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December 12th, 2017

YAHTZEE! Kentucky Adds First Defensive Tackle to 2018 Class


For the second time today, Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football coaches are rolling the dice.  This time, UK has received a commitment from a defensive tackle, the first in the 2018 class.

Only hours after receiving an official scholarship offer from the Cats, Jerquavion “Qua” Mahone committed to play for Kentucky.

A late-rising recruit from the smallest division of football in the state of Georgia, Mahone took an official visit to Lexington this weekend shortly after receiving a scholarship offer from Tennessee.  The 6’4″ 295-pound all-state interior defensive lineman was discovered by Matt House.  Mahone fills UK’s greatest position of need and may eventually become one of the great late recruiting steals.

Watch the best from Kentucky’s 22nd member of the 2018 recruiting class.

Cats in the NFL Week 14 Recap

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Packers squeaked by the Browns with a 27-21 victory in overtime, keeping their playoff hopes alive as Aaron Rodgers is expected to return from injury this week. Randall Cobb bounced back from last week’s poor performance by catching 8 passes for 39 yards.

Avery Williamson finished Sunday’s game with two tackles, a sack, and a tackle for loss. The Titans had one of their worst performance’s of the season losing to the Cardinals (6-7) by a score of 12-7.

Wesley Woodyard had another good week with 7 tackles, a sack, and 3 tackles for a loss in the Titans 12-7 loss.

Behind huge performances from Big Ben and Antonio Brown the Steelers scored 19 points in the 4th quarter to comeback and beat the Baltimore Ravens in a game that had major implications for playoff seeding. Bud Dupree finished the game with just one tackle but he consistently put pressure on the quarterback.

Za’Darius Smith sat out the Ravens big divisional match-up with an injured shoulder, the 3rd year pro did not practice throughout the week.

The Bears defense plays much better with Danny Trevathan on the field, Chicago held the Bengals to just 234 total yards of offense in the 33-7 win. Trevathan led the way with 10 tackles.


Anthony Davis surprises family with new car for Christmas

How about a feel-good story for the holiday season? Today, Anthony Davis surprised a family in New Orleans with some toys and — allow me to cue up my best “Price is Right” voice — a NEW CAR! Watch below as the mom absolutely loses it when she realizes Anthony Davis just handed her keys to a new SUV:

Clearly, that little boy is not happy with his mother’s outburst.

Last week in New Orleans, fellow “Pelicat” DeMarcus Cousins took some lucky children on his annual “Santa Cuz” shopping spree:

Boogie will do the same thing in Mobile, Alabama tonight.

It’s no coincidence that Cousins and Davis are spending their holiday season giving back; both have won the NBA Cares Community Assist monthly award several times. Cousins won the offseason version of the award a few months ago, and in 2016, Davis was up for the season-long award, but came in second to…John Wall.

John Calipari’s not joking when he says servant leadership is a cornerstone of his program; it’s nice to see his biggest stars continuing to make it a priority once they have the means to really make a difference.

Kentucky and Trae Young are both better off without each other

Right now, it isn’t a stretch to say that Trae Young is the most talked about player in college basketball – and at this particular moment, there’s nobody even close. The 6’3 guard who plays at Oklahoma has lit the sport on fire, averaging a Division I best 28.8 points per game, and is also third in assists at 8.8 a contest as well. And he’s doing it for a non-traditional power, with no one close to his talent level on the roster. While it’s arguable if Young is the “best” player in college basketball, there’s no one – not Marvin Bagley, Kevin Knox or Devonte Graham – who is anywhere near as valuable as Young is to his team.

Young is also a player who has been on the minds of Kentucky fans for a few weeks now, for a few different reasons. The first is because Young was once considered to be leaning towards attending Kentucky during the recruiting process, meaning that many UK fans couldn’t help but think “what if” after Young’s hot start. What if Young had enrolled at Kentucky, and played alongside Knox, Hamidou Diallo and Nick Richards? How much better could this team be?

More recently however, Young has been on the mind of Kentucky fans after John Calipari actually talked about him during an interview on Jim Harbaugh’s podcast.

While Calipari didn’t name Young by name, it was clear he was talking about him when he said:

“Tell me what kind of program you want to be in,” Cal said of how he talks to families on in-home visits. “Tell me how you want to play or be coached. And through the questioning, sometimes I look and say, this is not going to work. Now, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong in not coming to Kentucky. There’s a kid that’s father wanted him to shoot every ball and I said, we just don’t do that here. Well, he’s gone to a school and he had 40 last night as a freshman. The most in 20 years. Well, that may have been right for their son.”

Now of course when Calipari’s comments dropped, it caused a little bit of an uproar in the college basketball world, because well, any time Calipari says something interesting it causes an uproar. At the same time, after seeing Young play in person last Friday night when Oklahoma faced off with USC at Staples Center, I feel pretty safe saying that Calipari is exactly right. That’s not a knock on Young and certainly not on the Kentucky program, but instead reality. Young’s commitment is one of the rare ones where a big-time recruit turned down a big-time tradition rich program, and it worked out for both sides.


Dr. Ricky Jones talks about the UofL E:60 on Hey Kentucky!

Sunday morning Dr. Ricky Jones grabbed the nation’s attention on E:60 by describing “the pimp game” that happened between Adidas, Tom Jurich and the University of Louisville.  Tonight he joined Matt Jones to talk about it on Hey Kentucky!

See the entire episode after the jump.


Kentucky Makes Final Cut for Shocky Jacques-Louis

Mark Stoops’ blue Bentley is working wonders.

Tonight Florida wide receiver Shocky Jacques-Louis trimmed his list of suitors to three finalists.  As expected, Kentucky made the cut, along with Tennessee and Pitt.


The only finalist Jacques-Louis has not committed to previously is Pitt.  He was in Pittsburgh for an official visit two weekends ago.  Upon returning home from Pennsylvania, Mark Stoops greeted him with the infamous blue Bentley.

Arguably the most coveted recruit remaining in Kentucky’s 2018 class, Jacques-Louis has not set a decision date but he plans to sign on December 20 and enroll early for spring practice.

If the blue Bentley can’t close the deal, maybe Terry Touchdown can.

YAHTZEE! Three-Star Offensive Tackle Commits to Kentucky


Kentucky’s 2018 class just got a little larger.  Three-star offensive tackle Kenneth Horsey announced on Twitter that he has committed to the University of Kentucky.

Hailing from Seminole, Florida, Horsey’s announcement follows an official visit to Kentucky.  The Cats quickly emerged as his leaders after the experience in Lexington.  Horsey was also being recruited by UCF, USF, Mississippi State and Missouri.

The addition of Horsey moves Kentucky’s 2018 class up to No. 23 nationally in the 247 Composite rankings. Horsey brings to the Bluegrass a big 6’4″ 325-pound game and a name that’s a perfect fit for horse country.

After Dan Johnson Article Mountain Dew Looks To Distance Themselves From Bullitt County

Editor’s Note: The following was written by Harold Leeder, editor-in-chief of The New Circle Circular, Lexington’s #1 source of fake news you can’t count on.

The explosive report released yesterday by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting detailing the very troubling past of Bullitt County state representative Dan Johnson sent shockwaves though the state’s political figures but ramifications of the report have continued to mount since then. The latest and most impactful result came when Mountain Dew announced that they would be pulling their sponsorship and attempting to distance themselves from Bullitt County as long as Johnson remained in office.

Mountain Dew, which has served as the county’s official beverage for over two decades, called the report a “code red” moment. “We can’t, in good conscience, continue to be associated with a man of that character,” said the company spokesperson, a hologram version of that weird PuppyMonkeyBaby from their Super Bowl commercial. “These allegations are very alarming, we are truly shocked by them,” PuppyMonkeyBaby said, echoing the sentiments of many around the county and the state in reference to the politician who was elected despite posting and owning up to posting blatantly racist memes on social media. PuppyMonkeyBaby concluded by saying, “I guess we should’ve had our suspicions. I mean, the man calls himself ‘pope’ but dresses like a simple priest. At least match your clothes to your job title, you know? Dress for the job you want.”

