The Kerry Blackshear Jr. saga ended as bizarrely as the rest of the grad transfer’s recruitment.
Wednesday night news slowly trickled out that a decision was imminent. Over the next three hours, one college basketball insider after another began releasing small reports. My favorite was from Evan Daniels: “Blackshear won’t be returning to Virginia Tech or transferring to Tennessee.” Florida picked up steam throughout the night before Blackshear finally told Corey Evan the Gators were his choice.
A recruitment where news was always far and few between, Florida always made the most sense. It’s close to his home, they need him as a missing piece in the post and his addition makes them a National Title contender. Of all the schools, it’s the worst case scenario for UK fans. Florida is now the Cats’ top competition at the top of the SEC.
Even though it’s bad news for the Big Blue, “relief” is the overwhelming feeling I have following Blackshear’s announcement. Enjoy Florida, Mr. Blackshear. I’ll enjoy cheering against you at least twice in 2020.
Next Man Up: N’Faly Dante
Oh, you thought Calipari didn’t have a backup plan? Funny.
Today 2020 big man N’Faly Dante will officially visit Kentucky’s campus. The second-ranked center in the class has long been rumored to reclassify. He still insists he will not move up to 2019, but that’s probably so he can finish his prep career crushing the competition in the EYBL (14.5 points, 76 FG%, 8.9 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game).
Things are looking good for the Cats, even though we will likely not know Dante’s decision until after the Peach Jam in a few weeks. Besides, who takes official visits this early?
Brad Calipari’s Two Finalists
One of them wasn’t the University of Kentucky. Brad announced last night he plans to take his swag to either Detroit Mercy or Hampton. It’s been good, Brad. Best of luck.
After breaking a sweat in the Craft Center, the Cats busted a move at Coach Cal’s pool.
"Teamwork make the dream work." pic.twitter.com/q93CMv7tVr
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 27, 2019
Pay Attention to Two Football Recruits
There are a couple of four-star football recruits you need to keep an eye on today.Over the last two days, Ohio wide receiver Kalil Branham has been thanking all of the schools who recruited him on Twitter. UK has been omitted so far, leaving one to believe his finale will be a commitment to the Cats.
On the other side of the ball, Justin Rogers’ talented teammate Enzo Jennings is expected to announce a commitment. Down to Penn State and UK, things aren’t looking great for the Cats, but after a wild 24 hours the cornerback could have a late change of heart.
Kash Daniel’s Homecoming
Kash Daniel brought some of his Kentucky football friends back to his hometown of Paintsville on the Big Blue Caravan. His message to the Little Leaguers in his hometown, “Always compete.”
Had the opportunity to take a few of my teammates back home to Paintsville with me this morning for the Big Blue Caravan! Can’t thank everyone enough for coming out and having a good time with us! #BBN #BringIt pic.twitter.com/gMiiTTLhk6
— Kash Daniel (@KashDaniel15) June 26, 2019
So long, Bob Ley
For the first time in its history, today ESPN will broadcast without Bob Ley. The backbone of integrity for the four-letter network, Ley signed off for the final time yesterday after 40 years on the air. Jeremy Schaap’s tribute hits the nail on the head.
— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) June 26, 2019
Will the Breeders’ Cup Move?
Today’s the day we will learn if the two richest days in racing will remain at Santa Anita Park, or move to Churchill Downs. The Breeders’ Cup board will meet in Lexington to determine if the Santa Anita safety concerns are enough to bring the prestigious event to the Bluegrass.
In timely fashion, yesterday The New York Times published an in depth piece detailing why so many horses died at Santa Anita, placing most of the blame on the Stronach Group, the track’s controversial owners. Even though the Stronachs will fight to keep the event, this perfectly exemplifies why the industry can’t afford to keep the Breeders’ Cup in California.
Vanderbilt Wins the College World Series
The fighting Shannon the Dudes took down Michigan in the third and final game of the College World Series, upending the Wolverines 8-2 in Omaha. It’s the Commodores second title in six years. Tune in at 10:00 a.m. to hear the STD brag on the KSR airwaves.