By Nick Roush on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 9:30pm
The bar has been raised for the Kentucky football program.
The changes were obvious after a ten-win season. The ripple effect following UK’s historic season on the gridiron could be seen at Kentucky’s first Friday night showcase camp.
My seventh year in attendance, the camp for the best of the best typically yielded a dozen or so athletes that made you say ‘whoa.’ About half of those could compete in the Southeastern Conference. Tonight that number easily doubled.
The overall depth displayed tonight was impressive. Instead of just a handful of athletes, each position group had that many elite competitors. In years past, the defensive line group had a bunch of big guys who lacked explosiveness. Finding athletic bigs on the recruiting trail is never easy, yet tonight there were a handful firing out beneath the canopy to face offensive linemen with exceptional lateral quickness.
The most obvious improvement in talent could be seen during one-on-ones between receivers and defensive backs. Three years ago I could pick out a pair of players on each side. After they took turns going at each other with the best quarterback letting it fly, I had time to decompress and take notes. Tonight there was no down time. In each rep there was a competitive play between the receivers and defensive backs, and it all was possible because they had quarterbacks talented enough to let them make plays.
Throughout the weekend we’ll highlight the top individual performers from each camp. What once used to be a fairly easy job, just got a lot more difficult. I do not mind one bit.
By Nick Roush on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
During Friday night’s showcase camp at Kroger Field, one player stood above the rest in the trenches. Standing 6-feet 5-inches tall, the lengthy athlete quickly made an impression to anyone watching individual drills for outside linebackers.
It turns out, that kid has not yet stepped a foot inside high school.
Keldric Faulk just finished eighth grade. Despite his age, Kentucky did not hesitate to offer him a scholarship after his camp performance.
— keldric faulk (@FaulkKeldric) June 7, 2019
Kentucky is not Faulk’s first offer. Florida, Tennessee and Penn State have already extended scholarship offers to the talented class of 2023 prospect from Highland Home, Alabama.
Brad White worked extensively with Faulk throughout the camp. Jon Sumrall, Vince Marrow and a plethora of other coaches also took time to talk to Faulk.
He has a few years of football ahead of him. Despite his age, he’s already making plays at the varsity level. Some might question why UK would already recruit such a young Cat, but after watching him do work, his talent is undeniable. Kentucky is wise to connect with Faulk early and often.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 8:30pm
EJ Montgomery, Ashton Hagans, Nick Richards, and Immanuel Quickley met with the media today to discuss their decisions to return to Kentucky and what they think of the freshmen so far. Enjoy the video of the interviews below, or keep scrolling for a full transcript.
2019-20 Kentucky returning players speak to the media
Posted by Kentucky Sports Radio on Friday, June 7, 2019
On why he returned to Kentucky:
“It was just the uncertainty with all the things that’s going on. They wanted me to come back. They said if I came back and got stronger, I’d go higher in the draft.”
On whether strength was the biggest reason to come back:
“Yeah, probably the main reason, just my physical part, my body. I went out there and I showed I could do a lot of things but they just wanted me to show I could go out there and play with the physical guys.”
On the positive feedback he received:
“That I shot it well, I can stretch the floor and things like that.”
On whether or not the jump PJ Washington made from year one to two factored into his decision:
“It did. Once I heard where I would land in the draft, I knew if I came back and go hard every day like he did, it would improve my stock.”
On where they told him he would go in the draft:
“Late first round, but if I came back, I would be a lot higher.”
On turning down a first-round projection:
“Yeah, but if I came back and I become a lottery pick, that’s a lot of money I’m leaving on the table.” [Laughter]
By Adam Luckett on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
The college football scheduling never stops and UK has been hard at work filling out slots for their future non-conference opponents. This week it was released that the South Alabama Jaguars will be making the trip to Kroger Field to face the Wildcats on September 26th, 2019.
South Alabama is a fairly new program to FBS. The Jaguars are located in Mobile and began as a startup program in 2009. After three years in the independent life of the the FCS, USA made the leap to the FBS and joined the Sun Belt in 2012. Since that point, it’s been some average football for the Jags. The program has only made the postseason twice and have never won more than six games in a season at the FBS level. Joey Jones was fired following the 2017 season and Central Arkansas head coach Steve Campbell was hired from the FCS ranks. In a total rebuild year, the Jags went 2-10 last season but Campbell has won everywhere he has been (junior college and FCS).
What this means big picture is that Kentucky’s entire non-conference schedule is set through the year 2o26 (pending the Louisville series being extended past the 2022 season. In the next eight seasons, UK will play eight MAC teams (Akron, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (OH), Ohio, Northern Illinois, Toledo) with all of the meetings occurring in Lexington except for 2023 road trip to Akron. Kentucky will also play two Sun Belt teams (ULM and South Alabama) in addition to one independent (New Mexico State). Lacking are some Power Five opponents on the docket outside of the regulars.
Kentucky is staying committed to playing two Group of 5 teams each season, one FCS opponent, and archrival Louisville. That means no juicy Power Five non-conference opponents in the foreseeable future. While a lot of other college programs are being aggressive in scheduling big time matchups to boost fan attendance and to bolster College Football Playoff resumes. Kentucky is content with the status quo. Those waiting for a big time non-SEC opponent to come to Kroger Field or for a neutral site game at a neutral site to begin the season will just have to wait.
Would EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards be okay with another roster addition? “Whatever Coach Cal thinks we need.”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Back when Virginia Tech graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear Jr. initially announced he would explore his options, there were mixed reports on Kentucky’s potential involvement. While multiple outlets, including KSR, reported that the UK coaching staff had been in contact with and visited the 6-foot-11 big man and his family in Orlando, Florida, Blackshear’s father refuted reports on two separate occasions before finally admitting the events did, in fact, happen.
At the time, it was unclear as to why there was so much secrecy when it came to Kentucky’s interest in the highly-coveted graduate transfer. One theory was that the UK coaching staff didn’t want EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards, who were both testing the NBA Draft waters at the time, to feel that they were being forced out of Lexington. They wanted to pair the current Wildcat big men with Blackshear, not replace them with the Second Team All-ACC forward.
Fast forward a little over a month, and Kentucky now has both Montgomery and Richards back in the fold for the 2019-20 season. But what does that mean for UK’s recruitment of not only Blackshear, but another potential frontcourt addition via reclassification or on the graduate transfer market?
On Tuesday, Kentucky head coach John Calipari said that while he is happy about the current state of his roster, he would be open to bringing in another piece if he felt it benefited both sides.
“I’m really happy with where we are right now,” he said. “If there is anything that can help us, and also help the player, then I would consider that.”
The reasoning for potentially adding another piece? He has Montgomery, Richards, and Bucknell transfer Nate Sestina in the frontcourt, but an injury could be detrimental to the team’s depth up front.
