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July 23rd, 2016

The Ten Best Things MKG said in Lexington

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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returned to town today to host a camp on campus and was kind enough to take the time to talk to reporters for ten minutes.

Before you see the best quotes, know this: everything you’ve ever heard about MKG being the nicest guy ever is true, and then some.  This was the first time I’d been in an interview setting with former No. 2 pick and I am still trying to comprehend how nice he is.  He was always one of my favorites, but today only solidified his standing.

Now back to the post…

“Things happen. It’s out of my control.”

Last season was a tough one.  After injuring his shoulder in the preseason, he returned for seven games, only to suffer another shoulder injury.  He isn’t the kind of guy to stay down for too long.  Now anxious to return to the court, he thanked his family and friends for supporting him through the tough time.

“I don’t want to say I’m jealous because I’m happy in Charlotte, but I’m excited for them both.”

Two of his National Championship teammates will be back on the floor next season when Terrence Jones suits up for the New Orleans Pelicans alongside Anthony Davis.  He believes their comfortability will make them both better.

“The new football facility is crazy, and I’m very, very jealous like we didn’t get a new (basketball) facility here.  I really, really don’t understand that. I really don’t understand that one.”

Kidd-Gilchrist is so jealous of the new football felicity, he’s not even going to take a tour, “I don’t want to.”  It’s a strange world we live in when basketball players are jealous of the things football players have.

“I showed him the ropes a little bit.  He was my rook, but we were the same age basically.”

During Aaron Harrison‘s rookie season, he received plenty of help from Kidd-Gilchrist and it wasn’t because they were forced to be around one another.  Aaron was assigned to “take care” of MKG throughout the season, going through the typical BS that rookies must go through as a rite of passage.

Was he going to take it easy on him? “Absolutely not.”  Laundry was Harrison’s primary duty, but sometimes he was forced to fetch lunch.

On the court, Kidd-Gilchrist taught him patience.  It’s a long season.  It can be difficult to deal with, especially when you aren’t playing.  Hopefully those are lessons the not-so youngster learned from his not-so elder. (MKG is only one year older, but he’s entering his 5th year while Aaron is entering his second.)

“I watched him in high school a few times. He’s strong, a dog and he knows how to play the game.”

MKG has yet to play pickup games with this year’s team, but he’s a big fan, especially of Bam Adebayo.  From North Carolina, MKG was able to watch the future Cat play in the area a few times and (understandably so) he likes what he sees.

“I just want to help my team win at the end of the day.  I don’t get into stats and all that.  My job is to win the basketball game.”

This guy is humble.  Even though he wants to eventually be an All-Star, he doesn’t care about points, assists and rebounds as long as his team is winning.

“You’ll see this season.  I don’t want to brag on myself.”

Once again, humility.

“I talk to MJ a lot about everything in the game of basketball.”

He can’t always be humble, but at least when he’s bragging it’s a humblebrag.

“I go to Cane’s. I go to Cane’s every day.”

When he’s back in town, he can’t go a day without seeing Stone Cold Willow for some delicious chicken tenders.  It’s just one of the things that makes him feel like he’s home.

“I got a National Championship ring so it’s always going to be home for me.”


Eddie Gran’s Bad Women’s Clinic Joke

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

At this morning’s Kentucky football women’s clinic, new offensive coordinator Eddie Gran tried to stir the crowd with some humor.  His attempt was not well-received.  It’s pretty easy to understand why.

“(Darin) Hinshaw likes to joke we have 13 periods in practice and women only have one.”

Even when he tried to pass the blame off on Hinshaw, the crowd still responded with a few boos.  I think it’s safe to say it was not the right place or time.


SI: Suns are Shaping Devin Booker for Stardom

Getty Images

Getty Images

Devin Booker’s rookie season didn’t go as expected.

The former Kentucky sharpshooter produced big numbers, but it was at the cost of his team’s success.  There were multiple injuries, a veteran boycotted and the head coach was fired.  Booker told Sports Illustrated it forced him to learn about how the league works, quickly.

“I feel like I’ve seen it all,” Booker said. “You don’t realize all that when you’re just a fan of the NBA. You learn the business of the game once you get in there.”

Therein lies the silver lining—a “diamond in the rough,” per Suns head coach Earl Watson—of an eventful year in Phoenix, fraught with bad breaks, missteps, and unintended consequences. The escalating weirdness eventually let Booker loose as a primary ball handler.

It suited him in ways completely uncharacteristic of players at his age and experience level, much less his entrenched role. The Booker pro scouts knew the rookie from Kentucky was a shooter by trade. The Booker the league saw blossom over the back half of the season was a wholly more complicated cover with a mature sense of timing and ball control.

Booker blossomed during his first complete NBA season.  Over the summer he’s continued to improved during the Las Vegas League and Team USA Camp.  There are plenty of details left to learn — especially defensively — but the future is bright for the Suns’ diamond in the rough.

