Monday, February 28, 2011


Off the subject of basketball for a moment, let's talk about the TV show Justified. If you haven't seen it, tune in and watch it Wednesday nights on FX. Now I'll admit I didn't watch the first season, but caught a re-run episode, and got hooked.

For those of you who don't know what Justified is about, it's about U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens who was reassigned from Florida to come back to his childhood home Harlan county Kentucky to be a U.S. Marshall. Raylan is a complete bad ass, and if you watch the show, you will see why when I have a baby boy, his given name shall be Raylan.

Seriously watch this show, you won't be disappointed!

Kentucky/Vandy Preview

We remember all to well how the game in Nashville went against Vandy, so there is no need for me to go into how poorly Kentucky played, or how dumb it was the way Vandy shot the ball. So let's just look at tomorrows game.

First of all, it is Senior Day for Kentucky senior Josh "Jorts" Harrellson. This kid has made more improvement in one year than any Kentucky player in recent memory. Now I'm not saying he is an All-American, or even an All-SEC candidate, but it's hard to dismiss the obvious improvement by Harrellson. Last season he didn't see much playing time, playing behind the likes of Demacrus Cousins and Daniel Orton. But when he did get some playing time, he was no where near the player he is this season. The most improved part of his game is his rebounding, particularly on a the offensive end of things. I mean this time last year did any of you expect that Harrellson would be one of the leaders in the SEC in rebounding? So, tomorrow night, when Josh runs through the hoop for Senior Night, show him the love and respect he deserves!

Now on to the game. This is a must win for Kentucky if they want to have any chance of a first round bye in the SEC tournament. Of course Vandy would have to help them out by losing their last game of the season, but Kentucky has to take care of their end of things first. Vandy always seems to present problems for Kentucky every year, and it's mostly Vandys ability to shoot the ball well from the outside that does the damage. Kentucky, at times struggles with their perimeter defense, and this is not the game to have that happen.

Vandy, as a team shoots the ball well from outside averaging 38% on the season, where as Kentucky shoots 39% from downtown. So you can see both teams have some great shooters, it comes down to who can shut the other down from outside.

That brings us to the inside game. Kentucky has struggled this season with any team that has a inside game, and Vandy is no different. Center Festus Ezeli causes some matchup problems down low for the Cats. In the last meeting, Ezeli only had 14 pts, but he is just a big athletic body to bang around down low and has a great shot blocking ability averaging over 2 bpg. Plus if you foul him, he can hit the free throws as well hitting almost 65% from the stripe. But if he wasn't bad enough, there's Steve Tchiengang, a forward that can play down low, and step outside and hit the three at a 40% clip. So Kentucky's big men will have to be ready to play tomorrow night, and stay out of foul trouble for Kentucky to win this game.

The one player that just killed Kentucky in the last meeting was John Jenkins, shooting 11-17 from the floor, and going 6-10 from three to light up the Cats for 32 pts. In the last meeting, every time Kentucky made a run, Jenkins buried big three, after big three. Kentucky has got to keep him under defensive pressure, limit his touches and force him to put the ball on the floor. Not saying Jenkins can't finish at the rim, because he can. But I would much rather take my chances of him going to the basket, than have him put on a shooting clinic in Rupp. But since the game is in Rupp, and we all know how opposing players shoot there, expect him to look like Pistol Pete tomorrow night.

Kentucky played a decent game in the last meeting, loosing by only 4 but once again, turnovers at the wrong times is what killed them. They only had 8 turnovers, but they just seem to have happened at the worst possible times, as always.

Brandon Knight played a decent game, going for 20 pts on 7-13 shooting, and 4-7 form three. But, out of the 8 turnovers, 4 came at the hands of Brandon Knight. He has got to take better care of the ball tomorrow night. Terrence Jones had a good game, in the second half. Jones was 9-14 from the floor, 1-4 from three and 6-8 from the line, to finsih with a team high 25 pts. The only stat that bothers me, is the 1-4 from three, Jones is not a three point shooter and needs to stick with what he does best. Posting up inside, going to the rim and trying to get Vandys bigs in foul trouble.

Kentucky has got to have better play out of DeAndre Liggins and Doron Lamb than what they got in the last meeting. Doron only had 8 pts in 30 minutes of play, and was 0-2 from downtown. He has got to put up better numbers this time around. DeAndre Liggins had a decent game scoring 10 pts, but again he had momentum changing technical called on him in the second half. Liggins has got to keep his head, quit talking to the refs and just play ball. Calipari will take care of the refs.

This should be a good game, as it always is on Senior Day. Again, Kentucky has got to start the game well, and avoid letting Vandy get a big lead in the first few minuets of the game. If they take care of the ball, and play good defense, there is no reason Kentucky doesn't walk away with the win tomorrow night.

So let's make this last home game a good one, blow the roof off of Rupp, and make Vandy wish they never showed up to play this game in the first a place.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Darius Miller: The Player He Should Be

Enough can't be said about the recent play of Darius Miller. Granted most of his improved play has came at home (as has the rest of the team) but at least it's a start. Darius even picked up the nickname "Disappearius" Miller because of his ability to disappear in key stretches of important games. Just look at the Arkansas game from earlier in the week for an example. Sure he scored 13pts but it just seemed like at key times during the game Darius was looking to dish the ball instead of shooting, and wasn't looking to rebound like he is capable of. But as of now at least, it looks like he is starting to turn things around.

When the first of his two threes left Miller's hands last night and ripped through the net, you could see the confidence on his face. From that point on, he was looking to score the ball any way he could. Darius drove the lane putting up a floater, a shot that I believe is his best offensive weapon, and is difficult for ANYONE to stop. Every time Miller drove the lane, and took advantage of a smaller player, he would either score on the floater, or get fouled and score on free throws. Either way, every basket he made did nothing but raise his confidence, and that is something that Darius and quite frankly the whole team needs at this point.

Florida coach Billy Donovan was also impressed with the improved play of Darius Miller.
"He is the most complete player in the league. He drove the ball hard, and he made tough shots." I agree with Donovan's statement that Darius is the most complete player in the league. I have watched him since his high school days, and there is no doubt that he is the most athletic player on this team. Donovan also said "He's really improved his shooting, and now when you press up on him, he can go by you. He was a huge difference in the game." This I don't agree with, the reason I say that is, Darius hasn't improved his shot or his ability to drive, he has FOUND it. He always had the ability to do those things, he just never would for some unknown reason.

