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Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Today on KSR: The mourning after

The day after the final loss is always hard. For me personally, I grew to really love this team, which made yesterday both frustrating and heartbreaking. Given the adversity they faced with injuries to PJ Washington and Reid Travis, it’s impressive they made it to the Elite Eight. On the other hand, they blew an 11-point lead to Auburn and could have won it all had they not.

If you believe in destiny, this group had a good case, with PJ returning for a sophomore season and Reid transferring in to serve as one of the best veterans of the Calipari era. Add in Tyler Folk Herro, a lovable Keldon Johnson, and a strong supporting cast and this team had all of the ingredients to make a run. But, the tournament is random, and there’s no better example of that than Auburn, a 30-9 squad that lost to Kentucky by 27 points a month ago, beating the Cats to make the Final Four. March can be both beautiful and cruel.

So, today sucks, but for me, nothing will ever suck as much as the day after the loss to Wisconsin in 2015. A piece of my fandom broke then and changed how I’ve viewed things ever since. I love this group, and the fact that they won’t be together again is sad, but I’m not waking up crying like I did four years ago. That’s something, right? Plus, Duke lost, which made everything a little more palatable.

Moving on ain’t easy, but we’ve gotta do it.

The players reflect on the end

Stay or go season is upon us and will dominate the next two months, but for now, I just want to appreciate this group and the memories they’ve given us before saying goodbye.

View this post on Instagram

Gave everything I had ??

A post shared by Paul Washington Jr (@pj_washington) on

I love my job, but the moment I dread the most is walking into the losing locker room. Watching Keldon Johnson, Ashton Hagans, PJ Washington, and others struggle to keep their composure just a half hour after their season ended was brutal, and, in my opinion, not entirely necessary; however, sad locker rooms can serve as a reminder of much these kids care. There are plenty of reasons to be frustrated with yesterday’s result, but I guarantee they’re the saddest of us all.

Actually, Stone Cold Willow is the saddest of all

I was just making peace with the loss until I saw this.

Brace yourself; tired narratives are coming

Kentucky’s loss gave sportswriters everywhere another chance to take a jab at John Calipari, and you better believe they pounced. Yahoo’s Jeff Eisenberg called this season a choke job:

While ESPN’s “Get Up” debated whether or not John Calipari’s job is in jeopardy:

And then there was this from Dan Wolken:

Let me know when they say the same about Coach K.

KSR Dog of the Day

Shoutout to Melvin and his adorable pup, who rock Kentucky blue on even the hardest of days.

Group therapy in an hour

We’ll get through this together.

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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.

57 Comments for Today on KSR: The mourning after



  1. thomaswaynem
    9:12 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    I don’t comment often, but after reading through pages and pages of gripes yesterday I felt the need to.

    I don’t understand people saying Cal is on the hot seat, or unhappy with only 1 title in the last 10 years. I am a basketball coach in Indiana, played in college, and understand a little more than the average fan. Putting the blame on Cal is a non starter for me. How many open looks did we have? Anyone remember the breakdown play where Herro missed a wide open three in the first half? No one was within ten feet of him. How many times in the last couple months has Keldon Johnson been blocked in the last month?

    The biggest issue is the free throws. Sure they were 12-21 which is bad, but how many of those were the front end of 1 and 1’s? That to me, makes the real total probably more like 12-26. That is inexcusable. What more can you ask for? Quickley was wide open on every shot he took. They were in the right spots, got wide open looks, and got to the line 21 times. Calipari can’t make them, he can only put them in the right spot.

    The old adage, “Its not the X’s and O’s, its the Jimmys and Joes.” You can do everything right, but if the players don’t capitalize it doesn’t matter. Argue all you want about getting 3-4 year guys or calling a timeout for the last play or whatever, but if the players make open shots and free throws it doesn’t matter.



    • bigbluenationmbb
      9:23 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      That’s a good point but why not call a To during the last Possession in the second half we should have won the game on the possession that to me is on cal but nothing we can do now except look forward to next season



    • thomaswaynem
      9:32 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      I don’t disagree bigbluenationmbb.

