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May 25th, 2016

Malik Newman withdrawing his name from NBA Draft, may transfer

Is there a better cautionary tale for elite recruits than Malik Newman? Newman was once considered one of the top players in the 2015 class and projected to be a lottery pick, but after one year at Mississippi State, his stock dipped far enough that he’s withdrawing his name from the NBA Draft to return to school. Except that school might not be Mississippi State. The Clarion-Ledger is reporting that Newman took his name out of the Draft but may look to transfer. 

Newman shocked just about everyone when he chose Mississippi State over Kentucky and Kansas in April 2015, and that decision led to a rocky first year in Starkville. Between injuries and playing out of position, Newman never really found his groove, averaging only 11.3 points, 2.2 assists, and 1.9 turnovers per game. There are also rumors he never went to class because he thought he would be a one-and-done. Now that he’s not, he’s got some tough decisions to make. If he does transfer, he’ll have to sit out the 2016-2017 season.

Yet another example of John Calipari “missing on a guy” being a blessing in disguise?

[Clarion-Ledger]


Will they stay or will they go? (Wednesday Show Thread)

AP Photo

Marcus Lee and Isaiah Briscoe have until midnight to decide if they’re staying in the NBA Draft or coming back to school. What will they do? Tune in to KSR to hear the latest, along with a lot of other random stuff.

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

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Wake up! It’s Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee’s Decision Day

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Since the season ended, it feels like we’ve been waiting on a lot of decisions. From Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, and Skal Labissiere leaving the program for the NBA to Marques Bolden picking Duke, there hasn’t been a lot of good news concerning next year’s roster; however, that could change today. Isaiah Briscoe and Marcus Lee have until midnight tonight to tell the NCAA whether or not they intend to stay in the NBA Draft or return to school.

Right now, it looks like a toss-up. Well outside the major mock drafts, both probably should return to school, but that doesn’t mean they will. Briscoe has performed well in workouts and clearly enjoyed the process. If he has a promise from an NBA team to draft him, I think that would be pretty hard for him to pass up. Same with Lee, although the likelihood of an NBA team taking a chance on him seems lower. Yesterday, CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish predicted both will return to UK, and Jeff Goodman, the only media person who’s been in contact with Lee throughout this process, said Lee will make an announcement through UK today, but gave no indication which way it would go.

Thankfully, we’ll know soon. Keep an eye on KSR throughout the day for the latest. Personally, I’m rooting like hell for them to come back, not only because I think another year at UK would do their NBA stock some good, but because I think this team needs them, not only from a basketball standpoint, but from a locker room standpoint.

Elsewhere in UK land…

Matthew Mitchell’s new staff is complete

Yesterday, UK Hoops announced the addition of Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Lin Dunn to the staff. The 69-year-old Dunn is a longtime veteran in the college and WNBA coaching ranks and is the final piece to Mitchell’s staff, which also includes Kyra Elzy, Niya Butts, and Amber Smith. The addition has been universally praised throughout the women’s basketball coaching world, and let’s just hope it goes over as well with recruits.

UK Baseball’s season is likely over

The Bat Cats lost to Alabama 5-2 yesterday in the SEC Tournament, the second year in a row they’ve been knocked out in the first round. This is just the latest in a disappointing slide for UK, and will likely end their chances of making the College World Series. Going forward, there are certainly a lot of questions about how such a promising season went south so quickly.

This adorable Thunder fan made my morning

Lil Stache Bro in Thunder Alley.

A photo posted by Oklahoma City Thunder (@okcthunder) on

The Thunder beat the Warriors 118-94 last night to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals, which I doubt many of us saw coming. Shoutout to this adorable fan for the best Steven Adams costume I’ve ever seen. Adams and Enes Kanter make up the ‘Stache Brothers, and it’s fun to see the New Zealand center get a following.

Meanwhile, will someone give my man Nazr Mohammed some love, please?

No questions for me 2nite but the media scrum is growing #WCFinals2016

A video posted by Nazr Mohammed (@nazrmohammed) on

Personally, I have about a million questions for my favorite UK player growing up, like, “How does it feel to have one of the longest NBA careers in UK Basketball history?”. Or, “Did Rick Pitino really make you run after the bus to lose weight in college?”.

Anyone been to Montego Bay, Jamaica?

