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The Season Never Ends’ Thursday News and Views

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Follow Season Never Ends on twitter: @SeasonNeverEnds

*******

  It almost feels criminal to lead off with news of two football commitments in the middle of December, but that’s where we are these days with the buzz around the football program and the silence from the basketball team as they endure Camp Cal 2012.  On Wednesday, Mark Stoops landed his first two commitments since taking over at Kentucky: two highly sought after junior college prospects who will be able to come in and compete right away.  The first is Steven Borden, the tight end from Kilgore College in Texas and, more notably, the son of Sting.  A commitment from Borden was expected this week after he said UK was No. 1 on his list following a visit to Lexington last weekend.

Stoops spoke about Borden in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, saying an upgrade at the tight end position was a priority. “We felt like we needed to go out and address the tight end situation and bring somebody in,” Stoops told reporters in his first press conference from the Wildcat Den.  “As we started looking at junior college tight ends, obviously Steven jumped right up at the front of the list because coach Brown was recruiting him at Texas Tech, so they were already familiar with him. Once Neal brought him to the table, we were able to watch film on him. I loved him and felt like it was a need and felt like he was a versatile player, so we are very excited to bring Steven into the program.”

  The second commitment of the afternoon came as a surprise to Big Blue Nation, as it was a name we weren’t familiar with prior to the news of his signing.  Za’Darius Smith, a defensive end from East Mississippi Community College, signed his scholarship papers to play at the University of Kentucky on Wednesday morning, the first day of the junior college signing period for college football.  Smith is a 4-star prospect and the second-ranked junior college defensive end in the country, according to ESPN’s JUCO 100.  He had offers from Miami, Florida State, Texas, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and West Virginia, among others.  (That sounds much better than: “He had offers from Troy, Middle Tennessee State, Miami (Oh) and interest from Mississippi — what we’re used to hearing.)

“This is a unique situation to be able to land a player like Za’Daruis in a short amount of time,” Stoops told reporters on Wednesday. “We had two weeks to recruit him, he was out of official visits, so (defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh) and I flew there to see his mother and him at Greenville. Again, he was back on break and he didn’t have a visit.”

Smith used up his five official visits on Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Mississippi State, West Virginia, and, most recently, Texas on December 7.  Therefore he committed to Kentucky without visiting Lexington, but his relationships with the UK staff and the potential to play immediately were enough to make up his mind.

“Obviously, the relationship Za’Darius had with coach Jimmy Brumbaugh and with coach (D.J.) Eliot and with myself helped. Coach Eliot and I were recruiting him at Florida State and Jimmy (Brumbaugh) coached him, so relationships were a big thing with that,” he said.  “It is very rare, but I could not be more excited. It was a great need for us. Here is a player that has tremendous physical gifts, 6’5”, maybe 6’6”, 250, and a tremendous player. He is an every-down guy, could be great against the run, great pass rusher and just an impact type of guy.”

He said Smith’s signing sets the tone and set the precedents for the new Kentucky football.  It shows other elite prospects that it’s okay to sign with Kentucky.

  Stoops also suggested that he’s told some of UK’s current signees in the 2013 class to look elsewhere.  He said has talked to every recruit from the previous staff, and told some that it would be in their best interest to explore other opportunities. “I don’t think you want a player that you’re going to sign come in here and be unhappy if he doesn’t fit the system and have to sit out for four or five years,” he said.  “That wouldn’t be the right thing to do to those players, so we’ve addressed all of those.”

  In basketball recruiting news, Dakari Johnson took a page from Nerlens Noel’s book and trimmed his list down to Kentucky, Georgetown and Syracuse.  He had previously been considering Kansas, Ohio State, and Florida.  Johnson told reporters at the City of Palms Classic in Florida that he has a great relationship with John Calipari, he admires the Kentucky program, and has many close friends in Lexington.  Still, Rivals.com’s Jerry Meyer is hesitant to call Kentucky the leader and said Johnson would be a better fit at one of the other two schools.  Meyer thinks it will take Johnson a year or two to become an impact player, comparing his athleticism to Randolph Morris but in a thinner frame. He said UK signee Marcus Lee is more of the Davis/Noel mold that John Calipari likes; he’s more athletic than Dakari Johnson and plays higher above the rim.

  I had to take down the video of Andrew Wiggins from Boyd County because it was stuck on Auto-Play, but it’s still worth checking out if you don’t mind leaving KentuckySportsRadio.com for a minute or two.  Just make sure you come right back, please.

