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Van Chancellor’s Monday Weekend Review


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Sunday has become the usual day of rest for me around the KSR Compound, and today was no different. The combination of bad college basketball, my first viewing of “Cedar Rapids” and all things Tebow made for a Lazy Sunday that was good to get the juices revived. However my laziness was tempered just a bit in the mid-afternoon when I was introduced to my new favorite person in media, Van Chancellor. I had heard about Chancellor before today. He is a legendary women’s basketball coach, having gone to Final Fours with Ole Miss and LSU, won 4 WNBA titles with the Houston Comets and a gold medal in 2004 with the women’s Team USA. But while I knew of his coaching accomplishments, I knew nothing of my favorite of his qualities, his amazing deep Southern twang. He was the color commentator for the UK-Miss State game in Memorial (which the UK Hoops team won by a ton) and I sat mesmerized to his vocal stylings for a solid hour. His tenor was a bit Gomer Pyle meets Boomhauer, as he talked with the Gomer twang, but did it speedily, forcing the listener to strain keep up. He sounded like an exaggerated version of me, pronouncing “steal” with two syllables, making “night” a niiiiite and turning “Mississippi” into “Miss-Uh-Sip-ay.” It was the type of voice you rarely hear on television any more and that is what made it so glorious. In a world of homogenized, boring, cookie-cutter faces/voices, Van Chancellor is the George Jones of color commentary, with a sound that cannot be copied. I don’t know when he will call a game again, but if it is even remotely interesting (and possibly even if it is not), I am there.

Ten notes to finish up the weekend:

1. Cats Start SEC Strong: Fans keep wanting that breakout game that says to the world that the Lamborghini is moving towards overdrive and we didn’t get that on Saturday. But we did get a solid 15 point win over a conference foe in a game that was never in jeopardy. Kentucky played well offensively for the last 25 minutes of the game and saw some big strides from Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague and Kyle Wiltjer. All improved on the very errors that had plagued them for weeks and the Cats avoided the injury bug that hit Florida and Louisville. Some fans were still upset, but I take the view of the wise sage Oscar Combs…occasionally we should just enjoy a win as a win and Saturday was a win.

2. Terrence Jones Takes Another Step: I thought the best sign in the game on Saturday was the continued improvement of Jones back to his old offensive self. Over the past three games, he has played defense well and has been more aggressive going after loose balls. But until Saturday, we had not seen him be able to score with assertiveness like the TJ that Kentucky needs to be dominant. But Saturday saw Jones make moves that suggest the change could be around the corner. Dunks around the basket, finishing two AND ONE plays and even hitting a three (he leads the team in three point percentage) means that the idea that this team could still get a potential All-American level scorer back is not farfetched.

3. Marquis Teague: Teague is criticized way too much by UK fans, even though we should know better. Going into the season, every person realized that following Wall and Knight puts tremendous pressure on players and can cause even great Point Guards to not quite live up to precedent. Teague has not played badly this year and at times has been tremendous. On Saturday, he improved a great deal in the floor game and distributed as well as he has since the second half of the Indiana game. Baby steps continue to be taken and even though it is sometimes lost, the Teague of today is significantly improved of the Teague of early December.

4. Anthony Davis Goes for a Record: The Anthony Davis block story continues to fascinate me. He had 7 blocks on Saturday, bringing his total to 74 for the season. 10 more and he sets the All-Time UK season record, passing Andre Riddick and Melvin Turpin’s 83. If he keeps up the pace he is currently on throughout the year, he will finish the season as one of the ALL-TIME TOP 5 SHOT BLOCKERS IN UK HISTORY…in just one season. That is simply unprecedented. He will put the shot block single season record in an area where it will never be touched and is quietly putting on one of the best defensive seasons in UK history. Appreciate what you are watching, because we will never see it again.

