Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
January 11th, 2018

It’s ASK ANYTHING Thursday! (Thursday Show Thread)

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Thursday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today is ASK ANYTHING Thursday, so call in and ask the gang whatever you’d like.

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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Today on KSR: Same Face, New Place

@GamecockMBB

Let that image marinate for a moment…

…Still weird.

Instead of trying his hand at the NBA, Player-10 will try to become eligible to play for Frank Martin at South Carolina.  If Brian Bowen is actually able to play college basketball, he will not be a Kentucky Wildcat opponent until the spring of 2019.

All-Star Voting SZN

You only have four more days to help your favorite Kentucky Wildcats get to the NBA All-Star Game in L.A.  Just Tweet your favorite player’s name with the hashtag #NBAVote.  If you need help remembering all 30 names, UK Athletics has a friendly graphic to help.

UK Opponents were Impressive

That win in Baton Rouge keeps looking better and better.  LSU followed their buzzer-beating win at Texas A&M with a dominating 75-54 win over Arkansas at Bud Walton Arena.  Louisville also looked good in what is their best win to date; a 17-point comeback win on the road to snap Florida State’s 28-game home winning streak.

Allen, Edwards will Speak with the Media

Kentucky’s two defensive stand-outs will publicly talk about their decision to turn down the NFL Draft for the first time.  They’ll take the podium and share why they believed it was best to return for one more year at UK around 11:30 this morning.

UCF wants Bama

This billboard now resides in Tuscaloosa.

@TravisReier

Be careful what you wish for.

Kentucky Women Return to Action

Whoever wins tonight’s match-up between the Cats and the Gators in Gainesville will earn their first SEC win of the season.  If Matthew Mitchell’s team can get a road victory, it will also snap an 8-game losing streak.  You can see all the action on Watch ESPN at 7:00 p.m.

College Basketball on TV

Time Game Network
7:00 Maryland at Ohio State ESPN2
7:00 Tulsa at Houston ESPNU
8:00 Iowa at Illinois FS1
9:00 No. 5 Wichita State at East Carolina ESPN2
9:00 No. 19 Clemson at N.C. State ESPN
10:00 Oregon at No. 11 Arizona State FS1

Huh?

The following Tweets from Matt Smethurst should get your brain moving fast this morning with a remarkable tale.

John Tyler, America’s tenth president, was born in 1790. He has two living grandchildren. Yes, grandchildren.

1. John Tyler was 63 when his son Lyon was born (1853).

2. Lyon was 71 when Lyon Jr. was born (1924), and 75 when Harrison was born (1928).

3. Both sons are still alive.

Another way to think about this: There are people who could look at you today, in 2018, and say: “Yeah, my dad was 8 years old when the war started.” “World War 2?” “Ha, nope.” “Oh wow, World War 1?” “The Civil War.”


January 10th, 2018

How I learned to stop worrying and love this team

The most common complaint I’ve heard from Kentucky fans this season is, “I just can’t get into this team.” The other is, “They just don’t have it.” Frankly, after last night’s win over Texas A&M, I’ve had it with both arguments.

Kentucky should not have won last night. Not only did Wenyen Gabriel foul Tyler Davis in the final two seconds (thanks for not noticing, refs!), the Cats were without their starting point guard and a backup center facing a veteran team with whom they matched up terribly that desperately needed a win. Yet, somehow, Kentucky won, despite Kevin Knox still not playing to his potential and zero interior defense. Regardless, some fans still grumble, lamenting all of the Kentucky’s growing pains and pining for the days when the Cats would steamroll opponents.

It’s time for a reality check. Not to be a Caliparrot, but this is the youngest team in college basketball; not just “our best players are freshmen” young, but “our top six scorers are freshmen” young. This year’s freshman class is producing more than any other of the John Calipari Era — 79.2% of the minutes, 86.1% of the scoring and 69.6% of the rebounding — because they have to. Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones have been great (more on them in a minute), but the core of this team is babies. If you came into this season expecting Kentucky to steamroll opponents, you set yourself up for disappointment. Don’t blame the “KSR hype machine” either; all along, we’ve warned you guys this was going to be a process. More than ever, Calipari tried to brace fans for what is coming.

