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Tyrann Mathieu’s Friday News and Views

Am I the only one who is tired of hearing everyone refer to this guy as the “Honey Badger” instead of his real name, Tyrann Mathieu? I understand it’s a nickname, and even one that he fully embraces. At this point though, i think it’s a little played out. Considering the amount of issues Tyrann Mathieu is now facing, which seem to continue to pile on just when you think the worst has passed, I’m going to call him by his given name. Yesterday, Tyrann Mathieu was a young man who had journeyed down the wrong path, but appeared to be making the necessary steps to get back on track. Mathieu had re-enrolled in classes at LSU following his dismissal from the team for previous failed drug tests. Yesterday Mathieu was on track to re-join the LSU football team for the 2013 season–which considering what a tremendous talent he was on the defensive end– was very good for his future. Today, Tyrann Mathieu was arrested on drug-related offenses. Considering what Mathieu already had on the line, and a rare second chance looming, the misstep might be the final straw– at least when it comes to his collegiate career. Even worse, it might signify much bigger issues for the young man.

One of the other guilty parties in the arrest, which concluded with police finding a marijauna grinder, digital scale and 10 bags of high grade marijuana, was former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson. I made the case earlier tonight on KSR for UK-related “30 for 30” film ideas. At this point, the former All-American cornerback, Tyrann Mathieu, is certainly making a case for the “what could have been” type of “30 for 30” documentary.


And now on to the news from the day…

— Is it just me or is life a little bit better when you wake up following a UK basketball game? I know it was just a scrimmage, but Kentucky basketball season has finally arrived. Much of the talk today across the state centered around first impressions based off of the scrimmage–which in and of itself, “first impressions based off of a scrimmage” are hardly fair. That didn’t stop anyone though from salivating about the high points, and trying not to read too much into the low points.

— Overreactions are easy to come by following Blue/White games. Last year, Terrence Jones scored what felt like a million points. And while we had a great season, the offensive explosion was a bit deceiving. A wise coach once told me, “you’re never as good as you think you are, but you’re also never as bad as you think you are. The truth is somewhere in the middle.” I think those words perfectly sum up this Kentucky basketball team at the moment. The national media has Kentucky pegged as a top 3 team in the country, a national title contender before stepping foot on the court. That’s probably not where this team is right now. But John Calipari would have you believing that this team was still working on tying their shoes. He’s underselling his young team, and rightfully so… because they are that young and that inexperienced. The truth is, this team is probably not as lost as he made them sound at times during his post-game comments.

— If I were to sum up all of the reactions from today for each player, it would go a little something like this:

Nerlens Noel: Has a long way to go offensively, but showed signs as to why he feels confident he can break Anthony Davis’ single-season block record at Kentucky.

Jon Hood: His performance gave people a reason to talk about him breaking into the rotation for this Kentucky team. Up until last night, Hood had been almost an afterthought in the rotation discussions.

Jarrod Polson: Handsome. Looks the part of a player who has been in Calipari’s system for multiple years now. Once again left fans with the age old question, “will Jarrod Polson get some minutes this season?”  I think people have stopped yelling “shoooooooooot” now.

Tod Lanter: Shoooooooooooot.

Archie Goodwin: Although Calipari made it known that he wasn’t pleased with at least one big decision Goodwin made (forgoing a player ahead of him on a fast break to finish for himself), Goodwin seemed to take the criticism in stride and agreed with his coach’s evaluation. If Goodwin wasn’t in the conversation to lead this team in scoring heading into last night, he is now.

Twany Beckham: Get well soon! Seriously though, the young man appeared to be hobbled by an apparent back injury. Hopefully Beckham can get back to 100% soon.

Ryan Harrow: Harrow seems primed to fill the shoes of  both Marquis Teague and Brandon Knight early in the season. And by that I mean, he will take his knocks for his point guard play early. His potential showed in the final 10 minutes when he began to show glimpses into his abilities. If Calipari does what he does best, like he has for the past 3 years at Kentucky, Harrow will transform into a more than formidable point guard by the time the SEC tournament rolls around.

Willie Cauley-Stein: If anyone was curious as to whether or not Calipari was blowing smoke about how good WCS is, and how pleasantly surprised he was by him, I think Cauley-Stein erased any lingering doubt last night. Cauley-Stein seemed to impress the masses more than his big man teammate, Nerlens Noel. Cauley-Stein started the night on the “reserves” squad, and many were ready to slide him over to the “starters” side by halftime. How great will it be to see these 2 out on the court together though?


