By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
Hello friends. It’s good to be back. I took one last final break of the summer to get my mind right and jump off trees into cenotes. Now that I have (mostly) detoxified from my week-long fiesta, I’m prepared to dive back into the world of Kentucky football recruiting. As a wise man once said, the dice are hot.
All the Receivers
Four commitments in two days is a pretty excellent rate of return on an official visit investment. Three of those prospects will provide plenty of firepower in the wide receivers’ room.
The addition of Earnest Sanders came out of nowhere. His recent offer sheet tells me the Michigan kid has what it takes to be successful. I love Izayah Cummings‘ size for an outside wide receiver. He’s also a proven winner at one of the state’s powerhouse football programs. You can’t coach size and you can’t give a kid confidence. He will bring both to UK’s campus.
You’ve already heard about Jordan Watkins‘ speed. You probably remember his battles with Andru Phillips at UK football camp in early June. Here’s a little something you have not heard.
Four years ago a friend of mine who coaches high school football told me, “Roush, remember the name Jordan Watkins. This kid’s going D-I.” Naturally, I did not believe that my idiot friend could spot D-I talent before the kid played a snap of high school football. I will happily admit that I was wrong. Not only is Watkins a D-I athlete, he has SEC speed. If he remains on the right track, he will be an explosive weapon in Eddie Gran’s offense.
With all that being said, I don’t think Kentucky is finished stockpiling receivers. UK only signed two in the 2019 recruiting class. The biggest question mark on this year’s offensive depth chart, they need as many playmakers as possible, especially in the slot. You can’t count on Lynn Bowden to return for a fourth year. The three added this weekend all play on the outside, leaving a few candidates to potentially suit up in the slot in the near future.
Running back commit JuTahn McClain has enough speed on the edge and wide receiver skills to move to the slot position. The same applies to UK target Michael Drennen, the No. 5 all-purpose back in America. Beating the big dogs for Drennen could be a reach, however, I do feel comfortable with UK’s chances of landing Kalil Branham. The former Michigan commit has all of the speed to make plays and is an absolute work horse. He gave glowing reviews following an official visit to UK in the spring. Branham is in no rush to commit, but when he does, I think the impressive athlete will ultimately choose UK to complete the Cats’ wide receiver class.
Today the top high school football players in America traveled to Atlanta to participate in Rivals’ Five-Star Challenge. Along with Nike’s The Opening, it’s the premiere prep camp in the country. In previous years, UK and the Commonwealth of Kentucky were under-represented. Now there are Lexington kids rocking cowboy hats on media day.
Joining Clemson commit Walker Parks from the state of Kentucky is defensive tackle Octavious Oxendine and his Frederick Douglass teammate, Dekel Crowdus. The speedy wide receiver ran a 4.36 40-yard dash earlier this month at Ohio State football camp. The top-ranked rising junior in the Commonwealth, he’s one of just 17 players from the class of 2021 attending the Five-Star Challenge and the only receiver.
Oxendine isn’t the only high profile UK defensive tackle target attending the camp. Two weeks after officially visiting UK, Dallas Walker will run through drills at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Michigan cornerback Enzo Jennings will be in attendance, along with the dynamic duo from Cincinnati Princeton High School, outside linebacker Jaheim Thomas and defensive end Darrion Henry.
The Cats are finalists for each of the Ohio prospects. Today Henry revealed he will announce his college decision June 29. UK’s prospects aren’t great for Henry, but I think Kentucky can reel in Thomas if they get him on campus for an official visit.
Richie Leonard Nears Decision
The former UK commit completed his final official visit this weekend in Knoxville. Down to seven schools — Kentucky, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, UCF and Tennessee — Leonard will make an announcement July 5. Florida State and Tennessee appear to be the Cats’ competition for the slugger.
— Richie Leonard IV™ (@RichieLeonardIV) June 10, 2019
If Leonard does decide to go elsewhere, Joshua Jones is a solid security blanket for the future of UK’s interior offensive line.
Kentucky Kid Commits to Notre Dame
Another Boyle County star is leaving the state. A few months after wide receiver Reese Smith announced he’ll play for Neal Brown at West Virginia, three-star running back Landen Bartleson committed to Notre Dame. I think it’s safe to say the Rebels will have a target on their backs when high school football season starts in just over two weeks.
