It’s the start of a new month, which means it’s time to look back and →
By Drew Franklin on ©9:00 pm
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Order the Kentucky Basketball 2014 Calendar by Season Never Ends and you’ll be entered into a drawing for two tickets to UK-Florida on February 15 in Rupp. ESPN College Gameday will be there, and so could you!
KSR fans will love this best-selling UK calendar. It’s all-new, with more games, more quotes, more big shots, and more fan-friendly pages than ever. Look for 1978 Final Four MVP Jack “Goose” Givens on the cover.
Get it at UK retailers everywhere or from SeasonNeverEnds.com
Follow model Kindly Myers | twitter @kindly0083 | facebook.com/kindly0083
We’re moments away from Kentucky’s game against the Bears of Baylor and our friend Kindly is dying to know your predictions for the game. So before we get going with the KSR live blog, do us a favor and answer these three questions in the comments section…
1.) Final score?
2.) Julius Randle points and rebounds?
3.) Willie Cauley-Stein blocks?
And a special treat for you radio listeners…
Go Cats, everybody.
By Wilder Treadway on ©8:37 pm
Hey guys! Sorry for tonight’s late start. I’m here at Wilder’s house sans Wilder to catch you folks up on the Kentucky Hoops game vs. Baylor thus far. This is the Hoops team’s first road match up against a ranked team of the season, and who better to play than Baylor. Last year, the Bears beat up on the Wildcats 85-51, and left a sour taste in the mouths of the team after Brittney Griner and her posse demolished our team in every aspect of the game. Tonight, the 5th ranked Hoops are looking for revenge. Baylor is ranked 9th in the country and the Hoops are coming off a big win against Louisville. With Odyssey Sims being the only returning starter from last year’s Baylor line up, the Cat’s deep bench should be able to run all over a young and inexperienced Bear team. Let’s start this off from where we’re at.
#5 Kentucky v. #9 Baylor
2nd Half 6:57: Matthew Mitchell is ecstatic on the sideline as Kentucky has pulled away from Baylor in this second half and have amped up their defense against the Bears. Sims has 29, and probably no team in the country can stop her…but apart from her, BU has nothing. Let’s see if Kentucky can close this one out… Cats lead 79-73.
2nd Half 11:32: While the Cats look good on offense, the Bears are as Louisville’s Coach Walz says “pissing it away” on their offensive end. Baylor has missed countless easy baskets close in the paint, and Kentucky has taken advantage. Jennifer O’Neill is putting up some great looking shots and now has 19 in tonight’s game, two away from her career high. She is officially on #MinogueCareerWatch which has nothing to do with getting a job…..okay she was right, O’Neill now has 21. Kentucky trying to pull away from Baylor, leading 67-61.
2nd Half 15:20: More of the same to start the second half. Good for Kentucky though…Bria Goss just drew another foul on Odyssey Sims, and the Lady Bears star now had three for the game, much to Baylor’s coach Kim Mulkey’s chagrin. Freshman Makayla Epps has been amazing for the Cats tonight. She is perfect from the field on 4-4 shooting, and just stole the ball to complete a personal 5-0 run and regain the lead for Kentucky. The Wildcats are struggling in the paint, as DeNesha Stallworth and Samarie Walker have a combined nine points, but are not getting the looks Mitchell wants from his squad. Absolutely no player is on #MinogueDoubDoubWatch…and she’s pissed about it. Cats winning 56-54.
HALFTIME KENTUCKY 44 BAYLOR 44 Alright guys…after a rocky start (from KSR…not UK) Hayley and I are both here in attendance and streaming this game on ESPN3. In an offense-minded game, there has been nine lead changes and five ties as neither team could gain a significant lead. Junior Jen O’Neill is leading the charge for the Wildcats with 10 points followed by Kastine Evans with seven. As opposed to Kentucky’s “all team depth” where a plethora of players score, Baylor is extremely top heavy as forward Nina Davis is leading the team with 14 points followed by All-American Odyssey Sims with 13. Foul trouble was an issue for both teams, so look for a close, free throw determined finish to this one.
