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KSR Today: Pope in Indy, Bat Cats win SEC, PGA Championship, and the Preakness

Zack Geogheganby:Zack Geoghegan05/18/24


Good morning, folks! Happy Saturday to all of the Big Blue Nation. Jack Pilgrim and I are up in Indianapolis for the third session of the Nike EYBL circuit. This is the first session where college head coaches are allowed in attendance, so the gym is a bit busier than usual this weekend.

Mark Pope made his debut on the AAU circuit as the Kentucky head coach, as did new assistant Jason Hart. Friday’s first set of games saw Pope and Hart roaming all over the building to watch their favorite targets. We have a running thread of everyone those two have been watching over on KSBoard — and it’s already popping off this morning.

In fact, Pope and John Calipari already got some facetime in early this morning.

Any idea what they were talking about? Wrong answers only.

Saturday’s stretch of games has already tipped off and will run until this evening. Pope and Hart will be back in the gym for another day of AAU hoops. If you missed out on our takeaways from what we saw on Friday, click the link here.

Want more Kentucky Basketball roster intel? Join the KSR Club for access to bonus content and KSBoard, KSR’s message board, to chat with fellow Cats fans and get exclusive scoop.

Bat Cats win the SEC

For just the second time in school history, Kentucky baseball has won the Southeastern Conference. The No. 2 Wildcats run-ruled Vanderbilt on Friday, 17-7, to win the series against the Commodores and secure at least a share of the SEC title for the first time since 2006. A win on Saturday would make Kentucky the solo crown holder.

“What a team,” Nick Mingione said postgame. “You just want it for them because nobody will ever be able to take it away from them. That’s what I told them tonight, you’ll forever be SEC champions and nobody will ever be able to take that away from you.”

For a full recap of Friday’s win, check out Daniel Hager’s recap here. Saturday’s regular-season finale begins at noon ET on the SEC Network.

Scottie Scheffler had quite the day

What started as a tragic morning in Louisville on Friday quickly turned into a national story at Valhalla. Shortly after an incident that resulted in the death of Louisville native John Mills, world No. 1 player Scottie Scheffler was arrested by Louisville Metro Police and charged with a felony.

Scheffler was booked around 7:00 a.m. EST and released after 8:30 a.m. EST. He still made his tee time, proceeded to shoot a 66, and is currently tied for fourth heading into Saturday’s third round. Scheffler spoke with reporters after he wrapped up to offer his condolences to the Mills family.

“My sympathies go out to the family of Mr. Mills. I can’t imagine what they’re going through this morning. One day, he’s heading to the golf course to watch a tournament, and a few moments later, he’s trying to cross the street, and now he’s no longer with us,” Scheffler said in his opening remarks. “I can’t imagine what they’re going through. I feel for them. I’m sorry.”

“My situation will get handled. It was just a chaotic situation and a big misunderstanding. I can’t comment on any of the specifics of it.”

For a full leaderboard update, click here. What a wild day…

2024 Preakness on deck

The 149th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore is nearly upon us. Kentucky Derby winner Mystik Dan (the odds-on favorite) is looking to become the first Triple Crown winner since Justify in 2018. Muth was actually the favorite leading into the race over Mystik Dan, but the horse was scratched due to a high fever earlier this week.

The undercard action will be broadcast on CNBC from 1:30-4:30 when the action shifts over to NBC. Post time for the Preakness Stakes is 7:01 pm EST. You can also stream all of the action on Peacock.

Mugatu20-1Joe BravoJeff Engler
Uncle Heavy20-1Irad Ortiz, Jr.Robert Reid, Jr.
Catching Freedom6-1Flavien PratBrad Cox
MuthSCRATCHEDJuan HernandezBob Baffert
Mystik Dan5-2Brian Hernandez, Jr.Kenny McPeek
Seize the Grey15-1Jaime TorresD. Wayne Lukas
Just Steel15-1Joel RosarioD. Wayne Lukas
Tuscan Gold8-1Tyler GaffalioneChad Brown
Imagination5-1Frankie DettoriBob Baffert

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Two MBB visitors on Monday

Mark Pope is close to rounding his debut roster for 2024-25. With 11 scholarship players on board, he has two spots to work with. He’ll have two prospects on campus this Monday to potentially bump that number to 13.

North Florida transfer Chaz Lanier is the big one. A native of Nashville, the 6-foot-4 sharpshooter has scheduled an official visit to Kentucky starting Monday, according to Travis Branham of 247Sports. That comes following a trip to BYU this weekend with a visit to Tennessee also in the works, although that date is still up in the air.

Lanier averaged 19.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on 51/44/88 shooting splits last season at North Florida.

Joining him in Lexington will be recent Vanderbilt decommit, three-star power forward Jamie Vinson from the class of 2024. On3’s Jamie Shaw was the first to break the news that Vinson will be making the trip to Kentucky on Monday and Tuesday after wrapping up an official to Rutgers this weekend. He visited South Carolina earlier this week.

Vinson is definitely a project piece, but one that the staff clearly likes. Moves are being made.

Kentucky softball walks off Michigan

With the score tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Ally Hutchins saved the Wildcats.

In the opening round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament on Friday, (4) Kentucky softball was matched up against the (3) Michigan Wolverines in the Stillwater Regional. Facing a 2-2 count with the bases loaded and two outs on the board, Hutchins stepped up the bat for the ‘Cats. 

The freshman from Paducah popped a hit that barely went over the Michigan second baseman and landed safely enough for senior Erin Coffel to come home from third and give Kentucky the 4-3 win.

This was Kentucky’s 11th straight NCAA Regional Opening Round win, all coming under head coach Rachel Lawson. Now in the winner’s bracket, the Wildcats will take on Oklahoma State this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. EST on ESPN.

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