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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
February 21st, 2017

Wendy’s want to send you to Nashville to cheer on the Cats!

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Do you want to cheer the Cats on in Nashville next month? Wendy’s is teaming up with “Hey, Kentucky!” to give away two all-session tickets books to the conference tournament in Nashville.

All you have to do is click the link below to register, and cross your fingers that you’ll win! It’s that easy.

Wendy’s Hey Kentucky Basketball Tickets Giveaway


There’s a lot to talk about (Tuesday Show Thread)

From the KentuckyMBB Instagram page.

From the KentuckyMBB Instagram page.

The busy weekend bled over into Monday.  You might think they discussed it all yesterday, but there’s much, much more.  Kentucky plays Mizzou tonight, but I would not be surprised if they spend less than two minutes talking about the game.  What exactly will they discuss?  In the words of Matt Jones: “fireworks.”

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

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Tuesday’s Top 10: Emotional Boogie, Rapping Trebek and Kentucky/Mizzou

The only time the arena will be filled all season.

The only time the arena will be filled all season.

Yesterday was pretty wild.  Get caught up with all the shenanigans from Monday before you begin to prepare for a late Tuesday night with your Kentucky Wildcats.

The Three Biggest Stories from Monday

The Kentucky fan’s dream team of Davis and Cousins in New Orleans dominated the sports news cycle around the country.  Last night Boogie said an emotional goodbye to the city of Sacramento.

If you asked a UK fan from the state of Kentucky and surrounding region, the second-biggest story would be “Cowherd’s an ass.”  However, if you were on the elliptical in the gym and looked up to see OTL on ESPN, you would see Jay Bilas discussing Calipari’s postgame comments on college coaches being dismissed during the season (if that scenario sounds oddly specific, it’s because I’m referencing myself).

The dichotomy is interesting.  The regional outrage at Cowherd is merited.  After refusing to give him attention until after 11:00 p.m. last night, my insides churned as Cowherd talked down on my beloved Cats.  That feeling compares to the surprise when I heard Calipari ask a crowded press room in Athens, “We’re firing coaches in midseason…Are you shitting me?”  A man that doesn’t like to curse didn’t give a damn.  The scope and power of Cal’s words are more profound than I previously believed.

The news cycle changes quickly.  With a game against Mizzou tonight, all of these stories will quickly go away.  Is it good or bad or both?  I don’t know.  The only certainty is that I gotta quit watching The Newsroom late at night or I’ll continue to subconsciously rant about the philosophy and current climate of the media industry.

Alex Trek’s Rap Game is 💯

That got a little heavy.  Let me lighten things up with the best Jeopardy category ever.

But wait, it gets better.

There’s a New Hey Kentucky, The Bachelor

You probably missed that fantastic Jeopardy category because you were busy watching the latest installment of Hey Kentucky, The Bachelor.  If you missed it, re-watch it here, and if you’re in Louisville, you no longer have to watch it online.  Beginning last night, Hey Kentucky! is airing every night at 10:00 on WBNA-21 in Louisville.

Kentucky Plays Mizzou Tonight

I’m not are why they’re actually making them go through with it.  To say “Mizzou is trash” wouldn’t adequately describe the state of their basketball program athletic department.  After some early success on the football field, the Tigers have given the SEC nothing except a coerced trip to St. Louis for the SEC Tournament in 2018.  If the Cats can’t win tonight, they can’t win another basketball game ever again.

All the Info on UK/Mizzou

It’s a late starter that gets the rare SEC Network treatment.  Adam Amin, Joe Sundvoid and Laura Rutledge  will have coverage from Columbia, starting at 9:00.  The No. 10/11 Cats are 16-point favorites. The tale of the tape:

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The UK Women are in the NCAA’s Top 16

The NCAA placed Matthew Mitchell’s team at No. 15, a four-seed, with just three weeks of basketball left until Selection Monday.  The men’s committee only released one preview of the bracket, while the women received three early looks.  Kentucky was a four-seed in two of the three previews. They return to action Thursday at 7:00 against Miss. State for Senior Night at Memorial Coliseum.

