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February 14th, 2018

WATCH: Calipari admits he’s still chasing 40-0

Andy Katz was recently in Lexington to do some work for NCAA.com, and part of that included a behind-the-scenes tour of the Rupp Arena locker room with John Calipari. During the tour, Calipari reflects on his time at Kentucky, the 2012 National Championship, and yes, how he’s still chasing that perfect season despite coming up short in 2015.

“When you look at it, they all sacrificed for each other and guess what? We almost won all 40. I’m still hacked off we lost that game. That team should have been 40-0. That would have been the statement in the history of our sport, if we could have won all 40. And it didn’t happen. So they kind of go by 38-1. Now, that’s the best record in the history of the NCAA. Like to get 40 sometime before I retire.”

As that quote suggests, this video will bring up plenty of happy memories, and yes, a few sad ones, but it’s still a great reminder of the success we’ve had in the past decade. It also includes a pretty cool story about how the 2012 National Championship floor ended up in the Rupp Arena locker room.

And yes, Cal, I’m still hacked off we lost that game too.


Pregame Scouting: Auburn Tigers

Happy Valentine’s Day, Big Blue Nation! If you’re anything like me, you’re spending tonight with your most significant other, the Kentucky basketball team. Except lately, the Wildcats have been like that unhealthy relationship that you keep running back to when they say they’re going to change. The most recent version of the Cats changing occurred after a “team meeting” which involved players taking the blame for some struggles throughout the season. Hamidou Diallo and Quade Green were honest with the media yesterday, as both essentially put themselves on blast for the team’s struggles. Now let’s see if anything comes of this latest change.

The Cats are in War Eagle territory tonight to take on the current best team in the Southeastern Conference, the Auburn Tigers. Head Coach Bruce Pearl has done a masterful job coaching this team without two of their better players who have been out for the season in relation to the FBI/Adidas scandal. Auburn is currently ranked as the #10 team in the country, sitting at a 22-3 record.

The Tigers’ best player, Bryce Brown, missed the last game with a shoulder injury. He’s returned to practice the last few days, and most would say there’s no way that Bruce Pearl wouldn’t play him in tonight’s game. Let’s take a look at the probable starting lineup for the Tigers, assuming that Brown suits up.


#2 Bryce Brown, Junior Guard, 6’3″

Bryce Brown is one of the most improved players in the nation this season. He was the 369th ranked recruit coming out of high school and averaged just over 7 points last season, but now he’s one of the candidates for SEC Player of the Year. As I mentioned earlier, Brown is nursing a shoulder injury that could slow him down a little tonight, but that is to be determined.

The junior is the 6th best scorer in the SEC and the team leader at 16.6 points per game. He pulls down 2.3 rebounds and dishes out 1.9 assists per game. He can fill it up from anywhere on the floor, hitting 41.5% of his threes and 78.7% of his free throws. Last season against the Cats, he scored just 6 points in 27 minutes.

A true scoring guard, Brown is one of four starting guards for the Tigers this season. He most likely matches up with Hamidou Diallo for Kentucky. Diallo was very critical of his own defensive effort in the media session yesterday, so hopefully he comes out tonight ready to fight. Shutting down Brown would go a long way towards pulling off an upset.

#5 Mustapha Heron, Sophomore Guard, 6’5″

Mustapha Heron was far and away the best player for the Auburn Tigers last season, and he has continued as one of their main contributors this year. Heron was the first 5-star recruit to sign with the Tigers in Auburn basketball history. He had 11 points and 3 rebounds against the Cats last season.

While Bryce Brown is the 6th best scorer in the conference, Heron is just one spot behind him as the 7th leading scorer in the conference. He’s currently averaging 16.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and a team leading 1.3 steals per game. Heron is a threat to score from anywhere on the floor, but his three point shooting has dropped some this year. He’s shooting 33.7% from three and 80.7% from the free throw line.

At only 6’5″, Heron is the second tallest player in the starting lineup for the Tigers. A four guard lineup brings about match up problems galore for both teams defensively. Kentucky will most likely use Kevin Knox on Heron, but doing so results in PJ Washington defending a 6’3″ guard. Zone may be hard to play with outside shooting being a strength of this Auburn team.