[Sports Illustrated]


UK Football Women’s Clinic Saturday Morning Wakeup

Good morning Big Blue Nation.  If you’re reading this, you’re not at the Kentucky football women’s clinic.  Tyler Thompson is up bright and early on this beautiful sunny day, along with local celebrities like Jen Maggard.

It’s still early, but they’re already off to a hot start.  The biggest hit is (of course) Lamar Thomas.  Coach T took over Tyler’s snapchat to request another appearance on KSR.

When Coach Stoops took the big stage, he was upstaged by LT when he decided to talk a little trash about his former employer.

Give Tyler a follow and keep it locked for more updates throughout the day.

HOLY FTC!

The participants at today’s women’s clinic are receiving an extra special treat.  They will be the first fans that get to take a peak at the new $45 million Football Training Center (FTC).

I saw it yesterday and HOLY ****!  I can’t write enough words to describe to you how awesome it is.  I tried yesterday, banging out 1,200 with a  couple dozen pictures too, but it still doesn’t do it justice.  John Calipari calls Kentucky basketball “the gold standard.”  If the FTC isn’t the gold standard of college football, I don’t know what is.  Read more on it here.

Get Your Tickets to the Louisville Kickoff Luncheon

Next Thursday, July 28, the Galt House Hotel will host the 2016 Kickoff Luncheon.  While you’re eating a delicious meal, Mark Stoops, Eddie Gran and DJ Eliot will speak to the fans about the upcoming season.

Freddie and I will both be there.  I’m no superstar, but Freddie is, acting as the event’s emcee.  No word on if he’s also bring the poke sallet.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the program and lunch begin at 1 p.m. Tickets are $50 for UK Alumni Association members and $55 for nonmembers. RSVPs are due by July 25. Reservations can be made at www.ukalumni.net/kickoff2016 or by calling 800-269-ALUM.

Boogie BALLED

In an Olympic warm-up, DeMarcus Cousins proved why he’s the starting center for Team USA.  Cousins dropped a casual 15 points and 14 rebounds against Argentina.  His highlights vary, from threes to dunks and more.  

You’ll Hear from MKG Today

Back in town for a basketball camp, reporters will get to hear from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at Memorial Coliseum this morning.  I could not be more excited because it’s the first time I’ve ever had the chance to meet/interview him.  It’s also the first time I’ve seen him in person since he helped Kentucky win the 2012 title.  Today will bring back some fond memories.

Kendra Harrison Breaks a World Record

The former UK track star broke a 28-year old record by .01 in the 100m hurdles after failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics.  It was an emotional experience, one worth watching again.

A Movie Worth Watching

If you can find a little more than two hours of time and access to HBO, All the Way is worth experiencing.  Politics are kind of a big deal right now, but they’re much less scary when they’re in a movie.  The HBO film documents LBJ’s tumultuous first year in office.  Cranston is phenomenal.  Some of his lines are ripped right from recordings of LBJ’s phone calls.  He sounds like him, he even kind of looks like him.  Hate him or love him, this LBJ biopic is a piece of art.


July 22nd, 2016

Technology Acknowledges Past, Looks Ahead to the Future at the New Football Training Facility

The pedestal in front of the FTC is reserved for the statue that will be revealed vs. South Carolina.

The pedestal in front of the FTC is reserved for the statue that will be revealed vs. South Carolina.

Kentucky’s new $45 million Football Training Center will help the football program move forward on the field and in recruiting, while acknowledging the successes of the program’s past, something that has not always received the appropriate spotlight on campus.

From the moment you enter the lobby, the old era meets the new.  On a pedestal in the middle of the lobby, six mannequins are adorned in the Cats’ new uniform combinations.  Surrounding them are the bowl trophies from years’ past, including a 1951 National Championship Trophy that was made specifically for the FTC.

Many may laugh off the new trophy (you can see a close up in the photo gallery after the jump), but the reasoning from UK’s Mark Hill makes sense.  “We haven’t done a great job of acknowledging the past.”  That is no longer the case.

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On the lobby wall is a mural of the greatest players to ever wear a Kentucky uniform.

Tim Couch, Art Still, Steve Meilinger and Dermonti Dawson are just a few that are honored.

Tim Couch, Art Still, Steve Meilinger and Dermonti Dawson are just a few that are honored.

While seeing Kentucky’s past, recruits can use tools to help them see what it will be like to be a Kentucky Wildcat in the future.  A Nike kiosk allows them to craft their uniform, from the color combination, right down to the wrist bands and gloves (almost you’re in “Create a Player” mode from a video game).

Beneath the stairs is an area filled with TVs that completely encircles the individual, creating a 360-degree gameday experience.

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The ground floor is wear the players become physically enhanced.  The new weight room has doubled the team’s capacity to train, all while overlooking the practice fields.

The weight racks (bottom left) are unlike anything I've ever seen in a weight room.

