[Moderated by Matt Jones]
As the 2014 Kentucky football class begins to gain more steam, decision time appears to be looming for a pair of Kentucky’s top defensive targets. Mike Edwards and Darius West, both of which are defensive backs from Ohio, have stated that they plan on playing together at the next level. In the opinions of many, including current UK commits, Kentucky is the favorite to land this package deal. Yesterday, Jon Shartzer of In Depth Sports online, spoke with running back commitment Mikel Horton and tight end commitment Darryl Long about Kentucky’s chances with West and Edwards. Horton and Long provide and inside look, as well as their opinions as to how Edwards’ and West’s recruitment will unfold. You can read the article below:
“Here comes the boom!”
Summer is really lacking news for Kentucky football. It sure started with a bang though. The commitment from Drew Barker, 4-star QB, couldn’t have been any bigger for the program. It was a great day, and still leaves that “feel good” feeling in your soul. Since then, however, things have gone rather quite on the recruiting front. Other big-time recruits are close to making decisions, but until then, not much can be said. Even the UK commits’ twitter page has gone cold.
Don’t worry too much, its only 100 days until the WKU game in Nashville. That’s something to look forward to, isn’t it? Your darn right it is! I can’t wait for kickoff; this is the most excited I’ve ever been for football season. From now until the season opener, we have plenty to keep us satisfied: summer camps, fall practices, and more commitments! As long as you stay up-to-date with us, you won’tmiss any of it. Thanks for brining the energy and excitement back to the bluegrass, Coach Stoops.
While we wait, let’s have a look at some of the few good things we can take from last season. For example, the 47-14 victory over Kent State. Keep in mind that Kent State was ranked nationally at the end of the season. In this short highlight film, we can see sparks of greatness from young players like DeMarcus Sweat and upper-classmen such as Raymond Sanders. With coaching from the new staff at UK, all of this potential can be turned into success on the field.
“…Sanders with a crease….and a BURST…AND THERE HE GOES….TOUCHDOWN!“
We as sports fans are extremely impatient. As soon as one season is done, instead of taking time reflect on the season it was, we ask the same four words: What about next season?
And to be honest, I have no complaints with the way this thing works. I enjoy projecting next season with limited roster knowledge around the country. But thankfully, this is Kentucky golf and not basketball so I don’t have to sit around and wait on late signees and NBA draft entrees. I pretty much know the roster already unless there’s an unforeseen transfer.
The Cats had a bit of a disappointing season, but they did make the NCAA tournament and had a couple of strong tournaments (specifically in the fall season) so it wasn’t all bad. There is one major positive note from the season, though, and that is that the Cats were very young and gained plenty of valuable experience moving forward.
UK only graduates two seniors, starter Chase Parker and individual performer Joseph Barr, and returns the rest of the team, and adds three talented freshmen (Cooper Musselman, Stephen Stallings, and Christopher Meuth). The biggest returners for Kentucky, though, are seniors-to-be Ben Stow and Stephen Powers.
Stow is a transfer from England who only participated in the spring season and will have another full season next year. Stow led the team in scoring average at 73.92, had one top-10 finish, and four top-20 finishes. Meanwhile, Stephen Powers may have been the best player for the Cats this past season, as he had a 74.33 scoring average, had four top-10 finishes, and five top-20 finishes. Nevertheless, this dynamic duo should be more than solid next season for Kentucky.
The two other returning starters for Kentucky are rising senior Cody Martin and rising junior Will Bishop. Martin had an up and down season (like most of the Cats), but definitely had a much stronger fall season than spring. He posted four top-30 finishes in the fall, but only one in the spring. If he can play like he did in the fall for the entire year, then UK will be much more prepared to make a deeper run in the NCAA’s next season. The exact same goes for Bishop, as he too had a much better fall season than spring, as he had three top-20 finishes including a win in the fall, but no top-30 finishes in the spring.