#1 Jared Harper, Sophomore Guard, 5’10”

Jared Harper returns as a second year starter for Coach Bruce Pearl this season. Harper was a four-star rated prospect and a top 50 player coming out of Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, Georgia. He finished with 8 points and 3 turnovers in the loss to Kentucky last season.

Harper is a third straight outside threat for the Tigers. He’s a facilitator as well as a scorer for this offense, leading the team with 6 assists per game, good for best in the SEC. He’s also scoring 13.3 points, pulling down 2.2 rebounds, and swiping 1.2 steals per game. He’s shooting 41.3% from deep and 81% from the charity stripe.

The sophomore is truly the quarterback of this Auburn offensive attack. At 5’10” and 170 pounds, Harper is outsized by nearly every player he goes up against, but he has continued to impress. He’ll face a challenge in Kentucky’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander tonight. Harper probably matches up better with Quade Green, but it’ll depend on the various lineups Coach Cal throws onto the floor.

#13 Desean Murray, Junior Guard, 6’3″

Desean Murray is the fourth and final guard in the starting lineup for Bruce Pearl. He is playing in his first season at Auburn, sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. He spent his freshman season at Presbyterian College, where he was a Big South All-Conference first-team selection while scoring 20.2 points per game.

Murray has stepped into a role of almost playing a power forward for Auburn. He’s averaging 11 points and a team leading 6.9 rebounds on the year, while shooting 37.8% from three and 85.7% on his free throws. Murray go get buckets for Coach Pearl, so if Bryce Brown does not play, look for Murray to be picking up the slack.

The junior measures in at 6’3″ and 225 pounds, and he plays so much bigger than those measurements would allude. The closest to a forward of the four starting guards, Murray plays most of his game inside the arc, despite having the ability to stretch the floor. PJ Washington will be in for one of his more difficult defensive assignments, having to keep up with Murray all night.

#24 Anfernee McLemore, Sophomore Forward, 6’7″

Anfernee McLemore is the lone non-guard in the starting lineup for Auburn this season. He was ranked as a three-star prospect in most recruiting services, but earned that fourth star in ESPN’s rankings. He played just 6 minutes in the game against Kentucky last season, totaling 2 points and 3 rebounds.

McLemore is the closest thing to a post-presence that Bruce Pearl runs out there, but it has been working for Auburn this season. He’s scoring 7.5 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, and blocking an SEC leading 2.8 shots per game. He can step away from the basket and knock down shots, hitting 16 of 42 threes attempted this year.

Despite being just 6’7″ and 220 pounds, McLemore is an intimidating force in the paint for the Tigers. He’ll match up with Kentucky’s Nick Richards to start the game, but if Kentucky has to go small to keep up with Auburn’s four-guard lineup, he’ll draw the eye of Jarred Vanderbilt for parts of the game.


Go Cats. Beat Tigers.

@BrettBibbinsKSR


De’Aaron Fox to replace Lonzo Ball in NBA All-Star Rising Stars Challenge

In yet another turn in their ongoing rivalry, it was just announced that De’Aaron Fox will replace Lonzo Ball in the Rising Stars Challenge, which takes place this Friday night during NBA All-Star Weekend. Ball has missed the Lakers’ last 13 games with a sprained MCL. Meanwhile, Fox has been on a tear, averaging 14.5 points and 4.1 assists over his last ten games.

Fox will play for the US Team, which will take on the World Team, which includes fellow former Cat Jamal Murray. There are plenty of former Cats participating in All-Star Weekend, so here’s when you can watch them (all events aired on TNT):

  • Friday, 9 p.m. ET: Rising Stars Challenge (Jamal Murray, De’Aaron Fox)
  • Saturday, 8 p.m. ET: State Farm All-Star Saturday Night
    • Taco Bell Skills Challenge (Jamal Murray)
    • JBL Three-Point Contest (Devin Booker)
  • Sunday, 8 p.m. ET: 67th NBA All-Star Game (Anthony Davis, Karl Towns)

Speaking of the Ball family, did you see LaVar Ball’s threat that Lonzo won’t re-sign with the Lakers unless they sign his brothers LiAngelo and LaMelo as well? Ha!