I Can’t Get Crocodile Rock Out of my Head

After hearing the Elton John jam at a piano bar Saturday night, I can’t stop singing, humming and whistling the catchy tune.  I’ve tried all the tricks to get it out of my head, yet Crocodile Rock persists.  Luckily, I’m a big fan of the song.  For those who hate it, I hope the “Laaaaaa, la, la, la, la, la,” is immediately imprinted on your brain.

Jarrett Allen Killed a Guy Dunked the Basketball

I can’t say he “killed a guy” when Bob Huggins almost died on the sideline.  That’s insensitive.  Huggins fell to his knees in the first half after he apparently began having issues with his defibrillator.  The good news: Huggins is fine.  He returned to the sideline for the second half.  However, one of his player’s is not fine, not at all.

College Basketball on TV Tonight

The first game on this list could have an impact on Kentucky’s chances for an SEC regular season title.

  • 7:00: South Carolina at No. 13 Florida on ESPN
  • 7:00: Oklahoma at No. 9 Baylor on ESPN2
  • 7:00: Clemson at Va Tech on ESPNU
  • 7:00: Auburn at LSU on SEC Network
  • 9:00: Ole Miss at Miss. State on ESPN2
  • 9:00: Indiana at Iowa on ESPN

KSR Starts in an Hour

Get with it or get lost.


February 20th, 2017

The Good and The Bad of Isaiah Briscoe

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Big Blue Nation is becoming a fan base divided in its opinion of Isaiah Briscoe.

After a not-so-good game down in Georgia — after which John Calipari joked (but maybe didn’t) that he told Briscoe, “I’m glad you fouled out” — some are beginning to wonder if Briscoe’s minutes-per should be reconsidered.

That’s not to say Briscoe isn’t a good player; no one believes that. But in a stretch that has seen solid, consistent play from Dominique “Old Reliable” Hawkins and a good game from Mychal Mulder, there is a legitimate debate that maybe Briscoe should take a seat whenever he is in a funk, as he was in Athens.

In the postgame press conference following that game, John Calipari said, “We got a couple guys I gotta sit down with and talk to and figure out like, ‘Look, if this is who you are, you gotta take a step back.’ We gotta go with the guys that are playing. We got four games left. This ain’t like, ‘Okay, we’re in midseason, you’re good.’ This is like, ‘You gotta figure this out.’”

It’s safe to say Isaiah Briscoe is among those “couple guys” Calipari was referring to, and with only four games left until it is win-or-go-home in the SEC and NCAA tournaments, Calipari and Briscoe are running out of time to “figure this out.”

In the meantime, have a look at what, in my personal opinion, makes Briscoe good and what makes Briscoe bad.

 

THE GOOD: He gives his all.

There isn’t a player on the team who fights harder than Isaiah Briscoe. You know you’re going to get effort from him every night, whether he is scoring or not, on both ends of the floor. He hustles, crashes the glass and doesn’t back down from anyone.

THE BAD: He can’t shoot.

Though it has improved since his freshman season, Briscoe is still a pretty horrible shooter. He’s missed 17 of his 20 three-point attempts in his last 10 games (a 15 percent clip); and in Kentucky’s last five games, he is 1-for-10 from outside and 7-for-17 from the foul line.

LAST FIVE GAMES
Game FGM-FGA 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA
@ Florida 3-10 0-1 0-2
vs. LSU 4-9 1-3 5-6
@ Alabama 5-11 0-1 1-7
vs. Tennessee 6-10 0-2 0-1
@ Georgia 4-12 0-3 1-1
TOTAL 22-52 1-10 7-17

In that five-game span, Briscoe made only one two-point basket that wasn’t a layup.

