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October 25th, 2021

The Definitive Lexington Donut Rankings

Posted by Tyler Bentley

With all due respect to Disney World, I think donut shops are the happiest place on earth. The lines are heck of a lot shorter, and it will only cost you a few dollars.  Not to mention, the aroma of a donut shop is what I imagine it will smell like in Heaven. Nothing gets me salivating quite like the smell of donuts frying, fresh icing, and a hint of some freshly brewed coffee in the air. You don’t even have to be in the donut shop to feel the excitement either.  Is there anything better than getting to work and finding that one of your amazing colleagues has left a couple boxes of donuts in the breakroom?  A box of donuts can instantly change your outlook for the day. It is one of the few foods that are loved universally, and if you don’t like donuts, I’m not sure we can be friends.

As a self-proclaimed donut connoisseur, I have been an active member of the Lexington donut scene for quite some time now.  It has become an almost every weekend tradition for our family to wake up on Saturday and head out for a box of deep-fried goodness. Sometimes before we even get out of our pajamas. As a frequent visitor to every Lexington location over the years, I decided to once and for all settle the argument of best donut in Lexington. 

Over the course of about 2 months, I visited a different Lexington donut shop every weekend (these are the sacrifices I am willing to make as a writer for Lex, Buds, & Pick ‘n Roll. Someone had to do it). At each stop I got an original glazed and some sort of specialty donut.  The glazed serves as a basis for comparison, as this is something every shop has. I then gave each donut a score on a scale of 1-10, and noted the pros and the cons of my experience there.  Finally, I created categories, as there may be different things that you are looking for out of your donut experience. For example, where should you go if you are in a hurry and need to be in and out, or if you’re heading to tailgate at Kroger Field…

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August 30th, 2021

Kentucky Football Season Preview and bold predictions

Posted by Tyler Bentley

Ladies and gentlemen, it is just about that time….FOOTBALL TIME IN THE BLUUUUUEEEEEEGRAASSSSSS!  There is quite a buzz in Lexington this year, and it’s not just coming from the fraternity and sorority houses on campus.  At SEC Media Days the Cats were predicted to finish 3rd in the SEC East Division (behind Georgia and Florida) and even received some first and second place votes.  After years of getting less respect than Rodney Dangerfield, it seems that at least folks in the SEC are finally beginning to take notice that there is some real football being played in Lexington.  

With opening kickoff just a few days away, we decided to open up the old Lex Buds mailbag to see what you, the fans, want to know most about the upcoming season.  I picked 4 questions, that will in turn, lead to 4 bold predictions for the upcoming season.

Question #1:  “How much of a difference do you think Liam Coen makes on offense and will Mark Stoops let him have control of the reigns?” – Edward, Pikeville

After 5 years of fan frustration at the conservative play-calling from Eddie Gran, preceded by fan frustration at the conservative play-calling from Shannon Dawson, preceded by fan frustration at the (shockingly) conservative play-calling from Neal Brown, a breath of fresh air at the offensive coordinator position was much needed.  

Liam Coen comes to Kentucky from the LA Rams, where he served as the Assistant Quarterbacks coach.  An optimist might see the NFL experience and the pro-style offense to be exactly what Kentucky needs.  A pessimist might see that Rams QB Jared Goff threw for the fewest number of yards, and fewest TD’s in 3 years with Coen as his position coach. Another refrain from the pessimists is that it doesn’t matter who Mark Stoops hires because he isn’t going to allow anyone to come in and take away his ground and pound philosophy…

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July 12th, 2021

What if past UK players could have signed endorsement deals?

Posted by Tyler Bentley

June 24, 2021 may go down as one of the most pivotal days in the storied history of the University of Kentucky basketball program.  There were no games won, or banners raised, but rather it was an executive order issued by Governor Andy Beshear that will go down as a watershed moment in UK Athletics.  Thanks to Beshear, college athletes in the state will be able to make money from their name, image, and likeness.

For many who support NIL, this has been a long time coming.  While it is great news for today’s student-athletes, it is unfortunate for all of the past Kentucky players who never had the opportunity to benefit from endorsement deals during their time in Lexington.  Which got us here at Lex, Buds, & Pick ‘n Roll thinking, what if NIL had always been in existence?  What would have been some of the ideal business partnerships between companies and players?  After careful consideration, here are the top advertisements and slogans we would have liked to have seen for past UK basketball players:

Player:  Jamaal Magloire

Spokesperson for:  Central Kentucky Chiropractic

Slogan:  “Ask for the Wojo!”

