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Josh Hopkins’ Thursday News and Views


Before he became a star on Cougar Town and started vacationing with Courtney Cox and riding in helicopters and hiking the Hollywood hills and writing for popular University of Kentucky sports websites written in the most ridiculous manner possible, Josh Hopkins was just a guy from Kentucky who loved when the Wildcats won and contemplated doing awful, inconceivable things to anything or anyone around him when the Wildcats lost. Ya know, just your typical fan who longed for the day UK raised its next banner; no different than you, me, or the person camping next to us for Madness tickets.

But now Josh Hopkins is a famous actor out in California where everyone is beautiful, the sun always shines, the traffic sucks, and the people have lots and lots of money. He gets recognized at the ESPYs by Jadeveon Clowney and gets prime seating at The Blue Dog, even during happy hour. But with all the awesomeness going on in his life, knowing Josh, I can say with 100-percent certainty he’d trade all of it for a couple more top-ranked recruits, maybe another banner or two, and a few extra years with John Calipari at the helm. The guy is obsessed with Kentucky basketball and there aren’t enough Caribbean getaways with Monica Geller to get his mind off what’s happening in Big Blue Nation. He’s way out in Los Angeles living the dream and getting paid handsomely to have women adore him, but his heart is still in Lexington, wondering how much Alex Poythress is improving and whether or not the Harrison twins can coexist with Julius Randle. Through the fame and fortune, he still bleeds blue as hard as anyone else, if not harder.

So throw up your three-goggles to Mr. Josh Hopkins on Thursday, his 43rd birthday. I’m sure he has big plans, like watching Tyler Ulis mixtapes or alumni game highlights.

Happy Birthday, Josh!


We’re a little over 60 hours away from the Kentucky-Louisville game in Commonwealth Stadium and the excitement is here, but it has been higher in the past. Sure, Big Blue Nation is pumped to welcome the Cards onto C.M. Newton field on Saturday, but there are very few fans, if any, who believe Kentucky stands a solid chance at walking away with the W. Let’s face it, Louisville is good this year. Unbeatable good? No. But the Cards are good and Kentucky is rebuilding — er, building.

There’s no arguing Teddy Bridgewater is the real deal and he’s surrounded by weapons, through the air and on the ground. Charlie Strong will use a balanced attack offensively that is sure to confuse UK’s shaky linebacking corps, while the Kentucky secondary, though happy to have Cody Quinn back, will have its hands full slowing down the Heisman candidate’s assault. The defensive line must play well, no, it must play great, for Kentucky to have any kind of a chance at containing UofL’s offense. Pressure Bridgewater into mistakes. Minimize his time in the pocket. Put a helmet on him. Stop the run. Put a helmet on those guys, too. Do all that.

With all that said, last Saturday’s win over Miami may have been the best scenario for Kentucky. The Wildcats totaled 675 yards, the third-best outing in school history, but still made enough mistakes in the second half for Stoops to stay on their rear ends all week. The offense looked sharp early against the RedHawks, scoring at will and showing signs of that Air Raid magic, but there is still plenty of stuff to work on.

Defensively, UK held Miami scoreless but no one is content with that side of the ball. They know it’ll take more than anything we saw in the first two games to get the job done against Louisville. Guys can’t get caught out of position, and above all else, tackling has to improve. Please, for the love of everything, make the tackles.

Wednesday’s football media opportunity was the last of the week, meaning what Stoops said after practice is all we get until after the game. He opened things up by saying Wednesday was much better than Tuesday, which is good to hear, and that they got a lot of good work in with higher intensity. “Good, hot day,” he said. “So pleased.”

One of the things they’re working on this week is the return game, as they should, and Stoops expects the team to be improved in that department come Saturday. It can’t get much worse than what we saw out of the group against Miami after DeMarco Robinson went down. He said he thinks they’ve cleaned some things up, so hopefully we won’t see another fumble inside the five-yard line leading to a score for the kicking team.

Getting DeMarco Robinson back will be huge for the return game, and according to Lonny Demaree, things are looking positive on the front:

And Lonny wouldn’t lie to us.

