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Wiltjer: “I’m proud of the guys for stepping up.”


“Nerlens, tell me a little about your shot blocking…”

Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer were all smiles after Kentucky’s big win after Ole Miss, especially after a Mississippi reporter mistook Alex for Nerlens Noel and asked him a question about his shot blocking, causing the entire media room to erupt in laughter (and Kyle to say “Good job, Nerlens” to Alex on the way out). Kyle called the Cats’ performance a “great team win” that was a result of the team’s unselfishness and stops at crucial times: “I’m proud of the guys for stepping up, because this is a huge step for us in the right direction.”

Cal said the Cats “played slower today than we have all year and scored more points,” which was the key to victory. When asked if this was the “best version” of this team he’s seen thus far, Cal said we’ve seen this version of the Cats in spurts all season, but that “our thing is way out ahead of us still,” and reminded the media what happened after Kentucky’s promising win over Auburn a few weeks ago. Simply put, Cal is trying to temper expectations following the win until his players back it up with another good performance.

Raise your hand if you’re smiling.

Thought so.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

46 Comments for Wiltjer: “I’m proud of the guys for stepping up.”



  1. Syrin
    12:12 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    IF, and this is a HUGE if I know, we can get more consistent play from Harrow and Goodwin, and Poyhtress continues what he’s done for two games now, this team could be VERY dangerous in a year where there is no dominant team.



  2. In Cal We Trust
    12:14 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    I also like adding the role that WCS can add to this team.



  3. UK#1
    12:14 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    BEAST!!!



  4. The Blue Goose
    12:15 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    It’s hard to type one-handed.



  5. Not Jerry Tipton
    12:15 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    I accidentally mistook Alex for Nerlens! Who cares? Cal mistook Orange Leaf for Pooped Ice Cream!



  6. one n done
    12:16 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    well said people, well said!…



  7. Catfan24
    12:18 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Hand up!!!!! :-)))
    Swagger 4.0 installed. Keep having fun UK!!!



  8. Sleepy Dude
    12:18 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    My left nut is asleep.



  9. henry earl
    12:19 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    does any one have a screen grab of kyle pointing at the crowd?



  10. J
    12:20 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Big YMCA is now known as White & Awesome in my house…Dude has stepped up and playing really good ball. You have to give Noel props for the game he played tonight, even with foul trouble he didn’t roll over and he still played his ass off. Great win guys!!!



  11. Han
    12:21 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    So did Cal send out Poythress to keep Noel from getting a big head from all the praise he’d get for the blocks, or was Noel just exhausted?



  12. Han
    12:22 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Remember the Archie dunk and scream that was followed by a Noel block and a 3 for UK? Seems like it got the team fired up like Cal wanted. Archie misses a lot of those contested layups, including another dunk attempt where he got fouled, but he really threw the one down in traffic.



  13. RealCatsFan
    12:22 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    I absolutely LOVE seeing that big smile on Alex’s face!



  14. Garrett
    12:23 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Great team effort tonight. The sky’s the limit when we play like that.



  15. RealCatsFan
    12:24 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    So, how big will it be for us having Kyle back next year to add stability to the group of super freshmen we will have coming in?



  16. Turkey
    12:24 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Matt, what’s the #HUTCHERSON equivalent to a block? Nerlens deserves it.



  17. Logan
    12:26 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    NIGHT POST! NIGHT POST! NIGHT POST!



  18. Lisa from the Burg
    12:28 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Watched the game in Long Beach California with some colleagues from Portland and I completely enjoyed the game. Overall comments were we are coming into our own despite the critics but don’t count on any chance of a decent seed. The establishment is a force againist Cal’s One and Done and of course Kentucky. Go Big Blue! Totally enjoyable game in……. Thank you boys!



  19. HeshimuEvans'2ndGradeTeacher
    12:29 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    What was up with Noel’s hair? It looked like the bottom half of the K was missing. I somehow got 3 fouls tonight. SEC refs are the worst.



  20. SKat
    12:31 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    This picture is priceless. Makes me smile to see them smiling. Who knew Alex could smile?



  21. Lisa from the Burg
    12:32 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    my earlier comment is awaiting moderation. 🙂



  22. SKat
    12:34 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    15: Maybe more than Kyle staying another year. We will definitely have some depth and more raw talent from the freshmen. Except for Nerlen’s Knight Who Says “Nee!” in the middle.



