Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
April 26th, 2017

Lexington crusader against drunk driving recovering after medical scare

Odds are if you’ve been out in Lexington, you’re familiar with Steve Rader, aka “Radar.” Before there was Uber or Lyft, there was Radar, who has dedicated his life to making sure UK students and Lexington residents get home safely after a night of drinking. After almost losing a family member to drunk driving, Radar joined Kentucky Against Drunk Driving and over the last 15 years, has driven approximately 500,000 people home from the bars. Now, he needs your help.

Radar suffers from Hydrocephalus, the swelling of the brain due to excessive cerebral spinal fluid, and last week, had a brain malfunction in a Walgreens parking lot. According to LEX18, his sister said he passed out in his car and wasn’t found until four days later. Yesterday, he had surgery to place a new shunt in his head and that surgery was successful; however, he’s got a long road to recovery ahead, along with a growing tab of medical expenses.

If you’d like to donate to Radar’s recovery, visit the GoFundMe page set up in his honor.

[LEX 18]


KSR is live at Sleep Outfitters in Morehead (Wednesday Show Thread)

ryan-sleepoutfitters2

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, the gang is at Sleep Outfitters (352 Kroger Center Drive) in Morehead. Come on out, hop on a mattress, and enjoy the show. Topics include recruiting, tomorrow’s movie bracket, and much, much more. If you do make the trip, be sure to stick around to see Derek Willis and Isaac Humphries, who will be signing autographs immediately following the show at noon.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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FINAL Day: FREE Derby Glasses with purchase at the KSR Shop!

KYB_Derby_Glass_Promo_ksr

The Kentucky Derby is just around the corner and we have an exciting offer for you at the KSR Shop. If you spend $40 or more on ShopKSR.com, you will receive a FREE set of Derby glasses! You can pick out some of your favorite UK and KSR apparel and at the same time get the perfect addition to your Derby party next week. Today is the final day to receive the FREE set of Derby class so be sure to head to ShopKSR.com.

 

[FREE Derby Glasses with purchase at the KSR Shop!]


Wednesday’s Top 10: Cam Johnson on campus, Mark Smith announcing, Preds vs. the Blues

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Shoutout to this young KSR and UK fan Blaine Colliver, who refused to enter Alberta, Canada without throwing up his three goggles. Well done, Blaine. I hope you enjoyed Wild Rose Country.

Let’s give him the ten things happening in UK Sports today, shall we?

12131405 1. Cam Johnson starts his official visit

The big news of the day is Pitt grad transfer Cam Johnson beginning his official visit to Kentucky. I told you all about Johnson last night and why he would be such a valuable addition to next season’s roster, and it sounds like if he likes what he sees over the next two days, odds are high he’ll become a Cat. Johnson, who will be eligible to play immediately and has two seasons of eligibility remaining, also has Arizona, Ohio State, Oregon, UCLA, and TCU on his list.

His trip to Lexington comes as…

 2. Jemarl Baker wrapped up his official visit

After committing to Kentucky a few weeks ago, the four-star shooting guard from Los Angeles took his official visit to Lexington to check everything out before signing on the dotted line. Based on his SnapChat story, it looks like he enjoyed himself. Highlights of the story include him hanging at Calipari’s house and getting an up-close look at Cal’s new Air Jordan 8 “Calipari Pack” from Drake, a tour of Rupp Arena and the Joe Craft Center, and even a trip to a horse farm (maybe to meet American Pharaoh like Bamba?).

smith3. Mark Smith announces at 7 p.m.

Kentucky’s other offer at shooting guard, Mark Smith, will announce his decision at 7 p.m. ET at his high school in Illinois. Other than Baker’s commitment, there’s been no indication that Kentucky’s backed off Smith, but the fact that he decided not to visit Kentucky and is announcing on the heels of his official visit to Illinois seems like writing on the wall to me. We’ll have all the coverage on the site tonight.

4. Will Kentucky face West Virginia in the Big 12 Challenge next year?

If you listened to KSR a few weeks back, you heard us mention the possibility of West Virginia being Kentucky’s opponent in next season’s Big 12 Challenge, and yesterday, Oscar Combs took a break from Twitter polls to double down on the rumor, adding that the Cats will likely travel to Morgantown for the showdown with the fighting Huggy Bears. As then-#1 Baylor and #2 Kansas learned last season, taking down the Mountaineers at home is no easy feat. Regardless, I’m already looking forward to the media opps with Cal and Huggins.