  Don’t forget: Going Big, the ESPN documentary on Sam Bowie premieres Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN. The one-hour program, part of the SEC Storied series, chronicles Sam Bowie’s trying career, which was plagued by injuries in college and the NBA and overshadowed by his draft placement ahead of Michael Jordan.  It’s already made news recently for some of the quotes from Bowie, including one where he admits to lying to the Portland Trailblazers about his leg pain in order to protect his draft stock.  It should be a great documentary, especially for Kentucky fans.

  With 25 points & 12 rebounds Wednesday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist joins LeBron James as the only two players in NBA history to post 25 and 12 twice before their 20th birthday.

I miss him so much.

  Also on Thursday’s schedule: new Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown will make a guest appearance on Kentucky Sports Radio radio in the morning with Matt Jones to discuss Air Raid 2.0 and his return home to the Bluegrass.  Be sure to tune in and we’ll post the podcast as soon as we can for those of you who can’t catch it live.

  The Salvation Army has launched a True Blue Online Red Kettle Campaign to help local people in need this holiday season.  Coach Cal is participating in the fundraiser and has donated a signed piece of the Final Four floor to be awarded to the largest donor. All donors will be entered in a drawing for prizes including, UK basketball tickets, a basketball signed by Coach Cal, UK/UL football tickets, a Keeneland box for a day during the 2013 spring meet, UK sweatshirts, Kentucky Corner gift certificates, Malone’s gift certificate and a catered dinner by Selma’s Catering in the winner’s home.  For more information go to http://www.onlineredkettle.org/TrueBlue.

  And if you’re one of the people who like to have a little fun while helping others, the DeerPack and Lexington Tin Roof will be hosting a Christmas party this Friday to raise money and collect toys for children in need.  Show up dressed in your favorite Christmas attire with a $10 donation or a new, unopened toy or a gift card to a local eatery.  The donations and a generous portion of Tin Roof’s food sales that night will go to the kids at the UK Children’s Hospital.

That’ll do it for now.  We’ll see you back here bright and early Thursday morning for the Neal Brown interview, more from Mark Stoops, and Tomlin gets you ready for the end of the world.

Go Cats.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

37 Comments for The Season Never Ends’ Thursday News and Views



  1. Bob Cobb
    11:59 pm December 19, 2012 Permalink

    The NCAA is cold as ice. They announced Texas’ Myck Kabongo is suspended for the season during the Texas beat down of UNC. Tomorrow they will be at the UNC Board of Trustees meeting to pin a medal on Roy Williams for making Department of Multicultural Studies Re-Education courses so easy to learn that even Julius Peppers can understand. Ole Roy, he’s all about the student-athlete.



  2. J
    12:29 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Wiggins is just filthy nasty…That’s some grown man sh-t he’s throwin down.



  3. maxgwenuk
    1:43 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Couldn’t agree more on the comment about MKG “I miss him so much”. Without question my favorite cat i loved matching him play last year and couldn’t be more proud of how he is playing so far in the league, remember age wise he should still be a freshman.



  4. G
    1:53 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    RIP Ron Mercer ;(



  5. hypocrites
    2:45 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Stoops also suggested that he’s told some of UK’s current signees in the 2013 class to look elsewhere. He said has talked to every recruit from the previous staff, and told some that it would be in their best interest to explore other opportunities. “I don’t think you want a player that you’re going to sign come in here and be unhappy if he doesn’t fit the system and have to sit out for four or five years,” he said.

    Why when Cal does this,he gets bash by everyone and espn does a doc. about it…but the football coach does it and it goes quiet?



  6. JBR
    2:55 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I was happy that you finally got a new model for your overpimped ‘season never ends’ thing…but she looks like you kidnapped her or something…not too happy.



  7. SeaCat
    4:23 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    It will be interesting to see what magic
    Cal can work with these guys.
    Super athletes no question, but something
    is wrong between the ears with all but
    Noel.
    Curious situation…



  8. Catlanta
    6:16 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I watched part of the tard game last night. That Montrezl Harrell guy plays with such passion and he has a high motor. I wish alex played that way. He would be one of the best players in the country.



  9. Chi-TownCat
    7:04 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    #6 If someone shaved your eyebrows like they did hers you wouldnt be happy either…lol



  10. James K
    7:10 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I’m gonna say something mean… I hate the girl in the photo. I ran across her Twitter page one day randomly because she was talked about for a while there, and got looking at her timeline — what an insane narcissist. If your entire identity is “I’m this sexy person and everyone desires me” you’d better be a nice, likeable person. Everything she does says ‘PLEASE, PLEASE THINK I’M HOT!’ I’d pick the girl to the right any day of the week, and she looks like she is trying 1/8 as hard. Sorry for the negativity, she just annoys the shit out of me.



