Brandon Priddy writes for The Smoking Musket, West Virginia’s SB Nation site, but he’s also →
By Drew Franklin on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 5:00pm
From Kevin Richardson at the Baltimore Sun, the Harrison twins and West Virginia’s Daxter Miles have a little history on the basketball court. Long before Miles was running his mouth in Cleveland before tonight’s Sweet 16, he met the twins in a 2012 AAU game in Baltimore. Things got a little a chippy back then, and according to Richardson, the players had to be separated a few times.
You can see video of the game and the Harrison-Miles rivalry here.
Round 2 tips off later tonight.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 4:43pm
By Drew Franklin on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 4:00pm
Yesterday it was Daxter Miles’ guarantee that West Virginia would upset Kentucky tonight in the Sweet 16, and today it’s fellow Mountaineer freshman Jevon Carter talking trash to the Harrison twins on Twitter.
Carter tweeted, “Harrison twins really playing Nintendo? I knew them boys were cheap”
The tweet has since been deleted, but nothing dies on the internet:
He also retweeted this photo from a fan:
Carter is 2-for-14 from the field in the NCAA Tournament.
Please shut up. It’s for your own good.
**** UPDATE ****
This is Jevon Carter playing defense against Maryland last weekend:
I wonder if he will wear his skates again tonight.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 3:30pm
Slice knocked down the halfcourt shot to close today’s shootaround with a two-handed overhead toss off the glass. (We won’t call him out for standing in front of the line.)
Kentucky is undefeated this season when a player or coach hits a halfcourt shot during shootaround. That’s a fact. Look it up.
A video posted by Kentucky Men's Basketball (@kentuckymbb) on
By Drew Franklin on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 3:00pm
KentuckyOne Health Anywhere Care at home, at the office and everywhere. Anywhere Care is a 24/7 service that lets you see or talk live to a primary care provider by phone or video chat… even from the comfort of your own couch. Click here to learn more or get care now.”
We’re a little under seven hours away (ugh) from tipoff in Quaker Oats/Quicken Loans Arena and blue is slowly making its way into the city of Cleveland. I’ve been cooped up in my hotel room all day, but I did do a lap around the mall and casino a little earlier and saw plenty of blue moving into the hotels. However, I also saw plenty of Mountaineer blue and gold so it may not be the lopsided crowds we saw in Nashville and Louisville the past two weekends. The UK fans here in Cleveland need to bring the noise tonight.
— Seth Greenberg, one of the good guys in the media, made a good point today about the new Calipari-to-the-NBA rumors swirling around everywhere. Greenberg believes these “sources” are planting the rumors to affect recruiting at Kentucky. With several elite prospects out there and UK still looking to land three or four of them, the thought of Cal bolting this summer could sway some decisions. Bold strategy by, oh, let’s say Bill Self. (I have no idea if it’s Bill Self, or if it’s true. Good point by Greenberg, though.)
— Shane Battier picked West Virginia to win tonight. In related news, someone pays Shane Battier money to talk about college basketball.
— UK still sitting at -13 out in Las Vegas. Give me the Cats to cover, please. I think all of this new media-driven hype around the Mountaineers is only setting this game up for a blowout. Daxter Miles didn’t do his team any favors yesterday, either. Cats win big tonight.
— Brad Paisley is talking trash on Twitter. (And has a deal with Four Roses bourbon, apparently.) Paisley tweeted: “Dear Kentucky, I love you, your bluegrass & your people, & tonight we toast @4RosesBourbon to your 36-1 season.”
He will soon drink his pain away a little at a time. But he’ll never get drunk enough to get tonight’s game off his mind.
— Our friends at Thoroughbred in Lexington are ready for the game!
I love Thoroughbred.
— Matt just wrapped up his appearance on ESPN’s Outside The Lines. We hope to have video on the site soon so check back a little later if you missed the show.
