Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.





December 12th, 2018

KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowell


The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 Branden Hart


A true look.

#9 Dalton Jones


Burnnnnn.

#8 Patrick Price


We love you Q!

#7 Shawn Humpphries


I hope he does well no matter where he goes!

#6 Roger Harden


We should all be Quade fans!

#5 christopher mudd


Superfan! Thank you!

#4 Jared Morris


Come on Shannon.

#3 Chris Browning


Me too!!!

#2 Austin Brown


Smart move!

#1 Charlotte Shale


Congrats!!


Matt’s Notes: 5,000 Bowl Challenge, Quade Leaves and Hamilton

My second night of writing in one week…I am feeling the vibe

There is a lot to get to tonight and I want to finish in time to get back to Succession on HBO (which isn’t great but is very entertaining because every single character is despicable). Tonight we are excited to announce the $5,000 KSBAR Hammer Bowl Challenge. Over a year ago, when we first conceived the idea of opening KSBar, part of the rationale behind it was we wanted to have a location to do events and promotions that before, were impossible. I always love Bowl season…it is 16 days of daily Bowl games, often with stupid names and usually in locations that seem far from ideal (can you imagine making a Bowl game and then finding out you are playing in Detroit?). Over the years we have talked about ways to have a KSR Bowl Challenge, but they have usually fallen through due to a lack of coordination or time to put it together. Not this year…after partnering with out good friend Darryl Isaacs (the Heavy Hitter/Hammer always comes through), we have created a KSBar Bowl Challenge that will allow someone to win $5,000 and a host of other people to win smaller prizes. Here is how it works:

1. During every Bowl game of Bowl season starting Saturday, whoever picks the Winner/Point Margin of each game the closest becomes a finalist for $5,000. You will choose who you think wins the game, the margin of victory and (as a Tiebreaker) the actual score. Whichever person is the closest, becomes a finalist….we will have 41 finalists, one for each Bowl game

2. These 41 Finalists (or a proxy of their choosing) will come to KSBar the night of the National Championship (likely Alabama vs Clemson) and compete in a contest throughout the game to win $5,000. Players will be eliminated throughout the night as the game goes along, until the last 3 people go for $5,000. It is that simple

MATT, HOW DO I PLAY???

It is this simple…every day a Bowl game is played, if you come into KSBar at some point before the game and fill out an entry, you are in the contest…you don’t have to purchase anything (although we of course would like you to, since we have great food and an amazing Beer selection), but all you have to do is come fill in a slip before Kickoff. It’s that simple. So for instance this Saturday, there are five games…come in at any point and whatever game hasn’t started, you can enter. Next Tuesday, there is one game at 7 pm…come in anytime before 7 pm, fill out the card and you are in.

And as a Bonus prize, beginning Tuesday and on every non-Saturday of Bowl season, we will give $100 to whoever has the score the closest that is left in the Restaurant when the game ends…so if you are the kind of person that likes to hang out until late on a Tuesday when MAC teams play Football…you have a great chance at cash.

So that’s it…come in to the Restaurant, feel out picks and win. Become a finalist (which 40 of you will do) and $5,000 could be yours. And for those of you that LIVE TOO FAR AWAY TO COME IN, I will be having contests on Radio, Social Media and this Blog for a handful of the games so you can participate too. Thanks to the Hammer for being a part of it and we can’t wait to see you at KSBar every night to win

With that a couple of other thoughts….

Quade Green’s Departure

I got word of Quade leaving Kentucky last night and was disappointed with the news. He informed the coaching staff yesterday that he was going to leave and they asked if he would take a night to sleep on it and make sure. Because of the possibility of a change of heart, I only tweeted out the tease this morning and then at 1:30, UK and Quade made it official. The ending isn’t a huge surprise as the relationship between UK and Quade has been rocky from the beginning. Green was never the Calipari prototype of Point Guard that he prefers…he is undersized, isn’t particularly quick at getting to the whole, his defense is lacking and his score-first mentality is mostly with jump shots. That formula worked with Tyler Ulis because he was phenomenally tough, could disrupt with steals and became a very good passer. Those traits did not pass onto Quade and it made a square peg in a round hold.

