By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 11:00pm
As expected, Kentucky’s win at Auburn gave them a nice boost in the rankings and ratings. The Cats are now No. 8 in the AP Poll and the NCAA’s NET rankings, which become more and more important as we inch closer to the tournament.
After each game, we’ll take a look at Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament team sheet, which the Selection Committee uses to pick and seed teams. Each team’s wins are sorted into four quadrants using their opponent’s NET rankings:
- Quadrant 1: Home 1-30; Neutral 1-50; Away 1-75
- Quadrant 2: Home 31-75; Neutral 51-100; Away 76-135
- Quadrant 3: Home 76-160; Neutral 101-200; Away 136-240
- Quadrant 4: Home 161-plus; Neutral 201-plus; Away 241-plus
Here’s Kentucky’s team sheet through January 20:
As you can see, Kentucky is now 3-2 in Quadrant 1 games with nine more on the schedule, two this week. Win both of those and that Quadrant starts to look really good. So, let’s do it.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 10:45pm
Good evening and happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, BBN! Another week has passed, which means it’s time for another edition of Pilgrim’s Monday Insider Notes.
For as “quiet” as things were two weeks ago, we’re reached complete chaos over the course of the last few days.
Let’s dive right in.
Before we get into anything else, we have to discuss the biggest storyline of the day:
Kentucky is hosting the No. 1 player in the class of 2019 in point guard Anthony Edwards on an official visit starting today, with sources telling KSR the 6-foot-6 athlete arrived on campus earlier this afternoon and he will stay through the Mississippi State game tomorrow evening.
Evan Daniels of 247 Sports originally broke the news on Saturday about Edwards visiting Kentucky this week and then Kansas on Feb. 9.
The timing of the visit is interesting, but it’s absolutely massive for the program for obvious reasons. As one of the best scorers and complete players in all of high school basketball, Edwards has a chance to dominate the college basketball scene and end up as the No. 1 overall pick when the 2020 NBA Draft rolls around. Getting him on campus automatically improves Kentucky’s chances of reeling him in, even when the Wildcats’ chances seemed slim when he originally reclassified from the class of 2020.
As far as those chances specifically and why the timing is so interesting, I heard a bit of information from a source a few weeks ago that we needed to watch Ashton Hagans’ situation and his development as an NBA prospect in relation to Edwards’ recruitment. And that exact scenario is playing out.
Hagans quickly becomes a menace on both ends of the floor for the Wildcats, starts finding his way onto NBA mock drafts, and Kentucky gets Edwards in on an official visit out of the blue. I just don’t think that’s a coincidence. In short, I believe the UK staff knows Hagans is trending toward the NBA and they are looking for the No. 1 prospect in the nation to replace him next season (not too shabby of a replacement candidate, I might add).
I have been told that Edwards likes Kentucky “a whole lot, probably more than the general public realizes” and the UK coaching staff is extremely excited for the opportunity to sell him on being a Wildcat. The narrative out there is that Florida State is the team to beat with Georgia knocking on the door, but the staff feels they can swing major momentum their way while Edwards is on campus.
In an interview with Eric Bossi of Rivals.com, Edwards said he’s looking to build relationships and chemistry with the coaching staff during his visit.
“I’m looking at bonding, the relationship with the coach and staying there and seeing if I have chemistry with them,” he said. “They say come to UK and get a national championship.”
Memphis made some buzz with Edwards this last week, specifically with former Kentucky target James Wiseman reaching out to him, but I’m under the impression the elite point guard prospect is officially down to Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky, Kansas, and North Carolina, with the first four schools being the most likely options.
He’ll likely make a decision after the McDonald’s All-American Game in late March.
I will have an update on the site on how things went/specifics when Edwards’ visit concludes.
Last night, five-star power forward Isaiah Stewart committed to Washington over Duke, Michigan State, Kentucky, and Syracuse, a decision that really shocked no one in the recruiting circles.
If you’ve been following along with the notes over the past few weeks, you’d know Stewart has been leaning toward the Huskies and Kentucky was most likely out of the running. Sources told KSR that Kentucky was running fourth behind Washington, Duke, and Michigan State (in that order), and yesterday Stewart himself confirmed that.
