Coming off the first SEC home loss in Calipari’s tenure, I hope UK is as unwelcoming as possible to our I-75 neighbors to the south. The good news for Kentucky fans is that Tennessee isn’t very good. At all. The bad news for Kentucky fans is that our team isn’t playing very well. At all.
Cuanzo Martin is bringing in a Volunteers squad that is 8-6 overall and 0-2 in SEC play. They average 65 points per game and shoot a dismal 29% from 3 point range.
John Calipari’s team comes in 10-5 overall and 1-1 in the SEC. They average 77 points per game and have 5 players averaging double figures. One would think the Cats will be favored by double digits. But one would also think we’d never give up 40 points to a guy named Elston.
I’m an optimist and you’ll never see me jump ship at any point, so I’m taking the “remember the 2010-2011 team” approach and assuming that at some point this team will GET IT.
It’s easier to hate opposing teams when they are good, so it’s hard for me to hate Tennessee right now. It’s like kicking a man when he is down. However, if you are also down at the same moment I believe kicking them is just fine. So let’s take some shots at Tennessee. Let’s get to Know Your Enemy, the Tennessee Volunteers.
I’ve been to Knoxville a time or two. I’ve even had some good times. They make a really nice Krystal burger in Knoxville that I enjoy eating. But Knoxville is so orange. Everything is orange.
When I think about Knoxville, I think about two things. Orange, and walking up hills. There is a hill on the way to every place you want to go. Want to go to the football stadium? Cool, walk up that hill and you’re there. Want to hit up a bar after the game? Sure, no problem. Directly up that hill are some bars. Trying to get back to your hotel, you say? Oh, I know exactly where is it. Right up that freaking hill.
Peyton Manning- One of the greatest QB’s to ever play the position in the NFL played his college ball on Rocky Top. I won’t go through listing his career achievements because you already know them. But I’d say without question the current Denver Broncos QB is the most recognizable and most well known of any alumni belonging to the University of Tennessee.
Chris Moneymaker- Fun Fact: Moneymaker’s ancestors made silver and gold coins. They chose the name “Moneymaker” as a modification of their original German last name “Nurmacher.” Chris holds a masters degree in Accounting from UT and worked as a comptroller after graduation.
However, it wasn’t his work as a comptroller that made him famous. In 2003, Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker main event as an internet qualifier. The win earned him $2.5 million American dollars and gave him the opportunity to quit his job as a comptroller and become a full time card player. He, his wife, and his daughter now reside in Nashville. A great decision if you ask me or Mrs. Tyler.
Paul Finebaum- One of the biggest radio personalities in the south, Finebaum got his degree in Political Science at UT. He is the host of the Paul Finebaum radio network and his show is syndicated in 7 different states across the south, but mostly in the state of Alabama where he has 27 stations. His show is on for FOUR HOURS everyday and can now be heard on Sirius/XM channel 91.
Some of you may have listened to it before but if you haven’t it is the same formula Matt uses on KSR, only two hours more of it. He has regular callers that he converses and argues with. The main focus of his show is Alabama football with some Auburn and the rest of the SEC mixed in. It was on his show that Harvey Updyke, the crazy Auburn tree poisoner, admitted what he had done as “Al from Dadeville.”
Cheerleading Scouting Report:
This is a terrible picture of UT’s cheerleaders, but I wanted to show you how many people cheer for Tennessee’s horrible sports teams and how many people have willingly agreed to wear that horrendous color. “It’s that throw up orange. It’s not that orange you can sit with.”
Tennessee plays their home games in Thompson Boling arena. I’ve been to one game in TBA, the game in 2010 when the John Wall led Wildcats went down at the hands of Bruce Pearl’s squad. I sat in the Tennessee student section with a friend and shockingly wasn’t harassed. I lost $10, but I wasn’t harassed. Honestly, I was disappointed.
The Vols have 19 all time NCAA tourney appearances. They have made 6 Sweet 16’s and one elite eight in 2010. They’ve won the SEC regular season crown 9 times (most recently in 2008) and the SEC tournament four times, the last of which came in 1979.
While a lot of bad things have happened in the history of UT basketball, the worst thing that has ever happened was a cookout at Bruce Pearl’s house and the subsequent lying that got him dismissed. Pearl had UT on track to become a national contender on a yearly basis and heated rival of ours.
Cuanzo Martin- Since taking over for Bruce Pearl in 2011, Cuanzo is 27-21 as the head coach of the Vols. He played his college basketball at Purdue University and played a few years professionally in the NBA and overseas. His career was cut short after he found out he had cancer. He returned home to treat his non-Hodgkin lymphoma. After beating cancer, he returned to Purdue to finish his degree and become a part of Gene Keady’s staff.
He was an assistant at Purdue for 8 seasons before taking the head coaching job at Missouri State where they won the Missouri Valley Conference in his 3rd year.
Cuanzo seems like a great guy, it’s just a shame that he had to follow Pearl. A lot of Tennessee fans were starting to pay attention to basketball when Pearl was there and seem to have checked out now that he is gone.
Jarnell Stokes- A “non-stretcher” upon arriving at Tennessee, you can see Jarnell here watching as Cam Tatum does his stretches. A willingness to learn is a great attribute in a player and Stokes seems to have that. Stokes, a sophomore, comes in averaging 11.2 points and 7.7 rebounds. Kentucky must keep him off the offensive glass Tuesday night.
He also has a great confidence that he will win in Rupp Arena at some point. Jarnell, I’m trying to be a smart ass, so if you wanted to win in Rupp so bad you should’ve chosen UK.
Robert Wilson Golden, III- Golden, better known as “Trae”, comes in averaging 11 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and one awesome beard. The sophomore was a 4 star prospect out of the state of Georgia and scored over 2,000 points in his high school career.
It shouldn’t be tough to get up for a Tennessee-Kentucky game but I’m honestly having trouble. Both teams are struggling this season and this has all the makings of a tickle fight. I’m going to the game, so I hope I am wrong about this. In order to get fired up, I’m going to watch this video on repeat during all non-Bachelor hours from now until game time.