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“Cougartown” Star and UK Fan Josh Hopkins Breaks Down the New Cats


While Ashley Judd gets the publicity and Drake is the newest thing, when it comes to celebrity UK fans, none may be more diehard than Josh Hopkins. The ying to Courtney Cox’s yang on ABC’s “Cougartown” is exactly like you and I….he obsesses over all things UK. He knows every detail of the players on the team, is on Twitter following all the recruits and reads a certain poorly designed blog on a regular basis. In addition, he took the John Wall dance national early last year, doing the Dance multiple times throughout the season and even sending KSR a picture of Courtney Cox in a full John Wall dance pose. Josh was recently in Lexington a few weeks back and when he told me he got a chance to watch the boys play a little pickup, I asked him to write about what he observed. So here it is, the “Cougartown” rundown of the 2010-2011 Cats

First let me say it’s a privilege to get to post a little something here on my favorite web site. I check this page so many times per day that I’m embarrassed to admit the number.

Most of you know me as that guy who did the John Wall dance on that show. Yep, that’s me but you should also know that I’m a dyed-in-the-wool, lifelong, bleed blue cat fan. I cried when we went 3 for 33 in the second half against Georgetown in ’84. I was in memorial when Rex Everett Chapman hit the game winning shot to give his Apollo squad the win over Henry Clay and a lifelong hero of mine was born. I endured the Aminu stomp and still yell at the TV when teams don’t guard the guy inbounding the ball full court in the closing seconds. I was in the house when the cats won it all at the Meadowlands in ‘96 and ran the streets of Lexington when we did it again in ‘98. Some of my all time favorite Cats include Kyle Macy, James Lee, Dirk Minniefield, Richard “The Master Blaster” Madison (where is he?), Reggie Hanson (deserves to have his name in the rafters with the Unforgettables), Derek Anderson, Tony Buckets, PPat and every frosh from last season.

I recently got a chance to peek in and watch this year’s squad play pick up and I thought I’d relay my very limited insight to what I observed. First, the games weren’t all that intense and I think for the most part it was because Brandon Knight was away at the ESPYs. From what I hear that guy is our leader with a laser like focus on getting better. He seems to be almost Kobe like in his near robotic dedication to being the best. I already love him.

Harrelson wasn’t there either but nearly everyone else was and here’s what I observed:

Enes is a big, big fella but what was most obvious about him was that he is really well liked by all. He was joking and laughing and posing after monster dunks and it’s easy to tell that he is going to be one of the most popular players in and out of the locker room. Darius was guarding him and, while that seems a bit of a mismatch on the blocks, what was impressive was that several times he (very Boogie like) spun around DM for a big jam. I saw that well publicized range on his jumper as well.

Darius ran the show for his team and very often went to the bucket and got hacked. I didn’t know he was as athletic as he showed (some seriously nasty and powerful dunks).

Jon Hood was hitting long jumpers and generally seemed more confident with a year under his belt.

Doron Lamb was, as is the book on him, hitting every mid range jumper. His threes weren’t as pure but the kid has the stroke. Seems like the kind of player we can run off a screen and get a basket from when we really need one. Of all the freshmen there, his body looked the most freshman like but he has a nice frame and will certainly get stronger.

Deandre Liggins was stroking threes and,if his jumper improved as much this year as it did last, he will definitely be hard to keep off the court. I love him off the bench but he will make a push for more. Love his on ball defensive effort.

That brings me to Terrence Jones who was REALLY impressive. First of all, he and Deandre were checking one another and his size alone was startling. I mean, Deandre ain’t little and TJ dwarfed him and not just in height; guy was wide. Big shoulders and word was that now is his first real concerted work in the weight room and he is taking to it. So physically impressive. Equally impressive were his skills. He hit several deep threes and drove and dished to open men a lot. Deandre went around him several times but his size allowed him to recover enough to block a lot of shots. The most impressive thing of the night was when TJ demanded to bring the ball up the court after his team had thrown it away on a couple possessions. His handle is so impressive. His combo of size and skill will be highly coveted by the NBA so get a good look at him this year while you can. He might even be able to play some 2 at the next level.

I’m no expert but that’s the way I saw it. It’s going to be a really fun year. Thanks to Matt and the gang for letting me post and know I’ll be constantly checking the site.

Also, its football season! I love what Joker is doing and I think Randall Cobb is maybe the coolest player in the country. Go Cats.

Also, watch Cougartown, as I need the job

Article written by Matt Jones