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The ESPNU Practice’s Monday Morning Wakeup

Photo by UK Athletics

Everyone enjoy the bye weekend? Me too. I hope you’re well rested, because we’ve got one hell of a week coming up. It actually started last night with UK’s practice on ESPNU. Matt gave you his takeaways last night, but I had a few thoughts I wanted to share before we shift back to football.

Compared to some of the new guys, Alex looks 35 years old

It was really good to see Alex Poythress back on the court and he looked like a grown ass man among boys. Between the influx of young talent and Alex’s work in the gym during his rehab, he looked like a monster. Even though the ESPNU crew kept saying Alex is at 100% right now, he’s not there quite yet, but it was very comforting to see him moving easily up and down the floor. Alex did not go through the lane agility drills, but told Andy Katz his lateral quickness is “pretty good.” You know what was also “pretty good”? Seeing Alex dunk again.

Skal’s got a mid-range jumper

Seeing Skal Labissiere’s mid-range jumper during the spot shooting drills was like an unexpected rainbow on a gray day. Admit it, you sat up a bit when you saw it; I know I did. After the sting of last season’s ending, that pumped some major excitement back in my veins.

Speaking of Skal, Andy Katz confirmed that the reason the NCAA hasn’t cleared him yet is “an amateurism issue, not an academic issue,” but it’s not abnormal. We continue to hear UK is not worried about it, so relax. You too, Louisville trolls. You’ve been pretty riled up the past week.

Photo by UK Athletics

Tyler Ulis has got this

UK has had some great point guards during the Calipari era, but few have inspired as much confidence as Tyler Ulis. Ulis was in excellent form last night, and it’s clear this is HIS team. During the 3-on-3 scrimmaging, we got our first glimpse of the Ulis/Skal combo, with Ulis lobbing them up for Skal to dunk down. Get ready to see a LOT of that this year.

Yep, that Wisconsin footage hurt

Could have done without that, ESPN. Still stings. That being said…

Doris Burke was awesome

ESPN, can we get her on more games this season?

I felt a twinge of excitement

I’ll be honest: I’m still not ready for basketball. Come at me with pitchforks if you want, but the basketball part of me has been pretty dead since The Loss, especially with football going so well. Even the first few minutes of last night’s practice were strange. Where is Willie? No Twins? Which walk-on is that again? Ugh, I miss Karl. Fortunately, Skal’s jumpers and Ulis’ waterbuggin’ helped me move past that pretty quickly. This team will be messy to start, but there’s a lot to be excited about: talent, athleticism, and a really FUN style of play. I’m good going back to football, but all the upside makes the horizon pretty appealing.

On that note…


Football junkies, sorry for the intro, but don’t worry, we’re switching back to the oblong ball until Thursday. Auburn opened as a 2.5-point favorite, but that was bet down to 1.5 by Sunday night. With three quarterbacks potentially in the mix and the top wide receiver kicked off the team, I don’t think even Auburn knows what to expect from Auburn on Thursday. Yesterday, defensive coordinator Will Muschamp met with reporters and gave plenty of praise to the Cats.

“Kentucky has a good football team,” Muschamp said, praising the running game in particular. “[UK’s running backs] can take it to the distance at any time…this offense fits those guys extremely well.”

Thankfully, Boom is back this week, giving UK all of its weapons on offense; however, the real key to the game may be how well UK’s defense contains Auburn’s rushing attack. With uncertainty at quarterback, UK’s best shot at an upset is to take away the running game and make the Tigers throw it.

Mark Stoops will speak at noon

After a bye week, there will be a lot of catching up to do during Mark Stoops’ weekly press conference at noon. I’m most looking forward to hearing the injury report. After the first five games, Regie Meant, Jordan Swindle, Garrett Johnson, and Austin MacGinnis are among the players banged up, and hopefully a week of rest will have them ready for one of the biggest games of the season.

A quick rundown of this week’s schedule

…because it’s a doozy:

  • Monday: Mark Stoops press conference
  • Wednesday: UK basketball media day
  • Thursday: UK vs. Auburn
  • Friday: Big Blue Madness
  • Saturday: Kings/Pelicans exhibition game

Phew. Add some Keeneland into that mix for me on Saturday and that’s a pretty fantastic, if exhausting, week. Bring on the caffeine.

I finally saw “The Martian”

…and it lived up to the hype. I feel like I should be on Fox’s payroll after all the free publicity I’ve given the book and movie the past few weeks, but you should definitely go see it. Two thumbs up.

