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Saying goodbye to a spectacular Jorts Day

jorts-senior-night via Jeff Drummond

It’s been a wild ride tonight and since it’s so late and my son decided he wanted to get sick on Jorts Day (poor decision-making), we’re going to make quick work of this and continue to break down the game Wednesday.  Before we jump into recapping the game though, I want to make sure we make a quick note to thank you guys for an incredibly fun Tuesday.  Jorts Day was as good of a time I’ve had on this site and you guys deserve all the credit.  I received over 100 emails of photos and videos (many of them I have yet to respond to, sorry about that) and the comments were great all day long.  To top it all off, the Cats closed out a win.  I hope you all had as much fun as we did.

Now onto some game notes…

 – Without a doubt, the star of the evening was Josh Harrellson, who posted a solid 8 points, 9 rebounds and four blocks before standing tall on Vandy’s final shot for a tie at the end of the game.  He had his hands full with Festus Ezeli, who played the best game of his career and went after the UK senior early, but never buckled.  The crowd gave Jorts plenty of love and he played at 150 miles per hour for the entire game, even sprinting to the bench when it was his time to leave the game.  For a guy who waited a long time for his shot to contribute, it was a great way to end his Rupp Arena career.  After the game, Calipari again praised him for getting the most out of his physical abilities and announced that he’s been invited to the Portsmouth Invitational to showcase his skills for NBA scouts.  Calipari summed it up best by saying he was “just happy for him”.  Aren’t we all.

 – With the way the Cats seemed to buckle late in the second half and handed Vandy a final shot at tying the game, the knee-jerk reaction probably lends itself to frustration with the way they closed the game.  Truth is, though, we should all be thrilled.  The Cats won a close game and that is progress.  And it’s not just a little progress.  It’s the type of step that we’ve all been waiting to see from this team all year.  Regardless of the arena the game was played in, the simple fact that this team found a way to win a game they were trailing in with 96 seconds left is reason to celebrate.  If they win in Knoxville Sunday, the Cats will be riding a three-game winning streak against the SEC East’s best teams and might even be a favorite in the SEC Tournament.  That would have seemed absurd less than a week ago.  Thanks to closing out Florida and Vanderbilt, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

 – Without going too deep into player-by-player breakdowns, it does seem worth noting that Darius Miller again contributed in a big way.  His 12 points and 0 rebounds aren’t jaw-droppingly impressive, but he again established himself as a matchup problem and a guy that can get a big bucket when UK needs to help stop a run.  Saturday, he attacked Chandler Parsons off the dribble.  Tuesday, he worked Brad Tinsley on the block.  He’s not only found his stride, but finally seems to have the confidence of his coach and his teammates.  That continues to be a potentially huge storyline heading into the postseason.

 – As he’s seemed to do in every game this season, Terrence Jones managed to get his stats (15 and 9) and also frustrate everyone who watched the game.  For as much as Josh Harrellson will be heralded for his performance in his last home game of his career, Terrence Jones will probably be criticized for his.  Jones turned the ball over at the end of the game a couple of times, including the final possession that solicited a Chris Webber-like look on his face, and couldn’t get the ball in the basket despite finding position on the block and demanding it.  He’s almost certainly bound for the NBA at this point, which might be a good thing because if this trend of regression and the drop in his confidence continues, he could be Michael Porter by Big Blue Madness next year.  That might be extreme, but you get the point.  He might be the most frustrating good player of my lifetime.

 – One thing that Jones did well, however, was what helped UK close out the game.  The Cats made 7-8 free throws in the final minute and a half, sealing the game.  It might seem simple and fairly unimportant, but that’s what good teams do.  The Cats took a big step forward and free throws were a huge part of it.

 – To credit you all again, the environment at Rupp was sensational Tuesday evening and Shabazz Muhammad caught the contagious enthusiasm.  The five-star shooting guard was said to be cheering loudly throughout the game and Tweeted out pictures afterward praising the fantastic environment at Rupp Arena.  Kentucky feels like they’re in a good spot for his services and Tuesday’s passionate display of Jorts love and support of the program was one heck of a selling point.

