[Moderated by Matt Jones]
As Calipari has been scouring the AAU circuit, it is beginning to become clear who Calipari has made priorities in the assembling of the class. The point guard situation has become much clearer while the shooting guard situation is a total crap shoot. Position by position, here is where UK appears to stand:
Emmanuel Mudiay- Mudiay has clearly become Calipari’s number one choice for the point guard position. He is the typical Calipari point guard with excellent size, speed, and driving ability. The Texas native, enrolled at Prime Prep, has taken the forefront for Kentucky over Tyus Jones. Personally, I can’t see anyone ranking Jones over Mudiay because Mudiay clearly has more potential to become a collegiate star. With Baylor being the main competition, I can’t see any situation where UK doesn’t land Mudiay. Book him as your future starting point guard.
Rashad Vaughn, Devin Booker, Jalen Lindsey, Isaiah Whitehead
The shooting guard position has become a total mystery as of now. Rashad Vaughn might be the top target in the class, but he is a UNC lean as of now. Devin Booker might be the most likely recruit to join UK, although it will be a likely battle with Kansas. Jalen Lindsey has been rumored to have UK interest for months, but the offer has continued to elude them. As a darkhorse, Whitehead, who I would compare to an unpolished Doron Lamb, could land a late UK offer if Calipari feels uncertain with Booker or Vaughn. At the end of the day, I think UK will land Booker who will be a lights out shooter. For all of you who pulled your hair out about Archie’s dismal shooting, Booker would be the complete opposite as an excellent kick out option from long range.
Despite rumors that Arizona may be the leader for Johnson, I cannot see any situation where UK doesn’t land him. In the EYBL weekends that UK attended, Calipari or Antigua watched every game Johnson and the Oakland Soldiers played. He has become the recruit being given the most attention from the UK Staff. Johnson is a do it all forward with a ridiculous motor. He has that MKG style in regard to 50/50 balls and rebounding, but has far more touch from outside. Alex Poythress will likely leave for the draft and leave the void at SF for Johnson. Regardless, all of the top programs are gunning for Johnson and Calipari must be on his game to take him away from the West Coast.
Cliff Alexander and Trey Lyles
While these two players may be power forwards, there games could not be any more different. Alexander has a massive frame and abuses opponents with strength and athleticism. Lyles is slightly smaller, but has unbelievable post skills and touch around the basket. For NBA comparisions, think of Lyles as Carlos Boozer and Alexander as Thomas Robinson. Alexander might be difficult to draw away from Michigan State as Tom Izzo has built a great relationship with Izzo. Lyles seems to be Calipari’s to lose, but Louisville has made a strong push of late.
COMMITTED- KARL TOWNS JR.
He’s 7 feet tall. He has lights out shooting touch and an improving defensive game. There is a ton of Dirk Nowitzki in this young man. Get excited BBN.
Randall Cobb and his golden eyes just wrapped up the Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour, which gives the fans of Wisconsin a chance to connect with their favorite players whether current or former. This tour marks the eighth annual event for the Packers. This year, their final stop was at the Port Edwards fire department where Randall and the gang got to play fire fighter for the day. Golden Eyes to the rescue?
All photo credits go to the Green Bay Packers website.
The UK Baseball team salvaged the regular season finale with a 5-1 win over Missouri in Columbia and clinched the 11th seed in the SEC Tournament. The Cats finish the regular season 30-24 and 11-19 in SEC play.
UK scored the first run of the game in the 4th on a single by Paul McConkey that scored J.T. Riddle. The Tigers would tie the game in the next inning on a two out double but senior catcher Micheal Thomas would give the UK the lead back for good in the sixth with a one out, bases-loaded single that scored A.J. Reed. Freshman Zach Storm added three crucial insurance runs with a three-run homer, his first of the season, in the top of the 9th.
Wildcat starter Corey Littrell pitched very well in his final start of the regular season, giving up just one run on six hits and struck out seven in as many innings of work. Chandler Shepherd pitched an inning in relief to preserve what was then a one run game. Closer Trevor Gott capped the win with a perfect ninth inning.