5. #OccupyKroger Shows BBN Power: My favorite part of the weekend was the hour-long movement that swept through BBN, known as #OccupyKroger. By now you know the story of fans using the hashtag to express their dissatisfaction with an individual associated with the halfcourt shot promotion telling “Referee Guy” that he might not be paid for making the heave. Fans tweeted in a fury, with literally hundreds of messages and within an hour, Kroger called me to let me know they would pay. It was fascinating to watch and showcased just how (a) passionate BBN is and (b) how involved we are on the internet/social media. It also was a great unifying cause, even for a matter that is ultimately relatively trivial. It also reminded me once again that the comment section of this blog can be misleading…while I love our commenters, a very small minority (probably 40-50 people total) bring negativity to virtually everything. On Twitter, in Lexington and on radio, EVERYONE was universally happy for the kid and excited. In this comment section and on message boards, MANY fans were taking the “rules are rules” attitude. Negative nancies breed like rabbits on the internet and sometimes it takes an #OccupyKroger type movement to remind us that they are the less than 1% of the 1%. Here was a picture of my favorite part of the movement, the two young men who went to a Kroger in Ashland within 30 minutes of the tweet and made their feelings known:

6. National Anthem: I felt bad for the young woman on Saturday who forgot the national anthem lyrics before the game. She got through the most difficult parts of the song and then got lost on “land of the free and home of the brave” ending. It has to be a tough moment to deal with and she seemed embarrassed afterwards. We here at KSR are with the young woman and think she did a very good job before the final mishap. I hope the folks at UK will give her another opportunity and consider putting the lyrics on the scoreboard to prevent such awkward moments in the future. Or just let Alan Cutler sing one day…either way.

7. Louisville Good and Bad: I won’t dwell on the Cards…but there two programs are going in very different directions. Their basketball team was embarrassed at home versus Notre Dame in a game that should have UL fans asking what I have asked for two years…why doesn’t Rick Pitino get more criticism? Meanwhile their football program got commitments from two 4 star All American caliber LB recruits from out of state. That makes four high 4 star players in the class with potentially a couple more to come. Strong is recruiting at a level that is higher than even Bobby Petrino did during his years. If he coaches as well as he recruits, we are in for a rough patch ahead.

8. Archie Goodwin Comes To Lexington: On Saturday night, the KSR crew went to Lexington Catholic and taped an old school podcast while Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress played basketball. Goodwin played well, scoring 37 points and, more importantly to me, showcasing an ability to get to the basket in a number of different manners. He has a good shooting touch, is a quick leaper and is able to find seams in the defense. He is the type of player who will give Calipari a number of perimeter scoring options and has the potential to put up BIG numbers on any given night. Plus, he is a great talker. HE did an interview with our podcast, which will be out on Monday and you can get a sense of why I think he is going to be a UK fan favorite. I think folks are going to really like him.

9. Alex Poythress is a Beast: You are going to love Alex Poythress. I saw on Twitter that someone described him as “coming straight out of the early 90s” and there is some truth to that as his look is akin to a Jamal Mashburn. He can shoot, penetrate, score and do just about everything well. His ability to EXPLODE at the rim is shocking in person and he is going to posterize people on a regular basis in Lexington. I think he is severely underrated and may be a Top 3 player when all is said and done after college. Just wait…Poythress is a man.

10. Team Unity: Finally, I hear a lot of people speculating that there might be some team chemistry issue or wondering if there is some riff between players on the squad. I have sensed none of that this year and firmly do not believe it is taking place. Since I have covered UK, I have been around two teams with chemistry issues, the Rondo vs everyone team in 2006 and the “we all hate Billy Clyde” team in 2009. In both cases, you could tell that there were issues and even if they didn’t happen in front of the media, they manifested in public all the time. This team has none of that…with the exception of MKG, we don’t see a lot of joy on the court, but as the play improves, I think you will see that improve as well and those worries will fade away.

We have a big day on Monday as we review all the happenings on the radio, release the free old school podcast and I will give you an update on who I think is most likely to be the final members of the 2012 UK recruiting class. Until then, Jarrod Polson would like to smile for you….

Article written by Matt Jones

59 responses to “Van Chancellor’s Monday Weekend Review”

  1. Adam

    “We will never see it again”? Even if Nerlens Noel ends up here?

  2. BlueBloggin

    best part of that Polson pic, is the dude in the background. ha

  3. Correction

    The best part of that Polson pic, is the hottie to his left. The dude in the background is the second best part.

