By Nick Roush on ©May 22nd, 2018 @ 1:30pm
Last week Eddie Gran received a commitment from South Florida quarterback, Nik Scalzo. An unheralded three-star recruit, we heard the Baker Mayfield comparisons and a few more anecdotes, but there’s much more to learn about UK’s next signal-caller.
To find out more about Scalzo, I sought somebody who knows him quite well, his coach at Cardinal Gibbons, Matt DuBuc. After a 15-minute conversation with KSR, there are a few things that should make you excited to see Scalzo in Kentucky blue.
1. Air Raid Roots
Scalzo has been tagged as a dual-threat quarterback by 247 Sports, but that’s not necessarily the case. Throughout his quarterbacking career, he’s led an Air Raid offense. That tag can often be misleading, especially for Kentucky fans who recall the years Tim Couch fired up the sirens at Commonwealth Stadium.
DuBuc runs the same offense Hal Mumme operated at Kentucky, because he learned it from Mumme’s most successful disciple, Mike Leach.
“It is very similar. I went to Texas Tech, so I know Mike Leach very well. It’s very similar to the Air Raid he ran at Texas Tech and Washington State.” DuBuc told KSR. “We’re running very similar things to what you saw when Leach was there, and Mumme, at Cardinal Gibbons.”
2. Scalzo Loves the Deep Ball
There are differences in the offense Scalzo runs and the one that Tim Couch ran at Kentucky. The foundation of that offense was to get the ball into open space, often with short passes, then let playmakers make plays.
“That’s how I teach it, but unfortunately, he likes to take the big shots,” DuBuc said with a laugh. “On almost every play we have a pre-snap read where we have a vertical route. If he feels like we can win on that vertical route, he’ll take it. We’re not necessarily dink and dunk. The Air Raid’s evolved a little bit more in the last few years where there’s a lot more vertical throws within the diamond concept, but if you want to throw for a lot of yards in this offense, you gotta utilize the backs. The backs are key.”
One of the running backs, Vincent Davis, is also a Kentucky target. More on him later.
3. He’s Always Been Undersized
DuBuc first began training Scalzo when the quarterback was in middle school. If he’s considered undersized now at 5’11”, you should have seen him then.
“He was a little 5’3″ kid when we started, but always had a really good arm and good feet, so I thought there was potential there.”
It did not take long for that potential to turn into production.
“His freshman year he threw for almost 2,000 yards on JV, and you could just tell — ball placement, moxie, athletic ability. He had those things and he’s smart. He came in here and got a 4.5 GPA. He’s just done it the right way.”
He was only about 5’8″ in that first season. As his game grew, luckily he did too.
4. The Comparisons to Mayfield, Manzeil are Fair
Following Scalzo’s commitment, many eyes rolled when he was compared to two of the last six Heisman Trophy winners. I’ll admit, I was one of them, but DuBuc makes a good case for the comparisons.
“I think he’s very similar to Baker Mayfield and Johnny Manzeil. I think he’s got a lot of their qualities as a playmaker. The one thing in the Air Raid — Tim Couch was not really able to, when the pocket collapsed, he had to get it out or throw it away and play on second down. Nik has that ability, even though we’re running the Air Raid, when things break down he’s able to continue the play, but look to throw and not to run. He gets a lot of balls out there to guys that they can’t cover for more than three or four seconds.”
5. Not a Runner
Scalzo has the dual-threat tag. His coach said it’s not because he’s going to run for 1,000 yards. He’s quick enough to escape the pocket, but once that happens, he looks to throw instead of run. That development of Scalzo’s game makes his coach proud.
“That’s natural for him. We had to break him a little bit when he got here — like a wild pony and put a saddle on him — because a lot of times when things broke down early, he ran out. I challenged him and in the later half of last year he really became a pocket passer. He ran when he needed to, but he wasn’t looking to run. He was looking to throw. I think that’s where his game has really taken the next step.”
DuBuc added: “The thing with most quarterbacks at 5’11, when things break down they run. This guy is looking to throw, and I think that’s why he’s thrown 50 touchdowns in two years.”
6. Eddie Gran is an Excellent Evaluator
Kentucky’s offensive coordinator has developed an outstanding reputation in South Florida. DuBuc has the utmost respect for the longtime SEC assistant who has developed relationships at Florida’s top high school programs.
