Good morning, Big Blue Nation. You did it! Another work week down with limited-to-no live sports to help pass the time.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of news to get you by.
As we gear up for the weekend, let’s break down the latest in the world of UK Athletics.
Will DeAndre Williams announce today?
The hectic DeAndre Williams recruitment appears to be coming to an end.
This week, Williams’ mentor, Kenny Roy, told KSR that the Evansville transfer is expected to announce his decision on Friday, with all four finalists remaining in contention.
The choices? Arkansas, Baylor, Kentucky, and Memphis, with the 6-foot-10 forward still testing the NBA Draft waters.
DeAndre Williams’ mentor tells KSR the Evansville transfer is planning to announce his decision on Friday.
Kentucky remains in contention, along with Arkansas, Baylor, and Memphis.
— Jack Pilgrim (@JackPilgrimKSR) May 14, 2020
This comes after a back-and-forth recruitment that saw multiple previous decision dates – the original plan was to announce on Mother’s Day – and all four finalists leading at one point or another.
The latest buzz is that Memphis has taken over as the favorite, with the Tiger coaching staff feeling confident they have done enough to secure his commitment in recent days. As for Kentucky, who was expected to be the pick had a decision come last weekend, things began to trend away from the Wildcats to begin the week due to Williams’ desired role with his new school.
Will Penny Hardaway earn a commitment from the Evansville transfer today? Will he choose a school, but leave his professional options open? Could a new favorite emerge leading up to the announcement?
We should find out today. Hopefully.
Dekel Crowdus hints at another commitment
While Williams didn’t announce his commitment on Mother’s Day last weekend, Lexington’s own Dekel Crowdus did, choosing Kentucky over offers from Oklahoma, Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan, and Penn State, among others.
And if you ask the four-star wide receiver out of Frederick Douglass, the Wildcats are set to earn yet another commitment in the near future.
“Got another dog about to jump on [board]…” Crowdus said in a Twitter post.
Got another dog about to jump on bored…?
— Dekel Crowdus (@CrowdusDekel) May 15, 2020
After joining the program, Crowdus told KSR that he is planning on recruiting the best of the best to Lexington, both in-state and nationally.
“Yes sir, I’m gonna do my job and recruit a lot of kids, in Kentucky, out of Kentucky,” he said. “I’m gonna do my job and get a lot of big-time athletes to come. I’m gonna do my job, for sure.”
Who could this new commitment be? The early speculation is that North Hardin standout Jordan Lovett very well could be the next to announce his commitment to Kentucky.
UK teams impress in the classroom
While we try to figure out who will be the new Wildcats on campus in the coming years, the current student-athletes are impressing in the classroom.
In the spring semester, UK student-athletes combined for a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average, which marks 16 consecutive semesters with a 3.0 for the Wildcats. All UK teams posted a 3.0 or better for the first time ever.
“The last two months of the spring semester brought an incredible display of resilience and persistence by our student-athletes,” UK director of athletics Mitch Barnhart said in a statement. “Neither the abrupt end of our athletics season nor the shift to online learning was easy to cope with, but our student-athletes once again showed their character and diligence in responding.”
John Calipari was excited for his team’s GPA; he wrote, “Proud of our team for posting a 3.763 GPA the spring semester. Between this and the NCAA’s APR Top 10% Award for the sixth season in a row, just goes to show our players’ commitment — no matter what their next destination is — to finish the semester strong.
“Even during unprecedented times and a difficult situation, they kept their word and remained focused on academics. A commitment to being lifelong learners — all of our guys!!!”
For the complete list of team GPAs, click here.
A weekend of sports is coming
Slowly, but surely, sports are making their way back to our television sets. And one more is set to resume competition this weekend.
Two weekends ago, we saw horse racing return with the Arkansas Derby. And then this past Saturday, the UFC became the first official professional sport to return to action in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And this weekend, a new sport is throwing its hat into the ring: NASCAR.
On Sunday, NASCAR will return to the racetrack at Darlington to mark the first race since the coronavirus put the sport on hold back on March 13.
Now, all three aforementioned sports will return this weekend, with races returning at Churchill downs Saturday afternoon, UFC taking place Saturday evening, and NASCAR returning to action on Sunday.
It may not be much yet, but we’re slowly inching our way back to some sort of sports normalcy.
KSR in an hour
Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond, Shannon the Dude, and Drew Franklin will be back this morning for a brand new edition of Kentucky Sports Radio from 10 a.m. to noon.
With plenty going on in Kentucky and around the nation, along with a busy docket of sports news, it’s certain to be yet another entertaining show.
You won’t want to miss it.