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By LARRY VAUGHT

All during the NCAA Tournament, including after he injured his ankle and could not play again, Willie Cauley-Stein kept insisting that he was in no hurry to leave Kentucky even if he was projected as a mid-first round draft pick.

“You meet a lot of people and college ball is fun. It’s not a big thing on my mind to leave, you know what I am saying. If the opportunity presents itself, then why wouldn’t you go. But if not, I am cool with staying a year or two here,” said the 7-foot Kentucky sophomore.

“I don’t really even know what I enjoy the most. You just have like security. Like if you leave, you are on  your own. Know what I am  saying? In college, you have a whole coaching staff that is kind of like your dad and they are family just like your family. You don’t feel alone like you would if you left and you started to having to pay for  yourself. It’s not like you have a meal plan. You have to start paying  bills and stuff. That’s a lot to think about when you 20 years old. So  why not stay in school?”

And that’s what he is going to do. Cauley-Stein sai Monday he will return to Kentucky for the 2014-15 season.

“I want to come back and have a chance to win a national championship, while also getting closer to earning my degree,” Cauley-Stein said in a statement released by UK. “Being at the Final Four this year was special, but not being able to help my teammates on the floor was tough. I look forward to helping us get back there next year, while playing in front of the best fans in the nation.”

Cauley-Stein did not play against Michigan, Wisconsin and Connecticut. He played only briefly against Louisville when he heard something “pop” in his ankle and later in the tourney he revealed the X-ray then showed he had a “cracked bone/stress fracture” that he has had surgery to repair. However, Cauley-Stein also said that he thought he might have actually injured his ankle in  UK’s opening NCAA tourney win over Kansas State.

Cauley-Stein actually announced he was returning to UK on Twitter. However, Kentucky Sports Radio’s Ryan Lemond learned Sunday that he would return and had posted that on Twitter. He was the only media member with that information that became official about 24 hours later.

“I was as convinced as everyone that Willie was going pro, but when I got the news he was 100 percent coming back I was as shocked as anybody,” Lemond said. “Reporters have sources that you know you can believe 100 percent and this was one. That’s why I was not afraid to say he was going to have good news for Kentucky fans.”

Cauley-Stein has 166 blocks in his career, which ranks sixth all-time in program history. He averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game this year and will give Calipari and UK the rim protector it missed after he was hurt this season. It will also give Calipari at least one veteran leader — and perhaps send a message to sophomore Alex Poythress, who is not projected to go nearly as high in the draft as Cauley-Stein was, to also return.

“I don’t want to think how we will be remembered,” Cauley-Stein said after UK’s national championship game loss to Connecticut in Arlington. “I want to hear about it. I want to read about it or see somebody in Wal-Mart that tells me how we will be remembered instead of me thinking about it.

“Our guys last year we were all separated. Maybe three of us hung out with each other. This year everybody so close and you could feel like you had known then all for years when you had only known them for six months.
“You want to leave on joy. It’s so much better if you leave on a stage swinging shirts, wearing hats backwards and taking goofy pictures (after winning the national title). That’s the way I always thought of going out.”

Cauley-Stein was named to the all-Southeastern Conference defensive team when he had 106 blocks, second all-time on the UK season list behind only the 186 Anthony Davis had in 2011-12.

This is the final part of a series with media members offering their opinions on Kentucky’s season.

Question: Do you think, in general, Kentucky fans are still solidly sold on what John Calipari is doing and has done at UK or do you sense some uneasiness after the last two seasons?

Ryan Lemond: “There has definitely been some uneasiness lately, and I think even Cal would admit it’s justified. There is no way this team should have underachieved the way it did this year. No way! I think UK fans love Cal. They believe in him, but the last two seasons have been a disappointment in everybody’s book. That’s gotta change. I would still take a national championship for two underachieving years, but most fans can’t do it. Win, and win now, and win a lot!”

Larry Glover: “I think all would agree he can really coach. You don’t get to Final Fours at three schools without really knowing what you’re doing.  However, some are legitimately questioning the ‘restocking the roster with freshman every year’ as the best long term approach. I think a balance between experience and talent needs to be struck.