The weight racks (bottom left) are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in a weight room.

A path from the practice fields to the Nutter Indoor Training Center splits the weight room and the locker room.  All college football locker rooms have unique features, but I don’t think any of them have a display like this.  Twenty 55-inch televisions are the first thing you see when you walk inside.

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Each locker has three separate compartments.  The large one on top is for shoulder pads, ventilated to cool them down and keep the stink flowing outbound.  The bottom is for their shoes and other essentials while the middle contains built-in USB ports to charge their phones.

They can use a variety of methods to unlock their lockers: a passcode, an ID card or use the retina display sensor.  James Bond technology has come to Kentucky.

Connecting them all is the trainers’ room.  Players can be taped, or use YMCA-like weight lifting machines to help with rehabilitation.  There’s also pools; LOTS of pools.

The largest is a 40-foot recovery pool near the practice fields that acts as a recovery tank, constantly set at 52-degrees.  In the trainers’ room lies three pools, one with an underwater treadmill to aid with rehabilitation.  Two tubs near the locker room can act as either cold tubs or hot tubs, with TVs to keep the players occupied.

The rehab area (top), the leisure area (bottom left) and the recovery area (bottom right).

The rehab area (top), the leisure area (bottom left) and the recovery area (bottom right).

Kentucky football tradition lines the first-floor halls that connect the larger rooms.  One wall features all of UK’s All-SEC and All-American performers.  Another shows each bowl team.  The most unique feature is the NFL wall.

With every NFL team represented by division, TVs in-between scroll through the names of UK players and the different teams they represented.  In the middle is a massive touch-screen that allows you to search for any player.  By selecting “First Round Draft Picks,” it shows each player picked.  Upon choosing a player, you can watch their highlights in the NFL or at Kentucky, and you can see their stats and a photo gallery.

The NFL Wall. The large screen in the middle is the interactive TV. You can see a close-up in the photo gallery after the jump.

The NFL Wall. The large screen in the middle is the interactive TV. You can see a close-up in the photo gallery after the jump.

There are also designated areas that appeal directly to prospective players.  The two that catch their attention most are the Gatorade bar and the Nike display.

The Nike display has every piece of UK-related gear you could imagine.  Recruiting coordinator Dan Berezowitz said recruits were WOWed just by the logo, before it was even filled with gear.  The Gatorade bar looks like something you’d see in a commercial.

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Before heading upstairs, to the right of the lobby is a new cafeteria.  It can sit 80 comfortably, giving room for players to come and go, or it can be a place to host recruits and their families for meals before a game.  On the other side of the glass wall is the hallway leading to the indoor facility.  Prominently pictured is UK’s Ring of Honor.

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If the ground floor is where the players physically enhance their game, upstairs is where they grow mentally.  The academic center is still under construction, but no longer will they have to make the long walk to the other side of campus to receive tutoring at Memorial Coliseum.

Around the corner are the coaches offices and meeting rooms.  Each position has their own meeting room, designed specifically for them.  The coaches offices are finished, but they will not be moving in until next week.  The coaches also have their own meeting rooms.  An offensive and defensive room looks like a conference center, while the main room connected to Coach Stoops’ office looks like something from a courthouse.  Whiteboards and screens are hidden behind wooden planks, while the assistants have a desk area that looks like a place where the jury would sit.

The second floor has a balcony area leading from the coaches’ offices where people can look out onto the practice fields.  There’s also a similar area to look over the weight room.  Called the “Cardio Deck,” sophisticated treadmills and exercise bikes overlook the area where the heavy lifting happens.

The massive second-floor team room that looks more like a movie theater.

The massive second-floor team room that looks more like a movie theater.

The practice fields are Bermuda grass, large enough to fit two football fields, with the capacity to change direction if needed.  On the far-side of the field lies the only part of the facility that will not be player-friendly — the running hill.

Turf will be laid on the pathway to the far left, allowing for them to simply run sprints.  That’s nothing compared to the stairs.  The middle strip will be used strictly for running, surrounded by larger platforms where players will perform plyometrics, jumping their way up the hill on a turf surface.

Instead of an ugly retaining wall, The Hill of Death was created.

Instead of an ugly retaining wall, The Hill of Death was created.

There is still some construction left to be done, but it will be ready to roll when training camp begins August 4.

You’ll see many pictures, but they will not do it justice.  This facility is a marvel, unlike anything I’ve ever seen.  That’s exactly what recruits are saying too.

After seeing it under construction. Berezowitz said their goal is to get the kids to come back for a second time, something that shouldn’t be a problem.  If they’ve traveled to other facilities, when they return to UK, nothing comes close.  After all, those that helped design this also design NFL facilities.

“These guys didn’t cut any corners,”  Berezowitz said.  “We’re at the top of technology in this building.”

The Football Training Center is helping the Cats move forward into the next generation of Kentucky football, while honoring the previous generations that wore the blue and white.

