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The Weekend that We Would Like to Forget

Kentucky Georgia Basketball

Lets start by making a point that should be obvious. If anyone needed a dose of perspective in life, the events in Tuscon, Arizona showcased this weekend that no matter how bad a series of sporting results and decisions may be, in the grand scheme of things, they are meaningless. The vast majority of fans understand this and thus when we talk about “worst weekend ever,” the assumption is that everyone knows we mean in the utlimately irrelevant world of sports (someone tell John Clay that, as his column for Monday’s newspaper takes random insane, inappropriate comments to Pete Thamel on Twitter, combines them with a shot at KSR’s obviously in jest Louisville Hate Week and then compares them to the shootings in Arizona. I find that to be highly inappropriate, but due to a respect for my blood pressure, thats a rant for another day). Sports are not life, but they surely did affect some people’s moods in the Bluegrass this weekend. Some quick thoughts on each of the four losses (prior to the Lady Cats defeat) in UK land:

Enes Kanter:

I have already said my peace in this rather long article on CBSSports.com about Enes Kanter and the NCAA’s decision. I understand why he wasn’t deemed to be an Amateur and think in the abstract, the reasoning makes sense. But in the context of the other high-profile NCAA decisions of the recent few months, it showcases an overall inconsistency that seems prevalent throughout the NCAA. One can get worked up or not, but the result is the same, Enes won’t play. Long term for Kentucky, it likely means that this team is not a national championship contender, but can still be very good. Jorts has improved enough to provide some stability inside and can be a solid piece of whatever March run this team makes. Kanter would have made this team explosive and next season’s team transcendent, but the program will be fine and move on without him.

As for Enes, he now becomes a UK legend without having ever played a game. Contray to what a local radio host in Louisville said recently, I think the “Free Enes” movement showcased what I love about UK basketball fans. They rallied around one of their own and created a secondary, fun part of UK basketball that gave fans something to talk about. With only a few exceptions, most took the “Free Enes” movement for what it was…fun. The fans enjoyed it, took pictures all around the world and made the kid an instant celebrity. Enes Kanter will always be a part of the UK program, even though he never played a game here and UK fans will adopt him as one of their own. What could be wrong with that? In my view, nothing. Enes will be fine. He is a Top 5 pick and has a whole state of fans who love him. There could be worse fates.

Deandre Daniels:

A report came out Saturday that Daniels had his scholarship offer pulled by UK and that they were no longer pursuing him. Maybe that is true, as I have no reason to say it is false. But, in the end it is all semantics. On Friday, December 31, it seemed certain Daniels was to become a Cat. The folks at UK thought he was a Cat and most of us expected a commitment that evening. Then something changed. Maybe it was his father or some other outside influence, but it seems that something pushed him into Rock Chalk Jayhawk land. I still think Trevor Lacey is a better fit for UK, although Daniels’ talent cannot be questioned. If he goes to Kansas, chalk it up as a rare loss for Calipari, but one that doesn’t diminish the spectactular class coming next season.

FOOTBALL loss to PITT:

This one hurts much more. There is no other way to say it than to put it bluntly. UK got flat out embarassed on Saturday and simply wasn’t prepared to win. All three sides of the ball were poor and Joker Phillips’s program seemed like one that was unfortunately headed in the wrong direction. The offense wasn’t as good with Morgan Newton instead of Mike Hartline…anyone who argues otherwise is simply hanging onto the last thread of Hartline hate. Hopefully Newton can be the type of player his potential suggests next year, but he was not this season. Defensively, the Cats were overwhelmed and never looked capable of stopping the Pitt attack. And a blocked punt on special teams in which the blocker runs free without being touched is unacceptable.

I like Joker Phillips. I think Joker Phillips is a great recruiter and can succeed at UK. His upcoming class is one of the best in school history. BUT, there are major issues in the program right now. It isn’t clear that next year’s team will be much better than this one, as at least four of the five best players are surely gone (Cobb, Locke, Matthews, Hartline) and maybe the fifth as well (Trevathan). This is a crossroads point for Joker as he must win the faith of the fans and maybe more importantly, the locker room, where some internal issues reared their ugly head late in the season. Add to all of this the fact that Louisville has the #22 ranked class in America and a top 5 Quarterback coming in…and the heat is rising. Joker can win at UK and I think it still is possible that he will. But next season is huge in terms of fan support and program momentum. Lets hope Saturday was the low point and not an indicator of things to come.