Quade was very close to transferring last year and I think he considered it strongly. He ultimately came back, believing he could play some off-guard and still succeed in Year 2. But his defensive issues made it almost impossible for Calipari to trust to play him and the emergence in the last two games of Ashton Hagans, led Quade to decide to leave (he only played 8 and 10 minutes in the last two games). As I said on radio today, I think Quade is a good kid who will be a very good college basketball player in the right system. I don’t think he is a pro and I think the disconnect between what he thinks he is and what Calipari/Scouts do, ultimately led to the problems here. He was not a malcontent but he was a bit of a grump and I think he never truly embraced the UK model. I hope he has a ton of success and I think wherever he ends up (he will have lots of options but I think Washington is the early leader) will get a good player.

Quade’s departure does however showcase one of the issues and difficulties of recruiting at Kentucky under John Calipari. There are two types of players that truly excel and work here…top-level talents who have NBA potential and are here for 1-2 year apprenticeships and are ready to sacrifice to learn and move to the next level and 4 year players who understand what they are, accept their role and want to help the team and wait for their moment (think Dominique Hawkins, Derek Willis, Julius Mays, Reid Travis, etc). The latter group isn’t a very large one and for the most part has only been populated by kids from Kentucky or Grad transfer. What I don’t think works here is the mid-level talent that believes he is a One and Done but is actually a 4 year college contributor. Players like that at Kentucky (including transfers from Stacey Poole to Charles Matthews to Marcus Lee to Ryan Harrow to Quade Green and players who leave and don’t get picked where they believe they should like Gabriel//Briscoe, etc) just don’t seem to excel here. I think they pick Kentucky because of the dream of a 1-2 year path to the pros…but when that doesn’t happen, they don’t feel there is a place for them and they leave or don’t reach their potential. I think part of the fault comes from a delusional sense of their ability (both the players and those around him) but it also comes from a culture that UK has to change…one that seems to suggest if you don’t make it after 2 years, you are a failure. I don’t think that culture is anyone’s fault but it doesn’t make it easier

I wish Quade the best. Just like Charles Matthews, I will pull for him wherever he goes. As for this team, I don’t think it will have a huge impact on how Kentucky plays. Hagans/Quickley will get his time and Calipari will look to Baker to replace his three point shooting. The key to this team’s success won’t be whether or not Quade is on the team…it will be getting better PG play, PJ Washington showing consistency and Tyler Herro making shots. If those happen, UK will be fine. If they don’t, they won’t.

I will leave you with one of Quade’s best moments, his game winner versus Vandy

Hamilton

So after the loss to Seton Hall on Saturday, I decided to make the trek to Broadway and see the most hyped Broadway production since “Phantom of the Opera” and catch “Hamilton” in all its glory. I came into the show a complete virgin…while I obviously had heard about it for years, I had never listened to any of the music or read any of the dialogue. I knew the story of Hamilton because I had read the book the play was based upon but otherwise, I came in fresh, hoping to experience it with sight, rather than just audio or Youtube clips. I can say after the experience, that it was amazing. There are very few times in life when you hype something up in your mind to a high degree and then it exceeds your hope, but that happened to me with “Hamilton.” I went expecting to see a cultural phenomenon, but instead found myself engulfed in the experience in a way that I can say has never happened to me at a live theater performance. Look, I have been to my share of plays and musicals and have enjoyed them throughout my life (I once yelled at Ashley Judd post-“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” from the audience and said “Cats won” after a UK game ended that went on during the performance…she smiled and pumped her fist). But never have I gone to a performance, forgot I was watching a production and been completely encapsulated in what I was viewing.

I really am in awe at what they were able to do…the musical takes an American Founding Father that most knew (if they knew him at all) simply as the “Treasury guy” and places him in his historical context in an amazing entertaining and innovative way. When you can find yourself not only bouncing to a rap battle diss track between two founding fathers that is focused on the topic of whether there should be a nationalized bank, but actually learning while doing it, you have to shake your head and simply say, “well done.” Lin- Manuel Miranda’s work is that of a genius and I can’t recommend it highly enough. The performance I saw obviously didn’t have the original cast, but those playing the characters were all tremendous singers, highly entertaining (I would enjoy playing the King George part, who kills) and were worthy of the material. I know some of you have seen a performance, and many others of you have heard the soundtrack, but if you ever get a chance to see it LIVE, please do so. It is extremely expensive in New York, but will be playing in Louisville in March and hopefully you can find a way to weasel in and catch it.