 – Finally, on an unrelated note, don’t forget about the Evan Daniels Live Blog at 4pm today.  Evan will take your recruiting questions about the 2011 class that is signed, the possibilities of new additions and what names you might be seeing in 2012.  Be ready to pick his brain.

That’s it for now.  It was a great day Tuesday and we all have reason to have confidence going forward.  Pat yourselves on the back for a great showing of support.  You’re the best.  We love you.  Let’s skype or something. 


See you in a few…

Article written by Thomas Beisner

45 Comments for Saying goodbye to a spectacular Jorts Day

  1. UK Student n Fan
    1:35 am March 2, 2011 Permalink


  2. linnaeus
    1:41 am March 2, 2011 Permalink


  3. tap that ass shabazz
    1:47 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    im loving uk… im need 20,000 cal

  4. Jesus is the ONLY way to Heaven
    1:49 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Shabazz Mohammed is a great player from what I’ve seen and would be dangerous in the Dribble Drive. I hope he comes to UK. As for Jorts, I see him earning a comfortable living playing overseas. He’s a good kid and UK and Coach Cal has made him the best he can possibly be, which will enable him to play many more years. GOOD LUCK JORTS!!!!!

  5. BPsycho
    1:52 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    #3 What year are you in? 20k lol

  6. Tardinal flat bill
    2:14 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Shabazz Mohammed loves UK and wants 200k like Anthony Davis got…also he signed a Nike deal while he was in Lessington. PayCal makes the big bucks because he pays out the big buck$ to these top recruits. You guys are going down and will get the death penalty after Slimeball gets caught!! Later bitches!! I’m going to the basement in my moms house and jerk off to pics of David Padgett and Francisco Garcia!!

  7. Scott in ATL
    2:18 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    What a GREAT win and what a GREAT atmosphere at Rupp tonight!! So how HUGE were those 2 points from Oil of Eloy?? Game winning points. 🙂
    Thanks KSR writers for the posts all day long…Go Jorts and Go Cats!!

  8. Miami_Cat
    2:19 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Jorts will sorely be missed. I don’t like to make comparisons between this team and last year’s but Jorts is the only constant that is 100% committed to the team and great with fans. You will always be welcome in the bluegrass, good luck!

  9. R U Fo Real
    2:28 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Beisner, I love ya. But to insinuate that Jones wouldn’t be a better player next year is silly. He is a freshman. Guys with his talent get better with more experience.

    He is probably gone, but if he came back it would definitely be a good thing. Don’t overreact because of a few silly turnovers tonight. It happens. He makes up for it with his rebounding and muscle down low. We need Jones to play in order to win.

  10. Mr. House
    4:26 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    I’m going to miss Harrellson. We need more high personality guys like him on this squad.

    Also, since this was already thrown out there, is Jones a more frustrating yet talented guy than Rondo?

  11. fatcat
    4:58 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Ok, we need someone with a nickname for next years team… I think that with the way Liggins wears his socks all the way up to his crotch we should start calling him “LEGGINS”…

    Start the “Leggins” movement…

  12. DDO 2011
    5:44 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    #11 When Liggins grabs the ball and dribbles a hundred miles an hour up the floor I want to shout Wo Boy cause he looks like a runaway Clydesdale in a Bud commercial but I like the Leggins handle, Fatcat.

  13. Cal'sGreasyHair
    6:22 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    When is Cal going to wash me?

  14. Bledsoe's Biceps
    6:26 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Beisner – Enough with the daily Jones bashing. You are sounding like a Card troll. It’s fine to point out mistakes, but the personal attacks are over the line. Like it or not, he is still a freshman that will make mistakes. He is still one of the top players in college basketball, even with those freshman mistakes. You want frustrating? Try Rodrick Rhodes or Randolph Morris.

