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March 26th, 2015

The New York Times profiled John Robic and you should read it

Beth Hall-USA Today

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.


Photobombing: West Virginia University

Campus

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!

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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!

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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!

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“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.)

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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).

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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!


Matt will be on Outside The Lines today at 2:30

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 LinesThe 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.


Dakari Johnson and Devin Williams go way back

Photo via Makini Campbell

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.


Reason 1,302,199 I love Kentucky fans

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:

After “Willie” got some food and water, the Schums carefully got him into a box and took him to the woods to roam free:

Good on ya, Schums. “Willie” and Willie appreciate the kindness.


Willie says his difficult freshman year made him stronger

Photo by Chet White, UK Athletics

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.


Even West Virginia’s hype video is chippy

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West Virginia’s players talked all sorts of trash yesterday, and this morning, their video crew released a hype video that included shots at “experts” Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, and Charles Barkley and “famous fans” Ashley Judd and Drake:

KyWildcatsTV, please posterize these fools.


So far, UK’s sign game is strong

 

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?


Ashley Judd says she woke up thinking about Trey Lyles

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.


West Virginia’s trash talk made The New York Post

No word on whether Daxter Miles survived Bob Huggins’ tongue-lashing last night.


Matt and Ryan are live from The Land (Thursday Show Thread)

Yesterday’s radio show wore me out so I’m tagging Ryan Lemond back in to feel the co-host seat for this morning’s show. Ryan touched down in Cleveland late last night so he should be good and jacked up on Red Bull to talk about the Cats. It’ll be another fun one as the guys look ahead to tonight’s game with West Virginia.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Most UK Coaches had an NCAA Tournament Rival Coach…..and Cal’s is Huggins

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Go back through the record books and you find a common trend amongst UK coaches.  They almost all (since Rupp) have a common foil in the NCAA Tournament as the opposing coach.  Calipari and Huggins will be meeting for the 3rd time in 6 tournaments, which seems like a ton of meetings.  But in fact, 4 UK coaches have faced the same opponent/coach 3 times over a 10 year span.  And surprisingly, Rupp was the only one with a losing record against his rival.  Take a look at the examples:

Adolph Rupp: Fred Taylor (Ohio State)
1961: Ohio State 87, Kentucky 74 (Regional Finals)
1962: Ohio State 74, Kentucky 64 (Regional Finals)
1968: Ohio State 82, Kentucky 81 (Regional Finals)

Joe B. Hall: Bob Knight (Indiana)
1973: Indiana 72, Kentucky 65 (Regional Finals)
1975: Kentucky 92, Indiana 90 (Regional Finals)
1983: Kentucky 64, Indiana 59 (Regional Semifinals)

Rick Pitino: Rick Majerus (Utah)
1993: Kentucky 83, Utah 62 (2nd Round)
1996: Kentucky 101, Utah 70 (Sweet 16)
1997: Kentucky 72, Utah 59 (Elite 8)

(Tubby Smith played Utah 3 times as well during his tenure, but Rick Majerus was only the coach in 1998 and 2003.  The 2005 Utah team was coached by Ray Giacolleti)

John Calipari: Bob Huggins (West Virginia)
2010: West Virginia 73, Kentucky 66 (Elite 8)
2011: Kentucky 71, West Virginia 63 (2nd Round)
2015: ?????????????

How high up on the rivalry list do we put Bob Huggins?  Is he Calipari’s 2nd rival behind Pitino?  And does tonight’s game decide who has the upper hand in the rivalry as it is the rubber match in NCAA Tournament matchups?


Wendy’s KSR Top Ten Tweets of the Day

 

 

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Wendy’s Fresh-Made Salads offer healthy fast food choices, fresh toppings, and the choice to select from nutritious options for healthy living. ___________________________________________________________________

You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top Ten Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtopten. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Phillip Stickler

ESPN wants people to think otherwise.

 

 

 

 

#9 Oscar Combs

*Insert bad Indians joke here*

 

 

 

 

#8 Jodie Curtis

This will save media some time. Thanks, Jodie!

 

 

 

 

#7 justinheil

Why do you put your dad through that, Justin?

 

 

 

 

#6 Tyler Haertzen

Breaking: Dunkaroo sales sky rocketing before Kentucky’s Thursday night game.

 

 

 

 

 

#5 Jonathan Beam

It’s the track suit, right? Yeah. It’s the track suit. I’m sure there is a good personality under the track suit.

 

 

 

 

#4 Shari Dane VanHoose

Please. Please don’t let this be a photoshopped picture.

 

 

 

 

#3 Hunter Omohundro

This is the best way I have ever seen WVU described in a sentence before.

 

 

 

 

 

#2 Hunter Pass

This is dedication, but somehow I see this ending like the tree in Christmas Vacation.

 

 

 

 

 

#1 Josh McIntosh

I laughed more at this then I probably should have and for that. You get the top tweet, Josh.

 

@Sealey_KSR


March 25th, 2015

The RTA Walkway’s Wednesday Night News and Views

Good evening, friends, and greetings from beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. I’m writing this from my perch atop the Renaissance Hotel, where my bathroom tub is fortunately poop-free and the wi-fi is expensive. (Because this is the media hotel, and making reporters pay for wi-fi makes total sense. Thanks, NCAA.)

Anyhow, I arrived in Cleveland this afternoon and made my way to “The Q” (that’s what they call Quicken Loans Arena here…get it? It’s hip) via “The Walkway to Gateway,” a series of pedestrian walkways the connect the hotel, the Tower City Center Mall (where the most upscale store may be Champs Sports, if that tells you anything), a movie theater, the Horseshoe Casino, and the arena. It’s awesome if you don’t mind hoofing it a bit, and when the temperature dips down into the teens on Friday, I don’t think I’ll mind that at all. After discovering a delicious Mexican restaurant down the street this evening, I may need the cardio.

