Kentucky Makes NBA Draft History ~ Awesomeness

Coach Cal put five Cats into the NBA Draft this Thursday.  Never been done before (in a single draft).

I’m happy about it.  Not nearly as excited as I’d have been if those 5 players had led UK to the National Championship.  Still it’s a great accomplishment.

http://www.wildcatnation.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=2124&d=1277511002

Kentucky Coach John Calipari sounded like a proud papa on Friday when discussing his five former players who were picked in the first round of the NBA Draft the previous night.

And while the exodus means that UK must adjust to a lot of new players next season, Calipari is hoping that the Cats continue to be a big player on NBA Draft night.

“I hope we do it again,” Calipari said. “My dream now would to be to have the No. 1 overall pick and six first-round draft picks. I want my sixth man to get drafted in the first round.”

John Wall was the No. 1 draft pick. DeMarcus Cousins checked in at No. 5, Patrick Patterson at No. 14, Eric Bledsoe No. 18 and Daniel Orton at 29th.

Kentucky is Number One!

https://i1.wp.com/ourkitchensink.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/rupp.jpg

Box Score vs Arkansas

Cats blow out the Hogs to earn debut at #1 in 2010.

No. 2 Kentucky dominates Arkansas 101-70

LEXINGTON, Ky.(AP) Darius Miller had a career-high 18 points and DeMarcus Cousins got his 10th double-double as No. 2 Kentucky coasted by Arkansas 101-70 Saturday.

The Wildcats kept alive the nation’s only unblemished record and a near certain return to the top of the college basketball rankings.

Kentucky (19-0, 4-0 SEC) hasn’t topped The Associated Press poll since 2003, but that streak is almost certain to end Monday courtesy of its dominating victory over UK alumnus John Pelph

rey’s Razorbacks and top-ranked Texas’ loss to Kansas State earlier in the week.

This one was practically over by tipoff. Kentucky scored the game’s 10 points, stretched the lead to 30 by halftime, then added the first 14 points of the second half.

With that much margin for error, the Wildcats easily avoided the kind of second half letdown that made recent wins over Georgia and Auburn much closer than anticipated. Arkansas (8-11, 1-3) did make an 18-3 run midway through the second half, but by that time, Kentucky had plenty of cushion to withstand it.

The Wildcats’ largest lead was 46 after John Wall hit a jumper with 14 minutes left. The Razorbacks got it no closer than 92-62 with under 4 minutes to go.

Arkansas was led by Courtney Fortson ‘s 21 points, but it wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with the Wildcats’ scoring barrage.

They ended the first half and began the second on a 21-0 run, including a 3-pointer by Ramon Harris at the halftime buzzer and later consecutive 3s by Miller.

Miller connected on four of six attempts from long range.

Cousins, who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, secured his double-double just seconds into the second half. He probably would have gotten it even sooner but was sidelined for all but nine minutes of the first half with a minor injury.

Calipari tried to keep expectations low going into the Arkansas game, joking, ”What’s going to happen the next day, we go to the electric chair?”

One thing that did concern him was the Wildcats have been vulnerable against 3-point shooters this year, and Arkansas has one of the nation’s best of those in Rotnei Clarke . However, Clarke was just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc and the Razorbacks managed just one other 3.

It was Kentucky’s third 100-point effort of the season and first in SEC play.

Pelphrey has now lost all three meetings against his alma mater as an opposing coach.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/ncaa/men/gameflash/2010/01/23/58835_recap.html#ixzz0dTybSb3A

Kentucky should be ranked #1 on Monday.

Darius Miller was stroking it from the outside hitting 4-6 from the Trey.  Stevenson got in early and had a killer dunk.  Wall and Bledsoe played like Siamese Twins out there.  Cousins got a double double and lost a tooth.  Patrick Patterson had his normal outstanding game.

Kentucky remains undefeated.  Is soon to be ranked #1 and is on their way to the Top #1 Seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Less than two months until the SEC tournament.  I can’t wait to get there and see it.  Live and in person.

GO BIG BLUE!

BONUS: Mich St defeats the Gophers in their house. TLT strikes again. Double Bonus: UL and UNC lost this week.

The Cats Hang On in a Tough One! UNC goes down! UK 68 ~ UNC 66

John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball while defended by Marcus Ginyard #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the game on December 5, 2009 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 68-66. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

John Wall #11 of the Kentucky Wildcats shoots the ball while defended by Marcus Ginyard #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the game on December 5, 2009 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 68-66. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Andy Lyons

No.5 Kentucky edges No.10 North Carolina

Big Cuz talked a big game but didn’t put up much to show for it.  He’ll have plenty of chances to redeem himself, though.

