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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s Monday News and Views


While most people spent the day watching eight hours of football, I took a break from the festivities mid-afternoon to do my semi-regular trip to the movies. Because I still can’t get up the energy to watch a silent movie (“The Artist” is going to win Best Picture, so I have to see it…but I can’t yet fathom actually doing it), I instead went for the British Spy thriller, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” For the life of me, I couldn’t remember the full name of the movie, telling the ticket seller that I wanted one for “Tinker Tape Soldier Game”, which I believe doesn’t come out until October. Once I did find the right theater however, the movie was a worthy way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It is a convoluted Cold War spy tale about a mole in the British Intelligence Service and the attempt to out him by a disgraced ex-officer. The movie is set in the 1970s, which means bad suits, hair and lots of cigarette smoke, which combined with the ubiquitous rain of all things shot in Britain, makes for a rather dreary cinematography. But the story is fascinating and rewards movie viewers with the patience to follow its rather complicated storyline. At the end, I felt as if I had sat through a 2 hour graduate school lecture, leaving informed but also exhausted. It is better than the vast majority of movies I have seen this year and contains something you rarely see in modern cinema, ugly people. It is worth your time.

Poor Kyle Williams…to today’s Top Ten:

1. Cats Gut One Out: Of all the teams in the SEC, I think Alabama is most suited from a personnel standpoint to give Kentucky problems. They are long, athletic and have the ability to play top ten level defense when focused. All season long they have played well, but when the three-ball hasn’t fallen, then struggles have ensued. Saturday, the Tide hit shots and thus Kentucky got a very difficult game. Alabama muscled up Anthony Davis (the right way to play him), let JaMychal Green (in his 10th year at Alabama) have another stellar game against the Cats and benefitted from key shots in crucial situations to make the game a dogfight. Virtually the entire contest took place with UK up 3-8 points and you have to give Alabama credit for never allowing Kentucky the distance to pull away. What most impressed me about Kentucky’s performance is simply this…they won. On a day when they needed big plays at big times, UK made them…something that last year did not happen at this point in the season. Alabama can make the NCAA Tournament’s second weekend and Kentucky showed last night that it can grit out a victory against such a team even when they are playing at their best.

2. Two-Sided Terrence: Much has been written about the dichotomy between the two halves of Terrence Jones’s game and it was actually symbolic of his season as a whole. But what I continue to be pleased with in Terrence’s performance is his desire to help the team in ways other than scoring. While his hustle still needs to reach 100% all game (during one play late in the second half, Anthony Davis dove on the floor for a ball next to Jones as he stood up watching. Exasperated, Calipari yelled at Jones, “well if you aren’t going to dive, at least help him up!”), Jones is getting his rebounding and defensive edge back. The latter was crucial in the second half, after Jones bounced back from a disastrous first half that saw Jones’s man either score or set up nearly every Alabama basket. In the second half, Jones was quick with rotations, got a number of deflections and a couple of crucial steals. The Jones line we saw Saturday, 15 points, along with rebounds, blocks, steals and defense, is a line that can win UK a national championship.

3. Clutch Darius: With 1:06 left in the game on Saturday, Alabama cut the lead to two on free throws. I said on the LIVE BLOG at that time that whoever took the next shot for UK would tell a lot about the makeup of the team. MKG was on the bench, having fouled out and I thought it would be interesting to see who wanted, and took, the ball in their hands. We got an answer quickly as Darius Miller rose up to take a shot, ten seconds into the shot clock and was fouled. The fact that he made the free throws and two others later, was not surprising. But what was more impressive was the initiative to be the person with the game on his shoulders. Last year at Ole Miss, Miller deflected the opportunity to take a crucial late shot, and gathered much criticism in the process. This year, not only did he take it, he did it early and with confidence. I still believe that an NCAA Tournament game will come down to Kentucky needing a basket and Darius Miller with the ball in his hands. Saturday showed he can handle that moment.

