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Murray State’s Tuesday News and Views

With apologies to the births of Muhammad Ali, Dwyane Wade, Kid Rock, Jim Carrey, James Earl Jones and Ray J, tonight we salute the Murray State Racers for their outstanding achievement in college basketball. Murray State cracked the top 10 in this week’s ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll for the first time in school history. The 18-0 Racers will likely find their way in the top 5 before season’s end, considering they are by far the best team in the OVC and they’ll be heavy favorites in every game up until the NCAA Tournament. It’s not crazy to think they’ll finish the regular season undefeated and then storm right through conference play. Hell, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them as the highest-ranked team in the state of Kentucky at some point this year. Wouldn’t that be something?

They’re probably not one of the ten best teams in the country, but the Racers aren’t going anywhere. Get used to them in the rankings.

News. Views.

— Calipari is back in Lexington after back-to-back days at the Spalding Hoop Hall Classic in Massachusetts and he met with the media before his team’s late Monday night practice. When asked about Kentucky’s rebounding effort this season, Cal said his team has been OK. “Obviously there’s a lot of areas we got to improve,” he said. “That’s my whole point to this basketball team. The margin would be bigger than it is if we got 50-50 balls and they didn’t jerk so many out of our hands.” Kentucky was out-rebounded in its first two conference games and almost lost the rebounding battle again at Tennessee.

— Arkansas is known for its face-paced style of play and vigorous press, and Kentucky’s players say they’re ready to run with the Razorbacks. Marquis Teague told reporters, “That’s the way I like to play.” “Get up and down,” he said. Terrence Jones feels the same way. “I feel it’s an advantage how we play is fast-paced,” Jones said. “I know they’re going to come in playing tough and ready to try to win, and I know so are we.”

— Despite his players’ enthusiasm for a fast-paced game, Calipari knows how it could play to Arkansas’s advantage. “When they speed you up, they’re getting into you,” he said. “They don’t press like normal teams, where if you complete a pass they run down. They come running at you. Then they try to rotate and another guy runs at you. It will be different for our guys. It’s another thing for our point guard to feel and our guards to feel and work their way through.”

— Terrence Jones told reporters that his bum pinky still isn’t at 100%. “It changes, honestly — if it gets slapped or if I dunk sometimes,” Jones said. “It just depends on what I do during a game to how much it hurts or not. But I mean, it’s alright for me. I don’t care as long as I’m on the floor.” In the past few games, Jones has been moving towards the dominant player we know he can be, and he’ll only get closer to full potential as that finger heals. He has scored in double-figures in his last four games, since scoring just two points against Louisville.

— I listened to Coach Robic fill in for Calipari on the radio show Monday and I heard three interesting tidbits that I’d like to pass along to you, in case you missed it:

(1) Don’t underestimate the importance of crowd noise. Robic said the players talked on the bus ride home from Knoxville about the heavy presence of Kentucky fans in Thompson-Boling Arena. We don’t need anyone to tell us how powerful Big Blue Nation can be, but it’s nice to hear that the players were talking about the importance of the fans and how it helped fuel them to get a big road win. It’s one thing to hear the team talk about the fans when there is a camera in their face; it’s another to know they talk about the fans amongst themselves when there’s no pressure to say the right thing. Pat yourself on the back, #BBN.

(2) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist sent Coach Robic a text during the show, asking if they could meet up early to workout before Monday night’s practice. You can’t say enough about the kid’s work ethic and desire to win. We’ve written about similar instances like this before and we’ll continue to do so. It never gets old hearing about MKG.

(3) After a caller called in asked him about beating the press and freeing up foul shooters late in close games, Robic challenged the show listeners to name which two guys they want on the foul line late in games. The answer was pretty surprising. It isn’t Doron Lamb or Darius Miller (the caller’s two guesses), it is Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Robic said those are the guys they want taking free throws at the end of the game because they make them. Robic noted that Doron Lamb is shooting 82% on the season, but he’s not hitting them when it counts. Interesting.

— #shoutout to Anthony Davis and A’Dia Mathies for earning weekly awards from the SEC. Anthony Davis was named SEC Freshmen of the Week after averaging 16 points, seven rebounds, four blocks, 2.5 steals and two assists in the wins over Auburn and Tennessee. Mathies was named SEC Player of the Week for her 34-point performance in UK Hoops’ win over Tennessee.