BASKETBALL loss to Georgia:

I worried about this game all week. On radio and tv, I repeated many times that I thought UK could lose and Georgia could be the worst matchup the Cats would face in all of SEC play. The combination of athletic bigs, good perimeter defenders and one monster scorer is exactly the formula that beat UK in the UCONN and UNC games. Long term however the UGA loss isnt a huge deal. I think the Cats lose two of the UT, Fla and Vandy road games to finish the conference 13-3 and go into the NCAA Tournament with a #2 seed. The Georgia game was always much more difficult a game than fans assumed, but some things that happened in the game wont be repeated. UGA shot twice as many free throws as UK and made 20 more…that wont repeat itself very often. And Brandon Knight/Doron Lamb missed more open threes than they have missed the rest of the season combined.

I do have one worry longterm however. The Cats need to have more success in late-game winning time situations. Last year, UK was money at the end of close games. Miami, Stanford, UNC, UCONN, Tenneseee (both games), South Carolina, Vandy, Florida, Mississippi State (twice) are ten games off the top of my head that could have gone either way with five minutes to go. In those ten games, UK went 8-2. This year, UK has had two games that could have gone either way with five minutes to go (UNC and UGA) and they have lost both. I want to see this team win a close game down the stretch. That is what very good to great teams do.

There you go…lots of words on a bad weekend. Now, after we go after NCAA President Mark Emmert for a bit, lets all move on.

Article written by Matt Jones

68 Comments for The Weekend that We Would Like to Forget



  1. BPsycho
    9:29 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Free Enes



  2. ukfan34
    9:31 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Is it bad to say I don’t want DeAndre Daniels at ALL?
    Eventually I would like for Calipari to recruit only 2 or 3 top recruits per year. It seems to me things would work out better if we could get more 3-4 year role players that provide much needed leadership and consistency. I don’t want to keep hearing about Kentucky’s team not being able to get it done in the tourney because they’re too young or inexperienced.



  3. SexnNursinHomes
    9:35 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    good post. reading that reminded me just how bad it got for us this weekend. kinda like a guy who got the wrong leg amputated. which reminds me of another thing, some japanese table cloth lookin shit that hangs on my wall. it says “fall down 7 times, get up 8 times” crazy japanese and their sayings. bukake anyone?



  4. Deandre Daniels
    9:35 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Cal didn’t offer me as much money as Coach Self.



  5. v knEF
    9:36 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Louisville’s class is now ranked 18!!!!!!!!



  6. Computer Blue
    9:36 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Seriously, does any other university have a local newspaper staff that abhors both the program they cover and its fans? Tipton is king, Story is prince, and now (the once-upon-a-time likable) Clay is making a move to become heir to the throne.



  7. kentuckyjoe
    9:39 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Thanks for the post Matt. Great reading as usual. Always good to see you back here.



  8. Joe Joe 08
    9:41 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Matt, I applaud you for taking the high road with Clay. I will be sure to comment on his article tomorrow and let him know how I feel for this hit piece on KSR.



  9. markp
    9:41 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Dude, if you think Punchline would have made a difference at the Pitt game then you are smoking some good weed. How good did you expect Newton to look after sitting in limbo for one fulll year. Be reasonable! It would be different if he had played one meaningful down all year but Joker, aptly named, sat him on the bench for one full year. That’s coaching, that’s making a big talent get better due to having reps. PLLLLEASE!



  10. Big D
    9:42 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    We needed a good dose of Matt. He is where he is because he does his homework. Thank you. Now, dad-gum it Matt, calm down those hands down a little bit on T.V.



  11. fireemmert
    9:42 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink


  12. Mike
    9:42 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Dunlap had 2 points in the first half and Jones had 4 points in the first half. Inconsistency is taking a toll on both programs. In FB Louisville is now #18 after picking up 2 4* recruits over the weekend. We have been falling further behind ea. month and have only managed to stay in front of Vandy in SEC. Who knows how many verbals we might lose after the fiasco in Birmingham this weekend.



  13. BPsycho
    9:43 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    #3 Lol

    #6 I’m still waiting for Cal to say, after Tipton asks him a dumb question: “What do you think Jerry!” and punches him in the face lol



  14. Ciggy
    9:44 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I can’t remember a worse weekend, but last weekend was pretty sweet with a spanking of UL. We have better weekends ahead of us, but we need to realize we don’t have the team we had last year, this is a much much different team. I think it’s better come march, but I am often wrong.

    And the football loss, that hurt. I don’t follow football as much as I should, but heartbreaks come alot to the football fans. I will vow to follow them this coming year and really try to get behind them. Let’s hope they get in a bowl game and WIN!!



  15. KYJohn
    9:45 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Hearing Jon Davis is strongly considering switching his commitment to uofl.



