The whole gang is in Lexington, ready to hoop.
Wednesday night the University of Kentucky announced that Olivier Sarr and Jacob Toppin will be eligible to play for the Wildcats this season after transferring from Wake Forest and Rhode Island, respectively. A decision Kentucky fans expected for months, you could hear a collective sigh of relief around the BBN once the news became official and John Calipari released this statement.
“I’m excited for Olivier and Jacob,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “Both have worked really hard and deserve this opportunity. They were both hopping and skipping out of my office after getting the news because they’ve been waiting on this day. I want to thank the NCAA and the SEC for considering the unique circumstances surrounding this season and we appreciate them working with us throughout this process.
“In Olivier’s case, I know this has been difficult for him, everything from the coaching change at Wake Forest, to deciding his future to waiting through this process. He’s gone about his business every day and continued to work hard in hopes of joining his teammates on the floor this winter.
“Jacob came here needing a fresh start. From day one, he’s been a great teammate and been an important part of this group in practice. He has tremendous upside and a great spirit about him.
“I know we’re all looking forward to chasing our goals soon.”
The early word on Isaiah Jackson has been encouraging, but Kentucky’s frontcourt needed Sarr to provide depth and experience. An All-ACC player that has some offensive range, he dropped 30 Notre Dame and 25 on Duke last year. The Frenchman will be one of Kentucky’s best and most consistent players all season, turning the Wildcats into a title contender.
Don’t sleep on Toppin either. Initially seen simply as “Jacob’s brother” by most fans, the “project” might not actually be a project after all. A pleasant surprise over the summer, like his late-developing brother the small forward has filled in well and has shown the ability to get to rim and score. It’s difficult to precisely pinpoint his role, but it’s never a bad thing when you have a guy that can do this on your roster.
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Who’s going to be next?
The future might look even brighter tonight as Skyy Clark prepares to announce his college destination. The third-ranked combo guard in the 2022 recruiting class has been a long-time Kentucky target. Recruited by Joel Justus, Clark officially received an offer from Calipari in July. Once a perceived lock to eventually sign with UK, North Carolina and Memphis each made some movement over the summer. Who will Clark choose and will he reclassify to 2021? We’ll find out more tonight at 7 pm ET on Instagram Live.
After the news broke last night, KSR went to work. Jack Pilgrim has prepared a new episode of Sources Say where he sheds light on how Toppin and Sarr have been performing in preseason practices. For more angles on what these additions mean to the team, a new Aaron Torres Sports Podcast couldn’t wait until this morning to drop.
On the football front, later this morning I’ll join Freddie Maggard for a new Depth Chart Podcast where we’ll be answering your questions and previewing the Missouri game. After taking a week off, Free Money is set to return tonight. In case you can’t wait, download 11 Personnel and the KSR Football Podcast right now,.
Tyler Herro x Jack Harlow
Few non-athletes are more revered by Louisville fans than Jack Harlow, the hip-hop artist and rapper from the city. He’s a Cardinal through and through that’s performed at Fourth Street Live before the team’s first practice of the season. Despite his L1C4 loyalty, today he will release a song simply titled, “Tyler Herro.” I’ve heard a few snippets and as someone who knows nothing about rap, I can tell you it’s great, especially the part where Louisville fans ask why Harlow hasn’t made “Donnie Utah” yet.
Stoops Speaks One More Time
Kentucky’s head football coach will meet with the media one more time before the Wildcats hit the road to Missouri. Whatever he says, it won’t be as good as what John Schlarman said before the Tennessee game.
Knocked down another door. pic.twitter.com/bFVpDzQO9c
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) October 22, 2020
More Pro Football Focus Love
You’ll never believe this, but PFF loves Kentucky’s offensive line.
Power Five Offensive Lines with 80+ grades in pass AND run blocking:
?? Notre Dame
?? Kentucky pic.twitter.com/reCbHfsvzq
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 20, 2020
Thursday Night Football is Back
The two teams’ records are terrible, but this game might actually decides who wins the abysmal NFC East. The 1-5 Giants travel to the 1-4-1 Eagles at 8:20 pm ET on Fox. Get over to KSBar to watch all of the action with the best drink prices in town.
If that game is a dud, college football will provide salvation. Appalachian State hosts Arkansas State at 7:30 pm ET on ESPN.
No World Series Tonight
The Rays and the Dodgers are getting a break Thursday night after Tampa evened the series at 1-1 with a 6-4 win over L.A. Brandon Lowe was the October hero for Tampa, going yard twice and driving in three runs to force the Dodgers to play catch up all night. Even though it wasn’t enough to mount a comeback, it was pretty cool to see Louisville native Will Smith hit a dinger for the Dodgers.
One Final Presidential Debate
It’s finally almost over. The first Tuesday in November can’t get here soon enough.
No, today will not be a celebration of the Buckeye State. We love our Kentucky footballers from up north, but today it’s all about the western Kentucky county of Ohio in KSR’s County Spotlight.