I actually have more to say, but I will save it for another day. Before you go (WARNING….NOT STICKING TO SPORTS), take a second and watch this interview I did with GOP State Rep Jason Nemes. I like Jason a lot and he is one of the authors on two bills that I bet many of you care about this legislative session in Frankfort…Sports Gambling and Medical Marijuana. We discuss both below and it is a good conversation


Does Kentucky Basketball Have a Branding Problem?

A bad couple months for Kentucky basketball got worse on Wednesday with the news that Quade Green has decided to transfer from the school. When it rains it pours, and right now it’s pouring in Lexington. The Wildcats are 7-2, basically have no quality wins and are coming off a disappointing and at times head-scratching loss to Seton Hall on Saturday. Now they’ve lost a key reserve off their bench.

And if we’re being totally honest, Green’s departure really hurts. Sure, Ashton Hagans is slowly evolving into a solid starting point guard for the Wildcats, and yes, Green has deficiencies in his game that limited how much you could play him depending on the opponent, but that doesn’t change the fact that Kentucky lost a very valuable piece on Wednesday afternoon. On a team lacking three-point shooting, Green was the team’s best outside shooter (hitting 42 percent) and brought a veteran poise to games that neither Hagans or Immanuel Quickley has at this point. As Jon Rothstein pointed out on Twitter, Kentucky now has zero guards on its roster who have ever played in an NCAA Tournament game.

More important than Green’s individual departure however, is that this decision continues a disturbing trend for the Wildcats. For the fourth time in the last 30 months, Kentucky has now lost a non-freshman who has seemingly gotten lost in the rotation, with Green joining Charles Matthews, Marcus Lee and Sacha Killeya-Jones on the transfer market since spring of 2016. Not to mention that Wenyen Gabriel, Isaac Humphries and Isaiah Briscoe went pro despite minimal NBA prospects (although Briscoe has played himself into an NBA prospect during that stretch) during that stretch as well.

Add it up, and what has become a common talking point among fans has become an increasingly obvious trend. With each passing departure, it’s becoming more and more apparent that for whatever reason, players don’t seem to think there is a future for them at Kentucky after their sophomore seasons. Kentucky has become a place where it’s basically become “one-and-done or bust” for their players.

And it’s led me to one simple question: Does Kentucky basketball have a branding problem right now?

It seems so.

(more…)


New Jersey is rolling in dough thanks to legalized sports gambling

Related image

This tweet from Darren Rovell dropped my jaw:

Absolutely nutty. I don’t think (unlike pretty much everything else) that Kentucky will drag its feet with legalized sports gambling. I can go buy a lottery ticket at any gas station. I can play Keno at most bars. I can bet my mortgage on horse races throughout the year and now I can go play slots in Louisville. Surely our lawmakers will see the money coming into other states like New Jersey and want a a piece of that pie.

At least I hope so.

Read more about New Jersey’s big month HERE.


FINAL HOURS: 50% off sweatshirts, 30% off everything else!

The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are having a huge ONE DAY SALE. Now is the perfect time to finish your holiday shopping with KSR sweatshirts, UK tees, hats, and more.

Head to ShopKSR.com to receive 50% off select sweatshirts and 30% off the rest of the site. Hurry, sale ends at midnight! Tell your family and friends.

[KSR Shop: One Day Sale]


BBNBA: Some Quick Thoughts on a Slow Night in the BBNBA

(Photo via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America)

Good afternoon, folks. It was a very, very slow night for the BBNBA, which means it’s time for another installment of me spurting out basketball nonsense. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

  • Just to give a quick recap of Tuesday night, Brandon Knight (HOU) and Devin Booker (PHX) both sat out. Knight continues to rehab his ACL injury and expects to return to the court sometime next week. Booker has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury, but has started practicing with the team and should return soon, as well.
  • The one former Wildcat that did play was Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. SGA scored seven points for Los Angeles to go along with two rebounds and two assists, but his Clippers were ripped apart by the East-leading Toronto Raptors – who were also without superstar Kawhi Leonard.
  • So, on to a few topics of discussion that I’ve been meaning to talk more about.

