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December 19th, 2014

10 Things to Know About UCLA

Tomorrow, the Cats will take on fellow blue blood UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic in Chicago. Maybe it’s because there’s been a lot of football news this week or just that UCLA is so terrible, but there hasn’t been a ton of hype around this game. We’ll leave the serious scouting report to Brandon Ramsey tomorrow morning, but until then, here are 10 things to get you ready for the Bruins.

1. John Calipari once called Alford “the best human being I’ve ever been around”

When Alford was hired at New Mexico in 2007, Calipari had nothing but praise for Alford.

“The University of New Mexico just created its first upset before ever playing a game. What a great hire for the Lobos-this guy can really coach. The University, the state, the team and the fans just got someone special. Steve Alford is the best human being I’ve ever been around.”

More proof of their friendship? Calipari agreed to do a home-and-home with UCLA starting next year. He doesn’t do that for just anyone.

2. Two of Steve Alford’s sons play for him

That’s Kory on the left and Bryce on the right. Kory’s older and transferred to UCLA from New Mexico. He doesn’t play often. Bryce is the starting point guard and averages 18 points per game and 6.7 assists.

3. He’s also really good at trick shots

He may need that to score against Kentucky.

4. That North Carolina team we just beat? UCLA lost to them by 22

That’s one of three losses for the Bruins this season. In the Battle 4 Atlantis, they lost to the Tar Heels and Oklahoma, but rallied to beat UAB by 12. Last Saturday, Gonzaga beat them 87-74 in Pauly Pavilion, with Kyle Wiltjer scoring 24 points.

5. Tony Parker is tight with Alex Poythress

Drew told you this earlier in the week, but Parker and Poythress played on the same AAU team growing up. The two are so close that Alex tried to recruit Tony to Kentucky, calling him everyday to talk about the Cats and make sure Tony was watching UK’s games. Even though Parker had an offer from Kentucky, it didn’t work, but the two are still close, and Parker reached out to Alex after his injury last week:

6. Kevon Looney is the only freshman in the country averaging a double-double

Right now, the freshman forward is averaging 13.9 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Looney is the centerpiece of UCLA’s offense, which is averaging 80.8 points per game. Right now, Matt Norlander says Looney is the third best freshman in the country behind Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and Indiana’s James Blackmon, Jr. In turn, his NBA stock is rising and one scout told Adam Zagoria that Looney is “the most dominant rebounder in college basketball.”

Hmm. I bet our bigs will have something to say about that.

7. June 10 is Kevon Looney Day in Milwaukee

IG: flyght5

IG: flyght5

Looney grew up in Milwaukee and chose UCLA over Duke, which shocked just about everyone. He was a consensus five-star, top 15 recruit. Kentucky never offered.

8. This is the 11th meeting between the two blue bloods

UK leads the series 6-4. The last time we played the Bruins? November 2006 in the Maui Classic. At the time, UCLA was ranked #5 and Kentucky #20, and the Bruins won. That UCLA team had Russell Westbrook on it and went on to lose to Florida in the Final Four. Get ready to see a lot more of the pale blue and gold; the Cats just agreed to a two-game home-and-home series with UCLA starting next season at Pauley Pavilion.

9. Several UCLA players will be taking finals today

Yesterday, Steve Alford said that because it’s finals week, several of his players will be doing proctored exams in the hotel today. “That part doesn’t make it any easier when you’re prepping for the best team in the country,” Alford said. So, if you’re staying in the same hotel as the Bruins, please be quiet and courteous. Just kidding. Be loud.

10. Former Bruin Kris Johnson has the best quote ever about Kentucky fans

Johnson played for UCLA from 1994-1998 and after the Cats beat the Bruins in the 1998 Tournament on their way to the title, he couldn’t help but long to be a part of the Big Blue Nation:

“When you see Kentucky’s fans, you just wonder. You think how wonderful it would be to go to their school. You wish you could trade places for a day, just so you could experience that feeling.”

It’s pretty great, isn’t it?


Watch Charles Matthews on ESPN2 tonight

Photo @StRitaAthletics

We don’t talk about UK’s first 2015 commitment Charles Matthews that often, but UK fans will have a great chance to get to know him better tonight. Matthews and his St. Rita squad will take on Simeon at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 as part of the Geico ESPN High School Basketball Showcase.

