Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.





Main

Photo credit: Charlie Leffler, BullittCountySports.com

YAHTZEE! Former Louisville WR commit Demontae Crumes commits to KENTUCKY!

Photo credit: Charlie Leffler, BullittCountySports.com

YAHTZEE! Former Louisville commitment and 2019 three-star WR Demontae Crumes has committed to Kentucky!

Crumes, a Louisville Butler High School standout, chose the Cats over UofL, Michigan and Michigan State, among others.

Rivals’ Justin Rowland broke the news this afternoon.

The 6-foot-1 receiver out of Louisville committed to the Cardinals back in February, but decommitted from the school in April.

“This has not been an easy decision at all,” Crumes announced on Twitter. “I have decided to open up my recruiting and visit other schools. I just want to make sure I’m making the right decision for me and me only. I would like to visit a few other schools to make sure I’m placing myself in the best situation possible for my EDUCATION and football wise. So at this time I will open my recruiting up and U of L still remains my top priority. Please respect my decision and please no interviews.”

Now, he’ll be a Kentucky Wildcat.

In just five games playing varsity as a junior, Crumes racked up 12 receptions, 340 yards, and four touchdowns for Butler. 28.3 yards per catch and an average of 68 yards per game. Not too shabby at all.

Crumes is considered the No. 636 prospect in the class of 2019 and the tenth-best recruit in Kentucky, per 247 Sports’ composite rankings.

Check out his full junior-year highlights:

Welcome to the good side, Mr. Crumes!


Kentucky ranked eighth-toughest place to win in college football

When Mark Stoops took over the Kentucky football program back in 2012, those close to the team felt they were on the same tier talent-wise as some FCS schools. Stoops and his staff told 2014 and 2015 recruits to not even look at the win/loss total in their first year because they knew the end result would be ugly. Look at the small, subtle differences to start with, they would preach. Then the wins would come.

It took four years to become bowl-eligible, and the Cats followed it up with another seven-win season in 2017. If things go as planned, we’re looking at three consecutive bowl seasons. With state-of-the-art facilities, coaching stability, and NFL prospects lining the roster, things are going really well.

But you’d be lying if you said it was easy to get to this point. Just like it was for Rich Brooks. Just like it has been for some of the other great coaches in this program’s history.

This weekend, USA Today released a list of the most difficult places to win in all of college football, and Kentucky (unsurprisingly) made the cut.

Check out their analysis for the Cats, whom they listed at No. 8 in the nation.

8. Kentucky

Kentucky’s the second-toughest place to win in college football’s toughest conference. It’s hard, though Rich Brooks and now Mark Stoops have shown that putting together back-to-back bowl trips is possible if given enough time to cobble together a competent roster. But Kentucky is notable for how hard it has been for coaches to maintain success.

Fran Curci got things rolling in the mid-1970s but petered out through the rest of the decade. Jerry Claiborne’s consistency from 1982-89 gave way to the frustrating Bill Curry era. Brooks ceded to Joker Phillips and the bottom dropped out. Meanwhile, Stoops enters a crucial season for his tenure in 2018.

Here is the entire list:

  1. Oregon State
  2. Vanderbilt
  3. Duke
  4. Indiana
  5. Kansas State
  6. Kansas
  7. Iowa State
  8. Kentucky
  9. Texas Tech
  10. Washington State

What do you guys think? Agree?

[USA Today]


PHOTO RECAP: Big Blue Caravan Train Stop Sunday

PHOTO RECAP: Big Blue Caravan Train Stop Sunday

As John Calipari likes to remind us, the BBN is absolutely crazy. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of the massive crowd that gathered in Midway to greet this season’s basketball team. Hundreds of fans stood in the sun for hours to take advantage of the opportunity for an autograph, a photo or to just simply say “Welcome to Kentucky.” Yep, you people are crazy.

Here’s a quick recap of the day.

The train arrived in Midway around 5:30, where players were individually introduced by Coach Joel Justus. Not surprisingly, the returning sophomores PJ Washington and Quade Green along with recent addition Reid Travis earned the loudest applause.

The players then went to work shaking hands, kissing babies… you get the gist.

Posters were provided for everyone in attendance, but some fans went the extra mile and brought their own memorabilia to have signed. Here’s a look at some of my favorites:

And for my favorite fan of the day… this little girl. Despite the players’ best attempts, she was emphatic about refusing their high fives. She’ll understand one day.

Once the entire line of fans made it through each player, Coach Cal took a few minutes to talk with the media. Here’s just a snippet of what he said:

Swaggy Cal was in full force today. For the full video, click here. 

But the fun wasn’t over quite yet. The team did it all again in Lexington. The media caught a ride back to Lexington aboard the R.J. Corman train, which is where I caught this sneak peak of what appears to be the notes from this morning’s team meeting. Interesting…

And even though the train arrived in Lexington over an hour later than originally expected, plenty of fans stuck around for the Cats.

Today was proof: even in the dead of summer, when basketball should be the last thing on someone’s mind, the best fans in the country show up. It was a great day to be a member of the BBN. But then again, isn’t that everyday?