Every day that goes by, Magic Johnson must regret not taking De’Aaron Fox more and more.

[NBA]


UK’s Two New Assistants are Already Recruiting Top Talent in New Territories

UK Athletics

When Mark Stoops added Michael Smith and Brad White to the Kentucky football staff, they brought new recruiting territories to the table.  The two have already reached out to four-star prospects after just two weeks.

White hails from Rhode Island, a state that produces few Division I football recruits.  Stoops was hesitant to say how much UK would invest in the small Northeastern state.  When White was asked if UK should expect to get every top recruit from the state, he responded:

“I wish. We’ll see,” White said. “There’s not many players that come out of the state, but I am really looking forward to getting there and into that mid-Atlantic area because we’ve had a lot of good players from New Jersey, Washington D.C., and Maryland. So we’ll hit the ground running there and see if we can get some more.”

Yesterday White hit the ground running at his alma mater by offering the best player in the state of Rhode Island, four-star offensive tackle Xavier Truss.  The 6’7″ 325-pound offensive lineman holds offers from Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and Alabama.

Two of White’s premier pass-rushers are from the Mid-Atlantic area, Josh Allen and Josh Paschal.  White will chip in to help Marrow recruit one of Paschal’s former Good Counsel teammates, 3-star 2019 wide receiver Cam Hart.

Smith’s ties are to a state that consistently produces top football recruits, Louisiana.  He’s wasted no time reaching out to a ton elite wide receivers from The Pelican State.  The following five recruits from the 2019 class have received scholarship offers from UK since Smith’s introductory press conference:

  • Jacob Bernard — No relation to Andy Bernard, UK is the first SEC offer for the 5-11 WR.
  • Kash Foley —  Foley has received a few D-I offers, but UK is the biggest name on the WR’s list.
  • Christian Harris — The four-star WR/CB from Baton Rouge is considered a Top 100 player and the #7 athlete in the country.
  • Quinton Torbor — A 6’2″ four-star slot receiver from Destrehen, La., he’ll be on of the best 300 players in the nation before he makes a college decision.
  • Devonta Lee — The 6-2 athlete is a Top 50 prospect and the #7 WR in America.


The top three targets — Harris, Torbor and Lee — are all projected by the Crystal Ball to end up at LSU.  Smith did not reveal much of his pitch to lure players out of the state.

“It’s the brand. I think what a lot of people don’t understand about a lot of kids from Louisiana is that they are willing to leave the state. The fact that Kentucky is a SEC football program, I think we’re in the best conference in college football…The SEC is the SEC and I think that’s a big sell for a lot of kids not only in Louisiana, but everybody.”

Smith and White may not be able to get the best of the best from their respective territories, but it only takes one commitment to give Kentucky momentum in an uncharted part of the country.


BBNBA: Towns’ Effort Not Enough in Loss to Houston

Karl Towns’ 35 points was not enough as the Timberwolves fell to the Rockets 128-108. That loss drops Minnesota to 35-25 on the season. If the playoffs started today, Towns would be looking at his first playoff appearance as the #4 seed.

In other BBNBA news, six other former Cats scored in double figures, with some highlights including De’Aaron Fox’s 11 points and 7 assists and Jamal Murray’s 17 points. Murray is turning in a good sophomore season for the Nuggets who currently sit at 31-26 as the #6 seed in the playoffs.

Complete Stats

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Bam Adebayo115-112 L vs. Tor113-653012+725
Eric Bledsoe97-92 W vs. Atl145-14 (2-6)39136+1135
Karl-Anthony Towns128-108 L vs. Hou3512-16 (2-3)123131-435
Patrick Patterson120-112 L vs. Cle00-031001-410
Dakari JohnsonDNP- Coach's Decision---------
De'Aaron Fox114-109 W vs. Dal115-12 (1-3)47103-531
Willie Cauley-Stein114-109 W vs. Dal104-841120+828
Jamal Murray117-109 W vs. SA176-9 (3-6)51203+1938
Trey Lyles117-109 W vs. SA114-6 (0-1)20001-517

Highlights
Towns says NO!