A county spokesperson said they were disappointed in Mountain Dew’s decision but would carry on as best they could. The spokesperson did note, however, that if chewing tobacco decided to pull their sponsorship the county could be sunk.

To keep up with The New Circle Circular, like the Facebook page or follow Harold Leeder’s Twitter Account.

Six Kentucky Wildcats are Named All-SEC by Phil Steele

Today Phil Steele released his annual All-SEC selections.  Six Wildcats made the cut for Matt Jones and Drew Franklin’s favorite college football picker.

The names will not surprise you, but the order will.

Mike Edwards earned first team honors ahead of Benny Snell Jr.  The junior safety led the Wildcats in tackles, while Snell finished the 12-game regular season leading the SEC in rushing yards (1,318) and rushing touchdowns (18).

Four Wildcats landed on Steele’s third team: kicker Austin MacGinnis, tight end C.J. Conrad and edge rushers Josh Allen and Denzil Ware.  MacGinnis will leave UK as the school’s leading scorer, Conrad caught a touchdown every fourth reception and Kentucky’s Blitz Bros spent most of the season atop the SEC in sacks and tackles for loss.

Of the six All-SEC selections, only MacGinnis is a senior.  The only other two returning question marks are Allen and Edwards, who each said last week they will receive NFL Draft evaluations after the Music City Bowl.

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These are great holiday gifts for the Kentucky football fan in your life. They will then be all set to cheer on UK in Nashville.

[KSR Shop: 25% OFF All Bowl Apparel!]

Knox, Diallo among Top 10 Freshmen in College Hoops

Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo may not dominate the headlines like Trae Young, DeAndre Ayton, or Marvin Bagley, but they’re still among the best freshmen in the country. Today, CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander ranked Knox 8th and Diallo 10th in his weekly ranking of the top freshmen in college basketball.

Knox is down one spot after scoring only four points and committing seven turnovers vs. Monmouth.

“Afterward, John Calipari said it was ‘good for the soul to go 1 for 9,'” Norlander writes. “It’s a great lesson for him. Kentucky is a quiet 8-1, but it will not be a threat to win the SEC if Knox isn’t an all-star type of player.”

While Knox floundered in New York, Diallo flourished, scoring 23 points in his homecoming.

“Diallo let his inner alpha take over,” Norlander said. “The best is obviously yet to come with him.”

Yes, it is. Familiar names in the top ten: Trae Young (1), DeAndre Ayton (2), Marvin Bagley III (3), Collin Sexton (4), and Tremont Waters (6). Check out the entire list for yourself at the link below.

[CBS Sports]

LISTEN: KSR was on Howard Stern today

The Howard Stern Show is one of the biggest radio shows on the planet, so imagine our surprise when they played a clip from KSR this morning.

Eugene, a Kentucky fan from Waddy, is now a regular caller to Howard Stern and KSR, and this morning, called in to tell Howard and company about his trip to New York City for the Kentucky vs. Monmouth game, made possible in part by Matt and KSR. (That’s Eugene with Matt before the game above.)

“Down here, there’s a big radio station that talks about Kentucky all the time called Kentucky Sports Radio,” Eugene said. “And I called them one day and they said, ‘Are you Eugene from The Howard Stern Show? I said, ‘Yeah.’ They said, ‘Well Lord, that’s something. How did you get on his show?’ And I went over how I talked to you that one day and how you had me back the next day and they said, ‘We’d love to give you tickets if you can get up here.’ So I took some money out of savings and I just figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Howard, so we took the money out of savings and got us a plane ticket and got us a hotel up there.”

While in the city, Eugene met up with Shuli Egar, a comedian on Howard’s staff, and must have told him the story, because they had the clip of Eugene’s call into KSR from last week ready to roll (Warning: Some of the language is NSFW).

“Look at that, Eugene,” Howard said once the clip was over. “He’s got it kind of wrong, though. I wasn’t putting anybody down; I was just kind of interested in your way of life.”

Eugene assured Howard that everyone’s on the same page about his newfound fame, and they spent the rest of the call talking about how he makes apple pie moonshine.

Pretty cool stuff. Eugene looks exactly like I thought he would, which is a huge compliment.