“Eddie Gran does a phenomenal job recruiting the schools. He has a great eye for talent,” DuBuc said.
Where other schools only see Scalzo’s size, Gran sees a competent quarterback that can move an offense down the field efficiently.
“Eddie I would say is not taking a risk. He is taking the best player available. I think a lot of teams think, ‘You gotta be 6-foot or you gotta be 6-1.’ I think Eddie’s really figured out that one inch on somebody’s height isn’t going to change the day. Can they win? Can they perform? Can they lead people? Can they do the things necessary to move the chains? He sees that in Nik.”
7. They Gotta Beat American Heritage
Cardinal Gibbons has one team keeping them from getting over the hump. Coached by three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Surtain, American Heritage was ranked No. 14 in the nation by the USA Today Super 25 at season’s end. I’ll let DuBuc explain how they got there…
“We were 11-2 last year and lost in the third round to American Heritage 58-57 in triple overtime on a blocked extra point. They ended up going 15-0 and winning the state championship with a running clock. That’s a district game for us. Nik and I in the two years I’ve been the head coach are 21-4, and all four losses are to American Heritage. We definitely got them on our sights.”
Scalzo and DuBuc will have another shot at American Heritage on October 12.
8. Talented Teammates
Scalzo isn’t UK’s only recruit at Cardinal Gibbons. Near the top of Gran’s recruiting board at running back is Vincent Davis. A three-star prospect, he holds offers from UK, Boston College, Syracuse and a dozen others.
“Vince is a 10.7 100 meters. He’s about 5’9″, 175 and can flat out guy,” DuBuc said. “He runs very hard for a smaller back. He’s a guy that you gotta get the ball in his hands any which way.”
Scalzo’s tight end, Nikolas Ognenovic, has traveled to Kentucky with his quarterback. The 6’5″ target rarely puts his hand in the dirt in Gibbons’ Air Raid offense, which essentially makes him another receiver, “but he’s 240 pounds.”
The other teammate Kentucky is recruiting, offensive lineman Jamari Williams, will choose between Kentucky and Louisville this Friday.
9. Where Scalzo Needs to Improve
Scalzo is far from a polished product. The high school junior needs to improve on his decision-making, among other things.
“You kind of always use the word “maturity” for every player. The maturity of understanding that you don’t have to take the deep shot. You don’t have to force the ball. You don’t have to run out of the pocket. Those are all maturity things.
“I think he’s a pretty good student of the game. By the time he gets up to you guys, he’ll probably be 6-foot 195, 200 pounds. He’s a workout guy. He works hard in the gym.”
10. A Playmaker
Nik Scalzo has come a long way since DuBuc first met the 5’3″ seventh grader. He’s grown physically and mentally. Scalzo was not handed a ticket to college football. He had to work to earn his offer from Kentucky. Scalzo was not born with god-gifted measurements, but he did receive one gift: the ability to make plays.
“He wanted to play in the ACC or SEC. He got those opportunities because he makes plays. That’s the bottom line.”
By Trey Huntsman on ©May 22nd, 2018 @ 1:00pm
The BatCats are in Hoover for the week-long SEC tournament. Kentucky (34-21, 13-17) hope to stick around for as much of that week as possible. With a win over Auburn in today’s opening round, UK would move into the double-elimination portion of the tournament. But a loss to Auburn would send UK back to Lexington. Before the game gets going at 2 ET (weather permitting), here is everything you need to know about UK’s opening round matchup.
This Game Could Knock UK Out of the NCAA tournament
How crazy is it that UK is now in this position? A week ago the Cats were working to earn a hosting spot, now they need to win today to feel safe in terms of reaching the tournament. D1 Baseball has UK as one of the last five teams in the tournament playing in the Chapel Hill Regional as a three seed. Baseball America has projected that UK will head to Clemson as a three seed. A win today would solidify a spot in the tournament, but a loss will make the Cats sweat a little before next Monday’s Selection Show.
Kentucky Won Two of Three in the Regular Season Series
It seems like years ago that these two teams squared off in Lexington. The Cats won the series thanks to some late-inning heroics in game one. UK scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to win 5-4 over the Tigers. Casey Mize, the projected #1 pick this year, struck out 12 in seven innings against UK, but his bullpen failed him in the ninth. Luke Heyer tied the game with a two-run homer against AU closer Calvin Coker in the ninth. With one out in the inning, Zeke Lewis scored on a passed ball to give UK the walk-off win. The Cats would win Sunday’s rubber match to take two of three from the Tigers.
