It’s happened time and time again this season: just when you get comfortable with Kentucky, →
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 10th, 2016 @ 12:19am
It’s happened time and time again this season: just when you get comfortable with Kentucky, they find a way to disappoint you. Not tonight. Kentucky built on an impressive performance against Florida with another big outing tonight, beating Georgia 82-48 on a rather weird night at Rupp Arena.
Simply put, the Cats were everything we knew they could be, shooting 52% from the floor while holding Georgia to a paltry 22%. Jamal Murray followed up his 35-point outing with another hot night, scoring 24 points, including six threes. Tyler Ulis and Derek Willis had good games, finishing with 14 and 11 points, respectively. The Cats were in cruise control for most of the game, and honestly, outside of a scoring drought near the end of the first half, there’s not a lot to complain about.
Regardless, I’m sure some of you will find something, so let’s break down the 34-point romp.
Jamal Murray had the hot hand again
Coming off a career-high 35 points vs. Florida, Murray was on fire again tonight, finishing with 24 points off 8-14 shooting from the floor and 6-10 from behind the arc. At times, when Jamal had the ball and time to set his feet, you knew it was going in. Calipari’s been on Murray to make the easy shots first and stop showboating, but old habits can be hard to break. At the end of the first half, Murray couldn’t help himself from trying to float a shot in from the baseline, drawing the ire of Cal in the postgame presser.
“Better. He’s getting better. He had the one baseline flip, he could not help himself. It’s like crack cocaine; I’ve gotta do this. And he flipped it under, had no chance of making it. But he’s getting better,” Cal said.
I’ll admit that Murray’s antics have annoyed me at times, but when he’s scoring 20+ and shooting like that, you can’t be too upset.
Derek Willis looked great
Willis had 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1 block in 28 minutes, helping fill the void inside with Alex Poythress out. Willis reasserted himself in the post, showing some major confidence with this steal and slam:
“I’m really proud of him,” Calipari said of Derek after the game. “He’s rebounding the ball. He’s getting better defensively. Still not there. But this team believes in him and he believes in himself more.”
Here’s an interesting stat from UK Athletics’ Corey Price: Willis is the first Kentucky native UK player with six rebounds in seven consecutive SEC games since Winston Bennett in 1987-88. Derek made Bullitt County proud tonight, especially when he spent part of the postgame interviews praising Tyler Ulis.
“Without Tyler, we don’t have a team. Probably not a .500 team,” Willis said of Ulis, who finished with 14 points and 8 assists. “I don’t think he gets enough credit. Every game, he should be the talk.”
He’s right, and whenever Tyler leaves, we’re going to find out just how spoiled we were. Selfishly, I don’t want to worry about that for a while.
Charles Matthews put in some good minutes
It’s been a rough season for the freshman from Chicago, but he bounced back in impressive fashion tonight, scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds in eleven minutes. Matthews, once a liability on both ends, made the most of his opportunity with Alex out.
“I thought Charles Matthews was outstanding today,” Cal said. “And it’s not because he made shots. It’s because he came up with balls and he blocked shots. He did some good stuff. Happy for him, too.”
An impressive performance on both ends
Tonight was a balanced affair. The Cats took care of business on offense, connecting on 52% of their shots from the floor, but for once, that wasn’t at the expense of defense. Kentucky limited Georgia to 48 points and 22% from the field, their best defensive performance of the season. The Bulldogs went 17:57 between field goals, missing a whopping 22 baskets.
“There were some bad shots in there,” Mark Fox said of his team’s 18-minute scoring drought. “There were some good shots in there. There were a couple great shots in there that just didn’t go down. It just snowballed on us and we could never recover.”
What’s the difference between the team that collapsed defensively at Tennessee and tonight’s steel curtain? Practice and poise.
“A lot of our issues defensively was because we had shifted to really work on our offense, because I thought our offense a month ago was just pitiful,” Cal said. “Now we’re back playing defense, and if you walked in our practice, you’re not seeing us play much offense. We’re really working on our team defense, the ability to fight through a possession, to finish off a possession, to scramble, to not only play your man, play one more, the stuff we normally teach here.”