— If you didn’t get a chance to see Shabazz Muhammad on television Monday afternoon, well, you missed out. The nation’s No. 1 player scored 37 points and grabbed six rebounds in Bishop Gorman’s win over the fifth-ranked high school in the country. Sometimes players of Shabazz’s caliber can get lazy when they don’t have the ball, but he was active on defense and fighting down low on the block for rebounds. His big time game on the national stage was capped off with an impressive windmill dunk to put it away. After the game, he listed the schools he is considering and Kentucky was the first name out of his mouth, of course.

Shabazz admitted to being nervous playing in front of Coach Cal and Coach K. He better get used to it because he’ll have to play 30+ games in front of Cal next season. If he’s smart.

— Be sure to read Beisner’s post about Derek Willis. It’s directly beneath this one. Just scroll down.

— On the NBA side of things, John Wall scored a career-high 38 points against the Houston Rockets. Patrick Patterson scored four points and grabbed three rebounds in 24 minutes for Houston.

— Wake up, Eric. We’re almost done.

Bledsoe was catching some sleep on the flight back from New Jersey.

— Ah, those poor, poor Louisville Cardinals. Rick Pitino’s bunch came out hot against Marquette and opened up a 18-2 lead in the first six minutes of play. Then reality set in and the Golden Eagles came back and took a four-point lead into the half and then ended the game with an 11-point win. That’s five losses in the last seven games for Louisville. Point blank. Period.

— With Syracuse’s win over Pittsburgh, Jim Boeheim tied Adolph Rupp for fourth place on the all-time wins list with 876 wins. Rupp still leads Boeheim by 856 games on the all-time-wins-without-a-child-molesting-assistant list.

That’s all for tonight. Come back tomorrow for more of the same as we look ahead to Arkansas.


Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

55 Comments for Murray State’s Tuesday News and Views

  1. Maverick
    11:57 pm January 16, 2012 Permalink


  2. Jimmy Bob
    11:59 pm January 16, 2012 Permalink

    us hillbillies say fast paste round hear

  3. tdogg4033011
    12:18 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Drew, Murray St as the highest ranked team in Ky at some point this year?? nahh, they
    wont go much higher because of the schedule they play. I’m happy for them, but who have
    they beat other than a decent Memphis team??

  4. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    12:34 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Murray State is good, but no way they’re the 10th best team in the country.

  5. Lacy Elrod
    12:38 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Now I’m not a Teague hater like some, but I was sooo glad that Darius didn’t throw him the ball the other day at the end of the game.

  6. RacerFan
    12:52 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Help us out at Murray we are starting a #GetDickieVToMurray campaign. Tell him on twitter @dickiev Let’s do this for the little guy!!!!!

  7. cayts
    12:53 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    if boeheim has 20 wins this year without fine then wouldnt rupp be leading by boeheim by like 856 wins without a molestor assistant??

  8. UKstudent
    12:58 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Bazz was on SCs top plays tonight with that jam. I want him. So bad.

  9. Floyd
    1:03 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone else think that Murray will be UK’s second round game?

  10. Aaron
    1:05 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Well Baylor didn’t deserve their ranking. Close wins against Miss St and West Virginia don’t seem quality to me. So I think Murray is very deserving of that 10th place spot. The would be the second best team in the SEC if they were in our conference! Point blank! Period!

  11. Calipari'sInYourEar
    1:24 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Sorry Robic… but what part of “missed free throws in the final minute of the UNC game” does Marquis Teague get a pass on?

    0:21 left 2nd Half, UK up 72-73, Marquis Teague missed the front end of a 1 and 1.

    This gave UNC the change with 21 seconds left to make a 2 pointer and win.

    I do not want Teague to shoot the free throws with the game on the line.

    I’m glad that Miller didn’t pass him the ball in Knowxville. Smart kid, ensured the win.

  12. Calipari'sInYourEar
    1:27 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    If you can’t ice a game at home, against a rival, how could anyone expect you to ice a game on the road?

    I challenge Robic to give us the details of the game where Teague hit the late game free throws to ice it.

    It didn’t happen. Give Miller the ball, he’s the senior, let him and Gilchrist pass it back and forth.

  13. Calipari'sInYourEar
    1:29 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    If you give the ball to Teague, he should be instructed to use his speed and avoid defenders completely get the ball into the open court and find Miller or Gilchrist.

    I’d rather Davis shoot the late game free throws now, than Teague.

    Davis iced the Louisville game. Rather impressively I might add.

  14. Cking98
    1:47 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Mark this down:
    The committee will screw us, and put Murray State as our 4 seed in the Louisville Bracket.
    Carolina will be our #2. Watch and see.