  16. Saul Good
    9:45 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Reading this article is great therapy for me. The BBN will recover & move on to the next victory.



  17. president
    9:47 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    why is nobody talking about Duke about to get beat by Maryland?



  18. UKownspuke
    9:48 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Auburn poured in 6 points in the first half against LSU yesterday. If we don’t beat them by at least 30, the SEC should count that game as a loss.



  19. duhville cat
    9:48 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Yeah. I heard Lach runnin his gapper about the “Free Enes” movement. He is UbeL biased and has been for a while now. Guess he’s figured out that if he kisses tard ass he’ll always have a job in da’vill. He’s contracted little brother syndrome.



  20. SexnNursinHomes
    9:52 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    13- dude, if Cal punched Jerry…. hahahaha



  21. NKY_UK_fan
    9:55 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Someone post the link to Clay’s article. I have no idea what you’re all talking about.



  22. Tony Danza
    9:55 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Is it safe to say any of these three things?

    1. Next season is the defining season with Joker, and he needs to win, at least, 7 games not including a bowl game. If not, I’m not sure he can succeed.

    2. There is minimal future for Morgan Newton at QB at UK. If I am correct in this, he has never thrown a TD to Cobb in his career at UK. How do you not do that? Not to mention that Hartline has at least one a bowl game, and that was with the terrible 08 offense.

    3. Even if we beat UofL in football again next season, can we really claim that we own the state anymore? And, how the hell has Strong gotten those players there? Hey kid! You wanna come play mediocre football in the BCS version of the Sun Belt? You won’t play big teams, but you will get some free pizza and KFC!



  23. NKY_UK_fan
    10:00 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Am I right that if Kanter sues the NCAA and plays, UK would have to vacate any game he played in if he lost the lawsuit?



  24. duhville cat
    10:02 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    ….. And I love Louisville Hate Week…. but for me EVERY week is Loserville Hate Week.



  25. Sheriff Buford T. Justice
    10:04 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    The footcats are going to be absolutely putrid next season without Cobb, Trevathan and the seniors. Going to be Bill Curry bad.



  26. markp
    10:05 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    2009 (Freshman): Selected to the SEC All-Freshman Team by the league coaches … UK’s Most Outstanding First-Year Offensive Player as chosen by UK coaches … Completed 55.6 percent of his passes for 706 yards and six touchdowns … Completed 20 of 29 passes for 187 yards, all season highs, along with two touchdowns in the win over Eastern Kentucky … Earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors for that performance … Hit 9 of 17 passes for 137 yards and a season-best three TDs in the upset win at Georgia … Also rushed for a net 130 yards and two touchdowns.
    Morgan Newton’s stats on his official bio for UK

    #2 you just don’t know what you are talking about. The kid sat a full year when he should have started the whole year. Is he raw? Yes. Would he initially make mistakes? Yes. But we went to a toilet bowl with a QB who made the softest stats by passing 4 to 15 yards up field. Newton has NEVER had the luxury of starting the year against patsies like Punchline has for several years.



  27. bluetexan
    10:11 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Excellent post – HOWEVER – Your Joker comment, “His upcoming class is one of the best in school history” may be true – but, not realistic. SLIGHT issue…that class has to be coached…and the poor excuse of an OC who has been promoted to an even greater embarrassment as a HC…don’t have a prayer to fulfill their promise. I had hoped Joker would ‘rise to the occasion’ that Barnfart bestowed him…however, he (after plenty of time to plan for TN and a coachless Pitt) proved how inept he really is. It’s going to be a 3-9/4-8 Fall. Get used to it BBN. FREE MIKE LEACH!



  28. Guy from the Waterboy
    10:14 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    We suck again!!!!



  29. AwayJersey
    10:15 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Reminds me of a quote from NFL Films. Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach John McKay-“The Silver Fox”. Reporter-“Coach, what do you think of the execution of your offense?” Silver Fox-“I’m all for it!”



  30. BigBlueFan
    10:16 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I didn’t have any faith in Joker’s ability to coach and this year proved me correct. Joker is not the right coach for this job. Unfortunately, it will take the AD a few years to figure that out. If we keep Joker around, we better get used to losing seasons.



  31. Joker
    10:29 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Wow Louisville has the 18th best clasS now???? Man I suck



  32. bluetexan
    10:32 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    #32 AMEN Joker. DITCH MITCH! FREE MIKE LEACH!



  33. markp
    10:37 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    make that # 22



  34. Mack
    10:43 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Emmert seems to have thin skin, he left UW during some bad PR about his high salary and refusing to cut his and other members of his administration’s salaries while cutting other’s, there are several articles concerning his problems on the internet. He seems to have an arrogant attitude when questioned concerning most any topic, no wonder he was whinning today.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2008809146_uwcuts04m.html



  35. Mack
    10:49 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    PS Read some of the comments on the above linked article, seems several comments were happy he left.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/education/2008809146_uwcuts04m.html



  36. holdmeclosertinydanson
    10:49 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I enjoy reading John Clay. It gives me a chance to hear Droopy Dog’s voice in my head while reading some of the most retarded observations ever allowed to be printed. He comes close to making Peter King sound intelligent. That is a magnificent achievement.

    To paraphrase Aziz Ansari’s character in “Parks and Recreation”, I encourage people to go the high road because it leaves more room for me on the low road.



  37. bluebayou
    10:52 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Its not looking good for Joker. Lost a lot of faith in his ability to do the job. If he doesn’t get it done in 2011 then I would say he is on the way out the door. He has effectively lost the city of Louisville to Strong, who had no ties to the area prior to his arrival this past year and now has Joker playing catch up. That plus the the losses in the regular season and the bowl game has put him in a negative position. So much for operation Win.



  38. Truth
    11:02 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Let’s have John Clay hate week. This homo always tries to take the moral high road.



  39. Truth
    11:15 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Who’s the bigger homo John Clay or Emmert?



  40. Mack
    11:18 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    I hope AZ was an individual act but either way I have a concern about the U.S. becoming just another Third World Country with policy determined by violence. I’m not certain we will ever realize the amount of damage done to the U.S. when President Kennedy was murdered.



  41. bung
    11:19 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    free Enes



  42. bung
    11:22 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    can u get the draftstreet models to send pics for site?



  43. BukakenNursinHomes
    11:23 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    3) Sexn you are the man, we all marvel at your profound wit, and the innate ability to equate every item with some devious sex act(at least in a few states).
    Our hats are off you. You are truly the Aqua Buddha of KSR



  44. UKoverALL
    11:33 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    It is going to be a long fall with the football team. A 4-8 season is quite possible. This year the team posted a losing record with an easy schedule. Next year we will not have a proven QB, the schedule is bound to be tougher, and Joker is still the coach.

    I personally found it disturbing that the sitting coach at that time (Morris) appointed his successor (Joker). Will Joker appoint his son later on? Let’s go get a proven recruiter and coach and make UK competitive.



  45. Tim Brian
    11:34 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Are You Kidding??? This was an awesome weekend!! Kanter is declared permanently ineligible, Pitt puts a decisive beat down on the kiddie cats (CONGRATS ON THE LOSING SEASON) Then Georgia beats both the UK Men and Women in Basketball. I have loved every minute of it!!!



  46. bung
    11:36 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Issel- Farmer- Pratt- Macy for AD



  47. Jeff
    11:41 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    There has been a lot of talk about the Enes Kanter situation, but it seems like two very important points have been under-reported: 1) It is OK to compare Kanter ruling to other NCAA rulings, but where the NCAA really looks bad is to compare the Kanter situation to events that the NCAA chooses not to even investigate; like Myron Pryor getting stopped three times in three years while driving “loaner cars”, much in the same way Maurice Clarrette did, but Ohio State still keeps their 2003 National Championship and Myron Prior still plays in the Rose Bowl (although he misses a few “cupcake” games next year); and 2) High School players in the United States get up to $31,000 a year in scholarships and expenses from places like Oak Hill Academy



  48. bung
    11:46 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Hood plays more …..Cats learn fast break…..no more losses…Ky Legislature subpoenas ncaa for questioning and Kanter sues them and wins.



  49. bung
    11:53 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Thamel takes job with Grit



  50. Pikeville25
    11:55 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Talk about piss poor refs, Lamb getting stabbed and mugged and then the same ref that blatantly missed that mugging called a foul on Jones when he clearly stripped the ball(for his 4th foul)…musta been the UNC refs, the ones that did the exact same thing at Chapel Hill…they shoot 500 fts, we shoot 14….UK just has a target on their back by everybody, and I mean everybody….but this loss means nothing, we will win the SEC…



  51. bung
    11:58 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    51) yep we gotta be 20 points better to win by 10



  52. tmc
    11:59 pm January 9, 2011 Permalink

    Matt I agree with everything except your Newton comments. Yes he is young, but never got any real PT this year. His stats WERE NOT bad for the game, in fact alot of QB’s would love to have his stats for the bowl game, minus the fumble of course. I think he will be great once he has had a chance to take over. I am still wondering about Moss, where is he it?? Newton has a great arm, which has been seen to be off at times, but he needs some reps and time to get in sync with his receivers, and not just practice game time, it is to different things. I really think next year Morgans talents might get lost in what we have left returning in an offense if Cobb chooses not to return.



