Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
October 18th, 2017

PGA Tour coming to Lexington area next summer

The Lexington area will welcome a PGA Tour golf tournament next summer when the Barbasol Championship comes to town. Keene Trace Golf Club will host the tournament, which will move to the Bluegrass from Alabama, and will be played opposite the Open Championship.

The event was announced Wednesday afternoon at Keene Trace in a press conference that included Governor Matt Bevin, who said, “Being selected as the latest PGA TOUR stop is a significant development, and we are excited to showcase the greatness of Kentucky to golf fans from around the world. It will be an incredible honor for Kentucky to host these individual and corporate guests each summer. From this day forward, the PGA TOUR can join us in saying: ‘We are Kentucky!’”

The 2018 Barbasol will be played July 16-22 on the Arthur Hills-designed Champions course in Nicholasville, approximately 10 miles from downtown Lexington. It had previously been played at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Grand National course in Opelika, Alabama.

The tournament will carry a purse of $3.5 million and award 300 FedExCup points to the champion. Officials are looking to make the 2018 Barbasol Championship a regional celebration that showcases the Bluegrass State and area attractions, including its famous horse farms and distilleries.

The tournament is expected to have an economic impact in excess of $20 million.


Knox named to Julius Erving Award Preseason Watch List

Kentucky’s Kevin Knox is one of 20 college basketball players in the early mix for the Julius Erving Award, presented annually to the top small forward in the country. Knox hopes to become the first Wildcat to win the award; although, it has only been around for three years, so there are lots of schools that have never won it. The three previous winners are Villanova’s Josh Hart (2017), Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine (2016) and Arizona’s Stanley Johnson (2015).

Here’s the entire list of early contenders for 2018:

Rawle Alkins Arizona
Kelan Martin, Butler
Jacob Evans, Cincinnati
Gary Trent Jr., Duke
Zach Norvell Jr., Gonzaga
Kevin Knox, Kentucky
Deng Adel, Louisville
Justin Jackson, Maryland
Bruce Brown Jr., Miami
Miles Bridges, Michigan St.
Michael Porter Jr., Missouri
Tyler Hall, Montana St
Jeffrey Carroll, Oklahoma St.
Troy Brown Jr., Oregon
Vincent Edwards, Purdue
De’Monte Buckingham, Richmond
DJ Hogg, Texas A&M
Kris Wilkes, UCLA
Mikal Bridges, Villanova
Markis McDuffie, Wichita St.
Trevon Bluiett, Xavier

The list will be cut in half in mid-February and then trimmed down to five finalists in March. The winner will be presented at the ESPN College Basketball Awards Show in Los Angeles on April 6. Players do not have to be on the watch list to win the award until the five finalists are announced.

Go Knox.


The Cats are on their way to SEC Media Day

@KentuckyMBB

It’s lunchtime here at SEC Basketball Tipoff, and while reporters shove free food in their faces and complain about the lack of space, Hamidou Diallo and Wenyen Gabriel are somewhere in the air between Lexington and Nashville. Both players are expected to address the media around 4 p.m. ET before making the rounds with the SEC Network and ESPN. Judging by all of the players thus far, they’ll be wearing their warm-ups with jerseys underneath. It’s a little strange.

Meanwhile, John Calipari will begin his 30-minute chat with reporters at approximately 3:35 p.m. ET. In true Calipari fashion, he released a blog post on CoachCal.com earlier today describing how “painful” practice is right now due to his team’s youth:

I’m loving my team’s attitude, willingness to be coached, and its attention and focus throughout practice. When you’re trying to develop new habits it really takes time, and we’re trying to create both team and individual habits that will help us in March. But right now, it’s painful.

My anxiety is always twofold: Knowing where individuals are now and where they must go to be the best version of themselves on and off the court, which includes practice, is one anxiety I always have – and I do with this group too.

The other anxiety I have is playing as a team, building the team, and trying to do both at the highest of high levels. That’s what makes Kentucky what it is.

This should be an interesting chat. While we stake our claim on breathing room around his table, caption this picture of him with Rick Barnes and Billy Kennedy:

@KentuckyMBB


Kentucky has Experience in Close Games, Miss. State Does Not

Kentucky is going on the road as ten-point underdogs to face one of the best quarterbacks in the SEC.  The Cats’ backs are against the wall, but they still have one advantage over Mississippi State: experience in close games.

Last week Mississippi State beat BYU by 25 points and it was the closest game they’ve played all year.  They’ve won games by 49, but also lost by 39 and 28 points.  Each Miss. State game has been decided by an average of 34.5 points.