— Kentucky Baseball (@UKBaseball) March 24, 2018
Two Freshmen Square Off on the Mound
Nick Mingione will start his freshman midweek starter in the SEC Tournament opener. For more on UK’s starter, click here. The Tigers are going with freshman Jack Owen to start their postseason run. Owen started six midweek games for AU this season, going 2-2 with a 6.14 ERA and 34 strikeouts. Before making the move to the SEC, Owen was the #2 left-handed pitcher in California in the 2017 class. While he has untapped potential, Owen is still very raw. In 32 innings, Owen had a WHIP of 1.68. Of his 13 appearances as a freshman, only three of them came against SEC opponents. Owen allowed four runs in two innings in conference games. Tomorrow will be the first time Owen has pitched on the big stage with a lot on the line.
Auburn’s Top Hitter Was Once Committed To UK
When Brad Bohannon was the recruiting coordinator at UK, he scored a commitment from a shortstop named William Holland. When Bohannon took the assistant coaching job at Auburn in 2015, Holland stayed committed to his coach and switched to AU. In his second season with the Tigers, Holland led the team with a .329 average. He was named second team All-SEC following his breakout season.
Have You Ever Seen The Rain?
If you make the trip to Hoover this week, chances are you will see rain each and every day. The forecasts for the week show good chances for storms throughout the week. The first game of the tournament was already delayed an hour because of showers this morning. It is important to remember that these games HAVE to be played. There is very little room throughout the week for doubleheaders and rain delays. For today, UK will most likely start later in the afternoon.
Every SEC Tournament game will be broadcast on the SEC Network. If you need up to the minute updates, follow @TreyHuntsmanKSR live from Hoover.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 22nd, 2018 @ 12:09pm
Outback’s quest for the rare back-to-back title fell short as Buffalo Wild Wings went on to win the 2018 KSR Food Bracket championship.
B-Dubs took the crown in a lopsided vote among show callers and celebrities on Tuesday. It reached the title game with wins over Rally’s, Little Caesars, Red Lobster, Hooters and Taco Bell.
Celebrate with “One Shining Moment,” courtesy of Wes Ledford.
I’m not happy about this.
By Trey Huntsman on ©May 22nd, 2018 @ 11:30am
Nick Mingione will go to his primary midweek starter today as the BatCats take the field in the opening round of the SEC Tournament. Freshman Daniel Harper was named the starter for today’s SEC Tournament opener against Auburn. The Kansas-native went 3-2 with a 5.14 ERA as Kentucky’s usual midweek starter.
Harper was one of the only pitchers on UK’s staff to get experience starting midweek games and coming out of the bullpen against SEC opponents. In midweeks, Harper showed exceptional development over the course of the season. After allowing 20 earned runs in his first nine appearances of his career, Haper settled down and allowed only seven runs in his final nine trips to the mound. Harper threw a combined ten shutout innings in starts against Miami and Morehead after struggling to open the season.
UK moved Harper to the bullpen for SEC games when more and more guys went down with injuries. Harper allowed five runs in less than an inning against Arkansas, but he was solid after that misstep. After the Arkansas loss, Harper came out of the bullpen in four games and allowed three runs in 6.2 innings.
Auburn will counter with their midweek starter Jack Owen. The freshman went 2-2 with a 6.19 ERA in 13 appearances this season. Owen did not show the gradual improvement against SEC opponents that Harper did this season. The top-rated prospect allowed four runs in three innings against SEC teams as a freshman.
Both teams are in desperate need of a win today. They will go to their freshmen arms to try and push them into the second round of the SEC Tournament. Kentucky and Auburn will be the second game of the first round of the SEC Tournament. All four games today will be single elimination before the tournament moves to double elimination tomorrow.
By TJ Walker on ©May 22nd, 2018 @ 10:30am
Paul Washington Sr. texted Kentucky Sports Radio to update where things stand with P.J. Washington’s NBA Draft decision.
P.J. Washington said in Chicago last week that if he wasn’t a guaranteed first round pick he would return to Kentucky. His father said that is still the plan but added no final decision has been made.
“We will sit down as a family once we get the info and make a decision that is in the best interest of my son and his goals,” he text Kentucky Sports Radio.
