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KSR Today: NBA Combine, PGA Championship, and an All-American punter

Zack Geogheganby:Zack Geoghegan05/15/24


Good morning, folks! Kentucky men’s basketball head coach Mark Pope is still in the process of rounding out his debut roster for the 2024-25 season. With 10 players on board, he now has three spots to work with. There are plenty of names out there as possibilities, in particular the likes of Jaxson Robinson (BYU), Chaz Lanier (North Florida), and Wooga Poplar (Miami). There’s also Ansley Almonor (Fairleigh Dickinson), who arrived in Lexington for a visit earlier this week.

After we learned that Lanier and Poplar failed to receive invites to the NBA Draft Combine, which began on Monday and continues through Sunday, those two were quickly put on watch. With a return to college now considered the likely path for both, they could move fast with their decisions. Will Kentucky be the choice for one or both?

There’s also the situation with Robinson, which is still ongoing. He was invited to the Combine and played in the first day of scrimmages on Tuesday, posting 10 points, two rebounds, one assist, one block, and one turnover in 21 minutes. Pope was there in Chicago to watch Robinson in person. The better he plays, the more likely he is to forgo another college season (with the expected choice being Kentucky if he does) and instead keep his name in the draft pool. With another set of scrimmages today (1-5 p.m. EST on ESPN2), how he performs could influence his draft stock.

For a full rundown of everything that happened during yesterday’s Combine, click here. We’ll be covering today’s scrimmages all afternoon, as well.

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Cody Fueger was on KSR

New assistant coach, Cody Fueger, made his KSR debut on Tuesday morning. Mark Pope’s righthand man spoke for about 15 minutes with the radio crew, touching on topics such as offensive strategy, roster building, just how good Collin Chandler can be, and much more.

If you missed out, you can listen by clicking the link here. Fueger makes his appearance about halfway through Hour 1. Or, you can read some of the highlights through the links below.

Stoops added an All-American punter

For the second year in a row, special teams coordinator Jay Boulware found some specialist help in May. One year after landing Georgia Southern kicker transfer Alex Raynor, Kentucky found help at punter when UT Martin transfer Aidan Laros committed to Kentucky on Tuesday evening. He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining.

Laros averaged 47.3 yards per punt last year in the FCS with 18 of 52 attempts traveling 50+ yards. He also served as the starting field goal kicker (10 of 16) and kickoff specialist (64.6% touchback rate) as a redshirt sophomore. The specialist earned FCS first-team All-American honors.

The South African native moved to the United States in high school and started his collegiate career at Charlotte in 2021. After taking a redshirt season, Laros was the starting kickoff specialist for the 49ers as a redshirt freshman in 2022 posting a 54.9 percent touchback rate.

Nick Roush saw Tiger Woods

Louisville’s Valhalla Golf Club is the host site for this year’s PGA Championship, just the fourth time ever the event has come to the Kentucky-based course. KSR’s Nick Roush has already made his way over there this week to watch the world’s best golfers go at it. He was even able to have a fanboy moment when he was in the same room as Tiger Woods.

The actual PGA Championship doesn’t begin until Thursday, but we’ll once again have some KSR folks in attendance throughout Wednesday. The KSR radio show will broadcast live from the course on Thursday and Friday, as well.

In the meantime, check out Nick’s “What You Need to Know” article about Valhalla.

Martels Carter locks in commitment date

In-state star Martels Carter out of Paducah Tilghman is considered the top high school prospect in the Bluegrass from the 2025 recruiting cycle. The four-star safety is heavily considered sticking close to home and now has a commitment date scheduled.

He recently caught up with Auburn Live‘s Jeremy Lee and confirmed that he will be making his college decision on May 25. Carter will choose from finalists Auburn, Colorado, Kentucky, and Louisville. That being said, he does intend to take more visits this summer after his announcement.

“I’m committing on that day,” Carter said. “I’m going to have a little family get-together with whoever wants to come and then announce my commitment.”

Kentucky is trending as the favorite and has been for a while now, but this recruitment could go on until Signing Day.

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Kentucky WBB’s 2024-25 SEC opponents

The SEC schedule for Kentucky women’s basketball is going to look different than usual. With Texas and Oklahoma now in the mix, the Wildcats will take on the Longhorns at home and the Sooners on the road for the 2024-25 season. Additionally, UK will only have to play defending champion South Carolina once this season, compared to the usual home-and-home. This season’s rotating opponent is Georgia.

Official dates and TV times will be announced at a later time. It’s not going to be easy for Kenny Brooks in year one.

*Rankings courtesy of On3’s Way-Too-Early Top 25*

Home Games (Memorial Coliseum)

  • No. 22 Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Auburn
  • Georgia
  • No. 7 LSU
  • Mississippi State
  • Tennessee
  • No. 4 Texas

Away Games

  • Florida
  • No. 24 Ole Miss
  • Missouri
  • No. 2 South Carolina
  • Vanderbilt
  • Texas A&M
  • No. 12 Oklahoma

Collin Chandler looks good in blue and white

Incoming Kentucky freshman Collin Chandler arrived in Lexington for the first time on Monday. On Tuesday, Chandler posted pictures on social media of himself rocking a No. 2 Kentucky jersey with the caption “#BBN Please don’t wake me up from this dream”.

A former Top 40 prospect from the class of 2022, the 6-foot-5 guard spent the last two years on a mission to Sierra Leone and London. After coming back to the United States earlier this month and taking a quick vacation to Hawaii, Chandler finally made his way to Lexington on Monday.

“He’s a high-level athlete, high-IQ kid. Makes the right play,” Cody Fueger said Tuesday morning on KSR of Chandler. “Unbelievable offensive player, can really shoot the ball, and really good passer. Great finisher around the rim. Defensively, he’s got a great sense for the passing lane. He’s a high-level basketball player. We’re really excited to have him here at Kentucky.”

Welcome to the BBN, Collin.

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