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Auburn Notes and a Mailbag!

UK Fans John and Will: One’s a really good skier, the other one’s Will.

UK Fans John and Will: One's a really good skier, the other one's Will.

A Few Auburn Notes:

For those of you whose TV feed went out, trust me: last night’s game was not fun to watch at all.  I’ve seen worse things, but not often.  The first half was abysmal, and some washed up golfer lit us up so good that I think he surprised himself.  What’s worse about that half is how worrisome it could be going forward.  Auburn essentially handed a blueprint to other SEC teams on how to stagnate our offense, causing us to finish with a field goal percentage of juuuuuust over 40%, which was actually bolstered by a flurry at the end.  While it wasn’t bad all around (turnovers, steals, and FT% were all pretty great), the Wildcats looked like they only really played seven or eight of the game’s forty minutes.

The most harrowing (new nickname idea for Ryan next year?) stat from the game, though, has got to be the rebounds.  Honestly, we got out-rebounded by Auburn?!  To be fair, the Tigers only beat us by four on the boards, but that was after a Herculean seven-minute stretch at the end to balance things out a little more.  Even South Carolina out-rebounded us overall by five, and by ten (!) on offensive rebounds. That makes me nervous, but I wouldn’t completely freak out if I were you.  Sometimes the rebounding column is just the victim of a particular style of play.  A team that goes for blocks like Kentucky does is not going to rebound well defensively.  Anthony Davis is not a strong defensive rebounder to begin with (too wiry to box out effectively), and with him, Jones, and MKG leaping to swat shots, it leaves guys in a bad position to go to the glass.  But would you rather struggle rebounding (doesn’t mean you’ll always lose that stat, just means we won’t always be the best at it) and give up second chances, or try to intimidate shooters with a ridiculous number of blocks, and set records in the process?  Either answer is valid, I think, but it’s clear that Cal (or maybe Davis) has put a priority on Option 2.  Gambling for blocks instead of crashing the boards is a risk/reward scenario, and last night showcased just how risky it can be.  It will be interesting to see how it works out going forward.

In other, more predictable news: the zone really bugged us for most of the game.  Boy am I glad we don’t have Syracuse scheduled this year.  At this point, I think they’re not only playing better, but are also exactly the type of team designed to beat us.  The zone had a lot to do with both the poor FG% and the rebounding discrepancy (since zones leave defenders in great position to box out), and it needs to be figured out quickly for this team to succeed.  Jones seemed to be the go-to guy to break Auburn’s zone defense by getting into the middle and making short runners, and that’s where he got most of his points.  Good for him; that’s exactly what he needs to do.  Now teach MKG and Davis and we’ll be well on our way.  Additionally, Darius and Doron got hot at the end just enough to make Tony Barbee switch to a man defense, which we quickly punished.  Continued good shooting by those two, mixed with Jones’ ability to get in the middle, is going to be the key to break opposing teams out of this mold.

Finally, to the UK fans at Auburn last night chanting “Go Big Blue” so loud it drowned out the boos of the remaining Tigers fans:  Thank you.  Honestly, I thought that was awesome.  It was a tough, frustrating game to watch, but that made it just a little bit brighter.

PS – Marquis, if you’re gonna get called for a nutshot, make it a good one.



Mixed (Mail)Bag

They warned me to stay away from the comments.  They did.  But I couldn’t help myself; I had to check them out.  Internet threads have a stigma for being vicious, but my morbid curiosity turned up some interesting results, so I thought I’d take a minute to respond to a few.  Enjoy.


hate haikus, love Corey.

CN: Package deal. Sorry.


Tobias Funke: 

CN: Go blue yourself.


Another Perspective: 
One would be inclined to think that a person who makes an issue of whether he is correctly using grammar would never end a sentence with a preposition. But that “one” would be wrong.

“… defense mechanism which I aim to rid you of.”

CN: I used the aphetic vernacular, which lends itself more closely to conversational grammar and informal writing.  “One” didn’t know that?