It was a hell of a game. I looked and the Cats were up by 19.

Half time came and went and suddenly the Cats were no longer taking it to them.  Wall, apparently, had cramps.  #54 held it down, but, no one else stepped up while Blue Jesus was out.

Finally, though, Eric Bledsoe took advantage of opportunity and iced his free throws and Wall came back in time to to help putt he game away.  EB and JW put the final touches on a nice win by hitting 5 of 6 in the final 30 seconds as the Cats held off the Tar Heels.

A nice halt to a 5 game skid that began back in the days of TLT and continued through the lunacy that was Billy Gillispie.

Excellent Game Guys.  Wish I could have watched it.  AFN doesn’t think that College Basketball is very popular overseas, so I’ll have to catch it tomorrow on tape delay.  Better late than never though.

Thanksfully, the guys at Wildcatnation.net kept me up to date throughout the game.  If the game was half as frantic as the chat room, tape delay probably saved me a heart attack.

GO BIG BLUE!

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) – John Calipari’s rebuilding project at Kentucky is ahead of schedule.

Patrick Patterson added 19 points and seven rebounds for Kentucky (8-0), which snapped a five-game losing streak to the Tar Heels (7-2) and inched closer to becoming the first program to reach 2,000 victories. The Wildcats have 1,996, while North Carolina has 1,991.

Deon Thompson led North Carolina with 14 points and Will Graves added 13, but the Tar Heels‘ second-half rally stalled in the final minutes.

Wall and fellow freshman Eric Bledsoe made sure of it, making 5 of 6 free throws in the last 30 seconds after North Carolina had trimmed a 19-point deficit to two.

Freshman star John Wall shook off a leg injury to finish with 16 points, including the clinching free throws with 4 seconds remaining, and the fifth-ranked Wildcats held off No. 10 North Carolina 68-66 on Saturday.

Kentucky Wildcats
Player Game
FGM-A FTM-A 3PM-A Off
Reb
Def
Reb
Tot
Reb
Ast PF Pts
E Bledsoe 2-7 5-6 0-2 0 1 1 1 4 9
P Patterson 8-12 2-2 1-1 2 5 7 0 1 19
D Miller 3-7 0-0 2-5 1 2 3 1 0 8
D Cousins 2-7 1-5 0-0 1 4 5 0 4 5
J Wall 5-10 5-7 1-2 0 5 5 7 2 16
P Stevenson 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0
D Orton 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 1 4 0
D Dodson 3-7 1-2 2-6 2 3 5 0 1 9
R Harris 1-2 0-0 0-0 2 1 3 2 0 2
Totals 24-54
(.444)
14-22
(.636)
6-16
(.375)
8 25 33 13 17 68

Team Rebounds: 11

The win pushed Kentucky’s victory total to 1,996, just head of North Carolina’s 1,991. Not that the Wildcats were concerned with history.

The win pushed Kentucky’s victory total to 1,996, just head of North Carolina’s 1,991. Not that the Wildcats were concerned with history.

‘You guys are going to say I’m crazy, but I’m happy with the way it played out,” said coach John Calipari. ”We let the other team come at us. We gave up way too many (3s) but I’m proud of my guys. We did what we needed to do. We had just enough.”

The win pushed Kentucky’s victory total to 1,996, just head of North Carolina’s 1,991. Not that the Wildcats were concerned with history.

For a team whose motto is ”envy our past, fear our future,” the first signature win of Calipari’s tenure proved his rebuilding job is well ahead of schedule.

”I hope it just gives people some respect for us that we’re a pretty good team,” Wall said. ”We did what we were supposed to, come out with a win against a great team.”

Consider North Carolina coach Roy Williams convinced, particularly after the Wildcats took control with an explosive 28-2 run in the first half.

”You’ve got to give them congratulations, they really kicked our butts,” Williams said. ”They just ran us out of the gym.”

Annual UK-UNC game shouldn’t go away

John Wall Takes Over! Scores Career High 23 against Stanford

wallscream

Kentucky
Name Min FG 3Pt FT Off Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
D. Miller 36 3-9 3-6 4-5 3 4 3 1 0 0 3 13
D. Cousins 26 5-8 0-1 3-8 2 5 2 2 1 3 5 13
E. Bledsoe 30 2-4 1-2 0-0 0 0 3 2 1 0 4 5
J. Wall 45 7-15 1-4 8-8 1 4 5 5 1 2 3 23
P. Patterson 31 5-9 1-2 1-2 6 11 0 0 0 1 2 12
D. Orton 9 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 2 0 2 0 0
D. Dodson 13 0-3 0-3 0-0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
J. Harrellson 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0
R. Harris 24 3-5 0-1 1-2 1 7 1 0 1 0 2 7
P. Stevenson 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 1 0 0 1 0
Totals 225 25-56 6-19 17-25 15 37 14 15 5 8 21 73
Percentages: .446 .316 .680 Team Rebounds: 2

“NBA, that’s all I’ve got to say,” Wildcats forward Patrick Patterson said. “John Wall is a pro player and he wants the ball in crunch-time situations. Whenever we need a basket or something on the offensive end John is going to be the one to do it.”