On the other hand, Kentucky’s games have all been close.  An average of only 6.5 points have separated UK from each opponent.  The widest margin of victory was only 11 over EKU.  If Saturday’s game is close, Kentucky can say something State can’t, “play like you’ve been there before.”

What decides those close games?  Offensive lineman Nick Haynes says it all comes down to details.

“The details of certain things in close games are all that matters,” Haynes said. “It can literally be a step, it can be an extra step on a route, it can be anything that causes you to lose a game.  One play.  We don’t know which play it is, so every play you gotta be detailed and focused and know what you’re doing, especially in close games because not many yards separate us, not many points separate us.”

Against Florida, it came down to one point and one slip of the hand that resulted in a holding call on Haynes that pushed Kentucky out of field goal range (a hold Haynes still insists is BS).  Even though it looked like the game was over, Stephen Johnson did not panic.  He completed one more pass to give Austin MacGinnis a shot to win the game.  When the pressure is on, Johnson always remains clam.

“He calms himself down first and then does have that confidence around him that we feel like we’ll be alright,” Haynes said.  “It doesn’t really matter what just happened.  We do it a lot.  We overcome adversity all the time.”

Being in those situations frequently has grayed the hair of many Kentucky fans, but it’s beneficial for the players and play-callers.  Familiarity in high-pressured situations takes the pressure off, according to offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.

“At the end of the day, it’s about what we do out here every single Wednesday [in practice].  It’s live,” he said. “We’re trying to put them in those pressure situations so when you do get to that moment, it’s not so much pressure.  Now you let your fundamentals take over, your technique and you can do your job.”

The pressure increases in hostile road environments, but that’s not necessarily the case with this Kentucky team.  They’ve won five of their last six on the road since they traveled to Tuscaloosa last year.  For a lack of a better term, the team brings an “F U” mentality on the road that starts at the top.

“That stems from the head coach,” Gran said.  “It’s really all you’ve got.  You go, you get on that bus, you get on that plane, it’s going down there, it’s a hostile environment and that’s why you play in this league.  That’s why you play football, for the opportunities to go on the road and come out with a victory.”

If the Cats keep it close in Starkville, they can seize another opportunity and stake their claim as one of the best teams in the SEC.


Five Fun Things To Do In Starkville

Going to Starkville to watch the Cats this weekend? If so, you’re a better person than I am. I’ve made three trips to lovely Stark Vegas and that is three more times than anyone should.

But don’t let me talk you out of going because Kentucky needs your support in the sea of cowbells on Saturday; I will instead tell you five fun things to do in Starkville when you’re not at the game.

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

I got nothing.

Good luck, I guess.


Learn about the many benefits of Anthem Medicaid

Now is the time to find the health insurance plan that is just right for you. Anthem has been around for nearly 80 years in Kentucky.

Anthem Medicaid serves members in all 120 counties in Kentucky. The benefits of Anthem Medicaid are endless: coverage for all ages, no copays, free eyeglasses for children and adults, the only Medicaid plan offering adults both glasses or contacts every year, free over the counter medicines with a prescription, and so many other benefits. Open enrollment runs from October 16 to December 15. To choose Anthem Medicaid call 855-306-8959 or visit benefind.ky.gov.


Kentucky will play Morehead State on October 30

Breaking scheduling news: sources tell KSR that Kentucky will play Morehead State in a special exhibition game on October 30 in Rupp Arena.

The game is NOT part of the season ticket package and all proceeds will go to charity. It will also NOT be televised, meaning the only way to see it will be to be at Rupp Arena.

Former Kentucky assistant Preston Spradlin took over the coaching job at Morehead State when Sean Woods was fired last season and was named the permanent head coach in March after leading the Eagles to a second place finish in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Stay tuned for ticket information…


Misleading Headline: Calipari tossed Ferrari keys to five-star recruit

Let’s turn our attention to Oklahoma for a moment, where there is a new behind-the-scenes story about Trae Young’s recruitment, and it includes a little tale about John Calipari.

According to The Norman-Transcript, Calipari once tossed the keys to his Ferrari to Young and asked him what he will do with it.

The wild recruiting process, both fun and exhausting, was over. Some of the moments were unforgettable. Kentucky coach John Calipari once tossed the keys of his Ferrari to the five-star point guard and asked him something like, “You’ve got the keys to my offense now. What are you going to do with it?” Norman North students chanted OU coach Lon Kruger’s name at he watched Young play. Kansas coach Bill Self was in the locker room, joining the celebrations following a win in the Bishop McGuinness Classic. [The Norman Transcript]

Are we sure this story isn’t exaggerated? I bet it was the keys to his Vespa. We all know Cal’s a Vespa guy; not a Ferrari guy. Or maybe it was the black and blue Mustang with his signature down the side. Yeah, I bet he tossed him the keys to that. Does Cal even own a Ferrari?

