Kentucky Sports Radio

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

January 21st, 2019

KSR’s Top 10 Tweets of the Day presented by Liquor Barn

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#10 Baseball Mom

Seeing this just has me more amped to see the Bat Cats play next month…and to see warm weather.

#9 Brett Swift

It’s simple math.

#8 Pat Horton

This is true. Eat it, everyone else.

#7 Braden

We’re living in a simulation.

#6 Jeremy Tackett

I expect to see this kid under center for the five-time college football champion Kentucky Wildcats.

#5 Danny Tewes


#4 Mason Miles

The best recruiting pitch of them all. Who wouldn’t want to live/play here?

#3 John Robic’s Hair

I found this very relatable. Still amazing content though.

#2 Patrick Daniels


#1 Johnny Versace

*Jim Ross voice* What?? It can’t be…that…that’s gotta be Johnny Versace!!!

Follow and/or tag me on Twitter and you might see one of your tweets make KSR’s top ten tweets: @BrentW_KSR

Why Tomorrow’s Mississippi State Game is the Most Important of Kentucky’s Season

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

The rollercoaster that is the 2018-2019 Kentucky Wildcats season took another wild spin this weekend, when the Wildcats picked up a massive road win at Auburn on Saturday night.

The victory was everything that any Kentucky fan could have hoped for when the season began. Ashton Hagans was the fiery (and at times, potty-mouthed) leader that this team needs. Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson made clutch shot after clutch shot, and PJ Washington did all the little things needed down low to help the team win. Most importantly, Kentucky was a team that showed no fear. Auburn didn’t get back in the game because of some Kentucky meltdown, but instead because they are a big-time team that made big-time plays. But to Kentucky’s credit, every time the Tigers threw a punch, the Wildcats took it on the chin. Then they threw their own counterpunch until they knocked Auburn out for good and emerged with a massive victory.

Ultimately that was a gutty performance, and one that showed just how far this team has come. It also showed that when this club is locked in, there really aren’t any teams in college basketball they should fear. Kentucky already has a resume that includes wins at Auburn, at Louisville and against UNC on a neutral court, and by the way, that early win against UNC-Greensboro is better than most realize (Greensboro is currently sitting at 17-3 overall this season and in second place in their league standings). And with games this week against two more ranked foes, Mississippi State and Kansas, it isn’t inconceivable that the Wildcats could look up at this time next week and have just about the best resume in all of college basketball. Seriously, wins against Mississippi State and Kansas to go along with at Auburn, at Louisville and North Carolina would give the Wildcats just about the best resume in college hoops.

Of course to get that resume, they need to win both of those games.

And that my friends, brings me to the point of this article: To me, the Mississippi State game tomorrow night at Rupp Arena might just go down as the most important regular season game the Wildcats play all season long. That game will show us “who” this team. And what their ceiling truly is.

Now before we go further, I already know what some of you are thinking: “Torres, you so crazy!” Mississippi State isn’t even close to the biggest game on Kentucky’s schedule. The Wildcats have already played Duke, UNC and Louisville. They still have Kansas and two games left with Tennessee. How in the world is Mississippi State more important than those?

Well, the answer is simple really. No, Mississippi State isn’t Duke, UNC or Louisville. They certainly aren’t Tennessee or Kansas either. But what they are, is a good, veteran team that isn’t afraid to come into Rupp Arena and won’t be afraid of the “Kentucky” across the front of the Wildcats jerseys. The Bulldogs are a veteran, battle-tested team, with a senior point guard and four starters who are juniors or seniors. More importantly, at just 2-2 in the SEC with a gauntlet of games ahead, they absolutely have to win this game.

And to me, that’s why this game is so important for Kentucky, and why it will teach us so much about this team’s psyche and makeup: Will the Wildcats come out tough and hungry to pick up a win? Or coming off a massive road victory, will they come out with a sense of accomplishment and be too busy looking ahead to the weekend game against Kansas? Because I’ll tell you this: If Kentucky doesn’t come out focused tomorrow night, Mississippi State is good enough to pull off the upset.

That’s also why this game carries so much weight for the rest of the season. It isn’t about any one individual game, but instead, showing what the identity of this team is.

