Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
December 8th, 2017

According to Rick Pitino, Rick Pitino is Still the Victim

Shut up, Rick Pitino.

The exiled former Louisville basketball coach has gone a few weeks without making a headline, so naturally it was time for him to speak with the Courier-Journal’s Tim Sullivan to make sure people remember just how humiliated and hurt he is.  He’s not humiliated that he turned UofL into a walking scandal; he’s humiliated by what Papa John and the board of trustees.

Three months prior to his termination, Pitino recalled a closed-door board of trustees meeting where Papa John Schnatter threw shade at Pitino.  When the former coach left the meeting, he felt his time was coming to an end.

“I went to my staff the next day,” he said. “I told them, ‘Don’t even think about jaywalking. These people don’t want me here. … If there’s anything in question, you call compliance.’ I beat that into them.”

Pitino believes the board had it out for him and the FBI case was just an excuse to get rid of him.

“I think they made a very big mistake,” Pitino said. “They rushed to judgment on a lot of things. Here you are, you’ve got to fight the NCAA for a lot of things. You fire the head coach and you send a red flag to the NCAA that Louisville did some things wrong. They told the whole country I was guilty.

“Everybody else in the country stayed calm and said, ‘Wait a minute. What’s all this about?’ … The Miami situation is exactly the same as mine, but nobody’s fired in the country except me. It was very traumatic, very humiliating.”

Pitino’s attempt to spin the blame away from himself and onto the board of trustees is ridiculous.  After countless scandals reached a pinnacle with an FBI pay-for-play investigation, Pitino still does not believe he was in the wrong.  Sad! But not as sad as this quote:

“I had a routine for 40 years,” he said. “Suddenly, I’m waking up by myself at 5:30 in the morning, waiting for the sun to rise.”

 

[Courier-Journal]


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Cal’s Team Thrive in Neutral Site Games

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Overlooking the fact that this UK team has lost the only game played on a neutral site this year, Calipari led teams have been quite dominant when neither team has a homecourt advantage.  Is that due to the Blue Mist travelling contingent that UK brings to games, it is because UK is just better, or is there something Calipari does that leads to his teams performing well in unfamiliar arenas?  I can’t answer that but UK will be playing 2 games on neutral sites in the next couple weeks, one they will be highly favored in (Monmouth in New York) and one they will be favored in but by a much less margin (UCLA in New Orleans).  The of course you have the potential for 9 other neutral games in March and April, or so we hope.  Take a look at the overall record for Cal and hopefully you’re as impressed as I was researching it:

2009-10 (10-1 overall)
2-0: Cancun, Mexico
1-0: Louisville, New York
3-0: Nashville (SEC Tournament)
3-1: NCAA Tournament (2-0 New Orleans, 1-1 Syracuse)

2010-11 (10-2 overall)
2-1: Maui Invitational
1-0: Louisville
3-0: Atlanta (SEC Tournament)
4-1: NCAA Tournament (2-0 Tampa, 2-0 Newark, 0-1 Houston)

2011-12 (13-0 overall)
1-0: New York, Louisville
2-0: Uncasville, CT
3-0: New Orleans (SEC Tournament)
6-0: NCAA Tournament (2-0 Louisville, 2-0 Atlanta, 2-0 New Orleans)

2012-13 (1-2 overall)
1-0: Brooklyn
0-1: Atlanta
0-1: Nashville (SEC Tournament)

2013-14 (8-4 overall)
0-1: Chicago, Arlington
1-0: Brooklyn
2-1: Atlanta (SEC Tournament)
5-1: NCAA Tournament (2-0 St. Louis, 2-0 Indianapolis, 1-1 Arlington)

2014-15 (9-1 overall)
1-0: Indianapolis, Chicago
3-0: Nashville (SEC Tournament)
4-1: NCAA Tournament (2-0 Louisville, 2-0 Cleveland, 0-1 Indianapolis)

2015-16 (5-2 overall)
1-0: Chicago
0-1: Brooklyn
3-0: Nashville (SEC Tournament)
1-1: NCAA Tournament (Des Moines)

2016-17 (10-1 overall)
1-0: New York, Bahamas, Brooklyn, Las Vegas
3-0: Nashville (SEC Tournament)
3-1: NCAA Tournament (2-0 Indianapolis, 1-1 Memphis)

2017-18 (0-1 overall)
0-1: Chicago

COMBINED
66-14 overall record
12-1 in Nashville at SEC Tournament
6-1 in Brooklyn and New York
Multiple losses in Atlanta, Arlington, and Chicago (2 a piece)
Just 9-5 in games west of the Mississippi

20-2 in SEC Tournament
26-6 in NCAA Tournament


KSR is LIVE from New York, New York (Friday Show Thread)

For the very first time, Kentucky Sports Radio is LIVE in New York City at the Big Apple’s Big Blue Nation headquarters, Jack Demsey’s.  For the special occasion, KSR will be joined by Big Cat and PFT Commenter of Pardon My Take.  They also have a few surprises for the fans who can make it to the show.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080 or send a text to the KSR Texting Machine at (859) 300-3264.

