Last Night Really, Really, REALLY Sucked

As I sit here and try to type out words that go together and make sense, I cannot believe what just happened.  Let’s be honest, can any of us?

Now, I will be honest, I thought this team was good, but didn’t think they were worthy of the #1 ranking and maybe even the preseason ranking of #2.  They just beat the #1 team in the country and stomped EKU. Both good wins, but this loss undoes both of those wins.

I did not watch the first half. In fact, I forgot the game was even being played, but it’s Evansville. EVANSVILLE.

I came back to my dorm room, opened up the ESPN app and saw that we were down by four, I think. I thought, well damn, looks like the Cats have slept through the game so far.

I watched the game and looked at Twitter simultaneously (something I do a lot) and it never dawned on me that Kentucky could actually lose the game.  I thought this is Kentucky, they’re better, the game is at Rupp, things will naturally shift and Kentucky will comeback and win the game.

Well, that never happened.

Kentucky lost to Evans – wait.  Why am I repeating it? WE GOT IT! WE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!

(Sorry I’m doing my best)

I’m young enough to not remember much of the Billy Clyde era, so forgive me if these kinds of terrible losses at home are new to me.

Kentucky got thoroughly outplayed tonight by a team that simply wanted it more and was ready when the ball was tipped.

Kentucky shot 23 percent from three, 37 percent from the field, got out-rebounded 38 to 35, and had 13 turnovers. Not going to win a lot of games playing like that no matter who you play.

This is a historically bad loss in college basketball history and Kentucky basketball history. The best program historically in the sport had a historically bad night.

Calipari said after the game that this team did nothing it did in the first two games, on both offense and defense. I watched the MSU game and EKU game in their entirety and can tell you the team that walked out onto the court in those games and the team that walked onto the court tonight are not the same. Not even close.

This loss hurts. It will hurt NCAA seeding. It will hurt Kentucky’s top-25 ranking.

It’s also funny that the one guy not to vote for Kentucky in the AP Poll this week, Dan Borges, who I have never heard of until tonight, is gloating over the Cats’ loss tonight, saying that AP voters are scared of the “BBN morons” and just vote for who they think they should vote for.  He writes for the New Haven register, which is something once again I had never heard of until tonight.

What now you ask?

Well, the Cats play Utah Valley next Monday in the first game of the BBN Showcase at 7 p.m. EST.  I expect them to come out poised and to win big.  This loss should do nothing but help them moving forward as they now know they cannot overlook anyone.

They don’t face a ranked opponent until December 21, when they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the CBS Sports Classic in Vegas.

That’s enough from me tonight. Goodnight and go Cats.

Former UK Target and Potential No. 1 Pick James Wiseman Has Been Ruled Ineligible

For over two years, Kentucky recruited heavily for the No. 1 overall player in the 2019 class, center, James Wiseman.

For the majority of his recruitment, Kentucky was seen as the heavy favorite and Wiseman was assumed to be a write-in Kentucky commit. That all changed when for NBA All-Star, and Wiseman’s AAU coach, Penny Hardaway was hired at his alma-mater Memphis in March of 2018.

Soon after, Memphis began stealing Kentucky’s momentum and Wiseman committed to play for his AAU coach in November of 2018.

At the time, Kentucky lost it’s best chance at a big for 2019. Now it looks like it may have been a good thing Wiseman didn’t become a Wildcat.

NBA Insider and “Know All”, Adrian Wojnarowski, reported that Wiseman has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA per his lawyers.

A Memphis sports reporter says that Hardaway helped Wiseman and his family move back in high school.

While we as fans don’t ever see losing players as a good thing, it looks like it was a blessing in disguise.

In recent years, it seems like Cal knows when to walk away and there have been several recruits that Kentucky walked away or pulled back from that have rumored to have taken money or other benefits such as Bol Bol, Zion Williamson, and now James Wiseman.

Former Cat Devin Booker Becomes 8th Youngest Player to Score 6,000 Points

Devin Booker is no stranger to putting up a lot of points, scoring 70 points back in his 2017 sophomore season. On Monday, as the Phoenix Suns took on the last unbeaten team in the NBA, the Philadelphia 76ers, Booker put on a scoring clinic.

