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Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s Friday News and Views


We usually dedicate the night posts to famous people celebrating birthdays or historical events, but today, this News and Views only has eyes for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (whose real birthday is September 26th). The talented freshman’s performance during the Loyola game may not have looked that flashy on the box score (15 points, seven rebounds and four assists), but when you consider that Gilchrist found out on Wednesday night that his mother, Cindy Richardson, was in the hospital, you truly see the depth of his character. Calipari said in his postgame comments that after discussing it with his family, Michael decided to wait until after the game to fly home because he didn’t want to let down his team. We don’t have a lot of details on Gilchrist’s mother’s condition, just that she was taken to the hospital a few days ago and will stay there through Christmas; hopefully, the situation isn’t too dire, considering Gilchrist’s family gave him the blessing to stay at Lexington to play instead of immediately coming home Wednesday night. In fact, on Thursday afternoon, Cindy (@vincin1) tweeted thanks to several Kentucky fans for their support and well-wishes. I speak for all of us at KSR when I wish her the fullest and speediest of recoveries. Also, thanks for an awesome son (more on him later).

Now, quit your sniffling and let’s move on.

— In case you were at work and unable to catch the game (or a victim of the ESPN3 blackout), the Cats pulled out an 87-63 victory over Loyola (Maryland). Let’s just say, it wasn’t very pretty, especially the first half. Most of the players, save Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis, seemed to be more concerned about getting home than playing basketball. Loyola hung tough in the first half, clearly not intimidated by the Cats or Rupp, nailing three three-pointers in the first five minutes. Loyola’s spunk was best illustrated by Erik Etherly’s monstrous dunk over Anthony Davis, who hurried under the basket to help Kyle Wiltjer out on defense. Etherly’s dunk was reminiscent of Travis Leslie’s over DeMarcus Cousins back in 2010, and will surely be one of the few times that Davis will be on the receiving end of a play like that.

After the game, Cal said the team “all needs a break” and that he finds himself “fighting” his guys too often. He singled out Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis for their focus and aggression during the game, saying they were the only players who “tried to rebound” in the first half: “I’m not fighting Anthony and Michael because they’re getting after it. But I’m fighting my point guard to be a point guard. I’m fighting Darius to be tougher. I’m fighting Kyle to play defense.”

— Tired of MKG love yet? Good. To piggy-back on what I was saying earlier, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist continues to be this team’s most valuable player. While his teammates rotate impressive offensive performances, Gilchrist is a constant catalyst on both sides of the floor, fighting for boards, finishing down low, and providing a spark when his team needs it the most. He is unquestionably this squad’s “glue guy,” who has seized the role of leader with things like the “Breakfast Club” and team-first attitude. Calipari knows this better than anyone and in postgame remarks, gave Michael credit for “dragging” the team along:

“He’s doing it whether it’s rebounding, scoring, making free throws, making 3s when he has to. In transition if you give it to him ahead of the pack and it’s him and one guy, he’s scoring 99.9 percent of the time or he’s going to get fouled. You know, he drags us in practice, he drags us in morning workouts.”

The praise didn’t stop there. Loyola’s coach, Jimmy Patsos, said Gilchrist proved him wrong in thinking that his team might have an advantage at MKG’s position: “He’s not flashy, he just drives the ball. He makes a lot of little plays, drove in, kicked it, got a rebound. Fifteen, seven and four assists. He was better than I thought.”

— It was nice to see Kyle Wiltjer show everyone what an offensive threat he can be, with a career-high 24 points off 7-11 shooting, including 3-6 from the arc. With Terrence Jones sidelined with an injury, Wiltjer has logged a lot of minutes in the past few games, and it has paid off with improved confidence and shot selection. However, while Wiltjer’s presence on offense is encouraging, his lack of presence on defense remains a concern. Wiltjer’s defensive struggles against teams like Loyola and Samford are frustrating, considering that Louisville and the SEC schedule are right around the corner. In postgame comments, Cal touched on the Catch-22, saying that he would have to find some defensive schemes that work for Wiltjer in order to justify keeping the sharp-shooting freshman in the game.

