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Josh Hutcherson’s Friday News and Views


Well, here we are.  Back together again after a 24 hours of condolences and airing of grievances.  I know we’re both happy to see that sun does indeed rise again this morning and doubly thrilled that we’re again on the cusp of some Kentucky basketball.  Before we get our emotions all stirred up again about basketball, let’s first pause and give a hearty KSR salute to a Wildcat who is thriving away from home.  Actor and noted Kentucky fan Josh Hutcherson (face painted above) is set for a big weekend as his film, The Kids Are All Right is nominated for best picture at Sunday’s Academy Awards.  For those of you who have kids, you probably remember Hutcherson from films like Bridge to Terabitha, Journey to the Center of the Earth or Kicking and Screaming.  And if you’re a sports blogger, you’re just writing that in a feeble attempt to make yourself feel better about dedicating this post to a teenage boy.  I promise, it didn’t start out weird.  It just ended that way. 

Now onto a few UK notes…

 – At this point, the post-Arkansas discussion and breakdown has covered essentially every angle of what happened Wednesday night in Bud Walton Arena.  Kentucky made a lot of the same errors that have plagued their conference schedule and again fell to a team that didn’t really have the talent to compete, leaving us all with one question.  What is this team’s upside?  Throughout the early struggles and even in the non-conference successes, the rallying cry for all who discussed John Calipari’s squad was that they were going to get better as the year wore on.  They had more upside than anyone in the country.  They freshmen were going to take the next step.  This team was going to look like a veteran squad and be a force by the time the tournament came around.  With three regular season games remaining, that appears to have been a vast error in analyzing this team and probably rooted simply in the fact that freshmen were playing.  At this point, you can legitimately make the point that this team has still not found a way to be a team consistently.  They’ve won 19 games because they have talented parts, but they’ve shown no sign yet that they can be more than the sum of those parts – the team with the most upside.  As I mentioned before, it just seems like a lot of the parts don’t fit together very well and that might have been what was underestimated the most.  Brandon Knight has shown flashes of being a great point guard, but when you look at his best games, they are the ones that we all rave about his scoring.  Terrence Jones isn’t a selfish player.  I just don’t know if he has the right skills to make his teammates better.  Everyone else has been inconsistent.  Hypothetically, the light can still come on and they can take that next step together.  This late in the season, though, you have to wonder if it’s just too late to expect anything different.

 – Part of that struggle in taking the next step in becoming a formidable team and making that upside a reality is getting over the mental block of not playing in Rupp Arena.  Mike Pratt noted on the radio Thursday that he believes the players in that locker room have let the road struggles creep into their minds as they hear about it from friends and family and whoever else is talking about it around them.  With a 1-6 record on the road and so many of those games falling apart at the end, it’s hard to argue otherwise.  If you lose one or two, that’s understandable.  When you lose six games and you do it against teams you’d slaughter by 20 at home, that’s the sign of a mental block.  The optimist in me wants to look at the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament as neutral sites, rather than road games, and look at UK’s 3-1 record this year in those neutral site games and feel good about it.  Truth is, though, this team isn’t the one that weathered Washington’s push in Maui or thoroughly handled Notre Dame in Freedom Hall.  The psyche appears damaged and the only way it can be repaired is by winning away outside of Lexington.  Sometimes, one game can be the catalyst for that and can shake off that rust.  The Cats have to hope that’s the case and put together a strong showing in Knoxville and Atlanta to enter the NCAA Tournament with confidence that they can make a run.

 – And while they’ll be returning to Rupp and looking to keep Calipari undefeated, they’re going to face a Florida team that is going to attack them where they looked the weakest Wednesday in Fayetteville.  Though they had a chance to win on the game’s final possession in Gainesville, Kentucky struggled to rebound against a subtly physical Florida team and had trouble stopping a veteran team that could execute.  It will be the same old story again for Kentucky Saturday against a Gators team that, if anything, has gotten better since they last played and is riding a six-game winning streak.  They will again be challenged on the boards and will need to find maturity in executing down the stretch and avoiding bad fouls.  If they can do so, they will not only get a win, but potentially find themselves a step closer to finally finding that elusive “upside”.

 – On a happier note, UK target and presumed future commitment, Trevor Lacey, set an Alabama high school record Thursday, singlehandedly out-scoring East Lawrence in a playoff game.  Lacey went for a playoff record 44 in his team’s 84-40 victory, which earned him a little bit of ire from the opposing team’s coach, who felt like they run up the score for no reason. 

 – Speaking of Lacey, there is still a little bit of happiness to be found for the few of you who were upset by the decisions of UK’s four 2011 All-American’s to skip a stop at the local all-star game.  Lacey was named to the Derby City Festival Classic game, along with four Louisville commits and our dear old friend DeAndre Daniels.  So, there you go.  You can now sleep at night.

