On October 20, 2008, the mythical site re-design was first mentioned on KSR in a post about a server switch. Back on that cool autumn night, Matt teased readers that “one day” a site re-design would come, and five years later, we’re almost there. On Friday night, the “new KSR” will debut in all it’s glory. I’ve been banned from showing you any pictures of it until then, but here are some hints to hold you over:
1) It will be blue
That is one of UK’s colors, after all.
2) It won’t look like your cousin’s friend made it in 1999
Goodbye Comic Sans!
3) It will be very easy to navigate
Each post will be categorized so that you can click on “Basketball” and find all of the basketball posts written in chronological order, and the same with football, UK Hoops, etc. Also, the day’s best posts will be featured in a sidebar so you can find them regardless of what time they went up.
4) Unfortunately, this banner didn’t make the cut:
That’s all I can tell you, but it’s going to be awesome, I swear. This is just the first phase of the re-design, with later versions bringing changes to the comments section and even a forum for you guys to write your own posts. But that’s only if you’re good, so behave.
Cherish these last few days of white background and gray boxes, people. On Friday, KSR will be a whole new world.
News and views time.
— The biggest news of the day was word that the coaching staff has narrowed the quarterback battle down to two. Stoops and Brown did not reveal the names of the two QBs, but reporters spotted Jalen Whitlow and Maxwell Smith meeting privately with Brown after the practice. Stoops also said that UK’s third option will likely redshirt. If Jalen Whitlow isn’t the starter, I will be stunned.
— Otherwise, it was a “good practice,” according to Stoops, with plenty of enthusiasm and physical play. Brown called it one of the team’s best practices, and said the offense bounced back from a poor second half in Saturday’s scrimmage. They mostly did situation work, which is crucial due to the fast tempo of the Air Raid offense. Neal Brown says the guys are still getting used to the faster style of play: “The tempo, it’s something that constantly we’ve gotta work on. It is a lot different. They’re improved; they’re not exactly where I want them to be. But the good news is we’ve still got some time.”
Stoops said that the team “can’t get enough” of game situations, and according to Kyle Tucker, they are bringing in SEC officials for a scrimmage on Tuesday.
— Standouts of the Day: Raymond Sanders and Javess Blue. Both Stoops and Brown praised Sanders, whose body has totally changed thanks to Erik Korem’s conditioning program. Also different? UK’s offense, which Neal Brown says is much better suited for him than the old offense. As a result, Brown says Sanders has “more confidence than he’s ever had.” Stoops echoed those sentiments: “We think he’s a very good player, he’s very talented. And hopefully his skill set will shine in this offense. We think he has the ability to make some big plays.”
In addition, Brown said that Javess Blue is making a lot of progress in camp: “Javess is coming along. He’s learning what to do, really fast, really talented and he will be out there ready to roll when we suit up against Western.” Blue tweaked a hamstring over the weekend, but if Brown’s words are any indication, he’ll be just fine in time for the opener.
— We told you how DeAndre Turman, a 2015 cornerback, died tragically over the weekend. UK was the first school to offer Turman and after Monday’s practice, Stoops said he wanted to honor Turman by formalizing that offer with an offer letter. NCAA rules prohibit teams from sending offer letters to junior recruits, but Stoops said he hopes they will make an exception for Turman’s family:
“We’re asking for some options on things that we’re allowed to do, whether we could just send – you know, we’re not normally allowed to mail an offer letter to somebody that age. We’d like to do that. Maybe the father would like to have that as a memento.”
If you have any decency left, NCAA, you’ll make this happen.
— On the basketball side of things, we got a few more pieces to UK’s conference schedule with the announcement that UK will be featured in five ESPN Super Tuesday matchups. (Fire up Jimmy’s Jet!) Here’s the schedule so far, as we know it:
We should know the full conference schedule by the end of this week.
— In recruiting news, 2014 shooting guard James Blackmon Jr. will take an unofficial visit to Kentucky on August 29th. Blackmon decommitted from Indiana last week, and will also take an unofficial visit to Michigan State on Saturday, and possibly Louisville next weekend with Trey Lyles. He’s planning to visit Kentucky for Big Blue Madness in October as well. He’s also considering Michigan and NC State, among others.
— Could Josh Harrellson be headed to Motor City? Jorts tells us that he’s close to a deal with the Detroit Pistons after working out for them on August 7th. Jared Sullinger, if you’re reading this, heads up: the Celtics play the Pistons in Detroit on November 3rd. Get your chest pillow ready.
— While I
looked for new throw pillows worked diligently on Monday, DeMarcus Cousins did this:
— Congrats to Tubby Smith, Rex Chapman, Oliver Barnett, Leslie Nichols, Press Whelan and Jesse Witten, who will soon be the newest members of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame. The 2013 class will be inducted the weekend of September 27-28 in conjunction with the Florida football game. Hopefully, this is the first step to getting Tubby’s banner in the rafters.
— Finally, if you haven’t checked out Drew Barker’s latest diary entry, please do so. KSR’s most athletic writer (it was a toss-up between him and Corey Nichols) talked about his first scrimmage, his trip to Fan Day, and how the Cats are doing in recruiting. Here are three quick things I took away from the entry:
1) Barker’s not afraid to run with the ball
I loved reading Drew’s description of how he put up over 200 yards rushing in this past weekend’s scrimmage. Because Drew is typically known as a pocket passer, those stats jumped out at me. Drew said that he made the decision to run that often because the defense was putting too many guys back in coverage, and he wanted to keep them honest. Like he said, I don’t think UK will rely on his running skills often next year, but it’s good to hear he’s not afraid to put his head down and go for the first down.
2) He’s more than ready to get started at UK
We’ve said this often, but Drew is probably the most mature high school senior ever. Enrolling early wasn’t just an option for him, it was a foregone conclusion. Whereas a lot of high school seniors would relish the opportunity to spend the last five months of school with their friends goofing off, Drew can’t move into the UK dorms soon enough. During fan day, he was able to sit in on the quarterback meetings, and I’m sure was already imagining himself as a freshman. He’s planning to go to every home game this season in addition to his official visit to UK in December with Matt Elam, so he’s almost spending as much time in Lexington this fall as he will be in his hometown of Hebron.
3) Mark Stoops doesn’t want recruits or commitments to take official visits during the season
I thought it was very interesting that Drew said Mark Stoops told the 2014 commitments and Matt Elam that he doesn’t want them to visit during the season. That tells me that he realizes there could be some ugly SEC games that he’d rather not have those guys see in person before signing period. While UK football will at least be more exciting this season, it is an uphill battle with a thin army against the nation’s toughest schedule. You don’t want to give these guys an up-close view of the carnage. Plus, if recruits and commitments visit during the off-season, they can come to basketball games and use Rupp’s new recruiting room, which is a clear (and promising) sign that Stoops is going to use the basketball program’s popularity to his advantage. Also encouraging? All of the 2014 commitments are taking their officials on the same weekend as Matt Elam (December 14). I can’t think of a better way to secure a silent verbal before Elam’s announcement on January 4th.
That’ll do, folks. See you in the morning.