Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hey 2-0 is still 2-0!

It's certainly no secret that Kentucky has played some horrendous football the last two games. The result...2-0, including their home opener yesterday against Central Michigan. Has there been a few bright spots? Of course. The play of Freshman RB Josh Clemons has helped ease the loss of Cobb, and the second half play of our offense yesterday certainly gave the Nation some hope in the season after limping around the field for the first six quarters. I'm optimistic that maybe some of the inexperienced skilled positions are starting to gel and put some things together just in time. Newton seems to be getting more comfortable with the ball in his hands and when the game slows down a little bit for him and the line protects him enough to take a few steps back and fire I think he'll be fine. He seems to be the most comfortable when he tucks and runs which could give the Cats another weapon they've not had since Cobb was under center.

UK fans had some fun ragging on UL for their unexpected loss to FIU. Sadly for almost three quarters UK looked to be the second upset in the Bluegrass before turning the offense around. What should have been the first real test in the Governor Cup game for either team may be just a little more important to both teams than originally anticipated.

A 3-0 start for the Cats could help boost them as they would enter SEC play with three tough games against Florida (home) and LSU then SC both on the road. The Cats need to take care of business in order to put themselves in a position for Bowl Season. UL on the other hand could easily drop to 1-2 and even though they are in a much easier conference, could fall down to the bottom by not taking care of the games you're supposed to.

The start of the season has been sloppy and truthfully not very exciting to watch, but I think that the Cats are coming together at the right time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

UK Basketball's SEC Schedule released...

Date-Day of Week-Opponent-EST-TV Coverage

Jan. 7 Saturday South Carolina at Kentucky 4:00 p.m. SEC Network

Jan. 11 Wednesday Kentucky at Auburn 8:00 p.m. SEC Network

Jan. 14 Saturday Kentucky at Tennessee Noon ESPN

Jan. 17 Tuesday Arkansas at Kentucky 9:00 p.m. ESPN

Jan. 21 Saturday Alabama at Kentucky Noon CBS Sports

Jan. 24 Tuesday Kentucky at Georgia 9:00 p.m. ESPN

Jan. 28 Saturday Kentucky at LSU 4:00 p.m. SEC Network

Jan. 31 Tuesday Tennessee at Kentucky 7:00 p.m. ESPNU

Feb. 4 Saturday Kentucky at South Carolina 6:00 p.m. ESPN

Feb. 7 Tuesday Florida at Kentucky 7:00 p.m. ESPN

Feb. 11 Saturday Kentucky at Vanderbilt 9:00 p.m. ESPN

Feb. 18 Saturday Ole Miss at Kentucky 4:00 p.m. SEC Network

Feb. 21 Tuesday Kentucky at Mississippi State 9:00 p.m. ESPN

Feb. 25 Saturday Vanderbilt at Kentucky Noon CBS Sports

March 1 Thursday Georgia at Kentucky 9:00 p.m. ESPN

March 4 Sunday Kentucky at Florida Noon CBS Sports

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rondo and Wall Compare Notes...

Hood most likely to redshirt...

Calipari has hinted around that Jon Hood is most likely to red shirt after having off-season knee surgery. To be honest, this would probably be the best for Jon anyway, as he would definitely have a hard time logging any minutes on this year's team.

We wish Jon the best of luck on his recovery and look forward to seeing him in action again soon!

We're back!

Well, after taking about 11 months off, the BBNR team is ready to jump back in. To help us with our blogging, reporting and general nonsense, WK&T Sports has come on board, as well.

We'll be doing a televised version of the Big Blue Nation Report on WK&T's local television channels, which will be also televised on Murray Electric System's local channels, as well.

We're very excited about what's in store for The Big Blue Nation Report. Everyone get ready for another exciting year of Kentucky Football and Basketball!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Well, its finally here... the official beginning to the Joker Phillips era at Kentucky. This summer has been long and hot, but on the first Saturday in September, as the weather finally cools for a bit, the Cats and Cards will battle for another year's worth of bragging rights at Louisville's Papa John's Stadium.

For us here at BBNR, its a welcome return to the games that matter. During the off season, many of us which through changes. Some of us started new jobs, some had babies, and others went to find themselves during trips abroad. While all this was going down, you probably noticed that the frequency of posts on our site began to slow down. There was even more than once that we contemplated just closing it down, but after a lot of soul searching and discussion, we've decided to keep this going for the foreseeable future.

To be honest, we don't really know what that means. We need a few more writers, so if you're interested shoot me an email at In the meantime, we're going to keep doing our best to share our thoughts and views on all things Kentucky sports.