On Saturday, my husband and I are headed to Jamaica with six of our friends, and, I won’t lie, I’m counting down the minutes ’til our departure. This is my first trip to Jamaica, and although we plan on getting our money’s worth from our all-inclusive, I would like to go off the resort at least a few times. Any recs? I hear Margaritaville is actually a really big attraction there (who knew) and the jerk chicken is a must.

KSR in an hour

Tune in for the latest on Lee and Briscoe.


Marcus Lee expected to announce through UK

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Marcus Lee and Isaiah Briscoe have until midnight tonight to announce whether or not they’re staying in the NBA Draft or returning to school. If you’re looking for clues as to what Lee will do, our old pal Jeff Goodman has one. According to Goodman, the only media member to be in contact with Lee through this process, it looks like Lee will make his announcement today through UK. So, read into that what you will.

If I had to guess, I’d say that means he’s more likely to come back, but who knows. I really hope that’s the case.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Why Are UK Football Fans So Loyal?

I have always argued that Kentucky football fans are actually some of the most “loyal” in the country because, despite a 35-40 year history of minimal success, the fans continue to show up to games and support the team in most instances.  It’s easy to support Alabama football when you win 10+ games a year.  It’s a lot different to support a team that wins 2-8 games a year.  And for the amount of wins, Kentucky football fans probably support the team as a greater level than most elite programs.  Which made me wonder why/how the football team has been able to hold a decent level of support over the years.  And I came to this conclusion: IT HAS VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH WINS.

That’s right, I would argue that supporting the football Cats over the years has had very little to do with winning.  What it does have to do with is:

1) STYLE OF PLAY
-Hal Mumme had 4 of the most well-supported and “exciting” seasons in UK history.  He went 20-26 in his UK career.  But the team put up huge numbers of points on the board and play a brand of football that was fan-friendly.  It still didn’t win huge, and it didn’t beat Tennessee, but to UK fans it didn’t matter, because every week was a show.  Every week was a crapshoot, and every week was must-see TV.

2) THE QUARTERBACK
-People has lost interest in UK football when Mike Hartline was quarterback.  He never endeared himself to the fans, and Morgan Newton has lowered that bar even more.  Andre Woodson started slowly in his career but came to become a legend.  Tim Couch was the most loved UK player in history and went 12-11 in his career.  Lorenzen went 15-31 in his 4 years as the starter and the fans still loved him.  A big arm and a personality seems to be more important than wins.  Could Drew Barker come to have that kind of following even without big wins?

3) THE LOSSES
-This is where it gets quirky.  I would argue it’s how competitive you are in LOSSES than the actual wins.  Kentucky fans lose interest when you lose to Vanderbilt.  They lose interest when you lose to Ohio.  They GAIN interest when you are competitive with Florida and Georgia.  Yes, winning those games is incredibly exciting and the more desirable result.  BUT, Kentucky fans have accepted the games against the top SEC teams as losses.  It’s sad, but that’s a fact.  What they do not accept is embarrassing performances in those games.   Playing Auburn/Tennessee/Georgia within 7 points on the road in the same year would gains interest.  Kentucky fans don’t care if they are SEC powerhouses in football.  All they want is to not be a laughingstock.  They don’t want to be a punching bag.  They don’t want to be Vanderbilt.

So, there you go.  Mark Stoops, you need to play a style of football that’s exciting.  And you need to be competitive in each and every game.  You can win 6 games and go to the Music City Bowl and make the fans happy.  But you can’t do it the way they did it last year.  You can’t do it sleepwalking.


May 24th, 2016

8 more UK Basketball stories worthy of an ESPN “30 for 30”

30for30UK

Last week, word broke that ESPN is working on a “30 for 30” special about John Calipari. Tentatively titled “One and Never Done,” the documentary will cover Calipari’s career, starting from his days as an assistant at Kansas to his struggles in the NBA, rebirth in Memphis, and finally, his ascent to college basketball’s biggest throne at Kentucky. According to ESPN’s David Scott, the film will be directed by Jonathan Hock, a ten-time Emmy Award winning producer, director, writer and editor with four “30 for 30″s under his belt: “Unguarded” (2011); “The Best That Never Was” (2010); “Survive and Advance” (2013); and “Of Miracles and Men” (2015). ESPN camera crews followed Calipari a lot over the past year, reportedly shooting footage at his Hall of Fame induction and the team’s trip to Kansas in January, a fitting return to where Cal’s coaching career began.

I’m a big fan of the “30 for 30” series, so news of Calipari’s got me thinking about other events in Kentucky basketball history that might also be worthy of one. The program has such a long and storied history, that honestly, it could probably fill an entire season’s worth of documentaries if Kentucky fans had their way. Of course, that won’t happen, so here are eight suggestions in case the “30 for 30” crew circles back to Lexington any time soon.

 

Kentucky vs. Texas Western

Honestly, I’m shocked this isn’t already a “30 for 30,” although I guess Disney did make a whole movie about it. I still haven’t seen “Glory Road” because I think it would make me mad, but I do remember the backlash from UK fans over Jon Voight’s portrayal of Adolph Rupp and Dick Gabriel’s follow-up documentary, “Adolph Rupp: Myth, Legend and Fact.” It’s easy for Hollywood to paint Rupp and UK as the villain in this story, which I think makes it an even better subject for the “30 for 30” crew to shine a light on.

“What if I told you the story of a team with an all-black lineup beating a team with an all-white lineup for the NCAA Championship was a lot more complicated than black and white?” 


The Unforgettables

The story of the 1991-1992 Kentucky team already seems straight out of Hollywood. Coming off a two-year postseason ban for recruiting violations under Eddie Sutton, a young and hungry Rick Pitino led a historical program back to prominence with the help of four seniors (three of whom are from Kentucky) and a superstar sophomore. Add in arguably the greatest basketball game ever played and you’ve got a story far more interesting than its villain.

“What if I told you that, even in the darkest times, loyalty can bring you back to the spotlight?”


Ed Reinke, AP

John Stewart’s passing

Even 17 years later, it’s hard to look back at articles about John Stewart without getting a little emotional. At only 18 years old, the seven-foot Kentucky signee collapsed and died on the court during the regional championship game of the Indiana high school playoffs in 1999. The loss shook the entire UK fanbase, particularly Tubby Smith, who made sure the program honored Stewart on what would have been his Senior Night in 2003.

Actually, “30 for 30” doesn’t need to bother with this one because our friend TJ Beisner already did it justice back in 2014 with his documentary for KSTV, “Wildcat Forever: The John Stewart Story.” I encourage you to grab some tissues and head over to mycn2.com to watch if you haven’t already.

“What if I told you the saddest story imaginable…and it was true.”


Bill Keightley

Most college basketball fans outside Kentucky have no clue who Bill Keightley was, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the program’s history. Mr. Keightley was the heart and soul of UK Basketball, serving as way more than the equipment manager at the end of the bench. I would love to hear interviews from past players, coaches, and staff members about Keightley’s life, and, given his impact on the program, I bet others would too.

“What if I told you the heart and soul of Kentucky basketball was also the man that used to wash its jerseys?” 


Rick Pitino goes to Louisville

As Kentucky fans, there are some moments you just don’t forget. Most of you probably know where you were during “The Shot,” when Kentucky won its national championships, and maybe even when Rick Pitino was announced as the head coach at Louisville in 2001. I remember exactly where I was: the Galt House in Louisville for a high school journalism conference (ha!). The months that followed were a confusing time for UK fans, leading into another moment I’ll never forget: Pitino walking out of the home tunnel during his first trip back to Rupp as Louisville’s coach. (Oh, the nerve!) Add in the rivalry once Calipari came to Kentucky and Rick’s meltdowns during the scandal — including flipping off his old fanbase — and you’ve got some must-see TV.

“What if I told you a coach that was once considered a god became enemy number one four years later?”


Via BigBlueHistory.net

Randolph Morris and the missing fax

Okay, so delving into this story might not be in UK’s best interest, but come on — haven’t you ever wondered what the REAL story was behind Randolph Morris and the missing fax? After Morris went undrafted in 2005 and returned to Kentucky, the NCAA suspended him for 14 games before Tubby Smith miraculously found a seven-month old fax on his desk stating Morris’ intent to enter the draft but NOT sign an agent, which helped Morris regain his eligibility with half a season left to play. Of course, the story would have been a lot better had Kentucky gone further than the second round that year, but still, I would watch this.

“What if I told you the key to a season laid not in a locker room or basketball court, but on a messy desk underneath some Dunkin’ Donuts wrappers?”


