It’s the start of a new month, which means it’s time to look back and →
By Matt Wheatley on ©3:45 pm
Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) of Rivals.com has reported via his Twitter account that two of the most highly-touted recruits in the nation will be officially visiting Kentucky this weekend. Marcelys Jones, a four star offensive lineman–currently committed to Ohio State–and Erick Smith, a four star safety are apparently in Lexington.
Jones, who has been linked to Kentucky for some time now, is rumored to be a serious candidate to flip from Ohio State to Kentucky come National Signing Day. He has been on campus multiple times now and adding him to the offensive line mix would make for a possibly elite line to stand in front of Drew Barker in the coming years if everything pans out as it could (a BIG if).
Erick Smith might be a newer name for some of us. Smith, a four star safety ranked among the nation’s top 150 prospects would be yet another jewel in the recruiting crown that Vince Marrow has been crafting since his arrival in Lexington. Adding him to an already stout secondary recruiting class would be an unheard of achievement here in Lexington and would prove yet again that even with the struggles that this staff faced this season, Kentucky has the right people in place. If Smith were to choose Kentucky, the Cats will have warded off Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and about a dozen other schools to secure his services.
By Stuart Hammer on ©2:30 pm
(Video via Anthony Wireman)
Future Cat Trey Lyles’ Arsenal Tech Titans battled Ballard High School, and after opening up a monstrous 24-2 lead through 1st quarter, the Bruins slowly chipped away to make it a game after the 3rd, trailing just 59-52. Early in the 4th quarter the game was tied at 61, but Ballard kept the pedal to the metal and extended a five-point lead late into the final frame.
Those in attendance say Lyles put the reeling team on his back and helped close the gap in the final two minutes. Some costly mistakes and a big shot helped tie the game at 78 by the final horn. Then Tech then pulled away in overtime to win 87-84.
Lyles scored 27 points and was named MVP.
By Stuart Hammer on ©1:00 pm
The Marshall County Hoopfest was postponed a day thanks to mother nature, but the games must go on! Trey Lyles and his Arsenal Tech squad will battle Louisville commit Quentin Snider’s Ballard in the first game of the day. You can watch on iHigh, tip off is at 1 o’clock eastern.
Lyles became Tech’s all-time leading rebounder last week and is just three points away from become the school’s all-time leading scorer, breaking the record of 1,269 points.
Later in the evening, Ballard will play Devin Booker and his Moss Point Tigers at 5 p.m. Booker dropped 21 points and hauled in 21 rebounds Friday night in Mississippi in a 60-51 win over Pascagoula. His team boarded a bus and drove through the icy night to make it to the Bluegrass for tonight’s contest.
Rumors are John Calipari, Rick Pitino, and Bob Huggins will be in attendance tonight.
By Stuart Hammer on ©11:30 am
Death, taxes, and Calipari-to-NBA rumors. We’ve weathered this storm before, and the latest bout occurred within the last week as the Knicks continue to struggle under Mike Woodson. So naturally, John Calipari is target numero uno and he’s going to be hired tomorrow. But that will leave a vacancy in Lexington which, according to Dan Rubenstein of SB Nation, is going to be filled by 66-year-old coaching veteran Mike Krzyzewski. Coach K is the obvious choice, says Rubenstein, and his unreal recruiting class at Duke will follow him to Kentucky.
Fear not, Big Blue Nation. The darkest hour is just before the dawn. Better times are coming.
(Before you go off the deep end, I’m pretty sure this is satire)
It’s an ugly morning after here in Dallas, and like most fans, I can’t stop replaying last night’s game, especially the postgame press conference. Here it is in its entirety, thanks to @KyWildcatsTV. Watch Cal, Aaron Harrison, and Julius Randle struggle to talk about the loss.
The most telling part to me? After answering questions from reporters, John Calipari abruptly left the presser with a sour look on his face.
I feel ya, Coach.
So last night kind of sucked. Not only did you stay up ‘til nearly 1:30 in the morning, but you also had to watch Kentucky lose in the most depressing manner possible: Slowly withering away after having their foot on the gas for so long. Frustration and confusion are the easiest words to describe the emotions felt – Why did the team collapse? Where was the intensity? How come they abandoned the zone-attack? The Cats panicked down the stretch and the Baylor Bears got the better of this young team, evidently still searching for its identity.
– Kenny Chery scored 18 points, including six in the go-ahead run for Baylor. The Cats had a 50-41 lead with 13 minutes left and the Bears responded with a 15-5 run to put them up 56-55, and they never trailed again.
– In case you forgot, this was the second-straight victory for Baylor over Kentucky. I guess the revenge factor wasn’t quite significant enough for Willie Cauley-Stein or Alex Poythress.
– It’s not all bad news for Kentucky fans. The UK Hoops team won a thriller in the game prior to the boys, knocking off Baylor 133-130 in four overtimes. Jennifer O’Neill dropped a whopping 43 points on the Bears which helped the Cats win the highest scoring D-I women’s basketball game ever.
– Check out some of the highlights from that game which featured 10 players foul out, and almost 200 field goal attempts between the two teams.
– The ice storm kept a lot of people indoors yesterday and changed plenty of plans around the Commonwealth. The Marshall Country Hoopfest is one event that was bumped, but Nation of Blue has the rescheduled-schedule featuring Trey Lyles’ Arsenal Tech, Devin Booker’s Moss Point, and Monraque Gill-Caesar’s Huntington Prep. We’ll have more on this later.
