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Mark Stoops’ Wednesday News and Views


What better way to celebrate your birthday than a rousing game of Yahtzee?

On Tuesday, Mark Stoops turned 46, and he got a very nice present in the form of TV Williams, a 3-star wide receiver who committed to the Cats on Tuesday night. More on Williams later, but for now, let’s take a minute to appreciate the man who has made this new era of Kentucky football possible. Nine months ago, morale in the UK football fan base was lower than low. Attendance numbers were inflated in an attempt to avoid total humiliation, and many thought the program had been dealt a blow that would keep them on the SEC cellar floor forever. And then along came Stoops.

Stoops went after the job like he would a recruit, presenting Mitch Barnhart with a plan to not only turn UK football around, but make the program an SEC contender. Back then, we all chuckled a little bit at that last part, but after he got the job, reeled in the 29th best recruiting class in the country in a few short weeks, and sent the 2014 class soaring to number one in the nation, we started to believe. UK’s fans, so seasoned at cheering on the basketball team, saw the football program rising out of the corners of their eyes, and with each “Yahtzee,” turned their heads more and more towards what was happening over at the Nutter Field House.

In only eight months, Stoops has completely changed the atmosphere surrounding Kentucky football. True, he hasn’t even coached a game yet, but he’s succeeding in the area that may matter more right now: recruiting. By going north into Ohio, Stoops and his sidekick Vince Marrow are planting stakes into territory that until now, was uncharted for SEC teams. That trailblazing attitude has caught on in recruiting, with commitments coming on board for the chance to build Kentucky into an SEC contender.

Stoops has also found a way to make Kentucky–one of the most uncool programs in the nation–cool. He and his staff have a Calipari-like sense for marketing and have created a surreal buzz around the program nationally. This season won’t be easy–Kentucky has the toughest schedule in the nation–but at least with Stoops on board, there’s a glimmer of hope that the Cats can pull off an upset or two.

Happy birthday, Coach. As a fan who’s sat through one too many quiet games at Commonwealth Stadium, thank you.

Photo by @ImErinHartigan

TV Williams breaks the Yahtzee drought

Stoops got a mighty nice present in TV Williams, a speedy wide receiver from Texas. Williams committed to Kentucky over Oregon State, Houston, Nebraska, and Iowa. He’s only a three-star prospect (#ShitWeDidntSayAYearAgo), but he’s underrated because of his size. What he lacks in size, he makes up for with speed. He runs a 4.4 40 and is perfectly suited for the slot position in Neal Brown’s offense, which he has admired for years. Williams’ commitment also broke a Yahtzee drought, which had caused Kentucky to slip all the way to number five in Rivals’ team rankings (also, #ShitWeDidntSayAYearAgo). The Cats are now back up at number three:

Screen shot 2013-07-09 at 7.59.40 PM

Williams reportedly made his decision before he left for The Opening last week, but wanted to wait until he got home to announce it. In an interview with Rivals’ Rob Cassidy, Williams said that the opportunity to build a program appealed to him:

“They have a saying in Lexington that goes ‘come be a hero,'” Williams said. “It just means come help turn Kentucky around, and I really want to be a part of something special like that. I want to build a program and be part of a class that comes in and steps up. I decided that right before I went to the Opening. I wanted to go to camp clear minded. It was a great decision.”

Williams also said this about playing in Neal Brown’s offense: “You won’t find a wide receiver anywhere that wouldn’t want to play in an air-raid offense. No wide receiver wants to run the ball. It’s really a dream situation for me.”

(Hear that Braxton Berrios? Hear that Blake Bone?)

Welcome to the fam, TV. You’re already getting great reception.

Nick Richardson

Ripple effect?

Drew Barker said that one of the Cats’ top five remaining targets in the 2014 class is 4-star offensive lineman Nick Richardson. After Williams’ announcement Tuesday night, Richardson tweeted that UK was in his final two, along with Vanderbilt. 4-star wide receiver Blake Bone also tweeted that he might move his announcement up to August. Did Williams spark Yahtzee fever?