The elite prospect out of La Porte, IN told Evan Daniels of 247 Sports that he actually decided on Washington two weeks ago, with the Blue Devils and Spartans also receiving consideration during the home stretch of his recruitment.
“I really decided that I wanted to go to Washington two weeks ago,” Stewart said. “I was bouncing around from school to school. I was strong with Duke at one point and Michigan State at one point.”
The fact of the matter is that while we usually hear of butterflies and rainbows after visits, I’ve been told Stewart’s official visit to Kentucky just didn’t click with the five-star power forward. The Wildcat coaching staff emphasized how difficult things would be in Lexington, how hard he’d have to work, minutes and shots aren’t guaranteed or promised, etc., and Stewart was more interested in going to a school where he could be the superstar in the frontcourt.
In Daniels’ interview with the elite big man, Stewart confirmed that he was looking to be “the guy” in college.
“Come out here and be the guy,” Stewart said. “39 or 36 touches is what Noah Dickerson got one game. Just getting the ball. I’m an unselfish player and I know how to play with other guys. I want to change the culture out there. When I went out there they were just bursting for someone and I just felt it.”
He’s a talented prospect, and I genuinely feel that he would have been a fantastic player in Lexington, but things just didn’t work out. While I’ve gotten optimistic feedback on the other remaining available frontcourt prospects for Kentucky, the responses I got on Stewart during the home stretch of his recruitment were mixed (at best).
On to the next…
Over the course of the last week or so, rumors have been floating around that once Isaiah Stewart officially committed to Washington, five-star forward Jaden McDaniels would soon spurn his hometown Huskies and commit to Kentucky. I don’t know where they came from or why they’re out there, but I can say with 100 percent certainty they are not true.
In fact, it’s just the opposite. Sources tell KSR that Stewart’s commitment to Washington only strengthened the team’s chances of securing a commitment from McDaniels, not force his hand to look elsewhere.
After Stewart committed to Washington on Sunday evening, he told 247 Sports his first job as a Husky will be to convince McDaniels to join him in Seattle.
“I feel like I’m special and I feel like I deserve to go out there and I feel like they deserve a top recruit,” he said. “I’m going after Jaden McDaniels and we are trying to build something out there.”
Adam Zagoria of FloHoops interviewed McDaniels at the Hoophall Classic this afternoon, asking him of his thoughts on Stewart’s pitch and the Huskies in general.
“When [Stewart] recruits me, everything sounds good,” he said. “I feel like it would be crazy because they have Quade [Green] too, so I feel it would be something people haven’t seen before.
“[I’d be] super comfortable there,” he added. “Because everybody there I know. I’m just around them all the time so I feel that would be a good situation.”
As for Kentucky, the perceived co-favorite in his recruitment, McDaniels says he’s in contact with the Wildcat coaching staff “all the time.”
“Yeah, I talk to the all the time,” he said. “They’re shooting me texts like ‘we’re watching’ and ‘we’d love to have you,’ and stuff like that. They just tell me if you come it’s not going to be given to you, you just gotta work for everything.”
As far as a decision and his overall recruitment goes, McDaniels says he’s going to wait until the end of his season to make a decision, as KSR reported last week.
“I haven’t really been paying attention to [recruiting], honestly,” he said. “I’m just worred about my high school team and doing what we’re doing. I don’t even know [when I’ll make a decision] right now, probably toward the end of our season.”
I believe that while Kentucky feels great about their position, Washington is a legitimate threat to land the 6-foot-11 forward. The fact that McDaniels is in no rush to make a decision plays in Kentucky’s favor.
Keion Brooks Jr.
Last week in the notes, I wrote about five-star forward Keion Brooks coming close to a decision, with sources telling KSR that it would likely come down to Indiana and Kentucky in the end.
Over the last few days, however, two prominent recruiting analysts reported Brooks’ decision would likely come down to two schools, but they each had different finalists (with neither including Kentucky).
“[North Carolina’s] best chances lay with Keion Brooks and Matthew Hurt,” he said. “Brooks is much closer to his decision, and it looks to be a battle between Indiana and UNC for him.”
Brian Snow of 247 Sports, however, wrote in a recent post that he felt the decision was between Indiana and Michigan State for Brooks.
