the medal, Blume was focused on making it to the stage.

“So I had to go all the way down these steps, and I’m like “please don’t fall, please don’t fall, please don’t fall.” And I’m just sitting there shaking like I’m really getting up there and I go up these steps trying not to fall, shake Charlie Papazian’s hand. Like what just happened.”

To win a medal at the GABF is incredible. In 2015, there were 1,552 breweries in competition and 275 were winners, including Paducah Beer Werks.

“So that was really big deal. It helped us, you know, prove to the community that we’re making a solid good beer.”

And that, they are.

My beer picks at Paducah Beer Werks:

PBW Pale Ale: It’s a GABF award winning beer, so you know it’s good.

The Dude: The Dude is a delicious Pilsner. You can’t go wrong with a delicious pilsner.

Golden Ale: A very solid, light beer that anyone can drink. It’s very easy to drink and not as hoppy as a pale ale.

301 North 4th Street

Paducah, Kentucky 42001




Enormous South Florida Offensive Tackle Commits to Kentucky


The commitments continue to roll in for Mark Stoops.

Just two days after quarterback Nik Scalzo committed to Kentucky, the Cats picked up an offensive tackle to protect him.  Jake Pope, a 6’7″ 275-pound three-star offensive lineman from Ft. Lauderdale, announced his decision to come to Kentucky on Twitter.


Pope resides just down the road from Scalzo.  A right tackle at St. Thomas Aquinas, the private school frequents national rankings and consistently produces Power Five talent.

A top 100 offensive tackle, Pope also held offers from Virginia Tech, Michigan State, UCF, Pitt and N.C. State.  Pope is the sixth commitment in Kentucky’s 2019 class, and the 16th player from South Florida to commit to Kentucky over the last two years.

See Pope’s best work:

Vernon Carey Jr. includes Kentucky in Final Five

SPRINGFIELD, MA – JANUARY 15: University School Sharks forward Vernon Carey, Jr. (22) during the first half of the Spalding Hoophall Classic high school basketball game between the Oak Hill Academy Warriors and the University School Sharks on January 15, 2018, at the Blake Arena in Springfield, MA .(Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

2019 five-star center Vernon Carey has trimmed his list to five, and the Kentucky Wildcats made the final cut.

He released his final five, featuring Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Miami (FL), and Michigan State, on Twitter:

The 6-foot-10, 260-pound center is considered’s No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2019, and the No. 2 prospect according to ESPN and 247 Sports.

In an interview with the Courier-Journal, Carey Jr. said he talks with Kentucky recruit and top-two big man James Wiseman on a regular basis and that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if they ended up at the same college.

“Me and James talk a lot,” Carey said Friday after his AAU team, Nike Team Florida, completed its first game of the Nike EYBL event in Indianapolis. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we went to school together or not. He’s probably going to do the best thing for him, and I’ll do the best thing for me.”

Considered a bully-ball big man and Wiseman being an elite defender with ridiculous length, John Calipari is recruiting them both to Kentucky to recreate the New Orleans Pelicans frontcourt of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis.

In fact, Calipari thinks Carey Jr. can be a mix of both Cousins and Davis.

“That’s what he discussed with me in the meeting,” Carey Jr. told The Cats Pause back in April. “That I could model my game after both of those two players. He told me to focus on those two. Just Anthony Davis’ effort and DeMarcus Cousins’ versatility.”

Here was his most recent highlight tape from the EYBL Dallas Session a few weeks ago:

Bring him on home, Coach Cal.

UK Golf holes out for eagle on 18, punches NCAA championship ticket


Kentucky senior golfer Chip McDaniel sank a 118-yard approach shot on the 18th hole to record a walk-off eagle in the final round of the Bryan Regional. The shot came after McDaniel’s 326-yard drive on the 444-yard, par-four 18th, and it punched UK’s ticket to the NCAA championship for only the 10th time in school history.

The Wildcats entered the day down 10 strokes and in need of a special day to advance. The team fired a 3-under final round to jump Ole Miss on the scoreboard by three strokes, concluding with McDaniel’s eagle when he only needed a par to seal his team’s fate. The UK senior shot a 31 on the back after a disappointing 40 before the turn.

Unfortunately there is no video of the shot (that I know of), but we do have the Golf Channel’s coverage of the event.