  15. Calipari'sInYourEar
    2:04 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I’d love to have Murray State as our 4 seed.

    Carolina as our 2.

    It really doesn’t matter what they do. If this UK matures properly, they are going to game for anything come March.

  16. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    2:19 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Murray State as a four seed in our region would mean a cakewalk to the Elite 8.

  17. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    2:23 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    CalipariInYourEar….you used an instance of 1 missed free throw by Teague to site that he shouldn’t be shooting them down the stretch. That’s ridiculous. I trust the coaches that are with them every day.

  18. worthythorn
    3:01 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    “— With Syracuse’s win over Pittsburgh, Jim Boeheim tied Adolph Rupp for fourth place on the all-time wins list with 876 wins. Rupp still leads Boeheim by 856 games on the all-time-wins-without-a-child-molesting-assistant list.”

    Stay classy, Drew.

  19. Calipari'sInYourEar
    3:26 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #17 – WhatSheOrder?FishFilet? – I didn’t just use 1 instance. I used the ONLY instance.

    It’s the only example of Teague getting free throws in the final minute so far this season.

    He missed.

    That was a huge friggin miss at that, and had it not been for the most incredible last second block in the history of Kentucky home games by Davis, you wouldn’t be saying a word.

    When your up by 1 with the ball at home with 25 seconds left, you ICE THE GAME AT THE LINE.

    So for anybody who think Teague SHOULD get the free throws in the final seconds, LET’S SEE YOUR SUPPORTING EVIDENCE.


  20. Calipari'sInYourEar
    3:33 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Correction, there’s more…

    Marquis Teague missed both free throw attempts in the 2nd game of the season Vs. Kansas with 26 seconds left in the 2nd half.
    0:26 Marquis Teague missed Free Throw. 74-63
    0:26 Marquis Teague missed Free Throw. 74-63

    Still rediculous #17 (WhatSheOrder?FishFilet)?? 2 examples now.

  21. Geez....
    4:48 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Calipariisinyourrear, seriously, Robic is one of our coaches. I’ll trust his instinct more than your useless facts. There’s a reason he’s a coach and you throw stats out in a comment section.

  22. Calipari'sInYourEar
    5:07 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #17 – WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?

    Even though I watch every game and relied on my memory to determine that I don’t want Teague at the free throw line in the final minute of a game, I decided you must not have watched them since you act like you think it’s a good decision to have him taking the shots (your responses: “that’s rediculous”, “I trust the coaches”).

    So to prove my point, I compiled all the games play-by-play stats and created this chart:

    The chart emphasizes the pressure factors of shooting with less time left (final minute or less) and how much ahead or behind the team is from the opponent.

    Teague’s Free Throw % for 2011-2012 is:
    69.8% (37-53)

    In the first 39 minutes of games so far:
    72.9% (35-48)

    In the final minute of games so far:
    40% (2/5)
    Take into consideration opportunity lost (miss front end of a 1 & 1):
    33.3% (2/6)

    In the final 30 seconds of games so far:
    0% (0/3)
    Take into consideration opportunity lost (miss front end of a 1 & 1):
    0% (0/4)

    The compiled data is available here:

    I included the compiled data so that you can see Teagues results during the final 3:00 minutes at the line. Teague did shoot 2/2 with 1:46 left and up 13 pts against Kansas, also 2/2 with 2:08 left against Portland up by 26. Yet the closer the clock gets to 0, he loses his touch.

    I hope this information help clear up that “the coaches” or at least John Robic, is making his determination based on something other than on court data.

    I question the value of his assessment.

  23. Knicks
    5:24 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Have family in New york. Rumors are going around that they will fire their coach shortly. I am sure the Cal to New York rumors will start after the season. I doubt he ever takes anothe NBA job, but that won’t start the rumors.

  24. Calipari'sInYourEar
    5:35 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #21 – Geez… – If the UK coaches want to risk some regular season games on developing Teagues ability to hit the free throws in the final minute, I’m ok with that. Especially if it will pay off in March. I doubt many fans would agree with that strategy. I would, since I value wins in March over wins in the regular season (even though I seriously value all games).

    But don’t accept Robic’s vague explaination. He could have just said that. I’m not sure a coach would want to tell the fans they would consider that. As most UK fans think it’s the coaches job to win all games (as if tinkering with an outcome is sacreligious and not within the honor code of the game). We know Billy Clyde would sabotage games as a method of making the team learn, but even he wouldn’t admit to it.

    The facts are it’s not based on on court performance (I took care of that part). And if it’s based on what Teague shows at the line in practice I question the over valuing that above what’s done in a game, in front of TV cameras, thousands of people, nasty fans, and the score and clock pressure on the line.

  25. 2012Champs
    5:36 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    The Willis kid is a solid player. I’ve seen him play 3 or 4 times. But he is not a star. He will be a role player here, which is fine. We need decent bench players. I’m guessing Cal is just taking him to stick it to rick though. Cal has only seen him play one time.

  26. The Real Ray J.
    6:22 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Glad to see I finally got my name in the lights of KSR…but my birthday’s not till then end of November!

  27. Who Dey
    7:08 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    22. Most importantly, that sample size is far, far too small to be considered reliable. Secondly, it makes no sense to dock him for a shot he never even took (back end of 1-and-1’s).

  28. Reality Is
    7:21 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    17. Bingo. A lot of people on here just don’t like Teague. On top of that, they don’t know what they’re talking about either. They constantly bash Teague and Jones, yet defend Miller when he plays poorly, simply because he’s from Kentucky. Fans just need to let the coaches coach and stay out of it.

  29. Al's IndiCats
    7:23 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    The sky’s opening up and is completely sucking the Life out of the Cards. I kept flipping back from the tournament and UL games, so help me I think the UK women’s team could give Louisvile a good run.

  30. Reality Is
    7:23 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    22. You think a sample of 3 FT’s in the final minute means anything? LOL.

  31. Calipari'sInYourEar
    7:35 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #17 – Who Dey – It makes all the sense to dock him for a shot he never took (back end of a 1 & 1). We’re talking about WHO you want at the stripe for the shot within the final minute of the game.

    Which player will take advantage of the “opportunity” given. Since it counts as a possession, the other team fouls to put that kid at the line, to miss the front end of a one and one means you left points on the table.

    A better shooter can earn those points. Therefore, you dock it.

    #30 – Reality Is – It does when there are other players on the court who could be taking those free throws and hitting them.

  32. Calipari'sInYourEar
    7:47 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    There was no reason for us to give UNC a chance to come down the court for the win.

    Same thing in Tennessee, there was no reason for us to give Tennessee a chance to win with 19 seconds left. Miller did the right thing by not passing the ball to Teague. We get a timeout, then the ball is passed in and Miller gets it and is fouled. He goes to the line with 19 seconds and changes the game from 62-60 to 64-60.

    To put an inconsistent 18 year old on the line (and the worst % shooter in the starting lineup at all 3 disciplines – FG, FT, 3PT), when you have the option to put a 3 year starter who is 22 years old on the line is a no brainer (if you have the option).

    Miller is an 81% career free throw shooter, and last year he shot 85% from the stripe.

    I’ve got nothing wrong with freshmen, but I know the value of an upperclassman in the clutch.

  33. Ville Cat
    7:52 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I sure hope the fans embrace this Willis kid when/if he chooses UK. He is solid and will be here more than one year. Guess Seth Davis got his Christmas wish.
    If cal wasn’t going after the kid, he would be catching flack for having a top 30 talent in the state and not recruiting him. Wish the fans would just enjoy the ride and leave the recruiting to Coach Cal. If he offered the kid, he wants him and that is good enough for me!! GO CATS!!!!

  34. crazycatfan
    7:56 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Okay guys … check out Mondays Top Plays on ESPN. A little Shabazz Muhammad jammin’ it!

  35. Ukblue7
    8:08 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Calipari’sinyourear hit the nail on the head, even though lamb has struggled late in games shooting ft’s I’ll take my chances with him, miller, or mkg over teague all day. It’s nothing against teague, I’ll just go with the better shooters and if they miss then they miss, there’s no scenario where I’d like teague shooting any kind of shot over lamb or miller whether it’s a mid range jumper, 3 pointer, free throw or layup.

  36. Calipari'sInYourEar
    8:11 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s another piece for you stat lovers…

    Terrence Jones should not be passed the ball in the final minute of a game.

    Replace him in the lineup with Wiltjer on offense if we’re up, holding a lead, and expecting the other team to foul.

    Wiltjer shoots 87% (20-23)
    Jones shoots 63.9% (39-61)

    You believe in your coaches all you want, stats can show you the best shooter to put on the line (and depending on availablitity of game data, the best shooter at the stripe in the clutch.)

    A player you’d think would be the best person to put on the line is Doron Lamb, yet his clutch ability from the free throw stripe have taken a serious hit this season. He shoots 82.1% from the charity stripe, but his clutch % is much less this season.