KSR starts in an hour

Which means you should be ready near your radio or streaming device in fifty-nine minutes. Got it?

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

22 Comments for The ESPNU Practice’s Monday Morning Wakeup

  1. Kevin
    9:08 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    can you guys enlighten Doris Burke – and others in the media – on the correct pronunciation of Coach Cal’s last name?? UGH!

    • Exactly!
      11:22 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

      Exactly! I didn’t pay attention to anything else she said. How in the world can you actually come to UK to talk about UK basketball and not even know how to pronounce our coaches name? Does she even watch the college game? Completely unprofessional and I hope she doesn’t come back. She gives women commentators a bad name.

  2. bbn4LIFE
    9:14 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    If I here this is ulis team again I’m gonna slap my own mother. We get it. It’s his team. Jesus

    • Mixxy
      10:43 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

      But this IS Ulis’ team. (Duck, Momma bbn4LIFE!)

  3. mitch
    9:15 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    I agree with Kevin. The mispronunciation is like finger nails on a chalk board. So unless she can learn to properly pronoun a name, she’s not much of a reporter/sportscaster.

    9:16 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    Never too Early for this classic.

  5. BH
    9:17 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    I couldn’t stand listening to her pronounce his name incorrectly while listening to Jay and Seth both pronouncing it right. ESPN should have someone to correct her, I mean it was so blatant.

  6. Silky
    9:24 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    Terrence Williams disagrees with Katina Powell.


  7. Badboy
    10:04 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    The problem with the whole thing was that the announcers never shut up! They talked through the whole thing, making it impossible to concentrate on the action.

  8. KSR Spy
    10:11 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    Can’t stand Doris Burke. I’m all for women in broadcasting, but I can’t ever get through one of her broadcasts without getting irritated.

  9. Harvey Licklighter
    10:30 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    Doris Burke was awesome

    ESPN, can we get her on more games this season?

    There REALLY needs to be a sarcasm font. I thought for a moment you were serious.

  10. CB3UK
    10:46 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    Doris Burke’s voice sounds like paint drying. Hell no we don’t want her doing UK games. Get a clue.

  11. inside info2
    11:21 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    I didn’t get to watch the practice last night, so I’m happy to see this. I really hope Alex has the year he is capable of having. He deserves it. Can’t watch to watch Ulis lead this team. The team and the fans are going to be able to have more fun this year due to the lower expectations.

  12. robert sutherland
    11:47 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    The ESPNU practice was so informative and fun….The 3 announcers were top notch (of course) and you are so right…Miss Doris Burke was awesome…She is so Vibrant…and brings energy to telecast…and most of all the basketball team – Wow…so much talent on one court…so much fun so much fun to watch and follow…Another exciting year in Lexington and for all Kentucky Fans..

    Mrs Tyler…I am still waiting on my Sandwich…Jeepers..

    Love to all….

    Robert Sutherland
    Class of 65…Danville Admirals

  13. Doris the terrible
    11:50 am October 12, 2015 Permalink

    I fully support women in broadcasting, so do not take this as a sexist comment; however, Doris Burke is literally the worst ever. Her personality is terrible and she makes every broadcast worse just by taking part. I hope you were being sarcastic. Otherwise Mrs. Tyler, you just lost credibility with the court.

  14. wsflwildcat
    1:18 pm October 12, 2015 Permalink

    Doris Burke is awful. I can’t stand listening to her. Please don’t encourage her to ever do anything associated with UK sports.

    • catdaddyd
      7:50 pm October 12, 2015 Permalink

      She speaks like she has two tongues in her mouth.

  15. Megan
    3:12 pm October 12, 2015 Permalink

    I like Doris. I’ll have to pay attention during the replay on Wednesday to see what everyone is complaining about.

  16. almost
    4:07 pm October 12, 2015 Permalink

    I almost didn’t watch when I saw Doris Burke was going to be on there. She has a voice for blogging and can’t pronounce the name of the coach. I didn’t watch the NBA finals because of her.

  17. PointsOverPersonality
    12:26 am October 13, 2015 Permalink

    Doris knows her stuff and is a more than adequate announcer. In fact, she’s one of the best ESPN has to offer. I guess too many people want “personality” as opposed to solid broadcasting and analysis. Too bad. And some of us call ourselves basketball fans.

    • PointsOverPersonality
      12:27 am October 13, 2015 Permalink

      p.s. – it’s more laughable that presumed fans of Matt Jones would ever question Burke’s sound quality. At least she knows how to clear her throat.