Monday, February 28, 2011

Big Wins for the Cats and the Cards: Presented by Kyle Kuric is a Punk

The Cats rose to #2o in the polls and the Dirty Birds rose to #11 due to some stellar wins over stiff competition this weekend.

Here is a SHORT synopsis of the victories:

UK over the Gators- This Gator Hater (me) saw some great play from three guys on the Wildcats. Darius Miller eclipsed his previous career high with 24 points; Brandon Knight did not turn the ball over; and Jorts was everywhere under the basket, grabbing rebounds left and right.

If they can get Miller to put up those numbers every game, the Cats are Trouble with a capital "T" in March. Miller can be un-guardable at the 3 spot because of his size and at the 4 spot because of his speed and outside threat. He is turning into the great player we all knew he could be.

Dirty Boids over Pitt- Because of their defense Louisville games are hard to watch. Both teams looked awful in the first half, especially Pitt. Neither team shot well, both teams fouled a bunch and both teams seemed to not want to hold on to the ball. Again, I give Louisville tons of credit. Their D was great. They have overachieved more than any team in the country but I still don't think they are going to be a tournament threat.

And by the way: Next time Kyle Kuric and the Louisville cheerleader squad want to act like complete A-Holes I hope it costs Louisville the game. Kuric's dunk was uncalled for and unnecessary. And to the cheerleader: You are a man cheerleader. Pitino even called you out and made fun of you and that guy doesn't have room to make fun of anyone. (Cough) Dribble down my leg (Cough, Cough) 15 seconds (Cough, Cough) Mike Marra is the best three point shooter I have ever seen (Cough)

A bigger week is ahead with the Cats hosting Vandy and going to Knoxville to stamp out the Vols to close the season. Tomorrow is Jorts day in the Bluegrass. Be sure to wear some denim to work to support our senior.

For Louisville fans Wednesday is Bring Your Hairbrush and Handcuffs in Support of Preston Knowles Day. The Louisville senior will be sure to be confused and enraged as he sees all of the hairbrushes in the YUUUUMMMMM!!!! Center.

More to come tomorrow as I dissect the Cats vs. the Commodores.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

And the 2011 Oscar goes to...

Well, the site was 1 year old on February 22nd... which means that we can use the same material from last year and get away with it since you probably don't realize the topic has been repeated...

Last year, our SportsThat Oscar's were so popular, we thought - heck if a committee of old guys can give bald headed golden statutes to people every year, why can't we? Thus, let's do it again!

There are 10 nominees for best picture and coincidentally there are 10 (active) Kentucky basketball players. The nominees are: 

The Social Network - Josh Harrellson  - A story of a boy that has been placed into the spotlight after the potential rock star has been declared ineligible to play. Fame gets to best of him after early exhibition success. Wanting more and not getting the credit he deserves, his coach and mentor suspends the player from social networks and he ultimately goes on to glory. 

Toy Story 3 - Jarrod Polson - In the second sequel to the never ending series of heart felt walk-ons, this is a tale of a young man who enters the scene as a boy and leaves a man... that just has boyish Justin Beiber charm. A tear jerking movie set to make anyone in the audience yell "shooooot, that was a good picture"

Black Swan - Terrence Jones - Set to be a star, your only fault is that while fortunate in fame, you are still unaware of your true identity. Are you the white swan set to save the day or the black selfish motherf-er swan ready to steal the spotlight while dancing and dribbling. While success is emanate, your legacy is yet to unfold.

True Grit - Brandon Knight - A throw back to the old west, this shoot em up gun slinger film focuses on a quiet leader that can hit a target from 30 feet away and under pressure. While he has fallen upon hard times living the life on the road, he knows that if he leads his band of misfits to their goal - the only reward he needs is the fame he will surely capture.

Inception - Darius Miller - You never know what you're going to get from this quiet but fast paced thriller. There is a twist and turn around every story and dream, but ultimately a cliff hanger awaits. What will happen next is only known by the dreamer.

The Fighter - DeAndre Liggins - Calloused, brash, and hard working describe the life lead by this road paving crewman. He found himself floundering away opportunity after opportunity only to finally see that the coach he once had wasn't in it for him. With new leadership he sees his potential blossom and a championship is all but in his grasp.

The King's Speech - Jon Hood - He has high expectations and a strong bloodline but just can't seem to take that extra step from practice time to game time. He has everything he needs but when it's time to perform, he chokes. When the final time comes, he looks to an ordinary man for help to find his voice. The only question is: Is it too late?

Winter's Bone - Doron Lamb - A brave young man finds himself in hard times. Everyone is against telling him to run - he knows he just needs to secure his home and will do anything it takes to do so. He won't settle for second any longer and is ready to come in off the bench if he has to in order to make a name for himself.

127 Hours - Eloy Vargas - Bouncing around from place to place, never needing anything more than his own company and a camera to be happy, this goofy guy finds himself stuck between a rock and another rock. What should he do? Where does he turn? He finds inner strength and battles on finding minute after minute of life on the court.
The Kids are All Right - Stacey Poole - The awkward comedy among drama. A modern time for a modern family. A movie of parents taking a back seat to something new, cool, unfamiliar. Waiting his time in order to shine after the sparkle has worn off the fancy new toy.

The winner goes to... well you'll have to check in tomorrow. My money is on True Grit...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Prince with a new Castle?

It's the NBA trade deadline and UK alumni Tayshaun Prince is rumored to be a hot commodity. The Dallas Mavericks are making offers for Price and his expiring contract. After losing starting forward Caron Butler, the Mavs have been seeking Price and have put their efforts in high gear.

Currently, it is said that the Pistons are staying pat with Prince but as the Derron Williams trade to NJ earlier this week suggest, anything is possible.

Kentucky Basketball - Road Worriers not Warriors

This years Kentucky team has the fan base turned into Road Worriers not Road Warriors...

Kentucky's 77-76 OT loss at Arkansas tonight marked the 7th road loss of the season. Before I jump on the bandwagon and kick dead horses, a task similar to clubbing baby whales - easy to do and we all know it is wrong - there were a few bright spots in this latest game on the lonely road away from Rupp.

Brandon Knight - Knight's evening can be wrapped up in a recycled Jimmy Dykes line of "We need to play that song 'What a good good kNight!" But when Dykes is right, he's right as it was a good night indeed for the freshman PG. Knight was the leader of this team and emerged with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assist. He went 9-9 from the free throw line and seemed to be the only person capable of scoring for long periods of time. The offense went through him and you knew at the end of the game, the ball was going in his hands. The only drawback, his 1-8 performance from behind the 3 point line including 2 chances at the end of regulation that would have won the game.

Josh Harrellson - Josh has played spurratically the part of a quiet roll player. Jorts was up to form on Wednesday in Fayetteville. He leads the SEC in offensive rebounds and against Arkansas, in his 42 minutes of play, he managed to collect 6 of his 14 boards on the offensive side of things. He put up 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting and was the garbage man UK needs him to be. 

OT - Previously, Kentucky has managed to lose all 6 road games in regulation. I don't really know if this is a bright spot, but hey, at least they managed to delay the loss by another 5 minutes by getting it to overtime.

Then there's the not so good things.

Late Game Heroics - This is the 7th loss on the road. This is the 6th loss of less than 5 points. ( UNC 2, Alabama 2, Mississippi 2, Florida 2, Vanderbilt 4, Arkansas 1). It is a freshmen lead team and the obvious item they struggle with is late game leadership, a known negative of freshmen lead teams. Someone needs to step up and hit a shot and make some plays late in the game to win, versus just to play not to lose - as they aren't doing the latter very well.

Terrence Jones - Jones managed to get 10 points on 5 of 12 shooting and 8 rebounds - not bad right? Not so fast my friend. While double digits are nice, his points were mostly soft points. Jones has to be the cog the offense runs through, not just another role player. The stats are in his free throws statistics, of which Jones had two attempts. A telling line that displays Jones' settling for outside shots. He is a handful for anyone to guard but not difficult for a double team to lock down, which was demonstrated on his 2 turnovers (both when the defense collapsed around him) and when he got his shot blocked down low. When the double occurs, Jones has to be the guy to get others involved and when it doesn't he has to take it to the rack and get fouled or get points. Jones is a critical part of the offense for Kentucky to succeed, something he was not on Wednesday.

