By Kindsey Bernhard on ©May 26th, 2019 @ 11:00am
Rod Bramblett, the “Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” and his wife Paula both passed away due to injuries suffered during a tragic two-car accident on Saturday night in Auburn.
Bramblett was airlifted to UAB Hospital in Birmingham where he later passed away.
Auburn Athletics released the following statement Saturday night:
Rod Bramblett, the Voice of the Auburn Tigers, and his wife, Paula, were involved in a serious car accident early Saturday evening in Auburn.
“We ask the Auburn Family to keep the Bramblett family in your thoughts and prayers.
The Auburn Family is devastated by the tragic passing of Rod and Paula Bramblett. ?? pic.twitter.com/BiynTWHcIx
— Auburn Tigers (@AuburnTigers) May 26, 2019
Bramblett was famously known for his call during the 2013 Iron Ball or “The Kick Six.” His line, “Auburn’s going to win the football game,” is one of the most famous lines in modern college football.
The Big Blue Nation sends our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of both Rod and Paula Bramblett.
During the 5 years I spent at Auburn, Rod Bramblett, Andy Burcham & myself traveled the SEC together, creating fun memories & forging a lasting bond. Last night, Rod & his wife Paula died tragically.
Please keep Rod’s kids & AU in your prayers.
I miss my friend already. pic.twitter.com/MfZvcwH1rj
— Scott Stricklin (@ScottStricklin) May 26, 2019
Devastated to hear the news regarding Auburn play by play man Rod Bramblett & his wife Paula, who were killed in a car accident. My thoughts-condolences & prayers to his family & the entire Auburn family. He was a pros pro in the booth. He & Paula will both be missed greatly. https://t.co/sxe2CentWJ
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) May 26, 2019
Saddened to hear of the tragedy that took the lives of Rod and Paula Bramblett. Condolences and prayers for their family. Rod’s passion for Auburn epitomized what we love about college sports. Rod’s voice connected fans to Auburn for a generation. He will be greatly missed.
— Rece Davis (@ESPN_ReceDavis) May 26, 2019
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 26th, 2019 @ 10:00am
Last night, Kentucky’s softball season ended in the Super Regionals for the third straight season, ending all major spring sports at UK this season and sadly, the party is over. We now enter the worst time of the year for college sports fans as we await the return of college football in 98 days. So, what do we as Kentucky fans do now?
How about looking back on the fact that the 2018-19 season in athletics was one of the best, if not the best, in Kentucky history.
- A thrilling 10-win football season, that was capped off with a Citrus Bowl Victory.
- UK started 2019 Nationally ranked in 10 different sports.
- A share at the SEC title in Volleyball for the second straight season
- A Conference USA championship in soccer with an appearance in the elite eight
- An elite eight appearance from Kentucky basketball team with big wins over, Kansas, Tennesee, North Carolina, and Louisville.
- A farewell to one of Kentucky’s beloved athletes Maci Morris
- Another historic season for softball with record-shattering performances by players like Abbey Cheek and Alex Martens
- The opening of Kentucky Proud Park.
- A Succesful NFL draft that saw Josh Allen go in the top 10 to the Jacksonville Jaguars
- Mitch Barnhart winning Athletic Director of the year.
- Oh yeah, and we watched all of this at KSBar.
What a year. Don’t be sad that it’s over, just be happy that it happened.
Now, here’s what’s on the docket for today.
Jodie Meeks and The Raptors are heading to the NBA Finals
Last night, as I took a pre-game nap before the Kentucky softball game, The Toronto Raptors won their first Eastern Conference Championship in Franchise history, as they beat the Bucks 100-94. Toronto will go onto face the Golden State Warriors (sigh) in the NBA Finals.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) May 26, 2019
For the first time in seemingly ever, Kentucky will have a player in the NBA Finals. Jodie Meeks will head there with the Raptors, and Boogie Cousins makes his first finals appearance as well with Golden State. The only question for Boogie is if he is healthy enough for a return in this season’s NBA Finals.
