Kentucky Sports Radio

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May 21st, 2015

Thursday Night News and Views

I just got back from vacation, but it was so good I’m ready to go back on it. Maybe to the Turks and Caicos, where this fan is not only repping the Cats, he’s repping his favorite website. Cheers, sir. Enjoy that soft white sand and cool ocean breeze.

As we roll towards Memorial Day weekend, I hope all of you guys have the chance to get out of town to clear your minds, or simply enjoy some time with your friends and family. I’m headed up to my old stomping grounds of Danville tomorrow afternoon, so shoutout to my old homies. You know who you are.

Just a few more hours and then we’re there. Going over the news of the day will help pass the time.

The non-conference schedule is out

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We knew of most of these games already, but it’s nice to finally have a date for the annual Louisville romp. I went over the non-conference schedule in depth a little bit earlier, so for more, scroll on down.

John Calipari’s players-first comments are still making waves

Yesterday, Calipari said that last season’s goal was to get eight players drafted, not win the national championship, and although he’s made that goal clear throughout his career at Kentucky, it’s still headline news because…well, he’s John Calipari. Cal’s comments were on PTI today, all the national blogs, and my friend who’s an Ohio State fan even emailed me about it. Calipari took to the Twitter this morning to defend his stance:

I hate to drive you traditionalists crazy, but I will say it again: our goal at the beginning of the season was to have eight players drafted. I’ll be honest with you, at the time I may have said nine. My point when I said that was to have them all eat. When they asked how we do it, I told them to do this you will have to be a selfless team, share and do historic things on the court. They did. If Alex doesn’t get hurt, eight are drafted. We fell short of a national title but this season was not disappointing to me. Have a great day!

(I don’t think it was a coincidence that UK released the non-conference schedule a few hours later.)

I get why some people are upset about Cal’s philosophy, but it’s not like this is anything new. Since Day 1, Cal has made his mission clear: help as many kids achieve their dream of playing professionally as possible. Succeeding in that quest rarely comes at the team’s expense, as Erin Calipari pointed out on Twitter:

People getting mad because @UKCoachCalipari says his goal is to get players drafted are hilarious. How many times has he gone to the Final Four? You are getting the best players, winning the most games, and are making headlines even in the off season. Chill out and enjoy it.

Slow down there with that logic, Erin. You’re making too much sense.

This bridge in Japan is going to give me nightmares

Normally, the @Earth_Pics account tweets soothing shots of beautiful beaches or Santorini, but this bridge in Japan is downright terrifying. So much for sleep tonight.

Jamal Murray spoke, but didn’t tell us much

The five-star Canadian shooting guard has been on an official visit to UK all this week, but we haven’t heard anything about it. Until now. Kind of. Murray sent out only his third tweet ever this evening:

I hope that blushing smiley face means he’s enjoying Lexington. He started following Dakari Johnson and Dominique Hawkins on Twitter today, so there’s that.

Looking for a summer football camp with a good cause?

Look no further than C.H.A.M.P. Camp, a two-day, non-contact football camp put on by Heart Power, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to supporting youth and their families who are in search of positive, encouraging influences in their lives. The camp is in Lexington June 19-20 and several former Kentucky players will participate, including Anthony “Champ” Kelly, Dougie Allen, and more. Kids 10-18 are eligible, and speakers and coaches also educate campers on important core values for a successful life off the field, striving to instill the values of Character, Heart, Attitude, Motivation, and Pride (C-H-A-M-P…get it?). For more information, visit their website.

Want to drink beer and fight cancer?

UK and KSR fan Aaron Oppegard is hosting a fundraiser at Ethereal Brewery on Sunday from 4-7 p.m. to raise money for 4K for Cancer, a nonprofit that helps navigate young adults with cancer through their illness by offering emotional and financial support. As further incentive, Aaron is raffling off a commemorative Adolph Rupp Maker’s Mark bottle. For more information, check out this Facebook post.

Matt and Ryan are starting up “Ask Anything Fridays” again

On tomorrow’s show, you can call in and ask Matt, Ryan, or Shannon ANYTHING you’d like. All topics are on the table. I’m setting the over/under on how long it takes Ryan to get in trouble at 20 minutes. Actually, that’s way too generous. Under.

