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John Wall’s Monday Weekend in Review


Among the many great parts of the past weekend in Lexington was the final appearance of the UK NBA players in the Bluegrass for some time. Thanks to the NBA getting their labor deal together, all of the NBA stars made Saturday their final hurrah in their old Kentucky home. John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Tayshaun Prince, Brandon Knight and Josh Harrellson all came to the UK-UNC game before exiting to their various team camps on Sunday. I spoke with all of them briefly and they all talked about missing the chance to be around the city and their excitement about this year’s team. During the final moments of the clash on Saturday, no one cheered louder than John Wall when the Anthony Davis block was completed and he seemed as emotionally invested as anyone. It just goes to show that whether you are a lifelong fan, a Hollywood actor or a player who was only here for one year, when Rupp is rocking, you can’t help but get swept up in it.

To the news:

— The game on Saturday marked a huge moment of growth for this Kentucky team. While many fans of opposing schools (I am looking at you Louisville) attempt to downgrade the win by talking about the referees or neutral courts, I actually think Kentucky is the team who should feel the best about the game. North Carolina shot 61% from three point land, an accomplishment they may not repeat this entire season. Conversely, Kentucky went 4-17, a mark that they will only repeat during their most dismal performances. In every aspect of the game except from behind the arc, Kentucky outplayed North Carolina and had the three discrepancy even balanced out on an average basis, Kentucky wins by at least ten. What we saw then was Kentucky taking one of North Carolina’s best shots, staying with the Heels throughout and then acting the part of the more composed, clutch team down the stretch. For 32 minutes North Carolina controlled the game. But then in the last eight, a team composed mostly of Freshman and Sophomores played their best at winning time. That is a great sign.

— With that said, both teams should be proud as Saturday’s game was an absolutely unbelievable college basketball game. An NBA scout told Adam Zagoria afterwards that it was the best college game he had seen in 25 years of scouting. Virtually every reporter talked about how the matchup proved that UK-UNC are the two best teams in America and the talent was overwhelming. Chad Ford, the NBA Draft expert who focuses on evaluating college talent for a living told me without hesitation that it was “the best group of college talent in one game ever.” That happened in Lexington and you were a witness. Add to that, the fact that the game was played on an extremely high level and with players on both teams making huge shots/plays and it will always be a special game for UK and college basketball fans to remember.

— It also should be remembered that the fan atmosphere was the best for a UK game at Rupp in my lifetime. Fans began streaming into the arena an hour before the game and at 11:30, the place was nearly packed. There was a buzz in the building that I have only experienced pre-game 3 times since 2000 (the first Pitino game at UL, Florida in 2003 and Florida for College Gameday in 2007). From the opening tip through the final note of “My Old Kentucky Home”, the crowd was electric and at certain moments, it matched the loudest times the building has ever seen. The combination of the appearance of the NBA players, the famous UK actor/actress fans, the Speaker of the House and a fanbase that has been looking forward to this game for over a year, made the entire event feel special. When Rupp Arena is at its best, no place is better. And on Saturday the old barn and its fans put on one of its best shows of all time. It was one I will always remember.

— If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the 360 degree crowd picture at Rupp Arena from Saturday’s game. The KSR crew has spent an absurd amount of time on this picture today and has had way too much fun finding members of the crowd. The ability to tag people in the crowd has led to many funny (and some unfortunate) tags that have sprung up all over the picture. Poor Pat Forde seems to be taking it the worse, but the pictures tagged “The Situation” and “Colonel Sanders” did leave me laughing. If you spend too much time on this, you will become obsessed, but if you get a chance look for (among others), Josh Hopkins, Jack Conway, Evan Daniels, John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Tayshaun Prince, Bearded Guy, Pat Forde, Seth Davis, Beisner, Oscar Combs and me…all of whom I have found. Let me know if you see others. Oh yeah, and then there are these two as well:


— As far as actual on the court action, it does continue to be interesting to me to see who Calipari has in the game at crunch time. It seems to me that Calipari has basically decided to alternate between Darius Miller and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the player on the bench in the key moments. Far be it from me to question Calipari, but for my money I would like to see Teague on the bench in those moments where UK will be in the halfcourt and need a bucket. I like Lamb at the points and Miller/Gilchrist both in the game, since they both are able to create their own shot. I worry about Teague’s late decisionmaking, as Saturday’s game showcased.