The bottom line is at this point, we already know Kentucky is a big game team. In their last three major games, against major teams, in major hostile environments, the Wildcats proved to be fearless. Wins at Louisville and Auburn are no joke, nor is a victory over North Carolina in Chicago. As we’ve learned, when the lights are bright, Kentucky comes out ready to go.

On the flip side, what we’ve also seen is that when it isn’t a major game and when the opponent isn’t quite so marquee, the Wildcats can also come out a little… meh. Remember, for all the excitement about the win at Auburn, this is also a team which fell behind 10-0 to Texas A&M before rallying back to win. This is the same team that fell behind to Vanderbilt as well. The Wildcats are also the same team that came out completely flat at Alabama and lost. Again, Mississippi State is not the kind of team you want to come out flat against, or fall behind by 10 or 12 points to. Do that and you will walk out of the arena with a loss.

And by the way, that doesn’t just go for Mississippi State, but just about everyone in the SEC. Sure, the focus right now is on Tennessee at the top of the standings. But make no mistake, there are plenty of others who will hand you a loss if you don’t come out ready to go, whether it’s LSU or Ole Miss, Florida, LSU, you name it. It also means that just as quickly as the good vibes of a win over Auburn or North Carolina can come, they can go with a two or a three game-losing streak. This Kentucky team is really good. But they aren’t invincible.

So who are the 2018-2019 Kentucky Wildcats?

A group who gets up for big games but can look past the lesser opponents?

Or a group full of dogs, who come out focused and ready to do whatever it takes to win every single time they take the court?

We’ll begin to find out on Tuesday night against Mississippi State.

(By the way, we spoke quite a bit about the Auburn game and what lies ahead for Kentucky on Monday’s Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. Click here to download today’s episode, and go back and listen to Episode 104 when Mississippi State coach Ben Howland joined the show)

Johnny Versace Joins Hey Kentucky!

You’ve heard his voice on KSR.  Now see Johnny Versace on Hey Kentucky!

One of KSR’s most famous callers joined the program to help Matt and Drew play a game of
“Big Deal or No Deal.” The two talked about Ja Morant, Calipari vs. Barkley and much more.

Click here to see the rest of tonight’s episode of Hey Kentucky!

Four Things You Missed from Kentucky Wildcats at the Shrine Game

Shrine Game

While you were watching the Kentucky basketball team defeat Auburn, Derrick Baity and Bunchy Stallings were representing the University of Kentucky in the 94th East-West Shrine Game.  Here’s what you missed from the East’s 21-17 win.

1. Baity Balled

Playing in his hometown, the 6’2″ cornerback started for the East and recorded four tackles, the fifth most on his team.  Baity had to get involved against the run because they rarely threw the ball his way.  He made most of his highlights during the week of practice.

2. Bunchy one of the Best

Kentucky’s All-American did not start for the East, but that doesn’t mean he did not capture the attention of scouts in the stands.  One noted that offensive line play at the Shrine Game is typically rough, yet Stallings was still one of the four best at the game.

3. Meetings with NFL Personnel

The Shrine Game is an excellent preliminary NFL Draft tryout.  Scouts get a chance to reinforce what they’ve seen on film, while front office personnel can sit down for one-on-one interviews with players.

Ten NFL general managers were at Tropicana Field throughout the week.  Baity reportedly met with Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Minnesota and Cincinnati, while Bunchy had discussions with the Bills and the Vikings.

Shrine Game

4. No C.J.

Kentucky’s 1,000-yard tight end did not finish the week in Tampa after suffering a minor injury in practice.  From what I understand, he would have played if it was a real game.  His absence should not hurt his draft stock.  In fact, it tells me that he’s in such good shape, he did not have to push it to play.

Shrine Game

Three more Cats — Darius West, Mike Edwards and Lonnie Johnson — arrived in Mobile, Alabama today to prepare for Saturday’s Senior Bowl.  We’ll keep you updated on their progress throughout the week.

5 Notes from Tony Barbee’s Pre-Mississippi State presser

Tony Barbee met with reporters today to discuss Kentucky’s win at Auburn and tomorrow’s tangle with No. 22 Mississippi State. Here are the five things you need to know.

Kentucky’s “resolve” bodes well for March

What was Barbee’s biggest takeaway from the Auburn game? The fact that Kentucky was able to hang on when the Tigers couldn’t miss and the arena was rocking.

