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January 28th, 2015

Kentucky opens as an 18-point favorite at Missouri

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Basketball! Remember that glorious thing that we’re really good at? Tomorrow night, the Cats head to Columbia to take on Missouri, a team that Kentucky beat by 49 points a few weeks ago. Vegas has spoken and Kentucky opened as an 18-point favorite.

Cover. Cover all day long.


ESPN reporting Joker Phillips will join the Cleveland Browns’ staff

ESPN’s Adam Caplan is reporting that former UK head coach Joker Phillips will join the Cleveland Browns’ coaching staff as wide receivers coach. Joker spent the 2012 and 2013 seasons at Florida before resigning for “personal reasons” amid concerns that he may have committed a recruiting violation. This will be his first NFL coaching job.

Congratulations and best of luck, Joker.


John Feinstein defends voting Virginia over Kentucky

Only one AP voter put Virginia above Kentucky this week: John Feinstein. Earlier this week, Rick Bozich wrote a piece about why Kentucky should be ranked over Virginia, citing five factors, including the fact UK’s “everybody’s Super Bowl,” the number of McDonald’s All-Americans on each squad, draft picks, recruiting, and the number of times each team has scored 80 or more points this season. Someone sent that article to Feinstein, and he contacted Bozich with a response.

Feinstein’s answers are as pretty much exactly what you would imagine. Here are a few:

“1. Everybody’s Super Bowl. If that’s the criteria, then Duke has to be #1 every week since 1992 regardless of record…

“4. Recruiting battles? Calipari recruits one-and-dones who are passing through Kentucky not going to school there. I feel the same way, BTW, about the one-and-dones at Duke (Feinstein is a Duke grad). Please don’t tell me that Kyrie Irving is a “Duke alumnus.” Most of Bennett’s players will stay 3 or 4 years and graduate. I prefer his style but both apparently work….

Feinstein couldn’t resist adding this barb in the end of his email:

“Far more relevant is Kentucky’s refusal to play UTEP on the 50th anniversary of the most important college game ever played. Kentucky people always yammer about how Rupp was unfairly cast as a racist, villain. Fine, let’s play the game and let the story be told from BOTH sides. THAT matters, not my stupid vote in the AP poll…”

Read Feinstein’s entire defense over at WDRB.com. And then go puke.


The Heavy Hitter seriously injured in bicycle accident

If you grew up in Kentucky, you know who Darryl Isaacs is. The Heavy Hitter’s ads are as Kentuckian as Derby pie, Ale-8-One, and Purnell’s Old Folks Country Sausage.

Last week, Isaacs was injured in a bicycle accident and is recovering at the UofL Hospital. Witnesses say Isaacs was riding his bike on River Road in Louisville and signaled to turn with his left arm when he was struck by a motorist. Isaacs was thrown back on the windshield and on to the pavement. Indian Hills Police Chief Kelly Spratt says he’s lucky to be alive.

Best wishes to the Heavy Hitter for a full recovery.


In case you missed it, Josephine’s call this morning was epic

It’s been a crappy 24 hours for the Kentucky football program, but Josephine did her best to cheer us up this morning. Check out her epic call, which includes her staking claim on “pretty” Devin Booker and an invitation for Matt and Ryan to come get drunk with her.

Josephine’s call was such a hit that she even trended nationally on Twitter:

Josephine is totally my spirit animal.


Cheer up by watching SEC coaches try to figure out what a “spirit animal” is

Let’s cheer up, shall we? I’m a fan of The SEC Network so far, if only for the fact that they mic up Coach Cal during games. Today, they released this video asking SEC basketball coaches and players what their spirit animals are. The results, as you might expect, are hilarious.

  • John Calipari: “My what?” “A wildcat, I guess.”
  • Anthony Grant: “Probably a wolf”
  • Billy Donovan: “I love dogs.”
  • Mike Anderson: “Probably the heart of a lion”
  • Johnny Jones: “A tiger”
  • Rick Ray: “I’d probably say an eagle.”
  • Andy Kennedy: “Without question, a panther”
  • Billy Kennedy: “My dog Buddy”
  • Bruce Pearl: “War Eagle, baby”
  • Andrew Harrison: “An eagle”
  • Donnie Tyndall: “Spirit animal…a lion.”
  • Kevin Stallings: “A bear” [long awkward pause] “I guess.”

SEC Network, I love you so much for leaving that long awkward pause in there.