Talking Season is almost Here
As much fun as it to dish on football recruiting, it’s only an appetizer. We get our first taste of the main course three weeks from today at SEC Media Days. Returning to Hoover after a one-year trip to Atlanta, Mark Stoops will take the podium on the final day of the event. As a wise Bart Scott once said, “Can’t Wait!”
By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 10:37pm
Kentucky could end the week with a commitment from one of the 150 best high school football players in America.
Four-star cornerback Enzo Jennings, a consensus top 10 cornerback ranked as the No. 11 player overall by the 247 Composite, teased a “big announcement” this Thursday at 11:00 a.m. Even though he did not say it outright, it appears Jennings will announce his commitment, choosing between Kentucky, Penn State, Notre Dame and Pitt.
For those who like to read the tea leaves, UK is the first image he shared in the Tweet.
If you’d like to read further between the lines, this afternoon Jennings’ talented teammate, Justin Rogers, reaffirmed his commitment to Kentucky following an official visit to Alabama. Another Michigan athlete, Earnest Sanders, committed to the Cats over the weekend.
Recruited by Steve Clinkscale, Jennings’ received his first offer from UK as an eighth grader. Since his official to Kentucky in early June, he’s taken official visits to Pitt and Penn State. The 247 Crystal Ball currently predicts Jennings will pick Penn State.
Jennings will spend the next two days at the Rivals Five-Star Challenge in Atlanta before returning home to Detroit for the big announcement.
By Hayden Hooper on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 10:30pm
KSBar and Grille is the place in Lexington to catch University of Kentucky games (pre and postgame too) as well as other events such as the NBA Playoffs, UFC fights, the World Cup, MLB games, PGA tour events, and more.
KSBar might be known for their smoked wings but don’t miss out on the brisket platter, fried katfish, chicken and waffles, and the great assortment of burgers. Start off with the house chips loaded to the ceiling smothered with pulled pork or chicken straight off the smoker topped with the house BBQ sauce.
Head to the KSBar and Grille website ksbarandgrille.com to see a full menu and drink list.
Be on the look out for different specials and events.
KSBar and Grille is located at: 1030 South Broadway, Lexington, KY 40504
You can be a part of KSR’s Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.
If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.
#10 Terry Jordan
— Terry Jordon (@tnjordon) June 24, 2019
Been too long!
#9 Frank Heinrichs
— Frank Heinrichs? (@FHeinrichs65) June 24, 2019
Worth every penny of that Lifetime contract!
#8 Spalding, John
— Spalding, John (@seasonneverends) June 24, 2019
Do you mean the Catlanta office?
#7 Tony Geiger
— tony geiger (@tonymgeiger) June 24, 2019
Every BBN member needs their car like this. Yes, everyone.
#6 KY Clips
I really need a former Kentucky player to be in this league. https://t.co/o3UPY3xaKq
— KY Clips (@KY_Clips) June 23, 2019
— BourbonMan (@NSchulte25) June 24, 2019
Clever, very clever.
— Stevie (@Stevie_Evans3) June 24, 2019
Thinking the same thing!
#3 Andrea Kuoni
— Andrea Kuoni (@AndreaKuoni) June 24, 2019
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KASH!
#2 Michael Rains
— Michael Rains (@RuppArenaMike) June 24, 2019
AGAIN, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KASH!
#1 Jason Winkler
— Jason Winkler (@RelkniwNosaj11) June 24, 2019
Doesn’t it feel great sharing a birthday with a Football Great? In the same boat, share a birthday with Terry Wils0n!
Follow me on twitter and tag me in one of your tweets for a chance to make KSR’s top 10 tweets:
By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
One former Kentucky women’s basketball player is taking her talents to the state of Tennessee.
Lipscomb University announce it has added former Wildcat center Dorie Harrison to its roster. A McDonald’s All-American and Top 100 recruit, Harrison averaged 6.7 points and 3.8 rebounds as a freshman in 2017-18. Last season she sat out for personal health reasons.
Harrison took a not-so-subtle shot at her former head coach in the Lipscomb press release.
“I believe in the vision Coach Sumski has for the program, and I am excited to evolve and progress with it, but mostly I honestly believe she supports me as a person first before anything else, which is so rare to find,” Harrison said.
““I’m truly humbled and blessed to be transferring into a culture in which young women are faithfully empowered, encouraged, and cultivated to be great.”