THE GOOD: He defends, rebounds.

Of the Cats’ starting five, Briscoe is the best defender and the second best on-ball defender on the entire team, behind only Dominique Hawkins. Briscoe often draws the assignment of guarding the other team’s best offensive weapon and he has done a pretty good job in that role. His D is arguably his best part of his game.

Briscoe is also a quality rebounder given his size, with 5.4 rebounds per game for the third best rebounding average on the team. He puts that wide frame and lower body strength to good use on the block to get in position for loose balls.

THE BAD: He is turnover prone.

Briscoe leads the team in turnovers and it has been a huge problem over the course of the last month. Aside from his one turnover in the win over Tennessee last week, Briscoe is on a streak of games with three, six, four, three, four and four turnovers.

Overall, Briscoe’s 42 turnovers in conference play is the fifth-worst total in the SEC.

THE GOOD: He can drive, draw fouls.

When he isn’t turning it over or taking ill-advised jump shots, Briscoe is as good as they come at taking it to the rim and either finishing or drawing a whistle. Nobody can bully and maneuver their way to the rack like Isaiah Briscoe when he has a full head of steam.

However, when he isn’t getting the call, as we’ve seen a lot lately, his driving can do more bad than good. And when he is getting the call, he has to make the free throws.

THE BAD: He doesn’t fit within the offense.

Kentucky’s halfcourt offense is best when De’Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo are playing a two-man game with room to work, while the shooters, namely Malik Monk, are ready to catch and fire. But with Briscoe’s inability to hit shots as a guard, defenses are packing the lane and leaving him unguarded around the perimeter, which (a) clogs things up for Fox to drive; and (b) dares Briscoe to shoot, which rarely ends well.

Briscoe is too much like Fox in that he needs to be driving and not shooting, so having him out there with Fox often has an adverse effect on production. Neither he nor Fox can shoot, at all, and it’s never good to have two guards on the floor at the same time who can’t hit outside shots. Without the threat of a shooter from one of those two guard spots, the driving, which is the strength of the backcourt, is taken away. That is why we’re seeing those long-range two-pointers that make you want to rip your hair out. They’re having to settle for those because the defense is packing it in.

While I’m on the subject, I think this is Kentucky’s biggest problem offensively and probably worthy of its own post on here some other time. But in short I’ll just say I don’t think Fox and Briscoe’s games complement each other as they should. They have the same strengths and weaknesses, and Briscoe loses out because Fox is the true point guard, the better floor general and lightning fast with the ball in his hands.

THE GOOD: He has single-handedly won games.

If we’re going to criticize Briscoe for his mistakes, we have to acknowledge the fact Kentucky would have two or three more losses without him.

First, the Cats don’t win at Vanderbilt without Briscoe. With Fox and Monk in foul trouble in that game, Briscoe scored a team-high 23 points with seven rebounds and five assists in 39 minutes played. Every time Vanderbilt made a big bucket in the second half, Briscoe responded on the other end to silence the crowd.

Briscoe also shined in the close call at home against Georgia, in which he had 23 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. And then at Alabama, Briscoe scored seven straight points when the Tide tried to mount a late comeback.

THE BAD: His attitude.

There are some concerns from NBA scouts that Briscoe may have a little bit of an attitude problem. I had heard the same from a couple people I know in AAU circles when he first got to Kentucky and I’ve heard it from some people around campus since he’s been at UK.

We’ve even seen glimpses of it in games, whether it be arguing with officials or getting involved in unnecessary extracurricular activity with an opponent, and it’s not the best look for your presumed leader.

Of course, an attitude can be good — I love a confident trash-talker — but not always. As someone who hears more than most sitting courtside at Rupp, I can tell you there isn’t a player on the court who whines more to officials throughout a game. In those circumstances when things aren’t going his way, I think the attitude hurts him, and in turn, hurts the team.

THE GOOD: He has one of three triple-doubles in school history.

It’s hard to knock a guy who has done that.

THE BAD: He is too short for his position.

Going back to the fitting within the offense thing, Briscoe is a guard who is in his second season out of position because there are two better guards on the team. Last year it was Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray who pushed Briscoe over to the three; this year it is De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk. He’s become a small forward in a college point guard’s body.

If not for Ulis and Fox, maybe Briscoe is great penetrating point guard with good shooters around him to make up for his own shooting insufficiencies. But that’s not the case as he has been asked to catch and shoot on the wing, rebound, and guard guys much taller than him, at 6-foot-2.

He’s a small small forward.

THE GOOD: He is one hell of a basketball player.

Is he playing out of position? Yes. Does he throw off the offense? In my opinion he does. Does he drive into “No Man’s Land” along the baseline and immediately turn it over? Absolutely. Does he need to become a better shooter? Yes, yes, yes. Has he ever thrown one alley oop that hit its target? Not that I can remember.

But through all the flaws one can highlight in his game, Isaiah Briscoe is still a guy you want on your team. He is going to defend. He is going to hit the boards. He is going to give 100 percent on each end. He is going to get physical inside despite being the smallest player in the paint and he is capable of taking over a game when he is able to drive and get whistles. Just ask the folks in Nashville or Tuscaloosa about that one.

At the end of the day, Isaiah Briscoe is going to do much more good than bad. But with Kentucky in its current state, the question is how much Briscoe is too much Briscoe when he isn’t at his best.


Wendy’s Top 10 Tweets of the Weekend

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Wendy’s new Spicy Sriracha Chicken Sandwich features our iconic Spicy Chicken, topped with a one of kind Sriracha Jack Cheese, thick-cut Applewood Smoked Bacon, creamy Sriracha aioli, spring mix, and red onion, all served on a toasted Sriracha-infused bakery-style bun.


You can be a part of Wendy’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. Now. On to the tweets:

 

#10 Scott Darst

He has a way with words.

 

#9 Billy Birk

School spirit and throwing shade at the enemy, I like it.

 

#8 Madison Rexroat

I like this one.

 

#7 Damon Atherton

It’s a generational thing.

 

#6 andrew

My thoughts exactly.

 

#5 Pierce Larkin

Same.

 

#4 Nick Carroll

UNDERWHELMING

 

#3 Johnathan Howard

I’m already praying.

 

#2 Monticello Sinkhole

Necessary.

 

#1 Terry Jordan

This is the truth.

 

@haleysimpKSR


What they’re saying about Boogie to New Orleans

@PelicansNBA

@PelicansNBA

The pairing of Kentucky’s elite post players was the biggest story in the sports world today.  It was covered in a variety of angles from essentially every sports media institution.  Instead of wading through it all by yourself, let this post get you caught up.

If you’d rather see the reaction from players instead of writers, The Washington Post’s blog has you covered.    Speaking of the The Washington Post…

The Washington Post’s Josh Plano

While the rise of the positionless player in the NBA is well documented, New Orleans is now presented with an interesting spacing conundrum. Cousins and Davis represent two of the league’s premier big men, athletes that draw ample attention — and frequent double teams — in the half-court offense. They’re rare breeds who oscillate between the two frontcourt positions, power forward and center.

Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver

For New Orleans, the trade opens a new era with Cousins and Davis as a fascinating big man duo. This isn’t a traditional old school Twin Towers approach, as Cousins can stretch out to the three-point line and Davis is comfortable operating far away from the hoop. Both face questions regarding their defensive impact, and pairing the two together could produce stretches of mismatches against spread lineups. But this is a gamble that a shaky ownership group, a beleaguered GM and a helpless Davis all badly needed. Cousins’s arrival should spark interest in a team that’s been stuck for years, it should improve New Orleans’ pitch to future free agents (“We’ve already got two stars”), and most importantly it gives Davis reason to believe that his heroic efforts aren’t in vain.

