Before we start finalizing those plans for Indianapolis this coming weekend, let’s take one last →
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 2:05pm
Dave Baker, Rex Chapman and Michael Eaves will handle the TeamStream announcing at the Final Four, CBS announced today. They will be the voices of your homer coverage for the seminal game with Wisconsin beginning around 8:30 pm on TNT.
Baker and Chapman are back for a second year, while Eaves replaces Rob Bromley in the crew.
My plea for Lukasz Obrzut, Lukasz Obrzut and Lukasz Obrzut was ignored. Maybe next year, Woo.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 2:00pm
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 1:43pm
Julius Randle made his writing debut today for The Cauldron, a website that describes itself as “Intelligent Sports Storytelling.”
Randle’s subject? Big Blue Nation, one-and-dones and teaming with Kobe Bryant.
Here’s a brief glance at his work:
Before I even stepped foot on Kentucky’s campus, I was confident in my ability to become a member of the so-called “One and Done” club that quickly passes through the college ranks on the way to the NBA. What I didn’t expect was for my college experience to be so amazing. It helped me in a ton of ways on and off the court, and gave me a lot to think about before I made the decision to declare for last year’s draft.”
First off, there’s no college experience like playing for the University of Kentucky, and it starts with the fan base. The fans are absolutely ridiculous, in a great way. When you play for the Wildcats, you’re like a member of their family. Those who wear the blue and white are treated like rock stars around town. Our fans live and breathe the game, and the passion runs year-round.”
When people ask me what makes playing basketball there so different, I laugh, and I tell them, “Imagine practicing in front of 10,000 people; that’s why UK is the most amazing program in the country.” Elements of that level of devotion may exist elsewhere, but in Kentucky, you are never forgotten. Guys who played there 20 years ago will get mobbed if they show up on the streets of Lexington. Antoine Walker, Jamal Mashburn, Rex Chapman, Tayshaun Prince, it doesn’t matter — every single one of them is beloved.
There’s plenty more from your favorite UK player last season, including why he chose to play for Calipari and his thoughts on the current state of college basketball.
DEFINITELY give it a read.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 1:33pm
We took a few steps back with this one, Big Blue Nation.
Angela Spoonamore of Garrard County is accused of giving beer and rum to her 14-month-old nephew Sunday night at a game-watch party for Kentucky’s Elite Eight game. According to WKYT, others at the party said Spoonamore got out of control and the toddler was thrown to the ground at one point.
The baby’s mother said her son never drank any of the alcohol — thank God — and he is fine.
Spoonamore faces felony charges with the possibility of five to 10 in prison.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 1:18pm
The National Association of Basketball Coaches named John Calipari its Coach of the Year for the 2014-15 college basketball season. It is Cal’s third time winning the NABC award; he took it in 1996 while at UMass and shared it with Mike Anderson in 2009, the year before he came to Kentucky.
This also marks the fourth time a UK coach has won the award. Adolph Rupp, Eddie Sutton and Tubby Smith each took honors while coaching the Wildcats.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 12:30pm
Mitch Barnhart is one of four nominees for Athletics Director of the Year, presented by the Sports Business Awards. Barnhart joins Jeff Long of Arkansas, Ian McCaw of Baylor and Dan Radakovich of Clemson in the running for the award. The winner will be announced at the Sports Business Awards ceremony on May 20, 2015 at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square.
“I am honored just to be mentioned for Athletics Director of the Year,” Barnhart said in release from UK. “I am thankful for our student-athletes, coaches, staff and the Big Blue Nation. This recognition, as well as our growth as a department, has come because of them.”
The nomination comes the same month UK Athletics completed the final stage of Barnhart’s 15 by 15 by 15 Plan.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 12:02pm
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 11:44am
The team bus got a makeover for this week’s trip up to Indianapolis for the Final Four. The blue, Blue Grass Tours look was replaced with a black wrap and “Champions Play Here” across the side.
I assume the bus still has Nintendo 64 capabilities on the television inside. If not, that needs to be fixed, immediately.
Look for this on the road in a few days.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 11:18am
After an exhausting run all around Cooper Drive and the surrounding neighborhood, it’s time for a quick breather before the chase picks up again. The cow is seen here resting between a crowd of onlookers and a man wearing – What is that man wearing? Oversized scrubs and cowboy boots?
The cow has been on the loose since 10 a.m., according to WKYT. It was captured around 10:45 a.m. but broke free for another run.
A cow-wrangling truck is now on the scene.
KEEP GOING, COW!!!!!
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 10:42am
The only explanation I can come up with for Chris Webber’s comments on Mike & Mike this morning is he must be high, which, from what I’ve heard, wouldn’t be all that crazy before noon on a Tuesday morning.
