Greetings, friends. I’m back in Nashville after a long weekend in Boulder, Colorado for my cousin’s wedding. The wedding was gorgeous (Planet Bluegrass in Lyons may be the coolest wedding venue I’ve been to), although, in true form, I admit I spent a good portion of it following the Kentucky/Alabama game on my phone. During the cocktail hour, my family and I were those people huddled around the phone listening to Tom Leach’s call as the Cats went up 3-0 and hung around in the first half. Even though Alabama eventually did what Alabama does, the Kentucky Thompsons were able to hold our heads high in a sea of Bama fans (the groom is from Birmingham) for at least a little bit.
The rest of the trip was spend enjoying all things Colorado. We hiked some great trails in Chautauqua Park, drank some great beer at Avery Brewery, ran along Boulder Creek, took in the foliage, and worked an insanely complicated puzzle. It was a great family trip, and, in retrospect, perfectly timed because life is about to get very, very busy. On the plane yesterday, I charted out the next few weeks:
- Saturday: Vanderbilt game
- Sunday: Open basketball practice on ESPNU
- Thursday, Oct. 13: UK Basketball Media Day
- Friday, Oct. 14: Big Blue Madness
- Saturday, Oct. 15: Exhibition games in Lexington (Wizards vs. Kings) and Louisville (Timberwolves vs. Heat)
- Wednesday, Oct. 19: SEC Basketball Tipoff in Nashville
- Friday, Oct. 21: Blue/White Game
- Saturday, Oct 22: Mississippi State Game
- Sunday, Oct. 23: UK Basketball Women’s Clinic
And that’s just what happens before the season begins. Phew. Let’s get to it.
Mark Stoops will address the media one final time before the Vandy game
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Saturday’s game is the most important of Mark Stoops’ career. We’ve said that at least three times just this season, but it really is true. Kentucky must beat Vanderbilt to keep its bowl hopes (and fan interest) alive. Similarly, if you believe Stoops’ job is safe if he gets to five wins, Saturday’s game is the second most winnable game left on the schedule. The same can be said Derek Mason at Vanderbilt, so Saturday is a very, very important day for both programs.
Stoops will address the media one last time before the game after practice today. Check the KSR Facebook page around 5:30 p.m. for a live stream.
UK is still favored by 3
Which, if you take out the home field advantage, essentially means this game is a toss-up. Sounds about right.
Seth Greenberg’s scouting report got me excited for basketball
The site has been flooded with info about the new team this week, but reading Seth Greenberg’s observations may have gotten me more excited than anything. If you missed it, Greenberg attended a practice last night and tweeted his thoughts, including this promising nugget about Derek Willis:
“Derek Willis was as impressive as any player in practice,” Greenberg noted. “Has little to do with his game and more to do with his attitude/approach.”
Even Derek has admitted that his work ethic has ebbed and flowed over his career at UK, so hearing stuff like this shows me he’s really embracing his role as a senior leader.
Derek Willis visited a special fan last night
Yesterday, Willis took some time to visit with Tanya Wade, a huge UK fan diagnosed with leukemia. Wade’s prognosis is not good, but seeing Derek reportedly lifted her spirits. Good on ya, Derek.
Bryan Hudson gets an offer from Louisville
Kentucky offered Hudson, a 2019 four-star offensive tackle from Scott County, back in April. He’s been called the “next Landon Young,” not only because Kentucky offered him as a freshman, but because Hudson beat Young out for the state shot put title back in May. All signs seemed to be pointing towards the Cats for Hudson…and then Louisville offered him last night:
Very blessed to have received my 2nd offer from the University of Louisville!! pic.twitter.com/oYFg3gjVTO
— Bryan Hudson (@HudsonBryan) October 6, 2016
Hopefully Stoops’ early offer will give Kentucky a leg up on the rising Cards, but if you’re looking for your next Kentucky vs. Louisville recruiting showdown, here you go.
Did you spot this BBNBA infomercial during the Jazz/Suns game last night?
I’ll have a full recap of how the Cats fared in last night’s NBA Preseason games here in just a minute, but until then, enjoy this unsolicited UK infomercial that aired during the Jazz/Suns game:
– Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) October 6, 2016
Radio in an hour…