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Goodbye, April. You were a lot of fun.

april

Tomorrow morning, when you wake up to a plate of expensive bacon and BTI’s 9:00 am post, it will no longer be April 2014. Sad, I know. It will be May — that’s how the calendar works — and we’ll be leaving behind an action-packed month of University of Kentucky athletics.

So tonight, before we shut our eyes one last time this month, let’s look back at the wild and memorable ride April gave us this year. If you had told us it would’ve looked anything like this two months ago, I’m not sure we would’ve believed you.

Take a walk with me…

*****

April 1: Kentucky in the Final Four, Coach Cal woke up with a sign in his yard.

good-luck-cal

The month got off to a good start when one excited UK fan decorated Coach Cal’s yard with “Good Luck Coach Cal” the day before the team left Lexington for Texas.

You people are crazy trespassing.

April 2: The Cats arrived in Dallas for the Final Four.

And the national media scrambled to cover up those midseason stories about Cal’s flawed system.

April 3: Michael Wilbon called you “irresponsibly maniacal.”

While the Cats practiced in AT&T Stadium for the first time, Michael Wilbon was busy talking trash about Big Blue Nation on Pardon The Interruption.  

“If it’s me, I’m getting the hell out of there. I’m turning on those people,” he said. “Those people are irresponsibly maniacal.”

“I will bet you right now Coach Cal is gone at the end of this year. I will bet you.”

Pay up, Wilbon.

April 4: Succeed and Proceed is born.

Coach Cal introduced America to “Succeed and Proceed,” his new slogan to replace “One and Done.”

The team wore their new “Succeed and Proceed” t-shirts for a picture in front of Dirk Nowitzki’s locker.

April 5: Aaron Harrison hit the game-winner to send Kentucky to the title game.

“Andrew Harrison, underneath… bounce to Dakari Johnson… back outside… this is the point where he always hits it! OHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Here we are one month later, the ride is over, and I still can’t believe it went in. Wherever you were, whatever you were doing — we’ll be replaying that night in our minds decades from now.

April 6: We spent the entire day watching videos.

And when we weren’t reliving the night before, we were sweating the night ahead.

April 7: Rex tweeted, the ball was tipped, and the magical run came to an end.

With BBN in a frenzy thanks to a poorly-timed tweet from Rex Chapman, Kentucky fell to UConn in the title game in its worst performance of the tournament. Nerves were an issue early on; free throws were a bigger issue throughout. But, man, the tournament was too fun to be all that upset in the end.

Let’s not forget, James Young did this:

Don’t do ’em like that, James.

April 8: The team returned to Lexington and raised the 2014 Runner-Up banner.

Andrew Harrison made a new friend on the way into town…

April 9: Rex Chapman told KSR he didn’t think his Calipari-to-Los Angeles tweet would take off.

“If I had to do it again, would I do it beforehand? Probably not,” he said. “Based on what had transpired, I probably would have waited. At the time, I didn’t know it was going to do that.”

”It just didn’t occur to me. People talked about how they were upset. Hell, I was upset. It upset me. I don’t want him to leave. I assumed people would want to know what I just found out.”

April 10: Mark Stoops fired up the UK football fans on KSR, regrets one comment about the quarterbacks.

With the 2013-14 basketball season slowly moving behind us, Mark Stoops made his first KSR appearance of the spring to get us ready for football. In a comment he’d like to take back, he told the show listeners that Jalen Whitlow would be the starting quarterback if the first game were to be played tomorrow.

April 11: Pitt assistant Barry Rohrssen’s name emerges as a candidate to replace Orlando Antigua.

We learned his nickname is “Slice.” We got really excited.

April 12: We heard good things about Drew Barker from a Saturday scrimmage.

Neal Brown said Barker is no longer playing like a high school senior, but reminded us it is still a four-man race for QB.

April 13: Ryan Lemond hinted at a Willie Cauley-Stein return.

What the hell does Ryan Lemond know, you asked yourself. But if he’s right, it will be awesome, you said.

Ryan was on to something…

April 14: Willie Cauley-Stein announced his return to Kentucky for his junior season.