“You’ve got [three] guys, but what if one of them gets hurt? Now you’re playing four guards, which I haven’t done before, but I can figure it out,” he said.
In their first media availability since making their decisions to return to Kentucky for another season, Montgomery and Richards were both asked about the idea of adding another big man to the roster and their thoughts on the matter.
In short, they’d both be perfectly content with another big man joining the fold this season.
For EJ Montgomery, the 6-foot-11 forward said that above all else, he trusts John Calipari and his opinion on the roster. If the Kentucky head coach thinks they need to add another piece, he’s all for it. If not, he’s ready to work with what he has going into the season.
“Whatever Coach Cal thinks we need,” Montgomery said. “If he thinks we need more people or if we don’t, we got to go out there and compete.”
As for Nick Richards, he agreed with his teammate in the frontcourt, saying he trusts the Kentucky coaching staff to do what is best for the team.
“Right now, we don’t know what the roster situation is,” Richards said. “The coaches know what they’re doing, so our job as players right now is to get better on our game and just keep improving.”
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
From the time he first announced his return to Kentucky this offseason, the Big Blue Nation has been downright giddy about what we might see out of Wildcat point guard Ashton Hagans in his second year.
And this afternoon, the 6-foot-3 sophomore didn’t do much to temper those expectations.
In our first media opportunity with Kentucky’s four key returning players today, Hagans was asked about his early thoughts on his new partner in the backcourt, Tyrese Maxey, and just how good they can be together this season.
Not only does Hagans believe they can be good together, he actually believes that the Kentucky backcourt this year just might be the best of the John Calipari era in Lexington.
“[Tyrese Maxey] is a really good guard,” he said. “He’s going to be a nice guard to play with. We’re going to have some great memories on the court. Might be one of the best backcourts you all ever see, but we’re going to have to see.”
Maxey, a consensus five-star, top-15 prospect out of high school, certainly comes to Lexington with high expectations, as well. The 6-foot-4 freshman is considered one of the best shooters in the class of 2020, scores the ball with ease, and takes pride in being an elite defender.
While there is a ton to look forward to when it comes to Maxey, that last aspect of his game is what excites Hagans the most. If his new teammate loves playing defense just as much as he does, Hagans believes it’s going to be a “scary sight” for the opposition this season.
“Tyrese does a lot with his game and I feel like I can do the same,” he said. “He plays defense so that’s something that’s going to be a scary sight for other teams. We’re just ready to go out there and play with each other.”
But does Hagans really believe they’ll be one of the best backcourt pairings not only in the nation, but the most impressive we’ve seen in the 11 years John Calipari has been in Lexington? One potentially better than John Wall and Eric Bledsoe in 2009-10, Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray in 2015-16, and De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk in 2016-17?
But it won’t be just because of him and Maxey. With Immanuel Quickley back for a sophomore season and Johnny Juzang making his way from California in the coming weeks, Hagans is extremely confident that the Wildcats have four elite pieces making up the backcourt.
“We’re going to see,” Hagans said with a laugh. “We’re just going to have to see. Tyrese, he’s a really nice guard. We’ve got Immanuel back. We’ve got some other guards. Johnny, hopefully, we’ll get him in a couple of weeks.”
Outside of the backcourt, the Kentucky sophomore says that with Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery both withdrawing from the NBA Draft, along with all of the other strong pieces they have lining the roster, this team has the opportunity to be “special.”
“Nick’s a lot better. Same thing with EJ,” he said. “I think talent wise, I think we’ve just got pieces so I think we’re going to do something real special.”
With all of the talent coming back and just how deep they are across the board, Hagans wants fans to prepare themselves for the 2019-20 season.
“We’re back here for year two and I just want y’all to see what’s coming up in year two,” he said.
And what might that be?
“You’re just going to have to wait and see…”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
It’s been over two months, but Kentucky’s loss to Auburn in the Elite Eight is still fresh in Ashton Hagans’ mind. Hagans, who quickly decided to return to Lexington for a sophomore year, said closing the book on such a special season has been difficult, but he’s determined to use the pain from the loss as fuel for this season.
“It’s actually been in the back of my head a lot,” Hagans said today. “It’s just one of them feelings that will never go away because you were so close and like I said, the bond that we created, it was different. Knowing that we can’t be with the same group, it hurts but it just adds fuel to the fire that we’ve got coming in. Knowing what you could have done last year, just bring it in and just leave it on the court this year.”
Fellow guard Immanuel Quickley agreed that the loss still hurts, but is grateful for another chance to “run it back” with Ashton, Nick Richards, and EJ Montgomery.
“When you lose a close game like that so close to the Final Four, it definitely hurts a lot,” Quickley said. “Definitely comfortable knowing those guys are back on the floor and off the floor. Those were my brothers last year. We came up a little short but it just makes it better that we get to run it back with a couple of the guys we had last year.”
Hagans’ followers on Instagram may have noticed the hashtag #UpToSomething he’s been using on videos of the team working out in the gym. Based on his comments today, he’s pretty happy with his squad so far.
“Talent wise, I think we’ve just got pieces so I think we’re going to do something real special,” Hagans vowed.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 4:00pm
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, the “Ask Anything Mailbox” is back like it never left for Summer ’19.
Many of you answered the bell by sending in your questions and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your participation. We did this last year to make it through the slower months here on KSR and I hope it’s just as fun and informative and self-deprecating as it was the first time around. I know I had a blast doing it.
But enough with the pleasantries. Let’s get right to the meat and potatoes. Here are the questions you asked followed by my 100 percent honest and authentic answers.
I’m planning a bachelor party around the UK-Florida football game (Sept 14). It will be taking place that Fri-Sun. Other than KSBar & the game, what other places & restaurants would you take them? What hotel would you recommend? Anything goes and their wives will know nothing… I hope… If so, I’ll deal with it later. 3 of the guys are UK fans & 3 are Florida fans but not sure if that matters.
Sent from my iPhone
GREAT first question to kick things off here. It’d be helpful if I knew your age, but we’ll make it work. Let’s operate under the assumption you’re in the same ballpark as me. Here’s how I’d do it:
Friday… I’m going to tell you a little secret here. DO NOT PUBLICIZE IT. You ready? Lean in real close. K that’s too close. Back up. Alright that’s good. Our annual KSR remote at Country Boy is that Friday morning. It’s one of the biggest shows of the year. Tons of fun. The craft beer will be flowing early, food trucks will be serving up good grub, there will be giveaways and Ryan Lemond will probably end up shirtless. Now forget I told you that because I don’t think I’m supposed to tell anyone. We never talked. Anyway, Friday, do that thing we never talked about, hang around after for a little bit and then check in to wherever you’re staying (I’d stay downtown somewhere). Freshen up and then go downtown if you’re not already downtown for some happy hour beers at any of the many fine establishments down there. When you’re hungry, go to Jeff Ruby’s or Tony’s (you’ll need a reservation) if money doesn’t matter to you, or for more bang for your buck I suggest Carson’s. Other good downtown options are Saul Good, Pies & Pints, The Village Idiot… hell I could go all day. You can handle that on your own. After dinner go have a couple on the Belle’s rooftop and see some of the places you didn’t go before dinner. If you want to act like you’re in college again, go up Limestone to Tin Roof and Two Keys. After midnight, you know what to do. Stay away from the ones with Camelot in the name.
