(Photo by Darrell Bird) So, it’s like the Baylor game never happened, right? Well, maybe →
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©12:00 pm
Willie Cauley-Stein played great last night, but told reporters after that he wanted to do even more, but because he has a sickle-cell trait, he had to come out at times due to fatigue.
A sickle cell trait itself is not a disease; it just means that one of Willie’s parents had sickle cell anemia or passed the recessive gene on to him. People with the gene don’t have the severe symptoms of sickle cell anemia, but it can cause some complications because there are still some misshapen blood cells that cannot carry enough oxygen. Because of that, those with the trait sometimes tire easily, especially when dehydrated or in high altitudes. Willie said that when he feels the bad chest pain, he knows it’s time to come out:
“I was just trying to play hard. I was having a little sickle-cell problem and my chest was starting to hurt, so I had to keep on telling myself, ‘In and out.’ So I wasn’t going to be able to play the minutes that I normally play, but I just tried to go as hard as I could when I could and come out whenever I felt fatigued,” Willie said. “I have the sickle-cell trait, so some days it’s just randomly where I’ll have like real bad chest pain and I can’t like breathe and my heart rate won’t come down, so I gotta stop and wait for it to come down.”
Take care of yourself, Willie.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:15 am
After a statement game against Dallas, DeMarcus Cousins was in the giving mood yesterday. For the second year in a row, Boogie took 100 Sacramento-area kids on a Wal-Mart shopping spree, giving them $150 each to spend on clothes, toys, and whatever they wanted. All of this children were from low-income backgrounds, and DeMarcus partnered with Wells Fargo to give each family a $50 gift card as well.
It’s good to know that while DeMarcus is still a beast on the court, he’s still a goofball off of it. Check out this video of him hanging out with the kids and attempting to ride a bike:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©10:30 am
Willie Cauley-Stein was inevitably going to get questions about his hair from reporters after the game. When asked if it turned out how he thought it would, Willie said “yeah, I mean, you put blond in your hair, it’s gonna turn blond.” What did he think of the freakout by BBN?
“Yeah, I don’t understand that. I could say I’m going to get something to eat so I could be energized for the game. ‘Why aren’t you in the gym shooting free throws?’ I gotta get energized for the game! What you mean? I swear, it be like that all the time. I could tweet ‘hot dogs,’ some random thing, and they’ll come up with some crazy thing to say back to me. But it’s fun, just to sometimes say the most random thing and see what people tweet back at you.”
Sadly, he hasn’t tweeted about hot dogs yet.
After more questions about his hair, Willie joked with reporters, “are we gonna talk about basketball?”, but said that he’s ready to rise to Cal’s challenge of playing like Dennis Rodman, even if he won’t wear a wedding dress:
“One thing I take form Dennis Rodman is he played a – kind of smart – psychological warfare on the basketball court, did a lot of crazy, weird things. I won’t do none of the weird stuff he was doing – maybe dye my hair, but I ain’t wearing no wedding dress or nothing. But he just did crazy things that makes people think about him. You need to be focused on the game; why you focused on my hair? You know what I’m saying?”
I want to know more about these hot dogs.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:55 am
Good morning and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. The Cats got back on track last night with a win over Boise State, and Matt and Ryan are ready to spend the next two hours breaking it down. They’re probably also talk about some really random stuff, so grab yourself a second cup of coffee and settle in.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
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By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©9:30 am
By Bryan the Intern on ©9:00 am
August 8th, 2013
Why is that date important? Well, the football team had begun practice. 40-0 was still a possibility. The Harrison twins were still “killers”. But no, for the purpose of this post, none of those are the answers. The correct answer is that August 8th is the last time the name ENES KANTER has been written on this very website. Kanter might be the weirdest circumstance of a player ever at the University of Kentucky. He very well could have been Calipari’s best recruit of the Class of 2010. Yes, Brandon Knight and Terrence Jones were in that class as well, but many believed Kanter to be the most talented. And it showed when he was drafted ahead of Knight in the NBA Draft in 2011. But he also never played a game because the NCAA are a bunch of poopy faces. And Kanter may have gotten paid to play in Turkey. But the poopy face thing is the better reason.
So while Kanter was technically on the team in 2010-11, he really wasn’t. He scored less points than any other UK player in history. That’s a fact. But amazingly, he might have been as loved unanimously by UK fans that year as any other player on the team. His introduction at BBM is the stuff of legends. Fans considered him one of our own. And he loved the fans back, as evidenced by his comments after being drafted 3rd by the Utah Jazz:
“I want to dedicate my first rookie season to Kentucky fans because they supported me a lot. They are so special. They will always be in my heart. Kentucky is just amazing.”