Where is the world is... Doron Lamb - By far Lamb's worst game. He collected season lows in minutes (16) and points (2). After the game, Calipari said it was his defense off screens that saw his minutes evaporate. Lamb was replaced by DeAndre Liggins and based on this performance, Liggins will be that starting position come Saturday and Lamb will be relocated to 6th man duty. He has to be a part of the team - offense and defense - in order for this team to win.

Schedule - Kentucky has managed to lose games against some of the worst teams in the SEC. The bad part is that they've also managed to lose the games against the better teams as well. Outside of the home win against Tennessee, Kentucky has lost at Florida and Vanderbilt as well. The unfortunate part for the team is that they play Florida Saturday (4:00pm @CBS), then Vanderbilt on 3/1 and wrapping the season up in Knoxville. The small piece of hope remains in the thought that Florida and Vandy are in Rupp... a place Kentucky stands undefeated with Calipari at the helm.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kentucky at Arkansas Preview

And people like to call UK fans rednecks.

Back in the early and mid 90's when I was falling in love with Kentucky basketball there was not a more intense match up than Rick Pitino's Wildcats vs. Nolan Richardson's Razorbacks. The Hogs played the "40 Minutes of Hell" style defense and even went so far as to win a national title in 1994 which made then President and Arkansas native Bill Clinton a happy man. Both teams were national championship contenders every year.

UK was the king of the East in those days and Arkansas was the king of the West in those days. Now Pitino is residing in Louisville and coaching his former arch rival Cardinals. Nolan Richardson was fired due to a steady decline in the W column and increasingly crazy behavior. His son took over for a while until he was fired. Now UK Unforgettable John Pelphry is the coach of the Razorbacks and John Calipari is coaching the Cats. One of these two teams is again a threat year in and year out to win it all and the other is not. I'll let you guess which is which.

Keys to Victory:

Three Point Defense-It seems that the Cats have difficulty guarding the three point play on the road. Alabama, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss all shot season best or close to season best percentages from the three against the Cats. Arkansas has a legit three point threat in guard Rotnei Clarke. Liggins is bigger, faster and stronger than Clarke. He will need to fight through picks to defend his shot. Before South Carolina, UK's previous three opponents shot 32-58 from the three.

Brandon Knight's Play- In SEC home games this season Brandon Knight has 31 assists and 14 turnovers. In SEC road games he has 18 assists and 23 turnovers. It doesn't take a genius to see that Knight has not performed well away from Rupp. His scoring is down on road games as well. Knight needs to get over the hostile SEC crowds and play with a cool head and calm demeanor. He sets the tone for the rest of the team.

Upperclassman Leadership-At home we can count on Darius Miller, DeAndre Liggins or Johs Harrelson to become that fourth guy that can score and play big time basketball. Other than the game Jorts had against Louisville (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) the three elders of the team have been ghosts in away games. Miller seems to have the hot hand scoring 22 points in the previous game against South Carolina and 13 points against Mississippi State the game before that one. Both were at home. One of these three needs to come up big tonight to secure a lopsided road win.

Intesity- These Cats have been timid on the road. Coming in with a bad, aggressive attitude willing to pound these guys into the floor will do some good. Teams just aren't afraid when UK comes into their gyms like they were last year. That needs to change tonight.

Last Minute Play- A lot of what has been bugging the Cats on these road losses are breakdowns in the final minutes of a game. The Cats like to dig a whole early, climb out of it only to blow the game by missing (or passing up) open shots, missing free throws or throwing the ball away. The Cats previous loss margins on the road are 4 points at Vandy, 2 points at Florida, 2 points at Ole Miss, 2 points at Alabama and 7 points at Georgia. They were in every one of those games but blew it in the end.

A win will tie the Cats with Vanderbilt for second place in the SEC East. That will make Saturday's revenge game against Florida mean even more than it already does. I know this is a long preview but a win tonight is crucial. I hate to say that given the opponent but it's true. A win tonight does wonders for confidence heading into the last three beastly games.

Prediction: Cats 75-Hogs 62. Thank you South Carolina for giving us the Mojo back.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ohio State players do Miley Cyrus...Kareoke

Ok, I could bash the hell out of this video but I think this is hilarious. Yes it's terrible and yes it could make JD Sullinger's draft status plummet. I mean, if I'm Dwight Howard or DeMarcus Cousins and I see this I am not afraid of Sullinger in the least bit. The trash talking Sullinger will receive in the NBA is more punishment than I could dish out in 100 years of blogging.

I'm glad these guys have a good sense of humor about themselves. After all, Sullinger admitted that "Party in the USA" is his favorite song today on ESPN.

I'm thinking that this will become a new trend in college basketball. Next we may see Mike Marra singing his favorite Insane Clown Posse song "Chicken Huntin" (Warning: This link contains explicit lyrics), or Terrence Jennings' favorite song "Taser Gun" (For obvious reasons), or Kyle Singler crooning to "Pretty Fly for a White Guy." (He kinda looks like the kid in the video). But we are all looking forward to Rick Pitino doing his best Salt 'N Peppa impression singing the song that wooed Karen Sypher, "Let's Talk About Sex."

In other news: Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Knicks. That's kind of a big deal.

Rick BOZOitch Makes a Big Deal out of Nothing

As you can tell by his sweatshirt and the letter of intent he is signing to play at the University of Kentucky that Kyle Wiltjer hates Kentucky fans and the game of basketball- (Fake) Rick Bozich

The Derby City Classic is an annual event in Louisville where high school basketball players around the country are able to compete and showcase their skills. Traditionally players committed to play for Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana tend to play in this game. This year the four top recruits for Kentucky, Kyle Wiltjer, Michael Gilchrist, Marquis Teague and Anthony Davis will not be making an appearance.

Before I go any further let me add this disclaimer: I am not a fan of Rick Bozich or anything he writes. He is a blowhard that likes to stir up trouble despite claiming to be a bipartisan journalist.

Rick Bozich wrote an article totally trashing the decision that these young men have made. Feel free to read the article here and witness the vial venom spewing from the words. He interviews a Louisville lawyer and a "UK fan" named Dan Owens who recruits for this game. Owens is quoted as saying, "They're disregarding fans and disregarding the tradition of our game." Really, Owens? He also said, "It's insulting to Kentucky fans in the state." I'm a Kentucky fan and I'm not the least bit insulted. And whose game are they disregarding? The game of basketball? No, the all-star game that Dan Owens sponsors and profits by.

What Bozo and this other guy failed to mention that high school players are only allowed to participate in two of these all-star games. The players have already committed to play in the McDonald's All-American game, the grandaddy of them all, and the Jordan Brand Classic, a newer up and coming game that gets all kinds of attention and hype. Both will be televised on ESPN. The Derby City Classic won't be on TV unless you have Wazoo Sports (WAZOOO!!!) or you pony up the money to see it live.

Here's the truth: These four players will be playing for the University of Kentucky next year and fans will be able to see them in person for 16 or 18 home games if they choose. Those kids will ACTUALLY be wearing UK blue at that point in time and will be playing in games that will matter in the NCAA. This stupid Derby City Classic game is meaningless. Choosing the McDonald's and the Jordan games over the Derby City Classic is like choosing the Rose Bowl over the Bowl.

This Owens guy is mad because he won't be able to sell as many tickets to his game as he usually does due to the lack of UK players. He knows that the UK fan base is the most passionate and supportive of all fan bases and that they would spend their money to see the game but this year they will not be doing so.

Does Bozich think that since DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall didn't play in the game that they robbed UK fans of anything? Come to think of it, when those guys were winning games the thought never crossed my mind that they didn't play in that game. Guess what other Wildcat did not play in that game? Patrick Patterson. Patterson bleeds blue and became one of the best loved players in the history of the program. Do UK fans begrudge Patterson for not playing in the Derby City Classic? Not by a long shot.