4. Rupp Crowd Gets Abused: John Clay wrote in the Lexington Herald Leader this morning that the Rupp crowd is too quiet and needs to step up their game. Generally, I agree and it is a topic we have rehashed numerous times. But I have to say that I don’t think the issue is as clear-cut as some want it to be. While there are definitely a few fans in basketball who ask others to keep the noise down, that group is diminishing every year. One scan of the Rupp crowd on Saturday showed me many more young faces around than we used to see even ten years ago. Most of the problem with Rupp’s noise is structural. The students have limited floor seats and aren’t yet organized in noise making (and on Saturday were discouraged from doing the Stone Cold Willow dance…don’t let UK tell you know kids…it needs to happen). And the big money donors get the best seats..and often aren’t quite as loud as others up top. As long as that is the structure, and such a structure is understandable from a financial perspective, Rupp will be loud only in doses. It is what it is.

5. Offensive Execution Better: One fact not to be lost from Saturday is just how well UK executed its offense all game. From the opening tip, Kentucky was able to get VERY good shots against a VERY good defensive team, most any time it wanted to. If UK had been better making free throws and wide open lay-ups in the first half, the game could have had a 15 point spread at the half. Throughout the contest, UK had good shots and only on a couple of possessions did the offense look stagnant. Alabama may be the best non-UK defensive team in the SEC, and Kentucky played its best offensive game of the conference season against them. That is a good sign.

6. Derek Willis: I went to Bullitt East High School on Friday afternoon to watch the commitment of Derek Willis to Kentucky. The scene there was great, with lots of local fans and Bullitt East students around to cheer Willis on. Immediately much of the talk from UK fans centered on whether he was good enough to play at UK and UL fans began crowing that they didn’t want him anyway (I will have an answer for these UL yokels tomorrow on the radio). From our fans however, criticism of Willis should temper and ultimately stop. Calipari likes Willis for reasons that the average fan may not totally realize…he is a big man who can PASS and set up others from any position. That is a luxury rarely found in the college game and one UK would LOVE to have this season. Willis will be a good player at UK and the lowest ranked 2013 commitment, even though he is still ranked in the Top 40 nationwide. That should be plenty for UK fans who ought to rally around a good Kentucky kid playing for the Blue and White. Here, he and his father (a life-long UL fan) talk about his decision to pick Kentucky:

7. Women’s Get a Late Win: The UK Hoops team continued its magic run with a 57-52 win over Florida in a sold out Memorial Coliseum. The ladies were able to win even though their leading scorer Adia Mathies only had two points, and the rest of the team had an off night from the field. With each win, the possibility of a regular season SEC title grows more plausible, an accomplishment previously figured unthinkable in Lexington. Two Final Fours…it can happen here this year. (For a journal of the game from a KSR College writer covering her first UK game, click here.

8. Football Recruiting: Over the next ten days, you will hear much more about football recruiting here on KSR, as we get you ready for National Signing Day. The big story today was the commitment of Paducah Tilghman WR/ATH JD Harmon to the Class of 2012. With Harmon agreeing to pay his own way the first year, UK gets a good pickup and keeps a scholarship opportunity, a great result for the Cats. The storyline going forward in the next week that may have the most important effect on the class is what happens with former Tennessee commitment Khalid Henderson. The four star LB visited Ole Miss this weekend and loved it, and it is assumed the Rebels are the leaders. But he visits UK next weekend and Joker and Co. have a chance to steal a stud out of nowhere late. If they get him, it would be a crown jewel to the class at the very end and one to get very excited about going into next season.

9. Eating Contest: I know nothing else about this except the result but apparently today there was an eating contest in Northern Kentucky in which Jared Lorenzen and Patrick Towles took on two others as a team. And apparently the Round Mound of Touchdown and UK’s future star lost. If anyone knows anything else about it, please let me know.

