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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
July 23rd, 2017

De’Aaron Fox gets in on the #DriveByDunkChallenge

Everyone say hello to the newest social media craze, the Drive By Dunk Challenge. What started as a compilation of videos tweeted by a group of friends, has now turned into the latest trend on Twitter and Instagram. Essentially, you just drive up to a random house, hop out of your car, go dunk on their hoop, and then drive away. Does it seem a little silly/pointless? Yes. But most things are social media could be described with both of those words, and at least this one opens the door to some creativity.

Former Cat De’Aaron Fox decided to try his hand at the Drive By Dunk Challenge, hitting up a few houses in this Instagram video he posted a couple hours ago.

#DriveByDUNKChallenge 😂😂😂

A post shared by De'Aaron Fox (@swipathefox) on

And in case you missed it, Coach Cal got in on the action earlier this weekend, showing off his supreme athleticism on what appears to be a 7-foot basket.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Karl Towns wins camper free Nikes

@TJBeisner

I’m sure you’ve seen our coverage of the kids’ skill camps going on on campus this weekend, with former Cats Julius Randle and Karl Towns returning to Lexington to take part, along with all of the current players.

Today, Towns had the opportunity to attempt a half court shot to win one lucky camper a pair of custom ordered Nike basketball shoes. I’ll not ruin the video before you watch, but here’s a hint, the kid is going to to love his new shoes.

Interacting with NBA players for a weekend is probably an incredible experience for these kids, and you can hear their reaction to Towns hitting the shot. Someone sign me up for the next round of camps, because I could sure use a new custom pair of Nikes.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Former Cat Kyle Cody is on a roll lately

UK Athletics

Kyle Cody was a really solid pitcher for the Kentucky Wildcats from 2013-2016, ranking 11th in UK history in career strikeouts. Now that Cody is making his way through the Minor League Baseball ranks, he’s showing that he can capitalize on the potential he showed in Lexington.

Cody has been taking the mound for the Hickory Crawdads, the Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. The 22-year-old right hander started on the hill today by throwing five hitless innings on his way to seven shut out innings. His start today, paired with how he’s been pitching as of late, got some love from MinorLeagueBaseball.com’s Twitter account.

Not to mention, Cody’s last six starts have been almost unhittable. His accumulated stats for his last six starts are 39 innings pitched, giving up only 15 hits and 2 earned runs, with only 11 walks and 47 strikeouts. Those numbers are nothing short of masterful, and Cody should be seeing his name rise up the prospect board for the Rangers soon enough if he keeps it up.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


Five standout quotes from UK Football Women’s Clinic

Photo via @JenNimePalumbo

The Kentucky Football program hosted their annual women’s clinic Saturday, and it was a major hit. If you missed my full recap post yesterday, you can catch up by clicking here. Although I got a lot out about the day’s activities already, there are still a few things on my mind I want to share. I’ve condensed some of the best moments of the clinic down into the top five quotes of the day:

“The biggest difference I think you’re going to see in our team and in our program is our leadership in the players” – Coach Mark Stoops

Although this quote was said near the beginning of the day, the idea of strong leadership was conveyed throughout the entirety of the clinic. As each coach stood up to give his individual presentation, he would mention how the players, specifically the upperclassmen, are holding their teammates responsible for their actions on and off the field more than ever this summer.

During practices where the coaches aren’t present, upperclassmen are stepping up and leading practice, according to Coach Stoops. Five years after Mark Stoops began his Kentucky coaching career, we finally have that solid group of juniors, seniors and even fifth-year seniors to truly set an example for the younger players. While we’re also adding some dynamic younger talent, this team’s backbone will be its more experienced athletes.

Speaking of fifth-year seniors, let’s talk about Austin MacGinnis. The kicker had quite a few memorable quotes during his presentation, but my favorite of the day had to be the following:

“I have to put the ball through this… then if I make it, everyone will love me” – Austin MacGinnis.