Prior to the game, the Phoenix Suns accepted the challenge to take down the 76ers.

They came. They Saw. They Conquered. Beating the 76ers 114-109.

Devin Booker scored in every way possible and finished the game with an ultra-efficient stat line 40 points (15-19 FG, 3-4 3P), 4 rebounds, and 3 assists.

With the performance, Devin Booker became the 8th youngest player in NBA history to reach the 6,000 point mark, only behind LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Andrew Wiggins, and Shaquille O’Neal.

That’s some pretty elite company.

When asked about hitting the 6,000 point mark, Booker had this to say:

Every day I wake up, I get another chance to come play the sport I love in the city I love. I try to take full advantage of it. I know it’s cliche, but when people say it’s the first time somebody is watching, it could be the last time somebody was watching you also. I take that in. Every day I wake up and step in here and I know I can affect people’s lives and in positive ways. Everybody’s excited, everybody’s happy. So, you know, I just gotta keep working.

Keep working Book. 😈

It Looks Like Kentucky Finished Second for Five-Star Cade Cunningham

Coach Calipari and Company are putting together one of the best recruiting classes in his tenure at UK for 2020.

With Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, Lance Ware, Cam’Ron Fletcher, and 2021 potential reclassification Devin Askew, the Cats are in good shape before the Spring recruiting period has even started.

Before the Champions Classic on Tuesday, 2020 No. 2 overall recruit and UK Target, Cade Cunningham, announced he was committing to Oklahoma State and would join his brother who was hired as an assistant coach.

Prior to Cunningham’s decision, all the momentum was with Kentucky, even with recruiting guru, Evan Daniels, logging a prediction for the Cats back in October. This now making him 56/57 on his 2020 predictions. 

Now, it looks like Kentucky was right there and Cunningham was extremely close to being a Wildcat.

Tipton Edits, a popular social media account, creates the edits for nearly every top recruit when they commit.

Meaning, he definitely has some inside information as he communicates with the recruits prior to their commitment and he posted this.

It looks like he is very confident in saying Kentucky was right there for landing Cunningham’s services.

Even without Cunningham, Kentucky is good shape with five-star guards Devin Askew and BJ Boston.

In recent years, Kentucky has finished second on several elite of the elite recruits including James Wiseman and Jaden McDaniels among others. While some of these recruits have committed due to special connection such as having family on the staff or their high school coach becoming a head coach.

While Kentucky is not struggling for recruits and we are spoiled as fans with the No. 2 ranked class, I want to regain that spot at the top and have the top recruiting class once again, and to do that we need to close the deal on the elite of the elite recruits.

Twitter’s Reaction to Tyrese Maxey’s Epic Performance

We’ve seen a lot of great performances by Kentucky freshman in the Calipari era. A few that come to mind are John Wall’s 25 point game against UCONN at Madison Square Garden back in 2009, Malik Monk’s 47 point game in Las Vegas, and most recently Tyrese Maxey’s 26 point game last night at Madison Square Garden against Michigan State.

Even though Monk set the record for most points in one game by a freshman at Kentucky, last night’s performance for Maxey came in his first official game, against the #1 team in the country, at a historic place like Madison Square Garden.

Pretty awesome.

Many big names were at the game, and even more people weighed in on Twitter.

Malik Monk:

Jarred Vanderbilt:

Donovan Mitchell, former Louisville Cardinal:

PJ Washington:

NBA Champion and former Spartan Draymond Green:

Hamidou Diallo:

Dick Vitale who called the game:

Kentucky legend Rex Chapman:

What a game it was!

Looking Back at Kentucky’s Champions Classic Performances

Folks, it’s finally here. Opening night in college basketball and the first official game for our University of Kentucky Wildcats. Tonight, they will take on the top-ranked team in the country, the Michigan State Spartans, in the Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Kansas will take on Duke in the first game at 7 p.m. EST and Kentucky will play Michigan State in the second game at 9:30 p.m. EST

Kentucky has been participating in the Champions Classic since 2011, so let’s take a look at the Wildcats’ previous performances.

2011: #2 Kentucky 75 – #12 Kansas 65

Little did we know this was just a preview for that years National Championship game, which Kentucky took home.

The leading scorer that night was Doron Lamb with 17 points including three three-pointers. The National Player of the Year, Anthony Davis, 14 points, six rebounds, and SEVEN blocks.

2012: #3 Kentucky 68 – #9 Duke 75

This might be the best game Alex Poythress ever played at Kentucky considering he was projected to be the number one pick in mock drafts days after.

Poythress recorded 20 points with eight rebounds. And, Nerlens Noel had 16 points, eight rebounds, four steals, and three blocks.

2013: #1 Kentucky 74 – #2 Michigan State 78

This game is basically a reverse of what we’ll see tomorrow night in terms of rankings, but this game ended the 40-0 talk quickly and showed us that one of the best recruiting classes ever, wasn’t quite worth all the hype.

After a terrible start, the Cats fought all the way back to tie the game in the second half, but Michigan State got a tip-in bucket late to seal the game.

James Young had 19 points and four rebounds. And, Julius Randle had 27 points, 13 rebounds, and eight turnovers.

2014: #1 Kentucky 72 – #5 Kansas 40

Crazy to think, but we had no idea as to what was ahead for this season. It ended bad, but got off to one hell of a start.

“It’s like trying to play frisbee in the Redwood Forest.” – Jay Bilas

Willie Cauley-Stein had seven points and 10 rebounds. And, Karl Anthony Towns had nine points and eight rebounds.

2015: #2 Kentucky 74 – #5 Duke 63

Always a great game when you thump the Blue Devils. Might be one of the best games this team played all year.

Marcus Lee had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Jamal Murray had 16 points, five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Tyler Ulis had 18 points, four rebounds, six assists, and two steals. And, Alex Poythress had nine points and seven rebounds.

2016: #2 Kentucky 69 – #13 Michigan State 48

This is definitely one of the most impressive opening games in the John Calipari era. I think we were all thinking #9 after this game.

Malik Monk had 23 points and six rebounds, including seven threes. De’Aaron Fox had 12 points, four rebounds, and six assists. And, Isaiah Briscoe had 21 points, four rebounds, and two assists.

2017: #7 Kentucky 61 – #4 Kansas 65

This game was tight until the very end. A Malik Newman (what happened to him?) three in the final minutes is probably what sealed the game for the Jayhawks. Well, that and the fact Kevin Knox tried a floater over the backboard to tie the game.

Kevin Knox had 20 points and seven rebounds. Hamidou Diallo had 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists. And, Sacha Killeya-Jones had eight points and nine rebounds.

2018: #4 Duke 118 – #2 Kentucky 84

How about we pretend like this game never happened?

UK Five-Star Target, Isaiah Jackson, Making Decision in Two Weeks

There’s more buzz in the recruiting world today and once again it involves Kentucky.

According Jake Weingarten of Stockrisers.com, 2020 five-star forward Isaiah Jackson will announce his college decision in two weeks. He is reportedly deciding between Kentucky, Alabama, and Syracuse.

Jackson told Weingarten that he will be deciding on either Nov. 15 or 16 and will have the time and location confirmed this weekend.

The five-star forward is 6-9, 200 pounds, and attends Waterford Mott High School in Waterford Township, Michigan.

He is ranked as the 25th best prospect in the 2020 class, third among power-forwards, and the best prospect in Michigan, according to 247Sports.

Jackson holds offers from Kentucky, Alabama, Syracuse, Connecticut, and Creighton. According 24/7 Sports’ Crystal Ball, Michigan State and Alabama are the leaders, with UK having an 11% chance.

Check out some highlights of Jackson:

Which Athletes in UK History Would Have Profited Most off of their Likeness?

Cal is giving his thumbs up!

On Tuesday afternoon, the NCAA unanimously voted to allow athletes to profit from their likeness and created groups to explore ways on making it possible.

That creates the questions, which athletes in Kentucky history would have profited the most from their likeness?

(Excluding any potential “The Hammer” ads)

Anthony Davis

Alongside Dan Issel, Anthony Davis is considered to be one of the two best players in Kentucky basketball history. Like Cal says, “(Davis) took the fifth-most shots” but was still nationally dominate.

Being the best basketball player in the country and trademarking “The Brow”, makes you the biggest and most marketable UK athlete of all-time.

AD would have been a great representative for Harry’s razors.

Benny Snell

Benny Snell is arguably the most marketable player in Kentucky football history, and it’s not even close. His BIG time play backed it up on the field.

I mean you can buy a Snell Yeah shirt on Amazon.

Can we have a Benny Snell Commercial in third person, please?

John Wall & Demarcus Cousins

After the dreadful Billy Gillespie era, this duo brought Kentucky back to national title contention and made it the cool school in college basketball, which is why I placed them as a duo in this list.

John Wall alone had a song reach no. 76 in the Top 100 charts and created a dance used across the country. While Demarcus Cousins became one of the most likable figures in UK History.

Imagine this duo selling literally ANYTHING, could you say no?

Rex Chapman

“King Rex”

Back in the 1980’s five-star freshman were not coming year in and year out like they are today.

Rex Chapman, a Kentucky phenom, was THE MAN on campus as soon as he arrived in Lexington and every kid in Kentucky wanted to be like Rex.

Being the state’s biggest superstar sure bolds well for endorsements.

Tim Couch

The only No. 1 NFL Draft pick in the history of Kentucky Football.

Couch, an athlete so well-rounded that he was the first prep player in Kentucky history to have earned the prestigious “Mr. Football” and “Mr. Basketball” titles in the same year, and named the USA Today football player of the year following his senior season at Leslie County High School.

Couch might not have performed the best in NFL due to injury but imagine him leading an endorsement campaign for couches!

Are there any UK athletes I’m leaving out? Let me hear your thoughts!

Karl Anthony-Towns Involved in a KAT Fight with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons

Since Karl Anthony-Towns committed to Kentucky as a sophomore in high school he has always been seen as the nice guy and one that takes “invisible shots” in the Bahamas.

KAT often gets passionate in the moments of the game but on Wednesday night, he was part of a legitimate KAT fight with the Philadephia 76ers.

It appears to have started with some unnecessary physical play from Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

Standing at 7’0 and 247 pounds, KAT didn’t back down against the 7’0 249 pound Embiid. With those physical stats, it would be an interesting boxing or MMA match.

Kat definitely got the advantage over the former Kansas standout, similarly to how Kentucky has dominated the Kentucky-Kansas series in college basketball 23-9 over since the first matchup in 1950.

KAT didn’t walk out unscathed though, as Ben Simmons pulled a “sissy” move from behind as he was on the ground.

As any mom would, KAT’s mom wanted take her anger out on Embiid too, being held back by security.

Both KAT and Embiid were ejected, and following an NBA review, I would expect all three players to suspended for some amount of time.

Which is unfortunate with KAT having such a hot start to the season averaging 32 points (2nd in the NBA), 13.3 rebounds (tied-3rd in the NBA), and a league-leading 40.27 player efficiency rating.

Could the 1998 “Comeback Cats” Have Gone Undefeated?

The “Comeback Cats” are one of the most memorable teams in Kentucky basketball, not just because they won a title, but in the way that they did it coming back from 10 or more points in the Final Four and title game.

Could the “Comeback Cats” have been the “Invincible Cats” and even go undefeated?

ESPN wrote an article talking about this possibility and that they might have been one piece away.

Before being forced to retire early due to injuries, former NBA All-Star, Tracy McGrady was a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. He’s confessed on more than one occasion that he would have chosen Kentucky if he’d played college ball.

Just think about what that 1998 team could have looked like.

McGrady as an insanely athletic wing, Wayne Turner running point, Jeff Sheppard and Scott Padgett as perimeter threats, Jamaal Magloire inside, and so much depth on the bench.

Key Players

  • Tracy McGrady (would have been a freshman in 1997-98)
  • Antoine Walker (would have been a senior in 1997-98)
  • Ron Mercer (would have been a junior in 1997-98)
  • Nazr Mohammed (was a junior in 1997-98)
  • Jamaal Magloire (was a sophomore in 1997-98)
  • Jeff Sheppard (was a senior in 1997-98)
  • Scott Padgett (was a junior in 1997-98)
  • Wayne Turner (was a junior in 1997-98)

Even without McGrady, the Wildcats led the NCAA in 2-point defense in 1997-98. With him, this would have been a deeper and have an even more wildly talented lineup.

They proved they could I’ll win the title. With McGrady, could they have run the table and gone 40-0?