Miller was happy about the way he played, and rightfully so. "It was a fun game, especially when we are playing well as a team, and playing well against a good team. It was fun to be a part of it." Well he wasn't just a part of it, he was one of the main reasons for it. Now I will admit that I was one of those fans who has been disappointed in the play of Miller this season, and that is just because I know he is capable of so much more than what he has been showing. Watching him play used to make me want to go out and lick a hot light bulb, but last night it had me saying finally. This is the type of player he can be every game and this is the type of player Kentucky needs him to be.

We will see if he can maintain this type of play and get some revenge on a Vandy team that is playing really well right now.

So until Tuesday nights game, let's all give Miller the credit he deserves.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Kentucky 76 Florida 68

Finally we saw Kentucky get a lead in the second half, keep it and build on it. It was an all around great effort by every Cat that saw action. We saw Miller set a new career high, seen Calipari get his 500th win, and held on to the the nations second longest home winning streak now at 33 straight wins. We even saw Eloy Vargas get a block.

Let's start with the great play of Darius Miller. He scored every way he could, from jumpers in the lane, long range threes, and hitting from the charity stripe to end the game with 24 points, a new career high. He was 9-15 from the floor, 3-5 from the line, 2-4 from deep, 3 assits and 3 blocks. All around his best game of the year. It's good to see this from Miller as the Cats are going to need this kind of production from him every game going forward to make a deep run in March.

For Florida, the star in my mind for them was Kenny Boynton. He finished the game with 21 points going 5-9 from long range. 5-9!! Not too shabby for a guy who shoots 29% from three on the year. But he done just what I thought he would. He has the tendency to light it up when he gets going. The rest of the Gators team played a good game every starter getting double digits except one.

I'm not going to spend too much time talking about Florida when our team played so well, and there is so much to talk about.

How about Josh Harrellson. Now he didn't have a huge scoring night having only 6 points, but what he did do is score in crucial spots in the game. The big story with Josh was his rebounding, he finished the game with 12 rebounds, 6 of them coming on the offensive end of the glass. I have said it a hundred times this year. Harrellson isn't the most gifted or the most athletic player on the floor, but he more than makes up for it in heart and hustle.

Doron Lamb bounced back from his poor outing at Arkansas scoring 14 points on 2-4 from 3 and 6-9 from the floor. What doesn't show up on the stat sheets is the energy and enthusiasm he played with for the entire game. Doron also had a good showing on the defensive end of things, sticking to his guy and not letting them get an open look too often. Good to see him have a good game after the way he played at Arkansas.

Brandon Knight played a well rounded game today. Finishing the game with 16 points going 5-10 From the floor, 2-3 from deep, 4-5 from the line and recording 6 assists. What I liked about his game today was the way he slashed to the basket and how he tried to get everyone involved in the scoring, and doing a good job finding the open man for an easy bucket.

Terrence Jones just hasn't been himself as of late. And what I mean by that is he just isn't dominating people under the basket the way he was a month ago. A lot of that may be due to the fact that we have no bench and the minutes are starting to show their wear on him. Maybe he is just trying to do too much on his own instead of just trying to make the easy play. Jones finished the game with just 8 points and 9 boards. But he did have two good blocks, but for Kentucky to have a chance at a deep tournament run Jones has got to get back to the way he was playing at the start of conference play. Let's just hope that Jones can find his former self in time for these last two regular season games.

All in all it was a great game that showed some promise for this team. Sure there was some mental lapses during the game (shot clock violation in second half) and still some turnovers that shouldn't have happened, even though Kentucky ended the game with only 6 turnovers. There was some that was just unforced errors, but I can live with those as long as they play
the way they did today.

Up next the Cats got Vandy coming to Rupp on Tuesday for Senior Day as Josh "Jorts" Harrellson plays his last game in Rupp Arena. It would be great to see Big Jorts leave Rupp on a winning note.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Kentucky/Florida preview

Tomorrow afternoon the Cats are back in the safety of Rupp Arena to take on the Florida Gators. This is always a good game as the two teams generally just do not like each other, same goes for the fan bases of each program. The entire off season members of each fan base go back and forth over who will win the eastern division, and Kentucky fans scoffed at the idea of members of the media picking Florida emerge as the top team in the east. Well, look where we are now.

Florida already has at least a share of the divisional crown and Kentucky is battling to try and catch Vandy in second. My how much can change in a year, it was this time last year that Kentucky was dominating the SEC without a care in the world, now we are fighting to get second place( which is a long shot).

But that was last year and this is this year. We all know about Kentuckys road struggles, but this game is benign played in Rupp Arena where the Cats have won 32 straight games since Calipari's arrival in Lexington. You would think that would give the Cats some confidence going into this game. We will find out tomorrow afternoon. For now let's talk about what they must do to try and win this game.

First thing, they have got to try and limit Kenny Boynton's (#32) ability to drive to the basket without fouling him. This guy can light it up on the charity stripe shooting a blistering 83% on the season. Second, they need to try to make him give up the ball as much as they can because, not only will he drive to the basket drawing a foul, but he can be deadly from mid-range as well. Kenny has 6 straight double digit games in scoring coming into this one, and he averages 13.3 on the year. So the kid can score.

Alex Tyus isn't the most intimidating player on this Florida team, however he does have the ability to have big games and make plays in critical parts of the game. So Kentucky will have to play solid defense on this kid or he will make them pay down low.

Vernon Macklin is another worry down low, he is a big body who can shove you around and score in the paint with ease. He is averaging 11.3 ppg and 6 rebounds. So Kentucky will have to keep an eye on him under the basket.

Then there is Erving Walker, the pesky little guard that can put up really big numbers given the opportunity averaging 14.8 ppg, 3.2 apg, 1.1 spg, and shooting almost 40% from 3. So this is a guy who may give Kentucky fits tomorrow considering Kentucky perimeter defense is less than good at times. And left open this guy will burn it up.

Then we come to Chandler Parsons, it's hard not to like watching this kid play as he just flat out works everyone on the floor every night. Parsons has the ability to put up big numbers as well averaging 11.0 ppg, 3.6 apg, and 7.7 rpg. Oh and if all that wasn't enough, he also is shooting almost 40% from 3 point range.

