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February 13th, 2016

College GameDay coming to UK at Texas A&M

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There’s plenty to take care of first, but it was just announced that ESPN’s “College GameDay” is coming to College Station for UK/Texas A&M next Saturday. A little birdie told me this was a strong possibility, but it just makes a big game even bigger for the Cats.

First things first. Beat the Gamecocks.


Kentucky vs. South Carolina (First Half Comment Thread)

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Good morning, friends. Who’s ready for some basketball? The Cats are in Columbia, South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks in a HUGE game that could put UK in first in the SEC. Despite an 0-4 road record, Drew is court side at Colonial Life Arena to bring you the action while I cover the game from my couch in Nashville. Join us, won’t you?

Today’s starters are Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, Isaiah Briscoe, Derek Willis, and Marcus Lee.

You know the drill. Let us hear your thoughts and refresh the page with CTRL+F5 and Command+R.


The Many Faces of Frank Martin

KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 14: Head coach Frank Martin of the Kansas State Wildcats screams from the bench during the game against the Texas A&M Aggies on day 2 of the Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament on March 14, 2008 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Jamie Squire | Getty Images

Some college basketball coaches lack personality.  Not Frank Martin.  The animated South Carolina head coach wears his emotions on his sleeves, and most of the time that emotion is anger.  I present to you, my favorite moments from Martin’s career.

Frank’s Best Attempt to Whisper 

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“How many grapes do you think I can fit in my mouth?”

Sam Craft | AP

Sam Craft | AP

When it’s so bad he doesn’t even want to look

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When Frank Begrudgingly Gives Directions 

USATSI

USATSI

How Frank Slides into DMs

Peter G. Aiken | Getty Images

Peter G. Aiken | Getty Images

“Why am I out here again?”

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USATSI

Martin may be mad, but he is NOT a Scrooge

Jeff Blake | USA Today Sports

Jeff Blake | USA Today Sports

Frank Martin, or Frank Capone? 

Rant Sports

Rant Sports


The Cats are Wearing New Uniforms for Today’s Game

@UKAthletics

@UKAthletics

Remember the fashion show from last Friday? The football uniforms stole the show, but for one day only, the basketball team is rocking these new blue uniforms, featuring the new UK logo.

If we’re being honest, the logo is the only difference I can see, but maybe Drew will see things differently from court-side in Columbia.


Remembering Aaron Harrison’s Great Story

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John Robic said that it was a hurting locker room, and once Aaron Harrison and James Young walked in, you could see the pain on their faces. Red-rimmed shiny eyes met the media to try to explain Kentucky’s loss to South Carolina, their eighth of the season.

What was going through their minds when Cal was ejected? “It was just another obstacle we had to overcome,” Aaron said. He admitted it is frustrating to lose, but remains hopeful and confident about the rest of the season. “We know what we can do, and it’s going to be a great story.” 

A quiet James Young said he believes it can still happen, too. “Yeah, definitely. We didn’t come this far, we’re not going to lose, we’re going to keep playing and make a great run.”


That post was written on March 1, 2014 following a 72-67 loss to a team that entered the game with a 10-18 record.  At the time, it was one of the lowest points in the Calipari era.  The comment section was a complete dumpster fire of awfulness.  The season that brought so much anticipation appeared to be a failure.

I’d love to hear these words from Aaron: “I told you so.”

W

 


LISTEN to the KSR Pregame Show

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Entering this year, not many people would’ve thought a trip to South Carolina would be one of the most difficult tasks on the schedule, yet here we are, fighting for first place in Columbia.  Matt Jones and Ryan Lemond are here to discuss and dissect today’s matchup against Frank Martin’s squad on the KSR Pregame Show.

Tune to 630 WLAP or LISTEN HERE.


Five things you need to know about Michael Carrera

Travis Bell - Sideline Carolina

Travis Bell – Sideline Carolina

Today Kentucky takes on one of the best SEC competitors they’ll face this year in South Carolina. The Gamecocks have done surprisingly well this year and since the Cats are on the road, where they haven’t necessarily played well, it should be an interesting game.

A small forward for the Gamecocks, Michael Carrera has transformed into one of South Carolina’s biggest weapons. A great shooter who’s not afraid to get in the paint, the Cats will need to be all over Carrera today, but I’m sure they already know that. However, while you’re waiting for tip-off here are five things you need to know about Michael Carrera:

He’s an “offensive rebounding machine”

Yesterday Calipari met with the media to preview today’s game and when he was asked about Carrera he responded by saying that he was a “offensive rebounding machine” and the “guts” of the team. As of right now, Carrera is averaging 7.2 rebounds per game, but has six games with 10+ rebounds, grabbing 15 against Mississippi State a couple weeks ago.