Yep, he pretty much nailed it. When a game comes down to the wire and it’s up to the kicker to drill that final field goal, all eyes are on him. To help him practice getting in the zone while controlling his nerves, MacGinnis admitted to a unique relaxation technique: meditation.

Last season, we saw MacGinnis hit a 51-yard field goal to clench a Wildcat victory over Mississippi State and nail that 47-yarder against Louisville. Have we seen MacGinnis’ peak? According to him, not yet.

When asked how far back on the field he can make a field goal from, he replied: “in practice, 65 yards off the sticks. I’m hoping to have some longer ones this year.”

Do your thing, MacGinnis.

“To see you guys down at the Taxslayer Bowl – we stunk that up offensively and we apologize for that. But to go there and to see you all there and to see the Big Blue Nation and to see the support, it’s phenomenal” – Eddie Gran

So… it sounds like if Kentucky fans promise to keep going to games, Coach Gran promises to not stink them up offensively. All the more reason to go to the games!

But seriously, the coaches are revved up about this season, and that’s only going to become more and more apparent as the first game of the season approaches. Vince Marrow also announced an exciting promotion going on right now for season ticket holders. You can read about the “YAHTZEE promotion” here. Even if you don’t win, at least you’ll be able to say you supported our team at all of the home games this season. Plus, you may just end up talking to Coach Marrow himself in the ticket office. I mean, look at this. He’s awesome.

Photo via @UKTix Twitter

“This isn’t just going to be a coach/football relationship. I’m going to treat him like he’s family” – Vince Marrow.

 One of the biggest draws to the Kentucky basketball team has always been the family-like atmosphere. The players appear to keep in touch even after their time in Kentucky uniforms is over, and Ellen Calipari baking cookies for birthdays doesn’t hurt either. But this “family first” mentality is relatively new for the football team.

Throughout Coach Marrow’s presentation, he repeatedly mentioned giving players a father-like figure while they’re at the University of Kentucky, since most of the young men are living away from their parents for the first time. It’s not just about playing ball – he also has the team over for family dinners and goes to church with some of the players. Even with a team composed of 105 players rather than 15, this football team is still a family. Which leads right into my favorite quote of the day…

“We’re always going to be a basketball school, but now we’re a football school too” – Vince Marrow.

Beautifully put, Coach Marrow.


@MaggieDavisKSR

 

 


The Reds Report: July 23

Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Reds have had a rough start to the second half of the season. Cincinnati went 2-5 over the past week, and the team is preparing for a ten game road trip. The final few months of the season should give the Reds an opportunity to get a look at players who might help the team in the future.

Let’s get to this week’s Reds Report.

This kid hasn’t given up on the Reds. He was doing his part to help the team win on Sunday.

Another Pitcher Hits the Disabled List

The health of the Reds starting rotation has been an issue all season. Those problems continued this week as Scott Feldman was sent to the 10-day DL with “right knee inflammation.” As Mark Sheldon notes, Feldman’s injury means that all five pitchers in the Reds Opening Day rotation have now spent time on the disabled list.

Thankfully, Feldman’s injury will not require surgery.

Scooter Gennett Takes Over at Second

Earlier this week, Bryan Price announced that Scooter Gennett will take over at second base for Jose Peraza. According to Zach Buchanan, Peraza will assume a bench role while making periodic starts. Peraza had a successful run once getting promoted to the majors last season, but he’s struggled for most of 2017 at the plate. He’s hitting just .253/.277/.328 this year.

Meanwhile, Scooter Gennett has been one of the biggest surprises on the Reds roster. He’s hit .311/.362/.584 with 16 home runs in 81 games. Few people would have expected Gennett to force his way into the starting lineup, but that is just what he’s done.

Assessing the State of the Rebuild

It’s not surprising that the Reds aren’t winning many games right now, but are they taking steps forward? C. Trent Rosecrans took some time this week to assess the state of the Reds rebuild. Specifically, he compared Cincinnati’s progress to other teams in a similar situation like Philadelphia, Atlanta, New York, Milwaukee, San Diego, Oakland, and Chicago (AL).

Click here to read his answer.

Zack Cozart Gets His Donkey

Joey Votto promised Zack Cozart a donkey if Cozart made the All Star team. Cozart accomplished that goal, and this week Votto held up his end of the deal. Cozart and his family met the donkey on Saturday prior to Cincinnati’s game against Miami. Jessica Kleinschmidt of MLB.com has a few more details on the story.

What’s Ahead

The Reds head to Cleveland for a makeup game on Monday. They’ll visit New York to take on the Yankees on Tuesday and Wednesday. Over the weekend, Cincinnati will be in Miami for a four game series with the Marlins.

You can read Eric’s writing all season long at The Sporting NewsRed Reporter, and Baseball Prospectus. He also hosts the On Baseball Writing Podcast and appears on the Red Reporter podcast.


FINAL DAY: Buy More, Save More at the KSR Shop!

The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded’s Buy More, Save More deal ends at midnight! Head to ShopKSR.com to receive up to 25% OFF your entire purchase. We have a great selection of new KSR tees, KSR tumblers, hats, and other great gift items. Hurry this special sale ends at midnight. Tell your family and friends!

 

[FINAL DAY: Buy More, Save More at the KSR Shop!]


Bledsoe, MKG also added to the Kyrie Irving Trade Rumors

Earlier today, it was reported that the Sacramento Kings were looking to package De’Aaron Fox in a possible trade for Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving. While that rumor spread across multiple sources, it’s still just a rumor until official.

For the past few days, NBA analysts have tried to put together realistic possibilities for an Irving trade. Fox isn’t the only former Wildcat that keeps showing up in the discussion. 

Bleacher Report released their top-5 possibilities for an Irving trade, and two former Cats could be on the move.

First was fan-favorite Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Charlotte has an interesting offer, given that Kemba Walker would only be a small drop in talent for Cleveland. Add MKG to the package, and suddenly the Cavs have an elite defender on the perimeter. MKG matches up well against the Warriors defensively, so maybe that’s something to interest them?

Getting Walker to slide into Irving’s old starting point guard spot would be nice, but trading for Kidd-Gilchrist makes the Cavaliers more Warriors-ready.

Irving’s former high school teammate in New Jersey, Kidd-Gilchrist is a 6’7″ premier wing-stopper who can guard four positions. He’d be perfect to put on the floor against the Warriors, switching seamlessly between their offensive weapons.

Eric Bledsoe for Kyrie Irving is another possibility floating around the rumor mill. In this trade, the Suns would have to offer more, but Devin Booker is untouchable. That leaves Josh Jackson, according to Bleacher Report.

Bledsoe enjoyed a career year in 2016-17, posting marks of 21.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.4 steals. He’s one of the better defensive point guards in the league and is represented by LeBron James’ agency, Klutch Sports. It was James who urged the Suns and Bledsoe to come to a contract agreement while the two worked out in Cleveland together back in 2014.

Bledsoe is a nice start, but the Cavs would need something more. Devin Booker is untouchable, which means either Jackson or small forward T.J. Warren could come into play. Both are young, athletic and like to attack the basket. They both would give Cleveland another wing to play against the Warriors or use in a future trade.

Anytime an All-Star like Irving requests a trade, it sends shockwaves throughout the league. With so many former Wildcats in the NBA, there’s always a possibility that one or more could be on the move.

A move to Cleveland for any of these players could mean a championship ring in the future. 

This off-season has already seen its share of twists and turns, with many players on the move. Do you see a another former Wildcat teaming with Lebron?


TMZ Asks Coach Cal about UK Super Team/Drake

While John Calipari was in Washington D.C., the sneaky & controversial TMZ Sports caught a quick interview with our head coach. If you can hear over the interviewer being asked for his press credentials, it’s actually an interesting interview. Obviously unprepared, Coach Cal answered the questions like a professional.

During the “interview”, Coach Cal was asked about the potential of a UK super team in the NBA. Calipari said he was all for it, as teams like the New Orleans Pelicans seem to be close.

With Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Rajon Rondo already together, could you imagine another All-Star Wildcat like John Wall heading to New Orleans?

But when asked whether he would coach such a team?

“No, no, no, I have enough trouble coaching Kentucky…“, jokingly said Calipari.

Coach Cal was also asked about his friendship with Drake, which some of us may have heard before. As usual, Calipari said that he knew Drake since the beginning, before all of his songs took off. He talked about Drake’s loyalty to the program, and how he knew good things were coming.

Check out the unexpected interview below:


Highlights from KAT’s Summer Slamfest

As you may have seen earlier, Karl Anthony-Towns’ annual Summer Slamfest is taking place at the Joe Craft Center. The skills camp, reserved for children ages 7-17, held two sessions today, which included drills ran by former and current Wildcats.

Needless to say, the players were into the skills competitions just as much as the campers.

So much into the competition, that players like SKJ and Gabriel added an extra boost or assistance to their teams. Why not, the kids love it.

Karl Anthony-Towns made one camper’s day extra special, when he made a half court shot to win them a custom pair of Nike basketball shoes.

Money ball!

And with Coach Calipari on the road, guess who’s running the show…


Karl Towns reminisces about Kentucky’s 38-1 season – and it’s heartbreaking

Near the end of today’s media opportunity with former Wildcat Karl Towns, the big man touched on his single season at Kentucky and what his team’s 38-game winning streak still means to him.

No one’s ever going to do that again… it’s almost impossible,” Towns said of the 2014-15 Wildcats’ impressive – but heartbreaking – single-loss season. “I talked to Devin Booker awhile ago about it. It’s not going to be done again.”

“It wasn’t just the way that we won, it was how we won. I mean, we’re beating teams by 50. UCLA should’ve just walked off the court against us at one point,” Towns said in reference to the record-breaking 41-7 halftime lead Kentucky held over the Bruins in 2014. “It’s no disrespect to any university, but that year was our year.”

“We went out there and we treated the game first, at all times, with respect. We never disrespected the game of basketball, we always went out there with respect for our opponents and for the game. But we went out there with a chip on our shoulder, and that’s very rare for a team that’s on top of a mountain with absolutely no one around us. We made goals for ourselves that for a lot of people were not possible. We made it possible.”

In Towns’ opinion, that possibility of the ever-elusive perfect season may be the toughest pill to swallow.

“It’s sad when you look back on my team, you’re going to look back and see our team as a testament to what true power is and what true perfection is, but at the same time, how far away perfection truly can be in a humbling story – which is sad,” Towns said.

But arguably the most gut-wrenching quote of the day?

“I felt our story was written in pen instead of in pencil. We were mistaken.”


@MaggieDavisKSR


Karl-Anthony Towns on UK super team: “We’d kill anybody”

USA TODAY Sports

For the past several days, former Wildcats have been asked about the hypothetical matchup between a team composed entirely of ex-Kentucky players versus an actual NBA team, such as the Golden State Warriors.

During a press conference with the local media this afternoon, Karl-Anthony Towns was quick to respond when asked if the Kentucky team would come out victorious.

“Of course. We’d kill anybody. That’s not a question,” Towns said. “I don’t know what Julius [Randle] said yesterday, but I’m not as modest. If we get to pick our coach and we get to pick Cal, it’s over.”

“It’s going to be like my year here at Kentucky. We walk on campus, it’s over.

But what about the lineup?

“It depends. Are we playing the way my team played? The way my team played, you never cared who were the starters and the bench. Everyone got equal time so it didn’t matter.”

As someone who knows a little something about being part of a dynamic, freshmen-centered class, Towns acknowledged Kentucky’s players this season will need to come together first as a team before they can perform on the court.

It’s going to take some time for them to gel, but they’ve got some talent that’s undeniable,” Towns said.

When asked who next season’s standout player may be, Towns reminded us that it’s most important to focus on the team’s success rather than an individual’s.

