Technically, it’s the offseason, but UK Sports never really stop; in fact, when you look at the calendar, there’s a ton of stuff happening over the next three and a half months to keep the news train churning.
Here’s what you can look forward to this summer.
May 14: NBA Draft Lottery
Which team gets Zion? We’ll find out tonight. We may also get a better picture of which team will draft PJ Washington, currently the only Kentucky player expected to go in the lottery.
May 14-19: NBA Draft Combine
PJ Washington, Tyler Herro, and Keldon Johnson are in Chicago until Sunday to be tested, measured, and interviewed by NBA executives alongside other top draft prospects.
May 15: End of the Spring Signing Period
That’s tomorrow! Will Jaden McDaniels announce his decision? His high school coach thinks so, which could be bad news for Kentucky considering recent buzz, but he could also drag this decision into the summer and sign financial aid papers at the school of his choice this fall.
May 17: UK Softball hosts NCAA Regional
The Hittin’ Kittens are the No. 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will host a regional at John Cropp Stadium this weekend. On Friday at 2:30 p.m., they’ll play Toledo to face the winner of Illinois vs. Virginia Tech on Saturday. Each regional follows a double-elimination format with at least three wins required to get to the NCAA Super Regionals, which take place May 23-26 at eight different sites.
May 18: The Preakness
With neither Country House nor Maximum Security running, does anyone care?
May 20: KSR Lexington Golf Scramble
AKA Ryan’s Putt for Prison. For each five-foot putt he misses, he has to stay in KSBar jail for two days.
May 29, 11:59 p.m.: Deadline to withdraw from the NBA Draft
Two weeks from tomorrow night, we’ll know for certain whether or not EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards are coming back to Kentucky and if Kerry Blackshear Jr. will go to the NBA or return to college for another season.
First week: Basketball players return to campus
It’s now customary for players to return to campus in early June to start summer classes and offseason workouts. Since the NCAA’s withdrawal deadline will have passed, the players who decided to come back to school will be back in Lexington with the rest of the team, including incoming freshmen.
June 4-21: John Calipari Satellite Camps
With the players back on campus, the satellite camps will also begin, giving fans across the state the chance to meet the new team. Calipari usually does a few media opps at the camps, so we’ll get to hear his first impressions of the squad.
June 7-9: Kentucky Football Camps
In early June, some of the top high school football players in the country will make their way to Kroger Field for UK’s Friday Night Lights Camp, the Saturday Night Prime Time Camp, and the Sunday Night Showcase Camp. Given the roll Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops are on right now, this could be another important week for the future of the program.
June 8: Belmont Stakes
June 20: NBA Draft
As always, Calipari will be front and center to see PJ Washington, Tyler Herro, and Keldon Johnson achieve their dreams.
TBD: KSR Summer Tour
The dates and locations are still being finalized, but the 2019 KSR Summer Tour will begin in early July. Once the schedule is final, we will post it on the site ad nauseam.
July 1-15: NBA Summer League
The NBA Summer League is bigger than ever. Utah and Sacramento will host leagues July 1-3, but the main draw is the Vegas Summer League, which takes place July 5-15 and will feature teams from China and Croatia. Expect to see plenty of former Cats in the mix.
July 10-14: Peach Jam & Under Armour Association Finals
Jack Pilgrim will split his time between the Peach Jam in North Augusta, South Carolina and the UAA Finals in Atlanta, Georgia to bring you the latest on Kentucky’s top prospects in the 2020 and 2021 classes.
July 15-18: SEC Media Days
SEC Media Days is back in Hoover and Kentucky will be up on the final day, Thursday, July 18. As always, Nick Roush will be there to cover the sights and sounds of the kickoff to talking season.
July 19-21: The Basketball Tournament (TBT) Regional in Lexington
The Bluegrass Boys, Kentucky’s Alumni Team, is hosting a regional of this year’s TBT at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington. So far, the team consists of Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Marcus Lee, Josh Harrellson and Ramon Harris, with Mark Krebs serving as team director. DeMarcus Cousins also has a team in the TBT Lexington Regional, Loyalty is Love. The winners of each region will meet for the semifinals and $2 million championship game in Chicago August 1-6.
July 22: Somerset Golf Scramble
TBD: Football Women’s Clinic
The date hasn’t been set for the annual football women’s clinic, but it typically takes place in late July. As someone who’s been to both, I can tell you it’s twice as fun as the basketball one.
Late July/Early August: Media Day
Talking season continues a few weeks later as the local media gets their turn to grill Mark Stoops, Eddie Gran, Brad White, Vince Marrow, and the players.
Early August: Football Fan Day, Fall Camp begins
Prepare yourself for practice reports.
August 31: Kentucky vs. Toledo
It’s finally football time in the Bluegrass.