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April 17th, 2014

Anthony Davis in Louisville Tickets On Sale Tomorrow

anthony davis

pic by Getty Images

The NBA Playoffs are just beginning on Saturday and I am actually excited. There are a number of solid matchups and this year we will see more UK guys in the playoffs than in recent years, including the first appearances by guys like John Wall, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Patrick Patterson. But next year, Anthony Davis and Darius Miller are headed to Louisville for a preseason game that you probably would like to see. The Pelicans are playing the Heat in the Yum Center and the chance to see Davis, Miller and Lebron is certainly worth your time. Tickets actually GO ON SALE TOMORROW as part of a pre-sale code that is for basketball fans in the area. You can buy tickets tomorrow at the link below, using the code “NBAYUM” from 10 am to 10 pm. The seating chart is below the link and the best tickets are available now. So go ahead and get them and go see Lebron, Anthony and the boys and bring some blue to the Yum Center:



This Florida fan’s parody of “Royals” is just…no.

Lorde’s hit song “Royals” has gotten the parody treatment from just about everyone, including a group of Kentucky fans and Fake Barney. A Florida fan decided to give it a shot too, even shooting some of the scenes inside The Swamp. You’ll have to see it to believe it. I’m not sure I can ever look at Gatorade the same way.

Fake Barney FTW:

Coach Brumbaugh is mic’d up for the latest KyWildcatsTV spring practice video

Our pals at KyWildcatsTV have done an excellent job bringing us the sights and sounds of spring practice so far, and today, they released the video with defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh on the mic. Enjoy.

Rajon Rondo honored victims of the Boston Marathon bombing with his shoes last night



Rajon Rondo sat out last night’s game against the Washington Wizards with a strained hamstring, but he did find an unique way to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. To honor the one-year anniversary of the bombing, Rondo wore a custom pair of shoes printed with the date and “Boston Strong” embroidered on the tongue, and the victims’ initials printed on the body of the shoe. He said he’ll donate the kicks to One Fund, a charity designed to help the victims.

Good on ya, Rajon.

Jodie Meeks set to graduate from UK in May

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

One of the things Cal prides himself and the program on is the number of players who leave early, but return to finish their degrees. Although he didn’t play under Cal, Jodie Meeks is one of those players. According to Lakers beat reporter Mike Trudell, Meeks is on track to graduate from UK in May after working towards his degree during offseasons.

Meeks is now a free agent, but told Trudell he hopes he’ll be back in LA next season: ”I’m not sure. I want to be back. I loved playing here. We’ll see how the draft and free agency goes.” Meeks was one of the few bright spots for the Lakers this season, averaging a career-best 15.6 points per game, almost double his average last season.

Keep making us proud, Jodie.

UK a second choice for several 2014 stars

The 2014 recruiting class was the first in which John Calipari didn’t land most of the elite players he went after. Don’t get me wrong, the players he did sign are excellent, but several of the superstar prospects like Emmanuel Mudiay, Stanley Johnson, and Jahlil Okafor all decided to take their services elsewhere. During the McDonald’s All-American game a few weeks ago, USA Today’s Jason Jordan went around and asked some of the players what their second choice school was. For once, many of them said Kentucky. Here’s a breakdown:

Rashad Vaughn (UNLV): Iowa State

Devin Booker (Kentucky): Missouri

James Blackmon (Indiana): Kentucky (Think he regrets choosing the Hoosiers now?)

Kelly Oubre (Kansas): Kentucky

Stanley Johnson (Arizona): Kentucky

Emmanuel Mudiay (SMU): Kentucky

Mudiay’s comments were the most interesting to me. He said that during Cal’s in-home visit, he and his family liked what he had to say so much that he was ready to commit on the spot. His brother advised him to wait, and during Larry Brown’s visit, the legendary coach “talked way better than Cal did.”

Well, Cal does consider him a mentor.

Frank Haith on his way to Tulsa? UPDATE: He’s gone

Photo REUTERS/Chris Keane

Photo REUTERS/Chris Keane

Things just got a little more interesting on the SEC basketball coaching carousel. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that Missouri’s Frank Haith is in talks with Tulsa to become their new head coach.