5. UK Baseball hosts Xavier

Need a baseball fix? The 6th ranked Bat Cats host Xavier tonight at 7 p.m. at Cliff Hagan Stadium. UK’s recent success has them in the mix for a national seed in the NCAA Tournament, which means they’ll be able to host postseason games, so every game’s important now. You can watch on the SEC Network. This weekend, the Bat Cats travel to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks, who rank third in the SEC East behind Kentucky and Florida.

On that note, be sure to check out the latest episode of the KSR Baseball Podcast featuring Trey Huntsman, former head coach Keith Madison, and this week’s guest, D1 Baseball writer Aaron Fitt. You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.

6. The Preds start their second round series with the Blues

After sweeping the Chicago Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators are back in action tonight in Game 1 of their second round series with the St. Louis Blues. As a relatively new hockey fan, I’ll admit, I don’t know much about the Blues other than the Preds won their regular season series against them 3-2 and they’ve got a great goalie. So, we’ll see what happens when the puck drops tonight at 8 p.m. ET in St. Louis. It’s on NBC Sports Network if you’d like to watch.

Oh yeah, in a fit of excitement after Game 3 last week, I gave in and bought a jersey. PK Subban, you and I are in this together now, buddy.

7. One episode left in 13 Reasons Why

The 13-part Netflix sensation about a teenage suicide has been the talk of the nation in pop culture the past month and thankfully, it’s finally picking up after a long stretch of “Why won’t he just go home and listen to the tapes?!”. Seriously, I know that would make for a terrible TV show, but isn’t that we all would do? Looking forward to finishing it tonight. 

8. Forecast for this weekend’s half/full marathons looks steamy

Lots of half and full marathons going on this weekend, including the Kentucky Derby Festival marathon in Louisville and the Rock and Roll Marathon here in Nashville. I’m running in the Nashville half for the second year in a row and unfortunately, the forecast looks hot and humid. If you need me, I’ll be drinking water today.

9. Catch Bam Adebayo on his autograph tour

Yesterday, Bam made the news that he’ll stay in the draft official via a release from UK, thanking his coaches, teammates, and the fans for helping him grow as a player and person over the last year.

“This process we went through at Kentucky was a tough but a rewarding one. It was everything I wanted when I decided to come to Kentucky. It taught me a lot. It taught me how to be a better man on and off the court. I have improved so much since the beginning of the season thanks to the hard work of the coaching staff. They helped me with every step of the process along the way and they never gave up on me.

“I also want to thank my teammates. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to grow with. We were all like brothers. I also want to thank the fans for their support and everything they do for us. Their passion is like nothing I’ve ever seen before.”

You can catch Bam on his autograph tour, which starts Friday in Somerset and Glasgow:

10. KSR is live from Sleep Outfitters in Morehead

Come on out to 352 Kroger Center Drive to enjoy the show, and when it’s over, stick around to see Derek Willis and Isaac Humphries, who will be signing autographs starting at noon.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Summer Flashback (2001 Duke, Jimmy V Classic)

Each Wednesday during the summer months I will try and highlight a game in UK’s past that doesn’t quite get the recognition it deserves in UK lore.  And this week, I actually highlight a loss.  The 2001 game against defending national champion Duke in the Jimmy V Classic is one of my favorite losses in UK history.  There were several reasons this game is remembered:

– UK had begun to languish a little under Tubby.  A 2nd round exit followed by a Sweet 16 upset to USC left some fans wandering if the program was headed in the right direction.  But returning Tayshuan Prince and Keith Bogans gave UK a Top 10 ranking.  But they had to prove it against a team many people thought could go undefeated.  UK showed it had the chance to be elite that year.

-Rashaad Carruth, duh.  Is any player remember for just 1 game as much as Carruth.  There is nothing else he is notable for.

-People forget how good Jay Williams was at Duke because a motorcycle accident ruined his NBA career.  But I think you could say he was Coach K’s second best player behind Laettner and one of the five best players of the 2000’s.

So, when you have some time, enjoy this classic UK-Duke matchup from 2001:

 


April 25th, 2017

The 10 Things You Need To Know About Cam Johnson

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Tomorrow, shooting guard Cameron Johnson will arrive on Kentucky’s campus for a two-day official visit. Johnson is a grad transfer from Pitt in search of a new home and Kentucky is one of six schools he’s considering. Given Johnson’s skills as a shooter, his three years of college experience, and two remaining years of eligibility, he is a hot commodity on the transfer market for programs in search of experience, like the Cats. With that in mind, let’s get to know Cameron Johnson, aka “Cam.”

