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February 22nd, 2017

RECAP: Kentucky won, but that was horrible

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Technically, Kentucky won tonight, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Before we get into the recap, I’ll remind you that Missouri has only won seven games this season, two in SEC play, and lost at home to North Carolina Central by ten, the same margin by which the Cats won tonight. Yes, Kim Anderson’s team has been playing better as of late, but let’s not sit here and pretend that the reason tonight’s game was close was because Tigers played amazing basketball. The sad truth is, if not for Bam Adebayo, Kentucky would have lost this game, the thought of which is the only thing uglier than the 40 minutes of basketball we witnessed tonight.

But, the Cats survived, beating Missouri 72-62. Let’s talk about it, then burn the tape. So many weird things happened, I’m not sure where to start.

Bam played his best game of the year

Let’s start with the good: Bam Adebayo. Bam put the team on his sweaty back tonight and got only his fourth double-double of the season, first in SEC play. Bam finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks. He was 6-9 from the field and a stellar 10-13 from the line. He wasn’t perfect, but in the second half, he carried Kentucky. Bam has fallen out of the first round in some mock drafts, and if tonight’s performance wasn’t indication enough of his upside, John Calipari hammered the message home in the postgame press conference.

“If someone passes on him in the draft this year, they should be f-f-fired,” Cal said. “‘Only thing he does is dunk.’ Yeah, he dunks. He’s going to dunk on your neck. He does that too, but he guards every position. For anybody to say, ‘Well, he’s not this and this.’ You’re not on an NBA team because if you were they’ll look back and you’ll get fired.”

Exhibit A of Bam dunking on your neck:

Unfortunately, Bam’s performance was the only positive I have for tonight.

The first half entire game was awful

We all knew this team was prone to bouts of terrible basketball, but that first half was brutal. In fact, between Kentucky looking lost, Missouri’s yellow court, the terrible chants from the student section, and the officiating, watching tonight’s game felt like torture. How bad were the Cats in the first half? They only scored 31 points, no one scored in double figures, and they turned the ball over nine times to only four assists. Somehow, they led by one, but that half felt like a horrible dream, which only got weirder when SEC Network’s Laura Rutledge had the nerve to ask Calipari what he thought of the Missouri student section chanting “CAL, YOU SUCK” at him as he headed into the tunnel:

This is far from the thing we should be the most concerned about right now, but come on, Laura. How the heck was Calipari supposed to respond to that? As Jeremy Shannon said on Twitter, simply walking away from that question was the best defense we saw from Kentucky all night.

When asked about the interaction after the game, Calipari downplayed it, telling reporters that Rutledge came over to him to apologize for the question in the second half, to which he responded, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

I don’t believe that for a second, but classy response.

Malik Monk was ice cold

Monk was cold tonight, finishing with only 11 points off 4-12 from the floor, 1-5 from behind the three-point line. Unfortunately, tonight’s performance is another reminder that when Monk’s cold, you just don’t get much from him. Making matters worse were the rest of the team’s shooting woes. Usually, when Monk’s off, at least someone else will step up and shoot the ball well. That wasn’t really the case tonight, with Kentucky shooting only 28% from three, although Mychal Mulder and Wenyen Gabriel both had crucial treys down the stretch.

Calipari got T’d up

The TV broadcast was at commercial when it happened, but Calipari got a technical from Teddy Valentine at the 7:47 mark after TV Teddy whistled Wenyen Gabriel for traveling when he clearly should have called a jump ball, one of many questionable calls by the refs. After the game, Calipari said he didn’t cuss, but that he deserved the technical. (Which means he totally cussed, right?)

Some stats that prove just how bad/weird this game was

  • Kentucky had a season-high 17 turnovers to only 10 assists
  • Kentucky only had two steals, a season low
  • Kentucky only had 2 fast break points
  • Missouri kept it close by shooting only 37%, 18% from the three

This isn’t a stat, but in a sign of just how bizarre this game was, a Missouri student decided to storm the court in the final seconds of his team’s ten-point loss:

Even the TV announcers didn’t hold back on that one, calling the guy “some idiot.” That’s how desperate we all were for this game to be over.

Can this team beat Florida?

If we’re talking about the squad that just played in Columbia, no way. Like it or not, Saturday’s game vs. Florida is coming and it’s huge. Whoever wins will get the #1-seed in the SEC Tournament, and probably a better seed in the NCAA Tournament.

I’m not sure what happened to that team we all loved in December, but Calipari better find them in the next two weeks. If what we watched tonight is a preview of what’s to come, then I have the same reaction as Calipari did to Rutledge’s question:

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Tony Delk says start Mychal Mulder, sit Isaiah Briscoe

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On the SEC Network’s Tuesday night wrap-up show, Tony Delk said what many Kentucky fans are thinking right now: Mychal Mulder needs more clock.

