2017-08-16 / Sports

UK coaches still high on Blake Bone

Vaught’s Views


PRE-SEASON PLAY — Above, Letcher County Central sophomore Hunter Campbell raced downfield during a scrimmage held August 11 against East Ridge High School. Junior Cody Austin (72) is among the other Cougar players taking part in the play. In photo at right, wide-open senior Blake Brashears prepared to catch a touchdown pass in the endzone. Letcher Central won the game easily and opens the 2017 season this Friday (August 18) at home against Knox Central. (Photos by Chris Anderson) PRE-SEASON PLAY — Above, Letcher County Central sophomore Hunter Campbell raced downfield during a scrimmage held August 11 against East Ridge High School. Junior Cody Austin (72) is among the other Cougar players taking part in the play. In photo at right, wide-open senior Blake Brashears prepared to catch a touchdown pass in the endzone. Letcher Central won the game easily and opens the 2017 season this Friday (August 18) at home against Knox Central. (Photos by Chris Anderson) He was a four-star recruit in high school and All-State selection in South Carolina not only in football, but also basketball for two seasons. He picked Kentucky over offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Louisville, South Carolina and Mississippi.

Many expected Blake Bone to give UK a needed playmaker. At 6-5, he was the big, athletic target quarterbacks like.

But in three seasons at UK, Bone has just 39 catches for 486 yards and three scores. Last year he was not a major part of the offense as he had just five catches for 82 yards, and 57 of the yards came in the loss to Tennessee.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops has talked about challenging Bone and laying out what he has to do. Bone has admitted he almost gave up football.

Receivers coach Lamar Thomas has spent a lot of time on and off the field with Bone. He’s not ready to write him off.

“He has had some come to Jesus meetings with myself and coach Stoops and we laid it on the line and he stepped up to the challenge and had a great spring practice,” Thomas said. “Really proud of him not just on the field, but off the field for the way he has handled himself.

“He seems like he wants it now. We will see exactly how he handles it. If I was a betting man, I would bet he would handle it great because I think he really wants it and understands what it is all about now.”


Receiver Blake Bone (right) is a “different dude” but says he has learned how to focus on what it will take for him to have a big senior year. Receiver Blake Bone (right) is a “different dude” but says he has learned how to focus on what it will take for him to have a big senior year. Thomas also seems to understand that Bone is a “little different dude” from others on the UK football team from his colorful hairstyles to a variety of tattoos.

“He’s a different guy but you have a lot of different guys in your (meeting) room and my job is to coach them all up and let them know you have their best interest at heart and that you care. That’s how they get better and I truly believe he has gotten better since the end of last season,” Thomas said.

After playing two seasons under Billy Gillispie at Kentucky, Patrick Patterson had the option to leave for the NBA or transfer to another school when John Calipari was hired. After meeting with Calipari, it was easy for him to stay and be part of Calipari’s first team that included John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe. Like Patterson, they are all still playing in the NBA.


Long-time WKYT-TV sports anchor Rob Bromley will have his own bobblehead doll given out by the Lexington Legends minor league baseball team August 29. (Lexington Legends Photo) Long-time WKYT-TV sports anchor Rob Bromley will have his own bobblehead doll given out by the Lexington Legends minor league baseball team August 29. (Lexington Legends Photo) “We came down to talk to him and it was all positive,” said Ty- wanna Patterson, Patrick’s mother. “Patrick did not want to leave when Gillispie left and sit out a year at another school. He came to Kentucky for Kentucky, not the coach because coaches come and go. He said at the time he loved Kentucky and if the coach left, he would stay. That’s what he did.”

Patterson has spent the last seven years in the NBA earning more than $20 million. He just recently signed a new contract with Oklahoma City. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last week and will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks.

In seven seasons, Patterson has played in 477 games and scored 3,746 points. He has also pulled off 2,231 rebounds, handed out 578 assists, blocked 363 shots and come up with 283 steals.

“We are so proud of him. I just can’t believe it has already been seven years,” Tywanna Patterson said. “I can’t believe we have come this far, but we have.”

Tywanna Patterson was not a Gillispie fan because of the way he treated players. However, she was all-in with Calipari.

“He treats everybody the same. He is very passionate with the way he relates to players,” she said. “He talks to them individually and still does that. You can talk to him as a parent, too. Some coaches are hands-off and want you to talk to the assistant coaches. Once they get your son they will not talk to you. Calipari is not like that.”

Calipari was there when Patterson was a first-round draft pick in 2010. He’s been at the draft every year to be with players being selected in the first round.

“I love how on NBA draft night he is there for every player. He embraces players,” Tywanna Patterson said. “He is not leaving Kentucky. It’s perfect for him and he’s perfect for Kentucky.”