I just started watching “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and it’s taken over my life

I’ve heard good things about the Netflix series for a while, but haven’t had a chance to tune in until now. I’m hooked. It’s not for everyone, but give it a shot this weekend if you’re bored.

On that note, “Troll the respawn, Jeremy.”


Kentucky Proud: Willie Cauley-Stein helped me get over it

Willie-Sidewalk

It was Saturday when I could finally say I’d gotten over it – May 16, 9:30 a.m., to be exact.

I realized it as I was driving to pick up some breakfast for my family. It was a beautiful morning, the kind where you like to roll the windows down and breathe in life and be thankful for all you have.

Suddenly, it came over me like a giant wave of relief. As I drove I thought back to a recent chance meeting I’d had with Willie Cauley-Stein and I remembered how he still looked a bit pained by all of it. But as I thought of him and his teammates, I realized that for the first time in a long while I didn’t think anything about losing to Wisconsin. Yes, I thought about 38 straight wins. I thought about SEC conference and tourney titles. I thought about making another Final Four. I did not think about the loss that ended it all.

I realized that the only thing I really focused on was how proud I was of this group and what they’d accomplished. I realized how proud I was that they all seemed like genuinely good kids, that they stayed out of trouble and sacrificed for one another, that they won like no other team we’ve ever seen.

I realized right then, at that moment, I was over it. Do I wish UK had won the title? Of course. Don’t be silly. But the pain of one loss had subsided, and I realized I could smile and be proud of how much these latest Cats had done.

Simply, I was over it. And I was happy.

Just Want to Say Thanks

I realize not everyone will feel this way, not yet. It’s different for every fan. Hell, it’s different for the players and coaches. Willie Cauley said recently he still hasn’t gotten over the Wisconsin loss while Karl Anthony said he may never get over the loss.

But I want to let you know – as a fan, getting here is a good thing. It feels so much better to appreciate accomplishment than to dwell on what might have been. And this year’s squad accomplished so much, things we probably will never see again. We should remember these feats – and we should remember them fondly, without regret.

As an aside, the Notre Dame game alone should go down in history as one of the all-time clutch UK performances in a big moment. With a Final Four on the line, Karl Anthony Towns became Wilt Chamberlain, Aaron Harrison hit a trademark three and his brother Andrew won it with two big-time free throws. Put that one in the vault, folks. It’s one we’ll remember for a long, long time.

That is, do so when you’re able to.

I was walking on UK’s campus the other day when I met up with Willie Cauley-Stein. (Full disclosure: I’m a student in a graduate program at the university, so it’s not uncommon for me to run into Kentucky athletes walking across campus. Most of the time, I let them be, let them enjoy some peace and quiet if they’re not surrounded by fans). But when I saw Willie – he was sitting by himself outside the Wildcat Coal Lodge – I wanted to tell him something. Just then he was approached by a mother and a young child who wanted an autograph. I hung back and watched.

Of course Willie was great to the young family. He signed the autograph and went back to sitting by himself. I got the impression he was waiting for a ride to go somewhere. I approached cautiously. I’d covered the team, off an on in some capacity, for a few years, but I was certain he didn’t know who I was.

“Hi Willie,” I said, offering my hand, and he shook it. “I just wanted to say hello – I go to graduate school here.”

He nodded. “Hey, man.”

I didn’t want to hold back. I just wanted to relay a message.

“I just wanted to tell you, ‘Thanks’,” I said. He looked at me, and I could tell he was a bit confused. I went on to explain.

“Thanks just for being you, man,” I said. “Thanks so much for representing me and my school so well. Yeah, you won a lot of games. Yeah you made it to the Final Four again – you guys did awesome. But thanks so much for doing it with class. You all never got in trouble. You never made headlines for the wrong reasons. All we ever heard was how you loved your brothers and you wanted to win for them. You were great in every way – and I just want you to know that I appreciate it, and the fans appreciate it.”

He smiled a bit. “It’s what we do,” he said. “It’s true not everybody can come play here.”

I nodded, and we chatted for a few moments more about where WCS may want to go in the draft (just between us, I think he may be happiest in a smaller town. Sacramento at No. 6 perhaps?). I told him we the fans would be rooting for him wherever he landed. But I could still see it, even as we chatted about the future, that he was hurting about that Wisconsin loss. I could tell. He hadn’t gotten over it yet. It may still be a while.