Read the story here.


Media picks Kentucky to win the SEC

The SEC Basketball Tipoff is underway down in Nashville and the morning kicked off with the media poll for the upcoming basketball season.

And get this: Kentucky was picked to win the league! (Shocker, right?)

Joining in on the fun, Hamidou Diallo and Kevin Knox were named to the first and second All-SEC teams, respectively.

 

First Team All-SEC

KeVaughn Allen – Florida, G, 6-2, 193, Jr., Little Rock, Ark.
Yante Maten – Georgia, F, 6-8, 243, Sr., Pontiac, Mich.
Hamidou Diallo – Kentucky, G, 6-5, 198, R-Fr., Queens, N.Y.
Michael Porter, Jr. – Missouri, F, 6-10, 215, Fr., Columbia, Mo.
Robert Williams – Texas A&M, F, 6-10, 241, So., Oil City, La.

Second Team All-SEC

Collin Sexton – Alabama, G, 6-3, 190, Fr., Mableton, Ga.
Kevin Knox – Kentucky, F, 6-9, 215, Fr., Tampa, Fla.
Terence Davis – Ole Miss, G, 6-4, 201, Jr., Southaven, Miss.
Deandre Burnett – Ole Miss, G, 6-2, 192, Sr., Miami Gardens, Fla.
Quinndary Weatherspoon – Mississippi St., G, 6-4, 205, Jr., Canton, Miss.
Tyler Davis – Texas A&M, C, 6-10, 266, Jr., Plano, Texas
Matthew Fisher-Davis – Vanderbilt, G/F, 6-5, 186, Sr., Charlotte, N.C.

SEC Player of the Year (tie)

Yante Maten – Georgia
Michael Porter, Jr. – Missouri
Robert Williams – Texas A&M

Preseason Media Poll

  1. Kentucky
  2. Florida
  3. Texas A&M
  4. Alabama
  5. Missouri
  6. Arkansas
  7. Vanderbilt
  8. Georgia
  9. Auburn
  10. Ole Miss
  11. South Carolina
  12. Mississippi State
  13. Tennessee
  14. LSU

Go Cats.


BBNBA Returns Tonight

The wait is finally over. Last night, the NBA season tipped off with arguably the four best teams in the NBA playing. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a single former Cat that played last night. Tonight is a different story. Here are your games for tonight:

  • Philadelphia at Washington (Wall and Meeks)- 7pm (ESPN)
  • Charlotte (Monk and Kidd-Gilchrist) at Detroit- 7pm
  • Brooklyn at Indiana (Poythress) 7pm
  • Miami (Adebayo) at Orlando- 7pm
  • Milwaukee (Liggins) at Boston- 7:30pm
  • New Orleans (Cousins, Davis, Miller, and Rondo*) at Memphis (An. Harrison) 8pm
  • Atlanta at Dallas (Noel)- 8:30pm
  • Denver (Lyles and Murray) at Utah- 9pm
  • Minnesota (Towns) at San Antonio- 9:30pm (ESPN)
  • Portland at Phoenix (Bledsoe, Booker, Knight and Ulis) 10pm
  • Houston at Sacramento (Labissiere, Fox, and Cauley-Stein)- 10pm

*-Player is currently injured

Here is your list of all of the Cats in the NBA that was posted yesterday:


It’s time to share our KSR Appreciation Letters (Wednesday Show Thread)

It’s finally time to read our appreciation letters to each other, so we’ll do that today, finally. We’ll also stay on top of the latest in Louisville where Tom Jurich is set to be fired this afternoon.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

MARKETCALL LETTERSDIALTIME
AshlandWCMI93.3 FM TLIVE
AshlandWCMI1340 AMLIVE
BentonWCBL1290 AMLIVE
Bowling GreenWBGN1340 AMLIVE
Bowling GreenWBGN107.9 FM TLIVE
CampbellsvilleWTCO1450 AMLIVE
ColumbiaWAIN1270 AMLIVE
CynthianaWCYN102.3 FMLIVE
DanvilleWHIR1230 AMLIVE
ElizabethtownWIEL1400 AMLIVE
ElizabethtownWIEL106.1 FM TLIVE
Henderson/EvansvilleWREF97.7 FMLIVE
GlasgowWCLU1490 AMLIVE
GraysonWGOH1340 AMLIVE
GraysonWGOH100.9 FM TLIVE
Greenup/AshlandWLGC105.7 FM LIVE
HarlanWTUK105.1 FMLIVE
HopkinsvilleWHOP1230 AMLIVE
HopkinsvilleWHOP95.3 FM TLIVE
IrvineWIRV1550 AMLIVE
JamestownWJKY1060 AMLIVE
LancasterWZXI1280 AM5-7 PM
Lancaster/StanfordWZXI95.5 FM T5-7 PM
LeitchfieldWMTL870 AM10A-12N CST
LexingtonWLAP630 AMLIVE
LondonWFTG1400 AMLIVE
LondonWFTG106.9 FM TLIVE
LouisvilleWKJK1080 AMLIVE
MadisonvilleWFMW730 AMLIVE
MadisonvilleWFMW94.9 FM TLIVE
ManchesterWXXL1450 AMLIVE
MaysvilleWFTM1240 AMLIVE
McKee-BoonevillePeoples Rural Telephone Cable TV Channel 209LIVE
MonticelloWKYM101.7 FMLIVE
MorganfieldWUCO1550 AMLIVE
MorganfieldWUCO98.5 FM TLIVE
MurrayWNBS1340 AMLIVE
OwensboroWLME102.7 FMLIVE
PaducahWPAD1560 AMLIVE
PaducahWPAD99.5 FM TLIVE
PaintsvilleWKYH600 AMLIVE
PikevilleWLSI900 AMLIVE
PikevilleWLSI95.9 FM TLIVE
PrestonsburgWPRT960 AMLIVE
PrestonsburgWPRT104.5 FM TLIVE
SomersetWSFC1240 AMLIVE
WhitesburgWTCW920 AMLIVE
WhitesburgWTCW95.1 FM TLIVE
Whitley CityWHAY98.3 FMLIVE
Williamson, WVWBTH1400 AMLIVE
Williamson, WVWBTH102.5 FM TLIVE
50 Radio Affiliates
37 Markets
1 TV/Cable Affiliate
*Affiliates subject to change without notice

 


Today on KSR, powered by DRAFT: It’s SEC Basketball Tipoff time!

A message from our friends at DRAFT:

DRAFT is the only place where you can play in daily fantasy football snake drafts for real money!

The average draft takes under five minutes, so you’re in and out in no time. Just pick 5 players and cheer for them in real-time as you watch the winnings rack up.

For a limited time, our readers will receive a FREE $3 Entry with first deposit. But you have to use the promo code ‘KSR’. That’s right – play a real money game for free just by using the promo code ‘KSR’!

Just search DRAFT in your app store or go to playdraft.com/ksr. Come play free right now with promo code ‘KSR.

There’s a reason DRAFT is the highest rated fantasy football app on Android and iOS. Join now and claim your free entry!


It’s SEC Basketball Tipoff ’18 day in Nashville.

The Southeastern Conference’s basketball media day will be held today in the Music City with the 14 league coaches and two player representatives from each team in town to answer questions.

Kentucky’s turn in front of the media is set for 3:35 pm ET when John Calipari takes us all to church, followed by Hamidou Diallo and Wenyen Gabriel at 4:00 pm. Each Q&A session will last around 30 minutes.

Kentucky Sports Radio will be in the building and we’ll relay everything you need to know from the Cats, plus lots more from around the SEC.

Tom Jurich to be fired today.

The Louisville board of trustees will meet today at 1:00 pm, and word around the city is they will vote to hand Tom Jurich his pink slip. Jurich still has several supporters, which is amazing because he is a crook, but it sounds like today will be the end of his 20-year run with the birds.

He gone.

Did you listen to the new KSR Football Podcast?

If not, it’s right here:

The KSR Football Podcast: Mississippi State Preview

We got way off-topic, per usual.

Scott Van Pelt to interview Rick Pitino tonight.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt is trying to get back in our good graces, after using that horrible photo of me, by interviewing Rick Pitino tonight. I assume Pitino will use the opportunity to proclaim his innocence and cry victim.

This is one interview you won’t want to miss.

We’ll hear from Matt House and the defense after today’s practice.

House and select members of his defense will be available for questions following Wednesday afternoon’s practice. Before that, Mark Stoops will be on the SEC teleconference while you’re at lunch.

Hopefully we hear more about Jordan Jones.

I think we will (finally) read our appreciation letters on today’s KSR.

But I also thought we were reading them Friday. And Monday.

