**Before he took the solemn vows of initiation at The Brown Tweed Society, Evan Hilbert and I enjoyed some good times at WildcatBlitz.com and here at Kentucky Sports Radio. I liked the way he laughed, his firm embrace and, mostly, his preview of the starting lineups of opposing basketball teams. So, just like the bat signal, I’ll be posting these each game, hoping that it brings Evan home.
Get your bottles ready, call your friends and get psyched for tonight’s showdown with the over-matched Drexel Dragons. As excited as everyone likely is about Drexel earning their sixth loss of the season, the major focus will be on the Kentucky sideline, where the greatest program in college basketball history looks to add to its impressive resume with win number 2,000. And, while the late word is that the Dragons did not invite Malik Rose along for the momentous occasion, former Cat Jamal Mashburn will make an appearance along with Jeanine Edwards, Matt Jones, a couple of my friends and some other people. Hoping to eliminate the possibility of a spoiled evening and a useless “Happy 2,000th” cake (not a real flexible occasion), Coach Cal made sure his opponent was coached by a former assistant (they only call the good ones “proteges”), Bruiser Flint, who has promised to lose. So, make sure you’ve got that bottle on ice and you’ve called off tomorrow. We’re about to party like it’s not 1,999 anymore!
Here are the starters…
#12 Jamie Harris, 5-10, G, Junior
2009-10 stats: 15.1 ppg, 3.7 apg, 2.4 rpg, 43% from the field, 29% from three
Like any good Calipari knock-off team, the point is where the heart is. Harris is certainly the leader of the team and is off to a good start this year for Flint’s team – kind of. In Drexel’s only other significant game this year (Villanova), he was held scoreless in 32 minutes and had five turnovers. He could be in for a rough night at Rupp. Google him.
#11 Gerald Colds, 6-1, G, Junior
2009-10 stats: 9.5 ppg, 2.6 apg, 2.7 rpg, 34% from field, 26% from three
A shooting guard that can’t shoot very well.
#32 Derrick Thomas, G, 6-4, Freshman
2009-10 stats: 8.5 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.9 rpg, 34% from the field, 27% from three
Did not play linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, but was named the Colonial Athletic Association Freshman of the Week after breaking out for 23 points against Villanova and 5-6 shooting on three-point attempts. Remove that game and he averages 7.1 points and is 7-38 from downtown. A tale of two players. Thomas was a McDonald’s All-American Nominee and played in the Capitol Classic game.
#45 Samme Givens, 6-5, F, Sophomore
2009-10 stats: 8.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 56% from the field
Givens was named to the CAA All-Rookie Team as a freshman last year and is two games removed from a 24 point and 16 board performance against St. Francis of PA (not Goshen). Led the conference last year in offensive rebounding as a reserve.
#44 Daryl McCoy, 6-9, F, Freshman
2009-10 stats: 1.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg
McCoy will start in place of the injured Leon Spencer. He has a younger sister.
– Chris Fouch: The only thing Drexel has resembling a shooter. He’s taken 80 shots this year. 55 were from downtown, where he shoots 33%.
– Evan Neisler: Big man will split time with Daryl McCoy and averaged 8 ppg and 7 rpg last year. Transferred from Boston College after attending Word Of God Academy, where they’ve already forgotten him.
– Kevin Phillip: Two first names.
Notes: Coach Cal is one of three coaches (Frank McGuire & Honorable Eddie Sutton) to lead three teams to a #3 ranking….John Wall is second nationally with 7 apg….UK has been led in scoring by a freshman 9 of 11 games this year….Cal is 1-0 against Drexel….Drexel coach Bruiser Flint was CAA Coach of the Year last year….Drexel finished 15-14 last year in Flint’s 13th season….The Dragons were picked to finish 7th in the Colonial….The Dragons last beat a ranked team (#23 Syracuse at the Carrier Dome) in the 2006-07 season….You love Drexel basketball. You know you love Drexel basketball….After two weeks of promising better, this is the worst one yet…..ease up on me, I’m expecting a baby any day now….if it was up to me, I’d quit blogging…..Matt Jones said he wouldn’t send me Christmas cards anymore….so let’s just suffer together….Go Cats….PS I went to Build-A-Bear this weekend.