Willie announced his decision on Twitter, saying, “I’m proud to say I’m coming back for my junior year. I still have an empty spot to fulfill and in no rush to leave the best fans in the USA!”

It was at that moment when we realized UK could run it back in 2014-15.

Oh, and Cal revealed the tweak.

April 15: Bad news: the Kentucky Senate shot down Rupp Arena funding.

Good news: Unlimited meals and snacks for student-athletes!!!

April 16: Jalen Whitlow left the UK football program.

Mark Stoops asked Whitlow to consider a move to wide receiver, but Whitlow wasn’t interested in playing anywhere but quarterback. Whitlow decided it’d be best to transfer elsewhere to keep playing QB, the position where his heart is, he said.

Stoops was disappointed but thankful for the effort Whitlow gave the program during his time in Lexington.

April 17: James Young announced he’ll enter the NBA draft.

He released a statement through UK:

“My time at Kentucky has been special to me, something I’ll always treasure, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,” Young said. “I’ve learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from Coach Cal and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support. I can’t say enough about my teammates; the journey helped us build a bond that we will always share for the rest of our lives.  I would like to thank the best fans in the country, the Big Blue Nation, and I hope you guys will continue to support me as I move on. I will always bleed blue. Succeed and Proceed!”

April 18: The future Cats shined in the Jordan Brand Classic.

Karl Towns went behind-the-back for the Play of the Game:

April 19: UK fan tattooed Willie Cauley-Stein’s face on his leg.

A deal’s a deal, right?

April 20: Aaron Harrison Sr. said his sons are midway through the process and aren’t leaning either way.

Meanwhile, several people on the internet claimed to know what they would do.

April 21: Four-star linebacker Eli Brown committed to Kentucky.

Brown, from Bowling Green, was one of the biggest Yahtzees of the Mark Stoops era at Kentucky. Only Jason Hatcher, Drew Barker and Matt Elam had a higher grade from 247Sports and he still has his senior year of high school football ahead.

Brown is UK’s highest-rated player in the Rivals rankings since Micah Johnson.

April 22: We said goodbye to Julius Randle.

Though it came as no surprise to anyone, Julius Randle officially announced he will enter the NBA draft.

Thanks for the memories. And the double-doubles. All of them.

April 23: Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson announce they’re coming back.

KSR had one of its best shows ever with Julius Randle, Mark Stoops, and Neal Brown before Alex Poythress and Dakari Johnson announced their returns. Then “Two and Toodaloo” was born that night.

April 24: Calipari said he’ll find out about the Harrisons’ future when we do.

Other big notes from Thursday, April 24:

— “Slice” Rohrssen was spotted around town

— The NCAA agreed on the autonomy of the five main conferences

— Calipari held a Facebook chat

— UK decided to let the kids drink on campus

April 25: Andrew and Aaron announced their return to Kentucky.

It broke the internet.

KSR celebrated with a special two-hour show, the No. 1 streaming show in the country that day. James Young celebrated by sitting courtside with Rihanna at the Nets game.

April 26: Patrick Towles started at quarterback in the spring game.

There is still a long way to go before a starting quarterback is announced for the 2014 season but Towles looked the part in his start in the intrasquad scrimmage. We also saw great things from the UK backfield — the Cats are deep at running back — while Za’Darius Smith was Za’Darius Smith.

April 27: Derek Willis indirectly told Pat Forde to shut up.

Willis made it clear he’ll be back next season and any reports about a transfer are false and “annoying.”

April 28: The 2014 CATSPYs

Or what Marcus Lee likes to call, “Another Occasion for a Bow Tie.”

April 29: Coach Cal told Jay Mohr Sports that Dakari Johnson wasn’t interested in what the NBA had to say.

And in bigger Dakari news from yesterday, THIS:

John Wall led the Wizards to the second round of the playoffs, too.

April 30: We looked back on the exciting month of April.

And then everyone reading this left a comment in the comments section with their favorite April memory. (The Final Four and Harrisons return doesn’t count.)