Tune in!


October 17th, 2017

Texts From Pitino: New iPhone conversations released

Rick Pitino’s fight to prove his innocence revealed one key piece of information the general public did not know about him before Monday: He’s an emoji guy.

When Pitino’s attorney, Steve Pence, released text messages between the former Louisville head coach and the men caught up in the FBI’s investigation into college basketball, we learned Pitino uses emojis in his text responses.

@joesonka

Knowing Pitino is fluent in the emoji language, I hacked into his Apple account (the password was ‘bravopitino’) to find other emoji-filled (and fake) conversations in his inbox.

Have a look at what I found:


Don’t Fear the Cowbell

MSState.edu

To become bowl eligible in just the seventh game of the 2017 season, the Kentucky football team will have to combat 11 Bulldogs on the field and more than 50,000 cowbells in the stands.  Today the football team got a taste of what it will sound like through the loud speakers on the practice field.

“It’s in our ears the whole day,” center Drake Jackson said.  “I don’t know why they had to do it on a Tuesday.  They normally do it on a Wednesday so we weren’t expecting that.”

“We couldn’t hear today.  I couldn’t talk,” said offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.  “You just let them play.  This is how it’s going to be.  There’s going to be times when you can’t hear.”

The Cats have already learned in two road games how to communicate in a hostile environment.  The cowbells add another element unheard by many before.

“It’s a little hard,” Stephen Johnson said.  “You can’t really hear anybody else around you, so as long as the outside receivers know the play, it’s really communicating with the o-line and with the running back on where we need to go and what we need to do.”

Johnson’s task will be the most difficult.  On the offensive line, Jackson only needs to be able to communicate with the four guys next to him.

“When you’re only communicating between a couple of guys it’s not as hard,” he said.  “You do have to out-scream the cowbells, but not to a wide receiver or anything.  I’m just talking to the guy next to me.”

Nick Haynes has experience hearing the cowbells at Davis-Wade Stadium.  His message to those who have not heard them before is simple.

“At the end of the day, no matter what noise is going around the camera is still on,” said Haynes.  “The film is your life right now.  All that extra, we don’t even look at that, think about that at all.  We’ve been in plenty of loud environments so I don’t really see that as being much of a problem.”

Kentucky must remain focused.  If the Cats can remain dialed-in like Haynes, it shouldn’t be a problem.

“I’ve never had any problem with it.  I didn’t have a problem with it being overly loud.  I think it’s just because on the field you’re so locked in, you’re focused.  I don’t even like to put that in my mind at all. Whenever I get down there I do my job.”

Kentucky fans in the stands will not like what they hear on Saturday, but they’ll like what they see on the field if today’s practice translates to Starkville.  Gran admitted, “I really liked what I saw today.”


Adam Silver’s comments about the one-and-done are (again) off-base and uninformed

The NBA season tips off tonight and as part of the league’s preseason media tour, commissioner Adam Silver was on Mike and Mike yesterday morning to promote the 2017-2018 campaign. In the interview, the trio discussed a number of topics (or at least I assume they did. I haven’t listened to Mike & Mike in years), and as usual, one of the topics that was eventually discussed was the one-and-done rule.

Of course it was.

The removal of the one-and-done has become Silver’s pet project, his personal crusade, the number one thing on his to-do list, even as the league enters a season with its greatest imbalance ever (barring injury, there is only one team that can win the championship). After all, who cares about stars joining forces or NBA players sitting out big games, when we can instead worry about an 18-year-old point guard being forced to spend a single season in Lexington, Durham or Tucson, right? Won’t someone please think of the children?!

Silver is thinking about the children, and in a vacuum I have no problem with it. He’s the NBA commissioner. It’s his league and his rule and he has every right to alter the rules as he sees fit. If he wants the best players to be able to enter the NBA out of high school, or put them in some kind of developmental program at 5, 10 or 15-years-old, so be it.

No, that’s not where my issue with Silver lies. Instead, my issue with Silver is this: In the midst of trying to make the argument against the one-and-done rule, he continues to twist facts and make up lies to prove his points. If Silver just wants the rule gone (likely to help beef up the D-League, which the NBA has invested millions in) that’s fine. But just say it. Don’t twist facts and alter the truth to hammer home the point.

Only that’s exactly what he’s doing, which is why I decided to write today, because if no one will call Silver on his B.S., I will. If he’s going to implement a rule which will fundamentally alter every level of basketball, and eventually impact hundreds of families let’s at least get the facts out there. Since no one else is willing to do it, I will.
(more…)