  37. bluebiscuit
    8:14 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hey, there’s Bearded Guy holding up the Murray sign.

  38. Mr. President, dis DeMarcus Cousins
    8:17 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    As a Murray State alum, I’m thrilled for the Racers, but they’re not top 10 material. They’re probably top 25-30.

  39. cristoforouk
    8:33 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Count me as another who would not put Teague as a first choice to win or ice a game at the foul line. MKG and Miller would be my first two choices. Miller proved it in the UT game (and has come up with several clutch plays this year), and MKG is the definition of CLUTCH. Davis would probably be my third option as he carried us in the Louisville game at the line. Teague would be no higher than fourth based on experience, but I would go with Lamb over Teague even though Doron has had big struggles at the end of games. He is still a much better overall ft shooter. I just don’t trust Teague. I don’t see how his body of work encourages a lot of trust in his game.

  40. exclamation
    8:43 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    kidd gilly or davis … they have the best chance at a put back dunk w/ deez nuts in yo face should that they miss … which they wouldn’t

  41. Calipari'sInYourEar
    8:45 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #39 – cristoforouk – Nice points.

    Even though Teague’s body of work so far doesn’t encourage a lot of trust in his game, it doesn’t mean he’s not capable, nor does it mean he can’t improve it.

    But his body of work is just that, his body of work. We’re not being unfair here and it has nothing to do with him being from Kentucky or not.

    I’d love to be able to have confidence in Teague at the line with 20 seconds to go. I’d friggin love it! He’s the only one who can improve his percentages and should expect to stand behind what he’s done so far.

  42. Crofton Cat
    8:54 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I am sure this has been on the site before, but I must have missed it…,17041/

  43. John O
    8:58 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I’m both a Cats fan and Racer fan, and I’m thrilled for the Racers. I will warn some of the posters above who hope to see MSU in the same bracket as the Cats. I’ve watched all games of both teams and one thing the Cats are weak at is perimeter d (IU) and MSU is right behind IU in 3pt% (may have passed them by now). Plus UK would look over the Racers and then MSU could sneak in like they did against Vandy 2 years ago. To be honest I would take Canaan as my pt guard over Teague right now!

  44. FurdTurgason
    9:18 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Teague has made 22 of his last 26. I hope he gets a couple of chances to seal the deal in SEC play, just like Knight had a couple of chances to win games last year and it paid off come tournament time.

  45. thedenimthatsinem
    9:38 am January 17, 2012 Permalink
    Saw this today and made me laugh, kind of looks legit!

  46. BBN
    9:47 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I thought Louisville was going undefeated Chane? Haha I love it!

  47. PittDaddy
    9:52 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    I got a feeling TJ is going to say his pinkie is not 100% until he has 2-3 good games in a row. Then the first bad game his pinkie will be hurt again. I like the kid but come on.

  48. NashvilleCat
    10:09 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Am I missing something here??? I can’t remember Darius Miller missing a free throw late, but Marquis Teague? UNC. I want Miller on the line late, and he wants to be there.

  49. you can call me cal
    10:10 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Good stuff overall until the dig about child molestation… That sh*t just ain’t funny.

  50. cristoforouk
    10:18 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    41 – I am the same way. I want Teague to be great and be that clutch player, but he hasn’t proven it yet. Other guys have.

  51. Calipari'sInYourEar
    10:25 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    #44 – FurdTurgason – You said, “Teague has made 22 of his last 26”

    That is correct, the last 7 games. However, in the 1st 11 games of the season he shot 55.5% (15/27).

    If he could only improve his clutch percentage I’d be on board.

  52. Mark
    10:35 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Teammates yell at each other all the time. Yet, for some reason, our fans always turn it into a chemistry problem. So old and annoying at this point.

  53. Mark
    10:37 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Al Gore invented All Cats Everything.

  54. Who have they Beaten?
    11:19 am January 17, 2012 Permalink

    They beat Dayton. Dayton has a nice squad too. They have beaten a couple of SEC teams, Wake Forest, and another BCS school I think.

    Besides, Murray State has more quality road wins than UK/Louisville/Duke combined. 🙂

    Just sayin’.

  55. NBA league pass
    12:40 pm January 17, 2012 Permalink

    Personally, I think Lamb has a better stroke than MKG and would prefer him on the line at the end. I know he’s missed a couple, but still, I’ll play the percentages.

    Miller would be my #2.