10. KSR College Debuts: Later tonight, we will officially debut the website. The 24 student writers have been going at it for a week and have really done a tremendous job. The goal of the site is to cover UK sports with a new set of voices and to pay particular focus on the under-covered sports such as women’s basketball, baseball and football recruiting. The site has done a host of cool thing and beginning on Monday night, you will hear more about it on this site. We hope you will add visits to KSR College to your internet browsing to support the younger writers, who are very excited and really doing a tremendous job. A couple of today’s best pieces were:

Did Chuck Norris go to the UK Women’s Game?

Who Plays Late, MKG or Darius?

Catching Up With What the Players Tweeted After the Game

What Would Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Do?

Finally, a shout out to a friend of KSR, Amanda Mertz, (pictured below) who today was named Miss USA Kentucky. Amanda has been around KSR for years, and has helped us out on various projects since the site’s inception. She will be representing Kentucky at the Miss USA pageant this summer (that is the Trump one) and KSR will be wishing her luck. She will likely join you in listening to KSR Radio in the morning starting at 10 am, so see you then….

Article written by Matt Jones

43 Comments for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’s Monday News and Views

  1. Kentucky14
    11:45 pm January 22, 2012 Permalink

    Tinker, Tailor was fantastic. Most people won’t like it though because you can’t be an idiot if you want to follow the story.

  2. ColoradoCat
    11:47 pm January 22, 2012 Permalink

  3. JimR
    11:51 pm January 22, 2012 Permalink

    I guess when the two NFL teams square off on February 5th, it will be “their UK game” for both of them.

  4. phk
    11:59 pm January 22, 2012 Permalink

    No more Nappy Boy?!??

  5. Snapperlicious
    12:00 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve got wood

  6. ?
    12:03 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    where is the $2 podcast?

  7. DM
    12:31 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    The UCONN writer below had nothing but good things to say about the atmosphere. I, for one, think the crowd is loud when it needs to be, non issue.

  8. Mack
    12:45 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    It was not a popcorn movie but very good anyway. Movies always seem better with the British accents of the actors not to mention the British anti-American humor toward their “American Cousins”. Reminds me of the black and white spy movies from the 40’s and 50’s that now shows up on TV late at night and/or on TCM depending heavy on the acting and less on special effects.

  9. string music
    12:58 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Holy mammories!

  10. Jack R. Wilkinson
    1:03 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Skip ahead to the last sentence if you dont like reading long posts. (pretty much sums up why Jones and Kentucky14 are publicly endorsing it)

    Phony Oscar bait. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an interminably talky John le Carre adaptation of bloodless spy games. Gary Oldman is the veteran of the British Secret Service who is the only one that can be trusted — he spends the entire movie smoking out the Russian mole. Ciaran Hinds, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Toby Jones and Tom Hardy are among the chief suspects, for you more or less want to trust old windbag John Hurt. As directed by Tomas Alfredson (of the much better “Let the Right One In”), the drama is as hazy as its images. Brace yourself for a morass of “information” that amounts to nothing much more than deception played unto the audience. Some people actually like this kind of movie because they can claim being smart if they were able to follow it.

  11. brother versus brother
    4:38 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    “don’t let them tell you know”

  12. brother versus brother
    4:40 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    or rather,”don’t let UK tell you know kids…”

  13. BigPerm
    5:19 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t get me wrong, glad Willis chose us over the tards. But it’s not like we got a 1 or 2 and done over them. Heck, Evan Daniels said he could fall out of the top 50 during the next ranking. He is a solid 4 year player that we need though.

  14. Bledsoe's Biceps
    6:12 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I absolutely agree the UK fan’s negative comments on Willis need to end. Cal and his staff see something they like, so that is good enough for me. They can’t just recruit “one and done” types. There also has to be some solid players who will likely be here 2-4 years. Now if we could just get some people to back off on the negative TJ comments too. I trust Cal to deal with that also.

  15. Hoss
    6:37 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    LOl, only in KY is “football recruiting” a “tertiary sport” subject.

    We are the reciprocal of normal in the SEC. How we survive is a flipping mystery. It really is.