  15. SexnNursinHomes
    6:27 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Beis, great write up

    bottom pict, Jorts is Pac-man and about to gobble up some kids.
    Great day yesterday.. Loved KSR’s tribute

  16. What?
    6:37 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Josh time to time made a good play and he really seems like he is a good guy off the court no doubt, but to say he was the star last night is goin a little far. Ezeli owned him last night and was dominant in the middle, this is a blueprint for any team that we play in March, best beleive that. They took our starting center and we have been weak down low all year, sure we got some good scorers but any team with power down low is going to be more than a problem. Josh is a mediocre player at best and cannot defend and comes off the bench on any team with a STARTING center. For ANYONE to say Jones is bound for the NBA is not watching the same kid I am, and for anyone to say he will regress if he has another year at the college level doesnt know basketball. IF Jones goes pro to me that will be MORE detriminal to his career than if he stays one more year, clearly he has alot of kinks to work out as do all of our Talented but not conditioned freshmen. Sorry guys none of you are ready for the pro level YET. I just hope that Cal has a gameplan for rotation with the Talent that is coming in next year, and that none of the new Recruits are detoured if they have to share playing time.

  17. Shabazz
    6:50 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    If the price is right, I’ll be a Cat.

  18. The Truth
    6:52 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    16) I bet Jorts knows the size of Ezeli’s junk. It was in his face all night.

  19. BravoBigBlue
    6:55 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Way to go Cats players for the win. Cal, not so much. That was some of the poorest end-of-game “coaching” I have ever seen. Terrence Jones is a combination of Antoine Walker and Rodrick Rhodes. Not a good combination. Keeping it real.

  20. Boggie
    6:57 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Imagine for a moment where this team would be without Jones? Think about that…

  21. SCCat
    7:06 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Absolutely awesome and critical for us to get a close W – Jorts played great! I love Miller getting the ball in the clutch. That one could propel us to some big things.

    All that said – one can’t help but think that if Cal’s decision to call a timeout with 8 seconds, then foul Vandy when up 3 when they had no time outs – if that didn’t work….there’d be 600 posts in the comments section.

  22. I can't see the comments
    7:10 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Polson should be nicknamed after one of Snow White’s dwarfs. Not sure which one though.

  23. Assistant Coach
    7:12 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    16) Well stated. I do believe however that Jorts is forced to play soft defense in order to stay out of foul trouble. If I were the opposing coach that would be my game plan – go early and often at the UK middle.

  24. For reals
    7:12 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Big ups to our man Jorts. Josh is a true Wildcat and will always have a special place in the heart of Big Blue Nation. Thank you, Jorts, more importantly for being the great person you are than a basketball player. You have a personality unmatched and you are one in a million. GO BIG BLUE and GO BIG JORTS!!!!!

  25. yeahus
    7:13 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Jones IS bound for the NBA … anyone saying otherwise does not know basketball … going pro will not be detrimental to his bank acct, how many times does it need to be said that going pro has more to do with the potential GMs think you have than the ability you’ve already shown?

  26. For reals
    7:17 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Thank you, Jorts, for representing Kentucky and our great basketball tradition. We are so proud to call you one of our own. Thank you for being the great person you are and for having such a memorable personality. Josh is a true Wildcat and will always have a special place in the heart of Big Blue Nation. GO BIG BLUE, and GO JORTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. Bledsoe's Biceps
    7:28 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Well said 25. A lot of “talent experts” post, who completely ignore the reality of how the decisions get made. Like I’ve said, will any of these self proclaimed experts compare their bank accounts to Orton, Morris or others who were “not ready” for the NBA? Even if they do wash out after 3-5 years.

  28. tyson
    7:37 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    jorts, thanks for the memories. its been a fun few years with you.

  29. Al's IndiCats
    8:09 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Great game, and damn it was a nail biter to say the least. My guess is that since T.Jones family was at Rupp this could be the last time he sees Rupp. And with that is what I’ve been preaching since they brought the rule to where a kid has to go to school for a year before going to the pros.
    I understand what a GM of the pro game is all about, and there are exceptions to any rule. Terrence has a lot of up side to his game, but he tried to take the game over and had 3 T.Os and a blocked shot out of 6 or 7 possessions LATE into the game. If I were his parents, or Coach Cal I would tell him to stay in school one more year. He’s no where near up to the riggors of the pro game
    6, 18, You should look in the mirror of what they call the Yum Slum Center if you really want to see some UGLY ish going down.