A Nashville native, Harrison’s older sister, Isabelle, was an All-SEC performer at the University of Tennessee and is currently a member of the WNBA’s Dallas Wings.
By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 9:30pm
There are some names that will put a bad taste in the mouths of Kentucky fans. The salivary glands produce a bitter disgust when the names of Christian Laettner, Chris Doering and Luke Maye are uttered. Near the top of that list is Joe Mazulla.
Bob Huggins’ starting point guard for West Virginia in 2009-10, Mazulla averaged just 2.7 points and 2.4 assists per game as a junior. At his best, he was a solid role player…until the 2010 East Regional Final.
Going toe-to-toe with John Wall and Eric Bledsoe in the 1-3-1 zone, Mazulla made 5-of-11 shots to score a career-high 17 points and lead the Mountaineers to the Final Four. Ending Wall, Bledsoe, Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins’ UK careers was so unforgivable, a Kentucky victory over West Virginia in the NCAA Tournament the following year to end Mazulla’s career could not even provide adequate vengeance.
Fast forward almost ten years later and Mazulla is an NBA assistant coach. The Boston Celtics hired Mazulla after two successful seasons at Fairmont State. As the Falcons’ head coach, he went 43-17 and reached the NCAA Division II tournament this past season. He previously worked for the Celtics’ G-League staff.
Joe Freaking Mazulla. That guy. Is there any one player who puts a more disgusting taste in your mouth?
By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
UK women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell tore up the town to raise money for the Children’s Charity Classic. Before he took the stage in Lexington, Drew Franklin caught up with some of the biggest stars in town, from Brian Lane to Johnny Bench.
After you check out Drew’s piece, watch Matt Jones make his triumphant return to Hey Kentucky by discussing football recruiting commitments, NBA Draft picks and squirrels with Ryan Lemond.
By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
The richest two days in horse racing are inching closer and closer to returning to the Bluegrass.
The Breeders’ Cup is currently scheduled to run on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park. The rising death toll at the California race course has drawn a plethora of safety concerns, yet aside from a month-long closure in March, there have been no consequences. That could all change Thursday when the Breeders’ Cup board meets in Lexington.
Thursday’s meeting will be the final opportunity to move the event from Santa Anita Park. Churchill Downs, the host of the 2018 Breeders’ Cup, is the most convenient track to host such a large scale event on short notice. The wheels have already been set in motion to facilitate the move.
The most obvious sign was discovered by Tim Sullivan. The nightly rates at the Omni Louisville the week before the Breeders’ Cup are $220 a night. For the first week of November they are currently $636 a night. He isn’t the only one who noticed the vast changes. Other hotels in the area are bracing for impact.
A few little birdies from the Churchill Downs’ barns have been chirping quite a bit as of late. They’ve been telling folks the track is prepared and willing to take the event if the Breeders’ Cup board is ready to make the move.
When reached for comment on the record, Breeders’ Cup President Craig Fravel told Sullivan: “Any guidance I have will be addressed to my board. But thanks for checking.”
If the event does move to Churchill, it couldn’t come at a more perfect time. Unlike last year’s event that was held during the SEC East Championship Game vs. Georgia at Kroger Field, the Kentucky football team has an open week during the event. Louisville is also an a bye, leaving every football fan in the Commonwealth a free weekend to bet the ponies.
Please, Breeders’ Cup board, this Thursday do the right thing and bring the Breeders’ Cup to the Bluegrass.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Yesterday, another series of powerful storms made their way through the Bluegrass, and the damage was so bad it’s making national news.
A tornado with 100 mph winds touched down near Moors Resort & Marina on Kentucky Lake in Marshall County around 5 p.m., damaging two docks. It’s hard to believe from the pictures, but no one was hurt:
— ABC News (@ABC) June 24, 2019
Moors Campground boat docks photos from Mark Vincent, Vitas Patel and Marshall county responders #KYlake #KentuckyLake
Moor's Resort & Marina. Approx 5:15 PM on June 23, 2019, a possible tornado or high winds caused significant damage to…
Another tornado touched down in Carlisle, Ballard, and McCracken counties on Sunday, causing widespread damage. Kentucky Dam Marina also got hit hard Friday night:
Outstanding response support tonight.Lots of trees down throughout the county and in Calvert City, semis blown over on…
Here’s hoping for a calm week of weather and some actual sunshine on the weekend.
