Kansas’ shady recruitment of Zion Williamson brought up in corruption trial

One more bombshell drops from the college basketball corruption trial, as payments between Zion Williamson and Kansas were discussed.

Remember when the Kentucky Wildcats really wanted Zion Williamson?

Maybe it’s a good thing he didn’t land in Lexington after all.

As the college basketball corruption trial wraps up, Williamson has been brought up in relation to potential illegal recruiting tactics that the Kansas Jayhawks were involved in.

Be sure to read the full thread from Wetzel.

Also, this isn’t the only shady thing Kansas did in the recruitment of Williamson, who ultimately ended up at Duke.

Considering this trial has already presented some unfavorable testimony for Kansas, this isn’t going to help their cause.

This also is a bad news for Williamson, who probably is going to hear from the NCAA about this.

The irony of this is Coach K just publicly stated he doesn’t know anything about the illegal recruiting underworld in college basketball...

Make no mistake about it: Zion Williamson will be one of the best players in college basketball if eligible, but with this latest revelation, there’s no longer a 100-percent guarantee that happens.

But it’s Duke, so it’s still in the 99.9-percent range, at least for Game 1 vs. Kentucky. I doubt anything happens to Williamson, but the evidence that Kansas is playing dirty continues to mount.

It’s hard to see anything drastic happening before the new season since it begins in three weeks, but Kansas is going to have a tough time sweeping all of this under the rug.

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Mark Stoops getting Coach of the Year buzz

Stoops absolutely deserves to be in the running for this honor.

Every media outlet across the country is handing out their midseason college football awards. And the Kentucky Wildcats football team has been getting tons of praise.

This time it’s Mark Stoops’ turn. The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman dished out his midseason awards, in which he named Mark Stoops the Midseason Coach of the Year.

The Cats currently sit at 5-1 overall with a 3-1 record in the SEC. And they are ranked #14 in the country by the AP Poll. Well, people are finally starting to take notice of the job Stoops has done.

Feldman started his awards with this to say about Coach Stoops:

He’s made UK football respectable the past few years, and this season the ’Cats have mauled some solid SEC opponents. They won at Florida for the first time since 1979 by running it down the Gators’ throats. They also whipped Mississippi State by three touchdowns and beat South Carolina by two touchdowns. Their only blemish is an overtime loss at Texas A&M.

This isn’t the first time Stoops has gotten Coach of the Year buzz. Recently, ESPN college football analyst David Pollack gave Stoops his midseason “Best Coach ‘Em Up Performance” while on ESPN’s College Football Live show.

When Stoops took over back in 2013, it looked like Kentucky football was perennially cursed. There was no light at the end of the tunnel after constantly falling short of even a respectable football team. Kentucky was forever labeled the “basketball school.”

Finally, Stoops has changed the landscape of Kentucky football. And Stoops, Benny Snell, Josh Allen, and Co. are taking college football by storm.

Feldman’s praise didn’t end at Stoops, though. He named Josh Allen the Midseason Top Linebacker in the country. The staff at The Athletic also gave Allen First Team All-American honors.

An overlooked two-star recruit who nearly ended up at Monmouth, an FCS school, Allen leads a Kentucky defense that ranks 13th in the FBS in yards per play allowed. He has an SEC-best 10.5 tackles for loss, with six sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. According to Sports Info Solutions, he ranks third nationally with 34 total quarterback pressures.

Allen was the lone Wildcat to garner First Team All-American honors, but a few other Cats received some recognition. Running back Benny Snell, offensive guard Bunchy Stallings, and safety Darius West were all named to the Second Team All-America.

There has been no shortage of love for UK in the first half of the season.

Hopefully, the second half continues in the same direction and the Cats finish strong.

John Calipari visits Vernon Carey; More pro-UK buzz

Kentucky continues to get buzz for Carey following his visit to Lexington.

Vernon Carey just wrapped up his official visit to Kentucky, and now John Calipari is returning the favor.

On Tuesday, Calipari met with Carey, according to Rivals’ Corey Evans. It comes as Carey is set to visit the Duke Blue Devils, one of the perceived leaders in this recruitment.

This is an interesting trend that Calipari has had recently in visiting a recruit right after he takes an official visit to Kentucky. Calipari did the same thing with Scottie Lewis and James Wiseman, and now he’s doing it with Carey.

Carey is the No. 2 player and No. 1 power forward in the class of 2019 on the 247 Sports Composite ratings. Rivals has him at No. 1 overall. He’s 6-10, 275 pounds, and is one the most physical players in the 2019 class that can also hit mid-range shots.

Duke currently leads in his crystal ball, receiving 50 percent of the predictions. Miami and Michigan State are close behind, while Kentucky has gotten just one prediction thus far.

For what it’s worth, KSR’s TJ Walker still thinks Kentucky has jumped into the lead for Carey:

I feel better about UK’s chances than I ever have in the past and I’ve said in the past that I thought UK was the leader. That was a couple months ago, but I still think the Cats are the leader.

Walker goes on to say, “I think Carey ends up at Kentucky unless he’s persuaded on one of his other official visits.”

Carey is currently set to make a decision sometime this fall/winter, so we may soon learn where the elite big man will attend college.

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Kentucky Football Midseason Roundtable and Final Record Predictions – A Sea of Blue

A Sea of Blue

Kentucky Football Midseason Roundtable and Final Record Predictions
A Sea of Blue
As a Kentucky Wildcats fan, those words are usually used to describe the men's basketball team. But, finally those words are being used to describe the Wildcat football program. Led by All-American candidates Benny Snell Jr. and Josh Allen, the Cats ...

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Kentucky Football Midseason Roundtable and Final Record Predictions

The Cats have been nearly perfect so far, but what does the second half of the season hold?

Nearly perfect.

As a Kentucky Wildcats fan, those words are usually used to describe the men’s basketball team. But, finally those words are being used to describe the Wildcat football program.

Led by All-American candidates Benny Snell Jr. and Josh Allen, the Cats have exploded out to a 5-1 record (3-1 SEC) and a #14 national ranking. The only blemish to their record is a 20-14 overtime loss in College Station to Texas A&M.

The bye week came at a good time for Wildcat fans to catch their breath and consider where the Cats are and what the rest of the regular season holds. The staff at A Sea of Blue has gathered at the roundtable to hash out how they think UK will finish up this so-far magical season.

Shane Shackleford

I really feel good about how this season could end up. I think the Cats coaching staff will take a step back, evaluate where the program is and what needs to be adjusted to move forward.

The key to UK’s success comes down to the continued development of QB Terry Wilson. We know the run game is solid, but as teams pile up defenders in the box to stop Snell and AJ Rose, Wilson has to be able to take advantage of favorable matchups in the passing game and utilize TE CJ Conrad and WR Lynn Bowden Jr. effectively.

Looking at the schedule, there are opportunities the Cats can take advantage of to continue this season of seasons. I feel like the Cats will defeat Vanderbilt at home and win a close one at Missouri going into the Georgia game at Kroger Field. Everything in me wants to pick the Cats to win, but I just can’t pull the trigger. I think Georgia wins in a close one.

That would put UK at 7-2 with a date at Tennessee. If UK wins there, you’re looking at 8-2 with dates with Middle Tennessee and Louisville to close the season. I believe the Cats win both and sit at 10-2. If UK can get any help from Georgia’s remaining schedule, the opportunity to go to Atlanta is there.

Aaron Gershon

Kentucky is on pace for a 10-win season. It’s been an incredible first half, but the Cats still have a lot of work to do in order to win the SEC East. Here’s how I see the remainder of their games shaking out.

10/20 Vanderbilt: I see a Cats win here. Vanderbilt looks a bit improved, but is nothing special. Kentucky will have Vandy at home under the lights with a homecoming crowd. Kentucky should win this one without much stress.