The Vertical’s Michael Lee

Every time Cousins earned an All-Star moment, disarray hijacked it. NBA commissioner Adam Silver recognized Cousins’ overwhelming talents by naming him an injury replacement in 2015, but he spent the entire weekend addressing questions about the Kings hiring George Karl as head coach. Last year, Cousins had to address his ongoing feud with Karl. This year, Cousins avoided any upsetting questions the first two days, then the Kings put him in the awkward position of finding out that he could be traded moments before he was asked about it. “I was happy coming in, but the last day and the last couple of minutes, something had to happen,” Cousins said. “It’s disappointing.”

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor

Pairing Cousins with Anthony Davis is the most fascinating frontcourt duo of the decade; there have rarely been pairings of two legitimate top-10 big-man talents. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph patrolled the paint for years, while Blake Griffin to DeAndre Jordan’s air show made jumpstarted the Lob City Clippers, but this is different. We haven’t seen this before.

The Ringer’s Danny Chau asked on Sunday: “Is it too indulgent to imagine a 5–4 pick-and-roll with Cousins handling and Davis rolling to the rim?” I hope not. Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry would be shorting himself if he doesn’t take full advantage of all the tactical possibilities this pairing presents. The Brow and Boogie can both handle the ball, shoot outside, dominate inside, and create space off the dribble like guards. While other teams are zigging by going small, the Pelicans are zagging with two of the most purely talented big players in the league.

CBS Sports’ Matt Moore

Cousins has an unbelievable opportunity here. He gets to start over — in a city that will embrace him in a way that few will. You want a redemption story? New Orleans is a great place to find it. You want somewhere that wants its guys a little less than squeaky clean? Try the Big Easy. He joins a good friend and fellow Wildcat in Anthony Davis, who also happens to be a top-10 player.

He gets to change everything about his career. If he keeps his emotions in check (unlikely) and embraces the defensive end, he’s going to have a chance to do real damage in this league. Davis can play power forward next to him, and their combination of scoring, rebounding and passing is going to be a nightmare for opponents.

Fox Sports’ Nate Scott

Davis gets the scoring partner he needed in NOLA and a chance to finally break through and make a splash in the Western Conference. The team is still painfully thin at the wings, and if Jrue Holiday gets hurt again I’m not sure who will play point guard (Boogie, maybe?). They have too many bigs as well — Omer Asik still has three (!) years on his deal.

But Davis finally has a partner in crime, and that might be enough. With Cousins commanding a double-team down low, Davis will have his pick of 15- to 18-footers. And if Boogie wants to step out to the perimeter and take 3s (which he can), Davis will have more room to work inside. This could work extremely well for both of them.

Five Thirty Eight’s Chris Herring

This is less about the trade and more about Boogie in general: nobody in the NBA gets their shot blocked more than Cousins.

Cousins’s shots get blocked 1.6 times per game, which represents a slight decrease from the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, when opponents stuffed Cousins 1.8 times per contest. (He was the most-blocked player in those seasons, too.1) All of which is surprising, considering the 26-year-old’s clear advantages in height, strength and skill.

Cousins’ blunt explanation is fantastic.

Before he was traded, I asked Cousins why he gets blocked so much, and he said that I didn’t have to search for a complicated explanation. “It’s because I can’t jump,” he said. “It’s really as simple as that.”


This excerpt from Colin Cowherd’s book explains a lot

The hot takes from The Herd got a little too fiery when Colin Cowherd went in on Kentucky, then doubled down on his smack talk.  It’s drawn the ire of many, including Matt Jones, but that’s because that’s exactly what he wanted, kind of.  KSR reader Vic Rattlehead found this page from Cowherd’s book that reveals the method to the madness.

He garnered attention, lost control and now Cowherd has a hot, smoldering mess all over himself.