Towns’ Complete Highlights


Cue the Bow and Arrow!


Murray with the step back


Today’s Games

  • Hawks at Pistons- 7pm
  • Hornets (Monk and MKG) at Magic- 7pm
  • Heat (Adebayo) at 76ers- 7pm
  • Pacers (Poythress) at Nets- 7:30pm
  • Wizards (Meeks) at Knicks (Kanter) 7:30pm
  • Clippers at Celtics- 8pm (ESPN)
  • Raptors at Bulls- 8pm
  • Kings (Cauley-Stein, Fox and Skal) at Rockets- 8pm
  • Thunder (Patterson and Johnson) at Grizzlies (Harrison) 8pm
  • Lakers (Randle) at Pelicans (Davis, Rondo, Liggins and Miller) 8pm
  • Suns (Booker and Ulis) at Jazz- 9pm
  • Warriors at Trail Blazers- 10:30pm (ESPN)

Kevin Knox Makes Naismith Trophy Watch List

Kevin Knox is one of 30 finalists to make the cut for the late-season watch list for the Naismith Trophy, given each year to college basketball’s best player.

The small forward has scored more than 20 points in six games this season and is averaging 15 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.  The freshman is also a finalist for the Julius Erving Award and the Lute Olson Award’s All-American Team.

Kentucky will face two other finalists this week, Auburn’s Bryce Brown and Alabama’s Colin Sexton.  The list will be cut ten on February 28 and the winner will be announced during the Final Four.


Michael Smith’s Message to UK’s Young Wide Receivers

New assistant coach Michael Smith is inheriting a wide receivers room that only features ten scholarship players. Four of them will be freshmen this fall.  Tavin Richardson and Dorian Baker will be the only players with more than a year of college experience.

“I like the challenge of being able to mold those guys. I look forward to it. I’ve had a bunch of young receivers in my career,” Smith said yesterday.  “You have to have patience. You have to understand that they are 17 and 18-year-old young men that are trying to find their way not only on the football field, but in life.”

Smith’s first task as their coach is simple: learn everybody’s name.  To integrate himself with the players, his first meeting was with Baker, a senior who returns for one final season after suffering a season-ending injury last summer.

“I brought him in and I picked is brain about what he thought about the receiving corps and the team because I want to help these guys chase their dreams individually, but I also want to help them realize that we have to do it as a team.”

Sometimes to best help this Kentucky team it doesn’t require the receivers to catch passes, thanks to Benny Snell.  Teaching young kids to be patient blockers is not easy, but Smith believes he can get everyone to buy in.

“The team comes first. We have to do what we have to do to win,” Smith said.  “When you’re running down the field to get open, what do you think Benny is back there doing for you guys? He’s blocking, trying to protect the quarterback so that you can have an opportunity to catch a pass, so it goes both ways and it’s a team sport.”

Smith does not need his young wide receivers to be heroes.  He needs them to do their job and do it to the best of their ability.

“I just want you to be the best you that you can be. I don’t need Superman. I need Dorian Baker to be the best Dorian Baker. I need Lynn Bowden to be the best Lynn Bowden he can be and so on and so forth. It goes from my top guy all the way to the bottom guy and again, I don’t want anyone to ever look at our position group or me as a coach as a weak link.”

The wide receivers’ work starts before Smith can do anything with them on a football field this spring.  It already looks like Bowden and Isaiah Epps are doing what he has to do to become the deep threat Kentucky needs in 2018.

A post shared by Terry Wilson (@terrytouchdown3) on


Kentucky Launches New Facebook Series “Inside the Madness: University of Kentucky Basketball”

The University of Kentucky announced a new documentary series that will provide an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at John Calipari’s program.

“Inside the Madness: University of Kentucky Basketball” is a 10-episode series produced by the creators of Showtime’s “A Season With.”  The series debuts this Saturday, with a new episode following each week through March 31.