Obviously, the game is in Chicago, as is the Kentucky team, so there’s a very good chance Calipari and the squad will make the trek to Moraine Valley Community Collegein in the Palos Hills suburb of Chi-town to see the future Cat play. If they do, I can guarantee you we’ll have pictures on the site.

Until then, enjoy some highlights:


Dawson will make $550,000 per year

Now that the Shannon Dawson hire is official, some details are finally coming out. According to UK, Dawson will earn $550,000 per year, the same salary as his predecessor Neal Brown. That’s a substaintial pay raise for Dawson, who made about $250,000 per year at West Virginia.


UK makes it official, announces Shannon Dawson as the new offensive coordinator

dawsonUK

It’s now official: UK just announced that it has hired Shannon Dawson as the football team’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“I’m very excited to bring Shannon Dawson to the University of Kentucky,” Stoops said in a release. “He has done a great job in helping build programs to success on every level. I’ve been impressed with the balance of West Virginia’s offense and how difficult they are to defend. I love the continuity he will bring to what we’ve been doing as we build on the progress we’ve made so far.

“In learning more about Shannon, I’ve found out what a strong leader he is and heard nothing but good things about him throughout our profession,” Stoops concluded.

Dawson returned the kind words and says he can’t wait to be a part of what Mark Stoops is building in Lexington. “The opportunity to work with Coach Stoops is awesome and growing up in SEC country, I’ve always wanted to coach in the league,” Dawson said. “I’ve recruited against Kentucky the last couple of years and have been impressed with how Coach Stoops is building a foundation and has the program going in the right direction. I look forward to helping him and his staff do that.”

Read the entire release after the jump.

(more…)


Photobombing: UCLA

UCLA_Entrance_Sign

Welcome to UCLA! Get ready to experience your education at a top-rated school The Hollywood Reporter recently referred to as “boffo” and Variety once named “the perfect educational vehicle for Emmy Award-winner Tom Skerritt!” It’s time for you to take learning to the next level at the very institution noted film critic Leonard Maltin once called “not laid out great” while teaching an adjunct class!

grad-admission

Hey, guys! Get off the grass! Just kidding. The grass is created by computer generated imagery, or “CGI.” In fact, UCLA is the only university in the nation to be projected entirely onto a green screen, so enjoy the fabulous sites and sounds all around you but don’t wear green or people will be able to see through you.

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UCLA is all about the “LA Lifestyle,” which means when you’re not studying hard for a final at Williams Andrew Clark Memorial Library you’re free to explore underneath the many piers of Los Angeles’ beautiful beaches with your post-Britpop space-rock/slowcore fusion band as you shoot possible album liner photos with your Instagram “Lo-Fi” filter!

campus-life-housing-06

Just another day on campus? Wrong! In just a few seconds a director will call action and Will Smith’s Galborian Intergalactic Escape Pod will come screaming and crashing down onto the sidewalk as a take in Renny Harlin’s latest sci-fi actioner Solar Justice comes to life before the running cameras. Look for it in July 2016!

values

Call us! We’ll do lunch! Learn how to network throughout the industry when you enroll in UCLA’s award-winning Entertainment Connections Program and you’ll soon be discussing the latest numbers on that student film while you do cocaine off a samurai sword and text your mistress in Toluca Lake. As Cannonball Run II star Telly Savalas would say, “Who loves ya, baby?” We do! UCLA does!

community-k12-programs

Get valuable work experience in the television industry with one of UCLA’s prime internships, available by applying at the UCLA Office of Work studies. Here we see a young intern already tasked with the important job of conducting a poll for Entertainment Tonight! And — spoiler alert — only 55% of you love Reese Witherspoon’s new haircut!

academics-grad-public-health

Surprise! Dr. Judy Wong of UCLA’s Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital is hiding all over campus, waiting to jump out and scare you! But between you and us, we think she’s doing a lot more “delighting” than “frightening” people these days!

arts-architecture

Don’t worry! We don’t know what it is either! And we won’t tell anyone you don’t! Trust us, there’s stuff like this all over campus! That’s what makes UCLA so eclectic — just nod and pretend and your next girlfriend could be a yoga teacher who pretends to enjoy the films of Gael Garcia Bernal!

housing-and-dining

The dining halls at UCLA are second to none. At any given hour you can meet up with your “amigos” and “fuel up” with some “‘za” as you make plans to head out to studio city and attend a taping of the hit CBS show Mom, starring Allison Janney and Anna Faris. While you’re in the dining hall, keep an eye open and maybe you’ll see Fast Steven. If you do, tell him hello — if you can catch him!