Doron Lamb bruises his knee in summer league game

On Tuesday, Doron Lamb went down with a knee injury in the third quarter of the Magic’s game against the Heat. Afterwards, Magic officials called the injury a left knee contusion, aka serious bruise. He’s now listed as day-to-day. Thank goodness. I can only imagine what trouble Doron would get into if he had nothing to do but heal and tweet. (FYI, we can all see it when you tweet strippers.)

In other summer league news, DeAndre Liggins had 2 points and 2 rebounds in the Thunder’s win over the Pistons (Daniel Orton did not play). Terrence Jones also chipped in six points and five rebounds in the Rockets’ win over the Jazz.

Kyle Wiltjer scores 22 for Team Canada, still undecided

Kyle Wiltjer and the Canadians laid the smack down on the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, with Kyle leading the way with 22 points. Still no word on whether or not Kyle will return to Kentucky next season or transfer, although a source tells KSR to expect a decision early next week.

Rupp Arena Press Conference Set for Wednesday afternoon

Wednesday will be a big day around these parts. The mayor of Lexington and the Governor will hold a press conference with the Lexington Center board at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the future of Rupp Arena. Matt wrote a lengthy post on what this announcement could mean Monday night, but safe to say, if no UK representatives are there, the negotiations between UK and the city probably aren’t going so well. We’ll have full coverage of the press conference on the site Wednesday afternoon.

— Finally, a special shoutout to Jimmy Rose, a Pineville, Kentucky native and UK fan who made the cut on Tuesday’s episode of “America’s Got Talent.” Jimmy sang the song “Coal Keeps The Lights On,” which impressed the judges enough to keep him in the competition. Check it out below:

(Thanks to agt for the link!)

In the morning, Ryan Lemond and JARED LORENZEN will take over the radio show while Matt, Drew and Chris Tomlin make their way to Augusta for the Peach Jam. Think they’ll talk about football? Let’s find out in the morning. See you then.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

51 Comments for Mark Stoops’ Wednesday News and Views

  1. agt
    11:12 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Actual video from Americas got talent

  2. matt from somerset
    11:37 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    You should have a concert with Sundy’s best and Jimmy rose after one of your shows! That was great!

  3. Bradley
    11:38 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    Come on Tyler! You find some player committing newsworthy, yet fail to mentions the biggest news of the day? Hitachi in Berea is now hiring and offers full benefits. Smh

  4. Democratswopenmind
    11:53 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    That’s actually a decent song and a great voice.

  5. Bobbum man
    11:57 pm July 9, 2013 Permalink

    4- bahaha I didn’t even know hitachi still existed before that ad earlier

  6. Cardfan
    12:16 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Peyton Siva would have sang it better.

  7. Hateulcards
    12:50 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    is the twins and young cleared to play I hear so much crap from other fan bases (ul, iu, wku, ut, and mizzu) need help to shut those m-fers up!

  8. ukjmatt
    6:09 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    8- yes they are cleared to play. There high school graduation was later in the year then the other players, so they were unable to make the summer session. They are stopping by for long weekends to play pick-up ball and will be here for fall semester.

  9. Mike
    6:18 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Was actually surprised by how good that dude was.

  10. musrat59
    6:19 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I have read about this young guy in the Middlesboro Daily News and wanted to hear the song and I loved the song and think the young fellow has a good future in country music if given the right opportunity. Thanks for showing it.

  11. Pauly D
    6:40 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    How come none of Cal’s 5-stars live up to the hype in the NBA or summer league? A real players’ first coach and program has two top five picks that actually are productive in the NBA. Not to mention they have graduated with degrees. None of this “woulda, coulda, shoulda” garbage that the BBN sheep believe.

  12. Are You Serious?
    7:06 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    You have no idea what you’re talking about #12. Terrence Jones, Doron Lamb and Daniel Ortonnhave all been playing extremely well in the summer league.

    Anthony Davis was All Rookie first team and has a gold medal. Eric Bledsoe was one of the biggest acquisitions during the off season, Brandon Knight is a solidified starter in Detroit, MKG was All Rookie second team.