You can tell by reading this that Kentucky will have their work cut out for them tomorrow. They had better start the game well instead of a slow start like they have been doing, and had better play in your face defense for the WHOLE game or this could be Coach Cal's first loss at Rupp.

Perry Ellis Has Monster Game as Team Wins City League Title

Thursday night Perry Ellis and his Witchita Heights (20-0) team defeated rival East High School in an interstate battle, winning the City League Championship. Perry had a game filled with highlight reel dunks (6 in total) helping his team secure the victory and finishing the game with 27 points.

Perry has had a very impressive year this season averaging 23.1 ppg and 7.9 rpg. His ability to finish around the rim has enabled him to shooting a blistering 80% from inside the 3 point line. And if teams think that they can foul him in crunch time, well he can hit those as well shooting a very solid 71% from the charity stripe.

For a 6'8 forward who is unstoppable around the rim, he can also at times step out and hit the long range shot as well. This is a kid that I have been watching for quite some time and in my opinion, is just as good of a person as he is a player. It should be fun to watch his recruitment play out as there are 6 schools heavily involved. Kentucky, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Memphis, and Witchita State.

As far as his recruitment goes, I talked to his mother earlier this morning and she told me "Perry plans to take official visits next fall, and would like to sign in the early signing period."

Trevor Lacey signs with Kentucky?

It appears that there are some conflicting reports of Trevor Lacey signing with Kentucky. It seems the story originated from a Alabama news paper.

Everyone seems to think that this is premature and no commitment or signing has taken place. Not to say Kentucky isn't in great shape to land Lacey, because they are. It just hasn't happened yet.

Siging day is April 13th I believe, and I wouldn't look for any news on Lacey until then. If I hear anymore news I'll pass it along. Plus my Florida preview will be up later on today.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Doron Lamb still in class at UK

Just spoke with a great source that asked to remain nameless about the stories that came out today about Doron dropping out of class and the altercation in the locker room after last nights game.

The source told me "there is no truth what so ever in the stories that came out earlier today" about any of this.

"Doron Lamb is still enrolled in class, in fact he was in class today". There was no altercation at all. I was told by this source that after the game, "Coach Calipari's post game speech was very short and it was a very quiet locker room after the game". No yelling or arguing of any kind ensued.

So there you go, everything is fine in Wildcat country.

Kentucky Goes Down 77-76

Well, another road game and another road loss. This time it hurt just a little more than the others. We had a chance to pull even with Vandy for second place in the eastern division, and keep our hopes alive for a first round bye in the SEC tournament. Now all we can hope for is a total collapse by Vandy, and Kentucky to win ALL remaining games. Since one of those games is on the road, I don't see that happening.

The main thing Kentucky needed to do last night was stop Rotnei Clarke and they didnt do that. Sure he didn't get hot from 3 going 3-9, but they did give him so many chances from the line (11-12) that it was painful to watch. Kentucky fouled him on three point shots, going to the basket, and any other way they could find to send him to the line. He is the one guy on Arkansas team you don't want on the line, and what does DeAndre Liggins do after fouling him going to the basket? Gets T'd up for his usual over reaction to a call, and that gave Arkansas the lead after Kentucky had taken it's largest of the night at 6. Then it was just all down hill from here.

The only player that played to their potential for the whole game was Brandon Knight. He slashed to the basket, getting to the line going 9-9 and scoring a team high 26 points. The one flaw in his game last night, and seems to be a tradition on the road for Brandon was his horrid three point shooting. He was 1-8 form deep, missing two wide open looks in the final seconds in regulation to win the game. But this loss can not be laid at the feet of Knight, as he was the only one on the team that played with aggression for the whole game. (side note on Knight, last night he set the record for most 20 point games by a Kentucky freshman with 10.)

Terrence Jones didn't play like himself all game regardless of his stats. Time and time again he let people drive by him or shoot over him. He did manage somehow to get 4 blocks, but still he didn't play with the effort he needs to play with every game for Kentucky to be competitive under the basket.

Josh Harrellson played a good game, getting 14 rebounds with 6 of them coming on the offensive end. He ended the game with a double double with 10 points and 14 boards. Josh really hustled and gave a lot of effort the whole game. He isn't the most athletic player on this team, but he does play hard every game, and that deserves some respect.

Miller again vanished for long stretches of the game, Lamb looked lost for what time he was in there and couldn't handle Rotnie Clarke. That's what led to his limited floor time, and why Liggins played a lot off the bench. But it was clear Liggins couldn't slow Clarke down either, every other possession, Clarke was beating Liggins off the dribble and drawing a foul. This game was just all around hard to watch. But they did seem to make some improvement on the road sending a game into overtime for the first time all year. Again Knight had a decent look to win it in OT but the shot didn't fall.

Florida comes to Rupp Saturday, Kentucky better get things worked out in a hurry if they expect to win that game.

There are some rumors going around about some sort of altercation in the locker room after the game, and Doron Lamb dropping out of classes saying he's entering the draft. But I'm hearing this is totally untrue. Matt Jones also posted on twitter that Lamb has NOT stopped going to class. I'm still trying to find out about the altercation as of right now, no one seems to know anything.


As soon as I post this there was an update about the locker room altercation. The boys at Kentucky Sports Radio are saying there is no truth in any of the rumors mentioned above.

Lamb is still on the team and no altercation took place.

So there you go, now you can enjoy the rest of your day without thinking the sky is falling.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

That one hurt

Well I'm not gonna lie, that one hurt. Tennessee does us a favor last night by beating Vadny and this is how we repay them? Everything thing that could have went wrong did. Rotnie Clarke got hot, not from three but from the free-throw line, and Terrence Jones didn't show up to play.

I'm not sure there is a lot of positive to take away form this game, except the play of Brandon Knight and Josh Harrellson. Darius Miller was good in spots, DeAndre Liggins done a decent job on Rotnie Clark ( when not drawing technical fouls) but it just wasn't good enough to pull out a road win the Cats really needed.

More to come tomorrow on this game, gotta give tempers time to settle.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lacey Makes Decision?

It is being reported that 2011 Kentucky target Trevor Lacey has made a decision, but will wait till spring signing to reveal his destination. There are stories going around regarding his ability to gain academic eligibility next season. But if he does get eligible, one has to think things look good for Kentucky to land this kid considering he made his decision the day after visiting Kentucky.

Lacey would make a great late addition to an already unbelievable signing class for next season that is already ranked #1 in the country. One thing he would add is his ability to shoot the ball from deep.

So let's hope he can get eligible and we don't have another Kanter situation on our hands.

Kentucky By The Numbers

Day before game day at Arkansas, I decided to look into how a few UK players stacked up against the conference in some categories.

Kentucky is #11 in the nation in 3 point% shooting 40% and is #1 in the SEC.

Kentucky is #22 in the nation is scoring at 78ppg, and #1 in the SEC.

Kind of surprising that Kentucky leads the SEC in 3 pt% considering how well Vandy shoots the ball. But Vandy checked in at #16 in the nation, and obviously #2 in the SEC. It has been a while since Kentucky has been such a good shooting team from 3. Last season Kentucky was awful from deep shooting 34% and ranking 168th in the nation.

Brandon Knight is #2 in the SEC in Assists at 4.0 apg

Brandon Knight is #4 in the SEC averaging 17.4 ppg

I would say by looking at the numbers that Brandon Knight has filled John Wall's shoes quite nicely in his own way. Bonus, Brandon is a great 3pt shooter averaging 41% from deep, which is the one thing that John Wall didn't have last year. Shooting that good from deep means the defense can't lag off of him to stop the drive, because left open Knight will shoot the three form anywhere on the floor.

Doron Lamb is #6 in the nation in 3pt% shooting an impressive 49% (51-103) and is #1 in the SEC. Doron is averaging 13.8ppg this season while mostly coming off the bench, which gives one thing we haven't had in quite sometime, a deadly shooter coming off the bench. But he and Brandon aren't the only shooters on this team.

What came as quite a surprise was the 3pt% Darius Miller has. He is shooting an impressive 46% (40-86) from deeep and that is good enough for 31st in the nation, and #2 in the SEC. Now I'll be the first to admit I have been critical of Darius this year, and I feel that I was right because of the way he can disappear in key stretchs of games. But he has started to play well as of late, most notably his scoring outburst against South Carolina going 6-8 from deep and ending up with 22 points for the game. Kentucky needs more of this from Darius for them to have any chance at making a deep run in the tournament.

Terrence Jones is #3 in the SEC in scoring averaging 17.9 ppg and is an animal on the glass when motivated averaging 9.1 rpg #1 in the SEC. The reason I say when motivated is because Jones has the tendency to be lazy on the glass at times, and is one of the main reasons why Calipari pulls him out of games. But when he is playing like he should, he is hard to stop down low.

Josh Harrellson is #2 in the SEC in rebounding averaging 8.6 rpg and holds his own in offensive rebounding as well averaging 3.6 orb. Now Jorts won't out score the opponent on most nights, but one thing he will do is hustle. He gives you everything he's got every game regardless what some might say.

DeAndre Liggins isn't the most flashy or the highest scoring player on the team, but he is by far the best defender that we have had in a while. He has gotten under some players skin this year with his defense, most recently Scotty Hopson of Tennessee. Liggins was draped all over Hopson holding him to 11 pts and at one point had Hopson so upset with his defense, Hopson threw Liggins to the floor drawing a offensive foul in crucial time in the game. It doesn't get said enough, Liggins is one of the best defenders I have seen in a long.

By looking at the stats, Kentucky stacks up pretty well in the conference. If Kentucky could figure out their road woes, and take care of business at home they should be able to get a good seed in the SEC and NCAA tournament.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kentucky vs. Arkansas preview

Wednesday night Kentucky goes into the always tough Bud Walton Arena to take on a struggling Arkansas team (16-10 overall 5-7 in conference) losing 4 of their last 8 . But this is a team that should not be taken lightly. They are always a tough game for the Wildcats, and we all know how Kentucky has struggled on the road this season.

Kentucky has also struggled this season with their defense of the three point shot, this is not one of the teams they can do that with. They have sharpshooter Rotnei Clarke, who averages 13.8 ppg and shoots 44% from three. He has the quickest shot release I have ever seen, and will shoot it from anywhere on the floor. I imagine Kentucky will play DeAndre Liggins on him a lot in this game to try and limit Clarkes touches. But if he gets hot from deep he can really fill it up.

The other player Kentucky will have to control is #33 F Marshawn Powell. He can score down low averaging 10.7 ppg, he is a decent rebounder averaging 4.2 rpg. But still a threat to put up good numbers in both categories. But the main guy on this team that can hurt you is Rotnei Clarke. If they can keep him in check, Kentucky should win this one. But we all know how teams play against Kentucky, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a close game till the end.

Kentucky needs this game to stay in the race for second in the eastern division, and a chance for a bye in the SEC tournament. Not to mention Kentucky needs to prove that they can win on the road to help their chances of getting a good seed in the NCAA tournament. Kentucky should win this game going away according to stats, but Kentucky has blown some games they really should have won this season. You never know what Kentucky team you are going to get, if the team that played Ole Miss shows up then it will be a long night. However, if the team the played S.C. this past Saturday shows up, then this game will be over at halftime.

So let's hope it's the latter team that I mentioned above, and we can get the elusive road win that we need.

Jones earns Freshman of the week honors

Terrence Jones has been named SEC Freshman of the week averging 18.0 pts, 11.0 rebs, and 4 assists in wins over Mississippi State and South Carolina. It is the 5th time this season Jones has earned the award.

Trevor Lacey Kentucky Visit

Well Trevor Lacey'S visit to Kentucky came and went without much to report. But all indications is that he looked impressed after the game. To tell the truth, he couldnt have picked a better game to attend as the Cats played arguably their best game in a very long time. The crowd seemed energized for a change, and we had former Cats Patrick Patterson, Jodie Meeks, and Super Bowl winner Tim Masthay of the Green Bay Packers in attendance.

Trevor Lacey would make a great addition to the monster class Kentucky has coming in next year, and would provide a real threat from 3 point range. This kid can shoot the ball, according to Rivals he is ranked 34th over all, and is The 7th ranked shooting guard.

