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LeVar Burton’s Saturday News and Views

 

 

Late night confession, BBN: I was something of a nerd growing up. I loved reading more than anything else in the world, the type of kid who would get a dozen books at the library each week and have them all read within two days. At first, my parents loved it- after all, a kid who reads is kind of the jackpot as far as easy childcare goes- but then it started to get annoying. Like all the times I dropped books in the bathtub, or read crossing the street, or got in trouble for reading during class (yeah, I was THAT kid).

 

Well, ladies and gentlemen, you have LeVar Burton to thank/blame for my extensive vocabulary and overactive imagination. LeVar Burton is probably best known for his passionate portrayal of Kunta Kinte in the Roots miniseries, or maybe for his role as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation. But to me and every other twenty-something out there, Burton will forever be the host of Reading Rainbow, a PBS series that ran for 23 seasons and inspired young minds everywhere to get lost in a book. Each show was based on a theme from children’s literature, expanding on it through various segments and offering book reviews for children, with Burton gently reminding us “but you don’t have to take my word for it.” The show won multiple awards over the years, including many Emmy’s for Outstanding Children’s Series and a Peabody Award. If you want a modern-day Reading Rainbow fix, you can download the smartphone app. No, really.

 

Honor LeVar Burton’s 56th birthday by READING these late night notes (see what I did there?). “I can go anywhere! Friends to know, and ways to grow. A Reading Rainbow…”

 

Your Wildcats have opened as a 1.5 favorite over Tennessee tomorrow (game at 1 pm) in what is without a doubt THE most significant game of our season thus far.  The Wildcats have had hurdles this season, yes, but they haven’t faced anything like playing an away game without the heart and soul of their team before. How the Wildcats respond with the first game of the “clean slate” season will tell us everything we need to know about the Wildcats’ mental toughness and heart.

-In his press conference today, Coach Cal was optimistic that his team could make up for Nerlens Noel’s offensive output but was (understandably) a little less confident about their defensive abilities without The Human Eraser. However, even with the task of defending without Noel, Calipari wasn’t ready to 100% commit to playing a zone against UT, saying  “Maybe. We’re prepared for it. That’s not why we did all this time, but we’re absolutely prepared to play it and play it for long stretches if we want to.” Since the team has only had one practice since that fateful Florida game, Cal wants to wait and see how the game flows before making the decision to play zone.

-The basic game plan for tomorrow can be summed up as this: everyone does more. More rebounding, more hustling, more passing, everything it takes to compensate for Noel’s absence. It’s the ultimate test of brotherhood and putting the team first.

-Cal called Tennessee “a grind it, tough, physical defensive team” who will attack Kentucky in the post. Willie, Kyle, and Alex- you’ve been warned.

-Without Nerlens, the spotlight tomorrow will obviously shine on Willie Cauley-Stein. Although Willie admitted his conditioning isn’t yet up to playing 35 minutes a game, Calipari had encouraging words for the lone tower:

All I told him is ‘just be you. You know what you do well, be you, sub yourself when you’re ready to go. You’ll play every minute you can play. Stay on the floor. You’re not Nerlens (Noel), but Nerlens is not you. There’s things you do well that Nerlens didn’t do well. So, you just be you. You don’t have to be anything else.’

You do you, Willie. But do it well, please.

-Calipari also implied that Jon Hood may see more playing time tomorrow. Hood, a fellow ACL victim, competed well in practice yesterday, but Calipari still needs to see that mental toughness translate in games.

-Calipari will especially be on the guards tomorrow after a dismal Florida outing (save Jarrod Polson). Cal wants the players to call each other out when they see that a teammate is tired or not competing so that Calipari can sub him accordingly. Sounds embarrassing- but only if the player in question if focused on his individual play rather than the welfare of the team.I have a feeling this is what we’ve seen happening with Archie at times- much like the toddlers I babysit who get grumpy and yell “I DON’T NEED A NAP!” when they’re tired, Archie tries to prove he’s NOT fatigued by doing too much. Archie, we won’t judge you if you need a break. Just sit for a second. Ain’t no thang.