Alex Poythress: “Courage doesn’t always roar.” Poythress himself pumped this motto for himself over the summer. He was quiet for large spells last night, but when he decided to turn it on– he really turned it on. Poythress doesn’t seem to understand just how good he is yet. It will be scary when he does.

Kyle Wiltjer: He can easily blow up for 20 points a night on any given night. Unfortunately, it seems like whoever he is guarding on defense could put up the same numbers. Calipari mentioned in his post-game comments that Wiltjer has to find ways to bring other aspects of the game to the court, to add more value than simply shooting to this team. My favorite suggestion though (based on his “old school”/silky smooth moves) came from the KSR Live Blog. Someone suggested that the band play “YMCA” every time Wiltjer hit a basket. Wiltjer’s game in unconventional, but it works. And it was working nicely in stretches on the offensive end last night.

Julius Mays: He’s the old man on the team, and he looked the part. Mays seemed to be confident with the ball in his hand and did not shy away from taking (and making) shots. Early on in the game, when many of the younger guys seemed out of sorts– Mays was a calming influence and his team took the early lead under his cool/calm/collected play. I think Mays might quickly become a fan favorite.

John Robic: Absolutely LOVED the Brad Pitt Halloween costume. Very, very clever.

— Moving on to the other big news of the day, Andrew Wiggins’ father said that Andrew will be reclassifying to the class of 2013. Wiggins immediately moved into the #1 slot for the 2013 class after spending the last few years at the #1 spot in the 2014 class. The move means that if Wiggins, who recently asked other schools to join in his recruitment process, picks Kentucky they will have what nearly everyone is already calling the “best class ever.”

— Wiggins’ father had the following to say to USA Today about his son’s decision:

“It’s time for him to show that he is the best in college right now. I think he is ready for the next step. Academically-wise he is doing great. Maturity-wise he is doing great. He has a lot of talent. He is ready for the next step, and everybody knows it is time. It’s Andrew’s time. Next year is coming soon, and he is ready.”

— The SEC held it’s annual basketball media day event today, and there was no shortage of interesting sound bites. The main take away from the day: Billy Donovan is 50 shades of bitter. Donovan doesn’t like the Kentucky All-Access series and instead of just canceling it on his DVR, he complained about it at media day. “If you’re using it as a recruiting tool, I don’t think that is right.” I’m not sure why someone didn’t remind him of a different kind of tool he used in recruiting: Richard Pitino.

— I suppose if Donovan and any other coaches want to raise a stink about the All-Access show being beneficiary to Cal’s recruiting strategy, Calipari will just have to rely on his fallback recruiting tools: putting players in the NBA draft and winning national titles. Yeah, that’ll slow him down.

— For Calipari’s part, he’s far from unaware about the reaction the All-Access thing has elicited from other coaches and media members. “Everybody’s going to be mad, I know. Did I do it just because of that to aggravate people? Might have.” 

— Billy Donovan also gave a strong statement in support of Tennessee being the toughest team in the SEC at this point. “The team that stands out to me more than anybody, having it all right now, is Tennessee. They’re the best team right now, in my opinion.” The Vols were picked to finish 4th by the rest of the SEC coaches, though they return 4 starters from a team that finished strong last year.

— In case the basketball hysteria had pushed football to the back of your mind, don’t forget that Kentucky has a game on the road this weekend against Missouri. Missouri has struggled in its SEC debut this season, but will look to right the ship for Homecoming against Kentucky. Missouri was one of the first schools to begin the idea of “Homecoming,” so the sense of pride and motivation to win in what promises to be a tough road environment, makes the challenge in front of Kentucky a bit tougher. Missouri is without the services of their starting quarterback though. So there’s always that. Oh wait, we’ve been without our starting quarterback almost all season. Such is life.

— Injury report: The entire secondary will travel to Missouri, but the decisions will all be made at game time. OG Zach West practiced some today, but Joker seemed iffy on whether or not he would play on Saturday.

— Jalen Whitlow and Patrick Towles will enter the game with a similar rotation plan to the one they had against Mississippi State. At this point, it looks as if both young quarterbacks will take snaps for the Cats on Saturday.

— Changing gears, we all know that Eric Bledsoe had a monster night in the NBA last night– flirting with a triple-double (why does it always feel right to use “flirting with a triple-double” when someone comes close?). Don’t sleep on Darius Miller though. Miller is already impressing in New Orleans, making a case for a spot in the starting line-up. Yes, Darius Miller– second round draft pick, making a case for himself in the starting line-up. One Hornets writer gave this glowing review of Miller’s play:

“Darius Miller is an NBA player and deserves major minutes on this team right away. There are 30-45 minutes available in Monty’s rotation … it is painfully clear that Darius Miller gives the Hornets the best chance to win.”

