Kentucky Sports Radio

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

Get ready for the Sweet 16 with new shirts at the KSR Shop!


Your Kentucky Wildcats will be tipping off in the Sweet 16 tomorrow night against UCLA. Are you game day ready!? The KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are here to help you wear some fun while we dance! Get a Beat UCLA or a Yabba Dabba Blue shirt now. Head to to pick up our newest shirts to help you cheer on the ‘Cats!


[Get ready for the Sweet 16 with new shirts at the KSR Shop!]

KSR LIVE from Memphis (Thursday Show Thread)

Matt, Ryan, Drew, Shannon and Daniel the Cameraman made their Drive for 9 in the Paul Miller Ford Expedition to Memphis last night.  Hear about the first leg of their adventure and what is to come by listening to this morning’s edition of KSR.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio


Barleycorn’s Thursday Top 10: KSR is Walking in Memphis

Barleycorn's Logo

Are you looking for the perfect spot to watch the NCAA Tournament this weekend? Take your family and friends to Barleycorn’s! Barleycorn’s has over 30 beers on tap, jumbo wings with 10 delicious sauces, sandwiches, salads, and our famous handcrafted burgers!

If you need another reason to get over to Barleycorn’s, how about this promo they’re running right now!? Now through April 3, bounce back in to Barleycorn’s for a FREE order of chicken tenders when a player scores 30 or more points in a single Men’s NCAA Tournament game! 

Barleycorn’s has three locations in Northern Kentucky – Cold Spring, Lakeside Park, and Florence – and is open seven days a week! For hours and information, follow them on Facebook or visit Get over here!

Pardon me for the cliched title, but as soon as I saw it Tweeted, that stupid song will not leave my head.  Most of the KSR crew made it to Memphis last night with the help of Tom T. Hall and Missing Richard Simmons.  I’ll be holding down the fort until Mrs. Tyler arrives later today.  Here’s what’s happening around the Big Blue Nation:

Open Practice at the FedEx Forum

The Cats will be the last team to take the floor for their open practice.  It begins at 3:00 CT.  If you’re in town you won’t want to miss it.  Coach Calipari and a few players will speak before the event and KSR will be there to provide updates as they happen.

The Sweet 16 Starts Tonight

Feeling nervous?  Don’t.  You can watch the season end for four other teams first, starting tonight just after 7:00.

  • 7:09 on CBS: Oregon vs. Michigan in Kansas City
  • 7:37 on TBS: Gonzaga vs. West Virginia in San Jose
  • 9:45ish on CBS: Kansas vs. Purdue in Kansas City
  • 10:05ish on TBS: Arizona vs. Xavier in San Jose

I don’t even know what to think about the first game of the night, but I will stay up late to see the strange matchup of Purdue post-players and Kansas guards.

Entering the tournament, I never thought I’d say, “I can’t wait to see what happens in the West Region,” but here we are.  Huggins’ Press Virginia looked terrific in the first two games.  Now they get a perennially overrated Gonzaga who actually doesn’t look overrated.  Following that game we get the Miller Bowl, which you won’t hear about 25 times during tonight’s broadcast.

Bulletin Board Material from LaVar Ball

We may have jumped the gun a bit, but it was inevitable.  The dude simply can’t help himself.  Hear’s what he told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor about the Kentucky game and his son’s matchup with De’Aaron Fox:

“He can’t mess with Zo,” Ball said of Fox. “You can have 40 points and Lonzo can have two points and make the game winner, and I’m going with him. You had more points, but look at who won the game. I guess [Fox] really didn’t outplay him. It’s a team sport. All my boy is worried about is his team winning.”

He also took a shot at Kentucky’s team chemistry and stuck to his guns, reiterating that UCLA will win the National Championship.

“I already said UCLA will win the national championship, and I’m not going backwards on it now,” Ball said. “With Zo, the chemistry that UCLA has is better than what Kentucky has.”

NBA Draft Declarations

Once teams are eliminated from the tournament, it becomes draft season for players around college basketball.  A ton of big-names threw their hat in the ring.  Some will stay in the draft regardless, but others may return for another year.

  • Duke: Jayson Tatum
  • Louisville: Donavan Mitchell, Deng Adel, Jaylen Johnson
  • Wake Forest: John Collins
  • Texas: Jarrett Allen
  • SMU: Semi Ojeleye
  • Cal: Ivan Rabb

New Contracts for Kentucky’s Coaches

John Calipari and Mark Stoops added two more years to their existing contracts.  Not a lot changed for Cal, but Stoops received a ton of new incentives.  See them all here.