  16. bigbluedude
    6:52 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    1. so what you are saying is, you could’nt follow the movie

  17. Hoss
    7:09 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    10- so, you’re saying it was a Steven King book on film?

    Lots and lots of words with virtually no message in return that makes it worth reading that many words?

    Sit thru ‘7 Years in Tibet’ and then we can compare emotional scars and times wasted.

  18. billy
    7:39 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Watching the game on TV I noticed that most of the crowd in the lower seats with backs on them sat with their arms folded most of the time. Not many ever clap their hands even. It is like ho hum to them. Some colleges have the entire lower level filled with students at least on one side.
    After watching the women play Sunday I just can’t imagine how it used to be when Kentucky played in that gym. Not many peole ever had the priviledge of watching the really good Kentucky teams in person.

  19. billy
    7:42 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Players like Willis who come to Kentucky must have thick skin. Kentucky has some of the most unforgiving fans in the college realm.

  20. Yep
    7:42 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Hey let’s keep bringing up the play of Terrence Jones!!!! Bla bla bla! The dude had a good game! What u guys want, a triple double every game!? KSR starting to suck!!

  21. MLC
    8:06 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Hey Matt – here’s the recap from Mark vs. Food with Jared, Patrick and Will. I think you may have had an intern there.

  22. Cat fan
    8:08 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    There are not enough comments about that little hottie at the end of the post. More of #5 and #9 please, and less of the rest of you!

  23. bluebiscuit
    8:14 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Always somebody getting rankled by the “What is going on with Terrence Jones” posts. Has there been that same sort of reaction to the “When is Darius going to get tough” posts? Seems like some readers are more sensitive and protective or something when it comes to Jones.

  24. Rick Pitino
    8:17 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    That babe isn’t my type. I like ’em with a few road miles on ’em. You know, that ‘rode hard, put up wet’ look. Kinda like Karen Sypher, or Patty Swope (you know the service department has worked wonders on that girl).

  25. Al's IndiCats
    8:52 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    In my 61 years, and being a devout UK fan for 57, I’ve had the pleasure of going to see UK play twice at Rupp. My first game was up in the nose bleed section, the other was when the father of a friend of ours gave us his tickets which was in the lower level right after we got off probation. The fossils in back of us was telling us to sit down, and the elderly couple in front of us was telling us we were too loud……Too LOUD? How can you be TOO LOUD rooting for our beloved CATS? When we denied both requests, twice the usher came down to tell to sit, and be less noisy. The second time he came down he told us we would be escorted from the area if we didn’t comply.

    The fossil behind us told us she was going to tell Bill (our Donor of the tickets) never to let us have his tickets again. We had just beaten a good UF team 71-48, when I turned to the fossils in back and asked them, why do you even come to the games if your not going to yell, scream, and get into the game. She looked at me as seriously as she could and replied because we don’t need to. Our donation does enough.

    I’m sure that couple has long passed away since then, but I still wonder, if their kids or grandkids were willed those seats at Rupp! My family and I (all 8 of us) will be going to Na-Lenes to the SEC tourny, I wonder how many folks we’ll see with hands folded there during the games?

  26. Some Guy in Kentucky
    8:54 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Doesn’t it seem funny to have Clay and the LHL make the point that people need to be more supportive of UK sports?

  27. Hoss
    8:58 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    27- Good post. I call the bank to hear my money cheer at least once a day.

  28. Me
    9:08 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #27 – Sad but true. Those people think that their money is all UK cares about. And it may be all Mitch does care about. The really sad thing is that most of those big money folks, would be satisfied with an ad in the paper listing their name and amount they give to the school. The school could throw in a nice plaque in the lobby. Actually, those blue hairs would probably prefer not to have to deal with traffic or the large crouds in and around Rupp and would rather sit at home.

