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Listen to the KSR Pregame Show!

We’re two and a half hours from tip-off between Kentucky and Utah, which means it’s time for the KSR Pregame Show.

Matt Jones and the KSR crew are live in the Lexington studios to get you ready for tonight’s game, so turn that radio dial to 630 WLAP or listen online via iHeart Radio.


BBNBA: Fox and the Kings Fall Late Against Warriors

(Photo via NBA.com)

Good afternoon, folks. De’Aaron Fox scored 25 points and the Phoenix Suns don’t know how to read. Let’s talk NBA.

RECAP

  • Before we get into the BBNBA chit-chat, let’s quickly talk about what happened with Trevor Ariza and the Washington Wizards on Friday. It was reported that a trade was being executed that would send Ariza from the Suns back to the Wizards, where he spent two years of his career playing alongside John Wall. The Wizards would send Kelly Oubre to the Grizzlies and Austin Rivers to the Suns, but the deal was killed at the last minute. Why? Because the teams were confused over which “Brooks” was also being added into the trade. Some teams thought that Memphis was dealing Dillon Brooks, while others thought they were including MarShon Brooks. It’s all quite hilarious, really, and you can read ESPN’s report that more thoroughly explains everything here.
  • If the trade does eventually follow through, I really like Ariza going back to Washington. Ariza was a part of the Houston Rockets team last season that took the Warriors to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals. Without him, the Rockets have been struggling and his services could be much better used in literally any place not named Phoenix. A solid 3-and-D player is perfect next to Wall. Ariza can float along the perimeter and wait for Wall to kick out for open threes and he would bring a much-needed defensive presence (and hopefully some energy) to the Wiz. I hope this happens.
  • *Update* Not even an hour after I finished writing up this post, the trade became official. Ariza to the Wizards.

Knicks – 126 @ Hornets – 124 (OT)

  • Kevin Knox played a season-high 42 minutes in the Knicks overtime victory over the Charlotte Hornets. He dropped in 20 points on 7-15 shooting to go along with three boards and three assists. His teammate Enes Kanter only played in 23 minutes, but still added 15 points and eight rebounds on 6-10 shooting from the field.

  • For the Hornets, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Malik Monk scored two and nine points respectively as they witnessed a 20-point lead crumble at the hands of Knicks point guard Emmanuel Mudiay. Mudiay finished with 34 points to lead a short-handed Knicks team to the win. Also for New York, Lexington Catholic product Luke Kornet scored 13 points with three made three-pointers in 24 minutes.

Thunder – 98 @ Nuggets – 109

  • The Thunder’s Wildcat trio of Hamidou Diallo, Nerlens Noel, and Patrick Patterson was unproductive in their loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday. Diallo and Noel both didn’t score a single point – although Noel did pull down five rebounds – nor did they play more than 10 minutes each. Patterson hit a three and pulled down two rebounds in only five minutes of action.
  • For the Nuggets, Jamal Murray and Trey Lyles had to be productive in order to give their team a chance. Murray scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds *coughs* with five turnovers *coughs* on 8-15 shooting. He was also 0-4 from three and is now 11-43 (25.6 percent) from deep over his last 10 games. In only one of those 10 games has Murray shot above 50 percent on his three-point attempts. He’s in a bit of a shooting slump right now, but the Nuggets are also 8-2 in their last 10 games, so the good news is the team is still effective despite his shooting woes. Lyles added nine points, six rebounds, and three assists on 4-10 shooting in 30 minutes. Lyles has now played 30 or more minutes in two of his last three games due to Paul Millsap’s absence. Lyles hadn’t played over 30 minutes in any game prior this season.
  • Murray also got into a tiny scuffle with Thunder guard Russell Westbrook over what appeared to be absolutely nothing. Murray has a history of egging on the opponent – as does Westbrook – and this ultimately amounted to nothing, but it sure does spice up a game a bit.

Warriors – 130 @ Kings – 125

  • The Kings lost a close one to the defending champs despite De’Aaron Fox leading the BBNBA in scoring with 25 points. He also contributed six rebounds, nine assists, and two steals but couldn’t slow down a 17-2 Warriors run in the final three minutes that put the Kings away for good. That’s the issue with young teams, finishing close games against superior opponents. The Kings head coach reiterated that after the loss.
  • ”They just got us with their experience at the end,” Kings coach Dave Joerger said. ”We struggled to finish some shots once a lot of their switching happened. They made some plays but we made some mistakes and they made us pay.”
  • Willie Cauley-Stein was right behind Fox, pouring in 22 points on 7-11 shooting while also grabbing 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double this season.