A Kentucky Defensive Line Target has Emerged

Qua Magone (75) via Recruit Georgia


I’m happy to report Kentucky is targeting a defensive lineman in the 2018 class.  Today Kentucky extended a scholarship offer to Jerquavion Mahone.

A 6’4″ 295-pound defensive tackle from Manchester, Georgia, Qua Mahone has skirted under the radar playing Class A football (Georgia’s smallest division), the same division UK found T.J. Carter.  A two-way starter for four years, this year he was an all-state selection on the defensive line after making 72 tackles, 30 for loss and 12 sacks.  An agile athlete for his size, Mahone also plays basketball.

A late-bloomer on the recruiting scene, his only other offers are from Jacksonville State and Tennessee. The offer from Kentucky comes on the heels of Mahone’s official visit to Lexington last weekend.

Even though he’s considered a defensive tackle, you’ll see the explosive athlete primarily line up as an edge rusher in his senior highlight reel.

The Kirwan Blanding Towers are finally coming down

After being vacant for two years, UK’s iconic Kirwan and Blanding dormitory towers are finally coming down.

According to the Herald-Leader, the finance committee of the UK Board of Trustees will review a plan today to demolish the 23-story towers and eight surrounding low-rise buildings, which were built in the 1960s. The 13-acre site will become a campus green space, and UK plans to keep the canopy of oak trees, which were planted after the complex opened. The demolition is expected to cost $15 million, which pales in comparison to the $126 million estimate to renovate the buildings to modern standards.

A map of the area, per the Herald-Leader:

Image via the Herald-Leader

If you’ve walked or driven around campus in the past few years, you know that UK isn’t exactly hurting for new dorms these days. In the past five years, $1 billion has been spent on new dorms at UK, and it shows. UK’s new dorms make the Kirwan-Blanding towers look dinosaurs, each featuring private bedrooms, TempurPedic mattresses, community spaces, and state of the art dining areas. It’s not a coincidence that UK’s housing and dining rates are expected to go up again next year.

Back when UK announced the towers would be no longer be used, I imagined what we could use them for, and I’m a little sad UK didn’t take me up on my ideas. I’m sure Doron Lamb would really have appreciated his own floor:

8 Things UK can do with the Kirwan and Blanding Towers

Seriously, kudos UK for turning the area into a green space instead of more buildings. The environment thanks you.


BBNBA: Andrew Harrison gets a career-high

We start our daily rundown of Kentucky players in the NBA with Andrew Harrison, who had a career-high 16 points in Memphis’ 107-82 loss to Miami last night. Harrison was 5-6 from the floor, 2-2 from three, and 4-4 from the free-throw line, and also chipped in four assists and two steals. Check out how tough he was on this play:

Full highlights:

On the other side of the ball, Bam Adebayo came off the bench to score 14 points, along with four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Rajon Rondo had a triple double for the Pelicans — the 30th of his career — with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists:

DeMarcus Cousins got close to a triple double himself, with 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists:

Darius Miller chipped in ten points, three rebounds, and four assists. Unfortunately, the Pelicans — who are still without Anthony Davis (left abductor) — still lost, falling 130-123 to the Rockets.

The Charlotte Hornets upset the Thunder thanks to 17 points, four rebounds, and four assists from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who unfortunately was on the wrong side of this dunk by Russell Westbrook:

I can’t end this with MKG getting dunked on, so here’s him dunking on Alex Abrines:

Tonight’s schedule:

  • 7:00 PM: Nuggets (Trey Lyles, Jamal Murray) vs. Pistons
  • 7:00 PM: Lakers (Julius Randle) vs. Knicks (Enes Kanter), ESPN
  • 7:30 PM: Wizards (John Wall [injured], Jodie Meeks) vs. Nets
  • 9:30 PM: 76ers vs. Timberwolves (Karl Towns), ESPN
  • 10:00 PM: Suns (Tyler Ulis, Devin Booker, Brandon Knight [injured]) vs. Kings (Skal Labissiere, De’Aaron Fox, Willie Cauley-Stein [injured])

Word is John Wall (knee) could return to action tomorrow night vs. the Grizzlies.