Swings for Soldiers “incredible” event for honoree Kevin Blanchard

Kevin Blanchard and Myra Kahn (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Kevin Blanchard and Myra Kahn (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

LEXINGTON — Former Marine Corporal Kevin Blanchard admits he didn’t know much about Jacob Tamme a few months ago other than he was a National Football League player.

That has dramatically changed.

“We know plenty about him now,” said Blanchard Monday during the Swings for Soldiers Classic at the University Club, a golf scramble to raise funds for Homes For Our Troops.

Blanchard and his fiancee, Myra Kahn, will be getting a new home in Crozet, Va., in part due to proceeds from this event. He said it would all be on one floor and have wider hallways that he needs.

Florida receiver Clevan Thomas commits to UK

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky’s weekend recruiting efforts paid off when receiver Clevan Thomas of Hollywood, Fla., committed to UK today. The first to report his commitment was 247Sports.com.

The 5-11, 190-pound Thomas could also potentially play defensive back in college and several who saw him as Sunday’s camp talk about both his physical play and competitive nature.

He helped Flanagan High School win a state title last season when he led the team in touchdown catches. He’s the fourth wide receiver commitment in UK’s 2017 recruiting class.

He picked Kentucky over Syracuse and Vanderbilt, but still plans an official visit to Vandy.

UK Faces Challenging Nonconference Schedule in 2016-17

-1LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team plays one of the premier nonconference schedules in the country on an annual basis, but the Wildcats’ 2016-17 slate appears to have taken a typically difficult schedule of games and cranked it up another notch.

UK’s 13-game nonconference schedule, which was released Monday, features eight teams that made it to a postseason tournament in 2015-16, five teams who finished the year with a top 50 RPI ranking and a number of battles with college basketball’s blueblood programs. Three of KenPom’s top five teams from last season (North Carolina, Kansas and Michigan State) are among the heavyweights Kentucky will face in 2016-17.

Barker believes tight ends will be productive part of UK offense

Drew Barker (Vicky Graff Photo)

Drew Barker (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During a recent conversation with Drew Barker,  I asked him if he remembered Jacob Tamme. He laughed and told me he certainly did.

That’s when I asked the UK sophomore quarterback if he thought this might be the year the tight end actually becomes part of the UK offense again — and he quickly said sophomore C.J. Conrad should make that happen.

“I think he will have a great year. He’s a huge target and has got bigger, stronger and faster,” Barker said. “I think he can be great.

Book on 1978 championship team should be fun read

Jack Givens and his 1978 national championship teammates will soon be featured in a book by Doug Brunk that I know I'll want.

Jack Givens and his 1978 national championship teammates will soon be featured in a book by Doug Brunk that I know I’ll want.

By LARRY VAUGHT

We are only two years away from the 40th anniversary of Kentucky’s 1978 national championship team. Trust me, that’s hard for me to fathom because I was not much older than some of the players on that team when the Wildcats won that year.

Still, I have to admit I am already excited about a book about that 1977-78 team that former UK All-American Jack Givens told me about that is being written by Doug Brunk, a Wilmore native who now lives in California.

Oscar Combs takes on Dan Dakich

Oscar Combs

Oscar Combs

By LARRY VAUGHT

Anyone who follows my blog or Twitter knows that I am no fan of Dan Dakich, the former Indiana player and college coach who now is an ESPN college basketball analyst.

But his true passion in life is making fun of UK basketball and trying to bully those who disagree with him.

Saturday night he was at it again on Twitter on took on Oscar Combs, the Cats’ Pause founder and man who knows as much about UK basketball as anyone alive.

Disappointed Mickelson still “happy” for Stenson

Vaught’s note: I thought you might enjoy what Phil Mickelson had to say after shooting a 6-under par 65 in Sunday’s final round of The Open Championship in Troon, Scotland, and still finishing three shots behind Henrick Stenson, who shot a 65.

Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland

MIKE WOODCOCK: Very pleased to welcome Phil Mickelson, the runner-up in the 145th Open to the interview room.

Phil, you played tremendously well all week and you had a great battle today with Henrik Stenson. Can you share your thoughts on what was a tremendous display of golf.

J.B. Holmes has “fun” finishing third in Open Championship

Former University of Kentucky golfer J.B. Holmes had another 2-under par 69 at The Open Championship at Royal Troon in Scotland Sunday to finish 6-under par for the tournament and in third place. Of course, that was 14 shots behind winner Henrik Stenson and 11 behind Phil Mickelson.

That’s one reason NBC-TV showed so little of Mickelson during the final round — but it still was no excuse for basically just ignoring him.

Here’s what Holmes said during his post-round press conference Sunday.

Jack Givens: Opposing coaches thankful for UK’s one and dones

Jack Givens talks to UK fan Mike Johnson at Saturday's Ohio UK Convention. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Jack Givens talks to UK fan Mike Johnson at Saturday’s Ohio UK Convention. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

FRANKLIN, Ohio — College coaches don’t tell the truth about John Calipari.

No kidding. That’s what former Kentucky All-American Jack Givens said Saturday at the Ohio UK Convention here when talking about the one-and-done strategy that has worked for Calipari at UK.

“I am fan and I like having these guys here for more than a year. There’s nothing good about it,” said Givens. “Think of some the players here and think of some that could have played together if they had stayed for more than a year.”

UK non-conference schedule out Monday, no increase in basketball ticket prices or donations

By LARRY VAUGHT

FRANKLIN, Ohio — University of Kentucky deputy athletics director DeWayne Peevy said UK’s non-conference basketball schedule will be officially released Monday and will not contain many surprises.

Peevy did tell those at the Ohio UK Convention here Saturday that Kentucky would open the season against a team that played in the NCAA Tournament last year. Games with Kansas, Michigan State, Hofstra, Arizona State, North Carolina and Louisville have already been announced.