The Cats now turn their attention to the SEC Tournament in Hoover that which is their last hope of making the NCAA Tournament. They will play the sixth seed in the first game of the tournament at 10:30 am ET Tuesday morning.
#UKbaseball will open the SEC Tournament on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. ET vs. No. 6 seeded Ole Miss.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) May 18, 2013
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or don’t listen to the radio show), you know that tonight was supposed to be the night that KSR wild-man Ryan Lemond was supposed to camp out in Waddy, Ky. to try and find the infamous Waddy Werewolf. Well thanks to mother nature, tonight’s expedition has been cancelled as you can see below:
Just FYI, the Waddy Werewolf campout has been canceled tonight due to several circumstances including the threat of bad weather
— Ryan Lemond (@ryanlemond) May 18, 2013
But never fear my KSR friends, as not long after the announcement, Matt released his own tweet that said that the trip will be made up at a later date:
We had to cancel our Waddy Campout tonight. It will be made up very soon. We can’t allow these werewolves to roam freely
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 18, 2013
Oh, and in case you were wondering how Ryan got in this predicament in the first place, look back to this post from the main site. Basically Matt & Co. assigned a certain task to each horse running in the Kentucky Derby back two weeks ago. So since Orb ended up winning, Ryan (and the rest of the KSR crazies) got tasked with spending a night out in Waddy Werewolf territory.
The Cats advanced to the Regional Final with a 6-2 victory over the Hokies and will play at 1pm tomorrow for the chance to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals. Lauren Cumbess put the Cats ahead in the first with a two run homer that scored Griffin Joiner. The Hokies would tie the game in the second with a bases loaded, two-out single but it would be all UK after that as the Cats scored four runs over the next three innings to seal the win. Wildcat starter Kelsey Nunley picked up her 26th win of the season as she gave up just one hit and two unearned runs in a complete game effort.
The Cats have the rest of the day off as Marshall, Notre Dame, and Virginia Tech will fight it out in the losers bracket over two games today for the right to face the Cats tomorrow. UK will have two chances to advance to the Super Regionals tomorrow afternoon since the tournament is double elimination. If the Cats lose the 1pm game, they will play in the final “winner take all” game of the regional at 3:30 pm
Hugo’s coming home
Since the New Orleans Hornets have officially become the Pelicans, The Charlotte Bobcats have begun the process of bringing the Hornets name back to the Queen City. That’s right, folks. MKG is a soon to be Charlotte Hornet!
According to a report by CBSSports.com, Charlotte has already began the process of changing their NBA team name back to the one originating in 1988. While the franchise was still fairly new, the wave of merchandise and playoff success was seen by all. Still to this day, you can’t walk the streets of Charlotte without seeing someone wearing the famed teal and purple colors. The franchise once know as the Charlotte Hornets relocated to NOLA in 2002, and have since continued to make playoff appearances and even drafted former Wildcat, Anthony Davis. Now that the original Charlottean franchise has fully planted itself in New Orleans as the Pelicans, the Hornets name is available again. Though Charlotte will need permission from the league to make such a change, incoming NBA commissioner Adam Silver has twice indicated that shouldn’t be a problem. The NBA owns all rights to the name Charlotte Hornets, so the legal issues should be no problem. In a meeting with Bobcats season ticket holders in April, Adam Silver estimated around 18 months for a full name change. However, some sources say that this process may have already been in progress long before the first light of the news last night.
Whether or not the change takes place before the 2013-14 season, former Kentucky players will be affected. As of now, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is the only player from UK in Charlotte, but that may soon change. With the NBA Draft lottery coming up this Tuesday, the Charlotte
Bobcats have the second best odds of landing the #1 pick. That means we could see Nerlens Noel teaming up with MKG fairly soon, and possibly in teal and purple. That my friends makes me excited! A lock-down defensive team with the possible nostalgic look; talk about a full turn around. While the name change doesn’t guarantee instance success, it will help change the culture within Charlotte. The Bobcats’ franchise is known for losing, aside from their one and only playoff appearance in 2009-10. With the Hornets coming back, the “buzz” around Charlotte will rise and with it a will come culture pop. I remember in my younger years seeing people in Kentucky supporting the Hornets, so dust off that old teal and purple coat, shine those Grape Air Jordans, and help MKG and possibly Nerlens bring a winning franchise back to Charlotte!