— On the football side of things, we will likely learn the future of Tee Martin this week. The folks I talk to around the program tell me that they believe Tee will be back at Kentucky and aren’t sure why there is so much noise in the other direction. It all depends on what Tennessee does and while I still think that if they come after him hard, it would be hard to retain him, it does seem that his leaving is not as of yet a done deal.

— Congrats to the Lady Cats, who pounded Louisville by 20 today at Memorial. I watched most of the game and this UK group is impressive, and getting better by the game. There is a big one in Rupp on Thursday against Duke and I hope people come and pack the house. This team could be a contender and makes UK the only program in the land with two teams in the top ten in college basketball.

We have a FULL day on KSR here for Monday. We take a final look at UNC, get ready for another week of a number one ranking and see the Hoosiers ahead. On KSR Radio, Mike Pratt will join me to talk about the basketball game and much more, while later in the week we will have extended talks with Mitch Barnhart on the year in UK football and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray on the Rupp Arena project. Both will be can’t-miss interviews. See you back here bright and early….

Article written by Matt Jones

58 Comments for John Wall’s Monday Weekend in Review

  1. macsauce13
    11:38 pm December 4, 2011 Permalink

    Is it just me or does Wall look like he smoked a big joint before that picture? lol

  2. halfcourtshots
    11:40 pm December 4, 2011 Permalink

    Teague will be fine. Cal is coaching for march and that is win Teague will be the better option.

  3. Rick
    11:43 pm December 4, 2011 Permalink

    So true! Rupp is epic.

  4. Rick
    11:43 pm December 4, 2011 Permalink

    So true! Rupp is epic.

  5. LG
    11:47 pm December 4, 2011 Permalink

    What the hell is that reaching around JWall’s waist?

  6. DBT
    11:51 pm December 4, 2011 Permalink

    I like Teague out of the game just for foul shooting purposes.

  7. DBT
    11:53 pm December 4, 2011 Permalink

    I would like to see Teague out of the game just for foul shooting purposes. Esp if we are up and dont need to score.

  8. Smiddy
    11:57 pm December 4, 2011 Permalink

    Martin isn’t going to UT. They are looking for a RB coach and another rumor website stated Martin announced he isn’t leaving UK.

  9. KY Dave
    12:01 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    We heard so much leading up to this game about Carolina’s senior composure, leadership & decision making ability. Yet in the final seconds these same seniors stood idle not fouling. Like calmsays… I’ll take talent over experience everytime! Fear the brow!!!

  10. wildcat_marine
    12:07 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Is it just me or are Jones’s post just too boring to read?

  11. Shawon
    12:11 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    #10 – it’s just you

    Who is that old gray curmudgeon sitting next to Pat Forde? Looks like he’s in the middle of making some sort of snide comment…

  12. Shawon
    12:11 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    #10 – it’s just you

    Who is that old gray curmudgeon sitting next to Pat Forde? Looks like he’s in the middle of making some sort of snide comment…

  13. racerj5
    12:15 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    WTF is an ad selling North Carolina gear doing on the front page of KSR?

  14. JJ in Florida
    12:18 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    I was not at the UNC game but the best atmosphere for a game that I have ever been to was when UK beat LSU when Coach Brown had Chris Jackson, Stanley Roberts,Singleton and Shaq.We had just came off probation and Pitino had Farmer,Pelfrey,etc.LSU was number 1 I believe but UK won the game. The crowd went crazy and everyone was singing MY Old Kentucky Home. My dad almost teared up during the song and no one wanted to leave. Chris Jackson was a scoring machine that year and how LSU did not win the NCAA championship with that talent is beyond me, but that was the loudest that I have ever seen Rupp. have I think either Roberts or Shaq may have been suspended for the game but it was still my favorite memory of UK.

