Rivals.com’s Justin Rowland, Krysten Peek will join me Thursday morning on The Leach Report

Krysten Peek joins me on The Leach Report Thursday morning. (Joe Hafley Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Let me just call it Rivals.com day on The Leach Report Thursday when I host the show and will have Justin Rowland, Publisher of CatsIllustrated,com, and Krysten Peek, basketball recruiting writer/video guru for Rivals, on the show.

With Rowland, we’re going to stick to football since he has covered football not only at UK but also North Carolina, LSU, USC, Oregon State, Oregon, Duke, North Carolina, Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Kansas State and East Carolina University.

Kentucky Soccer Fan Day to be Held August 12 at The Bell

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The annual Kentucky Soccer Fan Day will be held on August 12, it was announced by the men’s and women’s soccer programs on Wednesday afternoon.

The 2017 event will start at 2 p.m. ET, when fans can walk in and get a first-hand look at a women’s training session, as the team will hold an open training session for an hour. During that time the Bell Soccer Complex will be open for exploration, where fans can walk around the facility and get a first-hand look at the facilities that the coaches and student-athletes use on a daily basis.

Stoops: “Matt Elam cares”

Matt Elam (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During the Governor’s Cup luncheon in June, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said senior defensive lineman Matt Elam was doing all he was supposed to do when he was with the football staff but had to have more discipline away from the field.

Then at SEC Media Days, Elam was called an “embarrassment” by SEC Network TV analyst Greg McElroy for his play on the field last year since he was a five-star recruit that turned down Alabama.

On Tuesday during the UK alumni luncheon at Kroger Field, Stoops defended his senior as UK gets set to start preseason workouts Sunday.

Bowden would be “gravy” for Cats

Lynn Bowden (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Freshman Lynn Bowden has not been on the Kentucky campus this summer while finishing academic requirements but that has not dampened the enthusiasm coach Mark Stoops has for the talented playmaker from Ohio.

Stoops did say Tuesday that he expects Bowden to be present when practice starts Sunday and that he is an “electric” playmaker that UK needs.

Offensive coordinator Eddie Gran has been more guarded in his praise of Bowden. He prefers to see what a player does in a Kentucky uniform before counting on him, even one as highly touted as Bowden. However, Stoops knows what Bowden’s presence can mean.

Urban Meyer: “I think the Big Ten East right now is every bit as strong as I can remember the SEC East”

At the Big Ten Media Day on Monday, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was asked about comments he made six years ago that the Big Ten had things to do to catch up to the Southeastern Conference where Meyer won national titles at Florida and if he thought the Big Ten had closed the gap.

“I don’t think there’s a gap at all. And that’s no disrespect to other conferences. To give my opinion to other conferences or when I hear that, I have no idea. But I’ve coached in the SEC East when that was one of the strongest in the country. And I think the Big Ten East right now is every bit as strong as I can remember the SEC East,” Meyer said.

Calipari again explains how Hoosiers turning down chances to play Kentucky

John Calipari (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

John Calipari does a lot of things I will never get the opportunity to do. I have no problem with that.

But he did something Monday I would never want to do — he went on the “Dan Dakich Radio.” You remember Dakich, the former Indiana player who hosts a radio show in Indianapolis. And those of you who know, understand why I would never ever want to be in the same spot Calipari was today.

Nick Richards was UK fan even before he played basketball

Nick Richards (Larry Vaught Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Before he came to the United States in 2013 from Jamaica, Nick Richards focused on soccer, volleyball and track — and was good in all three of them.

Once he focused on basketball, he gradually got better and better. He starts his college career at the University of Kentucky this season.

“I was a UK fan before I even committed and signed,” said Richards, the NJ.com Player of the Year in New Jersey. “I am just happy now to be part of it.”

How did that come about?

Thomas not sure how much respect there is with Kentucky-Louisville rivalry

Lamar Thomas (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Lamar Thomas knows plenty about college football rivalries from his day playing for Miami (Fla.).

He also worked under Bobby Petrino at Western Kentucky when it beat Kentucky and then at Louisville when the Cards beat Kentucky.

Now he’s the receivers coach at UK and helped the Cats get a win at Louisville last year.

So what does he think of the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry?

“It is great for college football. Obviously I was at Miami and our rival was Florida State. We respected them and it was always a hard fought game,” Thomas said.

Randle: Former Cats could beat Warriors

By LARRY VAUGHT

Give it to Julius Randle. He might not be at Kentucky any more, but he remains true blue.

He’s back in Kentucky for a camp at UK and the Los Angeles Laker player didn’t hesitate Saturday when asked if he thought a team of former UK players could beat the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

“I definitely think we would win,” Randle said. “I don’t think it would really be a challenge. I think Kentucky just has too many stars that come out of here. Too many really good players. I’m never going to say I’m going to lose.”

Koback ready for full practice

Bryant Koback

By LARRY VAUGHT

Just as anticipated, freshman running back Bryant Koback has been cleared for full practice when Kentucky opens preseason drills.

Koback broke his leg midway through his high school senior season and then enrolled at UK in January to help with his rehab.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said during his appearance at the Louisville UK Alumni Club Friday is 100 percent ready to play.

Running back is a spot where UK needs depth. The Cats return Benny Snell, who ran for over 1,000 yards and 13 scores last season. But they lost 1,000-yard rusher Boom Williams to the NFL and JoJo Kemp to graduation.

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