He’s from Venezuela

It seems as if this year has been the year of international players. Just on Kentucky’s roster alone there’s Skal, Jamal Murray, Isaac Humphries, Mychal Mulder and Tai Wynyard and there are plenty of others in the SEC. Carrera is just one of them, coming from Barcelona, Venezuela and moving to America by himself when he was just 16 to play basketball in Maryland. He didn’t know a single word of English and moved in with complete strangers. Things must’ve gone well because South Carolina came knocking his senior year and he’s been a role player each year he’s been there.

He’s on a Hot Streak

In the last seven games, Carrera has scored 20+ points in four of them with a season-high of 34 against Mississippi State. Carrera helped lead South Carolina to an 81-78 win over no. 18 Texas A&M with 20 points and four rebounds to put the Gamecocks in first place of the SEC. Already leading the team with 14.2 points per game, Carrera has become the senior leader the Gamecocks needed to succeed this season.

Dude plays with a lot of passion

When you watch Carrera, it’s incredibly evident that he loves what he does. This was never more noticeable than when Carrera refused to sit out after splitting his chin open diving for a loose ball. That game Carrera scored 22 points and spent most of the game with a heavy bandage around his head. There was no way that he was going to take a seat until he absolutely couldn’t play anymore. The fact that he would eventually need stitches did not stop him from playing the game he loves.

He had a decent hand in SC’s win in 2014

When Kentucky lost at South Carolina during the 2013-2014 season, it was the breaking point for that team and the fan base. However, it sparked the infamous “tweak” that lead to the incredible March Madness run to the national championship. That game, Carrera put up 11 points, grabbed seven rebounds, four steals and three blocks doing his job to help his team get the win.


The Gateway Arch’s Saturday Morning Wake Up

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Good Morning from sunny St. Louis, Missouri!  Why from St. Louis you might ask…why not?  For only the second time in my life I’m exploring a state west of the Mighty Mississippi.  Unfortunately, I will not be taking the trip in the tiny elevator to the top of the Arch (it’s currently closed through March), but I’m excited to see the City Museum and other touristy places in between Kentucky basketball action.  If you have any sights you suggest I see, send them my way.

Now, onto today’s news…

An Early Tip-Off

For only the second time all season, the Cats have a noon tip-off.  I don’t think many of us are fans of early games.  The build-up simply isn’t the same when the game is going on at lunch time.  The only other noon tip worked out well — Kentucky beat Louisville 75-73 — but that game was at home, and it was a rivalry, getting the sleep out of their eyes easily.  It will be different on the road, but it’s hard to know which team gets the advantage.

Tom Hart, Kara Lawson and Kaylee Hartung will be on the call for ESPN in Columbia.

The Cats could be #1 in the SEC after Today

A few weeks ago, we were just hoping Kentucky would be a Top-4 seed in the SEC Tournament, but now the Cats control their own destiny.  A look at the top of the SEC standings entering today.

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If A&M can win on the road at LSU, a Kentucky win puts them alone in first place.  Even if they don’t get the job done today, there’s still plenty of time to shake up how the standings look before the teams descend upon Nashville in the second week of March.

Calipari likes South Carolina’s Progress Under Frank Martin

After a few years of success at Kansas State, Martin made the move to South Carolina.  It looked like a bad move when he was only 45-54 in his first three years.  Building from the bottom up, this year’s team is 21-3 and has spent most of the season in the Top 25.

“Frank’s doing a great job. What’s fun to see as a coach, when you’re thrust into a situation and you’re building a program, he’s doing it the way you do it,” Calipari said yesterday.  “It makes me smile. He’s a great guy. He’s solid to the Earth kind of guy, but he’s also a terrific coach.”

My favorite thing that Cal said about Martin’s Gamecocks?  “They’ve taken on his personality.”  That’s scary, because Martin is a scary, insane person.  He’s one of my favorite coaches because I enjoy his sideline antics.  But if his team is playing like Martin’s personality, it’s going to be a rough two hours of basketball this afternoon.

Devin Booker Stole the Show in the Rising Stars Challenge

It took an untimely Nerlens Noel injury to get him there, but the Rookie wouldn’t let the opportunity slip by without taking advantage.  Book hit five threes on 9/13 shooting to score 23 points for Team USA.  His former teammate, Karl-Anthony Towns scored 18 points, 16 in the second half, and brought down 7 rebounds and 4 assists.  Trey Lyles only played a dozen minutes for Team World, scoring 2 points and grabbing 2 rebounds.