-Let’s take a brief moment to catch up with The Boy Who Learned to Stretch, Jarnell Stokes. He’s had double-doubles in each of his past six games. In his first game against the Cats this season, Stokes only played sixteen minutes and scored a mere four points and five rebounds. The Cats would have had their hands full with Stokes even with a healthy Noel, but without Nerlens it becomes absolutely ESSENTIAL that the Wildcats don’t allow Stokes to run over them with his size 16 feet.

-If you’re a BBN ex-pat like myself looking to watch the game and support a worthy cause, look no further. The alumni clubs in Atlanta and New York will be hosting watch parties to benefit DanceBlue at East Andrews Upstairs and Jack Demsey’s, respectively. Check out the full details here.

-Earlier today, Jeff Goodman wrote a post summarizing a conversation he had with Nerlens’ brother, Rodman Noel. Rodman told Goodman that he thinks Nerlens will go to the pros next year as a top-five pick. The elder Noel also said his brother was “devastated” at not being able to finish the college season and play in his first (only?) NCAA tournament. Samesies, Nerlens. Samesies.

-Interestingly, however, Goodman argued that the Cats will enjoy more success even without Nerlens. I know, I’m confused too. Basically, Goodman thinks Willie Cauley-Stein is more than capable of at least partially filling Noel’s shoes, and he’s also optimistic that this will “light a fire” under Alex Poythress and Ryan Harrow. Here’s hoping he’s right.

While Joe Lunardi had the Cats as a ten-seed in today’s Bracketology, the Cats didn’t fare as well in the media’s NCAA mock selection committee. The Cats were the last team out in this hypothetical scenario, losing out to Villanova for a spot in the Big Dance. The Cats’ futile flaw was no marquee wins on their resume. Good news? There are still two chances left on Kentucky’s schedule to obtain such wins with Florida and Mizzou. Bad news? It’s highly unlikely. Good news again? It was a mock bracket selection. NOT REAL. Let’s focus on the tangible results, starting tomorrow at 1 pm.

-All this bracket talk sparked a query in my mind: would you rather have the Cats technically “in” the NCAA tournament as a play-in game, but lose that game- OR- have the Cats win the NIT? Discuss in the comments, and I’ll post about it this weekend.

-Looking ahead? Tickets for the first session of the SEC Tournament go on sale Monday. Get all the necessary details here, and I’ll see y’all on Broadway.

-Let’s move on from men’s basketball to… the next generation of men’s basketball. ESPN named their Top 25 high school players regardless of class today, and it bodes well for the Cats’ future:

1. Andrew Wiggins (UK recruit)
3. Julius Randle  (UK recruit)
4. Aaron Gordon  (UK recruit)
5. Andrew Harrison (UK commit)
7. James Young (UK commit)
9. Aaron Harrison (UK commit)
13. Trey Lyles  (UK recruit)
15. Karl Towns Jr. (UK commit)
22. Dakari Johnson (UK commit)

I’ll take those numbers.

-Speaking of recruiting, Coach O watched 2013 point guard Emmanuel Owootoah play last night. Owootoah scored 15 points to go with 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and 6 steals in a blowout win, as well as 439 KG points for having an awesome name. Owootoah is viewed as a player who could stick with the Cats for more than one year (read: after the Harrisons one-and-done us); however, UCLA is currently his favorite school. Game on.

-If you’re anything like Wilder Treadway, you’ll be excited to know that the UK Hoops’ Senior Day against Tennessee is a sellout for Memorial Coliseum. The UK Hoops squad has experienced tremendous success this season and is incredibly fun to watch, so keep an eye out for any tickets that pop up for Senior Day between now and March 3rd at 3:30 pm. The seniors are A’dia Mathies and Brittany Henderson. Come out and support next weekend.

-Baseball season kicked off tipped off batted off? Pitched off? Whatever. The Kentucky baseball team had their first game of the season today, and it was  a 9-2 win over UNC-Asheville. Read Dean Bowling’s recap here.