“Honestly,  I think his promoting UK as a ‘Player First Program’ is a bigger issue for lot of folks in the BBN. Some of his quotes on the matter are giving the impression that winning games and championships are not a high priority.  I don’t share that point of view. I think Cal is very motivated to win big. I think he feels, and I share this opinion, that if you recruit and produce great talent … titles will come as a result.”

Keith Taylor: “Based on what I have heard there are some doubts about the one-and-done players. Fans miss the connection they had with four-year players. I sense they are missing the bonding and building relationships with the veteran teams and an experienced team.”

Tyler Thompson: “I think most of the fan base is still on board with Calipari. Given the right ingredients (talented freshmen plus veteran leaders), his recipe hasn’t just proven successful, it’s won Kentucky its eighth national championship.

“I think the one thing UK fans have learned this season is that you can’t rely on freshmen alone. The learning curve is too steep. Cal’s first three teams at UK have all had veteran players step up and give valuable contributions. Back in 2010, it was Patrick Patterson; 2011 Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins; 2012 Darius Miller. Even last year, Julius Mays tried to put the team on his back after Nerlens Noel went down. Coming into this season, most of us thought Willie Cauley-Stein or Alex Poythress would take that role, but so far, neither have, and the lack of leadership haunts this group. In turn, the freshmen have been expected to do it all on their own, and unfortunately, none of them are Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, two unique players mature beyond their years.

“Fortunately for Calipari and Kentucky, there is talk that the one-and-done rule may give way to a two-year rule, which would improve things immensely.”

Mary Jo Perino: “I think there’s definitely been a referendum on one and done players, but I don’t think that’s the problem. You don’t turn any of these guys away and you don’t truly know who will stay and who will go. But I do think there are some fans fed up with it. On the whole, it’s really tough for me to have a legit conversation with someone who really doesn’t think Cal is the guy for the job. I still believe he is 100 percent. Now if this happens again next year.”

Mark Buerger: “Not based on what I hear on Sundays. The tiny minority that wants a new coach is out on the far limit of sanity, but when you make a big production of telling a passionate and dedicated fan base that you are going to run the program they love in a new way and immediately follow it with seasons like the last two, you pretty much invite people to ask questions.”

Jennifer Palumbo: “UK fans want the team to compete for a national championship every season. Obviously last season was disappointing, but it also showed how hard it is to create the 2012 level of success. I think most rational fans appreciate that Cal is doing everything he can to bring the best players to UK.  The preseason hype by recruiting analysts and the media raised Big Blue Nation expectations to unrealistic heights. Every time I heard 40-0 talk, I cringed.  I want Coach Cal and the Cats to believe they can win every game, but that can be their goal. And if it ever happens, I’ll be first in line for the T-shirt.”

Tom Leach: “There’s always going to be uneasiness when things don’t go well.  Fans set the bar high at Kentucky but that’s why this program continues to win championships through almost every coaching transition.  Kentucky fans love to get to know the players and so they, along with Calipari, would love to see the rules changed to enable players to stay in the program longer.  I think the overwhelming majority of fans–when not in the moments after a loss–would say they believe in Calipari but they’d like to see that “tweak” in the rules that would provide a little more continuity of rosters and add a little more experience to each team.”

Kentucky forward Julius Randle (30) shoots over a Georgia defense during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference men's tournament, Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Kentucky forward Julius Randle (30) shoots over a Georgia defense during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Southeastern Conference men’s tournament, Saturday, March 15, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

This is the third in a series of stories on the Kentucky season with various media members offering their insights as UK gets set to start NCAA play.

Question: Do you see any scenario where UK could make the Final Four this year after starting the season No. 1?

Ryan Lemond: “Not a chance in France. Only if all the other teams come down with a month long flu bug. There is no way this team has showed me anything to indicate they are a final four team, especially finishing out the season losing three of their last four and nearly four of their last five. No way.”

Larry Glover: “For UK to make the Final Four, they would need a really favorable draw in terms of match ups and the region would need to fall apart a little bit. They also needed to escape the dreaded 7 to 10 seed zone. If so, they would avoid 1 and 2 seeded teams in the first weekend.  That would be a big help.”

Keith Taylor: “No. They would have to make a total transformation from the last two weeks of the season. They haven’t fared well against ranked teams. Do not see any reason to believe it all changes now, especially if opposing teams apply consistent pressure and get the Cats rattled.”

