Good morning, friends, and happy Boxing Day for our Canadian readers. While most of you have today off, state holidays don’t apply here at KSR, so I’m here to bring you UK Sports news in the most ridiculous manner possible. My husband and I stayed in Nashville for Christmas this year and had a wonderful time. If you were curious. Santa was particularly good to us, bringing me all of my favorites, including a Karl Towns shirt, a popcorn maker, a new tea kettle, and a DNA kit that will tell you what breed(s) your pound puppy is. As the kids say, I am hashtag blessed.
While the rest of you sleep in and help your kids put together their Lego sets, let’s run through today’s agenda…
1. The football team will go through its first bowl practice in Jacksonville
Yesterday, the team landed in Jacksonville to prepare for Saturday’s TaxSlayer Bowl, and they have a full week of practice and fun activities ahead of them. This afternoon, the team will practice at the University of North Florida. The real fun begins tomorrow and Wednesday, when the KSR crew comes to town and the official bowl events begin. Stay tuned for much hilarity as Nick, Jack, Freddie, Matt, Ryan, Jeremy Jarmon, and Daniel the Camera Man make their way to Jacksonville to cover it for us all.
2. The team was happy to land in Florida
Florida boy/Miami alum Lamar Thomas couldn’t stop tweeting about being back in his home state:
— Coach Lamar Thomas (@LamarCoachT) December 25, 2016
3. Meanwhile, the offensive line already found a fishing hole
You can take the boys out of Kentucky, but you can’t take the Kentucky out of the boys. Somewhere, Freddie Maggard is smiling.
4. Camp Cal begins in force
Lots of football talk this week, and rightly so, but don’t forget that the basketball team returns to campus today after a few days with their family to immerse themselves in Camp Cal and prepare for Thursday’s SEC opener at Ole Miss. Anyone else going to Oxford? I’m making the trip and can’t wait to show my husband around one of my favorite SEC towns. Restaurant/bar recs would be much appreciated.
5. Will UK move in the polls after the loss to Louisville?
Hard to see Kentucky sliding much after their first true road loss to a top ten team, but the media seems to seize on opportunities like these to drop the Cats. They’re currently sixth in the AP poll, fifth in the coaches poll. We’ll find out around noon.
6. Hey, did you see we got Jarred Vanderbilt?
In case you’ve been off social media the past few days, Kentucky’s 2017 class got a whole lot richer on Friday when five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt surprised us all by announcing his commitment. The Cats have been the leader for Vanderbilt, one of the best forwards in the class, for a while, but his decision was a pleasant surprise heading into the holiday. Between you and me, he’s my favorite commitment so far in the class, and could be the true four Kentucky’s lacked since Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. If only he could enroll right now, right?
Anyways, in case you missed it, watch his commitment below:
ESPNU EXCLUSIVE: No. 22 overall prospect in Class of 2017 @JVando_ announces his college commitment!
– ESPNU (@ESPNU) December 23, 2016
Speaking of recruiting…
7. ðŸš¨ Hamidou Diallo is on campus until Wednesday ðŸš¨
Five-star shooting guard Hamidou Diallo starts his official visit to UK today. Diallo, considered the most explosive and athletic guards in the class, visited UConn last week and will also visit Arizona. Getting a commitment from Diallo would be huge, especially since there’s a chance he could enroll at the semester break, which would put him on track to be eligible for the 2017 NBA Draft. Right now, UConn’s considered the favorite for the 6’5″ guard from Putnam, Connecticut, accounting for 53% of the Crystal Ball predictions, including five of the last six.
Diallo’s recruitment is constantly changing, so the next few days could get pretty interesting. Stay tuned…
8. The Wildcat mascot joined in on some holiday fun
The Wildcat mascot was one of several across the country to “read” ‘T’was The Night Before Christmas” on Twitter on Christmas Eve. Basically, a mascot from 26 schools tweeted a line of the story with a funny picture, and it’s all the more fitting since the Kentucky mascot went first and the Georgia Tech mascot went second:
'Twas the night before Christmas… pic.twitter.com/TxWVssEUV7
— The Kentucky Wildcat (@The_Wildcat) December 25, 2016
— Buzz (@Buzz_GT) December 25, 2016
Click either of those to read the whole thread. It’s neat.
9. Plenty of bowl games to watch today
If you’re waking up and wondering what the heck to do today, fret not! Plenty of bowl games to entertain you, including two SEC teams and Patrick Towles:
- 11:00 AM: St. Petersburg Bowl — Miami (OH) vs. Mississippi State, ESPN
- 2:30 PM: Quick Lane Bowl — Maryland vs. Boston College, ESPN
- 5:00 PM: Independence Bowl — NC State vs. Vanderbilt, ESPN
Need a break from football? HBO is airing a 60-hour “Game of Thrones” marathon, making today the perfect day to start binging if you’ve never seen it, or just the perfect day to sit on the couch and relive older episodes. Westeros not your thing? AMC is also airing a “Breaking Bad” marathon starting at noon. If football, “Game of Thrones,” and “Breaking Bad” don’t appeal to you, I’m out of suggestions.
10. No new radio show today
But enjoy another edition of the “Best of KSR.” Or, just listen to one of our latest podcasts, including The Depth Chart Podcast (presented by Jack Kain Ford) or the KSR Football Podcast, which is chock full of great stuff, including a 40″ pizza and a little feedback. Also, don’t forget to check out John Calipari’s family podcast, which went up on Christmas Eve.
In the meantime, I’ll be here to entertain you. Let’s have some fun.