The Cats take on Marquette today

The Cats make the tournament in 2008 as an 11 seed in the West Region. A 12-4 run in the SEC regular season makes it possible.

First opponent: Marquette. 2:30 EDT in Anahem, California
UK has met Marquette in the NCAAs 9 times. This will be the 10th. Marquette has won the last two meetings with UK in the tournament. The last being the year that Dwayne Wade showcased his NBA Superstar potential and Bogans broke his ankle in the Wisconsin game. I haven’t seen any Marquette games this year. But from all I’ve read, UK is a slight favorite for an upset bid in round 1. If UK loses this game, it will be the first 1st round loss in over 15 years.

From the UK presser today, an interesting tidbit. Perry Stevenson was asked about UK fan expectations. Here’s the quote:

Or as Kentucky forward Perry Stevenson remarked when asked what Wildcats fans expect from their beloved basketball team: “Seven championships in six years.”

Hilarious and a nugget of truth as well.

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“We became a blue-collar team,” Stevenson said. “We come out and scrap and fight.”

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As you can see, Perry Stevenson is UK’s shot blocking phenom. Here’s to him swatting a dozen or so Marquette shots today. His emergence along with Jasper and Ramon Harris are the reasons that UK can still win minus Patrick Patterson. Perry really picked up his play though. A fairly amazing transformation from his Frosh campaign.

Perry has benefited from the loss of Patrick Patterson somewhat. Pat being out has given Perry room to grow and experience this year. I don’t think he would have been forced to grow as much if Pat was still in the game. Next year should see those two wreaking havoc down low and inside/out on teams. With the additions coming in, I think UK will be in fine shape for 2009.

But first this season must be played out:

GO CATS!!! BEAT MARQUETTE!!!

For all of you doubters, I’ll leave you with this:

“He just had so much belief in us,” Bradley said. “It was hard to doubt ourselves.”

Ramel Bradley on Coach Gillispie

I say the Cats advance in a bruiser.  Final Score:  Cats – 56  Golden Eagles – 50 

Coach Adolph Rupp plugs Coca Cola

Nothing wrong with that. This little “commercial” is from a Basketball Reel to Reel that I was able to get off of ebay a few years back. I had it converted to digits and now that I have a way to share it (this blog), I’ll be posting it on the blog over the next week. It’s a three part film on Individual Offense. It’s part of a larger effort with three other coaches and Coach Rupp explaining different aspects of the game. Of course, the game has changes a bit since these coaches were in their prime. I can’t find any information on the film on the web and the actual reels are in my storage room back in Kentucky. But I’ll post as much back ground information as I can gather.

I always find it interesting to hear Coach Rupp talking. You can tell the man has a love for Basketball and for the University of Kentucky. He smiles a lot in this film and talks to his team. From what I’ve read, he didn’t do that often in practice. So these film productions may have been a welcome respite from what I’ve read were immensely difficult practices in the Rupp Era. This film gives a quickshot of Harry Lancaster–Rupp’s longtime assistant.

mbb_history_ruppchalkboard.jpg I hope y0u enjoy.

Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp “passed” on All Time Wins list by Northern State Coach Don Meyer

That’s the claim at any rate.

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I laughed when I read the statement. Then I had to ask myself; “Who on earth is Don Meyers and who are the Northern State Wolves?”  Ranked #15 Nationally at what? Over the past few years, High School powerhouse Oak Hill has been ranked #1 nationally several times. Good for them. It’s just not the same as being the #1 or # 25 ranked NCAA Division 1 Team. Likewise with a JUCO Coach or a Division II Coach and All Time Wins. No comparison. Period. End of story. End of debate.

The Keloland TV Station website is claiming that Northern State Coach Don Meyer has surpassed Adolph Rupp on the All Time Wins list. Claiming that Coach Meyers is now Number 3 and Coach Rupp is now down to Number 4. I have to call them on this one. I think it’s bogus. There is no comparison. If you are going to include Division II schools on the same list as Division 1 schools, we may as well include JUCO and the lower Divisions as well. Why not lump in High School Coaches as well?

I’m sure that Don Meyer is a fine coach. I’m sure he has accomplished much down there in the little leagues. That said, it’s no comparison.

Adolph Rupp won four NCAA Championships. He won the NIT when it was the BIG GAME in town. He placed so many players on the All America lists that they named the NCAA National Player of the Year Award after him. Adolph Rupp coached 28 future NBA’rs. The 1948 USA Olympic Basketball Team consisted of 7 Kentucky players and the starters from the ’48 Philips 66 Oilers Championship team. Coach Rupp was assistant Coach to Bud Browning of the Phillips 66 Oilers. Coach Rupp has a 23,000 seat capacity Arena with 7 National Championship banners flying inside.

A Division II coach is not on the same plane of existence as the Baron of the Bluegrass. No debate necessary. That’s why it hasn’t made the news on any real level. It’s not news. Keloland TV is erroneous in it’s statement that Don Meyers has passed anyone on the All Time Wins list. It’s a pipe dream and it’s up in smoke. A Coach at Division II should not be mentioned in the same breath as Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith and Bob Knight. You may as well include Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp on the list of All Time Winning NBA Coaches. You just can’t do it. 800 wins at Division II–while a great achievement at that level–does not compare to 800 wins at Division 1.