  15. Jack Hammer
    12:21 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    14-That was Pitino’s first year and we were still on probation. Reggie Hanson blocked one on Shaq and Shaq got T’d up for slamming the ball, Rupp EXPLODED!!!

  16. Where oh where
    12:21 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Is that little twit that writes on all the posts about the big Forde article coming out this weekend? Well what happened? Yahoo wouldn’t run it or what? Just as I figured, you’re full of it

  17. MikeInLexington
    12:30 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Yeah #10 its just you. Where is Forde in it? And why is he unhappy about it?

  18. Andy
    12:37 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Uhh yeah, there’s ‘a lot of noise’ about Martin leaving because you keep saying it will Jones.

  19. OhComeOn
    12:54 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Alabama fans hacked LSU’s website.

  20. Hal
    1:09 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    love some of the tags on ppl at the game. jones tagged as “mark kreb’s better half” & wall as “jesus christ”

  21. he says she
    1:47 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    11 & 12. That is Bill Freider — the Ex-Michigan coach who was doing a live nationwide radio broadcast for Westwood One.

  22. JimBobCooter
    2:07 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Did they give the audience a heads up that the picture was happening? Could they not have done a cheer?

    A real cool concept, but a pretty expensive pic of people texting!

  23. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    2:15 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    #14–absolutely the loudest Rupp has ever been. I decided to go at the last minute and ended up two rows from the roof. When Jackson shot you knew it was going in. We had no biz winning that game with talent they had. Top five memories from a UK standpoint for me. It was “our” Superbowl that year since there was no postseason.

  24. Johnny
    2:54 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    #19 that’s freakin funny stuff!

  25. littlefeller
    4:33 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Duke’s mens team was ranked 3rd in the AP poll this week and their women’s team was ranked 6th. Don’t understand the statement that UK was the only one with both teams ranked in the top ten.

  26. CATNTN
    6:18 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Check out the cheerleader standing on another’s shoulders on each side of the court. It is a reverse image of the same two people. You can even see the same young woman if you look through the crook in the dudes arm. How did they do that? Otherwise, very cool.

  27. barn
    6:30 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    who’s in the pic with wall?

  28. Gators
    7:11 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    What is Will Muschamp doing sleeping at a UK game?

  29. Raazoul
    7:35 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    UL fans are so dumb, complaining about a missed call in our game… Your team isn’t good enough to even WATCH a game of that caliber! Game would of been over if the ref called that play out on Carolina, instead Barnes hit a three and cut it to one. UNC waived the white flag, refs knew it and do did Teague! Next up Indiana, be careful what you wish for… We are gonna put a severe beating on you!

  30. 123
    7:45 am December 5, 2011 Permalink


  31. josh
    7:47 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Why is that other guy next to muschamp balancing a starburst candy on his head?

  32. BoomKentucky
    7:55 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Check out the fan cam. On the opposite side of the bench right above the K in Kentucky about the 3rd row someone named the old man Buttface Mcballnuts.

  33. RickyPVoodooDoll
    7:55 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    UK was out scored by 21 pts from 3 pt line by UNC, and still won.

  34. markp
    8:06 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    I wonder how many excuses Mitch will have for Joker. Disgusting that he won’t make the moves to actually get fans pumped about football.

  35. student
    8:06 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    I can’t find Pat Fordes? Where is he??????

  36. Levi
    8:24 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Patrick Patterson or his double is there.

  37. Shawon
    8:25 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    21 – Thanks for the reply!

  38. buzzard
    8:31 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Teague is not one of our 5 best players. He took several bad shots, played bad defense and made many bad decisions in the game. I think he should be coming off the bench. Miller on the other hand, played smart, team ball and is a much better shooter.

  39. Alice Stevenson
    8:32 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    By the way, the sleeper is Roger Hayden, super bike rider and next to him (but not in the photo on ksr) is his brother, Nicky Hayden, 2006 motogp world champion. That is the equivalent of being the Formula One World Champion but for motorcycles. Although it might not seem like a big deal to most Americans, these two are well known around the world…especially Nicky. And since they are from Owensboro, they are also rabid UK fans.