Kentucky Football Season Tickets Will Be a Little More Expensive in 2017

Football season ticket holders will pay an extra $30 to see all seven games scheduled at Commonwealth Stadium for the 2017 season.

Today the university announced season tickets will be $310, just $10 less than what fans paid see eight home games in 2015, the first season in the renovated Commonwealth Stadium.  Premium season tickets in suite seats are $350, tickets in the upper deck 200-level will be $240, and the “Pocket Pass” electronic tickets are only $205.  There is no increase for K-Fund donations.

If you were planning on seeing Stoops’ Troops regardless of price, the sooner you renew, the better.  If you pull the trigger before February 28 you will receive two complimentary basketball tickets.  If you renew by March 31 you’ll receive an invitation for a complete tour of the new football facilities.

For more information, click here.


Watch Episode Three of Hey Kentucky, The Bachelor

the-bachelor

To figure out who is fit to fill the hole in Matt’s heart, he got a little help from Maria Montgomery.  The girls go through boot camp, things get a little physical and Ryan still doesn’t know what Amanda’s up to in the third installment of Hey Kentucky, the Bachelor.

Watch the entire episode with Lee Cruse after the jump.

(more…)


Wendy’s want to send you to Nashville to cheer on the Cats!

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Do you want to cheer the Cats on in Nashville next month? Wendy’s is teaming up with “Hey, Kentucky!” to give away two all-session tickets books to the conference tournament in Nashville.

All you have to do is click the link below to register, and cross your fingers that you’ll win! It’s that easy.

Wendy’s Hey Kentucky Basketball Tickets Giveaway


Kentucky’s Seniors Shine at the Right Time

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John Calipari’s time at Kentucky will be defined by the “one and done” phenoms who gave Lexington one year of elite talent before moving on to the NBA.  The supply of elite incoming talent has been constant.  What separates Cal’s most successful teams from the rest is the under-appreciated, role-playing veteran.

John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins got rebounding and spacing from Patrick Patterson.  The National Championship team got three-point shooting and reliability in the middle of the floor from Darius Miller.  The 38-1 team could use simple defensive principles because Willie Cauley-Stein was a consensus All-American.

Saturday in Athens, Kentucky’s three seniors proved they can do what is necessary to take this Calipari team to the elite level.  Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins and Mychal Mulder combined to shoot 64 percent from the field (9/14) and 55 percent from behind the three-point line (5/9) for 25 points.  Willis’ game might have been the best, tying a career high with 12 rebounds, but he didn’t see it that way.

“I didn’t think I had a really good game, honestly.”  Willis was disappointed in his defense, especially against the pick-and-roll, after the game in Athens.  “That was definitely getting under my skin. I just tried to do something else and rebounds was the thing I came up with. A couple offensive rebounds at the end and tried to do something.”

On the contrary, John Calipari believed Mulder played his best basketball.

“Mychal’s playing as well as he’s ever played in a Kentucky uniform right now,” Caliper said on Saturday.

Mulder attributes his improved play to increased confidence.  “It’s just having the coaches have trust in me and performing every day on the practice floor. We’ve had a really good few weeks of practice and I feel like that’s where everybody builds their own individual confidence.”

Hawkins knows exactly how Mulder is feeling.

“I would say it (his confidence) is probably the highest it’s ever been since I’ve been in a Kentucky jersey.” Hawkins shared today. “I feel real comfortable on both ends, offensively and defensively. I feel like the ball’s going in for me now.”

It couldn’t come at a better time.  The Cats can’t rely on Fox and Monk to be consistent.  Together, Mulder and Hawkins bond that bridge (so to speak).  Wenyen Gabriel is even more unpredictable, while Bam Adebayo will always struggle with foul trouble.  Derek Willis proved he can fill that void.  This combination is coming together at the right time.

“We understand that our college career is winding down. We’re really just working against the clock and trying to keep our team alive as long as possible on our run in March,” Mulder said today.

The ticking clock is what motivates Mulder to finish strong.

“It really motivates me. You reflect on the years past and all the experiences you’ve had as a basketball player. Just being able to stay in the moment and understand what’s coming ahead of you still, what you still have left to accomplish while you’re still here, that’s something that’s been really important to me. I want to keep striving for those goals and make sure I can accomplish as much as I can while I’m here.”

If the seniors continue to play at a high level in their respective roles, they can take Kentucky to the extraordinary level fans have become accustomed to seeing from John Calipari’s teams.

 


UK still a 3-seed in latest Bracketology; potential rematch with Louisville in Sweet 16?

Photo by UK Athletics

Photo by UK Athletics

It’s a new week and Kentucky is holding steady as a three-seed in the East Region in the latest Bracketology from Joe Lunardi. Also in the East: Villanova (1), Purdue (4), and, yes, Louisville (2). Yes, that would mean a potential Sweet 16 showdown with the Cards in New York City.

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I made a promise to myself years ago not to stress out over hypothetical matchups, but that’s one that would do the trick. Lunardi has four SEC teams currently in: Kentucky (3), Florida (3), South Carolina (7), and Arkansas (9). Tennessee’s currently his second team out.

Meanwhile, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has Kentucky as the three-seed in the Midwest Region, which ALSO includes Louisville as the two-seed. USA Today’s Shelby Mast thinks Kentucky will be the three-seed in the East, but pits them against 2-seed Florida State in the Sweet 16 (as a side note, how people still consider #19 Florida State a two-seed is beyond me).

Bracketologists gonna bracketology, but I think the real question we’d like to know the answer to is whether or not Kentucky can get up to a two-seed by winning out.


FINAL DAY: President’s Day Sale at the KSR Shop!

presidents_day_ksr

The huge President’s Day sale at the KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded ends at midnight! Hurry, don’t miss out on this special offer. Make sure you head to ShopKSR.com to receive up to 30% OFF your entire purchase. 

The KSR Shop has a great selection of short and long sleeve t-shirts, hats, fleece pants, sweatshirts, and lots of other great gift ideas. Have you seen the all new Raglan shirts or the huge selection of shirts to show off your Kentucky state pride? Simply go to ShopKSR.com before midnight to receive up to 30% OFF your entire purchase by using the corresponding COUPON CODES in the image above.

 

[President’s Day Sale at the KSR Shop ends at midnight!]


Kentucky opens as a 16.5-point favorite at Missouri

@EmptySeatsPics

@EmptySeatsPics

Vegas has spoken and Kentucky opened as a 16.5-point favorite against Missouri in tomorrow night’s contest in Columbia.

As John Calipari predicted earlier this week, the Tigers are pulling out all the stops for tomorrow night’s game, calling for their fans to wear black. While Missouri’s only averaging about 5,800 fans per game this season, you know the place will be packed tomorrow, especially because…

…the world-famous Red Panda Acrobat is performing at halftime?????

Oh yes, if you’re in the Columbia area and were waffling about going to tomorrow night’s game, that will surely sway you.

By the way, tickets are still available.


8 Notes from Kenny Payne’s Missouri Preview

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Associate head coach Kenny Payne filled in for John Calipari in today’s media opp and, as always, it was interesting to hear his take on what’s going on with the team, especially after Cal gave him and Tony Barbee more responsibility last week. I already shared his thoughts on Dominique Hawkins with you earlier, but here’s the rest of what he had to say this afternoon.

1. About those new responsibilities…

“I wouldn’t say that Cal is taking a step back,” Payne said of Cal’s decision to put him in charge of the offense and Tony Barbee in charge of the defense. “I would say he’s allowing me to talk more about the offensive things that he wants them to do – and basically that’s play together. Share the ball. Move the ball and get penetration off movement. That’s pretty much it.”