Tyler Thompson: “I think the only way it could have happened is if they won the SEC Tournament. For a group this young, momentum is everything. In my opinion, 95 percent of this team’s problems have been mental, which is completely understandable given their youth and the unreasonable expectations. For this group, it’s never ‘can they beat someone,’ it’s ‘will they beat someone,’ and if they had banded together to win the SEC, they may have finally cleared that mental hurdle and realized their full potential.”

Mary Jo Perino: “No, just being honest. The blueprint on how to beat UK is already out there and established, as much as that pains me to say.”

Mark Buerger: “None. They have shown no sign that they can put together any kind of run, especially against better teams.”

Jennifer Palumbo: “If nothing else, this college basketball season shows anything can happen. At the beginning of the season, who said the only undefeated team would be Wichita State?  I’m not saying UK will be in the Final Four, but why not?”

Tom Leach: “Yes.  Several times this season, I have cited Kentucky’s record in comparison to Michigan’s Fab Five group of 1992 (the only team to start five freshmen in a national championship game).  The overall records and the records against quality teams are quite similar and that ’92 Michigan team seemed to catch fire in the NCAA Tournament and each win fed their momentum.  And that Michigan group was a 6-seed that year.  The odds are against UK making that kind of run but could it happen?  Absolutely.  The seed is not as big a deal if the team gets its game right and we certainly saw signs of that last week in Atanta.”

This is the second in a series of post with various media members on the Kentucky season going into NCAA play.

Question: What player has surprised you the most — either by what he has done or has not done?

Ryan Lemond: “It’s got to be Willie Cauley-Stein. He was projected to be a lottery pick, and he started out the season that way. But once SEC play started, he not only lost his starting position, he lost playing time. There are times when he just doesn’t play with much heart or energy.  That’s inexcusable to me. Didn’t you come back to better yourself this season? Lack of effort has led to many ‘missing in action’ games this season, often when the team needed him the most.”

Larry Glover: “Andrew Harrison has been the biggest surprise. He was talked about by recruiting experts as transcendently good but instead he’s been very much a work in progress. In time, he can become a really good college guard but I’m not sure I see a guy that can play a lot at the next level, … at least not right now.”
Taylor: “Expected better point guard play from Andrew Harrison. His up and down play has hurt the team but that’s to be expected from freshmen.”

Tyler Thompson: “I’ve been disappointed in Willie Cauley-Stein. After UK lost to Robert Morris in the NIT, Willie seemed like a man on a mission, vowing to come back and right all of last season’s wrongs. Before this season started, Willie even said he was ready to be the ‘go-to guy’ Kentucky needs, but thus far, he’s disappeared just as many times as he’s appeared. Willie is one of the few players on the team who wasn’t a McDonald’s All-American, but at 7-foot with those athletic skills, his upside is tremendous, and for that reason, his hit-and-miss progress this season has been disappointing.”

Mary Jo Perino: “It’s players. It’s probably going to be the easy answer, but for me it’s true, it’s the Harrison twins. We thought after last year when there was no real point guard, this would be a different story. My belief is just they are not as good as we expected them to be. That’s not necessarily their fault either. It’s also unfair to put them together all the time (even though I just did) but fair or unfair that’s how they are judged. We may have been completely unfair with our expectations of the Twins and perhaps if they stuck around another, I think they would improve a lot. They just aren’t what I thought and that’s ok.”

Mark Buerger: “To start with something positive — just for the shock value — Dakari Johnson has surprised me with how much he has developed. Game-wise, he’s pretty close to the only guy who seems to have improved much over the course of the year. He moves better, his offense has improved dramatically and his energy level and effort have improved to the point that he often seems like the only guy who’s playing hard.
“On the other end, it’s hard to pick just one. I guess James Young’s struggles have been the most surprising thing given the way he was lauded during the pre-season. Obviously he is capable of great things, he just hasn’t really shown it in a while.”

Jennifer Palumbo: “I’m most surprised by Willie Cauley-Stein. The incoming freshmen received a lot of attention, but Willie’s progression from last year has been impressive. He struggled at times this season, but he’s also had some great games.”

Tom Leach: “Dakari Johnson.  He has developed into a real force as a low-post scoring threat and you can tell he’s worked hard to improve his defense.  A smart player finds a way to maximize his assets and minimize his weaknesses and that’s what Dakari has done.  Also, it looks like his teammates are really feeding off the energy and passion with which he plays the game.”