Saturday… The game is at 7 p.m. so your plan is quite simple: Start with an early and heavy KSBar lunch to build up a good base. Then head over to the stadium via the shuttle or a vehicle if you have a parking pass, then get to work on those parking lot beers. By the time kickoff rolls around, you will be feeling good and ready to watch Kentucky beat the Gators for a second year in a row. Once the game is over, head downtown (leave the car overnight) and follow the celebration wherever it takes you. Again, stay away from the Camelots.
Sunday… Gatorade. Lots of Gatorade. If you have time, the best brunch spot in town is Bear and the Butcher, although I have a feeling the wives will be demanding you get your asses home early. Good luck.
In the Derby pictures of the UK players on KSR, why does Tyler Herro appear to be as tall as Keldon Johnson and almost as tall as PJ Wahington?
This one is simple, considering we learned their precise heights via the combine measurements a couple weeks ago. Tyler Herro is only a quarter inch shorter than Johnson and about two inches shorter than Washington.
Tyler Herro: 6’4.5”
Keldon Johnson: 6’4.75”
PJ Washington: 6’6.5”
Great question though. If it is important enough to you that you feel the need to ask me, it is important enough to get an answer. Thanks for playing.
Make a convincing argument one way or the other:
Who would win in a fight, a grilled cheese or a taco?
Include research, peer-reviewed studies, or journal articles in your response.
Taco and it’s not even a fair fight. No need for research, peer-reviewed studies or journal articles. I know tacos better than anyone. I eat them on the reg. A taco of any shape or size, hard or soft, would destroy a grilled cheese because a grilled cheese is child’s play. Plus tacos have way more versatility and combinations to throw out there, while a grilled cheese is limited to bread and cheese (and six tablespoons of butter when I make it).
My money’s on the taco.
Long time podcast listener currently living in Nashville.
A couple of years ago you were on the show and referenced an odd deleted tweet sent out by Tyler Ullis in the early morning hours. You guys got a chuckle out of it but never revealed the nature of the tweet. Has enough time passed that you call can elaborate??
Oh boy. This is a delicate subject. Matter of fact, I addressed it in a previous edition of the Ask Anything Mailbox. Here is how I explained it in Vol. 2: “Ah, I thought this one might come up. My memory is a little fuzzy as to exactly how it happened, but I vaguely remember him accidentally tweeting a screenshot of his phone’s photo gallery. How one would accidentally tweet that, I don’t know. But some of the photos were not meant for the public eye.”
Me and my family are going to be in Lexington for a boys basketball tournament this summer. Obviously we are going to KSBar. What do you recommend?
Wings. You have to get the wings. I eat them so often that my go-to style varies (and my shirts don’t fit anymore), but I think the traditional smoked wings with dry rub are the best option. I leave them dry but you can add sauce as you please. KSBar sauce is very popular. I’ve been going with the Tangy Carolina a lot lately. They’re all good honestly. The boneless wings are cut up, breaded by hand and cooked to order too. None of that frozen crap.
If you’re looking for a non-chicken wing recommendation, the cheese log appetizer is great. The club sandwich and the catfish are sneaky good too. Shrimp and grits. Hell I’m just rambling now. You’ll enjoy whatever you get because it’s all good.
Why are you a Game of Thrones hater?
I am not a Game of Thrones hater. I love Game of Thrones. I did not love the final season. Too many storylines were dropped, others were rushed and all I keep hearing is “they didn’t have enough time.” You’re Game of Thrones. Find time. You have an endless budget. There were almost two years between seasons. Why did you waste so much time with Arya and the Waif and Jaqen H’ghar in the sixth season then leave six episodes to wrap up the entire show? Do better. You want to be the best show ever? Don’t cram everything you’ve built up for seven seasons into six episodes. And don’t be lazy and leave coffee cups and water bottles laying around. The final season was an enormous letdown. The books and the rest of the show — great.
Your life and the life of your immediate family members depends on it… Over/under 7.5 wins for UK football next year. If you’re wrong, your dead.
This seems a little dark. Also, you’re*.
Given the gravity of the situation you painted, I will go under. I think seven is the most likely (I assume we’re not counting bowl games here) and I’m not willing to put my life on the line for eight. However, I can see Kentucky winning as many as nine again with the way the schedule lines up. The Georgia game is the only one I’ll write down as a loss right now, leaving seven that can go either way and the four cupcakes (thanks, Louisville!). Ugh, this is hard. Great line. I’m sticking with the under and predicting seven wins.
Drew… love you man but last year you had me convinced Sophmore Nick Richards would be a star and he was worthless. Now I cant trust your basketball takes ever again. Why did you think butterfingers would be good
First of all, Sophomore Nick Richards was not worthless. He fell short of my high expectations, yes, but he still made a jump from his freshman year. Richards’ biggest problem is he was stuck behind an All-American and a fifth-year grad transfer/two-time First Team All-Pac 12 player. Richards simply didn’t have the minutes and opportunities to play through his mistakes and gain some experience (don’t forget he never touched a basketball until 14). Same goes for EJ Montgomery. Their time was very limited throughout most of the season. So shut up. I think they both make a big jump next season when they can play with a little more freedom. Now put some respect on Nick Richards’ name.
Love you too.
Submit your question(s) for an upcoming edition of the “Ask Anything Mailbox”…
E-Mail: [email protected]
Until next time…
By Nick Roush on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
It’s the biggest weekend of the summer for the Kentucky football program.
Over the next week, prospects will converge at Kroger Field to participate in a variety of camps, starting with three days of evening showcases. For some, it will be the first time they’ve performed in front of SEC coaches. For others, it’s their chance to prove they’re worth a scholarship offer.
There will be a few that will not be doing much at all. Kentucky commits John Young and Andru Phillips already revealed they will be on campus (likely joined by Beau Allen). The commitments typically spend their time away from the drills, saving themselves to make pitches to uncommitted prospects, like a few of the official visitors who just arrived on campus.
Prior to today’s camp, a couple of talented junior college targets made it to campus. Outside linebacker Jesse Smith and wide receiver Dominick Watt tried on Kentucky blue for the first time yesterday. Watt brings plenty of star power from Garden City CC. A former four-star recruit and Nebraska signee, the South Florida native could be an immediate impact player in the SEC.
— Dominick Watt (@1Way_Dom) June 6, 2019
There are a few talented Kentucky kids trying to catch the eyes of coaches this weekend.
Ballard defensive back Josh Minkins asserted his skills at the Nashville Opening camp, earning MVP honors in his position group. Last week the Louisville legacy recruit picked up an offer from the Cards after his camp performance. From the south side of the city, Butler defensive end Hosea Knifely will try to earn an offer.
One player from Pikeville probably has the most potential for a big weekend. After clocking incredible 40-yard dash times (4.48) in previous camps, if wide receiver Jackson Hensley makes the most of this opportunity, he’ll leave with a scholarship offer.
Hensley will have competition at the wide receiver position. Fresh off a trip to Louisville’s camp, Alabama slot receiver Jayson Jones will be in Lexington. Jon Sumrall has made plenty of headway for the Rivals’ four-star prospect. He’ll be running alongside Karaun St. Louis, a three-star prospect from Ft. Lauderdale who also holds offers from Baylor and Syracuse.
Arguably the most talented player competing this weekend is Devon Betty. A four-star recruit and top 15 defensive end according to Rivals, Betty comes from Ft. Lauderdale perennial powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas. He holds offers from Miami, Florida State and Michigan, but most recruiting analysts believes the Cats are the prohibitive favorites.
While most of your attention is likely on the previous 2020 prospects, the underclassmen have the most to gain this weekend. After evaluating film, coaches will use their firsthand experience this weekend to determine if the prospect is good enough to play in the SEC.
A couple of rising sophomore quarterbacks will get to throw in front of Darin Hinshaw. Gunnar Smith is a pocket-passer from Orlando and Te’Sean Smoot is a dual-threat quarterback from Springfield, Ohio. One of Smoot’s best targets at Fairfield high School, JuTahn McClain, is officially visiting this weekend.
West Orange High School gave Kentucky Juice Johnson. Last year it provided the Cats a place to practice before winning the Citrus Bowl. This weekend one of the school’s star running backs, Shakhi Carson, will be on UK’s campus.
One of the biggest prospects at camp is just getting his football career started. After playing one season of football, defensive tackle Jaydon Wannstedt has made significant early impressions on the recruiting front. Hailing from the St. Louis suburb of St. Peters, if he shows enough explosiveness, I expect UK will be his first scholarship offer.
The previous prospects are only a small sample size of what’s to come this weekend. Jack Pilgrim and I will be on the ground to let you know who stands out and how the events unfold.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 2:30pm
Bruce Pearl just snagged the No. 1 player in the state of Kentucky.
Justin Powell, a four-star shooting guard out of North Oldham HS, has committed to the Auburn Tigers.
He made the announcement on his Twitter page this afternoon:
— Justin Powell (@jtpowell241) June 7, 2019
Powell visited Kentucky unofficially back in February when the Wildcats hosted Tennessee, and the UK coaching staff has been in loose contact with the 6-6-foot-5 shooting guard since. Kentucky never offered Powell a scholarship.
The Louisville native chose Auburn over offers from Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Georgia, and Vanderbilt, among others.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 2:10pm
Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards, and EJ Montgomery are about to meet with the media to discuss their decisions to return to Kentucky, the satellite camps across the state, and what they think of the newcomers so far. Watch live below via Facebook Live:
2019-20 Kentucky returning players speak to the media
Posted by Kentucky Sports Radio on Friday, June 7, 2019
By Jack Pilgrim on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 1:30pm
We finally have our answer regarding former McDonald’s All-American and Nevada transfer Jordan Brown.
Today, the 6-foot-11 forward announced on Twitter that he would be transferring to Arizona
— Jordan Brown (@JIBrown21) June 7, 2019
In an interview with Evan Daniels of 247 Sports, Brown said that his recent visit to Arizona put the Wildcats over the top.
“Some of the things I really liked about my time up there, was building a relationship with coach [Sean] Miller and the rest of the staff,” Brown said. “The weather out there was nice. I like the way he plays, and the freedom that he gives his bigs in the post and away from the post.”
He also added that he liked how close Arizona was to his hometown of Napa, CA and that his friends and family could now come visit and watch his games for the rest of his college career.
“It’s not too far from home, and is a good distance if my family and friends want to come up and make it to some games,” he added. “One thing I really noticed is Sean Miller’s passion for the game and just the drive that he has. I feel like it matches mine.”
Kentucky was involved early in the recruiting process and sources told KSR that Brown had significant interest in the program, but things went fairly quiet for several weeks. Brown made visits to Saint Mary’s and Arizona State, and there were also rumors that UK could also soon get a visit, but the former five-star prospect opted for Sean Miller and the Arizona Wildcats instead.
Due to NCAA transfer rules, Brown will have to sit out a year before having three more years of eligibility.
By Nick Roush on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 12:30pm
There’s some good news and bad news on the Kerry Blackshear Jr. recruiting front.
The Good News: the highly sought after grad transfer completed an official visit to Florida without committing. The Bad News: his next official visit is to an SEC school not named Kentucky.
Evan Daniels reports Kerry Blackshear Jr. will officially visit Arkansas today. The surprising news comes just a day after we first learned of Blackshear’s interest in Eric Musselman’s program.
Following the trip to Fayetteville, the 2019 All-ACC forward can visit three more schools on their dime. Kentucky is expected to be one of those destinations, although that has not been confirmed. Tennessee, Texas A&M and Gonzaga are also reportedly in the mix.
By Nick Roush on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 11:30am
Isaac Humphries is bringing his beautiful pipes back to Lexington.
The former Wildcat center and sensational singer will headline a performance at the Lexington Opera House. All proceeds from “Isaac Humphries: Songs of My Life” will benefit the Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass. Tickets for the June 23 concert are on sale now at Ticketmaster.
“I’m so excited to share this experience with my Kentucky family,” Humphries said. “While I was a player at UK, Coach (John) Calipari always stressed servant leadership and impacting the lives of others. It’s no secret that I have a love for music and I have spent years developing this very idea. I have always wanted to share this side of myself with this particular community and help this specific organization that I respect so much.
“The Ronald McDonald House is a prevalent presence on Kentucky’s campus and I have always admired what the House does for families. It was important to me to return to a community that I consider my second home and impact this organization and city that I love so much.”
Humphries was named NBL Rookie of the Year in 2018 before accepting a spot with the Atlanta Hawks G-League team. After averaging 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in 46 G-League games, Humphries earned a roster spot with the Hawks for the final month of the 2019 season.
This summer Humphries will try to secure another NBA contract on the L.A. Clippers’ summer league team, which begins just a little more than a week after his Lexington performance. He once thought music had to be sidelined to make way for basketball, but he’s learned that it’s in his best interest to do both.