This also means that we will have another week full of Drake memes and sideline antics, but hey if Toronto can somehow beat the heavily favored Warriors to end the Drake curse so Kentucky can win another national championship, I’m all for it.
Not only does all of America root against Golden State, but it looks like all of Canada will be too.
Giannis is Confused
Giannis just walked out in the middle of the press conference ?pic.twitter.com/UmhVHo5soy
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) May 26, 2019
The NBA is so fun to watch, just for the funny little things like this.
Most times when players walkout mid-press conference, it’s usually through frustration, but it’s evident in this video the Greek Freek just misunderstood Khris Middleton in their season-ending press conference. Middleton gave Giannis the go-ahead nod to answer the question while Giannis though Middleton was signaling him to leave. The confusion on Middleton’s face says it all, and I can’t stop laughing.
What Will EJ Do?
On a more serious topic, it has lately become evident that EJ Montgomery may be closer to the draft than we thought. Once EJ put his name in the draft, we thought he would for sure test the waters, then return for this sophomore season at UK. But, as time has gone on, it’s become more evident by the day he may be leaning towards staying in the draft.
He is lowering the bar for himself, seemingly by day for reasons to stay in the draft. It went from first round draft pick, to now he wants a second round guaranteed deal to remain in the draft. Tony Delk even came out yesterday and said he believes EJ will stay in the draft.
UK on one shoulder, NBA on the other, what will EJ do? He has until the end of May to decide.
The best thing from the internet you’ll see today
Think your favorite teacher is the coolest? Nope. This professor in this viral tweet has taken that claim. With his resemblance to Walter White and these awesome in-class experiments, it has me thinking I may transfer to whenever this guy is teaching. So watch this to start your Sunday on a positive note.
I took Chem 100 this Spring semester and this is what it consisted of 🙂 pic.twitter.com/szywu0edn2
— Daniel (@Simply__danny) May 23, 2019
Happy Sunday, BBN!
By ShopKSR.com on ©May 26th, 2019 @ 9:45am
Posted in Main
The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded have a neat gift offer right now. Through Monday, you can register to win a Kentucky-Americana gift set valued at $100! Package includes a watercolor racing flag, Kentucky graphic tumbler, Kentucky watercolor flag tee, and a fun Kentucky trivia book.
But that’s not the only offer this Memorial Day weekend. The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are also offering 20% off on everything else.
Hurry and sign up for this great gift package before Monday. Also stock up on KSR, UK, and State Pride apparel to complete your summer wardrobe.
By Brent Wainscott on ©May 26th, 2019 @ 1:00am
For the second straight game, Kentucky is shutout as their season ends in the Super Regional for the third consecutive season as they lose to Washington 5-0.
Last night, Washington turned to Gabbie Plain in the second half of the contest, as she was able to keep a Kentucky comeback at bay while holding them scoreless the rest of the way. Tonight, it was Plain who got the start as the Kentucky offense still couldn’t figure her out as Plain only allowed four base runners, with one coming on an error by Washington left fielder Sami Reynolds.
Autumn Humes did her best to keep the Huskie offense at bay, as she held them scoreless for four innings after Washington took a one-run lead in the first inning when Morganne Flores hit a double but would come around to score on the play after Baily Vick and Mallory Peyton errors.
Humes kept Washington’s one-run lead intact until the sixth inning when Noelle Hee put the Huskies up by three with a two-out two-run home run.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 26, 2019
Then in the seventh Washington struck for two more on a two-run single from Taryn Atle to give the Huskies a five-run lead heading into the bottom half of the final frame where Gabbie Plain shut down the Wildcats as Washington advances to their third straight college world series.
In the NCAA tournament, Washington has outscored their opponents 26-1 as they head to Oklahoma City.
It was an uncharacteristic weekend at the plate for the Wildcats, but that was a recipe for disaster. Kentucky will lose seniors Jenny Schaper, Kelsee Henson, Sarah Rainwater, and two of the best players to play at Kentucky in Katie Reed and career home run leader at UK, Abbey Cheek.
Reed and cheek were drafted earlier this season.
Kentucky finishes their season with a record 36-24.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 11:00pm
When Kentucky commit Kahlil Whitney waited to sign his National Letter of Intent, many fans were concerned that the 6-foot-7 wing was second-guessing his decision. He announced when the signing would eventually take place – May 3 – and why he was waiting to do it – to make it official back where he grew up in Chicago.
Until pen hit paper, though, there was still a sense of uneasiness among the Big Blue Nation.
In a video released by Fresh Focus Sports this weekend, the reasoning for the delay was highlighted for fans to see, and it makes complete sense.
In short, Whitney overcame countless adversities throughout his childhood in Chicago. Where he lived, gun violence and drug use was an everyday occurrence in his community, and had he made a few wrong turns growing up, his life could have been exponentially different.
It had nothing to do with Kentucky and his love for the program. Instead, Whitney just wanted to show other children in the same area that they can find success in life, as well.
“The kids are still going through that,” Whitney’s mother, Chanel Tillmon, said. “At recess, they’re still running from gun shots. It’s still going on today. I like the fact that he’s going back and giving kids motivation, letting them know that no matter where you are raised or where you come from, dreams do come true.”
For Whitney, that dream was to sign with Kentucky and eventually make it to the NBA. He has made that clear on multiple occasions.
Back at the 2019 McDonald’s All-America event in March, the future Wildcat told KSR that Kentucky has been his “dream school” since he was a little kid.
“The relationship I have with Coach Cal (is what sold me on finally committing), but Kentucky has always been my dream school since I was about seven or eight years old,” Whitney said. “Coach Cal really coaches guys and gets the best out of them.”
The future Wildcat added that he doesn’t just want to be a college star and a solid NBA draft pick. Whitney wants to become one of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball, and he feels Kentucky is the place to make that happen.
“I went to Kentucky to make my dreams come true,” he said. “Since I was a kid, I wanted to be a McDonald’s All-American. I made that happen. I’m just looking forward to the future because I want to make it to the NBA, but not just make it, I want to be an All-Star, a legend like LeBron, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, all those guys. I knew what Coach Cal has done in the past, and I’m confident in him, and I’m pretty sure he’s confident in me and we can get that job done.”
While the term “dream school” is thrown around often – far too often, probably – in the world of recruiting, today, we have physical evidence that Kentucky has been on Whitney’s mind for several years now, well before he became an elite recruit.
In that same video titled “Chapter 11 – Kahlil Whitney: Year of the Dragon,” Whitney’s seventh and eighth grade Reading and Writing teacher, Felicia Eptien, found an old project the future Wildcat presented back when she had him in class over four years ago named “Kahlil Whitney’s Wildest Dreams.”
When discussing his “wildest dreams,” Whitney said that he wanted to eventually play at Kentucky and make it to the NBA.
“I want to go to the NBA and I think I can make it there if I keep working the way I am,” he wrote. “I want to attend the University of Kentucky. Hopefully when I attend Kentucky I want to get a business degree. I want a business degree because I want to start my own business and have more credentials. If I have a good year playing basketball I will enter the draft. If I get drafted I would instantly move my mom into a house.”
After reading off the assignment to the crowd at Whitney’s signing ceremony earlier this month, Eptien showed the camera what he had written as proof:
On May 3, Whitney’s dreams finally turned into a reality, as the 6-foot-7 prospect signed his National Letter of Intent and became a Kentucky Wildcat.
“When I sign it, I’ll officially be a part of the Wildcats, the Wildcats team,” the future Wildcat said. “It’s a dream come true. If you asked me that three or four years ago, I never thought I’d actually be in the situation I am in right now. I never actually told anybody, but Kentucky has always been my dream school. It’s way bigger than that piece of paper.”