That’s why I don’t understand the vitriol. Sure, the Cats look like absolute crap on defense more often than not and, inevitably, someone is going to disappear for one (or two or three) game. But, judging by the backlash of criticism, you would think all of that was coming from a junior and senior-laden squad instead of a bunch of kids trying to break bad habits. Learning is not easy, especially when you’re doing it with no crash cushion in front of a fanbase that expects nothing but the best.

So, why are we so hard on them? The easy answer is, we’ve been spoiled by success. Calipari’s best teams have blended superstar freshmen talent with veteran experience, and even the ones that were short on the latter had at least a sophomore guard and a few other sophomores or juniors to ease the transition. Patrick Patterson, Darius Miller, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress, Dominique Hawkins, and Derek Willis will never get enough credit because, for the most part, their biggest contributions came behind the scenes. Wenyen and Sacha are carving their roles as contributors, but as Calipari said earlier this week, as sophomores, they’re still going through the process too.

Another way this season is different than others: the SEC has never been so unforgiving. In past years, you could count on easy home wins and at least two or three easy road wins. Not this year. The influx of talent — both players and coaches — in the league a few years ago is finally paying off, which is great for Kentucky’s resume but leaves little margin for error. Loafing through a routine home game vs. a lower level SEC team is a luxury this young team just doesn’t have. Stumbles have and will continue to happen; instead of being infuriated by the bad, we should all try being encouraged by the good, because there is a lot of good.

A few ugly stretches aside, one thing you can’t fault this team for is effort; it may not always come in the form you’d like, but there’s no denying that this team is trying. Like I wrote last night, I’ve never seen a team try so hard to both win and lose a game like Kentucky did vs. A&M. The fight was clearly there; unfortunately, the errors were too. With two months of SEC play ahead of them, there are plenty of opportunities to learn.

There are also plenty of players to love. For those of you complaining that you just can’t get into this team, how can you not love PJ Washington and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander? Both freshman have exhibited unbelievable toughness over the past month to the point that Kentucky can’t afford to not have them on the court. PJ was born in Louisville and grew up a Kentucky fan for goodness’ sake.

Or what about Wenyen Gabriel and Sacha Killeya-Jones? After somewhat disappointing freshman years, they’ve found their roles and positively influence the team when in. Quade Green may not be Tyler Ulis 2.0 as some had hoped, but he’s arguably Kentucky’s best shooter and will be the stable hand we need for years to come. Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox have struggled, but if the Cats are coping this well without them, imagine what they’ll be like once they pull it together. And then there’s Jarred Vanderbilt, the mystery piece just dripping with intrigue.

Yet, there’s still anger that they’re “just not getting it.” Fury that the “light hasn’t come on” and “this group is soft.” In some cases, that may be true; however, in a season in which NOBODY is great in college basketball, haven’t we learned by now that it’s way too early to throw in the towel? What’s the fun in being a fan if you only expect your team to lose, or even worse, only expect them to win? That game was fun last night. Sure, it almost gave me a heart attack, but it was exciting. There was a sequence in the second half when Shai got a steal and threw it ahead to Hamidou Diallo for a slam that shows you what this group is capable of. In March, I’ll take that ridiculous length and athleticism over almost anything else.

And say Kentucky does go down in the second round this year. With only two, maybe three guys likely to go to the draft, they’ll return more players than ever before. Add in another intriguing freshman class and you’ve got another perfect storm brewing. Regardless of what happens in March, this year is an incredible foundation on which to build. At the very least, be excited for that.

So, as our New Year’s Resolution, can we all just take a deep breath and try to enjoy the ride? Because this is all a lot more fun when you do. Promise.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowell


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 Robert Ray


This needs to happen!

#9 Kristy Jones


Best teacher ever!!!!

#8 Aaron Huff


Not surprised…

#7 Ethan


This is his first time.

#6 Owen


I think the same thing!

