You’re looking at a picture of John Wall and his friend, Miyah Telemaque-Nelson, a six-year-old fan who lost her battle with cancer this morning. John and Miyah had been close since March, when Wall helped Miyah meet Nicki Minaj and receive one of her famous pink wigs. Even after Nicki and Miyah met, Wall and the little girl kept in touch, facetiming as recently as two weeks ago. Wall wrote Miyah’s name on his shoes tonight and the Wizards held a moment of silence in her honor. After the game, Wall was asked about Miyah, but couldn’t keep his composure:
Oh yeah, Wall had 26 points, 17 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals in Washington’s 2OT win over Boston, which he dedicated to Miyah and her family.
Before I totally lose it over here, let’s roll through the headlines and say goodnight.
The UK/UCLA series becomes official
It’s been in the works for a while, but today, UK’s two-game home-and-home series with UCLA became official. The Cats will travel to Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles on December 3, 2015 for the first showdown, and the Bruins will return the favor in Rupp Arena on December 3, 2016. That means that next season, UK will have the following games on their non-conference slate:
Duke (in Chicago)
Ohio State (in Brooklyn)
Louisville in Rupp
South Florida (in Miami)
Big 12 True Road Game (most likely Kansas)
I hope you’re stocking up on frequent flyer points.
Cal says he’s sticking with the platoons all year
John Calipari is still suffering from a chest cold, but rallied for the first few segments of his radio show tonight. Our old pal Madison called in to ask Cal about how long he plans to stick with the platoon system. “We’re going to platoon all the way through the end of the year if we can,” Cal said. “One of the reasons–this thing working is driving people crazy, you do know that. I didn’t do this to be a genius, I did it to play ten players.”
Cal said he’s also talking to his guys about being a “world-class team.” What are the traits of a world-class team? 1) They don’t make many errors, 2) They thrash the competition, and 3) They have fun. So far, so good, right?
Cal’s not worried about the streak
Judging by postgame chatter, the main headline of the EKU win was the continued jeopardy of the three-point streak. Cal said tonight that he’s not worried about the streak, even though he knows fans are. “They’re looking at the streak, which I’m not looking at. I don’t know if we’ve made a three or not, I’m not looking at the game that way,” Cal said, although he did admit that “the way we’re shooting the three-point shots right now, we’re not exactly a team that can put up numbers.”
Kenny Payne’s not concerned about the Cats’ three-point woes. “Not at all,” Payne said on the second half of the call-in show. “If you come to practice and you watch us, you can see these kids can really shoot the ball. Tyler Ulis can shoot it, Andrew can shoot it, Devin can really shoot it, Aaron can shoot the ball. I have no concerns at all about our shooting.” In fact, Payne said UK’s shooting woes make him feel better about where the Cats are right now. “I’m probably a little crazy in saying this, but I’m sort of happy we’re not shooting the ball great because if we’re shooting the ball like we’re defending, that means we just peaked. The goal is to peak in January, February, March. Not December.”
UK the unanimous #1 in the AP poll
To no one’s surprise, the Cats were #1 in both polls again this week, even reining in the three voters who voted Wisconsin #1 last week; however, two coaches in the USA Today Coaches Poll still haven’t totally bought in. Isn’t it nice to have small, petty things like this to nitpick over?
Karl Towns named SEC Freshman of the Week again
Congrats to Karl Towns on being named the SEC Freshman of the Week for the second week in a row. With a fresh haircut and a new “killer mentality” on the court, Karl has a career-high 19 points, nine rebounds and four blocks against EKU last night and 10 points and three rebounds against Texas. Keep it up, Karl.
Bud Dupree and Austin McGinnis named First Team All-SEC
Congrats to two of the most reliable players on UK’s roster this season. Dupree’s NFL stock is on the rise, and CBS Sports’ Dan Brugler’s latest mock draft has him headed to the Miami Dolphins with the 17th pick. His colleague Rob Rang has him going 20th to the Dallas Cowboys.
Both mocks also have Jameis Winston going 2nd to the Titans, so I can’t take them too seriously. The Titans need a QB like Winston needs common sense, but please no.
The update on the OC search…
…is there’s no update on the OC search. UK extended the deadline on its job posting to December 10, another sign that Mark Stoops isn’t in too much of a rush to hire someone; however, we’re still hearing reports that Stoops met with Lincoln Riley over the weekend, so stay tuned…
I don’t understand TGI Friday’s “Mistletoe Drone”
Apparently, TGI Fridays is torturing diners in the US and United Kingdom with “mistletoe drones” this holiday season in hopes of spreading some yuletide romance. Instead, the drones are injuring customers, including a New York photographer, who claimed one chopped off the tip of her nose. Be careful out there, folks.
Ladies, it’s time to show Shannon the Dude who’s boss
On tomorrow’s show, Shannon the Dude will once again take on KSR’s female callers in a sports trivia showdown. Shannon talked a lot of smack about female sports fans on today’s show, and ladies, it’s time to take him down a notch. If you’re a woman who knows her sports, call in during the 2nd hour for the chance to put Shannon in his place and win some UK tickets. Make me proud.