Name the player who was drafted 8th overall to the Charlotte Hornets, being the first to ever sign with the franchise in 1988.
In a cold world where a kid named Archie has the flattest shot at the combine, the (officially) 6’3.75″ guard from Sherwood, AR and the University of Kentucky has created a lot of buzz for himself while working out for NBA teams before the June 27 NBA Draft.
Some things said about the insanely athletic former Wildcat have been in his favor, while others things, not so much. In the video below, ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams begins his analysis of Archie Goodwin by first questioning the mental toughness of the youngest player in the draft. Chad Ford alludes to this by flat out stating, “I did not see [improvement] from Archie this year.” Ford believes that Archie’s jump shot and shot selection were just as bad at the end of the year as they were in the beginning. The ESPN NBA Insider also feels that Goodwin played for much of this past season with low confidence, partly due to his constantly poor shooting stroke.
The most interesting takeaway from the approximately five-minute video is that all three ESPN basketball analysts (Jay Williams, Fran Fraschilla, and Chad Ford) expressed that it would be most beneficial to Archie to make the move to point guard at the next level. Goodwin, a shooting guard by birth and in mentality, served the role of floor general for part of his lone season with the ‘Cats, but never quite found his niche at the position. Ford suggests that Archie could possibly thrive as an aggressive, attack-first scoring point guard, much like Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook.
In my far from expert opinion, however, anyone who watched Archie for all of last season could tell you that he does not fit the point guard mold, even that of the 2013 Westbrook model. Goodwin has the long, athletic body of a shooting guard, though his shoot first, ask questions later mindset is what ultimately bars him from ever conducting the offense in a productive manner.
While it’s true that the shooting guard position gets its namesake from the player’s ability to shoot the ball (a skill that Archie so desperately lacks), that’s not to say the 18-year-old former Arkansas Mr. Basketball could not develop a softer touch. Archie has no problem finding a way to get to the basket and score the ball (he averaged 14.1 PPG as a freshman), but it is completely possible for him to develop a more accurate jump shot while in the league. The mechanics of his release need reworked from the ground up, something with which any shooting coach could help him. Former ‘Cats such as John Wall and Rajon Rondo have drastically improved their shooting strokes since leaving college, so there’s no reason a player such as Goodwin could not do the same.
Watch the video below and decide what you think.
Archie Goodwin is interviewed while in Chicago for the NBA Draft Combine and answers questions about things like why he left, his future, and what he brings to the table. At the end, Archie has some very confident words. He says he thinks he’ll be the best player to come out of this class, and that all lottery teams are expressing interest. Right now, Yahoo! Sports has Goodwin going 22 overall to the Nets to replace Gerald Wallace. He is the youngest player in this draft, and would be a project, but a a lot of teams think that Archie can be a great professional player down the road once he develops his shot. In my opinion, he should have stayed another year at Kentucky, but at the same time I don’t blame him for leaving.
Girls and boys, we are off to a great start! The Kentucky softball team took on the fighting Grant Traylors (Marshall) and won in an exciting game, 2-1. In a game that was tied 1-1 in the sixth inning, until Sagermann made a great catch at third to end the inning. Not to be outdone with her great defensive play she then singled up the middle for the UK win. It was a fantastic comeback for the Wildcats. . The Wildcats accomplished the most important task; winning their first ever home NCAA regional game. Kentucky will now face Virginia Tech tomorrow at 1 pm.
LETS GO CATS!!!!!!!
