Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Men’s basketball goes O-fer at the CATSPY Awards


(UK Athletics, Chet White)

A total of four teams and 18 individuals were awarded Monday night in Memorial Coliseum, with co-winners in some categories. Gymnastics and Rifle were awarded the Team of the Year CATSPY for their achievements. The gymnastics team earned the programs highest ever NCAA Regional team score while competing in the toughest conference in the nation. The rifle team posted its second consecutive national runner-up finished, and also earned a record-setting victory over Army. That’s right; Kentucky is better than the U.S. Army.

While the rifle team may have some of the best shooters, the basketball team does not. A season ago the 2012 Championship team took home nearly half-a-dozen CATSPY Awards. This year, after University of Kentucky Athletics presented its 25 winners, the men’s basketball team would be left empty handed. No praise for departing freshman Archie Goodwin or Nerlens Noel, no cheers for returning players Alex Poythress or Willie Cauley-Stein, and no recognition for Coach Calipari.

On and on the awards went; The Community Service Award, presented to Megan Moir (Woman’s Golf). The Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, presented to Jon Keltner (Swimming). The Male Rookie of the Year, presented to Connor Davis (Rifle). The Male Performance of the Year, presented to Greg Ferrucci (Diving). The Blue Heart Award, presented to Arin Gilliland (Woman’s Soccer). And the prestigious Mr. Wildcat Award, presented to Luis Orta (Men’s Cross Country/Track).

It may seem trivial, but perhaps this was just enough to get under the skin of the team. We have heard the story a thousand times — the top-ranked recruiting class came to Lexington with too much hype, not enough leadership, and thought the road to No. 9 would be easy — they were sorely mistaken. Maybe this end-of-the-year awards ceremony just twisted the knife. Just when Poythress, Cauley-Stein, Wiltjer and the rest of the crew thought the NIT season had escaped them, they are reminded of the failed campaign for back-to-back titles.

Poythress and Cauley-Stein both have a new focus for next season and seem to understand the drive that was lacking. Playing with passion and determination; it seemed so evident to the observer but so misunderstood by the players. Maybe the humiliation of not accomplishing anything in two years will be enough, maybe the desire to be more than just potential will do it, or maybe we will be talking about the CATSPY snub next April as a reason the Kentucky Wildcats are raising another banner.

UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart spoke at the awards and touched on many themes, including leadership, tough love, sacrifice, emotion, training, passion, and legacy. All ideas that any athlete can appreciate. He closed with a word, however, that surely struck a nerve with any team or individual that fell short of its goals: almost.

Almost is not good enough.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

9 Comments for Men’s basketball goes O-fer at the CATSPY Awards

  1. matt
    6:20 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink

    Wasn’t one of KSR’s bold CATSPY predictions that Noel would take home the most hardware? Seems to be on par with most of the homer predictions throughout BBN. Lets just let UK play and actually win the whole thing before we go ahead hand them the trophy. This type of thinking makes us look like fools at season’s end. See last season.

  2. jwill
    6:21 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink


  3. facts
    6:33 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink

    “perhaps this was just enough to get under the skin of the team”

    If missing the tournament and losing in the first round of the NIT doesn’t send the message…..I doubt being shut out at the prestigious Catspy awards will send the point home.

  4. Pitino
    6:42 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink

    Your basketball team sucks without having 6 to 8 sure fire pros on it. Cal is a terrible coach. Good news for uahk this year is Cal will be able to roll it out there and stay out of the way.

  5. RahRah
    6:57 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink

    Sad that Nerlens got nothing. Such a great kid.

  6. BigBlue
    7:34 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink

    More UL losers on a UK site. UL fans check this site as much as UK fans!

  7. mudcreekmark
    8:04 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink

    Did all of the basketball players have to go? I would like to have had a camera on them as each award kept being handed out. I would almost guarantee that these arrogant assholes just rolled their eyes. Like they were above the other players from the other UK squads.That is the kind of kids I think we had this year. Not all of them, but some of them.

  8. Not at All
    8:28 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink

    Is this even serious? The Catsbys is some cheesy, feel good event put on by the university for all the athletes at UK. It’s a bunch of 19 year old kids and you are claiming that somehow the Catsbys committee is manipulating the awards to send a message to a bunch of 7 foot hipsters in bowties and suspenders? Obviously last years team would win all the awards at an awards banquet that honors athletic accomplishments because they actually accomplished something at the time here at uk, just as every recipient at this years banquet did as well. “Just twisted the knife” gtfo stu. Tighten up.

  9. RealCatsFan
    10:04 pm April 23, 2013 Permalink

    I thought for sure Nerlens would get the community service award. It doesn’t say what Heather did to earn the award, but it must have been significant with all the visits Nerlens paid to nursing homes, special olympics, etc.