Karl Anthony-Towns Involved in a KAT Fight with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons

Since Karl Anthony-Towns committed to Kentucky as a sophomore in high school he has always been seen as the nice guy and one that takes “invisible shots” in the Bahamas.

KAT often gets passionate in the moments of the game but on Wednesday night, he was part of a legitimate KAT fight with the Philadephia 76ers.

It appears to have started with some unnecessary physical play from Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Standing at 7’0 and 247 pounds, KAT didn’t back down against the 7’0 249 pound Embiid. With those physical stats, it would be an interesting boxing or MMA match.

Kat definitely got the advantage over the former Kansas standout, similarly to how Kentucky has dominated the Kentucky-Kansas series in college basketball 23-9 over since the first matchup in 1950.

KAT didn’t walk out unscathed though, as Ben Simmons pulled a “sissy” move from behind as he was on the ground.

As any mom would, KAT’s mom wanted take her anger out on Embiid too, being held back by security.

Both KAT and Embiid were ejected, and following an NBA review, I would expect all three players to suspended for some amount of time.

Which is unfortunate with KAT having such a hot start to the season averaging 32 points (2nd in the NBA), 13.3 rebounds (tied-3rd in the NBA), and a league-leading 40.27 player efficiency rating.

Could the 1998 “Comeback Cats” Have Gone Undefeated?

The “Comeback Cats” are one of the most memorable teams in Kentucky basketball, not just because they won a title, but in the way that they did it coming back from 10 or more points in the Final Four and title game.

Could the “Comeback Cats” have been the “Invincible Cats” and even go undefeated?

ESPN wrote an article talking about this possibility and that they might have been one piece away.

Before being forced to retire early due to injuries, former NBA All-Star, Tracy McGrady was a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. He’s confessed on more than one occasion that he would have chosen Kentucky if he’d played college ball.

Just think about what that 1998 team could have looked like.

McGrady as an insanely athletic wing, Wayne Turner running point, Jeff Sheppard and Scott Padgett as perimeter threats, Jamaal Magloire inside, and so much depth on the bench.

Key Players

  • Tracy McGrady (would have been a freshman in 1997-98)
  • Antoine Walker (would have been a senior in 1997-98)
  • Ron Mercer (would have been a junior in 1997-98)
  • Nazr Mohammed (was a junior in 1997-98)
  • Jamaal Magloire (was a sophomore in 1997-98)
  • Jeff Sheppard (was a senior in 1997-98)
  • Scott Padgett (was a junior in 1997-98)
  • Wayne Turner (was a junior in 1997-98)

Even without McGrady, the Wildcats led the NCAA in 2-point defense in 1997-98. With him, this would have been a deeper and have an even more wildly talented lineup.

They proved they could I’ll win the title. With McGrady, could they have run the table and gone 40-0?

The Last Hurdle for the Return of College Sports Video Games

Do you remember running the pick-n-roll with John Wall and Demarcus Cousins on NCAA Basketball 10 or running the Wildcat with Jojo Kemp on NCAA Football 14?

These were the last video game for each college sport.

With the NCAA voting unanimously to allow student-athletes to profit off of their names and likeness, it appears the infamous NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball games have a good shot of making a comeback as soon as 2021.

There is just one large hurdle. How are the athletes going to be paid?

That sounds like a simple question, with a simple answer but it’s not.

For professional sports video games such as Madden and NBA 2K, it’s not a complex task to pay the athletes. Their respective Player’s Associations negotiate with the video game company and receive their compensation.

Student-athletes don’t have a similar party protecting their interests. The closest organization that resembles any similarity, is the NCAA, and we know they don’t always have the student-athletes best interests.

With that being said, as of now, that is the best option and to be fair, the NCAA has made it work in the past with the previous video games with EA Sports and 2K.

In the past, EA Sports bought the NCAA license and paid dividends to each school based on their “tier”. The proposal suggested a minimum $78,000 payout to first-tier teams, $47,000 to second-tier teams, $31,000 to third-tier teams, and $7,500 to fourth-tier teams.

Back in 2014, five schools shared their revenue from each video game.

 NCAA Football 14NCAA Basketball 10
Louisville$85,845$26,594
UCLA$57,230$26,593
Clemson$85,845$18,616
Wisconsin$143,076$26,593
Texas A&M$57,000$18,616

With players now receiving a “piece of the pie”, I would expect schools to receive a smaller amount. The cleanest way to pay the athletes would be for the NCAA to negotiate a flat fee and divide annually amongst players using a similar tier system shown above.

