Denyse and Tyrone Maxey were disappointed when their son, Tyrese, could not complete his freshman season at Kentucky due to COVID-19. However, their disappointment was nothing compared to his.
“He was the one who put in the work. He was devastated with the way the season ended,” Denyse Maxey said. “I don’t know how to put into words that he was not able to fulfill that part of his dream (at Kentucky). He was so disappointed (over not playing in the SEC or NCAA Tournaments).”
He’s been back in Texas since UK called off campus classes and is on the verge now of finishing his second semester classes.
“He does pretty good academically. We do not have to necessarily really get on him about that,” she said. “He has done a pretty good job and he can contact his academic advisor if he has any issues. He will get his word done.
“It’s harder for me to keep my 13-year-old (daughter) on schedule. She’s only an eighth-grader. College age kids get it and how to manage time and academics better.
Plus, he graduated high school in the top five percent of his class.”
Maxey won’t be back at UK as he has put his name into the NBA draft. He’s projected as a consensus first-round draft pick with some mock drafts having him going into the lottery. However, he’s already made one promise to his parents.
“He has also promised us he will come back to UK and finish his degree. He knows that’s what we want him to do and he will do that,” Denyse Maxey said.
Having Tyrese Maxey back at home since late March has been a bit different for his parents.
“He is driving me crazy at times,” his mother said. “I told KP (UK assistant coach Kenny Payne) and others that they owed us money. We anticipated him being there (UK) and us not feeding him,” Denyse Maxey said. “I had let my Sam’s (Club) card go. I had to renew that membership.
“He eats breakfast and then before long is back eating again. He needs all kind of different snacks, dinner, midnight meals. It’s like he never stops eating.”
Even though the Los Angeles Raiders indicated they planned to use recent third-round draft pick Lynn Bowden at running back initially, NFL Network analyst Steve Smith Sr. says Bowden will have the biggest impact of any receiver in what most consider the best wide receiver class in years.
“What I really love about him, when he was drafted, it said running back. He played quarterback, he played wide receiver, he played running back, plays punt return, Mr. Everything,” Smith said on NFL Total Access.
Smith should know. He played 16 years with the Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens and was a five-time pro bowler, two-time First Team All-Pro, and NFL Comeback Player of the Year after leading the league in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2005.
Smith compares Bowden to a former Indiana quarterback who had a terrific NFL career.
”He reminds me of a guy that was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and threw a touchdown pass to Hines Ward in the Super Bowl in 2005 which is Antwaan Randle El,” Smith said. “I love Lynn Bowden Jr. because he’s going to do everything and you know Jon Gruden is going to get in his plays and design a lot of creative things for this young man.”
After catching 30 passes for 348 yards and five scores in UK’s first five games in 2019, Bowden moved to quarterback and led the nation in yards per carry (7.9). He also led the SEC in rushing yards (1,468) and had 13 touchdowns.
Only former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, a Heisman Trophy winner, had more rushing yards at quarterback in a SEC season than Bowden. The UK star also broke the SEC single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback in the regular season finale against Louisville with 284 yards and four touchdowns. He ran for 233 yards — the most-ever by a quarterback in a bowl game — against Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.
Kentucky coach Mark Stoops likes the idea of Bowden playing for Gruden’s Raiders.
“I think the fan base will be energized by him, and I think he will feed off that. I know Coach (Gruden), and I think the way he can relate to Lynn and get things out of him, and continue to help Lynn grow, I think that’s really important. I think it’s a really good fit, and hopefully things will work out for both sides,” Stoops said.
Just how interested is 6-11 Frank Anselem in being part of Kentucky’s 2020 recruiting class?
“It is Kentucky,” said Anselem. “Anybody would have 100 percent interest in Kentucky. You can’t mess around with them. It’s a great school with great history.”
The athletic Anselem, a onetime LSU commit, is a top 100 player in the 2020 class after reclassifying from the 2021 class. He spent last season in California playing for Prolific Prep against a difficult national schedule and has emerged as priority for coach John Calipari to help fill a void on next season’s roster.
Anselem talked to Kentucky coach John Calipari and Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus both last week again.
The potential perfect fit for Anselem at Kentucky comes because UK lost Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery to the NBA draft and needs a rim protector who can also guard multiple positions and run the court at the fast pace UK will probably play at next season. Anselem checks all those boxes.
“I talked to coach Calipari about the same thing,” Anselem said. “He said, ‘How often will a Kentucky team have nobody of my physical make up? But stuff happens and that is the situation we are in right now.’ He really likes how I fit with his system. If I sign there, the transition would go real smooth.”
Anselem played in Kentucky twice last season at the Marshall County Hoopfest and McCracken County Mustang Madness. He’s not been on Kentucky’s campus and with the COVID-19 will not be able to visit any time soon. He also won’t be able to have face-to-face meetings with any UK coach.
“Recruiting is harder definitely but all you can do is go by word of mouth since you can’t be at the physical place or meet with coaches,” Anselem said. “Not being in the town or seeing the facilities is not ideal but hopefully I can still make the right decision.”
Quote of the Week: “ You couldn’t ask for nothing better. If it wasn’t for me being the No. 1 pick, I wanted to go back to school just to win a national championship and get that atmosphere, excitement and how fun that was,” John Wall on his year at Kentucky during a podcast with NBA veterans Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.