In the entire video, we get an inside look at Whitney’s childhood, including interviews with the future Wildcat’s family about the challenges he faced growing up. From there, we get to see Whitney head to John M. Gregory Elementary School, mingle with current students, hug his old teachers, and finally put pen to paper in front of all of his closest friends and family.
You’ll want to watch this through from start to finish:
Congratulations on accomplishing your wildest dreams, Kahlil. Let’s make the next one come true in Lexington this year.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 10:15pm
After the official NCAA Softball Twitter account announced that Kentucky’s Super Regional matchup against Washington had been postponed until tomorrow, UK Softball says the game will still be played tonight as scheduled.
??Tonight’s game WILL BE PLAYED at 11:05pm ET on ESPN2.??
The reports that the game has been postponed to a DH tomorrow are NOT ACCURATE.
— Kentucky Softball (@UKsoftball) May 26, 2019
Originally scheduled for 10 p.m. ET tonight, the game was then pushed back to 11 p.m. due to weather.
With a win, Kentucky forces a third game with a spot in the College World Series on Sunday. With a loss, their season is over.
Last night, the Wildcats fell to the Huskies by a score of 3-0, where they left nine runners on base and four in scoring position.
You can catch them in their win-or-go-home matchup on ESPN2, where Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Danielle Lawrie-Locke (color commentary) will be on the call.
Win or lose, KSR’s Brent Wainscott will be around afterward for a recap of the game.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 10:00pm
Former Kentucky receiver Jeff Badet thinks he’s the fastest player in the NFL, and he’s ready to put his money where his mouth is.
The 24-year old wideout out of Orlando, FL is set to participate in “40 Yards of Gold,” a tournament-style speed competition set for June 29.
Badet, who was on the Minnesota Vikings Practice Squad last season and was brought back by the team again for 2019, will compete against 23 other players in a head-to-head battle.
In “40 Yards of Gold,” 12 offensive players and 12 defensive players will face off, with the winner of each division facing off in the final. From there, the title of “fastest player in the NFL” will be named.
Here are the confirmed participants:
Offense: Ted Ginn Jr., Alvin Kamara, Jeff Badet, Corey Coleman, Robby Anderson, Richie James, Damiere Byrd, Mark Ingram, Kevin Snead, Christian Blake, Jacoby Ford, mystery participant
Defense: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Trae Waynes, John Franklin III, Kevin Byard, Quinton Dunbar, Rashard Robinson, Terrell Sinkfield, Jerome Baker, Jalen Myrick, Budda Baker, Donte Jackson, Charles James II, mystery participant
Badet played three seasons at Kentucky, where he managed 82 total catches for 1,385 yards (16.9 average) and seven receiving touchdowns. The 6-foot receiver then transferred to Oklahoma as a graduate transfer, where he accumulated 400 yards and three touchdowns on 26 receptions.
The former Wildcat, who reportedly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds at Oklahoma’s Pro Day last year, was best known for his ability to burn defenders on the outside for deep balls.
Does Badet stand a chance against some of the fastest players the NFL has to offer?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 9:00pm
2020 five-star forward Cade Cunningham is ready to cut down his list in the coming weeks, and if you ask him, fans will be in for a bit of a surprise when they see who is in contention.
Because he has never announced who has officially offered him a scholarship and doesn’t talk about the schools he is interested in, he’s excited to end the speculation we’ve seen over the last several months on social media.
“I think a lot of fan bases are gonna be shocked because most of them don’t know that their schools have offered me,” Cunningham told USA Today. “I’m very happy with my list; I’ve got great schools, and I’m glad that I’ve done it this way. It’s been worth the wait.”
The 6-foot-6 wing, who will cut his list to “seven or eight schools” at some point in June, says he has been so quiet about his recruitment because he didn’t want it to distract him from improving his game.
“I haven’t announced any schools that are even recruiting me,” Cunningham said. “I’m probably gonna drop a list of seven or eight schools in June. I just feel like constantly putting out who’s offered me is just a distraction. I don’t need to do that all the time; I just need to focus on getting better.”