This is the first a of series of articles with various media members on their thoughts on Kentucky’s season as the Cats get set to start NCAA tournament play.

Question: What has this Kentucky season been like compared to what you expected on Oct. 15?

Ryan Lemond, Kentucky Sports Radio: “I never ever thought in a million years we would be sitting here in March talking about a 10-loss season and a 6 or 7 seed in the NCAA tournament. Back in October I bought into this team. I believed all the hype. I believed it was the best recruiting class in UK history and one of the best in the history of college basketball. Final Four was for certain, and hanging banner No. 9 was a strong possibility. I honestly don’t think I’ve covered a team that has failed to meet my expectations more than this team has.”

Larry Glover, Larry Glover Live: “This season has been a big disappointment. I didn’t expect 40-0 but I did think UK would have a team that could compete for a national championship and they don’t.”

Keith Taylor, Winchester Sun: “Expected more wins, especially against top 25 teams. It’s hard to gauge what to expect from a team that starts five freshmen. I definitely expected better production from Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein. Starting a freshman point guard produces roller-coaster results unless you are John Wall.”

Tyler Thompson, Kentucky Sports Radio: “Pretty much a 180. If you had told me Kentucky would finish the regular season unranked after going in as No. 1, I would have said you were crazy. This freshman class was heralded as the greatest in college basketball history, and everyone, from Cal to the media to fans, bought the hype, in part to erase the memory of last season’s NIT loss. Looking back, it’s clear that these freshmen aren’t as talented as we thought, and Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein haven’t matured into the veteran leaders that been so crucial to Calipari’s teams in the past.”

Mary Jo Perino, former WLEX-TV anchor and current Comcast Sports South contributor: “Absolutely nothing. I never believed they would go 40-0, but if you asked me which was more likely an undefeated season or 10 losses, I would have said undefeated every time. It’s not over yet, but I never really imagined myself being apathetic in many ways about this team in March.”

Mark Buerger, WLAP Sunday Morning Sports Talk: “Short of a complete disaster, but certainly a major disappointment. I always thought the 40-0 talk was dumb, and I thought the team would struggle early, especially against this schedule, but I had really figured that by now they would have things figured out and be playing up to their talent level. They just aren’t.”

Jennifer Palumbo, WKYT-TV news anchor: “I had high hopes for this group of incredibly talented players even though most of them had never played together. This is a such a young team trying to come together in a short amount of time, and this season shows talent alone isn’t always enough to win.”

Tom Leach, Kentucky Radio Network and Leach Report: “It was hard to imagine a team so reliant on freshmen would be able to avoid some bumps in the road but there was so much hype for this group that it was hard to avoid getting caught up in the expectations that were unrealistic for that circumstance.  Hopefully, we’ll all remember that for future situations.  But when that expectations bar was set so high, this team was set up to fall short.  My broadcast partner, Mike Pratt, thinks they’ve been dealing with that as far back as the Baylor game in early December and I salute Calipari and his staff for finding a way to relieve that tension prior to last week’s SEC Tournament.”

Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme (84) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL playoff football game in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme (84) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker (87) during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL playoff football game in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Boyle County native Jacob Tamme has been in the NFL for six years, and will be playing in his second Super Bowl Sunday when his Denver Broncos take on Seattle in New York. Tamme, 28, was a fourth-round draft pick by Indianapolis in the 2008 after his record-setting career at Kentucky. He has 164 career catches for 1,594 yards and eight score. He caught a 1-yard touchdown pass and had another 23-yard reception in last week’s AFC title game win over New England to send him back to the Super Bowl where he played for Indianapolis when the Colts lost to New Orleans.

Statewide media members have covered/watched Tamme’s high school, college and NFL career. Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story, former WLEX-TV anchor Mary Jo Perino, Kentucky Sports Radio host Ryan Lemond, WLEX-TV sports anchor Alan Cutler, UK Radio Network play-by-play voice Tom Leach and WLAP Sunday Morning Sports Talk host Mark Buerger shared their insights on Tamme.

Question: What kind of legacy do you think Tamme will eventually leave behind when his playing career ends?