  4. polson's posse

    I’d say that’s the 2nd best part of the pic

  5. Mkgistebow

    Happy with the cats but tired of the constant pitino bashing that the typical uk fan partakes in. Act like a professional Matt, the man is an incredible coach that always gets the most out of his kids and fits his style of play to his specific personnel year in and year out. I personally root for pitino and am so grateful for what he did in the early 90s to resurrect our program. You don’t have to like him as a person but to criticize him as a coach is puzzling and makes you look like a biased, emotional and unreasonable fan. You’re a journalist, set a better example.

  6. bmt22033

    IMHO, this was blown ***WAY*** out of proportion! I absolutely believe Matt Jones was well-intentioned by spreading the word that “someone” had suggested to this young man that he might not be paid. But come on Matt. As best I can tell from all the stories that have been written (at KSR, Deadspin and Yahoo), whoever it was that suggested the kid might not be paid wasn’t an actual Kroger rep. To quote the Yahoo story:

    “One of the organizers of the contest approached Swope in the midst of his celebration with a copy of the contract he’d signed and a video replay of the shot. The man intimated to Swope that the supermarket chain Kroger might not be willing to pay the $10,000 since Swope appeared to take the shot a few inches beyond the mid-court stripe.”

    “One of the organizers”? He “intimated” that Kroger might not pay? Unless this person was actually involved in making the decision as to whether the kid would get paid or not, there was really no need to try to “rally BBN” to this young man’s defense. Not until Kroger actually had the chance to talk to the kid directly. If Kroger officially told the kid he wasn’t getting paid, *THEN* it would be time to unleash BBN on them. But despite what the #Occupy movement would have you believe, not all of corporate America is evil. They should have had their chance to address this before Matt started stiring up BBN. And in the end, what happened?

    Again, to quote Yahoo:

    “A representative of Kroger called Jones within an hour of the game ending on Saturday and asked him to tell Swope that he would receive the $10,000.”

    There we go. There was never any reason to make this into the big deal that it became until Kroger, or a Kroger representative, stated that the guy wasn’t going to be paid.

  7. dave

    6-yet, the kid said kroger still told him to call them on monday to find out if he will actually get the $$ or not. jones isn’t at fault for everything…….

  8. Guy on the left in Kroger pic

    I was the UK Wildcat for 3 years! Seriously,

  9. Big Jorts

    Dude in the background needs to get life!

  10. CatsfanNLville

    There should have never been any doubt they would pay, I dont care if he stepped completely over the line the kid hit an almost impossible shot, on cue, in front of 24K people. U pay him and tell him please keep shopping at Kroger. Kroger got what they deserved. And Im saying this as a person whos father retired from Kroger.

    #AnthonyDavissaysshutupbmt22033

  11. Mayhem

    Ross and Kirbi are (in the words of John Short) great Americans!!!

  12. Dude

    #7, I think Matt Jones did exactly what any UK fan or basketball fan in general would do whenever something as ridiculous as Kroger trying to not pay up would and should do. He called them out on there BS. He did exactly what I would have done in his situation. Be glad Jones did that. It shows how awesome our fans are. Sheesh. Lighten up.

  13. Jacob

    Well i don’t think this team has chemistry issues looks like they all like each other

  14. Cat fan in the 'ville

    At MKGistebow, how can you not wonder why UL fans are not fed up with Pitino. Look at his record,; put it next to Tubby. look what he has done to Siva. Look what he said about R. smith after the UK game. I am greatful too for what he did but the man has lost it and UL fans should realize that. If you lived in Louisville like Matt and I, and had to hear all the Card fans all the time, you would understand the Pitino criticism. Matt criticizes his coaching because it is suddenly deserved. Again, look at his record. Look at Siva now. Look at what he says. His abilities have dropped sharply. More than anything It sounds to me Matt wonders why no Card fans are up in arms over Pitino (that was my take from what he wrote). BBN would be irate with him at this point. Flip it, UK loses to UL three years in a row w/ back to back first game exits in the NCAA tournament. I think Pitino does deserve more criticism from the UL fan base.

  15. Lovely

    Jay Z and Beyonce have named their new baby Blue. I know it is just a coincidence probably, but it is still funny.