It’s the third time Calipari has opened his doors to television cameras at UK.  The “One and Not Done” 30 for 30 was an overwhelming success.  However, you couldn’t say the same about ESPN’s “All-Access” series from the 2012-13 preseason, a season many fans would like to forget.  By the looks of the trailer, this series could be the best yet.

“What you see in the beginning of the year is not what you’re going to see at the end.”

John Calipari had this to say about the show:

We get approached all the time to do all-access shows. The one question I always have is, what is our why? Why are we doing this? What I liked about this it’s about showing the type of kids we have here and the family atmosphere we’ve created. The great thing is the crew can do that while being of no distraction to our team and our goals. They’re around, but they’re a fly on the wall. We get to open the doors to our team in a way we’ve never done before while I coach my team and these kids learn.

To see each week’s episode, subscribe to the Facebook page.  You can also find the complete schedule and more information on the show from UK Athletics.


BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: UK Against SEC Champions…..Not So Good

Tonight, Kentucky plays what is very likely going to be this year’s SEC Champion.  Over the past 26 years since probation, Kentucky has won 13 regular season titles, meaning they will have faced another champion in 13 seasons, and many times more than once in a season.  How have those results looked:

1991-92 (Champion: Arkansas 13-3)
(Home) Arkansas 105, Kentucky 88

1992-93 (Champion: Vanderbilt 14-2)
(Away) Vanderbilt 101, Kentucky 86, (Home) Kentucky 82, Vanderbilt 67

1993-94 (Champion: Arkansas 14-2)
(Home) Arkansas 90, Kentucky 82, (Neutral) Kentucky 90, Arkansas 78

1996-97 (Champion: South Carolina 15-1)
(Away) South Carolina 84, Kentucky 79, (Home) South Carolina 72, Kentucky 66

1998-99 (Champion: Auburn 14-2)
(Home) Kentucky 72, Auburn 62, (Neutral) Kentucky 69, Auburn 57

2001-02 (Champion: Alabama 12-4)
(Home) Alabama 64, Kentucky 61

2003-04 (Champion: Mississippi State 14-2)
(Away) Kentucky 67, Mississippi State 66

2005-06 (Champion: LSU 14-2)
(Away) LSU 71, Kentucky 67

2006-07 (Champion: Florida 13-3)
(Home) Florida 64, Kentucky 61, (Away) Florida 85, Kentucky 72

2007-08 (Champion: Tennessee 14-2)
(Home) Kentucky 72, Tennessee 66, (Away) Tennessee 63, Kentucky 60

2008-09 (Champion: LSU 13-3)
(Home) LSU 73, Kentucky 70, (Away) LSU 67, Kentucky 58

2010-11 (Champion: Florida 13-3)
(Away) Florida 70, Kentucky 68, (Home) Kentucky 76, Florida 68, (Neutral) Kentucky 70, Florida 54

2012-13 (Champion: Florida 14-4)
(Away) Florida 69, Kentucky 52, (Home) Kentucky 61, Florida 57

2013-14 (Champion: Florida 18-0)
(Home) Florida 69, Kentucky 59, (Away) Florida 84, Kentucky 65, (Neutral) Florida 61, Kentucky 60

Combined
9-17 Overall
5-7 Home
1-9 Road
3-1 Neutral (SEC Tournament)

Obviously when facing the league champion the overall record is not going to be pretty.  That’s why these opponents were the league champion.  But what is important to focus on is the road record, a paltry 1-9.  The only win in that group is the Erik Daniels buzzer-beater against Mississippi State in 2004.  Otherwise, UK has lost those other 9 road games by 9.6 points per game.  The Cats will need a serious upgrade in performance tonight to compete against a very good Auburn squad.  But if you are looking for any good sign of fate, the only time the Cats have beaten an SEC champion 2 or more times in a season without a loss is against Auburn in 1999.  Talk about trying to grasp for straws but hey, at this point, anything to keep me interested I am using.


Happy Valentine’s Day (Wednesday Show Thread)

Celebrate this wonderful day of love by listening to Kentucky Sports Radio.  They’ll prepare you for Kentucky’s difficult road trip to Auburn and let you know how Ryan Lemond (probably) screwed up Valentine’s Day.