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Today on KSR, powered by DRAFT: UK Volleyball in the Sweet 16

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Noon: UK Volleyball takes on BYU in the Sweet 16

Three hours from now, your fourth-seeded UK Volleyball team takes on BYU in the Sweet 16 at Memorial Coliseum. The winner of Friday’s match will take either Nebraska or Colorado Saturday at 4 p.m.

Tickets are still available at UKathletics.com/NCAATickets, so if you can, get on down to Memorial Coliseum to support the ladies. You can also watch live on ESPNU.

Get ready for today’s match with KyWildcatsTV’s recap of Saturday’s comeback win vs. Western Kentucky:

Tomorrow: Kentucky takes on Monmouth

If you ask me, it’s been way too long since Kentucky’s played a game, so I’m more than ready for tomorrow’s game vs. Monmouth in New York City. The Hawks are 3-6 this season, with losses to #23 Seton Hall, Virginia, UNC-Asheville, Penn, UConn, and Hofstra. Monmouth isn’t good, but that didn’t stop John Calipari from talking them up yesterday.

“This team had Hofstra beat yesterday, it was a tip-out play, can’t believe they lost the game. They had Connecticut beat, up at Connecticut, had a chance to beat them so they’ve got good guard play. Really big and physical inside, and we better show up and play. I’m more concerned about just let’s go 40 minutes and see what happens. It’s a noon game. Hard to play at noon. Normally at noon whoever shows up to play wins the game. So let’s just hope we’re showing up to play, and we have a chance to do what we need to do.”

ICYMI, Calipari went to New York a little early to check in on Moses Brown and his teammate 2019 point guard Cole Anthony last night:

Calipari watching Moses Brown tonight

With Calipari watching, Brown and Anthony combined for 49 points:

Sydney McLaughlin begins her UK Track career

The UK Track and Field team begins the indoor season tonight in Bloomington, Indiana, and if you’re in the area, you can get your first glimpse of Kentucky’s Olympic phenom, Sydney McLaughlin. Tonight, McLaughlin will participate in the women’s 300m, the event she set the national high school record in earlier this year. Go Syd Go!

College basketball on TV tonight

Tonight is the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic out in Los Angeles, and our own Aaron Torres will be courtside to see Trae Young and Oklahoma take on USC. You can watch as well on ESPN2:

8:00 PM St. John’s #16 Arizona State PAC12
10:30 PM Oklahoma #25 USC ESPN2
1 AM #22 Nevada #20 TCU ESPNU

None of those games tickle your fancy? Netflix just released season two of The Crown, easily one of my favorite TV shows from the past year. I highly recommend it.

LSU and Texas A&M are waking up to snow this morning

FIVE inches of snow fell in College Station thanks to Winter Storm Benji. Lexington is expecting a dusting of snow from a separate system tomorrow.

That concludes your KSR Weather Report.

In one hour: #KSRTakesManhattan takes over Jack Demsey’s

Something tells me it’s going to be nuts. Did you see they were at the Barstool Sports headquarters last night hanging out with Big Cat and PFT Commenter?

The “Pardon My Take” duo will join them on the radio this morning, so tune in.


December 7th, 2017

SEC Basketball Seinfeld Index: December 7

It was a bad week for SEC Basketball.

On Monday, everything was looking up for the league; four teams were in the Top 25, three in the Top 10, with both Florida and Texas A&M ranked ahead of Kentucky. Take that, narrative! Then came Monday night. Florida lost to Florida State at home and, if that wasn’t bad enough, really face planted with a loss to Loyola-Chicago last night. Meanwhile, Texas A&M fell to Arizona in the Valley of the Sun Showcase.

So, is SEC Basketball bad? Or was it just a bad week? Here’s my weekly breakdown of the league, as told by Seinfeld GIFs.