Other notes

  • Hassan Whiteside returned to the Miami Heat for Friday’s game after missing the previous four due to personal reasons. Turns out, he was welcoming the birth of his child, so I can put the tin foil hat away regarding all of my Whiteside conspiracy theories. However, Bam Adebayo did play more minutes (26) than Whiteside (21) despite losing the starting spot, plus, his team got the win. Adebayo scored four points on 2-2 shooting but also recorded nine rebounds, five assists, and two blocks.
  • Check out the rest of the stats below, including the lines of John Wall and Eric Bledsoe.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
De'Aaron Fox (SAC)125-130 L vs. GSW259-19 (1-4)69204-734
Willie Cauley-Stein (SAC)125-130 L vs. GSW227-11 (0-0)113010-1733
Kevin Knox (NYK)126-124 OT W @ CHA207-15 (3-6)33110-942
Jamal Murray (DEN)109-98 W vs. OKC198-15 (0-4)91005+433
John Wall (WAS)118-125 L @ BKN177-16 (1-7)113102-535
Eric Bledsoe (MIL)114-102 W @ CLE166-19 (1-8)56013+830
Enes Kanter (NYK)126-124 OT W @ CHA156-10 (0-1)81002-1523
Malik Monk (CHA)124-126 OT L vs. NYK93-4 (2-3)25003-711
Trey Lyles (DEN)109-98 W vs. OKC94-10 (0-4)63023+330
Bam Adebayo (MIA)100-97 W @ MEM42-2 (0-0)95022+526
Patrick Patterson (OKC)98-109 L @ DEN31-3 (1-2)20000-15
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)124-126 OT L vs. NYK21-6 (0-1)42001+515
Hamidou Diallo (OKC)98-109 L @ DEN00-1 (0-0)00001-53
Nerlens Noel (OKC)98-109 L @ DEN00-1 (0-0)50010-710
Skal Labissiere (SAC)125-130 L vs. GSWDNP-CD----------------
Alex Poythress (ATL)108-129 L @ BOSDNP-Ankle----------------
DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)130-125 W @ SACDNP-Achilles----------------
Jarred Vanderbilt (DEN)109-98 W vs. OKCDNP-Foot----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

5:00 (NBATV-Mexico City): Jazz @ Magic (Briscoe)

7:00: Lakers (Rondo-out) @ Hornets (Kidd-Gilchrist, Monk)

7:00: Celtics @ Pistons

8:00: Rockets (Knight) @ Grizzlies

8:30: Bulls @ Spurs

9:00: Clippers (Gilgeous-Alexander) @ Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson)

9:00: Timberwolves (Towns) @ Suns (Booker-questionable)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


BUY NOW: KSBar gift cards available for the holidays!

BUY NOW: KSBar gift cards available for the holidays!

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Simply head to ShopKSR.com, select your gift card amount, enter the address and payment info, and your special gift is on the way.

You can finish all your holiday shopping right now with these KSBar gift cards! Cards must be ordered by December 18th to arrive in time for Christmas. Tell your family and friends.

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@JammieRobinson6

GAMEDAY: Kentucky tries to bounce back vs Utah

It’s been a rough week for the Kentucky basketball team.

Last Saturday the Wildcats lost an up-and-down overtime thriller to Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden.  The problems magnified in that performance seemed minuscule when point guard Quade Green announced on Wednesday that he’s leaving the team.  Now the backcourt is missing its most-experienced player and top three-point shooter.

Adversity is striking this team much quicker than anticipated.  Today we’ll find out if it forces them to rise to the occasion, or will they resort back to bad habits against an average PAC-12 foe?

John Calipari has talked about tweaking UK’s offense multiple times this week.  Along with a new backcourt rotation, today could be the beginning of UK’s turnaround, or another early-season slog at Rupp Arena.  The action begins at 5:00 on ESPN2.

Vegas Line

Despite last Saturday’s loss, the Wildcats are 14.5-point favorites over the 4-4 Utes.