  23. SCCat
    12:35 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Can we get a pic or screen shot of Wiltjer talking to the crowd



  24. SKat
    12:36 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Game is available for instant replay on ESPN. I’m replaying the second half.



  25. Brad
    12:39 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Portland



  26. Culver
    12:39 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    “unselfishness”…that says it all.



  27. Jonathan cooksey
    12:50 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Before the game, Seth Greenberg said Kentucky needed to hold ole miss to 60 points to win, but he was unsure UK could score 65. I new between him and the native talking smack, UK would win. ESPN has some real Vegas insiders. Oh yea, I almost forgot Ole Miss is a FRAUD!!!!!!!!’



  28. SCCat
    12:53 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    #26 you are right the ESPN pre-game was crap and the highlights after made it seem like Ole Miss won



  29. otis
    12:56 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    And they did this without one of the starters. Cant wait to see what they will look like when WCS is back.



  30. bill
    12:56 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Only 1 second half turnover and harrows 3 was huge



  31. Calling from Los Angeles
    12:57 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    LOS ANGELES



  32. Tennesse Wildcat
    1:08 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Those “spurts of consistency” hopefully will continue. Way to go, Cats! I am very proud of the boys for a hard fought victory tonight.



  33. KD
    1:13 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    This is KYLE’s TEAM!!!!



  34. erryday
    1:21 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    CAN WE GET A GIF OF THAT VICIOUS PICK WILTJER PUT ON HENDERSON?! you know, th pick and roll play with polson where Henderson caught. Wiltjers elbow to the face and wiltjer slammed one home?



  35. Wooooooo
    1:25 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    The BIGGEST factor in this game is Cal finally figured out what we all figured out 3 games ago and he started Kyle in the second half. We didn’t lose the start of the 2nd half and it was a game changer.



  36. SeaCat
    1:25 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Cal is a man of courage
    He was not afraid to play
    Noel with 4 fouls!!!
    It worked!



  37. kyjim
    1:26 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    great game but free throws will kill us in aclose game



  38. SKat
    1:32 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    37: This wasn’t a close game? We pushed the lead out at the end with free throws.



  39. Linda Taylor
    1:43 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    The best thing about this game for me was seeing our guys dig deep after the Ole Miss 16-0 run and fight back for the win. This was one CRAZY game with all the early fouls, missed free throws, runs back and forth, etc., but our guys fought through it all for a great win. Nerlens is a Thoroughbred. He is all heart. Kyle is growing into a leader. Archie and Alex are both improving. Harrow hit that huge 3 when it was needed most. Hopefully the forward progress will continue Sat. in Texas. I am so proud that our guys fought back when they were collared down the stretch and opened up daylight again to the finish line.



  40. uktrackstar
    1:56 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Great, great win for the good guys.
    NN is literally from another planet with his mad skills.
    KW really looked poised all over the court.
    AG, AP and RH all very solid and we got super-solid minutes from JP and JH. That was good to see.
    On the other hand, Henderson is NOT as good as advertised. Not nearly.
    He is a whiner and, worst of all, he flops every time someone is within three feet. They can have him and his immature game and antics.
    He didn’t have much to say tonight, HA! Way to shut him up, men.
    Did I mention NN re-invented the term B E A S T?



  41. Cotton Mash
    4:42 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    What #35 said and don’t forget… “our thing is way out ahead of us still”



  42. tdr76
    6:40 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Great job CATS!!! Now you see how you have to play to win on he road.



  43. Warren Oate
    7:04 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    Don’t forget Polson.The guy gave us solid minutes off the bench.



  44. Debbie downer
    7:07 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    We blew a 17 point lead like it was nothin…. Should have been a blowout



  45. fatkidineastky
    8:22 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    I truly believe that we played better with Wiltjer and Polson instead of Mayes and Harrow. The lineup takes away the chance of stupid play and deserves more time on court to add “stability” when things get haywire…..and then throw Hood in for a couple of minutes. These guys together on the court are woefully unathletic..but substantially more stable



  46. Dirty Water
    9:18 am January 30, 2013 Permalink

    40- took the words right out of my mouth about Henderson. Crazy to see someone talk so much sh*t and act hard but then flop repeatedly. The fact that he acted like a li’l b*tch because we made him a non-factor really shows his true colors. Great game from the boys in blue, hope they ride the momentum through their stay in TX and pull out a convincing win against a team they should’ve destroyed in Rupp.