And that begins today with the kick off to the new football season. Join us, won't you?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kentucky vs. Louisville Preview...

Gomez here...

Summer vacation is almost over. We've all lazed around alot over the past few months, only reporting on whatever is most truly important to the Big Blue Nation, but this weekend, our break comes to an end. That's because on Saturday afternoon, the Joker Phillips era officially begins with a road trip to Louisville. We're here to break down what you might expect from the first game of the season.

First of all, the summer long quest to learn who UK's starting QB will be has finally come to a close. As expected (by me anyway), veteran Mike Hartline has gotten the nod, and Morgan Newton will be his back-up. At least for now. Joker Phillips has said he fully expects to see a ton of blitzing, which means Hartline better be quick on his feet, and quicker than what we've seen in the past. His ability to stay composed and on his feet will most likely determine if he'll play the entire game or give way to one of his younger counterparts.

With that said, most people expect Kentucky to win comfortably. Louisville wasn't good last year, and they lost a big portion of their key players from last year's team. They did, however, upgrade in way of coaching, and sometimes, that is hard to predict how quickly that will translate to performance on the field. Still, Kentucky is noticeably more talented than Louisville and our coaches are pretty okay too.

The game will be on ABC, called by two guys you've never heard of and will never hear of again. With that said, its hard not to get really pumped for the kick off to a new season. Here's hoping that Kentucky's recent domination of the rivalry continues on Saturday!

For more information for the upcoming season, take a look at the most recent configuration of the always important UK depth chart...

Mike Hartline
Morgan Newton
Ryan Mossakowski

Derrick Locke
Donald Russell
Raymond Sanders

Moncell Allen
Greg Meisner

Chris Matthews
Brian Adams

Randall Cobb
Matt Roark

La’Rod King
Aaron Boyd
E.J. Fields

Jordan Aumiller
Tyler Robinson

Chandler Burden
Trevino Woods

Stuart Hines
Kevin Mitchell

Matt Smith
Jake Lanefski

Larry Warford
Marcus Davis

Billy Joe Murphy
Brad Durham

Ryan Tydlacka

Craig McIntosh
Joe Mansour

Ryan Tydlacka
Craig McIntosh

Derrick Locke
Randall Cobb

Randall Cobb
Mychal Bailey

Collins Ukwu
Taylor Wyndham

Ricky Lumpkin
Shane McCord

Luke McDermott
Mark Crawford

DeQuin Evans
Tristian Johnson

Jacob Dufrene
Ridge Wilson

Ronnie Sneed
Qua Huzzie

Danny Trevathan
Jewell Ratliff

Martavius Neloms
Jerrell Priester

Winston Guy
Taiedo Smith

Mychal Bailey
Dakotah Tyler

Randall Burden
Anthony Mosley

That's all for now! GO BIG BLUE!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Commit for 2011?

Neal Nieves from Coast2Coast Recruiting is reporting that Cal has landed another big commitment for the 2011 class. Center/Power Forward/Huge Match up Problem Kyle Wiltjer (#19 player on has committed to the Cats. Now this news is being kicked around from different outlets but has not been made official. Honestly this is one of the guys from the 2011 class I was hoping would bring his game to Lexington. From what I gather from the guru's Wiltjer is a nightmare match up because he has great size and can bang down low but also hurt teams from the outside. Those qualities along with his huge basketball IQ could make Wiltjer fun to watch (if he's on your team.) Again this news is not official but there's a lot of smoke. On a side note Wiltjer is from Portland, Oregon. Sounds like Cal and Co. are wearing the North West out. Sorry Washington.

UPDATE: Wiltjer made it official tonight on ESPN 2. Cal is set to have the No. 1 ranked class for the third consecutive season in 2011.

Friday, August 27, 2010

ESPN gives UK football props...

Joker Phillips and his staff are tearing up the recruiting trail, and people are starting to take notice. What people? The World Wide Leader for one. Joker's UK 2011 class has earned him the ranking of 25th best in the nation according to ESPN's recruiting rankings.

Its nice to see all their hard work paying off, and we can only hope it translates to big wins and more record breaking seasons in Lexington.

Wow... we're only one week away from another kick off to a new season of Kentucky football and the beginning of the Joker Phillips era. Go crazy, folks; go crazy!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010-11 BBall Schedule Released...

