Part two in an eight part series previewing the 2014 Kentucky Football Wildcats. Cats hope →
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Unless this very visit to KSR late in the evening is your very first glimpse at news on the day, then I virtually guarantee you’ve heard of today’s most notable celebrity birthday. If you’ve logged onto any assorted social media account, pop culture news site, or even turned on your local drive time radio show on the way to work this morning, you’ve almost assuredly heard that today, March 7th, is Bryan Cranston’s birthday. The American born actor, most known for his role as Walter White in AMC’s Breaking Bad, turned 58 years young today. While the younger population around the world currently knows him for his critically acclaimed role in Breaking Bad, others recognize Cranston for his roles in wildly popular shows like Malcolm in the Middle and Seinfeld. He hasn’t been limited to those three shows either, judging by his IMDB profile, Cranston has been credited with 130 acting jobs since his career began back in the early 1980′s.
This is usually the part of the celebrity bio where I’d try and say something complementary about Cranston and his wonderful career, but alas, I can’t really add anything as it’s all already been stated by everyone else who writes about pop culture on the internet. So, to conclude, I’ll leave you with my personal favorite (and wildly underrated) scene from Breaking Bad where Walt confronts Drug lord, Tuco Salamanca.
(It’s Breaking Bad, so I’ll throw in a NSFW tag.)
On to the day’s news:
-The Cats opened up as an 8-point underdog for tomorrow’s contest in Gainesville. According to Vegas Insider, Kentucky is 12-14-2 against the point spread this season and is 4-6-1 against the spread on the road. I’ve seen numerous predictions from Twitter and other sources, but it seems as though people are leaning toward a Gator cover in tomorrow afternoon’s match-up. It’s also worth noting that Kentucky is 6-13 all-time when facing the nation’s top ranked team. In case it has slipped your mind, the tip for tomorrow’s contest is slated for high noon on CBS.
-Willie Cauley-Stein and James Young had the opportunity to speak with members of the media today about the state of the program and the prospects for the team’s immediate future. Their full comments can be found by following this link, but below you’ll find some of their most notable statements.
On if this team can make a run …
“Definitely. It’s to that point where our backs are kind of against the wall. Players are going to have to show that they’re players – everybody on the team. It’s definitely a thing that we’ve got to keep in mind when we go in there.”
On what he took from the first Florida game …
“After that game I felt like we could beat anybody in the country. And then the next couple of games (I felt like we could) lose to anybody in the country. So it’s like a wide spectrum of our team. That just goes with what Cal tries to do here.”
On if they hit a wall against Florida after doing so well the first 30 minutes and if that’s a conditioning thing …
“No. I think being a young team you make those mistakes at the end. We’re so young you don’t really know when the crunch time or the winning time is. It’s the last five minutes of the game and that’s when – everything else before that really doesn’t matter. You win or lose a game in the last five minutes, and I think we’ve learned that the past year pretty much. The last five games have been a struggle, but definitely watching that game back on film, easily you win if you take care of the things that you’re supposed to do as an individual.”
On going back and looking at his video from a down shooting night against Alabama …
“I looked at the video and I just kept leaning back a little bit too much and just kicking my leg out. I came to the gym a little bit later and worked on my shot a little bit so it should be good.”
On it getting discouraging to keep missing shots …
“I try to just not think about the next shot and just keep moving forward and just shoot. I kind of got my confidence down last game and I think that’s really affecting my shot.”
On playing with pressure off their shoulders …
“Yeah and just play with an unleashed offense is what Coach says. Go out there and have fun with it and we’re doing a lot better with that in practice. We just got to turn that into game and have more fun with it.”
-During his pre-Florida presser, John Calipari told the press he didn’t believe that this team was done – not by any stretch of the imagination. “To have people say ‘this team is done,’ I just don’t believe it. A team that has this kind of skill and ability?” Calipari said. However, numbers aren’t the whole story. The x-factor for this team is confidence. “Let’s hope the light goes on. If it goes on this game, fine. If it takes another game, fine. We just need the light to go on. I’ve had teams come around at all different times. I believe in this team, I believe in the individual players. These are great players.”
-Matthew Mitchell and his UK Hoops squad earned a much needed victory over Florida in the quarterfinals of the SEC Women’s Basketball Tournament this afternoon. The Cats held off numerous runs from the Gators and ended up prevailing 75-70 despite trailing by seven at the halftime intermission. Our own Wilder Treadway gave a full recap of this afternoon’s game in Duluth, Georgia and it can be found by following this link or scrolling down a bit further.