Kentucky 31 Vanderbilt 10

10/27 @ Missouri: Another game against an SEC East foe that has slightly improved. The big danger with Mizzou is Drew Lock, who is one of the best players in the nation. However, the Tigers don’t have much of a defense, and their home field isn’t the most intimidating environment. The Cats should roll here, but it may be closer than one may think

Kentucky 27 Missouri 17

11/3 Georgia: This game just got even harder to predict after the Bulldogs laid an egg in a blowout loss to LSU struggling in all three phases. The atmosphere in Lexington may be the best of any football game in Kentucky history. However, this game may be even more dangerous now that Georgia has lost and knows they need to win out to not just win the SEC East, but have a chance at the playoffs. Thus, I’ll go Georgia in a tight one.

Georgia 17 Kentucky 14

11/10 @Tennesee: The Vols are down but, they just blew out a quality Auburn team on the road. This makes a trip to Knoxville a little more of a challenge. The Vols played Georgia tough on the road, so this game at Neyland Stadium won’t be easy. The last time Kentucky beat Tennessee in back to back seasons was 1976 and 1977. If they’re going to do it again, the time is now. This game won’t be easy like it may seem on paper, but in a game the Cats will need to win in order to play on New Year’s Day, I like their odds.

Kentucky 20 Tennessee 14

11/17 Middle Tennessee: Senior day against a non-conference opponent. This won’t be much of a contest though Middle Tennessee does have a quality quarterback in Brent Stockstill.

11/24 @ Louisville: It’s been a miserable season for the Cardinals, and it doesn’t seem like it will get better any time soon. This game will likely be almost like a home game with Louisville struggling and Kentucky surging. I see the Cats getting a big win and making it two out of their last three against the rival Cards.

Kentucky 38 Louisville 10

Due to the fact I see Georgia taking down the Cats, there will not be an SEC Championship birth for the Cats. However, at 10-2 they should undoubtedly play on New Year’s Day. I’ll say the game will be played in Tampa Florida’s Outback Bowl against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Jamie Boggs

What a wild ride this season has been. My preseason prediction was 6-6, and I am thrilled to have been so wrong. This Kentucky team may be the most impressive of my lifetime (there is no doubt that the defense is), and the opportunity exists to leave a mark in the UK football history books.

The remaining opponents are Vanderbilt, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State, and Louisville. Based on what I have seen from all of these teams, I think the Wildcats finish the season just as they started: 5-1.

I am not convinced that Georgia will be the loss, either. Missouri is dangerous, and Tennessee is looking better and is always tough at home. I just think that stretch of three games will be difficult to sweep.

My final prediction is that Kentucky will go 10-3, including a loss in the SEC Championship Game to Alabama. Kentucky will win the SEC East, and Big Blue Nation will lose its mind.

Drew Brown

Obviously, Kentucky has exceeded all expectations to this point in the season. An overtime loss away from being undefeated and a major threat to win the SEC East is an incredible story. It has been beyond most fans’ wildest dreams and has even put basketball in the shadows to some extent.

The fact that Kentucky is winning with dominant defense makes me confident that the remainder of the season will continue to go well. The UK defense, led by Josh Allen, is just mean and nasty. They gang tackle, talk trash, and punish opponents. Each team is essentially having to game plan on just how to stop Josh Allen on the edge.

Kentucky also has one of the best offensive players in America with Benny Snell. The combination of great defense and an unstoppable running attack has proven to be a valid formula for winning.

Football is unpredictable so I still think that Kentucky will drop another game in the regular season, possibly against Missouri or maybe Tennessee. I believe that if given the chance, Kentucky will beat Georgia for the SEC East and finish with a record of 10-2.

Kentucky would then likely meet Alabama in the SEC Championship, setting up the biggest game in program history. But giving Nick Saban time to prepare has proven lethal. I doubt anyone beats The Crimson Tide.

Drew Koch

A 5-1 start is very promising for the Kentucky Wildcats, and they’re not done yet. Winning all their home games, taking down the Gators in The Swamp, and just missing some chances against a very good Texas A&M team has got Big Blue Nation excited for the rest of the season. Benny Snell is a Heisman Trophy candidate and Josh Allen may be the most dominant pass rusher in college football.

With Georgia taking a loss to LSU, the Cats and Dawgs each have one loss, as do the Florida Gators. The SEC East is up for grabs. The Cats victory over Florida earlier this year gives them a leg up for the time being. Who represents the SEC in the Conference Championship Game could very well come down to the first week in November when Georgia comes to Kroger Field to face the Cats. Let’s take a peek at Kentucky’s remaining games.

Vanderbilt - I don’t see the Wildcats losing at home to a team that doesn’t have a conference win this season. WIN

@ Missouri - This game makes me nervous. If the Cats want to be taken seriously, they must win this game. WIN

Georgia - This game is essentially for the SEC East crown. I just don’t think the Cats are ready for the big stage. LOSS

@ Tennessee - Don’t be fooled by the Vols record. They did beat Auburn on the road, but I think the Cats get the win in a close one. WIN

Middle Tennessee - Kentucky will make easy work of the Lightning. WIN

@ Louisville - There may not be a bigger disappointing team this season than the Cardinals. I don’t see how Kentucky loses this game. WIN

By my count, that gives the Wildcats a record of 10-2 and they’ll land one heck of a bowl game. Perhaps the Citrus Bowl or the Outback Bowl?

Sam Gillenwater

I don’t think Kentucky fans could have asked for a better start to this season. At 5-1, Kentucky has had one of its best starts in recent memory with huge victories at Florida to break their 31-year losing streak against the Gators along with great wins against Mississippi State and South Carolina.

For the majority, the highlight has to be Benny Snell Jr.’s strong start. Snell has amassed almost 700 yards and has rushed for all 8 of his touchdowns through six games. If your focal point isn’t Benny, it has to be the defense. Led by Josh Allen and Kash Daniel, UK has held all their opponents to under 20 points besides Central Michigan and Texas A&M (who both scored exactly 20).

For the rest of the season, the only true test I see will be Georgia, who just came off an upset loss to LSU. It’s also a home game at Kroger Field where Kentucky is 4-0 to this point. Other than possibly Tennessee in Knoxville, I don’t see any of the other five opponents beating the Wildcats in this stretch. Kentucky’s season completely rides on whether or not they beat the Bulldogs on November 3rd.

For me, I predict Kentucky will finish the regular season with a record of 10-2 and will be looking forward to a very big bowl game to end their year.

Janson Hoskins

The first half of the regular season for Kentucky Football this year has already been a success by a long shot. I know there were plenty of optimistic fans coming into this season, but if you were to tell me along with the majority of Kentucky football fans that they would be 5-1 going into the bye week with wins over Florida at home and Mississippi State, then I probably would have been hesitant to believe you.

However, we’ve seen with our own eyes how good and how special this 2018 team is and one has to wonder what should we expect from them for the remainder for the season. Well, the final 6 games consist of Vanderbilt (home), @Missouri, Georgia (home), @Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State (home), and @Louisville.

Kentucky has been banged up a little bit, but what team hasn’t by this point in the year. I think it’s extremely plausible for the Wildcats to handle both Vandy and Mizzou on the road, but ultimately I believe that they fall to Georgia unless the defense can step up like LSU did this weekend and shut down the Bulldogs’ run game.

Okay, so if all of that falls into place, Kentucky would be 7-2 with the only losses being to Texas A&M and Georgia. Fans would take that every day. Tennessee has looked terrible, quite honestly, all season but did end up beating Auburn this weekend so this one is up in the air for me.

Then you have MTSU and Louisville, which I believe the Cats will have no trouble with to close out the season. That would put Kentucky at a 9-3 or even 10-2 record if they can take care of business at Tennessee. But for my overall pick, I believe that the Wildcats will end the season 9-3, which is definitely something BBN should be proud of!

Nick Wheatley

We could not have asked for more from this Kentucky team so far. While the A&M loss was a heartbreaker, if anyone said before the season that UK would be in the position that they are right now, every UK fan would’ve taken it.

With that being said, there’s a lot of season left and there’s a big chance for Kentucky to do something special.