@MaggieDavisKSR


Ex-UK baseball star Luke Heyer called up to Single-A Great Lakes, among other MLB notes

Luke Heyer (Photo by Tim Warner)

Our MLB Draft Cats are getting their professional careers officially started, and according to several reports, they’re off to a hot start.

It took just five games for former Kentucky baseball star Luke Heyer to get called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate Great Lakes.

He hit .286 with a double and a homer in his brief stint with the Ogden Raptors.

Former Wildcat Kole Cottam, who was drafted in the fourth round by the Red Sox, is currently making plays for the short-season Class-A Boston affiliate Lowell Spinners.

He has been racking of Player of the Game honors in the process:

As for former Kentucky star pitcher Sean Hjelle, his professional debut will be coming sometime this week.

San Diego’s ninth-round draft selection Luke Becker is currently with the Tri-City Dust Devils, the short-season Class A affiliate of the Padres. He is playing right field with the organization.

Chris Machamer, drafted in the 16th round by the Boston Red Sox, is looking good with the Brewster Whitecaps.

Others are just now getting signed with their respective organizations, such as Trey Dawson and Ben Aklinski, but they are expected to begin summer ball in the very near future.

Congratulations to all of our former Wildcats, and best of luck to them going forward.


WATCH: John Calipari talks about 2018-19 Kentucky team in Midway

WATCH: John Calipari talks about 2018-19 Kentucky team in Midway

For the first time this offseason, Kentucky head coach John Calipari has talked to the media about his 2018-19 basketball team.

And he’s a happy camper.

He started by talking about the Big Blue Caravan/Train Stop Sunday event as a whole and the planning behind it. Calipari said it was a spur-of-the-moment decision he had, and he’s glad it came to fruition. Most importantly, he said it gives him vibes from 2011-12 when his championship team did the same train tour.

As far as his team goes, Coach Cal said practice officially starts tomorrow, where he’s excited to put his guys to work. He pointed out this team’s quickness and ability to make shots as reasons to be excited.

When asked whether or not he will run the two-platoon system we saw back in 2014-15, Calipari said he doesn’t want to, but those deserving of minutes will absolutely get playing time.

“Everybody that deserves to play will play. I’ll figure it out… We all know I can play them all, I’ve done it before. Do I want to do that? No,” he said.

Check out all of his comments below:

We’ll have more from the Big Blue Caravan/Train Stop Sunday in a bit.

Go Cats.


UPDATE: Big Blue Caravan turnout in Midway delays Lexington start time

Kentucky’s Big Blue Caravan/Train Stop Sunday got off to an incredible start this afternoon.

The entire 2018-19 Kentucky basketball roster is making train stops in Midway and Lexington on their way home from Satellite Camp in Frankfort, and their first stop has been a major success.

The Big Blue Nation came out in full force, extending the line as far as the eye can see.

The Kentucky basketball page has another video showing just how ridiculous the line is:

Tyler Herro has been an early fan-favorite:

So has our newest Wildcat, Reid Travis:

Quade Green has had some fun with it, as well:

This little girl has been the star of the show, avoiding high-fives from the players, despite the Wildcats’ best efforts:

It’s looking like an 8:00 p.m. start time for the stop in Lexington… So if you’re running late, you’re actually early.

You people are crazy.


Dick Vitale earns NCAA violation at Michigan State

Dick Vitale earns NCAA violation at Michigan State

ESPN analyst and broadcast legend Dick Vitale got a nice stern talking to from the NCAA this past college basketball season.

According to The Athletic, Michigan State had to self-report an NCAA violation after Vitale posted photos with star 2019 recruit Vernon Carey Jr.

These were the photos in question:

The violation occurred during MSU’s game in mid-February against No. 3 Purdue.

Michigan State’s self-reported offense was classified as a Secondary/Level III Violation, meaning the issue was extremely minor. According to the report, MSU’s Office of Compliance must continue “to provide rules education regarding the presence of Media during Recruiting Contact.” The school is allowed to continue to recruit Carey Jr., and there will be no further punishment handed out by the NCAA.

Still, though, Vitale is furious. In an interview with The Athletic, the 79-year-old analyst said his actions were “innocent” and the NCAA needed to get their priorities straight.

“It was an innocent picture,” he said. “If that’s a violation, it’s the NCAA that should be fined big-time. I take pictures with people all the times at games! Why wouldn’t I take one with a great young player?”

Vitale continued, saying the violation was “asinine” and he was going to “rip the hell out of” the NCAA for it.

“Oh, c’mon,” he sighed. “I’m gonna rip the hell out of (the NCAA) for this on Twitter. … That is asinine. That is one of the problems that we face with the NCAA. Go after those (schools) that are buying players, that are going out and changing transcripts! Why are we screwing around and making a school report this? That is ridiculous!”

According to the official NCAA rules, members of the media are allowed to take pictures of recruits, but they are not allowed to take pictures with or interact with them in any way.

The NCAA can’t slow Dicky V down, however. He said he’s going to continue to do as he pleases.

“Nobody is going to tell me who I can (and can’t) take pictures with!”

We’ll see how that works out for you, Dick.