The women will do battle with the top-seeded Gamecocks of South Carolina at noon tomorrow on ESPNU. Set your DVR accordingly.
- In news that makes you go “D’awwwww,” John Wall took to Instagram today to help grant a young cancer patient named Miyah’s dream of meeting pop star, Nicki Minaj. In a mere matter of hours, Wall’s video reached Nicki Minaj and plans are in order to help fulfill young Miyah’s dream of wearing one of Minaj’s signature pink wigs. Way to help make the world a better place, John!
We’ll see you bright and early for pregame coverage tomorrow, Cats fans.
With six minutes remaining in the game three weeks ago in Lexington the Cats and the Gators were all knotted up at 53 apiece. From there Florida found a way to score on their next nine possessions and put the game on ice through veteran play. Kentucky on the other had was outscored 16-6 over that final stretch while showcasing the same problems that have been plaguing them all season long. Tomorrow afternoon is one final chance to get it all right in time for the post-season. Here’s what the Cats will need to do in order to pull off the upset.
Take The Crowd Out of It
First and foremost the Cats will need to try and take the rowdy reptiles out of the game early. The O-Dome is always hyped to host the Wildcats and with a perfect SEC record on the line you can expect tomorrow to be no different. One of the problems the Cats have faced all season long is the slow start. They can ill afford one of those tomorrow. In Lexington the Cats jumped out to a 5-0 lead which the rode all the way to a 3 point margin at the half. If they can come out early tomorrow and hit some early jumpers the crowd could get quiet and offer UK a chance at the upset. After a hot start the boys in blue will need to work on containing UF’s ability to score.
Shut Down Wilbekin
Senior guard Scotty Wilbekin has just about wrapped up SEC player of the year and for good reason. Wilbekin is averaging 12.9 points, 3.9 assists, and 2.6 rebounds this season while leading the Gators to the #1 ranking. Scotty has been the guy with the ball in his hands when Florida has needed a bucket late and was key to their win in Rupp. Wilbekin scored 23 in our match-up a few weeks ago including 7-8 from the charity stripe. If Andrew can find a way to keep Wilbekin around his averages then the Cats will have a better chance at the W.
Julius Randle to Go Insane
Julius Randle played pretty well in the Lexington loss as he finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds on 4-7 shooting. Unfortunately Casey Prather played a bit better as he finished with 24 points and 4 rebounds. Randle has been the subject of continuous double and triple teams over the last few weeks and a reason for that has been the poor outside shooting of the Cats. If the other guys can play well then Randle can be freed up like he was against Ole Miss when he scored 25. A big game from Julius will be one of the biggest reasons behind a Cat win.
Do you have any hope remaining the Cats can win if they nail these keys to the game?
What a day it has been. From the bright and shining moments of a 6AM wake up call in Lexington, to the
6.5 5.5 hour drive, to the rivalry game that FINALLY ended in our favor, today has been good…Secondary mascot that, it’s been great (the live blog gets it). For those of you who don’t know, my PIC Wilder Treadway and I are in Duluth, Georgia covering the women’s SEC tournament. This is our second year in Duluth for the tournament, and if this year’s time off the court goes anything like last year’s did, we’re in for a weekend filled with embarrassing tweets, hilarious quotes, and of course, so much Pho (Duluth has the highest concentration of Koreans in North America). So, I’ve decided to share with you all some of my favorite moments from the first 18 hours of our trip. Let the Top Five Duluth moments count down begin!
5. “There’s snot all over the back of your shirt…”
This quote came to us bright and early from a fantastic gentleman that we met in Starbucks before we had even left Lexington. 6AM came a bit too early for one of us (I’ll give you one guess…), so coffee was going to be a necessity. Wilder and I stepped inside our favorite cafe for a quick cup, and while waiting in line, he sneezed. The gentleman behind us said “bless you,” and when Wilder said thanks, he responded by telling me that Wilder had sneezed all over me, and that “there’s snot all over the back of your shirt.” Yes, he was kidding, but it got our day started with some light chuckles. We got to talking about our trip, talked about his family that lives in Georgia, and we went our separate ways, but not before well wishes and good lucks. Kentucky is so unique in it’s fan base, and I just thought I should share one of my #BBN proud moments with you all. GO CATS!
After our victory over Florida this afternoon, we were very excited to go to the post game press conference to hear what both coaches were going to be saying about the outcome. After Coach Mitchell, DeNesha Stallworth, and Jen O’Neill wrapped up their portion of the press conference, they headed back towards the locker room. Wilder and I did a quick “Are you going? I am? Ok call me. Can’t wait to see you again. Miss you already” and I was off to click down the halls after the team. But before I could even get away from the makeshift interview room, I crossed paths with the Florida coach, two of her starters, and the Florida SID (sports information director). Unfortunately for me, I happened to make eye contact with the SID at the exact moment that she was presumably whispering something to her Gators. So naturally, I assumed it was targeted towards me. What exactly was said you ask? I wonder the same thing… but it sounded to me like, “See you in the locker room after the conference.” So great. An invitation to the Florida locker room accidentally issued to me?… or nah?
3. All the Alberta Dialogue- More Whispering
When we travel to tournaments, Wilder and I always try to have some sort of goals or aspirations that are ridiculous, and for this year’s tournament, we decided the goal would be Mascot SnapChat Selfies. Alberta, the Florida Lady Gator, is a lot. Her face is kinda messed up, and just her general motions are awkward and forced. Wilder and I went to grab a refreshment at half time, and on our way back, she was exiting the court when we were walking back out. I quickly told Wilder to grab her for a picture, and like a true journalist would, he whispered at her, “Hey Alberta come here…” Yes, I said whispered. Barely would have registered on a decibel meter. Then we parted ways, opportunity lost forever. RIP Alberta SnapChat.
2. Bria Goss Got Jokes
Speaking of Mascots… After my invitation to the Florida locker room fell through (darn), I headed to the UK locker room to do some more research for this article. I decided a safe question would be “Other than the Wildcat, who is your favorite mascot?” and boy, was I right. Kastine Evans said she liked LSU because their fans chant “Tiger Bait,” while Jen O’Neill said she was a fan of Alabama because of the Elephant’s funny nose. Then, Bria Goss bestowed upon me the absolute best answer I could have ever hoped for. Goss said, “”I like the Gamecocks.. cause when they break it down in the huddle they say ‘Lady Cocks’… ‘LADY COCKS ON THREE!’” I could not contain myself. I lost it, right there in the locker room, in front of everyone. Bria Goss also told me that she had vouched for Wilder’s absence in the class they share on Wednesday, telling their teacher that he had left for Duluth to cover the tournament…She did not, however, know that she had accidentally lied to her teacher, as sweet little Wilder was actually just to sweepy to get out of bed. #Oops
1. Maryland Eastern Shore would be offended…
Nothing says “SEC Love” like getting all the fans together for a nice, civil tournament where the refs call everything, right? We were lucky enough to have chosen seats right in front of a very large Florida population, and they were not too pleased with the officiating. The entire game, we were #blessed enough to listen to them demand “AND 1!!!” every single time a Gator shot, “THREE SECONDS!” every time a Wildcat stepped into the paint, and “CARRYING!!!” every dang time the ball was in play and not in a Florida player’s hands. The best quote of this trip so far was so thoughtfully delivered to us in the second half, when a dreaded (as in hair) heckler screamed at the top of her lungs, “THIS AINT THE MEAC REF!!! LET THESE GIRLS PLAY!” Consider me #confused. Are the ladies in the MEAC not allowed to be as physical as the rest of the conferences? Are the MEAC girls fragile? Are they supposed to stop more frequently for breaks of some sort? Perhaps they need water more often? If anyone would like to fill me in… please.
That’s all that we have for now my friends. Check out the KY Wildcats TV highlight reel from this afternoons game, as well as a special treat that I have included from a basketball game earlier this week in Louisville. Make sure to join us tomorrow at noon, as we take on the top seeded Gamecocks. Go Cats!
Much has been made about Kentucky’s perilous drop from preseason number 1 to #25 in this weeks polls, but let’s not pretend like the wildcats are alone. Not a single preseason top 5 team has had the kind of season their fans were expecting. Let’s take a look at where they were, where they are, and where they might go.