1. The Basics

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Shooting Guard
6-8, 210 lbs.
Birthdate: March 3, 1996
Hometown: Moon Township, Pennsylvania
Class: Redshirt sophomore

As a high schooler, Johnson was considered the 60th best shooting guard in the 2014 class by 247 Sports. He picked Pitt over Columbia, Penn, Boston College, Stanford, Rice, Richmond, and Virginia. If those Ivy League offers aren’t indication enough, Johnson is one smart cookie, a two-time all-ACC academic team selection with a 3.9 GPA. After three years at Pitt, he will graduate this spring and have two years of eligibility at the school of his choice. His final list: Kentucky, Arizona, Ohio State, Oregon, UCLA, and TCU.

2. He averaged 11.9 points off 44.7% shooting last season

Kentucky is in dire need of shooters for next season, and Johnson’s a pretty good one. Last year, he averaged 11.9 points off 44.7% shooting, 41.5% from behind the three-point line. He also averaged 4.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Here are his season averages:

SEASON MIN FG% 3PT% FT% REB AST BLK STL TO PTS
2016-17 33.3 0.447 0.415 0.811 4.5 2.3 0.3 0.9 1.2 11.9
2015-16 11.7 0.397 0.375 0.808 1.8 0.5 0.2 0.3 0.5 4.8
2014-15 14.4 0.394 0.348 0.500 1.1 0.5 0.4 0.1 0.5 4.5

Here’s how Johnson’s 41.5% three-point shooting average compares to past Kentucky shooters:

  • Malik Monk: 39.7%
  • Jamal Murray: 40.8%
  • Devin Booker: 41.1%
  • Doron Lamb: 47.5%

Man, who would have guessed Doron Lamb had the highest three-point percentage of that bunch?

3. He injured his shoulder his freshman year

Johnson played in the first eight games of his freshman season before injuring his shoulder and receiving a medical redshirt. That’s why as a graduate transfer, he’ll have two years of eligibility remaining, which is pretty rare. Yet another reason Calipari wants him, despite his disdain for the grad transfer process (which I’ll get to in a bit).

4. His father played for Pitt around the time Calipari was an assistant there

Not only was Cam Johnson born in Calipari’s hometown of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, his dad was a player at Pitt around the time that Calipari was an assistant on the Pitt staff. Cal left Pitt to take the head coaching job at UMass in 1988, which is also the year that Gilbert Johnson, Cam’s dad, joined the program as a junior college transfer. Calipari’s years at Pitt were the time in which he was cutting his teeth as a recruiter, so odds are he had a hand in bringing Johnson on board. If that’s not enough, Johnson Sr. has known Kenny Payne for over 30 years, according to the Herald-Leader.

In a hilarious aside, check out “Tips from the Panthers” on the back of Gilbert Johnson’s playing card:

True then and true now.

5. His brother played for Calipari’s alma mater

Need another Calipari connection? After transferring from Princeton, Cam’s brother Aaron played for Clarion, just like Calipari. Not only that, Aaron was a recipient of the John Calipari Endowment Scholarship. When it comes to this grad transfer, it really is a small world.

6. His breakout performance came against Syracuse in the 2016 ACC Tournament

Johnson came into his own in the opening round of the 2016 ACC Tournament, when he scored 24 points including four threes to help Pitt beat Syracuse:

7. He carried that performance into next season

Johnson finished fifth in the ACC in three-point percentage (.415) and eighth in three-point field goals (2.36 3pg.) last season. Not too shabby in a conference that also included Luke Kennard, Joel Berry II, and Kyle Guy.

8. Why is he leaving Pitt?

Aside from the fact that he’s finishing up his degree and can go to a higher profile program, is the fact that Kevin Stallings is now his coach good enough reason? It would be for me. Stallings took over at Pitt after Jamie Dixon left for TCU last year, which also explains why TCU is on Johnson’s list.

9. Why Calipari would make an exception for this grad transfer

During the tournament, Calipari went on a rant about grad transfers during one of his media opportunities, complaining that they leave mid-major programs in a lurch. This was in response to Drexel firing Cal’s friend Bruiser Flint after the program struggled to recover from Damion Lee transferring to Louisville. While Calipari pursuing a grad transfer a month after going on that rant seems hypocritical, here are three reasons why it’s not:

  • Pitt is in the ACC, arguably the best conference in the sport
  • Stallings is just in his second year there and a player wanting out after a coaching change is pretty common (especially when it’s Stallings…it’s worth mentioning that Johnson is one of four Pitt players to leave the program since the season ended)
  • Johnson has two years of eligibility remaining. That’s a lot of time to reshape your future, and considering Pitt’s in rebuilding mode, this is the perfect opportunity

10. He’s more than a consolation prize for Kevin Knox

Most recruiting pundits don’t think Kentucky is among the favorites for five-star small forward Kevin Knox and consider Johnson as an excellent consolation prize. I think he’s more than that. On what will essentially be a brand-new roster, Johnson can provide some much needed experience in the backcourt, along with reliable shooting. His off the court success in the classroom doesn’t hurt either. For all of those reasons, while we would love to have Knox, I think Johnson’s a more important addition. Fortunately, we’re hearing if this visit goes well, the chances are high he’ll be a Cat.