— Matt Charboneau (@mattcharboneau) January 21, 2019
Indiana has been the go-to pick for most recruiting analysts, as he has openly discussed his satisfaction with staying home and playing in front of friends and family every night. There’s no doubt the Hoosiers will be in the conversation right up until the final announcement.
Though I have been told the Kentucky coaching staff feels good about their chances with the versatile forward, the fact that there might not be a clear-cut team up there with the Hoosiers makes me think Archie Miller and the IU coaching staff will win out in the end.
Brooks participated in the Hoophall Classic this afternoon, so quotes from his postgame interview should begin to trickle out in just a bit. He has said he is nearing a decision, and I was told that with his teammate Isaiah Stewart committing on ESPN at the event this weekend, fans should watch out for him pulling the trigger, as well.
Obviously that hasn’t happened, but we’ll see if we get a decision date sooner rather than later.
Five-star forward Matthew Hurt completed his official visit to Duke this weekend, the third of his five anticipated officials before making a decision this spring. He started with Kentucky at the beginning of December and followed it up with a trip to North Carolina on December 14.
He’s also scheduled to visit Kansas in February and take a fifth to either Memphis or Minnesota to close things out, though nothing has been determined as of yet.
As far as his visit to Duke goes, 2019 five-star Blue Devil commit Wendell Moore joined him, where he tried to sell the elite scorer on joining him in Durham throughout the weekend.
I’ve been told that Hurt is the last target on the board (barring a reclassification) for Duke, so they sold him on being the final piece to the puzzle to close out their recruiting class that includes five-star center Vernon Carey, Moore, and four-star combo guard Boogie Ellis. Things unsurprisingly went well, though I will add that his trip didn’t change his mindset on his recruitment (i.e. he didn’t want to jump on a commitment, cut list, etc.). That’s obviously good news for Kentucky, who still feels great about their chances.
Like I said last week, this thing is going to go the distance, so nothing monumental was expected during this visit. Hurt wants to close out his senior season before focusing on cutting his list and making a final decision.
I’ll be back with more when Anthony Edwards’ visit concludes.
By Brent Wainscott on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 10:30pm
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#10 Baseball Mom
— Baseball_Mom08 (@Mom08Baseball) January 21, 2019
Seeing this just has me more amped to see the Bat Cats play next month…and to see warm weather.
#9 Brett Swift
UK ranked #8 which is the number of championships they have. Saturday they will beat #9 Kansas, which is the number of championships they will have after this season. #bbn
— Brett Swift (@brett_swift) January 21, 2019
It’s simple math.
#8 Pat Horton
— Pat Horton (@Pat_Horton15) January 21, 2019
This is true. Eat it, everyone else.
— Braden (@Braden24460965) January 21, 2019
We’re living in a simulation.
#6 Jeremy Tackett
— Jeremy Tackett (@tackett_bo) January 21, 2019
I expect to see this kid under center for the five-time college football champion Kentucky Wildcats.
#5 Danny Tewes
— danny tewes (@dtewness) January 21, 2019
WHY YOU GOTTA DO ‘EM LIKE THAT ERIC????
#4 Mason Miles
Lexington is pretty nice ????? https://t.co/Ds17mLIGUC
— ??ason Miles (@masonm1234) January 21, 2019
The best recruiting pitch of them all. Who wouldn’t want to live/play here?
#3 John Robic’s Hair
— John Robic’s Hair (@JohnRobicsHair) January 21, 2019
I found this very relatable. Still amazing content though.
#2 Patrick Daniels
#8 Kentucky hosts #23 Mississippi State (Tuesday) and #9 Kansas (Saturday)!
Rupp needs to be sold out and rocking for both! Let’s go #BBN !!!
— Patrick Daniels (@BBNsportsTalk) January 21, 2019
YOU HEARD THE MAN.
#1 Johnny Versace
?@KySportsRadio? ?@DrewFranklinKSR? Thanks for having me on ?@hey_kentucky?! The best thing these guys do is make their audience feel a part of the show. I had a great time. pic.twitter.com/AWOCB7ZF0P
— Johnny Versace (@johnnyversace) January 22, 2019
*Jim Ross voice* What?? It can’t be…that…that’s gotta be Johnny Versace!!!
