Back in the fall of 2012, I started a feature called “KSR Trend Watch” in which I charted all the latest trends in UK sports. For some reason, that feature fell by the wayside (probably our depression over going to the NIT), but with an exciting new basketball team and a football team that’s going bowling (definitely, probably, maybe), it’s time to resurrect it. Join me as I break down what’s hot and what’s not this week in UK sports.
ðŸ“ˆ Rising faster than Nashville hotel prices for the SEC Tournament
De’Aaron Fox, Isaiah Briscoe, and Malik Monk combined for 56 of Kentucky’s 69 points vs. Michigan State. Each brings an unique trait to the Cats’ backcourt; Fox’s speed, Briscoe’s ability to get to the rim, and Monk’s ability to light it up from the outside make Kentucky an incredibly formidable foe, and it’s only November. If they’re this good now, can you imagine what they’ll be in March?
Between Kentucky’s performance Tuesday night and his book coming out this week, Swaggy Cal has been in full effect. I feel like Cal’s been on every cable news show this week, maximizing the opportunity to tout the program’s achievements (28 draft picks in 7 years! Anthony Davis took the fourth most shots! Karl Towns the fifth most shots!). He’s feeling good right now, and it shows.
Edrick Floreal’s program got a huge boost this week with the news that Olympian Sydney McLaughlin will continue her track career at Kentucky. Not only will McLaughlin give Kentucky’s track program a huge boost talent wise, she’s a superstar on social media, sending UK’s cred waaay up. Five-star small forward Jarred Vanderbilt’s already taking notice:
If Kentucky can’t beat an 0-10 Austin Peay team to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010, we truly are cursed.
The people spoke, so we brought back the live blog for basketball games this season and so far, it’s been grand; however, we still CoverItLive lots of money, so enjoy it while it lasts!
Also, Seriously, if you’re out there, please come back. We miss your GIFs.
When I heard Rex Chapman was taking Oscar Combs’ spot on the official UK Pregame Show, I was skeptical, but so far, he’s been great. From his hot takes on Kentucky’s play (calling Derek “Erek” becuase he wasn’t playing defense) to his jokes about Buzz Baker’s ears that leave Buzz laughing like a mad man, the Countdown to Tipoff is once again part of my pregame routine.
ðŸ“‰ Falling faster than Kentucky in the SEC East race
For the second time this season, Kentucky was outrebounded on Tuesday night. Even though the Cats beat the Spartans by 21 points, they lost the battle of the boards 44-40. A lot of that falls on Bam Adebayo, Isaac Humphries, and Derek Willis, none of which average more than 5.7 rebounds per game. Also, if there’s one thing that draws Calipari’s ire, it’s a one-handed rebounds, and there have been WAY too many of those so far. Yes, it’s early, and fouls have been an issue, especially for Bam, but Kentucky’s guards can’t bail the big men out forever.
Sunday games are one thing, but a Sunday 9 p.m. game?! Wednesday 1 p.m.? Friday-Sunday Friday-Sunday? Aaaagh! At the risk of sounding like that spoiled Kentucky basketball fan, some of the scheduling has been less than ideal this season. I’m actually looking forward to conference play when the times get back to normal.
(Love you, Dewayne Peevy!)
Regardless of which side you’re on politically, odds are there will be someone at your Thanksgiving dinner who’s on the other. The hostility in this country has reached a fever pitch in the last week, making it impossible to mention anything without someone interpreting it as a dig at Trump or Hillary (I’m looking at you, comments section). Here’s hoping we can all put that aside at the Thanksgiving table next week, or, if not, that there’s enough wine and decent football on TV to cope.
Just when we were getting used to the white basketball uniforms, here came the blue ones with that jarring checkerboard on the sides. Somewhere in horse heaven, Secretariat is very flattered, but our basketball team is a set of riding crops, goggles, and boots from being a literal tribute to a horse. I actually don’t mind the checkerboard in small doses (two rows would be so much better than four), but here’s hoping UK switches to a new special edition Nike uni in conference play.
Because no one’s ever topping this one by a very, very good dog:
Athletic teams, offices, and crossfit gyms, I beg you: let’s not run this into the ground like we did the Harlem Shake.
SEC Network games mean lots and lots of Belk commercials, the most annoying of which has to be the one starring Jim McElwain. I mean, just look at this crap:
McElwain’s face when he dusts off his shoulder in that members only jacket sends me over the edge every time. It’s a wonder I haven’t punched my TV set yet. Thankfully, the one with Bret Bielema is getting more air time now and it’s not AS bad, but if Belk keeps this up, we may need to drive to Charlotte and rescue Sara Walsh.
ðŸ† TREND OF THE WEEK ðŸ†: The story behind Bam’s nickname
If you’ve heard it once on a game broadcast this season, you’ve heard it a million times: Bam Adebayo got his nickname from his mother after he picked up a coffee table while watching “The Flintstones” when he was one year old. That fun fact is this season’s “Willie Cauley-Stein played football” and “Heshimu means Warrior.” Thankfully, it’s an adorable story, but get ready to hear it A LOT this year.