Currently averaging 23.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists for the Texas Titans on the Nike EYBL circuit, told KSR back in April that while Kentucky has been seen as the leader in his recruitment, he genuinely has no idea where those rumors came from.
He likes Kentucky a lot, but he wanted to make it clear that he has no favorites.
“Everybody says I’m 100% to Kentucky. To be honest, I don’t know where it came from, I was shocked when I first saw it,” he said. “Nobody ever asked me about it. I mean, it’s cool, Coach Cal is a great coach, and it’s hard not to take that into consideration. But like I said, I’m just not looking into my recruitment that hard right now. I love all the interest I’m getting from all the coaches, but after the season is when I’ll really look into it.”
In terms of what he brings to the table, Cunningham says that he sees himself as a leader on the floor with elite versatility.
“I’m versatile, I feel like I can do a lot of things, guard a lot of positions. I can play a lot of positions offensively,” he said. “I feel like I’m a really good leader, I like to lead my guys, be like the quarterback for my team. And I just like to win, so I feel like that brings some more value to me.”
It’s that style of play that has obviously worked in his favor thus far in his basketball career. Currently listed as a consensus top-ten recruit, Cunningham has seen his stock rise over the last several months, with some recruiting analysts saying he is making a push for the No. 1 overall prospect in the class of 2020.
While he appreciates the high praise, Cunningham says he’s focused on helping his team win games first and foremost, something he also hinted would play a major part in his college decision when the time comes.
“I didn’t have a goal to be the best player or anything like that,” Cunningham told USA Today. “My only goal has been to be a winner. I just want to win games because people are attracted to winners. When I’m winning everything else takes care of itself.”
While we wait for him to cut down his list, check out his impressive performance at the EYBL event in Indianapolis two weeks ago:
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 8:00pm
If you were planning on staying up and watching the Kentucky softball team tonight, you better get an extra cup of coffee ready.
Due to rain in the Seattle area, Game 2 of the 2019 Seattle Super Regional has been pushed back to an 11 p.m. ET.
The game will still air on ESPN2 and the WatchESPN app as scheduled with Mark Neely (play-by-play) and Danielle Lawrie (color commentary) on the call.
Kentucky fell to Washington in Game 1 last night by a final score of 3-0, where the Wildcats left nine runners on base and four in scoring position.
If Kentucky wants to keep their Women’s College World Series hopes alive, they will have to win both tonight and tomorrow to move on to Oklahoma City.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
Will Kentucky fans be able to purchase beer at Kroger Field moving forward? It’s now a possibility.
According to Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated, the decades-old bylaw prohibiting SEC schools from selling alcohol in general seating areas at athletic venues will be up for discussion at the league’s annual spring meetings in Destin, Florida next week.
“Many of the conference’s high-ranking administrators are optimistic that league presidents will not only seriously discuss the alcohol ban but will overturn an archaic policy that exists in no other major conference,” Dellenger said. “The bylaw will be “front and center” during the four-day event at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Resort, says one athletic director; another AD says it’s “the main thing.” The administrators spoke to Sports Illustrated on a condition of anonymity.”
Last season, Arizona, Oregon, Boston College, Oklahoma State, and Colorado allowed alcohol sales in both general seating and premium areas, while Illinois, Rutgers, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech will be doing the same this fall. Over 55 Football Bowl Subdivision programs also serve alcohol throughout their respective stadiums.
According to the report, “many” of those schools and venues made the change due to the opportunity for “an additional revenue stream, fewer reported binge drinking incidents and an enhanced game-day experience that boosts attendance.”
With the SEC’s attendance average of 73,994 being the lowest since 2002 and nearly 5,000 below the conference average in 2015, they may opt for a similar change moving forward.
Would you support the decision?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
If you want to participate in John Calipari’s Inaugural Father/Daughter Camp, you better act quickly.
Just 24 hours after opening registration, they are already approaching 200 attendees, and there aren’t many spots remaining.
