Category Archives: Ron Hamblin

Breaking News!!!

Midwest News and Sports and Brendon Miller Photography have merged in to one media group. Midwest News and Sports will no longer concentrate on News. Our new media outlet, BLUEGRASS SPORTS NATION will concentrate on Kentucky sports from our youngest athletes through College and Pro Sports. We hope you will share our link with all your friends!! Keep checking back with us as we add content from all over the State.

College Basketball – UK Postseason Awards

Ulis, Murray Tabbed All-Americans by USA Today
CBS names Ulis its SEC Player of the Year, Calipari its Coach of the Year  

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Sophomore guard Tyler Ulis and freshman guard Jamal Murray, arguably the best backcourt duo in the country, have been recognized for their stellar regular seasons with All-America honors from USA Today Sports. Ulis has been named to the five-man First Team while Murray has been named to the Second Team. Continue reading College Basketball – UK Postseason Awards

College Basketball – UK Stunned by Auburn

UK's Skal Labissiere is the key to UK's NCAA Tournament run (Photo by Brendon Miller
UK’s Skal Labissiere is the key to UK’s NCAA Tournament run (Photo by Brendon Miller)

It’s hard to figure this years Kentucky Wildcat team out. They have huge wins over Duke, Arizona St. & Louisville and have dumbfounded defeats to LSU, Ohio State, UCLA and now Auburn, yes I said Auburn. UK blew a decent lead in the second half and allowed Auburn to steal a game. Officiating not withstanding, Kentucky should have never lost this game. Continue reading College Basketball – UK Stunned by Auburn

College Basketball – Early season blockbuster pits UK vs Duke

UK vs Duke tonight at Champions Classic
UK vs Duke tonight at Champions Classic

Duke is the reigning National Champions and UK has 4 Final Four appearances under Coach Cal. Although it is a matchup UK fans savor against the hated Blue Demons, it it too early to make this a do or die game or make the winner the team to beat this season. In fact, UK is still in the, “getting to know you”, phase of the season. They will, like all Calipari teams, get better as the season goes along. Continue reading College Basketball – Early season blockbuster pits UK vs Duke

Kentucky Sports Icon Passes away

Ira D. Combs recently passed away, He will be missed by everyone that came in to contact with him. (Photo by Ron Hamblin - Midwest News and Sports)
Ira D. Combs recently passed away, He will be missed by everyone that came in to contact with him. (Photo by Ron Hamblin – Midwest News and Sports)

Ira D. Combs, one of the most beloved people in the sports field Passed away Thursday March 19th, 2015 doing what he loved to do.Ira was on his way in to the Yum Center to get his media credentials when he collapsed and later died at a Louisville hospital. People across the state shared in the passing of Ira Combs as he was loved and respected throughout the state. Ira was a straight shooter and said what was on his mind. He did not sugar coat his articles nor did he have to make things up or sensationalize stories. He was one of the true “Old School” media people and those who had the chance to share time with Ira always walked away with a smile. On several occasions while sitting in U.K.’s media room, Ira would greet me and my brother Tim with, “there are them mountain boys.” A phrase  that gave us both a smile. We would share stories about High School basketball, behind the scenes stuff going on with the Wildcats and a lot of time just listening to Ira  tell stories from the good ole days. He will be missed by everyone who knew him.

UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart issued the following statement on the passing of legendary Kentucky sports figure Ira Combs:

“All of us at UK Athletics are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ira Combs. Ira, a fixture at UK Athletics events for decades, loved this state and its people as much as anyone. Ira’s dedication and hard work in covering high school and collegiate sports in Kentucky were obvious, but his kindness towards the people he came into contact with and worked with will be what we will remember him for the most. Our prayers and thoughts are with Ira and the Combs family.”

WYMT, a local news station that often carried Ira Combs released the following article:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) – Eastern Kentucky student-athletes have lost one of their greatest advocates.

Ira D. Combs, a longtime educator, coach, athletic director and sports commentator died suddenly after collapsing at the Yum Center Thursday, he was 61.

Combs was from Perry County. He is the brother of “Cats Pause” founder Oscar Combs and a fixture on press row.

He was a well known radio and television sports commentator and newspaper columnist.

After the news of Ira’s death, tributes began pouring in from journalists and sports fans across the state.

Former WYMT Sports Director Brian Milam said, “There was a thing he would always say as he ended his radio show or TV show. He would of he had you on as as guest he would say Brian we could talk to you forever. Its just kind of sad you will never hear that again and you will never hear his voice again, live and in person. He loved Eastern Kentucky. He loved the mountains and it’s athletics and the kids and the coaches and what not. He was just outspoken about how he felt about a lot of things. He would not shy away about being somewhat controversial at times. This is a tough day”. Combs was walking into the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville to pick up his media credentials for the Midwest Regionals of the NCAA tournament when he collapsed. He later died at a Louisville hospital.