The only remaining question is who will be the fifth starter for the Cats? Will it be fall season starter David Snyder? Will it be one of the three incoming freshman? My money is on the rising sophomore from across the big water hazard, Harrison Greenberry.
Greenberry participated in five events as a freshman, and even posted a top-10 finish at the Bearcat Invitational. As a freshman in a new country, Greenberry received solid experience both on the course and off of it, and this should carry over into next season well.
The UK golf news will be slow over the summer but I’ll try to keep you updated as much as possible.
I refuse to put a picture of Coach K up. Here is a picture of the “new” Dream Team and Anthony Davis instead.
Told you it wouldn’t last long. After insisting that he would not return to coach the Red, White, and Blue, Coach K will return to coach the USA Basketball team for the 2016 Olympics. The Duke (Yuck) Coach led the team to gold twice, once in 2008 and again in 2012. A formal announcement is expected within 48 hours.
It will only be okay with me if Anthony Davis goes back in 2016 too.
Good afternoon y’all! How has your day been going so far? Keep this in mind… at least you aren’t a Louisville/Tennessee fan. That would be awful. Onto the links:
It’s not a secret that Kentucky fans have big expectations for this upcoming season. With those expectations on the team as a whole, comes huge expectations for the players as a whole. Bleacher Report has a run-down on what they are expecting each projected starter to bring to the table.
As reported last night, the Cleveland Cavs won the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery last night and the first shot of getting Nerlens Noel ten years after winning the lottery that brought them LeBron James.
For all you volleyball fans out there; Kentucky has released their 2013 schedule which features match-ups with nine NCAA qualifiers from last season.
The Kentucky baseball team’s disappointing season came to an end yesterday when they got beaten in the first round of the SEC Tournament by Ole Miss.
Andy Roddick retired? How did I not know this? Well, apparently he is now coming to Fox Sports live to be a co-host for the three-hour news, opinion, and highlight show that is probably Fox Sports’ answer to Sports Center.
And finally, in my weird news of the day, the creator of the “GIF” finally tells us how to correctly pronounce the word. Spoiler: It’s pronounced like the peanut butter brand.
My favorite Kentucky related GIF??? The one where Coach Cal sets his inner cheerleader free.
The five-star small forward (No. 18 Rivals, No. 15 Scout) from Wesleyan Christian in North Carolina announced today he will be a Tar Heel in 2014. He chose UNC over Indiana, Louisville, Georgetown, and Duke.
Theo Pinson will join fellow top-25 recruits, small forward Justin Jackson and point guard Joel Berry, in the 2014 class in Chapel Hill. Roy is building a pretty solid class down there on Tobacco Road. Bribing them with Coke products maybe?
Tom Crean and the Hoosiers were long rumored to be the in the running for his services, potentially with the ”momentum” this spring, but Pinson chose to stay close to home.
Although it may not be the most important preseason ranking, the Orlando Sentinel and college football insider Matt Murschel has ranked the Kentucky Wildcats at 97 out of 125 in their preseason ranking.
In their rundown, the Sentinel says that;
“Stoops has yet to identify a starting quarterback…. It’s usually not a good sign when a quarterback battle stretches into the summer. Stoops faces an uphill battle turning around the Kentucky programs. The Wildcats have to be patient and give him time to install his system before pulling the plug on his rebuilding effort.”
So there we have it. At least Kentucky wasn’t ranked 125, I feel like we are moving up in the world. #StoopsEffect
Our neighbors to the north were lucky enough to have two different stories centering on their beloved Buckeyes of OSU make it all the way to the front page of yahoo.com yesterday evening. Now, I can’t tell you whether or not all press actually is good press, but I can tell you that both stories are more than likely going to leave you scratching your head and thanking your mama for raising you on the right side of the Ohio River.
The first article, concerning the scarlet and gray’s favorite sport without pads, features none other than Thad Matta’s own Deshaun Thomas. It seems that the 6’7″ 225-lb. forward isn’t concerned with increasing his chances at being drafted next June, even though DraftExpress ranks him as low as 45th overall in their updated Top 100 Prospects for the 2013 NBA Draft. This fact was demonstrated when the 21-year-old junior refused to give the NBA’s 4× world champion San Antonio Spurs his phone number when the silver and black requested it last Wednesday. Thomas, who was quoted as saying, “I can’t go around giving [my number] out to everyone,” opted only to provide the current Western Conference Finalists with his e-mail address on the off chance the Spurs still wanted to contact their potential future employee. I use the word potential lightly, as I don’t see why any employer would still consider hiring a prospective employee after he or she refuses to bridge the gap of two-way personal contact. Go figure.
Our second story is even more perplexing. Apparently, a man by the name of Giovanni Strassini has been fooling the Buckeye fanbase for several years. Since 2011, he has been showing up to events hosted by the Charlotte Buckeyes, an Ohio State fan group located in North Carolina, claiming that he not only played football and baseball for the Buckeyes from 1973-1977, but that he was an All-American in both sports in 1976. When word of Mr. Strassini reached a message board thread on buckeyeplanet.com, the truth began to rear its ugly head. OSU spokesman Jerry Emig promptly released a statement declaring that he could find no documentation proving that a Giovanni Strassini ever played for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Strassini’s claims of catching a touchdown pass in the 1976 Rose Bowl were easily dismissed, as running back Pete Johnson scored the Buckeyes’ only touchdown of the day in a 10-23 loss at the hands of Dick Vermeil’s UCLA Bruins. He never wore No. 89 as TE on the OSU football team, played 3rd base for the Buckeye baseball team, certainly never earned All-America honors in either sport, nor heard his name called by the Cleveland Browns in the 6th round of the NFL Draft. Why anyone would have the
balls audacity stupidity to attempt such a(n) elaborate poorly constructed hoax in a time where any bit of information in the entire world can be fact-checked at the click of a button on the supercomputer located inside every American citizen’s pocket is beyond me. Seriously, this might have worked 30 years ago (at least until the university got wind of it), but the year is 2013, and Giovanni Strassini’s ignorance is even more mind-blowing than Deshaun Thomas’ ability to not talk to strangers.
It’s days like today when we’re all just a little more thankful to call ourselves Wildcats, instead of whatever these guys claim to be.
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Orlando Magic
3. Washington Wizards
4. Charlotte Bobcats
5. Phoenix Suns
6. New Orleans Pelicans
7. Sacramento Kings
8. Detroit Pistons
9. Minnesota Timberwolves
10. Portland Trail Blazers
11. Philadelphia 76ers
12. Oklahoma City Thunder
13. Dallas Mavericks
14. Utah Jazz
News broke today that Uncle Julius Mays has been invited to the Brooklyn Nets’ league wide combine, beginning tomorrow. The event will give Julius the chance to be scoped out by all the different NBA teams in a five on five competition between projected second rounders.
Good for you, Julius. We wish you nothing but the best. Good luck!
Tonight at 8:30 ET, Anthony Davis and his coach will be at the NBA Draft Lottery to represent the NOLA Pelicans for their chance at getting the number one overall pick. I’m going to go ahead and assume that Louis Vuitton belt buckle is real.
As we have stated on the site numerous times today, the Magic have the best chance to win the chance to draft Nerlens Noel, followed by Charlotte (when are they going to be the Hornets?).
Here are the final odds to get you prepared for tonight (I’ve taken the liberty of italicizing where I personally would like to see Nerlens go):
Orlando Magic 25%
Charlotte Bobcats 19.9%
Cleveland Cavaliers 15.6%
Phoenix Suns 11.9%
New Orleans Pelicans 8.8%
Sacramento Kings 6.3%
Detroit Pistons 4.3%
Washington Wizards 2.8%
Minnesota Timberwolves 1.7%
Portland Trail Blazers 1.1%
Philadelphia 76ers .8%
Toronto Raptors .7%
Dallas Mavericks .6%
Utah Jazz .5%
Let’s reminisce, shall we?