Although, Delk went even further than that, saying Mulder should start over Isaiah Briscoe.

“I like guys who can make shots from the outside,” Delk said. “And that would be Mulder. So when you have Fox — he’s really good at getting into the paint, creating opportunities for his teammates — but what he does a good job of is finding shooters on the outside, and when Mulder comes in, it stretches the floor, he’s long, he’s athletic, he can finish at the basket and he can put the ball on the floor.”

“Fox, I really like him when he has a bunch of shooters on the court and you have Willis, Mulder and Monk… You need driving lanes when you’re a guard and you need shooters on the outside. The game has changed and it is all about knocking down shots from outside. Making that three-pointer is something every team needs to go into the tournament.”

I agree wholeheartedly with Tony and it’s nice to hear someone with the credibility of TD (and Pat Bradley, who agreed with Tony on the show) make the argument that the offense needs more shooters. Teams are packing it inside and it’s only making things harder on De’Aaron Fox, who is arguably the best offensive weapon with his driving ability. Surround De’Aaron with shooters and he has the lanes to attack and more than one option outside for the long ball. That’s the way Kentucky needs to play, with Briscoe coming in as needed as the sixth man.

Give Fox the rock, surround him with shooters, and let Bam sit back and get all the putbacks and lobs.


February 21st, 2017

Sideline reporter looked to apologize to Calipari after the game

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According to our sources on the scene, the SEC Network’s Laura Rutledge was seen looking for John Calipari after the game so she could apologize for her question during their halftime interview.

She either (a) realized she messed up; or (b) was told by her producers she was out of line (and getting crushed on Twitter).

We do not know if Rutledge was able to extend that apology to Calipari, but she did get a postgame interview, so they’re all good.

UPDATE

Calipari said Rutledge did find him and apologize.

“She came over and apologized and I’m like, ‘I don’t even know what you’re talking about.’ I had no idea. If the other team — if I walk in a building and they’re not cussing me and booing me, I will retire. It’s time to retire.”


Adebayo led Kentucky with huge double-double

Tuesday night’s Most Valuable Player award goes to Bam Adebayo and that’s not even up for debate.

The Kentucky big man scored a team-high 22 points with a career-high 15 rebounds and three blocks. According to one Corey Price, Adebayo’s impressive stat line marked the first time a Wildcat had ever gone for 22/15/3 in an SEC road game. (Ever, as in program history.)

Afterwards, Adebayo told reporters in his postgame press conference, “I feel like I played great. We came out with a W, so I’m happy.”

It’s hard to imagine Kentucky winning that game without Adebayo’s dominance in the paint. He played an outstanding game when no one else did.

Put that in your mock draft, Chad Ford.


Cats win despite ugly play at Mizzou

Denny Medley | USA Today

Denny Medley | USA Today

That was supposed to be a blowout.

It was not a blowout.

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Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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Wendy’s new Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich features our iconic Spicy Chicken, topped with a one of kind Sriracha Jack Cheese, thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, creamy Sriracha aioli, spring mix, and red onion, all served on a toasted Sriracha-infused bakery-style bun.


You can be a part of Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day. Now. On to the tweets:

#10 Jamie Stogsdill

Peace out homies

 

#9 Randolph Vance

Does sight have anything to do with bad radio?

 

#8 Chester

That fits.

 

#7 Guy Jones III

Just your regular L7Weenie

 

#6 Tyler Warfel

Raising them right.

 

#5 Darrin Herndon

Of all the times we actually need him.

 

#4 Jeff Smith

This is the hero we deserve.

 

#3 Thomas Clay

You right, you right.

 

#2 Jennie Crawford

I feel that.

 

#1 Jay Mallory

Same.

 

@haleysimpKSR


Calipari walks away from reporter’s question as students chant “Cal you suck!”

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John Calipari did his best to keep his cool during his halftime interview as Mizzou students chanted “Cal-You-Suck!” just a few feet away.

Then for some reason, SEC Network sideline reporter Laura Rutledge thought it would be a good idea to ask Cal about the student’s chant.

He didn’t like the question.

It’s safe to say Laura Rutledge has done her last interview with John Calipari.


At The Half: Kentucky 31, Missouri 30

Denny Medley | USA Today

Denny Medley | USA Today

Did anyone enjoy that?

We sure didn’t.