 – And while we’re on the subject of waiting, former Clemson linebacker Brandon Maye will decide March 28 on which school will get his services in his final year of college football, according to Aaron Cordero.  That might have been posted already.  If it has, just know that it’s that extra important and be thankful you heard it again.

 – This world needs more Todd Packer.  More Todd Packer.  That’s all.

That’s it for now.  Stay tuned throughout this Friday for more Florida prep talk and a whole lot of fun.  As usual, the fun gets going at 10am on Talk Radio 1080 with Kentucky Sports Radio.  In the meantime, appreciate the random greatness of this Fan of the Day photo submitted by photographer Nema Etebar.  It’s mesmerizingly awesome.


See you in a few…

Article written by Thomas Beisner

52 Comments for Josh Hutcherson’s Friday News and Views

  1. Shootin' Blanks
    11:44 pm February 24, 2011 Permalink

    Id Lacey is playing in the derby game…he’s ours

  2. BBN
    11:44 pm February 24, 2011 Permalink

    Selfish play and poor coaching is killing this team. I still think Brandon Knight is the most selfish of all. UK hasn’t had a player as selfish as him in years. He only cares about getting his own points and getting to the NBA. I’m sick of seeing him jack up so many 3 point shots. Terrence Jones should be getting more touches. He may also be selfish, but I don’t see that as much when he’s on the court. I hope Knight does leave for the NBA after this season because it will be addition by subtraction in my opinion. In his own way, Knight is also playing the role of team killer.

  3. Shootin' Blanks
    11:44 pm February 24, 2011 Permalink


  4. Lazlo
    11:50 pm February 24, 2011 Permalink

    The letter shaving is awesome but the neck beard/soul patch combo tops that.

  5. BigCatDaddy4263
    11:59 pm February 24, 2011 Permalink

    Beisner, just wanted to let you know that I just got hired at South Oldham as an assistant football coach..

  6. bluesweat
    12:01 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    #2, Really, Knight is selfish, can’t take you serious.

  7. Thomas Beisner
    12:04 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    5, any man that can impress Mitch Irvin has my respect. Best of luck.

  8. zac
    12:04 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Since when is North Oldham any good? When I was at South, North could barely field a team, let alone be better than OC.

  9. Sean
    12:13 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Bah, too much doom and gloom. After watching that game, I was convinced this team has a legit chance to make it to the Final Four assuming they get bouned out of the SEC tourney early. The last thing we want is a thin team, to have to play 4 games in a row.

    Why can we make a run?

    1) Top ten opponents field goal percentage in the country
    2) Great shooting team
    3) Low turnovers
    4) Good rebounding
    5) Blocked shots
    6) Darius is improving

    That’s a recipe for winning in March. Last year’s team had no consistent shooters and turned the ball over a LOT. There is no juggernaut team that is clearly better than us. Darius Miller missed shots early but STAYED AGGRESSIVE and played well! Remember, he was a McDonald’s all american. Being whipped on by Gillespie hurt him, but he has improved, Harrelson looked good. We need Doron Lamb to step it up and TJ to work in the flow of the offense. His shots seem forced. I think all of those will improve.

    I’m not buying into this tired team garbage. They play twice a week for 35 minutes a game. These are 18-19 year old kids. They can’t handle 35 minutes twice a week? If so, don’t even think of the NBA where you’ll get 35 minutes per game 3-4 times per week for damn near 7 months.

  10. CalifCatFan
    12:27 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    It seems that Coach Cal has abandoned the Dribble Drive Offense. I have not seen this team execute the DDO in a long time. Anyone else notice that? And why has Cal discontinued it? If they have executed the DDO in the past few games, then it has been very little.

  11. uk class of 2013.
    12:35 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    # 2 – You, sir, are an idiot. Either that or you have Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight mixed up.

  12. UK Cats
    12:50 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    #2 it’s so obvious you’re a Louisville troll, get a life you tool. Get out of your mothers basement and try to get laid for once in your life

  13. Big Blue Magic 8 Ball
    1:15 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    BBN: Why do we keep beating our heads into the wall?

    The first point rings loud and clear: “Throughout the early struggles and even in the non-conference successes, the rallying cry for all who discussed John Calipari’s squad was that they were going to get better as the year wore on.”

    If these guys haven’t figured it out by now it ain’t going to magically click this late in the season.

    I, Big Blue Magic 8 Ball, will predict what you can expect for the last 3 regular season games:

    1) Florida – they will snap our home win streak. Jones gets blocked by Tyus at least three times.
    2) Vandy – we bounce back from the Florida loss, mainly due to Jennings having an off night and not because of our “perimeter” “defense.”
    3) UT – we get a decent lead early on, only to squander it right before the half, play catch-up the whole second half, lose by 3. Cal tweets about some meal he ate.

    This has been a Big Blue Magic 8 Ball report.

