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Today on KSR: Big win behind us, big week ahead of us


Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

It’s a new week in the Bluegrass, and it feels like we know a lot more about this Kentucky Basketball team than we did on Friday. The Cats went to Auburn with a big opportunity but not a lot of pressure. A loss to the Tigers would have been understandable; they’re a top 15 team and that arena was rocking. Yet, with the measuring stick on the wall, the Cats stood tall.

After some choice words from Ashton Hagans, Keldon Johnson broke out of his funk, turning in his best game in a month. Tyler Herro came through in the clutch, hitting threes and free throws to help the Cats hang on. Reid Travis and PJ Washington both played well, owning the post in the absence of Auburn’s Austin Wiley. Ashton Hagans only had six points, snapping his streak of double-figure games, but managed the game well, holding his teammates accountable and grabbing a career-high seven rebounds. Once again, Hagans was credited with additional steals once the game was over, taking his total to three. He’s now had three or more steals in seven straight games, the most by a major-conference freshman since Wake Forest’s Chris Paul did it in 10 consecutive games in the 2003-04 season.

The game didn’t come without its fair share of drama. After leading by 17 early in the second half, the Cats let the Tigers crawl back in; however, I’d argue that makes the fact that Kentucky still won even more impressive. At one point, it felt like Auburn — particularly Bryce Brown — couldn’t miss, and I’m pretty the crowd’s roar registered on the Richter Scale. Most teams, particularly those led by freshmen, would roll over; in fact, this team did roll over in almost the same scenario a few weeks ago at Alabama. But these Cats refused to lose, and I found Bruce Pearl’s quote about Ashton Hagans, Keldon Johnson, and Tyler Herro very telling.

“There’s some character there. There’s a real will to win there. They would rather win and score less than maybe just put up their numbers. Those kids are built really like champions.”

The win was big, but with No. 24 Mississippi State and No. 7 Kansas coming to town this week, Kentucky can’t afford a letdown. Lots to do before then, so let’s get to it on this fine Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Where will Kentucky end up in the polls?

Kentucky’s currently No. 12 in the AP Poll, but after Saturday’s big win and seven teams ahead of them losing last week, they will certainly move up:

1. Duke: Lost to Syracuse
2. Michigan: Lost to Wisconsin
4. Virginia: Lost to No. 1 Duke
7. Kansas: Lost to West Virginia
8. Texas Tech: Lost to Iowa State and Baylor
9. Virginia Tech: Lost to No. 4 Virginia
11. Florida State: Lost to Pittsburgh and Boston College

Tennessee will likely be the new No. 1 team in the country, and although the Vols fully deserve it, it’s still going to feel a little weird.

Which Wildcat will win SEC Freshman of the Week?

Last week, Ashton Hagans brought the award home for the second time and then had a career game vs. Georgia. Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro have also won SEC Freshman of the Week this season, but both made very good cases for themselves vs. Auburn. I’d give it to Tyler for this answer alone:

Which assistant will preview Mississippi State?

Either Kenny Payne, Tony Barbee, or Joel Justus will handle today’s pre-Mississippi State press conference. Who will it be??? Check the site around 2 p.m. to find out and hear their take on the Cats and Ben Howland’s Bulldogs.

You’ll hear from Calipari on the radio show

Don’t worry; you’ll still hear from John Calipari today. After moving to Wednesday last week, Cal’s radio show returns to its normal Monday night slot. Tune in to 630 WLAP or UKAthletics.com at 6 p.m. to hear what Cal has to say after Saturday’s big win. Or, just check the site tonight. We’ll have you covered.

Do you think Cal knows how awesome his wife’s Instagram account is? Yesterday, Ellen gave us two more quality posts, more than I strive for in a month.

UK Cheerleading did it again

@KentuckyCheer

For the fourth straight year and the 24th time in program history, Jomo Thompson’s squad is bringing home the national championship. As John Calipari tweeted afterwards, they are the gold standard. Both the cheerleaders and the dance team will be honored during Saturday’s game vs. Kansas. The dance team was entered in three categories over the weekend, placing fifth (Game Day competition), sixth (Hip-Hop) and 12th (Pom).

Shoutout to The Hound in Auburn

This weekend’s trip to the state of Alabama went much, much better than the one I made a few weeks ago thanks to Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro, but also to a favorite new SEC eatery. If you ever find yourself in Auburn, I recommend The Hound, a cozy restaurant downtown with great food, beer, and bourbon. The keg of my favorite IPA, Good People from Birmingham, was out, but the Monday Night Dust Bunny was perfect for toasting the Cats’ victory.

The Super Bowl is set

It’ll be the Patriots vs. the Rams in Super Bowl LIII after two thrilling overtime games yesterday. If you haven’t been online in the last 24 hours, the Saints got screwed when this obvious pass interference penalty wasn’t called on 3rd and 10 with 1:45 in the game and the score tied at 20:

If you’re a Saints fan, my heart goes out to you this morning. That’s rough.

Ready to talk about You?