It is an honor and a privilege to be invited to any all-star game and these young men decided to go with the best of the best. Good for them. Their families even went out of their way to make a joint statement to the UK fans on their decision, something they should not have had to do:

"We are honored that our sons have been considered for so many prestigious all-star games but the NCAA only allows them to play in two such events. Anthony, Michael, Marquis and Kyle will fulfill their lifelong dreams of playing in the McDonald's All-American game and the Jordan Brand Classic."

I was going to look up more on the Derby City Classic but the event doesn't have a website. There isn't even a Wikipedia page up about it. As you can see, it's a real prestigious event.

I will close with saying that I am looking forward to watching these four dominate in actual games that matter for Kentucky and I am encouraged that they are already playing together, making decisions together and making statements together. They are already bonding as teammates. That shows me they understand the team concept and they care about winning.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Who Should Go? Hood vs. Polson

The Three Amigos of the Bench

After the game on Saturday I have been doing some thinking. Something that stood out to me was the glaring fact that the bench players (Jon Hood, Jarrod Polson, Stacey Poole and Eloy Vargas) didn't get into the game as a unit until there was about 1:50 left on the clock even though the game had been decided for some time.

Calipari defended this decision by saying that South Carolina continued to press and with his team's history of blowing leads, he decided to keep his starters on the court. This allowed the starters to A). Figure out how to finish strong and B). Continue a good chemistry into the final stages of the regular season.

As I kept thinking, I came up with a question: Should Hood and Polson both be on the team? Both are Kentucky natives and one was a former Mr. Basketball in Kentucky. But it has become blatantly obvious that neither is the type of athlete that Calipari wants or needs for his system of play.

I do agree that there should be at least one scholarship for a Kentucky born white kid in order to keep the Rednecks happy out in the sticks. (Yes, I know I am crushing part of the fan base and I think it is well deserved). This team has two of this type of player and maybe, just maybe, one of them can come off of the bench and contribute at some point in their career.

Here is the tale of the tape:

Jon Hood:

Birth Place- Madisonville, Ky

High School- North Hopkins

Position- Guard

Height/Weight- 6-7/202

High School Senior Year Stats- 29.4 points, 12.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 3.1 blocked shots

Stats for this current season at UK- 1 point, 0.8 rebounds and 0.2 assists

Heartthrob Index Score- 2

Jarrod Polson:

Birth Place- Nicholasville, Ky

High School- West Jessamine

Position- Guard


High School Senior Year Stats- 18.2 points, 6.4 assists, 4.-9 rebounds

Stats for this current season at UK- 0.4 points, 0.1 rebounds and 0.0 assists

Heart Throb Index Score- 9.5

With these numbers I guess you would assume that I would choose Jon Hood, right? Wrong. I would rather have Polson. My reasoning is that nobody expected Polson to come in and be a star but Hood was expected to come in and at least contribute in some capacity, mainly in scoring. Thus far Hood has been a disappointment. He is a black hole on defense and barely shoots whenever he gets the ball. And when he does shoot he misses in 9 out 10 times.

While we all cheer when Polson goes in and we all like to yell "Shoooooooottttt!!!" at him so he can score, the general mood is disdain and depression when Hood comes off of the bench. Polson is like a team mascot. Everybody loves him; he's so darn cute; and he gives the crowd and his teammates a lift. And when he comes in UK is usually up by like 1,000.

Hood is supposed to be a guy that comes in and consistantly nail three pointers or give a max effort. Instead he ruguarly comes in, looks confused, turns the ball over and misses a shot or two, only to be yanked by Calipari for blowing a defensive assignment.

I'm not saying Hood should be cut but I find it hard to believe that he does not transfer during his time at UK. He does not fit in Cal's system. He could be a very decent player at another school but UK is not the place for him. His high school stats say that he can play but the competition at the high school level in Kentucky is much different than some of these AAU teams and other academies around the country.

What do you think? Would you rather have Polson or Hood? Or would you rather just keep both of them?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Coach Cal not Satisfied

After the huge blow out over South Carolina, John Calipari is still looking for improvement. He sights the team's breakdown on some plays as well as missed free throws. He also addresses the team meeting before the MSU game.

It's obvious that Calipari expects his players to do what they did to South Carolina every game because he knows they can. The last thing this team needs to do is get complacent or think they can coast. He tells us that the season just gets tougher from here...and he's right.

The Evolutuion of DeAndre Liggins

Listening to Liggins talk in this clip about not caring about coming off of the bench and not being a starter makes me like this kid even more. He hustles more than any player on the court and has a team first mentality. He just wants to win.

I have to give John Calipari a lot of credit for the kind of player Liggins has become. Everybody remembers the surly player that refused to go into a game when Billy Clyde was the coach. And who can forget Liggins having to sit out the first half of last season due to a player infraction that Cal refused to discuss with the media?

Since his return from exile Liggins has been a changed man. His intense defense is his calling card as is his reckless attitude while diving for loose balls on the court. The young man will be inducted into the Society of Character at UK. It's an award given to student-athletes due to their academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model.

Liggins may not be the flashiest guy on the team and he may not score the most points, but he is my favorite player this season. He has come a long way and he deserves everything good that comes to him. I hope he starts with 5 straight wins going into the SEC tournament.

The Final Stretch

Guarded optimism. That's what I ave after witnessing the Cats totally demolish the Gamecocks yesterday at home. UK came out with an intensity on defense and offense that hasn't been seen since the Tennessee game. Darius Miller is the talk of the Blue Grass State today with his impressive 22 point and 6 three pointer performance. I think Rick Stansbury may have done what John Calipari and the rest of the Big Blue Nation hasn't been able to do and that is motivate Miller. If Miller continues giving this team double digit points and good shooting games, watch out.

But let's not get too caught up in this jubilation. A 90-59 win is impressive and it is a big deal but South Carolina has lost 5 in a row and has fallen off the map. What the Cats did yesterday is what they were expected to do. Kentucky still needs to prove that they have the goods to compete in a close guy in a tough environment other than Rupp Arena.

The first test will be at Arkansas. Normally I wouldn't count this game at all but due to the road woes the Cats have been going through lately I haven't counted it out at all. I could have lived with the loss at Vanderbilt but the losses at Alabama and Ole Miss were too much to handle and they look bad. UK needs to win at Arkansas. By a lot.

A double digit win away against a decidedly inferior opponent will do a lot to dispel any road negativity this team has. Confidence will be gained and the swagger they have after last night will carry over to the final two home games against Florida and Vandy. Two games I see the Cats winning.

And then comes the big test. Can this team beat a Tennessee team that will likely be playing for their very tournament lives in the last game of the season? By that time the Cats will likely be a lock for the NCAA's and will be gearing up for the SEC tournament. But if they beat a scrappy team that is backed into the corner at their place, then I will believe that upside that John Calipari keeps telling us all about.

Will they go 5-0 down the stretch towards the conference tournament? I don't know. But after yesterday's performance, I'd like to say that I'm optimistic.

Kentucky beats South Carolina during Miller Time

The word BEAT doesn't really do the game justice... but Kentucky BEAT South Carolina yesterday 90-59 for their 31st straight home game win. And that game seemed like it should have been a 50pt differential. This one was all Kentucky all the time as the Cats opened up with a 15-0 lead. They never looked back and never had to as the Gamecocks would not pull closer than that 13 point lead at 15-2. After another quick spurt would put the Cats up 52-21 at half.

Darrius Miller was the talk of the game leading the Cats with a career high 22 including 6-8 from 3pt and 9 rebounds. The question though is "Where did this come from?" The obvious culprit is he has a new motivation. Not John Calipari. Not the fan criticism. It has to be the Rick Stansbury "Let him shoot" comment Tuesday. Seems like Miller just needed a little motivation. But while that's speculation, what is fact is that he is showing the tenacity Calipari and the fan base has been looking for all season.

But the Freshmen trio of Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight, and Doron Lamb went for 19 points and 12 rebounds, 12 points, 9 assist, and 6 rebounds, and 18 points respectively.

Overall, sure this game was quite meaningless as South Carolina has lost 7 of 8 since their loss to Kentucky on January 22nd. However, a W is a W and it's always nice these days to put back-to-back W's on the record.