It’s going to be a busy day for college football even though the Cats are done. Missouri and Auburn are going at it down in the Georgia Dome to see who is the best in the SEC, while Ohio State and Michigan State are battling for the Big Ten title in Indy. Heck, most people aren’t giving Duke much of a chance against Florida State in the ACC, but you never know. The BCS standings might get a major shift depending on the outcome of those games.
By Drew Franklin on ©3:51 am
It’s late, Kentucky lost, and we all just want to go to bed and forget about it. But, the KSR show must go on so I’m here with you in the wee hours of the morning reporting from the belly of AT&T Stadium, where Kentucky just dropped its second game of the season, 67-62.
The Cats held a nine point lead midway through the second half when we all looked for UK to hit the gas and put Baylor away for the evening. What we saw was quite the opposite, actually, as the Bears scraped and clawed their way back to a tie game at the six minute mark. Kentucky got colder than Dallas from there, scoring only seven points in the final six minutes before taking the troubling loss.
I’m about to pass out, so let’s run through some of the key observations from the night and then rest up for a new day. If you I fall asleep somewhere in the middle, please forgive me and finish the discussion in the comments section.
Free throws, free throws, free throws
Maybe the biggest concern with this team was even more concerning Friday night. I’m talking about free throws, the easiest part of the game. The Cats shot a disgusting 12-of-23 from the stripe for a 52.2 percentage overall. The misses came at crucial times, too, with James Young’s back-to-back bricks with the opportunity to regain the lead standing out from the bunch. Randle’s late game showing at the line wasn’t any better, either.
This team is going to go to the line a lot this season, as we’ve already seen thus far, and more losses like this one can be expected if they can’t find a way to make the freebies. 52 percent is inexcusable for any team, especially a team of this caliber.
Outworked on the glass
Following his team’s embarrassing performance in Dallas, Coach Cal said Baylor deserved to win the game. “They out-hustled us,” he said in the postgame press conference. “They out-worked us.”
A quick glance at the box score and you’ll see what he’s talking about, right there in the rebounding column. Baylor out-rebounded Kentucky 41-25, including 18 on the offensive end, more than UK’s 15 defensive rebounds. Even Julius Randle, Mr. Unstoppable, was getting dominated on the boards. He gave up a key one on a missed free throw in the final minute. That’s not supposed to happen.
Quote of the night
Courtesy of Baylor forward Rico Gathers:
“We didn’t take no foots off the gas. We were just like pushing the whole night and they didn’t like it.”
Yeah, we noticed.
Coach Cal seemed pretty pissed
I looked down at my computer during Coach Cal’s postgame press conference and when I looked back up, he was gone. Cal left abruptly and unannounced, leaving Aaron Harrison and Julius Randle to answer the remaining questions. I believe it’s the first time he’s ever stormed off like that.
The crowd was great
Though it looked like an empty building on television, there was a pretty solid turnout for the game considering the conditions. Attendance was announced at 12,818 and I’m not sure how everyone managed to get there, but they did. The roads are terrible here in Dallas and one fan told me it took almost three hours to get to the game from downtown.
Coach Cal also wondered how everyone found away to get inside. He said, “I don’t know how these people made it. They must have been on dogsleds or something. I look around and it’s blue.”
BBN, you never disappoint.
Andrew Harrison has a long way to go.
If this team is going to contend for a national champi
You know what, I’m really tired and don’t feel like talking about this game anymore. This recap gets as much effort as Kentucky showed down the stretch.
Y’all have a nice night. Or morning. Whatever you want to call this.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©2:01 am
Scott Drew and the Baylor players were very gracious about their win, but both Drew and Rico Gathers said that Kentucky’s inexperience was a factor tonight:
“They’re great freshmen, but freshmen are still 18 years old, and if they’re competing against 22-year-olds, that’s tough,” Drew said.
“When you’re playing a bunch of freshmen on the court, it’s all about thinking,” Gathers said. “We basically out-thought them today.”
I think we can all agree with that.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:44 am
John Calipari left the postgame presser as abruptly as he arrived. When asked about his team’s performance, Cal said his guys were simply outmatched by Baylor: “They outhustled us, they outworked us, they deserved to win.” How about his team panicking down the stretch? “That’s where we are as a team right now,” Cal said. “We’re not ready for that as a team right now.”
What were the Cats’ main Achilles’ Heels tonight, according to Cal? “Offensive rebounding and putbacks.” Cal even blamed himself for playing guys too long, and said that the team will either “start fighting or we’ll keep losing.”
After praising the crowd for showing up, he shoved his chair back and left.
By Will Totten on ©1:37 am
For the 2nd straight season the Baylor Bears have put one in the L column for Kentucky, last year in Rupp Arena and once more tonight in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Despite a hot start from 3-point range (6-10 in the 1st Half) Kentucky couldn’t overcome an abysmal 12-23 night at the FT line and fell to Baylor, 67-62.
Julius Randle led the Wildcats in scoring with 16 points, also adding 8 rebounds and 4 assists. James Young and Aaron Harrison scored 14 and 15 points respectively, and were a combined 7-12 from 3PT range. Kentucky was dominated on the glass tonight by the Bears, losing the rebound battle 41-25 for the first time this season.
Sloppy weather, sloppy basketball. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to try this again in April, Dallas. Hold the ice.
By Drew Franklin on ©9:00 pm
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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.