(Photo by Darrell Bird) So, it’s like the Baylor game never happened, right? Well, maybe →
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©5:30 pm
With only one year as UK’s offensive coordinator under his belt, Neal Brown is apparently already a candidate for a head coaching job. @FootballScoop’s Scott Roussel reports that Brown is an early candidate for head coaching job at Arkansas State, along with Tim Horton, Eddie Gran, Scott Maxfield, and Dan Werner.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©5:00 pm
According to the UK ticket office, the Kentucky/Louisville game is officially SOLD OUT. That means that the students claimed their whole allotment and no more tickets will be sold via the ticket office.
However, a limited number of tickets remain for the Belmont (Dec. 21) and Mississippi State (Jan. 8) games. Because the games take place over UK’s holiday break, the remaining eRUPPtion Zone tickets will be available to the public for $5 each (cash only) and are limited to one per person (must be present at time of purchase). Tickets will go on sale 90 minutes prior to tip-off at the Rupp Arena Box Office and are available on a first come/first serve basis.
Additionally, tickets for UK’s games against Tennessee (Jan. 18), Texas A&M (Jan. 21) and Georgia (Jan. 25) go on sale Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. ET via www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000. After that, you can purchase them through the UK Ticket Office by calling 800.928.2287 on Thursday, Dec. 12 between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Remaining tickets for sale will come from the unsold student ticket allotment. Upper level tickets are $42 each.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©4:00 pm
2015 shooting guard Luke Kennard had himself quite the game last night, dropping 51 points in his team’s 83-54 win over Edgewood. It broke the Franklin (Ohio) High School single game scoring record of 48 points, previously held by Luke’s uncle.
Kennard is considered the 15th best overall player and the second best shooting guard in the 2015 class by 247Sports Composite. The self-professed Kentucky fan not only has an offer from the Cats, but has visited Kentucky unofficially five times this year. He’s also got offers from Duke, Michigan, Louisville, Indiana, Ohio State and others, and the Buckeyes’ Thad Matta was in the stands to see his record-breaking game last night.
So far, his 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions are 83% UK, 14% Duke, and 3% Michigan. Go check out the full list of predictions by clicking here.
By Stuart Hammer on ©3:00 pm
Baylor was one of his worst, but Boise was one of his best. Andrew Harrison hasn’t quite clicked as the Kentucky point guard like many had hoped, but signs of improvement are beginning to show. He hasn’t played terribly by any stretch, but turnovers and foul trouble have limited his production and allowed his brother Aaron to steal the spotlight, and in turn, overshadow the guy who many think is the better NBA prospect. What’s even more concerning about Andrew is his poor body language; when things don’t go his way, he mopes around and raises his arms in frustration. A team destined for the Final Four cannot have that from its floor general.
We all remember the talks in the pre-season. This team was hyped more than any other. While it’s still too early to abandon that hype altogether, a little reality check certainly won’t hurt. This team is young, this team is learning, but this team is still very dangerous. What we remember about these players doesn’t matter anymore. It’s a new day and a new season. But they can make their own legacy, and it starts with the point guard.
While it may be unfair to compare any Calipari point guard to John Wall, that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Well, not directly, but he is included in the data. In case you forgot, Wall was amazing during his short stint in Lexington. He could do it all. Shoot, slash, find open teammates, create steals, and stay out of foul trouble. His one weakness was turnovers, but for a guy who plays so fast and aggressively in Cal’s dribble-drive, that’s to be expected anyway. Andrew Harrison has that potential, but we’ve just not seen it yet.
The following year Brandon Knight replaced Wall beautifully. He scored at a similar rate, rebounded well and limited his turnovers even further. Marquis Teague in year three changed the mold slightly to a more standard pass-first point guard. His scoring dropped off and assists rose over Knight. He shot well from the floor but was always looking to direct his teammates to the right spot.
Ryan Harrow, bless his soul, came in and was way over his head. He missed a handful of games right at the start of the season but still had an abysmal opening to his Kentucky tenure. One good thing about Harrow, though, was that he did continually improve every single game.
And then Andrew. If you look at his stats alone, he’s having one of the worst starts of any of Calipari’s point guards at Kentucky. His minutes are low(er), his point production is barely above double-digits, his assists are at rock bottom, and his fouls per game are sky high. All of that combined says he is simply not in the zone. We know his ability to perform is through the roof; he’s just got to figure it all out.
This chart summarizes each point guard through their first ten games at Kentucky. It says pretty much what you expect: John Wall was amazing, Ryan Harrow not so much, and Andrew Harrison is barely keeping his head above water. But none of that matters, because you can create your own legacy. Let us remember you for something else.
Dominique Hawkins plays with more heart and passion than anybody on this team. If Harrison showed half as much energy and desire to perform as Hawkins did we’d be cooking with fire. Thankfully, there is still a lot more season left to play, and it seems Harrison is beginning to “get it,” if his post-game comments have any merit. Hawkins demonstrates perfectly that it is about the name on the front of the jersey and not on the back. However you get it done, whether it’s like Wall or Knight getting buckets, like Teague finding the open man, or Harrow limiting his mistakes (albeit a lack of minutes helped contribute to that), Andrew must find a way to help the team.