undergraduate-admission

No Katie, the second-to-third act shift has to come when Paul Blart realizes that his overzealousness just cost him his job! Only then can he come to terms with the fact that by foiling the big bank robbery can he gain everyone’s trust back! Workshopping your spec scripts are even easier (and more fun) when you’re doing it with fellow Bruins!

community-academic-programs

Community garden, right?…don’t worry, we won’t tell! We’re cool!

faculty

Many of UCLA’s award-winning professors are ex-industry professionals themselves. For instance, you’re sure to learn a lot from Nine to Five and Slap Maxwell star Dabney Coleman, who runs UCLA’s molecular biology department.

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From the day you step foot on UCLA’s campus you’ll be primed and prepared for a valuable career beyond our prestigious classrooms. Enjoy it, have fun, study hard and we can’t wait to see you as “Latino Gangbanger #4″ on an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles someday. At UCLA, you’re on your way!


Want to party with the BBN in Chicago? Here’s where you need to go

Looking for Cat fans in the Windy City? We’re hearing you’ve got three options for pregame festivities tomorrow:

Vincenzo’s

1104 West Madison Street, Chicago, IL 60607

Vincenzo’s became an unofficial UK bar before the Champions Classic last year and they’re running it back again on Saturday. They will have food and drink specials for Big Blue Nation and a free shuttle to and from the United Center.  Vincenzo’s is on West Madison Street, about one mile west east of the basketball.

The Pony

1638 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657

The Pony is the home of the BBN in Chicago. It’s the place to watch the game if you don’t have tickets and they’ll be partying before and after as well. The Pony is farther away from the United Center but I believe they’re offering a bus ride too.

The Ogden

1659 West Ogden Avenue, Chicago, IL 60607

The official UK Alumni Association gathering will be at The Ogden, which is two blocks from the United City. They’re opening at 9 a.m. Saturday with food and drink specials, including $5 Kentucky-themed stadium cups (hooray!).

Have a few for me, BBN.


How will Tyler handle his trip back home?

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Tomorrow’s game is especially big for Tyler Ulis. The Lima, Ohio native moved to Chicago in high school to play for Marian Catholic, where he was a two-time Illinois All-State selection and the SouthtownStar Player of the Year. Ulis is Marian Catholic’s career leader in points (2,335), assists (578) and steals (283). Tomorrow, he’ll be playing in front of a lot of friends and fans, something we’ve learned is not always easy for Kentucky freshmen.

“It’s hard. He’s going home. It’s a hard deal,” John Calipari said yesterday. “The one thing I think we can expect him to do is play hard and compete and battle, because that’s who he is. He’s like the energy bunny. But the other parts — making shots or doing the things that he’s doing in a free-flowing game — we’ll find out where he is right now.”

Cal brought up Trey Lyles’ homecoming to Indianapolis for the Kansas game and how he struggled, putting up only four points and four rebounds in 19 minutes. “It’s just hard. It’s a hard deal,” Cal said. “It was hard for Trey. Think about it. You’re talking young kids, 18 years old, going home in front of family and friends.”

Tyler told reporters he can’t wait to go home, and several of his teammates have given him their extra tickets to give to more friends and family. “I can’t wait to get back home, play in front of the home crowd. Everybody’s there. My family is going to be there watching, lots of my hometown friends and stuff like that. It’s going to be exciting,” Ulis said. So, no pressure? “Not really because I’ve been playing around them my whole life. It’s just another game.”

I have a feeling Ulis will handle it just fine. Also, I’m shocked no one has done a photoshop of Ulis as the Energizer Bunny yet.

UPDATE: Just like that, the BBN comes through. Courtesy of @outRAGEous02


DeMarcus Cousins is a beast in his first game back from viral meningitis

HECTOR AMEZCUA HAMEZCUA@SACBEE.COM

After sitting out ten games with viral meningitis, DeMarcus Cousins was back on the court last night and didn’t miss a beat. Cousins had 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists in the Kings’ 108-107 loss to the Bucks. Boogie missed a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer for the chance to win, which explains that sad picture of him on the court above.