Kentucky's next game will be Wednesday at 8:00pm EST against Arkansas (16-10, 5-7) and if the game wasn't on the road, Kentucky would be favored by double digits. Yet, this is 2011 and Kentucky is 1-6 away from Rupp including those losses to Georgia, Alabama, and Ole Miss.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Trevor Lacey to visit Lexington

Unofficial word on the stweet is that the 6'4", 4 star, SG Trevor Lacey will be making an unofficial visit to Lexington today to see the Cats play the 'Cocks.

Lacey, the #7 SG and #34 overall player in the class of 2011 would be an excellent addition to a packed but balanced lineup that currently includes signees #2 PG Marquis Teague, #3 SF Michael Gilchrist, #6 PF Anthony Davis, and #25 F Kyle Wiltjer.

Here's the latest motion pictures on Lacey after he played a game in Memphis for Butler, Alabama HS

Friday, February 18, 2011

Just like old times - Wall to Cousins

It's the NBA Rookie Challenge tonight and the first year players included starters John Wall and Demarcus Cousins. Throw in Eric Bledsoe from the bench and it was Big Blue Reunion at the next level.

Sure, this game means nothing and for the one-and-dones like the Draft Cats, it was practically the McDonalds All-American game - no defense and all dunks, lobs, and threes. But heck, who really wants to watch an exhibition game for any other reason!

Well, I found a reason - to see your favorite ex-Cats play together again... AND dunk at the same time. In fact, this little video is a little flash back from the 2009-2010 season ask and brings a tear to my eye, enjoy:

And of course, with good manners, Cousins repaid the favor later in the game.

Then there is the highlight of the night... seriously? WOW

Wall finished with 12 points, 22 assist and 3 steals as well as the title of Player of the Game honors. Cousins was a close second with 31 points and 14 rebounds.

Just think, next year they should both be on the Sophomore team...

Karen Sypher Sentencing 1:30pm

Karen Sypher, who in case you forgot was a mistress of current head coach of the Louisville Men's Basketball team that was found guilty of extortion in federal court, will learn her fate today. Sypher's sentencing takes place at 1:30pm at the Gene Snyder court house in Louisville.

Sypher, despite many attempts at having the sentencing delayed, could be serving 4 to 9 years at a federal penitentiary. After the decision, she will either be remanded to the custody of US Marshalls or be released on bond and told to voluntarily report to an assigned prison within 2 weeks.

Rick Pitino was sentenced to life as the butt of UK fans jokes on a daily basis shortly after the charges were filed.


Sypher was sentenced to 87 months in prison. That's 7 years and 3 months - or 2,648 days or 63,552 hours or 3,813,120 minutes. Or the same amount of time it would take Rick Pitino to dirty 15,252,480 pairs of pants.

Karen Sypher was released on bond and is expected to report to prison in 4-6 weeks.
Enjoy your time Karen!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Patrick Patterson Returns: Other News and Notes

I can't wait to see Pat back in Rupp. Anybody got a ticket for sale?????

One of the all time great Wildcats will be returning to Lexington and I could not be more excited. Patrick Patterson will be off due to the NBA All-Star break and has decided to take in the UK vs. South Carolina game on Saturday. Here is what 2Pat had to say via Twitter:

"Ready 2 c my fam play in the All Star Game. And ready to watch them boys in blue play in person."

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have our "Y".

-The fam that Patterson was referring are John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe. These rookie Cats will all be taking part in the NBA Rookie vs. Sophomore Challenge on Friday night as a part of the All Star festivities. It will be wonderful to see these guys on the court together as a team again. I am sure there will be ample Dougieing and John Wall Dancing. My DVR is set, is yours?

-If you haven't read the sexually charged poem that CJ Leslie wrote for one of his classes at NC State, please do. I'm kinda glad this guy didn't make it to UK. He seems like a total moron.

-Louisville lost to Cincinnati last night and Monster Mash did a pretty good job of covering it. The key to beating Louisville is preventing the three. If UConn does that, then there may be trouble in Rick's Palace of Sexual Misconduct.

-Speaking of Rick's sexual escapades, Karen Sypher is getting the book thrown at her tomorrow. She faces sentencing on Friday. If she gets off with probation, look for her to "disappear". I doubt that happens. I hope wherever she goes to jail allows conjugal visits for her sake and for Rick's sake as well.

-In Enes Kanter news...just kidding.

-Michael Gilchrist, former Card commit Marquis Teague, Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer were all named to the Jordan Brand Classic basketball game. Teague, Gilchrist and Davis have also been named as Naismith Player of the Year finalists at the high school level. If two out of our three freshmen from this year stay, and I think that is going to happen, then Holy Sh*t.

That about does it for me. Check back with us tomorrow as I get into some more in depth predictions and other ridiculousness.

Go Cats

P.S. Renardo Sidney is fat.

Louisville Drops another game to 'Cats

Villanova, Kentucky, Cincinnati... what do they have in common? 'Cats and Louisville losses. The Bearcats of Cincinnati beat the #16 Cards 63-54 last night and added a crucial win to their NCAA tournament resume after they had lost 3 of 4.

Terrence Jennings led the Cards with 14 points but the Cards never seemed to find a rhythm. Louisville, who might have been guilty of looking past Cinci to a Friday match-up with #12 UConn, shot well (47%) but fell short on many of their 3 point attempts, only hitting 4-17 (averaging 9 a game and 37%).

Now the question is, how will Louisville respond to going home to the Yum! Center and seeing a Connecticut opponent that they beat in double overtime just 20 days ago?

The answer seems likely that the Huskies will get revenge from the loss at home, as after coming off a 78-70 win against #9 Georgetown, they are officially off their 3 losses in 5 games slump.

My Prediction: Look for Kemba Walker to handle Peyton Siva's drives to the basket and the Huskies add another L to the 'ville's season. UConn wins 75-70 and Louisville winds up below Kentucky in next weeks polls.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bozich and Crawford pick the Cards

They pick Louisville. I do too. I hate Louisville. The End.

Restore the Roar: A night of Dykeisms and other oddities

If there is one word I can use to describe last night it is this: Bizarre. That is how I will break this article down; the good, the bad and the bizarre.

The Good:
-Darius Miller came off of the bench due to a groin injury and gave an inspired performance. His inspiration came from MSU coach Rick Stansbury. Stansbury instructed his player, Riley Benock, to let Miller shoot. Miller responded by draining a three. He then came down the court and drained another one. He then looked Stansbury dead in the eye. Miller ended up with 13 points. And some of those points came at critical moments in the game. I hope Miller can keep this fire burning. Here is some added inspiration for Darius: "All opposing coaches instruct your players to let Darius Miller shoot. He sucks." I don't mean it. It's a psychological thing.

-The Freshman were again outstanding. Knight and Jones have been great even during the recent losses, Lamb had somewhat disappeared until last night. Jones had another double-double, Knight had 24 points and Lamb ended up with 20. The one knock I have against those guys...Well, I'll get to that during "The Bad" portion.

-30 wins in a row at Rupp. Only one school has a better streak going at home. And I won't mention their name at this time. Going for 31 against the Gamecocks on Saturday.

-The Cats shot a very good 57% from the field in the game. One of their better offensive performances as of late.

-When Calipari walked away from one of those stupid in-game interviews I about lost it. You could tell by the look on his face that the last thing he wanted to do was talk to one of the many ESPN lady sideline talking heads. The man has a team to coach. Can we stop doing these stupid interviews already?

-Jorts was clownin' on Sidney. I stole that from Monster mash.

The Bad:
-After a stellar game against Tennessee, DeAndre Liggins has been awful in the past two games. What is with this inside shuffle pass that he keeps feeding Jorts that is constantly stolen? STOP! Can we please have one game where both Liggins AND Miller play well? That would be awesome!

-The perimeter defense was garbage. MSU put up 22 three's and made 12 of them. We have seen that teams can shoot the three on the Cats. They could last year and they still can this year. Please fix it.

-The freshmen could not hit free throws down the stretch. And we wonder why they can't win close road games. Not only were they blowing free points, they were also turning the ball over at an alarming rate in the last 3 minutes. This game should have been a 17 point victory as Vegas had predicted. Missing: Killer Instinct. Possible Location: Somewhere in Lexington.