      I said so above and I would have also probably called a timeout. My one real gripe is with Johnson…hes obviously very talented, but I would love to see a stat on just how much he has been blocked driving into the middle of the lane where they are waiting on him. It was a bad decision on the player. If cal calls a timeout that probably stops that from happening…but for all we know they didn’t run what he called or do what he wanted in that moment. Once again, if they make their free throws it doesn’t come down to it.



    • makeitstop
      9:35 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Yes. Yes. Yes. The game plan WAS to let the guards drive and deny the 3 point line. The problem was not defense, we got just what we wanted: held them to 7 threes. Outrebounded them. But we had one guy scoring and he couldn’t hit FTs. There’s no “bench coaching” I know to fix giving away 10 points at the line, or missing wide open shots. U lose. U miss those, u lose. U hit one, u win and ur dancing. It wasn’t even bad execution, they know HOW to shoot, they just missed. What’s Cal do about that, yell “make ur damn free throws” like I do at the TV bc it would be just as effective.



  2. CatfaninCinci
    9:13 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Has anyone else noticed the MO of the kind of teams Calipari struggles against in the tournament. They’re almost (with maybe the exception of the Wisconsin team in 2015) always guard-oriented teams with 3-4 years experience at PG. Almost always.

    Brice Brown was doing a lot of the same things Kemba Walker and Shabazz Napier did to us in past tournaments. And the gravity of the situation always shakes our freshman to the point they lose composure. With the exception of 1 year, and in that year, MKG could guard their PG and Teague didn’t have to do much but make sure the offense got going.

    Unfortunately for UK, especially after Duke lost (for the same reason) every team left has a junior/senior at PG who can do miraculous things, so I didn’t like our chances moving forward. But I told my dad, and countless other people yesterday, who all told me they felt we had it in the bag, that I was having a very familiar feeling about this game as I had with past years. On paper it’s a win. But they have the hallmarks of a team who beats us. Sorely disappointed I was right again.

    Good season, but it just feels the same as last year.



    • thomaswaynem
      9:21 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      This is exactly right, and why looking at the Virginia and Purdue game I was scared to death of Purdue. Carson Edwards would have killed us, but I felt like we would have beat UVA.



    • Irish son
      9:48 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Cal is too hard headed to admit the facts. You cannot start a bunch of freshman only and win it. Especially two freshman guards. And another year with no rim protector. How many times Auburn guards blow past our guards for uncontested layups?



    • makeitstop
      9:56 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Irish who do u want him to start? Jemarl? Johnny David? Brad? Or some mythical guard who isn’t there but should be, a good mountain boy who knows what it is to bleed blue and grew up idolizing John Pelphrey and Richie? I’d love that by the way. But there aren’t any. The best player in the state this year is a good example, top 100 guy who’s dad says no way is he a 3-4 year player. Our best HS ball players want to play, not sit and watch 3 years and the only way they get to be “veterans” is to see the Court w real minutes and that’s going to happen when u hv 5 star guys who u get one year and have to get those same minutes to be good by this time of year. There’s only 200 minutes to spread around. It’s just not that easy as evidenced by the fact the winningest coach of all time can’t quite get that formula right either.



    • makeitstop
      10:00 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      And by the way we did not need a rim protector they only scored 60 points in regulation. The defense was fine. Nick can’t guard the perimeter. He’d get beat off the perimeter and foul their faster guards unless we play zone which they’d shoot over which would hv delighted them. Y’all please stop complaining about the defense the game plan worked: we held them to 30%, to 7 threes, to 60 points and outrebounded them. We just could not hit shots, which is a pretty important part of the game.



  3. calcat
    9:15 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    National media talking about cal being on the hot seat is hilarious. Coach k has made only 2 final fours in the last 15 years but no mention of him being on the hot seat



    • BigolBlue
      9:26 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      He should be fired with that talent. Quit comparing everything to Duke. Thats all you bafoons do is compare Cal to K. K has multiple titles. Always has to be comparison



    • justgettingstartedbro
      10:23 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Dipshit comment



    • 4everUKblue
      9:29 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Cal is going nowhere. If only he could’ve gotten the players K did and if only Cal was as good as K….hold on did dUKe win?