Stoops addressed the two-quarterback system again on Wednesday, like he has every other day since the spring, saying right now it gives UK a schematic advantage because both guys are capable and have contrasting styles to confuse the D. “We thought about it last week and game planned for it,” he said. “You’ve heard me say I think just about every press conference that we expect both quarterbacks to play. So we’re just staying on course there.”

Offensive coordinator Neal Brown, admitting he’s never used two quarterbacks before, said, “It’s kind of what it is right now. If one guy separates himself then we’ll play one, but right now I think the best opportunity for us to play well on offense and for us to win is kind of playing both those guys.”

It’s harder on him but he can handle it, he says. “It just takes a little bit more preparation. Mentally, I have to be really in tune about who’s in the football game as to what I’m calling.”

If Kentucky wins the toss, kick or receive? Discuss in the comments section. Normally I’m a kick it away guy but this week I’m on #TeamReceive.

“We want the ball and we’re gonna score.” ~ Matt Hasselbeck

When Kentucky and Louisville kick it off at noon on the football field Saturday, John Calipari may already have his point guard for the 2014-15 college basketball season. Tyler Ulis, the 5-foot-8, 150-pound guard from Chicago, is set to announce his decision Friday night and Kentucky is the heavy, heavy, heavy favorite over Iowa and Michigan State for his services. Ulis will announce to the world at approximately 8:20 ET from the student section of his high school’s football game and it will be streamed live on

Ulis, ranked 33rd overall in the Rivals150, visited Michigan State and Kentucky over the weekend; he was in Lexington for the alumni game. He and his dad discussed the decision on the drive back to Chicago Monday night, immediately after an incredible night in Rupp Arena. Now, he’s ready to go public with it.

After seeing Ulis early in the summer, ESPN’s Dave Telep wrote, “Ulis drives to pass and create. He’s truly a pass-first point guard. As you’d expect for a recruit with his IQ and skill set, playing with talent is of the highest importance at the next level.” Telep called him one of the easiest point guards to play with in the 2014 class. “He’s a giver.”

We’ll have plenty more Ulis talk Thursday and Friday leading up to his announcement.

It has been a very busy week for Coach Cal and he isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Monday, of course, was the alumni game and the conclusion of fantasy camp, followed by a Tuesday trip to Minnesota to visit Tyus Jones and then down to Texas to meet with Myles Turner on Wednesday. Tomorrow, he’ll visit Stanley Johnson way out in California to convince the small forward that Kentucky is much better than Arizona. Then on Friday he’ll stop by Las Vegas to chat with Stephen Zimmerman, one of the top recruits in the 2015 class. Zimmerman is one of six high schools juniors with an offer to Kentucky already on the table.

For a better understanding of where Kentucky stands with guys like Turner, Booker and other top basketball recruits, be sure to tune in to Kentucky Sports Radio radio tomorrow morning when Jason Jordan of USA Today calls in to lend some recruiting insight to the show. Jordan is one of the best in the business and he’s close to Turner and Booker, so he knows his stuff.

We’ll see you then.


Also, a special shout-out to Tomcats For Tomcats, a group of longtime friends who “pay it forward” to others in need of a boost of spirit. The group recently surprised Nat Speaks of Ashland, who is battling cancer, with a “Wildcat Weekend” getaway — an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for Kentucky’s game in the Barclays Center in December.

The TFT group formed in 2009 on a fishing trip with an old friend and classmate who passed away the following year; they promised him they would continue the mission of paying it forward in his honor.

Read more about TFT’s latest good deed in this story from The Independent Online.

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

22 Comments for Josh Hopkins’ Thursday News and Views

  1. Cayts
    12:55 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    No Louisville Hate Day this year?

  2. SadCat
    1:02 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    I bleed blue (bball), but I am so sick
    of this bogus football hyperbole I could

  3. SadCat
    1:04 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    And I was there 74-77 when we had a real
    football team.

  4. Tim from Hendo
    1:18 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    TeamReceive here. I think we need to get a jump out of the gate more than anything.

  5. Do whut?
    1:49 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    I’m an always kick it off proponent. No matter the situation, heavy underdog or not. There is no momentum that needs changing when it’s knotted up zero to zero but opening the second half with the ball affords the team a chance to flip momentum from the closing moments of the first half or as I hope is the case Saturday keep it rolling in your favor.