Preseason Ranking: 1
Current Rank: 25
Conference Record: 12-5
Season Outlook: If you are reading this at 8PM on a Friday night, I don’t need to tell you too much about what Kentucky’s future looks like. At this point, the preseason expectations have all but vanished, and just seeing the team play well to end the season would likely count as a victory for most fans. It starts tomorrow with a noon game against Florida, and then next weekend with the SEC tournament.
Preseason Ranking: 2
Current Ranking: 22
Conference Record: 12-5
Season Outlook: Michigan State was hobbled with injuries, sure. But they have also dropped 6 of their last 11 in almost reverse Izzo fashion. Typically the Spartans are rounding in to form later in the season and pose to be a tough out to any team in the tournament… but with recent losses to Georgetown, Illinois and Nebraska, they aren’t striking fear in to too many teams. Still, Lunardi has them as a 4 seed, which seems a little high.
Preseason Ranking: 3
Current Ranking: 11
Conference Record: 14-3
Season Outlook: What once looked like a major hangover after a title year, is starting to turn around a little bit. The AAC’s NCAA tournament will be interesting. Throughout the conference season, a number of teams have appeared to be better than we originally expected, with Memphis, SMU, Cincinnati, Connecticut and Louisville ending up ranked. Are they as legitimate as they look, or have they been feeding on the weaker dredges of the conference? It’s tough to say. Louisville could be poised to go deep in March, but they are still a leap away from being the kind of team you expect to win the title, like they were last year.
Preseason Ranking: 4
Current Ranking: 4
Conference Record: 12-5
Season Outlook: Say what you want about ESPN bias towards Duke, but how many other teams have lost games and rose in the polls? At times they look like title contenders, at times they lose to Wake Forest and UNC. And I am pretty sure no team has every lost to Wake Forest and gone on to win the title. The ACC tournament will be telling. The biggest question with the Blue Devils is – can they beat quality teams back to back to back? It doesn’t seem like a group that can go without opening themselves up to an unexpected loss. Also, just for the sake of mentioning it? Same conference record as Kentucky and Michigan State, for what it’s worth.
Preseason Ranking: 5
Current Ranking: 8
Conference Record: 14-3
Season Outlook: Kansas actually seems to be the most poised of the preseason top 5 to cut down the nets in April. A lot of it will depend on the availability of Freshman superstar Joel Embiid, who has been having back issues for the latter half of the season. They are currently projected to be a one seed, and with the dwindling strength of the Big 12, might as well be a shoo-in to a match up with a 16.
Final takeaway? It’s not been the season we thought it would. Last year we knew it was a down year in CBB, but everyone thought this would be one of the best seasons to date. With all the super star freshman coming in, and a lot of key returnees, it was predicted that there would be a number of legendary teams poised to battle it out. Instead? It’s been a grab bag of successes and failures. Any of the above teams could go on to win the tournament and end at the top of the polls where they started. Or any could fail to make it out of the first weekend.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©7:30 pm
For the past month, Florida fans have been trying to get Justin Timberlake to come to Gainesville to sing the national anthem on Senior Day via the #BringJT2UF social media campaign. Timberlake just wrapped up the South Florida portion of his tour, so Florida fans thought he should swing by Gainesville to give Florida’s seniors the ultimate send-off.
Well, Justin Timberlake has better things to do, and posted this on Twitter a little while ago:
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) March 7, 2014
Sorry, Gators. I hear Matt Walsh is available if you don’t have a back up.
Photo from SEC Facebook
After falling behind by nine points in the first half, it looked like a bad case of déjà vu for the 12th ranked Kentucky Wildcats. The Gators had upset UK twice already this season, and Coach Matthew Mitchell was still searching for answers on how to stop the potentially potent Florida offense. The Cats went into the locker room down seven, getting zero points from star forward DeNesha Stallworth after a foul-laden start to the game, and blue clad fans in Duluth, Georgia were shaking their heads in frustration…
The second half started and Kentucky came out firing. Stallworth scored all 13 of her points in the final 20 minutes to lead the Wildcats, and UK fought off numerous late charges by the Gators to gut out a come-from-behind 75-70 win over the reptilian rivals from Florida. Four Wildcats finished in double-figures, and Kentucky was able to use their height advantage inside to dominate the rebounding battle 42-29.