Is your back giving you pain?  Do you have a constant crick in your neck?  Are you an annoying 5’11’’ point guard from Duke who was criminally given the 1998 Defensive Player of the Year award?  If so, visit Dr. Billy Packer and ask for “the Wojo”.  Dr. Packer’s office will bend over backwards to help meet your needs.  And if anyone knows about manipulating someone’s spine to get it in the right position, it’s Jamaal Magloire...

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May 3rd, 2021

THE TOURNAMENT: A BRACKET OF UK PLAYERS UNDER JOHN CALIPARI

Posted by Tyler Bentley

Now that the NCAA Tournament is over, I am having bracket withdrawal.  Even without Kentucky in the 2021 field, I still got an emotional high from filling out a bracket, following the rankings in my office pool, and betting on individual games (of course I send all my money to foreign countries since Kentucky’s legislature is still acting like we live in the 1800s).  So let’s keep the bracket hype going!  With the season now officially over, I’ve seeded the top 68 players of the John Calipari era from 2010-2021, and put them into a bracket.  

Download Or Print Full Bracket Template Here (PDF)

Before you completely rip apart my rankings, I would like to say this was a very difficult process.  How do you compare steady 4-year players like Darius Miller and Alex Poythress to good but not great one-and-done’s like Archie Goodwin and Tyler Herro?  Do you give a player more credit for being a role player on great team like Devon Booker, or being the best player on a bad team like Davion Mintz?  I will grant you, this is completely subjective to the things I valued more.  

I present to you the 68 players and their respective seed for The Tournament. The seeds are in no particular order, meaning I did not rank all the players 1-68.  In my mind the 4 best players of the Calipari era were John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and Tyler Ulis.  So they were all given 1 seeds, but were placed in random order…

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April 18th, 2021

HOW DO KENTUCKY’S INCOMING FRESHMEN COMPARE TO PLAYERS WITH THE SAME RANKING IN PREVIOUS YEARS?

Posted by Tyler Bentley

John Calipari’s 2021 recruiting class may end up being the worst ranked class of his tenure at Kentucky.  From 2009-2020, Kentucky had the honor of having the #1 or #2 ranked class every single year.  However, as it currently stands, the Cats would finish with the FIFTH best class for the upcoming season; finding themselves behind Michigan, Florida State, Duke, and Villanova.  While there is still time for this to change, it is unlikely that even another signing from this class would move them up more than a spot or two. 

The current class includes 3 signees (247Sports composite ranking):  Damion Collins (#11), Bryce Hopkins (#27), and Nolan Hickman (#31).  We decided to take a look at every recruiting class for the past 12 years, to see how other players turned out that were ranked in the same position as these 3.  In other words, how did the players ranked #11, #27, and #31 each year do at their respective colleges.  What we found was pretty interesting, and also provides some serious optimism about how good these guys could be. 

Below we break down the good, the mediocre, and the ugly, for a best-case/worst-case scenario of how each of this year’s recruits could be looked upon after their time at Kentucky is done.  Please note, each comparison is only based upon what a player did in college and with their originally committed school.  If a player transferred for example, I viewed that as a negative, because well, we hope all of these guys have success while they are here at Kentucky and not at say, UCLA, where they set all-time scoring records in the NCAA Tournament and lead their team… 

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March 10th, 2021

The 10 Best SEC Tourament games under John Calipari

Posted by Tyler Bentley

Never before has there been so much at stake in the SEC Tournament as there will be for this year’s Kentucky Wildcats.  What started as a team with a pre-season top 10 ranking and potential Final Four upside, has now finished as a team of desperation.  The team and all of Big Blue Nation are clinging to one final chance at making the NCAA Tournament, hoping that this team can do what it has failed to do during the entire regular season:  win 4 consecutive games.

As we all spend the next few days analyzing the SEC Tournament bracket and talking ourselves into how we can see this team winning the whole thing, let’s take a stroll down memory lane at the 10 best SEC Tournament games of the John Calipari era.  We all need a little dose of optimism and to remember the glorious times of tournaments past.  

 #10:  March 15, 2015:  34-0

Kentucky finished off its perfect regular season with a dominating performance in the 2015 SEC championship game.  Cruising to a 78-63 victory over Arkansas.  It was their 34th straight victory, and after the game the players decided to send the student managers out to cut down the nets because they were waiting to cut down the ones at the Final Four (*insert crying emoji*).  Check out the highlights and tell me how in the world this team ever lost a game…

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January 28th, 2021

THE ROUND-ROBIN OF SHAME: BILLY CLYDE’S 2009 NIT TEAM VS. JOHN CALIPARI’S 2013 AND (SOON TO BE) 2021 NIT TEAMS

Posted by Tyler Bentley

You don’t have to be a Basketball Benny to know bad basketball when you see it.  It has become abundantly clear to anyone who was watched this year’s Kentucky basketball team, that they just aren’t very good.  They can’t shoot.  They make too many turnovers.  They take terrible shots.  They have a low basketball IQ.  And they can’t score, which is usually imperative to winning a basketball game.  But other than that, they have looked great!

As lifelong members of the BBN, we have all seen some great teams over the course of our lifetimes.  What we haven’t seen much of are teams like this 2021 squad, that just flat-out stink.  With the possibility of a 3rd trip to the NIT barreling towards us like a freight train, I decided to host a make-believe round-robin to determine if this is in fact the worst time of the last 30 years.

The competition?  The other 2 NIT teams of 2009 and 2013.  If you are like me and tried to block the memories of those teams from your brain or if you were ever flashy-thinged by Tommy Lee Jones, here is a rundown of the staring 5, bench players, and KenPom rankings for each team…

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December 20th, 2020

IGNORING KENTUCKY: HOW JOHN CALIPARI’S REFUSAL TO USE IN-STATE TALENT IS HURTING THE PROGRAM AND Alienating THE FANBASE

Posted by Tyler Bentley

 “Hey, Coach, is Richie gonna play tonight?”  For years this was the number one question on every single Kentucky basketball call-in show in the late 80s.  For those of you too young to remember, “Richie” is former Kentucky Wildcat basketball player Richie Farmer, and he may be the most beloved player to ever wear the Blue and White to only average 7.6 points per game. 

Why the popularity for a kid with such a meager scoring average?  Well, a lot of it had to do with the fact that Richie grew up in Manchester, Kentucky, deep in the heart of the mountains of eastern Kentucky, where he led tiny Clay County High School to the 1987 Kentucky State Basketball Championship.  A game in which they defeated Louisville Ballard who happened to have a future NBA superstar named Allan Houston. 

By the time Richie finished his senior season in another clash with Ballard in the state finals (this time Clay Co. lost but Farmer set a title game record with 51 points), tens of thousands of Kentuckians had seen him play, and fallen in love with his game.  They couldn’t wait to see him suit up for their beloved Wildcats in Lexington and show the world how a Kentucky boy can ball.

Flash forward to 2020, where before the season started the average Kentucky fan had never seen a single minute of John Calipari’s incoming freshman class play basketball, or even know what they look like.  I’m not sure if before the season started I could tell Terrence Clarke from Sir Basil Clarke (for you history nerds he was an English war correspondent during WWI)…

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December 6th, 2020

MIXED EMOTIONS: HOW DO WE EVALUATE THE 2020 KENTUCKY FOOTBALL SEASON?

Posted by Tyler Bentley

Just like all of 2020, this Kentucky football season has been a rollercoaster of emotions.  We’ve experienced the good (hammering archrival Tennessee), the bad (an overtime loss to Ole Miss), the ugly (blowout losses to Alabama and Florida), and the devastating (the passing of John Schlarman and illness of Chris Oats).  

Depending on the week, I have finished watching a Kentucky football game feeling depressed, angry, optimistic, flabbergasted, overjoyed, confused, and disheartened.  For every 1 step forward, it seemed there were always 2 steps back.  So, with all of these mixed emotions we have experienced as a fanbase this season, the question remains:  How do we remember this season overall? 

Should we be angry and say that a 4-6 record is unacceptable, or accept it because this was the most difficult schedule we’ve ever faced?  Should we be disappointed that the team seemed to absolutely quit during blowout losses, or accept it because these are kids trying to play through a pandemic and the loss of one of their coaches?  Should we be extremely critical of the coaching staff and demand that changes be made, or accept that they have never been through anything like this either?  I honestly don’t know, and have a feeling that many in the BBN don’t know either. So let’s have a little therapy session together.  Pull up a seat, grab a glass of bourbon, and let’s talk these issues out. 

Should we be angry and say that a 4-6 record is unacceptable?  If there is one emotion I think we can all agree upon about this season, it’s disappointment.  When the schedule was released, there was legitimate optimism for an 8-2 season, but most predictions were somewhere around 7-3 or 6-4, and a sense that anything under 5 wins would be disappointing.  Personally, I thought 5 wins was a worst-case scenario for this team.  You have to go all the way back to 2015 (which seems like an eternity ago right now), to find the last time Kentucky didn’t have a winning record (Stoops finished 5-7 that year).  After seeing the last 4 seasons end with 7, 7, 10, and 8 wins respectively, I felt as a program that we were beyond sub .500 seasons and certainly feel it is unacceptable for a team with as much talent as this one to not have a winning record…

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October 22nd, 2020

Lexbuds 1st Annual Lexington Burger Week “Best Burger” Contest

Posted by Brandon Boyd

Do you ever ask yourself “Why do I even get up in the morning?” If so, first go see a therapist. Second, think about all the good things there are to look forward to every year. Family, traveling, the holidays, and for some, like myself, Lexington Burger Week.