Regardless, it was good to see Boogie back in form after his health scare. Here are the highlights:


This video will get you ready for Saturday

I especially love how the names pop up. Alex’s is this best:

alex


What does Hal Mumme think of the Shannon Dawson hire?

I have two stories to share that will tell you. Both The Courier-Journal’s Kyle Tucker and The Herald-Leader’s Jen Smith interviewed Mumme about Dawson yesterday. I encourage you to check both stories out in full, but here’s a quote and a link to each to get you started:

He’s really a brilliant guy,” Mumme said. “This is a great move for Kentucky.”

Kyle Tucker: Mumme: New OC “a great move for Kentucky”

“He’s going to make a connection with the kids and he’s really smart,” Mumme said. “He’s a great recruiter. He loves the game and has a great passion for it. I can’t say enough good things about him.”

Jen Smith: How Hal Mumme’s problem became Mark Stoops’ solution as Kentucky’s new offensive coordinator


KSR from the Windy City! (Friday Show Thread)

Gooooood morning, KSR! Today, Matt is live from the Windy City to get you ready for tomorrow’s showdown with UCLA in the CBS Sports Classic. Tune in to hear him talk about the game, UK’s new offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson, and special teams coach Craig Naivar leaving Kentucky for Houston.

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

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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Funkhouser’s Ultimate Christmas Album 2014

 

Funkhouser Logo

FUNKHOUSER’S ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS ALBUM 2014

Over the course of the last four days, Funkhouser writers have shared with you their favorite holiday/Christmas songs.  The goal for all of these lists has been to provide our loyal Funkhouser readers with a Christmas playlist that they can enjoy and share at Christmas parties or holiday celebrations in the remaining time this season.  We wanted to give you a list of music that would break up the monotony of the same 20 songs that get played on the Christmas radio stations.  While a few of those songs you normally would hear are here, there are many you may never have heard before.

If you want to go back to see the individual lists from this week, and reasons for selecting each song, click the names of the Funkhouser writers below:

Kalan Kucera | Richmond Bramblet | C.M. Tomlin | Brennan English | S.E. Shepherd

Check out the playlists that we’ve put together for you below, we hope you enjoy them.  At the bottom of the page, we have bonus playlists from some of the KSR family who were unable to post their favorites, but we wanted to share them with you.

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SPOTIFY PLAYLIST:

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YOUTUBE PLAYLIST:

There are some songs however, that aren’t on Spotify for you to enjoy in the playlist.  You can go ahead and blame that one on T. Swift.  Anyway, any of the songs that weren’t on Spotify have been placed in a YouTube playlist for your enjoyment.

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We were also joined by other KSR family members who were unable to do a post for the website, but sent along their favorite Christmas tunes.  Their selections have been placed in the Spotify and YouTube playlists.

Matt Shorr:

Run DMC: Christmas in Hollis: Best Christmas song ever, in the best Christmas movie ever (“Die Hard”)

A John Waters Christmas: various artists.  All the songs are so gloriously off-kilter, you can’t pick just one.  However, pay close attention to “Happy Birthday Jesus” and “Little Mary Christmas.”  For the most jaded and cynical among us.

Dr. Demento Presents The Gretest Christmas Novelty CD of All Time: various artists.  Again, for the Christmas iconoclast, but less guilt-inducing than John Waters’ compilation.  This is pure Detroit late-night radio madness, with Weird Al, the Mackenzie Brothers, and a bunch of others your grandparents laughed at until their guts hurt.  Some annoying songs, but some with real staying power.

“Baby Please Come Home”: U2.  This will remind you that Bono actually has a great voice.  A classic sung by a classic.

“Silent Night”: Stevie Nicks.  You didn’t need reminding that Nicks has an amazing voice.  But here’s a reminder anyway.

 

Shannon The Dude:

Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmas Time

Bing Crosby – Snow

Scott Weiland – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

John Coltrane – My Favorite Things

Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time is Here

Zooey Deschanel – Baby It’s Cold Outside

Mannheim Steamroller – Deck The Halls

Fiona Apple – Frosty The Snowman

 

Maria:

Mariah Carey: All I want for Christmas is You

Mariah Carey: Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

Michael Buble: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Celine Dion: Don’t Save it All for Christmas Day

Brenda Lee: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree

Andy Williams: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Idina Menzel (duet with Michael Buble): Baby It’s Cold Outside

Johnny Mathis: It’s Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Carrie Underwood: Do You Hear What I Hear?