2. Wenyen knows he’s been playing poorly

After a 23-point performance vs. LSU a few weeks back, Wenyen Gabriel has fallen back into the shadows, scoring only five points over the last three games. Payne said Wenyen knows he’s been sliding, and after the Georgia game, he asked him what time he’d be running on Sunday, his “punishment” for not playing with confidence.

“The last game, as soon as the game was over, Wenyen Gabriel said, ‘What time do I have to run tomorrow?’ If you’re not on that floor playing with confidence, I’m running you.’ It’s that simple. They know. They know.”

3. Same thing with Isaiah Briscoe

“Lately, I think Wenyen (Gabriel) has a lacked a little bit confidence wise and hasn’t given us what he’s capable of. So has Isaiah. But we need them,” Payne said. “When you shoot the ball, for example if Isaiah shoots the ball and none of his family members believes that shot is going in, and he shoots it like he doesn’t believe it’s going in, he’s running. So he better believe 100 percent that he’s making that shot. That’s a layup, that’s a jumpshot, that’s a free throw, that’s defensive confidence. Whatever it is, he better do it with confidence.”

Or, you run.

4. Bam is struggling to find the balance between being physical and not fouling

Bam Adebayo’s only gotten double-digit rebounds in four games this season, a baffling stat when you look at him. Payne, the Cats’ big man guru, said Bam is shying away from physical play because he doesn’t want to get in foul trouble.

“The best way I can describe it to you is – right, wrong or indifferent – when you’re in foul trouble a lot and you’re afraid to be aggressive, and you become tentative, and you’re worried about what a referee’s going to call or not call, and that takes away from your aggression, that’s going to affect you. He has to get by that. He has to play with aggression whether he has two fouls or three fouls. He just has to be smart not to foul.”

5. How does Bam recognize that line?

“I think it goes back to Bam not getting dumb fouls to be honest with you. It’s just that simple. Sometimes he’s fouling in positions where he’s not getting the offensive rebound and the guy has the ball. Get back. Sometimes he’s being overly aggressive playing post defense against a guy that can’t score on him. He just has to find his way, and once he does that I think he gets more comfortable. And a part of basketball is reading how the game is being refereed. That’s intelligence. If you know they’re calling more fouls than normal then stay away from certain situations. Just be smart about it.”

6. “The kid from Georgia tore us apart”

How do you beat Kentucky? If you watched the Georgia game, J.J. Frazier showed that you just play the pick and roll. Frazier had 36 points vs. the Cats on Saturday, and for Kentucky to avoid being exploited like that again, they must learn to defend the pick-and-roll, which starts with the guards.

“First of all, it starts with the guard. The guard cannot just be standing in front a yard away from the ball handler. So if he’s doing that and he gets hit, he’s done. So now you’re putting the pressure on a guard coming at a big full speed. So we need the guard to connect first. He has to connect to the offensive player, and the big has to keep him in front of him until the guard gets back and fronts him off. Once we do that, we’re really good. If we allow guards to get penetration off the ball screen, it hurts us. To be honest with you, the kid from Georgia (J.J. Frazier) tore us apart.”

Listening, Fox, Monk, and Briscoe?

7. “You can’t ask for anything better” than how De’Aaron Fox finished the Georgia game

De’Aaron Fox had 16 points vs. the Bulldogs, 14 in the final 4:36 of the game – eight of them free throws. Payne said you can’t put a price on Fox’s poise down the stretch.

“De’Aaron Fox has proven that he can finish a game for us,” Payne said when asked about Fox’s gritty late game heroics in Athens. “He’s done it numerous times. He’s a tough guard. Talking to the Georgia coaches, they talked about how well he gets in the lane. It’s just about impossible to keep him out of the lane. He finished the game well. We’re really happy with how we shot free throws to finish that game. That was really good. You can’t ask for anything better than that.”

8. Is that “K” on his pullover for Kenny or Kentucky?

Because if that’s an item of UK merchandise currently for sale, I’m buying it. Not enough Power K in this world.