Next week, the Cats play Vanderbilt and I think they will have their way with the ‘Dores. Then is the next big test, at Missouri, will be an incredibly difficult game. But I can confidently say I think UK is the better team. I think the Cats win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost. That would mean worst case scenario is a 9-3 season.

Next, they have their biggest game of the year. I believe Kentucky can keep it close against Georgia. After seeing LSU run all over Georgia, I think Benny will be able to run crazy. But I also think after sleepwalking through the first half of the season, LSU was a big wake up call. I think the Cats keep it close, but fall to Georgia in Lexington.

Tennessee looked good this past weekend, but they’re at the bottom of the totem poll in the SEC. It won’t be an easy win. Kentucky hasn’t won at Tennessee since 1984, but this is the year of ending the streaks and curses that have plagued Kentucky for my entire life. Cats will win.

Middle Tennessee State should be an easy win. They’re a decent team and can hit you in the mouth if you don’t come out ready to play, but I can’t imagine Kentucky losing this one.

Lastly, the Cats go to Louisville for the annual rivalry game. Louisville is a miserable excuse for a football team this year. The two teams have really traded places this year. Cats will win that one easy.

I don’t think Kentucky will make the SEC Championship game, but for the first time ever they hold their fate in their own hands. And any Kentucky fan has to be ecstatic about that type of season and being in that position.

Prediction: 10-2

Zac Oakes

Kentucky is off to a solid start this year, and unlike some hot starts in previous years, this team feels like it has more staying power with a schedule that seems to be less back-heavy.

Looking ahead, with Kentucky sitting at 5-1 going into the back half of the schedule, I think Kentucky finishes 9-3 to close out the regular season with a chance to go to an Outback-caliber bowl.

I think Kentucky drops the game against Georgia. LSU served as a wake-up call to a very talented Bulldogs squad that hadn’t yet really been challenged. I wouldn’t be surprised if Georgia wins out from here on out.

I also think Kentucky drops one more game on the schedule. That road game at Missouri seems like the most likely candidate. Missouri’s offense is well-balanced and they have a strong offensive line, which could potentially be a problem. If it becomes a shootout, I’m not sure Kentucky’s offense is up to the task to go toe-to-toe scoring touchdowns with the Tigers on the road.

The other candidate is a road matchup against Tennessee. The Vols are improving each week, and Tennessee has playmakers in QB Jarrett Guarantano and RB Ty Chandler, both of whom had big games against the Wildcats last year.

My guess is in addition to Georgia, the Cats drop one of those, which places them at 9-3, which is far and away the best UK Football season of my lifetime, as well as many other younger fans. A final record of 9-3 going into a bowl game is definitely one to be celebrated.

Prediction: 9-3

Tyler Herro makes Jerry West Award Preseason Watch List

Herro will look to become the second Wildcat to win the award.

The new college hoops season is about to begin. That means award watch lists are starting to come out, and you can bet the Kentucky Wildcats will be on many of them.

Up first is freshman guard Tyler Herro, who was named to the 2019 Jerry West Award Preseason Watch List. Herro is among 20 players on the watch list for the award named after Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry West, which honors the nation’s top shooting guard.

A big reason why Herro made this list was his performance in the Bahamas, where he was far and away the best scorer that any team had there. He led the Wildcats in scoring with 17.3 points per game and had 15+ points in the contests, which were double-digit wins for Kentucky.

During his final high school season, Herro averaged 32.9 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 steals per game as a First Team All-State selection in Wisconsin.

Former Wildcat and current Malik Charlotte Hornets guard Monk won the award in 2017 after averaging 19.8 points per game during his freshman season. He is the only Wildcat to win the award.

As loaded as Kentucky is, it’s going to be hard for any one player to win a national award, but Herro should be putting up enough points to remain in contention for this honor.

2019 Jerry West Award Watch List

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2 Wildcats make AP Midseason All-American Team – A Sea of Blue

A Sea of Blue

2 Wildcats make AP Midseason All-American Team
A Sea of Blue
The Associated Press has released their midseason All-American teams, and two Kentucky Wildcats made it. Linebacker Josh Allen was a first-team selection, while running back Benny Snell made the second team. Both players have been instrumental in ...
College Football's 2018 Midseason All-America Team College Football's 2018 Midseason All-America TeamSports Illustrated

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2 Wildcats make AP Midseason All-American Team

A very big honor for these Wildcats.

The Associated Press has released their midseason All-American teams, and two Kentucky Wildcats made it.

Linebacker Josh Allen was a first-team selection, while running back Benny Snell made the second team. Both players have been instrumental in Kentucky having one of its best starts in program history.

If they keep it up for six more games, the Wildcats could make it to Atlanta for the SEC Championship, and they both should be in the running for national awards.

Here’s a look at the entire AP All-American teams:







AP voter shows Kentucky no love in preseason poll

That has to be a typo, right?

Jerry Carino, an AP voter from New Jersey, released his AP ballot on Tuesday.

Carino’s ballot was largely predictable, containing the same top 10 as other outlets and having a similar All-American list.

But there was one glaring, questionable decision: He ranks Kentucky at No. 8.

In nearly every reputable poll that has been released, Kentucky is listed either at No. 1 or No. 2 in the country.

And with every poll released after this week’s FBI trial testimony, I expect the cloud over Kansas to give Kentucky the boost to No. 1 more consistently.

Carino’s College Basketball Top 25 Poll

  1. Kansas Jayhawks
  2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
  3. Tennessee Volunteers
  4. Virginia Cavaliers
  5. Duke Blue Devils
  6. Nevada Wolf Pack
  7. North Carolina Tar Heels
  8. Kentucky Wildcats
  9. Michigan State Spartans
  10. Villanova Wildcats
  11. Kansas State Wildcats
  12. Auburn Tigers
  13. Mississippi State Bulldogs
  14. Florida State Seminoles
  15. Clemson Tigers
  16. Oregon Ducks
  17. West Virginia Mountaineers
  18. TCU Horned Frogs
  19. Michigan Wolverines
  20. Virginia Tech Hokies
  21. Syracuse Orange
  22. Loyola-Chicago Ramblers
  23. Nebraska Cornhuskers
  24. Marquette Golden Eagles
  25. UCF Knights

Yes, he only gets one vote. But this is a great example of a writer with a vote trying too hard to be “different” with his ballot.

It seems as though Carino is purposefully trying to make a point about Kentucky, though. In addition to listing them at No. 8, six slots below any other outlet, he intentionally leaves them out of his “analysis.”

Kansas is the deepest team and has enough experience to be a comfortable choice at No. 1. You could make a strong case for Gonzaga as well . . . Yes Duke possesses the most raw firepower but let’s see how the pieces fit . . . The Pac-12 has a ton of individual talent but the league stunk to high heaven last year and the coaching is suspect . . . It’s a transitional year for the Big East, for sure, but Villanova is being underrated by most of the national forecasters. When will they learn?

For anyone to have a drastically unique take on a top tier program, as Carino obviously does by not giving Kentucky a top 2 or even a top 5 ranking, it would make sense to explain your point within the article where you share your unique perspective. His only mention of Kentucky at all is when he lists Reid Travis as a third team All-American selection.

By dismissing the Wildcats altogether, it seems like there may be some other agenda at hand here.

It is also of note that calling Kansas the “comfortable choice” at No. 1 after they have been implicated under oath in a pay for play scheme this week is a bit rich. The situation at Kansas is anything but comfortable right now.

The official AP preseason poll has yet to be released. It comes out on October 22nd. At that point, we will find out how many other writers agree (or disagree) with Jerry Carino.

Player Preview: Reid Travis looks to become next Kentucky transfer turned champion

There haven’t been too many transfers that have come to Lexington in the Calipari era, but Reid Travis’ arrival has Kentucky looking like a juggernaut.

Who are we talking about?

Reid Travis, senior forward (who transferred from Stanford)

What did he do last season?

It’s probably safe to assume that much of the Big Blue Nation didn’t have too many chances to see Reid Travis in action last year. There’s a reason why him coming to Lexington for his final college season was such a big deal. He’s a big dude with a big game. He’s a proven college basketball player that even No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton had problems with defensively last season at Arizona when the Wildcats and Cardinal locked horns. Travis was a First Team All-Pac-12 member and averaged just a shade under 20 points a game last season. He’s legit.