So let's just hope that the visit made a BIG impression on him, and was enough to get him to sign.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Perry Ellis K-State Visit Update

As I reported last night Perry Ellis was on a visit to K-State for the Oklahoma game, I just talked to his mother about that visit, and what Perry thought, here are some highlights of the conversation.

" We had a great time. Our whole family attended the game, along with Perry's head coach and assistant coach, and junior teammate Terrance Moore. We arrived about an hour early so we could talk to the assistant coaches, and watch the guys warm up. Perry and all the guys went to the locker room before and after the game."

"The crowd was just amazing, when Perry walked in they chanted his name. They had several signs made for him. Then later on, there was a time out, they were chanting his name for a good long time and holding up signs. The fans were totally into the game, great crowd and atmosphere. They really showed Perry they wanted him. One sign said Perry Ellis, You would look good in Black and Purple."

She also told me they have a visit coming up next Saturday to Oklahoma for the Kansas game.

I have said it many time before, but I believe it will be hard to get Perry out of the state of Kansas. But no matter where he ends up, I will be watching him play as I think he is the best player in the 2012 class.

Perry Ellis visits K-State

It appears 2012 UK target Perry Ellis visited K-State Saturday night to see the Wildcats defeat Oklahoma by the score of 77-62. According to a local Manhattan Kansas paper Perry Ellis was quoted as saying he enjoyed the visit, and that he thought it would be fun to play there.

Once again this is the one recruit that I would love to see Kentucky land in the 2012 class.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kentucky 90 S.Carolina 59

Finally we got to see somewhat of a complete game from Kentucky today as they spank S.C. By 31 points, and handing S.C. their worse loss of the season. Kentucky came out on fire going out in front 15-0 before S.C. scored their first basket. Four of the 5 starters scored double digits, and all around everyone played good.

The strange start to this game was Liggins being taken out of the starting line-up in favor of Doron Lamb, which was a coaches decision. Not sure what that was all about, but it seemed to have worked as Kentucky played some of it's best basketball in conference play this year.

The real story of the game was the play of Darius Miller. He was just unconscious from 3 point range going 6-6 from deep before his first miss. Miller finished the game with a career high 22 pts, and going 6-8 from deep and one rebound shy of a double double. The only thing disturbing about Miller's stat line is that one, this is his first 20 point game of the season and two, 22 pts is his career high. Miller with his ability could be averaging almost 20 pts a game. And it is hard to believe that as a junior that 22 pts is a career high. But besides that, Miller played a great game and actually played with the effort I have been screaming at my TV for 3 yrs for.

Doron Lamb was his usual sharp shooting self going 3-5 from deep and 5-11 from the field to finish with 18 pts. Lamb is one of the best pure shooters in the SEC and can also hit the midrange shot extremely well which makes hit hard for the opposing team to guard him. Brandon Knight didn't have a very good game today finishing with only 12 pts, going 0-3 from long range, 4-8 from the line (which is uncharacteristic), and 4-9 from the field. But the good stat for Knight was he had 9 assists as he got everyone involved in the scoring.

Terrence Jones despite his stat line didn't play very well today he finished with 19 pts, but he made some very poor decisions on the offensive end of the floor. Many times he would drive to the rim looking to make a play that wasn't there instead of pitching out to the open player on the wings. But he did get his 10th double double of the year with 19pts and 12 rebounds.
"The Garbage Man" Jorts played well in spots finishing the game with 6 points and 9 rebounds and defended fairly decent. Jorts isn't the most talented player on the team but he does play hard every game.

S.C started the second half running some full court press which seems to rattle Kentucky the first few minutes and looked like it was going to make a run, but Cal called a timeout and settled them down. But at times the press still looked to confuse the Cats.

This was the first game in conference play that the ending wasn't ever in doubt, and it felt good to finally see a game like this. But there isn't time to rest as Kentucky goes back on the road to another tough place to play at Arkansas. And we all know how Kentucky has played on the road in the SEC this year. Let's just hope they can get over these problems on the road and actually get a win that they really need!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Trevor Lacey to visit Kentucky?

The boys at Kentucky Sports Raido are saying that the visit has been set for Trevor Lacey this weekend. I would love to see UK land this kid. He is a player that can shoot it from deep and is within range as soon as he steps on the floor.

He is also considering Auburn and Alabama and visited Auburn recently. Plus Alabama playing well this season is making it hard for him to decide.

Let's hope we can get a verbal from this kid soon!!!

Kentucky/South Carolina preview

Tomorrow afternoon the Cats will face the Gamecocks for the second time this season. Kentucky won the first meeting in Columbia SC 67-58 which accounts for Kentucky's only road victory in conference play. But Kentucky's road woes is another story for later, right now the story is the game tomorrow.

Now Kentucky has been defending it's home court very well, being undefeated at home since the arrival of John Calipari. Tomorrow's game could be dangerous if the "Boys In Blue" aren't ready to play. South Carolina has lost 6 of their last 7 and would love nothing more than to get a win at Rupp. USC is always a tough game for the Cats, and in my mind this game will be no different.

Kentucky's biggest challenge will be containing PG Bruce Ellington. He is a lot like Devan Downey from last years SC team. He can get to the basket, draw fouls, there is also a chance he could get hot from three point range. Now I know he didn't do much in the last meeting between the two teams scoring only 8 points, but this kid is good. The one guy that done some damage for SC last meeting was Sam Muldrow who was the only Gamecock in double figures with 23 points. Muldrow has a great shot blocking ability averaging 3.5 a game and having as many as 10 in a game against Vanderbilt. So that is something to keep an eye on during the game.

Now on paper SC isn't a very good 3pt shooting team, but they do have some guys who can get hot from deep. Since the game is being played in Rupp, go ahead and figure someone on their team will have a career night, and they will be shooting the ball like the Celtics!

Kentucky needs this win to be able To have a chance to finish at least second in the league, and to get a first round bye in the SEC tournament. Depending on what Kentucky team shows up, and if they realize that they have to play to halves of basketball it should be a good game.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Patrick Patterson coming to Rupp

Sorry for the short post before on Patterson's return to Rupp, but I was at work when I saw Matt Jones tweet about it. It seems that Patterson is home in Huntington WV for the All-Star break according to his twitter post and this is where he said "ready to watch them boys in blue play in person".

This will be the second player from last years squad to return to Rupp for a game this season. John Wall was on hand to see the Cats beat the Vols earlier this month. I love when players come back to show their support for the program and the university, but Patterson coming back will be special.

In my mind Patterson was the building block for the "rebuild" of the program, and the start of Kentucky recruiting the kind of players they used to. Billy G. somehow stayed sober long enough to come in at the last minute and get Patterson's name on the dotted line. Tubby laid the ground work with Patterson and Billy signed him.

The best part about Patterson besides him and his family being great people, is the fact that Patterson chose Kentucky over Florida and Duke. Patterson won over the hearts of Kentucky fans the minute he stepped on the floor at Rupp Arena, and fans have loved him from that moment on. You would be hard pressed to find a better person to represent your university and program.

I hope when Patterson shows up at Rupp on Saturday, the fans blow the roof off the place and show him the love and respect he deserves!!!


Patrick Patterson Returns

Matt Jones just put on twitter that one of the "Draft Cats" Patrick Patterson will be in attendance for Saturdays game against South Carolina.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Final thoughts on UK and Miss ST

Last night Kentucky played poorly in the first half, but made up for it for 15 minutes of the second half. The first half saw what we have come acustomed to seeing take place in just about every game this season. The opposing team looking like like the Lakers, while Kentucky looked like a decent high school team. Kentucky looked completely disinterested in playing in the first half last night while Miss ST looked like they were playing for the SEC Championship.

The best play in the first half was made by Brandon Knight. With 2 seconds left in the half and just a few steps inside the half court stripe, he knew a foul was coming so he threw the ball up to draw the foul on a three point attempt. It was a smart move by a very smart player with a high basketball I.Q. But the best part of the play was watching the reaction of Rick Stansbury. The guy went completely crazy over the call drawing a technical foul on top of the foul on the three. That gave Knight 5 free throws to end the half ( he hit 4 of the 5) and cut States lead to just one, completely changed the complexion of the game for State. Truth be told Stansbury should have been tossed from the game, because even after the foul he kept going back to the ref even going as far as to grab one by the shoulder going into halftime.

Te second half was much better for Kentucky (excluding the last four minutes) as they finally started playing with a little urgency. Knight done what he does best by slashing to the basket and hitting from long range to earn 24 points (games leading scorer). Doron Lamb done his job scoring 20 while shooting 3-3 from 3 point range. Terrence Jones played Good enough to earn his 9th double double of the year with 17pts and 10rebs. Miller played well coming off the bench scoring 13 pts and going 3-7 from behind the arc. It was just good to see Miller have a good game and be aggressive the way he should be. Maybe bringing him off the bench is something that might be good the rest of the year.

The last 4 minutes of the game was hard to watch if you are a Kentucky fan. It was the same old song and dance, boneheaded turnovers, missing clutch free throws, and blowing assignments on the defensive side of things. What was not surprising was the shooting by Miss State. They shot lights out last night as does every other team that steps foot in Rupp Arena. But all in all Kentucky played good enough to get the win and that is all that matters.

Up next for the Cats on Saturday afternoon is the always feisty South Carolina Gamecocks. Let's hope they have a good week of practice and come out ready to play TWO HALVES of basketball Saturday.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shooting guard:Trevor lacey

Looking forward to next season with 4 Burger Boys coming in I think we are still a recruit shy. Now lots of people (including Cal) are interested in a legit true Center. Me, I think its gonna key to add Trevor Lacey to a class that is already the best recruiting class from a statistical standpoint of all time (some experts thought last years class was) this one is better.

Why do I think its key to add Trevor Lacey? Well its really quite simple. Brandon knight as he sits right now is a 1st round draft pick in a VERY weak draft class and could possibly if he plays right and puts up the right stats the rest of the year move into the lottery. I think he goes regardless if he is a first rounder. Doron Lamb will in my opinion return without question, I would also like to add that knight could be better served by returning for one more year. Now that leaves us with Miller and Liggins as senior leaders, to go along with Lamb, Hood and possibly Poole and I say possibly because one has to think he is not too happy about playing time.....things are not looking good for next season in that regard also. Teague will run the point and all these afore mentioned players are all for the most part interchangeable and can play the 2 slot and even the 3.

Anthony Davis and kyle Wiltjer are a perfect fit for the DDM offense. This offense does not require a true Center, in fact Cal would prefer skinny/athletic/lean big men in this offense as opposed to a lumbering Center. One who can hit a jumper and run the floor/block shots but also one who displays some legit post moves and a bit of perimeter ball handling skills....both of which Davis and Wiltjer possess. Trevor Lacey will be be needed for his explosive offensive ability and mainly his 3 point shooting ability to fill the void left by Brandon Knight (who in my opinion is the best 3 point shooter we have had since Tony Delk). So I do not agree that landing another big man in the mold of a Marquis Estill is imperative for success next season, I think it lies with an explosive scoring guard. This is a do it all power guard, one that we desperately need because it is a real possibility Knight leaves after one year. Jones is almost a given to enter the draft, Gilchrist, Davis and Wiltjer will fill that void very smoothly.

KY 85 Miss ST 79

Well Kentucky pulled out a hard fought win against a tough Miss ST team that shot lights out in Rupp. Naturally the basket looked as big as the Atlantic Ocean for the Bulldogs as it does for every other team that plays in Rupp except for Kentucky. But the good news is Kentucky got the much needed win and showed finally they can win a tight game at the end.

More to come tomorrow on the game as I have to work early. Also worth looking forward to is the first post by none other than H.I. On some future potential recruits

Thanks for reading


Welcome the newest member of Big Blue Corner

The new writer will go by the name H.I. He will start posting tomorrow. He will mainly give me a hand in recruiting coverage for the blog. This guy knows his stuff so pay attention

One and done

I heard some people today discussing Kentucky basketball and recruiting. Now first of all I can't stand when people talk about things they know nothing about, and try to act like they do. Anyway there was several people talking about the amount of one and done players that coach Cal brings in every year, and it's affect on the program. Just about everyone of them agreed that the practice of bringing in one and done players is, in the long run hurting the team. I just don't understand this type of thinking at all.

