Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Ian Eagle’s Thursday News & Views

There are few sports announcers that I actually like. Most of them seem incredibly self-absorbed and more focused on kitschy little catchphrases than the game itself. Yet, once in a while, an announcer comes along with the perfect mixture of knowledge, humor, and humility that makes you want to hear more. Over the past two years, for me, that announcer has been Ian Eagle. Eagle, a 22-year veteran of the broadcasting industry, actually has performing in his blood, as both of his parents were entertainers. His father, Jack, was a comedian and commercial actor and his mother, Monica, was a singer. Ian got his start by doing play-by-play for Syracuse during his college years, and later moved on to work for various radio stations in New York before landing his first big gig as the play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Nets, a job he maintains to this day. That is, when he isn’t calling college basketball, NFL (yes, that is him you hear on Westwood One’s radio coverage), tennis, golf, boxing, and even track and field.

More importantly, Ian Eagle also has that wonderful quality we love in sportscasters here at KSR: he likes us. Or, at least he claims to. He’s been a guest on the radio show several times, and may account for some of the most positive show threads in KSR history. Eagle is consistently thorough, thoughtful and thankful, a rare combination in this day and age. Plus, he’s one hell of a chair dancer, a skill I like to think we both share. Happy birthday, Birdman.

News? Views? Let’s do it.

Wednesday was a great day to be a Kentucky fan. I don’t know about you, but when the Cats are rolling, there’s nothing I enjoy more than poring over game recaps. And judging by the plethora of material available, Tuesday night was the Cats’ coming out party with the national media. Sure, we’ve been number one several times this season, and have enjoyed exposure on just about every television network, but a 20-point win over a top ten team seemed to be just the right bait for the national scribes. Heck, Dickie V was still raving about the Cats during the Carolina/Duke game Wednesday night. And with good reason: Kentucky looked like downright unstoppable against the Gators. They are, by far, the best team in college basketball. Point blank period. With the Cats in championship form, 8pril can’t be far away…

— It’s been said over and over again, but you’ll never tire of hearing it: Anthony Davis is an absolute beast. We all knew Davis was going to be a special player when he stepped on campus, but with each game, we realize the sheer enormity of his potential. I’ve come to the conclusion that the basketball gods formed Davis to be the ideal defensive basketball player, except instead of DaVinci sculpting, it was Dr. Seuss. It’s been a long, long time since college basketball has seen a player capable of completely changing the game like Davis. As Dick Vitale said on Tuesday night, Davis gives Kentucky 15 points before the game even starts because defenses are forced to alter their game plans. Can you imagine creating plays to score against him? Even thinking about it makes my head hurt.

— Hang on, Dickie V’s still talking about Kentucky…

— Oddly lost in much of the discussion about Kentucky’s brilliant play as of late is the brilliant coaching by John Calipari. Maybe it’s because they were too busy fawning over Davis, Gilchrist and others, but few national writers mentioned Cal’s game plan to defend the three and force Florida to drive inside (and into Anthony Davis’ fly trap) that proved so effective. In fact, some columnists didn’t even mention Cal once in their recaps (cough, Pat Forde, cough). #numberoneteamproblems? Jim Rome, a Cal supporter and friend, addressed the topic on his radio show on Wednesday:

“Say what you want, he has a lot of detractors, but he’s probably the most underrated coach in America. He’s not intimidated by having to replace his team every, single year. He knows he’s only going to have them for one year, so he coaches them really hard … and it works. Calipari is playing the game on a different level. He’s out in front of it.”

Sounds familiar, no? Despite a few outbursts at Terrence Jones early in the first half (including a hilarious little jig that I really need a gif of), Calipari was downright giddy on the sidelines, even more so in the postgame presser. Then again, taking jabs at Kevin Stallings is always good for a laugh…

— Isn’t it? After the game Tuesday night, Cal snuck in a few one-liners about the Vandy game, saying that only having “one day” to prepare for the Gators due to the Saturday/Tuesday turnaround was just “awful,” but somehow, the Cats managed. Oh, and the Gameday festivities on Saturday? “Is it (ESPN) GameDay up there? It’s nuts, doesn’t need to be GameDay. I heard they changed the benches to the sides. Did they? They didn’t. See, that’s a problem.” [Insert smirk here.] Cal’s jabs at Stallings further cement Vanderbilt as Kentucky’s primary rival in the SEC. With Bruce Pearl happily perched upon a pyramid of melons in the grocery business and Billy Donovan being entirely too magnanimous with his praise of the Cats after Tuesday’s shellacking, the Cats need a new villain. And Stallings is the perfect fit, the ideal combination of whiny and pathetic, with the added bonus of an uncanny resemblance to both Bill Dauterive and that guy from “The Office.” A loss to the ‘Dores in the Opera House of Doom would be far from the end of the world, but you’ve got to think that a win would have Cal grinning like a Cheshire Cat.