Last season, the Tigers had the talent to make the tournament but underachieved all year, putting heat on Haith after his third season in Columbia. Haith has also had to deal with problems off the court, dismissing Louisville transfer Zach Price after a teammate filed an order of protection against him. Price was suspended indefinitely from Missouri on April 3 after being arrested on suspicion of domestic assault and assault.

Now, which is the better job: Tennessee or Missouri? I say Missouri.

UPDATE: Multiple outlets are reporting that Haith has accepted the job at Tulsa.

Chad Ford thinks the Twins are considering coming back now, will decide Tuesday or Wednesday


A few days ago, ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford said that the Harrison Twins have been talking to agents about their draft stock but didn’t like the feedback they were getting. Today, he tweets that the feedback is pushing them to consider coming back to UK, with a decision coming on Tuesday or Wednesday:


James Young will enter the NBA Draft


(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

As expected, UK has just announced that James Young will forgo his sophomore season and enter the NBA Draft. From the press release, here are James’ remarks:

“My time at Kentucky has been special to me, something I’ll always treasure, but I feel that I’m ready to take the next step to the NBA,” Young said. “I’ve learned more this year, on and off the court, about life from Coach Cal and the staff and appreciate all of their guidance and support. I can’t say enough about my teammates; the journey helped us build a bond that we will always share for the rest of our lives.  I would like to thank the best fans in the country, the Big Blue Nation, and I hope you guys will continue to support me as I move on. I will always bleed blue. Succeed and Proceed!”

Coach Cal says he’s excited for James, and thankful for his effort:

“I’m excited for James and his family and the decision he’s come to,” head coach John Calipari said. “From day one, the NBA people who came to our practices in the preseason raved about him. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him all season, investing himself in his brothers for the betterment of the team, and I think we all saw the end result in the tournament and Final Four. Whatever team drafts James is not only getting a superb athlete, they are getting the ultimate teammate.”

Best of luck to James. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.

Cal Hits the Talk Show Circuit


This week Cal took to the road to promote his new book Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out, and he left no stone unturned in getting the word out. As he continues to promote his book and talk about his signature coaching style, we’ve collated some of his sound bites from those interviews below.

Morning Joe (MSNBC):
“It starts with recruiting. I tell [players] You’re not taking thirty shots if you come here, because you’re going to have other players who are just as good as you. The most anyone takes historically for my teams is thirteen, fourteen shots….I can’t promise you’re gonna start, how many minutes you’re going to get, all those things. But I’ve started something like thirty freshman in my time, or more now, and it all starts with recruiting.”


Squawk Box (CNBC):
“People ask me ‘how do you do this? How do you get a new group of freshman year after year, how do you teach this?’ And the thing is, teaching them the grind. How hard it is. Teaching them about servant leadership, which is hard when every player on the team was the star. They never thought about everybody else — now I’m asking ‘please think more about everybody else.’”


The O’Reilly Factor (FOX News):
“That’s what this book is about. They know that iIm about them and the decisions i make are in their interest, not my own, which is why I have a lot of kids leaving. I’m not influencing them to stay…that’s a big part of this. Do they trust you enough? Do they look at you and say he is going to do right by me? I have got to let them make their decisions.”


The Dr. Oz Show:
“This book is all about…look, here’s what it’s about. If I eat, you know, a jellybean, or swallow a piece of gum, it might get hung up in my intestines or my colon for three, four days. I’m holding it back. I’m not letting it go forward. But if I’m constantly eating things like cabbage, lettuce — those things are going to ultimately leave and it’s going to be better for everybody, you know, a positive outcome. You can’t be the colon that’s holding things back. You put good into your program, you get good out. Sometimes it happens faster than others.”


The View (ABC):
“What this book is about it, well, look. It’s about servant leadership. It’s leadership from the inside. If my wife Ellen is used to doing everything around the house herself, that’s no good for her. She’s got me, you know, a teammate. And I’ve gotta be like ‘Look, these shoes need to get out of the hall before someone trips over them.’ So what do I do? I move the shoes. In the same vein Ellen and I also have to work as a team, we also have to trust each other. We work hard together and then, you know, we go to the Olive Garden, then, you know, maybe Orange Leaf.  It’s the reward that comes with being part of that team.”


