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

Matt Bradford’s Monday News and Views

picture by Victoria Graff

Rupp Arena was a special place to be on Saturday, as Rupp Arena produced one of its best atmospheres of the year. The crowd was lively, the Cats played relatively well and the Firecrackers performed (always a fan favorite). But the most touching moment and the one that caused Rupp to get a bit dusty was when a true American hero, Matt Bradford, was introduced to the crowd. Bradford is a Marine who was wounded in Iraq by a roadside bomb that cost him both of his legs and his eyesight. While lucky to survive the attack, Bradford did not allow the difficulty to ruin his productivity and he made history when he re-enlisted into the Marines following the attack. His story has gotten a great deal of attention over the years, and his strength has proven to be an inspiration for many. And on Saturday, the Winchester, Ky native got to fulfill one of his dreams, and be introduced to the Rupp Arena crowd. All those in attendance will remember the moment as everyone, including fans, media and even the officials, stopped what they were doing to give Bradford a standing ovation. I was moved by his appearance in all UK gear, but became even more so at halftime when I was able to meet Matt. He told me that he listened to KSR every day in Lexington and that he looked forward to 10 am every morning to hear us “do our thing.” Matt told me that he is interested in broadcasting and is currently attending college classes pursuing his degree. It was an inspiring, and humbling, moment for me to realize that we are able to entertain, in some small way, as heroic an individual at Matt. Meeting him was the highlight of my weekend and I encourage you to watch the video below to learn more about Matt’s story and his proclamation on national television that he is a “Kentucky Wildcat.”

To the much more frivolous sports news of the weekend:

Cats Set the Table for Florida by Dispatching Auburn

Nothing is easy with this group. It’s just the way it is. Even though the team is improving game by game, the same frustrations and deficiencies occur and that causes games to be closer and more tense than they should be. But I have learned to accept the situation of this version of the UK basketball team because even with the difficulties, Kentucky is still in a place to make some noise in March. On Saturday, we got another example as to why, with Kentucky winning a game in which none of its best players played particularly well, but the Cats were nevertheless able to get an important win. Auburn came in with one mindset…rough up the Cats and try to get them out of their game with physical play. And while that gameplan did keep the score close, Auburn never threatened to actually win the game. Kentucky matched the physicality at times and maintained their composure during a couple of highly questionable acts by Auburn players. Nerlens Noel, Willie Cauley-Stein, Alex Poythress and Julius Mays all made important baskets at key moments and the Cats were able to keep a comfortable double digit margin through most of the second half. It wasn’t the prettiest performance in the world, but it was effective for a team that has one of its biggest games of the year Tuesday night. The Auburn game plan is one that was employed by Alabama in Tuscaloosa and will be seen many more times throughout the rest of the season. The Cats did make strides towards handling that gameplan more effectively, and for that, Saturday should be considered a success.

The 1978 team had their 35th reunion at the game on Saturday. Here is how the team looked in 1978 on the way to a national title:

And here they were on Saturday during their loud ovation:

Jarrod Polson Cements His Role

Jarrod Polson played 20 minutes on Saturday, while Archie Goodwin only played 17. That says a lot about both players at this point, but more importantly showcases just how far the young man from Wilmore has come. When he first arrived, Polson was simply the boy band-looking, end of game-shooting victory cigar that was best known for inspiring the UK student section serenade him with never-ending “SHOOOOOOOOT” chants. But now, two years later, Polson has not only had his one shining moment (versus Maryland), he is also an important contributor to the team. He comes in and gives energy, ball-handling and isn’t afraid to take the ball to the basket. With the unfortunate Archie Goodwin point guard experiment over (remember when that was a thing?), Polson is now the team’s legitimate backup point guard and in certain situations (such as Saturday), when Goodwin isn’t’ playing well, he can be an effective backcourt mate with Ryan Harrow. I continue to be impressed with just how far he has come and how confident I am when he is in the game. He still struggles against defending elite guards, but the reality is that outside of Florida, there simply aren’t that many in the SEC. So when called upon, Polson can do his job and he has done it really effectively. If all of the rest of the team (some already do, but unfortunately not all) approached their time in the game with the same determination that Jarrod does, this team could hit its stride. There is still time and if Calipari’s comments after the game are any indication, Polson may be utilized as the model for the rest of the team going forward.