1st Half 3:28 - Makayla Epps showing off her three point shooting AGAIN!! Coach Mitchell commended her on her shooting during the last press conference, and I’m glad to see such consistency in a freshman. This game is extremely fast paced in the transition, and heavy on the offense. Let’s take a moment to pause in awe of these beautiful jerseys… OK moment over. Baylor has FOUR players with two fouls, one of which is Odyssey Sims. That being said, both Samarie Walker and DeNesha Stallworth both also have two fouls… yikes. UK 39- Baylor 36
1st Half 7:51- Finally in here. Kentucky and Baylor have been battling it back and forth so far in this game. Jennifer O’Neill is leading our Cats with eight points. Nina Davis has stepped it up for this Baylor team with nine of their 26 points thus far. Samarie Walker is asserting herself BIG TIME on the blocks with four rebounds, something that she has been spotty on the past few games. UK 28- Baylor 26
By Matt Jones on ©7:10 pm
In another “only John Calipari would do this” story, Cal has given the UK players homework. Each player will be asked to write a one page paper on the life of Nelson Mandela. Calipari says he wants them to know about his life and history and what he represents and the paper is the best way to make that happen.
So Julius, Willie, Sam, etc….get your research out and remember that the library has microfiche if necessary.
By Matt Jones on ©6:30 pm
Some great stuff here…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©5:45 pm
How’s this for an exciting afternoon surprise? There WILL be a pregame show featuring Matt Jones and Oscar Combs this evening. Tune in to 630 WLAP in Lexington at 6 pm for Texas Roadhouse Countdown to Tip-Off Pregame Show on the IMG Network. A list of affiliates around the state can be found here or you can listen online here.
By Cody Daniel on ©5:00 pm
Now that the game everyone has been waiting for since Michigan State is here, let’s see how Kentucky and Baylor match up:
Andrew Harrison: Andrew Harrison has grown as the team has grown and is beginning to even step up as a leader. At 6’6 Andrew will have a distinct advantage over his matchup and should exploit that will his ability to both shoot and get to the rim.
Kenny Chery: Kenny Chery is the floor general for Baylor as lives up to his role very well. Chery can get to the rim consistently and shoots 90% from the line which makes him a little harder to guard with the new hand check rule.
Edge: Andrew Harrison-better size, more physical, better overall athlete.
Aaron Harrison: Aaron has showed us night after night that he can score in a hurry. Whether it be from attacking the basket or pulling the trigger from deep, Harrison can score and should find himself in double digits again tonight.
Gary Franklin: Gary Franklin is another one of those guys Kentucky can’t leave open from deep. Franklin has a consistent shot from deep and also finds his way into the lane from time to time.
Edge: Aaron Harrison-much better scorer, better overall athlete.
James Young: There is a reason NBA scouts love this kid. James Young does a little bit of everything with some extra defensive intensity. At 13 ppg, Young is another one of Kentucky’s go-to-guys and should be to much on the offensive end for his matchup.
Royce O’Neale: In his first season at Baylor after transferring from Denver, Royce O’Neale is a solid scorer that finds himself above the rim quite often which has contributed to his 70% shooting from the field. O’Neale’s strength has to be his passing skills with his ability to constantly find the open man from the post. Don’t forget about his three point shooting either at 72% from deep.
Edge: James Young-much more aggressive on defensive end, much better scoring threat.
Julius Randle: What more can be said about Julius Randle other than he hasn’t dominated Cory Jefferson…yet. Randle doesn’t really have a weakness in his game and should be too strong, too fast and overall too good for Cory Jefferson.
Cory Jefferson: Cory Jefferson is a beast down low. Most of his points come from powerful dunk but he does have a few post moves in his arsenal as well. With 8.8 rebounds per game, Jefferson also cleans up the glass pretty regularly.
Edge: Julius Randle-too big, too fast, too athletic, too dominant. Much better overall player.
Willie Cauley-Stein: Fresh off the best game of his career, Cauley-Stein with face of with an even lengthier Isaiah Austin. With his dominant low post blocking ability and overall athleticism, WCS is a guy who is becoming a threat on both sides of the ball.
Isaiah Austin: Not many 7’1 guys are as skilled with the ball as Isaiah Austin with his ability to shoot the ball and maneuver down low. Austin isn’t the strongest guy but his length gives him an advantage in most situations.
Edge: Willie Cauley-Stein-confident, very aggressive, athleticism to match Austin.
Alex Poythress: You never know what you’re going to get with Poythress. One game he is aggressive and physical to only shy away from the action the next. Poythress has the skill set to dominate in this game on anybody that guards him. The only question is which Alex Poythress will we see tonight.