Follow and/or tag me on Twitter and you might see one of your tweets make KSR’s top ten tweets: @BrentW_KSR
By Aaron Torres on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 10:00pm
The rollercoaster that is the 2018-2019 Kentucky Wildcats season took another wild spin this weekend, when the Wildcats picked up a massive road win at Auburn on Saturday night.
The victory was everything that any Kentucky fan could have hoped for when the season began. Ashton Hagans was the fiery (and at times, potty-mouthed) leader that this team needs. Tyler Herro and Keldon Johnson made clutch shot after clutch shot, and PJ Washington did all the little things needed down low to help the team win. Most importantly, Kentucky was a team that showed no fear. Auburn didn’t get back in the game because of some Kentucky meltdown, but instead because they are a big-time team that made big-time plays. But to Kentucky’s credit, every time the Tigers threw a punch, the Wildcats took it on the chin. Then they threw their own counterpunch until they knocked Auburn out for good and emerged with a massive victory.
Ultimately that was a gutty performance, and one that showed just how far this team has come. It also showed that when this club is locked in, there really aren’t any teams in college basketball they should fear. Kentucky already has a resume that includes wins at Auburn, at Louisville and against UNC on a neutral court, and by the way, that early win against UNC-Greensboro is better than most realize (Greensboro is currently sitting at 17-3 overall this season and in second place in their league standings). And with games this week against two more ranked foes, Mississippi State and Kansas, it isn’t inconceivable that the Wildcats could look up at this time next week and have just about the best resume in all of college basketball. Seriously, wins against Mississippi State and Kansas to go along with at Auburn, at Louisville and North Carolina would give the Wildcats just about the best resume in college hoops.
Of course to get that resume, they need to win both of those games.
And that my friends, brings me to the point of this article: To me, the Mississippi State game tomorrow night at Rupp Arena might just go down as the most important regular season game the Wildcats play all season long. That game will show us “who” this team. And what their ceiling truly is.
Now before we go further, I already know what some of you are thinking: “Torres, you so crazy!” Mississippi State isn’t even close to the biggest game on Kentucky’s schedule. The Wildcats have already played Duke, UNC and Louisville. They still have Kansas and two games left with Tennessee. How in the world is Mississippi State more important than those?
Well, the answer is simple really. No, Mississippi State isn’t Duke, UNC or Louisville. They certainly aren’t Tennessee or Kansas either. But what they are, is a good, veteran team that isn’t afraid to come into Rupp Arena and won’t be afraid of the “Kentucky” across the front of the Wildcats jerseys. The Bulldogs are a veteran, battle-tested team, with a senior point guard and four starters who are juniors or seniors. More importantly, at just 2-2 in the SEC with a gauntlet of games ahead, they absolutely have to win this game.
And to me, that’s why this game is so important for Kentucky, and why it will teach us so much about this team’s psyche and makeup: Will the Wildcats come out tough and hungry to pick up a win? Or coming off a massive road victory, will they come out with a sense of accomplishment and be too busy looking ahead to the weekend game against Kansas? Because I’ll tell you this: If Kentucky doesn’t come out focused tomorrow night, Mississippi State is good enough to pull off the upset.
That’s also why this game carries so much weight for the rest of the season. It isn’t about any one individual game, but instead, showing what the identity of this team is.
The bottom line is at this point, we already know Kentucky is a big game team. In their last three major games, against major teams, in major hostile environments, the Wildcats proved to be fearless. Wins at Louisville and Auburn are no joke, nor is a victory over North Carolina in Chicago. As we’ve learned, when the lights are bright, Kentucky comes out ready to go.
On the flip side, what we’ve also seen is that when it isn’t a major game and when the opponent isn’t quite so marquee, the Wildcats can also come out a little… meh. Remember, for all the excitement about the win at Auburn, this is also a team which fell behind 10-0 to Texas A&M before rallying back to win. This is the same team that fell behind to Vanderbilt as well. The Wildcats are also the same team that came out completely flat at Alabama and lost. Again, Mississippi State is not the kind of team you want to come out flat against, or fall behind by 10 or 12 points to. Do that and you will walk out of the arena with a loss.
