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Leftovers From Last Night’s Win Over Mizzou

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The abnormally late conclusion of last night’s basketball game kept us at the KSR office past our usual bedtimes, and caused us to hurry through our post-game coverage here on the website. So this morning, as I drink my fifth coffee since getting up at 4 am to watch the Australian Open, I’ll run through more observations and newsworthy tidbits from the Cats’ 88-54 win over Mizzou.

Oh, and good morning, everyone.


Tyler Ulis crossed the 20-point, five-assist plateau AGAIN.

Early last week I wrote that Tyler Ulis has the most 20-point, five-assist games in the last 20 years of Kentucky basketball. He extended that lead on Ramel Bradley, Keith Bogans and John Wall last night with yet another 20-and-5 performance, his seventh in the last nine games. Ulis finished with 20 points and eight assists against Mizzou in a season-low 29 minutes of action.

John Calipari said, “Tyler was ridiculous.”

Derek Willis had a career-high 18 points, but wanted more for that special lady in his life.

Willis has been extremely open about his girlfriend; he has mentioned her several times in interviews and on social media, and even has her birthday tattooed on his body. So it shouldn’t be all that surprising to hear he was disappointed his last three-pointer didn’t fall because it would’ve given him 21 points for his girlfriend’s 21st birthday.

Still, his 18 points marked a career high and he matched his career high with 12 rebounds. It was the second double-double of his career as he continued his outstanding play as the new member of Kentucky’s starting frontcourt.

Calipari credits Willis with changing the entire team.

This woman sitting courtside with an empty chair for her dear friend will tug on your heart-strings.

As Jerry Tipton reported on Twitter, Selma Conrad sat next to an empty chair for her late friend, Judy Owens. Selma sat a couple of seats down from me and I couldn’t stop watching her throughout the game. I got a little teary-eyed thinking about their friendship and the very cool gesture by Selma to honor her friend, who I’m sure was looking down with a smile, enjoying the game.

Oh man, my heart.

The team still misses Dominique Hawkins.

As he has done after most games since losing Dominique Hawkins to a high-ankle sprain, Calipari made sure to let us know he misses Hawkins in his rotation. Last night he said, “We need Dom back — if Dom does what I think, there will be a couple other guys in positions where they’re not going to get many minutes.”

Hawkins re-injured that ankle in practice last week and it’s uncertain when he will be able to return.

Skal Labissiere must rebound and defend.

Big night for Labissiere in the scoring column, which is great to see, but it’s not enough. The Cats need him to play defense and crash the boards, and he is still struggling in those two aspects of the game.

He did have a career-high five blocks to lead the team in its best shot-blocking game of the season, but he somehow missed out on grabbing a single rebound in 18 minutes.

Cal wonders if he’ll be able to play Labissiere against Kansas if Labissiere isn’t rebounding and guarding his man: “What if he can’t rebound in that game? Can I leave him in the game? You know I can’t. That’s what I just said to him. Kid, we’re playing a team. If you can’t guard their big guy, and you can’t get a rebound, I can’t leave you in the game. I love you, come and stay with me tonight, but you can’t play in that game.”

That concern is why he saw limited action against Vanderbilt. Gotta be able to D up.

Nice showing against Missouri offensively, though.

“Isaiah is the best defensive guard and rebounding guard in the country.”

High praise from Calipari in his postgame press conference for Isaiah Briscoe.


Enjoy these highlights from the game…

Thank you, Kentucky Wildcats TV.

What was Nerlens Noel doing in Philadelphia?

That’s one way to send Andre Drummond to the line.


Plenty more coming throughout the day, including Ryan Lemond’s halfcourt shot and a prancing referee, so stick around…

Article written by Drew Franklin

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

11 Comments for Leftovers From Last Night’s Win Over Mizzou

  1. yarg
    9:20 am January 28, 2016 Permalink

    Listen, there aren’t many opportunities for 6′ 11″ dudes to get piggy-back rides, so when you get your shot, you don’t hesitate to take it.

  2. UK Big Board Update
    9:23 am January 28, 2016 Permalink

    Girlfriends birthday tattoo? That’s so Bullitt County.

  3. Bobbum Man
    9:31 am January 28, 2016 Permalink

    I think for one game or for some practices or whatever, he needs to tell skal to not worry about blocking shots, don’t even attempt to block one unless the guy is literally coming straight at him and he’s the only person back. He gets himself so out of position always wanting to go for the block even when there’s no chance. Granted he did a great job last night, but get him in the habit of looking to box out more. He’s always looking for the block and then gets out of position and it’s too easy to keep him out of position, he needs to focus on staying in front of his man, 0 rebounds is insane but the kid played very good and I loved seeing a little emotion of him. Baby steps

    • Blazers98
      12:27 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

      Agree, but blocking shots is defensive end. No excuse for 0 rebounds on offensive end

    • Cals Hoverboard
      1:24 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

      Good point Bobbum. With Skal trying to make every block on the defensive end (and getting in poor rebound position doing so) and then hanging around the free throw line as a shooter on the offensive end, no damn wonder he gets 0 rebounds. There’s definitely a trade off there. I’m all for getting the guys confidence up but……

  4. Bluebloodtoo
    10:23 am January 28, 2016 Permalink

    Noel – His coach told him in the timeout to make absolutely sure that his guy didn’t get the rebound (and the piggy back ride comment above).

  5. sckysportsink
    12:24 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

    Is it true that Isaiah went over to Cal after hitting that fifth free throw and asked him if Cal wanted him to shoot any technical free throws should UK get them?

  6. DoubleBlue
    3:32 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

    Nerlens Noel had to foul Andre (he’s the worst ft shooter on the Pistons), and since the NBA rules say you can’t foul intentionally in the last two minutes, I guess this made it…unintentional?? (I’m from Michigan, so I was watching it live, and I nearly spat my root beer out my nostrils when I saw it happen)

  7. millertime98
    4:21 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

    I’m from Michigan and that’s so Michigan

  8. msnthrop
    4:42 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink

    This kind of intentional foul in the NBA should be rewarded with an instant ejection.

    • UK Big Board Update
      6:02 pm January 28, 2016 Permalink