Watch What Happens Live (Bravo):
“Listen, what this book is about…it’s about…look, it’s like, you can’t have Brandi and Joyce having a fight right in the middle of SUR, you know? It just doesn’t work. Joyce thinks Brandi’s tacky. Brandi thinks Joyce is using Michael. It’s whatever. At the end of the day, they’ve both got to be able to share the catwalk if Kyle’s fashion show is going to go well, you know? Those are the sacrifices you make. And what you need is a Yolanda, who’s just going to take the initiative and stand up and drag Brandi away from the table. But you also need a Lisa, and a Ken, who’ll help defend Brandi. That’s how it has to be. Not just one person has to step up, everyone does. That’s how a team works.”


Fresh Air (NPR):
“What this book is really about is servant leadership. It’s about leading from the inside. Look, Terry, did you see David Maisel’s ‘History’s Shadow’ show at the Yancey Richardson Gallery? That’s like, you know, what Maisel does is that he focuses on X-rays as a point of aesthetic beauty, the point at where the visual and the science of the subject intersect to explore the dual processes of memory and excavation. And you know, it’s like when you look at a team like ours — that X-ray has to show a strength from the inside, you know? That natural beauty has to first exist at an internal level. Otherwise, as a team, it’s not art, is it? I don’t know what it is but it’s not art.”
X-Play (G4):
“Look, it’s like the game Titanfall. It’s just not going to work when one guy’s got a Hammond P2011 and the guy next to him has a Plasma Railgun. You have to get on those headsets and communicate with one another. That’s the only way you sweep Angel City. And it’s the only way you win a National Championship.”


The Maury Show:
“Listen. After this break, Maury, you’re going to open that envelope. And look — it doesn’t matter if the father of Rhonda’s baby is Taz, Rick or Shondell. What matters is that these four people come together to help this child be the best it can be. Two of these guys are going to have to step up and say ‘what can I do,’ you know? That’s how a team succeeds. But it probably won’t be Dan. Dan is a straight-up buster.”

Calipari and his wife tried to start a fund for former players’ children and the NCAA said no

Photo Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Photo Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

One interesting story from John Calipari’s press conference that didn’t really fit in my recap has to do with a fund Cal said he and his wife tried to start for their former players’ kids. Cal said they wanted to put together a fund to help his former players pay for their children’s educations, but the NCAA shot it down because it would be an extra benefit:

“I presented this to the NCAA, my wife and I. We want to start a fund. We’ll fund it, we’ll put the money in. That every player that’s ever played for me, whether they be at Mass, Memphis, or Kentucky, can request a grant for their children’s education. And that fund would peel off money for that reason. And when I stop coaching 25 years later, the money that’s left in that fund would be split between Memphis, Massachusetts, and Kentucky.

What was the response? ‘It’s an extra benefit.’ My wife and I sat there and said, ‘we’ve been thinking about this for five years, this is what we want to do. So, why can’t we put $5 or $10 million in an account that peels out money that all those players that have played for me? ‘Because you’ll use it in recruiting. And you’ll have an advantage.’ Well, I won’t if 50 other coaches do the same thing. Now, if 50 of us do it, we can afford it. I’m not the only guy that’s done well and am blessed. Well, 50 of us do it. ‘That’s bad.’”

For Cal, that’s yet another “common sense problem” the NCAA has right now, and one of the reasons it’s a crumbling institution. Kids’ education? Come on now…

Win $20,000 with Draft Street’s 2-day $100,000 Playoffs league!

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 8.49.47 AM

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This league is only for games on April 19 and April 20. All you have to do to enter is go to, pay the $55 entry fee, and start drafting your team. There’s a $100,000 prize pool, with first place getting $20,000 and the top 300 finishers getting paid. First time depositors at DraftStreet will received a 100% bonus up to $200.


Eight notes from Cal’s postseason press conference

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 10.38.05 AM

John Calipari met with his favorite media friends this morning to recap his national book tour and the Cats’ season. Cal was about thirty minutes late because he was “under the weather,” (and who can blame him?) but took questions for about thirty minutes. Here’s the stuff we haven’t already heard in the past few days:

Cal had a really good day yesterday

Yesterday, Cal did a few morning shows, had lunch with Bill Clinton, and ended the day watching his former players Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Chris Douglas-Roberts play in Charlotte. He was also able to visit with Derrick Rose, who is recovering from an injury but is still traveling with the team. “It was a good day,” Cal said.

For Cal, a big highlight of the day was the two-hour lunch with President Bill Clinton. Cal said he asked Clinton “What would you do if you were in my shoes coaching Division 1 basketball right now?,” and although he didn’t share it with reporters, Cal said the former President’s response was pretty predictable. “You could almost predict his answer because he’s always been about people.” Players first = people first.

Cal doesn’t know what the players will do

The question of the moment is which players will stay and which players will go to the NBA. Cal said he has “no idea” what the players will do, but he has talked to about 19 GMs to gather information for them. He said he’s talked to all of the players, some while they were still in Dallas, and talked to the NBA folks again yesterday to get updates. Cal said he’s being careful to give that information directly to the parents so it doesn’t get distorted along the way. “I don’t want there to be any filter,” Cal said. “Happy, sad, angry, that’s it.”

Cal was “stunned” Willie decided to come back

Like many of us, Calipari said he was “stunned” by Willie Cauley-Stein’s decision to come back to school, and said he wasn’t even considering that option for him. In fact, when he sat down with Willie to talk about his decision, he reflected on how much the talented 7-footer has grown since he’s known him. “Willie, you know when I went to your high school the first time, you had a tennis racket in your hand. The second time I went to your high school, you were playing whiffle ball. And the third time I went to your high school, you were playing kickball. I never saw you with a basketball. I saw you play two football games, where I had a 7′ cornerback/wide receiver.” Wait, Willie played wide receiver??

Cal said Willie told him this when he informed him of his decision to come back: “You know coach, I’m in no hurry to leave. I love going to school, I’m going to be closer to my degree, I still have to grow a player, and we left something on the table there that I’d like to try again.”

Cal confirmed that Willie had ankle surgery

As first reported by KSR, Cal confirmed that Willie had ankle surgery by “the best doctor in the world,” and said he’s got a month or so of recovery.

Still no final decision on the summer trip

Cal confirmed that the team will take a summer trip, but said he hasn’t decided where. ”We’ll probably do something in the summer, but I haven’t made a total decision of what it will be. It’ll probably be something with the World Games.” That means the players will be going up against NBA guys, or as Cal put it, “get beat up by NBA guys.” Returning players, a month of practice in the summer, AND going against NBA competition? That puts the Cats well ahead of the curve once the season starts.

Cal’s hip surgery is scheduled for May 2nd

Cal said he’s scheduled his hip surgery for May 2nd in Lexington, and he’ll take about a month off to recover. Thank God.

“You’re old, you’re grumpy, go away.”

Cal spent the majority of the press conference rehashing his speech about how the NCAA needs to change some things. We’ve heard that A LOT the past few days, so I’ll spare you a full recap, but he did have a good quote in response to those who believe players should go to the league directly out of high school:

“The guys who say let them go out of high school, they don’t want to coach against them. It’s as simple as that,” Cal said.  ”You’re old. You’re grumpy. Go away.”

He hasn’t hired an assistant yet

Despite rumblings to the contrary, Cal said he hasn’t hired an assistant coach yet. ”I haven’t had time. There’s no one I’ve sat down and said, ‘I want you to do this.’ But I will. I haven’t gone through the process. I’ve called some people up. I have work to do.”

First, rest up a little, Coach.

Archie Goodwin scores a career-high 29 points in win over the Kings

Photo Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

While the rest of us were watching Twitter for the latest updates on the players’ decisions, Archie Goodwin made them eat they feet in Sacramento, scoring 29 points in the Suns’ 104-99 win over the Kings. It was a career-high for Archie, who started the second half and scored 12 of those 29 points in the fourth quarter. The highlight? This ridiculous dunk:

Side note: Drew Franklin, currently on his California adventure, was in the stands. Does this make Drew Archie’s good luck charm?

LIVE: John Calipari’s postseason press conference

UPDATE: Cal’s been delayed, so the presser has been pushed back to about 11 a.m. I’ll leave this up so you can listen to the media whine about it.

The waiting continues… (Thursday Show Thread)


Good morning, friends, and welcome to the Thursday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, Matt and Ryan will discuss the ongoing draft decisions by UK’s players, Jalen Whitlow’s transfer, and any news that comes out of John Calipari’s 10:30 a.m. press conference (which will most likely be about his book).

Also, if you missed the news last night, Governor Steve Beshear, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Senate President Robert Stivers, and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray have all agreed to come on KSR in a few weeks to debate the Rupp Arena funding issue, so I’m sure they’ll touch upon that as well.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Topics include:

– Harrison Twins in Orlando?