So, come on down and enjoy yourself, Cam.


Bam Adebayo is Coming to a Town Near You

bam-slam

Before Kentucky’s fearless power forward makes the leap into the NBA, Bam Adebayo is traveling across the Commonwealth to see the Big Blue Nation.  Adebayo has eight stops in six days from Ashland to Owensboro.  Here’s exactly where you can see him on the Big Bam Tour:


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

mcdowells

The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its
own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen,
mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s
has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for
the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR 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 

Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Terri Lane

“Appreciate the call”

 

#9 Jeffrey Goins

That’s a no.

 

#8 Marissa Wakefield

Because they’re trash?

 

#7 Nikki Scrogin

When can we vote Louisville out of the state?

 

#6 Randolph Vance

Yeah, how about no.

 

#5 Bobcat017

The commentators from every station would have so much fun with that.

 

#4 Terry Jordan

Raised them right.

 

#3 Raymond Brooks

It’s a lot of stress, no lie.

 

#2 Things #BBN Likes

Whodathunkit?

 

#1 Shaun T

GOT EM

 

@haleysimpKSR


Kentucky’s Offense Is Dominating The Nation

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

It is no secret that Kentucky Baseball has one of the best offenses in all of college baseball. The BatCats have a new offensive approach, installed by hitting coach Todd Guilliams and assistant coach Roland Fanning. Thanks to the new look at the plate, UK has seen a complete change from last season. But how good has Kentucky’s offense been? Here’s a look into the numbers of the best offense in the SEC.

  • .315 batting average (1st in the SEC, 14th nationally)
  • 318 runs scored (1st in the SEC, 14th nationally)
  • Keep in mind, UK is facing a future first rounder every Friday night in conference play and also played a combined five games against #2 Louisville and #4 UNC.

In Moneyball, Billy Beane makes it clear that he doesn’t care if a guy reaches base on a walk or a hit. Nick Mingione’s offense thinks the same way. Mingione said that “the definition of a good offense is one that scores runs when they’re not hitting.” That is exactly what UK does at the plate. Take a look at how UK regularly gets on base.

  • .421 on-base percentage (1st in the SEC, 4th nationally)
  • 198 walks (3rd in the SEC, 23rd nationally)
  • 252 strikeouts (12th in the SEC)
  • 68 hit by pitches (1st in the SEC, 6th nationally)
  • Two players in the top five in the SEC in OBP (Tristan Pompey and Zack Reks)
  • The only team with an OBP over .400 in the SEC.
UK Athletics

UK Athletics

The team has been much more patient than last season when they posted a team OBP of .345. Strikeout numbers are down and walk rates are up. The team is taking more pitchess and is barreling up more balls. With more balls getting squared up, Kentucky is driving the ball to all parts of the field and over the wall.

  • The team is only ten bombs away from matching their 2016 total (52). The team is second in the SEC in home runs this season thanks to Riley Mahan, Connor Heady, and Tristan Pompey contributing with a combined 19 homers. The team averaged 0.91 home runs per game last year. That number is up to 1.02 in 2017.
  • 101 doubles (1st in the SEC, 3rd nationally)
  • 676 total bases (1st in the SEC)
  • .490 slugging percentage (1st in the SEC, 10th nationally)

As previously mentioned, UK faces some of the toughest arms in the nation. So how did they shape up against those future big leaguers?

  • Brigham Hill (Texas A&M): Five runs, six hits, no walks, three extra-base hits.
  • Kyle Wright (Vanderbilt, projected top ten pick): Seven runs, nine hits, four walks, two extra-base hits.
  • Alex Lange (LSU, projected first rounder): Three runs, seven hits, eight walks, four extra-base hits.
  • Jared Poche (LSU) Five runs, seven hits, two walks in only three innings.

Kentucky’s offense will face the second toughest pitching staff of the season when they visit South Carolina. The BatCats have another opportunity to prove their offense is one of the bests in the nation.

@TreyHuntsmanKSR


“41-38” Beats Out “La La Land” For Best Score At This Years’ CATSPY Awards

best-score

Editor’s Note: The following was written by Harold Leeder, editor-in-chief of The New Circle Circular, Lexington’s #1 source of fake news you can’t count on.