Richmond Police Chief releases new details on the Richmond bar fight

This morning, Richmond Police Chief Larry R. Brock released new details about the bar fight that allegedly involved Drew Barker, Dorian Baker, Tymere Dubose and EKU lineman Colton Scurry at Jerzee’s in Richmond this weekend. It’s important to note that Brock does not mention the UK football players by name:

“On 01/25/2015, at approximately 5:00 P.M., a complainant reported to Richmond Police that he had been assaulted at a local bar by several male subjects.

“The complainant reported that he was at Jerzee’s, 122 E. Main Street, at approximately 12:30 A.M. when he was grabbed by three to four males who began hitting the complainant repeatedly in the head. At one point the complainant reported losing consciousness. Following the assault, the complainant attempted to walk back to EKU, where he is a student. He was accompanied by two females who were attempting to aid him. Eventually an ambulance was summoned and the complainant was taken to Baptist Health hospital for treatment.

“The complainant reported that he suffered cuts under his right eye, above his left eye, and to his head that required closure by stitches or staples. He also suffered a broken nose and broken bones in and around his right cheek bone and orbital socket. The officer taking the report observed severe swelling and bruising to the complainant’s face.

“The investigation is currently ongoing with interviews of witnesses being conducted and other evidence being analyzed. Once the investigation has been completed and the facts are fully established, the department will take the appropriate action with regard to the filing of charges against any person deemed to be culpable. Until that time, the department will have no further comment on the matter. “

[Herald-Leader]


EKU bar fight victim threw beer bottles at Nerlens Noel’s car in 2013

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By now, you probably know that EKU lineman Colton Scurry was hospitalized over the weekend with major facial injuries after an alleged brawl with UK football players Drew Barker, Dorian Baker, and Tymere Dubose. No arrests have been made, nor any official details released, but the rumor mill is churning, with both sides pointing fingers at the other over who started it.

Two witnesses who said they came to the bar with the UK players told The Courier-Journal that Scurry instigated the fight, while the girlfriend of the bar’s bouncer told LEX18 that Barker, Baker, and Dubose jumped Scurry, breaking a bottle over his face. Scurry locked down his Twitter account yesterday, but this screencap of a tweet he sent nearly two years ago is making the rounds. Scurry tweeted that he threw beer bottles at Nerlens Noel’s car back in June 2013. That may suggest that Scurry has a history of antagonizing UK players, or it may suggest he was just a dumb kid doing dumb kid things. Regardless, this is a really unfortunate story and I’m incredibly disappointed UK players are involved.


Breaking down a rough day for UK Football (Wednesday Show Thread)

Well, yesterday sucked, didn’t it? Between the story of the bar fight in Richmond and the Dowell Twins decommitting, there was a LOT of bad press for the Kentucky football program. What’s fact and what’s fiction? Tune in to hear Matt and Ryan break it down, and discuss how the program can back on track before Signing Day.

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

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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Are there Common Factors in Teams that Played UK Close?

Something 19 coaches have tried and 19 coaches have failed at this season is figuring out how exactly to beat this UK team.  Now the jerk person will snobbishly say “score more points”, but for those of us without a stick up our rears, there obviously has to be some kind of gameplan to try and beat the Cats.  For a long-time, the theory was to hit the outside jumpshot.  A ton of three-pointers will beat the Cats.  Many people claim you can’t let the Cats control the boards.  Some would argue turning over UK would be the way to go.  Or slow down the game.  Tons of options, all have failed.  But that doesn’t mean that UK hasn’t been challenged or nearly beaten this year.  To me, there have been 5 games where UK was seriously challenged and had the real potential to lose: Texas, Louisville, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.  Have there been any similarities in how those teams nearly clipped the Cats?  Take a look at some of the major stats and you decide:

Field Goal Percentage
Texas: 29.8%
Louisville: 25.9%
Ole Miss: 49.2%
Texas A&M: 33.3%
Vanderbilt: 41.5%

Well, certainly shooting a high percentage is not a key to play UK close.  Both Texas and Louisville shot under 30% and A&M hit just 1 out of every 3 shots.  What about on defense:

Field Goal Percentage Defense
Texas: 37.5%
Louisville: 42.0%
Ole Miss: 41.7%
Texas A&M: 28.1%
Vanderbilt: 43.5%

This is one area that I think you can pinpoint.  Now while holding the opponent to a low shooting percentage is important for any team, it’s especially important for opponents of Kentucky.  It is very unlikely you will shoot a high percentage against the smothering UK defense, so holding them as low as possible on offense is a must.  Kentucky hasn’t sniffed 50% in any of these games and considering how many looks from close-in they get, to hold them to these kind of percentages is a key.