New SEC Football Stadium Policies

Leave your fannypacks at home ladies and gentlemen, the SEC has gone clear.  You’ve seen the policy at many other stadiums; now it’s a league-wide policy.

An SEC Photo

An SEC Photo

At Arkansas, this policy is in effect but with a twist: guns are gucci.  Fannypacks are forbidden, but guns are welcome starting in 2018.  A new Arkansas law will allow you to take your gun to more places, including sporting events.  Alcohol is too dangerous to sell at SEC football games, but firearms are fine.  What could go wrong?

More Spring Football

The Cats are currently on the field for Spring Practice number five, their final tune-up before Saturday’s scrimmage, the first of the spring season.  There’s a lot at stake in the first scrimmage.  Will the vets be able to hold down the spot on the depth chart, or will they be surpassed by young stars?  Hear about it by listening to the latest edition of The Depth Chart Podcast, but listener beware, we talked a lot of basketball.

Josh Pastner’s Relationship with Coach Cal

The Georgia Tech head coach and former assistant under John Calipari joined my friend and UK Student News broadcasting legend Clayton Abernathy on KSTV.  Pastner praised Cal’s coaching pedigree and discussed how difficult it was to replace him at Memphis.

Nick Richards Completes his High School Career

Just like Karl-Anthony Towns and Isaiah Briscoe, Nick Richards finished his high school career winning the New Jersey Tournament of Champions.  Looking ahead, he told Adam Zagoria what he’ll be doing for Kentucky next year.

“Some of the things that Bam is doing now,” he said, “I do that here. I’m gonna see what they want me to do.”

You’ll hear more from Richards next week at the McDonald’s All-American Game.  I’ll be in Chicago to see UK’s four signees — Richards, Quade Green, Jarred Vanderbilt, P.J. Washington — and their final two targets — Kevin Knox and Mo Bamba.

Bellarmine is in the Final Four, Again

Scotty Davenport is doing his best Coach Cal impression at Bellarmine.  The Knights beat the Colorado School of Mines by 20 to advance to their fourth Final Four in seven years.  They’ll take on Fairmont State tonight at 7:00 to keep their hopes alive for the program’s second national title.

March 22nd, 2017

The Moment Malik Monk Didn’t Look Like Malik Monk


Volume Scorer

Those two words are the best best way to describe Malik Monk’s game.  The freshman phenom from Lepanto, Arkansas has never disappointed.  Kentucky has seen many great scorers, but Malik Monk gets hotter than characters on NBA Jam, achieving unprecedented awesomeness in Las Vegas against North Carolina by dropping 47 clutch points for the win.

A steamrolling locomotive who’s never seen a bad shot, Monk gets his.  In high school, he never stopped shooting.  John Calipari said he’d get tired watching him shoot so many shots. “How is he raising his arm again?”

They aren’t always falling, but they eventually will, just ask Florida (30 points after halftime), Georgia (31 after halftime) and South Carolina (30 after half).

Sometimes Monk takes bad shots, until they go in.  The King of “No, No, No! YES!” shots, he might be a better shooter with a hand in his face than left wide open. To enjoy his greatness, you must learn to trust that Monk will be fine.  Just give him some time and the once-in-a-generation scorer will eventually figure it out.  In the meantime, he’ll throw in a few gym-clearing, SportsCenter Top Play dunks.

Until he got to the last game of the season.

For the first time in his Kentucky career, he didn’t reach double figures.  After scoring just six points at Texas A&M, he only scored two points in the opening round of the SEC Tournament.  Since the Texas A&M game, he’s hit just 5-of-26 threes (19%).

Many described it as a slump.  Monk took question after question after question after question after question after question after question after question after from reporters about his shooting slump, but stayed the course.

He failed to hit a three-pointer against NKU, but I was not worried.  “Shooter’s shoot,” and Monk continued to look like Malik Monk, his shots just weren’t falling.

Then, he didn’t look like Malik Monk.



Monk had a two-step advantage on Shamet and two other Shockers.  This is the part where we hold our breath, anticipating the death of an opponent with a poster that would make Michael Jordan proud.  Even if Shamet’s life didn’t end with a dunk, Monk’s high-flying acrobatics guaranteed an amazing, finesse finish.

We didn’t see either.  We saw Malik Monk hesitate.  The dude best defined as a “dog” hesitated.  Instead of fight, we saw flight, and a missed layup.

It got worse.


Two possessions later, Monk got the ball in a much more comfortable position: off a staggered screen with an incoming ball screen from Derek Willis.  The pop from Willis for a three would ensure a wide open lane, best described as “playtime” for the prolific scorer.

He hesitated, again.

