Kentucky Sports Radio

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November 30th, 2015

Everything John Calipari said after a Win over Illinois State

COACH CALIPARI: This was a great game because they spread the court and had all five guys that could drive.

We got three guys that refused to move their feet, they turned sideways, and think it’s high school and they’re going to block it at the rim. So they’re all layups and ones and if they miss it, their weak side rebounder rebounds it. And that’s why we needed to play this kind of game.

They also trapped and did some good things. And I’m happy that we got to see Isaiah. The beginning of the game, he just — three turnovers in three minutes. Okay now. It’s not an easy position to play.

Jamal didn’t play in the first half. Skal really gave us nothing the whole game. But this is a good thing. Because now — Alex gave us nothing in the first half. So, they — you got to take stock.

The thing about elite athletes and world-class athletes, they can evaluate their performance and say, all right, I got to fix this. They self evaluate and that’s what this team needs to do.

Without Tyler, it’s obvious we’re not the same team. I mean, unless you were watching another game. We’re not the same team. But it still doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t play hard and guys shouldn’t battle and fight for balls. We got beat to everything in the first half.

Now, this team, they’re going to win a lot of games. They had San Diego State and Maryland to the wire. They had us on the ropes. Think about that. Those are the kind of games they played and they have lost them, but they played them. I think Dan has done a great job playing the way they have to play. It was just tougher than us.

We were lucky to out rebound them because they out-rebounded 20-12 at half. They out-rebounded us by eight and it could have been more. A couple of them, the shot went up and we ran from a guy and they jumped over top of us and not fouling, just we didn’t want to block out. Just grabbed a couple.

Q. Can you talk about your team as — what were your thoughts when you got guys got off to that slow start?
COACH CALIPARI: It was as much them as it was us. And it was Isaiah, again, the turnovers he had, the reason I was on him, he had the lob the first play. If you’ve watched this team for the last seven years, that’s all we throw. So you can run back and try to get the lob, if you can. Maybe give us a layup, but we’re going to lob it. He threw a direct pass. I’m like, what — the very first play. And that’s how we come out of the gate, we’re down 7, whatever it was, and we were lucky to be in the game at halftime. I even told them, this is the greatest thing for this team right here to have to deal with.

Look, you don’t want to go through a season where every game is easy. This stuff is not easy. So, this was a hard game for us. This was, to be honest, the schedule we played to this point has not been easy, for us. We had four freshmen out there today. Come on.

Somebody told me the other day, “Your team, a couple years ago…” we had five freshmen. We’re playing five freshmen. “Well, they should execute better.” Really? They just got done playing AAU two months ago.


Wendy’s KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Weekend


Only Wendy’s ®makes a deal feel like a meal. Introducing the new Four for Four! Four bucks for the Junior Bacon Cheeseburger with Applewood smoked bacon, crispy nuggets, small natural cut sea salt fries, and drink. Get more for four, now at Wendy’s®.

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 Jess Watson

Cops never let anyone have fun.



#9 Bweet Da Dee

Definitely NOT Muhammad Ali.



#8 Steve Rose




#7 Stormie

Can Shannon never take that outfit off?



#6 Brad Hutchins

Both names work just fine.



#5 Jackie Watson

All of the BBN to Tyler Ullis.



#4 Brian Witt

Shannon is having the best time of his life.


#3 Tyler Reeder

Maybe Josh should play quarterback?



#2 chase

This post is the epitome of journalism.



#1 Jessica Mac

This explains EVERYTHING.




Calipari on the Two Guys that Saved the Game

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

Without Tyler Ulis, Kentucky needed Isaiah Briscoe to be assertive at the point guard position.  He had his ups and downs, starting with three turnovers but finishing with a team-high 18.  But Briscoe wasn’t the man that saved the day, according to Calipari.

“The guy that changed the game was Dom.”  Calipari compared it to his performance against Michigan in the NCAA Tournament two years ago.  They needed shutdown perimeter defense and consistency from the free throw line.  He was exceptional defending in the open court and made 5-7 from the charity stripe.

Dominique was great, but Marcus Lee played like a man on a mission.  His mission: to earn back his starting spot after struggling against South Florida.

“If Marcus Lee doesn’t play we lose.”  Calipari replaced Lee in the starting lineup with Poythress, but he said he couldn’t use Alex or Skal early on because they weren’t playing strong enough.  Marcus Lee scrapped for points (and 6 offensive rebounds), earning back confidence from his coach.