Three Pointers
Texas: 4
Louisville: 3
Ole Miss: 9
Texas A&M: 2
Vanderbilt: 7

Remember how everybody thought early on that you must shoot the 3 well to beat Kentucky?  Maybe to actually win an opponent will need 10 or more 3’s, but all 5 of the opponents who played UK close so far this season have all hit less than that, and 3 of them hit four or less threes.  I am no longer sure this is a key.

Three Pointers Given Up
Texas: 1
Louisville: 6
Ole Miss: 11
Texas A&M: 9
Vanderbilt: 4

What about preventing the Cats from shooting the 3’s, which is what Vanderbilt attempted to do?  The Cats have been up and down from the perimeter this year but against Ole Miss and A&M they actually shoot the ball very well from deep.  Against A&M, the Cats outscored the Aggies by 21 points from 3.  And that game still went to 2 overtimes.  So again, defending the 3 against the Cats is not a must.

Rebounding Margin
Texas: +11
Louisville: -13
Ole Miss: -2
Texas A&M: -1
Vanderbilt: -3

Here is an interesting stat as well.  In 4 of the 5 games, the opponent has played even with the Cats on the boards.  But against UL, the Cats dominated the boards.  I think in general though, you really need to try and play the Cats close on the boards to have a chance.  And UK will give up some offensive rebounds to their opponents.

But overall, what is interesting about these close games is they have no real common factor.  In some, the guards have hurt UK and in others, it was big men.  In some, the opponent shot the ball well, in others not at all.  Some games were at home and some were on the road.  By now, most teams in the country know where they can be hurt.  Louisville, for instance, is fairly easy to defend.  They have no center presence and have a tendency to struggle from the 3-point line.  But for Kentucky, I still don’t think there is an obvious way to beat the Cats, their 19-0 record notwithstanding.

Would you agree?  And if you were a coach, what would you do?  Has any strategy you have seen this year from the opponent scared you a good strategy against the Cats?


KSR’s Top Ten Tweets of the Day

 

(Darrell Bird | Catspause)

(Darrell Bird | Catspause)

We will focus most of our attention on relevant Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as per usual, there are no limits to our madness. You, the KSR fans, can also participate in our top-10 tweet countdown by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR #KSRTopTen, or by tweeting @KySportsRadio.

#10 Patrick Patterson

Canadians are so weird.

 

 

 

 

#9 Michael Vinson and Blue2Bone

I think this guy has an answer for you….

 

 

 

 

 

#8 Anthony Davis

I’ve always wondered what someone that size would look like in a bowling alley.

 

 

 

 

#7 Dave Thomas

It’s the #KentuckyEffect

 

 

 

 

#6 Ally Tucker

=[

 

 

 

 

#5 Scott

This would be the perfect punishment.

 

 

 

 

#4 Randall Cobb

NO FAIR. Wait. Is this their way of trying to win back BBN after last weeks KSR battle?

 

 

 

 

#3 Jon Hughes

Sometimes we learn more than we would like on KSR.

 

 

 

 

#2 James sprester

Perffffeccct.

 

 

 

 

#1 Larry Wells™ 7⃣0⃣

Well. I guess you picked the right place to find literature on it.

@Sealey_KSR


January 27th, 2015

Tuesday Night News and Views

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After a rough day for Kentucky football, I needed a Randall Cobb picture to make things better. There’s no escaping this story, so let’s just start our wrap-up right there:

Three UK football players allegedly involved in altercation with an EKU football player

There is no official word from UK and no arrests have been made, but over the weekend, Colton Scurry, an EKU football player, was injured in a bar fight at Jerzee’s in Richmond and three UK football players were reportedly involved: Drew Barker, Dorian Baker, and Tymere Dubose. Scurry was hospitalized with significant facial injuries and there’s a gruesome picture making the rounds that you don’t want to view after eating.

Details are still leaking out and you can read a full recap of the latest happenings below, but for now, let’s just hope this isn’t karma for all the times we’ve made fun of Louisville players being in trouble with the law.

The Dowell Twins have decommitted

As if things couldn’t get worse, the four-star Dowell Twins, lynchpins of the 2015 football recruiting class, just decommitted. The twins’ father told Scout’s Bill Greene that the two will now play college football for Michigan State.

If true, this is a huge, huge blow to Kentucky’s 2015 recruiting class, and only one week before Signing Day. David is considered the 30th best cornerback in the country and Andrew the 15th best athlete by Rivals. That leaves CJ Conrad and Eli Brown as UK’s only 4-star commitments in the class, which is now tied for 49th in Rivals’ team rankings. What the hell.

