[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Since the moment Emmanuel Mudiay picked SMU over Kentucky, the BBN has been in semi-panic mode trying to figure out who will be the team’s starting point guard next season (exhibit A of why you all are crazy, considering the super team we have this year). With only two top ranked point guards unsigned in the class of 2014 (one who is 5’9″ and one who will likely suit up elsewhere), it is hard to paint a clear picture of what next year’s team might look like. While there are certainly concerns now that Kentucky has missed out on Mudiay (many have believed for a long time that he would end up a Cat), I don’t think fans should panic just yet. We still have a whole season to see who we will lose to the draft, and what kind of other talent Calipari will bring in next season.
We also have Dominique Hawkins.
Hawkins was offered a scholarship after his incredible run through the state tournament last year. Calipari saw something from Hawkins that he didn’t see from the point guard position all last season and, by signing Hawkins, made sure he would not have to go through that process again. Obviously, it would be ideal for Calipari to have a guy like Mudiay or Tyus Jones running the team, but it is becoming more and more likely that he will miss out on both (Cal must be cheating, right?). If you’ve seen the “Meet the Wildcats” videos on coachcal.com, you can see that Hawkins is a special kid who has had a special path to Kentucky. I believe the saying goes, “when one door closes, another door opens.” Folks have already been impressed with his fearless approach to the game and, with a year behind Andrew Harrison in Cal’s system, Dominique could be poised to take over the position next season. I don’t know about you all, but I find it hard not to root for the kid.
Obviously, a lot will happen between now and next season. It’s been made public now that Cal has offered Tyler Ulis, the aforementioned 5’9″ point guard from Chicago, a scholarship (due in part to the fear of losing Mudiay) and it seems as if he is now the likely candidate for the position. However, while we may not get the next John Wall or Derrick Rose, don’t forget about Dominique Hawkins.
In Cal We Trust.
This makes me feel really out of shape.
Looks like the media got it right late with this one folks. This just proves once again that you can’t win them all, but best of luck to this young fella as he embarks on his journey to the league someday down the road.
Let’s be honest friends, most people outside of the UK fan base (and some inside) really don’t think Commonwealth Stadium is all that great, and I can’t blame them too much. From an outsiders standpoint, It’s a giant concrete and steel pile that houses a football field and 67,000+ fans. Despite this, Commonwealth can still turn out some great and loud crowds when the football team gives us good reason to.
Here below is UK’s ranking from the article on the best SEC Football Stadiums over at Saturday Down South:
13. Kentucky’s Commonwealth Stadium
Mark Stoops nearly filled every seat in the Cats’ spring game. More than 50,300 fans showed up to watch the spring fling, and they’re hoping this carries over into the fall. The low attendance numbers had to do with the dreadful play of 2012’s squad. This fan base is passionate, loud and ready to have something to cheer about. If Kentucky starts off 2-0 before hosting Louisville, look out!
I for one actually applaud Jon Cooper for his work on this article. Sure he could’ve absolutely torched the lower ranked stadiums, but instead he tried to find a positive for each one. Well done sir, and now I just suggest a re-do of this list once we get our renovations done here in a couple of years:
(Note: Again, this is just a concept rendering of what it might look like folks. But let’s be honest for a second here, I’d totally be cool with it if this was our renovated Commonwealth.)
In the ongoing march towards August 31, us writers here at KSR College are counting down to the start of the UK Football season in the most ridiculous manner possible. This involves tedious research of absolutely absurd UK Football facts, with today’s lucky number being 7.
Usually when I have set out to begin my Countdown to Kickoff posts, I try to find a historical wildcat that has worn the same jersey number as the day I am writing about. So since finding historical jersey numbers for Kentucky Football isn’t the easiest thing in the world, I decided to give today’s honor to David Jones. If the name isn’t too familiar to you, just think back to before the start of the 3rd quarter in the 2009 Liberty Bowl. Kentucky was down 16-3 to the much feared East Carolina Pirates, and needed a spark to put some life back on their sideline (which they desperately needed, trust me I was there and saw it firsthand). So who would’ve thought that #7 David Jones would take the opening kick all the way back to the house in one of the biggest returns in UK bowl history:
Tim Couch holds both of the top records for the most touchdown passes thrown in a single game at 7. One of the games was against Indiana in 1997, and the other was against the dirty birds of Louisville in 1998.
7 years ago in 2006, the Kentucky Wildcats finished the season 8-5 with a 4-4 record in the SEC. Oh, and they also won their first bowl game since 1984 with a win over Clemson in the Music City Bowl. Plus on top of all of this, Kentucky fans stormed the field after beating Georgia on Nov. 4, where one goal post was tragically torn down & paraded around the stadium:
Make sure to keep a browser tab open to KSR College, because day number six (less than a week) is coming up tomorrow with more random football facts that will blow your mind.