Kentucky fell last week to Duke in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Team Championship, but there is still hope for the UK men to leave their mark on a successful season.
The NCAA Singles bracket was released today and senior Anthony Rossi will take on John Morrissey of Stanford, while junior Tom Jomby will go up against Michael Redlicki of Duke.
In the Doubles Championship, Tom Jomby and Kevin Lai will face Lucas Ana and Victor Valente of Georgia State.
Go Tennis Cats!
Photo by Regina Rickert
Much has been made on the site about the disappointing turn the 2013 Kentucky Baseball season took during the mid to latter half of conference play and how the team would need a near improbable run at the SEC Tournament to even be considered for an NCAA Tournament bid. Well, all of that talk culminated in Hoover, Alabama this afternoon when a 4-1 loss at the hands of the No. 21 Ole Miss Rebels ended the Cats’ (30-25, 11-20) tournament run and any hope the team had of further postseason play.
Let’s get to the recap.
We should probably start the recap by reiterating that, if this were any other year, the Cats would not have made the SEC Tournament field. The conference’s expansion of the tournament to twelve teams began in 2013, and Gary Henderson and the gang practically limped into Hoover after dropping nineteen of their last twenty-seven games.
Ole Miss would take the lead early on in this contest, and not look back. In the bottom of the first, the Rebels capitalized on back-to-back singles off of Kentucky starter Jerad Grundy that brought runners to second and third when third basemen Andrew Mistone delivered a sacrifice fly to right field.
The teams traded one-two-three innings before the Rebels added to their lead in the bottom of the third. Second basemen Christian Helsel started the inning with a leadoff double, stole second, was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Tanner Mathis, then scored when shortstop Austin Anderson doubled to right.
Thanks to a defensive mishap, the Kentucky offense was able to get on the board and back into the game in the next half inning. Left fielder Zac Zellers reached on a one-out double to right field and advanced to third on an A.J. Reed groundout to second. This was followed by an Austin Couino walk, and, on the next pitch, the Preseason SEC Player of the Year took off for second on a delayed steal that drew the Rebels off guard. Catcher Stuart Turner’s throw down was on target, but no one was covering the base. The ball rolled to the outfield grass, allowing Zellers to score from third. Through five, the score remained 2-1, Rebels.
Both teams again traded scoreless innings, with the Cats leaving runners on base in both the top of the fifth and the top of the sixth, before the Ole Miss delivered what would prove to be the death blow in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, the Rebels got a double from Mistone, who promptly scored on center fielder Auston Bousfield’s single to right. Then, with two on and two out and Chandler Shepherd in to take over for Grundy, designated hitter Will Allen singled up the middle to bring the Ole Miss lead to 4-1, where it would stand for the rest of the game.
Kentucky had its share of opportunities to get back into the game with a few late-inning rallies. The Cats left runners on base in each of the final three innings, including a seventh inning where they failed to capitalize with the bases loaded and one out. Had a few clutch hits fell their way, the momentum of the ballgame would have swung drastically in Kentucky’s favor, and they might have lived to play another day.
It wasn’t Jerad Grundy’s best outing on the mound today, but the senior kept his team in the game by playing damage control and working out of a few tough jams. After the dominate first half of the season he had, it was tough to watch Grundy struggle down the stretch. He was at least able to give the Cats a quality start in what could be his last game wearing the blue and white.
Chandler Shepherd also had a nice day on the mound, minus the RBI single he gave up to the first batter he faced upon entering the game in the sixth. The sophomore turned in two solid innings of relief effort from there.
The big problem with the Cats today was the lack of offense when runners reached base. This could partly be a result of a great effort on the mound from the Rebel pitching staff, but, when you have a high-powered offense like what we’ve seen from the Cats multiple times this season, most of the blame has to go towards the hitters. Eight Kentucky batters were left on base – again, including three from a bases loaded one out top of the seventh. That will kill you in postseason play.
