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Closing the book on a fun win against Tennessee…


A few final notes on what was a fun night at Rupp Arena for a team that looks to have bounced back and taken a much-awaited step forward in their quest for cohesion before postseason…

 – Yesterday, I had one of those “This hurts me more than it hurts you” moments when I wrote that Josh Harrellson had to figure out how to get back on track and, at the very least, find a way to stay on the court and not commit fouls.  Against the Vols and a player who could have presented problems in Brian Williams, Jorts went above and beyond that bare minimum and gave the Cats 16 points and 6 rebounds and, most importantly, 30 productive minutes.  After the game, Calipari said that Harrellson’s struggles were tied to two weeks of bad practice, but he had put together two great ones before Tuesday’s game and even told his coach during the Super Bowl Sunday that he was ready to bounce back and get things going again.  He is a man of his word.  It was a game so good, it almost makes me feel bad about the picture at the top of this post, which will most certainly be used for a caption contest at some point.

 – Harrellson wasn’t the only veteran who stepped up against Tennesse, though, as DeAndre Liggins was what Calipari called “fabulous”.  On Monday, Calipari said that he wanted the junior wing to take 8-10 shots per game and he did that against Tennessee, making 5-6 from the field and getting to the line to make 7-8 free throws.  He even gave credence to Calipari’s claim that he’s the best long distance shooter in practice and knocked down a pair of threes, after making only one in the last five games.  He added his trademark defense in putting together his most complete game of the season.  After spending the majority of the season speculating that Darius Miller was the guy who needed to be the third offensive option for this team, Liggins again asserted himself as the potential answer to that question. 

 – Speaking of Darius Miller, he also put together a nice game, despite shooting only 1-7 and having a couple of spells of disappearing.  What you have to look for from Miller is how he responds when he’s not getting points and, often, he’s not contributing much.  That was not the case Monday against Tennessee as the junior from Maysville rebounded the ball and stood strong on defense, guarding Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson for different stretches of the game.  Offensively, he continued to attack the basket, though his shot wasn’t falling and looked to have confidence in himself again.  He’s a guy who will get shots to fall.  His confidence, as well as the ability to give Calipari a reason to keep him on the court during those struggles have been his weakness.  Against Tennessee, he looked strong in both areas.

 – It wasn’t the greatest night for Terrence Jones, who, as Calipari joked, got near a triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 8 turnovers.  Cal did say that he was pleased with his commitment to rebounding the ball, but he struggled to make shots inside and again had problems in passing the ball, though he did have a beautiful assist wiped off the board for a charge.  Jones will be fine.  What is important that in the game he struggled (along with Brandon Knight), the Cats were still able to win thanks to their veteran players.

 – Over the course of the past few weeks, Calipari has said several times that this team has not quite clicked in the way that last year’s squad did.  Tuesday night, they looked to be a unified unit moreso than they have at any point.  The offense was fluid and they made the necessary passes without making the extra pass (if that makes sense) and they rebounded as a team.  This looked like a team against Tennessee instead of a group of guys trying to play together. 

 – Along that same line, the defense was outstanding against the Vols.  Though they were sloppy early on, committing 11 turnovers in the game’s first nine minutes, the Cats still were able to build a lead by clamping down on the Vols on the defensive end.  I don’t know what the official stat was, but they seemed to be forcing turnovers and converting them to fast break points better than they have in any game this season.  Even more incredible is that they were able to stay out of foul trouble (except for Knight in the first half).  They still had their lulls, allowing the Vols to creep back into the game just before halftime and making a few runs in the second half, but they stood tall defensively when the heat turned up and kept the game from ever truly being  close.  It was a total team defensive effort against the Vols and it allowed them to make up for a lot of missed shots and sloppy play of their own on offense.

  – As was expected with Tony Greene and “TV” Teddy Valentine, the officiating was inconsistent for the majority of the game.  The Cats played through it, which is a sign of a veteran team, and adjusted to avoid getting in foul trouble.  The highlight of the officiating frustrations came in the first half after the DeAndre Liggins was called for a block after clearly taking a charge and Calipari had his mandated interview with ESPN sideline reporter Shannon Spake.  She asked what Kentucky needed to do and he pointed at where the foul was called and said “Keep taking charges like that,” before smiling slyly.  I hope Billy Gillispie was taking notes.

 – After the game, Tennessee’s Josh Bone said this about the Cats: “They punked us.”  That immediately joins Bobby Maze’s Ferrari and Range Rover quote in the rivalry Hall of Fame.