  16. BBN

    Charlie Strong getting it done at UL…that’s a damn shame. What about all of the diamonds in the rough that Joker Phillips has brought in the past two seasons? The Kentucky football program will hit rock bottom next season under Joker. The situation is worse than what UL had to endure under Kragthorpe during Brooke’s tenure.

  17. Dr Dre

    Soap opera….that’s what this site has turned into these days. That’s how they get publicity, and it’s pretty pathetic because most fans are NOT interested in this silly drama.

  18. Calipari'sInYourEar

    Matt Jones said, “Teague has not played badly this year…”

    If you watched the ULAR game, you wouldn’t say that statement.

    He played badly.

    I get it, no reason to overdue the criticism. But on the same note, let’s not completely lie to ourselves and everyone else.

    I’ve yet to see the dribble drive even run by him. It’s been 17 games. Run the damn offense you bum! :)

  19. CatsfanNLville

    preach on #15 preach on!!

  20. BPsycho

    #16 No coincidence Hova represents!

    #17 Hit rock bottom? We been there for a while. We breaking the rocks off the bottom and stacking dem according to size…

  21. HAHA

    dude in the background is actually tanner puerach, lexcath graduate from a year ago. famous for dunking all over former UK commit dakotah euton

  22. Buckets

    Good points on the anthem. I was in the press box for a prep football game one time when a super-nervous 14- or 15-year-old girl forgot the words toward the end. She was great, but then her voice cracked and she about had a panic attack. Then she bawled like a baby afterward as her mom told her she did great and not to worry about it. Even her friends couldn’t console her and I felt really bad for her. The crowd gave a her a big cheer but she was embarrassed.

  23. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?

    Brunette on the left is feeling Polson.

  24. UofL Sucks

    #15, I was just on card chronicle to read the comments and almost all are complaining and pissed about Pitino and his lack of good coaching nowadays. You know what I have learned on there? Caliparis success has driven them crazy. They were reduced to insulting Cal and yet at the same time talking about how he gets great players, wins a lot and how our defense is. We along with the whole nation tried to tell them how overrated they were. I was wrong when I said they are overrated. They are the most overrated team in America. They even now admit how overrated they are. Thats when you know its panic mode at U of L

  25. Skinny Sullinger Sucks

    As for UK, there is no chemistry issue. This team is right there with the 96, 98, 03, 04 teams as far as liking and caring for one another. Actually I am amazed at how close these kids are. They are special and remind you every game than once it starts really clicking, its lights out for the rest of college hoops teams. We are a one loss team, ranked 2nd, and have beat damn good teams, all the while only playing 2gether as a team for 15 or so games. That is amazing.

    Cals team always peek at the right time. Last year we did not start clicking until the week before the SEC tournament. They will get it going. We have to good a coach and players for them not to. This team is special

  26. Dave in Kabul

    1. Was it true that Rondo impregnated Sparks’ girlfriend?

    2. Why can Charlie Strong get 4 Star recruits to come to UL of all places and UK can’t hire a coach who can get these kinds of recruits? We ‘sposed to be SEC.

    3. WTF is wrong with Pitino?

    4. GO BIG BLUE!!!

  27. Dave in Kabul

    Oh yeah, I agree. We need more Southern voices in the Media and on TV and in Hollywood. Intelligent Southern voices.

    Remember Shelby Foote in Ken Burns’ Civil War series. I loved listening to that Mississippi twang wax eloquently about American History.

    The Southern Accent is a beautiful thing. It’s lyrical and much more graceful sounding than that damn Yankee Northeastern grating delusion that they call language in New England, New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

  28. Calipari'sInYourEar

    #27 – Dave in Kabul – Pitino was a master.

    He drank too much of his own Kool-Aid sometime in late 1997.

    You ask what’s wrong with him now? Where was the question…
    1. When he left Camelot for any other job (regardless of where or the $)
    …. Let’s be honest, if it wasn’t for his wife, he’d never have left (she hated Lexington – big city girl).
    2. When he decided to coach Louisville. No clear thinking person would ever consider coaching there AFTER you coached AND WERE SUCCESSFUL at UK.