That’s about it. The box scores will be posted below. An NCAA tournament berth is very unlikely at this point, but, if it somehow happens, we’ll be here to cover all of the Kentucky Baseball action. Stay tuned for postseason wrap-ups and thoughts in the coming days, as well as updates on the possibility of further postseason play right here on KSRCollege.com.
Saturday Down South says that Kentucky may be in the running for best offense in the SEC East. That would be a pretty big step for the Cats, who previously were 13th in the SEC.
There are 10 things to know about the Kentucky football squad for this upcoming season. #1? Mark Stoops is very impressive.
The hittin’ kittens are on their way to the Super Regional. Their first game will be Saturday, May 25th against Arizona State at 10 pm on ESPN2. It is a “best of three” game series that will continue to Sunday if necessary.
In UK Hoops news, incoming Wildcat, Linnae Harper was selected to the 2013 USA Basketball Women’s Under 19 World Championship Team.
In non-UK (but still relevant) news, AL.com has an interview with Bobby Petrino that may be interesting to some of you.
Donte Rumph was named one of the top defensive tackle prospects from the SEC for next year’s draft.
A big congrats is in order for the Harrison twins and Julius Randle who were named Slam Magazine All-Americans yesterday.
And finally for my daily weird news link, Charles Ramsey is coming to Stanville, Kentucky for a meet ‘n greet. I vote that Matt & Ryan interview him for the radio show.
Also, don’t forget that the NBA Draft Lottery is tonight at 8:30 ET on ESPN. The Orlando Magic have the best chance at getting the number one overall pick at 25% followed by the Charlotte Hornets (have they officially changed their name yet?) with 19.9%. Hopefully the balls fall into Charlotte’s court. I really want to see MKG and Nerlens Noel as teammates.
*****Update: It just got real, yo.
Friday on KSR, Charles Ramsey will be joining us….and yes, I am serious
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 21, 2013
- The NBA draft lottery will air at 8:30 ET on ESPN this evening. Your grandmother may tune in tonight, confusing the event for their favorite sport, Bingo.
- The Chad Ford NBA draft lottery mock draft is always fun if you want to kill some time at work and see where Nerlens may end up!
- Below are each team’s chances at getting that #1 pick. If you want Nerlens going in the top spot, Charlotte is likely his best bet. And watching the two best motors Kentucky has seen under John Calipari on the same team sounds like reason enough to pull for the Bobcats. Although they only have a 3.5% chance at the #1 pick, I would also approve of Noel and Wall teaming up in DC. #Dreams
- In case you missed it, here’s a link to Stephanie Bell of ESPN’s profile of Nerlens Noel as he prepares for the draft and rehabilitates that left knee.
- In news that isn’t really news, the official Bulls website believes this year’s draft is rather uninspiring:
Tuesday is the NBA’s draft lottery, and no one is exactly bringing all their horse shoes and four leaf clovers. This is being widely regarded as the draft you wished was 2014, though they’re never as bad as the scouts project at this stage.
- With the Pacers being pitted against the NBA’s best (and highest drawing) team on TNT Tuesday, you can bet that David Stern, ABC, and those profiting from we, the sportsfan, are praying for a Miami Heat and anyone else NBA Finals. An upset is not to their benefit, as these NBA playoffs have seen low ratings outside of the Miami-sphere.
- The Memphis Grizzlies will take on the San Antonio Spurs on ESPN at 9 ET tonight. The series is 1-0 in favor of the Spurs after a throttling of Zach Randolph and the gritty Grizz by the Spurs Sunday. Although the Grizzlies may be historically an inept (and Canadian) franchise, without a large fanbase, this rather young and scrappy squad would likely be a bigger ratings draw than the veteran San Antonio Spurs. The two lowest-rated NBA Finals ever came in the last decade and each involved the Spurs: 2003 against the Nets (6.5) and 2009 versus the Cavaliers (6.2). People are just tired of the Tim Duncan patented bankshot. Haters gonna hate.