Awesome. And then Kanter had a less than stellar rookie season. And Brandon Knight was a very effective rookie. And John Wall and Demarcus Cousins began to explode. And UK had a national championship team. And all of the sudden, Enes Kanter was basically a forgotten man. A year on the bench in Utah will do that to most anybody. His second season wasn’t much better. But if you haven’t paid attention, Kanter has taken off this season in Utah. He is averaging 12.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg.
And with MKG, Anthony Davis, and Rajon Rondo all out with injury, you could argue Kanter is the 3rd best UK player currently playing in the NBA. But again, he hasn’t been mentioned since the NBA season began on KSR. So here is what I am wondering: do we consider Kanter a ”UK player” as much as the other guys in the NBA? Or will there always be a different kind of interest in Kanter from UK fans, one that likely means a little less passion for that player?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:06 am
(Photo by Darrell Bird)
So, it’s like the Baylor game never happened, right? Well, maybe just a little. Kentucky was determined to put a terrible trip to Dallas behind them, and they did just that Tuesday night, putting away Boise State 70-55. Here are the eight things that stood out to me:
1. Consistently inconsistent
It’s becoming a familiar pattern: the Cats jump out to an early lead then let the other team drift back into until things get worrisome. Tonight, Willie Cauley-Stein started the game off hot, getting a layup, a block, and an offensive rebound to help the Cats to a 4-0 lead, only to have Boise State smack back with hot shooting to take the lead 14-13 at the 12:30 mark. Most of Boise State’s moxie came from Aussie Anthony Drmic, who led the Broncos with 18 points, and even managed to steal some of the hair talk from Willie:
Kentucky’s tendency to blow hot and cold is their most reliable trait so far this season. Calipari blames it on their youth and inexperience, and said that slowly but surely, they’re getting better.
2. “Goldie-Blocks” backed it up
He’s had it for less than a day, but I’m already sick of hearing about Willie Cauley-Stein’s hair. “Hairgate” swept the BBN on Tuesday, with the pictures of Willie’s hair almost crashing the site. It was like “Felicity” all over again. No matter how you feel about Willie’s hair, you can’t deny that he had a good game tonight, turning in six points, seven rebounds, and nine blocks, tying his career high from a week ago. While his point total may seem low, his defensive presence in the middle made up for it. Willie didn’t just block shots–by the way, he’s only one off Anthony Davis’ pace ten games in–he kept Boise State honest, altering their game plan and forcing them to shoot from the outside. Cal praised Willie for switching out and defending guards, which helped silence one of the best offenses in the country.
What did Cal think about the hair? After the game, he had the most pragmatic response I’ve heard yet: “I’m not the tattoo police, and I’m not the hair police. I don’t care how you make your hair look. But I’ll say this Willie, ‘Looking like that, you better play.’” Cal mentioned another flamboyant baller, Dennis Rodman, and told Willie “you can paint your hair all you want, just be like him.”
It’s worth mentioning that Willie had a beanie on as he came out to talk to reporters and Julius Randle ripped it off, playfully shoving him into the first circle of reporters. No covering that up now, Willie.
3. Signs of life on defense
Although the first half was a little shaky, the Cats pretty much shut down Boise State in the second, holding the second highest-scoring team in country to 31.9% shooting and only 55 points overall, 37 below their average. That was no easy feat, Cal said, calling the Broncos “as hard to guard as any (team) you’ll play.”
A lot of Kentucky’s success on defense was due to their size, which Boise State’s Ryan Watkins admitted was “hard to simulate.” After being humiliated by Baylor on the boards, the Cats outrebounded Boise State 43-27. Cal said he challenged his team to start taking things personally: “Whatever we do, you have to take it personal and look at the other guy and say ‘I’m going after you.’”
4. Still sloppy on offense
As encouraging as UK’s defensive intensity was in the second half, their offensive execution was still pretty sloppy. The Cats has 19 turnovers to Boise State’s 8, a number which Cal said was way too high, and blamed on poor passing:
“We turned the ball over way too much, just cross court passes, give it up earlier, holding onto the ball with three guys, bad post feed for no reason. We had a lot of turnovers. It was a sagging man to man. It was like they were out trapping us and going nuts.”
5. Julius Randle is back to double-doubling
Julius got back to being Julius tonight, notching his eighth double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds. His best play came in the second half when he was finally able to shake off some tiring Boise State defenders. Afterwards, Boise State coach Leon Rice said that he had to leave James Young open in order to put more defenders on Julius or “Randle gets 30.” (Fortunately, Young made the most of it, leading scorers with 21.)
Cal lamented about “Mob-a-Randle” after the game to Tom Leach: “Do you understand how good he is? Do you understand what the other team is doing to him?” Cal said. “He’s going to have an easier time in the league than he’s going to have here.”
Crazy, if true.
