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January 20th, 2019

Today on KSR: Cats survive monster comeback; take down #14 Auburn

Jan 19, 2019; Auburn, AL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats forward Reid Travis (22) makes a shot against the Auburn Tigers during the first half at Auburn Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Well yesterday was fun. Kentucky picked up a massive road win against not only just one of the best teams in the SEC, but also what I believe is one of the better teams in the entire country.

The story of the game? A massive start to the second half that saw the Cats get out to a big lead which somehow flipped the three point switch for Auburn and the three ball began to fall. Auburn took the lead in the closing seconds, but clutch free throws down the stretch gave the Cats an 82-80 victory. Now on to the news:

Keldon Johnson bounced back from Scoreless Game vs. Georgia

Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

We all say it seemingly after every game. For this Kentucky team to be successful, Keldon Johnson HAS to play well. Sure, there was an exception on Tuesday night against a bad Georgia team, but to beat a good team, Johnson must be a star player.

A star player he was yesterday on the plains. The UK freshman scored 20 points, which tied with Tyler Herro for the team lead, and was a major difference in the game. One of the biggest shots in the entire game was a three by Johnson as the shot clock was expiring in the second half. It stopped a huge momentum turn for Auburn.

If Johnson continues this stretch for the next few games, this could turn into a massive run for the Cats, but consistency has to be key.

The game didn’t start great for Johnson as it took a teammate to tell him to… well…. you can probably read his lips:

After this moment, he turned it on. In all seriousness, this was a true leadership moment for Hagans and a good sign moving forward.

Tom Hart with a Big Time Tweet Postgame

Everyone’s favorite tv play-by-play announcer, Tom Hart, gave a nice compliment to the Cats after he caught up with the games. This was his opinion on a specific sequence in the game:

Personally, I could not agree with him more. That run to end the first half and begin the second was some of the best basketball I have seen this team play since the Bahamas. Is it sustainable for a full 40 minutes? Maybe not, but when this team plays that way and fits those keys, there aren’t many teams in the country that can actually beat them.

Charles Barkley and John Calipari have a funny interaction

Jan 19, 2019; Auburn, AL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Ashton Hagans (2) talks with coach John Calipari during the first half against the Auburn Tigers at Auburn Arena. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

In case you didn’t watch ESPN’s coverage of the game, “the Round Mound of Rebound” himself, Charles Barkley, was in attendance to cheer on his alma mater. He spent a segment in the first half with the ESPN broadcast in which he had a point where he was very complimentary of Kentucky and the Big Blue Nation.

After the game, Barkley went into the press area during Calipari’s postgame interview in what turned into a perfect moment. Just as a heads up, there is a NSFW moment right at the beginning of the clip:

Barkley is one of my favorite studio analysts in sports. His humor and knowledge of the game is unmatched and he works perfectly with the TNT crew for NBA games.

Anthony Edwards to visit Kentucky this Week

Photo: Alyssa Trofort/Under Armour

While most fans were focusing on the game, some big recruiting news came through the wire with Anthony Edwards announcing that he will be visiting Lexington this week.

While most believe that he is headed to Tallahassee to suit up for former Kentucky assistant Leonard Hamilton, getting him on campus is a big deal.

For more on the announcement, including when specifically he will be in town, click here.

College GameDay to come to Lexington next weekend

In what might have been the least surprising news of yesterday, College GameDay officially announced that they will be bringing their show back to Lexington for the 10th straight year.

With Kansas coming to town, a possible top ten matchup (although Kansas did lose to unranked WVU) is one that producers are obviously excited about. Plus, Kentucky fans always show up in mass numbers.

Heck, this even gives me an excuse to share the video of the first of the ten straight. The moment where many say, “Kentucky Basketball was back.”

The Super Bowl will be set Today

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

We are only two weeks away from one of the best days in sports; Super Bowl Sunday. After today, we will know the two teams that will be making the trip to Atlanta to compete for the Lombardi Trophy.

Only one former Cat remains, Larry Warford and his New Orleans Saints will host the Los Angeles Rams at 3:05 EST on FOX.

The AFC Championship pits young vs. old as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs welcome in Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Kick for that game is scheduled for 6:40pm on CBS.

Not that you really care who I am picking, but I am taking the Saints and Chiefs. Every dynasty has to come to an end at some point.

With all of that being said, this probably guarantees that the Rams and Patriots will be meeting up in two weeks in the Super Bowl.

That wraps up your news for the day. If you are in an area that has been affected by #Snowmaggedon, be safe and enjoy your Sunday. Go Cats!

@GormleyKSR


BIG BLUE BUCKETS: 20% off at the KSR Shop!