Webber went on ESPN radio to talk about the Final Four and his criticism of Willie Cauley-Stein has Big Blue Nation up in arms. The former Michigan Wolverine said Cauley-Stein will never start in the NBA and shot down any chance he could be a DeAndre Jordan-type player in the league.
He said, “Let’s just be honest: If you’re a junior in basketball and seven-feet and average under 10 points, you’re telling me he can be a DeAndre Jordan? There’s no way. Come on.”
“This kid is like seven-foot and weighs two hundred,” C-Webb continued. “He won’t start in the league. You can’t play in the league if you can’t score, people.”
Webber defended his comments on Twitter shortly after the show:
The truth hurts…. I see!
— Chris Webber (@realchriswebber) March 31, 2015
I'm going to get a time machine for these grown men on my timeline -that left their life back on the highschool bleacher… #obviouslybitter
— Chris Webber (@realchriswebber) March 31, 2015
He also said Kentucky isn’t one of the greatest teams of all-time and they would lose to several teams back in his day.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 10:26am
You’re looking at a cow sprinting down Cooper Drive, right around Commonwealth Stadium. I have no idea how or why there is a cow running around freely on campus but we’ve received plenty of photos and texts about it this morning.
A UK police officer is doing his best to corner it. It’s going to take more than that.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 9:55am
KSR listeners in or around Winchester should stop by McDonald’s on Lexington Ave for this morning’s remote broadcast. Matt and Ryan are in Clark County on the hunt for Egg White Delights and to talk about the Cats for two hours.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
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By Bryan the Intern on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 9:00am
1959: California 64, Cincinnati 58
1960: California 77, Cincinnati 69
1961: Cincinnati 70, Ohio State 65
1962: Cincinnati 71, Ohio State 59
1967: UCLA 73, Houston 58
1968: UCLA 101, Houston 69
1990: UNLV 103, Duke 73
1991: Duke 79, UNLV 77
2006: Florida 73, UCLA 57
2007: Florida 76, UCLA 66
In 4 of the 5 occasions, the same team has won both games. And consider in 3 of those 4 instances, the 2nd meeting between the 2 teams resulted in a greater margin of victory than the first time. What this shows to me is a couple things. First of all, revenge games don’t exist over the course of 2 seasons. By that time, some of players have changed and I am sure the sting of the loss has worn off much more than when it occurs in the same season. Secondly, more often than not the better team wins. In all of the cases above (sans Duke-UNLV) the better team won both matchups. There were no upsets there. Kentucky, on paper, is the better team. History shows us that UK fans should feel quite confident going into Saturday.
By Courtney Sealey on ©March 31st, 2015 @ 8:30am
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 Nathan Penrod
— Nathan Penrod (@NathanPenrod) March 30, 2015
#9 Patrick Butcher
— Patrick Butcher (@plbutcher99) March 30, 2015
#8 Jacob Runge
— Jacob Runge (@CrocodileRunge) March 30, 2015
You give him too much credit.
#7 Joshua Adams
— Joshua Adams (@ukjosh25) March 30, 2015
#6 Harrison Spires
— Harrison Spires (@HarrySpires) March 30, 2015
(You’ll have to click on it to see it clear) I think if we all do this we can all take out Laettner.
#5 Billy Big Blue
— Billy Big Blue (@Billy_Fey) March 31, 2015
It seems like Pitino has to reload every year since everyone transfers or is “no longer with the team”
#4 Matthew Terry
— Matthew Terry (@bluebloodedt) March 30, 2015
Someone is bitter.
#3 Vincent Elliott
— Vincent Elliott (@ReallyFastHero) March 30, 2015
Can we please replace this with “the shot”
#2 Stephanie Jones
— Stephanie Jones (@MsMcJones) March 30, 2015
This picture is both funny and alarming.
#1 EJ Floreal
— EJ Floreal (@BouncyE_24) March 30, 2015
Burn. Get ‘em EJ.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 30th, 2015 @ 11:30pm
Monday was a big day for Willie Cauley-Stein. The big man became the University of Kentucky’s 25th consensus First Team All-American after the Associated Press and National Association of Basketball Coaches selected him as a first-teamer. He had previously been named to the Sporting News and USBWA first teams, completing the sweep of the NCAA-recognized All-America teams.
With the AP nod, Cauley-Stein became the first AP First Team All-American to average less than 10 points per game, a true testament to his defensive prowess and ability to affect games.
So give it up for Willie Cauley-Stein and his defense in the comments section tonight. He’s had an incredible season and it’s not done yet.
Oh, and shout-out to Karl Towns, too. The AP named him Second Team All-American today.
John Calipari raved about Wisconsin’s offense.