Prepare on the KSR Pregame Show

Before the Cats tip-off at Rupp Arena, listen to the KSR crew preview the matchup between the Cats and the Utes.  All of the action begins on 630 WLAP or online at 2:30.

$15 Student Tickets Available

Don’t have tickets to this afternoon’s game? No problem.  Beginning at 3:30, the Rupp Arena box office will be selling unclaimed student tickets for only $15.  Bring cash and watch from Rupp’s lower level. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

How to Watch and Listen

Friend of the program, Tom Hart, will be on the call for ESPN2 with Jimmy Dykes.  If you’re stuck on the road and can’t watch, there are multiple ways to listen to The Voice of the Wildcats.

  • AM: 840 WHAS, 630 WLAP
  • FM: 98.1 WBUL
  • Satellite: XM-190 and Sirius-94
  • Online: iHeart Radio

1993 Final Four Reunion

This weekend is the 25th anniversary celebration of the 1993 Final Four team.  During halftime members of Pitino’s first Final Four team will be honored at half-court.  It’s a wonderful time to take a trip down memory lane.  Even if you weren’t around to remember, the Maui Invitational created an excellent KSR inside joke.

Win $5,000 in The KSBar Hammer Bowl Challenge

The beginning of bowl season this afternoon also marks your first chance to enter KSBar’s $5,000 Hammer Bowl Challenge.  Arrive at the bar before kickoff, predict the game and the person closest to the final score will be a finalist for the grand prize.  It’s that simple.  Here’s who’s on tap today:

  • 1:30: Tulane vs. Louisiana-Lafayette in the Cure Bowl on CBSSN
  • 2:00: Utah State vs. North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl on ESPN
  • 3:30: Arizona State vs. #21 Fresno State in the Vegas Bowl on ABC
  • 5:30: Georgia Southern vs. Eastern Michigan in the Camellia Bowl on ESPN
  • 9:00: Middle Tennessee vs. App. State in the New Orleans Bowl on ESPN

On top of the bowl games, we also have our first Saturday of NFL football.  The Jets host the Texans at 4:30, followed by the Browns at the Broncos at 8:20.  Each game will be on the NFL Network.

UK Hoops Returns to Memorial

The Kentucky women’s basketball team is back in action to start a five-game home stand at Memorial Coliseum.  If you want to watch the Cats take on the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State, admission is free for every fan who brings a toy to donate.  Tip-off is set for 1:00 pm.

Benny to the NFL

As expected, Benny Snell’s time at the University of Kentucky is coming to an end.  The running back announced yesterday he will play one more game as a Kentucky Wildcat.  “I want to go out like I came in, with my brothers,” Snell said.

Official Visitors

Kentucky is hosting about ten official visitors on campus for the final big football recruiting weekend before signing day.  Four-star cornerback Jammie Robinson’s mother appears to be enjoying her time with Matt House.

@JammieRobinson6

Another uncommitted four-star recruit, wide receiver Devonta Lee (pictured right), is much bigger than I thought.  He’s only a high school senior, yet he’s built like an SEC linebacker. Sheesh.

@Iam_maniiii

College Basketball on TV

Kentucky does not interfere with a pair of marquee matchups that bookend the Saturday slate.

  • Noon: #17 Villanova at #1 Kansas on ESPN
  • Noon: #3 Tennessee at Memphis on ESPN2
  • 1:30: Notre Dame vs. Purdue on CBS
  • 3:45: Butler vs. #25 Indiana on CBS
  • 6:00: #20 Arizona State at Georgia on the SEC Network
  • 7:00: #4 Gonzaga at #12 North Carolina on ESPN2
  • 8:30: Cincinnati at #18 Miss. State on SEC Network

Cage Match!

Tony Vanetti’s rivalry with Shannon the Dude made its way into an OVW cage.  Before the 49-year old’s match, the live TV feed was disrupted.  The only available evidence shows Vanetti absolutely taking it to Adam Revolver.  The old man’s still got it.  If I were Shannon, I’d be worried.

Congrats Graduates!

Today Rupp will be packed with thousands of basketball fans.  Yesterday it was packed with hundreds of graduates.  Completing that journey is not easy.  To all those who finally made that walk, Congrats! You made it.  You’re in good company.

UK will have 13 graduates on its Citrus Bowl roster (@UKFootball).