What he didn’t know was that our brief conversation, and my thanking him, led me to finally getting over the Wisconsin loss. It would take a couple of weeks, but that was the moment that set it all in motion.

After a bit of a lull in the talk, Cauley-Stein looked at me. “Did you want a pic or something?”

Well sure, I thought, getting out my camera phone. Don’t mind if I do.

willie and me

‘It’s About Being a Wildcat’

I’ve got to thank Willie for helping to get my head straight. Now when I think of this past season, the first thing I think of is how proud I am – not how disappointed.

It took a bit of time to come to the realization, but it’s something I hope I can pass on to everyone, though I know it’s difficult. Plus, some fans just don’t get it at all – they think it’s silly that we mourn for a team. That’s fine. They just don’t understand. They never will.

For all the rest of us, we know it’s about more than basketball. It’s about being the best in something. It’s about succeeding on a consistent basis. It’s about seeing our athletes represent our school, our area and our Commonwealth with class and confidence.

It’s about being a Wildcat.

Now, if only there was something I could do to make players like Willie feel a little better.

I suppose time will help – and getting drafted pretty high on June 25 won’t hurt, either.

Good luck to Willie and all the other Cats as they pursue their dreams. Thanks for making us so proud.

***

Do you have a memorable story about meeting a UK player? I once met LeRon Ellis at Jefferson Mall in Louisville when I was about 8. My aunt introduced us and told the player I was his biggest fan. He gave me an autograph, and – upon looking at it – I responded this way: “Who are you, again?”

Leave your stories below and let us know. Or email me at clarkr9@nku.edu or hit me up on Twitter: @rhinoKSR or my website: ForRyanOutLoud.com and maybe I’ll share them.


Jamal Murray speaks!

JamalMurray

We haven’t heard much from the Canadian shooting guard since he started his official visit to Kentucky, but this evening, he sent out his third tweet ever:

Something tells me this will be a rather long process.


Ranking Kentucky’s 13 non-conference games in order of sheer enjoyment

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Kentucky’s 2014-2015 non-conference schedule is out, which means two things: 1) You can finally plan your late fall/early winter social gatherings, and 2) We can finally turn the page and focus on next season. With that in mind, I spent the afternoon ranking UK’s 13 non-conference games not in terms of difficulty, but sheer enjoyment. Because that’s how we do things around here.

13. WRIGHT STATE (Rupp Arena, Friday, Nov. 20)

This will be the fourth meeting between Kentucky and Wright State, and, predictably, the Cats lead the series 3-0. According to last season’s KenPom and RPI, the Raiders are the second worst team on UK’s non-conference schedule behind South Florida, but because this game doesn’t take place in Miami and, I’m sorry, Wright State basketball doesn’t really get my toe a tappin’, it registers the lowest on my radar. It’s okay. Someone has to be last.

12. NJIT (Rupp Arena, Saturday, Nov. 14)

The only reason NJIT is ahead of Wright State in my rankings is because I can already tell we’re going to have fun with their nickname–the Highlanders. In fact, it’s really a shame the NJIT game is the day after the season-opener against Albany because it probably won’t get the attention it deserves. Except from me. There can only be one!

11. EASTERN KENTUCKY (Rupp Arena, Wednesday, Dec. 9)

It seems like most of the tension between the Cats and our neighbors down I-75 is on the football side, or this matchup would rank higher on my list. This is the second consecutive season UK will take on Eastern, who made it to the CollegeInsider.com quarterfinals last year because apparently that is a thing. Former UK men’s basketball manager Dan McHale is now the head coach at Eastern, giving the affair even more of a Bluegrass feel. I can already tell we’re going to like his postgame presser.

10. ALBANY (Rupp Arena, Friday, Nov. 13)

Nothing about Albany excites me, or probably anyone. Like our own state capital, they’re kind of the afterthought of their state, which is pretty sad; however, their mascot is a Great Dane and they’re the season-opening opponent, which boosts them up the list a bit. Ain’t no game like the first real game at Rupp, after all.

9. ILLINOIS STATE (Rupp Arena, Monday, Nov. 30)

Nothing says sexy like Monday night basketball. Illinois State was actually pretty decent last season, making it to the second round of the NIT. The Redbirds even upset Wichita State during in the MVC Tournament and have beaten at least one Top 25 team in each of its last four seasons. That last factoid made me move them two spots up in my rankings. Eek?

8. BOSTON (Rupp Arena, Tuesday, Nov. 24)

UK beat Boston 89-65 last season in a game that will always be remembered for Dominique Hawkins’ dunk. The only reason the Terriers are in my top ten is because I have an excuse to post this video again:

7. OHIO STATE (Barclays Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., Saturday, Dec. 19)

This game is part of the second annual CBS Sports Classic, aka “The Extra Neutral-Site Non-Conference Event Calipari Wanted.” Normally, a game against the Buckeyes would be higher on my list, but D’Angelo Russell and their second leading scorer–Googling..Googling–Sam Thompson are gone. Nevertheless, this is a weekend in New York, so let’s go.

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6. ARIZONA STATE (Rupp Arena, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2015)

Bobby Hurley returned to Rupp last season as the head coach of Buffalo, and he’s back again with Arizona State. This game will get attention for more than just the boos he’ll receive; Hurley is a darling in the coaching world and many think he can make some noise at Arizona State. At the very least, he can be the star of some craptacular Photoshops.

5. SOUTH FLORIDA (American Airlines Arena, Miami, Friday, Nov. 27)

UK will head to Miami the day after Thanksgiving for a matchup with our old friend Orlando Antigua, the coolest man with the coolest Twitter profile pic ever. A lot of people are guffawing over the scheduling of this game–right after Turkey Day and right before the UK/Louisville football game–but a trip to Miami in late November has me volunteering to leave my family’s festivities early. (Sorry, family. Love you.)

4. UCLA (Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, Thursday, Dec. 3)

The next week, the Cats will cross the country to play UCLA in Pauley Pavilion, another warm weather showdown. This is the first game in a two-year home-and-home series with the Bruins, and the first time Kentucky has ever played in Pauley. Last year, the Cats embarrassed UCLA 83-44 in Chicago, but the Bruins rebounded to make the Sweet 16.

With palm trees, In-N-Out Burger, and Pauley, it’s a true testament to the greatness of this year’s non-conference schedule that this game doesn’t rank higher.

3. LOUISVILLE (Rupp Arena, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2015)

Louisville will be terrible this year, but that may make this game even more fun. In fact, if it were the same team with any other name, this game would be much lower on my rankings, but Louisville is Louisville and beating them in late December has become a holiday tradition.

2. KANSAS (Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016)

I went back and forth between this game and Duke for the number one spot, but ultimately put UK’s trip to Allen Fieldhouse second on my list; I could even list them 1a and 1b. I’ve never been to The Phog, but I’ve heard great things, and hopefully I’ll draw this trip out of the KSR assignment hat. After the Cats wiped the floor with them last year, the Jayhawks will be out for revenge, and I hear that place can get quite loud. Bring it on.

1. DUKE (United Center, Chicago, Tuesday, Nov. 17)

Even just typing those four letters gets me hyped. It also makes me gag a little bit, especially when I went through the Google search and saw all their Championship pictures. Duke had nothing to do with Kentucky not making the finals, but that doesn’t mean I don’t hate them for winning. (That was supposed to be us! That was supposed to be our blue and white confetti!)

Both teams are totally different now, but I still want Kentucky to beat them very, very badly. I bet Tyler Ulis does too.

Your turn.


John Calipari Continues to Sell Program

 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

If you read our Drew Franklin earlier today he talked about John Calipari reiterating his statement about the goal being to get eight guys drafted and not the national championship yet again today. Well, that might not be a bad thing according to some national guys.

Rob Dauster at CollegeBasketballTalk says Calipari is just selling the program when he says things like that. It doesn’t mean top recruits or Calipari aren’t looking to win national titles, but the goal of every top recruit is to play in the NBA. Dauster says the following:

This is nothing but a recruiting tactic. Cal’s not stupid. He knows that the biggest reason he’s been to four Final Fours in his six seasons at Kentucky is that he’s turned it into a draft factory. He knows that his ability to convince elite recruits to spend their seven months of basketball purgatory in Lexington is the engine driving his Kentucky program. And he knows that one of the biggest reasons he’s able to continually land players like Karl Towns and DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall and Skal Labissiere is that he makes it very clear he’s going to shove them off to the NBA as quickly as possible.