 

“Not that there’s anything wrong with that”

 #7 Texas A&M (7-1)

This week: Lost to Arizona (67-64)

Texas A&M lost to an Arizona team that was once ranked #2 in the country before falling out of the polls for three straight losses in the Bahamas. Clearly, the Wildcats have a ton of potential, so the Aggies’ loss isn’t nearly as devastating as Florida’s losses this week; however, the fact that Texas A&M couldn’t make the plays to win down the stretch is a little alarming, as is the fact that Robert Williams has only scored four points in each of the last four games.


“These pretzels are makin’ me thirsty”

 #8 Kentucky (7-1)

This week: Beat Harvard (79-70)

Kentucky’s win over Harvard didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know. The Cats made a really promising run in the second half to go up 20 and then coasted back into bad habits. They’re young, they let go of the rope, they need to learn, yada yada yada. Thankfully, they’re getting plenty of chances to learn with weeklong breaks between games. I was ready for the schedule to slow down a little, but now, I’m thirsty for some more Kentucky basketball, please.


Shrinkage

 #5 Florida (5-3)

This week: Lost to Florida State (83-66) and Loyola-Chicago (65-59)

Did Duke break Florida? Since the Gators lost to the Blue Devils in the finals of the PK80, they’ve looked like a totally different team. On Monday, they got routed by Florida State and last night, lost to a Loyola-Chicago team that didn’t even have its starting point guard. Woof. Last night’s terrible loss proved that if the Gators aren’t making their threes, they’re garbage.


Spongeworthy

 #24 Tennessee (6-1)

This week: Beat Georgia Tech (77-70)

After losing to #5 Villanova in the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Vols have won three straight. On Sunday, they beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta, their fourth win over an ACC team if you count their exhibition win over Clemson; that was enough to earn them a spot in the Top 25.

 Alabama (7-2)

This week: Lost to UCF (65-62); Beat Rhode Island (68-64)

After losing to UCF at home, Alabama fell out of the polls and didn’t look much better vs. Rhode Island. The Golden Knights figured out how to slow down Collin Sexton, holding the freshman phenom to only seven points — all free throws. If UCF can figure out how to do that, other teams will as well.


Yada Yada Yada

 Mississippi State (7-0)

This week: Beat Dayton (61-59)

The Bulldogs are the only undefeated team in the SEC, but I refuse to move them up until they beat somebody legit. A two-point win over Dayton is fine, but we’ll really see what Ben Howland’s group is made of when they travel to #17 Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Auburn (7-1)

This week: Beat George Mason (79-63) and Gardner-Webb (80-55)

Auburn’s still holding it together despite not having Danjel Purifoy and Austin Wiley (suspended indefinitely over eligibility concerns). With a non-conference slate as soft as Charmin (a home game vs. UConn is not what it once was), they’ll continue to coast until opening SEC play at Tennessee.

Georgia (7-1)

This week: Beat Marquette (73-66) and Winthrop (87-82)

The Bulldogs survived a scare from Winthrop at home, but continue to look like Yante Maten and a bunch of dudes. Maten is averaging almost a double double with 18.5 ppg and 9.4 rpg.

Arkansas (6-2)

This week: Lost at Houston (91-65); Beat Colorado State (92-66)

I was pretty high on Arkansas last week, and they they got steamrolled by Houston. Saturday’s game vs. #14 Minnesota will tell us a lot.

Missouri (7-2)

This week: Beat Miami (OH) (70-51)

The Tigers got off to a rough start vs. Miami (OH), but rallied for a 19-point win. It’s good to see they haven’t flatlined since the news Michael Porter Jr. is probably done for the year.

South Carolina (7-2)

This week: Beat UMass (76-70) and Wyoming (80-64)

Chris Silva continues to lead the way for the Gamecocks, who bounced back this week after getting routed by Temple at the Under Armour Reunion at Madison Square Garden.


Eh…

Ole Miss (4-3)

This week: Lost to Virginia Tech (83-80 OT)

Ole Miss lost their second straight overtime game on Saturday vs. Virginia Tech, who plays Kentucky next Saturday.

LSU (4-2)

This week: No games

How did LSU manage to get 11 days between games?

Vanderbilt (3-6)

This week: Lost to Kansas State (84-79) and Middle Tennessee (66-63)

A bad start to the season only got worse for the Commodores, who dropped back-to-back games to Kansas State and MTSU — at home! Vandy’s defining characteristic thus far has been their inability to make big plays when the game is close. Life doesn’t get any easier; on Sunday, they play at #16 Arizona State, and they open SEC play on December 30 at #5 Florida.


