I am very excited to announce that last week, with the help of iHeartMedia, I launched The Doug Out Sports Podcast.
I am very excited to begin this new project, as I am hopeful to bring you some exciting interviews and insights from coaches and players from all across the state of Kentucky and beyond.
I would like to thank Pulaski County head football coach Johnny Hines, Campbellsville-Somerset head basketball coach Al Gover, and Southwestern head football coach Jason Foley for already appearing on episodes with me.
Future guests that I can announce at this time is former WLEX-TV sportscaster Alan Cutler, as well as former UK All-American and a current member of the Dallas Cowboys Randall Cobb.
There will be more, much more to come in the upcoming weeks. From high school to college to the pros, I will have guests on each week trying to keep you informed on what is going on in the world of sports.
To check out my new podcast, all you have to do is go to Spreaker.com, and do a search for The Doug Out Sports Podcast. Hope you enjoy the shows and happy listening.
You can also find my podcast by going to my Facebook page and searching on my Timeline. Thanks for all the positive feedback I have received up to date on this new venture.
OK sports fans….you’ve been asking for it, so you’re going to get your wish.
My new sports podcast — The Doug Out Sports Podcast by yours truly — will be launching over the course of the next few weeks, in conjunction with iHeartMedia.
We will be covering a gambit of topics in the world of sports, and I will be having guests come on the show with me — from our local schools — to regional schools, and who knows? Every now and then, we may even delve into the world of collegiate athletics and have some local college coaches on the show as well.
All you will have to do is click on the podcast you want to listen to, and enjoy the program. I will be trying to put one show out per week, and I will be giving you a list of who will be appearing and when the show will air at a later time.
Again, this is coming down over the next few weeks, and when I have confirmed a firm launch date, I will be sure to let you know.
Until then, feel free to keep following my sports blog and keeping up with all of the local sports action in our community. It’s coming. The first true sports podcast done by a local Hall of Fame sports writer is just around the corner.
Last summer when Stanford’s grad-transfer Reid Travis announced he was coming to Kentucky to play his final year of college basketball, expectations for the 2018-’19 Wildcats went through the proverbial roof.
Talk radio and even national pundits got on TV and stated it was national championship or bust for this team.
Then, there was those four games in the Bahamas when Kentucky looked like the juggernaut the Big Blue Nation figured the Wildcats would be this season.
But then, there was that season-opening, 118-84 blowout loss to hated Duke, and all of a sudden the sky was falling in Big Blue Country.
Well, as Lee Corso has sometimes been heard to utter, ‘Not so fast my friend’.
As we head into this week’s SEC Tournament down in Music City, the Wildcats are pretty much where everyone expected John Calipari’s club to be at this juncture of the season — at or near the top of the heap in the landscape of college basketball.
Kentucky jumped to fourth yesterday in the latest AP College Basketball Rankings, and going into post-season play this week at least, the Cats are on the one line in most every projected bracket out there.
To stay there as a one seed, probably means Kentucky will have to win a fifth consecutive SEC Tournament crown this weekend — a challenge I believe the Wildcats are going to rise to the occasion and do just that.
I mean, outside that abysmal performance at Tennessee a little over a week ago, one could make the argument that Cal and the Cats have been playing about as good as any team in America over the past month and a half.
And for good reason.
P.J. Washington has been playing like a man possessed down in the paint, and Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro are as good as any two freshman wings in the country.
And while Travis has missed the past five games with a knee strain, his imminent return to the Kentucky lineup is coming at the perfect time.
Kentucky is a very, very dangerous team without Reid Travis. With him, the Cats are a serious, and I mean serious national championship contender.
Ashton Hagans has really come on of late, and with guys like Nick Richards and E.J. Montgomery, and Immanuel Quickley coming off the bench giving this team solid play and quality minutes, Kentucky is indeed poised to make another deep run into March and beyond.
Yes, it’s post-season time in college hoops, which means it’s time for the University of Kentucky to try again for national title number nine.
March Madness is upon us once again. Sit back, buckle up, and let’s all enjoy the ride and see just how far this year’s UK team can take us.
It’s very possible when all is said and done, where this team takes BBN is at the top of the college basketball pinnacle.
