It’s happened time and time again this season: just when you get comfortable with Kentucky, →
Basketball Season Coverage
Kentucky opened as a one-point favorite over the Gamecocks when the line was released earlier today out in Las Vegas. That line has since shifted two points to -3, which means gamblers like the Cats in tomorrow’s game.
Here’s a look at the movement from VegasInsider.com:
Kentucky is 12-13 against the spread on the year and 3-6 against the spread on the road.
By Drew Franklin on ©February 12th, 2016 @ 6:00pm
Dominique Hawkins’ injured ankle still isn’t completely healed, but it is “the best it has been,” he told reporters today.
Hawkins and fellow reserve Isaac Humphries were the two players the team made available for the media prior to Friday afternoon’s trip to Columbia.
As Mrs. Tyler informed you earlier, Humphries admitted to not knowing the whereabouts of the entire state of South Carolina. He asked reporters, “Is it on that side (of the country)? Near New York?”
Not quite, bud.
Hear from Kentucky’s two role players in the video below from Kentucky Wildcats TV:
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 12th, 2016 @ 5:00pm
Various media members are hanging out at the NCAA Headquarters in Indianapolis today for the annual mock selection process, the purpose of which is to showcase how the NCAA Selection Committee chooses which teams make the tournament and where they’re seeded.
Because the tournament is still a month away, the bracket the mock selection comes up with isn’t very relevant, but it’s fun to look at all the same. According to The Sporting News’ Kami Mattioli, the mock selection committee made Kentucky a 5-seed in the East Region, playing their first round games in Denver. Rocky Mountain High!
Again, as Matt stressed on today’s show, don’t get too wrapped up in Kentucky potentially playing all the way in Denver, or who they’re pitted against (in this bracket, #12 seed Arkansas Little Rock). For now, Kentucky getting a 5-seed sounds about right when you consider the criteria: quality wins (Top 50, Top 100, NCAA Tournament teams) and injuries (how long will Alex Poythress really be out?). Kentucky’s schedule is so back-heavy that it can really help itself with wins over Top 50 teams like Texas A&M, South Carolina, and Florida in the coming weeks. Ideally, Kentucky would like to be in the South Region, held in Louisville, and to ensure that, they need to improve enough to move up to a 3-seed because, after that, geography doesn’t matter in the seeding process.
What seed do you predict the Cats will get on Selection Sunday?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 12th, 2016 @ 2:30pm
John Calipari met with his favorite media members before leaving for South Carolina, and, in true Cal fashion, had some entertaining things to say. Here’s a roundup, along with a replay of the whole presser.
Calipari likes Frank Martin, but “he ain’t gonna bully me”
Calipari had a lot of praise for Frank Martin on the job he’s done with his team, who he says has “taken on his personality.”
“It makes me smile. He’s a great guy. He’s a salt of the Earth kind of guy, but he’s also a terrific coach. They’ve taken on his personality. He ain’t going to bully me personally, but they take on his personality which is tough. They make faces like he does.”
What, faces like this?
UK may be struggling on the road, but so is everyone
College basketball is a clustereff this season. This morning, I read that #4 Iowa’s loss to Indiana was the 28th time an AP Top 5 team lost this season, compared to 21 Top 5 losses in the entire 2014-2015 season. When asked about UK’s struggles on the road, Calipari pointed out that everybody’s struggling on the road this season.
“I think you look around the country, everyone on the road is struggling. When you’re not a dominating team, it’s hard to win on the road. We’ve won games on the road where I was like, there’s no way we’re winning this game,” Cal said. “This is a great test for us.”
The team practiced for two-and-a-half hours yesterday
This team has been putting in some long, physical practices lately, and Calipari said they haven’t let up, going for two-and-a-half grueling hours yesterday.
“Like yesterday’s practice was two-and-a-half hours. I don’t go two-and-a-half hours in the middle of February. And it was all body to body. I mean, that’s what this team needs. If you remember 2013-2014, we were practicing almost three hours at the end of the year. We had no choice. I mean, that team just didn’t get it.”
Fortunately, Calipari said that, despite the grind, he’s feeling refreshed and ready to go.
“Look, I’m having fun with it. I’m enjoying it. I feel refreshed. I’m knowing now it’s the middle of February. You know what that means? The middle of February, it’s on. This is it. This is why we all coach and play. Or if you don’t, you’re in the wrong profession. This is it. Let’s get this right. Gonna be a really hard game for us to win down there, and we know that. This is about our progress, and we’re making progress. I told them, ‘I’m pleased, but I’m not satisfied.'”