The Bizarre:
-The Skycam that ESPN insisted on using was possibly the worst camera angle in the history of television. I couldn't follow what the hell was going on. I felt like I was watching Inception for the first time only this version sucked. I hate how ESPN shoves garbage like the camera angles and in game interviews down our throats. Why do they do it? Because they are the World Wide Leaders and they can. Any organization that allows a degenerate like Chris Berman to work there for as long as he has has to be semi-evil.

-Renardo Sidney is still out of shape and it's February. He walked up and down the court the entire game and played ZERO defense. This guy is a waste of ability and is the second coming of Derrick Caracter.

-The whole Rick Stansbury meltdown was weird. He was yelling at everybody in sight, got a technical, kept yelling, and then started yelling at John Calipari as if he made the call. Cal shrugged his shoulders and said "What did I do?"

-The officiating was horrendous. There were bad calls left and right and the officials looked lost at many points during the game.

-Last but not least, the Dykeisms. Jimmy Dykes came up with some of the dumbest catch phrases known to man last night. "Toknight is the knight for Brandon Knight", "The Wildcats need to Restore the Roar", "Talk about a Lamb in sheep's clothing." And that was just a sampling. I could go replay the game on my DVR but I don't have the energy or the patience at this point.

All in all I am glad for the win but this team hasn't been inspiring as of late. I expect a win against South Carolina at home on Saturday. An away game against Arkansas SHOULD be a win, but this team is in a funk when it comes to road games.

And then the last three games are bruisers. At home against Vandy and Florida and then the last game is away at Tennessee. One of those games against the Gators or the 'Dores could prove to be the first home loss. And at Knoxville will be brutal. It always is.

Let's see how this team finishes the season and let's see how they fare on a neutral floor in the SEC tournament. Those tests will be a great indicator on how March will look for these Cats.

Bush Arrested

I realize I'm probably late on this, but former Louisville RB and Current Oakland Raider Michael Bush was arrested Saturday in Jeffersonville, Indiana at 4:30 AM for drinking and driving.

Bush was officially charged with OWI, which I have no idea the meaning. I believe his arrest marks his official acceptance as an Oakland Raider.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Top 25 Coolest UK Players

Here is a list compiled by UK fans ranking the top 25 coolest guys to ever play football or basketball for the Cats. Rex Chapman, Randall Cobb, John Wall, Stevie "Birdman" Johnson, Monster Mash (the Player not the blogger) and DeMarcu Cousins all made the list. Click the link above to find out where and what other players made the list!

Beware of the Dysfunction that is Mississippi State

Tonight the Cats battle Mississippi State at Rupp (Thank You Jesus) in order to rebound after another heartbreaking road loss. The Cats have won 29 in a row at home and are looking to extend that streak against a group of basketball players as dysfunctional as any put out by the University of Louisville.

Let's Hit the Highlights!

-Sophomore power forward Renardo Sidney was ruled ineligible his entire freshman year and 9 games this year for lying to the NCAA about benefits including a trip to LA.
-When Sidney came back, he came back with a vengeance. He ended up fist fighting fellow teammate Elgin Bailey in the stands during a game the entire team was watching in Hawaii.
-Sidney also was suspended a game before a trip the Hawaii for an undisclosed infraction.
-The whole team was banned from Twitter for throwing coach Rick Stansbury under the bus for not playing them at crucial points and for hammering the fans.
-Shooting guard Twanny Beckham was so sick and tired of the train wreck that he decided to transfer to Kentucky. Good choice, young man.

So there you have it. The Bulldogs are Effed up. Where does that put them with the Cats tonight? MSU is 13-11 and just recently lost to Auburn. The basketball team, not the football team. They have one quality win against Florida and that's about it. They are terrible.

Luckily the Cats are playing them at Rupp or I would be worried about a loss. UK is favored by 20 (20!) in Las Vegas. There is some bad news. John Calipari has come out to say that Darius Miller is "extremely doubtful" for tonight's game because of a hamstring injury he suffered against Vandy. So, instead of playing with 6 consistent players, the Cats are down to 5. Oh snap.

But have no fear Cat fans. The home team will win this one, like they do all games at home. I am concerned with the potential loss of Miller tonight and also the toughness of a guy like Sidney, who was considered a top freshman and an NBA prospect last year behind guys like John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins. Players like that tend to have big games against Kentucky...when Kentucky is the visiting team.

Cats 72-Dogs 60

Here is a little gift: Remember this from last year in the SEC tournament game...

That's just beautiful. I so miss that team...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Minnesota Newspaper to UK Fans: Y'all were right about Tubby

Tubby Smith in his glory days at Kentucky.

It appears that the people in Minnesota are getting a little tired of the mediocrity that is Tubby Smith as a head basketball coach and it has taken a lot less time for it to happen there than it did at Kentucky.

Tubby enjoyed a national championship team (which was much accredited to a departed Rick Pitino and rightfully so) but finished no better than the Elite Eight up to his departure at UK. He has spent 3 full years as the head coach of the Golden Gophers and is in his fourth season. His overall record in the Big 10 is 32-35, he has been to the NCAA tournament 3 straight times but has fared no better than the first round. Very pedestrian.

The Minnesota Star-Tribune had an article entitled "Uh, Kentucky, y'all were right about Tubby" where the author speaks about the constant mediocrity of the team and Tubby's bad attitude as of late. Apparently Tubby is blaming the losing on bad practice facilities and the lack of "men" on his team. Something we were not used to when he was at UK was a bad attitude. Tubby was always classy and kind.

But the author points out what our gripes were with Tubby while he coached the Wildcats:

-He ran a bad offense
-The team was consistently middle of the road
-And, despite one stellar class that he did nothing with, he was unable to recruit top talent

The author also goes on to say that the motivation to part ways with Tubby (he left on his own, he was never fired) was not racially motivated, as some idiots (UofL fans) think. It had to do with his coaching.

Now that Minnesota has apologized for jumping to conclusions about the Tubby situation and agreed with UK fans about who Tubby is as a coach, I am waiting for apologies from Dick Vitale, Mike Wilbon of PTI and the entire UofL fan base for claiming that Tubby left because UK fans are racist. A really stupid claim from some really stupid people.

I will always appreciate what he did for the program and I will always like Tubby Smith, I always have. But the fact of the matter is that the team was going nowhere with him and a change was needed. I cheer for Tubby and Minnesota whenever I watch them play. Tubby still holds UK in high regard as we also hold him in high regard. I don't think you will meet many Kentucky fans that don't respect Smith as a person. We just didn't like him as a coach. One day I hope they retire his name in the rafters, he did win a championship and, like I said, he was always a classy person while at Kentucky. One thing we will never forgive him for is Saul Smith. Sorry, but that's too much.

Billy Gillispie's tenure was much shorter than Tubby's. Guess what color he was?

Good News/Bad News Situation for Cats in the NBA

For anything positive there will always be something negative. Let's start with the negative:

One of the all time favorite UK basketball players is having a tough time figuring out how to be a good pro. DeMarcus Cousins has again found himself in hot water with the Sacramento Kings. And this is after he has been playing so well and many thought that he had turned the corner on his maturity.

Cousins was booted from the team plane and suspended for a game for fighting teammate Donte Green in the locker for not passing him the ball in the closing seconds of a 99-97 loss to Oklahoma city. Not good.

Here is what Sacramento had to say: "We do not intend to give up on DeMarcus' talent and potential. We look forward to watching his continued improvement and development, which has been significant since the beginning of the season."

DeMarcus: "I accept full responsibility for my actions and know that I must keep raising my standard of professionalism to be my best and a great player in the NBA."

The Kings obviously see his talent and want him to be a part of the future. Figure it out DeMarcus. Don't become a malcontent. Don't become a T-Will. You're a better person than that.

The positive:

Rajon Rondo had a triple-double yesterday in a win for the Celtics over a star studded Heat team. I watched the game and Rondo absolutely took over the game in the third quarter. He ended up with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Rondo is averaging a double -double for the season with 11 points and 12 assists. He is the best point guard in the NBA in my opinion.