A 118-84 loss to hated Duke in early-November with a very young team.
Season’s over, right?
I mean, after all this was a Kentucky Wildcat team that showed so much promise in those four games in the Bahamas back last August, and was a UK team that was supposed to be a serious national title contender. Right?
So, what the heck happened in the season opener against the Blue Devils?
I mean, was Kentucky severely over rated? Was the promise shown in the Bahamas a mirage of sorts? Were are incoming freshmen not as good as advertised?
Those were all questions being asked after that beat-down the Cats suffered against Duke.
Now, I’ve got a question for all of those who jumped off the bandwagon after only one game.
The question? Who wants to play this team in March? Who wants a piece of the Cats right now?
This is a team that is getting downright scary before our very eyes, and is a team that has grown up since late-December.
PJ Washington is playing like a man possessed over the past three weeks, and is playing the way head coach John Calipari envisioned he would perform when he was recruiting the UK sophomore back in his high school days.
Tyler Herro is simply a baller. I love this kid’s game. Shooting, passing, finishing at the rim — Herro is a kid that can do it all. And, he’s got that swagger. Simply, this is a kid that is a winner.
Then there’s Keldon Johnson. Johnson is another talented freshman and to me at least, he’s just a ‘dog’. And, I mean that as a big-time compliment.
Johnson just does all the little things to get the job done. And, if there’s a big shot, or a big moment of a game where a play needs to be made, this is a kid that doesn’t shy away from the limelight one bit.
Again, this is another talented UK freshman that is purely a winner.
Take yesterday’s win at Florida for example.
It was Johnson that made two huge three-point baskets, the last giving UK the lead for good in that contest at 50-48. Simply, Johnson is another ‘baller’ that just goes out and makes plays — plays that gets Kentucky ‘W’s’.
Reid Travis — while he doesn’t always blow you away with his point totals — is a man among boys down in the paint.
He rebounds, he defends, and he gives the Cats a tough — and I do mean tough — presence inside that any team needs to make a deep run in March.
Ashton Hagans meanwhile has made arguably the biggest difference in the trek of the season for this UK team.
I mean, Hagans was almost an after thought in that Duke loss back on November 6th.
He only scored two points in 19 minutes in that game, and he had three turnovers.
Now, look at him today. He’s firmly entrenched as Kentucky’s point guard, and he’s a lock-down defender, and one of the best on-ball defenders in the nation.
So, at 18-3 overall on the season, 7-1 in the SEC, and the owners of an eight-game winning streak, who really wants to see this Kentucky team in March?
The reason I am so high on this team, is because I agree whole-heartedly with something coach John Calipari said about a week ago.
There’s a ton of improvement left for this team to make over the next five weeks of the regular season, and that’s not good news for any team in America, and yes, that includes Rick Barnes and number one-ranked Tennessee.
And, if the Cats can indeed make that improvement, then Kentucky’s got as good of a chance to win a national title as any team in America —- ANY TEAM.
And, how many people out there would have thought we would have been saying that after that Duke loss?
Not many in my opinion.
This is a team that has grown up in front of our very eyes, and is improving almost on a daily basis.
Yes, March is going to be fun I do believe, because this is a team that is going to be downright scary by tourney time.
And for all of us that are members of Big Blue Nation, that is a great thing indeed.
I will be the first person to admit that when it comes to UK sports I am biased.
You see, I bleed blue and I am a very proud member of the BBN.
And, I have a very healthy hatred for Louisville — well, make that ‘LOSERVILLE’, or as former Kentucky basketball coach called the Cards, ‘Little Brother’.
And, today was just another chapter in the life of how my beloved Wildcats simply own Louisville.
After Tyler Herro’s game-high 24 points, and Keldon Johnson’s 15 points, and Ashton Hagans’ 11 point, three-assist performance, Kentucky walked away from the Yum Center with a 71-58 win over ‘Little Brother’.
And, it was sweet indeed.
The win gave the Cats a 36-16 lead in the all-time series against the Cards, and a 24-12 lead in what is known as ‘The Modern Era’ of the rivalry.
Remember, this series first began way back in 1913 with a 34-10 UK victory.