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

McDowell


The one and only Big Mick is a meaty masterpiece in its own right. Composed of two quarter-pound patties* of never-fresh, frozen, mostly beef raised close to the processing plant. Only McDowell’s has the frosted beef and processed cheese to give you a major reason for the afternoon trip to the secret bathroom only you and Debra know about on the 9th floor that is under construction.


You can be a part of McDowell’s KSR Top 10 Tweets by using hashtags like #KSR #BBN or #KSRtop10. You can also nominate tweets by mentioning them with the hashtag. If we like what we see, it could be posted the next day.

If you are interested in sponsoring KSR’s Top 10 Tweets, please contact us at Via Email.

#10 Benny Snell Jr’s Mouthpiece


Name a better duo, I’ll wait.

#9 josh


BUILD IT!!!

#8 jerry noble


yeah, that’s it.

#7 H


Looks like it was fun!

#6 brett drury


They tried?

#5 Michael Parrish


Perfect!!!

#4HitEmWithTheHein


Come on, Drew!!!!

#3 Arnold Brown


We need to know!!!

#2 Tricia Payne


This place looks awesome!

#1 Karen Guess Eversole


Yeah he will!


Jemarl Baker is ready to show the BBN what he’s capable of

With the exception of a few seconds late in the first half on Saturday, Kentucky fans haven’t seen Jemarl Baker in live game action since he arrived on campus.

With his knee fully recovered, the redshirt freshman sharpshooter is excited to show the Big Blue Nation what he’s capable of.

“I feel good,” Baker told the media this afternoon. “I feel really good. Going through treatment, rehab and all those things, I feel good. I feel back to 100 percent. I’m just glad to be with the team.”

When asked about Baker’s availability, head coach John Calipari said he’ll have an opportunity tomorrow afternoon against Utah.

“He’s got a better chance,” he said. “Down to nine guys, but he should get an opportunity.” 

How much does Baker expect to play?

“As much as (Coach Cal) wants me to play,” he said today. “I’ve been feeling really good. I’ve been practicing full time these last couple weeks and I’ve been feeling good, so just do whatever it takes to win.”

Though he’s a superb three-point shooter, Calipari believes Baker will be able to score in a variety of ways for the Wildcats.

“He should be able to score the ball for this team, which is something that we need,” he said. “He’s not just a three-point shooter. He can make 3s, but he’s more of a scorer.”

The message from Calipari to Baker was simple: just play your role and let the plays come to you when you get in the game.

“I told him, the other stuff, make really simple plays,” he said. “Don’t try and create and go crazy. Just score the ball. Figure out where you can score. If you can’t, make an easy play. Let these other guys do what they do. You do what you do.”

CoachCal.com released a practice report this afternoon, where we got to see plenty of footage of Baker playing well in practice:

We’ll find out more tomorrow afternoon when the Cats take on Utah at Rupp Arena.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was nearly teammates with another former Kentucky star

@LAClippers

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may be thriving with the Los Angeles Clippers right now, but did you know he was almost part of a draft-day trade that would have had him teaming up with another former Wildcat star?

According to Bob Young of The Athletic, the Phoenix Suns had a trade in place for Gilgeous-Alexander, but upper-management overruled it at the last minute in favor of another deal.

The move would have been for the No. 16 pick and another future selection. Instead, they opted to trade the rights to Zhaire Smith and a future pick for Mikal Bridges.

It’s worth noting that the Suns wouldn’t be in this fix if Robert Sarver, the club’s managing partner, had not reportedly overruled his then-general manager, Ryan McDonough, on draft night.

McDonough reportedly planned to package the club’s pick from Milwaukee and a player taken with the 16th pick to move up and draft Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a point guard from Kentucky.

When Philadelphia offered the rights to Mikal Bridges for the rights to Zhaire Smith and Miami’s unprotected 2021 first-round pick, Sarver pushed for that deal. So the Suns moved up six spots to add their fourth young wing player.

Devin Booker and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on the same team? That’d be one heck of a way to make up some ground with the BBN after  cutting ties with Tyler Ulis.

Instead, SGA has started in 19 of 28 games for the Clippers, leading the team to the fourth-best record in the west at 17-11.

Meanwhile, the Suns are stuck with no answer at the point guard position and four wing players. Oops.

(The Athletic)