Story: “How many people from the state of Kentucky have played in two Super Bowls? As legacies go, that is pretty strong.”

Perino: “Jacob’s legacy, I believe, will be first and foremost that of a great teammate. Peyton manning doesn’t pick duds, and he sees what we all know to be true about Jacob. He will be remembered as a leader, a guy who will do anything asked of him on the field, and someone who used his position in the NFL to help others. He is one of the most selfless, caring people I have ever met.
Cutler: “The perfect team player.”

Lemond: “I think he has become the perfect ambassador for UK and central Kentucky, meaning he is not only a great football player, he is probably a better person. He leads his life the right way. He promotes his Christianity. He is who we wish all of our sons could grow up to be.  He is the guy we wish our daughters would date. He is the guy that everyone can be proud of whether you’re a Boyle County Rebel or a Danville Admiral or a Kentucky Wildcat or a Louisville Cardinal. He has represented this state well, and I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Leach: “You look at Jacob’s career and you see him being on teams that won a lot of games, so his legacy is one of consistent success and production that his teams could count on.”

Buerger: “I think he’ll be remembered as a good guy and a terrific player who was in the perfect place for his skill set.”

Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme (84) celebrates his touchdown during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL playoff football game against the New England Patriots in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme (84) celebrates his touchdown during the first half of the AFC Championship NFL playoff football game against the New England Patriots in Denver, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Boyle County native Jacob Tamme has been in the NFL for six years, and will be playing in his second Super Bowl Sunday when his Denver Broncos take on Seattle in New York. Tamme, 28, was a fourth-round draft pick by Indianapolis in the 2008 after his record-setting career at Kentucky. He has 164 career catches for 1,594 yards and eight score. He caught a 1-yard touchdown pass and had another 23-yard reception in last week’s AFC title game win over New England to send him back to the Super Bowl where he played for Indianapolis when the Colts lost to New Orleans.

Statewide media members have covered/watched Tamme’s high school, college and NFL career. Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story, former WLEX-TV anchor Mary Jo Perino, Kentucky Sports Radio host Ryan Lemond, WLEX-TV sports anchor Alan Cutler, UK Radio Network play-by-play voice Tom Leach and WLAP Sunday Morning Sports Talk host Mark Buerger shared their insights on Tamme.

Question: Did you ever envision him having the type of NFL career he’s had?

Story: “Unless you are a star, so much about surviving in the NFL (or NBA) is ‘fit.’ Jacob was lucky to be drafted by a team (Indianapolis) whose scheme he fit perfectly. When Jacob got a chance (through Dallas Clark’s injury), he was prepared and took advantage of it in a big way. When Peyton Manning headed west, Jacob had earned his confidence and the QB wanted him in Denver, too.”

Perino: “I did and I didn’t. I have always known Jacob had what it takes, but it’s so hard to predict what a player will do at the next level, and so much of it is about what scheme you end up playing in. Jacob got lucky in some respects to have landed where he did, but luck is only what you make of it if you’re prepared for the situation. I never had any doubt Jacob would be ready and work hard.

Cutler: “Yes I did. And I think he would have put up some impressive numbers if he was a starter. He knows how to find holes in a zone which is big and doesn’t get talked about enough.”

Lemond: “To be honest, no. And if anyone tries to tell you that they knew from back in his days as a Boyle County Rebel that he would have this type of NFL career, they are not being truthful. He was a great high school player. We named him the LEX18 Sportszone player of the year, but this guy almost didn’t get to play at Kentucky. Without the coaching change and Mitch Barnhart getting involved in between the coaches, Tamme may have never played at Kentucky. And keep in mind, he came to UK as a receiver. Only a change within offensive coordinators moved him to tight end. The starts lined up for him, and took full advantage.”

Leach: “Can’t say I envisioned it but Jacob is a guy that needed to get with the right team, one that relied on tight ends more for pass-catching than blocking/size, so once he went to the Colts (and later Denver), it was not surprising to see him do well in those situations.”
Buerger: “Honestly, no. I worried that he’d be sort of a tweener. Not big enough for a traditional tight end and not fast enough to play receiver. His hard work and changes in the way offenses use tight ends have really benefited him.”