Where is Skal Labissiere?

  • I’m not entirely sure even he knows where he is. If you haven’t heard me reference Labissiere’s name much this season it’s because I haven’t. He’s been relegated to the very last seat on the Sacramento Kings bench – maybe even into the second row of the crowd. Labissiere has made a total of seven appearances for the Kings this year, averaging a mere 5.7 minutes in those games – most of which have been at the end of blowouts. He’s recorded a total of 17 points and nine rebounds in 40 minutes this season. Spoiler alert: that is not good. I feared at the beginning of the season that the Kings loaded frontcourt could pose to be an issue for one of Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Harry Giles, or rookie Marvin Bagley III. There was obviously never going to be enough minutes for all four of them and Labissiere has been the odd man out to begin the season. The Kings even reassigned forward Zach Randolph’s role from the team’s leading scorer last season to a strictly locker room/mentoring type presence. Randolph hasn’t even appeared in one game this season yet Labissiere still finds himself on the pine. As we know, WCS has had a breakout season, clearly separating himself as the top big man Sacramento employs with Bagley following him and Giles soaking up the remaining minutes. If you remember correctly, this is the same Harry Giles who is essentially playing on two chopsticks instead of actual bones. Giles has had, like, 45 knee surgeries since he was a sophomore in high school, but still plays more minutes than Labissiere. The former Kentucky forward is still only 22 and in his third NBA season, but it might be time to put him in a different situation. Labissiere will be a restricted free agent this summer and I wouldn’t expect the Kings to offer him much of anything. It wouldn’t be shocking to see them decline his qualifying offer altogether and allow him to be an unrestricted free agent. At this point, that may be his only hope of finding some playing time. That or a trade, which hypothetically could happen before the deadline in February.

How good is Kevin Knox?

  • I’m not sure just yet, but I will say he’s had spurts that show he’s capable of being a legitimate NBA player. The early season ankle injury threw off his development a little bit, but he’s hit double figures in 10 of his 21 games played, including two different 26-point outbursts. Not shockingly, Knox hasn’t been ultra-efficient shooting the ball, as with most rookies. In his 26 point games, he shot 9-20 in the first one (acceptable) and 10-25 in the second one (gross). But what frustrates me the most is the games that follow where he shoots 3-11 or 4-12. He’s only knocking down 35 percent of all his field goals this season. His 41.8 effective field goal percentage ranks him in the 6th percentile among all NBA forwards. To put it plainly, he’s not very good right now, but that’s okay. The Knicks are bad. Terrible, actually. Knox is being given free rein to play loosely and his head coach is encouraging his aggressive play. It’s going to be a process for Knox. I’d also like to note that Knox has a relatively high usage rate (20.9 percent) coupled with a low turnover rate (8.8 percent), so it’s not like he’s playing out of control, he’s just still learning how to find his shot. It’s going to take the entire season for him to feel comfortable getting to his spots. Although, first he needs to find his spots. Once he can be confident doing that and begins to understand how to let the game come to him, that shooting percentage should spike a bit. I wouldn’t put too much stock into Knox’s rookie stats, he’s going to be all eye-test and potential the rest of the season.