Calipari on Wall and Bledsoe:

“I think we’ve got two guys when the game is on the line they are not afraid to make plays, which bodes well for us,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “You saw once again that late in the game I’m not calling a timeout. I don’t need to be a hero, let those guys be the hero.”

“Those two guys have the killer (instinct),” Calipari said. “What you want is the guys with the killer to bleed onto the others. Just a will to win.”

“For such a young team, they showed a lot of poise down the stretch,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “(Wall) is one of the fastest guards I’ve ever seen play on any level. He showed a lot of poise for his age. He’s a terrific player.”

On the other side, Wall was the only Kentucky player to get going before the break. The freshman guard had 15 points but could not do all the heavy lifting with preseason All-American forward Patterson going out of the game less than six minutes in with two fouls. Without Patterson’s inside presence the Wildcats struggled to get anything in the paint and shot just 35.5 percent from the field.

Patterson got going early in the second half on his way to his 25th career double-double, but he missed two point-blank opportunities on the same possession that would have given Kentucky its first lead since late in the first half with just over 10 minutes remaining.

He made up for it later, using a power post move to give Kentucky a 54-53 lead with 6:42 to play.

John Wall will be the first #1 Draft Pick in Kentucky History.  He or Patterson should be the First UK Basketballer to bring home the Adolph Rupp Trophy for Player of the Year.  I think one of them will bring home the Wooden Trophy as well.  Wall may well be the most highly regarded Frosh/Student Athlete to ever have worn the UK Jersey by the time this year is finished.  He is certainly lived up to the hype surrounding him as a player.  What’s more is that the guy is actually a good student and a good guy as well.

Calipari pulled off a recruiting coup with John Wall.  His second best recruiting pitch was retaining Patrick Patterson.  These are two All World Student Athletes.  I just hope that all of the anti-Cal or anti-Kentucky feeling out there doesn’t hurt them over the course of the year.  Lots of guys out there who are waiting like vultures for something, anything to pop up to stall or kill Cal and Kentucky’s momentum.  Yet, these same hypocrites defend John Wooden as if their reputations depended upon said defense.

This year, UK has three of the Top Freshman in the CNNSI Power Rankings.  Wall and Cousins are ranked #’s 1 and 2 respectively.  Eric Bledsoe is ranked at #25.  I’m sure that Bledsoe will rise as the year goes on.  All three are players.  I can see them all going to the NBA after this year.  Hopefully, Bledsoe and Cousins come back for a 2nd year.  The good thing, though, is that IF Cousins sees it as more wise to come out for the Draft after this year, it will likely mean that he has helped lead UK to a Final Four or better.

This should be a great year for Kentucky Basketball.  Patterson, Wall and the rest of the Frosh are finding ways to win this year.  Whereas last year, Billy Gillispie was finding ways to lose.



GO BIG BLUE!!!


Stress Management and Other Random Inanities

One of my Uncles emailed me last night and made the following remark:

I think you have been out of this country too long.  Also, you must have a lot of time on your hands, because you write a lot of, for lack of a better word…….Shit!

I apologize for not believing everything that a random bigot forwards in an email.  I will endeavor to do better next time.   I simply don’t believe in forwarding ignorance or hate.  I, also, refuse to label a whole group of people based upon the actions of a minority.  Perhaps, he’s right.  If I hadn’t spent so much time overseas, I might be ignorant enough to blindly hate Mexicans, Homosexuals, Black People  and Muslims.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful.

(Nowhere in that statement do I mention America nor do I claim that all Americans are bigots or racist. America is an overwhelmingly open and accepting community. There are pockets of ignorance in America. I refer to those places above. Interesting that I would have to explain this.)

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On an unrelated note, this morning I was sent this by a friend.  I think it’s a message from the Gods.  This is hilarious.

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Finally, a comment from Eric Bledsoe after tonight’s game against Morehead State:

“Me and John we just attack the rim at all times,” he said. “We just attack.”

This is why I’m going to make this years SEC Tournament even if it kills me.

GO BIG BLUE!!!

2009-2010 University of Kentucky Basketball Team

mbb0910_team_photo

Here they are folks.  This years Kentucky Wildcat Basketball Team.