The mock drafts aren’t favorable for P.J. Washington’s goals of being a first round pick. Out of three mock drafts that project both rounds (ESPN, SI and NBADraft.net) only one has Washington being drafted. Sports Illustrated has him at No. 48 while and no current mock draft has him as a first round selection.
Paul Washington Sr. said that he’s unsure if his son’s decision will come before the May 30th deadline, but it’s looking like it may come down to the wire because P.J. Washington isn’t finished meeting with teams.
P.J. Washington will work out with the Utah Jazz tomorrow and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
The Jazz have the 21st and 52nd pick. The Timberwolves have the 2oth pick. Washington has already met with the Clippers, Nets and Celtics. There was a schedule visit with the Bucks but I can’t confirm if that visit actually took place.
P.J.’s last planned workout is May 25th. I’m guessing after that visit he meets with his family over the weekend and comes to a final decision. However, with it being Memorial Day weekend a final decision may not come until May 29th at the earliest. With the deadline being May 30th he may just wait until the final day.
By Bryan the Intern on ©May 22nd, 2018 @ 10:00am
If we are being realistic, the schedule for the UK football team this upcoming season does not setup nicely for the Cats. Despite the program going to two straight bowl games and with the returning talent, it appears on paper to be another grind to 6 or 7 wins this season. OK, we’re UK fans, we are used to that. I am good with that. So how do we set a realistic goal for the year in Year 6 of the Stoops era that isn’t based entirely on wins and losses.
I think it’s easy. For whatever reason, in each and every season of the Stoops era, his teams have thrown in multiple clunkers during the year. He has had at least one 30+ point loss in every season, and nine of them overall. In total, he’s had at least three losses in each season by over 2 touchdowns, a total of 17 over five years.
42 points: at Georgia
41 points: Alabama
31 points: Missouri
17 points: Florida
16 points: at Vanderbilt
38 points: at LSU
34 points: at Tennessee
32 points: Georgia
31 points: Tennessee
26 points: at Mississippi State
24 points: at Georgia
38 points: at Florida
28 points: at Alabama
15 points: Georgia Tech
38 points: at Mississippi STate
29 points: at Georgia
27 points: Louisville
I recognize the schedule is difficult this year, including a national title contender in Georgia and road games at Florida, Texas A&M, and Missouri. But I think this program is solid enough, with enough elite talent, that the clunker game should no longer be a part of this season. I want every game this year to be inside 14 points at the final horn. Every game this year should be competitive. I think that would be a tremendous step for this program and this fanbase to change the mentality that some games are not even worth fighting for. We should go into College Station with a great chance to compete and things fall into place and maybe win. Same goes with Gainesville.
I’m tired of the blowouts in the Stoops era. Far too many times his teams haven’t shown up. That needs to end with this veteran team. If not, then my goal won’t be reached.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 22nd, 2018 @ 9:55am
On today’s very important Kentucky Sports Radio radio show, a collective effort of show callers and special guests will determine the winner of the KSR Food Bracket.
Will it be Outback or B Dubs?
We’ll find out today as the guys do the show from Louisville (while the CEO of iHeartMedia is in town).
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.
|Ashland||WCMI||93.3 FM T||LIVE|
|Bowling Green||WBGN||1340 AM||LIVE|
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|Hopkinsville||WHOP||95.3 FM T||LIVE|
|Lancaster||WZXI||1280 AM||5-7 PM|
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|50 Radio Affiliates|
1 TV/Cable Affiliate
*Affiliates subject to change without notice
The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are here to get your week off to a great start. Head to ShopKSR.com to take advantage of their 2 for $32 short sleeve tee sale! Be sure to check out all of the great new designs. Add some new KSR and other Kentucky apparel to your summer wardrobe.
All of these new t-shirt designs are available now until they are sold out. Sale ends Wednesday.
By Nick Roush on ©May 22nd, 2018 @ 9:00am
Postseason baseball begins today at 2:00 on the SEC Network for the Kentucky Wildcats. Nick Mingioine’s club has an opportunity for redemption after an up and down regular season, but it will not come easy.
A ten-seed in Hoover, the Bat Cats’ first opponent is Auburn. Kentucky won two of three in March against the Tigers at The Cliff, falling 3-4 in another ill-fated Saturday match-up. If Kentucky can win one against Auburn, they’ll enter the double elimination portion of the tournament. If the Cats lose today, their time in Hoover is done. Regardless of what happens, UK will have to hit the road in the NCAA Tournament. Will they limp in, or enter with a little momentum?