UK Hoops top recruit tears her ACL

And then, Lindsey Corsaro, UK Hoops’ top 2015 commitment, tore her ACL tonight.

Basketball! Let’s just switch to basketball please.

Calipari says he doesn’t feel bad taking Devin Booker from Missouri

In case you’ve been under a rock, one of the storylines heading into the Missouri game a few weeks ago and Thursday’s showdown at Rupp is that Mizzou also recruited Devin Booker, whose father is a basketball legend in Columbia. During his press conference this afternoon, John Calipari was asked whether or not he empathized with schools like Missouri that have to recruit against big, bad Kentucky. In short: not really.

“I’ve been on that side. I’ve been at Memphis and Massachusetts and I hate to tell you no one felt sorry for me when Duke and North Carolina came,” Cal said. “There were kids I recruited, I would always ask them, ‘Are you recruiting the kid or not? Do you really want them?’ ‘Yeah.’ Staff: ‘Go get somebody else. We’re not beating that.’”

Cal claims the team doesn’t talk about 40-0

40-0 is in the back of every fan’s mind, but Calipari claimed that as far as he knows, his team’s not thinking about it. “We don’t ever talk about it. It hasn’t entered my mind,” Cal said. Would his team benefit from a loss? “It doesn’t matter. It depends on how you would deal with it,” Cal said, telling reporters how his Memphis team benefitted from a loss to Tennessee, but each team is different.

Personally, I don’t think this team would benefit from a loss very much. Right now, the platoon system is keeping them engaged, and there’s enough competition in practice to keep things sharp. If anything, a loss would benefit the Kentucky fan base more than the team because it would cut the anxiety. That being said, if high blood pressure is the price for #9, I’m fine with that.

Sorry, I need this

Okay, better. Let’s keep going.

Today’s practice was “great”

On The Paul Finebaum Show this afternoon, Calipari said his team turned in one of their best practices of the season this afternoon. “We had a great practice today, by the way. Competitive, a great practice.” Earlier in the day, he said that while the team is trying some new things in practice (none of which he would divulge to reporters, of course), their goal is to figure out which rotation will work best in March.

“Our thing is we want to be at our best at the end of the year. I still think we have a long way to go both defensively, offensively, trying to figure out what will be our rotation later in the year,” Cal said. “We stick with what we do and do we go to seven or eight? How do we do this? My druthers (is) I’d rather play nine or 10 guys – that’s what I’d rather do – but I’m going to do what puts us in the best position we need to be in.”

I remain Team Platoon.

In good football news…

…because we really need some, 4-star 2016 quarterback Messiah deWeaver decommitted from Michigan tonight after Shannon Dawson and Derrick Ansley visited him this afternoon. That’s gotta be a good sign right? DeWeaver is considered the 14th best pro-style quarterback in the 2016 class by 247 Sports and is also being pursued by Indiana, Michigan State, and Penn State.

For the love of Bear Bryant before he went to Alabama, please come on down.

Kentucky is reportedly in the mix for a Greek 7-footer

John Calipari has already added a New Zealand big man to UK’s future arsenals and now, he may be looking to add a Greek. According to SDNA.gr, Kentucky, Arizona, UConn, St. John’s, and Temple are in the mix for Georgios Papagiannis, a 7-1 250 lbs. big man who played some high school ball in Pennsylvania. His former high school coach described Papagiannis as “a top five, one-and-done, 2016 pick” and gave Adam Zagoria this scouting report:

“He’s a really unique player. He’s 7-1, 250 pounds. Incredibly coordinated. Jumps well, shoots well, dribbles well, passes well, has really good post work and he just turned 16 in July.”

Papagiannis is back in Athens playing for Greek pro team Panathinaikos but reportedly has the option to return to the States this summer. He would be eligible for the 2015 season. If KSR needs a more thorough scouting report, I am totally available to make the trip. I still remember four or five Greek phrases.

Before this night gets even worse, I’ll say goodnight. See you in the morning.


REPORT: The Dowell Twins have decommitted from Kentucky

Dowell_Twins_247sports

More bad news! Scout.com’s Bill Greene is reporting that 2015 four-star twins David and Andrew Dowell have decommitted from Kentucky and will now go to Michigan State:

And the hits keep on coming…


The Top UK Players In the NBA, Week 13

With all these Tuesday night games it’s been a while since we checked in with our former Cats around the association. Time to remedy that. Tonight’s post couldn’t just honor five guys, we had to turn it up to seven. Here are the top UK players in the NBA for Week 13:

7. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

MKG continues to make an impact in the month of January. The Hornets are 9-3 with the Kidd averaging 10.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. After being an afterthought for much of the start of the season the Hornets have now slid into the 8th seed of the Eastern standings. MKG’s return from injury is the biggest factor in that.