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With all the football he watches on the practice field or in the film room, Kentucky secondary coach Steve Clinkscale doesn’t always want to watch football on TV when he gets home.

Often, though, his wife, Jasena, has a different idea.

“My wife watches more football at home than I do. I come home and I don’t want to watch football and she wants to watch football all day Saturday and Sunday. I just want to watch TV and relax. But not her. She loves watching football,” said Clinkscale.

She also obviously enjoys raising a family. The Clinkscales have four children ranging in age from 11 to 14. That includes 11-year-old twins Zion and Zivon.

“The twins are like a spitting image of myself,” Clinkscale said. “It is like three of us walking around there giving my wife a hard time. I have a 12-year-old, Elijah, and my oldest son, Isaiah, is 14. My wife is clearly an angel.

“ My oldest two play football and track and my youngest two are into baseball. They all love Kentucky. They love living here and love the players and enjoy being around them.”

Clinkscale, who came to UK from Cincinnati before last season, said it is almost like having triplets since his twins were born about a year after Elijah.

“The twins were born a little early, so they were in the hospital for 75 days. Their situation was a little different,” Clinkscale said. “Both my twin sons were born weighing less than two pounds. They did a great job at the hospital with them as well as my wife and myself. We never panicked. We had faith.”

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops certainly had faith in Clinkscale when he hired him and he’s turned out to not only be a solid coach, but a gifted recruiter. In UK’s 2018 recruiting class, he’s helped secure verbal commitments from lineman Marquan McCall, one of the top two players in Michigan; linebacker DeAndre Square, one of the Midwest’s top linebackers from Michigan; and Quinton Wilson, a bigtime offensive line prospect from Cincinnati.

Perhaps it is his diversified background. He played four years at Division II Ashland University. He played in the Snow Bowl, the premier Division II all-star game, in Fargo, N.D. He coached seven seasons at Ashland — where he was also the team’s academic liaison. He spent a year at Western Carolina and then moved on to Toledo where he coached Desmond Marrow, the nephew of UK recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow.

“I think all experiences help from Division II to 1-AA to the SEC. I think you learn how to work with players at all levels and different situations and different skill sets. It set a good foundation for me being a teacher,” he said.

What about playing in the Snow Bowl?

“I think I have a T-shirt and watch and memories of how high the snow was in North Dakota from that game,” he laughed before adding that “players here would have no idea what the Snow Bowl even was.”

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WKYT-TV (Channel 27) sports anchor Rob Bromley will be honored August 29th by the Lexington Legends with his own bobblehead night. He’s retiring September 29 after working more than 40 years at WKYT. He has been anchoring weekday sportscasts since 1980.

“It exceeded my expectations. I knew they were making them, but they are great. I think they made 900 of them,” Bromley said of the bobbleheads. “I just would never have thought of something like this happening.”

He’s worked with UK basketball coaches Joe Hall, Eddie Sutton, Rick Pitino, Tubby Smith, Billy Gillespie and John Calipari. On the football side, he’s worked with UK coaches Jerry Claiborne, Bill Curry, Hal Mumme, Guy Morriss, Rich Brooks, Joker Phillips and Mark Stoops.

“It should be a great night. He is a great guy. I started at Channel 18 (WLEX-TV) at about the same time he started at 27,” said Keith Elkins of the Lexington

Legends. “I first met him when we would shoot film for the stations at high school basketball games. I think that would’ve been early in 1977 when Rob first came to Lexington. Can’t believe it’s been that long ago, but it has.”

It has but during his 40 plus years in Lexington, Bromley has never changed. He’s a true professional and liked by everyone in the media.

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Many think receiver Clevan Thomas could be one of the breakout true freshman players at UK this season. However, if football does not eventually work out for him, he thinks being a FBI agent would appeal to him.

“It is something I relate to. My mom worked in corrections. I just have an interest in it. I don’t like myself at a desk job. I need some action,” he said. “Or I could be a lawyer because I can talk a lot. I will be either one. I am just taking the classes here to be either/or. But I could do either one. I know that.”

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USC transfer E.J. Price certainly impressed me when he made his appreciation for fellow UK offensive lineman Nick Haynes known after Jen Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader had a story about Haynes’s bout with diabetes.

“Truly an amazing leader and I am honored to be one of his teammates @ The_ NHaynes thank you for helping me get better each day big bro.”

That’s the message Price posted on Twitter and just another reason why I think he’s going to be such a good fit at UK.

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Quote of the Week: “You got to be dirty to play eastern Kentucky football. You can’t be soft. My high school coach always said it was a ‘redneck way of playing.’ I didn’t care who I hit, when I hit you or how I hit you, I was going to hit you. I don’t do anything illegal. But nothing says you can’t hit somebody and knock their teeth out,” Kentucky freshman offensive lineman Austin Dotson of Belfry.

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