– Jalen Whitlow transferring

– The Rupp Arena debate

– Tucker Max and John Calipari???

– Much more…

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 25 Oddities of Kentucky Basketball

I do this list once or twice a year and always find new additions to put in the mix.  When you’ve played basketball as long as Kentucky has, some odd things have happened.  Here are some of the odder that I’ve come across, ranked by oddness in my opinion:

1. The UK head coach who had the worst winning percentage: Basil Hayden, who had a 18.7% win percentage at Kentucky.  He also has his jersey retired.

2. 6 times an opposing player has scored 50 or more points against UK and all 6 were either Pete Maravich or Austin Carr.

3. Tony Delk actually ranks in the Top 40 for career BLOCKS at UK.  Rex Chapman is in the Top 50.  (Of course, blocks didn’t become an official stat until 1985)

4. Brandon Knight scored more points in his 1 UK season than Forest Sale, Phil Grawemeyer, Cliff Barker, Gayle Rose, Layton Rouse, and Basil Hayden did in their careers.  Those 6 players all have retired jerseys.

5. Kentucky is 14-0 in games played in the city of Memphis but has never played the University of Memphis in that city.  They have played Ole Miss 6 times in that city though.

6. Before scoring 41 points in the NCAA title game in 1978, Jack Givens had scored over 30 points ONCE in his other 122 UK games.

7. It took Dan Issel 8 less games to score 94 more points than Jodie Meeks on the single season scoring list

8. Adolph Rupp only had 1 undefeated team and that team did not win the national title (1954).

9. 15 times a UK player has been chosen as SEC Tournament MVP.  Only Travis Ford was selected twice.

10. Despite his recruiting reputation, Rick Pitino did not have a single Mcdonald’s All-American in 5 of his 8 classes.

11. Only 1 UK player has ever lived past the age of 100: Basil Hayden.

12. UK has played games over its history in 9 Kentucky cities.  But it has never played a game in Richmond (EKU), Murray (Murray State), or Morehead (Morehead State) and only 1 time in Bowling Green (WKU).

13. Tubby Smith never won fewer than 22 games in his 10 seasons.  Rupp won less than 22 games 6 times since 1960.  Hall did it 5 times in 13 years.  Sutton did it 2 times in 4 years.  Pitino did it 1 time in 8 years.  Gillispie did it 2 times in 2 years.  Calipari has done it 1 time in 4 years.

14. Joe B. Hall played at Kentucky for 1 season.  He played in 3 games and never scored a point.

15. 11 of the 20 NBA titles Kentucky alums have won came with the Boston Celtics.

16. Half of Kentucky’s Top 20 all-time scorers only played 3 years at the school.

17. The players who rank #102 (Lou Tsioropoulos), #105 (Ken Rollins), #111 (John DeMoisey), #115 (Forest Sale), #116 (Phil Grawemeyer), #118 (Cliff Barker), #160 (Gayle Rose), #179 (Carey Spicer), #187 (Layton Rouse),  and #191 (Basil Hayden) on the career scoring list all have their jerseys retired.

18. Saul Smith had a 1.59 assist to turnover ratio at Kentucky.  That is actually a better ratio than Cliff Hawkins, Ed Davender, and Ramel Bradley.

19. Kentucky has had 3 head coaches who graduated from the University of Illinois: George Buckheit (44 wins), Clarence Applegran (13 wins), and John Mauer (40 wins).  UK has had only 4 head coaches who graduated from the University of Kentucky.

20. The player who came closest to breaking the 1,000 point barrier but didn’t was Jared Prickett, with 998 points.  James Lee finished with 996 points.

21. If Rod Rhodes had played in 1996, and scored his career scoring average that season (12.2 ppg), he would have finished as the school’s 11th all-time leading scorer.

22. Despite the NIT being the elite basketball tournament in the 1940′s and 1950′s, Kentucky only won that title 1 time, in 1946.  They won 4 NCAA titles in that same 20-year span.

23. There are 16 states that Kentucky has never had a player from.  They are Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nebraksa, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Carolina, Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

24. Only 2 former Kentucky players have won multiple NBA titles: Lou Tsioropoulos and Frank Ramsey

25. UK has only had 2 players serve in the military since 1970: Charles Hurt and Carlos Toomer