Brady Heslip: Do not leave this guy open. Heslip is one of those guys that spots up from beyond the arc and opposing teams just cringe. Brady Heslip will look to find any hole in the defense and cash in for three points.
Bigger Impact: Brady Heslip-without the certainty of Poythress showing up to play, Heslip will likely affect the game with his deep shooting.
By Stuart Hammer on ©4:00 pm
Today is Friday and that means it’s time for Friday Roland Ratings Review, a semi-weekly post that will recap and breakdown the Kentucky Wildcats basketball players by examining the +/- stat. If you’re not familiar with the plus-minus, it’s pretty simple: the number represents the team’s net point differential when the player is on the floor compared to when he is not. If a player has a positive value, it means the team scored more points when he was the floor, and a negative value means the opposite. If you want to read more about the stats, take a look at the original post from early in the season.
Last time it was Julius Randle taking the crown for top Roland Rating average through Kentucky’s first four games (+18), but Aaron Harrison was a close second (+15), and Andrew Harrison was third (+13). In total, four different players were the Roland Rating leaders in each of the first four games, meaning the team is spreading the wealth. That’s a good sign.
It was close at the start, and that’s about all this game was good for. James Young led the scoring with 26 points, but it was Andrew Harrison and his 15 points and 6 assists that took the +/- lead. They both logged 29 minutes but in the time Harrison was off the floor, the Cats struggled much more than they did without Young, hence the significant gap. Dakari Johnson and Dominique Hawkins each contributed solid minutes, so ignore their low scores. One downfall of this statistic is that it is overly critical of role players.
Once again the leading scorer isn’t the top contributor to the team. Julius Randle paced the offensive output with a staggering 15 points and 15 rebounds, however Willie Cauley-Stein was the +/- leader thanks to his 11 points to go along with 4 blocks. There is a 20-point differential in points allowed between Randle’s time on the floor and Cauley-Stein’s, signaling that defense was the key factor in separating the two. Cauley-Stein’s 30-minute contribution helped the Cats pull away from the Vikings in the 2nd half and in turn, ease the nerves of Big Blue Nation.
Aaron Harrison scored 22 points and added 7 rebounds and 2 assists, but finished fifth-best on the team in terms of Roland Rating. Are we sensing a trend? Right now it’s all about defense. That is the difference. And James Young played much better defensively despite being silenced on the offensive end. This UK squad has talent all over the floor and more than half-a-dozen players could be the leading scorer on any given night. But it’s the D that is key to victory.
For the second set of games no one player dominated across the board. Andrew Harrison, Cauley-Stein, and Young each finished atop the charts, and while this example does have an arbitrary endpoint, the idea that this team is distributing the load across the entire team and not relying solely on one or two players remains true.
We’ll hold the Providence data for next time and group it together with more of the games against similar competition. Until then, watch the development of this team when they don’t have the ball. We’ve seen they can score points and as a team stay out of foul trouble, and that gets them more than halfway to the Promised Land. But once the defense kicks it up a notch it’ll truly be lights out.
By Dustin Rumbaugh on ©3:42 pm
Coach O’s old crew would’ve just put on a helmet and some skates and tipped off.
Marshall County High School Athletic Director Jeff Stokes sent an email out to media just moments ago cancelling tonight’s Marshall County Hoop Fest games. Tomorrow’s games are up in the air pending whatever mother nature drops on the Bluegrass tonight.
The cancellations shouldn’t create too much of a problem for UK fans wanting to see future players and prospects, especially considering most would have stayed home for the UK-Baylor game anyways. If the show goes on tomorrow, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, Montaque Gill-Caesar, Miles Bridges, Dallas Prime Prep, Christ Presbyterian and Ballard all have games later in the afternoon on Saturday. Fingers crossed.
At least I’ll be traveling away from the storm as I head back to my nice warm house (sorry Benton Inn, rain check). Braving ice storms in the name of UK basketball? I’m reminded of Calipari’s famous words: “[Covering] Kentucky basketball isn’t for everyone.” I’m pretty sure that’s what he meant.