“I love basketball, and it’s my career, but I also love music,” he told The Athletic’s Kyle Tucker. “For so long, I’ve tried not to let it get in the way of basketball, tried not to let it distract me, but there comes a point where I can’t fight that anymore and I need to do both. And that’s completely fine. I’ve learned that it’s completely fine to balance the two, and I’m doing that right now. I fought to make an NBA roster, now I’m headlining my own show and then I’ll go fight for another NBA roster. It’s just my absolute perfect dream life.”
As you’ve seen before, Humphries has always been talented. He told Tucker now he’s working with a coach from The Voice to improve his pipes. You can learn more about his journey by reading the article in The Athletic or by purchasing tickets to his June 23rd show.
— Tod Lanter (@tod_lanterIII) August 4, 2018
By Nick Roush on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 11:00am
The college basketball prognosticators are prepared for the 2019-20 basketball season.
Aside from a few late movers, like Kerry Blackshear Jr., college basketball rosters are set across the country following last week’s NBA Draft withdrawal deadline. With the return of Nick Richards and E.J. Montgomery, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello moved the Cats up one spot to No. 2, behind only Michigan State.
Kentucky is bidding farewell to four starters, with PJ Washington, Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro all leaving early for the NBA and Reid Travis graduating — but the Wildcats received huge news near the NBA draft deadline, when EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards decided to return to Lexington. With those two providing depth up front, John Calipari has plenty of depth and options throughout his roster. Ashton Hagans is an elite defensive guard; five-stars Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney will push for starting jobs; and Bucknell graduate transfer Nate Sestina and late signee Johnny Juzang bring shooting.
Following UK on the list you will find Kansas, Duke, Louisville, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Villanova, Maryland and Texas Tech.
ESPN was one of the last to update their preseason Top 25, but it falls right in line with where the rest of the country believes Kentucky belongs entering the 2019-20 season.
- Sports Illustrated: No. 2
- CBS Sports: No. 3
- Stadium: No. 5
- Athlon Sports: No. 1
- NBC Sports: No. 1
- Aaron Torres: No. 2
By Chad Lashbrook on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 10:30am
Since the 3yo American classics became generally accepted as the Triple Crown around 1930, 11 horses have failed to win the Kentucky Derby prior to emerging victorious in both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. War of Will will try to become the newest member of that exclusive club on Saturday, but that’s far from the only story over the 3 days of racing that NYRA has dubbed the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. Aside from the Belmont itself, there are 7 other grade 1 races on the Saturday card and 18 stakes races total spread amongst the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday cards. In this age of blockbuster racing days with stakes loaded cards, Belmont day has arguably become the second best racing day of the year behind only Breeders’ Cup Saturday. Here is a sample of the scintillating stakes action that lies ahead:
Race 4, the Grade 1 JUST A GAME
Rushing Fall is just a neck shy of perfection in 8 lifetime starts. She broke her maiden at first asking going a mile over the Belmont lawn and is 3 for 3 overall at the distance. The daughter of More Than Ready holds a decided pace advantage in this spot as well, making her one of the heavier favorites on the day. Brad Cox has done a tremendous training job getting Beau Recall into top form since she transferred into his barn late last year. Her victory in the Distaff Turf Mile on Derby day was eye catching as she came from dead last to pass the entire field in the last half mile. The question for the Irish-bred filly is will anyone push Rushing Fall hard enough on the front end to leave her vulnerable late?
Race 5, the Grade 1 OGDEN PHIPPS
A short field of older fillies and mares going 8 1/2 furlongs will see two contenders take all the money. Midnight Bisou spent a good chunk of last year chasing 3yo filly champion Monomoy Girl and has gone unbeaten this term with that foe confined mostly to the farm thus far this year. The Steve Asmussen trainee will look to pair up back-to-back grade 1 wins following her narrow victory over Escape Clause in the Apple Blossom. Second choice on the morning line, Come Dancing rates as the top selection. With bullets littered across her workout line, she should be able to dictate a comfortable pace from the rail draw and hold enough in reserve to withstand the late charging Escape Clause and Midnight Bisou.
Race 6, the Grade 1 JAIPUR
The aptly named World of Trouble will be exactly that for his rivals in this 3/4 mile turf dash. The owner of six straight triple digit Beyer speed figures and graded stakes victories on both grass and the main track, the son of Kantharos appears to hold a distinct pace advantage once again in this spot. Peter Miller saddles two for this affair, and if he decides to send either Belvoir Bay or Om on a suicide mission against World of Trouble, it could set things up for their stablemate as well as late runners Disco Partner and Undrafted. It’s also likely that the Jason Servis charge is simply too good regardless of what gets thrown at him early.
Race 7, the Grade 1 ACORN
Serengeti Empress rebounded from a bleeding episode in New Orleans to run away with the Kentucky Oaks when every one of the other speed horses allowed her to get away cleanly and unchallenged. That scenario seems incredibly unlikely to reproduce itself in this forum. The presence of Cookie Dough, Fancy Dress Party, Guarana, and Ce Ce seems to guarantee some company for the Oaks winner on the front end and leads to the expectation of a tepid pace. Figuring out who might emerge from the melee up front, or who can effectively rate from off the pace to pick up the pieces is the difficult part of this puzzle. Bell’s the One and Queen of Beas both exit the Eight Belles, where Break Even just ran away with the show. Both fillies are proven at the mile distance and prefer closing or stalking type trips, which they should absolutely fall into in this field. Either could upset at long odds.
Race 8, the Grade 1 WOODY STEPHENS
Favoritism will likely land with Mind Control in this top level extended sprint for sophomores. He is already a grade 1 winner at the distance, having taken the Hopeful at Saratoga last summer. Coupling that performance with his Bay Shore victory in April gives him easily the strongest hand in the field at the 7 furlong distance. Bob Baffert sends out Much Better to challenge once again. He set the pace in the Bay Shore prior to succumbing late and then flopped in the slop in the Gold Fever. The Pioneerof the Nile colt has posted strong works at Churchill in the interim, and Baffert cranks out winners at a 39% rate when removing the shades. Chad Brown holds a strong hand with the duo of Complexity and Honest Mischief. Complexity is the second grade 1 winner in the field, having taken the Champagne over this surface last fall over Code of Honor. While that effort places him squarely in the mix, his fitness will certainly be challenged in his first race back since a relative non-effort in the Breeders’ Cup. The regally bred Honest Mischief caught the eye with a devastating eight length maiden victory on opening weekend at Keeneland. While the rail draw does him no favors here, he is certainly eligible to make another big leap forward in just his third start.