— Aside from being absolutely posterized by Erik Etherly (which was really Wiltjer’s fault), Anthony Davis had another solid performance, with 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. So far this season, Davis has had five double-doubles and seven games with four or more blocks. He’s on pace to get 148 blocks this season, which is absolutely ridiculous when you consider the current UK record is 83.

— Marquis Teague and Darius Miller had decent games, with nine and thirteen points respectively. Teague gave fans a scare when he limped off the court in the second half, but returned to play shortly thereafter. Eloy Vargas showed Loyola’s Jordan Latham that centaurs don’t mess around late in the second half when the two scuffled over a rebound. Things looked like they might get heated, causing Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to leap off the bench to go defend their teammate, but Coach Robic made them sit back down. It’s good to see the mild-mannered Eloy show some fire…any guesses as to what Latham said to piss him off?

— A few recruiting tidbits:
If you missed it below, 2012 SG Torian Grahm decommited from NC State on Thursday. Grahm is ranked the 11th best shooting guard by and was once one of Cal’s targets in the class. His decommitment isn’t reason to break out the bubbly just yet, but it should be an interesting story to follow over over the next few weeks.

Jarnell Stokes confirmed the world’s worst secret on Thursday night when he committed to Tennessee. He will enroll in January and play this season. With no mid-year scholarship available for him at Kentucky, Stokes’ decision is hardly surprising, but it’s still sad to see someone choose to wear orange willingly. See you on January 14th, Jarnell.

— In 2013 recruiting news, confirmed that 2013 SF Troy Williams will visit campus for the Louisville game next weekend. 2013 big man Austin Nichols also visited (unofficially) for the Loyola game today. And because the man doesn’t know how to rest, John Calipari watched Jabari Parker face off against Jahlil Okafor on Thursday night.

— Former Cat Chuck Hayes got a double dose of good news on Thursday, when doctors at the Cleveland Clinic announced that he has no heart problems and cleared him to play professional ball again. Hayes underwent extensive tests over the past few days, and a clean bill of health is one hell of a Christmas present for him and his family, as is the Sacramento Kings’ invitation to rejoin the team. According to, the Kings signed Hayes to a guaranteed four-year deal. Attaboy, Chuck.

— According to our man Oscar Combs, Lexington mayor Jim Gray said on Thursday that naming rights to the reinvented Rupp Arena will be on the table. Silly me, I thought the whole reason we were renovating Rupp instead of building a new arena was to preserve tradition and a collegiate environment? #moneytalks

With that little thought-provoking niblet, I will retire for the evening. We’ll be back bright and early with all the UK news you can shake a poinsettia at. Matt and company have the day off, so the radio show will be a rerun. Don’t be sad! Let this picture of Oscar Combs with children cheer you up: oscar-kids

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

61 Comments for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s Friday News and Views

  1. Todd
    11:42 pm December 22, 2011 Permalink

    Welcome to the Paul Miller Ford Rupp Arena!

  2. scott
    11:57 pm December 22, 2011 Permalink

    You guys get your trophy yet? I have not seen where the NC2A Championship tourney has been cancelled yet. When do you think that will happen?

  3. KYStout
    11:58 pm December 22, 2011 Permalink

    2. It will happen before you get a life, become a man and move out of your overweight mother’s basement.

  4. Ric Flair
    12:00 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    98 blocks or 89? I thought they said 89 during the game.

    • Ms. Tyler Thompson
      12:07 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

      Actually, we were both wrong. The record is 83, set by Andre Riddick and Melvin Turpin. Still ridiculous.

  5. Cat Head
    12:00 am December 23, 2011 Permalink


    Screw that!

  6. Statestreet
    12:00 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Davis definitely did not get “posterized” at all

  7. GameDay
    12:02 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Latham probably said something to Eloy about planking.