  14. Give'em Hell Cats
    1:42 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    2) you need to disguise your louisville allegiance a little better if you want to be taken seriously.

  15. coach cal
    1:57 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    i should go back to c-usa it was easier being the best coach winning against Tulsa..

  16. four loco
    2:07 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    #9 Darius wasn’t a McDonald’s all American, but I do think he is improving and I like his aggressiveness in the past couple games.

  17. For reals
    2:17 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Sigh. The Cats suck. At least we beat the filthy Cards.

  18. WildcatDJ
    4:00 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Holy shit. Nema! That’s my boy. We grew up together in Winchester. He’s a great photographer in Philadelphia now. That’s why he called earlier…

  19. SanDiegoDave
    6:09 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    9) If you ever thought this team was a legitimate Final Four contender, then you need to back away from the crack pipe. While I agree there are no “juggernaut” teams this year, Duke, Ohio State, Kansas, and Texas would drill UK into the ground. Each of those teams has size, depth, and upperclassmen leadership that UK is painfully short of. It is a very real possibility that UK loses two of its last three games for a 20-9 record going into the SEC tournament. Then, a one-and-done in the SEC isn’t going to impress anyone on the NCAA selection committee. This team will most likely make the NCAA tournament but it is looking at a seven to nine seed square in the face.

  20. GoCayuts
    6:36 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    If Lamb quits before the end of the year, does Cal still have to pay the rest of his salary? Anyone know Cal’s policy on this?

  21. bluesince66
    6:49 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    When Enes was ruled inelgible I knew we were going to be good, but not great. I think for the most part this team plays hard and gives the effort they just choke a little at crunch time. Like many have said the Arkansas, and Ole Miss games are the only ones that really bother me simply because we have more talent than them. Hopefully we can win these next two at home and keep the streak alive and then see what happens in the tournaments.

  22. Harley
    6:52 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Bez, South got Beat! GO Oldham!

  23. BigBlueMist
    6:53 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    I’m just glad we aren’t in the SEC West. We wuld likely be NIT bound.

  24. AmishGuy
    7:10 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Ya, dat be a funny looking goat der.

  25. markp
    7:24 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Knight is playing under the direction of Cal! I say he’s usually our best offensive threat but seems to panic, not accomplish much, in crucial end of the game situations. Why not use him as a decoy ONCE and give someone else a chance. I do believe he will one day be a finisher but he’s not there yet. Also, not to all three freshemen you are not ready for the NBA, period. I am not one to want a guy to stay if he’s ready, aside from Orton, all last year were primed to go.

    In addition, I believe as frustrating as this year has been great things await the Cats next year, especially if the freshmen do the smart thing and stay.

  26. Kevin Bacon's Dancemoves
    7:47 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    KSR—-What are you guys doing down in Atlanta?

    Is there a bar where your doing a show? A nursing home? Jail?

    Whats going on with KSR?

  27. kyrobman
    7:58 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    9) I like your outlook, if all these fair weather fans thought the same way you do. Our team would play better. I want us to win and I know we can, but when we don’t it can not automatically be Coach is bad or the players are bad. Fact is they are young this is what young kids do. They hear what we are saying believe it or not. We may not get to the final four but I believe we can. So heres to you number 9 for being a true fan.

  28. bung
    8:20 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    all we need to do is be up 25 toward the end of the game

  29. Lando CALrisian
    8:24 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Just heard from Aaron’s bball blog that Trevor Lacey signed with UK!!

  30. Han
    8:27 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Jones needs more touches — he disappears for long stretches but is seen working to get open — or he gets down on himself. He also then forgets how to pass back to wide open guys like on the perimeter or Jorts.

    19) Not sure many teams would drill us into the ground. UConn handled us well, but we have also shown an ability to go on big runs with our defense and three point shooting, so even if they bang us inside, we may still make it close before losing.

    Time to celebrate?
    Via Aaron’s blog, some random newspaper site says Lacey’s UK’s. Assumption or common knowledge?

    Also, greatest class of all time.

  31. thisMBistoughtoseecomentson
    8:31 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    go us !

  32. Mr Schwump
    8:34 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    This team needs to grow a brain, dumbest team in UK history.

  33. BlueGene
    8:53 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Is it me, or are coaches cry babies when it comes to getting the score run up on them? I mean, come on, stop whining about getting blown out because your team isn’t better than your opponent. Every time I hear a coach cry about that, I want to say to them, “Shut up and play better!!”. Is Trevor supposed to pull the throttle back because your team blows? Holy crap that makes me mad.

  34. Orlando Antigua
    8:54 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Is that Jebadiah or Ishmael?

  35. mattcat68
    8:56 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Lando, how could Lacey “sign” before April 23rd? That can’t be right.