Race 9, the Grade 1 METROPOLITAN HANDICAP
An accomplished field of 9 older horses will take to the post at 4:45 on Saturday in the 126th running of the Met Mile. If you only watch one race at Belmont this weekend, make sure this is this one. The field includes 5 grade 1 winners and the earners of more than $25 million in purse money. The one-turn mile is often the great equalizer pitting route horses cutting back in distance against sprinters challenging the limits of their stamina. This rendition is no exception with the likes of back-to-back Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow and McKinzie, also a multiple grade 1 winner around two turns, squaring off against grade 1 winning sprinters Mitole and Promises Fulfilled along with proven milers Coal Front, Firenze Fire, and Prince Lucky. McKinzie and Mitole will likely vie for favoritism and that makes perfect sense, but this field is just too good to accept a short price on anyone. At 12/1 on the morning line, Prince Lucky may offer the greatest wagering value. Draw a line through his no-show in the sloppy Westchester, and his two open length one-turn mile victories at Gulfstream fit right in with most of this field. Prior to those conquests, he just got up in the Easy Goer on last year’s Belmont Stakes undercard. Johnny V. returns to the saddle, having piloted the gelding to his 3 best performances.
Race 10, the Grade 1 MANHATTAN
Raging Bull, Robert Bruce, Qurbaan, Olympico, and Channel Maker can all win this race as they have traded punches in a dreadful male turf division the last two years, but after a year on the sidelines Bricks and Mortar has emerged as the unquestioned leader of this division in 2019. Until another horse turns that rising tide, the son of Giant’s Causeway is the horse to beat any time he faces the starter.
Race 11, the Grade 1 BELMONT STAKES
If a horse not named War of Will or Tacitus wins this race, I cannot possibly predict who it might be. Truth be told, this is a very mediocre field for the third leg of the Triple Crown. The two favorites stand head and shoulders above the rest in terms of accomplishments. They have 5 graded stakes victories between the two of them. The other 8 horses in the field have 1. There does not appear to be much pace in the race, and War of Will figures to get first run on Tacitus – giving him a tactical advantage. Tacitus may hold the edge when it comes to pedigree. His sire Tapit has produced 3 Belmont winners since 2014. Pace versus pedigree should make for an interesting match race in the 151st running of the Belmont Stakes.
By Bryan the Intern on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 10:00am
Posted in Main
Every Friday from now until the beginning of football season, I open the Friday Rants and Ramblings post up to the reader. Part of what makes this fanbase great is the memories and stories that people cherish so much. So I am asking you to send me your favorite UK story. Whether it be a joyful moment or one that brings tears to your eyes because of the heartbreak, something that sticks with you as a fan of UK. You can send these stories to [email protected]. You can even send me a picture if you want. Either way, I like hearing from you. Today, one fan gives a recap of the long road to integration of the UK basketball program:
Kentucky had dominated college basketball throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s. UK ranked #1 in W-L percentage during those two decades and won 4 NCAA titles and an NIT title in that era. UK was undefeated and probably the best team in the country in 1954 but declined to play in the NCAA tournament that year because its 3 senior stars were ruled ineligible to play in the NCAA. But the integration of college basketball changed things for the Wildcats. Beginning in 1960, every NCAA champion has been an integrated team. And the best HS players in Kentucky during the 1960’s included many black players. Names like Michael Redd and Clem Haskins in 1963, Westley Unseld in 1964, and Alfred (Butch) Beard in 1965 are
legendary in Kentucky high school basketball history.
The year 1967 topped them all. Black stars Jim McDaniels, Jim Rose, Clarence Glover, and Jerome Perry led the Kentucky All-Stars to a sweep of Indiana and enrolled as a group at Western Kentucky. And 1969 would produce black stars like Tom Payne and Ron King. UK basketball started to recruit black players actively in the mid 1960’s. UK signed black track star Jim Green of Eminence KY and football stars Nat Northington and the late Greg Page to athletic scholarships. But basketball was another story. UK didn’t really try very hard to sign Clem Haskins so he went to Western Kentucky where he led the Hilltoppers into the NCAA tournament and earned All-American honors.
The year 1965 brought changes to the UK coaching staff. Longtime assistant Neil Reed moved on and was replaced by Joe Hall, who played for Rupp at UK in the late 1940’s. Hall quickly implemented changes to a UK recruiting system that had been floundering for a few years. Joe Hall worked his recruiting magic that spring by signing 12 players to UK scholarships. (Yes, 12 – there were no limits back then) None of the 12 was black. UK tried to sign Parade A-A forward Perry Wallace of Nashville in 1966 but he opted to attend hometown Vanderbilt instead. Wallace was the first black (varsity) basketball player in the SEC in the 1967-68 season.
Hall continued to recruit black players as part of his UK recruiting efforts. One of his top targets in 1968 was 6-8 big man Joby Wright of Savannah GA. Wright was yet another Parade 1st team HS All-American and visited the UK campus that spring. But Wright wound up at Indiana where he ultimately played for legendary IU coach Bobby Knight. Finally 1969 rolled around. Black players continued to dominate the landscape in Kentucky HS basketball. Once again two KY players were chosen Parade HS All-Americans that spring. They were 7 footer Tom Payne of Louisville Shawnee and “shooting star” Ron King of Louisville Central (1969 Kentucky HS champions). Both players visited the UK campus later that spring.
King opted for Florida State following in the footsteps of Kentuckian Dave Cowens to play for Hugh Durham. Payne was highly recruited by major schools across the country and narrowed his choices to UK and UCLA. He also played in the Dapper Dan Classic and waited until June before finally making his college choice. And it was Kentucky!!!
Finally the Wildcat basketball program would be integrated. But Payne would prove to be ineligible to play as a freshman at UK or even earn a scholarship due to some academic shortcomings. His parents paid his way to attend UK as a freshman and he played on an AAU team in Lexington that year. Payne got his grades in order and became a star on the UK varsity in the 1971 season. He earned All-SEC honors and wound up declaring himself eligible for the NBA Hardship Draft of underclassman in 1971. He was picked second by the Atlanta Hawks behind Nate Williams of Utah State, who was chosen by the Cincinnati Royals. Payne was the second “One and Done” player ever at UK after LeRoy Edwards, who left UK in 1935
to play pro basketball after his sophomore season. But history will forever record Tom Payne as the man who integrated the UK basketball program in the 1971 season. Payne had enormous talent and basketball skills that were never fully realized.
Adolph Rupp retired in 1972 and Joe Hall was named UK head coach. Hall would proceed to sign many black basketball stars with Kentucky roots. Reggie Warford was an All-State guard at Drakesboro in 1972. Larry Johnson of Union County and Merion Haskins (Clem’s younger brother) of
Taylor County were signed in 1973. Lexington stars Jack Givens (Parade HS AllAmerican) and James Lee chose UK in 1974. Those 5 were the first black players to make a Final Four appearance for UK in 1975. Joe Hall probably deserves a lot of the credit for successfully integrating the UK basketball program beginning in 1969 and throughout the 1970’s. But it was the unlikely duo of Tom Payne and Adolph Rupp who are recorded by historians as integrating the Kentucky basketball program.