KSR Top 10 Tweets of the Day

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 Jeff Pile

Running out of Mountain Dew? That’s not very Bullitt County.

#9 Robert Champlin

No such thing.

#8 Backdoor Slider

Sounds about right.

#7 Rodney Todd

Thanks for taking one for the team!

#6 J

Shannon The Dude for the win.

#5 Laura Williams

We need more people like you, Laura.

#4 Nick Beasmore

Whoops!

#3 John Robic’s Hair

Wait a second…

#2 BigBlue4life

If you reaallyyy squint your eyes…

#1 UK Alumni – Philly

We love you guys!


@MaggieDavisKSR


Courtney Love recognized at the College Football Awards

@UKFootball

Earlier this week, Courtney Love won The Wuerrfel Trophy, presented to college football’s top community servant. Tonight, he was recognized at ESPN’s College Football Awards in Atlanta.

First, he hit the red carpet with Mark Stoops and the man the award was named after, Danny Wuerffel.

And met up with Kirk Herbstreit backstage:

@UKFootball

Thank you, Courtney.

WATCH: Courtney Love finds out he won the Wuerffel Trophy

Courtney Love wins the 2017 Wuerffel Trophy


Turns out Tennessee fans were right about their football coaching search

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that the Tennessee football coaching search might end up as the most over-scrutinized and overanalyzed search in the history of college football. Take a social media mob, mainstream media backlash and a three-week adventure that involved two AD’s and more than half a dozen candidates, and it really was like nothing that we’ve ever seen before in college football.

Unfortunately for those of us who enjoyed the sheer entertainment value of the search process, it has come to an end. The Vols have hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as the school’s new head coach on Thursday.

Ultimately, we’re still years away from finding out whether Pruitt is the “right” man for the job or not, but really, that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. What we’re here to talk about is the process that it took to get here, specifically the moment when Tennessee fans boycotted the first man who was hired for the job, Greg Schiano, back a few weeks ago. It was a boycott that led many in the national media with a few exceptions (including me, CBS’s Barrett Sallee and a handful of others) to unfairly criticize Vols fans, and paint them as a group of pitchfork carrying hillbillies with no perspective on reality or their place in the college football universe.

Well, with the coaching search complete, I’m here to say one thing: In the end, Tennessee fans were proven correct. Not because we can say with 100 percent certainty that Jeremy Pruitt is the right man for the job. But because the fan-base as a whole stood up to their administration, said “enough is enough” and didn’t settle on mediocrity from the start.
(more…)


The Aaron Torres Sports Podcast E2: Barrett Sallee

After receiving such excellent feedback following his first podcast, Aaron Torres is back on the mic to give the people want they want: more podcast.  Once again, Nick Coffey joins the program, followed by a college football conversation with Barrett Sallee from CBS Sports.  Highlights of what you will hear:

— Has Nick been harrassed by Louisville fans for joining a KSR podcast?
—  Are they surprised that both Ball brothers are through with UCLA, and is there any real hope for the them to sign overseas?
—  Kansas’ loss to Washington, what’s up with Billy Preston’s car, and Aaron complains about the downfall of UConn hoops.
— A deep dive into the Tennessee coaching search and hire of Jeremy Pruitt. They explain why UT fans ended up being right about the Greg Schiano situation, and Barrett discusses what Vols fans – and their opponents – can expect in Year 1 of the Pruitt Era.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Calipari still loves TV shows about Alaska

John Calipari’s teams may change every year, but one thing stays the same: his affinity for television shows about Alaska.

A longtime fan of the Discovery Channel series The Alaskan Bush People, Calipari told reporters that instead of watching and worrying about other college basketball teams this season, he’s spending his free time focusing on the lives of the people up north.

“I am not — I’m asking my guys, do you guys watch games? They watch every game. I’m watching Alaska: The Last Frontier. I’m watching Life Below Zero. I am not watching other college basketball teams and the reason is, I don’t want to get discouraged myself. We’re so far behind these other teams. I don’t really care if we are because we’re not playing them yet. I’ve just got to stay focused and I don’t want to have anxiety about, we’ve go to do more, be more. We are who we are.”

Calipari has mentioned Alaska: The Last Frontier before. it also airs on the Discovery Channel and profiles the Kilcher family, who lives off the grid on a 600-acre homestead on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula. The National Geographic’s Life Below Zero follows people who live in the northern part of Alaska near the Arctic Ocean, and how they cope with the cold weather.

Cal, if you like shows about people worrying about winter, I’ve got another one for you:

You’ve got plenty of time to catch up, too. Word is season eight of Game of Thrones won’t air until 2019.