Photo by Regina Rickert
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: It’s been a long season for the UK Baseball team. After a rough ending to last year’s season up in Gary, Indiana; the team entered the season with a chip on its shoulder. Not only did the team have their sights on making the tournament but they also had hopes of hosting a regional, something they thought should have happened last year. With all of that being said, with a loss last night in the series opener, Kentucky’s tournament hopes seem incredibly bleak. At this point, it looks like anything short of a SEC Championship won’t be enough for the Cats. So… How did UK do in the second match-up against the Tigers? Let’s talk about it…
On the mound tonight for Kentucky was Freshman righty Kyle Cody(3-3, 4.73 ERA). On the mound for the Tigers was Junior Eric Anderson(0-3, 3.80 ERA)
Despite the Cats losing last night, they clinched a berth in the SEC Tournament thanks to a UT loss. Missouri needs to come away from this weekend with one more win than Tennessee to make the SEC Tourny.
The game would be relatively quiet for the first two innings from a scoring standpoint. Mizzou would get a man on 2nd with one out in the 1st but he would be stranded. Then, in the 2nd, Mizzou would place runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs, both of which would be stranded thanks to a 3-pitch strikeout from Cody.
Matt Reida would begin the top half of the 3rd with a double. After a McConkey strike-out Reida would steal third, right before Thomas would be walked. Barrett would pop up to shallow left next AB, failing to bring in Reida. The next hitter, Zellers, would draw a walk to load the bases. AJ Reed would then be hit with a pitch, bringing in a run for the Cats. Next up, Cousino would get a 2-RBI, 2 out single into right to extend the Cats’ lead to 3-0. Riddle would ground out to end the inning.
Missouri would get a run back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a single that would sail just a couple inches over Reida’s glove. After 3 innings the score would be 3-1.
There wasn’t much action for the next couple innings. It is worth noting though that Mizzou’s Dane Opel’s walk-up song is “Harlem Shake.” He won’t let the craze die.
After a couple of quiet innings Missouri would make some noise in the bottom of the 6th. The Tiger would be able to load the bases on Freshman Kyle Cody with only one out. Walt Wijas(1.27 ERA) would come in to pitch for the Cats at that point. Next batter, Shane Segovia, would then lift a single into centerfield, tying the game at 3-3. Segovia would be picked off at 1st, Missouri’s 2nd out of the inning. Kuhn would then make a good play on a squeeze-bunt to end the inning without any more damage being dealt.
Kyle Cody’s night would end in the 6th. His final line: 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 4 SO
The game would be tied heading into the bottom of the 8th. First at-bat of the inning Missouri’s Keaton Steele would lift a solo shot over the leftfield fence that would just barely stay fair. The homerun would give Missouri its first lead of the game, 4-3. It was Wijas’ first surrendered homer of the season.
In the top of the 9th Kentucky would be able to get a runner all the way to 3rd with 2 outs. Unfortunately, McConkey would strike out swinging to end the game, clinching the series for the Tigers. With the loss tonight UK’s hopes of an at-large bid are officially dead. Things just get worse and worse for UK Baseball. At this point, it all comes down to the SEC Tournament in Hoover.
Final: UK 3, Mizzou 4
Elijah Thomas (@ELICMTDThomas15) is a 6’9″ power forward from Rockwall, Texas in the class of 2015. With the departure of Karl Towns Jr. from the 2015 class, Kentucky is on the prowl for a new big man in 2015. Thomas current plays at Prime Prep, the Dallas-area school founded by “Neon” Deion Sanders (Not even kidding), alongside Big Blue Nation’s favorite point guard recruit, Emmanuel Mudiay.