2010-2011 SCHEDULE:

11/01/10 vs. Pikeville # Lexington, Ky. TBA
11/05/10 vs. Dillard # Lexington, Ky. TBA
11/12/10 vs. ETSU - Lexington, Ky. TBA
11/19/10 at Portland - Portland, Ore. 10:00 p.m. ET
11/22/10 vs. Oklahoma - Maui, Hawaii 5:30 p.m. ET
11/23/10 Virginia/Washington - Maui, Hawaii 4:30/9:30 ET
11/24/10 TBD Maui Tourney - Hawaii TBA
11/30/10 vs. Boston University - Lexington, Ky. TBA
12/04/10 at North Carolina - Chapel Hill, N.C. 12:30 p.m. ET
12/08/10 vs. Notre Dame - Louisville, Ky. 9:30 p.m. ET
12/11/10 vs. Indiana - Lexington, Ky. 5:15 p.m. ET
12/18/10 vs. Mississippi Valley State - Lexington, Ky. TBA
12/22/10 vs. Winthrop - Lexington, Ky. TBA
12/28/10 vs. Coppin State - Lexington, Ky. TBA
12/31/10 at Louisville - Louisville, Ky. 12:00 p.m. ET
01/03/11 vs. Penn - Lexington, Ky. 7:00 p.m. ET
01/08/11 at Georgia -Athens, Ga. 4:00 p.m. ET
01/11/11 vs. Auburn -Lexington, Ky. 7:00 p.m. ET
01/15/11 vs. LSU -Lexington, Ky. 4:00 p.m. ET
01/18/11 at Alabama - Tuscaloosa, Ala. 9:00 p.m. ET
01/22/11 at South Carolina - Columbia, S.C. 6:00 p.m. ET
01/29/11 vs. Georgia - Lexington, Ky. 4:00 p.m. ET
02/01/11 at Ole Miss - Oxford, Miss. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/05/11 at Florida - Gainesville, Fla. 9:00 p.m. ET
02/08/11 vs. Tennessee - Lexington, Ky. 9:00 p.m. ET
02/12/11 at Vanderbilt - Nashville, Tenn. 1:00 p.m. ET
02/15/11 vs. Mississippi State - Lexington, Ky. 7:00 p.m. ET
02/19/11 vs. South Carolina - Lexington, Ky. 4:00 p.m. ET
02/23/11 at Arkansas - Fayetteville, Ark. 8:00 p.m. ET
02/26/11 vs. Florida - Lexington, Ky. 4:00 p.m. ET
03/01/11 vs. Vanderbilt - Lexington, Ky. 9:00 p.m. ET
03/06/11 at Tennessee - Knoxville, Tn. 12:00 p.m. ET

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

GameDay to cover UK vs. Florida...

UPDATE: So yeah, we read the press release wrong. GameDay will be in Florida, not Lexington. Oh well, its still good exposure for the program either way.

I guess the conspiracy about ESPN hating UK is a bit overblown. After all, ESPN did announce today that they will be returning to Kentucky for their February showdown with Florida. This will be the second straight year, and two of the last three seasons, that Gameday has come to Lexington.

For more details about ESPN's College Basketball Gameday schedule, click here.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

UK Football team offers helping hands...

Saturday Stuff...

Gomez here...

Well as you might have noticed, we took a few days off after the Canadian beat down, but we're checking in today to share a few thoughts about the trip.

First off all, like we mentioned, the Wildcats went up north and easily won three exhibition games at Windsor University. Brandon Knight, as expected was exceptionally strong and appears to be more than ready to replace John Wall as the Wildcats' starting point guard. He played under control, shot for a high percentage, and nailed his free throws. He also dished the ball to his teammates on a regular basis, proving himself unselfish when necessary.

Also of note was the outstanding play of our veterans, namely DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller. Both of these guys appear more than able to step up into the leadership roles that this team clearly needs. They played hard on both ends of the floor and were vocal with their teammates when they needed to be. Since most of the roster will be made up of new players to the program, this veteran leadership will be key. It should be exciting to see how they continue to develop over the remainder of the off-season.

Overall, I think there's alot of reasons to be optimistic, especially when you keep in mind that Vargus and Kanter didn't make the trip, and Jones was unavailable for most of the trip due to injury. When those three guys rejoin the team, the Cats should prove to be even stronger, especially down low.

Again, its early, and the final product will look much different when the Wildcats take the floor on November 12 for the season opener against East Tennessee State. With that said, I think we saw enough during these games to give us some solid expectations as to what this Kentucky team can become before March. Losing 5 first round draft picks will certainly be difficult to replace, but so far, it seems this new batch of Cats are going to be ready for the challenge.