The Rise and Fall of Billy Gillispie

By far the strangest story in recent UK history is Billy Gillispie’s two-year tenure as head coach. Most of us really believed Billy would succeed when he came to UK, and boy, were we wrong. I’d LOVE for the “30 for 30” crew to go digging and interview Billy’s players and co-workers to tell us what really happened behind-the-scenes. From late night drunk golfing to Alex Legion’s girlfriend to the Alan Cutler foot chase, this story is begging for primetime.

“What if I told you that Kentucky gave the keys of the program to a man who almost ran it into the Merrick Inn pool?”


Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Pursuit of Perfection

If I said it once, I said it a million times last year: Kentucky’s 2014-2015 season was made for a “30 for 30.” I’m sure Calipari’s film will cover it in part, but that season was awesome for so many reasons. I would start with the 2013-2014 season to include the hype around the recruiting class, the struggles that prompted Aaron Harrison to say it could still be a “great story,” Aaron’s threes to take UK to the national championship game, and then most of that class’ decision to come back to school. Then, the Bahamas trip, Kansas and UCLA beatdowns, and the march to 38-0…which is exactly when I would turn it off.

“What if I told you a team won thirty-eight games in a row, but the one they lost would haunt them forever?”


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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Spicy food isn’t for everyone, it’s for you. That’s why Wendy’s is bringing back the heat with The Jalapeño Fresco Spicy Chicken. With pepper jack cheese, fresh jalapeños, a jalapeño bun, AND ghost pepper sauce, we really kicked it up a notch. And don’t forget the Ghost Pepper fries – for those that really want to crank up the heat.


You can be a part of Wendy’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. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Matthew Ward

YEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!!!

 

 

#9 Jay

Apparently not.

 

 

#8 Brenden Wright

Haters gonna hate.

 

 

#7 Eric

The accuracy is scary.

 

 

#6 Trillie Cauley-Stein

No more line five!

 

 

#5 Augustine

All a misunderstanding because of a typo.

 

 

#4 Andrew Cassady

I don’t think there is a cure for that.

 

 

#3 Patrick Towles

Miss this guy.

 

 

#2  BackdoorSlider

I should not have laughed, but I did.

 

 

#1 jon thomason

This is great.

 

 

@kbernhardKSR


Watch Monk vs. Fox and Bam

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Before they were signed on to play Kentucky, Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo and De’Aaron Fox were competing against one another.  Months after the annual Top 100 Camp, Courtside Films has released this unseen footage of the future teammates facing off against one another.

It’s hard to tell who is the most impressive.  You be the judge.


Alabama Likely Ends UK’s Season In 5-2 Win

(Photo by Elliott Hess, UK Athletics)

(Photo by Elliott Hess, UK Athletics)

Kentucky will likely have their season end the same way as 2015. The BatCats lost in the first round of the SEC Tournament for the second straight season with a 5-2 defeat against Alabama. UK never led as Alabama jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Evan White’s solo home run and Riley Mahan’s RBI double cut the lead to one, but Will Haynie’s two run bomb in the 9th ended all hope for UK.

Zach Logue pitched well in 5.2 innings for the Cats. The sophomore allowed two earned runs and three total in the third inning. An error by Mahan and some infield confusion led to a bases loaded jam with one out. Logue walked in a run before Hunter Webb drove two runs home on an RBI single to center. Nick Eicholtz would not need anything else on the mound. Eicholtz allowed two runs on three hits in 6.2 innings for the Tide. He held Kentucky’s offense at bay outside of White’s homer and a small rally in the 7th. Dorian Hairston walked and advanced to second before Mahan doubled down the line to score him. 

Eicholtz was pulled in the 7th and Matt Foster entered. Foster and Thomas Burrows shut down UK’s offense for the remainder of the way. Haynie destroyed all hope with a monster home run ball to left field in the top of the ninth. It was the only blimish on a great performance by Zach Pop. Both Logue and Pop competed well in the biggest games of their young careers.

The loss will likely end Kentucky’s chances of making the field of 64. Kentucky is now 32-25 (15-16) on the season and will have an RPI around 60 after tonight. Their are many questions moving forward about returning players and coaches, but don’t make any assumptions at this point. Aaron Fitt answered questions about coaching positions at UK and he was spot on. It’s always tough to lose the first game of the conference tournament, especially when a team has as many errors as they had hits in a loss.