Instead of doing a full weekend box office review, I just decided to start a pointless, Grantland-style conversation. Although the horror movie, You’re Next, is being released this weekend with much less fanfare or talk than the other two big scares of the summer–The Purge (terrible) and The Conjuring (quite good), it may get the award for most unique use of music in a movie trailer ever. And I’ve wasted several weeks of my life watching trailers.
The football team got iPads yesterday. Does this mean easier access for the UK Specialists to tweet their daily schedules to us?
In 8 days, the Stoops era officially kicks off in Nashville! It’s the dawn of a new age for Kentucky football, so what better song to choose for a highlight video than Radioactive. For your Friday enjoyment, set back and watch players of UK’s past do their magic on the football field while we await the new age to begin. Something about this video gives me chills, what about you? I’m glad I found it, it definitely makes me excited to see those blue jerseys back on the gridiron.
Today is the day; if you are an incoming freshman at the University of Kentucky, chances are you moved into your fabulous (or not so fabulous) dorm-room, met your roommate, said goodbye to Mom and Pop, and are now trying to figure out how to get across campus to Johnson Center Field for the K Week kickoff. Being a freshman on this big of a campus can be a bit intimidating. Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest things I learned as a freshman that you need to know so you don’t make a fool out of yourself. Keep in mind, this isn’t everything, there is some stuff that you will just have to learn on your own.
Know where your classes are. The last thing you want is to be asking for directions from the Wethington Building to Whitehall with 5 minutes left until your class starts. Trust me, it takes at least 11 minutes to get from point A to point B, and that’s in sunny weather. Don’t even get me started on rain or snow.
Get a waterproof backpack, raincoat, rain boots and a really good umbrella. When the weatherman says Lexington has a chance of rain, just go ahead and assume that a hurricane is on it’s way and hunker down.
Don’t wear a lanyard. Just don’t okay. If you can’t keep up with your keys and your ID by putting them in your backpack, wallet, or pocket then you really don’t need to be in college. It makes you look like a freshman, and that’s the last thing you want. Trust me, I know. Been there, done that. If you are a girl, get one of the Vera Bradley “carry everything” wallets. You can throw your id, keys, and cellphone on it in various compartments. It really is a lifesaver.
Don’t wear really weird-looking clothes either. There was a girl in my Anthropology class last year that wore a sailor costume to class everyday. You think I’m joking, but I’m not. I don’t know whether she wanted to be in South Pacific or what, but when you pair that with a teddy bear backpack and heels only Nicki Minaj would wear, you look like you are five. Not eighteen.
No drawstring backpacks either. Nope. Just say no.
Go to every football and basketball game you possibly can. There are absolutely no excuses for not going to the home football games. None. Also, tailgate, tailgate, tailgate! And even if you don’t win the lottery there is always a way you can get tickets for the basketball game. Sometimes, on the big games, it is fun to be in the nosebleeds. Everyone gets rowdy up there. Last year, I almost got into a fight with a bunch of Missouri fans. Yep, it was fun. Also, you want to be at every game you can be to witness the run for 9.
Get acquainted with your good friend Willy T, and if you don‘t know what Willy T is, find out quickly. This is where you will spend the greater part of your college career if you do care about your studies.
People watch on a sunny day by the Patterson statue. It is probably some of the best fun you will ever have.
Don’t walk campus by yourself at night. I mean, seriously, you are just asking for trouble. Wait until you start getting the UK police alert emails. There is some freaky stuff that goes down on campus and you definitely don’t want to be apart of that. If you are going to walk around campus at night, make sure you are in a group of three or more people.
Email your professors and go to their office hours. I know, I know, this was pounded into your head by your advisor already. But this is an extremely important part of excelling in college. Go to them just to introduce yourself, especially if you have any questions in the class. It will be more helpful than you know. Good relationships with your professors are the key to everything and asking for help is not a weakness.
Stay organized. Digital planners are okay, but I strongly recommend paper planners (I love the day by day planners). Get sticky notes, highlighters, pencils, pens, and plenty of notebooks.
Don’t buy your books until you know what you will actually need and use. I once made this mistake. Don’t follow in my footsteps and spend money that you will need for more important things (like food). Wait until class starts and then order them off Amazon or use this amazing site I found called Big Words which finds the cheapest deal for you.
For future reference: Yes, It will be on the test.
Any of you college pro’s have any wisdom you would like to share with the Class of 2017? Let them know in the comment section! Have a wonderful K Week, freshman. Welcome to the beautiful University of Kentucky!!!
Big loss for the Big Blue Nation. R.J. Corman Railroad group founder and Wildcat fan R.J. Corman has passed away at 58 years old from multiple myeloma.