By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 6:15pm
Benny Snell is coming back to the Bluegrass.
Before Kentucky’s all-time leading rusher reports to Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp in Latrobe, Pa., Snell will return to Lexington to host his first football camp.
The Benny Snell Jr. Youth Football Camp will be held July 16 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at Lexington Catholic High School. The non-contact camp is open to boys and girls from 6-16 and costs $65 for the afternoon. Campers will receive instruction from Benny, a camp t-shirt, an autograph, go through drills and learn how to appropriately celebrate touchdowns*.
* Okay, I made that part up. But let’s be honest, I’m sure Benny will bust a move at some point.
You can find more information and register for the camp in advance by clicking here.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 5:30pm
Former Kentucky track star Sydney McLaughlin is off living her best life in the pros and preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympics, but took a break yesterday to try her hand at a different sport: baseball.
McLaughlin threw out the first pitch at the Dodgers vs. Rockies game in honor of Olympic Day. Although a bit high, the pitch was right down the middle:
— LA84 Foundation (@LA84Foundation) June 23, 2019
It was awesome getting to celebrate and represent Olympic Day by throwing out the first pitch at the Dodgers game ??? yes my throw reached home plate.. more pics coming soon ? pic.twitter.com/gohxu2q7xk
— Sydney McLaughlin (@GoSydGo) June 23, 2019
Celebrating #OlympicDay, @GoSydGo threw the ceremonial first pitch at today’s @Dodgers game. In 2016, she was the youngest track and field athlete in 44 years at the Rio @Olympics, where she made the semis in the 400 hurdles.
— USATF (@usatf) June 24, 2019
In warmups, you can see that Syd’s got a pretty good arm:
— LA84 Foundation (@LA84Foundation) June 23, 2019
Way better than John Wall’s first pitch at a Nationals game several years ago:
Or this one that went viral last month:
— FOX Sports Kansas City (@FSKansasCity) May 28, 2019
Happy I don’t have to add Sydney to that list. Go Syd Go!
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 4:30pm
For the second summer in the row, UK Athletics is traveling the state to get to know fans through the Big Blue Caravan tour. Today, they kicked things off with a stop in Hazard, where Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, Women’s Basketball Coach Matthew Mitchell, UK Gymnastics Coach Tim Harrison, and other members of the athletic department toured a Blackhawk coal mine:
From there, they went to City Hall for a meet and greet with fans:
On Twitter, Barnhart recapped the experience:
It was also great catching up with L.D. Gorman at city hall and visiting the Hazard ARH Medical Center. Some special people here in Eastern Kentucky who really love their Cats. pic.twitter.com/LwTd5iqZgn
— Mitch Barnhart (@UKMitchBarnhart) June 24, 2019
All events are open to the public and include poster giveaways and photo opportunities with UK’s mascots and trophies. On Wednesday, fans in Paintsville will have the chance to meet hometown hero Kash Daniel:
Very excited to get back to my hometown in Paintsville, Kentucky for the Big Blue Caravan next Wednesday, June 26th at the Paintsville Rec Center starting at 10 AM! Make sure to come hangout with me and some other UK football players! You never know who will show up!????? #BBN
— Kash Daniel (@KashDaniel15) June 20, 2019
Here’s the full schedule so you can plan accordingly.
— Paintsville, Ky. | Wednesday, June 26 | 10-11:30 a.m. | Paintsville Recreation Center (232 Preston St.)
— Owensboro, Ky. | Thursday, June 27, 4-6 p.m. | Kroger (2630 Frederica St.)
— Meade County, Ky. | Friday, June 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Kroger (568 By Pass Rd.)
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 3:35pm
Kerry Blackshear’s recruitment has been an odd one in many ways, but the strangest turn may have been when he took an official visit to Arkansas. The Razorbacks are in full rebuilding mode under first-year head coach Eric Musselman, and although the former Nevada coach is known for piecing together rosters with grad transfers, no one is picking Arkansas to be a national title contender this season, even if they add Blackshear. Yet, one national writer believes the Razorbacks are still in the running.
In a recruiting roundup this morning, Rivals’ Eric Bossi said he believes Blackshear is down to Arkansas, Kentucky, or Tennessee, with a decision coming “soon.”