  40. Doom or Gloom
    8:52 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Teague had 1 turnover and had 4 assists, not a bad game. the shots he took were wide open looks. he did not force anything nor did he over penetrate or jump off his feet. Lamb on the other hand had 2 very costly turnovers late in the game do to dribbling. If Teague hit those free throws things would be different about him today. He missed, so everyone assumes he should not be in the game late.

    Teague is our point guard and should play 40 minutes a game. If the improvement is not their by SEC play, then you think of taking him out, but until then you have to let him learn and play.

  41. GoCats2
    8:52 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Bizarro world. CBSsports has a link to a KSR article.

  42. Kittyfan
    9:01 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Why take a game that routinely brings this much excitement for the players, fans and all of college basketball off your schedule? Just doesn’t make sense. However, I will go with Cal’s decision, because he is Cal.

  43. Bob Loblaw
    9:02 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    I have found most of the people on Jones’ list except for Josh Hopkins and Beisner.

  44. 3 fan
    9:08 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    THANK YOU MATT JONES! I agree that Teague shouldn’t have been in the game at the end. You could see it in his face that he wasn’t going to make that FT. Another inch and it could have banked in.
    After IU, Teague needs to play every single minute. They are going to need him in March.

  45. catty
    9:12 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    where is Forde?

  46. nashvillecatsfan
    9:39 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    After the way UK’s receivers performed this year, are there any rational people that actually believe that UT wants Tee Martin to be their receivers coach?

  47. The Captain
    9:54 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Matt, We will need to keep Teague in there in the end for most importantly defensive purposes. And he will be our best ball handler to protect the possession. He will just have to get better at facing the pressure of being on the free throw line.

  48. g
    10:08 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    45- found him in the press box where they say “welcome”

  49. saki7
    10:18 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    I’ve noticed Wall doesn’t smile a lot in his pictures. Good to see him at the game though.

  50. gameday
    10:21 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Is Pat Forde the one labeled as needle dick?

  51. Cristoforouk
    10:55 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    I agree with what you guys are saying about Teague come March, but it should be obvious to everyone that RIGHT NOW Teague is UK’s 6th best player, and that this team’s offense runs much smoother with Lamb at point and Miller in the game. I do agree that Teague needs to figure it out for UK to reach it’s potential. I am up in the air if that will ever happen this season. Just haven’t seen it from him yet. Still looks confused 75% of the time he is running the offense and then just tries to drive and score or pulls up for a jumper.

    I do agree he needs to be in the game in crunch time. However I would go with Teague, Lamb, and Miller on offense (no brainer and I couldn’t believe Cal didn’t sub Darius in for the second to last possession), and then Teague, MKG, and Miller on defense. Lamb is not great defensively and Miller is a much better rebounder. He would be the guy I would rotate with MKG.

  52. Bozz4Catz
    10:58 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    The dude sleeping is top ranked motocross rider Tommy Hayden…he mustve just flew in from a race. He’s used to going 200+ mph on a motorcycle so I understand him being bored….wait, no I don’t…its UK/UNC bro!!!!!

  53. Jay
    11:39 am December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Look through the backboard glass behind the Erruption Zone there is a guy walking down the aisle in UK Footie pajamas, Santa Hat, and sunglasses

  54. Cordell Walker
    12:31 pm December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Chuck Norris is in Section 219

  55. Ryan
    3:41 pm December 5, 2011 Permalink

    Bozz4cats: that is Roger Lee Hayden a pro road racer for Michael Jordan Suzuki.

  56. yup
    10:24 pm December 5, 2011 Permalink

    I agree that the sleeper is Roger Hayden…google him. The guy next to him is not Nicky though, try again. OWB

  57. BLUE Cincy
    9:46 am December 6, 2011 Permalink

    #52 – That is NOT Tommy… it is Roger Hayden.

  58. BLUE Cincy
    9:47 am December 6, 2011 Permalink

    #39 – Eeeeeeasy… Nicky had some success early on, but he is no Rossi by any means. He has kinda fell off the past years after 2006 and changing bikes. Not sure Id say many people know Roger or Tommy (besides being Nicky’s brothers).

    Seriously, who sleeps right before this game?!?!