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UK “Battle Royale”‘s Monday News and Views

battle-royale

I hope your weekend was as good as mine and, like me, you had a chance to spend some time with your mother. In the spirit of all things Mother’s Day, it is now time to fight…well not really fight but to pretend fight and answer the age old question, if Kentucky players of the last 20 Years were to get in a fight, who would win? Now if you are like me (and I hope you are), then you have probably had conversations of this sort hanging out with your buddies from time to time (if you are a woman and not a huge fighter, think “who is the trashiest woman in Hollywood”). I created a bracket to solve this riddle once and for all and you can VIEW THE BRACKET HERE that we will be using. It has 64 UK players, randomly placed (not seeded) from the last 20 years and will let them go head to head. The players were picked by basically ensuring we had the top three guys from each team of the last 20 years and then filling out the rest with players I liked for whatever reason. Over the next couple of weeks, we will play the bracket out (including conversations on the radio show about it), and get our winner. So check out the bracket, make your picks (mock brackets are encouraged) and look for the best first round matchups (for sheer entertainment, I like Antoine Walker vs DeAndre Liggins, Rod Rhodes vs Patrick Patterson and Woo vs Doron Lamb). We will get the opening bell tomorrow.

With that in mind, a few thoughts on the weekend and week to come:

— Most of the weekend was focused on the NFL Draft for understandable reasons and there were some celebrations as Avery Williamson was taken in the 5th round by the Tennessee Titans. But we also got some good news with the continued good recruiting fortune for UK football. In addition to the three commitments last week of high quality players, the Cats had a number of good guys on campus this weekend as well. The train for 2015 keeps on rolling and over the course of the next week, we will be setting the table for you on who is in the class and where Kentucky stands with a number of top prospects. The most interesting comments of the weekend came from CJ Conrad, the 4 star Tight End who committed to the Cats on Friday. He said that one of the main reasons he chose Kentucky was his belief in the ability of Drew Barker to become a star at Kentucky and make him a better player. That quote illustrates what we have known for some time…mainly that the commitment of Drew Barker is one that will pay dividends for UK football not only on the field, but in recruiting, where he has the potential to be a difference maker the likes of which we haven’t seen.

BnTOLH2IYAE0oIq

Seemingly every year UK fans find their way on camera at the Players’ Championship…this year was no different.

— The most interesting basketball tidbit from the weekend came from an anonymous NBA GM who told the Sporting News that Kentucky could have the “makings of a good NBA team” if they were all drafted by the same team next year and kept together for three years. The comment (while maybe containing a little hyperbole) is illustrative of just how much raw talent next year’s group is and the crazy expectations that will most surely follow the guys from the moment they step on the court. The one thing that worries me (and makes me a bit hesitant with the GM’s comment) is that I still don’t think that UK has a certain “star” on the team as in year’s past. Calipari teams usually have guys that will be a lock as a star….Wall, Cousins, MKG, Davis, Noel, Randle and even Knight were guys that you knew would be star college players and for the most part, they all were. Kentucky has a roster loaded with good to VERY good players, but the only person that may be a “star” is Karl Towns. Now maybe Towns is even better than we think (and I think he will be very good), someone else emerges as that “star” or you don’t need a “star” when you have 10-12 really good college players. We don’t know, but what we do know is that the GM’s comments showcase that the talent next year could be mind-blowing.

— If you want to watch a potentially big story, check out the news put out Friday by The Ville Voice. They obtained a copy of this order:

uoflorder

What does this mean? Well it means the state has approved a lot of money to hire lawyers for UL on an emergency basis. The Ville Voice is hearing it is because the SEC and IRS are investigating the dealings between the Arena Authority and UL. That investigation may hinge on potential “self-negotiating” in which UL board members were also on the Arena Authority and thus gave UL its insanely favorably deal by dealing with itself. As the Ville Voice notes, much of this is speculative, but if true, could blow the top off a story that has stayed in the background for far too long…definitely worth watching in the weeks/months to come.

There were many big life events for former Cats….Jorts got engaged, Jodie Meeks graduated from UK and Kyle Witljer graduated from Gonzaga. The last piece of news seemed the most surprising as Wiltjer hasn’t even played a game yet for the Zags and now has a degree. He finished in three years (thanks in large part to the academic work he did at UK) and now will have two years of eligibility at Gonzaga while already having his undergraduate degree. College is different nowadays (I saw “Neighbors” by the way this weekend…not the greatest but good enough that it is worth seeing if you don’t mind movies that are obscene (and this one is)).