    Billy Clyde, Eddie Sutton, Tubby Smith, would all have accepted an offer from UL after exiting UK. But Adolph Rupp, nor Joe B. Hall would even consider it. See the difference.

    So what happened to Rick Pitino? He was once a master, who slowly lost touch with his power and skill to the point where he plans his retirement 6 years in advance. BTW, the only people who do that are people who aren’t happy doing their job (maybe the clearer answer to the question).

  29. KevinC

    I bet Jarrod Polson is getting more tail than an animal shelter….

  30. Jen

    I don’t comment on here a lot but when I do, there’s always someone on here being negative or rude! Didn’t your mother teach you, ” if you have nothing good to say then don’t say it at all”. I bet the negative nancies are 50 year old men who get no azz and are just bitter at the world for their misfortunes! Grow up! BBN needs to stick together! #occupykroger

  31. BigBlueSkyDog

    Wow, Poulson looks like he’s still in middle school. The girls look like crib robbers sitting next to him.

    I enjoyed listening to Chancellor also. He and Dave Baker had a really good rapport going. Chancellor reminded me of Joe B when he did occasional commentary for ABC and BBSN back in the 80′s; always insightful, interspersed with wit which was always spontaneous but never contrived. Southern gentlemen are a dying breed.

  32. Jen

    Agreed Dr Dre, normally I just read the posts and move on, too much drama on here!

  33. BigKatHead

    UK Recruiting: The success that Strong is experiencing highlights the (well-documented) problems UK has had with identifying talent and retaining recruits under Joker. An example is the Lexington Catholic kid at Harvard, Will Whitman, who CBS just named one of their four Freshman All-Americans last week. UL got onto the kid after he had already committed to Harvard, but UK never made contact at all!?!? WTF Joker? There are ballers that can/would play for the Cats who Joker, et al, never pursue, focusing entirely on SC, GA, etc….pitiful!!

  34. gcat4496

    Forget about Pitino’s woes, what about Tubby Smith. He is 0 – 4 in Big 10 play and the next game is in Bloomington. I feel bad for Tubby, but 5 years in at Minn this is not good. Minnesota is not the place where you can recruit and consistently stay ahead of the other programs.

  35. Taylor

    What about the kid in the background of the Polson Pic. Nice….. LOL

  36. jdneedstoknow
  37. Reality Is

    Strong is recruiting s*&t. His money man Clint Hurt is doing the same thing to real in players that he did with that little Shapiro bum at The U.

  38. Reality Is

    35. *reel in

  39. Dave in Kabul

    I don’t feel bad for Tubby at all. He deserves all of the failure in the world (at basketball) for shirking his professional responsibilities while at UK and then running away from his failure like a punk assed b*tch.

    I hope TLT loses all of his games.

  40. kyhank

    When we get the right coach will will get the players in football U.K does not need to be this BAD know matter what Matt says

  41. Dave in Kabul

    UK Football sucks because the UKAA knows that the fans will pay for those tickets no matter what appears on the field. UK could go 0-12 for the next two decades and 40 to 50,000 UK football fans will still show up.

    Do that in Basketball and there would be hell to pay.

    UKAA banks on this. That’s why they retained the Joke. It’s cheaper to keep the sorry ass co-ed schlepper.

  42. bung

    accent?

  43. Kidnut

    I guess I fall on the Negative Nancy side. If clear evidence showed he stepped over the line then he doesn’t deserve the prize, however if it is in doubt whether he did or not he deserves the money.

  44. STLoiusBBallFan

    Matt, I hate your politics and you take a lot of heat for your opinions but this site desperately misses your writing. Please contribute more and thanks for the article.

  45. That's Live Action!

    Does anyone know what Andre Riddick’s doing these days?

  46. Al's IndiCats

    Tubby left on his own accord. He was getting burned in every way imaginable recruiting kids, because he didn’t like the process of recruiting (which really shown his true nature). An excuse was made up that he was going to have to get rid of one of his associate coaches at season’s end, and that was supposed to be one of the reasons he left…..BUT didn’t take ONE coach with him to the land of the Gropher. But he did take Saul. To me, I’ll have to say Thank you Tubby for leaving, because I wouldn’t have been able to stand to see Saul on the sidelines one more minute.