Booker wasn’t just making ’em from deep in Toronto.

There’s Plenty of Wildcats in All-Star Saturday Night

All-Star Saturday Night starts tonight at 8:00 on TNT and will feature four former Wildcats.  Devin Booker is the youngest person to ever compete in the Three-Point Shootout, and his task is a tall one, going up against the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and James Harden.

In this year’s Taco Bell Skills Challenge, half of the bracket is made up of Big Men.  Three of the four post players are former Wildcats — Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and Karl-Anthony Towns.  I like their chances against the other guy, Draymond Green.

Arguably the 🐐 of Notes to be Excused from Class

@TheChive

@TheChive

It’s hard to argue with this man’s valid point.

Larry’s got a Brand New Gig

Congratulations are in order for Larry Vaught, who announced yesterday that he’ll be joining WLEX-18 as an online contributor.  He’ll primarily be writing, but I can’t wait to see the Dynamic Duo of Cutler and Vaught in True Blue Video Features.  Nothing would make me happier, except maybe the addition of a Ryan Lemond YAAAAACCCCA!

The New York Times Provides an Update on the UNC Academic Scandal

We’ve been so consumed with Breaking Cardinal Rules at UofL that it’s easy to forget that there’s an insane academic scandal at North Carolina that could have even greater repercussions than what’s happening closer to home.  One striking line from The Times’ report: “Serious sanctions seem inevitable.”  It’s a fascinating read that discusses how the late Dean Smith is a central figure surrounding the ongoing investigation.  It’s definitely worth reading. 

College Basketball on TV Today 

  • #15 Texas A&M at LSU, 1:00 on ESPN
  • #18 Purdue at Michigan, 2:00 on ESPN2
  • #6 Kansas at #3 Oklahoma, 2:30 on ESPN
  • #13 Louisville at Notre Dame, 4:00 on ESPN2
  • #7 Virginia at Duke, 4:30 on ESPN
  • Alabama at Florida, 5:30 on the SEC Network
  • #24 Texas at #14 Iowa State, 8:30 on ESPN

February 12th, 2016

Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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We’ve partnered with Wendy’s for the Pic & Roll at Rupp Sweepstake! Visit a participating Wendy’s in the Lexington, KY area, take a pic with the in-store Pic & Roll At Rupp sign, and post to Instagram or Twitter using #WendysRuppVIP for your chance to win!
– – – – – – –
Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of Kentucky, 18 years of age & older. Sweepstakes begins at 9:00:00 am EST on February 5, 2016, and ends at 11:59:59 pm EST on March 7, 2016. Void where prohibited. For full prize details, go to http://bit.ly/WendysRupp


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 Kentucky Basketball

#BBNBA

 

#9 KentuckyGirl Sarcasm

This is why Bullitt County is infinitely better. 

 

#8 Trey.S.R

It’s like you’re my mirror, ohhhh my mirror staring back at me.

 

#7 Steve Webb

How dare you guys cheat Pitino on all the fun?

 

#6 J Mac

Pitino taught his fan base well. 

 

#5 Dalton Jones

Who needs a guy when you have Kentucky basketball?

 

#4 Heather

Well that’s quite the upgrade.

 

#3 Gabe

Or when he gets the scoop.

 

#2 Deborah Shinkle

If I had a bae on Valentine’s day this year, this is what he would be getting. 

 

#1 John Yahnig

Parenting done right, y’all.

 

@haleysimpKSR


Devin Booker stealing the show so far at the Rising Stars Challenge

The BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge is currently taking place in Toronto, and while he’s only in the game as a replacement for an injured Nerlens Noel, Devin Booker has stolen the show so far. Devin came off the bench to score 18 points in 8 minutes in the first half for Team USA. Devin is 7-10 from the field, 4-6 from the three-point line, and admitted at halftime he came in with something to prove. Jordan Clarkson was a fan:

Meanwhile, Karl Towns has four points at halftime. Need some BBN feels? Check out this playful shove Booker gave Towns during the introductions:

I miss them.


UK Basketball Valentine’s Day Cards For The Special Someone In Your Life

 

So you’ve done it for the second year in a row. Valentine’s Day is nearly here and once again you’ve waited until the last minute to pull something together. This is really getting out of hand.

But worry not, my friends, because KSR still has your back with another batch of Kentucky basketball-themed Valentine’s Day cards. Last year Drew’s valentines cards led to the most November births in the history of the state of Kentucky. This year? Only time will tell.

So print these, cut them out, and give them to the special someone in your life, all I ask is that you use these gifts wisely. With great power, comes great responsibility.