I mean, where would we be RIGHT NOW without Coach Cal bring in the likes of Wall, Bledsoe, Big Cuz, and yes even Daniel Orton? To echo the words of Matt Jones of KSR on his daily radio show today, we would be right where Indiana is now. No other coach in America excluding Roy Williams or Coach K (because no way they would leave to take UK job) could have rebuilt the program the way Coach Cal has done in such a short amount of time with ONE AND DONE type players. It wasn't too long ago, you could go to any message board ( which I hate by the way) and all you would read about is how Kentucky should be landing top players like UNC, Kansas and Duke. Now all of a sudden getting every top player you can is a bad thing? Just doesn't seem like logical thinking to me.

Players like Wall or Cousins don't come around every day, and if you got a chance to sign one or both you do it. Now I will agree that having SOME experience is a good thing, but what good is "EXPERIENCE" without talent around it? Take Wall and the other freshman away from last years team and look at the roster. Sure you have some EXPERIENCE but what is missing? Raw NBA talent that you need to win besides Patrick Patterson. And Patterson isn't an athletic freak like a Wall, Patterson got to where he is by working his tail off and I admire him for that and so should the rest of you. In my mind Patterson is the perfect example of the type of player you go after and try to get him to stick around a couple of years. You get some NBA ready talent signed and sprinkle in a couple of Patterson type players and you got yourself a Final Four caliber team. This year should have been like that, none of the coaches expected Bledsoe, Cousins, and Orton to be gone after one year. Think about this years team with those three back like the coaches thought they would.

Then I hear everyone ALREADY talking about who is going to leave early this year. Well it's my personal opinion that we lose just one underclassman. That of course will be Terrence Jones if he continues to put up the kind of numbers he is right now. As far a Knight and Lamb are concerned, I believe they both come back next year. Put those two guys with the rest of the returning players and the freshman coming in next year and you got one hell of a team.

My point is this, given the choice of experience or talent. I will take talent every time. Jordan has more experience the Kobe, don't you think Kobe can take him?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Kentucky vs. Mississippi ST

Tomorrow night Kentucky is back in the safety of Rupp Rena to take on the Mississippi State bulldogs. State is normally a tough out for anyone, but they have had some turmoil this season. From players fighting on the sideline like a WWE event, and it seems there has been some issues with players on twitter as well.

Coach Rick Stansbury should get a nice welcome with all of his comments he has made about Kentucky and Calipari from last season and in this off season about Kanter. Ask me the guy is still upset about the way his team lost the SEC tourney last year. But he should put all that behind him and focus on keeping his team from imploding and killing each other on the side line. I know how some people feel about supporting people that are from Kentucky like Stabsbury. But I have never liked that guy and I never will. He is one of the most bitter coaches when dealing with a loss and never admits when his team just gets beat.

In closing, make Rupp as loud as possible tomorrow night and let's get this win over the bulldogs.

Couldn't go to in depth about the game today because of work. That's why I need someone to help my run this blog.

If your interested you can find my email on this profile for the blog let me know.

players only meeting?

I read on that there was a Kentucky player only meeting after the Vandy game. I don't know nor does anyone that I know of what was said in that meeting, but you gotta think they were discussing their recent struggles. Hopefully they can get things figured out!

Will let you know more as soon as I hear.


Perry Ellis: small update

Perry Ellis was at Kansas over the weekend, but it wasn't planned visit. Sort of a spurt of the moment thing from his AAU coach. But he does have some visits planned later this month for K-State on the 19th and OU on the 26th

It's going to be really interesting to see how his recruitment plays out. I still say it will be hard to get him out Kansas, but if we do man what a pick up that will be!!! This kid is the real deal and any school will be lucky to land him!!


Thursday, February 10, 2011

UK dominates McD AA teams

All of Kentucky's recruits for 2011 have been named to the McDonald's All-American team.

  1. Michael Gilchrist
  2. Anthony Davis
  3. Marquis Teague
  4. Kyle Wiltjer
That's four in the same game pretty impressive stuff. Other teams had multiple recruits invited as well

Duke 3
UofL 2
Syracuse 2
Ohio State 2

Now if we can get some of the freshman we have this year to stick around, next year could be pretty special

UCONN "BACKUP" Quarterback

This is pretty impressive if you haven't seen it all ready. This is a video I saw on of UConn's backup Quarterback showing off his passing accuracy.

  If this guy is a "backup" then maybe UK should try to steal him away.

Check it out

Kentucky vs. Vandy preview

  Saturday afternoon Kentucky faces an always dangerous Vandy team, at in my opinion the second toughest venue in the SEC behind the "O" dome in Florida.  In the past Kentucky has fared pretty well at Vandy (41-25) winning the last meeting at Memorial Gym by the score of 58-56.  But they had lost their previous 4 meetings in Nashville, one of them being a 41 point beat down in 2008 under former coach Billy G. 

  The crowd at Memorial is always loud and obnoxious, and the strange setup of the raised floor and the benches being under each basket makes it tough for any opposing team coming in.  And it always seems that when Kentucky comes to town every player on Vandys team even on the bench becomes Ray Allen from 3 point range.  But to echo the words of coach Cal, "we are every teams Super Bowl", and we should expect their best shot every night.

  Now that is where the players who have been to Vandy before and know what to expect need to step up and help calm what I'm sure will be a bunch of nervous freshman.  The "upperclassman" seemed to do just that on Tuesday night in a big win over the always annoying Vols of Tennessee.  Now if they can just have the same effect Saturday, then the Cats should be fine.  But if they resort to their old habits then we could be in for a long day.

  Let's take a look at what the Cats will be up against come Saturday:

Vandy is setting at 16-6 and a conference record of 4-4 and beating some decent teams along the way.

Here is some stats for the Vandy starters:

                                          PPG         RPG
(F) Lance Goulbourne:         7.7            7.6

(F) Jeffery Taylor               14.9             5.2

(C) Festus Ezeli                12.8             6.1

(G) Brad Tinsley                10.5             4.1

(G) John Jenkins                19.2            3.3

Key Reserves:                    PPG         RPG

(F) Rod Odom                       4.7            2.8

(F) Steve Tchiengang            5.2            3.4

  I for one am dreading this game more than any other.  I think it's just because I hate playing at Memorial more than any other place we go.  But if everyone stays focused, plays with the intensity we saw Tuesday, then we should see a great game from the Cats.  But once again if they come out slow, and with careless mistakes, then it will be a loss.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Barnhart gets contrat extension


  Well looks like Mitch Barnhart got a 3 year contract extension worth about $600,000 a year, up from his measly $475,000 a year.  Is that what we pay to have an Athletic Director who can not get along with any basketball coach since he has had the job?  It's clear and understandable that he couldn't get along with former coach Billy G.  But lets be honest, how in the world do you not get along with Tubby Smith? I'm not saying that Tubby and Mitch hated each other, but I have heard that there was some tension between the two.  And let's face it, there isn't a nicer classier person in the biz the Tubby Smith.  It's also known that Mitch a Calipari don't exactly see eye to eye as well.