Drawing Bam Adebayo’s defender, instead of taking and making a soft floater down the middle of the lane or dunking on his face, Monk opted for the floating lob to Bam, a pass Adebayo confused for a shot.

For the first all season, this question was valid: “What is wrong with Malik Monk?”

Malik Monk doesn’t hesitate.  He goes 100 percent.  Like a bull in a china shop, Monk’s eye are always on his favorite prize: buckets.  But that didn’t happen at the start of the Wichita State game.

Malik Monk didn’t look like Malik Monk.

The game against Wichita State quickly turned into a knock-down, drag-em-out, defensive struggle.  With refs opting not to use their whistle against contact inside, at one point in the first half six minutes past before a whistle was blown and subs could enter the game.

The conditions for Monk to work out of his funk were not ideal.  Still, Malik Monk found a way to be Malik Monk, but differently than Kentucky fans had ever seen him.

The second half grind gave neither team a decisive offensive advantage.  With his shot still not falling, Monk used his skills elsewhere.  A block, a defensive rebound, an assist, then another.  Finally, Monk found a way to make a shot: at the free throw line.  The two made free throws with just under six minutes to play were just what he needed.

The Cats looked like they might fall apart.  After building a significant lead, De’Aaron Fox fouled Shamet on a three-pointer.  The mistake shook the momentum the Shockers’ way, now trailing by just two with 2:30 minutes to play.

Malik Monk proved he’s still a killer.


Monk didn’t need any space.  He didn’t need to hit a bunch of shots.  He just needed to hit one.  He was not finished.

The Shockers were not fazed, immediately answering with a three of their own.  Fox responded with a ferocious dunk.  The game was turning into a back-and-forth offensive battle…or so we thought.

After Monk’s jumper rattled around the rim, Wichita State needed a bucket to take the lead.  Monk couldn’t do enough, we thought, until he iced the game.


Monk followed the incredible blocked shot by nailing two clutch free throws, the final points of the game.  The volume scorer helped get the win not be scoring, but with assists and defense, as noted by Tom Leach on the radio broadcast after Monk’s block.

“Those two things you mentioned might pull him out of the slump he’s in,” Mike Pratt said.

Even if it doesn’t, we saw Monk transform into a complete player against Wichita State.  His shot wasn’t falling, but it didn’t keep him out of the game.  De’Aaron Fox got layups by driving at Monk.  He made defensive stops and eliminated second chance opportunities.  He made Kentucky better without scoring 20 points.

They say the Cats can’t keep winning without 20 points a game from Monk, but I think the Cats can keep winning with this version of Malik Monk.

KSR’s Top Ten Tweets of the Day


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

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

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

Now. On to the tweets:


#10 JD Gregory

This would only happen in Lavar’s dreams.



#9 Andrew Cassady

Put him on skates, De’Aaron!



#8 LaVar Ball

This is fake news if I’ve ever seen it.



#7 Mohamed Ali 35-5

All other years didn’t happen. BBN promises that.



#6 Titanic Hoops


Harrellson’s tip out was low key brilliant basketball.



#5 Not Jerry Tipton




#4 Rick Cothern

Dancing Guy has officially made it.



#3 Jeff Ruby

Jeff Ruby coming in HOT.



#2 David Cornett

Y’all can have other states. But we own Ohio. Good luck.



#1 Dustin White

No need to pay $60. We’ll get you a deal, Mr. Ball.

A Second Proposal from Derek Willis to a Special Fan



Shortly after Derek Willis proposed to Keely Potts on Senior Night, the couple shared another proposal with a special friend.  Watch the heart-warming story from LEX18.

Kentucky Derby Elite Eight: 3/22/2017

Malagacy, Sonneteer Exit Rebel in Good Order

                                                                                                              Image via Coady Photography

Each week leading up to the first Saturday in May I will assess the leading contenders for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby, ranking the “elite eight”, recapping the most recent prep races, and looking forward to the upcoming race(s) of the weekend.  Follow me on Twitter @chadlashbrook for additional thoughts on KY Derby preps and other major thoroughbred races.

We have some shake-up to the Elite Eight this week following last weekend’s surprising result at Oaklawn Park where trainer Todd Pletcher unseated Bob Baffert, who had won 6 of the last 7 runnings, from his Rebel Stakes throne.  Malagacy, a son of 2011 Preakness Stakes winner Shackleford, upset the heavily favored Baffert trainee American Anthem and Bob Lewis winner Royal Mo with a solid, if not spectacular, 2 length victory.  The win necessitates Malagacy’s inclusion on this list as well as the dismissal of both American Anthem and Royal Mo after their dismal performances.  Without further adieu, your Kentucky Derby Elite Eight for the first week of spring:

# 1 – McCraken shipped from south Florida to Kentucky and posted a splendid 5 furlong work-out at Keeneland on Monday in one minute flat.  His reputation was flattered when the horses he beat in the Sam Davis came back to sweep the first four spots in the Tampa Bay Derby.  The Ghostzapper colt’s strong works indicate the ankle flare up that kept him out of a start in the Tampa Bay Derby is no longer an issue.  He is expected to make his final Derby prep in the Bluegrass at Keeneland on April 8th.