During the Final Four teleconference Monday morning, John Calipari said Wisconsin’s offense may be better than the one he last saw in Notre Dame.
“They’re outstanding,” Cal said of the Badgers. “We just played a great offensive team in Notre Dame. This team rivals and maybe surpasses because they can iso you in the post. They shoot the three the same as Notre Dame does. They have that one guy that’s a big guy, not a guard, and their guards are good, too, in Frank who can go get his own. But Dekker has proved he can do the same. They’re really good there.”
He also wonders how Big Blue Nation always finds its way in.
When asked about the power of BBN, Cal said, “You walk into our arena at home, the upper deck in the corners are filled 40 minutes before the game. What, are you crazy? Why are you here right now? The radio show has 8,000 or 9,000 people that stay after. Our radio show would rank in the top 30 in attendance of games. The other thing is you go on the road, they’re chanting. You’re like, Oh, my gosh, they’ve taken over the arena. Like they do that. I don’t know how they get tickets. They know not to wear blue when they’re trying to get tickets. They have to wear red, orange, another color. People don’t want to sell them their tickets. They figure out ways of getting in. They don’t tell, because it’s a secret. They don’t tell anybody. No one knows. How in the world are they getting these tickets?”
Someone will make $1,000,000 if Michigan State wins the title.
A $20,000 bet was placed on Michigan State to win the champion at 50/1 odds back in December. The overly confident bettor/Spartan fan will collect $1,020,000,000 if State can pull it off in Indianapolis this weekend.
Who makes such a ludicrous bet, you ask? Derek Stevens, the owner of the D Casino on Fremont Street. The D stands for Detroit, Stevens’ hometown. (Detroit is in Michigan.)
The ’15 Michigan State and ’14 UConn similarities are really crazy.
In case you missed it, check this out.
The records and tournament runs, okay, freaky; but nearly identical points per game and identical points allowed? CRAZY.
Louisville will be terrible next season, like, really, really terrible.
Rick Pitino confirmed the departures of Montrezl Harrell and Terry Rozier to the NBA on Monday, shortly before news broke that Anton Gill will leave the program for somewhere else. Throw in Wayne Blackshear’s graduation and that’s Pitino’s three leading scorers and one young hopeful gone from the roster next season.
Serious question: Should Rick retire? I’m not sure he has enough life in him to rebuild and that record against Calipari will only get worse. Maybe it’s time to give it up.
The New York Knicks like big butts and they cannot lie.
From the New York Post, Phil Jackson may pass on Karl Towns if the Knicks are awarded the first pick because Towns’ butt isn’t big enough.
“They need a center with a big butt to hold space,’’ Charley Rosen, Jackson’s good friend, told The Post. “They didn’t have anybody like that. It takes away a major portion of what you can do with the triangle because then it really becomes just a perimeter offense.’’
Rosen believes the Knicks should go after Greg Monroe in free agency for its low-post presence.
“Towns is not a big enough body,” Rosen continued. “He’d never get that position in the NBA. He doesn’t have enough power or core strength. He wouldn’t be able to set up one dribble away from the basket. He’s not a kind of center you need in the triangle. He’s not physically that type of center, but he’s athletic and does other things. Look how far out (Lou) Amundson, (Jason) Smith and (Andrea) Bargnani get pushed out when they post up, well out of the box.’’
Read more about Towns’ butt, or lack thereof, here.
Writing that made me feel uncomfortable.
Tennessee will hire Rick Barnes, formerly of Texas and first weekend exits of the NCAA Tournament.
Barnes caught a lot of heat for underachieving with talented rosters at Texas, but it’s a pretty good get for Tennessee. There’s not much better out there for the Vols right now with Texas and Alabama going after Shaka Flocka Smart and Gregg Marshall. Maybe Barnes can rejuvenate a program that is in desperate need of a boost.
Mark Pope gets first head coaching job.
The former Wildcat became the head coach of Utah Valley State on Monday. Pope spent the last four season on the BYU bench after brief gigs with Wake Forest and Georgia following an NBA career that included stops in Indiana, Milwaukee and Denver.
At Kentucky, Pope was a member of the 1996 championship team.
UK signees and targets didn’t do so well in the Powerade Jam Fest.
Isaiah Briscoe and UK targets Brandon Ingram, Malik Newman and Stephen Zimmerman failed to escape the first round of the three-point contest, while Zimmerman lost to Florida State’s Dwayne Bacon in the dunk contest and Briscoe came up shy in the skills challenge.
The McDonald’s All-American game will be televised Wednesday night at 9:00 pm on ESPN.
The Final Four is almost here.
CAN YOU FEEL IT?
More to come throughout the week as we count down till Indianapolis. KSR will be in Indy bright and early Thursday morning for complete coverage of the scene.