    • Jiminy Crickets
      9:35 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      I agree, but those 2 he made he won both, and coincidentally UK had the best team both of those years, 2010 and 2015 were 2 of best 3 teams Cal has had here, and Duke won it.



    • 4everUKblue
      9:35 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Holy sh!t you mean K the basketball god didn’t win with 3 of the top 4 recruits in the nation, including Zion/Superman Williamson? How can that be Bigolslatermedic?



    • 4everUKblue
      9:37 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Go back and look at who dUKe played to get to the final four in 2015 crickets.



    • Jiminy Crickets
      9:51 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      I’m not defending Duke. Just saying this is the reason people look at Cal differently. I hate Duke as much as anyone. I practically threw my shoulder out when the MichSt kid hit the 3.

    • You should know BoB since you’re either a Duke or UL fan. I just haven’t quite figured out which one yet.

      BTW, I would appreciate it if you would quit with your obscene references to what you say some UK fans would like to do to Cal. I’ve never said anything of the sort to you, and I wouldn’t, so I would appreciate you not responding like that, not just to me, but to anyone here.

      If I’m wrong and you really are a UK fan, so be it, but you (and your numerous aliases) have never said anything that would indicate that you are. Many of us don’t like everything about Cal, but you never have anything positive to say.

      There are a couple old sayings, one secular, and one sacred:
      1. “The proof is in the pudding.”
      2. “By their fruits you shall know them.”



    • makeitstop
      9:43 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Yea Jiminy he won in 2015. We had a game stolen, or we would’ve won in 2015. That game was an atrocity. Perfectly coached? No. But without the roof job, we hang #9 that year and K doesn’t; possibly the same w the Fox, Monk, Bam team and same aforementioned roofer, leading to Roy’s last title. I don’t like complaining about refs bc it’s ur job to overcome that but those two games were a travesty and it altered the narrative unfairly. I’d still take playing the final weekend with a shot at FF every year over the first and second round exits that Kansas, Duke, UNC etc hv experienced.



    • 4everUKblue
      9:49 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Funny thing BigolSlaterMedic you’re constantly comparing Kentucky and Cal to dUKe when it fits your agenda, but that’s understandable because your nothing more than a sad, unhappy and lonely child.



    • makeitstop
      9:49 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Thank u Chris. BoB is too stupid to be a Duke fan. I did read their blog and their comments were more tempered than ours but also far better written than BoB. He’s a UL fan, or just hates UK and it’s fans.



    • StillBP
      10:15 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      makeitstop, I know some dumb Duke fans. They didn’t go to Duke, just grew up in NC and moved to KY in their teens, now take pleasure in walking around Lexington dressed head to toe in Duke crap just to annoy people.



    • makeitstop
      12:02 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

      BP it’s funny u say that. I saw a guy at Vail skiing in a Laetner Jersey and thought “what an a-hole.” Then last run of the day on a blind turn I almost fell over some idiot who was just stretched out blocking a narrow part talking to his friend. When I came to a stop I looked back and yep, same A-hole. I should’ve taken a picture but I yelled “if ur going to trip people u need a Grayson Allen jersey dumbass”. So I take ur point lol.



  4. Shagaris Sock Puppet
    9:15 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    3 things that killed us yesterday. Reid gets 5 touches when he was 4/5 the whole game, we were up big and went away from what got us there.. Hagans turnovers are simply inexcusable this time of the year.. If you want to be in the final 4, you have to have strong guard play. The switch that Cal loves to do, absolutely killed us!! For the same stubborn reason he will never play zone when a team cant shoot, you never switch your bigs when a coach is using your scheme to their advantage. Credit to Bruce Pearl and Auburn, they went with what they game gave them, we did not. We owned them inside and we could have dominated them had we kept forcing them to foul or double then kick the ball out. Thats how you beat teams, make them adjust. Auburn did, we did not.



