Good morning, friends. Many of you are back in the office for the first time this year, making this Monday especially rough. I guess the one good thing about working so much during the holidays is the Sunday scaries aren’t quite as bad as they would be after a two-week vacation, right? That’s what I’m telling myself at least.
If you want to procrastinate just a little bit longer, here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening in UK sports right now.
Kentucky began conference play with a win on Saturday, shaking off a slow start to beat Missouri 71-59. Nick Richards and Immanuel Quickley played starring roles, with Richards notching his sixth double-double of the season with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Quickley turning in a career-high 23 points, including a career-high four threes and a perfect 9-9 mark from the free throw line.
Richards and Quickley were fantastic, but the story of the game became Ashton Hagans, who left the game with 1:30 left with a leg injury. Thankfully, John Calipari said it’s only a lower left ankle sprain and the sophomore point guard should return to action soon. His official status is day-to-day, but whether or not he’ll be able to play in tomorrow’s game at Georgia remains to be seen. One player we know will not make the trip to Athens is Johnny Juzang, who is battling an illness.
Before we flip the page to that, catch up on Saturday’s game with the box score and Bradley McKee’s video recap:
Also on the basketball agenda:
— Around lunchtime, John Calipari and select players will meet with the media to preview tomorrow’s night’s game vs. the Bulldogs. We’ll have a live stream and a full recap of their remarks, along with the latest on Ashton’s ankle, on the site this afternoon, so check back early and often.
— Around that time, we’ll also get new set of polls. The Cats are currently No. 17 in the AP Poll and No. 14 in the Coaches Poll. I doubt a win over Missouri will move them up too far, but we’ll find out soon enough. More interesting is how the voters will treat No. 5 Ohio State, who was upset by Wisconsin; No. 7 Louisville, who got pummeled by No. 18 Florida State; and No. 9 Memphis, who lost to unranked Georgia. Here’s hoping Tom Crean’s Bulldogs are still caught up in that when Kentucky comes to town.
— Reminder: tomorrow night’s game is at 9 p.m. on ESPN, so stock up on your sleep tonight.
— On Saturday, the worst-kept secret in Kentucky Football recruiting was finally revealed. Four-star defensive back Vito Tisdale announced he will play for his home-state Wildcats, bringing Kentucky’s 2020 class to 21 signees. The Bowling Green star’s dad is “Big V” from the Nappy Roots and stole the show at the All-American Bowl:
— In other football news, Landon Young and Quinton Bohanna announced they are returning to Kentucky for their senior seasons, ensuring the Cats’ offensive and defensive lines are stacked next season.
— On the flip side, we also found out that Derrick LeBlanc, Kentucky’s defensive line coach, is leaving the program to accept the same job at Arkansas. The move will put him closer to his son, who plays football at North Texas. He’s the second position coach to leave Kentucky this offseason. Dean Hood, UK’s special teams coordinator and defensive backs coach, left to take the head coaching job at Murray State. Quality control assistant Walt Wells also left to become the head coach at Eastern Kentucky.
The Kentucky Women’s Basketball team bounced back from an embarrassing 27-point loss at No. 4 South Carolina earlier in the week by knocking off No. 22 Tennessee 80-76 yesterday in Memorial Coliseum. This is only the second time in the series that the Cats have beaten the Vols in back-to-back games, and it happened in large part thanks to Rhyne Howard, who scored a career-high 37 points off 12-27 from the floor and a program-record 7-13 from three. She also had nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks and three steals. She’s awesome.
For more on the game, check out Zack Geoghegan’s excellent recap and enjoy the highlights from UK Sports Video:
How about them Titans?! My city’s team became America’s darling for eliminating the New England Patriots from the playoffs, leading to a wild celebration in Nashville and countless memes on social media (my Facebook feed was filled with the Tom Brady “Remember the Titans” poster all day yesterday).
If beating Brady and having the chance to beat Lamar Jackson isn’t enough reason to hop on the Titans bandwagon, let Wesley Woodyard talk you into it:
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) January 5, 2020
Heres the updated bracket and schedule:
- Vikings at 49ers | Jan. 11, 4:35 p.m. ET | NBC
- Titans at Ravens | Jan. 11, 8:15 p.m. ET | CBS
- Texans at Chiefs | Jan. 12, 3:05 p.m. ET | CBS
- Seahawks at Packers | Jan. 12, 6:40 p.m. ET | Fox
KSR Dog of the Day
This pup loves the Wildcats, his Kentucky bandanas, and his Kentucky bed.
Everyone know what was going to happen when the Golden Globes asked Ricky Gervais to host the show for the fifth time. As expected, he turned the ballroom in scorched Earth, chiding stars for using their acceptance speeches to make political statements (“You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything, you know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”), making a Jeffrey Epstein joke, and ending the night by telling everyone to “F**k off.” The stars in the room may have been squirming in their seats, but I loved it.
— NBC Entertainment (@nbc) January 6, 2020
Looking to start the New Year with a new book? I’ve got two recs: The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, which tells the story of packhorse librarians in Eastern Kentucky during The Great Depression; and The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, which is about a family that moves to Alaska in the 70’s and fights for survival.
TV more your speed? The final season of Schitt’s Creek starts tomorrow for those of you with the POP Network, and if you haven’t started it yet, Don’t F**k With Cats is a must-see on Netflix. Drew Franklin recommended it to me and it’s still messing with my head.
Finally, I’m going to see Hamilton on Friday for the first time. For those of you who have seen it, is it worth listening to the soundtrack beforehand? I’ve heard that’s helpful because the songs are so fast, but also like the idea of going in blind. Either way I am ridiculously excited for it.
New KSR in one hour. That’s plenty of time to start catching up on your emails. Get to it!