  6. Wildcatsteeler
    2:30 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    There is no chance of winning this game. Zero. If we don’t have a coaching staff and team that can beat WKU that says all you need to know. Is a total rebuilding season and the coaching staff is as amateurish as the players. 80% of BBN knew Smith was the starter. But somehow the coaching staff didn’t. But he’s recruiting and learning. 2 wins this season people. You can write it down. The sooner you accept it the better off you will be.

  7. Thrashitup
    2:51 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    Am I the only one who noticed the Freudian-slip-esque typo in the last line?

  8. Wildcatsteeler
    2:57 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    And Barnhart is a total failure. Gillespie alone was reason enough to fire him. He passed over Cal for him. Then names Joker coach in waiting and sets us back 5 years in football. Jurich has exposed him for the colossal failure he is. This Southern stick-by-your-good-ole-boy stupidity has to end. This is BUSINESS! BIG BUSINESS! And he’s way out of his league. In any other profession or at any other school he would have been replaced.

  9. bigcatstanding
    2:59 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    So do you guys think we can hold Teddy Bridgewater from slinging out 9 TD’s? I don’t think we can drop back the entire team & bring in all of stoops troops to stop that guy. And i think Charlie strong would definitly handle mark stoops in a fight. Just a thought..

  10. Stoops Troops
    6:09 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    Come on #BBN there are still tickets left for the game this Saturday. Let’s FILL the stadium up with blue, be LOUD, and CHEER our C-A-T-S to a victory. Still tickets left for ONLY $41.00 it will definitely be worth the price of admission and there’s not a bad seat in CWS. Please help keep the red OUT!

  11. FatBlueKid
    6:12 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    City Scum ain’t that good people. DIdn’t they lose by 30 last year to Syracuse and lose at home to UCONN! LOL!! Same exact team. We are better than every team on their schedule. We are SEC they are Mid Major. Cats win by 6. Write it down 34-28!

  12. Annoyed
    6:58 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    The pop-up ads on the new site make KSR completely unreadable on the iPhone. Why not go to a pay model so we don’t have to deal with the annoyance?

  13. dexter
    7:44 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    Why no Louisville hate day this year? Or are we just saving for basketball when we know for sure that we’ll win.

  14. AnthonyBBN
    7:53 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    I am always surprised at all the UofL fans who post here masquerading as UK fans. You guys are so transparent.

  15. red headed step child
    8:20 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    I agree with 12.

    This needs to be a pay site. The only problem is that Matt would lose the hits created by the Tards posing as UK fans.

  16. EK
    8:29 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    To all the haters and loserville fans if you don’t like it STAY THE HELL OF THE SITE!! #12,#15,#8 PLEASE GO FU-K YOURSELVES!! GO CATS!!

  17. EK
    8:30 am September 12, 2013 Permalink


  18. red headed step child
    9:39 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    @EK, excuse me? I hate the Tards, I hate the bitching and I think you may be lost trying to call me out.

  19. blue blue
    10:40 am September 12, 2013 Permalink

    Does anyone know how the myles turner visit went???

  20. Myles Turner
    12:38 pm September 12, 2013 Permalink

    It was awesome blue blue.

  21. Scottie
    12:56 pm September 12, 2013 Permalink

    a 5′-8″ 150 lb point guard? he will never get a shot

  22. Do whut?
    3:35 pm September 12, 2013 Permalink

    #8 you couldn’t be more wrong or misinformed about Mitch Barnhart. He is highly respected as an AD throughout the country and many programs would jump at the chance to hire him. I find it amusing how everyone in BBN fawns all over Rich Brooks and his legacy as if he is somehow Bear Bryant (and of course never was the fickleness of BBN more on display than his tenure) yet seems to forget that the entire Joker as coach in waiting was his idea and something he fought for. So either the guy who handed off a program in better condition than it had been in years to a hand selected successor is an idiot or Barnhart isn’t. Your choice. Of course I don’t know why I would waste any logic on a Fellowship of the Miserable lefty anyway. Forget the politics of it all and just explain to me why you leftists always seem to be pissy, unhappy individuals in general.