On another note, here’s how you can help the people of Oklahoma:
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross has several shelters open in Oklahoma and Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicles have begun delivering hot meals throughout the affected areas. The Red Cross is also working to link loved ones in Moore who are OK through a website called Safe and Well. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, donate online, or donate by phone at 1-800-RED CROSS.
The Salvation Army is activating disaster response teams and mobile feeding units to help residents and rescuers in Moore, Okla., as well as in other locations in the Plains and the Midwest that were impacted by tornadoes. Donate online or text STORM to 80888 to contribute $10 to the Salvation Army’s relief efforts or make a donation by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
Last night I sat down and, as painful as it was, watched the Archie combine video. After the several minute clip of missed 3′s and heavy criticism from the commentators I began to wonder: “What else was I expecting?” Coming into the year I was ecstatic about getting to see Archie play. His speed was incredible, possessing one of the best first-steps of any guard in the Calipari-era, and his style of play almost made you want to actually yell “BURR” after every dunk(I may have once or twice throughout the season, I’ll admit). But, as we came to know, Archie’s game currently has a flaw or two(or three or four). While Archie is explosive, he’s also very clumsy. Too many times did we watch a fast-break turn into a train wreck of players. And, despite being a shooting guard, too many times did we see Archie miss from behind the arc (about 73% of the time, to be exact).
As negative as I’ve been though, I do think there’s hope for Archie. As most UK fans know, Cal experimented with the idea of Goodwin playing point-guard at the beginning of the season. Considering the results of said experiment, most fans would probably scoff at the idea of moving Archie to the point, but I think the transition is needed if he wants to be successful at the next level. Archie Goodwin is incredibly young for somebody in his position, so saying he has to make the move in order to be successful may be a little premature, but even with that being said I still don’t see him ever being a highly successful 2-guard in the NBA. While his ability to drive to the basket can be impressive at times, there’s a lot of 6’3” guards out there who can do that. For somebody like that to stand out they must have a more well-rounded game. Attacking the basket becomes a lot more difficult when the defender doesn’t fear your outside shooting; something we witnessed first-hand with Goodwin last season.
Archie’s Combine video, in case you missed it.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes from Archie leading up to the draft. Leading into the combine it appeared that Archie’s draft stock was rising but, after an incredibly rough weekend, it appears that wasn’t indicative of improvement from Archie’s end, just that not many players declared for the draft. More than likely Archie will spend a good chunk of his rookie season in the D League, something that will be very taxing for someone of his age. But, if Archie can evolve not just his game but his mindset to be a point guard then I have hope for “A1LaFlare.” As difficult as last season was to watch, I still rather like Archie and I hope he evolves to the level of player we all thought he could be coming into last season. It appears though that the road to becoming that player may be a lot bumpier than we had hoped.
Today has been one of those days where you sit back and reflect on what is most important in life; family, friends, and community. This is a sports site, and everyone that contributes to and/or reads this site loves sports, especially UK sports. But in the grander scope of things, sports don’t matter. Other things have much greater importance than the latest AP or Coaches polls, and today is one of those days that we are reminded of that. As you may well know, tragedy occurred in Oklahoma today as at least 37 people, including innocent children, were lost to the devastating storm that hit Oklahoma City. Today is one of those days that make you want to hug your family a little bit tighter, and make you thankful for another day and all that you have. While cars, houses, boats, and material things can be replaced, life can not. We can not even begin to imagine the insurmountable grief of those who lost their whole world to a cloud of dust and wind. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the state of Oklahoma, OKC, and families affected by this tragedy as they pick up the pieces to mourn, recover, and rebuild.
Stay Strong, Oklahoma. The Big Blue Nation is behind you.
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