Even though he was famous for his railroad company, Corman was a huge Kentucky fan; even going the distance to fly his private jet to Memphis in 2009 to pick up the newly-named Kentucky head basketball Coach Calipari. Since then, Cal and Corman remained close friends. He was also a major UK donor.
“Richard Jay Corman is hardly a household name,” wrote Forbes magazine in 2011. “But this entrepreneur, a son of Kentucky, has made himself a force in the railroad industry, where in up-from-nothing fashion he has created a thriving, highly respected company.”
Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.
Today, we continue KSR College’s series counting down the 30 days until the kickoff of the 2013 Kentucky football season with the number 8.
The No. 8 jersey will be worn by two players this season: JUCO transfer Javess Blue (a junior wide receiver from Babson Park, FL), and wide receiver-converted-linebacker Josh Forrest (a redshirt sophomore from Paducah, KY who made the 2012 SEC Academic Honor Roll).
Kentucky’s inaugural football season was in 1881, though records do not indicate who the head coach was.
Paul “Bear” Bryant, who many consider the greatest college football coach of all-time, spent 8 seasons at Kentucky from 1946-1953, claiming a national championship (as well as AP SEC Coach of the Year) in 1950.
In 15 bowl games played, UK has an all-time record of 8 wins and 7 losses. The ‘Cats’ last postseason victory came in 2008 with a 25-19 win over the East Carolina Pirates in the 2008 Liberty Bowl.
In 1998, Kentucky junior quarterback Tim Couch was named a consensus All-American, SEC Player of the Year, and the No. 1 overall pick of the ensuing NFL Draft after forgoing his senior season.
Mark Stoops’ squad will compete in 8 regular season conference games in 2013, beginning at home with Florida on September 28, and ending on November 30 when Tennessee comes to Commonwealth Stadium for the first time since 2011 when Matt Roark & Co. halted the Vols’ 26-game win-streak over the ‘Cats by a score of 10-7.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment in the series with the number 7.
Yesterday, former Kentucky forward/center Josh Harrellson officially made his return to the National Basketball Association by signing with the Detroit Pistons, continuing the franchise’s streak of 12 straight seasons with at least one former Wildcat on its roster.
The Big Blue Nation is ecstatic for the 2011 Final Four team fan favorite, but we’re not the only ones. Keith Langlois, a blogger for True Blue Pistons and an editor for Pistons.com, had nothing but praise for the St. Charles, MO native when asked about Detroit’s latest signing yesterday:
What do you know about the Pistons signing Josh Harrellson? How did they settle on him instead of the others who were supposedly considered?
Langlois: I think one of the things that appealed to the Pistons about Harrellson was the skill set he brings, which is different than the two players ahead of him on the depth chart at center, Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe. Drummond brings high-end athleticism and a potentially dominant defensive presence, while Monroe is a uniquely skilled offensive big man, comfortable with his back to the basket or facing up from the elbows and mid-range area. Harrellson, on the other hand, is a center who can step out to the 3-point line. He might be a tad undersized at 6-foot-10, but he’s got tremendous strength and will be tough to move around in the low post. The reality is that unless injuries strike Monroe or Drummond, the No. 3 center isn’t likely to crack the rotation. But Harrellson showed promise as a Knicks rookie two years ago and had a great run in China last season, earning league MVP honors after averaging 22 points and 18 boards. Low-risk deal with some upside. Hard to argue with the logic of this move.
On top of that, Langlois wrote a wonderful piece dedicated to the former UK big man called Harrellson Makes 15, and has tweeted about him several times throughout the day:
Also, @BigJorts55 can really shoot it. They’ve got him running like crazy into shots and he’s draining them from all distances.
— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) August 22, 2013
— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) August 22, 2013
— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) August 22, 2013
After a full and successful rookie season with the New York Knicks in 2011-2012, Josh has not stopped working hard to keep playing basketball. Harrellson was traded to the Rockets in July 2012, but was waived before the season began. He was eventually picked up in September by the Miami Heat, but placed back on the waivers in January. Jorts found a home in Puerto Rico with the Guayama Wizards soon after, followed by a Player of the Year season with China’s Chongqing Fly Dragon. It’s a pleasure not to see hard work go unnoticed among executives at the sport’s highest level, and it’s even better to add another Kentucky player back into the NBA ranks.
23 players on 16 different teams never hurts recruiting.
All I can say is that:
1) That looks kinda fun
2) It looks like a pretty cool tool to help the guys build leadership & teamwork.
Johhny Manziel has been dropped to the second team by SEC coaches. This is a surprise due to the fact that he is the defending Heisman Trophy winner. Manziel, who became the first freshman ever to win the Heisman after setting the SEC record for total offensive yards (5,116) and accounting for 47 touchdowns in 2012, was placed on the second team behind Georgia senior quarterback Aaron Murray.