TRANSCRIPT: John Calipari previews Monmouth

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

On how this week’s practices have gone …

“Good. Good. I was really tough two days ago and the problem was that our weight/strength coach, Rob (Harris), sad that at that point in practice their heart rates went up, their effort went up and their—that’s a problem. Because if I’m the one that has to get them to do that, they’re not getting this. I told them that. I said, ‘You mean to tell me I’ve gotta be that mean for you to do what you should want to do and what you’re supposed to be learning to do?’ They were better yesterday. They’re trying to get better. The message today’s going to be really simple: As everyone buys in, this team will start taking off. But we all gotta buy in. And buying in isn’t that anyone’s selfish. Just, they don’t know better. Buying in—they’ve created habits that the minute they’re fatigued they go back to and all those things. When I get tired, I stop. When I get tired, I just do what I want to do. We’re working on that every single day. And then we gotta start working on how we’re playing together and what we’re doing. But individually right now I’m pleased, because everybody’s ticking up. They’re all—Wenyen’s (Gabriel) been great the last couple days. He’s really—trying to get him to play a little more like Derek Willis played, with more rebounding, hopefully better defense, but do the stuff Derek Willis did for us. I think it’s making easy for him. Just be that guy.”

On the trip to New York …

“We always like to go up in there and travel, get away from here. You know, going into the Garden, going into the Barclays (Center), we try to do it every year. It’s a good trip. We have guys from there on the team, whether they’re bringing family from up in New England or Philadelphia or New York area, they get to be with family. I wish it was a later game so we could maybe even stay overnight, but it’s a noon game so we’ll probably leave right after to come back. They do have finals next week, so most of the rest of Saturday and Sunday will be—and they’re all loaded up. They all have one or two finals on Monday.”

On UK not attempting many 3s …

“Well, we’re trying to get to, instead of 14 or 15, we want to get to about 18, 19, 17, maybe 20 every once in a while. You don’t want more than that because that’s not who we are, but we need to have that. And then we have to have—like Quade’s (Green) gotta scout out 3s. He’s one of our best 3-point shooters. I want Kevin (Knox) to shoot three, four, maybe five if he’s making them, but I really need him to get to the basket and drive the ball. We need Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) to scout out (3-point attempts). I just asked him, ‘Are you spending extra time? Are you getting in the gym?’ ‘Yeah.’ Well I said, ‘You’re not making any right now.’ So you look at him and you look at Wenyen. Wenyen needs to shoot three. You look across the spectrum. Right now a guy that’s been shooting well in practice that we’ve been waiting for is PJ (Washington). So you get one more guy that can make perimeter shots—and they don’t have to be 3s. I mean, I always say this: If you’re going to shoot 30 3s a game—and we have teams in the country right now, their whole deal is, we’re shooting 30. You’re going to hit a game where you’re going to hit three. It’s just how it is. You’re not machines. ‘Well we make 40 percent every game.’ Really? Alright. Then you have other teams who are gonna say, ‘You’re going to have to beat us shooting 2s, we’re not giving you 3s.’ So, I just would rather if you make us take more than we want, OK, but we’ll still – this is a different kind of team. I’ve had teams that have shot more 3s, but I think if you follow me, anytime we’ve shot 27, 28, 29, 30 3s we’ve lost that game. We’ve lost it. So, it’s not how we play, but I do want more than 12. We should be able to make six 3s a game, maybe seven, but six 3s should be what we get per game with the way this team can shoot. And we should be a great free-throw shooting team. I mean, Nick (Richards) is shooting 80 percent – your big guy. So, we have good free-throw shooters. And I’d rather to be an attack team that loves to get in the lane and likes 3s, but loves the lane, just live in that lane.”

On Kevin Knox seeming to be the guy he’s prioritized getting into the lane …

“Yeah, because he’s used to settling, he’s used to shooting fadeaways, he’s used to stepping back versus continue to play through bumps and get at that rim. You’re long, we have him shooting runners. You don’t have to go all the way to the basket. You can drive it in and shoot a one-, two-step runner, and he’s making that shot now. I think in the last week Hami (Diallo) has got a better feel for what we’re trying to do. What it tells you as a coach, they don’t know. And when you talk to them it may not register. You have to do drills and practice a certain way to get them – and then you gotta reinforce, ‘That’s what we’re looking for. Right there. You be that guy.’ Now, the minute they’re fatigued they revert back to that other stuff. That’s why we’re trying to tell them – I’m doing shooting drills, killing them, running before we do the shooting drills, more running and then go shoot. And I’m telling them, ‘You’re fatigued, some of you will let go of the rope. If that’s who you are, don’t. You know you’re the one that lets go of the rope. If you make 35 shots, you let go of the rope. If you make 50 to 60, you didn’t. So, make 50 to 60.’ So, that’s the mindset. Most of this stuff is young kids. They’ve accepted this is who I am, this is the best I have. And basically they got probably 40 percent left in there. But no one has demanded they do more. So, that’s what I’m trying to do right now.”