“I don’t look at it like that. When we [were] playing, there was no one player to look at. You looked at us as a collective group. We all felt like one player, we all moved like one, we reacted as one, we won as one and we lost as one,” said Towns of his 2014-15 Cats. “So I don’t look at it like that. I look at it as how is the team going to do.”

“There’s always going to be exciting players and talented players in this world, but how many teams can be special? How many teams could go out there and win? How many teams could dominate the SEC? How many teams could go out there and dominate the whole NCAA? That’s how I look at it.”

@MaggieDavisKSR


Former Kentucky guard De’Aaron Fox in latest trade rumors for Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving

On Friday afternoon, Kyrie Irving informed the Cleveland Cavaliers he would like to be traded elsewhere, generating a frenzy throughout the basketball world.

Today, rumors have spread that the Sacramento Kings are prepared to offer former Wildcat star De’Aaron Fox in a deal for the 25-year-old Cavalier guard.

According to Amico Hoops, the deal would be centered around Fox, Kosta Koufos, and more for Irving.

The Sacramento Kings are putting together a trade offer for Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources told Amico Hoops late Saturday.

The proposed package is expected to include rookie point guard De’Aaron Fox, sources said, and perhaps center Kosta Koufos, as well as others to help make the salaries match.

Also in on the trade talks? Karl-Anthony Towns’ Minnesota Timberwolves.

In the initial string of rumors, Irving reportedly listed the Timberwolves, Knicks, Heat, and the Spurs as his preferred landing spots.

According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, both Towns and newly acquired guard Jimmy Butler are actively recruiting Irving to join the star duo in Minnesota.

League sources told ESPN that both Butler and Karl-Anthony Towns have been doing their part to recruit Irving on the idea of playing alongside them in Minnesota, and they’ve made it known to Wolves management that they want to add the Cavs star to the mix. Butler and Irving became tight in their time playing for USA Basketball together. Towns’ father, Karl Towns Sr., and Irving’s father, Drederick Irving, are connected through the basketball scene in northern New Jersey, where they both reside.

When asked about the recruitment rumors by the Kentucky media before his annual Summer SlamFest in Lexington, Towns says it’s for you to decide if you want to believe the ever-popular “sources.”

“I don’t know, that’s up to the man that’s been getting paid for the last 100 years or so, “source.” When you find out who the source is, you let me know. He’s been getting paid for so long,” said Towns.

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR


WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns speaks to the media before Summer SlamFest in Lexington

Former Kentucky superstar Karl-Anthony Towns is in Lexington for his annual Summer SlamFest camp, and the media had the opportunity to sit down with him to ask a few questions.

Towns discussed life as the top up-and-coming star in the NBA, the legacy (and pain) of his 38-1 team, Coach Cal’s impact on his game, and the Timberwolves taking the next step to making a run in the West.

Watch the entire interview below:

BBN


VIDEO: Kentucky men’s basketball account gives fans a taste of what’s to come in 2017-18

Via @UKCoachCalipari

The Kentucky basketball Twitter account just posted the following video of practice footage from the Joe Craft Center this morning.

Quade Green executes a pretty step-back floater over the head of Brad Calipari, and the entire team showcases some impressive teamwork.

The Kentucky basketball Instagram account also posted a video from practice.

Just a little Sunday morning work. #EmbraceTheGrind

A post shared by Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@kentuckymbb) on

After touches by five wildcats, Sacha Killeya-Jones finally went up for the put-back to end the play. #EmbraceTheGrind

How do you think the team is looking?


UK Football coaches help raise money for children’s hospital

Mark Stoops and the Kentucky football staff attended Coaches for the Kids in Lexington Saturday night, an event that raised over $500,000 for the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital.

In the photo above, which was tweeted by Mark Stoops, it appears as though the head coach gave some sort of speech at the event.

But he wasn’t the only coach present. Vince Marrow was there:

Photo via @kevinwweaver

So was Lamar Thomas:

Photo via @BradSturgill3

And yes, everyone threw down their L’s:

Photo via @tgh3316

While it looks like a fun night, the most important part is the money that was raised to benefit the kids. Great job, guys!