On Monday, the BBN had two landmark birthdays: Willie Cauley-Stein turned 21, and Kenny Sky Walker turned the Big 5-0. Kenny has been a good friend to the site over the years, and I was particularly excited to dedicate the news and views to him so I could post his infamous modeling pictures from years past. The pictures, which Kenny said he posed for to help out one of his friends who was an aspiring photographer, are timeless. Another completely random fact about Kenny: he once raced against a harness racehorse and won. From the New York Times:
Kenny Walker, the Knicks’ first-round draft choice, beat the pacer Pugwash, a certified loser with no victories in his last 21 starts, in a race over one-sixteenth of a mile (110 yards). Walker, who was timed in 10 2/5 seconds, described as the track record in the event, finished a nose ahead of Pugwash, driven by John Gulotta.
Kentucky basketball legend, NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner, model, and faster than a racehorse. At this point, what can’t Kenny do? Happy birthday, big guy. One more glamor shot before we head to the news and views:
Patrick Towles is your starting quarterback
Stoops got the news rolling early this morning when he announced that Patrick Towles has been named the team’s starting quarterback over Reese Phillips and Drew Barker. In his comments to the media and KSR, Stoops said that Patrick’s attitude and hard work during his redshirt year had a big impact, which Neal Brown agreed with, telling reporters that Patrick “looked himself in the mirror” last season, reevaluated his game and “made football a top priority.” With a renewed attitude and quicker release, Towles surged ahead in the QB race in the spring, and carried that momentum through the summer into the fall. Although Stoops said it was a “very close race,” Towles won it fair and square, and his comeback story sets a good example for the team about hard work and resilience.
Stoops said he’s relieved to have the decision over with, and gave this description of his new starting QB:
“Patrick has a big arm. Patrick is — he’s sneaky fast, too, as well. He’s maybe not as fleet of foot as some other guys, but in the open field he’s really got some pretty good speed. He’s a big guy. He’s strong. And he can make all the throws. He’s improved on his release. He’s much quicker getting rid of the ball, and that improves his decision making. And that’s the biggest area of improvement for him over a year.”
Now, the question becomes…
Who is his backup?
With the starting quarterback position settled, the focus now shifts to who will be Towles’ backup. Stoops refused to answer the question on Monday, saying he’s not prepared to name one yet. In turn, he says he’s also not ready to talk about redshirting Drew Barker yet. “I really don’t want to even discuss that or even open that door right now,” Stoops told reporters. “I want Drew to keep working and keep on battling and we’ll see where that goes.” Well, alright then.
Ryan Timmons stood out in the open practice
Monday was the last look fans and the media will have of the team before the August 30 opener, and Nick Roush was on hand to drink it all in, as well as take an ice bath. Roush said that Ryan Timmons stood out to him on Monday, and could be the difference maker the Cats need on offense. Stoops also praised Timmons on KSR, telling Tim Couch and Jared Lorenzen that Timmons has bounced back from a minor injury a week and a half ago. “He’s doing a really good job. He got a little dinged up a week and a half ago, and he’s been back out here and the last three or four so days, he’s gotten back to a really good place,” Stoops said. “He’s working his way into it and Ryan’s going to have a big year. We need him to have a big year.”
Listen to all of Stoops’ comments on KSR below, and please go check out the podcast. Tim and Jared killed it yet again.
Gary Parrish says UK’s performance in the Bahamas “enhanced” their reputation to win it all
Count Gary Parrish among those who were impressed with the Cats’ performance in the Bahamas last week. Parrish posted an article on Monday in which he said that UK actually “enhanced their reputation as that favorites to win the 2015 national championship,” and even brought up that ole 40-0 demon:
Bottom line, the Wildcats, dead-tired by the end, didn’t escape the Bahamas without a loss, but they still managed to enhance their reputation as the favorites to win the 2015 national championship. To that point, folks are yet again starting to talk about the odds of Kentucky finishing 40-0, which has always been among Calipari’s dreams, and it’s important to note that the odds remain stacked against it. But after watching 240 minutes of August basketball, I wouldn’t completely rule it out.
MKG and James Young are the latest Cats to accept the Ice Water Challenge
MKG joins 2012 champs Marquis Teague, Twany Beckham, and Eloy Vargas in accepting Cal’s challenge, and James accepted Rajon Rondo’s. It’s becoming really tough to keep up with all of these.
Kige Ramsey’s is still the best.
Kige’s video was so great it made Buzzfeed. Matt, Drew, Ryan, and I also picked up challenges on Monday from Jared Lorenzen and Will Lentz, so stay tuned…
KSR is live from Sleep Outfitters in Richmond in the morning
Fresh off eleven days in the Bahamas, Matt and Drew are back on the main island and will be live from the grand opening of the Sleep Outfitters in Richmond (1146 Barnes Mill Road) in the morning to talk about their trip and get back to football. Someone better keep an eye on Drew…considering the week he had, he may pass out on one of those amazing Dormeo mattresses.