Go Cats.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

33 Comments for Goodbye, April. You were a lot of fun.



  1. Alex Cannon
    8:05 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Definitely a terrific April between tourney run and all the guys announcing they were coming back – only 6 months til season til with the #1 Cats: http://straighthoops.com/what_could_be_done.html



  2. Johnnyboro
    8:06 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    First…



  3. Johnnyboro
    8:07 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Not…



  4. K2da
    8:20 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    I just wish Rex would have said ” I was feeling myself with my new website and all and it was a stupid mistake” instead of I didn’t know it would take off.He’s still the best Highschool player I watched in person but he’s a loser one my book for the moment.



  5. Picasso
    8:23 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Can someone please enlighten me why the 2014 banner is a different shade of blue from all the others? Seriously.



    • Rei
      8:50 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      It’s new and not covered in dust or age.



  6. rnet
    8:27 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    favorite moment is rex being excommunicated from BBN forever!!!! not really just the tourney run nough said



    • You Never Answered My Question
      8:34 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      Does the “r” in “rnet” stand for retard?



  7. WhatsCoolerThanBeingCool
    8:31 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Aaron Harrison, what a special young man and what a journey it was. Overwhelmed and full of goosebumps after watching the game winner against Wisconsin



  8. UKgrad'13
    8:49 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Yep, what a month. As I keep saying though, the more time that passes, the more I think about how painfully close we were to raising the BIG banner.



  9. Bdmnky81
    8:56 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Yelling “The Twins are going to keep playing with our Willie” in a crowded kroger parking lot when the news broke….



  10. kes
    9:00 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    april 9th F rex, i hope he gets aids



  11. Wes
    9:13 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Apr. 24th – The Turkey Hunter’s glorious return to KSR.



  12. Ukcatzfan
    9:23 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Looks out of place
    The 1998 championship banner
    Then it takes all the way to 2011 before another final 4



  13. rahrah
    9:32 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Drew, you outdid yourself on that Aaron Harrison video. Thanks.



  14. Melvit
    9:32 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    I still smile really big when watching Aaron hit that shot. Even though we didn’t win it all, this is my favorite run in the tournament that I’ve seen. A tournament run that started with the Cats leading 1 – 0 at the first tip off.



    • SKat
      10:03 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

      Have to agree it’s my favorite run as well! I go back to the 1978 championship and I remember how that season was all work and no fun until the final buzzer of the championship win. Players and Coach Hall said what a stressful season it was. Cats ranked #1 most (all?) of the season and fully expected to win it all that year. So this year? No expectations entering the tournament, but a good vibe from the SEC tournament performance. Then to win the first five tournament games in such stunning fashion- taking out undefeated 1-seed Wichita State and our arch rival Louisville! A-Aron’s 3’s! Marcus Lee kills it against Michigan! Wanda’s NBA-draft-cinching dunk! Loss to UConn in the championship was disappointing, but Cats were right there at the end, just as they had been all tournament. They just couldn’t finish that game like they had the others. Winning 6 games in March Madness takes talent, teamwork, chemistry, coaching and NO critical injuries! Willie’s Achilles this year, Derek Anderson’s ankle in 1997 (definitely cost us that championship!), and Keith Bogans’ high ankle sprain creating the #1 UK team’s loss to Dwyane Wade and Marquette in 2003 Midwest regional final. All things considered, I will remember this season forever for the April miracle that left bile in the hater’s throats, knowing Kentucky and Calipari are for real! Still the greatest tradition in NCAA basketball!



  15. Yeah but....
    9:34 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Great post Drew but you left out Marcus Lee announces he is coming back. Cannot forget my man 00.



  16. Ace
    9:57 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Very interesting: Coach Calipari in Los Angeles last week with recruiting?? Mike Dantoni of Lakers resign tonight. Maybe more to the Rex Chapman tweet than we know.

    The most interesting thing is Dantoni’s resignation was unexpected and his contract was supposed to end next year.

    I thought Cal would leave us next year if Lebron went to Lakers this year, but this is a very interesting development.



  17. Deece
    11:06 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    It’s a shame we can’t use the last weekend in March, because that was some excitement! But my favorite in March was the welcome home on April 8th.



