[Moderated by Matt Jones]
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.
… this would be your bracket. In this current scenario, the Cats would play Mississippi State in a single-elimination game on opening Tuesday. Earlier in this season, the Cats took 2-out-of-3 against the Bulldogs here in Lexington.
Go Big Blue
The saga is finally over. The NBA owners met Wednesday for four hours, and have voted to keep the Kings in Sacramento. The owners voted 22-8 in favor of the Kings staying in Sacramento, so DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, and Chuck Hayes will still be playing out west. The NBA did however indicate they would eventually like to get back into the Seattle market. NBA deputy commissioner and next NBA commissioner Adam Silver said “We’ve never wavered in our desire to return to the Seattle market at some point … and we fully expect we’ll return there one day.”
Former Kentucky QB Morgan Newton has been signed by the New York Giants for a tryout. Except he isn’t trying out as a quarterback, he’s going for tight-end. The Giants waived Michael Palmer, former Atlanta Falcons TE to give Morgan the tryout.
Good luck, Morgan. Go Cats.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
With what has happened in the last couple of days, UK fans finally have a good understanding of what the team will look like come next season. With the announcement by Calipari in his press conference yesterday that Hood and Polson will stay with the team as scholarship players, and with no other notable recruits left, the roster for next year seems to be finalized. Unless Calipari were to find a Julius Mays type player out there who could come in for one year and provide some leadership, it seems as though the roster we have now will be the one we have when UK takes on UNC-Asheville on Nov 8th to begin the season.
With that being said, I think it’s a good time to open up a reader discussion about the starting line-up for next year. When looking at what Kentucky has both coming in and coming back, in my opinion, there’s only two guaranteed starters(possibly 3). When the team takes the court in November, there’s no doubt that Andrew Harrison will be leading the team at point. Also, there is no doubt in my mind that Julius Randle will be starting, more than likely at the 4. The possible third guarantee would be Willie Cauley-Stein, who took over the starting position after Nerlens went down last season. As of right now, he seems to be the favorite, but you shouldn’t count out the #1 center of the 2013 class Dakari Johnson.
What do you, the reader, think? If you assume that WCS starts at center, then that leaves two open spots at the 2 and 3. Even though Poythress has an unbelievable amount of potential and freaky athleticism, will he be able to show over summer that he no longer plays like “Jane?” Or will the #2 SF in the recruiting class James Young live up to his potential from the beginning and take the spot from the Sophomore? Even though Aaron Harrison has been labeled as a knock-down shooter by several analysts, don’t forget how much James Young’s stroke from behind the arc has been heralded; It wouldn’t surprise me at all if he was the starting SG to begin the season. And back to Willie Cauley-Stein; I mentioned earlier that he seems like the favorite considering how well he performed last year in the starting role, but don’t forget about Dakari. We seem to forget about Johnson on occasion with WCS coming back and all of the other talent coming in, but after the recent re-ranking of the 2013 class on ESPN, Dakari is listed as the #7 player in the nation. Don’t expect him to just sit back and not fight for the starting spot.
Even though there’s possibly only 2 spots that are in question, there’s still a number of options Cal can go with to begin the season. We won’t really have an idea about the line-up until the team finishes the summer, but what do you think the team will look like come November? Comment below and we’ll talk about it.
Under six months until the Revenge Tour 2013 begins, folks. Are you as excited as I am? When this picture popped up on my facebook newsfeed last night I got really excited. My first thought though was did the creator of this beautiful graphic use one Harrison twin to represent both or is Andrew and Aaron both there. I can never tell the difference between the two. I wonder how long it will take Cal to learn. On to the links:
In other Vegas odds, Kentucky is still the clear leader to win the championship this upcoming season. Kentucky is listed as the 5-1 favorite, followed by Kansas at 11-2, and UofL’s chances of repeat are at a 17-2 odd.
As we already knew, Calipari is chasing perfection this season. I say he is getting closer and closer by the minute.
Jason King and Dana O’Neil duke it out in this really interesting article from ESPN. Who has a better chance of winning the championship next year? Kentucky or Louisville? (I think we all know the answer to that.)
NBA Draft analysts have been studying Archie Goodwin and have decided that he really needs more time to develop. One even guarantees he will spend a lot of time in the D-League.
A Kentucky high school junior set a record for 5 home runs in five consecutive at-bats. Did I mention she’s a girl? Anything you can do, we can do better.
Boogie, P-Pat, and the Kings are staying in Sacramento.
In a story that really deserves a post of its own: Travis Gaines, the Dunbar baseball player who was injured in a diving accident a little while back, joined his five fellow senior teammates on field in a fantastic senior day surprise.
The weird news topic of the day is, a woman reportedly punched her server over a pickle. Yeah, a pickle.
And how can I leave out this gem from Joker Phillips?
I’m begging somebody! Anybody! Please take photoshop away from him. It keeps getting creepier by the second.
Hot off the presses, Coach Cal and the gang are looking to maybe replace the Canadian Who Shall Not Be Named with another small forward recruit out of the land of the maple leaf. Kentucky is currently in the process of reviewing transcripts for the 66th best player in the small forward position, 6’6″ MiKyle McIntosh. McIntosh has offers from UCLA, Miami, UConn, and interest from ‘Bama, Florida, Kansas, and the Buckeyes. He is currently unsigned and is playing in Jackson, Ky for some reason that I have yet to figure out yet and is the 5th best player in the state. His mixtape is above for your viewing pleasure.
Now there is this:
Contrary to reports, I have not been in contact with kentucky or have they reviewed my transcripts. The info given has been false.
— MiKyle McIntosh (@MervM_22) May 16, 2013
So who knows what is actually going on? We will let you know if we hear anything else…
Sources are saying that he signed a Letter of Intent for Illinois State last night.
Well, that was short lived. On to the next one.
The 2014 National Championship may be 326 days away, but that doesn’t slow Vegas down. The Wiggins committment to Kansas has vaulted them from a top 25 team to one of the favorites to cut down the nets in Dallas. Our McDonald’s All-Americans don’t have an easy road to 40-0 as the Cats will face Louisville, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Florida–each in the oddsmaker’s top 10.
Michigan State 12-1
North Carolina 16-1
Ohio State 20-1
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