# 2 – Gunnevera returned to the work tab on Saturday with an easy maintenance breeze, his first recorded move since his Fountain of Youth success.  The son of Dialed In is expected to make his next start in the Florida Derby on April 1st.

# 3 – Tapwrit jumps two spots this week despite being idle.  The feeling is that the company he has kept this year may be among the strongest groups of horses in the country.  The form of the Sam Davis, where he finished 2nd to McCraken, was upheld in the Tampa Bay Derby despite the appearance of a couple highly regarded new shooters.  His win in that spot and the belief that he simply has more stamina than Practical Joke elevate him above that foe and into the top 3.

# 4 – Practical Joke has a very impressive resume, as was mentioned last week, and deserves his spot on this last based on his accomplishments to date.  He put in a solid half mile breeze at Palm Meadows training center on Saturday in :48 and 3, his first work since his runner-up effort in the Fountain of Youth.  Trainer Chad Brown is still contemplating this colt’s next start – either the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park or the Bluegrass.  Wherever he ends up, going 9 furlongs for the first time should give us a good line on whether he will be able to handle the 10 furlong distance of the Kentucky Derby several weeks later.

# 5 – Malagacy remained perfect winning the Rebel Stakes on Saturday in just his 3rd lifetime start.  It’s difficult to tell how much stock should be put into this race.  West coast invaders Royal Mo and American Anthem were relative no-shows, finishing 9th and 10th respectively.  Smarty Jones Stakes winner Uncontested faded to eighth after leading through the first 6 furlongs.  Regardless of whether those horses just had off days or maybe are not as good as once thought, Malagacy is now an undefeated son of a Classic winner with a 2-turn Grade 2 stakes win on his resume.  His next start will likely come in the Arkansas Derby, and he is so lightly raced that we should expect to see further improvement there.


The Depth Chart Podcast Catches March Madness Fever


During the month of March, even the football guys gotta talk a little basketball, but it’s not what you might think.  Fresh off the KHSAA Sweet 16, Freddie talks about his time covering the games at Rupp Arena.  There he stumbled upon one of our biggest fans, head coach of Scott High, Steve Fromeyer.  The coach joins the program to discuss a variety of topics before the crew gets to football.  Highlights:

—  If a player leaves Kentucky for a prep school, are they still considered a Kentuckian?

—  How Jake Ohmer got recruited by Rick Stansbury.

—  A former football official, Fromeyer has a different outlook on referees as a head coach.


—  The message Eddie Gran is sending to his veteran receivers.

—  Freddie compares QB play before Stephen Johnson as “Hot and cold, like a Motel 6 shower.”

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes, streaming on Podbay, or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Willie Cauley-Stein is Bringing Art to Kids in Sacramento

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 7.07.33 PM

Willie Cauley-Stein is professional basketball player with a passion for art.  The former Kentucky All-American center is bringing his passion to kids in Sacramento.

He spent this afternoon painting with children at the Art Beast in Sacramento.  He brought t-shirts and autographed hats, but more importantly, he showed his artistic abilities to a younger generation.  Art has been a way for Willie to express himself outside of basketball, something he wants to give to kids in the area by establishing a scholarship fund for youngsters who are intrigued by the arts.

Check out the story from Sacramento’s CBS-13.

The New Circle Circular Reports from Trump’s Louisville Rally

Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 7.39.41 PM

The New Circle Circular attended President Donald Trump’s Monday night rally at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.  They did their best to “stick to sports,” with the help of the President, who threw some shade the Cardinals’ way.  See a boy band reference and some information on healthcare in this piece for Hey Kentucky!

Watch the entire episode with Lee Cruse after the jump.