#5 Blue2Bone


No one is safe

#4 Mr. Free Money


He had to be.

#3 Megan Calipari


I can only imagine the texts Coach Cal got.

#2 Derrin Rogers


This is a good deal.

#1 Tyler Coulter


Don’t jinx us.


Lakers are reportedly ‘frustrated’ by the play of Julius Randle

Julius Randle flies in for a dunk in the Los Angeles Lakers 106-113 loss to the Golden State Warriors(Ty Nowell/Lakers.com)

Former Wildcat Julius Randle has been involved in countless trade rumors over the past year, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

ESPN reported earlier this past weekend that the Lakers have told other teams that Randle is available to the highest bidder and that it is obvious he is not in their long-term plans.

Not only does the front office want him gone, but apparently some of his teammates do, too.

The NY Daily News’ Frank Isola reports there are a few of his Laker teammates that are frustrated in Randle’s play.

“According to one league source, one topic discussed is that some Lakers have been frustrated by the play of Julius Randle, who has been the subject of trade reports for nearly a year now.”

The NBA Trade Deadline is on February 8, and the Lakers have recently promoted Randle to the starting lineup to showcase his talent for the rest of the NBA to see. If he has a stretch of impressive games, his trade value could rise, and the Lakers would get more in return when the trade finally happens.

Needless to say, the former Wildcat big man’s days are numbered in Los Angeles.

Randle is having career-high numbers in points, field goal percentage, effective FG%, blocks, and he’s getting to the line more than he ever has.

Yet he has started just seven games this season, his minutes are down by a substantial margin, and he’s averaging the lowest number of shot attempts of his career.

And they’re in a hurry to get rid of him.

And his teammates are frustrated with his play.

Get him out of there. Pronto.


Mark Stoops has the pieces in place for a special season

When Josh Allen and Mike Edwards announced their returns this week, there was an uncanny sense of “here we go” around the program. The football team was just a few crucial plays away from a historic season this past year, and with almost the entire roster back, both the fanbase and those within the program know the opportunity for a do-over is there.

The pieces are in place for a special season for the Kentucky Wildcats, and Mark Stoops has to capitalize on it.

The quarterback situation is interesting, as the starting job will either go to highly-touted newcomer Terry “Touchdown” Wilson, or Spring Game sensation Gunnar Hoak. Wilson is the fan-favorite, and the coaching staff said on National Signing Day that he had a major opportunity to start next year. Going into this past year, Darin Hinshaw said Hoak could have been a winning quarterback in the SEC. With an added year of experience and maturity, Hoak’s stable presence in the pocket could win out in the end. Regardless, there are two quarterbacks on the Kentucky roster with the ability to make an impact this season.

Dorian Baker, CJ Conrad, Benny Snell, and Lynn Bowden will be back for the offense, and the significance of that is obvious. Four incredible playmakers for the Cats, four guys that have the ability to put a ton of points on the board next season. The offense will be run by a new quarterback, and these four weapons alone will make life easier for him, regardless of who wins the job.

Baker was primed for a fantastic year before his season-ending injury, and he’s reportedly well ahead of schedule for next season. Conrad has the ability to be one of the best tight ends in college football, and Eddie Gran will almost certainly make him more of a focal point of the offense in his final year. Snell will continue to smash records at Kentucky and could find himself in the Heisman race with the national attention he received during the Music City Bowl. Bowden already showed signs of stardom in limited touches his freshman year, and that’s going to catapult forward next season.

Wide receivers Charles Walker, Garrett Johnson, Blake Bone, and Kayaune Ross are graduating, but the staff is extremely confident in freshmen Isaiah Epps, Josh Ali, and Clevan Thomas. They won’t be able to find the same level of success immediately, especially that of Walker and Johnson, but the potential is there. Tavin Richardson had a breakout game against Northwestern, and many think he could be a star on the outside for the Cats next season. Kentucky signee Marvin Alexander was praised on National Signing Day by the coaching staff as a guy that could play early, and surprise signee Bryce Oliver is a sleeper, as well. Baker, Richardson, and Bowden will be the core group, and the other pieces will likely fall in place beyond that. With Conrad’s usage rate increasing as well, the young guns won’t necessarily need to get an abundance of touches right away.