    Who was the last player that Pitino coached that was worth anything in te NBA?

    Get your facts straight, clown.

  13. James
    7:15 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Of course #12 is named after a Jersey Shore buffoon

  14. JoeMoney333
    7:25 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    12. Until the 5-Star recruits believe what you’re trying to say your point is moot.

  15. kadizkat
    7:28 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Jimmy Rose needs to do the “Y”. To #12, #lilbrothereffect.

    7:38 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Anyone know where I can get the shirt TV has? Wonder if he had it made?

  17. Another point of view
    7:51 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I grew up in SEKY and I love that anyone from Pineville does well in a tv appearance. I appreciate his service to America. I understand KSR is trying to get Mr. Rose on air. However, I don’t like that his song praises coal, nor do I like that another role model for kids in Pineville is a country music singing former coal miner. Kids need to aim higher than coal, country music, and searching for instant fame. They need to prepare for a career of honest hard work – not in the mines – they need an education. I don’t like that the nation sees another example of backwardness coming out of SEKY. We need to progress beyond the life he sang about. Last night’s performance reinforces the same stereotype that some people from SEKY have spent their life trying to overcome. Ask a member of your local chamber of commerce what the coal industry has done to attract a diverse and thriving business base in SEKY.

  18. UK2K
    7:59 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    18. That’s ridiculous

  19. Another point of view
    8:07 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    19. UK2K, it’s the truth. This county has its priorities screwed up when “get your 15 minutes of fame” is glorified as the way to go for kids.

  20. Jonah Hex
    8:29 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    18- get out of here. He did more to give SEKY people a better role model than you just about can do. I guess serving your country didnt prepare him for “honest hard work” and I guess being a coal miner isn’t “honest hard work.”

    The only thing insulting about this whole equation is your comments. You may not agree with the merits of coal, that’s fine. But to say they guy- who has done what he has- isn’t prepared for “honest hard work” is redicilous.

  21. tbradg
    8:29 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Wow…really pulling for Jimmy Rose!

  22. Coal
    8:29 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Loved Jimmy’s song, but is anyone else surprised that NBC of all networks aired a positive song about coal?

  23. Jonah Hex
    8:30 am July 10, 2013 Permalink


  24. DEASY
    8:35 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    18.) Move.

  25. DEASY
    8:36 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Also, in one segment of the video, just briefly, you can see that his guitar has a big Friends of Coal sticker on the front. Did they make him remove it before the performance?

  26. Some Guy in Kentucky
    8:45 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    NBA-TV will show the Thunder-76’ers at 1pm et, Rockets-Celtics at 3 pm et.

  27. MissManners
    8:58 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t know where 18 saw a negative stereotype in Jason. I saw a young man who graduated high school, chose to go to work rather than draw a check, chose to serve his country ( for less money than most jobs, including coal mining) who wrote a song about something important to him ( as do most writers) and had lovely, southern manners while subtly expressing his faith. Good job and good luck Jason!

  28. Gib
    9:01 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    How many commitments are we allotted?

  29. John Short
    9:02 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Jimmy Rose…..You’re a GREAT AMERICAN!!!

  30. JCoal
    9:02 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I wasn’t a fan of the song. But I couldn’t knock Rose one bit for his courage to get up there and give it a shot. Maybe he just made himself into a country musician? Good for him and his family/friends/community.

  31. John Short
    9:02 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    29. we can have 27

  32. JCoal
    9:04 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    #29 – 27 total.

  33. Just saying
    9:24 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Seems like we have a TON of undersized “slot” receivers either on this team, and committed for next year. But I’ve yet to see the guys to play on the outside and stretch the field so that these scat receivers have room to work. I know we’re looking at Bone and Berrios, but what if they go elsewhere?

  34. Mojo
    9:26 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    18, You just made the most empty-headed post this week.

  35. UK2K
    9:38 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    34. Snodgrass is a Stretch and they have several others on the radar like Pierce and Brady whom have UK high. I trust the staff and will let them handle it.