You know what? He’s not wrong. Fans can be upset about the comment and not winning the title this past year, but the success under Cal has been the best in the country. It’s just his method of recruiting and coaching and if he wants to sell that to recruits going forward, I’ll continue to buy stock.


Marketing company robs state of Tennessee for $46,000

According to Nashville’s WSMV, Tennessee is getting a new state logo and the company that designed it should be charged with robbery. Like, all of the robbery. Infinity counts of robbery. Send everyone on the payroll to Rikers Island or San Quentin or Guantanamo Bay. They shouldn’t be allowed to breathe free air ever again.

The new logo, seen above, came with a $46,000 price tag, reports WSMV. It will eventually be on all official state letterheads and signage.

Better idea: I’ll sell them my design for $1.00 and they can put $45,999 toward meaningful projects. Clean up the state. Implode Neyland Stadium. Cut the cost of hotel rooms at the SEC Tournament. Fly in more bachelorette parties on weekends in Nashville. Do whatever, just don’t pay $46,000 for a red box.

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Kentucky No Longer Favorite to Win 2016 NCAA Title

Maryland

According to betting website and sportsbook Bovada, Kentucky is no longer the favorite to win the 2016 NCAA Men’s College Basketball title. The favorite is now Maryland at 9/1 odds with Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina right behind the Terps at 10/1.

The next highest SEC team is LSU and Texas A&M at 50/1 with Louisville not expected to do much at 40/1. Going to be weird not seeing even money next to Kentucky heading into the season as was the case for the majority of last year.

The top 10 according to Bovada:

Maryland 9/1

Kentucky 10/1

North Carolina 10/1

Duke 10/1

Kansas 16/1

Michigan State 16/1

Arizona 20/1

California 20/1

Iowa State 20/1

Virginia 20/1

 


Harrison Twins Playing in Front of NBA Front Office Again

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The Harrison twins will be looking to improve their draft status again today as they are taking part in the BDA Pro Day in Santa Barbara. BDA, which represents the twins along with former Wildcat Rajon Rondo hosts an annual Pro Day for their players. Joining Andrew and Aaron today is Frank Kaminsky, Brandon Ashley and Stanley Johnson of Arizona, Kelly Oubre of Kansas, Josh Richardson of Tennessee and other rookies and veterans trying to make their way to the NBA from overseas.

Both brothers need to play well here for different reasons. Andrew is coming off a strong NBA Combine, where he’s ranked as high as No. 32 in some mock drafts and another strong performance could push him into the discussion of a first round pick. He needs to show he’s consistent, especially with his decision making and passing. If he plays well against his group, he’ll continue to climb up the mock drafts.

Andrew started the day off playing in a 3v3 game according to Mike Schmitz of DraftExpress. Teamed with Derrick Marks and Marko Mladjan he squared off against Chasson Randle, Tyler Haws and David Kravish, where Schmitz tweeted out “Andrew Harrison doing some nice things. Pocket passes, probing, drive and kicks. Can really guard too when he’s locked in.”

Aaron on the other hand had one of the worst NBA Combine performances. Most mock drafts have him going undrafted, which believe it or not isn’t a terrible thing. Sure, everyone wants to be drafted but if you’re getting picked with one of the last selections of the draft, wouldn’t you want the ability to pick what team you go to Summer League with? Aaron has the talent to be drafted in the middle of the second round, but he needs to not press as much as he did in Chicago.

There should be about 150 NBA executives in attendance for the event.


UK athletes combined for a 3.0 GPA

UK Athletics achieved a 3.0 department-wide GPA for a sixth consecutive semester and the seventh semester in eight years. Scholarship athletes had a cumulative GPA of 3.075 for the spring semester 2015.

Mitch Barnhart said. “I want to congratulate our students for their work in the classroom this semester and for the way they manage the demanding schedules that come with competing at the highest level of collegiate athletics.”

You can see a team-by-team rundown here.

Men’s Basketball had the lowest of all teams at 2.646. They were a little busy in March and April.


The non-conference schedule is out

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We knew most of these games already, but the date for the Louisville game is finally confirmed as December 26. Also, that game with Arizona State looks pretty enticing.

Thoughts?


It’s a Good Old-Fashioned KSR RUMOR WATCH!