The Eagles: Please Come Home For Christmas

 

Tyler:

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays – NSYNC

All I Want For Christmas is You – Mariah Carey

Last Christmas – WHAM

Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Death Cab For Cutie

Angels We Have Heard on High – Sufjan Stevens

Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid

Oh Christmas Tree – A Charlie Brown Christmas

War is Over – John Lennon

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We here at Funkhouser wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or a festive whatever you do or don’t celebrate!  All the best to you and your families!

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Calipari’s First 200 Games in Perspective

I think it is going to be nearly impossible for any coach to ever come close to the accomplishments at UK that Adolph Rupp did.  The stresses of the job today are unlike anything that Rupp had to deal with and coaches are more likely to leave for more lucrative jobs today than they were in the past.  Rupp spent 42 years at the University of Kentucky and probably would have spent more had he not been forced into retirement.  Currently there are NO college basketball coaches who have been at the same school 42 years.  Jim Boeheim is the most at 38 years.

Point being, when it comes to greatest UK coach, it’s incredibly unlikely Calipari could challenge Rupp unless he goes on a run of titles and gets past 4 total.  What’s difficult to consider is that you could argue Cal should have 3 titles right now.  But nonetheless, it seems unlikely Calipari will win 5 titles at Kentucky.  With that said, he did just cross the 200 game total barrier in Lexington and it has been a wild ride.  How has Cal’s first 200 games compared to the other great UK coaches?  Below are some key categories:

Overall Record
John Calipari: 163-37
Adolph Rupp: 163-37
Rick Pitino: 156-44
Tubby Smith: 154-46
Joe B. Hall: 148-52

NCAA Tournament Wins
John Calipari: 18
Tubby Smith: 14
Joe B. Hall: 12
Rick Pitino: 11
Adolph Rupp: 0 (no Tournament held until 1939)

Wins vs Louisville, Indiana, and North Carolina
John Calipari: 13
Tubby Smith: 9
Rick Pitino: 9
Joe B. Hall: 4
Adolph Rupp: 0


KSR’s Top Ten Tweets of the Day

Catspause

Darrell Bird

A week without basketball is almost over–rejoice! 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  Keith Olbermann

NBD Mark Cuban. NBD.

 

 

#9  DJ Juche

WOAH.

 

 

#8  Not Tipton

This is just mean.

 

.
#7  Matt Beck

We were young and foolish.

 

#6  Triangle Offense

 Of course.

 

#5  Stephen Colbert

It’s true.

 

 

#4  Blake Prather

WOOF WOOF.

 

 

#3  Andrew Sharp

Ecstatic.

 

 

#2  Spencer Hall

Called it.

 

 

#1  Heath Holt

This will always be number one.

@BrennanKSR + Funkhouser


December 18th, 2014

Thursday Night News and Views

Shoutout to these fine folks for repping the Cats in the middle of enemy territory. Stay strong over the next week and a half, my friends.

After virtually no news all week, we’ve been slammed by an avalanche of it for the past 24 hours. Let’s get rolling so I can go catch up on Serial.

Mark Stoops came on KSR and was excellent

Stoops spent an entire hour in studio with the guys in what may have been his best KSR appearance yet. Because the hire isn’t official yet, Stoops wasn’t allowed to call Shannon Dawson UK’s new offensive coordinator just yet, but he did his best to describe him in an abstract manner. For instance, when Matt asked Stoops what he thought of West Virginia’s offense (again, can’t mention names), Stoops couldn’t help but laugh. “I have great respect for that offense. Dana and their offensive coordinator and coaches, they do a great job. It’s the style that’s hard to defend,” Stoops said, praising West Virginia’s balanced attack. “I don’t care if you emphasize pass, run, or whatever, you’ve gotta be able to do both. That’s the bottom line. To succeed in the SEC, you’ve gotta have some balance.”

Stoops says this hire will show he is all in on the Air Raid system

Hiring Dawson, a Mumme Air Raid disciple, is a clear sign that Stoops is sticking with the Air Raid, a philosophy some people questioned his loyalty to during the search for a new OC. “I wholeheartedly believe in that system,” Stoops said. “I think you need to be a little bit different, a little unique here. I think the people like that. I think we need to win games. Ultimately, I’m here to win games.”

It doesn’t hurt that all of UK’s players, coaches, and schemes are already Air Raid. “I didn’t want to take a step back by bringing someone in and completely changing our style,” Stoops said.

