Saturday, January 28, 2012

UK wins 74-50 over an abusive LSU team

Kentucky gets an easy win on the road in the SEC, but the game wasn't very easy for Anthony Davis. Davis took a beating physically as bad as Apollo Creed did against the Russian in Rocky IV (thankfully not the same outcome as Apollo), but he answered with his 11th double double of the year with 17pts, 10rebs, and 3 blks. But the story of the night was the return (FINALLY) of Terrence Jones.

Jones started the game with the amount of intensity that Calipari, and the BBN has been begging for since the first two games of the year. Terrence finally started taking guys off the dribble (yes to his left) and either scored in the pain, or drew a foul and got to the line. This is something that Terrence has to do for this team to reach its full potential, and to have a chance to reach a 2nd consecutive Final Four. Terrence finished the game with a season high 27pts, 9rbs, and 3blks. It was good to see this type of performance from Jones.

Kentucky pretty much had control the entire game, except for a cute little run that LSU put together to cut a 12 point Kentucky lead down to one in the first half. Did I mention that this run came when Anthony Davis had to go out of the game for a couple of minutes because of one of his many many hits he took during the game. But, when Davis returned, so did the Kentucky dominance. From that point on it was all Kentucky, and the frustration showed when Malcolm White from LSU grabbed Davis from behind by the shoulders and slammed him to the floor earning White a "flagrant 2" and was ejected from the game in the second half. But that wasn't enough to slow down Kentucky as they won going away 74-54.

A couple of things we learned during this game was:

1.) Anthony Davis has to stay on the floor at all times. Without him, there is virtually no defense to speak of.

2.) Wiltjer still has a ways to go before he can contribute any major minutes.

3.) If Terrence Jones plays like he did today, Kentucky is better than anyone in the country and it isn't even close.

All in all, it was a good game that saw Kentucky give an impressive performance on the road, something they didn't do last year. Let's just hope this carries over to the Tennessee game Tuesday night.

Jones shows up big

The fact that the SEC Network showed this picture of Terrence Jones over and over must have upset him. As of right now Jones has 21 points with about 13:00 left in the 2nd half. I say we show this picture every game if this is his reaction to his senior cuts.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hoosiers drop another one

Last night, Indiana kept up the common theme that everyone by now should know. They leave the comfort of Assembly Hall, they get beat. The Hoosiers made a statement early in the year by beating #1 Kentucky (in Assembly Hall) and stormed the floor like it was the National Chamionship game. We had to listen to Dick Vitale (who I like) go on and on about what a great coach Tome Crean is (decent at best), and how Cody Zeller was going to rule the world.

When Kentucky fans tried to say, that if the game was played on a neutral floor, Indiana wouldn't have come close to winning, they were acused of not being able to handle a loss. Well, last night (once again) just proved their point as Indiana dropped another road game to Wisconsin 50-57. When away from home, Indiana is just a DECENT team at best. As for Cody Zeller, 7pts and 3rebs isn't much to write home about.

As long as the Final Four isn't held in Assembly Hall, I'd say we have nothing to worry about as of right now.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bledsoe to the D league

Hate to hear that former cat and current L.A. Clipper Eric Bledsoe had to go to the Clippers D league team (Bakersfield Jam). But the good news is, that it is just for a two game rehab, and he could rejoin the Clippers as soon as this weekend. But with the addition of Chris Paul (I refuse to call him CP3) to go along with Chauncy Billups, Eric could see a major decline in his playing time. But here's to hoping that Eric can continue to make a good impression to those that matter in L.A.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Way to keep it classy UofL

Leave it to Louisville fans to keep things classy in the YUM Center tonight against Villanova. The dumb part... They are acting like this while leading the game 78-69 with 1:00 remaining. Can't help but laugh...

UK's new uniforms

A preview picture of Kentucky's new uniforms from Nike that they will wear on Jan. 31 against
Tennessee. Not real sure how I feel about these, but they look pretty good in the picture. Can't wait to see what the will look like live (on TV).

Friday, January 20, 2012

Willis picks Kentucky

Derek Willis, a four star 6'8 power forward in the class of 2013 out of MT. Washington (Bullit East High School) Kentucky selected the University of Kentucky for his future home for college basketball. Derek is ranked number 23 over all in the class of 2013.