We get back to a regular week this week as we welcome Tyler back from vacation and hit the news as it comes…UK football commit CJ Conrad comes on the radio show tomorrow and we start the Fight Bracket in full effect. See you folks then….

Article written by Matt Jones

36 Comments for UK “Battle Royale”‘s Monday News and Views



  1. Cotton Mash
    10:55 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    Have I missed KSR coverage about Dominique Hawkins making the trip with Sports Reach this week to the Far East for two weeks? The C-J had an article in the paper on Saturday and I seen a pic of Dom getting a shampoo via the instagram feed on SportsReach.org



  2. soggyUKgrad
    10:59 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    I’m not even going to open that link for the “UK Battle Royale,” because the answer is easy. Jamal Magloire for the win.



  3. Samaki Walker
    11:05 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    The SEC? What does the SEC have to do with Louisville’s arena? The Cards dont even play in the Southeastern Conference. #GetYourFactsStraightMattJones



    • VinD
      11:18 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

      Louisville fans…bless your hearts. #waytowasteahashtagyouidiot



    • Haha
      12:03 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Please tell me you know what the “real” SEC is. Haha wow.



    • Derp
      12:31 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      SEC= Security and Exchange Commision



  4. Sarah
    11:08 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    By SEC, I think he means the Securites and Exchange Commission.



  5. ekywildcat
    11:09 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    What!!! The most profitable basketball program in the country and they can’t afford their own lawyers?



  6. BlueNotes
    11:10 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    Let’s just cut to the chase – the finals are Jamal Magliore vs DeMarcus Cousins. I think Magliore has a true mean streak while DC is just misunderstood. I’m going with Magliore.

    Also, does this mean that as a “graduate student” with eligibility remaining that Wiltjer could actually come back and play for the Cats immediately?



    • Dr. Tom
      8:51 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Bluenotes, you are definitely a thinker….that was really a good one!!



  7. Also of interest on the UL front
    11:24 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    Are the stories from the CJ (March 16 & April 18) about UL paying 4 administrative officials close to President James Ramsey twice their annual salary (totaling over $900,000) and making them sign non-disparagement clauses (highly questionable for a public entity) in order to secure their early retirement and silence. According to the CJ the foursome includes their general counsel. What has been going on over there?
    If you follow Oscar Combs on twitter he posted the links to the forementioned articles.



  8. Big Blue & PGA Golf Fan
    11:43 pm May 11, 2014 Permalink

    Thanks for the golf picture with the spectators in UK Shirts. My family told me I missed this view on TV. And now here it is on KSR. Thanks KSR. This rocks! Thanks for sharing…..



  9. Ben
    12:06 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    No mention of the Wizards? I think they’re going to somehow find a way to piss away this series; although, to be fair, it looks like the Pacers have finally pulled their act together and stopped sucking. John Wall really needs one other star, veteran player on that team to lighten the load and who can consistent score off of his amazing assists. Beal may eventually turn into that player, but if you put John Wall with Paul George, Durant, Hardin, etc. together, that’s a championship team.



    • Truth
      6:49 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Beal is the best player on the Wizards.



    • Michael F. Jox
      8:34 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Beal is the best player on that team. Wall is killing them at times with his inability to score in the halfcourt. They actually looked better last night with Andre Miller in the game.



  10. Maters
    12:13 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    Checked out the bracket…. No Gimel Martinez???? SMH
    He’d whip’em all.



  11. Cal
    12:27 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    I skipped right through the article and on to the comments. Thanks guys.



  12. BoogieVsMagloire
    12:45 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    Boogie vs. Magloire for the championship.. Who ya got?



  13. colbert
    1:52 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    Who was guarding Paul George?



    • Who?
      6:48 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Trevor Ariza was guarding Paul George.



  14. Mitch Rapp
    6:01 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    Some seemingly unrelated events, when viewed in a single context, indicate some bigger problems at U of L:

    – After the downgrade by bond agencies, the Ky State Treasurer refused to audit the Arena Authority, its finances and legal agreements, despite political pressure to do so. Such an audit is highly justified and common for expensive, publicly bonded projects that are at risk of default.

    – In the past 3 months, U of L has paid several hundred thousand dollars in severance to key executives, including the general counsel, in return for their silence / anti defamation statements. This is fairly routine in the private sector, but not for a public institution.