The Kentucky head coach took to Twitter to let fans know that they need to register as soon as possible to make sure they are locked in to participate on June 22.
“My focus is making this a GREAT camp – not the biggest – since this is a unique thing so we’ll have to limit how many can attend,” Calipari said this afternoon. “With the way this is going and now with [Megan Calipari] and maybe [Erin Calipari] participating, this could fill up fast.
The cost of the camp is $99 per person ($198 for a father/daughter) duo and includes:
- Lunch (noon to 1 p.m.)
- Camp T-shirt
- Two sessions of instruction and competition
- Photo and autograph opportunities with UK staff and players
The John Calipari 2019 Father/Daughter Camp will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET on June 22 at the Joe Craft Center and Memorial Coliseum.
While you’re at it, spots in all three sessions of the John Calipari 2019 Father/Son Camp are also still available, which are scheduled for June 7, 14, and 28.
To register for either camp, head on over to UKAthletics.com/CAMPS and sign up.
You won’t want to miss these awesome opportunities.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 4:00pm
Former Kentucky guard John Wall nearly found himself in South Beach last year.
According to former NBA player and current analyst Brian Scalabrine, the Washington Wizards were prepared to send Wall to the Miami Heat at the trade deadline this past season.
After putting the frameworks of a deal together, though, Wall ruptured his Achilles on February 5, just two days before the deadline. At that point, the trade was called off.
“The John Wall situation is a disaster in Washington,” said Brian Scalabrine on The Sports Junkies. “I had word that the Wizards had a deal to trade him to the Miami Heat at the deadline, but his Achilles popped a month before.”
Wall, who signed a four-year, $169.3 million “supermax” contract extension that is set to begin next season, averaged 20.7 points, 8.7 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in 32 games for the Wizards before sitting out the rest of the year.
Prior to the Achilles injury, the 28-year-old guard was already expected to miss six to eight months following his surgery to remove bone spurs from his left heel on January 8.
The Wizards originally announced that the five-time NBA All-Star and the 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick was expected to miss 12 months from the time of his surgery, which took place on February 12. That would set his return date for right around the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend, which will take place from February 14-16 in Chicago.
Wall is already training in hopes of making a return next season:
Less than four months after surgery to repair his ruptured Achiles, John Wall is back training (via flaveforreal/IG) pic.twitter.com/3eSrfwxIL8
— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) May 25, 2019
It won’t be with the Heat next season, but hopefully Wall can make a full recovery and return back to form sooner rather than later.
By Nick Roush on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 3:00pm
After the most successful Kentucky football season in 41 years, Mark Stoops must replace 16 seniors and Benny Snell. From longsnapper to record-breaking National Defensive Player of the Year, all 17 players contributed in some form or fashion.
In spite of the losses, you can still find plenty of experience throughout the roster. The defensive line should be the best it’s been since Stoops arrived, however, in other position groups UK must lean on newcomers. How they perform under pressure will be the difference in a seven-win season or another history-making run.
As a three-year starter, Mike Edwards stalked opponents from multiple positions throughout the secondary. Whether he was lined up as a deep safety or a slot cornerback, Kentucky’s Badger covered sideline to sideline, easily masking the mistakes of his peers. Robinson will have to do that and more in his first year as a starter.
A four-star recruit from Lexington Henry Clay, the highly-coveted track star has the athleticism to be an SEC playmaker. Entering his fourth year with the program, Robinson is the most experienced defensive back on the team with three official starts. After primarily playing special teams as a redshirt freshman, last year he recorded 42 tackles, including a career-high nine against Georgia. Robinson scored Josh Allen’s strip sack on the final play in regulation at The Swamp.
In a small role, Robinson has been formidable. Instead of making a steady transition from role player to starter, he must immediately become the leader of the secondary. He’ll be tasked to make sure everybody’s lined up correctly before the snap. If the inexperienced cornerbacks get burnt, Robinson must be there to mitigate their mistakes. If he cannot be the secondary’s safety net, it will be a long season.