Kentucky will have a pair of First Team All-SEC players in the lineup. Yesterday Luke Heyer earned the honor as a designated hitter while Kole Cottam has named the league’s top first baseman.
For more UK Baseball, check out the latest from Coach Keith Madison and Trey Huntsman, who will be in Alabama covering the Bat Cats for KSR this week.
Eight. More. Days.
There are only eight more days of “NBA Draft Decision SZN.” Yesterday I mistakenly relayed the wrong deadline, the NBA deadline. UK officials cleared things up and confirmed May 30 at midnight is the deadline for P.J. Washington, Wenyen Gabriel and Jarred Vanderbilt. We don’t know if Jarred Vanderbilt has met with or worked out for any teams, but we did find out last night that Gabriel has already auditioned for five NBA teams.
Terry Throws Touchdowns
The Kentucky football team isn’t on campus, but a pair of Wildcats are putting in work together in Oklahoma. Terry Touchdown and Isaiah Epps are trying to develop a deep ball connection and so far, so good.
— Terry Wilson (@TerryTouchdown3) May 22, 2018
Conference Finals Continue
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers ran away from Boston with a 111-102 victory to even the Eastern Conference Finals at two wins apiece. The Rockets have an opportunity to even the Western Conference Finals tonight at 9:00 on TNT, but between you and I, that’s not gonna happen.
Through the Fog
How did Larry Collmus call the Preakness? That’s an excellent question. Even after watching him make the call, I don’t understand how he did it so well.
Good-Bye, Larry Culpepper
Dr. Pepper is retiring their college football spokesman. The man who shouted “ICE COLD!” in bowl season ads drew the ire of many, but count me as one who will miss the goofy dad who invented the CFB Playoff.
Election Day: Vote or Die
I don’t think Puff Daddy’s tagline is still cool on election day, but I still say it every time. Even though there aren’t many statewide offices up for grabs, it’s still important to perform your civic duty by casting your vote. At the very least, you can post a picture of your “I Voted” sticker on social media.
A Colorful Wildcats’ Conversation
The Canadian Lynx’s growl is a little bit different than the Kentucky Wildcat’s.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 22, 2018
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©May 21st, 2018 @ 11:00pm
We are one month away from the NBA Draft, and with the Lottery and Combine now in the rearview mirror, basketball analysts across the country are releasing new mock drafts. Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo updated his projections today and has five Kentucky players going in the draft, but only two in the first round:
- 12. Los Angeles Clippers: Kevin Knox
- 13. Los Angeles Clippers: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
- 43. Denver Nuggets: Hamidou Diallo
- 48. Minnesota Timberwolves: PJ Washington
- 52. Utah Jazz: Jarred Vanderbilt
As you are well aware, PJ Washington, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Wenyen Gabriel have until May 30 to decide whether or not to stay in the draft. TJ Walker doled out his predictions as to what they’ll do in the Insider Notes earlier today:
Here’s where all six players stand in the latest round of mock drafts:
|Shai Alexander||Kevin Knox||Hamidou Diallo||PJ Washington||Jarred Vanderbilt||Wenyen Gabriel|
|ESPN Top 100 (Updated 5/13)||12||15||37||51||63||—|
|ESPN (Updated 5/15)||12. LA Clippers||15. Washington||40. Brooklyn||—||—||—|
|Sports Illustrated (Updated 5/21)||12. LA Clippers||13. LA Clippers||43. Denver||48. Minnesota||52. Utah||—|
|Sporting News* (Updated 5/21)||12. LA Clippers||16. Phoenix (via Miami)||—||—||—||—|
|Gary Parrish* (Updated 5/16)||13. LA Clippers||14. Denver||—||—||—||—|
|NBADraft.net (Updated 5/17)||12. LA Clippers||11. Charlotte||52. Utah||—||—||—|
|Bleacher Report* (Updated 5/21)||12. LA Clipppers||14. Denver||—||—||—||—|
|The Athletic* (Updated 5/16)||12. LA Clippers||14. Denver||—||—||—||—|
|* First Round only|
By Savannah Patton on ©May 21st, 2018 @ 10:30pm
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 Chad Kruger
— Chad Kruger (@HoofHearted21) May 21, 2018
When is there not a line?!