Alex will be out two weeks
In case you missed Ryan’s scoop earlier, Alex Poythress reportedly underwent a minor procedure on his knee and will be out 10-14 days. Calipari didn’t divulge whether or not Alex had surgery, but did confirm the timetable for his return after the game, telling reporters Alex will be out “about two weeks.”
“It gives him a chance to come back on fire,” Calipari said. “It gives us a chance to get Isaac and these kids chances to play, maybe put Charles Matthews at the four. Our team is playing well, two of our better games. We’ll hold the fort down until Alex comes back. He’s a big part of what we’re doing. He’ll be fine.”
Was this Dancing Guy’s last dance at Rupp?
With Kentucky up big, another story stole the show in the second half. During his “Mony, Mony” routine, Dancing Guy picked up a young girl and slid down the railing, per usual, only to fall and drop the girl to the steps. Thankfully, both of them seem to be okay, but it was a scary, scary moment, and one that may signal the end of Dancing Guy’s ritual shimmy and shake for the cameras. The clip made “SportsCenter.” Will he return? Or, after his Katina Powell quote drop, will Ryan Lemond suddenly be free to replace him? Only time will tell.
For tonight, be happy the Cats won big. Get some rest, we’ve got a lot to talk about in the morning.
By Nick Roush on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 11:50pm
A crazy day was capped off with an ass-kicking in Rupp Arena. Matt Jones is hear to talk about the entertaining spectacle and enlighten fans with stirring rhetoric. But it won’t be the same without some wild calls, so join in on the fun on 840 WHAS or 630 WLAP.
By Nick Roush on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 11:35pm
Charles Matthews provided 16 quality minutes off the bench, scoring 7 points and grabbing 5 rebounds, three on the offensive end. Watching him sink a jump shot was startling, but it’s not what caught Calipari’s eye.
“I thought Charles Matthews was outstanding today, and it’s not because he made shots. It’s because he came up with balls and he blocked shots. He did some good stuff. I’m happy for him.”
Jamal Murray was spectacular shooting the ball, knocking down 6 of 10 threes and 8 of 14 shots. Calipari attributes it to better shot selection.
He’s cut out the silly off-balance shots and unorthodox finger-rolls, but one time he couldn’t resist. “It’s like crack cocaine, I gotta do this!” Calipari joked about his base-line runner that came up short. “He flipped it over, had no chance of making it, but he’s getting better.”
Cal added that he appreciates his defensive effort. “He’s trying, he’s getting better defensively. We’re scrambling better.”
Luckily the Cats did not have to scramble too much tonight to get the win.
By Nick Roush on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 11:17pm
By Nick Roush on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 11:00pm
The Cats cruised to an easy victory tonight behind a dominating defensive performance. Georgia went 17:57 without a field goal, missing 22 straight from the 13:37 mark in the first half, until after the first media timeout of the second half. The Bulldogs shot a measly 22% on the night.
On the offensive end, Derek Willis provided plenty of energy to add to Jamal Murray’s stellar shooting night. Murray continued showing his hot hand, scoring 24 points on 8-14 shots, 6 of 10 from behind the three-point line. Kentucky took care of the ball, committing only six turnovers on the night.
The last two games certainly make it easier to forget about last week’s hiccup.
By Nick Roush on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 10:43pm
“Mony, Mony” is usually Dancing Guy’s time to shine, but things turned ugly tonight at Rupp Arena.
After already performing his signature move on one handrail, a young girl joined in on the fun by dancing next to him. How does he respond? As if they had rehearsed the dance, he preceded to pick the young girl up off her feet before attempting to slide down a second rail with the young girl in his arms. Needless to say, it didn’t go as he planned.
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 10, 2016
Luckily, no one was hurt during the performance and Dancing Guy was promptly escorted out of the stands by Rupp Arena security.