    – The Executive Order for the legal services may or may not be unusual, but it does suggest a sense of urgency to procure the services to speed up the process. However, the justification for the expenditure is for, among other things, bankruptcy and regulatory matters. As profitable as U of L is, what, other than the YUM! Center, is at risk of bankruptcy?.

    – There is controversy brewing about U of L’s failure to attract new, out of state medical / life sciences research businesses to the land it owns in eastern Jefferson County in return for tax incentives. Instead, it is simply leasing the land to companies already based in KY that have nothing to do with research (e.g. Churchill Downs new HQ) that generate high lease income for U of L,but generate no new jobs and are on a lower tax basis for the state.

    – There have been multiple cases of embezzlement by mid-level executives in the past two years.

    – They spent over a million dollars on a no-bid consulting contract to a Rhode Island consultant with close ties to a U of L executive. This consultant had no experience and minimal qualifications for the work he was hired to do for U of L, but he had a “prior” financial interest with said UL executive. Yet, he received over $1M in a no-bid contract for services that he was unqualified to provide?

    – The Arena Authority is refusing to pay several million dollars it owes the Ky Fair Board (where Freedom Hall is located and is supported by taxpayers) in order to compensate the Fair Board for the revenue lost by moving UL out of Freedom Hall. The taxpayers would need to fund the shortfall if the AA refuses to pay Fair Board. This is probably one of the issues that is going to be litigated.

    The YUM Center is great for U of L and the city, just like a reinvented Rupp would be for Lexington. But there is a common thread of a lack of transparency and insider dealings by key personnel on large, taxpayer funded projects managed by UL and its related entities.



    • Ben
      6:29 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Damn, dude. Great, informative post.



    • Duuuuuude
      7:34 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Good stuff!



  15. Jud
    7:51 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    Star on next year’s team; The Twins. They will both dominate.



  16. Musehobo
    8:12 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    Is it just me, or is the bracket not editable? Disappointed, as I can’t print it to fill it out.



  17. steve
    8:23 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    Let these dudes fight it out and then hop in the ring with larry stamper



  18. Some Guy in Kentucky
    8:42 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    It becomes more obvious everyday that the state, and city of Louisville, set up the YUM center to be a train wreck. The YUM center needs 200 events a year to cover its bond obligation, but it only gets about 100. They said the area around the YUM center would make 6 million dollars a year in TIF, it makes 2 million dollars. Its bonds slipped to “junk bond” level. The people that bought the bonds, and the Kentucky taxpayers are the big losers in this deal. The only one making money off the YUM center is UL.



  19. cristoforoUK
    8:47 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    Can we slow the roll on Towns? He is going to be really good but we should have learned from last year not to hype anyone else as the next star before stepping on the court. Even Randle was incredibly inconsistent. Towns has work to do and is no sure bet to even start next year.



  20. Ho Lee Fuk
    9:26 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    How many people will end up in prison over the YUM deal?



  21. So.....
    9:38 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    So…. the contract linked in the story that was linked above says it doesn’t kick in until July 1, is not an emergency procurement, is not for tax issues, but instead is for immigration, environmental, and employment. And this is supposed to be for an IRS investigation?

    That would be like UK issuing a hiring notice for an assistant women’s volleyball coach in 2015 and somebody concluding this means Calipari is leaving to coach the Lakers.



    • Read much?
      10:39 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

      The legal contract says specifically “Whereas, the FIrst Party, in the exercise of its lawful duties, has determined upon the necessity of the performance of the following-described function(s): perform legal services and representation for the University of Louisville in various matters including but not limited to, employment, contract, gift and estate, real estate, bankruptcy, environmental and other regulatory matters, and immigration.”



    • You Have All Missed The Point
      3:17 pm May 12, 2014 Permalink

      This can be explained…….Bobby Petrino may has already made an illegal hire of a girl friend and Tom Turtle Neck has decided to back Petrino, thus subjecting U of L to great potential liability.



    • You Have All Missed The Point
      4:00 pm May 12, 2014 Permalink

      Upon further review……..

      Given the scope of the categories detailed in the Executive Order (employment contract, environmental immigration, etc.) it seems this could be worse than originally thought. Assuming Petrino hired his girlfriend, he must have given her a long-term contract. And, she must be an illegal immigrant that smokes. Those are the only things that I can think of that would cover all of the categories identified in the Governor’s order.



  22. Ron
    10:46 am May 12, 2014 Permalink

    I have been trying to bring attention to this ever since the deal was signed with UL. What was done was illegal and basically raped the taxpayers of this state to pay for UL excesses while keeping a pro team out of a state owned facility.