-As I write this, Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Brandon Knight are competing in the BBVA Rising Stars game as part of NBA All-Star festivities. I haven’t been able to keep up with the game- cable’s out at the house I’m babysitting at- but I’m seeing lots of exclamation points on Twitter surrounding Davis and MKG’s names especially. Here’s a nice little photo of Davis shooting over his old teammate:

If I close my eyes and imagine, I’m transported back to this time a year ago…

-Finally, a happy happy birthday to Tod the Bod Lanter. Although the team was traveling to Knoxville today, never fear- Tod got his brownies before they left. Phew.

 

That was a long one, folks. Let’s end it as we began, by quoting LeVar Burton: “I’ll see you next time.”

 

(Tomorrow night, guys. I’ll see you tomorrow night).

 

Love, @KristenGeilKSR

Article written by Kristen Geil

37 Comments for LeVar Burton’s Saturday News and Views



  1. Lori
    11:17 pm February 15, 2013 Permalink

    As hard as it would be to lose in the tournament.. I’d rather lose there and say we made it than win a stupid NIT ANYDAY.



  2. Caftan
    11:18 pm February 15, 2013 Permalink

    I have bitched in the past about no rookie- sophmore nba posts after the game since we always have players in the game as late. I won’t bitch again this year just wonder if anyone else is interested in the topic



  3. eddie
    11:19 pm February 15, 2013 Permalink

    see you next time matt? well you don’t have to take my word for it



  4. chipanzy
    11:43 pm February 15, 2013 Permalink

    How does one have six double-doubles in EACH of his past six games?
    Shouldn’t it be he’s had A double-double in each of his past six games?



  5. ukfan248
    11:44 pm February 15, 2013 Permalink

    I never need a Reading Rainbow fix … But when I need a Doors fix I sometimes watch Jimmy Fallon pretend to be Jim Morrison while singing the theme to Reading Rainbow…. Amazing … Just wonder why he never did on SNL.



  6. Bradley
    12:02 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    And as expected, Kristen kills it. Great job.



  7. Gandalf the Blue
    12:14 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    I would rather lose by 40 in the opening round of NCAA including a massive brawl by our entire team against the winners than win the NIT by 40 in the final. I am one of the many fans that in BCG’s second year strongly wanted us to decline the NIT bid rather than make fools of our program by trying our hardest to get our butts kicked in the 2nd round to a scrub team. NIT banners are for Vandy and the like. KSR exists to make fun of people who celebrate NIT. Let’s not forget what makes this site what it is



  8. Hope Lost
    12:19 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Am no longer concerned with this stuff. Have decided it isn’t worth it. One last look at KSR. There are other things in life and a lot more important. We got a crap basketball team this time and there is no hope. It hurts. Give it up. They can’r win.



  9. Jpo
    1:04 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    And now please turn your attention to exhibit #8^^ the textbook definition of a fair weather fan.



  10. Actually
    1:21 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    The pic of AD shooting over MKG was from tonight. Notice the Rockets logo on the courtside seats, Sherlock.



  11. SadSeason
    1:22 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    This season has been a total bust.
    Unfortunately, the injury has given
    us the perfect excuse for failure.
    Next year will be Fantastic!!!



  12. Wilder Treadway
    1:35 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Um…Kristen it’s Friday night not Saturday night.



  13. caveman2
    1:36 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Jeff Goodman has always and forever will be terrible. Corey Nichols shines Goodman’s shoes.



  14. Sad but true
    1:49 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    It kills me the we surround a super
    star like Noel with a total bunch of
    goofs and this happens.
    Mays should not be on the same
    floor with a player like Noel…
    Nor the rest.
    Noel should be honored,
    BBN should be ashamed.
    And the NCAA…



  15. Keith Hendrix
    5:48 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Kristen – just wanted to say you are that thing at the end of the rainbow (I didn’t want to call you a pot!)



  16. Licamo Katz
    7:02 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    I am eager to see how Goodwin plays and whether Cal sticks to his his word and benches him when he goes 1 on 4 and flips up an impossible shot. At this point the players are who they are. It is a little disappointing that after almost 2 years, Cal is surprised about Harrow. Thus, Cal needs to coach to win games and not try to figure it out, its too late for that.



  17. SexnNursinHomes
    7:48 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Loved Lavar Burton as Lando Carissian.



  18. Tried thumb
    8:11 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Too many words as always. My thumb gets tired of pushing the screen up on my phone to skip over this. You can say the same thing and cut out half of the words.



