Daily Archives: January 15, 2013
Not quite the same reaction after this one….
Well, that wasn’t pretty, but at this point, a win isn’t a loss and I’m taking it.
Kentucky entered the game in need of a win. Tennessee entered the game in need of a win. Both teams were in slumps. Both teams struggled to score coming in to the game. And, well it continued.
Neither team could really find a rhythm until late in the second half, when UK was able to go on a run after Archie Goodwin fouled out with less than 4 minutes remaining. A player who had really been struggling, Kyle Wiltjer, was able to break out of his slump, scoring 17 points.
The Cats struggled through most of the first half, getting lost on defensive switches and generally leaving people open. Offensively, it wasn’t much better but somehow the Cats were able to grind out a 3 point lead, as Jarnell Stokes saw the bench for most of the first half, and the game really for that matter.
In the second half, UK opened it up a little offensively, and ran out to a 47-39 lead. Then however, Kentucky hit a wall, and struggled to score again. Tennessee ended up coming back and even taking a one point lead with about 6 minutes to go. Trust me, there was a lot of doubt around the arena after that one.
That’s when two guys who had been struggling for some time decided to step up. Both Julius Mays and Kyle Wiltjer made some huge shots down the stretch, coupled with a few timely baskets from Nerlens Noel.
Kyle Wiltjer led the team in scoring with his 17, while Ryan Harrow and Nerlens Noel added 12. Nerlens Noel led the team in rebounding with 9, while Alex Poythress added 8. Ryan Harrow led the team in assists.
The Cats will travel down to Auburn on Saturday to take on the Auburn Tigers, a team that is currently 2-0 in conference.
Go Big Blue!
At least we don’t have to see this today.
It’s getting close to game time. The Cats are set to play their 2nd SEC home game today against the Volunteers of Tennessee. Kentucky is trying to win their 1st SEC home game. Both UK and UT have been struggling, so it is going to be an interesting game. After the last game, the team should be fired up. If that lost didn’t fire the players up, I don’t know what will. The team just needs to get down to the basics and follow behind Nerlens Noel’s intensity, then they should be fine.
Vegas Line: Kentucky is favored by 14.5 points.
Don’t forget to leave your score prediction on the “Ky Cat Stats Facebook page“ score prediction contest, sponsored by: Kennedy’s Wildcat Den.
Television/Event Info: Tuesday, January 15, 2012 | 7:00 p.m. | TV = [ESPN] | Lexington, Kentucky| Rupp Arena
Tyler Mounce = 77-68
Brad Woodcock = 67-59
Marcus Owens = 75-60
Braxton Howard = 62-55
David Stevens Jr. = 74-69
Ken Meadows = 73-69
Go Big Blue!
Beat the Volunteers!
Interview & Article by: Adam Weaver
“I just want my name to stay in the record books forever”
Marcus Lee out of Antioch, California is as most of you know committed to the Kentucky Wildcats. Ky Cat Stats was able to recently catch up with him, getting his thoughts on Kentucky as a school, as a program, some of the other recruits, and even a little jab at Louisville. Check out the Q&A below.
Adam Weaver (Writer for Ky Cat Stats): We all know it’s a great school and powerhouse basketball program. But why is Kentucky the school for you?
Marcus Lee: Kentucky basketball (isn’t) just a team. Their a family. They are with each other 80% of the time.
Coach Cal and his staff took all their players and treated them like it was their own children.
It’s not like the players are just another name on the roster. They take the time to learn about them and you can see that on the court.
And the fans are insane! I’ve always wanted a school full of spirit. And that’s what I got!
Weaver: What are you looking forward to the most once you get on campus?
Lee: I’m just like every other kid going to college. I’m most excited to decorate my room, my room is going to be UK’d out.
Weaver: Aaron Gordon is a West Coast kid like yourself. Have you tried recruiting him to Lexington with you? And of the remaining players left in the 2013 class who do you think comes to UK if anyone?
Lee: I haven’t tried to push them to go to UK because I know how hard it is to make a decision with everyone asking about it and all the pressure.
And they’re higher ranked then I am so I have no idea what their dealing with! So I just let them do it themselves.
Weaver: How would you describe your game? And who’s game would you say most resembles yours in the NBA or College?
Lee: I see my game as the last line of defense. When all else fails I won’t. I don’t know who my game is like.
Weaver: In the history of UK basketball there has only been one triple double and it was by Chris Mills back in 1988.And you’ve already had a few in your senior season. Is that something you think you might be able to accomplish during your time at UK?
Lee: There is a few things I plan on breaking when I’m at UK. And yeah that will be one of them. I just want my name to stay in the record books forever.
Weaver: Anthony Davis holds UK’s single season block record with 186. And also the rebounding record with 415. Are either of those records that you have your eye on trying to break?
Lee: I’m going after that block record!! I have about 200 blocks already. I plan on killing that record.
And rebounding is not a goal. It’s just something I have to do to get my team to win.
Weaver: A lot of people are saying UK’s 2013 recruiting class is the best recruiting class ever. What does that mean to you and do you agree with them?
Lee: It means nothing to me until we get there and do something. But I do think we have a great chance to be the best class ever..
We just have to play our game and play together as one.
Weaver: Some people are also saying Kentucky might go 40-0 next season. What are your thoughts on that?