This is the House that Rupp built.

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Postgame interview with Coach Adolph Rupp

Coach Rupp was interviewed by Claude Sullivan after the 1966 National Championship loss to the Texas Western Miners.

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Claude Sullivan: OK, well it’s a tough one to give tonight because everybody in Kentucky and on this Standard Oil network, who was listening. I know that almost everyone of them was for these Kentucky Wildcats. And of course, it’s a heart-breaking thing because a journey that Adolph Rupp talked about earlier that began back in December, ended here on heartbreak highway tonight. For the Wildcats who now are sitting dejectedly across the floor. They came into this thing heavily favored, maybe that hurt them. The way these Washington papers played it up today as no contest, they thought Kentucky was going to walk away with it, maybe that hurt the Wildcats more than anything else.

Adolph Rupp: Seems, they made about 17 more free throws than we made, and I think that was the entire story of the game. We made, more, five more field goals than they made, that’s the fact of the case. But we didn’t play very good tonight. Texas Western made a lot of mistakes against our press, and I was sure we’d catch them. But I think it will show that the shooting average tonight did not take care of us at all. In the first half it was 33%, and I don’t believe it was much better than that in the second half.

And I’ve always told you on this program that shooting has taken care of us, but tonight it didn’t. And I don’t think we had a single boy that played up to par tonight.

Claude Sullivan: Coach Rupp I’m sure that a lot of people will be asking you, ‘How good is Texas Western’ ?

Adolph Rupp: Well, the way they handled the ball tonight, it’s a good ball club. I put them in the same class with Michigan, I put them in the same class with Tennessee, and Vanderbilt, teams like that. I think they’re a good ball club. They hit tonight, they hit very well tonight. They hit the clutch baskets when they needed it. We got them down there in the second half, I think we got them down to one point one time, two points another time, but we never could get the clutch basket. And it was our shooting that hurt us tonight. We missed shots. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the rebounding doesn’t show that we stayed on the boards with them pretty well, in spite of the fact that they’re much bigger than we were. But we just couldn’t shoot well.

Claude Sullivan: Coach Rupp did you feel that in the beginning of the game when after nine minutes you only had nine points, that it was bound to break for you with such a slow start.

Adolph Rupp: Yep, I told the boys at the half, I said we can’t play a miserable second half the way we played this first half. We gave them four baskets the first half that we shouldn’t have given to them. And, those two steals. I told the boys in the locker room, just before they came out at the beginning of the ball game, that they double team the boy bringing the ball up. But you can’t dribble the ball with your head down and not look around to see what’s going on, and that’s exactly what happened. Those were the two baskets, I believe, that hurt us early in the ball game. Then we gave another one by throwing the ball away, and they took it and threw it in and it got them a six point lead. And we never were able to get the momentum going after that. We started pressing a little bit then then and I think that’s the story.

Claude Sullivan: Well we’ll be back here at College Park talking with Coach Rupp in just one minute.

Claude Sullivan: Well the college basketball season is over, Coach Rupp, what are the plans now ?

Adolph Rupp: Well it’s been a long year, it’s been a good year, it’s been a better year than any of us ever dreamed it would be. Now then of course we’ve got to go out, we had a miserable recruiting year last year, one of the worst we’ve ever had. And we’ve got to go out and find us some boys, with size. This little button kid has gotten us an awful long way but, but it proves what I’ve been saying all year long, that when you get in there with those big guys who can dunk that thing, you’re going to be in trouble and that hurt us tonight, badly here. This team was very quick, they’re very fast, and although we did have five more field goals, they stepped up to that free throw line, they just got all the breaks in that way. So, I guess we just have to start a new string somewhere along the way and that’s just the way it’s going to be.

Claude Sullivan: Well, Coach Rupp, thank you very much for the visit, not only tonight but all season. We’ve certainly enjoyed being with you, it’s been wonderful. We’ve enjoyed it, and we’ll look forward to another year.

Adolph Rupp: Claude, thank you and thanks to the sponsors who have made this program possible, and I’ll come up and help you broadcast one of the Reds baseball games some day.

Claude Sullivan: Needed, he will be a knee high. Thank you coach and we’ll hold you to that promise.

Here at courtside at College Park Maryland, the Baron Rupp has bowed out for another college basketball season with a record of 27 and 2. Finished second in the NC double A’s, but for the first time in five tries, has lost the championship game.

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I always enjoy hearing or reading Coach Rupp talk about Basketball. I’ve recently purchased two of his books on coaching basketball. I purchased some original reel to reel footage of Rupp as well. Eventually, I plan on posting clips of Coach Rupp on here. Note in his comments the need then for the big man and the challenges of finding quality bigs. Gillispie is confronting that same challenge today. Another similarity to the present. Coach Rupp was a huge proponent of the Man to Man Defense. He felt that Zone Defenses should be used sparingly if at all. Gillispie is also similar to Rupp in that he is hot and heavy on discipline and conditioning.