*900 hundred mile ice cold fist bump to the boys in Dallas*
UPDATE: Marshall County has released the revised schedule for tomorrow. Here it is:
12:00 pm Ballard vs Arsenal Tech (Trey Lyles)
1:30 pm Hunting Prep vs Atlanta Sports Academy (Gill-Caesar)
3:00 pm Marshall County vs Hopkinsville
5:00 pm Ballard vs Moss Point (Devin Booker)
6:30 pm Huntington Prep vs Arsenal Tech (Gill-Caesar and Trey Lyles)
8:00 pm Oak Hill vs Atlanta Sports Academy
9:30 pm Dallas Prime Prep vs Quality Education
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©3:00 pm
The celebration from 2012 is long gone but it can live on forever inside your home or office with this 2012 Final Four print from Stadium Frame. The 34×24 framed photo is matted with coins and features a shot of the Superdome court just after the final buzzer sounded to end Kentucky’s magical 2011-12 season. Go to www.Final4Prints.com to purchase the print you see here OR get one that includes a piece of the Final Four floor, signed by John Calipari. The finished framed size is approximately 13″ x 16″ with a 6″ x 8″ photo of the celebration and 2″ x 4″ piece of the floor.
Happy Friday, folks. We are approximately seven hours from the tip of Kentucky/Baylor in Cowboys Stadium, and the roads are still a mess here in Dallas. Before I try to figure out how to get there, let’s go over some notes from this cold, cold gameday.
The game will go on
Despite the dangerous weather, the game operations staff at Cowboys Stadium says that because all four teams and the game officials are in town, both the men’s and women’s games will be played tonight as scheduled. Hooray!
Baylor will also wear fancy new uniforms tonight
You’ve already seen Kentucky’s unis for tonight. Here are the ones Baylor will wear:
Cal watched Myles Turner last night
An ice storm wasn’t enough to stop John Calipari from doing a little recruiting while in Dallas. Cal and Orlando Antigua watched Myles Turner put up 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 blocks, alongside Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy and assistants from Texas and Duke. 247Sports Composite’s 4th best player in the 2014 class confirmed that his list is down to Texas, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma State, Arizona and Ohio State. The 6’11″ 225 lbs. Turner plans to decide this spring, and could be one of the two players Calipari was referring to when he said he wanted to sign two more players in the 2014 class.
The ice storm is starting to hit Lexington
Winter Storm Cleon is about to hit Lexington, and in preparation, UK has canceled classes from 3 p.m. on. In addition, the NCAA Volleyball Tournament First and Second Rounds, hosted by UK at Memorial Coliseum, have been rescheduled for tomorrow and Sunday. Here’s the revised schedule:
Saturday, Dec. 7, 2:30 p.m. ET: Ohio vs. Michigan State
Saturday, Dec. 7, 5 p.m. ET: Duquesne vs. Kentucky
Sunday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m. ET: Second-Round TBD
If that’s not bad enough, Friday’s games at the Marshall County Hoops Fest have also been canceled. We’ll let you know more about tomorrow’s schedule as we know it.
Luckily, there’s plenty of UK sports on the radio and TV to keep you entertained while you wait out the storm. Here’s the schedule for today’s events (all times Eastern):
7:30 p.m.: UK Hoops vs. Baylor (TV: none; Internet: ESPN3; Radio: WLAP)
9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.: The KSR Pregame show featuring Ryan Lemond (Radio: WLAP)
10:00 p.m.: Kentucky vs. Baylor (TV: ESPN)
Take a nap or stock up on some Diet Coke, because it’s gonna be a long day.
Finally, on today’s show, Matt and Drew talked about their trek to Dallas, the ice storm, and previewed tonight’s game. It was so fun that Drew took his clothes off.
By Drew Franklin on ©2:15 pm
Posted in Main
Listen here, folks. I’ve been really excited about this since playing (and losing) my first DraftStreet contest early in the college football season. It’s KSR’s first COLLEGE BASKETBALL fantasy free roll with Draft Street, meaning we can all pick Julius Randle and hope our other players have big games to help him out. It’s going to be a lot of fun and someone, hopefully me, will win money and bragging rights over everyone else.
Here’s how it works…
Head over to DraftStreet.com and create an account (if you haven’t already) and join our league. (You can do that by clicking here.) The one-night competition starts Friday night at 7:00 p.m. EST, so get to it. Once you’re in, you will draft an eight-man team from a pool of 74 players participating in games that night. The price of each player varies based on projections, with Randle being the most expensive player available because of course he is.