After developing into a potential NBA level big man at Virginia Tech, Blackshear has been the subject of pretty strong recruiting battle that has had twists and turns and lots of indecisiveness. My belief is that he should be making his decision soon and I would venture to guess that he picks either Arkansas, Kentucky or Tennessee but until he makes a decision we’ll all continue to watch and wait.
More watching. More waiting. More feeling like a total creep stalking people on social media.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
The 2019 NBA Draft is over, which means basketball diehards are already looking ahead to 2020 and sharing their ridiculously early mock drafts with the world; not surprisingly, many of them include Kentucky Wildcats. Let’s run through them all because it’s Monday and I’m tired of searching for Kerry Blackshear updates.
Jack shared this on Saturday, but we have to start with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, the most trusted NBA Draft writer, who has three Kentucky players going in the first round in 2020:
- 12. Tyrese Maxey
- 19. Kahlil Whitney
- 30. Ashton Hagans
Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo released his Big Board of 2020 prospects today, and only Kahlil Whitney and Tyrese Maxey are in the top 30:
- 12. Kahlil Whitney
- 18. Tyrese Maxey
Woo is very high on Whitney, especially on defense.
“Although Whitney’s feel has not yet caught up to his tools, he’s an above-average athlete who certainly looks the part as a wing who plays hard and could be a high-level defender. It’s not quite clear what exactly he’s going to be yet role-wise at the next level, as he has a good bit of offensive development left to do, but Kentucky should be a good spot for him to grow in that regard. Whitney isn’t an overly confident jump shooter yet and doesn’t play the most efficient style, with a tendency to hunt shots when the gameflow breaks down, but without the skill level to do it in a manner that’s constructive. He’s a little bit in love with his jumper, despite having the quickness and strength to be a good finisher going downhill. But the upside is clearly there from an athletic standpoint, and it helps that Whitney generally plays hard. If he taps into his full potential on defense and works out some of his bad habits on offense, there might be something here.”
Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek also has Tyrese Maxey and Kahlil Whitney in her 2020 mock:
- 12. Tyrese Maxey
- 26. Kahlil Whitney
“The best 3-point shooting point guard in this class, look for Maxey to let it fly at Kentucky in the same way Malik Monk did in his one year under coach John Calipari,” Peek writes.
Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman only released a mock draft for the lottery, with Tyrese Maxey going No. 11.
“Scouts camped out at Kentucky this year will first be drawn to Tyrese Maxey,” he writes. “He’s shifty and skilled off the dribble. Maxey figures to be one of Kentucky’s top scorers with his shake-and-bake handle, finishing coordination and confident pull-up game. And he’ll show some playmaking potential, with the ability to pass in transition or break down defenses.”
Interestingly, Wasserman’s mock is the only one I’ve seen that doesn’t have James Wiseman going No. 1. Instead, he’s got Georgia’s Anthony Edwards in the top spot, followed by North Carolina’s Cole Anthony, and RJ Hampton. Wiseman is at No. 5.
It’s June and these mocks mean nothing, but I hope people keep sleeping on Ashton Hagans. He’ll show them.
“Ashton next year!”-Tyler Herro pic.twitter.com/XQF1eaMoxr
— Alex Walker (@AlexWalkerTV) June 21, 2019
By Nick Roush on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Kentucky’s top-ranked recruit in the 2020 recruiting class still bleeds blue.
Five-star lineman Justin Rogers went to Twitter Monday afternoon to let everyone know where his allegiance stands. It’s a statement so nice, he said it twice.
— Justin Rogers (@AllAmerican52JR) June 24, 2019
— Justin Rogers (@Justinr96389662) June 24, 2019
Rogers previously gave Kentucky fans a reason to fear he would de-commit. Less than two weeks after his announcement ceremony, Rogers revealed he would take another official visit. That visit happened last weekend at the University of Alabama. Any de-commitment concerns should have gone away when Rogers posted this picture with Butch Jones from his time in Tuscaloosa.
Even though the Tide appeared to be turning Rogers away from UK, Kentucky’s coaching staff has reeled back in the No. 10 player in America following a trip to Alabama. All is well…for now.
177 days until signing day.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Some very important news concerning University of Kentucky sports broke this weekend, and frankly, I’m shocked no one is talking about it.