We'll be back later with more updates on what's going on with UK basketball and football this fine weekend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cats finish 3-0 in Canada...

Gomez here...

Kentucky won again, beating Windsor for the second time in three days, 104-75 in overtime. (Just kidding about the overtime part.)

Brandon Knight, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller lead the team in scoring (again) and Josh Harrellson grabbed 19 boards and had four steals.

Here's how the final stats for today's game broke down:
Darius Miller 24 pts, 3 reb, 3 assts
Stacey Poole 2 pts, 1 steal
Jon Hood 8 pts, 8 rebs, 4 assts
Brandon Knight 27 pts, 5 rbs, 9 assts
Doron Lamb 23 pts, 3 rbs
Jarrod Polson 2 pts
Deandre Liggins 10 pts, 2 rbs, 6 assts
Josh Harrellson 8 pts, 19 rbs, 4 steals

This morning's game conclude's the Canadian trip, and we'll have more to share about this three game swing later today.

Stay tuned...

UK basketball wins game 2...

Kentucky won its second exhibition game in Canada despite having a limited roster.

The Wildcats, with just eight players available Monday night, still managed to turn up the defensive pressure in a 96-68 victory over Western (Ontario) University.

Kentucky started its three-day, three-game exhibition tour without 6-foot-11 forwards Enes Kanter (awaiting NCAA clearance) and Eloy Vargas (academics). Forward Terrence Jones, a 6-8 freshman, scored four points in the first half of Sunday's opening win over Windsor but left after seeming to aggravate a shoulder injury. Without Jones, who was on the bench in street clothes, the Wildcats had no player taller than 6-7.

The school announced Monday that Jones was taken for an MRI in Detroit, and he was diagnosed with a stress fracture of a rib, which was causing the shoulder pain. He is expected to be available once the Wildcats begin individual workouts in about a month.

Doron Lamb led Kentucky with 24 points, while Darius Miller added 20 and Brandon Knight had 17 points and 12 assists.

Kentucky used its full-court pressure defense to turn a close game into a blowout quickly, forcing 27 turnovers.

The Wildcats led by five points with less than 2 minutes remaining in the first half, then turned it into 23-point lead 7 minutes into the second half.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

UK, Knight dominate the first game of trip...

Kentucky coach John Calipari has already started turning a top-notch recruiting class into part of a team that hopes to contend for a national championship.

The Wildcats started a three-day, three-game exhibition series in Canada on Sunday night, defeating the University of Windsor 95-62.

Two months before official practice even begins, incoming freshman point guard Brandon Knight led the Wildcats with 31 points. Knight is supposed to fill the sneakers of John Wall, who led Kentucky to 35 wins last season as a freshman while earning All-America honors.

Wall was one of five Kentucky players - including DeMarcus Cousins, Wall's classmate and fellow All-America - who left school early for the NBA.

The game was played before a sellout crowd of 2,500 at the St. Denis Centre on Windsor's campus.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

SI predicts UK to finish 2nd in SEC East...

Gomez here...

Sports Illustrated, which annually only publishes one issue worth looking at, err reading, has predicted that Kentucky will finish with a record of 4-4 in the SEC and in a tie for second-place with Georgia and South Carolina in the East.

While its not beyond the realm of possibility that their record could be either worse or better than that, I'd say we'd all have to be very pleased with an 8-4 record in the first season of Operation Win. It would be the first second-place finish ever for Kentucky, which would be huge.

Just three more weeks, folks and then we'll get to see Joker's first season get underway at Louisville. I guess we'll have to watch some Canadian Basketball to hold us over until the big day.

Anthony Davis Highlight Reel...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Anthony Davis is a Cat

Tonight was a great night for men across America, as it was the night that Expendables hit the big screen. It is only fitting that on a night for men, Calipari proved once again he is THE man. Anthony Davis will be a cat, Chicago Sun Times writers be damned.

Make no mistake, Davis is far from expendable. Many believe he has of surpassing Mike Gilchrest in terms of class rank and NBA potential. Congrats to the Cats on landing what is probably the best power forward in the 2011 class.

If you try to recruit against Calipari, you are probably going to end up like the legions of minions that would dare mess with Sly Stallone and company. LINK

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Weekend quick clicks...

:: Quincy Miller names top 3, UK not among schools
:: Former UK commit, Ross-Miller academically ineligible at LSU
:: ESPN explores "Operation Win".
:: Katz talks Cal's Cats upcoming Canada trip...
:: UK Lady Hoops loses PG in pick up game
:: Other than just QB, there are plenty position battles taking place