And by the way, that doesn’t just go for Mississippi State, but just about everyone in the SEC. Sure, the focus right now is on Tennessee at the top of the standings. But make no mistake, there are plenty of others who will hand you a loss if you don’t come out ready to go, whether it’s LSU or Ole Miss, Florida, LSU, you name it. It also means that just as quickly as the good vibes of a win over Auburn or North Carolina can come, they can go with a two or a three game-losing streak. This Kentucky team is really good. But they aren’t invincible.
So who are the 2018-2019 Kentucky Wildcats?
A group who gets up for big games but can look past the lesser opponents?
Or a group full of dogs, who come out focused and ready to do whatever it takes to win every single time they take the court?
We’ll begin to find out on Tuesday night against Mississippi State.
(By the way, we spoke quite a bit about the Auburn game and what lies ahead for Kentucky on Monday’s Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. Click here to download today’s episode, and go back and listen to Episode 104 when Mississippi State coach Ben Howland joined the show)
By Hey Kentucky! on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 9:30pm
You’ve heard his voice on KSR. Now see Johnny Versace on Hey Kentucky!
One of KSR’s most famous callers joined the program to help Matt and Drew play a game of
“Big Deal or No Deal.” The two talked about Ja Morant, Calipari vs. Barkley and much more.
Click here to see the rest of tonight’s episode of Hey Kentucky!
By Nick Roush on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 9:00pm
While you were watching the Kentucky basketball team defeat Auburn, Derrick Baity and Bunchy Stallings were representing the University of Kentucky in the 94th East-West Shrine Game. Here’s what you missed from the East’s 21-17 win.
1. Baity Balled
Playing in his hometown, the 6’2″ cornerback started for the East and recorded four tackles, the fifth most on his team. Baity had to get involved against the run because they rarely threw the ball his way. He made most of his highlights during the week of practice.
— Orlando Alzugaray (@BigOShow) January 16, 2019
Jamal Custis v Derrick Baity pic.twitter.com/o05Bm4Vq87
— Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) January 16, 2019
2. Bunchy one of the Best
Kentucky’s All-American did not start for the East, but that doesn’t mean he did not capture the attention of scouts in the stands. One noted that offensive line play at the Shrine Game is typically rough, yet Stallings was still one of the four best at the game.
A solid days work at the Shrine game for Bunchy Stallings. pic.twitter.com/iLo9AmYCiM
— Lawrence McGivney (@LMcGivney) January 20, 2019
3. Meetings with NFL Personnel
The Shrine Game is an excellent preliminary NFL Draft tryout. Scouts get a chance to reinforce what they’ve seen on film, while front office personnel can sit down for one-on-one interviews with players.
Ten NFL general managers were at Tropicana Field throughout the week. Baity reportedly met with Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Minnesota and Cincinnati, while Bunchy had discussions with the Bills and the Vikings.
4. No C.J.
Kentucky’s 1,000-yard tight end did not finish the week in Tampa after suffering a minor injury in practice. From what I understand, he would have played if it was a real game. His absence should not hurt his draft stock. In fact, it tells me that he’s in such good shape, he did not have to push it to play.
Three more Cats — Darius West, Mike Edwards and Lonnie Johnson — arrived in Mobile, Alabama today to prepare for Saturday’s Senior Bowl. We’ll keep you updated on their progress throughout the week.
By Nick Roush on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 7:30pm
John Calipari caught quite a bit of flak following Kentucky’s overtime loss to Seton Hall. The criticism was compounded when he told his players to pretend they actually won the game.
“I’m looking at it like we won the game,” he said five weeks ago. “We’re not that far off. We got better. That game, we improved. Didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, but we improved.”
The sentiment behind his statement was not clearly consumed. Even though Cal’s young team lost, he liked their progression. They were trusting his process, but it did not immediately produce results. He told them to pretend they won to not shake their confidence in his process.
Calipari is consistent. After the nail-biting win at Auburn, Kentucky’s head coach asked his players to think of an alternative outcome.
“Would you have thought of us as a team, or yourself as an individual, any different if that kid (Jared Harper) would’ve laid the ball in? When it’s about process, you shouldn’t,” he said on tonight’s call-in show.
Luckily, Harper’s shot did not roll through the rim. In the two-point win Calipari saw his team take another step forward when faced with adversity.
“When they are in a desperate mode, they play better. When they are up against it, they lose themselves in the team and they play better.”