#9 Pat Ingram
@KySportsRadio I agree Saturday was your best yet on ESPN radio – definitely best chemistry.
— Pat Ingram (@pi609) May 21, 2018
It was worth waking up early!
#8 Mary Sky Fortune
— Mary Sky Fortune (@EsquireSky) May 21, 2018
Hey, he’s got priorities.
#7 Todd McFarland
@KySportsRadio new restaurant coming to a town without a Mexican restaurant. Name will be El KSRador
— Todd McFarland (@todd_ukfan) May 21, 2018
That’s a place I’d like to go!
#6 Bill Durbin
— Bill Durbin (@bdurb1230) May 21, 2018
Same here. Go Bravos!
#5 Chris Davis
— Chris Davis (@cmdcpa2) May 21, 2018
He’s a popular man!
#4 Rick Wood
Hey @KySportsRadio @MattJonestv @MattJonesRadio Don’t let the fact that @Outback is giving away Blooming Onions today influence the voting. #KSR #FoodBracket @ryanlemond @DrewFranklinKSR @ShannonTheDude #VoteBuying
— Rick Wood (@rewoodky) May 21, 2018
We play clean here at KSR!
— funKYcat75 (@funKYcat75) May 20, 2018
This one wins the internet.
#2 Scott Darst
— Scott Darst (@MountaineerCat) May 21, 2018
— josephschroer (@josephschroer) May 21, 2018
Is this a compliment?
By TJ Walker on ©May 21st, 2018 @ 9:30pm
Sadly we’re no closer to knowing if Wenyen Gabriel will return to Kentucky, but we haven’t heard much from him since the end of UK’s season.
Gabriel spoke with media members in Sacramento after his workout with the Kings. The stretch forward seemed upbeat and positive, but didn’t drop any hints about where he’s leaning in his decision making process, but that’s probably because he wasn’t asked.
Gabriel did say that he spoke with former teammate De’Aaron Fox when asked about what he knew about the Kings.
“I knew a little bit. I know there are already a lot of Kentucky players already play for the program. One of my former teammates De’Aaron Fox is already here. He said he loved it here. I asked him about the city and he said great weather. The fans are great over here and obviously the facilities are nice. They have a nice developmental program here. I mean, it’s just a great place and I love the energy around here.”
If you’re looking for anything and you’re willing to dig deep, his quote about the Kings’ developmental program was intriguing. It seems like Gabriel knows that if he gets any chance in the NBA he will be spending time in the G-League.
Gabriel mentions he has worked out for Sacramento, Brooklyn, Oklahoma City, Milwaukee and Utah.
Fox is joined by former Cats Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere. The Kings have one of the youngest teams in the NBA that feature several stretch forwards and on the one hand there aren’t many (if any) established wings, which would be good for Gabriel, but on the other hand the Kings probably aren’t looking for more wings.
Best of luck Wenyen. At the latest we’ll know his decision in nine days.
By Drew Franklin on ©May 21st, 2018 @ 9:00pm
Hello there and welcome to the very first edition of the “Ask Anything Mailbox.”
In this Volume 1 of the anything-goes Q&A, I answer 10 of the many questions submitted by you, the loyal KSR readers, over the last week. I’ll get to the others in due time, but your response to my call for questions was quite enormous and I can only write so many words in one sitting.
So here we go, Ask Anything numero uno…
My wife and I are expecting our first child in October and it’s a boy. Naturally we have been kicking around baby names.
Question is: What do you think of the first name “Rupp”?
All my friends agree with me that it would be awesome and all her friends think I’m crazy. I’m campaigning hard for support. What do you think?
Congrats on the sex.
If you’re wanting to name your boy after Rupp, I much prefer the name Rupp over Adolph. In fact, I highly recommend staying clear of naming him Adolph. However, I do think there are better options out there. I would consider Doron or even like a Deelamb. You should also see what your wife thinks of Tayshaun or Heshimu or Nazr or Karl-Anthony. I like all four of those.
When is the last time UK had a winning SEC record?
I assume you mean football and the answer is 1977. Fran Curci’s Wildcats went 10-1 and 6-0 in the Southeastern Conference with wins over Mississippi State, LSU, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Florida and Tennessee.
Also, Google is your friend.
Hey Drew and gang – Lexington born and lifelong UK fan writing from San Francisco! Classic would you rather for ya – Would you rather: Eat tacos with Boogie Cousins OR watch Rick Pitino fall down a flight of stairs?
As much as I love to laugh at Rick Pitino, I do not wish bodily injury on anyone. Now if I got a pre-fall guarantee that he wouldn’t get hurt, I’d take the fall. But if there’s any chance Rick would injure himself, I just can’t pick that one because I’m not a bad person.
Can I pick tacos with Pitino?
Honestly, did your parents earn their pensions in the 80’s from Pepsico or something? I eat Taco Bell also but let’s face it, it’s a bad example of tacos and frankly limits your credibility on the taco subject, Tex Mex, and even BBQ Why BBQ? Because if you have no Tex Mex credibility it means you really have no Texas credibility either which limits you on brisket, an entire segment of delicious BBQ. It’s like dominoes or paying hush money to a porn star, it eventually touches everything.
I remember once being on a plane early in my career traveling from Chicago to Louisville returning to home in Lexington. At the time I had recently relocated to Chicago and was apartment hunting in advance of my wife joining me. I was seated next to an executive from Papa Johns who was lamenting the fact that the PJ franchises were having a hard time cracking the Chicago market and he did not understand why. I was unapologetic in my description that compared to mom and pop Chicago pizza restaurants and chains, North or South side, that his pizza was horrible! It was like a slap in the face but truth that he desperately needed. I went on to explain, all pizza is delicious, even shitty pizza, but great pizza is euphoric. Geno’s East, Aurelio’s, and Lou Malnati’s are all places that no self respecting human being would every fore go for an inferior product like Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars or Dominos if you lived in Chicago. I told him to focus on markets that do not have strong family chain presences or he will be having the same discussion 20 years later with someone else on the flight. I also told him he could compete with the late night but still delicious burritos as big as your head market after the bars close with a pizza by the slice strategy.Now, how does that relate to Taco Bell. Because it is the exact same example. Taco Bell is good because even even crappy tacos / pizza are considered delicious. At the same time, pretty much any other stand alone taco joint in the world serves better tacos then Yum Brands flagship Taco Bell. Hell, I even had one at a Jack box 20 years ago was better then TB and they are the same company and used a slice of cheese reserved for the burgers instead of shredded cheese. You also can’t say it is strictly price based as I fed an entire fraternity rush part for $80 bucks and it included a 100 tacos, 100 bean burritos, and a free t-shirt (that I kept) all from a lonely Taco Tico in Lexington.
I can appreciate loyalty to a high degree but I think your readers deserve an explanation as it can not possibly be because of the food. Did your parents meet at TB? Did your mother birth you at a TB? Perhaps you shared your first kiss over a mexican pizza at a TB? Fill us in Drew as something is clearly missing.
First of all, I don’t like your attitude. You’re coming at me with this Taco Bell slander and I find it offensive. Secondly, I don’t believe your airplane story. You made that up.
And so you know, my mother gave birth to me in a hospital and I hate the Mexican Pizza. Your Ask Anything Mailbox submission was the Mexican Pizza of Ask Anything Mailbox submissions.
Since Ryan loves to save money why didn’t he have his hair replaced with pubic hair. This would save him major $$$ on haircuts because it only grows to about an inch and stops growing after that.
I’ll let you take that up with Ryan. That is a mental image I don’t need.
My super senior year of college was the 38-1 season. In the second semester there were rampant rumors about Devin Booker and porn star Lisa Ann potentially being a thing. Like they were texting or they hung out. KSR might have even mentioned something about it on the radio show. Was this true? We heard she broke it off right before March Madness and he coincedentally started to play terribly for the remainder of the year, so me and my buddies always blame her.
Any insights are appreciated.
I wouldn’t blame Lisa Ann for Kentucky losing in the Final Four that year. I would blame Kentucky for crapping the bed in the final minutes of a close game. But there might be a little truth to the Lisa Ann/Devin Booker “friendship.” She said in a radio interview that the two texted back and forth before and after his games. Whether or not that is true is not for me to discuss, but she did say they exchanged texts on many occasions. She also said she wanted to have a threesome with the Harrison twins.
If we lose 2 of the 3 guys still in the draft but not projected as picks, what % is your confidence level we get the Travis kid from Stanford?
I think it’s very likely Kentucky lands Reid Travis if two or three leave for the draft. If only one leaves, Calipari may be content with what he already has in the frontcourt.
What does Drew actually do for KSR besides being a late 30’s creepy, drunken mascot?
I hate to break it to you, but I am not in my late 30s, nor am I even in my mid-30s. You would also be very disappointed to know how often I actually get drunk. As for the creepiness, I cannot think of any creepy activity I’ve engaged in, but thank you for the kind words and I’m sorry I’m not the person you want me to be.
My work with KSR includes but is not limited to writing 30+ posts on the website each week; staying on top of breaking news; co-hosting the radio show twice a week, although that will soon be three times a week; co-hosting all pregame shows; moderating the KSR live blog during all games, both football and basketball; co-hosting the KSR Football Podcast; weekly appearances and field packages for “Hey Kentucky!”; assisting in behind-the-scenes business operations, from generating revenue to planning for the new office; sinking the KSR Bowling Team’s point total each Wednesday; laughing at comments and messages to the KSR Facebook Page; and many other day-to-day tasks to further develop the brand and take over the world. On Sundays I sleep. A lot.
Personally, I think the radio show is the best when you are there to add your knowledge and quick-witted humor. Who dictates when you make a radio appearance? Do you get to do whenever you want or does Matt ask you to do specific days?
My current agreement with the good people at iHeartMedia, Inc. is to appear on two shows per week. I usually pick the days based on my own availability, my other KSR obligations, and what Matt has planned for the show for the week. A third day will be added to my weekly radio schedule later in the summer.
What’s the closest you’ve come to getting fired from KSR?
I don’t think I’ve come close, as far as I know. My nine years have been pretty free of controversy with Matt, Hubby and the rest of the crew. There has been plenty of public controversy (beginning with the Samantha Ryan incident early in my career) but never anything between me and anyone on the KSR team.
That being said, I can see the Ask Anything Mailbox getting me fired one day for revealing company secrets.
Submit your question(s) for an upcoming edition of the “Ask Anything Mailbox”…
Until next time…
By Aaron Torres on ©May 21st, 2018 @ 8:00pm
To quote my colleague here at KSR Nick Roush, we have officially reached that magical time on the annual basketball calendar simply known as “NBA Draft stay or go SZN.” Sure, a handful of college basketball’s biggest stars (guys like DeAndre Ayton, Kevin Knox etc.) long ago hired agents, entered the draft and never looked back. But there are still dozens of others who are still “testing the waters” without agents and trying to figure out what their futures hold.
Now in terms of Kentucky, there isn’t a player with more intrigue in this process than P.J. Washington. Since Washington declared for the draft shortly after the season without an agent, he has made it abundantly clear that he will only leave school if he is a first round pick – a stance which he re-affirmed at the NBA Draft Combine last weekend. And as I’ve written and tweeted about many times this spring, I think this is the right approach for Washington specifically. While second round NBA Draft money is better than ever, Washington is one of those guys who could really make a leap in next year’s draft if he comes back to school and improves a few elements of his game (most notably his three-point shooting).
So that’s the good with Washington, but after spending the last few weeks speaking with NBA people, college coaches and others “in the know” there is something else that would concern me if I was a Kentucky fan looking for Washington to return next season. It’s something that few are talking about, and has little to do with Washington himself. But it’s also something that could play a major role in his decision.
By Nick Roush on ©May 21st, 2018 @ 6:47pm
The Kentucky football team has extended a scholarship offer to the fastest-rising prospect in the region.
Entering the spring season, Jared Casey only had scholarship offers from Purdue, Toledo and Cincinnati. He transferred form Trinity to Ballard last year, but had to miss the entire season with a torn labrum. He returned to football this spring on the camping circuit. After taking home the linebacker MVP honors at the Rivals Camp in Nashville, the unranked recruit became a four-star prospect.
Now a consensus Top 20 linebacker in the country, Casey has picked up offers from Syracuse, Oregon, and Temple since the Rivals camp. Vince Marrow could not ignore Casey. Today the Big Dog visited Casey at Ballard and extended him a scholarship offer. It’s Casey’s first SEC offer and just his second in-state offer, behind only EKU.
Casey grew up a UofL fan, and he’s taken unofficial visits to the Cards’ campus, but the Cats offered him first.
You can learn more about Casey’s development from WLKY’s Dan Koob, who visited him at school last week.