 – In a pivotal game for the Cats, the Rupp Arena crowd was great.  They were loud and directed a lot of heat at Scotty Hopson and Bruce Pearl, who engaged in some verbal sparring with some fans at halftime and had the police called over to try to have the fan removed from the game.  I don’t know what the specifics were, but the fans were on Pearl all night, including a “Barbeque” chant in the first half.

 – Let’s play word association:  The Nail.  Go.

 – Finally, if you have any pictures of your signs from the game against Tennessee, email them to me at [email protected].  I’d like to put the best ones on the site.

That’s it for now.  Stay tuned on Wednesday as we continue to celebrate a great night in Rupp and a spoiled return for Bruce Pearl and those low down, dirty snitches.  As usual, Matt and Zach will get the fun going at 10am on Talk Radio 1080.  Make sure you check it out.  See you in a few…

Article written by Thomas Beisner

89 responses to “Closing the book on a fun win against Tennessee…”


    Team basketball…. I feel like this game was one of the few where UK ran offense that didn’t focus around Jones. Liggins getting more shots makes this team so much better.

  2. stewie

    its not that they focused on anything. everyone that plays can score at will (exception harrellson) but harrellson can offensive rebound like a beast. We just need to play with the flow and find who is hot and play with intensity and passion just like tonight. Lets get this win at Vandy and make a statement that we are back and had to learn the hard way!

  3. Mack

    As soon as I saw that Wall was in the building I felt a win.

  4. Jimmy C.

    birds eye view of the court. 2 solid minutes of zoom action. boom. nail.

  5. 4-8-15-16-23-42

    The nail. Violent Cuts. Guard your yard. WTF? Please Dykes, just stop it. He makes it almost unbearable to watch a UK game.

  6. Vargas

    Hey career high….2 rebounds ya’ll!

  7. ukfastkat

    They dirty, they low down; they some snitches.
    Hopson should have been tossed for the flagrant intentional on DL. You could tell from his expression he knew it. Punks, every one. It will be even sweeter to beat them in KTown.
    As well as DL played, he got jobbed by the refs several times. He just calmly went to the line and drained the FTs or accepted the atrocious call and went back to work. Game ball.
    Exactly what their Coach asked for, IMO.
    Jimmer Dykes has sprung a permanent leak. Game nail.

  8. JF

    I got so sick of hearing about The Nail.

  9. MikeInLexington

    Is there a limit on how many times a commentator can call a teams games? Because that douche has reached it. Great game, UT beat Pitt, a elite team, we manhandled UT. Can we please get a couple breaks in the NCAA tourney? I mean on a neutral court we can make a run if the NCAA doesnt f*** us like they have since ’98.

  10. Blaine-Man

    Much needed win.

  11. Blaine-Man

    Speaking of the nail, I’m just glad Jodie Meeks left school a year early so I didn’t have to hear the Phrase “violent cuts”, 417 more times last season.

  12. Korean Tacos

    Jorts is owning his “nail” in that photo.

  13. Hoss

    #9, No, Sir, a douche is a fan that calls out an accomplished basketball analyst on a message board.

  14. Bg Cat

    Whoever Thought That There Would Be A Game In Which Jorts And Liggins Would Score Half The Team Pts. And The Cats Would Win By A Comfortable Margin ?

  15. The Fan

    Glad I wasn’t the other one that was fed up with hearing Dykes talk about the nail. Also I got tired of hearing about how in love he was with Bruce Pearl.

  16. JimmyDykesFinger

    How far was I up Pearl’s ass last night?

  17. JimmyDykesFingerNAIL

    Sorry I left off part of my name in comment 18.

  18. the Nail

    Thanks Jimmy for the props

  19. SexnNursinHomes

    Jimmy lickin’ Dykes is like that annoying neighbor dennis the menace, but all growed up. The nail. terrible. I dunno, I am thinking about calling Homeland Security and telling them Jimmy lickin’ Dykes is a terrorist. Sorry it has to come down to that. I’m sure Jimmy’s wife will finally get the respite she deserves.

  20. BukakenNursinHomes

    21) I have something special to “nail” Jimmy’s wife with.

  21. Catlanta

    It was a great win by our boys. But, we need to play better on Saturday. UT has a bunch of players with low basketball IQ’s. They allowed us to do whatever we wanted. It won’t be that way on Saturday.

  22. SexnNursinHomes

    22- haha ha ha. well played. well played

  23. Tony "Bobblehead" Harris

    Man, y’all wait till Knoxville. I don’t care if I’m in street clothes. I’m comin’ off that bench ready to fight y’all. We low down.

