Kentucky has played many a big games at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky in the building’s 56-year history. Wednesday night’s game against Arkansas-Little Rock, however, will probably not rank high on the list of classics, but you should be excited about it anyway. The Cats and the Trojans are scheduled to tip off at 7:00 pm in UK’s annual home away from home game in the former birdhouse. Tickets are still available and can be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com. Fans of the home game in Louisville need to pack the house if they want to see Kentucky continue to play in Freedom Hall. Coach Cal hinted to the media that the future of the game could be in jeopardy if it doesn’t sell out. The same game would draw 24,000 fans in Rupp Arena so UK can’t afford to keep playing in front of 15,000 in Louisville. If UK drops the game from the schedule, Freedom Hall will only be good for horse shows, rifle conventions, and Ronnie Milsap concerts. Nobody wants to see that. You should go.
Lets get you some news and views.
— We’ll lead off with three interesting statistics from Kentucky basketball. This first is Marquis Teague is second on the team in shot attempts this season, just 11 shy of Doron Lamb’s team-leading 142 attempts. If someone had told you that would be the case before the season started, I’m sure you would’ve (a) laughed or (b) smacked them. Coach Cal spoke about his point guard’s frequent shooting for UK’s practice on Monday, and he said teams just aren’t playing him. “He’s getting a lot of shots because they aren’t playing him and, if he is shooting a lot of lay-ups, then shoot a hundred. I could care less, we are trying to win,” Calipari said on Monday. “The guys that are doing the dirty work aren’t complaining about shots so nobody else has the right.” Cal also pointed out that Teague has a ways to go, but he’s right on pace with Kentucky’s last two point guards. “Marquis is still learning, he’s not there yet, he’s not totally bought in yet but that’s fine, neither did Brandon last year at this point and I think I remember John Wall saying, ‘I’m not having fun,’ halfway through the year.”
— Anthony Davis is four blocks away from cracking the top ten on UK’s single season shot blocking list. Davis has 64 blocks through 14 games and he’s on pace to, not only break, but absolutely shatter the record of 83. If Davis keeps up his 4.6 blocks per game, he’ll finish the season with 151. That is just absurd. He’s the reason Kentucky is best in the nation with 10.2 blocks per game.
— Kentucky is the only team in the country with six players averaging double figures in scoring. UK has never finished a season with six double-figure scorers, and a Kentucky team has only finished with five players in double figures nine times since 1947. Six of those nine teams were during the Adolph Rupp era.
— The Cats moved up to No. 2 in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches basketball polls. I don’t see Kentucky losing a game in all of January so it won’t be long before the boys in blue are back on top. I’ll go ahead and predict a No. 1 ranking next week courtesy of a Syracuse home loss to Marquette on Saturday.
— John Grieg, the agent of DeMarcus Cousins, released a statement from his client regarding the reported trade demand and fallout with Paul Westphal:
“I want to address my missing the New Orleans game Sunday. I have not demanded or requested a trade. I don’t agree with the actions taken but will give my sincere effort to put it behind me and compete the best I can for my team.”
If what was reported is true, DeMarcus was immature in how he handled his frustrations with the team. I wasn’t in the locker room, so I don’t know, but I do know DeMarcus very well and he is one of the nicest, most likable guys you could ever meet. Regardless of what actually happened, I hate that it darkens that cloud above his head and brings more negativity towards the way he is perceived by the national media. He really is a great guy, who just needs to be more of a professional at times.
— Either his Twitter account was hacked by a 17-year old girl or Matt Jones fell off the wagon:
What a great episode! The Ky girl got booted but we have five crazy chicks and one certified lunatic in the final 15. #BachelorRules!
– Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) January 3, 2012
Matt sent not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, but seven tweets about The Bachelor on Monday night. Even Beisner’s obsession with Justified thinks he was a little too giddy for the show.
— The Kyle Anderson kid continues to be a thorn in Kentucky’s side when it comes to the recruitment of Shabazz Muhammad. Anderson, a UCLA commit, told Adam Zagoria that he talks to Shabazz and 2012 power forward Tony Parker almost everyday. “I really want to get them here,” he said. UCLA is one of the six schools Muhammad is considering and his good buddy realizes the decision is ultimately up to Shabazz. “He likes (UCLA) but it’s just a decision that he has to make,” Anderson said.
— Josh Harrellson didn’t have the best of games for the Knicks on Monday night, but he continued to impress his coaches and fans with his “hard work” style of play. Despite only scoring two points in his second career start for New York, Jorts came up with a huge block late in the Knicks’ failed comeback attempt against Toronto. We see you working, big fella.
— John Wall and Rajon Rondo went head-to-head for the second time in two nights. Wall had 11 points with eight assists to Rondo’s six points and 13 assists. I’m sticking with my assertion that NBA League Pass is the greatest thing to hit the Internet since AOL Instant Messenger.
— KSR is looking for young writers with expertise in bolding themes and writing in lists. We need 6-8 writers for the new “KSR College” website that’ll launch next week. Interested candidates need to be in either college or graduate school, have the ability to attend events on UK’s campus and an interest in writing about UK sports and topics surrounding UK sports in the coming year. You don’t have to be a student at UK but you do need to be at a college close enough to UK so that you could be sent to Lexington for events (Transy, Centre, EKU, etc). Writers will be selected on a semester by semester basis and the best of them may one day find their way to the main KSR site in the future. If you are interested in applying, the turnaround is quick. We need (a) A resume, (B) a writing sample of a story/blog post you have done or have created for this opportunity and (C) your class/work schedule. All of this needs to be submitted to [email protected] by THURSDAY at NOON. We will be doing interviews in Lexington this weekend and picking the staff soon thereafter. Get to work, kiddos.
— Don’t forget about the big pep rally in Louisville for Tuesday night’s game. The UK Alumni Club of Greater Louisville will host a pep rally from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Kentucky Expo Center’s North Wing Lobby. The Pep Rally will include the UK cheerleaders and pep band, giveaways, free face painting, games, music, videos, cash bar, food and more. Admission is free for UK Alumni Association with a valid membership card and children under 12. Admission is only $5 for non-members. See you there?