What. A. Day.
On Wednesday evening, the KSR crew was dealt quite the blow when our boss, Matt Jones, was removed from the radio show after the Federal Election Commission (FEC) received a complaint from an outside party.
In his absence, Ryan Lemond, Shannon the Dude, and Drew Franklin jumped on the radio show on Thursday morning and asked fans to tweet #FreeMattJones in support of KSR’s leader. By the end of the show – which lasts just two hours – #FreeMattJones was the No. 1 trending topic in the United States, and remained for eight hours, with tens of thousands of individuals tweeting about the situation.
Jones hopped on Periscope last night to break it all down and express his gratitude to the KSR fans and Big Blue Nation for their support throughout the day:
A discussion of the last 24 Hours https://t.co/j2WjFtpn1b
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) November 8, 2019
With the dust settled on that a bit, it’s time to focus on Kentucky basketball’s matchup against Eastern Kentucky this evening.
What do we need to know about EKU?
Eastern opened the second half of their regular season debut with an impressive 15-0 run, leading to a 79-68 home victory over Chattanooga on Nov. 5. After finishing last season 2-14 in games in which they trailed at halftime, the Colonels are already 1-0 in such situations.
Sophomore Houston King scored a career-high 19 points to open the season against UT-Chattanooga, with the 6-foot-4 guard knocking down 4-of-5 3-pointers in the victory.
Redshirt junior and N.C. State transfer Darius Hicks wasn’t far behind, finishing with his first collegiate double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Freshman guard Jomaru Brown closed out double-digit scorers for the Colonels, finishing his regular season debut with 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting.
This will be the 13th all-time meeting between Kentucky and EKU, with the Wildcats lead the series 12-0. Kentucky last took on the Colonels on Dec. 9, 2015, with UK taking home an 88-67 victory.
But just because they are winless in the individual team series doesn’t mean the Colonels haven’t found success in Rupp Arena. In the 1992 OVC Tournament, the Colonels defeated Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech, their two lone victories in the historic arena.
Eastern Kentucky will be taking on its highest-ranked opponent since the Colonels played No. 1 Kentucky on Dec. 7, 2014. Despite defeating top-ranked Michigan State to open the season, UK currently sits at No. 2 in the polls.
What does John Calipari think of the Colonels?
On Thursday afternoon, Kentucky head coach John Calipari spoke to the media to close the book on his team’s massive victory over top-ranked Michigan State in the Champions Classic and look ahead to Eastern Kentucky.
So what does he think of the Colonels?
“[Wednesday] was more of a film day, so [Thursday we worked] on how we’re gonna attack the press, and I’ve got young guys,” Calipari said. “So, this will be a good game for us. They’ve got some size. You know, the big guy who transferred in, I think from NC State (Darius Hicks) I believe it was, he’s good. I watched him. Their guards play. They shoot 3s. So this is a good one for us.”
After playing – and thriving – in such a high-pressure situation against the Spartans on Tuesday, how will the Wildcats respond to playing against an in-state mid-major just a few days later? Will the focus be there?
“Don’t know. I have no idea,” Calipari said. “When you’re coaching young guys, you don’t know. One of the things that we have to do is we have to continue to figure out offensively how do we play. How do we get everybody involved in how we play?
“Like when someone wants to do more – ‘I can do more’ – my comment to them is, ‘We didn’t score one basket on an offensive rebound,” the Kentucky head coach continued. “How about do more of that? Go get a couple of those.’ Doing more for some of these guys means that we’re gonna have to create a little bit for them because they’re not used to playing random. When you’re a freshman, everything was run to you. You took every shot. Every play was to you in high school. Now you’re here and we’re trying to play random.”
Immanuel Quickley is “all good”
Following a solid 10-point, 5-rebound, 2-assist performance on Tuesday evening, Kentucky sophomore guard Immanuel Quickley gave fans a bit of a scare on social media on Wednesday.
On his Instagram page, the Havre de Grace, MD native posted a picture of his shooting wrist in a brace on his story with several ‘face palm’ emojis.
On Thursday, though, Quickley took to Instagram once again to let fans know he was okay.
“I’m fine all good,” the Wildcat guard said in a comment.
During his pre-Eastern Kentucky press conference on Thursday, Calipari didn’t make much of the brace, giving a light-hearted response.
“He’s got to shoot it less,” the UK head coach said with a laugh. “He just keeps shooting it. Your wrist starts hurting.”
Expect Quickley out on the floor this evening.
The Journey is back and better than ever
On Thursday evening, the Kentucky men’s basketball video team released the year’s first edition of The Journey, a video series highlighting every UK basketball victory throughout the season.
Following an impressive 69-62 victory over the nation’s top-ranked team in Madison Square Garden, the video content was unsurprisingly spectacular.
Take a look:
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) November 8, 2019
KSR in an hour
Kentucky Sports Radio is LIVE from Abell Eyes in Lexington, KY this morning.
There, Ryan Lemond and Drew Franklin will be joined by EKU coach AW Hamilton and former Kentucky football star Jojo Kemp from 10 a.m to noon.
— Ryan Lemond (@ryanlemond) November 8, 2019