After 1959, the two teams did not play again until in the 1983 NCAA Elite Eight round in Knoxville in a game won in overtime by Louisville 80-68.
After that game, Louisville’s fan base started as you can imagine talking smack about how the Cards ‘owned” Kentucky, and they were the class of the state in hoops.
And, there were actually calls, make that screams, that Louisville wanted to play Kentucky every year. Heck, the state legislature even got involved, calling for the state’s two biggest university’s to play each and every year on the hardwood.
Well, be careful what you wish for. Since then, Kentucky has ‘owned’ this rivalry.
Case in point, the very next year after that UL win in ’83, Kentucky opened the 1983-’84 college basketball season in the return of Sam Bowie with a 65-44 win over the Cards. I was there — one of the loudest crowds I have ever heard in all my many, many games that I have watched inside the rafters of Rupp Arena.
Fast forward to the John Calipari era.
The current UK coach — with today’s 71-58 win — is now 10-2 as the Cats head coach against ‘Little Brother’, which includes wins at the Final Four in 2012 — UK’s last national championship.
Kentucky also upended the Cards in the 2014 NCAA Tournament in the Sweet 16 by a final score of 74-69 on the Cats way to a national championship game appearance against UCONN.
Simply put, and not to repeat myself, the Wildcats own Louisville.
And, as the great Ric Flair always liked to say, ‘If you don’t like, learn to love it, because it’s the greatest thing going today…..WOOOOO!!!’.
And the thing that is going today is the fact that we as avid UK fans can relish in the moment that we own the Cards.
Today is December 13th, so there are now officially 12 days before we celebrate another Christmas.
So with the song ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ in mind, I do not want a partridge or a pear tree, and I would not care for two turtle doves or five golden rings.
Instead, I would like for my fellow brethren in the Big Blue Nation to please take a brief minute, calm down, take a deep breath; in short, take a chill pill.
Now I will be the first to admit the college basketball season and Kentucky’s play so far haven’t been what I expected to say the least.
After watching the Wildcats play in the Bahamas this summer, myself along with most of the BBN thought this team was going to be invincible.
I mean, the so-called experts were comparing the Cats to the Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, and Tyler Ulis 38-0 team that went to the Final Four, only to lose in disappointing fashion to Wisconsin.
Then, a dose of big-time reality sunk in after the season-opening debacle to the team I hate the most — Duke.
That 118-84 butt whipping Duke put on our beloved Wildcats was flat out sickening. What in the name of Christian Laettner is going on?
Kentucky looked lost at times in that game, and I have a question; did anybody from UK play any defense at all in that contest? I’m asking for a friend. Answer: no they did not.
After that game, we have struggled at times against mid-major competition, and then there was that one-point loss to an average Seton Hall team last weekend at Madison Square Garden in overtime.
You know, a Seton Hall team that came into that contest already with three losses under its belt to Nebraska, Saint Louis, and Louisville.
So, is the season — this season — a lost cause? Absolutely not.
I may be dead wrong, but I firmly believe this team will be just fine come March, when it counts for real.
We have problems right now for certain. Tyler Herro is struggling from the outside with his shot, and our defense, especially defending the three-point line, has been absolutely abysmal at times.
Having said that, I can’t believe some UK fans are calling for Cal’s head. I mean, look at what this guy has done at Kentucky in a decade, and some people want him gone. Have you lost your minds out there?
Sure, I think we should have won more than one national title since John Calipari took over at Kentucky, and I’m not a big fan of the whole one and done deal either.
But, I would rather be in the running for a national championship each year, and at least be in the conversation, than have a team with mediocre talent that is going to be on campus for four years, and never have a shot at getting to a Final Four.
So BBN, please calm down. I truly believe this team will be in the hunt in March when all is said and done.
Now, there may be a few more bumps along the road before we get to the tournament, but rest assured teams like Duke, Gonzaga, Kansas, etc. are not going to be pumping their fists when they know they are getting ready to walk out on the court to face the Wildcats.
Kentucky is going to get better — make that much better — before the season comes to an end.
Simply, March is a ways away, and we’re going to be just fine BBN. Just wait and see. So for now, please relax and enjoy the journey.