He is the captain of this ship we’re sailing on. And it can sail to two very different destinations: an island of disappointment, regret, and what-ifs; or the Promised Land of Arlington, Texas, home of the 2014 Final Four. What we knew about you before doesn’t matter anymore, Andrew. We are ten games down with thirty to go. How do you want to be remembered now?
By Jay Hochstetler on ©2:30 pm
Throughout the entire semester, the student body of Kentucky has come under fire for their low turnout for football and basketball. Many alumni and fans have expressed frustrations with the students’ inability to fill the sections provided to them. UK football has historically struggled. Why are students passing up the chance to go to games more than ever? The basketball team is a title contender. Why can’t the students fill the sections and provide the much-needed liveliness in Rupp? The lack of attendance by students has led many fans and writers to request a decrease in the amount of student tickets allotted, which has some merit to it. However, I am here to provide a little insight into a few reasons why attendance has dipped recently.
To be honest, the football team was not the prettiest team to watch this year. Though they put up fights against some quality teams, the majority of the home games were pretty disheartening. Two consecutive seasons of losing to WKU and compiling only 2 wins per season are crippling to attracting students to the games. For those that were in college long ago place yourself in our situation.
Would you rather sit in the cold to watch Kentucky get trounced by Tennessee, or watch all of the great college football games that day including the highly anticipated Iron Bowl in front of an HD TV in a warm living room. Try getting that sorority girl you are after to join you in the freezing cold instead of a watch party with some booze. Be sure to tell me which one works out better. Humans are inherently selfish. This Millenial generation is selfish just as much as the Baby Boomers were. However, the past decades were not able to watch games with plasma TVs and retina display mobile devices. Once a competitive team is on the field, the students will come. The excitement of being at games with a competitive football team will outweigh the comfort of watching on TV. Call the students selfish for that, but, that’s just being a human.
I think it is far too early in the Stoops era to decrease the student section especially with the renovated CWS in the near future. If the team is competitive in the new stadium and the students still do not show show up, it would certainly be time to decrease their ticket allotment.
Basketball is a much more tricky subject than football. We will always be competitive, and, outside of the rare years (last season), an elite team. The attendance for the home games thus far were disappointing considering the hype and desire for quality basketball after last year. Part of this is on the students, and part of this is on the situation.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©1:40 pm
This morning, NCAA President Mark Emmert is in New York for the Sports Business Journal’s Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, and had some interesting comments on the state of his organization. Here’s a quick round-up.
In the wake of the Johnny Manziel autograph fiasco, Mark Emmert threw cold water on the notion of schools paying players: “There is absolutely no interest among the membership in paying (players). There is interest in making sure full cost of attendance is covered.” So much for that.
Interestingly, Emmert spoke out against the one-and-done rule, calling it “somewhat illogical to force people to go to college when they want to do something else.” The rule was implemented by the NBA Players Association back in 2006, and Emmert points out that no one said college basketball sucked when Kobe and LeBron went straight to the pros.
“I don’t have a problem with someone going straight to pro athletics instead of college,” he said. “If they can, let ‘em go [pro out of high school]. I don’t see that as a harmful issue.”
Emmert recognized that there are flaws in the NCAA, calling the Miami investigation a “low” this year. He said his goal is to have a new governance model in the NCAA by next summer. He even said there was “some merit” to the idea of having a college basketball commissioner. Obviously that will be Jay Bilas, right? Wrong. Emmert said that while he appreciates Bilas’ passion, “I dare say I know more about running complex organizations than him and he knows more about basketball.”
Well, at least we can agree on the latter point.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©12:53 pm
Joe the Singer, the man who brought you “Big Blue Fan in the Morning,” is back with what is sure to be another Wildcat classic. Joe called in to the radio show this morning to share his his second single, “I’m a Willie Cauley-Stein man.” Check out the video above, and the lyrics below, as best I could decipher them.
Oh, I’m a Willie Cauley-Stein man
Oh, I’m a Willie Cauley-Stein man
I got that look and got that feel
Oh, got that love
Oh I am so, so real.
Oh, I’m a Willie Cauley-Stein man
Oh, I’m a Willie Cauley-Stein man
I got that look and got that feel
Oh, got that love
Oh I am so real.
Oh, I’m a Willie Cauley-Stein man
How great was Joe’s song? #ImaWillieCauleySteinMan trended NATIONALLY on Twitter this morning, which just goes to show there’s no nation like the Big Blue Nation.
We people are crazy.
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.
KSR Affiliate List
WAIN (93.9 fm) Columbia
WHIR (1230 am) Danville
WCLU (1490 am) Glasgow
WHOP (1230am/95.3 fm) Hopkinsville
WJKY (1060 am) Jamestown
WLAP (630 am) Lexington
WFTG (1400 am) London
WKJK (1080 am) Louisville
WFMW (730 am/94.9 fm) Madisonville
WFTM (1240 am) Maysville
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On Delay (ALL TIMES LISTED EASTERN)…
WBGN (1340 am) Bowling Green 3-5 pm
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WRIL (106.3 fm) Middlesboro Thur 8-10 pm
WPAD (99.5 fm/1560 am) Paducah 5-7 pm
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.