  11. seasonneverends
    7:19 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Please end her as the eye candy!!!! i feel like im looking at brussel sprouts.



  12. SeoulCat
    7:31 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    #10, yeah, that’s one HARD lookin’ lady. Playboy model? She must have had some compromising photos of Hugh in Sandusky’s shower party. She looks more like a woman named “Marge” who serves you some toast, eggs, and watered down coffee at some Rt. 66 diner in Nowhere, Midwest at 3am.



  13. Natural Beauty
    7:54 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    10, James K, with the girl on the right, it’s called “natural beauty”. She doesn’t have to try. I know nothing about the girl above, personally, so won’t run her down. Seen that kind before, though. Would take the girl on the right 7 days a week, and twice on Sunday. Heck, I would take her as often as possible!



  14. Natural Beauty
    7:55 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Also, one on the right is the kind you make babies with. One at top is kind you get drunk and screw.



  15. Ugly Stick
    7:58 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Yes, I have hit her several times.



  16. notplayingthisgame
    7:59 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Karen Sypher look-alike.



  17. lextownlooney
    8:23 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I used to know the girl up top when she was “Kylie” at Deja Vu about 10 years ago. She has been “enhanced” since then. Don’t know about now, but she used to be pretty cool. Maybe the whole “Playboy Model” and ” I got run over by a hoosier” fame has went to her head.



  18. josh
    8:29 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    id take the calender girl on the right everyday



  19. Girl In Pic
    8:36 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Who farted?



  20. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    8:37 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    What’s up with what #4 said, did Ron pass away?



  21. Tired Of Being 1 of 12 Games
    8:39 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I like Stoops attitude that he is a “can do” type person. He is not taking the path of “know your place UK football” that some at KSR love to preach. He is trying to build UK football for success. He is not predetermining its failures.



  22. English 101
    8:46 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I just wanted to say y’all have been doing a great job of spelling lately. Peace. Merry Christmas.



  23. UKBlue
    8:50 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    The Going Big Documentary comes on ESPNU not ESPN.

    I thought it was Christmas not Halloween; good Lord that calendar girl face scared me when she popped up on the screen. If she was in Playboy, it was the low end tailor park addiction.



  24. BallsoHard
    9:13 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I hit it several several time, I have proof if anyone wants to see her just lay there…
    #10, so true.



  25. Dudley Dowrong
    9:25 am December 20, 2012 Permalink


  26. Heisenberg
    9:27 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    #29 still not impressed



  27. Larry Vaughts Droid
    10:02 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Hey now guys, that girl is featured in my friends of larry website header.



  28. OneAndDone
    10:18 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    True Blue Kettle donors scrolling : Matt Jones $5.00. C’mon man! SMH



  29. StuckAtWork
    10:49 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Duck face!



  30. Harry Vaughts Iphone
    11:04 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Suck face
    Yuck face



  31. bleh
    11:12 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    I agree with you all. I expected her to be attractive- then my eyes focused. YIKES. I think it is funny when people think they are so hot but they are not.



  32. Rick
    11:21 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Totally agree with the sentiment in this thread about that girl. Her face looks frozen like that. She’s suffering from way too much plastic surgery, fake blonde hair, and too much orange tan. She might’ve been pretty at one point a lot of years ago, but that’s long gone now.

    The girl on the right wins the competition 150% of the time.



  33. Rick
    11:25 am December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Whoa, just google image’d her after posting my last comment, and it’s like an advertisement of why to avoid plastic surgery at a young age. What I assume are older, less altered pictures of her aren’t terrible. But the more recent the picture, the worse it gets. That’s a shame.



  34. GregJ
    12:14 pm December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Woof



  35. Kevin McAllister
    12:18 pm December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Buzz your girlfriend.. Woof



  36. true story
    12:23 pm December 20, 2012 Permalink

    Okay, that chick up there looks Karen Sypher crazy… let’s not use her to promote UK, k? and 35. ROFL!



  37. Big O
    2:11 pm December 20, 2012 Permalink

    The only ball in Lexington is ROUND!!!!! Football could go 12-0 and basketball is still king! Don’t tell Stoops but UK is a baskketball school/state!!!!

    3 and out!!