Unlike last Monday and many of the shelter-at-home Mondays before that, we have some actual news for you to consume on this Monday morning before you begin your work week. It’s a big day for UK Athletics and a big day for Kentucky Sports Radio radio, following a newsy basketball recruiting weekend you’ll need to get caught up on.
So let’s not waste each other’s time with small talk just so I can drive up my word count. There’s business to address:
UK Football returns to on-campus workouts today.
UK Athletics unveiled its plans for its return to campus, and today marks Phase 1 of the process: bringing the football team back. Beginning today, Mark Stoops’ Wildcats can return to campus for voluntary workouts. However, only some of Mark Stoops’ Wildcats are allowed back.
This group, the first wave of football players to be granted access to the facility, includes only those student-athletes who remained in Lexington throughout April and May. Landon Young, Drake Jackson and newcomer Beau Allen are among the hometown talent who stayed home with their families, but many others from outside the Bluegrass elected to stick around Lexington after UK closed its campus for COVID-19. This is a big group, including most of the stars you’re thinking about right now. Terry Wilson, yes. AJ Rose, yes. The Big Blue Wall, yes. The GOAT Max Duffy, yes. Members of that elite Kentucky defense, yes.
Today they get their keys to the building back. (Just kidding they have eye scanners.)
Getting back to football begins today ??? pic.twitter.com/p34dtVtNqg
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) June 8, 2020
Cade Cunningham is back on the market… maybe.
Does Kentucky have another shot at Cade Cunningham, the No. 1 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class? The relationship has a heartbeat again thanks to a little help from the NCAA.
As you were taking a long lunch break on Friday, news broke saying the Oklahoma State men’s basketball program had been awarded a one-year postseason ban (among other sanctions) for being in the big mess the FBI uncovered a few years ago. Oklahoma State is the first of the programs from that investigation to be punished, and it may cost the Cowboys the best player in college basketball.
Cunningham is a one-and-done (write it in stone), so will he honor his commitment to a school that can’t compete for a championship? No NCAA Tournament for a superstar? Cunningham should at least consider pursuing other scenarios before his NBA dream is fulfilled, and the University of Kentucky is one of those other scenarios. He almost picked the Cats the first time around before pulling the surprise and committing to Oklahoma State back in November. It helped that Oklahoma State had just hired his older brother with very little coaching experience to be an assistant coach. Whatever though.
Back to the now, Cunningham hasn’t given any indication which way he will go; however, speculation suggests Kentucky and the new G League route will be in consideration. He could also choose to honor his commitment and ride out six months with his brother in Stillwater, which would be the worst possible thing he could do for his brand.
Whatever the case, a door swung wide open for a super team in Lexington.
Jonathan Kuminga graduated high school a year early, but won’t say he’s officially reclassified.
The No. 1 prospect in the 2021 high school basketball recruiting class, five-star big man Jonathan Kuminga, took a big step toward reclassifying to 2020. He did so by officially graduating high school, which, I believe, is a pretty big sign he will, in fact, reclassify.
Kuminga’s camp hasn’t committed to a re-class, according to Rivals’ Corey Evans. Kentucky is among Kuminga’s finalist, but the sharp money is on the G League.
Matthew Mitchell to guest host KSR today.
Talk about burying the lede!
In the biggest news of all this news, I am proud to announce that Matthew Mitchell will guest host Kentucky Sports Radio radio today. Matt Jones is still away for a second week, so Coach Mitchell will step in to guest host the show with Ryan Lemond. You will want to tune in.
Allow me to brag on KSBar and Grille for a moment, if you will.
I can confirm the bar business is not the ideal business to be in during a pandemic with an order to close all bars and sit-down dining. Not great, Bob. But the KSBar team worked very hard to (a) survive, which we did, which was nice; and (b) check all the boxes to reopen in the safest way possible for KSBar’s guests. We’ve gone to great lengths to provide a comfortable environment during these uncomfortable times… Hubby even made an outdoor sink!
We've been working hard to ensure the safety of our guests during the pandemic. From socially distancing our dining room & patio to installing this sweet outdoor Bourbon barrel hand washing sink, we want your experience to be a great one. pic.twitter.com/2tdyhmSdde
— KSBar and Grille (@KSBarAndGrille) June 7, 2020
I can’t brag on the bar without bragging on you, the good people who keep it going. We can’t thank everyone enough for supporting the place through curbside service when everything shut down. The curbside service is still going strong, but you can hang out now too.
The Matt Jones Podcast has big shows ahead.
He stepped away from the radio show, but couldn’t step away from the microphone. This week Matt Jones will chat with fellow radio star Bobby Bones, former UK football star Randall Cobb and ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. You can stream it online through Spotify, or you can get it sent directly to your phone by subscribing to The Matt Jones Podcast on iTunes.
The rest of this week’s KSR Guest Host Schedule looks like this:
Tuesday: TBD (Chris Lofton had to cancel)
Wednesday: Pardon My Takeover w/ Big Cat and PFT Commenter
Thursday: Lee Cruse/Haley Harmon (a new bracket show?)
Friday: The Ryan + Drew + Shannon Show
Tune in to Matthew Mitchell today at 10 am!