— That reminds me: #OccupyMemorial

— Word came out Wednesday night that the athletic department is in the process of approving a contract extension for women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell, calming fears that Mitchell may head to Tennessee once Pat Summitt retires. The extension is a wise move for Mitch Barnhart, as UK Hoops is enjoying its best season in history, and it’s a much deserved reward for Mitchell, who has transformed the program into a legitimate national contender. I hope Mitchell is here for years to come, if only to keep seeing him bust a move during Midnight Madness.

— Proving that the man never takes a break, Cal traveled to New Hampshire to watch Nerlens Noel play on Wednesday afternoon, according to Adam Rubin of Billy Donovan was also in attendance…maybe they flew together?

While you nibble on that little nugget of knowledge, I’m going to retire for the night. Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon. In the meantime, enjoy this recreation of the now infamous Anthony Davis poster…

UPDATE: Think your life sucks? Imagine being Tyler Zeller right now…wow. Here are the cheerleaders at the moment the shot went down:

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

59 responses to “Ian Eagle’s Thursday News & Views”

  1. lol

    Hahaha, did Vitale just call someone a “Stat whore.” Or did I hear wrong?

    I love Vitale, the whole Duke UNC game has been a UK love fest with him.

  2. MKG fan

    UNC is the softest team I’ve ever seen.

  3. Snapperlicious

    Doc’s boy with a dagger! Damn!

  4. Aidan

    Damn, Zeller just gave that game to Duke. Missed two big free throws, tipped in an own goal and then gave soft defense on Rivers and allowed him to knock down the game winner. LOL

  5. BigblueJon

    Wow! What a finish to Puke vs. UNC.

  6. Lovely

    1. Except him giving UNC the edge over us. Then again, that is only because he is taking into account TJ being at his worst, not his best, which I can sort of see.

  7. Snapperlicious

    Fire Roy!

  8. GapToothDanny

    Another shovelful of coal to fuel my burning hatred of Duke.
    I would rate ’em, but they’ve all got devil eyes. Wait, is that a play on the AD poster? sweet!

  9. BigblueJon

    Honestly think we are head shoulders above INC and Duke at this point. Cats would definitely smack around the Pukies on the inside and they don’t shoot threes any better than UF. They could not stop the drive all night

  10. Jake

    I still don’t want to see unc in our side of the bracket.

  11. Axe Cop

    How can Dickie V give the edge to UNC!? We beat them, have fewer loses, have had no major injuries, blew out a top 10 team last night, have improved more, and have AD. I’m not a Vitale hater but man is he off.

  12. Yo

    I love Ian

  13. TvilleCat

    Well, I’m just glad someone took a heartbreaking loss. Ty Zeller hahahaha

  14. DM

    11) He gave them the edge cause thats where he was, typical Vitale…

  15. SagaciousMind

    Is it just me or did Curry get away with walking, twice, when he shot 3s? One he missed, but that last one was definitely a walk and a no call. Also, Zeller should be slapped for his defense right there. Get out on your man! I’d rather him go around me and shoot a 2 to tie than a 3 to win. UNC plays no defense, neither does Duke. We would destroy them both as long as we dont shit the bed offensively like we did against UConn last year. But this year, this team has too many weapons. Vitale only said the edge to UNC since TJ is up and down. But if he plays well, edge to us. Edge to us anyway cuz again, we play defense.

  16. TvilleCat

    #tippinginanowngoal. Ty Ty Ty

  17. BigblueJon

    Roy looks like he had clearly been crying in post game conference on Sports Center.

  18. Lovely

    Idea: UK/Puke Elite Eight matchup, an old-fashioned Cats blowout to celebrate a certain 20 year anniversary that I won’t mention here. Sound good?

  19. well done

    that was one of the worst regular season losses i’ve ever seen. I hate UNC but hate Duke muuuuuch more. I wish them infinite joyless days and nights of misery. I had a feeling UNC was gonna blow and with much help from the refs they sure as hell did.

  20. Head's Up...

    Party at Duke Lacrosse tonight

  21. well done

    hahaha nice #20

  22. KyKid

    The girls in the first picture look cute, but possessed.

  23. Jwild

    Best part of the entire post was “8pril” Hell yeah! I like that. #8pril on twitter!!!!!!!!!

  24. Vin Diesel

    Davising = the new Tebowing

  25. Rupert Ergin XI

    Those Chics look like they just walked off the set of the Walking Dead with those eyes. Spooky.

  26. hersheyisabear

    How to you blow a 10 point lead with 2 minutes left in the game?? I hate seeing Duke win even when they play UNC.

  27. UKFanInCincy

    Am I the only one that can’t stand Austin Rivers? He is a ball hog and seems really arrogant. I’m glad he is not a cat.


    Yes we are the the best team in the nation right now, but you gotta remember, March Madness doesn’t determine who the best team is. It determines who can win 6 in a row, hottest at the right time, etc. And I know we’re damn good, but let’s not act like a Syracuse, a UNC, an Ohio State can’t beat us on any given night. Enh, I’m sure Cal let’s them know that all the time. That’s why he’s always talking about players and the team continually getting better and peaking at right time, etc. It’s unfortunate really that the best team doesn’t always win. Think about it, the last two years, when we got knocked out of tournament, we had the best team left–the team that would win if the tourney was a best of seven series each round. But it’s one and done. Somehow I’m trying to temper expectations. I feel like as though peoeple are talking like they might as well just give us the tropy now and THAT is a bit much at this point, in my opinion.