*****

letsgetmurrayd-01

What’s the perfect way to pop the question? Just be like our man Jamal and be as smooth as silk. This card is the perfect way to take your relationship to that next level.

*****

@Kelsey_Butler44

KSR fan Kelsey Butler sent in this romantic Bullitt County tradition. Ice down some Mountain Dew High Voltage, queue up the Derek Willis highlights on the Youtube, have yourself a Bullitt County Sunday night.

*****

babycomebacktoLEE

Is it too late now to say sorry?

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Tai_Tweet_ValentinesDay

You may not be able to get in the game but you can highlight some of your other talents this Valentine’s Day. Timber!

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tyler

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Happy Valentine’s Day BBN!!


Dancing Guy says he will keep dancing (in his seat)

By now, you know the saga of Dancing Guy. On Tuesday, during Darren Moscoe’s usual “Mony Mony” routine, he picked up a young girl and fell while sliding down the hand rail, a scary moment that thankfully didn’t result in any injuries. This morning, UK released a statement banning fans from dancing in the aisles or stairways, which would theoretically confine Dancing Guy to his seat at Rupp. Given that he doesn’t always have an actual seat, this could be problematic going forward, but Moscoe told WKYT tonight that he plans to keep on dancing:

“I just want to dance,” Moscoe said. “I wish to the world I wouldn’t have did that, and I didn’t think about what age or anything she was. I just made a bad mistake.”

Moscoe’s brother said UK reached out to Moscoe to ask him to dance in his seat and not the aisles. While Darren admitted he’ll be sad not to dance on the stairs at Rupp again, he’s fine with keeping it to his seat.

“It doesn’t matter where I dance, I just dance.”

Check out the rest of the story at WKYT.com.


Sports Illustrated says Devin Booker should have been a Top 5 pick

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The Rising Stars Challenge starts in one hour on TNT, and Sports Illustrated’s Andrew Sharp has the perfect way to get ready. Sharp redid the 2015 draft based on how each of the rookies have done so far this season, and, as you might expect, Kentucky’s players are near the top. In fact, some Cats even moved up from their original draft position; however, after an historic rookie season, Karl Towns remained at #1:

1. Timberwolves: Karl Towns (Original draft spot: #1)

Obviously. There were hints of “Porzingis or Towns?” debates early in the year, but then more people watched Towns. He can do everything, and he’s only gotten more deadly as the season’s unfolded. In the past 9 games, he’s averaging 23.2 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 2 blocks. On Wednesday he had 35, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks to beat the Raptors. At 20 years old. Any Porzingis argument is a waste of time at this point in the year. The better question is, “Brow or KAT?”

Considering the roll that Karl’s on, that’s not a ridiculous question. Meanwhile, Sharp says that Devin Booker’s performance so far this year shows he’s worthy of being a top five pick.

5. Magic: Devin Booker (Original draft spot: #13)

He’s handling the ball more than he ever did at Kentucky, he’s running pick-and-rolls with surprising success, and while all this opportunity is partly a by-product of broader dysfunction in Phoenix, he gets credit for knocking it out of the park. All the added responsibility will make him better in the long run. The Magic would be ecstatic to add Booker here, which tells you a lot about this draft class. The 14th pick in the lottery would be a steal in the top 5.

Sharp has Trey Lyles going 8th to the Detroit Pistons (Original draft spot: #12) and Willie Cauley-Stein going 11th to the Indiana Pacers (Original draft spot: #6). To read his reasoning, head on over to SI.com.

[SI: 2015 NBA draft redo: Where do Rising Stars land?]


Las Vegas likes Kentucky tomorrow

Kentucky opened as a one-point favorite over the Gamecocks when the line was released earlier today out in Las Vegas. That line has since shifted two points to -3, which means gamblers like the Cats in tomorrow’s game.

Here’s a look at the movement from VegasInsider.com:

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Kentucky is 12-13 against the spread on the year and 3-6 against the spread on the road.


Humphries and Hawkins look ahead to South Carolina

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Dominique Hawkins’ injured ankle still isn’t completely healed, but it is “the best it has been,” he told reporters today.

Hawkins and fellow reserve Isaac Humphries were the two players the team made available for the media prior to Friday afternoon’s trip to Columbia.

As Mrs. Tyler informed you earlier, Humphries admitted to not knowing the whereabouts of the entire state of South Carolina. He asked reporters, “Is it on that side (of the country)? Near New York?”

Not quite, bud.

Hear from Kentucky’s two role players in the video below from Kentucky Wildcats TV: