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January 21st, 2019

5 Notes from Tony Barbee’s Pre-Mississippi State presser

Tony Barbee met with reporters today to discuss Kentucky’s win at Auburn and tomorrow’s tangle with No. 22 Mississippi State. Here are the five things you need to know.

Kentucky’s “resolve” bodes well for March

What was Barbee’s biggest takeaway from the Auburn game? The fact that Kentucky was able to hang on when the Tigers couldn’t miss and the arena was rocking.

“Responded. That’s a tough environment. It was really loud in there. They are a very experienced team. You knew they weren’t going to be rattled, and then when they put pressure on us down the stretch – our team is so young, I think we showed our resolve, our toughness playing on the road in that kind of environment that we were able to respond when they responded. That’s a trait of a championship team when you can do that in that kind of environment.”

Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro ahead of the typical Calipari freshman track

It’s a tale as old as John Calipari’s tenure in Lexington: star freshmen arrive, star freshmen show flashes of brilliance, star freshmen struggle, star freshmen turn the corner and become great. Barbee said Keldon Johnson and Tyler Herro’s big performances on the road at Auburn suggest they’re ahead of most Calipari freshmen at this stage of the season.

Those guys are no different than any of the freshmen we’ve had here over the years. It’s a rollercoaster ride. They’re typical freshman until we get into late January, early mid-February, then you see those guys – they know they’ve been through so many games at this level, they’ve seen all the different defenses and how people play them, how physical it is in league play. But those are two guys, Keldon and Tyler, specifically that they are getting a little quicker than some of the freshman we have had. They’ve got a toughness about them, especially on the offensive floor.”

This quote about Reid Travis is great

A 6’8″ 240 lbs., Reid Travis is a solid dude, and Barbee said his ability to set screens is second to none on this squad. This quote seems particularly apt.

“You don’t want to run into Reid because you’re going to stop dead in your tracks.”

He thought Jared Harper’s shot was going in, too

When Jared Harper drove the lane and floated the ball towards the basket with six seconds left on Saturday, I’m pretty sure my heart stopped. At first, it looked like the ball was going in, but it mercifully bounced out. Barbee said the coaching staff thought it was in, too.

“It looked down. For us sitting on the bench it looked like it was in, but we defended it the way we wanted to defend that shot…Fortunate for us he missed because he had a clean look.”

Time to slow down and concentrate

When it wasn’t slowed to a crawl by fouls, Saturday’s game vs. Auburn was fast and furious. Get ready for Mississippi State to slow things down tomorrow night.

“I think, watching Auburn, they’re going to take a shot within the first eight seconds of the shot clock the majority of the time. Mississippi State is the opposite. They’re going to take a shot in the last eight seconds of the shot clock the majority of the time. So, we’re going to have to be more disciplined. We’re going to have to communicate for a longer period of time. That’s more of a challenge with so many young guys that we play.”

Read all of Barbee’s comments after the jump. Also, if you can decipher what song is playing through the headphones around his neck, I’ll give you free KSR for life. It’s been driving me nuts all afternoon.

(more…)


MUST-SEE: Behind the scenes of Kentucky’s big win at Auburn

It’s finally here. Kentucky’s big win over Auburn gets the KyWildcatsTV treatment in the latest installment of “The Journey.”

UK tried to sneak the video on Twitter by sending it directly to followers who liked a preview yesterday afternoon, but nothing gets past these watchful eyes:

If you need me, I’ll be watching that on loop until tomorrow.


$50 tickets available for the Mississippi State game

Tomorrow’s game vs. No. 22 Mississippi State at Rupp is a big one. Good thing for you Kentucky is offering discounted tickets. For a limited time, you can purchase upper level seats for $50 each.

To access this offer, you must go through the ReplyBuy service. To do so, sign up for ReplyBuy by clicking here or texting “KENTUCKY” to 20123. New users will receive a $10 credit upon registering, which is nice. Once you’re all set up, ReplyBuy will text you with the deal and you’ll respond with ‘BUY KENTUCKY’ + the quantity of tickets you wish to purchase (Example: BUY KENTUCKY 2). A direct link to the offer can be found here.

For this game, the best seats available will be automatically pulled from sections 234 and 240. To view a seating chart, click here.


Kentucky vs. Mississippi State point spread released

Vegas has spoken and Kentucky opened as an eight-point favorite in tomorrow night’s game vs. No. 22 Mississippi State in Rupp Arena. The total is currently 148.5.