Even though he is only heading into his junior year of high school in the fall, Thomas has developed a smooth offensive game for a player of his size. He has great touch around the basket with plenty of post moves for a player so young. He’s a larger power forward than UK is used to seeing and could be similar to current 2014 UK target Cliff Alexander. Thomas has raw strength and will only develop into a stronger player as he progresses. He would be an outstanding frontcourt pairing with likely UK recruit Skal Labissiere, a MUCH leaner, agile center. Here is a breakdown of Thomas:
Height: 6’9″ Weight: 250 lbs
Overall Rankings: ESPN- 6th in ESPN25 24/7 Sports: 5th in Top 24/7
Offer: Yes, Jan 3rd 2013
Strengths- Post skills (footwork, using both hands, use of frame), strength, passing
Weaknesses- Explosiveness, On-Ball Defense
Comparision- Zach Randolph
I didn’t choose the recruiting life, the recruiting life chose me.
As you probably know, Nerlens Noel and Archie Goodwin are at the NBA Draft Combine. While Archie is attempting to show NBA teams why they should choose him for their roster, the Number 1 pick has been hanging out on the sidelines doing media interviews.
The official measurements were releaed today, and here is how our Kentucky boys measure up:
Height (without shoes):610”
Height (with shoes):6’11.75”
Body fat: 4.2%
Hand Width: 10
Height (without shoes): 6’3.75”
Height (with shoes):6’5.25”
Body fat: 4.6%
Apparently Not Jerry Tipton had different measurements for Nerlens:
Nerlens Noel was just measured at 4% body fat. The rest is water (57%), hair (9%) and awesome (30%).
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) May 17, 2013
Uncle Julius has been busy these last few days. Chazz Griffith of ZagsBlog.com has reported that Julius Mays has been entertaining NBA scouts these last couple of days. Julius has been reportedly working out for the Bucks, the Lakers, and the Raptors. Griffith thinks that he will be picked up as a free agent soon and will probably come off the bench as a combo guard.
I really don’t care for soccer. Don’t get me wrong, after attending my first ever soccer game this year (Kentucky women at Louisville, where I ‘met’ Peyton Siva and Gorgui Dieng) I will admit to you that it is indeed a legit sport. But I think it is worth mentioning that soccer legend and model David Beckham announced his retirement from the sport yesterday morning.
Beckham has been playing the sport for twenty years. Now, 800 games, 10 league championships and three World Cup participations he is announcing his departure from the league that made him famous. His announcement comes only days after he won his latest title with Paris Sant-Germain, a French ‘football’ club.
Beckham’s accomplishments in the sport are too numerous to count (he’s been playing 20 years for crying out loud.) What has perhaps made him more famous than his stellar soccer career is his achievements outside of the sports world. David Beckham is married to former Spice-Girl Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, and has created a brand of his own. He not only models in his free time but owns his own underwear brand, and is estimated to be Britain’s wealthiest sports player. France Football magazine estimated that he makes a measly (haha) $46 million per year.
He said in his announcement; “Nothing will ever completely replace playing the game I love, however I feel like I’m starting a new adventure and I’m genuinely excited about what lies ahead.”
So here’s to you, David Beckham. I say you’ll pull a Brett Favre and be back at it in no time.
Just be thankful I didn’t put up the actual video. On to the links.
What are the top five games to watch in the inaugural Big12/SEC challenge? My good friend Annie Dunbar has the list here.
While Cal said yesterday that Willie Cauley-Stein may turn out to be the best player he has ever coached, ESPN expects that WCS will bring a Doron Lamb and Terrence Jones like presence of leadership to the Cats’ attempt at a Final Four run.
Bleacher Report ranked the best five post players in Kentucky’s storied history. Guess who was first? Hint; it’s not AD.
While observing the NBA combine happenings from the sidelines with his good friend Gorgui Dieng, Nerlens talked to the press and seemed pretty confident that he will return from his ACL injury better than ever.
John Calipari vs. Bill Self. Who is winning the ever constant recruiting battle?
Unlike last season, the Cayts will enjoy a luxury that they certainly didn’t have last year: a deep bench.
The NCAA softball regionals kick off here in Lexington tomorrow night. The Kentucky team is eager to make up for past grievances.
And finally in my strange news of the day, Palestinians enjoy their fried chicken. The fast-food deprived junk food lovers can now order Kentucky Fried Chicken through an out of Egypt and have it delivered to them via underground tunnels. Seriously.
