What a big game this past Monday night. Yet another magic moment in Kentucky basketball history. That’s what “Kentucky Basketball: The Season Never Ends 2010 Calendar” is full of: the most special moments in UK basketball history on the days they happened. 365 days of bragging rights sure to annoy the Louisville fan in your world. Black plastic base can lay flat or stand up on your desk, and has an opening to hang it from your wall. All-new stories, all-new Wildcat heroes on every page!
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Uh oh. You know what it means when we break out the Season Never Ends ad, right? It’s a big day in the world of KSR! While the rest of the world ushered in the basketball season last week, the college basketball season in the eyes of The Worldwide Leader didn’t start until their Tuesday marathon. For those of you who have the good fortune of being so rich you don’t need to work or having a flexible class schedule, I’m sure it was great. For the rest of us, our Tuesday was just painfully similar to every other weekday, except for Seth Davis flirting with Andy Katz on Twitter all day (and Tweeting out a KSR link). Nonetheless, it’s clear that basketball is here. And while the Cats weren’t involved in the marathon and some of the games were about as pretty as a toothless Greg Ostertag Cole Aldrich, you can still feel the excitement. I hope this season never ends! (and it won’t if you support our sponsor above)
Now, onto some UK news….
– The biggest news in the UK basketball world came late Tuesday night via Larry Vaught, as he wrote “Don’t be surprised to learn UK might be a player short for next two games. Cal may have a player out for violating team rules”. The player believed to be suspended is Darnell Dodson, but UK has not released an official statement regarding the issue. Definitely something to watch on Wednesday.
– The Cats got some other unfortunate news regarding their Monday night hero. John Wall was away from the team Tuesday following a death in his family. His availability for the Cats’ game with a dangerous Sam Houston State team is not immediately known, but that doesn’t really seem to be all that important at the moment. All of our prayers go out to John Wall and his family.
– Speaking of Monday’s game, one of the big national stories making its rounds after the game (non-Charlie Coles division) was Calipari’s decision to not foul Miami when the Cats were up three with only secondes remaining. The Faux Hawk cited its striking similiarity to the 2008 National Championship game and others questioned if Cal had learned from his mistake (I’d like to point out I avoided a “Bounce Back” reference). According to Eric Lindsey at Cat Scratches, though, Cal said it was a conscious decision and not a mistake. Coach said the team had not practiced fouling in that situation and that, given his team’s free throw issues, it was not a smart call to bank on them nailing a one-and-one situation. He stressed that he will never call a timeout in that situation.
– This college basketball season is still very, very young, but an emerging national headline seems to be the struggles of the SEC so far. The thought gathered steam as Rider knocked off Mississippi State, Missouri State beat Auburn and the fighting Mark Courys beat Alabama. Tuesday, mighty Wofford beat Georgia, making you wonder if this is another year of widespread SEC disappointment. I say we’re still premature, given the youth of many of the teams in the conference, and the fact that no one really expects much out of Georgia, Auburn or Alabama. When it’s all said and done, I say the SEC gets six teams in the Big Dance (UK, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Vandy).
– One SEC not struggling right now, though, is the Tennessee Volunteers. Fresh off of a pasting of Austin Peay on Friday, the Bruce Pearl’s squad thrashed UNC-Asheville like they were a group of Mexican basketball players at the Maccabi Games. The Vols were up 57-8 at one point and 66-14 at the half, before letting the Bulldogs save face in the second half and lose by only 75, 124-49. Bluegrass traitor Scotty Hopson, who could easily factor into the SEC Player of the Year and potential All-American discussions at the end of the year, had 25 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists to lead the way. Besides a game at USC on Dec. 19 where they’ll likely be heavily favored, the Vols really won’t face a test until heading to Memphis on New Year’s Eve, followed by home game with Kansas on January 10 (NOTE: macon_volfan says they could have some tough matchups in the tourney they’re in). They Vols hype machine could be in high gear when SEC play starts.
– Things could even potentially be getting better for the Vols as Scout.com reported late Tuesday night that Tobias Harris made a surprise visit to Knoxville for the beating. Harris is set to make a decision on ESPNU Thursday night, which is one day after the fall signing period ends, and you’d have to assume that a surprise visit shortly right before the announcement would be a big-time positive for the sweaty one. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
– As a part of the ESPN basketball extravaganza, our little brothers down I-64 gave an Unforgettable a beating he’d like to forget. The Filthy Cards beat down an overmatched Arkansas squad, 96-66, in front of an 8th region sized crowd in St. Louis. For John Pelphrey, his team will likely take a bit of a moral (sorry about the word choice, Rick) victory out of it as they played it close in the first half with an 8-man rotation that included a guy from the golf team and a football player. Louisville – Rick Pitino most importantly – likely is just happy to have things focused back on the basketball court after a tough off-season.
– Comparing him to John Wall (as Louisville fans are quick to do) is completely ludicrous on every level, but Peyton Siva’s up-and-under layup in the second half was pretty impressive. I think it’s ok to say that, right? If not, you can send hate mail to [email protected].
– With all of this basketball excitment, it’s easy to lose sight of the huge football game with the Georgia Bulldogs looming on Saturday. While Kentucky looks to be at full strength again (except Hartline), 6-4 Georgia will be without receiver AJ Green, the SEC’s leader in receiving yards and catches per game. Georgia enters the game with, surprisingly, the second-worst rushing offense in the conference and losing their best play-making wide receiver is a massive blow. Statistically speaking, this matchup appears to be very favorable for the Cats.
– On a non-UK sports note, did anyone buy (or I “download” as the kids do now) the Them Crooked Vultures album that was released yesterday? I think it has the potential to be the greatest album ever or the worst collection of music in the history of the world, with no room in between. And I don’t want to waste my money if it’s awful. Diapers are expensive.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we give you all the UK football and basketball news and insight you can handle and present it in the most ridiculous manner possible. And, dare I say, another Mid Afternoon Football Fix? It’s going to be another fun day around here. See you in a few…