Let’s break it down…
“Our players have worked really hard to improve since the last time we played them. So it was very gratifying to win this game and also to shake off a very poor first half,” Coach Mitchell commented after the game. Too early to call this conference tournament a revenge tour? After the Wildcats fell to the Gators twice this season, Kentucky was able to redeem themselves today. UK will have another chance to do the same thing tomorrow as they play South Carolina, another team the Cats lost to twice this season.
Confidence was key for Kentucky, who at times this season would fade away in the face of adversity throughout the course of the game. After the Cats fought back to take a lead near the end of the game, Florida hit two straight 3-pointers to tie it up at 70 with just over a minute remaining. Crumble, you say? Absolutely not. For the second game in a row, sophomore Janee Thompson stepped up to the plate and delivered a game clinching mid-range jumper to set Kentucky sailing to victory. Mitchell has instilled his total confidence in the majority of his players, and nearly every Wildcat has the green light to go and make a play when the time calls for it.
Junior Bria Goss finished with 11 points this afternoon, pushing her over the 1,000 point mark for her career. She is the 29th Wildcat to record over 1,000 points, so shouts to you girl…shouts to you.
If you’ve followed KSR’s coverage of Kentucky women’s basketball this season (and I know you have), you’ll know that Florida’s head Coach Amanda Butler is one of my personal favorites. She’s everything I want in a coach. Feisty, angry, and most importantly: stompy. That held true to today as there were several instances where the officials had to remind Butler to keep her place in the coaches box, and when Kentucky made their second half run…yeah, she wasn’t very happy. Obviously I was cheering for the Cats to ruin Butler’s day, but I can’t help but smile and cheer a little whenever I see the energized woman.
After Stallworth only played a measly two minutes in the first half, Coach Mitchell knew that the post play would be a key to the final result of the game. “We talked about toughness in the post, that you had to be patient but really, really tough. I thought our play on the interior really stepped up and battled there and played tougher in the second half. We made some real tough buckets.”
While he was pleased with the results, Coach Mitchell definitely knows there is room for improvement for Kentucky, and thought there was way too many turnovers. When Hayley was in the locker room with the team, he heard the head man complain “four turnovers?! Gosh…” about point guard Thompson. Stallworth had five giveaways of her own, and there will be no room for that against a top five team like the Gamecocks tomorrow. Expect another solid effort from USC (no surprise there) as the Gamecock coaching staff was sitting next to Hayley and I the entirety of today’s game scouting their next opponent. Gamecock Coach Staley is extra terrifying…don’t forget it.
Kentucky returns to action in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament against the top seeded South Carolina Gamecocks tomorrow afternoon at 12 pm. Yes, that’s the same time as the men’s game, so get ready for some double Wildcat action comin’ at ya on KSR. Till then…Nae Nae.
Someone tell me something to do/somewhere to go in Duluth, Georgia…please….
The 2013-14 season is almost over, and Kentucky is still trying to atone for the disaster was the 2012-13 season. John Calipari’s team is trying to do something that no team in the history of college basketball has ever done: Win a national championship relying primarily on 6 freshmen who were McDonald’s All Americans. With disappointing losses to a whole bunch of teams, the team will fail to reach its ultimate goal of perfect season, and will instead try to console itself with a national title. To stay apprised and educated, follow me on Twitter @NotJerryTipton. Here’s the weekly notebook:
*The Great Compromise: After the 2010 NBA Draft, which saw 5 Kentucky players selected in the 1st round, John Calipari famously called it “the greatest day in the history of Kentucky basketball.” At the time, many – if not all – UK fans disagreed with him, claiming that they could point out at least 7 days that were better: the days when Kentucky won national championships. However, in hindsight, it turns out that not only was that day not the best day in program history, it was quite possibly the worst day in program history. The 2010 NBA Draft showed recruits that doing a one year stint in Lexington was the safest route to guaranteed millions in the NBA. As such, recruits now show up on campus with one thing on their mind: the NBA. They do not give one whit about college, or their teammates, or college basketball, or UK fans, or blue or white. Sure, most of them tend to return to Lexington after they leave (but not all; whither Kevin Galloway?), but this is likely due to the allure of the Bluegrass region, namely, the horse farms, the bourbon and the castle out on Versailles Road. Still not convinced? Consider: How many of these former Wildcats have moved their families to permanently reside in Lexington?