On the offensive line, four of five starters are returning, and seven key pieces of the rotation are back. USC transfer EJ Price will be eligible, and he’s expected to be a high-impact starter right away. Sebastien Dolcine and Naasir Watkins will be coming off a redshirt year, and early reports on them are impressive. The offensive line found a way to click without Jon Toth and Cole Mosier as the season progressed, and with little turnover, there’s no reason to believe we’ll see the unit take a step back.

Barring any surprises, 19 of 22 players from the Music City Bowl two-deep depth chart will be returning for the Kentucky defense. Kendall Randolph’s presence at Nickel will be missed, and Courtney Love’s impact both on and off the field is obvious, but both of those positions have capable replacements ready to see the field. Beyond those two departures, the Cats are absolutley stacked on the defensive side of the ball.

A pass rush of Josh Allen, Joshua Pachal, and Denzil Ware will be deadly, no questions asked. If Jamar “Boogie” Watson and TJ Carter continue to progress, and we see a few of the other redshirted prospects on the defensive line contribute solid reps, I’ll take my chances. The defensive line has been inconsistent in bringing the pressure, and they’ll have no option but to improve this offseason. Jordan Jones is an elite linebacker, and if he can clean up his on-field antics a bit, he could have a huge senior campaign. Quinton Bohanna has owned the nose guard position, taking the starting job from seniors Naquez Pringle and Matt Elam. Mike Edwards, Jordan Griffin, Chris Westry, Darius West, Derrick Baity, Lonnie Johnson, and Davonte Robinson all return for the Wildcat secondary, a unit that turned heads against Northwestern in the Music City Bowl. If they can build off of that performance and live up to the potential we all know they possess, the defense has a real opportunity to be Stoops’ best.

Austin MacGinnis’ foot will certainly be missed, as he finished his Kentucky career as the best kicker in school history. Freshman Chance Poore was considered one of the top high school kickers in the nation, and like MacGinnis did out of high school, has the opportunity to start right away. If we see growing pains early, Miles Butler is a capable replacement. Dean Hood helped take the special teams unit to a new level this past year, and if anyone can figure out how to replace MacGinnis, it’s him.

All in all, this is one of the most talented rosters we’ve seen at Kentucky in quite some time. Mark Stoops has the senior leadership, talent, and depth to do something special. The pieces are there.

The Cats have had good seasons the past two years, but it’s time for a breakthrough.


6 reasons Kentucky’s win over Texas A&M is more impressive than many realize

On Tuesday night, Kentucky beat Texas A&M 74-73 in a hotly contested game at Rupp Arena. Admittedly, that isn’t news to anyone reading this. What was news (at least to me anyway) is how little folks seemed to care about the win. Outside of a few savvy Kentucky and A&M fans, most reacted with apathy.

Yes, apathy.

Sure, Kentucky won at home. But it came against a reeling Aggies club which entered the game coming off a three-game SEC losing streak. Meaning that (according to my very awful math) when the final buzzer sounded at Rupp Arena, Texas A&M fell to 0-4 in league player. Therefore, it felt like just about everyone in the national media (with the exception of a select few) brushed off Kentucky’s victory as if it were a November win over Coastal Carolina or something. It hardly made a blip on the radar. And the few that did reference it, made light of Kentucky playing a close game against an 0-4 SEC team more than anything else.

Fortunately, I’m not most national media members (and not just because I’m handsomer than them all). I know just how tough the circumstances were Tuesday night at Rupp Arena, and know– despite what their record might indicate – how good Texas A&M is.

Yes, Kentucky has things to work on (including free throw shooting, turnovers late and a disappointing defensive effort for part of the second half). But make no mistake, this was an important win. And should resonate come March.

So why was this win more impressive than most realize? Here are six reasons why.
(more…)


DeMarcus Cousins: If you played at UK, "It’s not just a one year thing or a four year thing. It’s a brotherhood."