  36. Burlington_UK_fan
    8:58 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Churning lots of butter!

  37. Aaron Patrick
    9:03 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    How come after every loss there has to be this post on the upside, don’t panic, come March things are different. The fact of it is, this team is great talent wise. But, unlike last year, they still haven’t figured out that if they put all their talent together that they would be great. As of now, they don’t play team ball, therefore it makes them mediocre. If they haven’t figured it out by now, chances are, they aren’t going to. Let’s just support them for whatever time we have left, and hope that next years recruits are learning something by watching this team. I feel better about next years team, providing at least Knight stays, a lot better than I felt about this team this time last year.

  38. BBN
    9:03 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Lacey signed a financial aid agreement, not a LOI. There are no restrictions on when financial aid agreements can be signed.

  39. mattcat68
    9:17 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    BBN, if that’s the case then why is Lacey waiting until spring signing day to announce his decision? And why aren’t the Ky sports media, scout and rivals blowing up about this news? If you know it, then they have to know it.

  40. SanDiegoDave
    9:18 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    27) There are exponential differences between fair weather fans and those who have unrealistic expectations year in and year out. Unfortunately, there are people (apparently many who post on this blog) who think UK can, and should, win the SEC regular season, SEC tournament, and NCAA tournament every year. History proves those people are disappointed far more often than not.

    If this team can somehow get its act together, qualify for the NCAA tournament and get past the Sweet 16, then it will be a good year considering the lack of size, depth and experience it has. However, anything less will be a disappointment.

  41. Lou eaton
    9:24 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Constant screaming by the coach has dorked up this teams mental health and until he backs off some we will be the same team. Theyy are playing under too much pressure from the bench which screws up they mental approach….this should not be rocket science to anyone!!!!

  42. Lando CALrisian
    9:30 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Aaron’s BB Blog’s twitter feed posted “The Cullman Times of Alabama says Trevor Lacey has signed with UK.”

  43. Lando CALrisian
    9:37 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Financial aid papers are just as good as LOI, right? I know he could back out, but I need some good news today…….come on, let me have it……lol

  44. BBN
    9:38 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Cal is verbally abusive to his players and unfortunately the water has started to boil over. The players are fed up the abuse and do not trust Cal anymore. Their mental health and team morale has been damaged, starting from the Maui Invitational tournament.

    9:39 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Churning butter once or twice…living in the amish paradise

  46. BlueFins
    9:52 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    The DirtyBirds are having, yet again, another White Out on Saturday. With a Red Out planned for next week. What a bunch of baffoons. They do two or three a season in FB & BB, no wonder they sell so much merch. Hasn’t this “insert color here” Out, been played out?

  47. Lando CALrisian
    10:02 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    what’s up with comments not appearing/disappearing??

  48. Blueburg
    10:38 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    The only fans who will be disappointed are those who fail to see this team for what it really is and set unrealistic expectations. We are not some random mid- major flying under the radar. We are THE University of Kentucky. Not only does every SEC team see beating us as their Super Bowl, but so does nearly every other team in the nation. The officiating, the media, the region we’ll be placed in will all be biased aganst us- that’s the price you pay for being UK. So pretending like somehow Cal will flip a switch and this team will become Final Four-bound is completely baseless. And accepting that doesn’t mean your a bad fan or a coach hater, it means you understand reality. I remember the Unforgettables. But these kids don’t have what they had. They have more talent. Ther have more NBA caliber talent. But they have very little grit and determination. Most of them didn’t grow up dreaming they could be a Wildcat one day. For the most part they don’t share the pride that life-long KY born fans like you and I do. They wanna make the highlght reel on Frickin’ ESPN. So attacking others because they don’t share your blind optimism doesn’t make us a bad fan, it makes us a fan who has beenthru similar things before and are rightfully dissatisfied no matter who is to blame. I stand by Coach Iwanted him to come, but I can still disagree with him. But once you experience seeing your team win and win like we did in the past, go to 3 national championships in a row and win 2 and you get that feelin’, when that drifts away you won’t settle for mediocre, overhyped rhetoric or excuses. You want that dominance back again. You wanna see 5 fresh guys comin off the bench that are almost as good as the starting five. You wanna see you Coach calling timeouts at the end of the game trying to do everything he can to win because thats how you win alot of games you shouldn’t. You know how to win the game because you’ve seen how the big ones are won.

  49. Jimmy McNultey
    11:03 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    I love that dog!

  50. bluesince66
    11:13 am February 25, 2011 Permalink

    Verbally abusive; it’s called coaching good lord don’t yell at your players coach you might hurt their feelings.

  51. kyrobman
    3:15 pm February 25, 2011 Permalink

    40) I agree with you, but most “fans” have already written this team off, and I think its a mistake. Like you said I would be happy with anything up to and including a sweet 16 W. Any more wins than that is extra. I guess that’s where I am different I hope they win it all but I don’t expect them too. I didn’t in 96′ or 98′.