  5. CatfaninCinci
    9:16 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Look at this gem…

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/for-the-second-straight-year-kentucky-squanders-favorable-path-to-final-four-222527823.html

    If the path was so favorable, why did only 5-10% of national media members pick UK to come out of the bracket at the start of the tournament? See this kind of stuff is what absolutely enrages me beyond belief. We didn’t play well… Neither did UNC, but you didn’t see the national media saying Roy Williams choked. Roy choked more than Cal did. Roy had ZERO answers to defend the 3. We defended it well, we just couldn’t score.

    I’ve looked up the articles on K too. While most are saying, “Yeah, K is going to regret this one…” the tone is way more apologetic. While they’re bringing up history, why don’t they bring up the fact that Coach K has made 2 final 4s in the last 15 years? This article is as smug as I’ve ever read. Almost brazenly rubbing it all on Calipari. Sends me to the moon! The ‘Forde wanna-bes’ are ecstatic today!

  6. All of those writers & talking heads are pathetic. It’s like so many others have said here. They just want clicks and they know all they have to do is rile up the UK fan base.

    Just.don’t.click.



  7. eddiesuttonsliver
    9:23 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    don’t let this distract you from the fact rick barnes couldn’t make it to the final four with kevin durant on his team and coach k couldn’t do it with 3 kevin durants



  8. BigolBlue
    9:24 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Waking up and remembering we still lost. How glorious today would have and should have been if not for our mediocre coach and team this year. Hagans just got another turnover while typing this. Oh and another missed free throw. I need a timeout but Cal wont call it!!



    • ClutchCargo
      9:30 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      You definitely need a timeout. Hopefully, Mrs. Tyler Thompson will call it.



    • 4everUKblue
      9:33 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Learn to focus on things you can control and when Cal decides to leave is out of your control BigolSlaterMedic. But I do love that him staying makes you miserable. Hahaha!



    • StillBP
      10:17 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      your mom is at the other end of the trailer and has probably already put you in time out at least once today. Hopefully she takes away your electronic device next.



  9. Sentient Third Eye
    9:26 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Cal’s on the hot seat like Trump was colluding with Russia. Fake News by unscrupulous journalists obsessed with clickbait.

    Cal ain’t going anywhere until he decides to go. Period.



    • CoachCat
      9:46 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      And here’s the idiot reference to politics



    • Irish son
      9:50 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      GFYS



    • Coach Ratface
      9:59 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Lol Irish… yourself is one word, but you’d know that if you had gone to high school.



    • makeitstop
      10:04 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Hahahahaha



    • Sentient Third Eye
      11:04 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      My original comment wasn’t really political at all. It was merely referring to a recently-debunked media hoax that everyone would be familiar with. It’s the social aspect of the phenomenon rather than the political that is relevant here (ie. say something a certain segment wants to believe, and they’ll watch your content no matter the facts and no matter how outlandish you are. Doesn’t matter if it’s left or right, Alex Jones or Rachel Maddow).



  10. dbake
    9:27 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Every loss is for a reason. It may be free throws, it may be 3 point shooting, it may even be rebounding. The case of doing everything right and losing, only happens once in a blue moon. People need to grow up and and stop setting on top of the fence with one leg on each side. Cal has taken us deeper into the tourney more times than anyone other than Rupp. This day in age you will not win them all. Yeah he makes mistakes, but I will tell you one thing, there is not another coach that I would take over him. Go cats!!



  11. BillytheUkkid
    9:30 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Please don’t click on those stories.



  12. runningunnin.454
    9:33 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Four straight years with no final four? Who is this Wolken guy, never heard of him, and how many does he think Coach K has had the last four years?
    Hate to break it to all these idiots; but Cal will be here as long as he wants.