I broke down more of Travis’ game in this piece here that you can check out and see what makes Travis so good.

2017-18 statistics:

For Stanford: 35 games (all starts), 19.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game on 52.7 percent shooting from the floor to go along with 6.9 free throw attempts per game (nice) and making 67.5 percent of those attempts.

His best performance from last season:

I mean, pick your poison. Travis scored in double figures in 34 of the 35 games he played in, including scoring 20+ points in 16 of those contests. His season-high of 33 points came in a winning effort against a solid Washington team on Feb. 22 where he also grabbed nine boards in the victory for the Cardinal.

In both games against Arizona, he went for 20+ points and 10+ rebounds against Arizona. One of his most complete performances this past January came in a matchup with USC where Travis went for 29 points and 10 rebounds in another Stanford win.

Travis is a rare piece for Kentucky that will be so crucial in the later months of the season

When Travis announced that he was coming to finish his college career at Kentucky, my initial thought was, “This team has no glaring weaknesses, and that’s just scary.”

With teams in the past, there’s that one thing that could hold a Calipari-coached team back. For last year’s bunch, it was hitting outside shots. This year’s team can do that in bunches. Just watch Tyler Herro alone.

In some cases, Kentucky asserting their will down low was difficult at times because teams would pack the paint. That’s not going to be an issue with Travis’ arrival, and that’s not even mentioning the returns of Nick Richards and Mean Mugs Washington, and a talented E.J. Montgomery coming to Lexington out of high school.

(I noted this in the piece I plugged on Travis earlier), but a Pac-12 assistant was quoted on record to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf as saying, “He is impossible to guard one-on-one at the college level.”


Travis not only brings power, strength and experience to the Kentucky frontcourt, but he also brings a sense of “been there, done that,” and that’s something Calipari’s teams usually don’t have. He’s a senior with a game that’s much more developed than some of the younger prospects in the country.

Sure, his Stanford teams didn’t have a glowing resume of tournament success (well actually, they never made the tournament in Travis’ four years there), but you can’t put a price on game reps in the college game and Travis has plenty of them. (There’s an NCAA joke in there about price and stuff, but moving on.)

Transfer turned champion?

Kentucky has had a history of transfers who’ve helped lead the program to national titles.

The trend began with Kyle Macy, who spent one season at Purdue before making the decision to transfer to Kentucky. After sitting out the 1976-77 season, Macy averaged 12.5 points and 5.6 assists per game in 1977-78, helping lead the Wildcats to its only national championship in 20 years.

20 years later, Derek Anderson did the same spending two seasons at Ohio State before joining to Kentucky and sitting out the 1994-95 season. Anderson was then part of one of the greatest teams in college basketball history, as the 1995-96 Wildcats went 34-2 and won title No. 7.

But Anderson wasn’t the only transfer that year, Kentucky also had Mark Pope, who spent two seasons at Washington before transferring to Kentucky. After sitting out the 1993-94 season, Pope would later be part of that memorable ‘96 squad and won it all as a senior.

Then there was Heshimu Evans, a transfer from Manhattan who sat out the 1996-97 season before helping Kentucky win the 1998 championship.

Now 20 years later, Travis will look to follow in their footsteps and lead this preseason No. 1 Kentucky team to banner No. 9.

The best of both worlds

I loved what Calipari said on draft night this past June when he was on ESPN’s Sportscenter talking about Kevin Knox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Hamidou Diallo and the question of landing Travis came up.

“I say if it’s talent or experience, I’m taking talent, but guess what? With him, we get both with him,” Calipari exclaimed.

You can watch the whole quote here:

Calipari loves his talented and massive frontcourts. This is easily going to be his best group of guys up front since the 2014-15 season with Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein leading the charge.

Travis is a (literal) huge reason why that is. It took him a bit to find his footing in the Bahamas, but once he did, you saw how dangerous he can be.

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Is it time to make a kicking change?

Kentucky’s kicking woes could lead to Chance Poore getting his shot.

Over the last four seasons, field goals have typically been stress-free for Kentucky.

Austin MacGinnis was one of the best kickers in Kentucky Football history and someone that could be relied on every week.

This year, the Wildcats have missed him arguably more than any departed player from a season ago. Miles Butler simply hasn’t done the job. The senior is perfect on point after attempts, but he has struggled to make field goals

From 30-39 yards out, he is just 1/2. From 40-49 yards out, Butler is just 1/3. His worst miss of the year came in overtime against Texas A&M. His 43-yard kick that would’ve given the Cats the lead went off the crossbar, all but killing any hope Kentucky had of winning.

It’s no secret that Butler just doesn’t have the leg strength to accurately kick the ball from long range. True freshman Chance Poore has more leg strength. He just hasn’t gotten the chance to kick in games yet as Kentucky is trying to redshirt him.

On whether to send out Poore for that overtime kick, Mark Stoops even admitted that was considered before the Texas A&M game.

“I was debating (sending Poore in to attempt the kick). It was right on that cusp. I’m comfortable with Miles till about 44,” said Stoops after the loss.

The fact, that Stoops even had to think who to send out to kick means Butler cannot be trusted.

Prior to departing for College Station, Stoops told reporters “we have a lot of confidence in Miles. He’s going to do a good job, but we still have that opportunity on some longer field goals to use.”

This proves when it comes to longer kicks, Poore deserves a shot.

Butler has shown that, beyond 40 yards, he does not have much range. This puts far more pressure on the offense to get the ball inside the 20 every drive, which is problematic, especially after how much they struggled against the Aggies.

The main reason for Poore not taking over kicking duties is to preserve a fifth year of eligibility.

With Poore only being able to play four games to preserve a redshirt season and there being six regular season games and a bowl game remaining, it heats up the debate.

When asked during his Monday meeting with the media about the possibility of Poore playing in one of the remaining six games, Stoops left the door ajar.

“There’s an opportunity there. I’m not sure when or where, but yes, there’s an opportunity.”

You could make an argument that Kentucky needs to rip the redshirt off and give Poore the job. This is the year for Kentucky Football. They have as good a chance as ever to win the SEC East, and the team has earned the right to be put in the best place to win each game.

Does Poore gives them a better chance than Butler as this point in time?

Maybe, and if he does, Kentucky needs to move to him now and not wait until there’s only four games left, including a possible SEC Championship and a premium bowl game. That’s two games right there, which means the only other games Poore could theoretically kick in would be Middle Tennessee and Louisville if Kentucky simply waits to play him until the final four games.

If Kentucky were to miss the SEC Championship, that means they could play him one game sooner, which would be against Tennessee.

But in both of these scenarios, Poore wouldn’t kick at Missouri or at him vs. Georgia, the two games Kentucky needs good kicking in the most.

Who do you want to see at kicker the rest of the season?

Is it time to make a kicking change? – A Sea of Blue

A Sea of Blue

Is it time to make a kicking change?
A Sea of Blue
Austin MacGinnis was one of the best kickers in Kentucky Football history and someone that could be relied on every week. This year, the Wildcats have missed him arguably more than any departed player from a season ago. Miles Butler simply hasn't done ...

With special season in reach, will Stoops’ troops avoid the pitfalls of 2007? – Lexington Herald Leader (blog)

Lexington Herald Leader (blog)

With special season in reach, will Stoops' troops avoid the pitfalls of 2007?
Lexington Herald Leader (blog)
Buckle up, the Kentucky Wildcats could be about to play six of the most consequential football games that UK has played in decades. As No. 14 Kentucky (5-1, 3-1 SEC) prepares to face Vanderbilt (3-4, 0-3 SEC) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Kroger Field, ...
As Kentucky football bandwagon fills, 'Rat Poison' becomes Wildcats' most dangerous opponentSaturday Down South

SEC Network's Peter Burns picks Kentucky to win SEC East247Sports
Kentucky vs. Missouri game time and TV channel setA Sea of Blue
Courier Journal -LEX18 Lexington KY News -WAVE 3
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This doesn’t look good for Kansas and Bill Self

Self and Kansas may have been aware of Adidas’ help in the recruitment of Silvio De Sousa.

