Big Blue Links for Saturday:
UK volleyball beats Michigan State, reports Jerry Tipton of the Herald-Leader. “The volleyball gods knew how to end No. 15 Kentucky’s five-set battle with Michigan State in what was billed as the Bluegrass Battle Friday night. The ball hung conveniently over the net, and sophomore Kaz Brown smashed it for a winner to end an entertaining competition between two ranked teams.”
Don’t ask kickers how kicking game is going, reports Jennifer Smith of the Herald-Leader. “After you hit the ball, you realize what happens and if it’s good or not, but from the time the ball snaps — your foot hitting it — you can’t remember what happens,” Austi MacGinnis, the Kentucky place-kicker explained.
UK commit Kash Daniel runs wild, reports Ben Roberts of Next Cats. “There’s not supposed to be any dancing around when Kash Daniel gets the football in his hands. The Paintsville quarterback – and future University of Kentucky linebacker – showed off his physical style Friday night in the Tigers’ 36-0 victory over Class A counterpart Frankfort.”
Men’s soccer wins opener in dramatic fashion, reports Jordan Ondrof of the Kentucky Kernel. The Cats scored two goals in the second half to beat Valparaiso 2-1 in the season-opener at the Bell Soccer Complex.
A.J. Reed keeps on hitting, reports the Herald-Leader. “Former University of Kentucky star AJ Reed hit his minor-league leading 31st home run of the season, a solo shot, in Double-A Corpus Christi’s 17-6 rout of Midland on Friday night. Reed took sole possession of the home run lead from Cincinnati Reds prospect Adam Duvall, a former Butler High School and University of Louisville standout who has 30 home runs at the Triple-A level.”
Kobi Simmons will announce after Ohio State visit, says Sea of Blue. “John Calipari saw Simmons thus summer at the Nike EYBL Peach Jam and has been hot on his trail for much of the past year. For awhile, UK was viewed as the heavy favorite for Simmons, but Cal’s recent push on fellow 2016 guards De’Aaron Fox, Rawle Alkins, and Dennis Smith Jr. in addition to already pushing hard for Malik Monk, Simmons may not be as high on the Cats as he once was.”
Quarterback Patrick Towles has veto power, reports Brett Dawson of Cats Illustrated. “It could be Shannon Dawson’s No. 1 play. It could be the one the Kentucky offensive coordinator likes the best, the one he’s most convinced will work in any given game. And if quarterback Patrick Towles isn’t comfortable with it, it’s gone. Straight out of the game plan.”
UK women’s soccer shuts out Greensboro, reports the Herald-Leader. “Courtney Raetzman scored a goal and had a pair of assists in the University of Kentucky women’s soccer team’s 3-0 shutout of UNC Greensboro on Friday night at the Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington.”
Five burning UK football questions, from Kyle Tucker of the Courier-Journal. “1. Does the Air Raid finally take off? New offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson inherited the most talent, experience and depth Kentucky has had on this side of the ball in years. The Wildcats have seen slow, steady improvement, averaging more yards in each of the last three seasons, but they still haven’t eclipsed 400 yards per game since 2010.”
Friday’s UK football practice report, from the H-L’s Jennifer Smith.
Jamal Murray more athletic than some realize, reports Larry Vaught of Vaught’s Views. “He can really get his own shot and he can make those shots,” ESPN recruiting analyst Paul Biancardi said. “I think he is also far more athletic than many people realize and know about. He’s really like a pure combo guard. But when you are the leading scorer at the Nike Hoop Summit, that says a lot about your game.”
UK’s offense overcomes slow start in practice, reports Jon Hale of the Cats Pause. The Cats finished better with a strong team period which included some deep-ball completions.
Louisville football expansion textbook Tom Jurich, says Rick Bozich of WDRB. “Tom Jurich is confident that his athletic department can comfortably fill 65,000 seats at a program that wasn’t averaging 30,000 paying customers when Jurich took over in 1997. Think of it this way: Louisville will have a larger stadium than Oregon, TCU, Mississippi and four other programs that will begin the 2015 college football season ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.”
UK’s Kendra Harrison disqualified, reports Herald-Leader. “Kendra Harrison’s hopes of winning a medal at this week’s World Track and Field Championships in Beijing, China, were lost to a disqualification on Friday morning. Harrison was dismissed from the semifinals of the 100-meter hurdles after a false start, an unforgiving rule that allows for no second chances.”
In sort-of-a-sport, UK played host to a giant water balloon fight on Friday night.
Video from UK’s volleyball win
Video from UK women’s soccer win over Greensboro