UK Football Makes a Strong Impression

The two young men above are QB Drew Barker and WR Derek Kief, 2 of around 20 High School Juniors and Sophomores who visited Kentucky’s campus this weekend and took part in Mark Stoops’ first Junior Day. This is the first major step in creating the next UK football recruiting class and it is an event that UK is preparing to make huge in the years to come. Over the course of the next few days, we will give you info on a lot of those visitors and who some of the major targets are for next year. And throughout the weekend, many of the pay sites have interviewed a few of these players to get their reaction and it can best be summed up like this. People were REALLY impressed. Player after player spoke about what a great experience the weekend was and how much the UK coaching staff won them over throughout the process. This comment from elite 2015 RB Damien Harris of Berea (yes one of the best running backs in America in the Sophomore class lives in Berea) is indicative:

This is the reality. The new UK coaching staff is impressing EVERYONE they come in contact with, utilizing an approach to recruiting that is blowing people away. From explaining in detail how each player will be utilized to showcasing their revolutionary training and monitoring methods (more on this later in the week too). Kentucky’s recruiting class finished #27 in Rivals rankings and there may still be one or two more to come, but it wouldn’t shock me if the one next year does even better. It is a new Kentucky football mindset folks.

— Finally, a couple of quick things. I have never laughed harder during a game than during the UL-Notre Dame game. The poor Cards found every way imaginable to lose to a team that by the end of the game, looked like one in a church rec league. Yes, I know the Cats lost to both teams, and I understand that. But if you didn’t at least chuckle as Russ Smith missed six end-of-game heaves that were produced with virtually nothing resembling coaching, then you were either (a) a frustrated UL fan or (b) asleep.

Also, take a minute and read this story about former Dukie Jay Williams. It is a tremendous look at Williams’ life, where he went from a top athlete at the pinnacle of his craft, to someone who nearly had to have a leg amputated after a poor decision. Williams has struggled to talk about the accident in the past, but his openness now is quite refreshing. Jay has been on our show a few times and he is one of the good guys in the game. We wish him the best on his new television calling.

We get going with radio and a new week at 10 am in the morning. Come join us…

Article written by Matt Jones

33 Comments for Matt Bradford’s Monday News and Views

  1. Here We Go Now
    10:50 pm February 10, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you Matt Bradford. You are true hero. You have an awesome attitude. Be Strong and GO Big Blue!

  2. Big Blue 66
    10:58 pm February 10, 2013 Permalink

    dont get too enthusiastic about Polson, hes still a big step from being a true big time D1 type of contributor. Archie is getting tough love from Cal on selfishness and its important, but dont lose sight that Archie has more talent in his pinkie than Polson has. We need Archie to play and play well to make any run at all.

  3. Rex Chapman's Calves
    11:24 pm February 10, 2013 Permalink

    Ha Ha thanks Notre Lame! Eat Chit Loserville Trolls!!!

  4. Not so good lighting
    11:29 pm February 10, 2013 Permalink

    Someone needs to change up the light in the locker room. Those recruits get pictures that look like shittt

  5. Ridge Runner
    11:29 pm February 10, 2013 Permalink

    Great story Matt on Matt Bradford & a focus rightfully applied there.


    Reminder BBN…we gotta get focused here as time is running out!