Corey Nichols Agent: [G]reat idea recruiting your pals to post postive comments!

CN: Joke’s on you: I don’t have any friends.  Now how do you explain it?


Here’s a good look on the right way, and wrong way, to make a point on a comment thread:

Wrong Way:

I’m not sure if anyone’s told you but parentheses are not required in every sentence (for realz)

CN: Periods are.


Right Way:

I know that parenthesis allow for more jokes (especially self-depricating humor [and the classic ‘obvious carification to make the original joke funnier’ snide remark]) but humor doesn’t always require curvy punctuation.

Also it hurts my eyes and makes reading an interesting piece feel like riding in one of those jerky county fair rides with rust on every other bolt.

CN:  Fair point.  I usually try to be pretty judicial about when I use them; light, humorous paragraphs will get them, while serious, “take a look at this point I’m making” paragraphs don’t.  I’ll keep that in mind, though, and try to tighten it up (as sometimes parentheses do take people out of the flow) ( … Like that one did. Totally unnecessary.  And so is this one, explaining it. (#ishouldjustquitwhileimbehind)).


Amazing. Corey made it through a post without mentioning that freaking Ex-Florida QB.

 CN: You mean Tim Tebow?


Great post and congrats on garnering praise from KSR folks…quite the feat. I do however disagree. Rick leaving for Boston was a bad decision but no reason to hate him. Rick taking the Louisville job shows he has no class or loyalty. He continues to expose himself over and over. I am glad I did not see this side of him until he was gone. Sad.

CN: To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Agree to disagree.”  Also, “Where’d you get a hand grenade?”


A redditor I presume?

CN:  (╯°â–¡°ï¼‰â•¯ï¸µ ┻━┻


J mac: 
[Implying that I’m not a good writer] Where does KSR find some of these guys?

 CN: Drew and I met at your mom’s house.  Our appointments were right after one another.


P. S. Rogers: Do you have any interesting nicknames, Corey?

CN: “Herbie”.  No, I won’t explain it. 


FinnishStrongSays: [Referring to my comments regarding the D-ONE hats, saying “They were dumb.”] D-UMB would have worked better there at the end. Just saying.

 CN:  …  You’re absolutely right.  I’ll try to get it next time.


Al’s IndiCats: 
A very nice start of the day Cory. Keep it going!

CN:  Aaahh… so close to spelling my name right.  Thank you though; I just hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them.


Don’t forget, UK Hoops plays Tennessee tonight at seven.  Get your ticket, and go.  I’m going, and I’d love for the place to be packed.  Stay tuned for more today, including a preview of the men’s game in Knoxville on Saturday from our own Stuart “Velvet” Hammer.

Article written by Corey Nichols

54 Comments for Auburn Notes and a Mailbag!

  1. Halb
    9:08 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    zones are actually easier to get offensive rebounds against, b/c the defenders dont have one on one responsibilities to block out. In man-to-man defenses the defenders just block out their man, while in a zone you aren’t matched up with someone to block out.

  2. JoeMoney333
    9:08 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    A lil Greg Doyle Hate Mail kinda thing going on here. I can dig a KSR “Hate Comments” post, could be fun!

  3. yeahright
    9:11 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know if Cal actually composes his own Facebook statuses, however this one takes the cake. Love the jab at Jerry.
    Tough road win. Great to see our fans in the arena. Saw some UK students now at the Auburn Vet School too. I think I heard Go Big Blue. I think the game was a sellout too. I’ll have to check with Jerry Tipton to see if I’m wrong about that though.

  4. BUCats
    9:12 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    I have a feeling Kyle Tucker will get blasted on the radio show today for acting like a baby on twitter last night.

  5. Hambone1480
    9:12 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    I wouldn’t worry about this one. The only thing that caused our offense to struggle is our own play, although I did see signs it is improving in the sense of sharing the ball. Our guys really seemed to be looking for their teammates. We just weren’t knocking down some easy shots but I could really tell we were playing really hard and unselfishly. It seemed to me Auburn was really playing some good defense and our guys found a way to punch through and get the W. I am happy with the win and am really looking forward to the rest of the season.

  6. Tobias Funke
    9:13 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Let Lily lick Lionels’ lusty leathers.

  7. Hard Hittin' CAT
    9:19 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    The title “A Few Auburn Notes,” should have read “Everything Negative I Came Up With.”

    On the flip side:
    We took a tight game and pulled away impressively at the end. Talk about handling adversity.
    We had more blocks than Auburn.
    We held them to 1-12 from 3 point range.
    Our first 6 players had a balanced scoring game. No one player to ask ‘what happened’ after the game.
    Jones looked agressive, hustled, played good defense, and scored well.
    Darius and Doron stepped up and hit some big shots.


  8. bung
    9:19 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    chris paul had 11 assists…and they run the fast break

  9. Tomas
    9:22 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    If Kyle Wiltjer makes 1 or 2 of his open looks he busts that zone wide open. We had good looks in the middle of the zone they just weren’t falling. If they go down teams will not be able to zone us. Just need to concentrate on making shots when we are open.

  10. peoplewhowork
    9:25 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    “Drew and I met at your mom’s house. Our appointments were right after one another.”

    I LoL’d you can never go wrong with a little 6th grade humor now and then.

  11. bluecat
    9:26 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    I’m disappointed in our rebounding and defense for the first 25 or 30 mins to say the very least. And no, we are not out-rebounded because of a zone (they are supposed to be easier to rebound against), or because of shot blocking (if one guys goes for a block there should be 4 more to crash the glass). We are out-rebounded because Auburn wanted it more and played harder. Period. But as disappointed as I was in the first part of the game, I am more encouraged by the final 12-15 mins. We showed a toughness that we didn’t have last year at this point in the season. We would have lost this game last year. We won with exactly what we were supposed to win with: defense, experienced leadership, coaching, rebounding, and shooting. When this team is on, they can be scary good. Its only a matter of time before it starts to click. They grew up a lot in the 2nd half of this one. I just hope they learned their lesson going into Knoxville.

  12. Steve
    9:28 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Groundhog Day. Starts promising and quickly dissolves into stuff no one cares about. Feeding the trolls is a terrible idea; if the negativity was bad before, it’ll get worse if people think they can get their stupid comment on a post. Everybody tries to act like a Rhodes scholar on teh interwebz, just ignore it plz.

  13. whattagame
    9:29 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    #1- Disagree. The way they packed the middle last night doesn’t surprise we got out rebounded.

  14. sgunnKY
    9:33 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Haters gonna Hate. You haven’t been writing here long, but I already find myself looking forward to your 9am post. People who write with humor are my favorites to read!

    To the people with nothing better to do than tear others down and judge the writing/views at KSR… no one is forcing you to come here and read these posts. Get a life and take into consideration what people would say about YOUR writing and views. What goes around comes around my friends.

  15. gameday
    9:36 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    #1 – Completely agree. Playing zone leaves you know specific person to box out so everyone is just kinda going toward the rim and hoping they jump higher than anyone else. Teams that play zones give up lots of offensive rebounds.

  16. Ron Paul Approves
    9:38 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Keep it up Corey. Best 9am posts I have ever read here.

  17. T.J.
    9:40 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    1- Zones are only easier to get offensive rebounds against if you’re driving to the basket, since you would have weak side help for a put back. But they put up a crazy amount of 3’s last night, and since it’s rare to see any team follow their shot after a 3, it doesn’t surprise me that we were out rebounded.

  18. Corey Nichols Agent
    9:42 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    BRAVO SIR! Now thats what Im talking about! Corey “Dont call Penny” Nichols bringing the thunder! Solid basketball piece. Stick to what ya do best, kiddo. Only other point I probably would have touched on would have been Cal still having to do his best “Mickey In Fantasia” impression trying to get these players in position in the zone offense and the apparent lack of an offensive leader. (Im looking at you Marquis McNutshot)
    And no friends? Im hurt, Core. I love you. You complete me.
    (no apostrophes were injured the making of this comment)

  19. SexnNursinHomes
    9:44 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    16- I agree, this Corey is pretty damn good. Lewt’s see how he handles herpes simplex 2

  20. barn
    9:48 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    9–right on. you can’t bust the zone if you can’t make shots

  21. Space between John Hoods jersey and chest
    9:50 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Corey, you can’t ski!

  22. Al's IndiCats
    9:51 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Let me start by apologizing to you Cor-E-y for mis-spelling your name. I was thinking of my pup of many years ago who we named Cory. He was a three legged, one eye, bobbed tail, no hair Chihuahua that was deaf. One day as we were driving we came across a burning rest home where “Cory” jumped out of our moving stationwagon at 55 MPH and pulled 5 people from the burning building single handedly, earning him the name of Courageous Cory. Since he was my hero since that time, I just simply thought I could bestow on you with that same moniker I so lovingly gave to my pup, for your article was simply something to behold. Again I apologize for any inconvenience or negative feedback you may recieve…

    Sincerely Al’s Indicats

    P.S. He also my hero because he pizzed on Bob Knight’s picture when he was coaching IU.

  23. Jax Teller
    9:52 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    It’s the 9am post time for the obligatory BTI sucks!

  24. Nostradamus
    9:53 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    You didn’t look far enough ahead on the schedule. We play Syracuse on April 2.

  25. bung
    9:53 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    last 10 minutes we fought like…well…like Wildcats…

  26. BlueDNA
    9:57 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe i was watching a different game than some on here. I saw a team that was poised, never got rattled and continued to run their sets and get good shots against the zone. Just did not make shots. Maybe not our best game in terms of 100% effort, but the team was very cohesive and confident. We can hang #8 playing this way with a little better shooting.

  27. KSR friendly bookie
    9:58 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Serious question here.. Who is Kyle Tucker? I here about him a lot on this site and on the radio show

  28. IndyCatFan
    9:59 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Hmmm…I think I like this writer. Of course, I also liked BTI when I first started reading the site so my opinion is obviously flawed at times. Please don’t go the SUCK route of BTI, Corey!

  29. BPM
    10:00 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    I agree that Syracuse poses a matchup problem for us – but this is a classic Syracuse team that will most definitely lose to a hot shooting mid-major in the second round. I am saying no way Syracuse makes the Final Four this year.

  30. Al B. Sure
    10:00 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Loved the “Mixed (Mail)Bag” … I hope it becomes a regular feature! Maybe do it weekly?

  31. El hombre juan
    10:02 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    G-reat job. Btw, Juan busted a zone in drew’s mom last night. That is all.

  32. barn
    10:06 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    syracuse? have you watched uconn lately? drummond is the real deal. i’m afraid uconn is gonna be very good come march

  33. yeah first!!
    10:07 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    for all the teague nut hangers on….. it is not about his horrid learning curve or if he even will learn to run the team. As many say time will tell. That’s all fine. But for now he blows and sucks as far as running the team and finding guys to dish to. No….. this is about his defense. Is it just me or does he get beat ALL the time? I noticed it for a while. His defense sucks. Either he doesn’t try or he just sucks. It’s one or the other. Other guys have to leave their man because of this slacker. He can’t step with any point guard so far. Why does no one talk about his horrid defense????

  34. Eloy
    10:18 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    HAHA writer/reader interaction gets taken to a whole new level. I love it.

    Ain’t nothing better than an individual that will write intriguing pieces, use their thesaurus, learn, and poke fun at random comments on their stories. Perhaps this is the epitome of what KSR could be. Or not. I don’t know.

    I just get really bored at work.

  35. playersfan
    10:22 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    I havn’t seen good offense by UK against a zone. Lamb, Miller, and Davis don’t get enough shots against a zone, which when you have a team slowing the pace, the shots are limited anyway.

    I don’t think other players or the coach should have to tell someone that has a poor shooting percentage, to get the ball to the good shooters, theoretically anyway, thats how I always saw it work, they do want to win, right?

    Lamb and Miller should be able to get 10 to 12 shots for threes each against a zone, did anyone ever think that they bait the poorest shooter to take the shots.

  36. RyanRobeySays
    10:24 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    This sucks.

  37. Another Perspective
    10:31 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    “CN: I used the aphetic vernacular, which lends itself more closely to conversational grammar and informal writing. ”One” didn’t know that?”

    Sorry, but aphesis doesn’t apply. I could understand if you were wantin’ to make yer writin’ more folksy, but you can only claim that if you use it uniformly in the piece. Since that was not the case and you WERE makin’ a point of yer grammatical skills, ya gotta man up and own yer slip there, hoss.


  38. barstool
    10:39 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Haters gonna hate. Slaters gonna slate.

  39. shields eyes
    10:42 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Too many words.

  40. Corey Nichols
    10:43 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    37. I write the way I talk, which is how vernacular works. Why would you assume that I have to talk like a hillbilly to be able to use the vernacular? Not everyone around you is a dullard; please don’t assume that in me. So, sorry, but your comments continue to be incorrect. Keep trying, though, and you may eventually find an error. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    36. I will find you in CivPro, and I will punch you.

  41. Carl
    10:57 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Obviously you haven’t been watching UK SEC games for very long. I’ve seen this same scenario repeated over and over the last 40 years. Mediocre SEC team hosts UK, plays above themselves, keeps it close til the end. Sometimes they even win…and as far as zones go. It was no secret going into this game that the only way to have a chance against this team is to play some zone. Nothing new was exposed last night….except maybe these guys are developing some toughness and will hit the big shots and make the big plays in the close games.
    GO CATS!!

  42. Blue
    10:59 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    I’m sorry, but this is just awful writing. I felt like I was reading a post written by a 12-year-old on Rupp’s Rafters…Not a lick of journalistic integrity, and poorly written all the way around. And leave your so-called “analysis” out…Your breakdown of the zone was laughable.

    It’s not the bigs’ ability to get in the middle that we need to worry about…They were flashing to the high post the entire game. It’s on the backcourt’s shoulders to get the ball into the high post or the short corner by passing or dribble penetration, and there was entirely too much standing around and flipping the ball around the perimeter.

    Oh, and zone defenses actually work against a defense in the rebounding game because they don’t have a specific blockout responsibility…There are a lot more open lanes to the rim for offensive players to grab rebounds. The fact we have faced so much zone in the past two games only magnifies our inability to get offensive rebounds and second-chance points.

    Seriously…Just stop. I know KSR has never really claimed to be chock full of quality journalists and that’s never really been their goal…But you’re writing is neither clever, nor informative, and, quite frankly, boring. Plus your attempts to be funny only magnify the shallowness of the article. Next, please.

  43. jack
    11:17 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    OK, Corey, if you’re going to do this (and you write very well), you just as well do it right. Listen-up and learn. Rebounding 101: Zones are NOT “great for blocking out”; just the opposite. Unlike man-to-man, where you have particular responsibility, one of the fundamental weaknesses of zones is giving-up offensive rebounds. South Carolina sent 3 and sometimes 4 to the offensive glass. That’s effective BUT there’s a price for that and it’s dear. Look at the tape and see how many easy scores UK got by pushing rebounds and beating USC’s zone down the floor. At Auburn, the rims were extremely tight and the great majority of perimeter shot rebounds bounced long. That takes awhile to adjust to and UK guards did a poor job of getting to long rbounds but it does effectively often take the bigs out of the picture. UK could have played a lot harder early at Auburn but I don’t think this team has serious rebounding issues.
    This is from one of those “old” Rupp Arena “Blue hairs”, probably like Carl, above. To paraphrase one of Cal’s favorite expressions: “We been doing this a long time.”

  44. ACOTKY
    11:43 am January 12, 2012 Permalink

    ?????? Why is it the comments section on a blog known for giving news in the most ridiculous manner possible full of douchebags that are trying to sound smart (which they aren’t) or trying to be funny (which they aren’t). Don’t try to pick everything apart. If you enjoy reading KSR great, if not thats fine to go get a life.

  45. Douchebag In the Comment Section
    12:02 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Without us, the classic “Nerd Fight” would not exist. Where’s the fun in that?

  46. eloy vargas
    12:46 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    good lord lay off the meth young man that was the worst analysis of a game ive ever read and i only made it a few paragraphs in because it was also the longest. it was so damn long i just scrolled down looking to see when it would end reading random stupidity that caught my eye. look, last night was a tough road battle. we cant win em all by 20plus. the guys responded well to a fired up auburn team and sent a packed house home crying. what more do you want? no way you can say the guys only played for 7-8 minutes. the effort was there but the results didnt come until the 2nd half.

  47. JWBlue
    12:59 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Love KSR, have been an avid reader for about 5 years. But some of the posts, and writers have been, not so great in the last few months or so. The more new writers that are allowed to write, the worst the site gets. For the first time ever I find myself skiming through post, or skipping certain writers all together. Get back to what made you famous Matt Jones. GO CATS!!

  48. Laura'sBetter
    1:00 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Clearly you’re quite the writer (your parenthetical proficiency tells us that much). However, from what I hear, your writing ability is only surpassed by your pompous attitude and affinity for HeroClix. I guess when one lives in the good ol’ (vernacular possibly ;)) parents backyard as a twenty-something-year-old one can only go up in the world (these parentheses are merely for mocking your writing style). Tell your bro there’s a sale going on at the Disney Store, and he should scope ’em (vernacular or mocking… both) out. Much love boi.

  49. CJ
    1:05 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    ( I ate a wheel of cheese and a red candle for lunch.
    Stay classy…. )

  50. chocolateballs
    1:16 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    The only thing CorEy is missing is some chick shots. I like the reader interaction section. I think it is nice. And funny. And in case ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE wants to try and diss me for starting a sentence with AND: I do it all the time(check out magnapop for that reference).

    I may start writing like Faulkner and only using dashes for punctuation. Boggling.

  51. Hate
    1:24 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Everytime I come back to this website, I regret it. Everything is negative, we won by 15. At no point in the game did it seem we would lose. Teague made some great shots, Davis was amazing as usual, gilchrist was off but involved, Terrence played with some meanness, and Miller hit 3 three’s, got the first win on the road. Be happy. We didn’t rebound like we should, but we play games to get better.

  52. Corey>OrEqualToBTI
    2:57 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    “Herbie” cause he takes out Lexington trash!
    “Herbie” cause he’s a love bug in the sack!
    “Herbie” cause after a dime bag the whole world gets kinda herb-y.

    Good work, btw.

  53. Bulldawg
    3:10 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    @51 i don’t like negative stuff either (unless it is some kind of jab at tipton, like NJT). However, this site is a whole heap better to read than the the stuff jerry tipton puts out on He is much more negative and does not always report facts with his negative stories.

    Corey is pretty good (just a little hung up on himself) that’s ok. He will have some humbling experiences throughout life that will take care of that problem (we have all been there at one time or another). In the mean time, all you english teachers need to shut the fu(k up!!!!!! you want correct punctuation and proper use of prepositions then go to the library or somethin’

    p.s. I am actually studyin’ ta b a anglish taetcher an i dont’ mind tha mistackes. I make ,em all tha tyme.

  54. blue suede shoes
    8:00 pm January 12, 2012 Permalink

    Why do all of the new guys have to act like they know what the hell they are talking about? This guy doesnt no sht from shine-o-la. Quit being so critical of our team KSR. Seriously. Cast a different tone. It isnt funny any more.