On if he’s OK with Kevin Knox playing 35 minutes per game …

“Too many. Too many. He’s in the one position that’s kind of we don’t have enough. You know what I’m saying? He’s at the one – I wish I had two of those, but I don’t. We have one. That’s why I can play Wenyen (Gabriel) some there and PJ (Washington) some there. I can go smaller with Hami, but we haven’t done it in practice right now. So, I hate to do stuff in a game that I haven’t worked on because you can’t really hold those kids accountable if you’re doing stuff in a game that you haven’t practiced. Whatever happens, happens. But yeah, he’s playing too many minutes.”

On saying his team is “a work in progress” and how far along they are …

“I just think it’s going to be day-to-day. Yesterday I told them, ‘I feel encouraged right now.’ They were like, ‘Wow, really?!’ Today I’ll probably say, ‘I really feel discouraged right now.’ That’s how this has been. I don’t want to be the guy that has to go crazy to get them to compete and play, because if I am that means they’re real close to letting go of the rope. And when we get in the game and it’s really hard, the other team’s giving it, that’s when that team lets go of that rope. You’re seeing teams, some of them lose to mid-major teams, you’re seeing it now. I mean these teams we played, they all had a chance to beat us, but we fought to win. You’re seeing teams, some of them look tired travelling all over the world playing basketball. These kids are 17 and 18-years old going to school, practicing, trying to do it, national television and all that. That stuff happens. I’m asking my guys, ‘Do you guys watch?’ They watch every game. I’m watching ‘Alaska vs. Frontier,’ I’m watching ‘Life Below Zero.’ I’m not watching other college basketball teams, and the reason is I don’t want to get discouraged for ourselves. ‘We’re so far behind these other teams.’ I really don’t care if we are because we’re not playing them yet. I just gotta stay focused, and I don’t want to have anxiety about ‘well we’ve got to do more, be more of that.’ We are who we are right now. And now we’re gonna go to New York. This team had Hofstra beat yesterday, it was a tip-out play, can’t believe they lost the game. They had Connecticut beat, up at Connecticut, had a chance to beat them so they’ve got good guard play. Really big and physical inside, and we better show up and play. I’m more concerned about just let’s go 40 minutes and see what happens. It’s a noon game. Hard to play at noon. Normally at noon whoever shows up to play wins the game. So let’s just hope we’re showing up to play, and we have a chance to do what we need to do.”

On PJ Washington knocking down shots in practice …

“He’s just started. He’s doing things he hasn’t done, and he’s doing them for the first time, and he’s building his own confidence. And now he’s gotta go in the game and do it. I keep telling him, ‘We need you to shoot balls. I need you to shoot some jump shots. That’s what this team needs. If you don’t feel you’re making them, you don’t want to shoot them so then you start putting your head down and drive. Then you turn it over, run somebody is over, beg for a foul. No, you, if they give you shots you gotta take them. He’s beginning to do that now. I told them about some guy, ‘He would kill you guys,’ and then Shai (Gilgeous-Alexander) says, ‘Yeah, he’s 24 years old. I’m 19; he’s five years older than me.’ So that made me laugh, but like I said yesterday was a good day. I walked out and really felt good. I’m just hoping today’s a good day so I can walk out feeling good about this.”