How is Mark Stoops handling the search for new cornerbacks? “I’ll lose a little more hair, get a little more gray,” he joked this spring.
All joking aside, replacing four-year starters will not be easy.
To solve the problem, Stoops hit the JUCO ranks. Luckily, he found one sure-fire fit. Brandin Echols was far and away the best cornerback at spring practice. A natural born ball-hawk, where others where inconsistent, he remained steady. The only problem with Echols is there’s only one of him.
Quandre Mosely needs to transform into UK’s second reliable corner option. Upon first sight, the JUCO transfer looks eerily similar to Chris Westry. Wearing No. 21, Mosely stands 6-foot 2- inches tall and uses his incredibly long arms as pass obstructing weapons. He has the tools, but lacks the experience. The No. 16 JUCO recruit in America was the second-ranked safety…and that’s the problem. This spring was his introduction to the cornerback position. If he does not pick the position up quickly, UK may have to lean on true freshman MJ Devonshire or a handful of talented, albeit inconsistent second-year players.
Brad White did not expect to replace Josh Allen with “The Next Josh Allen.” To fill the gap in production, White knew the sacks and tackles for loss would have to spread out amongst the defensive line. Still, it did not stop him from going in on his outside linebackers.
“We’re clearly not where we need to be and we’ve got a lot of steps to take. That’s the bottom line. To play in the 3-4 defense, you’ve got to have dominant outside edge guys,” was the nicest thing White said one spring morning where he spent almost 13 minutes dogging his group.
Two weeks later, Jordan Wright flipped the script in the spring game. He recorded four tackles, an interception and a pass break-up in addition to multiple pressures that would have likely resulted in sacks if it were a live-game scenario. Wright has the size (6’5″ 240 pounds) and athleticism to be what UK needs at Jack linebacker. So far, he’s lacked the consistency of a full-time starter. If that transition happens later, rather than sooner, Marquez Bembry and Jared Casey will eagerly fill the void.
Landon Young’s season-ending injury forced Kinnard to become just the third true freshman to not wear a redshirt under Stoops. The only other two offensive linemen to play as true freshman: Young and George Asafo-Adjei, the man he’s tasked to replace at right tackle this fall.
The high school All-American exceeded expectations as a true freshman. Kinnard played in nine games and started in two of the last three. He recorded zero penalties, zero missed assignments and 16 blocks at the point of attack that created three long touchdown runs.
The left side of Kentucky’s offensive line will be one of the best in the SEC. Opposing defenses will try to mitigate its strength by applying pressure on the more inexperienced right side. If Kinnard can parlay his freshman year into an excellent year two, Terry Wilson will have the time to thrive.
Class of 2017 Wide Receivers
As soon as Lynn Bowden stepped on campus, his impact was felt throughout the offense. Now UK’s offensive superstar needs a few wingmen. The most likely candidates are his class of 2017 compadres.
Even though it did not translate into production during the spring game, Josh Ali was the most consistent outside weapon throughout UK’s 15 spring practices. Ali can do a little bit of it all, but he will make his money running crisp intermediate routes on third and long.
Searching for explosiveness, the pressure is on Isaiah Epps. A natural-born burner, nobody in the receivers’ room can sprint past a defender quite like Epps. His problem in the past has been completing the play with a catch. He made one nice play for 60 yards in the spring game, but he must be able to do it on a consistent basis before the season starts.
Epps and Ali’s consistency will be questioned all year. Will their counterparts even show up? JaVonte Richardson was a four-star recruit who needed a season of junior college. He’s committed to UK, but we still have received no official word from the school on his status. Clevan Thomas turned heads as an early enrollee. We haven’t heard much from him since. Following a redshirt season, the Cats need every offensive weapon they can get.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 2:00pm
Kentucky has always been considered a basketball state, and according to a recent study by WalletHub.com, we have the numbers to back it up.
WalletHub, a financial help resource, put together a list of all of the best (and worst) basketball cities in America. According to the website’s description, the study put together an equation that factored in attendance, fan engagement, stadium accessibility, and ticket costs, among 21 total key metrics.