Coach O and the Dominican Republic National Team now have fifteen players on their roster; two of those are Cats. Future Cat Karl Towns and former Cat Eloy Vargas made the cut.
The team will be shortened to twelve players before the FIBA Americas Championship in eight days.
Only nine more days, folks! Yes, that’s right, we’ve finally reached single digits in our Countdown to Kickoff series. It seems like only yesterday we had 30 days to go. Luckily that’s not the case, as time as flown by, bringing with it three weeks of an insanely amount of UK football facts & stats. It’s hard to believe summer is coming to a close and classes begin next Wednesday. As it is every year at UK, when classes start, so does football season. I’m not too excited about attending an 9:00 AM class next week, but if it means kickoff is just around the corner, bring it on! Yes, I just made my class schedule fit within today’s countdown.
Countdown to Kickoff: 9 Days!
- UK’s fan day was held just a few weeks ago on August 9th. The turn out for autographs and open practice was huge considering it rained the entire day. Luckily for those that attended, you got to meet some of your favorite players & coaches, and you even got to watch the firework show. On top of all that, you witnessed the battle for starting QB first hand.
- The #9 jersey is currently worn by two talented Wildcats. On offense, #9 is worn by wide receiver Demarco Robinson. On special teams the #9 is worn by last year’s Freshman All-American punter, Landon Foster.
- A few former players whom have also worn the #9 recently: Jermaine White, Durrell White, Brandon Jackson, Ryan Tydlacka, & Robbie Kool
- Including himself, there have been 9 head football coaches at Kentucky since “Bear” Bryant walked the streets of Lexington. The list includes Bryant, Fran Curci, Jerry Claiborne, Bill Curry, Hal Mumme, Guy Morris, Rich Brook, Joker Phillips, and new head coach Mark Stoops. Stooooooooooooooops!
- In 1984, head coach Jerry Claiborne lead the Wildcats to back to back Hall of Fame Bowls. They finished with a 9-3 record, resulting in a 19th overall ranking from the Associated Press.
- Behind Coach Stoops, there are 9 other assistant coaches that help get things done for this football program. The nine other coaches are OC Neal Brown, DC DJ Eliot, TE coach Vince Marrow, RB coach Chad Scott, WR coach Tommy Mainord, OL coach John Schlarman, DL coach Jimmy Brumbaugh, STC Bradley Dale Peveto, and RC Dan Berezowitz. Eric Korem isn’t included on the list of assistants, but he definitely is a crucial part of this football team.
- Kentucky will face the 9th ranked Florida Gators on 9-28-2013. I would really love to see this be an upset. A victory at home over Florida would make it hard not to consider this season a success.
- In 2010, WR Chris Matthews lead Kentucky with 9 touchdown receptions. Randall Cobb was closely behind with 7 of his own. All together, there were 26 total receiving TD’s that year, which is double the amount of touchdown passes caught last season. Looking back at it, you almost would think UK used the Air Raid offense in 2010. At least it’s back now, and I predict to see statistics close to this one in 2013.
Not much longer until this season kicks off! Are you ready, #BBN?
For those who live in or visit downtown Lexington and enjoy its up and coming bar and restaurant scene–change is in the air for our humble town.
The Courthouse Area Design Review Board approved a new design for the $393.9 million project while reserving the right to have developers and architects tweak exterior details on its apartments. CentrePointe also includes office space, a J.W. Marriott hotel, retailers and restaurants, including a Jeff Ruby’s steakhouse.
CentrePointe, first announced in March 2008, has been controversial because of its design and because buildings on the proposed block were razed without subsequent construction. Grass has been planted at the site, which is in the middle of downtown.
I am all for putting something in that empty grass lot between Vine and Limestone in the center of downtown; it was originally intended to be a hotel for the World Equestrian Games, but instead has sat vacant. Though I am admittedly somewhat skeptical of this design rendering and its affect on our downtown, especially as Mayor Gray has reservations on the matter. For those who don’t know, Jim Gray spent 20 years in his family’s construction business, then became a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
Regardless, there is still a long way to go through various hurdles, especially as there remain aesthetic and city-impact concerns, but this was a large step for development of the space.
If the differences between investors, designers, and government officials on the vision for the site are overcome, the construction could have a very positive, long-term impact upon the Lexington economy and downtown, much like the widening of South Limestone and the development of the Cheapside Park Fifth Third Bank Pavilion. In addition for the BBN, it will undoubtedly impact the University and the future of the Rupp Arena project.
Disclaimer: I have only surface level knowledge on this matter, so I could absolutely be misinformed and will readily admit that. I have certainly benefited from all that downtown Lexington has begun to offer in my 5 years living here and look forward to its future growth, along with maintenance of its history and integrity.
Feel free to sound off on some “old money Lexington” gossip on the topic in the comments section.
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