As the college hoops corruption trial continues, more and more critical information is coming out regarding the massive corruption across college basketball.

This time, it’s Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks.

TJ Gassnola, a former Adidas consultant, testified in federal court today that Bill Self and other Kansas coaches were never aware of any payments from Adidas to recruits to come to Kansas.

However, text messages between Gassnola, Self, and former Adidas executive Jim Gatto, suggest that the Kansas head coach may have been aware of Adidas’ help in the recruitment of Silvio De Sousa.

Gassnola also testified last week that he paid $90,000 to former Kansas player Billy Preston’s mother, and $20,000 to De Sousa’s guardian.

Days before De Sousa’s commitment to Kansas, Gassnola was in constant contact with Self and De Sousa’s guardian.

About a month later, Kansas and Adidas agreed to a massive 12-year, $191 million contract extension. Self then texted Gassnola saying, “I’m happy with Adidas. Just got to get a couple real guys (via ESPN).”

The two continued their conversation discussing how getting wins and lottery picks help programs with recruits, and help Adidas get more kids to sign with the shoe company.

Self responded: “That’s how [it] works. At UNC and Duke.” Gassnola replied at Kentucky as well.

Gassnola went on to say he had never let Self down, except for “Dyondre”, referring to DeAndre Ayton, former Arizona Wildcats center and first-round pick in this year’s NBA Draft.

Billy Preston was also mentioned a lot during the trial today. Last season, Preston was allegedly involved in a one-car accident. He ended up never playing for Kansas due to eligibility concerns, and he entered this year’s NBA Draft. He wasn’t selected. The whole thing was extremely mysterious at the time.

Now it’s starting to make more sense. The government introduced text messages between Preston and his mother, in which she tells her son to deny any knowledge about the purchase of the car he wrecked while at Kansas.

“You don’t know,” she continued. “[I don’t care] what they say to you ... YOU DON’T KNOW.”

It looks like the case is finally beginning to wrap up. The judge reportedly told the jury Monday morning that it could begin its deliberations as early as Thursday.

Kentucky getting All-American love and a prediction to win SEC East

Bunchy Stallings and Josh Allen are getting noticed for their performance through six weeks

Through the first half of the college football season it has been nice to be a Wildcat and be a part of BBN. The team’s success on the field hasn’t been seen by this fanbase for a long time.

The offensive line, for the most part, has been in complete control in the games and dominated the line of scrimmage, even against Mississippi State, who is believed to have one of the best lines in the country.

The defense has been outstanding all year with the way they are able to make opposing offenses uncomfortable and they are doing it against tough SEC opponents. They are one of the best defensive units in the country by numbers not opinions.

ESPN released their midseason All-American team for college football, and two Kentucky players made the list. This is not a list of the top NFL draft prospects, and it’s definitely not a list of the players who were being touted as All-Americans before the season even started. It’s just a list of the players who have played like All-Americans up to this point in the season, and a couple of Wildcats happened to make the list.

On offense, it was Bunchy Stallings, and on the defense, Josh Allen made it.

From watching the games, we know just how big Stallings has been for the Cats’ run game and he has been a big factor in the success Benny Snell has had.

Chris Low had some high praises for Bunchy in the article.

“One of the keys to Kentucky’s hot start this season has been its experience. The Wildcats are laden with players who’ve been in the program for at least three years, and the 6-3, 305-pound Stallings is a redshirt senior who paved the way for a big chunk of Benny Snell’s 699 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Stallings played some center earlier in his career and is in the best shape of his career. He has been a road-grader for the Wildcats. Go see for yourself and turn on tape from the Florida game”

Flipping to the other side of the ball, Josh Allen has been a beast all season and opposing offensive lines have no answer when Allen blitzes off the edge. Most of the time he gets held but is still able to get to the QB and has been causing havoc for the opposing QB.

ESPN has noticed just how good Allen has been and how no one is able to block him.

“As pass-rushers go, the 6-5, 260-pound Allen has been right there at the top from his outside linebacker position. He’s having a sensational senior season and has been a blur off the edge. Allen has 10.5 tackles for loss, including six sacks. Five of those sacks have come against SEC opponents, and he also has five quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Offenses simply haven’t been able to block him one-on-one”

That wasn’t the only praise Kentucky players got this week. Sporting News also released their midseason All-America team, and Allen made it as well.

At this point, there probably wouldn’t be an All-American list that Allen was not part of, and if he keeps up this pace, he could be in contention for some national awards as well when the regular season ends.

Someone who probably should be getting All-American love is Derrick Baity. The senior cornerback has put the clamps on opposing receivers this season as good as any defensive back in America:

That’s an insane level of play at cornerback, so it’s time Baity started getting more national recognition.

Along with that, Kentucky had some high praise from a SEC Network host who predicted Kentucky to win the SEC East. With Georgia’s loss to LSU this weekend it helps Kentucky’s dream of making the SEC Championship a little bit more realistic.

The November 3rd showdown with the Georgia Bulldogs is getting ever closer, and Peter Burns called his shot, picking Kentucky to win the SEC East and go to Atlanta for the SEC Championship.

“With Georgia going down, this thing is absolutely within reach, a trip to Atlanta. I’ll be honest with you, I’m picking Kentucky to win the SEC East now because of that schedule. SEC East is going to be the Kentucky Wildcats in Atlanta.”

Kentucky getting All-American love and a prediction to win SEC East – A Sea of Blue

A Sea of Blue

Kentucky getting All-American love and a prediction to win SEC East
A Sea of Blue
ESPN released their midseason All-American team for college football, and two Kentucky players made the list. This is not a list of the top NFL draft ... to win the SEC East now because of that schedule. SEC East is going to be the Kentucky Wildcats in ...
Pair of Wildcats named midseason All-Americans by ESPN247Sports

all 14 news articles »

As Kentucky football bandwagon fills, ‘Rat Poison’ becomes Wildcats’ most dangerous opponent – Saturday Down South

Saturday Down South

As Kentucky football bandwagon fills, 'Rat Poison' becomes Wildcats' most dangerous opponent
Saturday Down South
Entry No. 372 of new things Kentucky football fans have had to deal with in 2018 watching their team suddenly become the sexy bandwagon pick in the SEC East. Yes, that's right. After Georgia's implosion to LSU and Florida's ugly start against ...
SEC Network's Peter Burns picks Kentucky to win SEC East247Sports

Kentucky vs. Missouri game time and TV channel setA Sea of Blue

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Mark Stoops updates depth chart, previews Vanderbilt, has good news on Josh Paschal and Naasir Watkins – A Sea of Blue

A Sea of Blue

Mark Stoops updates depth chart, previews Vanderbilt, has good news on Josh Paschal and Naasir Watkins
A Sea of Blue
Monday brought about some encouraging news for the Kentucky Wildcats. Injured left tackle Naasir Watkins, who was expected to miss another week or two, has actually progressed enough that he may play Saturday against Vanderbilt, Mark Stoops ...

and more »

Stoops updates depth chart, previews Vandy, has good news on Josh Paschal & Naasir Watkins

There was a lot of positive news to come out of Mark Stoops’ Monday press conference.

Monday brought about some encouraging news for the Kentucky Wildcats.

Injured left tackle Naasir Watkins, who was expected to miss another week or two, has actually progressed enough that he may play Saturday against Vanderbilt, Mark Stoops announced Monday.

“Naasir is getting better, that’s good,” said Stoops. “I said last week I didn’t think we’d have him this week, and I think there’s a good chance we’ll have him available this Saturday, so that will be good for him as well.”

Watkins had been in a timeshare with EJ Price for the starting left tackle spot, though Price had begun locking it down before Watkins was injured in Week 5 against South Carolina.

