C.J. Conrad doesn’t mind complicated role

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

C.J. Conrad (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Sophomore tight end C.J. Conrad knows that the more versatile his role becomes, the more complicated it also becomes.

“I am all over the place and used in a lot of different ways in this offense,” Conrad said. “We don’t have to sub out, which is nice. I just move myself around but that makes it take a little longer to learn. I have been in my playbook a lot.”

New offensive coordinator Eddie Gran often uses three tight ends together on the field. That led to a lot of spring practice reps that helped Conrad.

Darin Hinshaw: “We have the tools, we have the playmakers.”

By LARRY VAUGHT

Does Kentucky have the playmakers to produce a productive offense like what coaches Eddie Gran and Darin Hinshaw had the last three years at Cincinnati?

If Hinshaw, the quarterbacks coach, is right, the answer is YES.

“Coach Gran and I put the system in at Cincinnati and the playmakers were not there. We had to develop them. Guys who had not caught passes or even played had to be playmakers,” Hinshaw said. “We came here and I see the talent level of guys who if they trust us and do what we tell them to do have a chance to be huge players.

Rookie of Year Towns surprised he didn’t even do better

Karl-Anthony Towns signed autographs at AllSports in Fayette Mall Wednesday. (Matt DiLorenzo Photo)

Karl-Anthony Towns signed autographs at AllSports in Fayette Mall Wednesday. (Matt DiLorenzo Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Despite his enormous talent, Karl-Anthony Towns has never been one to take success for granted. He didn’t in high school and certainly did not during his one year at UK.

That’s why he was not stunned with his rookie season in the NBA with Minnesota that led to him being named Rookie of the Year.

Garrett Johnson got the “Juice” at Kentucky

Garrett Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

Garrett Johnson (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Did you ever wonder how Kentucky receiver Garrett “Juice” Johnson got his nickname?

I did, so I finally asked the player many think could be UK’s most consistent receiver this season.

“In between high school and college, I got it. After my senior season, I was coming up here and that’s how it started,” Johnson said. “I really can’t remember how it started, but once it did, it just took off. I  love Juice Johnson.”

Even his mother likes the nickname.

Jeremy Jarmon continues to believe in UK brand

By LARRY VAUGHT

What advantages does the University of Kentucky provide for athletes after their eligibility ends

“The University of Kentucky will embrace its student-athletes that are devoted to excellence. Choose a university that has an administrator, coaches, and support personnel that you trust and genuinely want the best for you,” said former UK football player Jeremy Jarmon.

“I chose UK because I believed in the UK brand that President Lee Todd, AD Mitch Barnhart, and head coach Rich Brooks represented. I still receive advice and encouragement from this group. Less than a month after retiring from football, I was offered a position on the football staff. This position gave me a chance to give back to the student athletes, while being mentored during this transition by the staff and administration.”

Die-hard UK fan uses Pro Camp to show off Cats to 9-year-old player

April Peal and Brooklyn got to pose with John Calipari at his Pro Camp.

April Peal and Brooklyn got to pose with John Calipari at his Pro Camp.

By LARRY VAUGHT

Knowing Nashville’s April Peal the way I do, it was no surprise to me that she managed not only to get her 9-year-old cousin’s daughter to the John Calipari Pro Camp, but she also managed to get pictures of both of them with UK coach John Calipari as well as photos with every other UK player at the camp.

Peal is an emergency room doctor, but she also sets her vacation schedule around the UK basketball schedule. She already has trips planned to watch the Wildcats in the Bahamas and Las Vegas this season.

Scott Daniel will talk about scary 1984 plane crash on WPBK-FM Thursday

Scott Daniel and his son, Kash (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Scott Daniel and his son, Kash (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Today Scott Daniel is probably best known as being the father of Kentucky freshman linebacker Kash Daniel.

However, Scott Daniel has his own special story and will share that and more with Tim Estes and myself on WPBK (102.9 FM) Thursday from 7:30-8 a.m.

On Dec. 16, 1984, Daniel was on a plane with his East Tennessee State basketball teammates, media members and some fans flying to Oxford, Miss., from Birmingham.

However, the plane eventually had to make a crash landing. Somehow, all 33 people on board survived.

Towns: Media helps make UK special for fans

By LARRY VAUGHT

He might have only been at Kentucky for one season, but Karl-Anthony Towns is a true Kentuckian — and even likes the Kentucky media.

“This is a place that’s very special to me in my heart. It’s always been special to my family as well because of you guys,” Towns said Thursday during a break at the John Calipari Pro Camp.

What a star UK player who embraces the media and isn’t afraid to say so?

UK has a proven go-to receiver — assistant coach Lamar Thomas

Lamar Thomas. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

Lamar Thomas. (Larry Vaught/Verizon Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky needs a go-to receiver to help elevate the play of quarterback Drew Barker this season. Give him a Craig Yeast, Derek Abney, Randall Cobb, Jacob Tamme or Keenan Burton and see how good it could make him look.

Kentucky has a bevvy of receivers that Barker and coach Mark Stoops hope can be a go-to guy this season. Of course, UK does have a proven go-to receiver — receivers coach Lamar Thomas. The former University of Miami and NFL receiver joined the UK staff after the 2015 season.

Alex Poythress on Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo, Isaac Humphries

Malik Monk, left (Vicky Graff Photo)

Malik Monk, left (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

During his career at Kentucky, Alex Poythress had a lot of talented teammates. That’s why what he said about UK freshman Malik Monk seems significant.

Poythress was back at UK for the John Calipari Pro Camp and while he was in Lexington he had a chance to play against Calipari’s next team.

“Malik (Monk) stood out to me. He’s real athletic and real gifted offensively. Stuff like that,” Poythress said.

What about Bam Adebayo, perhaps the most talked about freshman?