  24. catbalue

    We should stop giving Jimmy Dykes a hard time. At the end of the day, he is clearly pro UK. Better him than Pat Forde who could easily appear as his replacement. Has anyone forgotten Billy Packer? Jimmy is a keeper and his court side flair is only an attempt at developing his own brand or persona much the way Dick Vitale or Clark Kellogg have done. Did I mention that he is pro UK.

  25. lousyvilleCat

    they did a close up on the nail. erin andrews should have interviewed the nail at half time. we all know the nail is there jimmy. if you dont have anything to say that actually adds to the game, shut up jimmy.

  26. CatsFanInSC

    Damn, looks like Jorts got shot in the knee by them dirty snitches.

  27. NotTheSlickistRick

    I loved Cal’s comment about taking a charge after Liggins was called for a blocking foul. That whole interview during the game can not be fun for any coach, look for some coach somewhere to have Billy G moment before the end of the year. Now where is that mouth breather old school?

  28. StillaUKFan

    Dang, Jimmy is not that bad. It could be worse by having a woman call the game or Gottfried.

  29. Simon

    back on the road Saturday …

  30. Simon

    and i think that there are much much worse announcers we could have than jimmy … jimmy likes uk … jimmy married a uk cheerleader … jimmy is gettin his schtick on

  31. ksmith

    I cannot give Jimmy Dykes a pass because his comments during the game sound more like he’s a moran than an assitant coach who knows X’s and O’s. I wish they would change up the play by play guys at least every so often when UK plays so I can get a break from his “violent cuts” and now “The Nail”. WTF??

  32. Sammy B

    Ive been seeing alot of posts about loosing Knight, Terrance and Lamb. I guess maybe these people are not seeing what im seeing. Did anyone notice how last night Knight was basically shut down by the pg for Ut. This is not the first time either anytime anyone gets physical or plays tight defense on him he is not the same. The gaurds in the NBA will eat his lunch you can bank on that. Same with Jones he has flashes of greatness sometimes and other times he completely dissappears I.E. last nights game, plus he is a one handed ball player right now. You have to use both hands in the NBA. Doron great shooter but same as Knight, he is not quite a man yet. I look for all three to come back next year and they better, unless they want to be a ONE AND DONE in the NBA. Improving stock value and experience along with a National Title in 2012 is the diiference that will make these players top picks in the 2012 draft.


    I “NAILED” Pearl’s wife during a BBQ last summer.
    How does a coach get pissed enough to try to get a fan thrown out of a game? Shut up & coach….Bit(h !!!!!!!!!

  34. SexnNursinHomes

    Problem with Jimmy, not that he’s not entertaining, because he actually is, but it’s his b.s used car saleaman approach. When Jimmy is calling a game, I always feel the need to pull out my check book and buy a damn Kirby vaccuum. Which clearly I don’t need

  35. NotTheSlickistRick

    35) Ask Roy Williams he actually had it done last year even though the Heels were winning.

  36. NotTheSlickistRick

    36) I was thinking he sounded like one of those insurance agents trying to sell middle aged couples annuities that are based on derivatives wrapped in sub prime paper backed by a hedge fund administered by BTI.

  37. Cats

    No John Wall love TB?

  38. kyrobman

    I wanted a hammer last night to take care of that nail for Jimmy.

  39. KSR1080Fan

    Take a hammer to the poll question currently on this site.

  40. Al's IndiCats

    I didn’t hear about Brucie gettin’ all pissed off at a fan. Can anyone elaborate on what happened?

  41. catcrawler

    Yall show Jimmie some love, he means well. Plus he is UK, why do think Nestler was wearing UT orange? to balance it out~

  42. SS

    Nice 36. Jimmy D will say one of his phrases, then spend the rest of the game explaining it to everyone over and over and over…..Then every time someone does anything that comes close to what his phrase was, he brings it back up. I remember thinking last night when he said drive to the nail, oh great here we go.

  43. We are not playing UK, we are playing UL so we can win!

    It is nice to hear a thug team like UT say UK pucked them. UK’s best game since UL game?

  44. We are not playing UK, we are playing UL so we can win!

    punked for 45

  45. Japrick

    Jimmy is the color commentator, but he’s not colorful at all. He starts the game by making a reference to something obscure, i.e. violent cuts or the nail, and then spends the rest of the game trying to show us how smart he is by turning every play into a perfect example of his ridiculously obscure observation.

  46. tdr76

    I like barbaque! Great job CATS!

  47. Japrick

    #44, great observation 🙂

  48. Japrick

    I did like the “bull possessed” comment. It’s not good enough to say he’s playing like a bull or a man possessed, no, we’ll take it one step further and call him a “bull possessed”.

  49. repairthisthing

    Did John Wall look less than thrilled to be there?

  50. jsrobi0

    44. I am pretty sure that Dykes just comes up with some random term or reference before everygame and then uses it to fill air time throughout the game. I was so over the “Nail” last night, but for some reason was glad that he never said “foul line extended”.

  51. ThatsAShame

    51 – Don’t mistake the 10th level of cool for disinterest.

  52. Escape Goat

    Jimmy Dykes is only repeating what he heard Calipari talk about in practice regarding the nail. He’s right by the way

  53. 49 Chevy

    This team finally played with emotion. Something last years bunch did every game. I wonder if Wall may have spoke to the team prior to the game and helped with this?

  54. YearyCat

    I saw after they interviewed Pearl for at halftime that he walked back to the bench. Does anyone know anything about it. I hope the people behind the bench gave him pure hell. Kinda looks like someone did.

  55. Sit Down Dale!

    34 – I am one who believes it is fool’s gold to think that Knight and Jones will be back. You said it yourself “unless they want to be ONE AND DONE”. I know your reference was to the league but they have have the physical tools to excel eventually in the league and that’s good enough to get drafted. I would LOVE it if the came back but why would they if someone is willing to pay them. With Cal you have to also consider who is coming on board. I really like Knight but he will have to share minutes with Teague, Lamb, and potentially another combo guard next year. Do his stats get better at that point? No. Smart money says they both go (and they should if some GM is willing to drop first round money on them).

  56. Claw

    The only “nail” reference I’ve ever liked was when Cawood would say “he went past him like he was nailed to the floor.” And SexnNursinHomes, I’m sure if you had a vaccuum cleaner you would imaginatively find a perverse use for it. LOL

  57. CollegeBBrefsSuk

    Teddy Valentine, you are…?

  58. barn

    i wish all you dykes critics would quit being so hard on him. he loves UK. give him a pass. i would rather listen to him than the little carpetbagger vitale, or mr spurtability kellogg, or that god awful woman, whatever her name is. gimme jimmer any day.

  59. KYStout

    Problem with Dykes is he made that game a Bruce Pearl infomercial last night.

  60. Hoss

    Wow, UK fans really do just need something to hate. This thread is proof.

    What a miserable bunch.

  61. bmt22033

    Dykes seems like a nice enough guy and he could be UK fan #1 but man that guy is irritating when he talks…

  62. Operation Win-Ter

    60) Barn, you said hard on.

  63. haha

    Do you think Jimmy Dykes asked Bruce Pearl why he didnt “guard his yard” at the cookout???

  64. Johnny Utah

    29– That’s what I’d like to know. I guess since the Cats played well old-school is talking to all his friends about how great Cal is and how they’re back on track for a deep tourney run. What a jagoff.

  65. Operation Win-Ter

    I use my DVR to pause the action (for just a second) then simultaneously listen to the broadcast on the UK Sports Network. Works most of the time.

  66. Econ Prof

    What happened to Guard your Yard or Jimmy’s Jet? We couldn’t have worked any other overused and dopey Jimmy Dykes-ism’s into the game? Doesn’t anyone at ESPN read Twitter and know he was getting blown up over that? Does anyone talk to him after a game to tell him he’s repetitive? Who’s his boss?

  67. Biglaw Dawgin

    Jimmy Dykes is obviously very pro UK so, in general, lay off him. I think that once he watches the game again, he will notice that he said “the nail” about a 1,000 times and will probably steer clear of that type of redundancy. The segment where he had an arrow pointing to the actual nail would have sufficed.

  68. Ryanpowell

    All I have to say is Liggins played like Darius Miller should have been playing all year. Last night gave me that much more confidence for next year. Its about time we got some veteran leadership on this team.

  69. Al's IndiCats

    65 that was great! Ya have to show some love for Jimmy, he’s all UK. Seriously, he was really showing love to the Cats and Rupp and the fans. I know his incessant Nail, Violent cuts, Guard the yard wordings are getting irratating but you hafta love that he wasn’t continuing talking about how Duke’s this and Duke’s that. Let’s all get on that plane of his and show hime some UK love.
    Did Pearl get someone kicked out of the game last night that sat behind the bench?