    You can vote between now & Feb 27th in this initial round “once every day”…

    Infinity Coaches Challenge South Region (Current Leaderboard)…Haith 24%, Calipari 21%, Gottfried 15%, Donovan 13%

  6. BNClay
    11:54 pm February 10, 2013 Permalink

    To everyone bashing Polson please recall player such as Chuck Hayes, Josh Harrelson, Cameron Mills, and others that despite being undersized or supposedly lacking talent all made meaningful contributions and were important to their teams success. He may be slower, but Polson plays much headier, is a better passers, and a better shooter.

  7. Number three
    11:58 pm February 10, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t understand how you could listen to a game called by Kay Williams and still say good things about him afterward. He’s one of those external guys that talks about anything other than the game in front of him. Then again you think buzz baker is good so we might just be dealing with someone who has poor taste.

  8. MemphisCat
    12:06 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    As a Navy Chief I salute Cpl. Bradford for his will too live and strive to continue serving his country. I have had some friends that didn’t survive Iraq/Afghan, I was lucky. I think God has a plan for Cpl. Bradford, he is a “True Hero”.

  9. Matt Jones
    12:54 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    #7 maybe because there is more to life than how someone calls a game. I like both Jay and Buzz on the mic, but even if you don’t, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good people or don’t have important stories to tell

  10. tdogg40330
    1:22 am February 11, 2013 Permalink


  11. Cain
    1:36 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Matt Bradford is a real inspiration to us all. I actually take a class with him in college. Haven’t had a chance to really talk to him but anyone who has been threw what he has been threw and hasn’t given up should be a inspiration to us all. You should also know that his wife is amazing in that she supports him with his goals . She goes as far enough to walk him to class every day and wait for him to finish to walk him to his next class or home. I think it’s really cool that Ksr would write about something like this . Keep up the good work Matt jones and crew .

  12. DantheCat
    1:47 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Matt Bradford…You sir are an AWESOME AND CORAGEOUS individual…This country is so blessed to have men like you in it…As a Vietanm vet I salute YOU and hope that that little one grows up to be a WILDCAT some day…God Bless YOU!!!!!!!!

  13. gog8ors
    5:06 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Matt Bradford is a member of the Baptist Church at Andover, the same church that I belong to. He is a fine young man and I am proud to know him. Go Gators!

  14. Bubba Earl
    6:19 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Where was Rick Robey? Oh, he must have been at South Bend behind Louisville’s bench Saturday!

  15. Steve
    7:11 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you Matt Bradford for your service and dedication to our country. You are an inspiration to us all.
    Florida will finally sell out a basketball game on Tuesday. 12,000 seat arena and if you wanted tickets today for Florida’s last home game of the year, you could sit 2 rows from the floor for 23.50 on Ticketmaster. Top 5 team in the country and they care little for basketball.

  16. rainman
    7:21 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you Mr. Bradford your a true American Hero!

  17. Karen
    8:07 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    May God Bless Matt Bradford for your service to our country. BBN is so proud of you and all who have, or are, serving our country. Freedom is not free and we must never forget the sacrifices made by so many true heroes for the USA. Go USA! Go Cats!

  18. Al B Frank
    8:08 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    6- I agree that Polson may be a better shooter… so why does he continue to pass up open shots and refuse to shoot? I understand that he just wants to “run the offense” but there comes a time when he’s going to have to take the open shot. How many shots did he ATTEMPT in 20 minutes on Saturday? Two? Total. I think in the previous game he attempted one shot in like 12 minutes, or something like that. I don’t have the stats in front of me. There’s a lot to be said for unselfishness, and I’m proud of the way Polson conducts himself and runs the offense, he rarely turns the ball over… but when he’s in the game, we are down to only four scoring options on the floor. Polson is playing well, but if he’s open… why won’t he shooooot???

  19. EC
    8:12 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Thank you, Mr Bradford and may God grant you fulfillment in every thing you do.

    If I was a UL fan, I would be as fed up with my coach as all of us were with Clyde this time in 2009. It had to be the worst example of how to coach game-ending situations x 5. It should have never even gotten to overtime.