When John Calipari’s first batch of NBA talent at Kentucky entered the league, he told reporters they would share a bond that lasted a lifetime.

Eight years later, I don’t think he had any idea what it would develop into.

Nearly 30 former Kentucky players line NBA rosters, with a few teams carrying several Wildcats.

One of those teams? The New Orleans Pelicans.

Last night, DeAndre Liggins signed with the Pelicans, making it the fifth former Kentucky player on the roster. He joins DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, Darius Miller, and Rajon Rondo as former Cats on the team, the most players from the same college of any team in the league by a wide margin.

In an interview with FOXSports New Orleans, Davis, Cousins, Rondo, Miller, and Calipari talked about the bond they share with one another, and how that spreads throughout the entire NBA between former Cats.

“We’ve got four guys here,” Davis said prior to the Liggins acquisition. “We’re taking over the league.”

Cousins said it doesn’t matter when you played, if you were a Wildcat, you’re always a Wildcat.

“It’s not just a one year thing or a four year thing,” said Cousins. “It’s a brotherhood. If you played in the 90s, or if you played in the 2000’s, we’re all family.”

Check out the clip:

Nothing like #LaFamilia.


FINAL HOURS: 20% off at the KSR Shop!

Kentucky secured a big win against Texas A&M Tuesday night which means we all win at the KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded. Head to ShopKSR.com to receive 20% off your purchase!

Now is the perfect time to stock up on more KSR sweatshirts, pullovers, hats, KSR shirts, UK jackets, and more. The Big Blue Buckets sale ends at midnight!

[Big Blue Buckets: 20% off at the KSR Shop]


What the Return of Underclassmen Means for Kentucky

Mike Edwards surprised the Big Blue Nation by announcing that he will return to Kentucky for his senior season.  Kentucky has turned offseason momentum into an experienced and talented defensive roster.

What the defense will exactly look like in 2018 is still uncertain.  All-American linebacker Xavier Peters is committed to UK, but has yet to sign.  Jordan Jones and Denzil Ware have yet to publicly state whether they will stay or go, and Mark Stoops has not commented on Ware’s status since he was suspended for the Music City Bowl.

Let’s assume Ware and Jones are back this fall and dream big dreams for what’s in store for the 2018 defense.

Nine of the Top Ten Tacklers Return

The only departing starters on Stoops’ defense are Courtney Love and Kendall Randolph.  Seven of UK’s returning defensive starters have started for at least two seasons.  That kind of consistency is foreign to Kentucky football teams.  That kind of experience is substantial and immeasurable.

UK’s Defense has Proven Playmakers

Allen and Edwards aren’t just good defenders; they’re game-changers who create turnovers.  Edwards played every role someone in the secondary can play, from safety to run-supporting and blitzing nickel back.  He has the kind of skills you can’t coach.  Allen caught the eyes of NFL scouts for his pass rushing ability, but he also forced two fumbles and picked off a pass.  Those two, Jones and Ware combined for the majority of Kentucky’s defensive impact stats:

  • Tackles for Loss: 30 of UK’s 63 on the season
  • Interceptions: 6 of UK’s 11 INTs
  • Sacks: 16.5 of UK’s 30 sacks
  • Forced Fumbles: 5 of UK’s 10

Before he ever took the field, Josh Paschal looked like a guy who could make impact plays, but it took some time and game reps before he could do it consistently.  Stoops will not have to wait for talented, inexperienced players to emerge as playmakers.  He already has seniors who have been there, done that.

“Attitude Reflect Leadership”

Denzil Ware became a foundation on the defensive front line after he spent a year learning under Bud Dupree and Za’Darius Smith as a redshirt.  Jordan Wright and Alex King got to do the same thing last year, this time behind Ware and Allen.  Wright and King will not be forced into action right away, which will allow them to develop at their own pace, something Allen could not afford to do as a contributing true freshman in 2015.