Jacob, Luke and Allison Tamme. (photo submitted)

Jacob, Luke and Allison Tamme. (photo submitted)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Boyle County native Jacob Tamme has been in the NFL for six years, and will be playing in his second Super Bowl Sunday when his Denver Broncos take on Seattle in New York. Tamme, 28, was a fourth-round draft pick by Indianapolis in the 2008 after his record-setting career at Kentucky. He has 164 career catches for 1,594 yards and eight score. He caught a 1-yard touchdown pass and had another 23-yard reception in last week’s AFC title game win over New England to send him back to the Super Bowl where he played for Indianapolis when the Colts lost to New Orleans.

Statewide media members have covered/watched Tamme’s high school, college and NFL career. Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story, former WLEX-TV anchor Mary Jo Perino, Kentucky Sports Radio host Ryan Lemond, WLEX-TV sports anchor Alan Cutler, UK Radio Network play-by-play voice Tom Leach and WLAP Sunday Morning Sports Talk host Mark Buerger shared their insights on Tamme.

Question: What continues to impress you the most about Jacob Tamme?
Story: “His competitiveness. Because Jacob is such a nice guy in civilian life, I think his competitive drive gets overlooked. The fire that allowed Tamme to soar above Eric Berry to turn a sure Tennessee interception into a 40-yard UK gain and launch Kentucky’s big rally against UT in 2007 is a big key, I think, to what has allowed Jacob to ‘make it’ in the NFL.

Perino: “His professionalism. He may not have gotten the same opportunities to play as he did last season, but that hasn’t stopped him from working hard and taking advantage of every time he did get on the field, even as a special teams player.”

Cutler: “Class act. As classy an athlete as I’ve ever talked to at UK.”

Lemond: “  Considering the shelf life of most NFL players is usually just three years, Tamme continues to impress me with his ability to stay in the league. I think it comes from his incredible work ethic and being a true “team” player. If he has to play special teams, he does it. If he has to tackle somebody, he does it. If he has to put his hand down and block some 280-pound defensive end, he does it. If he has to block to set up a play, he does it. If he has to catch a pass, he does that too. He deserves it because he has worked hard at it his entire career.”

Leach: “First, he’s always been a class act. As for on the field, what has always impressed me is that he makes ‘significant’ catches. In the AFC title game, his two catches were a touchdown and the play that sealed the win. At Kentucky, he often seemed to be the go-to guy for a key third or fourth down pass.”

Buerger: “From a football standpoint, I think his staying power in the league is what impresses me the most. The NFL is a tough business. Even if you manage to avoid the injuries that drive a lot of guys out, careers aren’t necessarily long. He has had a really good one. From a personal standpoint, I love the way he has used his success to help others, and the way he remains a proud Kentuckian and come back to do so much of his work here. Seems like a truly all-around good guy.”

uk-ul-logo1By LARRY VAUGHT

Seven Lexington-based media members — WLEX-TV sports anchor Alan Cutler (@cutler18), WKYT-TV news anchor Jennifer Palumbo (@JenNimePalumbo), Kentucky Sports Radio analyst Ryan Lemond (@ryanlemond), UK radio play-by-play announcer Tom Leach (@tomleachKY), WLAP Sunday Morning sports talk host Mark Buerger (@meisterbuerger), Winchester Sun sports editor Keith Taylor (@keithtaylor21) and Larry Glover Live sports talk host Larry Glover (@larrygloverlive) — offer their insights on Saturday’s Kentucky-Louisville game and who they think will win in a five-part series this week.

Now the game picks starting with Lemond and Buerger:

Lemond: “ As of this moment, I’m just tired of making excuses for this UK team.  They are way too talented to struggle.  They’ve also played in 3 high profile games this year, and they’ve struggled in all three.  I think this UK team still has a long way to go to “find themselves”, especially offensively, and I don’t think Louisville is the type of team where they will be able to do that.  Louisville wins 79-74.  (Please don’t tell my wife!)

Buerger: “This is probably a more difficult call than any year in the Calipari era. He has yet to lose to Louisville at Rupp, But Kentucky has a lot of questions to answer to keep that streak alive. I’m going to hope the post exams practice schedule has provided enough answers. Kentucky by a hair.”

Podcast for Larry Vaught’s Blue Zoom Radio Show for Sept. 19, 2013, with co-host David Hopewell and guest Ryan Lemond from Kentucky Sports Radio.

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