[The Athletic]


@UKCoachCalipari

Big Blue Caravan is underway

@UKCoachCalipari

The 2018-19 Wildcats trek from Frankfort to Lexington is underway. The team is currently in Midway before getting back on the train to head back to Lexington at 7:30.

In Frankfort, the team hosted one of their satellite camps at Franklin County High School before heading to the train station to head to Midway.

Before getting on the train, the team stopped at the State Capitol building in Frankfort. Maggie Davis will have a full recap of the day a little later on, but right now you can follow along on her Twitter by clicking here.

Here are some highlights from what the players are seeing in Midway right now:

And footage from the team’s arrival:

As mentioned, Maggie will have a full recap for those that couldn’t make what looks like a great event for Calipari and company.


Tyler Ulis’ guarantee date postponed until next weekend

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that the Phoenix Suns have pushed Tyler Ulis’ guarantee date on his contract until Saturday. The date was originally set for today.

What this means is that Ulis can be released before next Saturday without any penalty incurred by the Suns. Once Saturday passes, he will be guaranteed $1,544,951.

In his two seasons in Phoenix, the former Cat has averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 assists in just over 21 minutes per game. Due to some injuries, Ulis did start 43 games for the team that finished with the worst record in the NBA.

The Suns have a few options, they can decide to keep Ulis, negotiate a new guarantee date for later in the summer or release him all together.

Phoenix did draft French point guard Elie Okobo in Thursday’s draft. Some believed that this pick was made as the inevitable replacement for the Chicago native.

If the Suns do decide to move on from Ulis, I don’t expect him to remain a free agent for long. With that being said, I would be very disappointed if Phoenix did split up Booker and Ulis.


Enes Kanter uncertain about future with New York Knicks

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images North America

Kevin Knox may be joining the party in New York right when former Wildcat Enes Kanter is on his way out.

According to ESPN’s Ian Begley, Kanter “hasn’t yet made a decision” on his future with the franchise, though opposing teams expect him to opt into his $18.6 million player option.

If he does opt out, however, the Milwaukee Bucks (among others) are expected to make a push.

Lenn Robbins of MSG Networks, however, reports Kanter is expected to opt out of his contract with the Knicks.

Starting center Enes Kanter is expected to opt out as well, although Kanter has expressed a strong desire to remain in New York.

After Knox was drafted, Kanter sent out this tweet, hinting at a potential return to team up with the former Kentucky forward.

Kanter has until June 29 to make a final decision on his future with the organization. If he does opt out, he will hit the open market on July 1.

While we wait for the news, check out Kanter’s ridiculous training regimen during Ramadan, despite fasting for 17 hours a day throughout the month of June:

Go Cats.


Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Stansbury wants a “state tournament;” should we?

Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Rick Stansbury was hired in Bowling Green a little over two years ago. Since getting the job, he has brought in two five-star recruits and taken a team to the NIT semi-finals.

First, I should start with some background. I am a recent graduate of WKU. During my time on the Hill, I covered Stansbury’s WKU teams. I learned very quickly from the former Mississippi State head coach that he wants to play Kentucky.

That leads us to this past week. Stansbury was in Louisville where he proposed a state of Kentucky tournament. He said:

“I wish we could come up with some kind of tournament. … How we could get Kentucky and Louisville, ourself, and another school in a tournament somewhere. It’d be great for everybody. You’d get three of the flagship programs in the country tradition-wise.”

For more quotes from his entire visit to Louisville, you can click here.

My guess is Stansbury is basing this off of the Crossroads Classic that the state of Indiana does. Each year, Purdue, Indiana, Butler and Notre Dame meet in Indianapolis and play two games similar to the Champions Classic.

Should Kentucky do something similar? Maybe we have four teams, but guarantee that Kentucky and Louisville never play during the classic. For example, the first year could have Kentucky vs. NKU/Murray State and WKU vs. Louisville.

This could replace the Adolph Rupp Classic and add more fun to the non-conference schedule. I would be on board for something similar to be adopted.

In fact, if we wanted to get really interesting, we could make it an eight team tournament. The state of Kentucky has seven Division One basketball teams. What if those seven teams plus one of the other teams in the state played in a tournament?

How it would work? The tournament could occur every two years. It would rotate between four different arenas around the state. One year the Yum Center in Louisville could host, one year could be Memorial Coliseum/Rupp Arena in Lexington, one year could be BB&T Arena in Highland Heights and one year could be at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.

The bracket would be a random draw. Each team would be guaranteed three games. This would allow a direct showing of the ranking of the teams in the state. For example, here is how it could look if this tournament was hosted next season:

Screen Shot 2017-11-07 at 11.01.46 AM

The guarantee in creating this tournament would be that Kentucky and Louisville would automatically be one separate sides, so that they could only play in the championship game if necessary.

We can always go back to Adolph Rupp’s opinion on playing in-state schools other than UofL. He didn’t see any value in it and while I do agree with it, I would like to see an event like this at some point.

So now I ask you, which system would you prefer? Or would you rather not have anything like it? Vote in the poll below and if you have a better idea, please let me know in the comment section below.

@GormleyKSR