Maybe he’s refreshed because he’s going to bed at 9 p.m. each night
When asked if the challenges with this year’s team make the job more fun, Cal said no, it makes him want to go to be really early. Like 9 p.m. early.
“No. It wakes you up early in the morning though. And it really gets you to go to bed early. Like, I’m trying to go to bed at nine, and my wife is going nuts. ‘You can’t go to bed at 9 o’clock.’ I said, ‘I’m going to fall asleep in this chair or that bed.’ So, it tires you out, but it also wakes you up.”
A 9 p.m. bedtime is the norm at our house, Coach. Don’t let Ellen judge you.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 12th, 2016 @ 1:35pm
The big question on everyone’s mind since Tai Wynyard arrived on campus is whether or not he’d redshirt this season. When Tai didn’t get in during UK’s blowouts of Missouri, Florida, and Georgia, it seemed as though redshirting was probably the plan.
Today, John Calipari told reporters that he wanted to put Tai in a recent game, but sensed that Tai didn’t want to go in.
“You know, I don’t know yet. We’ll probably sit down and talk here on the way to South Carolina. I’m not sure he wants to redshirt, I think he does. But we haven’t really talked about it. I was going to put him in the game and I kind of looked at him like, ‘You don’t want to go in, do you?’ So — But he’s doing fine in practice. I think he’s looking at Isaac saying, ‘Right now I know I’m behind Isaac, why do it?’ But there’s so many things that could happen between now and the end of the year.”
There you go.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 12th, 2016 @ 1:00pm
This morning, I shared an update on Dancing Guy (Darren Moscoe) from one of his friends, who said UK contacted Darren a few days ago to tell him he can’t dance on the rails or on the stairs in Rupp anymore. WKYT just posted a statement from UK saying that all fans must keep the stairways and entry and exit ways clear:
UK Athletics is aware of the accident involving two fans in the lower bowl at Tuesday night’s game vs. Georgia. EMS officials on-site evaluated all involved parties following the accident. To provide all guests with a safe and enjoyable experience, UK Athletics is emphasizing that all fans keep stairways and entry and exit ways clear. We ask that all patrons please be respectful and considerate of their fellow fans.
This is probably for the best, and it should be pointed out that Dancing Guy is still allowed to dance in his seat.
In case you missed it earlier this week, the girl that fell with Dancing Guy, 10-year-old Aubrey Derrickson, told WKYT that she wants Darren to keep dancing:
“I think it hurt him more than it hurt me. When he came down he was breathing really hard,” she said. “I want him to keep dancing. I don’t want him to stop and I did see the video, the apology, video that he posted and that was so sad it really almost made me cry.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 12th, 2016 @ 12:42pm
For some reason, the live stream of John Calipari’s press conference isn’t working, but there is some news to pass along. According to Cal, Jamal Murray didn’t practice yesterday after bumping knees with someone in the Georgia game. Fortunately, Calipari said he expects Murray to play tomorrow in South Carolina, which is very good news because right now, he’s accounting for about a third of Kentucky’s scoring. In other injury news, Calipari said Dominique Hawkins is about 80% back from his high-ankle sprain.
Thankfully, it sounds like Murray’s fine, but what is it with this team and injuries?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 12th, 2016 @ 10:45am
Vegas has spoken and Kentucky opened as a 1-point favorite over South Carolina. Given the Gamecocks’ wins over Texas A&M and LSU this week and the fact that the game’s in Columbia, I think that’s pretty fair.
Can the Cats survive Gamecock Jesus?
A video posted by Tyler Thompson (@mrstylerksr) on
We’ve known for a while that Bill Walton is a little…shall we say, eccentric? Last night, Walton did his best to entertain viewers during an otherwise boring Cal/Oregon blowout, borrowing a glockenspiel from a fan behind him, much to the chagrin of his partner Dave Pasch:
Dave got even more annoyed when Walton also borrowed the fan’s bear hat:
Bill: “That’s not a bear, that’s a beaver. That’s a beaver.”
Dave: “That’s a bear, Bill. They’re the Cal Bears. The Bears.”
Bill: “It’s a little tiny bear!”
Dave: “Alright, can we stop interviewing the glockenspiel guy and focus on the game, please?”
He is talking loco and I like it. What do we have to do to get Walton to cover a UK game?
