Panel discussion on athletics Wednesday night at UK

Along with WKYT’s Dave Baker and Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones, will be part of a panel discussion on University of Kentucky athletics hosted by the UK student activities board on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. at Memorial Hall.

Here’s the information:

“Big Blue Commonwealth” on September 17, 2014 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm in Memorial Hall – Athletics plays a large part in the day-to-day affairs of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Big Blue Commonwealth will feature a panel of well-known Kentucky sports journalists that will discuss the large-scale implications this has upon those living in Kentucky in Memorial Hall on Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. This event will showcase the impact that athletics has had upon the Kentucky culture for both those native and new to our Commonwealth. Students should submit their questions for the panel to UK SAB’s twitter account: @uksab.”

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Video: Patrick Towles learned “I can hang”

After practice today, I asked Kentucky quarterback Patrick Towles what he learned about himself in the Florida game.

“Just that I can hang, I guess,” he said. “Not that I didn’t think that before, but it’s nice to go out there and play one of the best — we’re going to play some teams them this year, but they’re really, really tough, so it was nice to go out there and sling it around a little bit.”

Towles talked about the 22-yard completion he made to Garrett Johnson on the 3rd-and-16 from UK’s own one-yard line with 1:13 left in the game.

Towles also said he felt like he only threw a couple of “really good balls” at The Swamp and this receivers made great plays.

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Video: Neal Brown on focus of the bye week

Here is Neal Brown, UK’s offensive coordinator, talking about what his players did at practice Tuesday and what they will work on this “off” week.

Brown said his staff worked a lot with younger players like quarterback Drew Barker and wide receiver Thaddeus Snodgrass, who are likely to redshirt. Wide receiver T.V. Williams, who didn’t play a lot at Florida, and Javess Blue, who has been injured, got a lot of work Tuesday.

Brown said he was pleased with quarterback Patrick Towles in the three-overtime loss at Florida. He also talked about Stanley “Boom” Williams high-risk, high-reward touchdown run, in which Williams reversed field, in the first overtime Saturday.

Brown also talked about his offensive line, which at one point featured three redshirt freshmen on the field at the same time.

Related link: Transcript of Mark Stoops and Neal Brown on Tuesday

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Video: Mark Stoops would like to play this week

After practice today, UK coach Mark Stoops talked to the media as his team looks forward to a Saturday off before playing host to Vanderbilt on Sept. 27.

Stoops said he did not see an attitude in which his players were satisfied in playing Florida close during the 36-30 overtime loss to the Gators last Saturday. He wants his team to take the attitude that if they put themselves in position, they will win games.

“I thought he really did some outstanding things,” Stoops said of quarterback Patrick Towles, who threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns in The Swamp.

As for the bye week, “If it was up to me, I would love to go play,” Stoops said, but the team will deal with the schedule and try and get better.

Stoops also talked about wide receiver Demarco Robinson, who has turned into a leader since being suspended near the end of last season.

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Richard Pitino says pay no attention to his father

In a post on his blog, Minnesota coach Richard Pitino tells Minnesota fans not to pay any attention to his father before the Gophers play Louisville in the season opener Nov. 14 in Puerto Rico.

Richard wrote:

Hoops season is just around the corner and we need to be ready. Not too many programs open up their season vs. a top-five team on national TV. Gopher fans, I must warn you. Ignore anything and everything that comes out of my father’s mouth leading up to this game. He does it on the golf course all the time and will start playing mind games with all of us soon enough! Pay no attention to him. He will say they are young and inexperienced. They are talented, athletic and obviously well-coached. He will tell everyone we are the overwhelming favorite. Prepare yourselves. He tried to coach my team last year during the NIT championship. I am looking forward to watching him try to coach both teams at once on November 14th! Haha.

Hat tip College Basketball Talk

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Big Blue Links for Tuesday


Big Blue Links for Tuesday:

Herald-Leader photo gallery from UK Basketball Photo Day.

Mark Story of the Herald-Leader writes that there are no moral victories in the SEC, but this is not the same old Kentucky, either.

Going toe-to-toe for three OTs with Florida in Gainesville, even if the Gators are not at the level they once were, was easily the most meaningful on-the-field evidence so far that the Kentucky program under Stoops is poised for flight.

It is not contradictory to be unhappy about a game’s outcome but encouraged about a program’s future based on how a team performed.

The son of ex-UK running back Al Baker is turning heads in Ashland, reports Mike Fields of the Herald-Leader.

Baker was back on the UK campus last summer with his son Quinton, who was attending a camp before his sophomore year at Ashland Blazer. Al was with his son when the UK coaches offered him a scholarship.

Dad didn’t quite know what to make of it.

“I guess I’m telling my age, but I didn’t know it was a big deal for a school to offer you,” Al said.

Big Blue Madness campout starts Wednesday, reports H-L.

The annual campout celebration in preparation for the University of Kentucky’s Big Blue Madness begins early Wednesday morning.

UK has asked fans interested in lining up for tickets and camping outside Memorial Coliseum to do so no earlier than 5 a.m. on Wednesday.

The date of UK’s exhibition basketball game with Georgetown has been moved from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9.

Top basketball prospect Antonio Blakeney has decomitted from Louisville, reports ESPN.

Five star shooting guard Antonio Blakeney has informed ESPN Recruiting Nation that he has decided to reopen his recruiting after committing to Louisville back on Sept. 4.

“I made a quick and emotional decision based on some of the wrong reasons,” Blakeney said. “I really loved my visit and everything about Louisville and I am still strongly considering them.”

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SEC: Georgia to talk to league about officiating


SEC links for Monday:

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SEC releases statement on controversial non-call

This statement from the SEC office on the controversial fourth down play in the first overtime Saturday night in which the play clock appeared to hit zero before Florida snapped the ball and scored the tying touchdown.

Here's the statement:

“At the request of the University of Kentucky, consistent with SEC protocol, the conference office reviewed the fourth down play in the first overtime of the Kentucky-Florida game and has determined the officials applied the proper mechanics and guidelines that are in place to determine when a flag should be thrown for delay of game. The back judge is responsible for delay of game calls. The procedure for the back judge is for his eyes to stay on the clock when it nears zero. When the clock hits zero, he immediately looks from the clock to the ball. If the ball is moving, there is no delay of game. If the ball is stationary, a delay of game penalty is called.”

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Video: Mark Stoops after Florida loss

Video of Mark Stoops’ press conference Saturday night.

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Three leftovers from Saturday night at the Swamp


Three leftovers from Saturday night at The Swamp:


When Rich Brooks arrived at Kentucky in 2003 as a veteran of the old Pac-10 and the NFL, it did not take long for the new head coach to be surprised by the quality of officiating in the SEC. And that wasn’t a compliment.

After Saturday’s 36-30 three-overtime loss to Florida, current Kentucky coach Mark Stoops could be forgiven if he feels the exact same way.

We refer here, of course, to the officials missing the significant fact that the play clock struck zero before Florida snapped the football on a do-or-die, fourth-and-six from the UK nine-yard line with the Gators trailing 27-20 in the first overtime.

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