The good news? The UK Baseball team will play in the postseason as they clinched a spot in next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover by way of Tennessee’s loss to Texas A&M last night.
The bad news? They will probably have to win it to play in the NCAA Tournament.
Last night’s 4-2 loss series opening loss to the (not so good) Tigers in Columbia effectively ended the Cats’ hope of an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, a loss that dropped the Cats to 29-23 overall and 10-18 in the SEC. With two games left in the regular season, the best UK can finish is 31-23 and 12-18. I won’t delve into the details of the game (you can do that here) but once again, the Cats fell behind early and with their offensive struggles, could not overcome the deficit.
A month and a half ago, it was hard to imagine that the Cats would ever be in this spot, on the outside looking in. After a 5-4, 10 inning win against UL in Louisville on April 2nd, UK was 22-6 overall and 6-3 in the SEC with series wins over Florida, Mississippi State, and Georgia and was ranked a season high fifth in the nation. Since then, the Cats are 7-17 overall and just 4-15 in the SEC with a lone series win at Ole Miss but five series losses, including sweeps at the hands of LSU, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.
As for the rest of the weekend, the Cats and Tigers will play twice more, tonight at 7pm and Saturday at 2pm for the regular season finale. Obviously, the Cats need to win these two games against a 17-30 (10-18 SEC) Missouri team to hold out any remaining hope in playing in the NCAA Tournament.
After a promising finish in the Bulls’ 4-3 first round series victory over the Brooklyn Nets, Marquis Teague had a series to forget when he and his Chicago teammates faced the defending champion Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The rookie point guard scored a total of 2 points on only 1 made field goal throughout the series’ 5 games. He logged exactly 0 minutes in last night’s series-ending 94-91 Miami victory after playing for double-digit minutes in each of the Bulls’ previous 3 games.
It’s unlikely that Game 4′s fiasco shown below was the reason Teague did not see the court in Game 5, but it certainly didn’t help matters. Let’s hope that the 20-year-old Indianapolis native still holds his head high on what was unquestionably a successful rookie season in the NBA.
The Kentucky baseball team was defeated, 4-2, by Missouri in game one of the final regular season series for Gary Henderson’s squad. There are now two games remaining on the schedule and the Cats need to win at least one of them to clinch a birth in the SEC Tournament that will begin on May 21 in Hoover, Alabama.
Unfortunately, I was unable to stream the game online so, for those of you who follow our live tweets, I apologize. With that being said, here’s a short recap of what happened…
A.J. Reed started on the mound for UK and struggled for his second consecutive outing, giving up four runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings pitched. Chandler Shepherd entered in relief and was able to finish the game after four innings of work without allowing a single hit or run to go along with three strikeouts. Offensively, Kyle Barrett picked up two of the team’s five hits and extended his hitting streak to 16 games.
After both teams were held scoreless through the first two innings, the Cats put themselves in great position to jump on top in the third; however, with only one out and the bases loaded, A.J. Reed (certainly the guy UK wants at the plate in this position) grounded into a double play, leaving UK empty-handed once again. Missouri’s Josh Lester led off the bottom half with a bunt single before advancing to second on a wild pitch and scoring on back-to-back groundouts. Then, with two outs, The tigers used back-to-back singles and a double to plate another run, making it a 2-0 game heading to the fourth.
UK bounced back with a run of their own in the fourth. With two outs and Austin Cousino on first (after singling up the middle), Michael Thomas struck out swinging, but was able to reach first on a wild pitch. Matt Reida came up next and walked to load the bases before Paul McConkey came up and smacked a RBI single to center field to make it a one-run game. The Tigers, however, managed to plate another run in the bottom half to extend their lead back out to two.
First pitch for game two is set for 7:00 p.m. tomorrow. At this point, desperation mode is fully engaged. Make sure to check back on the site tomorrow and Saturday to see how the Cats finish out the series and what kind of post-season chances they may or may not have.
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