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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Valentine’s Day Flash Sale: 25% off all items!

Just when you thought you were out of time to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for the special someone in your life, the KSR Shop and Kentucky Branded are here to save the day. Head to ShopKSR.com to receive 25% off all items in stock!

In addition to the variety of KSR items which always make a great Valentine’s Day gift, check out the ‘Sweet as Kentucky’ and ‘Bourbon is my Valentine’ tees. Hurry this flash sale ends at midnight!

[Valentine’s Day flash sale: 25% off all items]


GAMEDAY: Kentucky Faces Tall Task at Auburn

Andy Lyons | Getty Images 

Road Dogs

Ending the first three-game losing streak of the John Calipari era will not be easy.  Kentucky tips-off at Auburn tonight at 9:00 as 8.5-point underdogs.  The Tigers sit atop the SEC standings and at No. 10 in the AP Poll.

Bruce Pearl has hosted John Calipari only once at Auburn — Tyler Ulis and Jamal Murray’s squad fell 75-70 — but Cal owns a 5-12 series lead vs. Pearl and Kentucky has a 30-14 advantage in the plains.  Even though the Cats are fighting an uphill battle, they can easily pull off the upset because…

Kentucky had a Players Only Meeting

The cliched moment of truth many fans have been waiting for finally happened, kinda, sorta, in a way.  It wasn’t the kind of meeting you’re probably envisioning.  Quade Green said the team simply had a heart-to-heart on the bus ride home from Texas A&M.

“My aspect, I think I’ve done a poor job [of leading],” Quade said. “Poor job trying to get the team together. Ever since we lost to Texas A&M, as a team we talked together so we’ve been on the same page ever since. Ever since that loss talking on the bus ride, we’ve been on the same page now.”

Will Bryce Brown be Back? 

Probably.  The Tigers’ leading scorer (16.6 ppg, 5th in the SEC) missed Saturday’s game at Georgia with a shoulder strain, but returned to practice on Monday in a non-contact capacity.  Pearl said if Brown was good to go 100 percent on Tuesday, he’d play against UK.  There’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be healthy enough to play in arguably Auburn’s biggest game of the year.

Crossover Night on ESPN

Kentucky’s primetime 9:00 tip-off highlights ESPN2’s Crossover coverage.  All night they are mixing up their broadcast combos with professional and collegiate announcers.  Kentucky will be treated to the stylings of Adam Amin, P.J. Carlesimo, Dan Dakich and Laura Rutledge.

If you’d rather just listen to Tom Leach and Mike Pratt, you can find them on the UK Sports Network, or Sirius-138 and XM-190.

Here’s a look at the full lineup for ESPN’s Crossover Night:

  • 7:00; ESPN2; Virginia Tech at Duke; Mark Jones, Hubie Brown, Jay Bilas, Allison Williams
  • 8:00; ESPN; Clippers at Celtics; Ryan Ruocco, Dick Vitale, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters
  • 10:30; ESPN; Warriors at TrailBlazers; Dave Pasch, Bill Walton, Doris Burke, Cassidy Hubbarth

It’s a White Out

For the second straight game, Kentucky is on the road, playing in the middle of a white out.  Of course.

Today’s Tale of the Tape

White is Gold

That was the call on NBC when Shaun White finished a beautiful gold medal performance in the men’s halfpipe.

How did White celebrate?  “Mountain Dews baby.”


February 13th, 2018

Hamidou Diallo takes ownership of “roller coaster” season

In many ways, Hamidou Diallo has become the poster child of Kentucky’s struggles. Like Kentucky, he showed glimpses of greatness early on, but has reverted to bad habits. In the past four games, he’s averaged only 5.75 points (2.9 if you take out the second half vs. Texas A&M) and looks less like a dynamic playmaker and more like a bull in a china shop, flailing at the basket and arguing with his coach and teammates when things don’t go his way. Today, Hami acknowledged his recent struggles and vowed to do better, especially on defense.

It’s been a roller coaster for me. It’s been up and down and I’ve still been trying to identify myself within this team. I haven’t been playing well, have been playing terrible on defense and I just need to pick it up. I need to pick it up to a different level of play for myself and for this team.”