As of now, there will not be a Spring Game

The one bit of breaking news Stoops did share was that as of now, there will not be a Spring Game due to construction at Commonwealth Stadium. “We probably won’t have a Spring Game this year,” Stoops said, mentioning how Texas A&M didn’t have one this past year because of construction at Kyle Field; however, the decision isn’t final yet. “I don’t know what we’ll do, we’ll see.”

For a complete rundown of Stoops’ appearance on KSR, scroll down to Drew’s recap earlier, or listen below:

Stoops and his wife held a farewell dinner for UK’s seniors

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 6.44.55 PM

I hope they took it easy on the plumbing this time.

Craig Naivar is leaving UK for Houston

The backwards hat wearing coach will take a position on the Houston coaching staff, leaving Mark Stoops to hire his third special teams coach in three seasons. Naivar told CatsPause.com that the job at Houston was “an opportunity I couldn’t say no to,” but he is confident that Stoops and company are about to turn the corner. “Mark has got a great thing going, this thing is about to go through the roof with the direction he’s got recruiting wise,” Naivar said.

Don’t pass the Kleenex.

Switching gears to basketball…

Alex Poythress probably won’t make the trip to Chicago

John Calipari had two media opportunities today, and during both, gave us an update on Alex Poythress. Cal said that Alex is “doing as well as can be expected,” and is about ten days out from surgery (they have to wait for the swelling to go down before operating). Poythress will probably stay home instead of going to Chicago with the team, and Cal said he was in a “great frame of mind” about his recovery, which he can use to work on his jumper, motor, and other skills. Will Alex come back to school? Cal said he would love to have a senior Alex Poythress, but “if it’s in his best interest to put his name in the draft, I would support it and help it along and do that. He’s going to do what’s right for him.”

Ulis’ healing wrap (@AlexRisen)

Tyler Ulis had a wrap around his right leg, but he’s fine

After going down with leg cramps in the North Carolina game, it was a little alarming to see Tyler Ulis with a leg wrap during the media opp today, but don’t freak out. It’s no big thing. “Just precautionary,” Tyler told reporters. “I’m trying to get warm before practice so I put a heat pack on before so I don’t go out there tight.”

Calipari said that Ulis suffers from a condition similar to tendonitis, and needs to focus on taking care of himself. “It’s like when you go in an NBA locker room. Every one of them, I think 75 percent of the NBA has tendonitis so you can figure out how to play with it or don’t play,” Cal said.

Cal said Willie has “taken on a different persona”

When asked if this team could be one of the all-time greats, Calipari said his players must first fully commit to putting in the extra time like Willie Cauley-Stein has in the past month.

“What I really like is Willie has taken on a different persona. I sat him down about a month ago and said, ‘Why don’t you want to be the number one pick in the draft?’ He asked me what I meant. ‘Well it’s obvious you don’t want to be the number one pick. Why wouldn’t you? You have this team around you. All you have to do is perform and improve and improve in a couple areas and you’re on the page.’ He said, ‘I do want to.’ Then do more. Come into practice longer. Come in here at night. Spend more time at this – the sport. He has been.”

Calipari didn’t ride on a plane until he was 20 years old

In news that won’t surprise you, Calipari was kind of all over the place in his presser today, turning a question about whether or not he cheered for UCLA growing up into an anecdote about his childhood outside Pittsburgh. “UCLA, they were like faraway lands. I mean, I didn’t even go on vacation until I was 19, and that was to Maryland. Maryland,” Calipari repeated for emphasis. “We drove to the Maryland shore. I was not on an airplane until I was 20. So when you start talking UCLA, ‘Where in the world? Is that in our country?’”

Yes. Yes, it is.

Derryck Thornton will visit on January 12 for the Missouri game

The 2016 point guard is looking at UK, Duke, Louisville, Arizona, UCLA, Michigan, and Miami. Pitino’s after him pretty hard and is encouraging him to reclassify to 2015, which makes me hope he stays in 2016 and picks the Cats even more.

Thoughts out to Louisville’s Dancing Guy

This was posted on social media today:

IMG_3139

For serious. Get well soon.

KSR will be live from Chicago in the morning

Matt will do tomorrow’s show live from the Windy City. I’m sitting this trip out, so please send me tons of pictures of you all having fun all over Chicago to make me feel jealous included.