  19. CATandMONKEY
    8:45 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    #douchebagscannotspelltired



  20. 14th region
    9:05 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    The kid coach O watch was in a blow out but lost! Perry county central beat Owootoah’s Cordia team by 25 points. No way that kid could play at UK he is probably the 3 or 4th best point guard in the 14th region. Beverly from PCC clearly out played him!



  21. Good Grief
    9:15 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Anyone else see Brandon Knight get crossed up by Kyrie Irving? Ouch.



  22. Heisenberg
    9:33 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Random, but did anyone else see the article on ESPN where Jordan beat MKG in a game of one on one? Love to see video of that



  23. Vermont
    9:38 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    CBS is showing Marquette-Pitt in my area. Anyone know where I can watch the game online? Justin TV, etc.?



  24. Mr Obvious
    9:40 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    If you are allowed to have 13 scholarship players, then Cal should use them. There is a reason the NCAA gives you 13 and this year is a perfect example as to why. There is no one coming off the bench to push the starting guards for playing time except a walk-on. Maybe a kid like Coach O went to see is a tough kid even though his name is hard to say.



  25. Real UK fan
    9:49 am February 16, 2013 Permalink


  26. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    9:52 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Harrow against UL played very good, but lately he has disappeared. WTF



  27. UL2UK8
    9:57 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    For the NBA draft expert(?) that say Archie is a NBA lottery pick. What position in the NBA would he play? He has made 1 3pt basket in SEC play, and does not handle or pass the ball well.



  28. oldschool
    10:21 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    If you even more inspiration to pick up a book – or if you want to inspire a child to pick up a book – invest about 30 minutes and watch Dr. Benjamin Carson’s speech at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month. Just youtube Dr. Benjamin Carson prayer breakfast speech. Here’s a man born into poverty who refused to play the role of victim and whose mother showed him the way out of poverty was through knowledge.

    He took a few shots at Obama policy as well, as the president sat dumbfounded just a few feet away. The speech is the best thing to hit the internet this year. Do yourself and your children a favor – watch it and make them watch it!



  29. mudcreekmark
    10:22 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    27)That is what I cannot figure out. Everyone keeps talking about talent and potential with Poythress and Goodwin. Talent would be someone with skill sets, dribbling, shooting,passing,rebounding,defense,or hustle plays. Goodwin dribbles the ball ok but not great and that is his only skill set out of of the above. Poythress seems to have a good outside shot and that is his only skill set. As far as potential anyone has potential to practice hard and develop some of these skill sets but if I’m going to pay someone millions I would question why they haven’t worked on these shotcomings over the last 19 years of their lives.



  30. You people
    10:48 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    never cease to amaze me. Goodwin or poythress would make you look like you suck at life on a baskeball court 29.



  31. Smiley Pete
    11:01 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    30 – Just because they would beat him doesn’t mean what he said wasn’t true. I don’t necessarily agree with what he said but your response is a classic type of stupid.



  32. You people
    11:23 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    31 Ok then your post is even more classic stupid! I don’t agree with him but i am going to stick up for him. They were both 5 star prospects for a reason. Should I assume that you both were at the top of your game in whatever you do at 19 and a freshman in college? Michael Jordan didn’t hardly play at all as a freshman, how did that work out?



  33. AstroCat
    11:41 am February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Shout out to the UK softball team who upset another top 25 team yesterday defeating Washington 3-2 behind the pitching of a true freshman Kelsey Nunley.



  34. AylortheImpaler
    12:20 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    my vote is NCAA tournament apperance over NIT win.



  35. BravoBigBlue
    12:50 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    If Archie was my toddler, er player, he would sit in time-out until he plays the way I want him to. It ain’t rocket surgery, baby.



  36. BravoBigBlue
    12:53 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    31 – Neither one of them has come close to anyone’s expectations. Hopefully, including their own. Time will tell if either was as good as billed from high school. But to date, not so much. It’s really that simple. Not stupid.



  37. BravoBigBlue
    12:54 pm February 16, 2013 Permalink

    Not 31 – 32 I meant.