  70. SexnNursinHomes

    38- Jimmy looks like a dude that would screw over old people

    44- hahaha, no doubt

  71. Stickman

    Hey Hoss go fck yourself. All you do is bitch about the fans. What a whiny little girl you are.

  72. SexnNursinHomes

    58- i tried the vaccuum thing before when I was in my teens. let’s just say that sh*t hurt

  73. BlueFins

    Someone tell Darius it’s called a “shot” not a throw the ball as hard as you can at the goal. Dude has no touch! Yes, great win; was beginning to wonder if the Cats had it in them. Can Cal bring in Dwight Howard to help Terrance around the basket? He misses 30% of the short stuff, and gets 50% of the other stuff thrown back at him. Dude has near next to zero hops around the goal. Or maybe he could pass out of those double and triple teams he tries to go up against. I guess at the next level he’ll be a 6’8″ guard cause he’s just not real good inside.

  74. Hoss

    73- I’m not the one crying about a tv announcer after the best home win of the season, honey.

    Carry on in your mouth-breathing fashion.

  75. Hoss

    75- Jones had 11 rebounds last night to round out a double-double.

    You people are simply amazing. I wish I could critique your daily lives on the interwebz and focus on ALL of your shortcomings. Or, maybe just a quick call to your wife would confirm what you have already exposed about yourself, shortround.

  76. Scared to be a fan

    FYI – UT shot 50% + from 3 land last night. And we still won by 12!

  77. Rockfield, KY

    I just think Jimmy is trying to be the College Bball professor for ESPN. He introduces a term or coachspeak to each game, then reemphasizes it the entire game to force it into your brain. My guess is he spoke with Cal, Cal mentioned getting across the nail, and Jimmy prepared a lecture to follow. Kinda annoying, but I don’t mind Jimmy that bad.

  78. Bluecalizone

    Once I’ve got to hear Dykes and Raftery call a game together.

  79. stevem

    Tennessee sucks.

  80. rupp's grunt

    As soon as they showed the “nail” on TV and Dykes started talking, I said to my wife, “Well, prepare to hear him talk about the nail all night long.” Maybe KSR could have a contest: fans’ least favorite Jimmy Dykes phrase. Mine would easily be “off the bounce”. I did, however, like what he had to say about sitting at the top of section 240.

    Moving on, is Teddy Valentine the worst excuse for an official EVER?

    Finally, and allow me to preface this by saying I am a giant homer, and root for UK with an unbridled passion. That said, the Vols seemed to me to be the unwilling recipients of some good ol’ fashioned home cooking by the rest of the zebras. There were more than a couple of occasions where the Creamsicles got gang mugged in the paint with no whistle. I’m not complaining, mind you, but I would like to see every game called consistently for both teams. I know that if we went to Knoxville and lost, and there was as large as discrepancy in the fouls as there was last night, but in the Vol’s favor, the hue and cry from BBN would be so great that BTI would have to write some stupid thing about it. Let’s try mightily to avoid THAT. Go Cats!!

  81. Laker Cat 18

    Brian Williams, who is a self-proclaimed “F****** Beast,” is actually a vagina. Just wanted to make that known.

  82. Laker Cat 18

    Also, Jimmy “The Nail” Dykes did a great job LOL. That guy puts the comedy in college basketball.

  83. Sweetcakes

    One of my favorite parts of the game was early when the sideline reporter said to Pearl “KY has dominated so far, how do you stop that” and Bruce said ‘I disagree, they aren’t dominating, they are only up by 7, we’re okay’…then we kicked their a$$es! no, Bruce, you weren’t okay!

  84. Proof Read UR Sh..

    I thought the game was played on Tuesday. Beisner, you called it Monday, twice. Too much Super Bowl party?

  85. Proof Read UR Sh..

    82) I agree, the refs were bad, on both ends of the court. It would be nice if every game were called fairly and consistently, but that has never been the case. And yes, we will get screwed at Kvill, and Nashville, etc. Screw a bunch of zebras.

  86. bp4cats

    OK now lets break out of the road FUNK! Put away the UK blue road uni’s and break out the Mr. Wildcat black worn last year, to start our late season roll to the final four with a road win @ Vandy on Sat. CATS BACK IN BLACK!!!!!

  87. turkeyblue

    Ted Valentine sucks – Karl Hess sucks – Doug Shows sucks – Curtis Shaw sucks – a few others I can’t think of sucks – but most of all – tony Green sucks.

  88. Rex

    I’d really like to know about Pearl and the fans at halftime. Anyone got any info?

  89. Richard

    I hate Tennessee!