The Lifetime/Netflix hit will be a major topic of today’s show, which means I can finally stop watching it and move on to better shows like Grace & Frankie, Schitt’s Creek, and Below Deck. Don’t judge me; I’m rewatching Game of Thrones, too.

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.

22 responses to “Today on KSR: Big win behind us, big week ahead of us”

  1. cats646

    I really wanted the saints to win. As I’ve said many times, fuk refs everywhere.

    1. runningunnin.454

      Not only PI, it was helmet-to-helmet, too.

    2. ukjaybrat

      it sucked. it was a blatant call. awful to lose a game like that. but there were a ton of missed/bad calls in the first half that went in the saints favor.
      so… ¯\_(?)_/¯

    3. Iamheasyouarehe

      But that no call decided the game. Inexcusable.

    4. RealCatsFan

      If there were ever some actual repercussions for some of the blatant missed calls (fines maybe, docked pay?), perhaps we would see some of it being cleaned up. Since there are replays on so many other questionable calls, why not go ahead and “fix” some of these?

    5. ukjaybrat

      no call on facemask on goff in the first half could have led to a rams score. maybe the saints are playing from behind the entire second half and the rams win by even more. just because a bad call happens at the very end doesn’t mean it’s the only call that coulda/shoulda determined the outcome of the game. similarly, if a player misses a shot at the end of a basketball game, it’s not HIS fault they lost the whole game.

  2. Wade

    How bout the chiefs letting tom Brady throw the same pass in overtime 4 straight times on 3rd and long and never changing it’s defensive set. It killed me to watch. 6 on the line and no and no sacks ever! I was just yelling drop 1 to cover the middle over and over .And how bout the neutral zone infraction , how do you get paid millions and line up wrong!!! That was the game bc it was a pick on that play!I hate the pats they got all the calls! And roughing the passer for trying to swat the ball out of toms hand! Wow saints got robbed and so did the chiefs. Edelman’s finger grazed that punt also but ball never lies came right back and scored.

    1. ukjaybrat

      i like tom brady but yeah that was a BS roughing the passer call. That should have ended the drive right there. The muffed punt though i think they got right, every angle that *looks* like he touched the ball with one finger, another angle proved he didn’t. but it didn’t matter bc he threw a pick 2 plays later. so that was inconsequential. The play was the roughign the passer, that was bananas. they always give tom those calls and even i didn’t like it.

    2. Iamheasyouarehe

      They let MJ and all the great players get away with a lot more in every sport.

    3. bwise

      Romo called every play the patriots ran and somehow the chiefs didn’t know what was coming? Lol

  3. RealCatsFan

    I agree – both games had critical muffed calls that very likely affected the outcome of the games. I didn’t watch the College FB national championship game because I am sick of Clemson & Bama, I passed on the NBA finals because I am sick of the Warriors, and I am probably not going out of my way to watch the SB for the same reason. Need some new blood in all of these events. BORING!

    1. ukjaybrat

      new blood? like the rams, who haven’t played in a superbowl since 2001

      … ?

  4. KYjellyRoll

    Herro gets freshman of the week for driving the ball and getting the foul near the end instead of jacking up a contested shot! That was PI l, idc when it happened.

    1. IrishCat

      JellyRoll I second that!

    2. KYjellyRoll

      Nailed it

  5. jimmer

    I have no connection to our cheerleading team but that group DESERVES a whole lot more credit and pub for what they’re doing. Amazing.

    1. mashburnfan1

      No they would rather pimp Cal and his NBA players. Titles no longer matter at UK. I agree with you though. There is a real dynasty, a real gold standard and a real we are college cheerleading. I can’t believe his is not getting National attention, I don’t care what you participate in, you dominate it like this you should be well known.

    2. bigbluebanana

      Dude, give it a break, there was a nice article about them last night and I guarantee you our cheer squad gets more coverage on this fan site than ANY other cheer squad on any other fan site. Now you’re just regurgitating negative rhetoric like bigolblue does. Only you decided to make this about Cal all of the sudden. I bet you’re getting nervous with how well the Cats are playing. I used to think you were an informed and cautious optimist, now I see you’re just another miserable [email protected] that refuses to support our program. Grow up you child.

    3. ClutchCargo

      mashburnfan could have let this be about the cheerleading squad, but instead chose to make it about him and his tiresome anti-Cal agenda. Get some new material, dude.

    4. trumpetguy

      Agreed Jimmer, I get motion sickness just watching them. Lots of time/effort/practice….Congrats

  6. Kat4Life

    I’m also right in the middle of re-watching Game of Thrones. It’s amazing how much you pick up the second time through

  7. wesmorgan1

    If you’re on Twitter and aren’t following @UKAthletics, you’re missing out. Whoever Barnhart put on the social media team is doing a bangup job. Just in the last TWO DAYS they’ve featured men’s and women’s hoops, cheer, dance, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field, baseball, gymnastics, softball, rifle…yeah, each team has its own social media, but @UKAthletics rebroadcasts it all and adds their own content.