After watching him vs. Texas A&M, it was really good to see Hami take ownership of his poor play, which he told reporters was glaring on film.

“It looks terrible on the film, to be honest. We all look terrible, including myself, and it’s just things we’re going to have to get better at. We see it on the film now and now it’s all about correcting it.”

Kenny Payne told reporters that this team isn’t capable of making up for their scoring droughts, a statement Hami wholeheartedly agreed with.

“Yeah, 100 percent. We’ve seen it multiple times. We’re not good enough to let any team just come out and score a bunch of baskets on us, hit a bunch of shots and think that we’re going to be able to play our way back every game. We’re just not that good.”

That’s a frank statement I doubt anybody would argue with, as is this next one.

“Me, myself, I have to do a much better job on defense and a much better job on offense.”


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 TJ Hendrickson


Billy better get to contacting some breweries…

#9Derrick


Got em.

#8 Kara


Amen!!!

#7 Phillip Lady


New drinking game?

#6 Gunnar Hoak


Well I’m pumped!

#5 Carrie


Who’s surprised?

#4 CeeCee


Roosters, probably.

#3 Debbie


You tell them!

#2s??c? c?????


Let’s make shirts!

#1 ENJ


There you go Matt!


Does Kentucky follow the latest trend of college basketball?

College basketball has been incredibly weird this season.

We’ve seen more top ten and top 25 losses in the history of the sport, with blue blood programs Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, and Kansas combining for 26 losses on the year. Just last weekend, eight top 25 teams lost to unranked or lower-ranked opponents, including three in the top five and six of the top ten.

As a whole, however, college basketball is shattering records, in a good way.

Ken Pomeroy of the Athletic broke down the latest trends of college basketball, and the numbers are mind-boggling. We are seeing an all-time high in free-throw percentage, three-point attempts, two-point percentage, among many other categories.

Shooting continues to improve. For the third consecutive season, free-throw percentage and 3-point attempts are at all-time highs. For the second consecutive season, 2-point percentage is at an all-time high. And 3-point percentage is the highest it’s been since the line was moved to its current location 10 seasons ago.

All of the great shooting has led to teams making a collective 51.0 percent (effective FG) of their attempts, which would break the all-time record of 50.5 set last season.

While these numbers are all positive and show the actual product is improving, the most shocking statistic involves total free throw attempts.

Officials have been the center of controversy, and watching some Kentucky games have been like watching free throw contests, but we’ve actually seen the fewest number of free throws this season since 1974.

The most dramatic change is in the number of free throws being shot. I haven’t heard any discussion of this, but fouls are noticeably down. Like, way down. There have been 18.3 fouls per game compared to 18.9 last season and 19.4 two seasons ago. In 2014, there were 19.2 fouls per game. The resulting free throws that season helped bump up efficiency to a level we won’t reach this season despite much better shooting.

Along the same lines, teams have shot an average of 19.5 free throws per game compared to 22.3 in 2014. This season will have the fewest free throws since 1974, when there were 18.9 attempts per game.

The visual showing the difference is wild.

So where do the Wildcats come into play on this?

Right now, Kentucky’s effective field goal percentage comes out to 50.79%, which is right around the national average. They’re currently shooting 47% total from the field, 51% from two, and 33% from three. Again, right on line with the rest of college basketball.

They are also shooting 69% from the free-throw line on 623 total attempts. UK players have committed 477 total fouls, good for 131st-most in the entire nation and an average of 19 fouls per contest, less than one above the national average.

Kentucky opponents, however, are shooting 68% from the free throw line and have committed 508 total fouls. They’re shooting 41% from the field, 29% from three, and have an EFG% of 47.11%, proving the Cats are impressing on the defensive side of the ball.

All in all, despite this being a “down” year for Kentucky basketball, we’re right on line with the rest of college basketball.

Yes, you read that correctly.

According to the numbers, your Wildcats are actually contributing to a historically great basketball season.

To read KenPom’s entire article breaking down the latest trend of college basketball, head on over here.