  20. I'll Be Frank
    8:50 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    (18) AL B – From what your getting at, Polson controls the game and not Calipari. Is that what you think? You need to use the brains God gave you and realize that the reason Polson is in the game is not because he is a scoring option, but because he can distribute the ball around and provide STEADY point guard play. Calipari is indeed the one who controls the game for Kentucky, and don’t you think that Polson would shoot if Calipari told him to shoot whenever he is open????? The fact is Calipari wants Polson to RUN THE POINT, not score points. Polson is in the game to get the offense running, so if you think that means ONLY FOUR scoring options then take that up with Calipari….he’s the one you need to be complaining to, not Polson. I’m sure Polson would love to shoot the heck out of that basketball….but it just isn’t needed, or that’s what Cal thinks.

  21. Wall2Cousins
    9:05 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Coach Cal gonna be on Mike and Mike on ESPN radio in 20 minutes.

  22. bellcofan
    9:50 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    (18) AL-B-Polson can’t shoot because Cals baby boy J Mays is in there to shoot and make his 1 or 2 threes and play 35+ minutes a game. I think if Polson had the same green light that JM has then he would be twice the player that JM is. That is why he is not allowed to shoot – can’t show up JM.

  23. theWilkman
    9:58 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    I was at the game and will echo Matt’s statements about the crowd and their reaction to Mr. Bradford, an American hero.

  24. Boy, does that current pic of the 78 team make me feel old!? I was 16 when they won it all, so do the math. 🙂

  25. GetaReelJob
    10:27 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    by re-enlisting, Bradford just proving that many are just too stooopid to do anything w/their lives, Xcept serve in the military!?!?!?

  26. theWilkman
    10:42 am February 11, 2013 Permalink

    25. Your ignorance is astounding. Some of the brightest, best men I know serve our country. Please take your poor grammar elsewhere.

  27. Hudgie DeRobertis
    1:44 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    GetaReel… You are a disgrace to American society. Maybe you’d be happier sharing a cave with the Taliban.

  28. STEVE!
    2:05 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    6 – I get your point, but to lump Chuck Hayes in with players “supposedly lacking talent” does a disservice to Chuck. He was Mr. Basketball in California and a Parade All-American. We had to beat Kansas to get him.

  29. Larry
    2:22 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Semper Fi to Matt from one Marine to another! #25 You are such an idiot. As a former Marine myself with 2 Purple hearts I take offese at someone like you who doesn’t know crap. You Talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
    Polson is doing a great job but needs to shoot when he is open outside more. His man sags off to double up on Nerlen. He is a good shooter just tends to pass up open looks.

  30. CatsFan
    2:37 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    GetReelJob I must say your ignorance shows your own education level. Someone of your intellectual level couldn’t possible understand why Matt reenlisted but it was not due to lack of education or will. He has the power to motivate other wounded and service members to persevere with their injuries. As a matter of fact he is attending school full time and aspires to work and not allow his injuries to slow him down. He wot be flipping burgers but fulfilling his dreams because he has the motivation to GET A REAL JOB. There is your grammar lesson for the day.

  31. Larry
    2:51 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    The Idiot who posted #25. How the hell would an idiot like you understand what is in a man’s heart who has lost both legs and his eyesight defending your right to post such garbage. You are exactly what is wrong with this country. You look down your nose at people who are willing to sacrifice their lives so that we in this country can enjoy the freedoms we have. Unless you have walked in a US Marines shoes don’t dare ridicule him. I am 66 years old and served in a Marine rifle company on the DMZ in Viet Nam and if I met you on the street right now I would kick your damned ass.You probably live at home. I feel sorry for someone like you.You are a waste as an AMERICAN

  32. Jarrod T
    10:09 pm February 11, 2013 Permalink

    Suddenly I feel very small and all my problems petty. Sacred and solemn debts are owed to those who serve and particularly those that have served.

  33. Kara Ball
    8:32 am February 12, 2013 Permalink

    Mr. Bradford, what an amazing man! So proud of him!!