*Sweet Revenge: During Monday’s press conference, John Calipari made the statement that “it’s hard to have fun” playing basketball at Kentucky. UK senior Jon Hood, in a blatant show of insubordination, vociferously disagreed with his coach, saying that he “has had a blast” playing at UK. It isn’t often that you a see a 5th year senior call his coach “stupid” in so many words, but by claiming that he’s had fun in Lexington the past half decade, that’s exactly what Hood did. In what was perhaps not a coincidence, the Cats came out the next game and shot 32% from the field, almost losing to Alabama before being bailed out by a 15-2 run in the second half to barely win by 7. If the preseason #1 Wildcats don’t go on to win a national championship, it just may be that this dustup between player and coach was the culprit.
*Please Don’t Bury Me: Last week, former UK commit (and current New Mexico State junior) K.C. Ross-Miller got suspended when he threw the ball at an opposing player, thereby inciting a riot on the court between fans and players. This does not bode well for Kentucky. The one ingredient that most UK fans think is missing from the current team is toughness. By having the intestinal fortitude to attack an opposing player even though the game was over, Ross-Miller showed that he isn’t scared of anything or anybody. Most will remember that John Calipari told Ross-Miller to “go the hell away” when he was named the coach, by refusing to honor the scholarship offer that was extended to him by prior coach Billy Gillispie. Seeing as how Gillispie was named National Coach of the Year in 2007, and Calipari was not, maybe the much maligned Texan knew what he was doing after all.
* On this date: On this date in 2013, Kentucky was headed for the NIT.
And now something happy to round out your Friday. John Wall posted this video on Instagram earlier today of himself and Miyah, a five-year-old fan diagnosed with cancer. In the video, Miyah says its her dream to meet hip-hop star Nicki Minaj and wear one of her trademark pink wigs. Wall asked his followers to help spread the word on social media with the hashtags #HelpMiyahMeetNicki and #PinkWigForMiyah.
It’s already worked. Four hours after the video was posted, Minaj responded, telling Miyah that she’s going to see what she can come up with:
Good on ya, John Wall.
With only one game left in the regular season and the SEC and NCAA tournaments creeping up on us, there is one question we could all ask. What will it take to bring fans back to happiness and bring overall satisfaction with Cal’s coaching? It was apparent early in the season Kentucky would not go 40-0, but as the season has continued fans have become more agitated and some are already looking for who could be the next coach at Kentucky.
Every year there is a ‘Cal going to the NBA’ rumor, but this year fans are feeding into it letting it grow out of proportion. Fans are leaving nasty messages to the coaches, their families and the players more than ever, leaving most with a nasty taste in their mouth. The season has already proved to be an improvement on last year’s 21-12, NIT season, but yet fans are left as outraged as ever. Even the 2010-11 Final Four team had 9 losses but we still worshiped them.
What makes this team different from last year’s or from the Final Four team? The pre-season hype. That’s it. BBN set too high expectations for this team, and when they were let down by their expectations, they let the team down. Yes, expectations at Kentucky should and will ALWAYS be high, there is no way around that at all.
It’s been two years since Cal won his national championship and some already want him out the door. Even Tubby got a 9 year honeymoon after his National Championship. So what is different now? Maybe the negativity is just heard more because of technology.
If you question his loyalty here, then think long and hard. Cal is our guy, he belongs here and he loves it here. He takes flowers to Rupp’s resting place, he brought members of all 8 championships together to re-raise all of the championship banners, he changed the face of Kentucky basketball almost instantly upon arrival. We could go on and on, but the message is crystal clear. Cal is as Kentucky basketball as you can get.
As fans we have one job, to love and support the team, but the team hasn’t seen much love this season. What will it take to get BBN back to that point?
I welcome all to rejoin us here on the UK boat, I’m sure you are starting to prune swimming in the cold waters all alone.
Earlier this week, our favorite columnist down I-64 seized Kentucky’s struggles as the perfect opportunity to post the John Calipari attack piece he’s been sitting on for four years. While many in the national media praised Forde for his brave commentary and “saying what needed to be said,” the rest of us saw it for what it was: Forde being Forde.
Today, Grantland’s Andrew Sharp included Forde’s article in his “Worst” of the week column, saying that whenever UK struggles, the national media immediately turns it into a reflection on John Calipari’s character:
Because this is college basketball, Kentucky’s struggles immediately turn into a referendum on John Calipari’s character as a leader and his soulless approach to recruiting. Maybe this is all karma! Someone actually wrote this week that it’s time to rethink the Kentucky title teams from a few years ago, because those weren’t really Calipari’s teams. It’s one of the most reliable laws in sports: College basketball people HATE John Calipari. When he’s winning, it’s because he’s cheating. When he’s losing, it’s proof he was never a good coach anyway and we get headlines like “You Made Your Bed John Calipari, Now Lie In It.”