Record Books are in Trouble

Edwards is one of the best tackling defensive backs to ever play at UK.  The best tackling defensive back in the SEC for the last two years — his only two years as a starter — he needs a career-high 112 tackles to own that title in the UK record books.  With four more interceptions, he’ll be second in UK history in that statistical category; to set a new record he needs eight, a daunting task.

Freddie Maggard believes Allen can surpass what appears to be an untouchable record set by Oliver Barnett in 1989.  Allen needs 12 sacks to become the school’s all-time sack leader.  If he plays to Freddie’s expectations (which he’s done throughout his Kentucky career), he’ll also hold the record for most sacks in a season.  Bud Dupree, Dennis Johnson and Jeremy Jarmon all came close to Barnett’s record, but Freddie believes Allen has what it takes to get over the top.

Lessons Learned

Boom Williams did not handle his NFL decision the right way.  He immediately declared for the NFL Draft following the TaxSlayer Bowl, before receiving any feedback from NFL officials and his head coach.  As you already know, his NFL story did not have a happy ending.

Edwards and Allen could have been drafted this year.  The two brought more NFL-ready talent to the table, but they went through the proper steps and understood there was more to gain in Lexington than from the NFL in 2018.

Kentucky’s Defense has the Potential to be Stoops’ Best

Am I willing to say it will be the best defense Mark Stoops has had at Kentucky? No.  Kentucky was at best “average” in 2017.  Just because players are returning, it’s not a given that the entire unit will improve and become consistent.

One thing I am willing to say: with a ton of talented weapons returning, Stoops will have zero excuses if his defense does not play exceptionally well in 2018.


Brian Bowen leaves Louisville for South Carolina

Brian Bowen is no longer a student at the University of Louisville.

The $100,000 Dollar Man was granted his full release from the school following the fall semester. Bowen had registered for spring courses, but then decided to leave UofL to seek other opportunities.

ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting Bowen will now try to suit up to play basketball for South Carolina. Bowen told Goodman he has been admitted to South Carolina and will seek reinstatement from the NCAA.

Bowen would have to sit out a year per NCAA transfer rules, should he even be granted eligibility at all, which seems silly.

Could we see him play against Kentucky after all?


UPDATE


South Carolina released the following statement to announce the addition of Bowen to its basketball program:

Jan. 10, 2018

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina head coach Frank Martin announced Wednesday that Brian Bowen (F – 6-7 – 195 – La Porte, Ind./La Lumiere School/Louisville) has enrolled at the University and has joined the Gamecock men’s basketball team. Based on NCAA transfer rules, Bowel will have to sit for two semesters before being eligible to play.

Of all the people to give Bowen a chance, I didn’t think it would be Frank Martin.


Xavier Peters’ Commitment to Kentucky has not Wavered

@XavierPeters22

Four-star All-American Xavier Peters has yet to sign with Kentucky, but his commitment to the Cats remains firm, his coach tells the Herald-Leader.

The outside linebacker turned heads during last week’s Under Armour All-American Game.  Florida fans burned up Twitter, clamoring to flip the playmaker.  Lakota West football coach Larry Cox said his phone has “heated up” since Peters’ performance on national television, but none of the inquiries are from Florida’s new coaching staff.

“I don’t see that happening,” Cox said. “I haven’t talked to Florida about it. And if I haven’t talked to them about it, normally it’s not going to happen.”

Peters was the only verbal commit who did not sign with Kentucky during the early signing period.  It’s created concern for many Kentucky fans.  Cox said Peters used a wedding analogy to describe why he will wait until the traditional National Signing Day.

“I’m solid,” Peters told his coach last month. “But before I walk down that aisle, I want to make sure it’s the right one.”

If Peters makes it official on February 7, he will be the second-highest ranked player in UK’s 2018 recruiting class and become the fifth Lakota West alumnus to commit to Mark Stoops’ Wildcats, following George Asafo-Adjei, Kayaune Ross, Mikel Horton and Kyle Meadows.

[Herald-Leader]


Damien Harris returning to Alabama

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Six playoff games and two national championships in three seasons isn’t enough for Damien Harris in Tuscaloosa.

