One thing that will make you smile on the cusp of another week of postseason uncertainty? This picture of DeMarcus Cousins, or rather, “El Boogie,” in a luchador mask, taken during the Kings’ Latin Heritage Night. I see you smiling.
Busy week of news coming up, so let’s dive right in:
— According to a UK spokesman, John Calipari had another dental procedure today, so John Robic subbed in during the SEC Coaches’ Teleconference. Robic said that the Cats had to “right the ship” after a disappointing loss at Arkansas and that even though things don’t look very promising, “there’s still a lot of things in front of us.” There will be even more if the Cats pull off a win in Athens on Thursday night.
— About that: Robic said that the key to beating Georgia is containing guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who he said is playing like an all-league player: “He is a big guard with great size. He’s able to score in a variety of ways. I would label him as he has a pro’s jump shot because he gets great lift when shooting the ball. It looks like it’s going in every time he shoots it. He’s able to post up smaller guards in their system with the way that they play. He’s scoring 30 percent of their points, so he’s a key figure in them.”
— From listening to Mark Fox’s remarks in the teleconference, you’d never know Kentucky was struggling. Fox said Kentucky is having a “postseason kind of year” thanks to Cal’s “terrific” job of rebuilding his squad and regrouping after the loss of Nerlens Noel: “Kentucky still has a very good basketball team, a team that’s won 20 games, a team that’s in second place in the league. There is a lot of pluses there that still exist.”
— One of those pluses is Willie Cauley-Stein, with whom Fox, a fellow Western Kansas native, shares several family friends. Fox called Willie “long and powerful” and said he’s getting more and more aggressive as the season goes on. Who knew the Western Kansas basketball community was so tight?
— In news that won’t surprise you, Lexington was named top market for college basketball fans with 83.3% of residents polled saying they follow college hoops on radio and TV, according Inside Radio. Louisville was second with 75%, Syracuse third with 62% and Raleigh fourth with 60%. For perspective’s sake, in the typical U.S. market, only 37% of the population follows college basketball.
— In his latest Insider College Basketball rankings, Jay Bilas puts the Cats at #40 and says that a win over Florida would “probably seal a tourney bid.”
— Congrats to sophomore left-handed pitcher/first baseman A.J. Reed on being named SEC Player of the Week after hitting three home runs during a five-game week. It’s the first SEC POTW honor for Reed, who was also named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week Monday morning. The Bat Cats are 10-1 and will host Cincinnati on Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
On today’s show, Matt and Ryan recapped Saturday’s awful loss to Arkansas and asked whether or not this group has what it takes to make the Tournament. They also listed songs with city names in them. Listen online at TalkRadio1080.com.