Sharp continues on to say that Kentucky’s struggling this season because Andrew Harrison has yet to mature into the point guard Cal needs to run the system, a problem that is far from unique in college basketball right now. As Sharp put it, “don’t make this a bigger deal than it has to be.”
Congrats to UK Hoops, who advanced to the Semifinals of the SEC Women’s Tournament with a 75-70 win over Florida this afternoon. It was a gritty win for the girls, who will play the #1-seed South Carolina at noon tomorrow. That’s right, dueling basketball games!
Wilder and/or Hayley will be by in a bit with a recap.
One would think that the job of Circuit judge in Arkansas would only go to the most qualified, noble individuals. One might be wrong. Circuit Judge Mike Maggio (the handsome man pictured above) is a big LSU fan and he liked to post on LSU message boards under the name “GeauxJudge”. As a word of advice for future message board posters, (a) don’t do it and (b) if you do do it, don’t use your real job title. Maggio had a series of posts that crossed the ethical line, including commenting on cases that were pending before him. And now he is in trouble. Here are some details from the AP:
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas judge has admitted that he posted a series of anonymous online comments that critics say are racist, sexist and otherwise inappropriate, including one in which he revealed alleged details of confidential proceedings involving actress Charlize Theron’s adoption of her son.
Circuit Judge Mike Maggio acknowledged Wednesday that he posted the comments on a Louisiana State University fan message board, Tiger Droppings, under the pseudonym “geauxjudge.” He also ended his campaign for a seat on the Arkansas Court of Appeals.
In a June 2011 posting, “geauxjudge” suggested that women who seek divorces after their husbands cheat may be better off financially by staying married. In Arkansas, circuit judges like Maggio handle divorce cases, among other civil and criminal casework.
“I see it everyday. A woman makes (an) emotional decision to divorce because the husband stepped out. When otherwise he was a good provider, father, and husband,” the posting says. “Then a year or two later realizes uh oh I am worse off financially, emotionally and relationship wise but hey they showed that SOB. Too many times the women get their advice from other divorced women.”
In a posting from last December about baby names, “geauxjudge” wrote about the effect a name can have on an individual’s success, the website reported.
“How many Doctors do you hear named Dr. Taneesha or HaHa?” he wrote, apparently referring to Ha’Sean “Ha Ha” Clinton-Dix, a black University of Alabama football player. “How many bankers do (you) hear named Brylee? So stick with something close to normal. Or come sit in criminal court any day and see the ‘common names.’”
So there you go folks, a lesson everyone needs to learn. When going on sports message boards (or might I add, comment sections), remember that people can be watching. And if you make comments that will make folks mad…well it might catch up to you. And if you are like “geauxjudge”, your dreams of being an Arkansas Court of Appeals judge can go up in smoke.
It’s do or die time for Kentucky. As the Cats travel down to Gainesville on Saturday, all eyes will be on the Cats to see if they have the fight and passion we have waited for all season. If the Cats beat the Gators, it may not propel them to another level of play but it may give them the confidence that they need to finish the season strong. In order to do that, they must shoot the ball better, particularly from the 3 point line. The poor perimeter shooting has caused opponents to focus all their attention on limiting scoring from inside the paint; something that Kentucky does very well. If the outside shooting improves, it will free up the middle for the twins and Young to penetrate and score or perhaps throw the lob. With that being said, one person on this team needs a good shooting night to get his confidence up; and that player is James Young.
James Young has shot the ball poorly over his last 3 games; going 1-11 against Alabama and 4-12 against both South Carolina and Arkansas. He has done a better job of getting to the line, but attempted 10 threes against Alabama. I don’t care how good of a shooter James Young is, unless you’re on fire, you do not need to shoot 10 threes individually in any game. All of those misses are doing nothing but hurting his confidence, something he needs at this time of year. I believe Young is Kentucky’s best shooter, even though he has not shown it of late. Kentucky can win without James Young, but they can’t win a title without him.
James Young, we need you now more than ever. GO CATS!