On how deep in a season he normally goes with ups and downs with the team …

“Well, it’s not that they’re not trying. It’s more that we’re reverting back. It’s more of them losing focus and concentration because of fatigue. And they’ve never gone this hard. I mean they’ve never done what they’re doing right now, which is 45 days of practice, academics, tutoring, travel, all this stuff, playing in games, having all this social media out there that they’ve never had before. Dealing with all this stuff they’re dealing with, it wears you down, and the first thing that goes is your focus and concentration so they’re trying. They’re trying to please me too. I’ve had people come in and say, ‘Coach, that isn’t always the case now. You’ve got a team full of guys trying.’ You may be watching TV and guys are sulking because ‘he got more shots than I got.’ We don’t have any of that. I think this team wants to be special, they just, they thought they could do it easily, and they’ve figured out now ‘oh my gosh, this is really gonna be hard.’ Like Nick (Richards), Nick’s gotten way better, but the minute he gets fatigued he thinks it’s okay now to stop because ‘I hit a couple of shots, I made some free throws now I can be ok this time.’ No. It’s you push through, and it’s what we do here. Part of my message today will be, the thing for us – when you leave us you know right now you’re looking over your shoulders. But as you move on from here, if you don’t bring it, you’re out. There isn’t a coach that’s gonna scream, ‘You’ve gotta play harder.’ No, they’re gonna say, ‘Man, he can’t play hard. Put another guy in.’ All of the sudden you look and you’re on the shelf, and then all of the sudden you’re out. ‘What happened?’ ‘He didn’t fight.’ You’ve gotta battle. Nothing is given to you. You gotta earn it, and every day you’re competing against each other. If you think you’ve made it, you’re really close to probably being out. Our kids leave here understanding that they’re in a dogfight. If they wanna eat, they’ve gotta be battling somebody. This is a good group. We have some flaws, but so does every team out there. Every one of them. Can’t shoot free throws, can’t shoot, too small, to this, too that. Come on. This is a different team. Long as heck, and getting better defensively, but we’ve got a ways to go. We’ll see.”

On playing at Madison Square Garden …

“Yeah, the Garden is still, Madison Square Garden is the Mecca. It’s a place, you know the excitement of the City. The excitement of whole environment. They’ve redone it so it went from hooks on walls in the locker room, really, you know wooden bench. No, really, like little hooks and your clothes there and a wooden bench, and you didn’t know what was behind the wall so you’d be like, ‘What the hell was that?’ To it’s now they went through this thing and basically made it a brand new building. But it still, it brings back great memories when I was coaching, and well, we played there when I was at UMass. Had some great games. Beat North Carolina in there. We beat Syracuse there when they won the national title with Carmelo Anthony. We beat them there. Can’t remember how many times have we played there. Oh we beat Kansas, didn’t we? Michigan State? Yeah, but I think we beat — oh so you guys follow this stuff?”


Just one more time, let’s talk about this picture

The picture above is absolutely amazing and I can’t emphasize that enough. On the surface, this is a picture of Mark Stoops leaning on a Bentley alongside 3-star recruit Shocky Jacques-Louis (probably the best name ever). However, this picture has so much more to offer upon further analysis. Let’s take a closer look.

The Bentley

 

 

 

 

 

There aren’t many other cars that you can flex harder in than a Bentley and Stoops seems to be well aware of that, judging by this photo. Stoops knew exactly what he was doing here. Instead of standing close to the two other young men, he elected to isolate himself from them leaving an awkward gap. An awkward gap that ensures you notice the Bentley logo. This leaves zero doubt as to what kind of car he’s whipping thus solidifying his baller status. It’s definitely a rental, but what people don’t know won’t hurt them.

There are so many cars in this picture

Including the Bentley there are nine freaking cars in this picture which seems like an excessive amount of automobiles to be in this particular residential area. Anywho, Jacques-Louis recently decomitted from a crumbling Tennessee program which I think gives significance to the cars in the background. Notice the cars in the background are all hunks of junk compared to the Bentley. Jacques-Louis looks forward, stoically, with Stoops’ Bentley in the foreground while the less impressive cars are ignored behind him. The forward gaze and Bentley symbolize a successful future career with UK, while the cars in background represent mistakes of the past and the waning Tennessee program, each car symbolizing all the coaches who turned down the head coaching job.

Lol

I said earlier that Stoops was trying to flex but I never said he was good at it. I just find this part of the picture funny. First of all, I think Stoops is going for the old school B-Boy stance here, but it kind of just looks like he’s a little chilly and may need a thin jacket to combat the breeze. I’ve also never seen a man look so uncomfortable leaning against a car in my life. To tell the truth, I don’t really want my football coach to look comfortable leaning against a flashy vehicle anyway. If a football coach looks comfortable near a fancy car then all that tells me he is more interested in how he looks than how the team looks. It’s obviously a rental, and solely being used as a prop to make his football team better, which is a classic football guy move and Stoops is a pure football guy. Honestly, seeing Stoops that uncomfortable in this picture was very reassuring.

Also, notice the trashcan in the background. It’s a big blue trashcan that looks like it is devouring a smiley Amazon box while Stoops seems to be looking away in disgust. Possibly symbolic of Stoops’ unwillingness to ever disappoint the fans by letting the most recent UofL game happen again? I’ll let you interpret that one.