  36. Melody
    9:53 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    18. Excellent points. We should all strive for more than to serve as fodder for the oligarchs who control the coal industry or the military-industrial complex. God didn’t put us here to make war on each other or destroy the mountains and pollute the air. There’s nothing laudable about attempting to romanticize the systemic imbalances that keep people falling into those traps. As for this guy’s prospects for fame in the music industry, the truth is he’ll never be more than a novelty to a national audience who’ll at best pat him on the head and view him as something akin to a horse that can clap its hooves on the ground and is said to be able to count before ushering him far away as soon is politely possible.

  37. Melody
    9:56 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    35. You can hug of the stereotypes and lies a little harder to make up for 18’s lack of faith.

  38. farrell smith
    10:00 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    wow this gentleman gets it he was great makes me proud to be a diabled coal miner god bless from pike county

  39. Dwayne
    10:08 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    #18 & #37 Do us all a favor and go hug a tree in a far away land!

  40. Scott Baio
    10:16 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    18. – What’s wrong with teaching kids they should chase their dreams? Whether it be athletics, music, acting or something else we all had a dream to be something as a kid. Unfortunately it doesn’t work for most of us and thats fine, but Jimmy Rose is chasing his dream of being a musician singing/writing about what he knows and loves.

    As far SEKY, I am also from the area. You mention that our kids should aspire to get an education, and I agree, but college isn’t for everyone. There is not anything wrong with kids aspiring to work hard everyday and provide for their family whether it be in the mines, or through a job that requires higher education.

  41. asdf
    10:20 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    If the only thing 18 managed to get out of that entire song and video was “coal”, then he/she isn’t perceptive enough to have an opinion worth anyone else worrying about. Good Yatzhee-ing grief…

  42. Clint
    10:22 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    It seems some people do not realize that there are jobs in the coal industry that are more than manual labor, like engineers, business, etc. The majority of coal jobs are not illustrious but that doesn’t mean that all coal jobs do not require extensive education.

  43. beavis606
    10:23 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll be the one to come out and say that Kyle needs to go to Gonzaga. Gives us the scholly for Exum. Thanks for the work done here Kyle but you want a more prominent role and that won’t happen here

  44. Clint
    10:25 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Also sounds like Melody needs to get their butt out of their head. God didn’t put us here to abort babies but yet we do that too.

  45. JCoal
    10:47 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Horse industry needs a song. Not sure why people get so jazzed up on coal when it has much less economic impact (jobs) on the state as horse breeding and racing. But both industries are in major decline.

  46. sgt. stadenko
    10:59 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Not really a country music type of person but best of luck to you Jimmy…very nice song to say the least. More importantly, thank you for serving our country by doing the most important job that one could do.

  47. Mojor
    11:45 am July 10, 2013 Permalink

    18 needs to chill and take an aspirin. Only aspirin is derived from carbolic acid, which comes primarily from…coal. So just suffer through that headache, 18. Your principles are on the line!

  48. Hello
    12:04 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    He clearly stated folks go to the mine, service, or go to college. Those are all options that keep you off welfare and create the ability to take care of a family. Plus, coal is what your electric car runs on. How do you plan to find jobs for all the coal miners in the mountains once you put them out of business? We can’t use coal, oil, or nuclear…We don’t have wind or sun in a lot of the country consistently and natural gas fracking is apparently the devil now as well. I would like Melody and 18 to explain how America will create all this clean power you’re dreaming about. Ask Spain how going solar worked out for them and they have sun most of the time. Yep…lets keep paying the middle east instead of using what we have here in America. I’d love a pure nontoxic environment as well, but it’s honestly not possible at this point.

  49. Diehardcatfan
    2:35 pm July 10, 2013 Permalink

    Great country voice!! Some of us don’t realize how thankful we should be..

  50. Blue To The Bone..
    12:05 am July 11, 2013 Permalink

    #18&37…Just two more “moral elites” who are nothing but air headed puppets following a philosophy that is going to bankrupt and destroy the greatest country on the face of the earth…How bout you two move to China and then tell us how lousy this country is…Idiots the both of you..