On Saturday, Skyline Chili announced it is the new “Official Chili of UK Athletics,” meaning that this fall, you should be able to get a Cheese Coney or Chili Cheese Fries at Kroger Field or Rupp Arena:
— Skyline Chili (@Skyline_Chili) June 22, 2019
Skyline prides itself on Cincinnati-style chili, which includes cinnamon, chocolate, allspice, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s not for everyone — personally, I’m not a fan — but those who love it swear by it. Last year, Skyline opened its first Lexington outpost on Richmond Road and judging by this news, I’m guessing it does pretty well.
In related news, Mike Edwards has to be pissed this didn’t happen sooner. Also, this clip won’t get off my Facebook feed:
By KSR on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 12:30pm
It’s Monday and you know what that means, it’s time for an all new episode of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. Aaron is flying high with the news that UConn is headed back to the Big East and wonders when Kerry Blackshear will pick a school. Later, Nick Coffey joins to talk more NBA Draft.
UConn Back to the Big East: Saturday was a great day for Aaron once he learned UConn is headed back to the Big East. Aaron explains why UConn had to make this move, and why it was so good for the school, the Big East and college basketball. Also, what does this mean for UConn’s football program going forward?
NBA Draft Talk with Nick Coffey: Next, Aaron is joined by his buddy Nick Coffey to discuss Thursday’s NBA Draft. The guys discuss all the big angles, including the number of underclassmen who went undrafted. What does it mean, and should they be allowed to return to college? Also, with so many college veterans selected early, is this a sign that NBA teams are moving away from “one and done” players?
Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app. You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. Don’t forget to follow the show on Instagram too.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 11:45am
Former UK basketball player Isaac Humphries held a benefit concert at the Lexington Opera House last night to support the Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass. And by the looks of some of the videos across the interwebs, the big man put on a great show for his concert goers.
What a night! Congrats to @IsaacHumphries7 on his benefit concert for the @RMHCLexington which was a massive hit. #BBN you showed out for a tremendous cause and got to share in a huge night for our guy, Isaac. What’s next, Isaac? An album or an encore performance next year? ? pic.twitter.com/X8Kv4ExpAt
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 24, 2019
Wow, looks like I missed an incredible show at @IsaacHumphries7’s benefit concert. Was hoping to make it over for part of it but we opened our second Overnight Camp tonight and I couldn’t escape. I heard Isaac was even better than advertised. Not surprised. Talented kid. pic.twitter.com/zgn9fPFLfg
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 24, 2019
— Big Blue Insider (@bigblueinsider1) June 24, 2019
— Michelle (@BBN_Wildcats_) June 24, 2019
Huge thanks to @IsaacHumphries7
Former Kentucky men’s basketball player for performing a benefit concert supporting Ronald McDonald House Charities® of the Bluegrass at the Lexington Opera House tonight! pic.twitter.com/DMRkMEmf3t
— Lumy Sawaki (@alwayslumy) June 24, 2019
Humphries is still chasing his NBA dreams, but it’s safe to say he has a reliable backup plan once he’s done with basketball.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 11:00am
The great state of California is making moves to allow its student-athletes to profit off their own likeness, and NCAA president Mark Emmert is trying to slow things down.
Emmert sent a letter to the chairs of two State Assembly committees last week, according to USA Today, asking to postpone consideration of the bill that would allow college athletes to profit off their own name, image or likeness, beginning in 2023. Emmert warned that California schools could be prohibited from competing for NCAA championships if the state opens up that opportunity for its amateur athletes.
“We recognize all of the efforts that have been undertaken to develop this bill in the context of complex issues related to the current collegiate model that have been the subject of litigation and much national debate,” Emmert wrote in his letter. “Nonetheless, when contrasted with current NCAA rules, as drafted the bill threatens to alter materially the principles of intercollegiate athletics and create local differences that would make it impossible to host fair national championships. As a result, it likely would have a negative impact on the exact student-athletes it intends to assist.”
Now I’m not one to tell the state of California what to do, but the committee should absolutely proceed with what it’s doing. Don’t back down to Emperor Emmert. Look him in the eye and carry on. Dare him to tell UCLA and all the Pac-12 schools they can’t compete in for titles. He doesn’t have it in him.