FortyYearCatFan (Since Rupps Runts In 1966)
By Drew Franklin on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 9:55am
Sam Panayotovich came highly recommended out of Chicago so Matt Jones is giving him a shot in the big chair on KSR. Sam is so excited, he drove all the way to Lexington to be in studio with Ryan and me. We’ll be there to chime in when needed, but the show is in the hands of Sam with the long last name.
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 Jack Pilgrim on ©June 07th, 2019 @ 9:00am
Good morning and happy Friday, BBN!
We’ve got a busy weekend ahead of us in Lexington in terms of Kentucky football recruiting, and if we’re lucky, we might just get a Yahtzee or two out of it.
Let’s dive right in.
Kentucky football camps
High school football camp season is officially upon us in Lexington, as Kentucky will be hosting its annual Friday Night Lights Camp starting this evening.
And as expected, there will be countless big-name, upper-tier prospects there to put on a show in front of the Wildcat coaching staff.
KSR’s Nick Roush will be back in a bit to talk about some of the elite talent expected to be in attendance and who to watch out for, and then he’ll be there tonight to take it all in live.
Starting tomorrow evening will be the Saturday Night Primetime Camp and the O-Line/D-Line Skills Camp, followed by the Wildcat Kicking Camp and Sunday Showcase Camp to close out the weekend. I will be there to cover those events and bring you all the coverage you need, as well.
Be sure to follow along right here at Kentucky Sports Radio (dot) com.
Current football Wildcats get rewarded for good grades
While potential Kentucky football recruits are flocking to Lexington this weekend for camp, the current Wildcats are getting the job done in the classroom.
Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said on Twitter that 55 players finished with a GPA of 3.0 or higher this past spring, and as a result, they were rewarded with some new gear.
So proud of our guys!!! Never been happier to buy 55 pair!!! Looking forward to buying even more in the future ?? https://t.co/g7zpeiufBI
— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) June 7, 2019
Kentucky finished with two Academic All-Americans, 23 Academic All-SEC members, 55 players with a 3.0 or higher, 21 with a 3.5 or higher, and six with a 4.0 this past semester. Overall, the team finished with 20 graduates in 2018-19, with three of them still playing for the team this fall.
Nicely done, Wildcats.
Brad Calipari will officially visit Hartford
Last week, Kentucky walk-on guard Brad Calipari turned the college basketball world on its head by putting his name in the transfer portal.
And then on Thursday evening, Evan Daniels of 247 Sports reported that the 6-foot-0 guard will be taking an official visit to Hartford starting next week.
Potential Kentucky transfer Brad Calipari will take an official visit to Hartford on June 10th, he tells @247Sports.
— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) June 7, 2019
Coached by John Gallagher, the Hartford Hawks play in the America East Conference at the Division I school level. In the 2018-19 season, Hartford finished with a final record of 18-15, including 10-6 in conference play.
Other schools are interested in Kerry Blackshear Jr.
Before, it seemed like it would just be a four-team race for Virginia Tech graduate transfer Kerry Blackshear. Now, a few more teams might be in the running.
According to college basketball insider Jeff Goodman, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Gonzaga may now in the mix for the 6-foot-11 forward, joining Florida, Kentucky, and Texas A&M, along with a potential return to Virginia Tech also on the table.
Another school involved in the Kerry Blackshear recruitment is Arkansas, sources told @Stadium. Blackshear visited Florida today, Texas A&M and Kentucky in the mix. Gonzaga and Tennessee also trying, per sources.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) June 6, 2019
Blackshear Jr. visited Florida yesterday, and though we haven’t heard an update on his status since, no news is good news in terms of a commitment. If he leaves Gainesville without making an announcement, it is widely expected that Kentucky also receives a visit, which would be huge for John Calipari’s chances to land the highly-coveted transfer.
Last season at Virginia Tech, Blackshear averaged 14.9 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 29.9 minutes per game.
What is Isaac Humphries up to?
Over the last several days, former Kentucky big man Isaac Humphries has been teasing a major announcement on his Twitter page.
And then yesterday evening, the 7-foot-0 center with an angelic singing voice said that we should be paying attention around noon for the news, posting a short boomerang video of him flipping through some sheet music.
— Isaac Humphries (@IsaacHumphries7) June 7, 2019
Just a few days ago, former Kentucky forward Derek Willis’ wife, Keely, said on Twitter that “something exciting” was set to happen in Lexington for another former Wildcat, and that they needed help looking for “space for an event.”
Lexington friends, we need your help! Something exciting is going to be happening with one of your former UK favorites here soon… and we are looking for a space for an event! Please reach out to me if you or anyone you know can help! Details coming soon ?
— k e e l y (@keelyrwillis) June 4, 2019
Hmm… Is it possible that Humphries is bringing a concert to Lexington sometime soon?
We’ll find out at noon.
Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport has its new logo
To match its new name, the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport unveiled its official new logo yesterday evening in front of various media members, along with friends and family members of “The Greatest.”
Among other signage that will be displayed throughout the airport, the main logo featuring a silhouette of former heavyweight champion of the world Muhammad Ali raising his fists in front of his signature butterfly was debuted.
Take a look:
What do you guys think of the new logo?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 06th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Since John Calipari took over at Kentucky ten years ago, “experience” has become a tricky term. With freshmen flocking to the league after only one season, sophomores become veterans, juniors become restless, and seniors become practically unheard of. We’ve seen teams with little to no experience and teams with the perfect blend of experience and talent, a recipe that’s almost impossible to replicate.
With four players returning from last year’s Elite Eight squad, how does this Kentucky team compare to the rest? I combed through the archives and crunched the numbers to measure each Calipari team’s “experience” in terms of returning minutes and production. Not surprisingly, Cal’s best teams are towards the top.
|Team||Returning Minutes||Returning Scoring|
The 2011-12 national championship team, which paired elite freshmen with core veterans, rounds out the top three. Behind that is a cluster of teams in the 30s, including last year’s Elite Eight team, the 2013-14 national runners up, the 2016-17 Elite Eight team, and, interestingly, this year’s team; in fact, if you rank the seasons by returning minutes, this year’s team ranks fourth behind the 2011-12 squad. As John Calipari told the media earlier this week, having guys come back — especially your starting point guard — is a luxury these days.As you can see, the 2014-15 team whips all others, returning 12 players from the 2013-14 squad that went to the national championship game and 59% of its scoring. No wonder they almost went 40-0. The 2009-10 team is a bit of an anomaly because it was Calipari’s first season, but the numbers show how valuable Patrick Patterson was and make you dream (for probably the millionth time) of what could have been had Jodie Meeks stayed for another season.
“It’s nice to have players back. We have four really quality players back. The last time we had four players back who were quality players like that was 2014-15.”
He’s right. For the first time since 2014-15, Kentucky will return four players who averaged double digits in minutes and 3.8 points or more per game. And that’s not counting grad transfer Nate Sestina and Kerry Blackshear, should he join the fold.