  29. UKFanInCincy
    9:20 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I went to the game on saturday and i dont get to go to too many games a year so i wanted to stand for most of the game. I was told by someone behind me to sit down because they couldnt see. Are you kidding me?? I paid for my ticket!! If you wanted to see the game without anyone in your way you could have watched from home or bought tickets that were in the front row… I like to stand because i am not able to make it to many games. I get into it!! I am a true BLUE fan! I am not the type to sit on my but when my team is in a close game at home.

    I have always felt that the crowd at Rupp has sucked…. sorry but thats the way i feel… They need to get up and yell/make noise.

  30. P.L.Wallingford, III
    9:22 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Jack R. Wilkinson Says:
    January 23rd, 2012 at 1:03 am
    Skip ahead to the last sentence if you dont like reading long posts. (pretty much sums up why Jones and Kentucky14 are publicly endorsing it)
    Nice that you stole that “reveiew” from Flick Minute, I’m sure you just didn’t want to be bothered with doing one yourself. One note for you, I think a new Marmaduke film will be out later this year, right after the big screen debut of The Family Circus….both should be perfect for you!

  31. RickyPRetirementTour
    9:24 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Before anyone else feels the need to act like Evan Daniels is a better basketball talent evaluater than Coach Cal, like Mike Ditka says on ESPN “Stop It”.

  32. Me
    9:56 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    This site is a joke. matt / ksr, if you can’t take the heat for calling out our own players – STOP CALLING OUT OUR PLAYERS.

  33. UKBlue
    10:07 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Amanda is a UL fan. If Amanda is going to represent KY, then she needs to get her Dr. to do something about that big refund gap in the middle of her chest.

  34. bigabes4uk
    10:10 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Good lord- she is amazing!

  35. cristoforouk
    10:15 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Sweigert is a lucky man to have that girl.

  36. Pleau
    10:22 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    I use to hang w this chick all the time…. Def super hot

  37. Doylerules27
    11:04 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    How are you going to relegate football recruiting to the new site? Perhaps you should clean up the mess this site has become before starting a new venture. Football brings a ton of money into the university. This is where recruiting should be discussed. Alas, it’s turned in to amateur night at the comedy club with the third rate hacks posting garbage and questioning the production of our players. Mixed feelings as to this site. It was special at one time, but it’s definitely lost it’s focus. It would be nice to see you take control and get it turned around. Go Cats! That means football too.

  38. Wit
    11:05 am January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Tinker, Tailor was my favorite movie of the year. The Artist is really quite good and proves that you don’t need sound or color to make an enjoyable movie.

  39. Jack R. Wilkinson
    12:17 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    #30 P.L.Wallingford, III

    Why would I do one myself when my roommate already did it for me. Thanks for taking the time to highlight my post – google the text – and discover the posts origin. FYI – Sean is the best albeit a tad pretentious but all the greats are. But if you enjoy an educated persons opinion on movies (especially Asian cinema for that matter) please read his blog.

    Oh and I am Jack R. Wilkinson IV just in case you were wondering. My iPad2 must not have been given enough characters to attach it on my original post. Once again that was JRW the IV.

  40. Jeffrey Dahmer
    1:24 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Motor boat!

  41. Josh Sweigert
    2:57 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Hey back off my girlfriend Matt! Your just jealous she didnt want any of your big fat balding head and your little what-not in your pants… Bell County makes them small!

  42. Houdini
    3:00 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone else think the picture of the actor above looks a lot like the “Amazing Kreskin?”

  43. Big Mouth
    9:52 pm January 23, 2012 Permalink

    Why be the top team in the country and have your “fans” sit on their hands at games!! I’ve never understood watching someone yawn, text or just sit there during a game. Why bother to go if you don’t verbally support, what a slap in the face to the players!! A big, beered up, loud crowd can give a team ten points…a quiet crowd is embarrassing!! Our student body is stuck under one end zone. Put those quiet people who really do not want to be there under the goal, and put the student body where they belong! I hate to say what this is leading up to, but the student body in Durham is what we should have at Rupp…EVERY GAME!! When will this subject be addressed?