This entire intro was just a reason to share the song “Skyway” by The Replacements with you guys, because from the moment I stepped onto the Walkway, it’s been in my head.

OK, now we can move on.

West Virginia’s Daxter Miles was stupid enough to poke the bear

What’s the last thing you want to do if you’re West Virginia right now? Poke the bear. Well, Mountaineer freshman Daxter Miles was just that dumb today, telling reporters that after tomorrow’s game, Kentucky will be 36-1.

“Salute to them getting up to 36-0, but tomorrow they’re gonna be 36-1. They’re gonna be 36-1,” Daxter repeated for emphasis.

He wasn’t done yet.

“I don’t think they’ve played a team like us,” Miles said. “To me, they don’t play hard. To me, they don’t play as hard as we play. Nobody is invincible, so their time will come, and I think we’re going to pull it out.”

You can imagine what Willie Cauley-Stein thought of that

“Now I’m kind of juiced,” Willie said when a reporter informed him of Daxter’s remarks. “This game is going to be really fun. They made it kind of personal now. It’s just going to be one of them games, that I’m telling you, if you want to watch a good game, you’re going to want to watch this game because dudes is lit. Dudes is really ready to play.”

If that weren’t enough, junior Jonathan Holton said that he’s really tired of hearing about the Cats.

“Honest to God, I got goosebumps and chills right now, I’m ready to play,” Holton said. “I’ve done heard too much about Kentucky, Kentucky, Kentucky.

Holton let us in on West Virginia’s game plan for tomorrow. “If Willie Cauley-Stein let the ball go up, you have to go hit him, you can’t just let him fly to the rim thinking you can go up and get the rebound,” Holton said. “Nah. You’ve gotta put a body on those guys and I’m definitely going to put a body on somebody tomorrow.”

Holton may have had my favorite quote of the day

The Miami native was hilarious, chatting it up with reporters and talking about the Cats like a true Jan, echoing every point in threes. This, however, is probably the quote of the day for me:

“We honestly know who we’re playing against. It ain’t like we’re playing against the Sisters of the Poor or nothing like that. We’re playing against Kentucky, so you have to come out for that game ready.”

The Sister of the Poor could not be reached for comment.

Your rear windshield wiper isn’t as cool as this rear windshield wiper

There’s a new Cal to the NBA rumor because it’s March

Death, taxes, and John Calipari to the NBA rumors. Those are the only certainties in life. The latest Cal to the NBA rumor popped up courtesy of an “unnamed front office official” to NorthJersey.com, and it’s so generic it’s really not even worth quoting in full. Basically, the person said Cal “desperately wants” to coach in the NBA again because he failed with the Nets. That same source was probably also cited as saying Ryan Lemond “desperately wants” a Doughdaddy Doughnut because he had one one time and it was great. That’s the same narrative we’ve heard for the last five years about Cal, and it has yet to actually come to fruition.

Don’t think that the fact Kentucky’s playing in “The Q,” aka LeBron’s house, is lost on everyone this weekend. The players were repeatedly asked what it felt like to play in The Q and whether or not LeBron had been around. “No, we’re focusing on the game,” Andrew Harrison said. “I have no idea, really.”

A Cleveland fan in the stands got up and shouted “Hey Cal! Come to Cleveland to coach LeBron!” That fan was immediately booed by the UK fans. In his press conference today, Cal was even asked if he ever wondered how his life would be different had he taken the job with the Cavs.

“No, I haven’t, and this thing that I have taken on is all-consuming but I’ve kept an eye on Cleveland because I’m a fan, obviously LeBron and I go back a ways and watching what they’re doing and how they’re coming together, knowing stuff doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for things to click, and I think Dave’s doing a great job, I’ve said it before, and obviously the best player in the universe is LeBron and I’m happy for him and being able to come home and do the things that he’s doing.”

Enough of that now, Cleveland media.

Alex and EJ had some fun in the locker room today

It was really good to see Alex, who told me he is “ecstatic” to join his team again in Cleveland.

Need a football fix?

The team will hold an open practice for fans and media on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Tim Couch Practice Fields near the Nutter Training Center. Nick Roush will be there and I know he’d love some company. I can’t think of a better way to pregame for the Elite Eight. (Because after Daxter’s comments, Cats are gonna win. Don’t piss Willie off.)

Matt and Ryan will be live from gorgeous Cleveland in the morning

Drew and I will be here for you up until tipoff at 9:45 p.m. Get some rest, because it’s going to be a late one.


“We Ask You Wednesday” Vol. 37

(EHarmony.UK.com)

The season is on the home stretch now, and the folks here at KSR love getting your input on things… relevant and bizarre. We have to get a little creative around here sometimes.Earlier this summer I started a weekly series called “We Ask You Wednesdays,” that brought in some great responses from many readers via Twitter.

Each week, the question will change and we will hit on a variety of topics, mostly UK-related… but you never know. Each week the best responses will make it on to the website.  This week’s twenty ninth volume of the “We Ask You Wednesday” allowed Kentucky fans to answer the following question via Twitter in 140 characters or less:  SINCE EVERYONE ELSE IS TRYING TO DO IT… HOW DO YOU BEAT KENTUCKY?

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He does  have more experience than any basketball player that ever existed…

 

As long as they don’t pair him up with the other SEC usuals…

That sounds too easy…

Zing. 

 

 

 

I wasn’t expecting hokey pokey lyrics, but I haven’t heard them in a while. So you made the cut.

I believe this might be true.

I used to do that to my sister when we played together.

 

Power move.

 

BEST ANSWERS OF THE WEEK: