Kentucky and the 2009 SEC Tournament.

Kentucky takes out Ole Miss in the first round.  The team played energetically and seemed to be running on all cylinders.  Darius Miller makes a statement and shows his potential for good things in the 2010 season.  Meeks gets his 25.  Patterson gets his after announcing that he’ll be back in 2010.  

I’ll take it.  

On Patterson, if he still is staying come the NBA Draft…I’ll believe it.  The kid has to take into account his draft status and such before making a definitive statement.  But it sounds like he has no problem with the coaching staff.  

This has been a strange year at UK Basketball.  Hope Pat and Jodie stick around and make next year phenomenal.  Next year is a pivotal year in the Billy Saga.  Let’s hope the tournaments of 2009 are harbingers of good things to come.

The Big Blue Nation is tired of losing.  

Meeks and Patterson lead UK over Ole Miss.

 

Next Up:  LSU

After a thrilling comeback win over Kentucky gave LSU the SEC title, the Tigers suffered a letdown to close the regular season, losing their last two games.

Six days off could end up refreshing the 20th-ranked Tigers, who begin their push for their first SEC tournament title in 19 seasons with a Friday rematch with the Wildcats in the quarterfinals.

The Tigers (25-6) have been one of college basketball’s surprise teams under first-year coach Trent Johnson, riding a 13-game win streak in conference play to their first regular-season league title since 2005-06. LSU clinched the championship with a 73-70 victory at Kentucky on Feb. 28, rallying from 12 down before hanging on for the win.

LSU played like a team that was mentally and physically tired after that game, falling 75-67 at home to Vanderbilt on March 4 and 69-53 at Auburn on Saturday.

The Tigers shot a season-low 32.1 percent against Auburn and scored their fewest points since a 47-45 loss to Tennessee last season.

“Their focus was not lacking, but there were some guys who were tired and banged up and all those kinds of things,” Johnson said. “Days off at this time of the year would benefit any team. … I’ve been in situations where you had a bunch of guys with a day off, and we came out at struggled.

 

…and they lost.

Question is will that be Billy Gillispies last game in the SEC?  Will UK slide into the backdoor of the NCAAs or are they NIT bound?  If they do go to the NIT, what happens then?

I’m not very excited about an NIT bid.  If I was home, I’d watch anyway.  Here, in Afghanistan, Ii won’t get the chance to watch.  AFN pretty much ignores the NIT in favor of the NCAA.  Which is the way it should be with the programming/air time as tight as it is.

Whatever happens.  GO CATS!!!

Eric Crawford On UK Basketball and it’s Fans

SkyBox_Kentucky_Basketball.gif UK Basketball picture by Markb999

‘But UK fans, contrary to national reputation, don’t demand perfection. How else could one of their most beloved teams of the past two decades be one that was 14-14? What they do demand, however, is that the team on the court reflect this state’s longstanding passion for the game.’

Finally, someone in the media gets it.

What happened to Kentucky?

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UK will be tons better when our coaches are no longer working for this years class THIS year or plucking them up from the JUCO ranks. If we give Gillispie time, he may drive us mad in the meantime, but he’ll get the recruiting in order. If we don’t, we’ll have to watch as another coach comes in and plays catch up for two or three more years. I don’t know if G is the right man for the job. I don’t know if he will turn it all around. I don’t know if Patterson and Meeks will stay or not. I know this. All of the guys who didn’t want to work in HS aren’t going to miraculously develop a work ethic just because they are at UK. These tall guys who were borderline talent in HS become almost borderline talent in HS. The real diamonds in the rough that I’ve seen over the years have been guards like Fitch. Most at any rate.  He was short but tough. He got overlooked. Tubby got lucky. Erik Daniels was a late developer. So Tubby got lucky there as well. Eirk Daniels was a guard in HS and shot 3 or 4 inches taler late from what I read. Hayes was a short PF who was over looked because of his stature.  These are the guys that Tubby was pulling.  You can’t build your program off of those guys.  Not if you want a Championship anytime soon.  Stevenson is a tall, skinny lazy kid who wants it all to come easy.  Your typical Tubby recruit.  At UK, it ain’t always gonna come easy and there’s tons of pressure. Same with most of the late spring recruits and the guys that no true title contenders truly recruited. Guys like Jared Carter, “Woo” Orbzut, Sheray Thomas and Bobby Perry.   Jared Carter should have been showed the light and sent to Georgetown after his Frosh year. UK isn’t the school of welfare basketball schollies. That bench needs to be cleared and Stevenson is one of the guys that needs to be cleared off of it. Instead, he and guys like Porter are starting at UK. And people wonder why they got beat by UGa. Hell, look down the bench. Patterson, Meeks, Miller Then you got a bunch of sometimey little Nancyboys who can’t make up their mind if they want to be winners or walk ons for the girls team. Stevenson….every time I see the guy, I just shake my head. Dude should be a 8 or 9 minute role player. Yes, it’s spelled role. Not roll. lol Stevenson should be a role player. NOT A STARTER. Until UK Coaches learn the difference between a role player and a starter, UK will be getting G Webbed and VMI’d and run over by Bulldogs at the moment of greatest need of a win. Next year comes Orton and Hood. That will be help. Eventually, if the coach keeps recruiting there will be a team at UK. A basketball team. A complete team. 2 Guards (LG or PG and a 2G) 2 Forwards (SF and PF) 1 F/C These gentlemen will know without question their roles on the team. To start and kick ass. Then there will be a second group comprised of players who are up and coming starters and role players. These guys will know their roles. Right now. Meeks and Patterson know what it is that they are supposed to do. The others…I don’t think they have a clue. Porter won’t shoot. Stevenson won’t rebound. A.J. Stewart won’t stay on the team. Galloway plays like a man possessed in one game then a man dispossessed the next. Harrelson plays like he thinks the post is a hostess ding dong and he’s hungry one game. The next he goes on a diet and throws up three balls and collects empty calories with airballs. UK needs a basketball team. From what I can tell, UK has a coach who is losing it. Two guys who are all World. One potential all worlder. ….and a bunch of fluff and Carruth wannabes. Go Cats. Go somewhere. Collect yourself. Grow a pair. Learn to at least fake the funk. This is Kentucky! It ain’t Vandy or Tennessee or Rutgers. It’s UK where Basketball is King. If you can’t comprehend that!?!?!?! Then don’t come back next year. That goes for everyone from the coach down to the sweat sweepers.

This isn’t a “Fire Gillispie!” rant.  It’s a getused to the idea that you are at Kentucky and getting paid a Top Ten Salary.  We expect Top Ten Results in exchange for that Top Ten Salary.   Coach G.  You’re not into history.  We are.

7 National Championships.  That’s history.  The history that we want you to be concerned with mostly though is the history that we expect you to make.  We expect you to be the 5th Coach at  UK to win a National Championship.  UK did not hire you to languish at the rear of the top 50 or to fall on your face.  We expect you to get out there.  Get the top recruits to come to UK again.  We expect results.  We don’t want excuses.  We don’t want bewildered looks and players being thrown under the bus.  We want our basketball to be as fast as those beautiful horses that run in the Derby and at Keeneland.  Defense is great.  Offense is better.  If you produce, you can write your own ticket.  If you don’t, we’ll run you out of town faster than those horses make that 2 minute mile.

Boys, it’s past time to get it together.  Get it.  Make it happen.  It’s time for one of those miracle runs.

And everybody said “Amen!”

Oh yeah.  Billy G, lots of our fans get upset when you talk to a lady like that.  Don’t do it.  Treat the sideline reporters and the rest of them like they are humans.   So I don’t have to hear the old people complain.  They get crotchety and hearing them whine gets on my nerves.  Throw us a bone Billy G.

P.S.  Billy G, invest in about 40 blue ties of various shades and designs.  You aren’t at UTEP or Texas A&M anymore.  It’s not orange.  It’s not yellow.  It’s blue.

Another Jodie Meeks video (in HD)

Jay Bilas has an opinion and I like it.

Jodie Meeks, Kentucky: If anyone can claim to have improved more than Teague, it might be Meeks, but some forget that he was a very good player in his freshman season under Tubby Smith but spent his sophomore year injured. While nobody could have predicted the numbers he is putting up now, a healthy Meeks caused many to put UK in the preseason top 25. Meeks is a scoring machine with a Terminator build. He is averaging an SEC-leading 25.9 points to go along with 3.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.5 steals. Meeks is shooting 48 percent from the floor, 44 percent from 3 and a remarkable 91 percent from the line.

and

Patrick Patterson, Kentucky: Patterson is one of the toughest players in the country, and he probably doesn’t get the ball enough. He is averaging 18.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2 blocks while shooting 69 percent from the floor and 78 percent from the line. Patterson faces double-teams constantly in the post and never complains. He is the best low post player in the SEC, and one of the top five low post players in the country.

Cats pull down first win of the Season

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The Kentucky Wildcats defeat the Delaware State Hornets 71-42 bringing them to a 1-2 record.

Yes, that’s right.

UK starts off the 2008-2009 Season 1 W and 2 Ls.  Losses coming against UNC and………VMI.  Yep.  The Virginia Military Institute out of Lexington, Virginia.  The Keydets defeated the cats in the home opener at Rupp Arena 111 to 103.  I know.  The Cats score 103 points and lose.  Doesn’t seem possible.

Billy Gillispie isn’t starting off the season with much promise.  Even so, if this team gets it’s PG problems sorted out.  If Liggins matures fast enough.  Porter develops into a bit more than a moderately skilled role player or the Harris Point Forward experiment pans out.  Who knows.  It might be a good season.

The talking heads at ESPN and Sports Illustrated are saying that this is a down year in the SEC.  The UK OOC schedule is pretty light.  The Cats will have plenty of cupcakes to use as a learning curve.  The question.  Will UK have enough OOMPF to the schedule to make the NCAA Tournament at seasons end?  Gillispie will not make any friends if UK misses the NCAA tournament.