A brand new KAT

  • Before the Jimmy Butler trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves were 4-9 and Karl-Anthony Towns was playing like a pissed off sack of insecurity. Since Butler was shipped off to Philly, the Wolves have gone 9-5 and KAT is back to looking like the transcendent offensive flamethrower that we know and love. Here’s a little before and after of Towns’ stats pre- and post-trade.
  • Pre-Butler trade (13 games): 19.9 PPG/10.8 RPG/2.1 APG/2.1 BPG/45.9 FG%/40.6 3PT/91.7 FT%
  • Post-Butler trade (14 games): 23.1 PPG/12.8 RPG/2.6 APG/1.3 BPG/52.6 FG%/40.0 3PT/80.8 FT%
  • With the departure of Butler, Towns became energized and reengaged. He’s taking more shots and making them at a considerably higher clip, especially working within the paint. At the beginning of the season, you’d often catch Towns settling for threes without hesitation, now, he’s abusing the block and demanding the ball in the post more than he ever was just a few weeks ago. Towns is averaging 6.4 paint touches per game since the Butler trade and he’s converting on 71 percent of shot attempts in that area. Before the Butler trade, Towns was only averaging 5.2 paint touches per game while shooting a measly 52 percent on those shots. Watching Towns now is night-and-day compared to when the season began. It’s also helped that the two players brought over in the trade – Dario Saric and Robert Covington – have meshed with the team seamlessly. The frontcourt duo of Saric/Towns has been an optimistic pairing so far and Covington has filled the defensive void left by Butler quite nicely. Before the Butler trade, the Wolves ranked 17th in offensive rating 28th in defensive rating. Since the trade, they’ve ranked 16th in offensive rating and 6th in defensive rating. I’m still not exactly sure if this is a team that can sneak into the playoffs when considering the other 13 Western Conference teams that surround them with playoff aspirations, but there is no denying at this point the Butler move was anything but necessary. KAT is back and the Wolves are fun again.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)99-123 L vs. TOR73-6 (1-2)22102-2921
Devin Booker (PHX)86-111 L @ SASDNP-Hamstring----------------
Brandon Knight (HOU)111-104 W vs. PORDNP-Knee----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

7:00: Pistons @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)

7:00: Knicks (Kanter, Knox) @ Cavaliers

7:00: Bucks (Bledsoe) @ Pacers

7:00: Nets @ 76ers

7:00: Celtics @ Wizards (Wall)

8:00: Trail Blazers @ Grizzlies

8:00 (ESPN): Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Pelicans (Davis, An. Harrison, Miller, Randle)

8:30: Hawks (Poythress-out) @ Mavericks

9:00: Heat (Adebayo) @ Jazz

10:00: Timberwolves (Towns) @ Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere)

10:30 (ESPN): Raptors @ Warriors (Cousins-out)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


BUY NOW: KSBar gift cards available for the holidays!

Have you been struggling to find that perfect gift this holiday season? You’re in luck! KSBar and Grille gift cards are now available online. You can purchase them in $25, $50, $75, and $100 increments. Plus, you will receive $5 free for every $25 you purchase!

Simply head to ShopKSR.com, select your gift card amount, enter the address and payment info, and your special gift is on the way.

You can finish all your holiday shopping right now with these KSBar gift cards! Cards must be ordered by December 18th to arrive in time for Christmas. Tell your family and friends.

[BUY NOW: KSBar gift cards]


Buy tickets to the UK vs. UofL game at the KFC Yum! Center

Want to watch the UK vs. Louisville game live at the KFC Yum! Center? You can! UofL made single-game tickets available on TicketMaster.com and they’re waiting to be purchased by eager UK fans looking to paint the arena blue (again).

The Cats packed Cardinal Stadium in November and now they can do the same at the Yum! Center in a couple weeks. But this game will certainly be a little tougher than what Mark Stoops and the boys faced in November. Louisville is off to an impressive start and have already defeated Michigan State at home. It will be UK’s first true road game of the season and maybe the wildest of the season for the Cats.

BUY TICKETS HERE.


Hardly Committed E19: Jaden McDaniels and a Benihana Christmas

T.J. Walker is back for another episode of KSR’s basketball recruiting podcast, Hardly Committed.  Of course, there’s plenty of recruiting chatter, but this week’s edition of The Annex is extra special.  To celebrate the best Christmas special in television history, Trevor Kelsey makes a surprise appearance with Nick and T.J.  Highlights:

— Could Anthony Edwards still visit UK? Does it even matter?

— The latest on Keion Brooks.

— So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

— Talking through the Jaden McDaniels situation.

— Michael is lucky Carol hung around for as long as she did.

— Karen Fillipelli is the ultimate Office victim.

Subscribe to Hardly Committed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app to get the podcast delivered directly to your phone.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play, and streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.