  29. KevinC

    I’m more traumatized by the creepy Siamese twins standing behind the cheerleaders. O_O

  30. Aidan

    26. The answer is Zeller.

    27. K is glad he has him, otherwise that team would be awful. They can’t defend, no one can create, he’s the reason they won. I’d be an arrogant ass at that moment too if I just buried a dagger in the heart of 20,000 fans.

  31. Billy G

    The shot looks like it gave the guy in the white with the gut a total boner

  32. Walsh is Gay

    29, I have not laughed as hard at a comment as I did at yours in a long time. Bravo.

  33. WKY Dude

    Vitale gave UNC the edge “One thru seven…” As in their top 7 players are better than ours. I still don’t agree, but makes a tad more sense. Bilas immediately disagreed.

  34. Buckets

    Anthony Davis is a transcendent, once-in-a-generation talent – a true freak of nature who’s only going to get better and better. This team is a true joy to watch. No. 8 is coming and I can’t wait.

  35. Lord Vern, Master of the Universe

    I prefer to call tonight’s Duke vs UNC contest as:
    “The Zeller Tip-in Game” not “The Rivers Shot Game”

  36. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?

    I’m calling it now; Hubert Davis picks Vandy on Saturday.

  37. Eric K

    screw puke and the turdhills!! GO CATS!!

  38. Eric K

    #36 good call, screw Hubert turdhill Davis!! GO CATS!!

  39. Rupperee

    I don’t like either, but I dislike UNC more. What made the heel loss even better was Stuart “Left-Eye” Scott had to do the highlight on sportscenter.

  40. BigBlueSkyDog

    It was cool hearing Dookie V go on and on about the Cats during the Pukes/Heels game. It’s time he start annoying their fan bases as much as he does everyone else’s.

    We win at Vandy by 10 bigguns. I don’t think the Vandy players will handle the bright lights of College Game Day well. They’ve proven with their recent NCAA first round losses that they can’t handle the spotlight. Plus they seem to have started their annual late season flame out a little early.

  41. gcat4496

    WIth Memphis joining the Big East, shouldn’t we just revert to the leagues old name: Conference USA. (Louisville, Cin, Marq. Depaul & now Memphis).

  42. gcat4496

    #33. I believe the NBA scouts disagree with Vitale as well.

  43. antennae

    bring on the Comma-Doras or other wise stated: the ,Doras

  44. MikeD

    Puke is the most protected team in the history of sports. Down 7 with less than a minute to go Plumlee made a three after he took four steps. The refs make that call and Austin, I shoot more than Allen Iverson, Rivers’ shot would have been a moot point.

  45. nassau65

    Announcers-“Most of them seem incredibly self-absorbed and more focused on kitschy little catchphrases than the game itself”. Now, who could you possibly be referring to here? Hmmmmm, i wonder.

  46. Anthony Davis

    No way that sucka would get that shot off over me!

  47. Real Cats Fan

    #31 – two words – Pocket Pool…

  48. kfund

    “noting I enjoy more than poring”

    Got spellcheck?

  49. Lou eaton

    Classic example of how to defend the three (UK/Fla) and how not to (UNC/PUKE)! The UK/Fla game is the defense that would lead UK to No. 8 period!!!

  50. Al's IndiCats

    While watching the Puke and Tartoes game, I was wondering how two teams could lose in the same game. Not that I wanted one over the other, but I was hopeing both teams could leg cramps and call it a tie. They both rank right up there with “I’d love to see them go 0-32” all year long.

    Along with Dicky V praising UK, Jimmy D was showing UK some MAJOR love at half time during the GTown and Cuse game.

  51. Some Guy in Kentucky

    North Carolina looks like a team that has chemistry problems, I hope it continues. We heard how their veteran players would be impossible to stop this year. I would not be surprised if they go out early in the NCAA tourney.

  52. Hard Hittin' CAT

    “With Bruce Pearl happily perched upon a pyramid of melons in the grocery business,” says Tyler.

    Cracked my $hit up. Best line on KSR this week.

  53. Head Bussa

    The thing about this rivalry loss for UNC is that it isn’t all that big of a deal considering they get a re-match in just a few weeks. Now if they lose that one too then that would really suck for them.

  54. jack

    Jim Rome a Cal supporter??? You should check out his tweets lately. I read one that Rex Chapman answered him back on…. Rome was saying how ‘he felt he needed to have a shower, just after being in room with Cal…’ Still sound like a supporter???

  55. jack

    my bad, miss quoted Rome deal, thought it was from Rome…

  56. Yup

    54. Pretty sure that was someone else who sent the tweet to Rome and Rex. I looked at Rome’s tweets from the previous 24 hours and they weren’t to be found.

  57. Yup

    Need auto-refresh…

  58. Eloy the Barbarian

    The guy cheerleader on the right is priceless. He looks like he just remembered he left his curling iron on at home.

  59. BlueFins

    Those two dudes in the background trying to cross swords or what?