— One last Eric Bledsoe note. John Calipari tweeted that he talked to Bledsoe following his 22 point, 11 assist and 9 steal performance. “I also talked to Eric Bledsoe and asked him why he didn’t get that last steal for the triple double. He said, ‘you know I was trying.’ Love my guys.”

— In non-related UK college basketball news, UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad found out that he will have to miss 2-4 weeks for a shoulder injury.

Congratulations to the UK women’s soccer team for their 3-0 senior night win against Vanderbilt tonight. The team extends their current win streak to 5, with the SEC tournament just around the corner.

— And last but not least, UK set a new school record for graduation rates. UK student-athletes have either tied or broken the record in each of the 8 years the GSR (Graduation Success Rate) has existed. An impressive 79% of student-athletes graduated. “I’m proud to see another graduation record set by our student-athletes,” Mitch Barnhart said glowingly. “Most young people will not have the opportunity to play professionally* and graduation is an important component to their future success.”

*Unless they play for John Calipari.


Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

42 Comments for Tyrann Mathieu’s Friday News and Views

  1. Uneeda Bird
    11:24 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    Billy D may be right. This may help Cal in recruiting. I notice he has been having a little problem there lately.

  2. STEVE!
    11:31 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    Billy D, are you talking about that tough Tennessee team that finished strong last year by losing on their home court in the NIT to Middle Tennessee?

  3. Big Blue 66
    11:31 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    dear Billy D, if you use Brett Bearup to launder the money for extra benefits and european basketball trips with an emphasis on recruiting, everyone thinks its wrong. so STFU eddie munster lookin bastard

  4. Carl
    11:32 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    Best line I’ve read on here in a long time: ” I’m not sure why someone didn’t remind him of a different kind of tool he used in recruiting: Richard Pitino.”

  5. njCat
    11:37 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    Bledsoe wasn’t the only former Cat that played well last night. Terrence Jones, Darius Miller and Anthony Davis all looked great as well. It was more than weird watching T Jones go against Anthony Davis. He looked much stronger and actually outplayed AD in the second half. Very happy to see him do well.

    What a night for KY basketball though.. All Access, Blue/White game and 2 NBA games featuring former Cats.

  6. bgblue
    11:42 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    Enes Scored 21 points, Lamb 12 points

  7. georgetownluke
    11:45 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    This is another example why those who campaign for Mitch Barnhart’s dismissal are bound to be frustrated. Having a graduation rate of 79% for student-athletes is indeed a standard to be proud of. I love pulling for talented teams on the field but I take even more pride in pulling for a program with character and values that show up in life and the classroom for the student athletes.

  8. Badams
    11:46 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    I watched Bledsoe last night and it made me miss him very much…even though he sometimes looked like the Bledsoe that drove us all nuts when he’d drive and turn it over. But, I forgot how fast he is, one of the fastest guys in the league. He keeps this up he will be trade bait. Love seeing these former Cats tearin it up.

  9. MG
    11:49 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    “One of the other guilty parties in the arrest, was former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson.”
    So they’re already guilty, huh?

  10. Good For Darius
    11:58 pm October 25, 2012 Permalink

    This from the comments section of the above linked NOLA article:

    “…We really lucked out landing Miller in the second round thanks to [Anthony] Davis’ constant chimming to Demps about how good this kid really was.”

  11. Fake Kermit
    1:17 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    great evening post. always appreciate your Ally!

  12. SeaCat
    1:29 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Ally rocks my rox!
    Ally Twain forever!

  13. Ricky P
    1:41 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    My boy Billy D sure has turned into a bitter tool. I’m so proud.

  14. capt
    2:08 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    9. exactly! Also, who cares? It’s not like it was meth or crack, or hell…even tequila. It was just pot.

  15. kingrex
    4:26 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    I cannot believe the Hawks took the kid from Vandy over Miller! *screams*

  16. Tim
    4:48 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Ally if bangin some guy at ksr cause her stuff sucks

  17. Dave in Bangkok
    4:51 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    “you’re never as good as you think you are, but you’re also never as bad as you think you are. The truth is somewhere in the middle.”

    That sounds like something stupid that Tubby would have said.

    It’s a contradiction.

    I’m sure Lebron James and Michael Jordan are/were never as good as they thought that they were.

    Pls stop retreading these defeatist Tubby sayings. That guy sucked balls then and sucks balls now.

  18. Dave in Bangkok
    4:52 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Marijuana should be LEGAL!

  19. Bob Day
    5:06 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    What’s up, Ally? Do these guys around KSR give you all of the hard work?