  8. Tom Selleck's Mustache
    12:06 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Latham insulted George Lopez

  9. tyrus
    12:10 am December 23, 2011 Permalink


  10. Hartline
    12:10 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Jim Gray is officially an idiot. Renaming the arena if you’re just renovating it? I know its all about the cash but come on. Can he be that disconnected to the fans of UK

  11. Blueburg
    12:18 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    MKG is a good example of one has “bought in” to Coach Cal’s system and is following his coach’s leadership. Hopefully this will spill over into the talented yet indifferent TJ. We need him to come back and reclaim that early aggressiveness he had at the start of the season.

  12. The Rich White Man
    12:36 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    World Wide Wes Arena

  13. Wild Cat Coal Lodge
    12:44 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Rupp Coal Arena

  14. The Big Dog
    12:45 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Who needs an old guy named Rupp? What we need a good sponsor -something like Midol or DentureCreme or Snap-on Tools. How about Grease… oh I forgot, U of L already got that. Seriously, great to hear that Chuck is back in the game. I hope he can keep that phat contract.

  15. Viren
    12:56 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    No name can match Rupp Arena. If they want to re-name the arena then just have them build another building and let em name YABA DABA DOO ARENA.

  16. Michael Kidd-Langford
    1:03 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Orange Leaf Arena, aka “The Froyo”

  17. Women Everywhere
    1:27 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Sir Pizza Indoor Arena

  18. Bshearer
    1:29 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    It would be a sin to put a sponsor before Rupp, he made Kentucky basketball. He IS Kentucky basketball. Period.

  19. bigredbleedsblue
    1:52 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Rename Rupp, less seats for the typical fans, just as expensive. Remind me again what benefits there are?

  20. manbearpig
    2:02 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Great welcome to the Friends of Coal Mine Arena….

  21. bigredbleedsblue
    2:03 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Oh that’s right we’ll now have a bigger convention center and better shopping facilities. When is the next election?

  22. Lee
    2:30 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Welcome to the Altech’s Rupp Arena

  23. Lee
    2:36 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    The Alltech “Trot of champions” where former KY greats are paired with their equine equal.

  24. Manbearpig
    4:20 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    #24 I like it!!!

  25. ridiculous
    7:28 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    we need to impeach the mayor….if possible. he has turned the new arena push into a plan that merely puts a band aid on rupp while essentially reconstructing the entire downtown section of lexington. It makes me sick. The university needs to push the legislature on the bonding restrictions and come up with a plan somewhere in the $750 million range. Included in this budget should be a new, on-campus basketball arena……upgrades to commonwealth and possibly a new baseball stadium. Furthermore, there should be $150 million or so left over after those construction plans that could be applied to other campus structure. Actually, the price tag on the deal should be about $1 billion…..that would cover every need and the University of Kentucky would be immediately thrust into “elite” status facility wise.

  26. Al's IndiCats
    7:54 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    24 that does have a nice ring to it.

  27. theoledog
    7:57 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    who cares about a new/renovated arena…. we need a new football stadium

  28. bigbluedude
    8:02 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    oscar always looks kind of retarded to me

  29. Turrible
    8:13 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    NC State could not accept a verbal from Grahm. He has major grade issues. The kid makes Eric Bledsoe look like Albert Einstein.

  30. Lamb'sJumper
    8:16 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Was at the game yesterday. The buzz going around Rupp was that Terrence Jones will likely miss a few more games.

  31. buzzard
    8:22 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    renaming Rupp really stinks, instead of a new arena we get a new shopping center for lexington and we lose our identity…if not for Rupp there might not be any great UK basketball tradition….if we renovate don’t we still have the same arena? why would we change the name if it is the same arena?

  32. BCinVA
    8:30 am December 23, 2011 Permalink


  33. JRA
    8:36 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    It will always be Rupp Arena to me, don’t care what they call it to get money, I’ll just call it Rupp Arena and be happy!

  34. Banner8in2012
    8:38 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    31) Heard that as well. Hearing the injury is a little worse than the staff is letting on. Hope it’s not true and he’s ready to go.

  35. KidCody
    8:47 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Funky Coal Arena

  36. KidCody
    8:50 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    I, for one, vote for “Funky Coal Arena”

  37. Test
    8:58 am December 23, 2011 Permalink


  38. scott
    8:59 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    #3-Good one. Burn on me, eh? Seriously. IS THE TROPHY THERE YET? WHEN IS THE PARADE? Speeches?