On the flip side, it’s also not surprising that Cal’s least experienced teams have been the least successful. We all know what happened with the 2012-13 team, which ranks last. The leading returning scorer on the 2017-18 team was Wenyen Gabriel, who averaged only 4.6 points per game the season prior. It’s odd to see the 2010-11 team so low on this list, but the fact that they made it to the Final Four shows you just how talented Brandon Knight was and what a jump Josh Harrellson, DeAndre Liggins, and Darius Miller made with another season under Calipari.
Here’s the team-by-team breakdown:
Calipari Era Teams Ranked By Experience (Returning Scoring)
1. 2014-15 – Final Four
Returning players: 12 – Tod Lanter, Brian Long, Sam Malone, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, EJ Floreal, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Dominique Hawkins, Marcus Lee, Derek Willis
- Aaron Harrison, Sophomore – 13.7 ppg, 32.6 mpg (3rd leading scorer in 2013-14)
- Andrew Harrison, Sophomore – 10.9 ppg, 31.7 mpg (4th leading scorer in 2013-14)
- Willie Cauley-Stein, Junior – 6.8 ppg, 23.8 mpg (5th leading scorer in 2013-14)
Returning minutes: 5,218/8,075 minutes (65%)
Returning scoring: 1,773/2,992 points (59%)
2. 2009-10 – Elite Eight
Returning players (in order of class): 7 – Perry Stevenson, Mark Krebs, Ramon Harris, Josh Harrellson, Patrick Patterson, DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller
- Patrick Patterson, Junior – 17.9 ppg, 33.7 mpg (2nd leading scorer in 2008-09)
- Perry Stevenson, Senior – 7.8 ppg, 28.1 mpg (3rd leading scorer in 2008-09)
Returning minutes: 4,491/7,200 minutes (62%)
Returning scoring: 1,513/2,669 points (57%)
3. 2011-12 – National Championship
Returning players: 7 – Darius Miller, Eloy Vargas, Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb, Jarrod Polson, Stacey Poole, Jon Hood (redshirted 2011-12 season)
- Terrence Jones, Sophomore – 15.7 ppg, 31.5 mpg (2nd leading scorer in 2010-11)
- Doron Lamb, Sophomore – 12.3 ppg, 28.4 mpg (3rd leading scorer in 2010-11)
- Darius Miller, Senior – 10.9 ppg, 31.0 mpg (4th leading scorer in 2010-11)
Returning minutes: 3,820/7,625 minutes (50%)
Returning scoring: 1,545/2,845 points (54%)
4. 2018-19 – Elite Eight
Returning players: 6 – Jonny David, Brad Calipari (redshirted 2018-19 season), Jemarl Baker (redshirted 2017-18 season), Quade Green, Nick Richards, PJ Washington
- PJ Washington, Sophomore – 10.8 ppg, 27.4 mpg (3rd leading scorer in 2017-18)
- Quade Green, Sophomore – 9.3 ppg, 25.6 mpg (5th leading scorer in 2017-18)
Returning minutes: 2,456/7,425 minutes (33%)
Returning scoring: 908/2,840 points (32%)
5. 2013-14 – National Runner-Up
Returning players: 7 – Jon Hood, Jarrod Polson, Tod Lanter, Brian Long, Sam Malone, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress
- Alex Poythress, Sophomore – 11.2 ppg, 25.8 mpg (2nd leading scorer in 2012-13)
- Willie Cauley-Stein, Sophomore – 8.3 ppg, 23.6 mpg (7th leading scorer in 2012-13)
Returning minutes: 2,159/6,650 minutes (32%)
Returning scoring: 748/2,396 points (31%)
6. 2019-20 – ?
Returning players: 5 – Ashton Hagans, EJ Montgomery, Zan Payne (redshirted 2018-19), Immanuel Quickley, Nick Richards
- Ashton Hagans, Sophomore – 7.7 ppg, 28.5 mpg (6th leading scorer in 2018-19)
- Immanuel Quickley, Sophomore – 5.2 ppg, 18.5 mpg (7th leading scorer in 2018-19)
Returning minutes: 2,742/7,450 minutes (37%)
Returning scoring: 763/2,806 points (27%)
7. 2016-17 – Elite Eight
Returning players: 7 – Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Mychal Mulder, Isaiah Briscoe, Jonny David, Isaac Humphries, Dillon Pulliam (redshirted 2015-16 season)
- Isaiah Briscoe, Sophomore – 9.6 ppg, 32.2 mpg (4th leading scorer in 2015-16)
- Derek Willis, Senior – 7.7 ppg, 18.6 mpg (5th leading scorer in 2015-16)
Returning minutes: 2,250/7,275 minutes (31%)
Returning scoring: 691/2,861 points (24%)
8. 2015-16 – Second Round
Returning players: 6 – Alex Poythress, EJ Floreal, Dominique Hawkins, Marcus Lee, Derek Willis, Tyler Ulis
- Tyler Ulis, Sophomore – 5.6 ppg, 23.8 mpg (8th leading scorer in 2014-15)
- Alex Poythress, Senior – 5.5 ppg, 20.3 mpg (9th leading scorer in 2014-15, but only played 8 games due to injury)
Returning minutes: 1,727/7,785 minutes (22%)
Returning scoring: 410/2,900 points (14%)
9. 2010-11 – Final Four
Returning players: 4 – Josh Harrellson, DeAndre Liggins, Darius Miller, Jon Hood
- Darius Miller, Junior – 6.5 ppg, 21.2 mpg (5th leading scorer in 2009-10)
- DeAndre Liggins, Junior – 3.8 ppg, 15.2 mpg (7th leading scorer in 2009-10)
Returning minutes: 1,411/7,675 minutes (18%)
Returning scoring: 403/3,012 points (13%)
10. 2017-18 – Sweet 16
Returning players: 7 – Jonny David, Dillon Pulliam, Brad Calipari, Wenyen Gabriel, Sacha Killeya-Jones, Tai Wynyard, Hamidou Diallo (redshirted 2016-17 season)
Top returner: Wenyen Gabriel, Sophomore – 4.6 ppg, 17.8 mpg (8th leading scorer in 2016-17)
Returning minutes: 890/7,625 minutes (12%)
Returning scoring: 238/3,225 points (7%)
11. 2012-13 – NIT
Returning players: 5 – Twany Beckham, Jarrod Polson, Jon Hood, Kyle Wiltjer, Sam Malone, Brian Long
Top returner: Kyle Wiltjer, Sophomore – 5.0 ppg, 11.6 mpg (7th leading scorer in 2011-12)
Returning minutes: 567/8,000 minutes (7%)
Returning Scoring: 208/3,095 points (7%)
Moral of the story? We like to measure Calipari’s teams by the talent level of the freshmen, but these numbers show the veterans are equally important.