We’re one step closer!

WATCH: Former Wildcat, Bud Dupree, Destroys a Man on Monday Night Football

Slowly but surely, more and more Wildcats are making it to the NFL and playing on Sundays.

A large part of that is due to Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow changing the culture surrounding Kentucky Football. 

One of the most fundamental players in building the program to where it is today is Steelers linebacker, Bud Dupree.

Dupree was a menace on the defensive end at Kentucky finishing with 146 total tackles, 39.5 tackles for loss, and 25.5 sacks.

But what he is most remembered for is this pick six against South Carolina to capitalize on the first big win of the Stoops Era.

Dupree is not a menace in the NFL, after being selected in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

On Monday Night Football, Dupree practically committed borderline murder. 

Dupree coninues to be one of the most impactful players on the Steelers defense and finished the game with 5 tackles and a sack.

Keep making the BBN proud Bud!

Start Off Your Week with a Feel Good Story of the BBN

Meet Bill.

At the age of nine, Bill started listening to the Cats on the radio in 1945 and has witnessed all eight national titles in Kentucky men’s basketball history, however, he had never been to a game at Rupp Arena.

I wanted to change that.

Back in April, upon Kentucky’s hurtful exit from the NCAA Tournament, I stumbled upon a Facebook post with a picture of Bill from his daughter, Lana, stating, “Been a fan since 1945. True blue for life, regardless of the score”.

This post reminded me that while a season without a national title is a disappointment, Kentucky is the most historical program in NCAA history and that will never change and we will always support our Cats.

I reached out to Lana and told her that her dad is a lucky man to have seen so much history since 1945, including A LOT of winning and great players. This is when I discovered that Bill had never had the opportunity to go to Rupp.

I offered to send Lana and Bill to a game but at the time she regretfully told me his health issues may be too much too overcome, but she would reach out to me if it was still possible.

As a cancer survivor of 37 years, Bill continued to fight and he is still with us and with the help of a donor named Serg, we were able to send Bill to Rupp Arena on Sunday!

He even had his own custom t-shirt made!

Bill is a beautiful person with a good heart. Bill was a licensed minister that started ministries in local nursing homes, in addition, to being their chaplain.

But first and foremost, he was a family man that always provided for his wife and children.

Thank you BBN for making this man’s dream a reality. This is what the Big Blue Nation is all about!

Morning After: Kentucky’s 29-7 win over Missouri

I hate to admit it, but I fully expected Kentucky to lose last night. And, even when they were up 22-7 in the second half, I was still predicting a loss. But, Can you blame me?

In a must-win game, Lynn Bowden led the Cats to a massive victory to keep their bowl hopes alive, and Bowden had quite a game himself.

Lynn Bowden

I’m starting run out of things to say about this guy. He’s simply incredible. Last night, Bowden was 3/7 passing for 54 yards. Most importantly, he had 21 carries for 204 yards and two touchdowns.

In the past three games, Bowden has carried the ball 62 times for 381 yards and three touchdowns.

Max Duffy

The Aussie punter was at it again last night, and he pulled some magic out of his hat that I don’t think was planned. Take a look for yourself:

Safe to say this is a good make-up for his shank against Georgia last week.

Day Day Hawkins

Hawkins got a huge strip-sack in the second half. His moves are something else though.

So, after all of this, will they keep Bowden out there?

“We’ll see. Sawyer is getting better and it’s nice to be able to have the option to go to both guys. Once again, tonight, the conditions made it extremely tough to get him out there. As you can tell, that’s playing with 12 [players] at times. Even though they were loading up, we were playing zero, he still was able to hit some big runs, and again, our coaches really did a good job. They’ve had a lot of stress on them and they’ve worked exceptionally hard. I’m proud of them.” Stoops said.

(Quote via Kentucky Sports Radio)

It sounds like Stoops isn’t quite ready to say he is going to pull Bowden, especially after a game like that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Lynn Bowden’s reign at QB has come to an end. We will know more later this week.

Where do we go from here?

After last nights big win, Kentucky is now 4-4 (2-4). Their bowl hopes are still alive going into this bye-week.

Next game up is against Tennessee on Nov. 9 at Kroger Field. They have Vanderbilt, UT Martin, and Louisville left on the schedule after the Vols. You need two wins to get bowl eligible and anything more is gravy.