Hopefully they’ll have Ulis back for the UCLA game, but either way, this is the test Cal was looking for:

“We were lucky to be in the game at halftime.  This is what we needed.”

Calipari Gives a Tyler Ulis Update

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Cal knows they aren’t the same team without Tyler Ulis.  If he can’t practice soon, it will continue against UCLA.

The team will practice tomorrow morning before departing for Los Angeles.  Calipari doubts Ulis will practice tomorrow, but he needs to be able to practice in L.A. on Wednesday to be good to go against the Bruins on Thursday.

Tyler, how do you feel about playing on Thursday?


Highlights from UK’s Win over Illinois State

UK Athletics

UK Athletics


Watch John Calipari’s postgame press conference



Kentucky Scraps for a Win Without Tyler Ulis, 75-63

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

On a poor shooting night from just about every spot on the court, Kentucky eventually overpowered Illinois State for a double-digit victory.

The Cats missed from three (14%), from the free throw line (63%), and just about every spot in-between.  They eventually found a spark by turning their misses into points.  Marcus Lee had 6 offensive rebounds that helped him get to another double-double (11 points and 11 rebounds).

Isaiah Briscoe did enough in Tyler Ulis’ absence, but it wasn’t the effortless leadership we’re used to seeing from Tyler. Briscoe began the game with three consecutive turnovers, but he fought through adversity, finishing with a team-high 18 points on 53% shooting, 7 rebounds and 3 assists before fouling out.

It wasn’t pretty, but Tyler Ulis won’t always be there.  It’s better they learn how to win without him now, than later.

Alex enters beast mode

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The Cats are slowly pulling away from Illinois State, thanks to the hustle and aggressive play of Alex Poythress. Check out this finish by Alex and the roar afterwards:

Finally, some fire from this group.

UK vs. Illinois State (Second Half Comment Thread)


Well, that was ugly. Without Tyler Ulis, Kentucky looked totally lost on both sides of the floor, trailing Illinois State for the majority of the first half. The score is tied at 31 at halftime, and if Skal Labissiere and Jamal Murray don’t show up, it could get ugly.

You know the drill, leave comments below to discuss the game. Feel free to ask us any questions about basketball or life as well.

And remember, CTRL+F5 and Command+R will refresh the page for you.

A Tied Halftime Box Score


It hasn’t been the best shooting night for the Cats, leaving an uphill battle for the second half.

The team brought Ellen Calipari brownies for her birthday

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It hasn’t been a pretty half so far. In fact, I’ve been struggling to find a highlight to share with you guys. So, instead, I’ll share this touching moment from before the game. Today is Ellen Calipari’s birthday, and, since it’s custom for Ellen to bake the players brownies on their birthdays, tonight, the team returned the favor, bringing her a plate of brownies before tip off.

And here’s Ellen enjoying her birthday treat:



UK vs. Illinois State (First Half Comment Thread)


Your Kentucky Wildcats are back in action tonight against the Illinois State Redbirds, which means it’s time for us to talk about it in the comments section. Drew is somewhere in Kansas with Matt, Ryan, and Shannon, so Nick Roush is filling in courtside at Rupp Arena.

If you missed the news earlier, Tyler Ulis is OUT for this game with a hyperextended elbow. Good thing we’ve got three other point guards on the roster.

By now you know the drill, leave comments below to discuss the game. Feel free to ask us any questions about basketball or life as well.

And remember, CTRL+F5 and Command+R will refresh the page for you.

Charles Matthews is getting his First Career Start

KentuckyMBB | IG

Without Tyler Ulis, tonight will be the first career start for Charles Matthews.  After an impressive game at home against Boston and an explosive nine first half points against South Florida, Matthews has earned this opportunity.

Tip-off in just about 15 minutes on ESPN2, with a comment thread coming even sooner.

Is This the Best Thing to Come Across the Lexington Police Scanner?


So, this has been floating around Twitter today and I honestly wonder if it’s been topped from a basketball/police scanner combo. I think it’s due for a caption contest as there are a lot of ways this can go. So, before the game tonight let’s have a little fun while we get ready for Illinois State. Here’s the original Tweet from HLpublicsafety:

I guess, dare I say it? ‘You people are crazy.’