    • dane82
      11:00 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      i don’t know wolken either, but from the tweets included in this post, he didn’t call for cal’s job. you can question whether his assessment was too harsh, but not everyone who has a critical word to say is calling for a person’s head.



  13. WWITB
    9:55 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    I really don’t get why the headlines about Cal are outrageous.

    He is the highest paid coach in the country and continues to make bad decisions and gets “out coached” at the most crucial times.

    How many seasons have ended short now when Cal didn’t use TOs wisely, or kept trying the same failing strategy in a game?



  14. Realme
    10:10 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    Stone Cold Willow needs to move on with his life and stop pretending to be a UK student.



  15. BlueInVA
    10:11 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    This was not “impressive.” This season was a failure. Not the kids fault, they tried. But UK didn’t win the SEC, the SEC tournament and didn’t reach the final four or win the championship. How about recruiting and developing a four year point guard???



    • StillBP
      10:22 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      and then once a point guard isn’t good enough for everyone after their first year everyone will be screaming about not getting a good point guard. You can please bat$hit crazy fans. What Cal has done at UK is more than most coaches have done anywhere…most. And the ones he hasn’t done better than aren’t coming to KY.



    • StillBP
      10:23 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      *can’t…you can’t please bat$hit crazy fans



    • MrPioneer
      10:40 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      So recruit a 3 star point guard who likely won’t be ready to perform until their junior year instead of a 5 star who can play right away? No thanks. This is Kentucky. We don’t settle here.



    • dane82
      10:58 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      here’s a thought–maybe don’t kick every player to the curb who doesn’t leave for the NBA after one year. how nice would it be to have charles matthews right now? those that want to be elsewhere are going to leave regardless, but i’m convinced that the conversation with some of these players is “now there are a lot of good recruits coming in next year so you may want to think about whether there’s still room for you here.” that just continues the cycle.

      not every UK-worthy recruit is a one-and-done player. let’s try to keep the good ones that aren’t, and let them develop here.



    • StillBP
      11:18 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      You’re assuming Cal kicks them to the curb instead of them running out the door because they feel like they didn’t measure up to the other UK players. I’d rather have Wenyen this year than Matthews, and it seems like Cal tried to get him to stay but he was wanting to chase the money.



    • dane82
      11:24 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      granted it’s not everyone one of them, and “kicking to the curb” is probably hyperbole. again, the ones that want to leave are going to leave. but i think there have been times (and while i can’t quote him, i think he has more or less said as much) that he’s basically told a kid that if he stays, he’ll spend the next year sitting and watching big-time recruits. and there are times that’s true, but there are dang sure times i’d rather have the returning player on the court than the new guy.



    • MrPioneer
      11:30 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      Key phrases in your comments, dane: “I think” and “I’m convinced”. You actually have no idea how these conversations go, so you’re getting angry at hypothetical situations you have created in your own head.



    • dane82
      11:34 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

      first, you incorrectly assume i’m angry. i’m not thrilled with some aspects of the program in the last few seasons but i’m far from angry about it. we have a good coach who just happens to be as open to fair criticism as everyone else who has ever lived.

      second, i have a pretty good idea how these conversations go, based on things i’ve read and things cal has said, as i recall them. maybe i’m not remembering correctly–hence the non-committal language–and if that’s the case, then carry on. otherwise i think it’s a fair point to make.



  16. dane82
    10:44 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    “coach K also deserves criticism” != “coach cal is above reproach”

    i don’t get why you either have to call for calipari’s head, or hold him up as a saint. i love the guy and hope he stays as long as he wants, but it’s fair to occasionally be critical of his decisions just like anyone else’s.



  17. Sentient Third Eye
    11:05 am April 1, 2019 Permalink

    It’s ironic that a few months ago, I remember commenting on how well this team shot free throws. I actually remember writing that at least we wouldn’t have to worry about losing a game at the free throw line this year.

    Oh, well…



  18. Eazy
    12:25 pm April 1, 2019 Permalink

    K hasn’t been to a final 4 since 2015 either. They have choked far more often than UK. Cal has also been way more successful with top classes than K.