  20. Tim
    5:34 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Yea she’s doing more than writin this crap if she’s still on

  21. Bob
    5:43 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Omg Bledsoe’s English/grammar/accent has improved so so so much since his time at UK. You can tell he has worked really hard on it and probably has had a lot of training….proud of that kid.

  22. Joe
    5:44 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    UK has plenty of schollies. Let’s get Aaron Gordon and Wiggins. I don’t know if we will get Randle now. He seems a little fearful of playing around too much talent. Otherwise he would have already committed.

  23. Big Whoop
    6:07 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    I love Bledsoe. Playing in the shadow of John Wall here made him the sleeper of the NBA Draft. I am so pleased that he’s really beginning to shine.

  24. DirtyDutchMantel
    6:22 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Teague is the biggest winner of Cal being at uk. The hype got him drafted in the first round. Now he is about to be sent to the d league. The kid should have been at least a three year college player. I’ve seen him play a couple times, he looks awful. He is the third or fourth string pg for the bulls now. I loved watching teague play here, but he is no nba point guard right now. Teague should give Cal part of his salary.

  25. Wisconsin
    6:31 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Mr. Donovan, we would be happy to send a shipment of our prime Wisconsin cheddar to go along with your whine…

  26. RealCatsFan
    6:34 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Geesh, sounds like a few members of the peanut gallery have an axe to grind with Ms Tucker. I actually thought this was one of the better posts on here in a while. Especially liked the line about Billy D’s “different kind of tool”. My question – which tool was he using, the big one or the little one?

  27. I'm Batman
    6:43 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    I find it funny that people are complaining about wiltjer’s defense while also praising hood. Wiltjer won’t be guarding people like hood and hood won’t be guarded by wiltjer. I guess people just keep repeating what Matt says when he tells people wiltjer will play the 3 and poythress will play the 4. Let’s get some real basketball analysis going.

  28. bleaker
    7:25 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    KSR is the king of summary posts. More recaps than chancres in Ricky p’s schlong.

  29. snoopaloop
    7:52 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    John Robic = Nick Nolte

  30. Some Guy in Kentucky
    7:59 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Fox South is replaying the Blue-White game at 8pm-10pm est friday.

  31. Larry
    8:08 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    How bout Bledsoe. He has definitely come out if his shell since his time here. He use to be real shy with the camera relative to Wall and Cousins but he takes a backseat to no body now. Watch out for this guy.

  32. Tired of Being 1 of 12 games
    8:15 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Why would UK coaches tell Missouri that Towles is going to play, so they can practice for him also?

  33. lalablue
    8:23 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    “Stupid is as stupid does” goes out to some of the commenters on KSR. Why read it if you only want to criticize? Oh yeah, some people can’t feel good about themselves unless they’re trying to make others feel bad. Good post Ally.

  34. I Say
    8:42 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, great post. #22 “Otherwise he would have already committed.” … What are you basing this off of? If I had five visits to take to any school in the country you can best believe I would be taking all five of them before I pledge to one of them.

  35. JaredCarterIsMyHomeboy
    8:49 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Decriminalize marijuana.

  36. Fred
    8:54 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Cal talked to Bledsoe after the SEC media days at a luncheon held by the B’ham alumni group. Bledsoe’s grandmother was there with other family members and Cal made a point to go over and say hello, and later got a picture with them. Cal mentioned her as well as developing relationships with the players and their families during his speech. Afterward, while Cal was signing autographs, Eric called in – when Cal heard he was on the phone he tells the crowd “Hang on guys, I gotta take this call.” Family…

  37. Dr Mantis Taboggin
    9:21 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    #24 Teague is a bum. My least favorite and most overrated Wildcat of the Calipari era. My personal least favorite since Saul Smith. The kid wasn’t smart, never wanted to listen and seemed to play at half the speed / ability he possessed. He did enough for us to win and I agree with you that he should give Coach a cut because he has no business in the pros.

  38. fish on
    9:26 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    when people mention coach cal’s long line of 1 and done point guards-…rose, wall,knight, etc, bledsoe isnt mentioned very often. and he def deserves to be. nba pt guard job vacancies are quickly being filled by kentucky players! and its not stopping any time soon!

  39. Brent
    9:46 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    “Calipari will just have to rely on his fallback recruiting tools: putting players in the NBA draft and winning national titles”


  40. timer
    9:58 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll always love Teague for the way he dumped on Petino.

  41. RealCatsFan
    10:00 am October 26, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t worry Brent – that will be corrected within the next few years.

  42. Honey Badger
    8:33 am October 27, 2012 Permalink

    I shoulda went to Oregon and none of this would have even happened. #Legalise