Lexington’s biggest and only awards show featured a bevy of athletic stars on the blue carpet as the 15th annual CATSPYs took place last night in the the palatial Memorial Coliseum. Many of the University of Kentucky’s most beautiful athletes and Mark Stoops were in attendance for the awards ceremony. Student-athletes celebrated the night of glamour by wearing their finest apparel. As they entered, honorees were met by Blue Carpet Interviewer Jerry Tipton who asked each student-athlete “Who are you wearing?” quickly followed by “And who paid for it?” While the University crowned one winner for most of the award categories and at least 4 different winners for “Coach of the Year,” one particular award stood out above them all, “Best Score”.

“After sweeping the Oscars, the SAGs, and the Golden Globes, I thought we were a shoe in for the CATSBYs,” explained losing film composer Justin Hurwitz. “Even after we lost, I thought maybe after they announced the third different coach of the year, they’d come back to our category and maybe also give us a CATSPY for best score?”

However hopeful the decorated film composer was, the University proudly granted only one award for best score this year, and it went to “41-38” the final score to the greatest football game ever played.

To keep up with The New Circle Circular, like the Facebook page or follow Harold Leeder’s Twitter Account.


The Depth Chart Podcast Prepares for the NFL Draft

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Even though Kentucky’s spring football season has ended, football never sleeps on The Depth Chart Podcast, brought to you by Jack Kain Ford.  The gang touches on a few football topics from around the Big Blue Nation before diving into the NFL Draft with friend of the program, Big Mike.  A small sample of what you’ll hear:

—  Freddie’s response to Jarren Williams’ decommitment: “NEXT!”

—  A new term to enter into the football recruiting lexicon: “Underwear Olympics.”

—  Spring game updates on 2017 Kentucky opponents.

—  Picks for surprising UK wins and surprising UK losses this fall.

—  Benny Snell’s CATSPYs snub.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


At the Center of Controversy, Dr. Ricky Jones Minces No Words in Interview with Hey Kentucky!

Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 7.31.16 PM

Normally sitting at the desk next to Matt Jones as a Hey Kentucky! co-host, Dr. Ricky Jones joined the program as a guest stuck in the middle of a Louisville controversy.

Dr. Jones was recently nominated by Mayor Greg Fischer to join a Louisville Police Oversight Committee.  His nomination was met with objection by the President of the River City Fraternal Order of Police and a city councilwoman.  His response is filled with powerful language, most notably his description of the President of Louisville’s Fraternal Order of Police as a “Modern day Bull Conner.”

Watch today’s episode with Drew Franklin after the jump.

(more…)


KSR Baseball Podcast: Week 9

It doesn’t get much better than last week.  The Cats dismantled their second-ranked rival before winning a series against a Top 10 LSU team at The Cliff.

Trey Huntsman and Coach Keith Madison break down all of the action in the ninth edition of the KSR Baseball Podcast, brought to you this week by Performance Physical Therapy (www.performanceptky.com).  Aaron Fitt of D1 Baseball joins the podcast to discuss the BatCats’ postseason hopes and much more, including:

—  Is Kentucky’s current win streak the most impressive in the country?

—  Why Kentucky is in the driver’s seat for a Top Eight national seed in the NCAA Tournament.

—  The best way to describe the BatCats: “balanced.”

—  This week’s usual mound visit, trivia question, are accompanied by a special one-time segment: Roush’s Baseball Story.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Catch KSR in Morehead tomorrow with Derek Willis and Isaac Humphries

We have a big show planned for tomorrow as the KSR caravan is making its way to Morehead for tomorrow morning’s remote broadcast.

Matt Jones, Ryan Lemond and I will all three be at Sleep Outfitters (272 Kroger Center) to do the show with special guests Isaac Humphries and Derek Willis.

Humphries and Willis will then stick around to sign autographs after the show as part of their tours around the state.

So, see you at 10 am tomorrow morning?


West Virginia rumored for next year’s SEC-Big 12 Challenge

wvu

Who’s ready for a trip to Morgantown next basketball season?

You better get ready because that’s the rumored destination for the Cats’ game in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. A couple weeks ago we said West Virginia is the likely opponent for Kentucky and now Oscar Combs’ sources are telling him the same:

Kentucky’s opponent in the challenge has been Kansas the past two years, but those two teams will meet in next year’s Champions Classic, so a new opponent must be found. It is sounding like West Virginia will be that opponent.

The Mountaineers beat Texas A&M this past season and lost at Florida in the 2015-16 game.