  18. this just in...
    11:10 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Shelby Workman is gorgeous!!! I wish the UK Women’s volleyball games were televised here In Northern Virginia.



  19. Suzanne Smith
    11:37 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    Can’t wait until October 🙂



  20. No Words
    11:43 pm April 30, 2014 Permalink

    I’ve been watching NCAA basketball for about 40 years now and I cannot remember a stretch of games that brought so much joy! Coming into the tourney still a little let down from the season, this team put together a string of games that I think rivals any in history. I’m sure that there is Villanova or NC State fan out there who would argue, but for my money… Best strech of tourney games EVER Thanks CATS.



  21. David Paragon
    12:51 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    My favorite memory is loading up the big red van with me,
    My wife, 5 of my 7 kids, my brother and sister in law and there
    Son and driving to Dallas on a whim to see if we could get into
    The game. Sadly we didn’t but had a fun 3 day trip and hopefully
    Unforgettable memories for my kiddos!



  22. Perfect Patterson
    1:35 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    After the unprecedented clutch shots game-after-game in the tourney, can anyone tell me why we don’t have a statue of Aaron Harrison commissioned yet?



  23. George
    6:03 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    In March, my son turned 2 years old. In April, I was able to watch the Cats play in a National Championship game with him for the second time.



  24. James K
    8:39 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    I have to admit — the Aaron Harrison shots get me like borderline emotional! It’s slightly embarrassing; grown man and I get that sappy about a game. Point stands, though: I will never, ever forget this run. The drama and the redemption of a team of nice kids getting put through the ringer all season and then coming out the way they did is honestly unmatched in Kentucky basketball history. Just my opinion. I think that was the sweetest part of it, for me. Those kids were obviously having such a hard time, and seeing them celebrate and silence their critics was just incredible.

    After the Wisconsin game I tweeted ‘This team has become pure joy. Pure joy.’ That’s how I’ll remember them.



  25. Ho Lee Fuk
    8:50 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    How is F rex listed twice in a post called “Goodbye April, You were a lot of fun”? I am guessing that KSR’s “friendship”(?) with F rex started when he wanted KSR to help him start his website?



  26. Season Never Ends
    9:59 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    “Two and Toodaloo”



  27. media streamer netflix
    10:37 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    It could just be that a lot of people are trying out this new system at once
    and Netflix’s servers are handling a lot of traffic. You would imagine
    that Netflix Instant could be used anywhere in the world because of its streaming nature, but Netflix restricts users
    so that only people living near one of the servers can
    use it. That team will free other executives to think only about streaming.



  28. Evan
    11:28 am May 1, 2014 Permalink

    The picture from April 8th of the harrison twin with the older man on the street is such a great picture. also, he reminds me of the old man from Bucket List.



  29. Ky_Tom
    3:45 pm May 1, 2014 Permalink

    It was a great run, and story line, if you look between the line..All what this team was going through..Think about it, not many team can lose their leading big post man, and still win the big games. The Twins were great, James Young played great as well…D Johnson stoop up and out, with his play..then from no where, Lee comes in and all but takes over the game..Where did that come from..I hope he saved some of that for next year…Randle was Randle..drawing double and triple teams all tournament long..Once he learned that it was easier for his teammate to score without anyone guarding him, than it was for him with 3 guys hanging onto him..UK seemed to caught on how to play the game….Now, what I worry about is this….The great ride is over, and everyone will expect even more from these guys next year…It always happens at UK..The BBN wants it ALL, not a elite 8 finish, or a Runner Up finish…the BBN wants the whole ball of wax…The Big Trophy, the schools 9th National Championship, and the pressure will be on this next team, a hell of lot more than it was on this team that was suppose to go 4-0…….So, please, a 100 times please….Don’t put any extra pressure on this kids, than what is already there…I’m afraid if we do…The BBN just might be disappointed on things turn out….Its not very often the #1 pick to in it all, ever wins it…about 4 out 10 top #1 picks have done so…so the odds are already against them before the first game is ever played…..