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©February 12th, 2016 @ 9:00am
Good morning, friends. Shoutout to this UK fan in front of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam. Way to rep the Cats abroad and good form on that three goggle.
I bet he wants to know what’s going to happen today in the wide world of Kentucky sports, so let’s tell him.
John Calipari and players will address the media at 12:15 p.m.
Kentucky plays at South Carolina tomorrow, and before the Cats travel to Columbia, John Calipari and select players will address the media around noon. Check the site this afternoon for a recap.
The Rising Stars Challenge is tonight
Karl Towns and Devin Booker will represent Team USA while Trey Lyles will represent Team World. Booker was brought in to replace an injured Nerlens Noel (knee) yesterday, and watching the game at 9 p.m. ET on TNT is as close to you’ll come to seeing last year’s team on the floor again.
Here’s the schedule for the All-Star festivities this weekend:
Friday: BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, 9 p.m., TNT
- Karl-Anthony Towns – Team USA
- Devin Booker – Team USA
- Trey Lyles – Team World
Saturday: Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, 8 p.m., TNT
- Devin Booker
Saturday: Taco Bell Skills Challenge, 8 p.m., TNT
- Karl-Anthony Towns
- Anthony Davis
- DeMarcus Cousins
Sunday: All-Star Game, 8:30 p.m., TNT
- John Wall – Eastern Conference
- DeMarcus Cousins – Western Conference
- Anthony Davis – Western Conference
Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and John Wall now have their own All-Star Twitter emojis
Whenever you tweet the players’ names as a hashtag, those emojis will show up. Boogie’s is my favorite.
Drew was in Davidson, North Carolina to watch Bam Adebayo dunk on children last night
As part of our Next Five features on Kentucky’s 2016 signees, Drew traveled to my old stomping grounds of Davidson, North Carolina last night to watch Bam Adebayo’s High Point Christian take on Davidson Day. Bam made the trip worth his while, looking like a giant among children and throwing down several rim-shaking dunks. This one is particularly impressive:
There’s no way that kid’s 18.
Have you voted for Tyler Ulis for the Wooden Award yet?
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) February 10, 2016
It’s really simple. All you have to do is click on the link above to tweet out your vote. I think Ulis has more than proved that he deserves a few seconds of your time this morning.
An update on Dancing Guy
If you haven’t seen the footage of Dancing Guy (Darren Moscoe) dropping a young girl during his dance routine on Tuesday night, then, well, you must not watch TV or use the internet very much. The video went viral, and several people have been lashing out and making fun of Darren all week. One of his friends has been keeping me updated on Darren’s state of mind after the incident, and according to him, Darren was devastated earlier this week (his video apology is incredibly sad) but is in better spirits after receiving support from fans. Yesterday, Darren got a call from UK Athletics telling him he’s not allowed to dance on the rail or steps at Rupp anymore. Hopefully they can come to a compromise and allow him to at least dance in his seat.
I’m pulling double duty this weekend at the Nashville Antiques & Garden Show
When I’m not blogging this weekend (so, after the game Saturday), I’ll be helping my sister out with the family business at the Nashville Antiques & Garden Show. Come see us at the Music City Center, booth A-22. If beautiful furniture and design are your thing, follow Jayne Thompson Antiques on Instagram.
College basketball on TV tonight
Indiana took down #4 Iowa last night, giving the Hoosiers something new to put on their popcorn boxes. No SEC games tonight, but there are three Top 25 games if you need a college basketball fix before tomorrow:
- 7 p.m.: #19 Dayton vs. Rhode Island, ESPN2
- 8 p.m.: #23 USC vs. Arizona State, PAC12 Network
- 9 p.m.: UCLA vs. #17 Arizona, ESPN
KSR is at Sleep Outfitters in Louisville
Come on out to 10494 Westport Road to hear the show and to register to win tickets to a game. It’s been an exciting week, so let’s end it on a high note, shall we?
By Freddie Maggard on ©February 11th, 2016 @ 11:00pm
Throughout history, a faction of fan speculation has fixated on which basketball Cats have the athletic ability and attitude to play football in the Southeastern Conference. At the time this post was emailed to the KSR editorial staff, I could not confirm, but had heard rumors that a member of 2014’s 38-1 team played high school football. I don’t think media has mentioned this before and wanted to rival Scoop Lemond by breaking the news.