The top 50 fantasy players in the KSR league will split a $500 prize pool, paid in vouchers to dominate other cash-paying leagues. The first place winner (again, hopefully me) will receive a $109 voucher, followed by $22 to second through 10th place and $5 to the remaining players ranked 50th or better.
If you’re like me, fantasy college basketball sounds too good to be true; but it really exists thanks to our friends at DraftStreet.com and I think it is going to be a lot of fun. I look forward to flaunting my winnings in your face on Saturday.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:00 pm
Whoops…sorry, old habits…
That’s more like it. Happy birthday to Sam Malone! The UK walk-on will celebrate his big day with a big game in Cowboys Stadium tonight. Last night, the team visited the George W. Bush Presidential Library, and Sam had a pretty great tweet about it:
Bush library was great. Confirmed that W is the man. Solid handshake, great breath, 3 or 4 genuinely funny jokes, and swag through the roof
— Sam Malone (@SamMaloneuk13) December 6, 2013
If having great breath makes you cool, consider me Miles Davis.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:00 pm
Tonight, the Cats take on Baylor for the third time in three seasons, with the Bears taking last year’s game in Rupp, 64-55. But, it’s a new year, so let’s get to the guys the Cats will face off against in Jerry’s World later today:
#34 Cory Jefferson
Forward, Junior, 6-9 / 220
PPG 13.5, RPG 8.8, BPG 1.4
On the court: Jefferson leads the team in points and rebounds, and will likely face off against Julius Randle down low. This, along with Willie Cauley-Stein vs. Isaiah Austin, will be the crucial matchup in the game. Randle likes challenges, and it’s his homecoming, so I look for a big game from him tonight.
Off the court:
Ring Mee!! The first ring I actually can say that I at least earned.. pic.twitter.com/swrMMcxRrx
— Cory Jefferson (@CoryJay34) September 18, 2013
Sports his NIT Championship ring proudly.
#21 Isaiah Austin
Center, Sophomore, 7-1 / 225
PPG 10.5, RPG 4.9, BPG 3.3
On the court: The 7-footer with the wacky rec specs leads the team in blocks, and still isn’t fully recovered from the shoulder surgery he had in the offseason. Regardless, Willie Cauley-Stein will have his hands full in the post, and will need to continue to play well to give the Cats an inside presence.
Off the court: Austin chose Baylor over Kentucky, and likes to talk smack: Kentucky is not better than us in any way, shape or form.”
Also likes to diss his girlfriend’s driving skills:
#1 Kenny Chery
Point Guard, Junior, 5-11 / 180
PPG 10.8, RPG 2.3, APG 4.9
On the court: The JUCO transfer will have the task of guarding Andrew Harrison. Harrison will have the upper hand if Baylor goes man-to-man, but how Kentucky does against Chery and the zone will depend on whether or not they hit their shots from the outside. Chery hits 90% of his free throw shots, so watch those hands, Andrew.
Off the court: Doesn’t need an alarm clock.
No alarm clock needed, my passion wakes me up!
— Kenny Chery (@KChery1) October 18, 2013
#4 Gary Franklin
Guard, Senior, 6-2 / 190
PPG 8.1, RPG 2.1, APG 2.9
On the court: Franklin is another veteran guard who can hit it from the outside, shooting 47.1% from the outside.
Off the court: Took this picture with former Baylor star Brittney Griner at her going away party:
Also thinks he’s playing Kansas tonight:
Good Morning everyone tune in today to see us take on KU
— Gary Franklin (@G4orceFranklin) December 6, 2013
#00 Royce O’Neale
Forward, Junior, 6-6 / 220
PPG 7.8, RPG 3.5, APG 3.4
On the court: O’Neale is 72.7% from the outside. Good grief.
Off the court: Owns more American flag gear than Aaron Flener and Kristin Geil combined.
OFF THE BENCH:
Brady Heslip will come off the bench for Baylor. I don’t know about you, but to me, it feels like he’s been at Baylor for about a hundred years. Heslip is the best 3-point shooter in Baylor history, hitting 52% from behind the arc this season. In fact, 26 of his 31 made field goals this year are 3-pointers. Kentucky’s perimeter defense has been suspect this season, and shutting down Heslip will be crucial.
What matchup are you looking most forward to tonight?