For more photos of how tradition is honored, and neat things like the barber shop, click below.

(more…)


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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Cheese finally has its day with Wendy’s® newGouda Bacon Cheeseburger.Our hot and juicy beef topped with sizzling apple-wood smoked bacon, aged Gouda and a deliciousSwiss-Gruyere Fondueall on a lightly toasted brioche bun.Come to Wendy’s and try one today!

At participating Wendy’s for a limited time.


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 CoachGrote

I didn’t realize that flatulence is a part of politics? But i guess when KSR is involved…

 

#9 Katie winter

KSR is good for the soul.

 

#8 Michael Collins

Yeah…. I don’t think Ryan is Christian Bale…

 

#7 BlueBourbonKy

Now that’s a political platform

 

#6 Kyle Hood

Drew is everywhere

#5 Jack Klompus

Dude could be on to something here.

 

#4 Ryan Smith

Don’t bring fudge rounds into this. They’re my favorite.

 

#3 Bryan the Intern

But can Matt Elam spell svelte?

 

#2 Phillip Schaaf

The entire city of Lexington is Andre McGee proof.

 

#1 Tyler Hall

He might’ve been bigger than that…

 

@haleysimpKSR


Five-star prospect includes Kentucky among new finalists

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One of the top prospects in the 2017 basketball recruiting class eliminated some of his suitors today when he named nine finalists for his basketball services.

Jarred Vanderbilt, a five-star small forward, announced that he is down to Arizona, Baylor, Houston, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, TCU and Texas.

The Cats (of the UK variety) currently lead his Crystal Ball voting. CBSSports.com called him a strong Kentucky lean back in May.

Jarred Vanderbilt
Forward | 6-8 | 200 lbs.
Bellaire, TX | Victory Prep
AAU: Houston Hoops
★★★★★
ESPN No. 20 | 5 PF Top247 No. 17 | 4 SF
Rivals No. 13 | 4 PF Scout No. 15 | 2 PF

RNC Hangover’s Friday Evening Notes

The Kentucky Sports Radio caravan is back from Cleveland and I am exhausted after five days at the Republican National Convention. I will have plenty to write about the RNC once I get settled in after next week’s Democratic convention, but for now, take these Friday evening notes about the experience and some thoughts on the little bit of news around UK land.

— Kentucky’s new football facility looks better than I ever imagined. I’m really jealous of all the media members who were able to tour the facility earlier today; their photos and tweets from the tour helped pass the time on my way home, but I really wish I could’ve been there to see it for myself. Everything looks state-of-the-art and top-notch, especially the retina scanners for entry into the weight room. That Gatorade bar is pretty cool, too — as is everything else. It will all go a long way in recruiting and should light a fire under the current bunch of Wildcats with new amenities to improve all aspects of their game and routine. Looks like $45 million well spent.

Read Nick’s recap of the tour here.

— Mark Stoops expects to make a bowl game. Listen to his comments to the Rotary Club of Lexington, courtesy of our friends at KSTV:

“We’ll get those few plays, those yards, those inches to make the difference to get over the hump.”

— That picture from last night’s basketball workout further proves what we’re hearing about the 2016-17 Wildcats: they’re committed to the gym and putting in the work to be great. And to those complaining about Isaiah Briscoe and De’Aaron Fox wearing their t-shirts over their faces, please stop. Focus on how the entire team appears to be in outstanding mid-July shape instead.

— Cleveland was a ghost town. After months of hearing about the potential danger we would find outside the RNC, the city held the four-day event without one major incident. There were arrests each day, but nothing too wild or threatening to others. Not once did we see a protest with more than 30-40 people, and even then it was done with respect to bystanders and police officers. Speaking of police officers, they were everywhere and overly friendly all week long. One officer told us it was like a paid vacation. Hats off to those men and women in law enforcement who patrolled the city each day and night so Ryan Lemond could stumble the streets without fear.

— I’m a big fan of the World’s Best Farter:

best-farter

He told me Matt Lauer and Al Roker took a photo with him right before I did. Popular guy.

— Kid Rock’s still got it. I had my doubts, but when “Bawitdaba” came on, the outdoor amphitheater along the Cuyahoga River exploded with rich white men in suits headbanging to the late-90s classic:

What a way to close out the convention.

— I hope you’ll follow us in Philadelphia next week at the DNC. 99.9999 percent of our readers and listeners understood that our week in Cleveland was to try something new in the slow summer, not for politics. To those people, we hope you’ll stick around another week when we try the Democratic side. I can’t remember a better five days of radio and we expect the same next week in Philadelphia. I’ll be asleep until then, so don’t call or text.


Jack “Goose” Givens stops by Special Olympics basketball camp in Versailles

SOKYGoose

This past week, I had the pleasure of acting as a head coach for Special Olympics’ first annual summer basketball camp at WinStar Farm in Versailles, KY. I’ve been to several Special Olympic events in the past, and have a wide range of history with kids with disabilities, but this was without a doubt one of the most rewarding and heart warming experiences I’ve ever had.