With UK’s big road win against Auburn, the KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are here with their Big Blue Buckets sale! Head to ShopKSR.com to receive 20% off your purchase. Stock up on some new KSR gear, UK tees, hats, and more!

Sale ends at midnight.  Go Cats!

[KSR Shop]


January 19th, 2019

TRANSCRIPT: John Calipari breaks down victory over Auburn

Opening statement…

“This is so hard for these kids, and let me tell you again what I’m proud of. We’re playing a veteran team that have been through wars and have been through games like this, they made shots, were down seventeen and never stopped, but neither did we. Keldon [Johnson] makes a play, Tyler [Herro] makes a couple plays, we make free throws. Again the issue here is they’re pressing about individual play, you can’t for a team and be in that mode, you have to just go with what the team is asking you to do, and if you can’t do what the team needs, you won’t play much. In a game like this it’s fight. The game was physical with a lot of hand to hand combat, that’s how the game is played here. I’m proud of him though (Johnson), and this is coming off a game where he scored no points.”

On the biggest difference in the game…

“The defense that we played in the first half gave us a chance. Auburn started in zone to start the second half and we were waiting on it. We were just waiting on that to start the game. But when you have a team that makes threes like Auburn does they’re never out of the game. My thing was make them drive. We gave them too many threes down the stretch where we had our hand down, and bang. We’re lucky to get out of here alive, we’re lucky he missed that little shot.”

On if he thought game would be close at the end once they got a 16 point lead early in the 2nd half…

“I don’t think that way. I’m playing play to play, looking at the score and trying to get these guys to realize that we walked out of two timeouts and they did what they chose to do and didn’t listen. It led to breakouts, bumps, and dribble handoffs. We said no dribble handoffs and they got dribble handoffs. They do that because they are freshman and their whole lives they choose what to do. I thought Reid (Travis) was really good today, he gave us something around the basket and got us easy baskets when we needed it. We made six threes, only took fifteen, but we made six.”

On recent growth of Tyler Herro’s game…

“Yeah, I am seeing it. He wanted the ball, wanted it to come to him. I like the fact that Keldon [Johnson] was telling me he wanted it too.”

On production coming from several guys, in large numbers…

“Two nights ago I woke up and I said, ‘For us to win Keldon and Tyler are going to have to score baskets. We came up with some stuff to run specifically to Keldon, packages that we’ve been working on. The other thing we did is ask ourselves who we would go to if we need a shot late. Who we would run to, and what are we running. So, this is a work in progress, this is a new team that has never played together so it’s a disadvantage that we have, but sometimes they don’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know that they aren’t supposed to come in here and win, be up seventeen, they’re just playing. The problem is that once the game gets going they revert, and start playing like it’s a high school game. For example, that Tyler foul on Bryce Brown, fouling him, and I asked why he’d do that when we’re ready to bury them? So that’s the kind of stuff where we just have to tighten the ship up. But look, when you win on the road in this league, this league is ridiculous. Some of you remember me saying let’s get to the point where we get 8, 9, 10 teams in, and everyone laughed at me. Now you look and say oh my god we may get ten teams in. You know Alabama had Tennessee on the ropes, and Alabama beat us.

On team’s record at home vs. on the road…

“These guys don’t know the difference between and home and on the road. The way we played today, it was one of our better games and it was on the road. The game at Georgia one of our better games. We may be playing better on the road than we are at home. This is the part of our schedule that is ridiculous, even though none of it is easy. We have every good team in the league twice, so we’ll enjoy this and then figure out what we’re doing next.”

(more…)


WATCH: John Calipari talks to the media following win over Auburn

Kentucky pulled off the massive 82-80 victory on the road over Auburn, and it’s time to celebrate.

Hear everything John Calipari had to say following the big win here:

Go Cats.


Kentucky ends half on 9-0 run to lead Auburn 35-27

© John Reed | USATSI

After what felt like one of the longest halves of college basketball ever, Kentucky leads Auburn 35-27. The Cats ended the half on a 9-0 run, which included huge threes by Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson.

After not scoring vs. Georgia on Tuesday, Keldon leads the Cats with 11 points (5-8 FG, 1-3 3PT FG), followed by Reid Travis with 7 and Ashton Hagans with 6. Kentucky’s holding Auburn, one of the best offenses in the country, to 33.3 percent from the floor (9-27), 31.3 percent from behind the arc (5-16). That’s really, really good.

Nineteen fouls were called in the first half, at least four of which were reviewed by officials. Hopefully the refs left both sides play in the second half. Keep it up, Cats…


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