  53. ???????
    12:34 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    I have continually posted that at the time of each game this year (football) we were underdogs in every game we lost. According to the sports line. We defeated a South Carolina team that was favored to beat us. I kept asking, “How is it under achieving if you only lose the games you were the underdog in, and you win one that you were the underdog?” Sounds like over achieving to me. I have said this several times and actually believed it. After watching the Pitt game. I feel that the season was a let down also. I mean the record is one thing, but if the trend continues, we are in trouble. It is proven that teams that recruit the best, win the most. While their are exceptions this is true the majority of the time. If Louisville is already out recruiting us, and Joker is known as a recruiter, we are in big trouble. To get to a bowl game we have to win our four non conference games and at least two SEC games. Look at history, we almost always finish at 11 or 12 in SEC recruiting. Which means we will almost always be the 11th or 12th best team in the SEC. Which means to get more than a win or two, we have to upset someone. Joker and staff better start getting more out of their players or they better learn some offensive and defensive schemes to take advantage of the talent we do have.



  54. Blackstone
    1:17 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Definitely agree on the gritty fourth quarter performances from last years team when the game was on the line. I will never forget Boogie getting that tip in the SEC tournament, but I don’t think you can mention those nail biters without mentioning John Wall. Nothing could shake that guys swagger. We rode him to the finish line in a good deal of those tight ones. It still isn’t clear to me who that guy is on this team. Your ostensible candidates are Knight and Jones, but the more I think about it, I wonder if Lamb might not be as clutch as anyone we have on the team. He never seems to get rattled.



  55. SexnNursinHomes
    6:01 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    44- haha!! and that’s a wrap!!!!



  56. Jimmy Buffett
    6:28 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    .



  57. Kanter Banter
    7:44 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Matt, you liked what you saw with the Minter defense? Are you kidding me! More of the same is what I say….yeah he blitzed at times where we didn’t however, still a incredibly poor tackling team. While we are talking football, Newton looked no different than last year. Never gave the other kid a shot…why? Joker is really making me believe we got the wrong guy running the show.



  58. HackRichards
    7:55 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Matt…it is not becoming of you to say “I told you so” more than once in an opinion…



  59. Enes Envy
    8:12 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Here is a link to ESPN which has the email addresses to all major radio and tv shows/personalities. I’ve emailed each to request they use their pulpits to reveal the truth about the NCAA. If you have time…you may want to do the same…there is power in numbers.

    http://promo.espn.go.com/espnradio/1800Flowers/inbox/index



  60. kentuckyjoe
    8:23 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    44, don’t you think that Sexn should seriously consider becoming a KSR blogger?



  61. Kevin Probus
    8:26 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Jones is clueless! Name 5 spots out of the 22 starters where we were better than Pitt.



  62. the anti-cat
    9:09 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    UK – shoots an oh-fer on the weekend. What else needs to be said, except Free Joker!! He has a better chance of playing than enes!



  63. Bob
    10:08 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Matt, I’m disappointed in your grammar. You’ve already “said your peace?”

    You mean, piece?



  64. manbearpig
    11:44 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    “markp” is either Morgan Newton or related to him…never have I seen such a pitiful,DESPERATE defense of a truly mediocre quarterback.



  65. manbearpig
    11:47 am January 10, 2011 Permalink

    “markp” is either Morgan Newton or a relative. His continuous defense of a truly MEDIOCRE quarterback….is sad.



  66. championship pipe dream
    2:25 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    Every year our wildcats are thinking about a championship. I bet our boys in blue were thinking with Kanter eligible they could win a championship and the poor play during the GA loss was the result of an “emotional low” of having the pipe dream, of Kanter becoming eligible, CRUSHED!!!

    Think about it…



  67. markp
    7:30 pm January 10, 2011 Permalink

    mark p knows newton is better than that MAC QB that was playing for UK this year. Hartline’s stats were made by 5 yard passes with runs by Cobb and Locke. He is piss poor and Newton would have done as well or better and we would have been a hell of a lot better off right now if he had played. He played pretty well for someone who didn’t get any experience this year, several balls, including a TD, were flat out dropped, even by Cobb. Joker truly mishandled that decision and we will pay for it next year. The only reason we had a 6 and 6 year was because Lattimore was hurt in the second half of the USC game. Hartline was a waste of time.