I’m hoping that UK turns it around.  Patterson gets in the Game and starts scoring as he did in his pre-injury Frosh days.  Meeks learns about shot selection.  Liggins and Miller can bring it and not let being Freshman get in the way of valuable contributions.  Harrelson and Galloway can translate some of those numbers from the JUCO ranks to the DIV 1 side of the house.  Harris matches intensity with offensive output and brings that fabled summer game to the season with him.

This can be a good year.  I’m hoping for the best.  It will only get better from here.  I hope.

Kentucky pounds Louisville as D E F E N S E wins the day.

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Kentucky lead by the Defense defeats the Cards 27-2.

A fine effort by Myron Pryor, Ashton Cobb, Jeremy Jarmon, Trevard Lindley and the boys in Blue on Defense.  Myron Pryor forces a fumble that Ashton Cobb runs in for a TD.  Another forced fumble that Myron Pryor takes 72 yards for a TD.  Tips.  Blocks.  Rushes.  Tight coverage.  All the things that a defense is supposed to do.  And Kentucky is doing it to near perfection.

It’s a new day in Kentucky Football.

The Offense is a bit soft.  Hartline and the receiving corps need to bring it together and concentrate.  If they don’t, it’s going to be a long year.  I liked what I saw in Randall Cobb.  The guy is going to be a stud.  Plain and simple.

Kentucky takes it at Papa Johns. The UL Offense was shut out.  Only a Hartline mistake and a [technical] safety saves the Cards from being completely shut out.

Two in a row.  Time to celebrate in Kentucky.  A 4-0 start is almost a foregone conclusion.

The next challenge is the Nick Saban led Crimson Tide.  The Tide look to mean business this year.  They crushedClemson in their opener.  Saban is out to prove that he’s worth that huge ‘Bama pay out.

Congratulations on the win to the Boys in Blue.  Go Cats!

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Kentucky 27, Louisville 2

P.S.  Apparently, Morgan Newton was in attendance.  I’m sure he liked what he saw.  Hopefully, other recruits were paying attention and UK moves up on their list of possibilities.  UK is coming on strong.  Come join the Big Blue and help lead the Nation to Football and SEC prominence.  You’ll be glad you did.

Tubby and Pitino in Phoenix

In 1997, Pitino left the University of Kentucky to take the head coaching position at the Boston Celtics.  One of the most storied programs in NBA history.  12 Championships (now).  More stars came out of Boston than the Milky Way.  Russell and Bird to name the greatest.

Almost ten years later, Tubby Smith, Pitinos successor, leaves UK for…Minnesota.  Yes, Minnesota.  The Golden Gophers.  HUH?

Most UK fans didn’t mind that Pitino left for the Celtics.  He was going to a storied program.  He was being paid handsomely.  HUGELY.  He was off to his next challenge.  AND…people were a little put off by his constant flirtations with the NBA.  Some suspected that these flirtations were hurting recruiting.  There is probably some truth here as his final recruiting class had one commit.  J.P. Blevins who had committed when he was in 8th grade.

Pitino left.  Smith stepped in.

Ten years later.  Smith leaves for the Golden Gophers.  It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.  Why did he leave?  Because he couldn’t handle the pressure?   Because he could not meet the expectations of running an elite program?  He could not get to the Final Four on his own.  16 or 17 years of Coaching and his championship team was created by another coach.  The man can not recruit a complete team.  He can’t coach talent.  Tubby Smith takes talent and clamps it to the floor.  He can take decent talent and put together decent teams.  But when those decent teams ran into real talent, the inevitable occurred.  They lost.

So Tubby took his sorry act to Minnesota who paid handsomely for his services.

And now, Kentucky has these damned Smith fans, who constantly make stupid comments like this:

Originally Posted by cumberlandredskin View Post
Here’s a link to the entire article. One thing that may bring some interest is that Minnesota will play Louisville in Phoenix this season. I wonder who UK fans will be rooting for in this one?

http://www.kentucky.com/825/story/492790.html

post by JayB:  Minnesota….True fans will anyways

Louisville will play Minnesota in Phoenix, Arizona.  I’m hoping that the Gophers and Smith are humiliated.  Smith is the greater traitor in UK history.  The man spent the better part of the his last season planning his escape to Minnesota.

I won’t go into all of the old Tubby arguments or the reasons that Smith is a loser when it comes to his final dealings with UK and his former players (December contacts, no contact with his guys at UK after he left even after they had attempted to contact him).  It’s well documented even if some refuse to acknowledge.

As a Kentucky fan there will never come a day that I will cheer for a “Ten Loss Tubby” coached team.   For a UK fan to hold Orlando “TLT” Smith in great esteem is a slap in the face to the University of Kentucky.  Let these fools go root for the Gophers and leave UK fans in peace.

So, here’s to the Gophers being crushed and Pitino tripping and falling on his face on the way to the postgame handshake.  lol