Lexington Burger week gives local and chain restaurants in the Lexington area the opportunity to showcase their burgerific talents and show what they’re made of. For $6 each you can sample the best burgers Lexington, KY has to offer. That’s exactly what I did.

My goal was to find the absolute best burger in the city. To accomplish this I decided to visit the Lexington Burger Week Website (www.lexingtonburgerweek.com), find the best looking burgers on the page, and try 10 of them within the span of 5 days. Pretty simple, right? I took detailed notes on each burger and analyzed every aspect of these beefy beauties. After much deliberation and analysis, I have what I believe to be the definitive rankings for burgers during Lexington Burger Week.

So, without further ado, here are my rankings from worst to best in the ten burgers I sampled…

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August 27th, 2020

Lexbuds Exclusive Podcast Interview:

Corey Lewandowski Uncensored

The Controversial And Outspoken Former Manager Of President Trump’s 2016 Presidential Campaign has a lot to say – and we were there to catch it all. The following interview is available as it was recorded – uncensored and unedited.

Recorded: August 20th, 2020

August 8th, 2020

Top 5 Differences Between A Teaching Job & Office Job

Posted by Tyler Bentley

Did you ever think about becoming a teacher?  Were you inspired by Michelle Pfeifer in Dangerous Minds or Hilary Swank in Freedom Writers and thought you too could make a difference in the lives of kids who others had given up on?  Or maybe you thought it looked like fun to be like Jack Black in School of Rock and be the funny, crazy, teacher who does all kinds of hands on projects with students. Or perhaps it just sounds awesome to have a couple months off in the summer.  Well friends, I lived the life of a teacher for 8 years, and 5 years ago I made the decision to quit teaching and enter the business world. During this time, I’ve observed a lot of differences between teaching in a classroom vs. working in an office.  With all of the recent discussion of how schools should proceed with educating our children during a pandemic, I thought that for my latest article on Lex, Buds, & Pick ‘n Roll, that I would share these differences with you.

Difference #1:  Going to the Bathroom

After years of “holding it” for hours at a time until my planning period, I’m pretty sure I developed the bladder of a camel.  And for those instances when you just had to go, good luck finding someone who can come watch your kids for 30 seconds while you sprint down the hallway.  On the first day in my office job, I found it strange that people would just get up from their desk whenever they wanted.  “You mean people can just go to the bathroom, WHENEVER THEY WANT!  I don’t have to try to call a co-worker to come watch my desk while I’m gone?” It literally took me months to get used to the strangeness of coming and going from my desk anytime I needed to…

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July 9th, 2020

Lexbuds Podcast Clip – Tyler Rants About UK Fans Telling Him To “Sit Down” At Games

June 24, 2020

Lexbuds Pick Their UK Basketball Presidential Cabinet

 

Anthony Davis – Secretary of Defense?

On Episode 11 of The Lex, Buds, & Pick ‘n Roll podcast, co-hosts Brandon and Tyler each take their shot at building the perfect Presidential Cabinet, comprised entirely of UK basketball players from the past 30 years

Listen to episode 11 now on  AnchorApple SpotifyGoogle or visit our podcast page.

Lexbuds UK Basketball Presidential Cabinet Picks

President of the United States:  Before we can build a cabinet, you must first have a President. Which former UK player has the leadership, charisma, and intelligence to be the leader of the free world?

Brandon’s PickAnthony Epps.  The starting point guard on 2 of the greatest Kentucky teams in 96 and 97, Anthony Epps is often forgotten. However, there is no doubting his leadership skills and toughness to make the correct decision.  All of which are important traits for a president.

Tyler’s PickKarl-Anthony Towns.  If you want someone who cares about people, and will kill his political opponents with kindness, look no further than KAT.  Anyone who has ever met Karl, will tell you that he is one of the nicest people you will ever find.  President Towns would make every decision with empathy to those that would be affected.

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Lexbuds Exclusive! An in-depth podcast interview with coach Billy Gillispie

Don’t miss our exclusive 30 minute podcast interview with former UK Men’s Basketball Coach and current Tarleton State Mens Basketball Coach, Billy Gillispie.  Would Coach Gillispie return to Rupp Arena for a game? What was it like to witness Jodie Meeks’ school-record 54 point game?  Who is the one player that Coach Gillispie could not defend? What were his feelings on being the coach at UK?  You’ll want to stay until the very end for this candid and revealing interview with Coach Gillispie.

Click here to listen now on Anchor.fm or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or find us on your favorite podcast provider.

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