Assuming UT Martin is an automatic win (it is), Kentucky needs one of Louisville, Vandy, and Tennessee, and I believe they will win at least one of those games.

If Mark Stoops and Kentucky can get to a bowl game after all of the injuries they’ve been faced with, it will be a very special accomplishment.

Just How Bad is Kentucky on Third down This Season?

Benny Snell is no longer in the backfield, and this season, it seems every time that the Wildcats have a third down, especially in key situations, the Cats fail to convert.

Is this just us as fans being pessimists, or is this actually the case?

Turns out, this is actually the case.

Over the course of the 2019 season, Kentucky has only converted 35.11% of their third-down attempts, which currently ranks 12th in the SEC. This is the worst mark since the 5-7, 2014 Kentucky Wildcats, who had a 33.88% conversion rate.

Even worse, on third and short, Kentucky has the worst conversion rate in the SEC at 39.13%.

Even more frustrating, Kentucky’s opponents convert on third down 42.05% of the time, the second-worst rate in the SEC.

Tonight the Cats enter a 5-game stretch that will define the season. While UT-Martin is nearly a guaranteed victory, the other four are near toss-ups. In these upcoming games, there will be third-downs on each side of the ball that the Cats will need to capitalize on.

Relive Kentucky’s Miracle Win Over Missouri Last Year

Good afternoon BBN! It’s game day as our University of Kentucky Wildcats take on the Missouri Tigers in a must-win game.

The Cats are 3-4 after their loss to Georgia last Saturday and need a win today to keep their bowl hopes alive.

Just like last weekend, the weather for tonight looks like it’s going to be nasty. A lot of wind, rain, and cold temperatures. Sounds like perfect weather for football right?

Last year, Kentucky was in the same spot, although the game was a must-win for a different reason, Kentucky had a chance to play Georgia for the SEC East with a win.

The game in Columbia last year was ugly, to say the least. Kentucky never got anything going offensively, but Lynn Bowden saved the day with a punt return for a touchdown.

Kentucky’s offensive struggles continued, but Kentucky somehow found a way to win the game. Terry Wilson to C.J. Conrad for the win.

Terry Wilson was 6-6 for 87 yards and a touchdown on the final drive.

Listen to Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro call the two plays:

Go Cats.

Wenyen Gabriel Clears the Air About Instagram Message Sent to Former UK Recruit

We all know the recruiting world is wild and there is a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes. Most of those things don’t get released to the public or the stories are never told. Well, here is something that found its way into the public eye.

This past summer, Wenyen Gabriel, a former Kentucky Wildcat and now Sacramento King, sent a Instagram Direct Message to former Kentucky recruit Jaden McDaniel.

We know that while the UK coaching staff was confident in getting McDaniels, he’s now a Washington Husky. Did the message have an effect?

Rumors swirled for forever about the DM being sent and eventually it became fact. But, it was never released. There were rumors about what it said, who it is was sent to, etc.

Recently, the DM was brought back up by Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones. During the show, Jones and his co-host Ryan Lemond were discussing Gabriel being signed by the Kings and Jones asked Lemond if the DM changed what he thought about Gabriel. Lemond claimed he didn’t know about the DM and the two left the topic alone.

Safe to say, this back-and-forth brought some light to the situation again. Well, today, the DM was actually released to the public.

Image
Picture courtesy of Justin Rowland of CatsIllustrated

The Kentucky Men’s basketball Twitter account posted this video of former Kentucky stars talking about the program:

In the comments, Gabriel cleared the air:

As we all know, there was a lot of hype that surrounded the Kentucky recruitment of Jaden McDaniels. For awhile, it seemed like Kentucky was a lock to get him, then out of nowhere Washington was the favorite and ended up getting him.

It’s hard to think that this message didn’t sway McDaniels’ decision.

In 75 games at Kentucky, Gabriel averaged 5.7 PPG and 5.1 RPG.

On Monday, the Sacramento Kings added Gabriel to their 15-man roster for the 2019-2020 reason.

Tyler Herro Becomes an American Herro, Breaks Grayson Allen’s Ankles

Now that Zion Williamson is out with a torn meniscus, Tyler Herro may be the most exciting and electric rookie in the league, and in his NBA debut, he has not disappointed.

Currently, in the 4th quarter, Herro is flirting with a double-double with 9 points and 7 rebounds, however, Herro already has a Sportscenter top-10 play and has already become an American Herro. 😎

Tyler, watch your feet, Ms. Allen may try to trip you.

Rookie of the year yet?