  30. BlueFins
    8:23 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Terrance Jones is Cal’s Rodrick Rhodes

  31. bung
    8:35 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    looked great when we ran….we didnt run anymore with about 12 min left in game

  32. Calipari's Hyperbole
    8:37 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Don’t see Jones staying even with a lockout. This is the weakest draft in years and if he stayed, he would only be pushed down the draft board in the future. The draft for the follwing two years after this look to be very strong.

  33. thatsashame
    8:47 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    People that bash TJ for some late game mistakes are overlooking a number of positives.

    1. Late game D and rebounding. Maybe not so much last night but a number of close games he has come up big in both.
    2. Creates matchup problems on offense. Even if he doesn’t shoot, sending the ball to the post causes the D to react which leads to good looks for the rest of the team.
    3. Jorts’ rebound numbers. Why do you think Jort’s gets so many boards? Oftentimes it is because of the attention TJ draws.

    Without Jones we would be horrible this year. That said I hope he comes back as I think he has Mashburn like potential.

  34. SavannahCat
    8:49 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Good win. The team was able to overcome a comeback from Vandy and the play of Terrance Hartline.

  35. Roach K
    8:49 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    The most frustrating thing about Jones is that for a while there he was hitting big shot when we needed them and he was in the flow of the offense. The team was running like a machine then. But then he decided to try and take over by forcing things. He just has no sense of staying within the concept of the team.

  36. UKfanNKY
    8:57 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Knight “maybe” the only player on this years team that should even concider the Pro’s. GO CATS!!!!

  37. Ricks VD
    8:57 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    it hurts when i pee

  38. dougie
    9:00 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    final four team. no one expects it. no one is talking about it. it is going to happen.

  39. Scared to be a fan
    9:01 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    16 – we never doubled down low like we normally do. It was the game plan…If they are going to kill us underneath thats fine, but we will not let them kill us from the 3. You honestly think we play ever big man like that? Have you not watched a single game?

  40. BPM
    9:03 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    Jones is frustrating. He plays a solid 35 minutes then becomes a turnover machine in the last 5. I would prefer the ball didn’t go through him every time down the court at the end of games – I think that could be one of the reasons why we have lost all those close ones. He does play good D and rebounds well at the end though so it is hard to not have him on the floor. It is also frustrating how we can’t inbounds the ball in the last few minutes of a game. That has plagued us all year. Does anyone know if we had any timeouts left on that last inbounds play to Jones? Seems it would have been a good idea to set something up there if we had a timeout left.

  41. LittleBrotherSucks
    10:10 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    TV teddy about gave the win to vandy.

    Had he not be officiating, we probably would have won by 15 or more.

  42. Ben
    10:43 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t blame Jones, Cal and his teammates are the ones putting him in that situation and throwing him the ball! Jones is not the one you want with the ball in his hands and the game on the line. The other teams know this and leave him open and we throw the ball to him. We need to work on plays for him to catch the ball and get it to Knight or Lamb.

  43. willdcat1
    11:56 am March 2, 2011 Permalink

    3 calls against Jones, near end of the game? 3 traveling calls, last one when Vandy was trying to foul him in front of the Vandy bench? Does the SEC tourney make more money if UK plays on Thurs? The things that were called, and some things that weren’t – really had me scratching my head last night…

  44. NBA league pass
    12:05 pm March 2, 2011 Permalink

    I think the people bashing Jones are idiots. The same can be said for people who think he shouldn’t go pro. He is a projected TOP 5 pick. He’s gone, and he should go if someone is going to draft him that high.
    Yes he would get better if he stayed another year, so would John Wall and Cousins, but if you’re going to be a top 5 pick, then you have to go pro!

  45. UKChillFan
    3:43 pm March 2, 2011 Permalink

    I was beginning to wonder if anyone watched the game. The “turnovers” called on Jones were terrible calls from where I sat. The last one was the worst. Everyone in Rupp knew that whoever got the ball was going to be fouled immediately. Well, everyone but the refs. You’d walk also if you’re being fouled and pushed by three people. Blaming that on Jones is wrong.