Speaking of injured lineman, center Drake Jackson was injured against Texas A&M and probably would not have played in Week 6 if Kentucky didn’t have a bye week. Thankfully, Jackson got a week off and is progressing well toward being able to play vs. Vanderbilt.

“Drake Jackson is a guy, he needed it after the A&M game. It would have been hard for him to play if we played this Saturday. He’s one that jumps out immediately,” Stoops said of players who needed the bye week.

But perhaps the best news to come out of Monday was with Josh Paschal. The sophomore edge rusher is still working his way back from his battle with melanoma, and Stoops shared an encouraging update during Monday’s meeting with the media.

“We’re very encouraged by Josh, his recovery and what he’s doing,” said Stoops. “Maybe I’ll have a nice smile on my face and good update here in the next couple of weeks.”

It’s unclear if that means there’s a chance Paschal plays this season. Due to the new redshirt rule, Paschal could return and play in four games at the end of the season and still be eligible for a redshirt, making him a redshirt sophomore in 2019 vs. being a true junior.

It’s hard to envision Paschal playing in the regular season with just over a month left, but perhaps he could return to play in a bowl game in late December/early January.

Regardless, just hearing that Paschal is making good progress in his recovery is all that really matters.

One other note: Stoops revealed that wide receiver Clevan Thomas will now redshirt. Thomas was vying for a starting spot coming into the season, but he’s been unable to even get on the field thanks in part to the emergence of David Bouvier and frankly the offense not getting much going in the passing game.

Fellow receiver Akeem Hayes is injured and now off the depth chart.

All in all, Kentucky is as healthy as you can ask for of a college team set to begin the second half of its season, especially in the middle of SEC play.

Kentucky Football Week 8 Depth Chart

Go follow our Twitter page to get all of the latest Kentucky Wildcats news and views. And then check out our new Kentucky Football shirt.

Kentucky vs. Missouri game time and TV channel set – A Sea of Blue

A Sea of Blue

Kentucky vs. Missouri game time and TV channel set
A Sea of Blue
A Sea of Blue comes loaded with the best Kentucky Wildcats links, news, analysis, and some other fun stuff, so be sure to go 'like' our Facebook page and then go follow our Twitter page. And check out our new Kentucky Football shirt.
SEC Network's Peter Burns picks Kentucky to win SEC East247Sports

all 11 news articles »

Kentucky vs. Missouri game time and TV channel set

The Wildcats and Tigers will face off in a pivotal Week 9 matchup.

The Kentucky Wildcats will get a big road test in Week 9 when they face the Missouri Tigers in Columbia.

The two SEC East teams will clash at 4 p.m. EST on the SEC Network.

Kentucky currently holds a three-game winning streak over the Tigers, including last year’s 40-34 thriller at Kroger Field. The Tigers return much of that team and have a wealth of offensive firepower, which will prove to be a major test for Kentucky’s stout defense.

This game will also come one week before Georgia and Kentucky clash for first place in the SEC East. While it may be easy to look ahead to that monster game, Missouri is no joke, and Kentucky can’t afford to being anything less than their A game if they want to win in Columbia.

Here’s a look back at the last two times Kentucky has played Missouri:

A Sea of Blue comes loaded with the best Kentucky Wildcats links, news, analysis, and some other fun stuff, so be sure to go ‘like’ our Facebook page and then go follow our Twitter page. And check out our new Kentucky Football shirt.

John Calipari Coaches’ Clinic will have online streaming option

Calipari is giving everyone the chance to see his latest Coaches Clinic.

Throughout John Calipari’s tenure in Lexington, he has found new and intuitive ways to keep fans involved with the best program in college basketball.

Now in his 10th year at the helm of Kentucky Basketball, Calipari has found yet another way to give fans unprecedented access to his team.

On Monday, the school announced that the 2018 John Calipari Coaches’ Clinic will have an online streaming option.

“We are trying to create the biggest and the best worldwide clinic in the history of basketball. Be a part of it,” Calipari said in a press release. “I could not be more excited about the opportunity to open up a practice to coaches across the globe.”

The clinic, which is set for Oct. 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Joe Craft Center, will have a livestream available for purchase at CoachCal.com. The cost of the in-person clinic is $110. The livestream only will cost you $24.99.

“I’m always looking for ways to reach out and connect with as many coaches and basketball fans as I can, from podcasts to social media to speaking engagements across the country,” Calipari said. “This is the next step. I think this is going to be a home run for everybody.”

In addition, in-person participants to this year’s clinic will also receive two tickets per person to the Blue-White Game, which will take place that night at 7 p.m. EST in Rupp Arena.

Ge here to check out all of the details on the clinic.

Former Wildcat Avery Williamson is having a big year

The UK Football alum is coming up big for the New York Jets.

Linebacker Avery Williamson is having a tremendous first year with the New York Jets.

Williamson played for the Kentucky Wildcats from 2010-13 and was the 5th-round selection of the Tennessee Titans in the 2014 NFL draft.

With the Titans, Williamson had two seasons with more than 100 total tackles and a third with 92. After spending his first four seasons Titans, he signed with the Jets for three years and $22.5 million before the 2018 season.

Williamson has shined under the New York City lights. He has recorded 32 total tackles, forced a fumble, recovered a fumble, has two sacks and a pick from inside linebacker position.

In Week 3 against the Browns, Williamson had an incredible 14 total tackles with two sacks.

This past weekend against the Colts, Williamson deflected two passes and picked one off returning it 36 yards.

Williamson has been worth every penny for the Jets and is becoming yet another big-time defensive player in the NFL to come from Kentucky.

Go follow our Twitter page to get all of the latest Kentucky Wildcats news and views. And check out our new Kentucky Football shirt.

Monday Quickies: Moving on Up Edition

Cats move up in the AP, Bowl projections are exciting, Wenyen Gabriel is feeling salty, and more!

Happy Monday! I know Monday’s aren’t usually celebratory in nature but today we can be happy because our beloved Kentucky Wildcats football team has risen in the ranks of the AP poll thanks to other top 25 teams losing.

Obviously the Cats didn’t play this week so the bye was a big advantage as they now sit at #14 in the AP Poll.

This week’s game against the Vanderbilt Commodores is crucial because of the current momentum of the team. Even though they lost against the Texas A&M Aggies, that game went into overtime and the Cats had every chance to win that game.

If UK can win Saturday and things break their way as far as teams ahead of them losing, they could very well be knocking on the door of the top 10 this time next week.

But first: Beat Vandy.

Tweets of the Day

To think the players don’t read social media is naive. Some of the replies to Wenyen Gabriel are disappointing as there are some fans that would rather pledge their allegiance to a sports blog/radio show than the program and players.

Rick Pitino is paying someone to tweet this garbage.


Can Rhyne Howard inject life into Matthew Mitchell’s team? | Lexington Herald Leader- The last two seasons have been difficult for the UK Hoops team. The tournament has been hard to come by and the attrition has been epidemic. Howard may be the solution to that problem.

Can Calipari find minutes for his big men? | Courier-Journal- Reid Travis, PJ Washington, EJ Montgomery, and Nick Richards are all good enough to start on any team in the country. But only two will find starting spots for the Cats. Can John Calipari spread the minutes around enough to make them all happy?

SEC bowl projections | Saturdays Down South- Kentucky is now projected to play in the Citrus Bowl on January 1st against Penn State. Sign me up for that right now.

Cats sweep the Rebs | UK Athletics- The Kentucky Wildcats volleyball team continues their success in the SEC by dominating Ole Miss.

Bulls sign Tyler Ulis to a two way deal | NBC- It didn’t take long for a team to pick up Tyler Ulis after the Warriors decided to drop him. He will be playing for his hometown NBA team.

More positive bowl projections for Kentucky | CBS- Here the Cats are projected to play Texas in the Peach Bowl on December 29th. That would be fun.

Turn your attention back to football | Cats Pause- Now that Big Blue Madness is over, we are still three weeks out from the first basketball game vs. Duke. The football team is in prime position to make history so let’s get back on board with Stoops’ Troops.

