America’s past time should have started four months ago. Coronavirus had other plans. It took some time to figure out how to safely return to action. Then for a few weeks players and owners jumped through hoops to negotiate through contractual nonsense. Finally, the first pitch of a shortened 2020 season will be thrown out by none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals will open the season with an interleaague matchup against the New York Yankees. The action begins in an empty stadium at 7:08 p.m. ET on ESPN and is followed by another game on the West Coast. Mookie Betts will debut with the Dodgers after inking a $365 million contract. The first pitch in Los Angeles against the San Francisco Giants is set for 10:08 p.m. ET on the Worldwide Leader.
Before the Reds and the rest of the league get rolling (with a smorgasbord of excellent specials at KSBar and Grille) on Friday, we still have quite a bit happening today across the sports world.
NBA Preseason Continues
We got our first glimpses of NBA basketball in months on Wednesday when NBATV televised a handful of scrimmages from inside the Bubble. Obviously, there are still a few kinks that need to be worked out, especially in the crowd noise department.
So the pumped in crowd noise for the NBA is….well it’s something pic.twitter.com/OsMsDwcBp1
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) July 23, 2020
The first day of preseason ball was the Bol Bol show. Once upon a time he was a top-ranked recruit visiting Big Blue Madness. Finally healthy, the 7-foot-2 center was blocking shots and burying threes for the Nuggets, posting 16 points, 10 boards and four blocks in his Bubble debut.
BOL BOL DOING IT ALL ? pic.twitter.com/na8e7xXXhN
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 22, 2020
The action resumes today starting at 3:30 p.m. ET between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Indiana Pacers, followed by the Anthony Davis and the Lakers vs. MKG and the Mavericks at 7 p.m. ET.
Kentucky added an incredibly fast cornerback to the 2021 recruiting class Wednesday night. Nashville’s Adrian Huey chose Kentucky over Georgia, Tennessee, Miss. State and more. Recruited by Steve Clinkscale, Huey does not yet have the size but he does have the speed to compete at the highest level of football. You can’t coach sub-4.4 speed.
Later today we’ll break down his film and paint a bigger picture of what Kentucky’s 2021 football recruiting efforts look like as more and more top-ranked recruits prepare to pull the trigger and commit to colleges during the coronavirus pandemic.
No #BranhamBros on the UK Basketball Team
The hashtag popularized by Kentucky wide receiver Kalil Branham was often used when he worked out with his older brother J.J., an Eastern Michigan running back. Another Branham could have potentially joined the BBN as a basketball player. Ranked as the No. 27 player in the 2021 recruiting class and fifth-ranked shooting guard, Kalil’s cousin Malaki Branham had enough credentials at St. Vincent-St. Mary to earn some attention from Kentucky. Unfortunately, fate would not align in time as Malaki committed to Chris Holtmann’s Ohio State program Wednesday afternoon.
Catch Up with Two Former Cats
Jarred Vanderbilt is one of a few former Cats that did not make it inside the NBA Bubble. He did find some time to talk to Bradley “B-Roll” McKee about his tumultuous season at Kentucky, living life with injuries and finding a role in the NBA.
C.J. Conrad has decided to hang up his pads for good. In short, a medical condition discovered at the NFL Combine and a pandemic prevented his NFL career from ever taking off. Allow him to tell the entire story as he prepares to embark on the next phase of his career as a UK grad assistant.
Two New KSR Podcasts
The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast is throwing it back with a new episode featuring AT’s original co-host, Nick Coffey. Josh Pastern also joins the program to talk about the Ramblin’ Wreck of Georgia Tech and he shares the only destination he believes would cause Calipari to leave Kentucky.
In the football department, 11 Personnel is celebrating one year of podcasting. Nick Roush and Adam Luckett break out their Phil Steeles before diving into a little football recruiting talk as the Cats reel in another commitment.
The KSR crew is sending a very Happy Birthday to Thom Wachtel, one of the Big Blue Nation’s best. Please celebrate accordingly (and wish for football this fall when you blow out the many, many, many candles atop that cake).
Henry County Day on KSR
Take a trip on I-71 to the land of Henry County. Today they’ll soak up the KSR spotlight as the crew gets you ready for baseball season. Don’t Geek.