The next step in Calipari’s process is shutting the door on an opponent. Kentucky built up a 17-point second half lead, but let Auburn crawl back into the game behind a barrage of three-pointers.
“I showed them ten plays in the second half that we made to give Auburn a chance to beat us….Ten plays! That’s gotta be down to two or three in a month. You gave them a chance by doing this, this and this.”
If Kentucky can cut down on the small mistakes and build off the win at Auburn, they’re going to be dangerous in March.
“We’re in this together. It’s hard to stop a team when there’s six, seven, eight guys that can do something with the ball,” he said. “We’re making strides, but it just takes time.”
By Nick Roush on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 7:00pm
Mark Stoops’ predecessor is moving out of the Ohio Valley.
After spending two seasons coaching wide receivers for Luke Fickell at the University of Cincinnati, Football Scoop reports Joker Phillips will join Mike Locksley’s staff at Maryland. At Cincinnati Joker recruited quite a few talented local prospects, many of which (like Jared Casey) ultimately committed to Kentucky.
College Park, Maryland will be Phillips’ fifth different coaching gig since he was terminated by Kentucky following the 2012 season. He spent a season sharing wacky photoshops at Florida, controlling quality at Ohio State and losing with the Browns prior to his two-year Cincinnati stint.
Things have changed quite a bit around Lexington since Joker was representing the Cats in Bristol.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 6:00pm
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.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 5:30pm
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:
— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) January 21, 2019
If you need me, I’ll be watching that on loop until tomorrow.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 5:00pm
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.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 4:30pm
After rising to No. 8 in the AP Poll, Kentucky is back in the Top 10 of the Coaches Poll as well. The Cats jumped five spots to No. 9, just ahead of Saturday’s opponent, Kansas.
The top three are the same as the AP Poll: Tennessee, Duke, and Virginia. The Vols received 30 of the 32 first-place votes. After losing to Kentucky, Auburn fell three spots to No. 15. Here are both polls side by side for comparison:
|AP Top 25||Coaches Poll|
|1||Tennessee (48)||16-1||1575||1||Tennessee (30)||16-1||798|
|2||Duke (11)||15-2||1520||2||Duke (2)||15-2||746|
|6||Michigan State (2)||16-2||1355||6||Michigan||17-1||666|
|20||Ole Miss||14-3||291||20||Ole Miss||14-3||189|
|22||Mississippi State||14-3||266||22||Mississippi State||14-3||147|
By Drew Franklin on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 3:30pm
ESPN.com’s Myron Medcalf, like all college basketball fans with eyeballs and a brain, did not agree with the officials’ decision to hand PJ Washington a Flagrant 1 foul in the closing minutes of Kentucky’s game at Auburn last week. He too saw that Washington was only making a play on the ball, and though it was unfortunate that Horace Spencer’s head was split open on the play, it wasn’t anything more than a hard foul followed by a bad fall.
Medcalf wrote about the play on Monday in his “What’s real, what’s fake, and who should really be No. 1?” column on ESPN’s college basketball page.
It was “one of those calls that they can’t miss,” he says:
Real: Kentucky-Auburn finish altered by questionable flagrant call
With 1:53 remaining in a five-point game, Kentucky’s PJ Washington tried to block a dunk attempt by Auburn’s Horace Spencer. Washington was going for the ball but he got still hit with a flagrant 1, largely because Spencer landed awkwardly, cut himself and got up with blood pouring from his face. It was a call that did not fit the NCAA rulebook’s description of a flagrant 1. “A flagrant 1 personal foul is a personal foul that is deemed excessive in nature and/or unnecessary, but is not based solely on the severity of the act.” Nothing about Washington’s play was excessive.
A minute after the call, Jared Harper hit a 3-pointer to give Auburn a one-point lead with 32 seconds to play. The flagrant 1 call had shifted the momentum. Kentucky held on to win, but plays like that shouldn’t affect outcomes.
Officials have difficult jobs. They won’t get every call right. But that’s one of those calls that they can’t miss. [ESPN.com]
At least it wasn’t as bad as the no-call in the NFC Championship. I can’t imagine the pain Saints fans feel today.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©January 21st, 2019 @ 2:58pm
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.