Out of 290 total cities, Lexington, KY was rated as the eighth-best college basketball location and No. 33 in basketball (professional or college) overall.
Here is the entire list of top 25 college basketball cities in America:
- Durham, NC
- Los Angeles, CA
- Lawrence, KS
- Philadelphia, PA
- East Lansing, MI
- Storrs, CT
- Chapel Hill, NC
- Lexington, KY
- Fayette, MS
- Loretto, PA
- New York, NY
- Morgantown, WV
- Kingston, RI
- College Park, MD
- Washington, DC
- Ann Arbor, MI
- Bloomington, IN
- West Point, NY
- Boston, MA
- Charlottesville, VA
- Cincinnati, OH
- Fayetteville, AR
- Lewiston, NY
- South Bend, IN
- Buies Creek, NC
Beyond Lexington, six other cities in Kentucky made the list, but they might not be in the order you expected. Surprisingly, not only is Louisville not the No. 2 basketball location in the state, they’re not even in the top three.
Here are the rankings of Kentucky cities based solely on their status as a prime college basketball location:
- No. 37 Murray, KY
- No. 40 Highland Heights, KY
- No. 44 Louisville, KY
- No. 96 Morehead, KY
- No. 119 Bowling Green, KY
- No. 174 Richmond, KY
And the rankings of those same cities in terms of both college and professional basketball combined:
- No. 57 Murray, KY
- No. 60 Highland Heights, KY
- No. 64 Louisville, KY
- No. 112 Morehead, KY
- No. 132 Bowling Green, KY
- No. 184 Richmond, KY
Murray AND Highland Heights ahead of Louisville? Ouch.
What do you guys think of the lists?
By Jack Pilgrim on ©May 25th, 2019 @ 1:00pm
Kentucky signee Tyrese Maxey has never been one to shy away from his love for the Wildcats, and that’s certainly not slowing down anytime soon.
With just over a week until he arrives on campus in Lexington, the future Kentucky guard is watching some other potential future Wildcats at the Nike EYBL event in Dallas, TX this weekend.
There, Maxey caught up with D1 Circuit about his decision to sign with UK and how excited he is to finally get on campus.
When asked what it was that separated Kentucky from the other schools on his list, the 6-foot-3 prospect said that he knew Kentucky head coach John Calipari could make his dreams come true.
“Coach Cal walked into my house and told me that he was going to push me and make me better, make my dreams come true,” he said. “That was just the best place for me, so now, we’re here.”
For Maxey, family has always been extremely aspect of his life, and he says Calipari made sure to use that as a point of emphasis during his recruitment.
Not only will the five-star guard be able to provide for his family once his Kentucky career comes to a close, but he’ll also be joining a new one in Lexington: the Big Blue Nation.
“Coach Cal always tells you that his players come back, and they always love on him, he loves on them, shows them love,” Maxey said. “He brought my family together and told them that he helps families. He said he was going to help my family and other people’s families on this team. And I can’t wait to be a part of an even bigger family, the BBN family.”
When asked about when he realized he would eventually end up at Kentucky, Maxey told D1 Circuit that he actually knew in his heart that he’d be a Wildcat ten years ago when he watched John Wall suit up in blue and white.
From that moment on, he knew he was going to do whatever it took to follow in the former Wildcat superstar’s footsteps.
“Yes, I was (dreaming of going to Kentucky). I’m not even going to lie to you,” he said. “When I was younger, I used to watch Coach Cal when he had John Wall on his team. From that moment on, I was like, “I’m going to Kentucky. Whatever I have to do, I’m going to put in as much work as I have to to go to Kentucky.” I’m just glad I finally get to go.”
Take a look at the entire interview below:
— D1 Circuit (@D1Circuit) May 25, 2019
While we’re at it, catch up on some of his highlights from his time at the McDonald’s All-American Game back in March:
Kentucky definitely got a good one.