  It also seems to me that Mitch in my opinion isn't as worried about getting a new basketball arena, as he is upgrading the football facilities.  Again that's just my opinion and if my feeling is right, that is not the right way to win over the commonwealth.  We will just have to wait and see what happens.

  I know he did some good things for the football and baseball programs but call me crazy, I'm just not a football or baseball kind of guy.

  Here's hoping for the best!!

Kentucky spoils Pearls welcome back party

  Last night Bruce "Coppertone" Pearl was looking for his welcome back party.  Instead all he found besides pending NCAA punishment, was a loss to the Kentucky Wildcats.  Kentucky  was slow out of the gate to start , but then settled into what would turn out to be one of the most complete games the Cats have played all year.

  They played great defense, shot the ball well from the floor (45%) and rebounded the ball at both ends of the floor.  Another great stat is the free throw shooting, Kentucky shot a blistering 81.5% from the line.  But all of this wasn't the real story of the game.

  The real story is that a couple of "upperclassman" finally stepped up with some production.  DeAndre Liggins was the star of the night setting a career high with 19 points, going 7-8 from the charity stripe and 2-2 from behind the three point line.  His defense was stellar to say the least.  Liggins hounded Tennessee star Scotty Hopson all night and held him well below his season average.  It was obvious that Liggins got into Hopson's head, because late in the second half Hopson got frustrated and shoved Liggins to the floor and picking up his 4th foul of the night.

  The other great story of the night was the emergence of the one known as "Jorts" (Josh Harrellson).  Jorts hadn't done much since his 23 point 14 rebound effort against Louisville.  But he came up big for the Cats Tuesday night scoring 16 points and grabbing six rebounds.  What didn't show up on the stat sheet was the great defensive job Jorts done making opponents adjust shots, and his all around energy on the court.
I know I'm not the only one who loved the play late in the second half when Jorts went up for a layup scored got knocked to the floor, and came up screaming like a a wild man.  It's great to see these kids having this much fun and showing that kind of passion for the game.

  Terrence Jones didn't perform particularly well, but he still ended with a double double. Terrence shot 6-6 from the free throw line and went 2-9 from the field to get 10 points and 11 boards.  For those of you keeping track that is his 8th double double of the season.

  There was also a visit from former Kentucky PG John Wall. He got to do what he said he couldn't wait for and that was being the "Y" during the second half timeout. It's always good to see former players come back and show support for the program. 

  Another great story was Coppertone Bruce exchanging words with a couple of fans in the stands. He even went as far as to try and have Campus Police throw the hecklers out.  But when security came over and asked UT fans if there was any profanity used, they said no.  So they told Coppertone to get a grip and that a couple of college kids should be the least of his worries with the NCAA breathing down his spray tanned neck.

 All in all we saw a little of what this team could be if everyone puts forth a little effort and plays to their potential.  And maybe, just maybe last night they found  the elusive "killer instinct" this team has been missing all year.

  Kentucky goes on the road again Saturday where they are 1-4  when they visit Nashville and Memorial Gym to take on an always dangerous Vanderbilt team.  Let's just hope the kind of play we saw last night can carry over so the Cats can get a much needed road win in the SEC!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Kentucky Falls To Rebels


  Last night Kentucky played it's worst game of the season as Ole Miss downed the Cats by the score of 71-69.   The loss was much worse than the score indicated, as we saw upper classman play like freshman and vice versa. Once again, there were turnovers that made you want to eat broken glass and decisions that made the turnovers look brilliant.

  Sure the freshman had a lot of turnovers but none near as costly as the one's the "experienced" players had in the final minutes of the game. First, there was the crossing the inbound line before inbounding the ball.  Then, the stepping out of bounds on the way to an open layup. Oh and lets not forget the passed up  WIDE OPEN three with 21 seconds left in the game, while nursing a one point lead. All of these mistakes were made by players that have been playing on the college level long enough to know better.  But the so called "EXPERIENCED" players were perfectly content deferring to the freshman on the team for plays down the stretch.

  I keep hearing people say "you can't win with freshman" but I'm telling you this is not true. Take last night's game for instance. Kentucky scored a total 69 points for the game, and the freshman accounted for 59 of them led by Terrence Jones with 22, Doron Lamb 20, and Brandon Knight 15. ALL FRESHMAN!  Darius Miller (JR) had 3 points, DeAndre Liggins (JR) had 5 and Josh Harrellson (SR) had 2. None  played  less than 22 minutes and this is all they could produce? It's  frustrating when I know Darius Miller could be the best player in the conference, but he just doesn't put forth the effort.  I'm not saying DeAndre Liggins should be a scoring machine, but he should be able to get at least double digits every night just by driving to the basket.  As for Harrellson, I guess he thought the season ended with  his brilliant performance at Louisville. If either one of these juniors or seniors had given just a little help Kentucky would have won the game going away.

  I know we had a lot of turnovers in the first half  five of them coming  at the hands of Brandon Knight. He more than made up for them in the second half.  He did what he does best, slashing to the basket and
finding ways to score.  Doron Lamb showed he could be the kind of player to hit big shots when Kentucky needs them most, and Terrence Jones done what he always does.  But it was too little too late as the final score would indicate.

  Now, what can we take away from this game?  One things for sure, Kentucky has a lot to work on. They cannot have players  unwilling to take wide open shots at the end of the game! They've got to have more scoring and leadership from the older players.  And they cannot turn the ball over 18 times, especially on the road and expect to win the game. Just not gonna happen.

  Kentucky travels to Florida on Saturday.  Let's hope Coach Cal  gets things figured or things will get ugly in a hurry in Gainesville!