Calipari watching Moses Brown tonight

John Calipari headed up to New York a little early to do some recruiting. According to Pat Lawless, Calipari and Tony Barbee are at Archbishop Molloy in Jamaica, New York tonight to watch 2018 center Moses Brown and 2019 point guard Cole Anthony.

 Moses Brown ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Center 7-1 | 241 lbs. Briarwood, NY Archbishop Molloy/New Heights
ESPN: 17 | 2 C Top 247: 27 | 3 C Rivals: 13 Scout: 13 | 2 C

Calipari has yet to offer Brown, but Kentucky’s interest in him picked up considerably once the staff figured out Bol Bol was headed to Oregon. With few big man options in the 2018 class and the possibility of Nick Richards going pro after his freshman year, expect Brown to stay on Kentucky’s radar, as evidenced by tonight’s visit. Luckily, his dad told the Herald-Leader Kentucky is his “dream school.”

Watch him square off vs. Bol Bol in the video below:


Northwestern Tops Kentucky in the Red Zone

The Red Zone is a football term that is frequently used by talking heads and on-field analysts. We often utilize statistics from this category in order to construct an opponent’s proficiency profile. Do you know at what point on the football field is considered the redzone? I have to be honest, for years I thought the red zone started at the plus 25-yard line. In fact, the term refers to the area of the football field that stretches from the opponent’s 20-yard line to the end zone.

The Kentucky has excelled and failed in the red zone. Let’s take a look:

Kentucky Red Zone Offense

Eddie Gran’s unit entered the red zone on 39 occasions in which its scored 36 times. Its 92.31% scoring ratio is excellent; good enough for 4th in the SEC and 13th in the nation. BUT, the Wildcats managed just 24 touchdowns from those 39 trips; 61.54%. It kicked 12 field goals; 30.77%.

Summary: Excellent scoring percentage. But, the UK settled for field goals instead of touchdowns on far too many occasions. Matter of fact, its inability to score touchdowns inside the twenty-yard line significantly factored in its win/loss column. Kentucky cannot trade field goals for touchdowns vs. Northwestern in the Music City Bowl.

Kentucky Red Zone Defense

UK’s opponents entered the red zone 43 times and scored in 39 of those trips; 90.70%. Of the opponent’s 39 scores, 26 were touchdowns (70%) and 10 scores were of the field goal variety.

Summary: Surrendering 70% touchdowns ranked 13th in the SEC. This statistic has greatly influenced the win/loss column. Opponents made 43 trips, scored on 39. So, just 4 red zone drives ended with zero points.

Inside NU

Northwestern Red Zone Offense

Northwestern’s 90.74% red zone efficiency offense is ranked 2nd in the Big Ten and 21st in the nation. The Wildcats made 54 trips inside the twenty in which it scored 49 times. Of the 49 scores; 39 were touchdowns (72.22%). 10 drives finished with field goal conversions (18.52%).

Summary: 72.22% of all redzone trips end with Wildcat touchdowns. Highly efficient.

 

Northwestern Red Zone Defense

Opponents made 38 trips to the red zone in which they scored on 27 occurrences or 71.05% of the time. That percentage ranks the Wildcats 1st in the Big Ten and 7th in the nation. Of those 38 red zone trips; 20 resulted in touchdowns. Opponents are scoring touchdowns on just 52.63% of all red zone opportunities. 7 of the 38 attempts finished with made field goals; 18.4%. Thus, 11 of 38 drives resulted with zero points.

What does all this mean?

Northwestern is one of the best Red Zone teams in all of college football. In my opinion; this stat column combines “want to” with discipline and efficiency. Those terms adequately describe UK’s opponent in the Music City Bowl.


The Depth Chart Podcast: Music City Bowl Bound

The Depth Chart Podcast can’t wait to go to the Music City Bowl.  That’s right, Freddie Maggard will be in Nashville to watch Kentucky take on Northwestern.  If Freddie can muscle up and go to his least-favorite city, you can make the postseason trip to the Music City.

The podcast wasn’t all about the bowl game.  The crew also talked about…

—  A Salute to those who lost their lives at Pearl Harbor.

—  Unfair comparisons between Mark Stoops and Rich Brooks.

—  How bad was UK’s defense behind the line of scrimmage?

—  The gang gets a few things off their chest.

—  What does next year’s quarterback situation look like?

—  Freddie’s experience at Kroger Field for the KHSAA State Finals.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.