Lee: I agree with them. We are competitors. We don’t like losing. I don’t think we will allow ourselves to do anything less then greatness. We’re shooting for the stars!
Weaver: What will your emotions be like the first time you put on that Kentucky jersey with your name stitched on the back?
Lee: I’m going to be extremely emotional. Once I see it I’m going to be jumping up and down, going crazy!!
I can’t wait to make the name on the front proud.
Weaver: What college school are you looking forward to playing the most and why?
Lee: I wanna play Louisville!! Because I wanna get back that win they took from us this year.
Extras: UK’s lone triple-double. Chris Mills, scored 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and got credit for 10 assists against Austin Peay in Freedom Hall on Dec. 27, 1988.
Player Profile: Marcus Lee
According to Justin Rowland of Rivals.com, UK has added their 19th commitment of the season.
Regie Meant, a 6’5 270 DE/DT prospect out of Cape Coral, Florida has committed to UK.
Meant seems like a little bit of a project, as he is only a 2* recruit and has only been playing football for a few years, but he does have offers from some high majors like Iowa State and Kansas State.
Take a look at his film though, and you’ll probably think some recruiting services need to re-evaluate him. He’s big, he’s quick, and has a nose for the football.
Take a look:
Welcome to Big Blue Nation, Regie!
He was like a demon. A 3-point shooting demon.
Everybody remembers Chris Lofton.
I remember him hitting 3 after 3 after 3 against UK. The Mason County prospect averaged 18.9 points per game over his career against UK, despite only going 3-5. Still, only a 3* prospect out of High School, it was astonishing to watch him play against UK. Few guys played harder, and few guys were more deadly against UK from beyond the arc. In fact, Chris Lofton his 32 (32!) 3-pointers against UK over the 8 games he played against them. That’s 4 a game. He shot 46.4% from 3 against UK.
The astonishing thing was, despite only going 3-5 against UK, he played on some pretty bad Tennessee teams before Bruce Pearl got there.
Kentucky seemed to be cursed his entire career against UK. Despite Kentucky winning the majority of games against Tennessee, all you read on message boards was about how Tubby passed on Chris Lofton, who was Mr. Kentucky Basketball. To be fair, he passed on Chris to get Rajon Rondo, Ramel Bradley, Randolph Morris, and Joe Crawford, but still.
Kentucky was cursed.
Then Billy Gillispie came to UK and people thought there would never be a time again when Kentucky would lose a top in-state recruit to the Volunteers.
Then came Scotty Hopson.
That is until Scotty Hopson came along, and went to Tennessee.
Now to be fair, Kentucky had not really recruited Hopson, he was a top 10 recruit, and he committed to Mississippi State early on the process.
Then he de-committed from Mississippi State and people expected UK to get involved. But they really didn’t very much. The fact is, Billy Gillispie had Darius Miller on the board, and there were a lot of negative vibes around Scotty Hopson. So instead of recruiting Hopson, Gillispie, to his credit, went and got the guy who eventually became Mr. Kentucky basketball.
Recruiting Miller over Hopson, who was more highly rated, reversed the Chris Lofton, hopefully forever.
Since Scotty Hopson went to Tennessee, UK has been 8-1 against Tennessee, the one loss came in Knoxville at the very end of the regular season of John Calipari’s first season, and was powered mainly by J.P. Prince’s 20 point outing that afternoon. Billy Gillispie never lost to UT again, though he only lasted one more year.
Thus ended the Chris Lofton curse. Now, UK fans look memorably back at the Chris Lofton days, and marvel at just how good he was, especially against UK. The hurt is gone, the curse is lifted, and all is right with the world again.
For me, this has to be one of the greatest moments in UK history. I had never seen a player as hot as Jodie Meeks was that night, and I haven’t seen anything since then. Take a look at the video below and check out all Jodie Meeks’ scores from that game.
If you’re Billy Gillispie though, you may want to just come back to the site at another time. This was your high watermark as the UK basketball coach, and you ruined it.
Today we we play Tennessee. This rivalry is so big, it’s to hard to explain. A quick hitter is that we have more wins against Tennessee than any other college in the world. There is so much more, but you can see some of the basics below.
Record: 148-66 (All Time)
At Rupp Arena: 86-16
First Game Against Tennessee: 2/16/1910 (W 20 – 5)
Last Game Against Tennessee: 1/31/2012 (W 69 – 44)
Highest Kentucky Scorer: Jodie Meeks (1/13/2009) – 54 Points (We all remember this game.)
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In 74 seconds Jodie Meeks went from having a memorable game to an iconic one, putting an exclamation point on the single highest scoring performance in Kentucky’s illustrious history.
Meeks set a school record for points in a game with 54, breaking Dan Issel’s 39-year old record of 53, but it was one explosive sequence with the game in the balance that will forever define the Cats’ 90-72 victory over rival Tennessee in front of 20,474 fans at Thompson-Boling Arena.
Scoring can come in bunches but changing the course of the game is what legends are made of. Meeks did both on a frigid night on the banks of the Tennessee River, in a house that saw greats like Allan Houston and Chris Lofton once thrill the masses.
“I was just trying to play to win,” a humble Meeks said. “I was more concerned with Tennessee trying to make a run and doing anything I could to help my teammates and get a win. It just so happened it was me that made big shots. I had a couple inches of space so I kept shooting and they went in.”
Go Big Blue!