Prior to projection, physicality differences in the two sports have to be taken into consideration. There is a distinct variance in a contact sport (basketball) and football’s violent collision nature. Willingness and acceptance of on the field ferocity are not easily tolerated or welcomed. In the early stages of the Unforgettables, the vast majority of that team was infatuated with football. A small minority of football Cats felt as if they could play hoops on a collegiate level. Friendly arguments ensued. While playing Spurrier’s first Florida Gator team, John Pelphrey, Sean Woods, and others were on the sidelines with a safe view of the day’s festivities. After the first offensive series, I came off the field with a bloody nose with a slightly bent facemask. I asked Pel and fellas if they still wanted to trade places? They politely declined and looked at me with a sympathetic stare reminiscent of a Mike Tyson opponent’s Cut Doctor.
That being said, based solely on Tuesday’s Rupp Arena’s assignment, I saw three current Kentucky basketball players that possess the prerequisite attitude and physical traits to play SEC football: Tyler Ulis, Isiah Briscoe, and Dominique Hawkins.
Tyler Ulis may be smallish in stature but makes up for it with a jaguar’s heart. With weight gain, Ulis would be a nice addition to Mark Stoops’ team as a slot receiver and special team’s returner. Transferrable athletic attributes include explosive bursts, hip flexibility, rapid change of direction, and instinct. Straight line speed estimation is in the 4.4 to 4.5 range. In order for an effective transition, Ulis would have to play at 170-180 pounds.
Dominique Hawkins has the frame and athletic capacity of a lock-down cornerback. With lateral and vertical movement fluid, Hawkins is explosive from stop to start which converts to breaking on an attempted pass as well as reacting to up field rushing tackle. Dom’s upper body is structured to put on additional strength and weight which leads to positional diversity. At 200 pounds, he could easily play the Safety/Nickel position. Hawkins actually played football in high school as his movement from the Craft Center to Nutter would be the most seamless.
A 230-pound Isiah Briscoe equates to a prototypical Safety/Linebacker hybrid. Similar to Ulis, Briscoe’s pit bull mentality is perfect for an edge pass rusher with the additional skill to also cover down-field pass catchers. Relentless in effort and with required training, of the three I could foresee Briscoe having the highest ceiling. Reasons for this assumptions derive from his on-court defense and understanding of angles and leverage while driving to the basket. On several occasions, Briscoe dipped his shoulder to distort his body to elude defenders. This move is exactly what is taught to outside linebackers while rushing the quarterback. As repeated often on this site, can never have too many pass rushers.
Kentucky Basketball legend Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones was an All American for Adolph Rupp. My homeboy was also a football All-American for Coach Bear Bryant. Can or will there ever be another UK football/basketball player? Most likely no. However, the NFL currently features former basketball players across several rosters. Tight End is the most common position.
Kenny “Sky” Walker won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest.
The only former Wildcat to ever win All-Star Weekend’s Saturday night spectacle, Walker defeated former Champion Spud Webb and Clyde “The Glide” Drexler in Houston to take home the title. Luckily, Walker didn’t have to take the crown from back-to-back winner Michael Jordan.
If you’ve never seen the show he put on, it’s amazing to see how agile the big man was in the air.
I wonder if there’s another Wildcat out there that could do what Walker did 27 years ago. Maybe John Wall…What do YOU think?
We drove out to the middle of the desert to watch the Georgia game with the Cats fans of Phoenix, Arizona. The drive in was long (Texas is entirely too big) but the scenery was totally different than anything we had seen before and that made the 17-hour drive easier. The desert is cool, guys.
We met the Phoenix Alumni Club at a sports grill called Blue 32. It was actually the first time the club had met at this location and we didn’t really know what to expect from the management there. They ended up being very accommodating, though, and let us hang up flags and banners, as well as take over the bar area.
There were about thirty-forty fans that showed up to watch the game. Phoenix is 1,790 miles away from Lexington, but this group was just as passionate as any. We had guys standing on chairs singing the fight song and leading Cats cheers.
Phoenix was great and now we are heading all the way west to California, where we’ll be for a couple games.
Keep up with us on Twitter!
By Nick Roush on ©February 11th, 2016 @ 7:00pm
The Cats are opening the tournament in Denver against the Mocs of Chattanooga in Joe Lunardi’s updated Bracketology.
The bad news — being in a bracket with Oklahoma, Maryland, and the lengthy Purdue as a 5-seed is about as tough as it gets. The good news — Kentucky’s positioning in the SEC let’s them control their destiny, allowing for plenty of upward mobility in the last month of the season.
I’m still searching, but I can’t seem to find Louisville in this bracket. Maybe they’ll make next week’s?