Many Kentucky sports enthusiasts spent the day sharing their memories of Combs and sending prayers and well-wishes to the Combs family through social media on Thursday.

Coach Cal tweeted the following statement:

Just got back from shootaround and heard about the passing of Ira Combs. Total shock and just so sad. Prayers to him and his family.

We here at Camen Media are saddened by this tragedy but know Ira was UK Blue, through and through, and know he is looking down on his beloved Wildcats. Ira will be missed.


Men's Basketball – UK wakes up in time to "Roll Tide" 70-48.

UK was cruising at halftime and was up 35-17. That was the third straight half they held an opponent to under 20 points. As the 2nd half began, UK was a little lethargic as they let Alabama get within 9 points at 39-30. UK would then out score the Tide 29-10 for their largest lead at 68-40. Alabama would finish the game on a 8-2 run but the game was already in hand. Alabama, as well as many across the Nation thought this may be a trap game for UK and a possible loss the the undefeated Wildcats. Kentucky had other things on their mind though as they steadily pushed open their lead. UK is now 17-0.

Kentucky at Alabama, Men’s Basketball – Coleman Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Jan. 17, 2015

FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 70, Alabama 48
*       Kentucky is 17-0, 4-0 in the Southeastern Conference. Alabama is 12-5, 2-2 in league play, and ended its 14-game home winning streak.
*       Kentucky leads the series 104-37, including 29-23 in Tuscaloosa. The teams have a rematch two weeks from today,Jan. 31 in Lexington.
*       Along with Virginia, Kentucky is one of two undefeated teams in NCAA Division I.
*       With 17 consecutive victories to begin the season, UK is off to the fourth-best start in program history.
*       Kentucky is 195-27 all-time when ranked No. 1 and has won 35 of the last 37 games as The Associated Press top-ranked team.
*       Calipari has led three teams to a No. 1 ranking (Massachusetts, Memphis, Kentucky) and has a 79-9 record as the top-ranked coach, including 38-4 at UK.
*       Kentucky returns to action Tuesday at home against Vanderbilt. Game time is 9 p.m. EST and it will be televised on the SEC Network.

Team Notes
*       Kentucky made 50 percent from the field, 23 of 46, the sixth time this season the Wildcats made at least half their shots.
*       UK made 8 of 17 (47.1 percent) on 3-point shots today. Over the last seven games, Kentucky has shot 44.2 percent on 3-pointers, 61 of 138.
*       For the second consecutive game, Kentucky shot a season-best at the free throw line. After making 80 percent of their foul shots vs. Missouri, the Cats canned 88.9 percent today (16 of 18).
*       UK has made at least 70 percent of its foul shots in five straight games.
*       In a mostly halfcourt game, UK averaged 1.25 points per possession.
*       Kentucky dominated bench points, 37-16.
*       Second year in a row that UK held Alabama to 48 points. UK won 55-48 last season in Lexington.
*       UK is 101-5 in the John Calipari Era when holding opponents to 63 or fewer points, including 13-0 this season.
*       UK is 51-0 in the John Calipari Era when holding opponents to 55 or fewer points, including 13 times this season.
*       No drama today in extending Kentucky’s streak of 917 consecutive games with a 3-pointer as Aaron Harrison connected a triple at the 16:24 mark of the first half.
First-Half Facts
*       Kentucky’s opening lineup featured Andrew Harrison, Aaron Harrison, Trey Lyles, Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein.
*       Kentucky big men passed the ball well early, getting all five of the team’s assists in the first 10 minutes.
*       Kentucky had three big runs on the first half:
*       Trailing 4-2, UK jumped ahead with a 10-0 run
*       With the score 13-9, the Wildcats put together an 8-0 run for a 21-9 advantage
*       At 21-14, a 10-0 spurt gave the Cats a 31-14 lead.
*       UK’s largest lead of the half was 18 on two occasions — at 33-15 and the halftime score of 35-17.
*       It is the 14th time this season that Kentucky held an opponent under 20 points in a half.

Second-Half Story
*       Kentucky started the second half with the same lineup that opened the game.
*       Switching to a man-to-man defense, Alabama scored the first seven points of the second half.
*       Alabama eventually got as close as 39-30 before the Wildcats put the game away with a 16-2 run to make it 55-32.
*       Kentucky’s largest lead was 28 points at 68-40 with 4:09 to play.

Player Notes
*       Devin Booker led the Wildcats with 13 points, including three of six on 3-point shots.  He has made 20 of 28 3-pointers (71.4 percent) over the last seven games.
*       Tyler Ulis tallied 11 points, including 3 of 4 on 3-pointers. It’s his third double-figure game of the season.
*       Dakari Johnson also had 11 points, his first double-figure game since notching 11 vs. Texas on Dec. 5.
*       Willie Cauley-Stein, Karl-Anthony Towns and Dakari Johnson shared game-high rebounding honors with five caroms each as the Wildcats won the rebounding, 30-21.
*       Dominique Hawkins sat out the game because of a medical procedure earlier this week.