If you are reading this, chances are you were very happy that the Cats took care of business today in Cancun 73-49 over Cleveland State. However the great thing about the Big Blue Nation is that there are fans everywhere and tonight I spoke with one of them, native Kentuckian Josh Hopkins, an actor on ABC’s “Cougartown.” Josh has been a life-long UK fan, growing up in Lexington as the son of former Congressman Larry Hopkins and then becoming an actor in Hollywood. Hopkins has worked on a number of tv shows, but now finds himself on “Cougartown” with Courtney Cox, a show that I admit to having watched multiple times with the Turkey Hunter and Hubby.
On tonight’s episode of “Cougartown”, Hopkins will be doing the “John Wall Dance” in a scene in which he celebrates a dunk in a game against 9 year olds. Hopkins said, “after one dunk in the shoot, I just did the John Wall dance in celebration. The director tried to get me to do something else in the other takes, but I wanted it to make the final cut, so I did the John Wall every time.” He said his affinity for John Wall (whom he calls “Blue Jesus”) has caused him to become obsessed again with UK. “My friends and I were talking and I am not sure we have ever had the coolest player in the nation. We deserve it and now we have it.” Hopkins is such a fan that he, like you, reads KSR a great deal, saying:
“I love the site. I always check it out…I sometimes don’t read all the new blogger contest stuff because there was a lot of it, but besides that, I read it all. I have it on my iphone…I go back to it all the time. Seriously I have a problem.”
So there you go…Hopkins knows KSR to such a degree that he hates on the Blogger Contest too…now that is a fan. If you get a chance tonight, check out the Wall dance on “Cougartown”. It comes on at 9:30, which is during the game, but you can possibly TIVO the show or flip back and forth…and someone PLEASE get it on Youtube so we can put it up here. The Wall Dance continues to spread….you gotta love the Big Blue Nation.
Some quick news:
(1): The Cats’ win over Cleveland State was somewhat sloppy and the game featured a lot of strange occurrences. However going forward what is most important is that the injuries to Patrick Patterson and Ramon Harris appear to be minor. Patterson complained on his Facebook about the pain of his ankle sprain, but Calipari said after the game that he may play on Wednesday against Stanford. He will be the dreaded “game time decision.” As for Harris, his injury looked bad and made the fans fear the worst for Harris yet again, but he ended up returning to the game. It was a knee sprain, however he is likely not to miss any time. In fact, Calipari praised Harris again after the game, saying he is the one player getting it on defense and he loves the way he is playing.
Here is video of Calipari’s comments after the game:
(2): Also on the player front, Jeff Goodman sent out a Twitter message tonight saying that a source tells him that Darnell Dodson may return to the lineup tonight against Stanford. Dodson has missed the past three games and while no one at UK has said he would return, Goodman says that a source is telling him that a return is likely tonight. In similar news, I have spoken to a source who tells me that DeAndre Liggins could return as early as Monday against UNC Asheville in Louisville. Neither of these are of course official, but the time out for both players may end relatively soon.
(3): As for the actual game, I felt the Cats played decent in getting the win under some odd circumstances in Cancun. The game had no real flow thanks in part to the referees tight whistle, the strange floor that caused a number of dead spots and the Cleveland State physical defense. Kentucky however got a lead early and never had it dip below six, once again choosing to win the game in the paint. Cousins, Patterson and Orton controlled the interior and John Wall got to the basket at will once again. The Cats are still missing some production from Eric Bledsoe, who looks to be out of control on the court and in need of a bit of seasoning. However the team as a whole took care of business and I expect the same against a Stanford team tomorrow that struggles to put the ball in the basket.
(4): The status of the court and environment in Cancun has been THE story of the early games. The floor was hideous on Tuesday and was the cause of a number of turnovers by both teams. However all is not worth complaining about in evaluating the environment because there are positives. As Tucker Max alluded to (in his post below, which is very interesting again), the environment allows an up-close look at the team for fans, which is great. Many are getting to see the Cats in ways they never would, and to that extent, it is a great atmosphere. Plus we have a potential record (832 fans…fewest to see Kentucky since the 1940s) and a setting that might never be duplicated (a team entrance next to an open bar). So maybe it isnt so bad after all.
(5): Finally, a football note. Rich Brooks was asked about retirement today and he didnt like it…one bit. He got short with the media and after saying he might be the “Energizer Bunny” who needs to have his batteries recharged, he scoffed at another retirement question by saying that he wanted to only talk about Tennessee, and getting a bit upset. I dont know for certain what Papaw Brooks will do and can only go by what Dicky Lyons told me on the radio show (that he believed he would be gone at the end of the year). But I hope he stays as long as he wants…he is a very good coach and a great leader for the program.
More all day, building up to the 9:30 pm start live from Cancun against the Stanford Cardinal, who Woo was very unfamiliar with, if you listened to the podcast. Check the podcast out and come back and see us get ready to “beat up some smaht kids.”