Vanderbilt vs. Florida by the numbers | Anchor of Gold- Vanderbilt let Florida gain over 600 yards, 346 of those yards on the ground. That favors Kentucky.

Kentucky 15th in ESPN Power Rankings | ESPN- The game vs. Vandy must not be overlooked.

15. Kentucky (5-1, 3-1 SEC)

Week 7 result: open week

What’s next: vs. Vanderbilt (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network)

The Wildcats had a week off to put their heartbreaking overtime loss to Texas A&M behind them, and they still have a shot at winning the East. They get back to it against Vanderbilt, which nearly upset Florida on Saturday.

Kentucky Basketball: 2019 Recruiting Big Board 3.0

An updated look at who the Cats are looking at in 2019

It is now visit and decision season for the Class of 2019, as prospects begin taking official and unofficial visits, hosting coaches in their homes, and some are closing in on making decisions or have already announced their commitments.

Kentucky has three commitments in the class in point guard Tyrese Maxey and wings Kahlil Whitney and Dontaie Allen. They’re also in the hunt for several top talents in the class and seem to be in good position to compete for the top recruiting haul in the country.

Here’s a look at the players the Kentucky Wildcats are targeting in the Class of 2019.

Note: Player rankings are based off of the 247 Sports Composite, which compiles multiple rankings together


  • Cole Anthony (5 star, 3rd overall) ArchBishop Molloy (New York, NY)
  • Lester Quinones (4 star, 65th overall) IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)

With 8th-ranked Tyrese Maxey in the fold, Kentucky is comfortable with Maxey as the point guard of the class, and Maxey seems to be taking on a role as a recruiter for several of his classmates.

One of the guys he is recruiting the hardest is Cole Anthony, who has repeatedly expressed interest in playing with Maxey at the next level. Anthony, the son of former NBA player Greg Anthony, is viewed as one of the best point guard prospects in years, and there is no doubt John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff have to love the idea of a backcourt with Maxey and Anthony.

Anthony’s recruitment has been kept very close, and really all we know is that he will decide in the spring. He has listed a top 12 with Kentucky included. That would indicate Anthony will be interested to see who will be returning and who will be leaving for the NBA Draft. This seems like a year in which Kentucky could return several backcourt players, so it will be interesting to see how that factors in to Anthony’s recruitment.

Right now, UNC has been a perceived favorite, but it seems like everyone is really guessing at this point.

Aside from Anthony, Kentucky’s other notable target is four-star guard Lester Quinones, a 6’5 shooting guard from IMG Academy in Florida. Quinones had a successful spring and summer, and has drawn interest from several top programs including scholarship offers from Florida State, Arizona, Xavier, Florida, LSU, and Pittsburgh, among others.

Quinones will be a player to keep an eye on moving forward.

Outside of Anthony and Quinones, the Wildcats aren’t casting much of a wide net in terms of guards. They recruited Bryan Antoine, but he ultimately went ahead and committed to Villanova. They also were in the mix for Nico Mannion, but it’s unclear how serious the two were with each other and Mannion eventually committed to Arizona.

As of now, they probably plan on at least one or two of Quade Green/Tyler Herro/Immanuel Quickley/Ashton Hagans comes back.


  • Keion Brooks (5 star, 21st overall) North Side High School (Fort Wayne, IN) Offered

Keion Brooks seemed to be the top wing priority for a while, but with the commitment from Allen and Whitney, Brooks has seemingly fallen by the wayside. It’s unclear what happened exactly, but it is beginning to seem more and more unlikely that Brooks winds up in Lexington. Home state Indiana and Michigan State now seem to be the two favorites for the talented wing.

But Kentucky may not be completely out of the mix for Brooks. Brooks hosted Kentucky coaches recently, and he plans to visit Kentucky, so the possibility remains, but the solid money would be on Brooks staying home and playing at IU or joining the Spartans of Michigan State.


  • James Wiseman (5 star, 1st overall) Memphis East High School (Memphis, TN) Offered
  • Vernon Carey Jr. (5 star, 2nd overall) University School (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) Offered
  • Jaden McDaniels (5 star, 4th overall) Federal Way High School (Federal Way, WA)
  • Matthew Hurt (5 star, 6th overall) John Marshall Senior High (Rochester, MN) Offered
  • Oscar Tshibwe (pronounced Shoo-bwe) (4 star, 22nd overall) Kennedy Catholic (Hermitage, PA) Offer likely coming soon
  • Aidan Igiehon (4 star, 43rd overall) Lawrence Woodmere Academy (Woodmere, NY) Offered
  • Isaiah Stewart (5 star, 5th overall) La Lumiere School (Rochester, NY) Offered

Where Kentucky hasn’t cast a wide net among guards and wings, trying to guess how Kentucky recruits their frontcourt for 2019 is a guessing game at this point.

With Reid Travis certainly gone, and P.J. Washington and E.J. Montgomery likely to leave for the NBA, along with uncertainty about Nick Richards, Kentucky will have plenty of frontcourt minutes.

Kentucky has obviously prioritized James Wiseman, Vernon Carey Jr., and Matthew Hurt, the big 3 frontcourt options for the Wildcats, but they aren’t really a solid favorite for any of the three.

Wiseman has long been Kentucky’s top priority in the class and continues to be... for good reason. He’s the #1 or #2 player in the class, depending on which service you’re looking at, and his talent (and upside) are evident.

A 7-footer with an astounding wingspan, Wiseman excels on both ends of the floor, being able to score from multiple spots on the floor and using his length to block and alter shots on the other end. He also has excellent athleticism and can run the floor with smaller players.

While Kentucky was once thought to have a clear lead for Wiseman, that is no longer the case and at best for Kentucky, it is 50/50 versus Memphis with Vanderbilt, Kansas, and Florida State also factoring in. The hiring of Penny Hardaway at Memphis, plus a ton of local pressure to stay home and play at Memphis, has been a major factor for Wiseman.

Kentucky recently hosted Wiseman on a visit and then returned the favor with John Calipari and Joel Justus (who has led the Wiseman recruitment for the last couple years) visited Wiseman at his home in Memphis. Wiseman was initially expected to decide until spring, but it now looks like he’ll commit sometime in 2018.

The player in competition with Wiseman for the top spot in the class is Vernon Carey, Jr., a 6’10” forward from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Carey is skilled and can play inside and out on offense, and is one of the best rebounders in the class. Kentucky is pitching the idea of Carey and Wiseman playing in the same frontcourt together in Lexington, which would be the best frontcourt in the nation, hands down.

However, that is easier said than done, and the momentum around a potential Wiseman/Carey pairing in Lexington has slowed down but isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

Carey visited Kentucky in October for Big Blue Madness and it looks like it will come down to Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and nearby Miami for the ultra-talented big man. North Carolina is also in the mix. The only clue Carey gave to when he may announce is before his birthday, on Feb. 25, though he’s since said he plans to decide in 2018 now.

It was once thought that Kentucky would offer Jaden McDaniels fairly quickly, and that may still occur, but things are quite uncertain between Kentucky and the 4th-ranked player in the class.

McDaniels had a great summer and skyrocketed up the rankings, and Kentucky has been in contact with his father, who is seemingly handling his recruitment. Things seem to be kind of cool between McDaniels and Kentucky, but it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see interest ramp up as McDaniels has one of the highest ceilings in the class.

The recruitment took another interesting turn when John Calipari made the trip to the Pacific Northwest to see McDaniels not once but twice this fall. There has been no official offer to McDaniels as far as anyone knows, but could that change?

McDaniels is definitely a player to keep an eye on as it is one of the more interesting recruitments of a top-level guy.

Hurt projects as a stretch four in college because of his ability to shoot the ball from the perimeter but he is definitely more than just a shooter. Hurt has the ability to score at multiple levels and has a solid inside game.

There is some mutual interest between Kentucky and Hurt, although Kansas has been thought to be a clear leader for a while, but maybe it isn’t a done deal for the Jayhawks. Hurt is scheduled to visit Kentucky sometime this fall, though a date is not set in stone.