Funkhouser Presents the Kentucky Deadcast: Episode 13

What a wild and wacky weekend. We started off with the Cayts winning their first two games of the tournament, then we got to witness the exit of our favorite teams to hate, the Cards and the Blue Devils. Then without trying to be the story, KSR became the story. As usual, all of this is brought to you in the most ridiculous possible manner.
Having watched so much basketball we’re hearing shoes squeak in our sleep, Brad and Josh return to discuss this weeks episode of The Walking Dead “The Other Side.” If you heard that loud sigh coming from the air Sunday night, that was just the boys sucking it up as we had to watch Sasha and Rosita have a girl road trip for half the episode. Other topics discussed this week are:
– The scene between Maggie and Daryl that we’ve been waiting for
– Who is it with the crossbow waiting for Rosita at the end?
– The craziness that was the “Coache’s Wife” controversy
– The second breakdown of Josh’s bracket of characters

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes, streaming on Podbayor via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

FINAL HOURS: Buy One, Get One Half Off Everything at the KSR Shop!


Today is the final day for the KSR Shop’s big sale leading up to UK’s match up in the Sweet 16. Head to to take advantage of our BUY ONE, GET ONE HALF OFF EVERYTHING sale! 

The KSR Shop has a great selection of UK and KSR hats and hoodies as well as plenty of new t-shirts including the recent Sweet Sixteen shirts. We also have Kentucky flags, coffee mugs, and the popular State Pride and Simply Southern apparel. So head to to BUY ONE, GET ONE HALF OFF EVERYTHING sale. No coupon required. Go Cats!


[FINAL HOURS: Buy One, Get One Half Off Everything at the KSR Shop!]

The Unforgettables 25 Years Later

Big Blue History

Big Blue History

Next Tuesday marks the 25th Anniversary of the game many Kentucky fans would rather forget.  The fateful conclusion ended a season, but cemented The Unforgettables into Kentucky basketball lore forever.

Since their Kentucky careers came to an end, Sean Woods, Deron Feldhaus, John Pelphrey and Richie Farmer have led very different lives.  Two have become coaches, one a politician, another a golf course manager.

The Kentucky basketball beat writer for The Courier-Journal in 1992, Pat Forde caught up with the mythical Kentucky basketball figures and discovered that life has not been easy since their careers ended in 2.1 tragic seconds.

In the fantastic feature, Forde details their brief triumphs and falls from greatness.  Nobody fell harder than Richie Farmer.  Once a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Farmer recently declared for bankruptcy after serving 20 months in federal prison.  Farmer’s words to Forde are gut-wrenching.

“It’s been the most difficult thing I can ever imagine,” said Farmer, a divorced father of three boys. “The people of this state have been great to me my whole life. I want to say thank you to all of them.

“I would like to work dealing with people. I know I have a lot of support and would be an asset to a company. I know the Lord will lead me in the right direction.

“There’s no disgrace to get down. It’s a disgrace to stay down.”

It’s difficult to do the article justice in a blog post.  An emotional roller coaster ride, their stories are not easily told, but this is well done and worth your time.

Forde: From immortal to quite mortal, Kentucky’s Unforgettables face midlife challenges 25 years after their greatest moment 

ESPN ranks UK’s uniforms among the worst in the Sweet 16


By now, you either love Kentucky’s checkerboard uniforms or you’ve gotten used to them. I was not a fan of the uniforms when they were first unveiled, but even my hate has dulled over time. Not ESPN. ESPN’s Paul Lukas ranked the teams in the Sweet 16 by their uniforms, and Kentucky’s were among the worst, coming in at #12:

“There’s a fine line between having a signature visual element and having too much of a good thing,” Lukas writes. “Kentucky’s checkerboard trim is on the wrong side of that line — the Wildcats need to dial it back a bit.”

Hard to argue with that, just as it’s hard to argue with Lukas ranking Baylor’s neon green unis dead last:

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

“Years later people will look back and say, ‘What were they thinking?’,” Lukas writes.

Great question. Check out the rest of the list over at

[Uni Watch: Pulling rank on the Sweet 16]

WATCH: Memphis residents describe John Calipari in three words

One big storyline headed into this weekend is John Calipari’s return to Memphis. This marks the first time Calipari will come to the city with his team since leaving Memphis for Kentucky back in 2009, a move that still haunts many Tigers fans. In fact, this morning, Jerry Tipton wrote an article entitled, “‘Pure bile’ awaits Calipari in Memphis, a city that once regarded him as a god.” Whoa. As an outsider, eight years later, Memphis fans should be over this, right? Calipari left for his dream job. And, this isn’t like Pitino going to Louisville; Memphis and Kentucky don’t run in the same circles. I understand being hurt and feeling betrayed, but eight years later, have Tigers fans moved on?

The Memphis Commercial Appeal decided to find out, sending a videographer out to ask Memphis residents to describe Calipari in three words. The results?

Mostly positive, although you can tell some people clearly still hold a grudge. We’ll see what kind of reception Cal gets over the next few days.

[Commercial Appeal]