6. Enes Kanter

Image VIA NBA.com

Enes has struggled to find consistency during his short NBA career but this past week he turned in four solid performances for the Jazz. Thus, the big Turk is making his first appearance of the season on the former Cats in the NBA list. Kanter poured in 24 & 17 against the Cavs and then followed up with 23 and 16 against the Bucks. At only 22, Kanter’s game should continue to develop and reach the potential worthy of the number 3 pick.

5. Brandon Knight

I can’t make the case for BK as an All-Star any better than Marc Stein did in his weekly NBA power rankings:

Brandon Knight is generating zero All-Star buzz. Even in the East. But maybe he should be: Knight is one of only eight players averaging 18+ PPG, 5+ APG and 2+ RPG; four of the other seven are All-Star starters … with James Harden, Damian Lillard and Russ Westbrook all likely All-Star reserves.

That’s some elite company. Coaches’ votes for the all-star reserves were due today at noon and hopefully Knight will get his name called next Thursday.

4. DeMarcus Cousins

Consensus around the talking heads of the world wide interwebs seems to be that Cousins will not be named a reserve for the all-star game this season. It would a real shame as the NBA’s best true Center is having  stellar year. Big Cuz is averaging 24.5 points, 13.4 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 1.9 steals during the new year but the Kings have been sliding into the Western abyss. Sacramento has lost six in a row and will probably start looking at which player they will pick up in the lottery.

3. Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe continues to earn that big contract he signed in the offseason by helping the Suns cling to the 8th seed in the Western conference. For January Bledsoe has averaged 17.8 points, 6.6 assists, and 5.3 rebounds. The amount of talent on that 2010 team was ridiculous.

2. John Wall

Via Twitter

After being named a starter for the Eastern All-Stars,  Wall posted two more double-doubles to push his season total to 24. The Wizards are taking on the Lakers tonight but Wall is likely to miss his first game of the season. The star point guard is dealing with a sore Achilles and the Lakers are awful, get the man some rest before the All-Star game.

1. Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is a freak of nature. He’s averaging 25.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 2015 while still posting an amazing PER of 31.91. The newly minted All-Star should rack up a few MVP votes if he continues at this pace.

 


What we know about last Saturday’s bar fight

The story about Saturday night’s alleged bar fight between Drew Barker, Dorian Baker and Tymere Dubose and EKU lineman Colton Scurry has dominated the headlines tonight, and a LOT of rumors are flying back and forth. Therefore, I thought it would be wise to break down what we know and what we don’t know about what happened to save us all a little stress.

What we know

EKU lineman Colton Scurry was hospitalized after an incident at Jerzee’s Bar in Richmond late Saturday night/Sunday morning. Multiple witnesses say Drew Barker, Dorian Baker and Tymere Dubose were involved.

EKU’s statement

“We are currently investigating information reported to us regarding a possible assault on one of our students in an off-campus location, as well as a possible related incident in Telford Hall that may have occurred late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. We can not divulge the the name the students who may have been involved at this time. This is all I know at this time.”

EKU police report

EKU officials received a report today about an assault that went down at Telford Hall at 2:54 a.m. on Sunday. The report says an individual was “assaulted by a person known to them.” It’s still under investigation.

Colton Scurry’s tweet from Monday night

“The two most important days in your life is the day you were born and the day you find out why, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Witnesses:

From LEX18:

“My boyfriend’s a bouncer there,” Alex Carpenter, an EKU student told LEX 18. “He just said that it was 3 UK players who jumped one of our Eastern football players. And they broke a bottle over his face. They had to take him to the hospital. He had to get some stitches in his face.”

From The Courier-Journal:

“We were in the back part of Jerzee’s,” said Will Ruholt, a friend of Barker’s from Conner High School. “A couple people started talking (abusively) and things started to get a little heated. Colton Scurry is the one who started the entire fight. He pushed me. Multiple people can verify that.”

Scurry’s father:

“He’s got so much swelling,” the father said. “He couldn’t see for the last two days. Several fractures in his face and nose.”

UK has yet to release a statement. Mark Stoops is reportedly on the road recruiting and is gathering information about the incident. Hopefully, we’ll hear more tomorrow.