By Kindsey Bernhard on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 10:30pm
We’ve partnered with Wendy’s for the Pic & Roll at Rupp Sweepstake! Visit a participating Wendy’s in the Lexington, KY area, take a pic with the in-store Pic & Roll At Rupp sign, and post to Instagram or Twitter using #WendysRuppVIP for your chance to win!
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Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of Kentucky, 18 years of age & older. Sweepstakes begins at 9:00:00 am EST on February 5, 2016, and ends at 11:59:59 pm EST on March 7, 2016. Void where prohibited. For full prize details, go to http://bit.ly/WendysRupp
You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:
In honor of KSR’s historic radio day, I added 5 more tweets to tonight’s post. Enjoy.
#15 Mathew Mahone
— Matthew Mahone (@M_E_Mahone) February 9, 2016
When you realize it can never be unheard.
#14 Chris Resor
Can we get an Open Records Request to find out the height of the ceilings at Minardi Hall? #KSRTop10
— Chris Resor (@ChrisResor) February 9, 2016
I don’t think I want to know.
#13 Mike Baladope
— Mike Baladope (@TheULCoachMike) February 9, 2016
I don’t think ceiling paint can fix this.
#12 Bweet Da Dee™
— Bweet Da Dee™ (@TDigital) February 9, 2016
Clearly that was never a rule in those girls’ houses.
#11 Jax Teller
— Jax Teller (@jaxteller_KY) February 9, 2016
Could you imagine if Matt had to do nuts.com ad during Katina’s interview…
#10 Trey Minton
— Trey Minton (@tr3yuk) February 9, 2016
#9 Andrew Grider
— Andrew Grider (@gridlockswag) February 9, 2016
I’m right there with you.
#8 David W. Schmidt
— David W. Schmidt (@Poppschmidty) February 9, 2016
#7 Turkey Hunter
Pitino doing bed check Billy Minardi Hall pic.twitter.com/eodjnHD4s6
— Turkey Hunter (@TurkeyHunterKSR) February 9, 2016
Pitino might need something a little bigger.
#6 Andrew Cassady
— Andrew Cassady (@ACassady_KSR) February 9, 2016
To the sweat drop down the basketballs.
#5 John Robic’s Hair
Rumor has it that even SERVPRO turned down the job to clean Minardi Hall
— John Robic's Hair (@JohnRobicsHair) February 9, 2016
— John Robic's Hair (@JohnRobicsHair) February 9, 2016
— John Robic's Hair (@JohnRobicsHair) February 9, 2016
John Robic’s hair straight killed the Twitter game today.
#4 The Power K
— The Power K (@The_Power_K) February 9, 2016
The Squirt! Center has a nice ring to it.
#3 Not Safe for Work…
— Not Safe for Work… (@mattcole72) February 9, 2016
#2 Travis Utley
— Travis Utley (@travisutley10) February 9, 2016
They might be a little damp.
#1 Scott Darst
— Scott Darst (@MountaineerCat) February 9, 2016
I would be a lot of money that Louisville decides to “renovate” Minardi Hall this summer.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 10:03pm
By Nick Roush on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 10:01pm
The Cats were mulling through a rough patch midway through the first half. Fouls all over the floor were slowing the game down, keeping them from finding their shot.
Derek Willis injected energy into the crowd with this ferocious coast-to-coast finish. The dunk sparked a 6-0 run, giving the Cats an 18-point lead at halftime.
From Bullitt East to 31W, that’s a Highway 44 Special.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 9:43pm
This afternoon, this girl’s boss probably laughed at her when she dared him to give her a raise if she got on TV at the Kentucky game tonight.
Who’s laughing now? Here’s hoping the man keeps his word.
UPDATE: Shannon Spake went up to the rafters to interview the girl, Amanda, a freshman at UK who’s a receptionist at Fibreworks in Louisville. Amanda said she’s gotten plenty of texts since she was on TV, but none from her boss, Steve…yet.
Your move, Steve. Make it happen.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 09th, 2016 @ 9:24pm