  47. billy

    JOnes’problem is intelligence. And he has zero jump shot. It is shoot the standing three or dunk. He does dumb things.

  48. Kidnut

    I though Saul Smith was a servicable point guard, he didn’t kill you on defense, could run a team, and had a decent jumper. His greatest strength was being an extension of the coach on the floor. Tubby was and still is a very good coach. I thought he and his family were great ambassadors for Kentucky basketball and a family to be admired.

  49. BPM

    Funny how Cal is called a cheater and no one seems to question Strong and his bag man Hurtt bringing in top level recruits to Louisville, for football mind you, and all to come play in a second rate conference. Something stinks to me.

  50. Jelly

    for a solid 15 minutes of that women’s game, I thought the Turtle Man was commentating with Buzz. It did seem strange that a guy who catches raccoons knew so much about players hitting the “three ball.”

  51. Matt Jones

    45- I hate your politics

  52. saki7

    The negativity is kind of tired. For what it’s worth (nothing) I’m really thankful for the constant UK coverage, the 10:00 show now on 630, Matt’s post-game show, and a top 5 UK team this year.

  53. MrObvious

    “Negative nancies” because people suggested “rules are rules”? C’mon Matt, you are an attorney. Rules ARE rules.

  54. Non homogenized

    Matt and Dave in Kabul
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for mentioning and appreciating
    the pace and depth of a true Southern accent. Those voices evolved
    from a oneness with the rhythms of nature and when used describe
    anything a listener gets a 3 demential picture of the subject.
    Shelby Foote is a perfect example. Eudora Welty stories jumped off the
    page when read by her. Griffin Bell made Constitutional law
    sound interesting.
    Pitino has asked for every scrutiny he has and will receive.
    He has courted and embraced the public figure image ruthlessly
    From promoting books, all types of merchandise and himself.
    The “will he stay or go” drama fed his ego so much that when he
    failed it was Larry Bird’s fault that his players weren’t winning
    and he had complete control of all personnel evaluation and development.
    Once back in our state he took the U of L job when other jobs of equal or better
    status were available. Mr Wildcat, “his Dear Friend” ask Pitino if he was out of his Damn
    mind. Nope just his arrogance. Pitino has made veiled slurs about UK and when he was
    here the best fan base ever couched in biggest mistake ever insincerity.
    “numbers and numbers of great players are going to be walking into U of L”
    while I’m here. Well that may be so. How many can be identified as getting better
    under Pitinos Louisville first? Samardo had to go to Ganga land for help
    and Pitino did even know he hade left. Come on it’s Rick first, feels free to give his
    opinion on everyone else but skips non pro Rick press conference.
    Rumored to have been unfaithful to his wife and family many times prior to
    Sypher. Ahhhh hell if you can’t stand the heat get out of the public domain

  55. Cristoforouk

    Two things: 1) Pitino has severely underachieved during his tenure at UofL. Any rational basketball fan would admit to this. Can he still coach? Sometimes. But if I were a UofL fan I would be very disappointed in what he has done there. 2) Teague is average at best this year. He hasn’t had a good “point guard game” since Chattanooga. He is really inconsistent and has shown no elite aspect of the game. Teams play him like NBA teams play Rondo. Just wait for him to shoot. Difference is Rondo doesn’t settle and is A LOT smarter in running an offense. I honestly think Teague is just a bad fit for this year’s team. UK needs a point who does not look to score, but Teague seems to always have a score first mentality.

  56. Non homogenized

    Damn. Demensional not demented

  57. NBA league pass

    So who ever said there were “team chemistry issues”? I wonder sometimes if stuff on here is just totally made up. I see nothing on this team that makes me think chemistry is an issue. They play team basketball, are damn near unbeaten, etc. WTF?

  58. tyrus

    1. It’s going to get tuff on the road.
    2. Keep scoring but rebounding is what we need you to do the best.
    3. More mental toughness while taking those baby steps.
    4. Simply marvelous.
    5. 15 minutes is up. Next story.
    6. Yes, another try please!
    7. Definitely improving vs. it’s rival
    8. Expectations held in check. Play on court will determine how to react.
    9. Same response as above.
    10. Come on…let’s hug it out.