— Ryan Lemond and I will be on the air tonight at 7:00 pm for the KSR pregame show. Tune in and give us a call as we broadcast live from the lobby of The Renaissance. Matt Jones and Oscar Combs will take over at 8:00 pm for the official IMG pregame show in the arena.
— I’ll leave you with this reader submission from #TeamWes:
David Wesley “Wes” Freeland is a man of many passions and talents. On any given day, you can find him cheering on the Kentucky Wildcats, training for a marathon, watching the Thoroughbreds race, or shopping for a new pair of running shoes. His athleticism is far better than most his age and his spirit and determination is admired by all who know him.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, friend and FIGHTER. Wes has run many marathons in his lifetime, but he was not at all prepared nor did he train for what would prove to be the most difficult marathon of all – CANCER.
In July 2014, Wes was diagnosed with Grade IV Glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer. For the past 8 months he has experienced many ups and downs, but very little has deterred his determination to beat this deadly disease. At the young age of 36, Wes tied on his best pair of running shoes and took off on a journey he thought he’d never have to run.
His love for Kentucky basketball and running started at a very young age. Wes started running track and cross country at Elizabethtown High School in the 7th grade. He was State AA 800 meter champion in 1994 through 1996, and was a member of the State AA champion 3200 meter relay team in 1994 and 1995, setting a record in ’95.
After high school, Wes attended the University of Kentucky where he was a member of the UK Cross Country and Track Team from 1996 through 1999. His athleticism earned him letters his sophomore, junior and senior years. He was also a member of the K Club, before graduating in 2001.
Most recently, Wes learned that his cancer was showing signs of progression. While the original tumor has remained unchanged since surgery, some other unwelcome lesions have appeared. As a result, Wes started a new chemotherapy regimen and remains determined as ever to keep fighting.
Although fatigued, he is always ready to cheer on the CATS. Whether he’s watching the game from home or a hospital bed, one thing remains certain, he will be wearing blue and white. While Wes is cheering for the Cats path to perfection, his family and friends are cheering for him. Although very different situations, one could say Wes and the UK basketball players have something in common, DETERMINATION.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 2:30pm
Marc Tracy of The New York Times wrote an excellent profile of UK assistant John Robic and it was released to the world yesterday. Tracy, who also wrote the Dominique Hawkins piece for The Times, explains the successful dynamic between Coach Robic and his longtime boss, John Calipari. The two have been together for 17 seasons; they’re exact opposites; and it’s a perfect match.
Tracy writes, “Calipari is extroverted and boisterous; Robic is introverted and dry. Calipari’s expressions are dynamic; Robic has a steady gaze. Calipari has carefully slicked-back black hair; Robic has a mop of blond and gray.”
“The division of labor is partly strategic. If Calipari had tried to do it all, he might not have led Kentucky to three of the past four Final Fours or to a 36-0 record this season entering the N.C.A.A. tournament’s round of 16.”
It’s something we’ve witnessed since the two landed in Lexington in 2009. We’re big fans of Robic, as you know, and he doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the work he does behind the scenes, while Cal works the spotlight.
Give Tracy’s work a read — if for nothing else, do it because this photo of Robes is incredible.
That’s a D-III All-American handling the rock right there.
By C.M. Tomlin on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 2:00pm
Welcome, future Mountaineer, to West Virginia University! Here all your dreams of higher learning come true, you’ll experience top-rated professorial guidance and create long and lasting friendships with the very people you’ll inevitably rely upon to pry your foot out of a sprung bear trap later in life. We all need those people and you’ll find them — and a lasting education — at West Virginia University! Let’s see all the great things WVU has to offer!
Classroom time is important, and at WVU you’ll find open, accessible instructors in every class setting. Also, you’ll be pleased to know that the average wait time as your professors seek to figure out the overhead projector has been cut, after comprehensive training, from twenty minutes in 2013 to only fifteen minutes in 2014!
Visit our library to find literally tens of books and feel free to enjoy an apple, bagel or coffee as you study diligently for your next quiz. Whatever your major, we promise you will find a minimum of two books or three comprehensive brochures on the subject. Here we find Susan, who has been working to pass Pre-Calculus for the last eighteen years. You’ll get it this year, Susan!
“Siri, what is the weather today?” Ha, ha! Just kidding. No one knows what this machine does. But it just goes to show the inventiveness of a Mountaineer imagination knows no boundaries! Who knows what you’ll invent at WVU? The sky’s the limit! (Please note that mountains are closer to the sky than many other geographical areas, minimizing limits.)
Here are two friendly representatives from the WVU Creative Role-Players Club. Due to more restrictive regulations placed upon student activity groups in 2014-15, there is a significantly less chance of them murdering you and wearing a suit made of your skin as their next creative role-play. Sign up today!
The West Virginia University Beard Club boasts 700 members and has been nationally recognized by the…hey, wait a minute — Janice, when did you shave your beard? These students live in Beard Hall, where it’s always a party and no shower drains are operational at any time. To qualify for beard hall please include a picture of your beard with your student application.
West Virginia University is all about tradition — timeless, annual events like ‘Beat Martin Sheen at Cornhole.” Last year he defeated over six-hundred teams and he didn’t even have a partner. His elbow has been acting up so this might be the year you’ll take him down! Good luck!
There’s nothing like “dorm life!” Relax with friends and talk about your favorite Netflixes and emojos. Like Hunger Games? Hang up a poster! Please remember that if you are going to have three or more persons in a room at any time you’ll be required to have a dorm soldier present.
Your interests are always represented at West Virginia University! From archery to zoology, there’s a group for you to join and make new friends. Here’s the members of WVU’s Invisible Horseback Riding Team trotting around campus. Giddyup, ladies!
No matter how large your residence room is, you’ll want to all gather very closely together in one corner to enjoy popcorn and talk about your favorite bands and music albums. Here are four happy West Virginia Tech students laughing about that great viral internet memo today. Hey, you guys! Where’s your dorm soldier?
Weekends are for letting your hair down and relaxing. Hang out with friends, go to Mountaineers games and yell at foreigners. Go back to Maryland and eat your crab cakes, you ain’t welcome here! Just kidding. But seriously, get out of here crab face.
Attend formals, dances and other great get-togethers at West Virginia University! Maybe you’ll be crowned the next Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer! (pictured: Mr. and Ms. Mountaineer, 2014).
At West Virginia University you’ll be well on your way to a great new life in your chosen field and on graduation day nothing will feel as great as the sense of accomplishment on a great four years and a great degree. Please do not toss your caps into the air as you may kill any number of predatory hawks or falcons circling overhead as our university is located in a mountainous hell of no escape. See you soon at WVU!
By Drew Franklin on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 1:30pm
I just watched Matt run out the KSR hotel room door in one of his finest suits to meet up with some of his favorite ESPN personalities, in the snow, for a taping of Outside The Lines. The mouth of this whole KSR operation is scheduled to chat with Andy Katz, Seth Greenberg and Ian O’Connor about John Calipari at approximately 2:30 pm.
So tune in to OTL on ESPN to see your boy on the big stage here in about an hour. We’ll have video on the site a little later for those of you who can’t make it to a television in time.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 1:00pm
There are all sorts of storylines in this game, but one you may not have heard is Dakari Johnson and West Virginia’s Devin Williams played together in high school. Dakari and Devin shared the front court at Montverde Academy in Florida, and tonight, they’ll face off in the Sweet 16.
While most of his teammates were talking trash, Williams is just ready to reunite with an old friend. “I can’t wait to see my brother,” he told TJ Beisner yesterday.
Hopefully Dakari is giving his teammates a thorough scouting report on Williams, who may be West Virginia’s x-factor. Williams is on a tear lately, averaging 18.3 points and 9.8 rebounds over the last four games. At 6’9″, 255 lbs., he’s shorter than UK’s bigs but a solid presence, and coincidentally, Dakari might be the best option the Cats have to contain him.
Let’s save the warm and fuzzy feelings for after the game, boys.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 12:30pm
Yesterday, Willie Cauley-Stein told Jerry Tipton that if UK were an animal, they’d be a raccoon because raccoons are feisty and “come at you” when cornered.
The comment struck a chord with UK fan Mandy Schum, who found a sick raccoon on her doorstep yesterday. Mandy wrote KSR to ask for advice and her husband called into the show this morning, telling the guys that they felt obligated to care for the raccoon after Willie’s comment yesterday. After Matt and Ryan told her leaving the raccoon alone to die would definitely be a bad omen, Mandy put out some water and food for the sick animal:
— Mandy Schum (@kentuckymjw) March 26, 2015
After “Willie” got some food and water, the Schums carefully got him into a box and took him to the woods to roam free:
— Mandy Schum (@kentuckymjw) March 26, 2015
Good on ya, Schums. “Willie” and Willie appreciate the kindness.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 12:00pm
Yesterday, CBS Sports’ Len Elmore made the rounds, asking various players for their thoughts on the freshmen ineligibility rule, which a few conferences are discussing bringing back. As you might expect, Kentucky’s players were not fans of it.
“Well, it’s a little late for us now, but if I couldn’t play for this year, I would probably be really upset because this is a special team and we probably won’t play on a team like this ever again,” Tyler Ulis said.
Devin Booker agreed. “I’m glad they got away from that. Kind of like Tyler said, I would be disappointed if we couldn’t play but I’ve heard the rumors they’re talking about, and I’m glad I’m past my freshman year.”
As it often does, the question provoked a long and thoughtful response from Willie Cauley-Stein, who reflected on his difficult freshman year, in which the Cats went 21-12 and lost in the first round of the NIT.
“I think the freshman year is a year for experience,” Willie said. “Coming here, you’re thrown to the hounds. You’re out there with them. There’s no ‘ok, we’re going to play you a little bit here and there.’ Nah, you’re there. Full, you’re starting, you’re playing with guys you just met and all of you are young, so you’re all in together. Honestly, it’s like being thrown into the army. The way you have to approach it is like that because you’re all fresh, you’re all young, and you’re all brand new, and then you’ve got maybe two guys who’s been through it.”
Willie said that this year’s freshman class has no idea what it’s like to experience the dark side of being a Kentucky basketball player.
“The freshmen that came in this year, they have the chance to do something crazy. Be undefeated. When I was a freshman, we were considered one of the worst teams to come through Kentucky,” Willie said. “They don’t know. They haven’t been through the worst part. They’ve never lost a game, so they don’t know what it’s like to lose a game here. That’s crazy to even think about. ‘You haven’t lost a game in college here.’ You don’t know how crazy your fans really are. If you lost most multiple games in a row like me and Alex lost our freshman year, people start talking, people start getting after you. ‘Why are you playing so bad?’ And they have no idea what you’re going through? It’s good. I’m glad that they don’t have to go through that. But at the end of the day, it makes you stronger, going through that.”
I guess something good did come out of the NIT after all.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 11:35am
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 11:15am
It’s tournament time, which means banners and signs are popping up all over UK’s campus. Here’s a roundup of the ones we’ve seen so far, starting with a shot at West Virginia fans:
Drake is a popular subject:
This may be my favorite so far:
This one is also awesome:
What say you, KSR? Do any of them top this one from last year?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 26th, 2015 @ 10:45am
Ashley Judd has been everywhere the past few weeks, and this morning, she posted a video on Facebook telling her followers that when she woke up this morning, she was thinking about Trey Lyles:
I woke up with this on my mind: Sweet 16! Here are my eyes just opened I am supposed to be trading spiritual texts and praying and meditating it's all so exciting Kentucky is matching up against the Good Ole Mountaineers of Dear West Virginia thoughts.
Posted by Ashley Judd on Thursday, March 26, 2015
Say what you will about Ashley, but there’s no denying she’s a legit fan. And she’s right about Trey.