The Richmond, Ky. native announced on Wednesday that he will return to Alabama for his senior season to chase a third title in four years with the Crimson Tide.

Harris led Alabama with 1,000 yards rushing yards and 11 touchdowns this past season, after rushing for 1,040 and two scores as a sophomore in 2016. He was benched in the national title game for true freshman running back Najee Harris, but the emergence of the other Harris did not push Damien toward early entry in the NFL.

WalterFootball.com considers Harris the sixth-best back in its current NFL draft projections for this year; CBSSports.com ranks him as the fifth-best back and the No. 35 overall prospect.

You can expect he’ll be in the preseason Heisman talk next fall.


The KSR Football Podcast: A Ridiculous 2017 Season Recap

The goal of this KSR Football Podcast was to recap UK’s 2017 football season.  That’s not necessarily what happened.

The crew talked about the Music City Bowl and graded each position group, but most of their attention turned to the insane CFB Playoff Final and unscripted, unfiltered nonsense. Blame it on the afternoon coffee.  Highlights from most ridiculous KSR Football Podcast to date:

—  Breaking down the play that won Bama the National Title.

—  Jared shares a sleazy agent story.

— “Do you wear headphones when you poop?”

—  Three players that are making noise you haven’t heard of.

—  Steaks and Beanie-Weanies.

—  Jared makes the case for Danny Clark.

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 “KSR Football Podcast” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Hey Coach Cal, I do know some sh*t

As a member of the working press at Kentucky basketball games, I was offended when John Calipari looked a room full of reporters in the eyes and said, “You don’t know sh*t,” after Tuesday night’s game against Texas A&M.

I was not in the room at the time, so maybe I wasn’t included in the group of sh*t-not-knowers he called out, but I still felt Cal’s brutally honest words deep down in my heart.

Now, in Cal’s defense, the media does not know much — definitely not as much as it pretends to know. And I can’t speak for everyone who watches the games with a lanyard around their neck and a laptop or Steno Pad in front of them, but I can speak for myself.

And I know a little sh*t.

Granted, it’s not much sh*t. But I do know more sh*t than Calipari led on with his comment at the press conference. So in defense of myself and some of my colleagues, here is some sh*t I know:

– I know Kentucky showed toughness last night, but still needs to show more or it can lose to anyone.

– I know P.J. Washington has looked great the last three games, finally.

– I know I’m not going to watch the replay of the final two seconds of the game because I know Wenyen Gabriel probably fouled Tyler Davis.

– I know Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been the MVP since cutting his hair.

– I know Kevin Knox does not play defense.

– I also know Kentucky needs Knox’s offense.

– I know Hamidou Diallo is going to be horrible in some games and awesome in others. That’s who he is.

– I know the Rupp Arena crowd needs to stop yelling SHOOT! when Brad Calipari is in the game.

– I know Nick Richards needs to be better or he can take a seat.

– I know Wenyen Gabriel should never dribble, but always shoot when open.

– I know this team is far from its ceiling; the question is, will it find its ceiling in time?

– I know it’s ridiculous to say this team can’t reach the ___ round of the NCAA tournament because every team in college basketball is beatable, maybe more so than in any other year.

– I know the Cats need to accept Cal’s coaching (LISTEN!) in order to be a team that can make a Final Four run.

– I know Pitino knew.

– I know Quade Green better not be out much longer.

– I know nothing about what’s going on with Jarred Vanderbilt behind the scenes, but I have a pretty good guess.

– I know Kentucky can be much better fundamentally.

– I know the trip to West Virginia is going to be difficult.

– I also know the back-to-back trips to Texas A&M and Auburn will be difficult.

– I know we overreacted to the Tennessee loss.

– I know Kentucky really needs to beat Florida when ESPN College GameDay comes to town in 10 days.

– I know it’s stupid to give up on a team in January because the 2010-11 and 2013-14 teams almost won it all.

– I know Kentucky beat Louisville by 29 points.

– I know Kentucky could’ve beaten Louisville by 40 points.

– I know I like my team.

See, Cal? I know some sh*t.