Some Tuesday Night Thoughts

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We are coming upon KSR’s 11th Anniversary this fall and sometimes I can’t help but feel as if time just keeps passing by. That is especially true when I find pictures like the one above…this was around 2006 or so when we first decided to start promoting KSR at UK Football games. The crew above included most (although not all) of the early writers, the KSR girls who walked around tailgates promoting the site (in custom-made jerseys that were not of the highest quality) and a random guy who I don’t know (the guy on the far right). We were kind of a rag-tag bunch back then, I was much chubbier and had worse hair (if that’s possible) and we had no idea what was to come. But in many ways those were the most fun days as we just wrote whatever wanted, consequences be damned. It was a great time to be a blogger, back when no one knew what that even meant.

But now things are slightly different as social media has changed everything and the rise of KSR means that we have to be careful what we say because it does have repercussions. Posts that were made back then (such as the epic time when Drew’s account was legitimately hacked and someone posted something that were it to come out now, we would be the subject of nationwide Twitter scorn), would be received very differently now. And with that comes the rise of stories that are handled much differently at this point. Case in point, the rumor that went around the internet this weekend about trouble with UK Football. Back in the day, stories about what was going on “behind the scenes” in UK sports almost always started on the internet, and usually on message boards. These discussion threads often contained people that legitimately knew what was happening behind the scenes and posting under made-up pseudonyms (such as Freshshava, TCCat, CarolinaWildcats and some dude named Magloire52), news came out that virtually always beat the major media sites. I got my start on such forums and I will always have soft spot for them. What happened over time usually was that a poster would come with information, everyone would be skeptical and if it proved true, then said poster would get vaunted “Insider” status and be believed more in the future. It was a meritocracy of sorts and those that really knew what was going on (which usually meant they talked to an equipment manager, former player or Tubby’s secretary) became the real go-to people of UK’s internet world. Plus if something was too outlandish, message board moderators could delete it and police the worst of the excess. It was free-flowing but with a bit of control.

Now things have changed. Message boards aren’t quite as popular as they once were as people have instead moved to the world of social media. Blogs such as KSR can still be centers of UK-related information, but now any individual can push their “news” or “scoop” via Twitter and with just a couple of Retweets, it can enter the public’s mind. Without the “status” of a media platform or a history of postings as with message boards, there is no way for the public to know for certain whether the individual knows what s/he is talking about and thus rumors that would have once been quickly dismissed, now take on a life of their own. This happened with the UK football rumor over the weekend and put me (and others that cover UK in a difficult spot). After speaking with people around the program, I am convinced that there was no truth to the rumor in any fashion. But as the days went on, I kept getting asked about it more and more, thus showcasing to me that it was spreading. So what do you do? If you say nothing (as I chose to do from Saturday through this morning), then people see that silence as proof of “something going on.” A look at any UL message board today will show threads of UL fans convinced that the rumor must be true because “UK reporters aren’t saying anything.” I have received 20 different versions of the comment “you report on UL scandals but ignore the Football one at your school!” on Twitter from #L1C4 fans in the last few days. This mindset ignored the possibility that (GASP!) the whole thing was just made up to begin with and silence was considered proof. Such is the world we live in.

So today I tweeted out that there was nothing too it…others soon followed with similar agreement and to any reasonable reader, the whole thing can be put to bed. However others said to me, “you mentioning dignifies it and makes more people look up to see what was being said.” This is no doubt true and I am sure there are many of you that have done the same thing. But I am not sure how else to handle the situation…in today’s world there are no newspaper editors, message board moderators or blog writers who can make a rumor go away. If people want it to proceed it will…so it seems the only way to make it disappear is to acknowledge it…a PR 101 mistake in the old days that now seems to me to have been turned on its heels.

All of this brings me to the UK Hoops issues of the last few weeks. Everywhere I have gone people over the last month, people have asked me some form of “So tell me what’s REALLY going on with UK Hoops.” There is a distinct mindset shared by many…maybe even you. With all the dismissals and departures and the team down to just a few players and a new staff something MUST HAVE happened that is a bombshell that people don’t know yet. I will be honest, I thought the same thing as the story first broke. But I have spent a good deal of time over the last two weeks talking to former players, administrators, reporters and others trying to find if there is something else really going on…and honestly I just don’t think there is. In fact, if I were to summarize what I think caused the UK Hoops issues, it is this:

Matthew Mitchell over the last couple of years got away from what made him have success. In a number of different areas, his management of the program dipped because of mistakes in judgment and action. He spent less time around the players as he became involved in secondary issues and spent more time with his family. He relied on his (new) Assistant coaches to fill in for his role when he wasn’t around and because he didn’t cultivate those relationships properly either, they did not fill those voids. Mitchell has always been a tough coach, but like Calipari has/had with Orlando Antigua and Kenny Payne, Mitchell relied on his Assistants to be “good cops” to his “bad cop.” His initial assistants did that well but the more recent ones did not, in part because their relationship with him was not strong. As he drifted from the team, he wasn’t able to see morale/player issues developing and the success on the court made him ignore/dismiss the problems that he did see. Over time the situation grew worse and when four players left last year, rather than deal with the overall change, each was dismissed as “an individual problem.” Then when it happened again this year and a staff overhaul occurred as well, reality smacked everyone in the face. He lost his team and now has to work to get it back.

After a lot of time spent looking into the UK Hoops situation, the above is my conclusion. But there will be many who simply dismiss this offhand. I understand that mindset. But as I recently said at an event, I would equate the problems over the last two years to the dissolution of a relationship. Sometimes when two people break up, it is because of an explosive event, like one spouse cheating on the other. However most of the time, there isn’t a moment, but rather a gradual parting of the two parties due to small acts or mistakes that add up over time. Not every divorce is scandalous…many end because of the slow, methodical act of simply falling out of love due to a culmination of events that viewed individually, might be relatively minor. That is what I think happened with the UK Hoops program and Matthew Mitchell. The relationship became frayed slowly over time, not in one major scandal.

Is that the answer that the Internet (and many fans) want to hear? Maybe not. It is a lot more fun to speculate online, assume the worst conspiracy theory and then when its your rival, bring them down with continued innuendo. But often the truth is much more boring than most wish it would be. People focus on the UL scandals that I have talked about over the last few years (Ware/Behanan, Pitino/Sypher, Katina-Ramsey-Pitino-Behanan-Montrezl-T-Will-Minardi Hall ceiling-Coach Mike…well you get the idea) but they overlook the many I have been told that I never mentioned because I thought they were likely false. But that is just my filter and the filter for others, especially in the social media world, may be much different. The days of ignoring rumors or waiting for verified sources to dismiss fan chatter are basically gone…once people talk about it, then it becomes a story, whether or not it is true. To me the best way to handle it, is to acknowledge and deal with it. That is the new reality for media and those in the public eye, as the two situations with UK Football and UK Hoops have shown these last few days.


UK makes P.J. Washington’s Top 12

@pjwashington_25

@pjwashington_25

Five-star forward P.J. Washington is the latest Calipari recruit to include the Cats while cutting his list.

Findlay Prep’s finest is considered the #23 prospect in the nation and #8 small forward by the 247 Composite Rankings.  Their Crystal Ball favors Kentucky more than any other school, with Texas as a not-so close second.

Washington told 247 Sports back in April that Kentucky is near the top of his list, along with three other schools he plans on visiting: Michigan State, Texas and North Carolina.  Here’s what he said about UK after taking an unofficial visit in late March:

“It’s a great facility,” Washington recalled. “I feel like it’s one of the easiest ways to get into the league. I feel like it’s almost everybody’s dream to go there. I want to see how they are going to do next year definitely and I’m going to take an official there.”

Two weeks after coming to Lexington, John Calipari returned the favor by visiting Washington’s home.  Calipari has obviously made him a priority and you can see why from watching just one of Washington’s many highlight reels below.

When the Cats didn’t make Michael Porter Jr.’s Top Five, Washington became much more important.  It’s good to see he’s feeling that love from Kentucky.


Former UK Hoops Forward Commits to UCONN

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 6.10.31 PM

Salt has been thrown on the wound.  Former Wildcat forward Batouly Camara has committed to play for UCONN, according to the New Haven Register.

During her freshman season, Camara averaged 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 18.3 minutes per game.  That might not seem like much, but don’t be fooled; Camara exponentially improved throughout the season, finishing the final 13 games as a 6’2″ starter at power forward.

In related news, former assistant Tamika Williams-Jeter has found a new job as an assistant coach at Penn State.

Losing players hurts.  Losing a half dozen players hurts even more.  Losing one that’s good enough to play for UCONN…OUCH.


Dominque Hawkins and the Running Man Challenge

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We’ve been waiting for the basketball team to get in on the Running Man Challenge.  It’s not the entire team, but it’s a nice start.

While traveling abroad in China, Dominique had a day at the beach in the city of Sanya on China’s Hainan Island.  Hanging with his former Madison Central teammate, Sweet 16 hero and Kentucky Wesleyan star, Ken-Jah Bosley, the two wasted no time, busting out the running man while playing in the sand.

There’s no denying it — D-Hawks got dance moves.  Hopefully it’s inspiration for the rest of his teammates.


Briscoe says “it’s decision time” after final workout

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Isaiah Briscoe wrapped up his final pre-draft workout earlier today in Atlanta. Afterward, he took to Instagram to thank the Hawks for having him and to tell his fans, “this whole process has been fun i enjoyed every part of it. now its decision time.”

thank you Atlanta. this whole process has been fun i enjoyed every part of it. now its decision time 💭

A photo posted by Isaiah Briscoe (@zaaay_) on

Briscoe also had workouts with San Antonio, both Los Angeles organizations, Minnesota, and Brooklyn, his hometown team.

He and Marcus Lee have until tomorrow’s early-entrant deadline to return to school.

Please come back.


LIVE BLOG: Kentucky vs Alabama

(Image via @SEC__Baseball)

(Image via @SEC__Baseball)

7:26: Cats fall 5-2 after going 1-2-3 in the 9th. UK’s season likely over.

7:16 Will Haynie crushes a two-run bomb and Bama leads 5-2. UK may have just watched their tournament hopes sail over the left field wall.

7:06 Reks strikes out swinging to end the 8th and strands White at first. Pop back out on the mound with Hjelle in the pen.

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6:55 Pop works a 1-2-3 top of the 8th. Pompey, Heady, White due up for the Cats.

6:48 Cottam grounds out, but UK gets one back in the 7th. Pop back on the mound for UK.

6:43 Clutch double by Mahan scores Hairston from second and UK is now down by one. Eicholtz’s day is done as Matt Foster comes on in relief. Great performance by Eicholtz in the biggest game of Alabama’s season.

6:31 Pop gets a groundout and Bama leaves ’em loaded. At the stretch, it’s 3-1 Bama. Could be a huge momentum shift with Fishin’ In The Dark playing at The Met.

6:30 Bama has the bases loaded with two outs. Vincent at the plate facing Zach Pop.

6:14 White walks but Alabama turns a sweet double play to end the inning. Lewis still out on the mound.

6:08 Lewis allows a single but strikes out the final man of the inning. Cats have four innings to find two runs.

6:03 Logue’s day is done after 5.2 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits. Justin Lewis in from the pen with a runner at first.

5:55 Riley Mahan singles but the Cats can’t scrap anything else in the fifth. Still 3-1 in the sixth with Logue at 86 pitches.

5:46 Another error puts a man on first, but Logue works around it. Logue is through five as UK still trails 3-1. McNeill, Mahan, Cottam due up in the fifth.

5:32 Evan White leads the bottom of the fourth off with a home run over the left field wall. UK finally on the board against Eicholtz.

5:29 Logue allows a bunt single but Holcombe pops out on a bunt to end the top ofthe fourth. Top of the order due up for UK.

5:22 Going to the fourth, still 3-0 Bama. Justin Lewis and Brad Schaenzer jog to the bullpen with Logue over 60 pitches.

5:15 Logue strands a man at third to end the third. Eicholtz retired nine straight to open the April matchup against UK. He’s been tough to this point.

5:10 Bama is all over Logue right now. The Tide already have four hits and have reached on two errors. He’s leaving pitches over the heart of the plate and their barreling it up.

4:59 It could have been worse, but it could have been a lot better. Two RBIs by Webb gave Bama a 3-0 lead. Logue got a strikeout and a grounder to short to end the frame.

4:53 RBI walk gives Bama the lead in the second. A blown call at second and two singles loaded the bases with one away. Still only one out with the bases loaded for Hunter Webb.

4:42 Nothing going for the Cats in the first. Two groundouts and a deep drive by Shelby result in three quick outs for Nick Eicholtz.

4:37 Very smooth inning for Logue in the first. Two groundouts to the mound and a slow roller to first on eight pitches in the first inning. White, Reks, Shelby due up in the bottom half.

4:34 Logue gets a groundout to start the game and we are underway.

4:00 Lineup are up. 30 minutes from first pitch