“Responded. That’s a tough environment. It was really loud in there. They are a very experienced team. You knew they weren’t going to be rattled, and then when they put pressure on us down the stretch – our team is so young, I think we showed our resolve, our toughness playing on the road in that kind of environment that we were able to respond when they responded. That’s a trait of a championship team when you can do that in that kind of environment.”

Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro ahead of the typical Calipari freshman track

It’s a tale as old as John Calipari’s tenure in Lexington: star freshmen arrive, star freshmen show flashes of brilliance, star freshmen struggle, star freshmen turn the corner and become great. Barbee said Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro’s big performances on the road at Auburn suggest they’re ahead of most Calipari freshmen at this stage of the season.

Those guys are no different than any of the freshmen we’ve had here over the years. It’s a rollercoaster ride. They’re typical freshman until we get into late January, early mid-February, then you see those guys – they know they’ve been through so many games at this level, they’ve seen all the different defenses and how people play them, how physical it is in league play. But those are two guys, Keldon and Tyler, specifically that they are getting a little quicker than some of the freshman we have had. They’ve got a toughness about them, especially on the offensive floor.”

This quote about Reid Travis is great

A 6’8″ 240 lbs., Reid Travis is a solid dude, and Barbee said his ability to set screens is second to none on this squad. This quote seems particularly apt.

“You don’t want to run into Reid because you’re going to stop dead in your tracks.”

He thought Jared Harper’s shot was going in, too

When Jared Harper drove the lane and floated the ball towards the basket with six seconds left on Saturday, I’m pretty sure my heart stopped. At first, it looked like the ball was going in, but it mercifully bounced out. Barbee said the coaching staff thought it was in, too.

“It looked down. For us sitting on the bench it looked like it was in, but we defended it the way we wanted to defend that shot…Fortunate for us he missed because he had a clean look.”

Time to slow down and concentrate

When it wasn’t slowed to a crawl by fouls, Saturday’s game vs. Auburn was fast and furious. Get ready for Mississippi State to slow things down tomorrow night.

“I think, watching Auburn, they’re going to take a shot within the first eight seconds of the shot clock the majority of the time. Mississippi State is the opposite. They’re going to take a shot in the last eight seconds of the shot clock the majority of the time. So, we’re going to have to be more disciplined. We’re going to have to communicate for a longer period of time. That’s more of a challenge with so many young guys that we play.”

Read all of Barbee’s comments after the jump. Also, if you can decipher what song is playing through the headphones around his neck, I’ll give you free KSR for life. It’s been driving me nuts all afternoon.


MUST-SEE: Behind the scenes of Kentucky’s big win at Auburn

It’s finally here. Kentucky’s big win over Auburn gets the KyWildcatsTV treatment in the latest installment of “The Journey.”

UK tried to sneak the video on Twitter by sending it directly to followers who liked a preview yesterday afternoon, but nothing gets past these watchful eyes:

If you need me, I’ll be watching that on loop until tomorrow.

$50 tickets available for the Mississippi State game

Tomorrow’s game vs. No. 22 Mississippi State at Rupp is a big one. Good thing for you Kentucky is offering discounted tickets. For a limited time, you can purchase upper level seats for $50 each.

To access this offer, you must go through the ReplyBuy service. To do so, sign up for ReplyBuy by clicking here or texting “KENTUCKY” to 20123. New users will receive a $10 credit upon registering, which is nice. Once you’re all set up, ReplyBuy will text you with the deal and you’ll respond with ‘BUY KENTUCKY’ + the quantity of tickets you wish to purchase (Example: BUY KENTUCKY 2). A direct link to the offer can be found here.

For this game, the best seats available will be automatically pulled from sections 234 and 240. To view a seating chart, click here.

Kentucky vs. Mississippi State point spread released

Vegas has spoken and Kentucky opened as an eight-point favorite in tomorrow night’s game vs. No. 22 Mississippi State in Rupp Arena. The total is currently 148.5.

The Cats are on a bit of a hot streak in the basketball and gambling worlds, covering the spread in their last two games. They’re now 8-9 against the spread this season. In the words of Helmet Guy, Mississippi State’s pretty good, so I’m staying away from this one.

As always, gamble responsibly.