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Friends, what if I told you that there was a scary rumor about a man with a hook on his hand who was terrorizing Lovers’ Lane, scratching upon windows and breaking in and brutally murdering the young paramours necking in the back seat? You’d probably think it was an urban legend, a story making the rounds, some embellished scuttlebutt around town that you shouldn’t put any stock in, right? Well guess what? You would be wrong, because that man killed some people who live on my street last night. It was pretty awful, really, and in terrilbly poor taste of me to use it as a colorful illustration about believing rumors.

Oh, rumors. True or not, in the off-season the bored tongues of UK fans everywhere get to wagging and before you know it, everything’s seemingly off the rails. Or is it? Today let’s set some records straight in a good ol’ KSR Rumor Watch, where we address all the current chatter and see where the bunk lies. Shall we? We shall.

———-

Rumor: John Calipari is leaving Kentucky for the New Orleans Pelicans.

Status: Not True. A writer in NOLA claims a source “close to Cal” told him Cal was interested in taking the Pelicans job and working with Anthony Davis again, a rumor debunked by Cal himself shortly thereafter in a tweet announcing that he has “no interest in the Pelicans or any other job, adding that “I have a great job and I’m happy at UK.”

———

Rumor: Willie Cauley-Stein is being considered by the Boston Celtics.

Status: Maybe so. Comcast SportsNet (where you get ALL your sports news) claims that the Celts are considering making a play for our former beloved dunkmaster general. Reporter and, if his on-screen graphic is to be believed, “Celtics Insider” A. Sherrod Blakely says Willie McCauley-O’Stein talked with Boston this week and came away impressed with the chat, also contacting former teammate James Young.

——–

Rumor: Karl Towns may become a Minnesota Timberwolf. 

Status: Extremely possible. Both ESPN and DraftExpress (choo choooo! Draft Express coming through!) have predicted Karl-Anthony may be donning the blue and green on Draft Day. I hope he likes lakes because they allegedly have 10,000 of them there. I’m also opening a Kickstarter to send Karl twenty-five cases of mosquito repellent.

——–

Rumor: Karl Towns may become an actual timberwolf.

Status: False. This is not only scientifically impossible but would also make Towns ineligible to play in a human sports league. There’s a reason why these guys are called “one-and-dones” and not “one-and-wolves.”

———

Rumor: Tom Izzo ended his recruitment of Caleb Swanigan after Swanigan demanded a private chef.

Status: Unconfirmed. It’s believed, however, that Izzo grew offended that Swanigan was rejecting the traditional Michigan diet of Vernor’s Ginger Ale, Maple Syrup, Venison and Frosted Flakes. It was good enough for Draymond Green, dammit.

——–

Rumor: John Robic’s Hair to be retired during Wildcats home game in 2016.

Status: True. A large, very tasteful sepia-toned photograph of assistant coach John Robic’s hair will be hoisted into the rafters during a TBD SEC home game in 2016. It will join the illustrious ranks of Bobby Perry’s 2003 moustache and Keith Bogans’ raccoon-eating-a-basketball-tattoo.

———

Rumor: Rick Pitino is the world’s first pregnant man.

Status: Possible. We all know how he does his business. And medical science has come a long way. But you didn’t hear this from me.

——–

Rumor: If you go into your bathroom, turn off the lights and say Bruce Pearl’s name three times, he will appear in the mirror.

Rumor: False. But if it wasn’t real then HOW DID THESE TOWELS GET ALL SWEATY?

 


Coach Cal says it again: the goal was to have eight players drafted

calipari

John Calipari made headlines yesterday when he said the team’s goal last season was to have eight players drafted. Not surprisingly, many Kentucky basketball fans went bonkers over the comment, without understanding Cal’s point.

Today, he hopped on Twitter to further explain what he meant, and to reiterate that last season’s goal was to have eight players drafted, maybe nine:

I hate to drive you traditionalists crazy, but I’ll say it again: our goal at the beginning of the season was to have eight players drafted. I’ll be honest with you, at the time I may have said nine. My point when I said that was to have them all eat. When they asked how we do it, I told them to do this you will have to be a selfless team, share and do historic things on the court. They did. If Alex doesn’t get hurt, eight are drafted. We fell short of a national title but this season was not disappointing to me. Have a great day!

So there ya go. Have a great day!