Derek committed to Purdue during his sophomore year in high school. But after a good summer on the AAU circuit, he started to garner the attention of several more high profile schools so he decided to reopen his recruitment. Willis received offers from Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue and Xavier. Many thought that in the end that it was between Kentucky and UofL, but at his announcement today, Derek said that it was between Kentucky and Purdue which makes one wonder if UofL was even in the race at all.

His dad is a big UofL fan, and is even rumored to be a season ticket holder to the chicken bucket. Maybe that is why everyone thought UofL was in the final two. Either way, it's a great day to be a Kentucky fan as one of the best high school players to come out of Kentucky since Darius Miller and Rajon Rondo picks the Cats.

Calipari responds to Stallings

John Calipari was on Sirius XM channel 91 this afternoon discussing the college basketball season thus far. It covered a wide range of topics from the phenom Anthony Davis, to the improved play of Marquis Teague. But the subject that caught my attention was when the radio host (can't remember his name) asked Calipari what he thought about Kevin Stallings comments concerning Kentucky not having a Thursday/Saturday turn around this season or last. Calipari's comments were funny to say the least...

I'm paraphrasing here because I can't remember exactly how he responded, but this is the summary of what I could write down.

I didn't see that quote. But all I can say is that TV dictates the schedule. There are three other teams in the SEC that do not have the Thursday Saturday thing this season. You either play the schedule, or you won't be on TV, and Kentucky will be on TV. There is a lot of things that we don't like, but we have to do it. I don't like nine o' clock games, they make me mad, but we play them because the TV schedule says you will.

I don't care where, when or how we play, let's just play. We'll play on I-95, hold up traffic and tip it. I don't care

That ladies and gentlemen, is why John Calpari is perfect for the Kentucky job. He doesn't take crap, and tells it how it is. Kentucky basketball will get the better schedule because the networks want Kentucky on TV. They know what draws ratings, Kentucky. Watching Kevin Stallings whinning over every little thing that doesn't go his way doesn't. Simple as that.

However, I do think Vandy is a good well coached team, and could have a big year this season. Let's just hope they don't turn into the Lakers like every other team does when they play Kentucky.

Monday, January 16, 2012

UofL loses again

Things just keep getting worse for Rick Pitino. After going up 18-2 against Marquette, Louisville cashed it in and settled for a 74-63 loss at Marquette. With this loss today, Louisville has lost 5 of its last 7 and is below .500 in the Big East conference. If this trend continues, retiring in 2017 that Pitino hinted at a little over a month ago may be a stretch. It may be sooner.

BBN front and center

The Big Blue Nation is everywhere. Kentucky fans front and center to watch the #1 player in the country Shabazz Muhammad in Springifeld Mass. today. Muhammad's team is getting ready to tip on ESPNU.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hard work pays off

On Friday,January 6, 2012 in front of family, friends, and teammates Laken McKinney, a senior at Fairveiw High School in Westwood Kentucky, signed her National Letter of Intent to play girls golf for the Univeristy of Pikeville this fall. Laken is the first student to receive a scholarship for golf in Fairview history.

Laken began playing golf only three years ago, and for her to go from a beginner to getting a college scholarship so quickly, is impressive to say the least. I was fortunate enough to be along for the ride.

You see, her father (Raymond McKinney) and I have worked together for the last 10 years at Whayne Supply Company in Ashland, Kentucky. During that time we have become very close friends. Raymond and I started playing golf with the guys from work on the weekends, and in no time at all we were hooked. We started playing more and more with Laken often tagging along. It didn't take long for us realize that Laken had a real feel for the game. In just a couple of months, Laken was outplaying us everytime we stepped on the course. Not that we are good, to be honest we suck, but it wasn't just us she was beating. It was then, Laken decided she wanted to play golf in high school.

Ray organized and coached the first ever girls golf team in Fairview High School history. It didn't take long for Laken to make a name for herself. In her second year playing high school golf, she was finishing near the top of every golf match she played in. Not to mention, qualifying for All A State two years in a row, once as an individual and once as a team when Fairview won the All A 16th region. That was enough to garner the attention of several college coaches.

I asked Ray some questions about it all, and here are his answers:

What has the past year been like for you?

"Her mother (Melony McKinney) and I were both surprised, and excited. We could not believe how fast she improved in the game. Going from a beginner to a college athlete is just amazing."

How many schools were actively recruiting Laken?