Left to Right 2nd Row (Standing):

Jon Hood, Ramon Harris, Patrick Patterson, Daniel Orton, Demarcus “Big Cuz” Cousins, Josh “Jorts” Harrelson, Perry “Slim” Stevenson and Darnell “Ramel Bradley’s Twin” Dodson

Left to Right First Row (Seated):

Rod Strickland, Orlando Antiqua, Darius Miller, John Wall, Mark Krebs, Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Liggins, John Calipari and Jon Robic

*Coaches in Black, Players in Blue

LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Calipari says he has felt like a political candidate during his first six months as Kentucky’s basketball coach, generating new hype with each campaign stop across the state even while trying to temper some lofty expectations.

“I’ve done enough,” Calipari said Thursday at the first official media day since leaving Memphis. “I’m waiting for election day. I was kissing babies, and I didn’t care if I won or lost the election. I just wanted it to happen.”

Calipari is well aware that the passionate UK fans care strongly about whether he wins or loses. They want wins — preferably in bunches.

The program’s recent buzz has been sparked not just by its energetic new leader but by his debut recruiting haul, a freshman class arguably the most touted since Michigan’s Fab Five.

Yet unlike that 1991-92 Wolverines team that reached the national title game with five freshman starters, Kentucky has plenty of experience to go along with the new blood. Patrick Patterson was an all-Southeastern Conference center last year during Kentucky’s National Invitation Tournament season. Kentucky’s roster is so deep, Calipari envisions Patterson playing some wing this year.

This is going to be a hell of a year.  Big Pat is back on the scene with a mission.  He’s got help from incoming Frosh John Wall, Big Cuz, Orton and Eric Bledsoe as well as Darius Miller and the remainder of the returning team.

Big things are expected and these guys can take care of business and meet those expectations.  I can see making Final Four this season.  Of course, everything will have to go right for the team.  Keep the injuries down.  Cohesion and Esprit de Corps will be important factors.  With the Cal DDS system, there should be plenty of PT for all of the stars that make up this team.  Cal has been to two Final Fours and I can see this being his 3rd with the possibility of going al the way to the Title Game and bringing home banner #8.

A year that doesn’t end in a National Championship will not be catastrophic.  Less than a Final Four would surprise me.  I see this team slicing through the SEC like a hot knife through butter.  I’m sure there will be challenges, but, I see enough talent to overcome a few bouts with youth and inexperience.

Everything I read about John Wall says that the kid will be an instant player for Kentucky and Coach Cal.  Big Cuz is supposed to be a monster.  Daniel Orton should be a beast down low.  Eric Bledsoe may be better than advertised which would be impressive as he’s supposed to be a future lottery pick.  Darius Miller can take care of spot duty at the point and become an assassin on the wings.  These things take place and it’s gonna be a huge year.

HUGE!

Bottom line is that Patrick Patterson didn’t come back for the hell of it.  The man came back to get his.  I’m hoping he gets it.  Patrick Patterson leads this team to a Championship this year and he will go down in history as one of  THE greats of Kentucky Basketball.  He could well supplant Dan Issel as THE GREATEST.

GO BIG BLUE!!!

* Kentucky Men’s Basketball Yearbook

 

Alphabetical

No. Name Pos. Ht./Wt. Cl./Exp. Hometown (Last School)
24 Eric Bledsoe G 6-1/190 FR/HS Birmingham, Ala. (Parker)
15 DeMarcus Cousins F 6-11/260 FR/HS Mobile, Ala. (LeFlore)
3 Darnell Dodson G 6-7/215 SO/TR Greenbelt, Md. (Miami-Dade CC)
55 Josh Harrellson F 6-10/265 JR/1L St. Charles, Mo. (SW Illinois College)
5 Ramon Harris G/F 6-7/218 SR/3L Anchorage, Alaska (West Anchorage)
4 Jon Hood G 6-6/195 FR/HS Madisonville, Ky. (North Hopkins)
12 Mark Krebs G 6-5/208 SR/2L Newport, Ky. (Newport Central Catholic)
34 DeAndre Liggins G 6-6/202 SO/1L Chicago, Ill. (Findley Prep)
1 Darius Miller G 6-7/223 SO/1L Maysville, Ky. (Mason County)
33 Daniel Orton F 6-10/255 FR/HS Oklahoma City, Okla. (Bishop McGuiness)
54 Patrick Patterson F 6-9/235 JR/2L Huntington, W.Va. (Huntington)
21 Perry Stevenson F 6-9/207 SR/3L Lafayette, La. (Northside)
11 John Wall G 6-4/195 FR/HS Raleigh, N.C. (Word of God)