Doctor wrote Rick Pitino a letter in 1995, Rick Pitino responded

Way back in 1995, when Rick Pitino was the head coach at the University of Kentucky, Dr. David Kinnaird of Louisville wrote Pitino a letter expressing concerns with Walter McCarty’s diet. In Kinnaird’s words, he was “appalled” after reading about the “inappropriate treatment of a fine, college basketball player, Walter McCarty.”

Pitino was trying to bulk McCarty up to be a stronger presence inside for the Wildcats and Doc Kinnaird wasn’t a fan of his method:

This ill-advised excess feeding schedule (including alarming quantities of potentially harmful flips-cholesterol) to bring his weight to a predetermined game weight may well be deleterious to his general health by exposing him to later endocrine, physiologic, and cardiovascular disorders — as well as possible disturbing psychologic derrangements. How much emotional stress can be brought to bear on a healthy, competitive, student athlete whose every waking hour (except for basketball practice sessions) is filled with the pressure to eat copious, repetitive meals?

It is my fervent wish that you abandon this insensitive handling of a fine young man for the good of basketball in general, the UK basketball program and Walter McCarty, in particular.

Pitino received the letter and promptly mailed it back to Kinnaird with his own annotations.

Now fast forward to today and we’ve obtained a copy of the letter from Kinnaird’s grandson, complete with Walter McCarty’s autograph from a signing after college:

pitino-letter

Some of Pitino’s better annotations include:

— “Dear David, Get a life!”

— “Thanks for the medical help we don’t need.”

— “Please don’t write again, you are boring me and wasting value time with your gibberish.”

— “You need a checkup mentally! You should not be handling patients.”

In Pitino’s defense, I’m sure the staff knew exactly what they were doing with McCarty’s nutrition, as he points out in his rebuttal. He also notes that it was all “good-natured fun” and he was “joking” in whatever report/comments Kinnaird was so upset over.

If anyone has one of those Microfilm readers or a stack of old Courier-Journals laying around, throw us a bone and send us what Pitino said that got Kinnaird all worked up.

Until then, you are boring me and wasting value time with your gibberish. Get a life.

*** UPDATE ***

99 times out of 100, if you ask the internet for a favor, the internet will oblige. Thanks to a KSR reader in a library, we now have a copy of the Courier-Journal article that sparked the letter to Pitino:

 

Okay, Doc had a point. According to the story, McCarty was devouring almost 11,000 calories a day, beginning with French toast, sausage biscuits, bacon, pancakes, four ounces of syrup and 20 ounces of juice, and ending with six slices of pizza as a bedtime snack.

Pitino refused to start McCarty until he ballooned up to 230 pounds. “I’m fed up with it,” he said of McCarty failing to meet weight.

I guess it worked.


Owensboro’s Aric Holman to sign with Mississippi State

Owensboro’s Aric Holman, a four-star power forward, will sign with Mississippi State. The 6-foot-9 Holman originally announced plans to reclassify to 2016 and attend prep school for one year, but those plans changed and he will be a Bulldog next season.

A Kentucky Mr. Basketball finalist, Holman was on pace to be a star in the 2016 class with another year to polish his game. He is a late bloomer with a ton of potential and Ben Howland capitalized on it by jumping on him early.

UK observed Holman a couple times last summer (as did KSR) and again in April, but Calipari never really expressed interest. Let’s hope he doesn’t regret that once he gets a look at Holman in the SEC.

Good luck to the in-state kid in life and in trying to get the ball from Malik Newman.


Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins named All-NBA

The NBA announced its All-NBA teams today and two former Wildcats earned a spot.

Up first, Anthony Davis was named All-NBA First Team, receiving 625 points on the ballot. He’s joined by LeBron James (645), Stephen Curry (645), James Harden (637) and Marc Gasol (453) on the first team.

And on the second team, DeMarcus Cousins is a first-time All-NBA selection, beating out Tim Duncan at the forward/center position.

FIRST TEAM
LeBron James
Anthony Davis
Marc Gasol
James Harden
Steph Curry

SECOND TEAM
LaMarcus Aldridge
DeMarcus Cousins
Pau Gasol
Russell Westbrook
Chris Paul

THIRD TEAM
Blake Griffin
Tim Duncan
DeAndre Jordan
Klay Thompson
Kyrie Irving