"We were receiving calls from 5 different schools; Pikeville, Thomas Moore, Asbury, Spalding, and Oakland. A lot of phone calls from all 5 schools. It was crazy."

What did you think when she started receiving scholarship offers?

"It was just unreal. We couldn't believe how far she had come."

Why did she choose Pikeville?

"She really just liked the size of the campus. She thought it had an atmosphere a lot like her high school. A good education is important to us, as well as Laken, and we felt that Pikeville was the best place for her academically, as well as golf. Her mother and I liked it because it was close enough to home that we could go watch her matches. Pikeville put in the most effort to get her to sign, and Laken really liked the coaching staff and the other girls on the team. "

Not only did Laken standout on the golf course with her 18 hole average of 90, but she excells in the classroom as well. Laken has carried a near 4.0 (3.98) all through school, and is ranked 5th in her class, as well as Co-Salutatorian.

My wife and I couldn't be more proud of Laken, after becoming close friends with Ray and Melony, she feels like a daughter to us. And we look forward to watching her play in college.

Laken is a true example of what hard work and dedication can accomplish. I can think of no one more deserving than her.

Congratulations Laken!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Westphal out at Sac-Town

Twitter blew up for a couple of days after the following statement came out about Demarcus Cousins:

"SACRAMENTO, CALIF., Jan. 1, 2012 -- “Whenever a new season begins, in any sport, there is great hope that everything will progress in only a steady, upward direction. As we all know, it seldom happens like that in this life!

As coaches, we can only ask that our players do everything they can to improve themselves as individuals and teammates. If they do this with all their hearts, we live with the results.

Everything that happens on a team does not become known to the public. This is how it should be. However, when a player continually, aggressively, lets it be known that he is unwilling/unable to embrace traveling in the same direction as his team, it cannot be ignored indefinitely.

DeMarcus Cousins has demanded to be traded. In the best interest of our team as we go forward, he has been directed by me, with the support of management, to stay home from the New Orleans game tonight.”

This was like blood in the water for anyone who ever had anything against the University of Kentucky, John Calipari, and Demarcus Cousins. There was so many things said about Demarcus, anything from, "he's a headcase", "I knew this would happen", to the infamous " I told you so".
To be honest, it was kinda hard to keep up with all the chest pounding sports writers (you know who you are) that were jumping all over the situation to prove themselves right.

Then came this statement today:

" SACRAMENTO, CALIF., Jan. 5, 2012 -- The Sacramento Kings today relieved Paul Westphal of his head coaching duties, according to President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. Current Kings’ assistant coach Keith Smart will serve as head coach in tonight’s game versus the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I want to thank Paul for all of his effort on behalf of the Kings,” said Petrie. “Unfortunately, the overall performance level of the team has not approached what we felt was reasonable to expect. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

In two-plus seasons as head coach of the Kings, Westphal amassed a record of 51-120.

“I would like to thank the Maloof family for the incredible opportunity they gave me to participate in the attempt to bring the Sacramento Kings back to prominence,” said Westphal. “While the job is far from finished, I am proud of the strides we were able to make.

“Geoff Petrie and his staff have been nothing but honest and supportive throughout my time here. They are first class in every way and I wish them nothing but success. My hope is to see the fans of the Kings and the city of Sacramento rewarded with many years of great basketball.

“Finally, I want to thank my loyal staff and players for their efforts in attempting to climb out of the hole we shared. Nothing comes easy in the NBA and I know they will not rest in their efforts to rebuild this team.”

It seems that Demarcus wasn't the ENTIRE problem for the Knigs. Of course, all you had to do was take a look at their record since the hiring of Westphal to understand why Westphal may have been throwing Demarcus under the bus. Maybe he was trying to save himself. Is this what I think happened? NO. Is Demarcus a headcase? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! Does he do or say things that should not be done or said? Yes. But, he is NOT what the so called sports writers try to portray him as. It was just an opportunity for them to say " see there, I told you that would happen", so they could appear to know what they are talking about.

However, since the issuing of this statement, there has been rumblings from those close to the Kings organization that it was Westphal's coaching (or lack there of) that got him canned with the Cousins situation being only a small part of the reason. Even a player on the team came out and said that it was so bad that a lot of the players didn't know the different types of offensive sets they were going to be running. Not to mention, there has been five players to ask for a trade since Paul became coach, not just Demarcus Cousins.

Did any of those "sports writers" mention any of that? I think you know the answer to that.