  39. TaylorsvilleCat
    9:05 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    “Funky Coal Arena

  40. T.J.
    9:07 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    37- I agree….Only if we are assuming that Tone Loc does the player introductions. #FunkyColdMedina

  41. Manbearpig
    9:10 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    I asked the guy who you so fly and he said Funky Coal Arena

  42. Fat ninja
    9:11 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Kyle macey wants it to be named “kyle macey should of been the coach here but he was to awesome arena “

  43. stevem
    9:29 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    To replace Rupp, is to disrespect the entire foundation of what UK basketball stands for. Why have tradtion if your going to abandon it for a few bucks. Shame on Gray. he should not be re-elected.

  44. kramer
    9:29 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    #40 I love that name!!

  45. Tradition
    9:40 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    If they don’t call the renovated arena exactly “Rupp Arena” I will boycott the games.

  46. Calipari'sInYourEar
    9:49 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    “Jim Gray Arena”

  47. Paducahfan
    10:03 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Duke has stuck with Cameron for longer the we have had Rupp and it seems to work fine for them.

  48. theSkinny81
    10:10 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    #39 – itll be here way before it ever arrives in Bloomington.

    i guess its never too early to troll, huh?

  49. CT Cat (jhd)
    10:13 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    #48, Matt made this point clear yesterday, and I agree with his reasoning. Duke has a $5.7 billion endowment, UK has an endowment of $779 million. For those of you not so good with the maths, that’s a 7x difference. We’ve got to fight every other university in the state (not to mention those pesky things like roads and sewers and medicaid) for money, so everything has to be on the table.

    In the end, it probably won’t happen. Naming rights don’t really bring in that much (I think the number I last heard was $1-2 million a year, and that was for an NFL stadium, a much more visible venue). But give Mayor Gray some credit for thinking outside the box to make Rupp and downtown Lexington the best it can be.

    For the record, the grocery store on Romany Rd will always be Randall’s, and our arena will always be Rupp.

  50. CT Cat (jhd)
    10:35 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Ok, I realize my point is undercut by the fact that Lexington Center Corp owns Rupp, not UK. LCC had an annual budget from the city of $2.1 million and an annual deficit of $3.3 million in 2009 (on $17m in revenue). Point being, we’ve got to find money everywhere we can, be it naming rights, luxury boxes, ticket increases, or other revenue sources.

  51. Suggestion
    11:08 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Why not sell naming rights to the complex and not the arena itself?

    I could live with “Rupp Arena at the Alltech Convention Center”

  52. @43
    11:32 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Learn how to spell Kyle’s last name if you are going to discuss him.. It’s MACY

  53. scott
    11:44 am December 23, 2011 Permalink

    #49-really? All those one and dones? Calipari will be caught before you guys get a trophy.

  54. Experience
    1:00 pm December 23, 2011 Permalink

    If Rupp Arena ever changed names (not in favor) Commonwealth Center should be high on the list.

  55. UKHoopshysteria
    1:16 pm December 23, 2011 Permalink

    Just call it Cal’s Coliseum and be done.

  56. :-(
    3:19 pm December 23, 2011 Permalink

    The dunk on Davis was nowhere near the magnitude of Leslie’s dunk on Cousins a couple years back. Talk about an exaggeration!

  57. Roland
    5:40 pm December 23, 2011 Permalink

    If they rename Rupp any other thing without Rupp Arena in the name I will chant “THIS IS RUPP ARENA” repeatedly at the start of any game I attend no matter how people I annoy.

  58. This is Rupp Arena
    6:26 pm December 23, 2011 Permalink

    This site needs to rebuild it’s WP software. Ya make a simple comment and it’s like ya never did it.

  59. This is Rupp Arena
    6:28 pm December 23, 2011 Permalink

    And now the comment shows up. Flaw in the software.

  60. Women Everywhere
    2:18 pm December 24, 2011 Permalink

    Scott, just because we won’t date you…..seriously…