The Cats are on a bit of a hot streak in the basketball and gambling worlds, covering the spread in their last two games. They’re now 8-9 against the spread this season. In the words of Helmet Guy, Mississippi State’s pretty good, so I’m staying away from this one.

As always, gamble responsibly.


BBNBA: Towns and Wolves Beat Booker and Suns on Game-Winner

(Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks, and happy MLK Day. Karl-Anthony Towns got the better of Devin Booker thanks to a Derrick Rose game-winner. Let’s talk NBA.

Reminder to vote to send the BBNBA to the 2019 All-Star game.

Since today is MLK Day, the NBA celebrates by featuring games all day long, starting at 12:30 p.m. and running through 10:30 p.m. So if you have nothing to do today (and we all know you don’t), you might as well turn on the TV and check out some former Wildcats. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to watch at least one of them.

RECAP

[11-37] Suns – 114 @ [22-24] Timberwolves – 116 

  • In a matchup between former college teammates, Karl-Anthony Towns and his Minnesota Timberwolves got the best of Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday night.
  • Towns scored 30 points on only eight made shots but was a perfect 13-13 mark from the free throw line, although only two of his points came after halftime thanks to constant double teams from the Suns. He pulled down 12 rebounds for this 29th double-double of the season while also dishing out four assists and tieing a career-high with four steals.

  • Derrick Rose scored 29 of his 31 points in the second half and also hit the game-winning shot for the Wolves.
  • Devin Booker shot 7-15 from the field for 18 points in addition to his six rebounds and six assists (and five turnovers).

Other notes

  • The Charlotte Hornets were smacked by the Indiana Pacers by a score of 120-95. Malik Monk contributed 11 points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added seven points and two rebounds.
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had one of his worst shooting performances of his young career, missing 12 of his 15 shot attempts for only seven points. However, the recently struggling Clippers stuck with SGA despite his shooting woes, playing him 37 minutes and as he helped lead his team to a massive win over a hot San Antonio Spurs squad. The Clippers had dropped five straight games before their win on Sunday.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)116-114 W vs. PHX308-22 (1-5)124414+139
Devin Booker (PHX)114-116 L @ MIN187-15 (1-6)66005-1132
Malik Monk (CHA)95-120 L @ IND114-9 (2-3)32203-1015
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (CHA)95-120 L @ IND72-4 (1-2)20001-918
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC)103-95 W @ SAS73-15 (1-2)43003-437

TODAY IN THE NBA

12:30 (NBATV): Thunder (Diallo, Noel, Patterson) @ Knicks (Kanter, Knox)

1:00: Bulls @ Cavaliers

2:00: Pistons @ Wizards (Wall-out)

2:00: Mavericks @ Bucks (Bledsoe)

3:00 (NBATV): Magic (Briscoe) @ Hawks (Poythress)

3:30: Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox, Labissiere) @ Nets

5:30 (TNT): Pelicans (Davis, Miller, Randle) @ Grizzlies

6:00: Heat (Adebayo) @ Celtics

8:00 (TNT): Rockets (Knight-questionable) @ 76eres

9:00: Trail Blazers @ Jazz

10:30 (TNT): Warriors (Cousins) @ Lakers (Rondo-out)


Follow me on Twitter: @ZackGeoghegan


Aaron Torres Sports Podcast Ep. 115: A Wild NFL Championship Sunday and College Basketball Saturday

We have ourselves one heck of an Aaron Torres Sports Podcast on Monday. Aaron and Nick are back, with a twist. The guys recorded just minutes after the end of the AFC Championship game, so whether you want it or not, you’re going to get some NFL talk in addition to all the college hoops that went down over the weekend. Highlights:
A quick look back at a wild Sunday in football: The guys couldn’t help but talk about an insane day of football before getting to hoops. Why, love or hate the Patriots you’ve got to respect Tom Brady after Sunday night’s wild comeback win. And, who is more hateable — Tom Brady or Bill Belichick? Also, why Aaron doesn’t blame the refs for the Saints loss to the Rams in the early game.
Now to the college hoops: The guys recap a wild weekend of college hoops. Why Kentucky’s win against Auburn was more impressive than most people realize — and just how high is the Wildcats ceiling going forward? Did we actually learn anything about Duke and Virginia following their game and is Virginia really any better-positioned to make the Final Four this year than in previous years? Also, is the honeymoon officially over for Archie Miller after a fourth straight loss for Indiana?

Get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show on Instagram too.