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UK vs. Missouri LIVE BLOG

Live Blog UK vs. Mizzou LIVE BLOG
 


We played Tinder on Tuesday’s edition of Hey Kentucky

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On Tuesday night’s edition of the not-yet-award-winning Hey Kentucky, Matt and I played a fun and harmless game of Tinder on air.

We also talked Cats-Mizzou, DeMarcus Cousins, Swedish government, extreme snapping and much, much more.

See the entire episode below:

(more…)


Missouri Fans Looking Forward To The First Five Minutes Of Basketball They’ve Watched All Year

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Editor’s Note: The following was written by Harold Leeder, editor-in-chief of The New Circle Circular, Lexington’s #1 source of fake news you can’t count on.

Deep in the heart of the south east, Columbia, Missouri is known for two things and neither of them are basketball fandom. Missouri fans, still coming down from the euphoria of a 4-8 football season, have emerged from their three month sports hibernation to watch tonight’s game vs Kentucky, in what many assume is the home opener for the basketball team.

Attending a “Mizzou” basketball game is like Mardi Gras for basketball, if Mardi Gras was set inside an old church’s auxiliary gym, and only your uncle and youth minister were there. We caught up with Chad, one of Missouri’s biggest (read: only) basketball fans. “Look, we’re the show me state, if you want me to believe we’re playing basketball, you’ve gotta show me. I haven’t seen our games on TV or anything.”

“I’m excited to see the first game of the season here. We’ve all heard of March Madness but it’s cool to see the team early on like this.” Chad continued, “If the game is close I’ll probably stick around to halftime, otherwise I’ll just head out at the under 16 media timeout and go back to the library since it’s only pre-season.”

The fanbase’s only game of the year is a late one, as tipoff is scheduled for 9pm tonight. The late start, and not the terrible play by the tigers, may explain why the University’s marketing for the game encourages students to “Catch some Z’s with MiZZou Basketball.”

To keep up with The New Circle Circular, like the Facebook page or follow Harold Leeder’s Twitter Account.


Blue is getting in to Missouri

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Shoutout to Micah Riddle for these pictures of Kentucky fans making themselves at home in Columbia for tonight’s game. At this rate, will there be more Cats fans than Tigers fans?

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Isaac Humphries honoring former teammate with his shoes tonight

Isaac Humphries

If you notice some writing on Isaac Humphries’ shoes tonight, here’s the reason: according to @OlgunUluc, the Australian big man is honoring his friend and former teammate Arran Bannatyne, who passed away last weekend. Isaac posted this picture of himself writing “RIP Arran” and the date of his birth and death on his shoes a few hours ago:

Condolences to Isaac and the Bannatyne family. Twenty is way too young…


Can Anything Good Come From Tonight’s Game?

Sandwiched in-between a difficult road win at Georgia and a duel for first place in the SEC against Florida, tonight’s road trip to Missouri is by definition a trap game.

The Tigers are are just 2-12 in the SEC, second to last in the league, and their best quality win was a one-point loss to eleventh-ranked Xavier.  The game will not tip-off until 9:00, but a black-out will surely create the best atmosphere that arena has seen all season.

Been there, done that.

What makes this “trap game” even more of a trap, is that nothing good can come from this.  As T.I. once said, “You either you lose or you lose.”

If Kentucky blows out Missouri, it’s expected.  Any significant improvements made will be brushed aside.  Instead of praising them, most will credit the result to Missouri’s ineptitude.  It should not be the case, especially with just two weeks left in the regular season, but that is how most will perceive their performance.

Even if Kentucky wins by double-digits, they will not get credit for winning on the road, even though the Cats are just 5-3 in true road games.  In those eight games, the point differential is just +30.  For some, Kentucky could win by double-digits on the road for only the second time this season, but if they don’t cover there’s hell to pay.

If Kentucky loses, prepare for anarchy.

Luckily, not even Kim Anderson is confident that will happen.  “We have to play a near perfect game in a couple aspects to be able to hang with them.”

There are some things the Cats can work on tonight — pick-and-roll defense, on-ball defense, playing with pace offensively and offensive rebounding — but in this trap game, it’s unlikely anyone will leave satisfied.

 


DeMarcus Cousins pens emotional farewell to Sacramento fans

(Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

(Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

After nearly breaking down in tears in front of a group of fans last night, DeMarcus Cousins just released an emotional farewell letter to Sacramento, promising fans that just because he’s with the New Orleans Pelicans now, he will never forget the city that was his home for almost seven years:

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family…and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on

Leaving fans in Sacramento must have been tough, but Boogie sure looked happy when he stepped of the private plane in Nola:

This picture of Boogie reading the New Orleans paper on the plane from his manager Andrew Rogers is also very cool:

Here’s to a clean slate.