The camp was founded by Elisabeth Jensen, a mother of a child with intellectual disabilities, after realizing the Lexington and surrounding areas didn’t have many opportunities for these kids to get out during the summer and develop necessary skills for their highly-competitive Special Olympics seasons coming up in the fall and spring. She got in contact with several other parents, Special Olympics, sponsors, etc., and put on an experience these athletes will remember for a lifetime.

WinstarThroughout the week, a typical day consisted of morning warmups from about 10-10:30, drills from 10:30-12, lunch from 12-1, an afternoon activity from 1-2, and a final scrimmage each day from 2-3. Drills were made up of shooting, dribbling, rebounding, passing, and defensive components to improve skills in all aspects of the game. The afternoon activities each day ranged from instruction of music with instruments, tie dying shirts, and a tour of WinStar farm to meet former Kentucky Derby-winning horses.

The athletes were divided into two teams for scrimmages and a big exhibition game held Friday afternoon. I coached one team throughout the week, while a few other coaches split up reps for the other squad. Even former Wildcat Ravi Moss got in on the action. (I had to hand Ravi his first loss as head coach in our head-to-head matchup.)

After we rounded the kids up from lunch on Thursday to take them back for their daily afternoon scrimmage, we were met by none other than UK great Jack “Goose” Givens back at the gym.

After a quick “hello,” he watched the kids participate in warmups and shootaround for roughly twenty minutes or so before gathering everyone up in the middle to give the athletes a quick pep talk and a few pointers on the game of basketball.

 

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“Teamwork, sportsmanship, and having fun” were the three components he described as each athlete’s keys to success in their future basketball careers. Throughout both practices and games, Givens said he wanted to see the athletes pick up one another, no matter the circumstance.

“If someone makes an impressive shot, cheer them on even if they aren’t on your team. If someone trips and falls, offer your hand to pick them up. There’s no time for whining and complaining on the court, always have a positive attitude and try your best, giving 100% along the way.”

After his talk with campers, he stuck around to referee the scrimmage and give tips as the game progressed. After every made basket and high-effort play, “Goose” was the first person to run over and celebrate, giving high fives and encouragement to the kids. After a missed shot or turnover, he’d tell them “you’ll get it on the next one, no worries.”

Goose

After Thursday’s busy day came to a close, I got a chance to talk with him a little bit about his experience with the kids and his thoughts on the camp as a whole.

“I’ve worked with Special Olympics off and on in the past, so when they asked me to stop by, I didn’t hesitate. When I got here, the first thing I noticed was the smile on these kid’s faces. Seeing all of these amazing volunteers and adults pouring attention in them, and each camper visibly proud of the progress they’ve made this week was really special to witness first hand.”

Joshuabasketball

When I asked about what he hopes the athletes remember most about camp and his experience with the kids, he went back to the basics.

“I just want them to know basketball is all about having fun. If you’re going to be out on the court working hard, it’s your job to have fun along the way. By being out here and watching them throughout warm ups, shootaround, and scrimmages, I know every one of them did. Each and every one of these kids smiled, helped out teammates, and did what they were supposed to do. It was a pleasure to hang out with these unbelievable individuals today.

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“Goose” always seemed to be a great guy, but I developed a newfound level of respect for him after spending a good bit of time with him. On top of Givens’ time with the kids, the camp was a flawless production to give some incredible athletes a chance to show off and develop their skills. Incredible location, beautiful facility, and the best kids in the world. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Thank you to Mrs. Jensen and Special Olympics for allowing me to participate and creating such an unbelievable opportunity for these individuals. Needless to say, I’ll be back again next year.


Kendra Harrison Breaks 100m Hurdle World Record

Former Kentucky track star Kendra Harrison broke a 28-year old record in the 100m hurdles, finishing in 12.20, .01 faster than the previous milestone.  Her performance at the London Anniversary Games was amazing; her reaction was priceless.

The gratifying performance comes after Harrison hit a slump, failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics at the US Trials.  That motivation carried her today.

“Not making the Olympic team, I was really upset and wanted to come here and show what I could have done,” Harrison told the BBC.

“I had vengeance on my mind and wanted to show the girls what I had.

“I trained so hard for this moment. Good luck to the girls running in Rio, but I am just shocked now.”


Cats in the NFL

 

NFL Cats collage

The sports dead-zone that is the month of July seems to never end. I don’t know about you, but I am itching for the fall when sports are full throttle and SportsCenter has important topics on the queue.

In the meantime, I am getting revved up for the NFL season. Organized Team Activities have concluded and training camp season has begun. Currently, 21 players on 15 teams will be representing Kentucky.

Here’s a rundown of what our NFL Cats have been up to:

 

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Randall CobbWR, 6th season, Career: 306 receptions, 3878 yards, 31 touchdowns

2015 was a “down” year for Cobb, who struggled with injuries and double coverage as the number-one receiver after Jordy Nelson’s season-ending ACL tear. Expect Cobb to return to typical Golden Eyes Form in 2016.

 

Tim Masthay: P, 7th season, Career: averages 44.2 yards/punt

Representing P U, or Punter’s University, Tim Masthay set Green Bay’s franchise record for net punting last season. Your boy knows how to save money too.

 

espn.com

Danny Trevathan: LB5th season, Career: 282 combined tackles, 5 interceptions

Trevathan begins his first year with the Chicago Bears with a lot more money, and a Super Bowl ring to vouch for it.

 

espn.com

Larry Warford: G, 4th season, Career: 42 games played, 42 games started

From just down the road in Richmond, Kentucky, Warford has quietly been one of, if not Kentucky Football’s best NFL products. You’ve made us proud, Larry, but let’s not forget about this gem.

 

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Bud Dupree: LB, 2nd season, Career: 26 combined tackles, 4 sacks

Bud had an overall impressive rookie season, but football analysts are predicting a breakout sophomore season in the black and yellow. Scary.

 

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Chris Matthews: WR, 3rd season, Career: 13 receptions, 151 yards, 1 Super Bowl Touchdown

Entering his 2nd season with the Baltimore Ravens, is Matthews ready to repeat his breakout game in Superbowl 49?

 

Za’Darius Smith: LB, 2nd seasonCareer: 30 combined tackles, 5.5 sacks

He may be frightening on the gridiron, but Za’Darius is a teddy bear off the field.

 

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A.J Stamps: S, Rookie, College Career: 123 combined tackles, 5 interceptions in two seasons at Kentucky

Stamps didn’t hear his name called on Draft Night, but he did get a 3-year contract with the Cleveland Browns back in May.

 

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Melvin Lewis: DTRookie, College Career: 52 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks in two season at Kentucky

After going undrafted, Lewis currently finds himself employed by the New York Giants. Here’s a good bit by a New York reporter on how Melvin may fit himself into the Giants’ rotation.

 

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Farrington Hugeunin: DE, Rookie, College Career: 95 combined tackles, 1.5 sacks

A beast on the defensive line last year, Hugeunin agreed to a deal with the Miami Dolphins in the offseason after his stint as an undrafted free agent.

 

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Cory Johnson: DT, Rookie, College Career: 77 combined tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 interception returned for a TD

Picked up by the Falcons this off-season, Atlanta hopes to see more athletic plays out of Johnson like this. Don’t worry about Cory fitting in, though. He’s already become a favorite amongst his Falcons teammates.

 

Jacob Tamme: TE, 9th season, Career: 237 receptions, 2,360 yards, 11 TDs

Last season with Atlanta, Tamme put up his best numbers since 2010, when a guy named Peyton Manning was throwing to him. He was also jokingly voted the most hated player in the NFL.

 

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Avery Williamson: LB, 3rd season, Career: 181 combined tackles, 6.5 sacks, 1 interception

Williamson led the Titans in tackles last season. Not bad for a second-year player. Just two days ago, 247 Sports named him the most underrated player on the Titans.

 

Wesley Woodyard: LB, 9th season, Career: 615 combined tackles, 15.5 sacks, 7 interceptions

Kentucky is Linebacker University. Woodyard paved the way for the Kentucky guys like Williamson, Dupree, Za’Darius, and Trevathan, just to name a few. Not enough good can be said about a guy that was named Captain as a freshman at Kentucky.

 

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Ricky Lumpkin: DT, 4th season, Career: 10 combined tackles, 1 sack

Ricky has had a tough go with the NFL. Three different teams in six seasons and only six games played. Hopefully he can find a more permanent home with the Colts in 2016.

 

Winston Guy: S, 4th season, Career: 49 combined tackles, 2 sacks

Lexington native Winston Guy was a fan favorite at Kentucky with his play-making abilities and athleticism. In his second season with the Colts, Guy may be a long-shot to make an immediate impact on defense but will definitely be a contributor on special teams.

 

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Corey Peters: DT , 7th seasonCareer: 146 combined tackles, 11 sacks, 1 interception

Peters is projected to be a starter for the already stacked defense of the Arizona Cardinals.

 

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Ronnie Shields: TE, Rookie, College Career: 15 receptions, 114 yards

Ronnie shares his name with a former world-class boxer and trainer. More importantly, he was signed to the Seahawks 90-man offseason roster.

 

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Jordan Swindle: OT , RookieCollege Career: 3-year starter at Kentucky

Swindle’s versatility in playing both right and left tackle positions during college make him a valuable pick up for the L.A Rams. But do his skills on the football field rival his skills with a Rubik’s cube?

 

Josh Forrest: LB, Rookie, College Career: 232 combined tackles, 4.5 sacks, 5 interceptions

Paducah’s own Josh Forrest, was drafted out of the sixth-round by the Los Angeles Rams in April. Word from camp is that Forrest has been impressive this off-season.

 

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Stevie Johnson: WR, 9th season, Career: 381 receptions, 34 touchdowns

I once stood beside Stevie in the eRupption zone for an entire game against Vandy in 2012. He couldn’t have been nicer. Nor could he have been on this play when Stevie GOT LOOOOSE!

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Who’s your favorite NFL Cat? Let me know in the comments!

@colleenwag_KSR


KSR After Show: Farewell Cleveland! (7/22/16)

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Welcome, Big Blue Nation, you’ve made it to the Friday July 22nd edition of the KSR After Show! Today, we listened in as the guys wrapped up a spectacular week at the Republican National Convention. On the show today, Matt, Ryan, and Drew discussed their overall thoughts on the RNC, the Cats’ late night workout, and gave listeners another shot at “Ask Anything Friday.” We are here to break down and continue these conversations and more with you on the KSR After Show!

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To continue these discussions with us, you can:

  • Leave your comments below for everyone to read and reply to.
  • Call or Text the KSR After Show Hotline at: (980)-50-KSRAS (980-505-7727) All messages will be posted to the following KSR After Show.
  • Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat at: @ksraftershow
  • Or feel free to email the KSR After Show at: ksraftershow@gmail.com

Today on Kentucky Sports Radio:

The situation at the convention this morning for the crew is interesting.

Everyone has pretty much cleaned out, the guys sound like they’re in a tunnel, they’ve cut the air conditioning in the building, and they are cutting the power at noon.

The guys rocked out to Kid Rock last night.

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Here is the Johnny Cash song the guys talked about that mentions Kentucky and that Matt Bevin knew every word to.

Ask Anything Friday

We had another sluggish Ask Anything Friday, if I may say so. Although, I can’t complain really because I didn’t call in with a great question either. So, here is what I suggest. From now on, if you come up with a good Ask Anything Friday question at any point, tweet it to me @ksraftershow. I will save them on ksraftershow.com then tweet them out before every Ask Anything Friday for everyone to review and use if they would like. Just a suggestion. Ask Anything Fridays are intended to be a lot more scandalous than they are I believe.

The basketball team had a 1:00 A.M. workout last night/this morning.

Then work ethic of this team is spectacular. You can tell they all love being in the gym together. It is also becoming evident that these guys all have one goal in mind, and they are willing to do whatever it takes to get it done. Matt and Drew are already fighting over who was first to say Bam was their favorite player. I don’t think there will be any shortages of “Bam is my favorite” statements this season.

All of the guys think Ivanka Trump gave the best speech of the convention. 

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The stories that came out saying that Trump was not letting anyone leave during the speeches are false.

Because no one stopped Matt, Ryan, or Drew from leaving when the speeches were still going on.

Bam Adebayo looks 36 and like he’s about to eat fools for lunch. The entire team looks like grown ass men.

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All of the guys look cut up in this picture after their late night workout, but more specifically, Bam looks like Dwight Howard, Shawn Kemp, and The Terminator all in one. My Lord, no tiny soft kids get in his way next year please, none of us want to see you get broken in half.

The biggest controversy of the week is Matt changing his vote from Cracker Barrel to Outback.

I concur, Matt pulled a dirty fast one on Cracker Barrel all because of Reba. Grandparents everywhere wept.

What is your All-Pitino Team? You can use Louisville players as well (if you’re crazy).

Here are my personal favorites, let me know if yours are similar.

PG: Tony Delk/Travis Ford

G: Jeff Sheppard/Wayne Turner/Ron Mercer/Cameron Mills

G/F: Jamal Mashburn/Derek Anderson/Scott Padgett

F/C: Andre Riddick/Nazr Muhammad/Antonie Walker/Jamal Magloire

A Young Turk and Alex Jones got in a fight at the convention

Who ever either one of those people and things are…

Today’s advice from Ryan Lemond: “Don’t drink out of the water hose on the side of the house, that way you don’t get the Zika virus.”

Southern Miss was picked to win Conference USA by the media.

Their QB has also been picked to be the Player of the Year in the conference.

The Trump speech was insanely long. 

It was HUGE…

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And with a seamless transition… Mark Stoops said Matt Elam has lost 30 pounds. 

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Coach Cal is channeling his inner “The Situation” with his dark summer tan right now.

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“It’s hard to take a sip of water from a fire hydrant.” We get a philosophy lesson as Herman Cain joined the show.

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He actually seemed like a fun and interesting guy to sit around and talk to.

What are your favorite tourist spots in Kentucky?

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The crew mentioned Lake Cumberland, Chain Rock, and Keeneland. Tell us your favorite spots in Kentucky. Grayson Lake is one of mine because I grew up near there and went all the time. Carter Caves as well, seen it a million times, but was always happy to be there when I was.

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Thank you, BBN, for joining and participating in today’s KSR After Show! I hope you enjoyed it and the crazy shows Matt and the gang brought us this week. Have a great weekend! We’ll meet back here Monday morning as the guys invade the Democratic National Convention. It should be a great time as well.


The Entertation Index: July 18-22

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Impersonator, Donald Trump — Philadelphian John Di Domenico, a Donald Trump Impersonator since 2004, says that since the businessman has risen to the ranks of political candidate he has begun raking in money for “Trump” appearances, sometimes netting up to $40,000 a month. Great. Now I get to watch this guy’s dreams come true while all those years I’ve spent in front of a mirror perfecting my Jim Gilmore impression means nothing. NOTHING.

Link: After Twelve Years Trump Impersonator is Cashing In

Jagger, Mick –The 72 year-old Rolling Stones frontman has confirmed to press that his girlfriend, a 29 year-old ballerina, is pregnant with the singer’s eighth child. So in case you were wondering, “How’d you come back to my place and meet Keith Richards?” works as a pick up line, it does.

Link: Great-Grandfather Mick Jagger is Expecting his Eighth Child

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National Convention, Republican — This week saw the run of the Republican National Convention, which many hailed as being out of touch with young America and saw presidential nominee Donald Trump rolling out his Vice President nominee, Indiana governor Mike Pence. In a move predicted to capture the young voters Trump has forsaken, pundits expect democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to announce next week her own running mate, Jigglypuff.

Link: It’s Official; Mike Pence and Donald Trump on Republican Ticket

Rock, The — During a recent Good Morning America appearance, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson told hosts that he hasn’t ruled out a run for the presidency, stating that if he felt he could “make a real difference and make change,” he would do it. Pundits have already begun denigrating the former wrestler by accusing “the people’s elbow” as being a patently communist finishing move.

Link: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Potential Future Presidential Run

Top Gun 2 — Fandango delivers a “state of the union” as to the status of a Jerry Bruckheimer-helmed sequel to the 1986 pilot film, and here’s what we know so far: Bruckheimer’s back, Tom Cruise will be back as Maverick, the plot will probably involve drones, Kelly McGillis may cameo and, according a series of phone calls to a “secretary” named Carla that sounded suspiciously like Val Kilmer doing a falsetto voice, Val Kilmer will return as Iceman.

Link: Will We See Top Gun 2? Here’s What We Know

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Update, SNL’s Weekend — Fresh from owning every scene of Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters, SNL’s Kate McKinnon appeared at the RNC as Ruth Bader Ginsburg to give Donald Trump a piece of her mind in a fun, special edition Weekend Update Appearance. Enjoy.

Link: Kate McKinnon as Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lets Loose on Donald Trump

World, Super Mario — A Japanese professional video gamer named Hup Chapter has broken the world record for beating the beloved SNES game Super Mario World by blazing through the game blindfolded in an amazing seventeen minutes and forty-six seconds — a time, surprisingly, only eight minutes longer than the record for his longest conversation ever with a girl.

Link: Blindfolded Man Sets New Super Mario Record


Briscoe and the freshmen assemble for preseason photoshoot

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I spy with my little eye some very interesting pictures being taken at Memorial Coliseum. Matt Hernandez and the Athlon Sports crew are doing a preseason photoshoot with the 2016-17 Kentucky Wildcats, and if this morning’s unofficial team picture wasn’t enough to have you counting down the days until Big Blue Madness, these definitely will:

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85 days, by the way.


Nick Richards puts UK in his final five

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If you read between the lines of Kentucky’s 2017 recruiting this summer, then you should consider five-star center Nick Richards high on John Calipari’s wish list. Not only has Cal backed off fellow big man Wendell Carter, he’s been keeping close tabs on Richards, who included Kentucky in his top five this week, along with Arizona, UConn, Syracuse, and Indiana. Calipari watched Richards and his teammate Tremont Waters at the Fab 48 Tournament in Las Vegas this week, and Richards told ESPN’s Jeff Borzello he’s feeling the love from the Cats.

“Syracuse, UConn and Kentucky have been coming for me the most, to be honest,” Richards said.

Borzello agreed that Kentucky could be moving into a very good spot with Richards.

“There’s been talk behind the scenes for a while that Kentucky could be the favorite if the Wildcats make him a priority, and Calipari could make a move for him if it looks like Carter and Bamba are Duke-bound and Ayton goes to Kansas,” Borzello said.

Don’t look for a decision anytime soon. Richards told Borzello he plans to take all five of his official visits the fall and then weigh his options. Right now, Kentucky has 100% of the predictions in his Crystal Ball.

Let’s enjoy some highlights, shall we?

Nick Richards
Center | 6-11 | 235 lbs.
Manhasset, NY | St. Patrick’s
AAU: Expressions Elite
★★★★★
ESPN No. 8 | 3 C Top247 No. 13 | 2 C
Rivals No. 21 | 5 C Scout No. 31 | 8 C

[ESPN]