6. Andrew played well
Andrew Harrison was the subject of a lot of criticism coming into tonight’s game, but he played pretty well. He finished with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 turnovers in 31 minutes. Andrew told Mike Pratt on the radio show afterwards that he knew he had to step it up after a terrible performance against Baylor: “I know that Baylor game was on me because I didn’t play good defense. I couldn’t sleep after the game”
Cal seemed pleased, but said that at times, Andrew pouted, and as a result, got yanked for Dominique Hawkins.
“I thought he did a good job. I thought there were times that if he dropped that head, I was taking him out. That’s just how it is. I need him to play. you know when you have that ball in your hands, it’s so important, we all feed off of him,” Cal said. “He was better tonight, but there were still moments, when you drop your head, you’re out. Dominique’s going in.”
You better not pout, you better not cry…
7. The bench didn’t score any points
Considering how big Kentucky’s bench is, it’s crazy that they didn’t have any bench points tonight. Four players came off the bench (Dominique Hawkins, Jarrod Polson, Dakari Johnson, and Alex Poythress) to combine for 47 minutes and 0 points. Marcus Lee sat out the game with a stomach bug, and because Boise State plays so many guards, Cal said Dakari didn’t get as many minutes as he would otherwise. While they didn’t score, both Dominique Hawkins and Alex Poythress both brought intensity and hustle. Cal said afterwards that he liked having Alex in the game alongside Julius, which is something the team only started working on yesterday.
8. Still need to take it to the next level to beat UNC
Tonight was a good way to shake off a bad trip to Dallas. By the end, we even got some dunks to remind us what this team is capable of. However, this team is still inconsistent, and will need a full 40-minute performance to beat North Carolina on the road. That being said, I feel a lot better about it now than I did on Saturday morning.
By Drew Franklin on ©12:09 am
Willie Cauley-Stein had very little to say about his new ‘do, the hottest topic in the postgame interviews. He kept his answers short and sweet, telling reporters the idea came from boredom in his room when he is in there staring at the walls after curfew, and that it looks the way he expected it to look. “When you dye your hair blond, it’s going to look blond,” he told Jerry Tipton, when asked if he’s surprised by how it turned out.
At one point Willie asked the media, “Are we going to talk about basketball?”
Coach Cal was also asked about the new look during his postgame press conference. He said, “I’m not the tattoo police. I’m not the hair police. But I told Willie, ‘Looking like that, you better play.’”
And play, he did. The Kentucky big man flirted with another triple-double, tallying six points, seven rebounds and nine blocks.
Your concerns with his hairdo are now irrelevant.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:55 pm
The should-be ranked Bisons of Boise State came into Rupp Arena riding an 8-0 record to start the season, but they leave with a loss at the hands of your University of Kentucky Wildcats. Tune in to 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP, or stream online to hear Matt Jones and KSR nation review the game on the KSR postgame show.
Share your voices and opinions by calling 1-800-444-8484 or 502-571-8484.
Discuss the show below.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:47 pm
Following his 13 point, two assist night in the win over Boise State, Andrew Harrison sat down with Tom Leach for the IMG postgame show where he addressed his lackluster performance in Dallas against Baylor. Kentucky’s freshman point guard told Leach, “I know that Baylor game was on me because I didn’t play good defense. I couldn’t sleep after the game.”
Coach Cal said he thought Andrew ran the team better tonight. He still has a ways to go but he played a good game and it was certainly a step in the right direction.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:36 pm
Boise State head coach Leon Rice has a friend in coaching who has already seen Kentucky this season. That friend told Rice to simulate a 7-foot-1 guy who can really move and protect the rim, in order to get ready for UK’s Willie Cauley-Stein. Rice told him, “I don’t know if I know how to do that.”
Kentucky’s length was the difference maker in this one, with the Wildcats owning the boards and controlling the paint against the much smaller Boise State players. After the game Rice said, “Some of the things they do, it’s like me against my 10-year-old son in the driveway.”
“They’re so physically imposing,” he added. “And they were really, really dialed in.”
Rice is one of the many opposing coaches we’ve heard from this season who really believe Kentucky is the team to watch out for in the long run. He said he has seen the Cats improve every game and the loss to Baylor made them recalibrate.
By Drew Franklin on ©11:35 pm
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©11:10 pm
It wasn’t the prettiest of performances, but the Cats got back on track tonight, beating Boise State 70-55. James Young led all scorers with 21 points and nine rebounds, followed by Julius Randle, who got back on the double double train with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Willie Cauley-Stein proved that he’s more than just a hair model, putting up 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 blocks, which ties his career high from last week. Even more, he was a force on defense, owning the inside and forcing Boise State to rely on their outside shot.
They weren’t perfect, but it sure beats Friday night.