Stewart is someone Kentucky recently offered and got back in the mix for, and he even visited Lexington. However, Kentucky seems to have lost ground in this race as Michigan State is coming on strong.

As for Igiehon, he said that Kentucky has offered and the Cats landed in his top four schools. Igiehon will likely take an official visit to Kentucky soon, per Adam Zagoria, but no date has been finalized.

Tshiebwe has come on strong on Kentucky’s radar, and the Cats are one of four teams competing to land him. Tshiebwe is another guy that really rose in the rankings over the summer, and the smart money would be on Kentucky or West Virginia earning his commitment.

Tshibwe has long been viewed as a West Virginia lean, as they have been in with Tshiebwe for a long time, so Kentucky has had some ground to make up in that recruitment. Tshiebwe has wrapped up his visits and appears likely to pick the Moutnaineers on Oct. 20.

Kentucky will soon have to make decisions on how heavily to pursue Igiehon and McDaniels, as it is likely they want to have at least one big man commit in the fall. It could simply be a case of who wants to pull the trigger first.

All are talented players who can do different things, but the Wildcats also know they must come out of 2018 with a big man if Wiseman, Carey, Hurt and Tshibwe all likely deciding this fall/winter.

Honestly, it’s going to be fascinating to see how Kentucky and each of these prospects handle this situation moving forward.

Off the board:

  • Scottie Lewis (5 star, 11th overall) Ranney School (Eatontown, NJ): Committed to Florida
  • Zeke Nnaji (4 star, 34th overall) Hopkins High School (Hopkins, MN): Cut Kentucky

Nnaji is new to this list, as he did hold an offer from Kentucky, which kind of came out of nowhere, but he has since set his final list and cut Kentucky. He is an AAU teammate with Matthew Hurt, but Nnaji has rose up the rankings over the summer and is making a name for himself as a top-30 talent. The 6’10” forward is skilled offensively and could be a nice piece for whoever lands him.

As for Lewis, he is a top-10 talent in the class who projects to play more at the small forward position in college, but he does have some flexibility to play the shooting guard as well. He’s a super athlete that plays above the rim as well as anyone in the class and projects as a strong defender in college that can guard multiple positions.

HIs teammates and coaches rave about his work ethic, the pride he takes in playing defense, and the quality of teammate he is, which made him a perfect fit to Kentucky’s 2019 class, but he ultimately committed to Florida.


Stay tuned here as we bring you more updates from the recruiting trail for the Class of 2019.

Week 7 upsets improve Kentucky’s bowl predictions – A Sea of Blue

A Sea of Blue

Week 7 upsets improve Kentucky's bowl predictions
A Sea of Blue
Sitting idle in Week 7 proved to be beneficial for the Kentucky Wildcats. They used their bye week to regroup after a loss at Texas A&M, as well as watch multiple upsets that helped both their SEC East odds and their projections for end-of-season bowl ...

Week 7 upsets improve Kentucky’s bowl predictions

A wild week seven boosts Kentucky into improved bowl projections.

Sitting idle in Week 7 proved to be beneficial for the Kentucky Wildcats

They used their bye week to regroup after a loss at Texas A&M, as well as watch multiple upsets that helped both their SEC East odds and their projections for end-of-season bowl games.

The Wildcats watched the No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs, No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers, No. 7 Washington Huskies, No. 8 Penn State Nittany Lions, No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers and No. 16 Miami Hurricanes all take big losses.

Thus, the Wildcats now finds themselves projected for a prominent bowl game.

Bowl Projections By Website:

Peach Bowl, December 29th: CBS Sports

-Projected Opponent: Texas Longhorns,

Citrus Bowl, January 1st: CollegeFootballNews.com

-Projected Opponent: Penn State Nittany Lions

Outback Bowl. January 1st: Bleacher Report, SB Nation

-Projected Opponent: Penn State Nittany Lions, Michigan State Spartans

Belk Bowl, December 29th: Orlando Sentinel

-Projected Opponent: NC State Wolfpack

Personal Projection: Outback Bowl Vs. Penn State

Despite being projected for games like the Citrus and Peach Bowl, the Outback Bowl seems to be the most realistic when regarding Kentucky’s bowl destination. Penn State’s struggles could lead to a possible bowl matchup with the Wildcats as well.

A matchup of so would honor a rematch of the 1999 Outback Bowl when the Nittany Lions took down Tim Couch and the Wildcats.

Seeing Kentucky land in the Belk Bowl would likely mean they have a rough finish, so hopefully we see the Wildcats land elsewhere.

What bowl game and matchup would you like to see Kentucky land?

UK Basketball team gets new Call of Duty

The Cats check out the newest Call of Duty.

Just two days after the newest installment of the Call of Duty franchise released, “Black Ops 4”, the Kentucky Basketball team got a surprise at the end of their Sunday practice, with Cal handing out copies to players for both Xbox and Playstation:

If you’ll remember, the team was some of the first people to get their hands on the game a couple months ago before it even released, thanks to former cat Karl-Anthony Towns and his partnership with Call of Duty.

The players getting gifted the new “Black Ops” makes me mad I was not good enough to play elite-level, division one basketball. Oh well, I guess I’ll spend $60 on my own copy.

Tyler Ulis claimed by Bulls

Ulis lands with the Bulls after being waived by the Warriors.

It looks like Tyler Ulis has found his next NBA home.

After being waived by the Golden State Warriors, Ulis has reportedly been claimed by the Chicago Bulls.

It’s actually going to turn into a two-way contract, which means Ulis will spend a lot of time in the G-League but still get to play regular-season minutes in Chicago.

This is a good switch for Ulis, who was unlikely to get many, if any minutes with Golden State if he remained there. The Bulls, however, are a rebuilding roster that Ulis could find a bigger role with.

Ulis, who has been searching for a new home after being waived by the Warriors this weekend, finished the 2017-18 season fifth in total minutes played for the Phoenix Suns, but he finished third in assists per game for the league’s worst assisting team.

Still, with a career average of 7.6 points and 4.1 assists per contest, it’s too soon to for the NBA to give up on Ulis. He may not be able to last in the league long term, but he’s still worthy of a chance to carve out a career with someone.

Let’s hope it’s with the Bulls.

Go follow our Twitter page to get all of the latest Kentucky Wildcats news and views. And check out our new Kentucky Football shirt.

Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt: TV channel, start time, initial odds and an early prediction

The Wildcats return off the bye to host a feisty Vanderbilt team.

The Kentucky Wildcats are back in action this week when the Vanderbilt Commodores come to Kroger Field. This game will kickoff Saturday at 7:30 pm and be shown on the SEC Network.

The Wildcats will be in uncharted waters coming off a mid-season bye week with an overall record of 5-1. There are now lofty goals on the horizon, including winning the SEC East. But above all, Kentucky has to take care of business at home Saturday against Vanderbilt.

The Commodores are 3-4 on the season and will visit Kroger Field for homecoming. The Wildcats should be well rested and physically ready to finish this season with a bang. They can’t sleep on the Dores, however, who have narrow losses to Florida and Notre Dame, two top-15 teams right now. If Kentucky isn’t ready for a fight, they could find themselves in a down-to-the-wire decision.

With Georgia’s loss at LSU, the doors have opened for Mark Stoops and his team to achieve something special in 2018. But the process still has to be taken one game at a time with a focus on getting better each week.

And with a week off and homecoming, it is important that Kentucky comes out focused and ready to play on Saturday. A win would also put Kentucky at bowl eligibility for the third-straight year under Stoops.

Here is an early look at the matchup:

Vanderbilt Commodores (3-4) at Kentucky Wildcats (5-1)

Location: Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky

Start Time: 7:30 PM

TV Channel: SEC Network

Odds: Kentucky opened as a 13-point favorite.

Prediction: ESPN matchup predictor gives Kentucky an 83.9% chance of victory, while TeamRankings projects a 29-18 win for the Wildcats.

Go follow our Twitter page to get all of the latest Kentucky Wildcats news and views. And check out our new Kentucky Football shirt.

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