By Drew Franklin on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 10:15am
According to the No. 1 source for Brad Calipari information, his Instagram account, Brad Calipari took a visit to the University of Detroit Mercy on Sunday as the younger Calipari continues to weigh his options away from UK for his final seasons of eligibility.
Prior to checking out Detroit, Calipari took official visits to Bryant University and the University of Hartford.
Earlier this month, his old man was asked about a potential transfer, to which Coach Cal said, “Do you blame him for wanting to play more and with knowing who is here? Has he gotten better? Absolutely, he has gotten better. So now, he can look around, and I even told him to look at Division II. What’s wrong with that? Go to a place where you are well coached, where you get a chance, where you are in a good league. You know Division II basketball, they’re just a little smaller, but you’ve got talented guys. He may end up coming back.”
Detroit Mercy competes in the Horizon League. Coached by Mike Davis — yeah, that Mike Davis — The Titans finished sixth in the league last year with a 11-20 overall record.
By Bryan the Intern on ©June 24th, 2019 @ 10:00am
You know, a common topic of conversation among UK fans, especially in the summer months, is about who might be next to go up into the rafters at Rupp Arena. But what has generally made a UK legend? Below, I have split the 37 retirees into different categories to see if there has been any common feature amongst the players. You’ll find some interesting trends I think:
Kentucky (20): Hayden, Spicer, Sale, DeMoisey, Rouse, Rollins, Beard, Jones, Hagan, Ramsey, Evans, Rose, Bird, Grawemeyer, Hatton, Cox, Givens, Feldhaus, Pelphrey, Farmer
Indiana (4): Barker, Dampier, Macy, Woods
Ohio (2): Groza, Grevey
Georgia (2): Spivey, Walker
Louisiana (2): Nash, Robey
New York (2): Riley, Mashburn
Massachusetts (1): Tsioropoulos
Texas (1): Burrow
Illinois (1): Issel
Pennsylvania (1): Bowie
Tennessee (1): Delk
What’s interesting to me is that 16 of the first 21 UK players to have their jersey retired were from the state of Kentucky. Since that time though, only 4 of 16 players who have seen their jersey into the rafters are from the state, and 3 of those were from The Unforgettables. Tayshaun Prince is probably the next to go up there, which will take care of California. Keith Bogans is from Virginia. But what’s clear is that the quality of high school basketball in Kentucky has dipped to such a level over the last 25-30 years that UK just can’t rely on recruiting the state heavy.
Guard (11): Rouse, Rollins, Beard, Ramsey, Rose, Hatton, Dampier, Macy, Farmer, Woods, Delk
Guard/Forward (4): Hayden, Evans, Barker, Pelphrey
Forward (11): Spicer, Tsioropoulos, Bird, Grawemeyer, Cox, Riley, Grevey, Givens, Walker, Feldhaus, Mashburn
Forward/Center (6): Sale, Demoisey, Jones, Nash, Robey, Bowie
Center (5): Groza, Spivey, Hagan, Burrow, Issel
(Positions determined by Jon Scott’s website)
1920’s: Hayden, Spicer
1930’s: Sale, Demoisey, Rouse
1940’s: Rollins, Groza, Beard, Jones, Barker
1950’s: Spivey, Hagan, Ramsey, Tsioropoulos, Evans, Rose, Bird, Grawemeyer, Burrow, Hatton, Cox
1960’s: Nash, Dampier, Riley, Issel
1970’s: Grevey, Givens, Robey, Macy
1980’s: Bowie, Walker
1990’s: Farmer, Feldhaus, Pelphrey, Woods, Mashburn, Delk
Those 1950’s were sure filled with a lot of UK legends. Same amount of titles as the 1940’s and 1990’s, but many more legends. Ok.
2 Titles: Groza, Beard, Jones, Barker
1 Title: Rollins, Spivey, Hagan, Ramsey, Tsioropoulos, Hatton, Cox, Givens, Robey, Macy, Delk
No Titles: Hayden, Spicer, Sale, Demoisey, Rouse, Evans, Rose, Bird, Grawemeyer, Burrow, Nash, Dampier, Riley, Issel, Grevey, Bowie, Walker, Feldhaus, Farmer, Pelphrey, Woods, Mashburn
Interesting that 22 of 37 retirees did not win titles at UK. I don’t know why, but I thought that the majority of them would have. But UK went from 1959 to 1995 winning only 1 title, so when put in that context, it’s understandable.