A funny moment came in the game when Rondo decided to try and sneak into the Miami Heat huddle in the third quarter and listen in on the play. Take a look:

It's also pretty funny to hear Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson arguing over whether it's a big deal or not. I'm going to side with the guy that played in the NBA for over a decade.

A Kentucky Valentine

Another weekend road game, another loss. Please don't misunderstand me, I get that we will lose games. I totally expected to at the beginning of the season. UK lost 5 players to the NBA last year. 5! We have the potential #1 overall draft pick in Enes Kanter sitting on our bench, #1! And while we have a stellar crop of freshmen this season, we are relying on freshmen to win games. The cardinal sin of collegiate basketball of which we had our sentence commuted last year, we are paying for this season.

What I hate is that I have hope. Every road game, it seems like we've fallen behind and right as my hand picks up the remote control to flip to reruns of the World Series of Poker or another mind boggling boring version of awful television, someone on the team manages to do something. A defensive play, a blocked shot, a three pointer - the run begins. The chance at victory sucks me back in.

We've fallen behind by 8, 13, 10, 18, etc but right at the last moment as the glimmer of hope fades... a spark ignites. With that spark my hopes elevate to meteoric proportions. My interest peaks. Kentucky manages to come back full force, potentially take the lead only to fail miserably - leaving me heart broken and alone.

So for that 2010-2011 UK team, I say you are like a Valentine... meant for me to love, but I always end up feeling used at the end of the night.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

An open letter to a UK line beard

It was a tough Saturday and an unsurprising one at that. Kentucky took an early lead to see it vanish and find themselves down for the majority of the game. The Cats staged a come back and pushed the game into a back-and-forth style. However, they then turned the ball over three times in the final four possessions, while Vanderbilt made their free throws and gave Kentucky their 5th SEC loss 81-77.

What's worse is that the Cards won against #13 Syracuse 73-69. But in order to save the best of a bad Kentucky fan weekend, I hope to offer a little advice to one of Kentucky's finest, Josh Harrellson. 'Jorts' as Harrellson has become known, is currently becoming dangerously close to a line beard - which is only tolerated in Louisville - and I use this post, and these words to compel Josh to rid the face of the beard and Louisville connection.

Mr Josh 'Jorts' Harrellson,

I hope this letter finds you well, or at least in a better stage than what it leaves my finger tips while typing. My heart is broken. My beloved Cats beleaguered by road losses. My mind stifles through possible outcomes and 'what-if' scenarios for the remainder of the season.

Normally in times of turmoil, I look to the cult of lowly Louisville Cardinal fanatics, encased in the tribulations and literal trials of Rick Pitino and their players. Their below par performances and clown tattoos. Their losses comforting our losses and the thought that 'at least Big Blue nation isn't Louisville.'  But with their losses being minimal and ours mounting high, I cannot find the same alleviation of pain.

So I look for relief from you Mr Harrellson. While my heart sunk and my expectations tempered during the loss at Vanderbilt, I was encompassed with distraught, distracted and harassed by the presence of your facial hair Josh.

Normally I am not a proponent of such hair prohibition. I find the rules regulating the use of razors preposterous. Facial hair is a way of self expression and the showing of personality. But yours Josh was and is different. It is dangerously close to a line beard. The same method of jaw enunciation that is fancied by the rival to the north (and west) - Louisville. Your predecessors of line beards before you are vast and douche filled.

I request Mr Harrellson that you employ your favored apparatus of facial hair removal and relinquish your line beard. Be it razor, scissors, Nair, or tweezers -  it would be appreciated.

If I am to live with losses, I do not want to live with more than game losses by losing our dignity. Let us leave that to the Dirty Birds. Leave the mockery to Louisville. Cease mutual ownership and allow them to control it solely.

If I am successful in my petition, I will find that the loss to the Commodores of Vanderbilt will be of use. If by losing we restore the name (and face) of Kentucky basketball to it's rightful position and stature, it is completely worth it.

In advance, I simply say - Thank you Josh. . Thank you.



Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cousins Harrasses Media Relations Director

All aboard the Boogie(woogie)Cousins Choo Choo Train!... Cuz is missed and not just on the court.

As promised...

I'm not a big believer in superstitions but if this works then I might be leaning towards the ways of spells and wizardry. Again, Troop 41 and John Wall for the W.

Go Cats.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Big Saturday: Cats Vs. The 'Dores, Cards Vs. The 'Cuse

Both of these games have relatively early starts. So, in the spirit of Saturday morning excitement...

As Friday night is winding down I have to admit that the excitement over the Kentucky game is at about a 9. A big road win is needed at this time in the season and the win over Tennessee could provide the spark that was missing for a few games. The game against Vandy is as big of a road game as the Cats have played all year. A win on the road against a ranked team with an identical record is big time.

If Florida loses to Tennessee and UK pulls off a victory, then the SEC East crown is within reach. This is the biggest game for this team of this season so far.

Keys to the Game:
-The Cats need to get going fast in order to keep the mystique of that God awful Gym out of their heads.
-Liggins must stick like glue to John Jenkins, a guy putting up 19 a game for Vandy. He is the best player they have by far. Shut him down and good things will happen.
-Speaking of DeAndre, he needs to continue his aggressiveness at the offensive end of the floor. Tuesday night was beautiful.
-Assert yourself Jorts.
-Knight had a fantastic game against the Vols. He seems unstoppable at home but the road has some type of effect on him and it's not a good one. Stay out of foul trouble young man and start scoring early and often.
-Just give me 4 points, Eloy. Just give me 4.
-Terrence you were.

I am calling this one for the Cats 68-60. Close one throughout, but the Boys in Blue figure out how to do it on the road.

And now for the Dirty Birds. Before I even begin with how I think the game will fall out, I must ask a favor: Louisville fans and Rick Pitino, will you PLEASE STOP CRYING ABOUT THE TECHNICAL FOUL AGAINST KYLE KURIC! They are acting like this is on the level of the Kennedy assassination or something. Jeez, we get it. It was a bad call, it sucks, the kid isn't hurt, he is still playing basketball and I'm sure he will have dunks like that in the future so please MOVE ON.

Glad that's off my chest. Now, Gorgui Dieng and Rakeem Buckles are both returning to the Cards from long absences due to injuries. I am curious to see how Buckles will play since if he hadn't have been injured against UK, Louisville would have won by 50 according to most Louisville fans.

But I digress. Buckles is a huge contributor and makes the Cards tougher on the interior. The problem is that he will be out of basketball shape. Dieng doesn't do much for me. He could be good in a year or two but some people act like he is the second coming of Shaq and his numbers don't reflect that (6 points per game and 4 rebounds). He gives good effort but Buckles could be a key for this team.

The Rickster has owned Jim Boeheim as of late. The Cards won both games against Syracuse last year, including the last game at Freedom Hall. The Orange have seriously been struggling losing 5 of their last 7. They are still #12 for some reason. This game means a lot to both teams in a jumbled middle of the pack in a crowded Big East.

I think the Cards get one more against Syracuse 72-65.

That about does it for me. Until later, go Cats, Boo Cards, and yes the Troop 41 "Do the John Wall" video will be posted in the morning. We gotta keep this baby rolling.

P.S. Marquis Teague (formerly of the Dirty Birds. I still get a kick out of that), Michael Gilchrist, Anthony Davis and Kyle Wiltjer have all been named McDonald's All Americans. We get to see these future Cats in action very soon.

P.P.S. The Cards had 2 players named McD's All Americans, Chane Behanan and Wayne Blackshear. Their first to have 2 play in this game since 1987. Awwwwww...isn't that cute!

An NBA team for the Commonwealth?

If rumors are true then the Kings might be coming and DeMarcus Cousins will be bringing his talents to the Derby City. Yes.

Louisville attorney J. Bruce Miller is serious about getting an NBA team here. So serious that he met with NBA commissioner David Stern in New York and said afterwards, "I think it looks very good." Stern declined to comment.

This would be great for the state of Kentucky and the city of Louisville. With all of the renovation to the Waterfront and Fourth Street Live it makes sense to get a marquee attraction like an NBA team to lure businesses and other interests to Louisville in order to create jobs and revenue for the city.

There is only one problem; the new NBA team would play in a renovated Freedom Hall at the Fairground which is 15 minutes from downtown instead of at the Yum! Center, which is at the heart of the downtown Renaissance.

Indulge my conspiracy theories and ranting for a moment. I think it is preposterous that if we have an NBA team that they would be made to play in the second best arena in the city and the third best arena in the state. Guess what built the Yum! Center? My tax dollars and your tax dollars, not Rick Pitino's or Tom Jurich's personal accounts. It should be up to us, not them, where this team plays if we get it. I am sure there would be a way to work out a way to schedule the games. St. Johns and the Knicks, the Lakers and the Clippers, the Jets and the Giants do it every year. I firmly believe Pitino and Chavez Junior are behind this. Those two egomaniacs don't want their precious Cardinal Birds playing second fiddle to an NBA franchise.

Pitino has even been quoted as saying that an NBA team would not work in this city and it is a bad idea. Gee, I wonder why? I guess ole Ricky P really has the people of this city in his best interest and not the fact that his ego won't allow another basketball coach in this city that is as high profile as he is. He's already the second best basketball in the Commonwealth, another shot to his pride would surely do him in.

By the way, John Calipari is of the opposite opinion. He thinks it would be a great idea and the NBA team would also lure more recruits because they would be right in the thick of the NBA coaches, scouts and owners. He also wants what is best for the state.

I hope it gets done. I have always wanted to see a professional franchise in this city and I would be a huge supporter as would many people in the area.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dunk of the Year: Terrence Jones or Kyle Kuric

Both of these dunks are amazing. I mean,they are Blake Griffin amazing. My vote goes for Jones' dunk for two reasons: A). I am an unapologetic UK homer and B). Jones took the ball coast to coast, took his man one on one, broke his man's ankles with a cross over and then jammed it home. The fact that a guy playing the four spot can drive the floor is awesome enough, but when he faked out the guy guarding him, that sealed it for me. The levels of difficulty and play were much greater.

I liked the Kuric dunk very much as well. The problem I have with it is the UofL fans have ruined it for me. All over the message boards they are whining and complaining about the technical foul he received as if it was the most controversial and egregious call ever made by a basketball official. As if the technical foul was not called, UofL would have won the game. Gimmee a break. It was too early in the game for that call to matter that much. Louisville was in it despite the call. Their lack of playing ability in overtime is what cost them the game.

Vote for your favorite dunk or jump on my case for my opinions on the technical foul call. They are the dunks of the year in college basketball by far at this point. Jones' was just a little better. Louisville fans ruined it for everybody again.

Memorial Gymnasium: Enter Thunderdome

Two teams enter...One team Leaves.

Saturday at 1:00 p.m. will be the toughest road game thus far for the Kentucky Wildcats this season. Forget about Alabama, forget the Tad Pad, forget the Rowdy Reptiles, and we can definitely forget that laugher in the Chicken Shack Duh Ville calls home, Vanderbilt's home gym is tougher to play in than all of them.

What makes it so tough? Is it the nerds that come to the games to cheer on their beloved 'Dores? No. Is it the distraction that is the Bill Dotreve doppelganger that coaches Vandy? No. Is it the consistently mediocre product that continues to come out of Nashville every year? No. Is it the ghost of the Awesome Aussie A.J. Ogilvy? No.

What makes this road game the toughest is the God Awful layout of Memorial Gymnasium. We are all familiar with it. The court is elevated as if on a stage. The benches are at either end of the court underneath the baskets which makes it tough to A). Hear your coach calling plays when you are on the opposite end and B). Run from the goal to check in at the scorers table to actually get in the game.

And let's not forget the weird position of the shot clock. It's not on top of the basket like every other basketball gym in America. It's off to the side and it makes it difficult for a player to locate if they have never played there before. And we have a freshman point guard.

Let's hope the Cats can get a much needed road victory at Vandy on Saturday. Another win and a Florida loss to Tennessee puts the Cats even closer to the Gators in first place. So hold your nose and cheer for the Vols to beat the Gators this weekend.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pearl's oyster closed early by hand of Kentucky

It's not puke in a pumpkin orange, but it looks like puke - Tennessee might just get inspired to change their colors.

When you live in Louisville and you get tickets to Lexington for a weeknight game like last night, it makes blogging very difficult. You have to leave straight from work to get a parking spot REMOTELY close to Rupp. You also get home after 11:00pm for 7:00pm games and around 1:00am for 9:00pm games, which makes for a LONG day at work the next morning.

However, when you get to see a game and excitement like there was last night in the House that Blue Built, it is totally worth it.

Here are your points of interest and things we learned last night in Kentucky’s 73-61 win over Bruce Pearl and the Tennessee Volunteers:

1) Kentucky needed that win. You could feel it in the nervous energy of the crowd. You could hear it in the voices and taunts of the fans. But luckily you could also see it in the defense of the upper classmen. While Kentucky could have folded during any of Tennessee’s runs, just like they’ve done in the past when playing on the road, they seized the moment and went on a run of their own.

2) Bruce Pearl is a cry baby. During the game, the fans were as loud and obnoxious towards Pearl (often chanting Brucey is a Cheater) as they've been towards anyone not named Rick Pitino. Couple that in with the Fresh Prince/MC Hammer hair-don't of Scotty Hopson and you have an easy target and an easier target. Tee-shirts inviting Pearl to upcoming cook-outs, signs saying Pearl doesn’t remember where to sit after his extended break from SEC play, and at one point Pearl was seen complaining to a KY State trooper to make a particular fan behind the bench quit taunting him. Poor Bruce cheats and doesn’t like to hear about it – sounds like a coach in Louisville.

3) DeAndre Liggins is the best defender since Rajon Rondo (and could be better than Rondo). You can guarantee that Liggins is going to be matched up against the best ball handler on the opposing team. He's tall enough to defend the 3 and fast enough to break down against most point guards. His length allows him to make up for his speed against quicker players and his hustle makes it seem like he's everywhere. He spends more time on his knees than Karen Sypher when she’s with Rick Pitino.

4) When the upper classmen participate, Kentucky deserves their top 10 ranking. When they don't, they don't. Knight, Lamb, and Jones normally account for 75% of the points and 80% of the defense because teams double team Jones. Teams are forced to guard Harrellson when he’s finishing, which frees up Jones, who is likely the most difficult 1-on-1 matchup in the nation. When Miller and Liggins are driving and shooting the soft running jumpers, Knight and Lamb find themselves more open to fire threes. A team with 5 scoring threats is a tough one to stop – ask Louisville or Notre Dame, two other games where UK’s upper classmen stepped up.

5) DeAndre Liggins had the best quote of the night. When asked in the post game show if he liked doing the 1-on-1 ball chasing drills, where a ball is rolled down the court and players have to jump on it, Liggins said he is not allowed to participate. The reason, while others are being taught to jump on top of the ball instead of sliding to it resulting in scars and court burn, he said "Other guys are worried about how pretty their legs are. I don't care. I have tons of scars and I always win." Personally, I want to know who is worried about the appearance of their legs - but great quote and something we all expected anyways.

It's onto #24 Vandy this Saturday where Kentucky tries to end another losing streak (2 in a row on the road and 4 of the last 5). But either win or lose, the season looks much brighter.

DeAndre Liggins: Quick News and Notes

I only have time for a quick post. Duty calls. It was good to see the Cats do what we all know they can do, and that's play good team basketball. Some thoughts:

-DeAndre Liggins and Jorts seem to have finally gotten the memo that Calipari has been pushing the past month. Both veterans scored in double digits. And I must say, besides Jorts' monster game against Dem Dirty Birds, Liggins had the performance of the year. A career high 19 points was accomponied by unmatched hustle and aggressiveness. Can we say catalyst for a run?

-The Cats finally looked like they were having fun out there again. After a string of ho-hum games and back to back losses, the team looked ready to get after it. Last night they looked loose and dominated the entire game. The friendly confines of Rupp really seem to work magic on this team.

-Speaking of that: 29 straight home wins at Rupp.

-They all can't be at home. This Saturday is AT dreaded Vanderbilt. Must Win Game Part Deux: Road Warriors.
-I attribute the win to me for posting the Troop 41 "Do the John Wall" video. You are welcome and yes I will continue to do so as long as the Cats keep winning.

-Louisville plays Notre Dame in South Bend tonight. I am a Notre Dame fan. I hate Ben Hansbrough. I hate Louisville more. UK demolished both of these teams. Go Irish. ND wins 69-60.

-Duke and North Carolina play. Besides Dick Vitale and their fan bases, who cares? 10-1 odds Vitale has an orgasim if Duke wins. Any takers?

That's all for now. I might be back later with something else, but for now I have to run. Go Cats and Go Irish!

P.S. John Wall was the "Y". Boogie's turn.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's a Must Win for the Cats

It is rumored that John Wall will be at the game. Here is Troop 41 for the win...

I'm not really fan of the term "must win" in February, especially for a team like UK that seems to be in the tournament unless there is a collapse of biblical proportions. Unfortunately that collapse is a possibility with the Cats sitting .500 in the SEC and more games against the cream of the SEC East crop still on the horizon.

This game has become a must win for a few reasons:

  1. This team needs a shot of confidence like non other. Losing by such close margins can make a team question their ability to close and hold onto a lead. Something that will become essential in March.
  2. The door for winning the SEC East is closing and it's closing fast. The Cats sit behind Vanderbilt, Florida and Tennessee at the moment, all three major contenders for the crown. It won't be the end of the world to lose the division, but it sure won't help.
  3. Calipari's sanity is about to be lost. He keeps reiterating that he has faith in his team and that they have more upside than anyone. That upside keeps looking more and more down with every close loss. There is only so much he can do and maybe his frustration is why he didn't call a timeout at the end of the Florida game. I doubt it, but hey who knows?
  4. The seed in the tournament keeps dropping and that's not good. The Cats have been as high as a 2 seed and now they are sitting at a 5 or a six. Another loss and we are looking lower than that.
  5. This team cannot be 4-5 in the SEC at this juncture in the season. Just can't happen.
  6. Three losses in a row. Are you serious?
  7. The Rupp streak is at stake. We are behind Duke right now for the longest home winning streak in the nation. 28 games and counting...
  8. If they lose Monster Mash may actually try to harm himself or Favre4Ever.
  9. It is rumored that John Wall will be the "Y" tonight. Do not disappoint the Great Wall.
  10. The fan base is getting restless and they are doing stupid things like calling out individual players on Twitter and Facebook. It's a dumb move but it is happening. This win will calm the masses.

Enjoy the game tonight. My heart cannot take many more of these close losses. Cats win 72-65. I hope. I can't imagine this team missing the NCAA's this year. So I won't.

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's a Tennessee Tuesday for the Wildcats

I hate Monday's. The thought of going back to the office after a nice relaxing weekend sucks. There's the sinking feeling that your day is already booked with meetings but you have plenty to do in the little amount of time you have to do it. There are the numerous complaints that have piled up from crap that has happened over the weekend, when you decided not to work, but everyone else did.

Then there are Monday's that follow a Kentucky weekend loss. You know you have to go in and face the Louisville fan that texted you as soon as John Calipari decided not to call a timeout and the last second shot hit the rim instead of the bottom of the net. There's the Indiana fan that rubs in the fact that your team has a longer losing streak than their 12-12 team. Then their is the realization that your team now has to face a returning Bruce Pearl lead Tennessee team and go back on the road this weekend, where they have lost 5 games, to face another ranked team in #23 Vanderbilt. Monday's suck and Kentucky weekend loss Mondays suck worse.

So to cheer up that Monday or to start off your Tennessee Tuesday on a better note, I present for you the best Volunteer video outside of I hate Tennessee guy, featuring two of those garbage truck driving, puke in a pumpkin orange, low down dirty snitches getting into a queso fight at the largest gathering of Tennessee fans outside of Neyland Stadium and Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN: a Chattanooga Walmart. Enjoy.

(double click to play)

Worst. Halftime Show. Ever.

I didn't really care about the Super Bowl. I hate the Steelers and I don't like the Packers, so I guess I was happy with the outcome by default. I was kind of watching the game while drinking a lot at a Super Bowl party. The game was interesting to watch and I was at least glad of the mild entertainment. And then the halftime show happened and fury gripped my soul.

To be honest I hate the Black Eyed Peas. I feel their brand of "music" is mindless, sou less, and represents the worst in our culture. It's made easily, easy to consume, instantly gratifying, and easily forgotten. In a way, their music group is tearing this country apart. Needless to say I wasn't very excited when it was announced that they were to be the halftime entertainment.

They came to the stage from ropes from the sky and they were dressed like gay robots. They were unable to utilize autotune and whatever diabolical devices that make their voices sound the way they do on the radio and their true talents were exposed during the live show. They couldn't sing and there was nothing there to hide that. Sure, they had a ton of distractions, smoke and mirrors, people dressed in tight illuminated leotards, and even legendary Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash to hide the fact that they sucked.

The low light was when Fergie sang "Sweet Child 'O Mine" while Slash jammed away with his guitar. I think I could actually see his soul leaving his body as he played along to the screeching of that harpy beside him. It was truly awful and it may have been the worst thing that I have ever heard. I hope they payed him well.

Everyone at the party was either laughing, crying, puking or trying to jam blunt objects into their ears. I actually saw an old man on oxygen take off his oxygen mask in an attempt at suicide. His daughter put the mask back on him and whispered lovingly into his ear, "It'll be over shortly." If she would have allowed him to follow through, then it would have been over shortly for good and he would not have to suffer the indignity of knowing who the Black Eyed Peas are and having their music burned into his memory for the duration of whatever time remains for him.

And Christina Aguilera butchered the National Anthem by leaving out lines. I was waiting for George Washington to run over her in his Dodge Charger but it didn't happen.

Cheer Up Cat Fans! Good Times are Ahead!

As I am finally getting over the current skid the Cats are on, I began thinking about some things. I wanted to know how big time coaches fared their first few years at a new job at a big time program. Here is what I found:

Roy Williams: From Kansans to North Carolina

First Season at UNC: 19-11, NCAA Second Round

Second Season: 33-4, National Champs

Third Season: 23-8, NCAA Second Round

*Williams also won a title in 2008-2009 and has been to one other Final Four in 2007-2008

Bill Self: From Illinois to Kansas

First Season at Kansas: 24-9, Elite Eight

Second Season: 23-7, NCAA First Round

Third Season: NCAA First Round

*Self won a championship at Kansas in 2007-2008, his fifth season at KU

Ricky "Three Stacks" Pitino: Kentucky to Boston Celtics to Duh Ville

First Season at Duh Ville: 19-13, NIT Second Round

Second Season: 25-7, NCAA Second Round

Third Season: 20-10, NCAA First Round

*Rick Pitino has been at Louisville for 10 seasons and has been to only one Final Four. But he did bring shame to the university, contracted multiple STD's, had affairs with Patty Swope and Karen Sypher, and alienated his entire family. Not too shabby!

Besides Roy Williams' second season at Carolina, the trend seems to be that the first few years are a little rough. Granted, Ricky P's early career at Louisville was, shall we say, crap, he did get them to a Final Four by the fourth season. It took Self a long time to get Kansas to the promised land. And once Williams one that first title it took him a few years to get back there and went to an NIT along the way.

So cheer up Cats fans! We have an elite coach and an elite program. It's not like we have fallen on hard times. We lost games back to back for the first time in Cal's tenure at UK but it's not the end of the world. The team is young and the fact that we are ranked as well as the fact that we have beaten some very tough teams is a good accomplishment despite losing five players last year and having really only 6 players on the team.

Next year's class might be the one to put us over the edge. I am of the thought that the only key player that might go pro, and he probably will, is Terrence Jones. Other than that, everybody will be back along with another stud class. If it doesn't happen next year then it will happen very soon.

But this season isn't over. I still believe these Cats have some fight left in them and we didn't win 16 games by accident. Losing now is hard to handle but losing in March is what counts. Let's get them out of the way early.

It's Tennessee Eve and I'm ready for bed. It'll be a late night tomorrow so I better get some shuteye. If I dwell on the Dirty Vols too much, images of Bruce Pearl's fat face and orange painted chest will haunt my dreams.