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KSR Today: Kentucky MBB in London, VB hosting NCAA Tournament

Article written by:On3 imageZack Geoghegan

ZGeogheganKSR

On3 image
Photo by Tommy Quarles | UK Athletics

Good morning, folks! The Kentucky men’s basketball team left Lexington for London, England on Wednesday, and a couple members of the KSR crew aren’t too far behind them. The ‘Cats are gearing up for a showdown at the famous O2 Arena against the Michigan Wolverines in a historic basketball matchup, which is set for Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EST on ABC.

“It’s the first college game in that venue,” John Calipari said of the O2. “Which they say is the No. 1 venue in the world. We’re staying right in London. So, you know, not going to do a whole lot of sightseeing, but we will the first day we’re there and maybe the second day and try to get out. Because of where we’re staying there are things they can walk to.”

The boss of KSR, Tyler Thompson, and our new, uber-talented videographer, Steven Peake, will make their trek across the pond throughout the day to bring you plenty of live coverage from London all weekend long. Warm beers and fish and chips will be had. Let’s all wish them well on their travels — it’ll be a long day crammed into airplanes.

In the meantime, there is an important volleyball game happening stateside later tonight that you need to know about. Let’s talk about that first before diving into everything else you need to know on this chilly Thursday morning across the Bluegrass.

Kentucky VB hosts opening round of NCAA Tournament

Tonight, the three-seeded Kentucky Wildcats volleyball team will begin its quest for a second NCAA championship in three years. The Wildcats open postseason play by hosting the first two rounds right here in Lexington, KY at Memorial Coliseum. Up first for Kentucky is a matchup against Loyola Chicago, which is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Western Kentucky and Bowling Green (OH) make up the other half of the Lexington Regional. That match will begin at 4:45 p.m. EST on ESPN+. The winners of tonight’s action will face each other on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum.

Check out a preview of tonight’s action from KSR’s Ian Alvano here.

Will Levis still unsure of bowl game status

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis plans to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft, the standout senior announced Wednesday evening, but he’s still yet to decide on whether or not he’ll suit up in the Wildcats’ bowl game.

Live in a Twitter Space with Blue Chips — a NIL partner — Levis made it clear he plans to turn pro at the conclusion of the season.

“My intentions are to enter the draft after the season,” Levis announced. ”I still don’t know about the bowl game yet. I talked to the coaches and people in my circle that I’ve needed to these past couple of days, and I will be making that decision soon. Nothing is final. But where my mind is at, I do believe — I’ll make an official announcement once I feel it’s necessary and appropriate, but I do believe after this year I’ll be declaring.”

Speaking of Levis and the NFL Draft, one of the preeminent NFL Draft experts, Dane Brugler, debuted his first mock over at The Athletic. Brugler has Levis going in the first round with the 14th overall pick to Jeff Saturday’s Indianapolis Colts.

As for Kentucky’s bowl game, the ‘Cats are currently trending toward landing in Memphis to play in the Liberty Bowl, but the Las Vegas Bowl is still a possibility. We’ll find out for sure on Sunday.

Several football recruiting notes

  • Koby Keenum, a three-star class of 2023 offensive line commit out of Florence, AL, will take an official visit to Mississippi State beginning Friday, Dec. 2 and ending on Sunday, Dec. 4. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Mars Hill Bible School product has been committed to the Wildcats since July. His lead recruiter is offensive line coach Zach Yenser.
  • Stephen Herron, who starred at Louisville (Ky.) Trinity during his high school days before a four-year career at Stanford, will put his name in the transfer portal. Herron played all 12 games for Stanford as a senior in 2022. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound linebacker will enter the portal on Monday, Dec. 5 as a graduate transfer and has two years of eligibility left. Herron was considered a four-star recruit and top 150 prospect in the 2019 class out of Trinity under head coach Bob Beatty.
  • Another name was added to the list of former Cincinnati commits following Luke Fickell’s move to Wisconsin: four-star safety Braedyn Moore. The 6-foot-1, 190 prospect out of Hamilton, OH had been committed to UC since April but has reopened his recruitment and has already heard from Kentucky, he tells KSR.
  • D’Juan Waller Jr., who is regarded as a three-star class of 2023 safety, is down to just Kentucky and Michigan for his college landing spot. He was in Ann Arbor two weekends ago for an official visit and came to Lexington this past weekend for an official visit with the ‘Cats. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Waller was previously committed to Toledo for roughly four months before reopening his recruitment on Oct. 20.
  • Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Tanner Bowles (6-5, 293) is now looking for a new home. A Glasgow (Ky.) High product, Bowles was a four-star recruit in the class of 2019 that landed in Tuscaloosa. He’ll be a redshirt senior in 2023 with two years of eligibility remaining. The SEC transfer appeared in multiple games at Alabama this season receiving snaps at center, right guard, and left guard. Bowles has also spent time playing right tackle.
  • After a season full of snapping issues on punts, field goals, and PATs, the Wildcats went out and earned a commitment from Walker Himebauch, rated as a five-star long snapper by Rubio Long Snapping and considered an “FBS Freshman Year Starter” by the outlet. The native of Monument, Colorado announced his commitment late Wednesday evening, choosing the Wildcats over Washington, UNLV, Coastal Carolina, Kansas, Colorado, and Hawaii, among others.

KSR’s 2022 Kentucky Football Transfer Portal Preview

Times are changing in the world of college football. First, it was National Signing Day, then it was the Early Signing Period. Now the offseason hysteria surrounds the transfer portal.

Initially opened in October 2018, new windows and NIL transactions are amplifying the exchanges. The new free agency period begins Dec. 5. Before the madness begins, KSR takes a closer look at which Wildcats may enter the portal, what kind of players Mark Stoops will be looking for, and much more.

Subscribe to the KSR YouTube Channel for press conferences, interviews, original shows, fan features, and exclusive content.

While you’re here, you might as well check out Adam Luckett’s early Big Board for a Will Levis replacement at quarterback. There are some talented options out there already.

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2023-02-07