Friday, March 28, 2008

Mark Pope Article from 1995

Today while surfing the net I came across this old article on Mark Pope and thought I'd share it with our readers. Mark was a transfer from University of Washington and only played two years for UK. During Pope's two years at UK he had 546 points and played in 69 games. Pope played a big role on UK's 1994-95 team which advanced to the Elite Eight and the 1995-96 NCAA Championship team. For info on Mark Pope and his career stats at UK visit Jon Scotts UK History and Stats.

Pope hopes he finishes, not fouls
Banging under the basket for a rebound or draining a three isn't Mark Pope's favorite part of the game of basketball.

It's "when the refs don't call any fouls," he said.

As a junior, Pope committed a total of 96 fouls, second on the team behind hackster Andre Riddick. Twelve times last year, he received at least four fouls.

Pope continued to live up to his foul-prone reputation during the Wildcats' Italian tour.

"In Italy, the moment he left the locker room, he had two fouls," Coach Rick Pitino said.

This prompted Pitino to name senior Walter McCarty as the starting center, with Pope contributing off the bench.

But he's not complaining.

"The great thing about our team is that we don't have to worry about any of that stuff," he said. "You just come in and play and fill whatever role is available. If that means coming off the bench, that's great."

Starting McCarty will prevent Pope from getting into early foul trouble, Pitino said.

"Mark, by starting, never gets to play much in the first half," he said. "What we're trying to do is stop him from getting three fouls per half."

Pope, who led the team in rebounds last year, also was named the team's Mr. Hustle. But his leadership abilities were evident long before that.

A transfer from Washington, Pope was named a co-captain before playing a minute in a UK uniform. He's a co-captain again this season.

An academic All-American who has his sights set on law school rather than the NBA, Pope is active in UK's Fellowship of Christian Athletes. So it isn't surprising he's taking the backup role in stride.

"Walter's a heck of a player," Pope said. "He's earned that spot."

Although Pope won't start, he will finish.

"We need Mark Pope that last seven minutes of the game," Pitino said. "We need him on the court."

Around the SEC Links-3/28/08

Thursday, March 27, 2008

NCAA Tournament: Regional Semifinals Games & Time

NCAA Tournament:
Regional Semifinals Games & Time
Thursday, Mar 27, 2008

East Region

NCAA Regional Semifinals
Charlotte Bobcats Arena (Charlotte, NC)

(4) Washington St. 26-8 7:27
(1) North Carolina 34-2

(3) Louisville 26-8 9:57
(2) Tennessee 31-4

West Region

NCAA Regional Semifinals
U.S. Airways Center (Phoenix, AZ)

(7) West Virginia 26-10 7:10
(3) Xavier 29-6

(12) West. Kentucky 29-6 9:40
(1) UCLA 33-3
NCAA Tournament:
Regional Semifinals Games & Time
Friday, Mar 28, 2008

Midwest Region

NCAA Regional Semifinals
Ford Field (Detroit, MI)

(10) Davidson (28-6) 7:10
(3) Wisconsin (31-4)

(12) Villanova (22-12) 9:40
(1) Kansas (33-3)

South Region

NCAA Regional Semifinals
Reliant Stadium (Houston, TX)

(3) Stanford (28-7) 7:27
(2) Texas (30-6)

(5) Michigan St. (27-8) 9:57
(1) Memphis (35-1)
Thursday, Mar 27, 2008


Favorite Line Underdog

West Virginia 1 at Xavier
at North Carolina 8 1/2 Washington State
at UCLA 12 Western Kentucky
Louisville 3 at Tennessee
Friday, Mar 28, 2008


Favorite Line Underdog

at Wisconsin 4 1/2 Davidson
at Texas 2 Stanford
at Kansas 12 Villanova
at Memphis 4 1/2 Michigan State

UK/NCAA/SEC Headline Links 3/27/08

UK Basketball Mens:

UK Basketball Womens:
UK Football:
NCAA Tourney:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Coach Gillispie's Call-In Show Tidbits-3/24/08

Looks like Meeks and Patterson will have surgery.

Look for Patterson to shoot 3's next season and to make them even with the line being moved back.

Coach wants to shoot more 3's next season and make them, but not shooting 3's just to be shooting them.

Coach loves it at UK and plans to be at UK for a long time.

Non-Conference 2008-09:
@UNC, IU, @UL, Las Vegas Tourney UK will play Kansas St in the 1st game, then the second game will be West Virgina or Iowa.

15 Non-Conference games: Coach wants to make it as difficult as he can to get team ready for SEC & NCAA play. Coach would love to play the Top 10 teams next season, but knows it won't happen.

Recruiting: Coach said, Roster needs upgrading, UK needs scorers and it doesn't matter if he's a G, PF, C just as long as he can score.

Coach said players will be gym rats and in the weight room during the summer when not in classes.

Coach said he has a lot of plans for UK over the summer.

Coach said that UK is trying to get former players to come back during the summer to work with the players.

Plans to take his basketball camps on the road in Ky and hopes to add several more and to take the players to work the camps as well.

Coach talked to Richie Farmer and Rex Chapman at the Sweet 16 and ask them to come and bring their sons to the Father/Son camp and maybe have them play against one another.

Coach was ask about Liggins and who he would compare him to in college. Coach said he was like Jasper, tall, good body, dribbles great and see plays before he catches the ball. Coach said he is excited to get to coach Liggins next season.

Best part of his 1st season at UK was everything. But mainly the way Joe and Ramel did as the season went on and that Joe and Ramel was great leaders for UK on and off the court this season. That was the best thing he'll remember the most from the 2007-08 season.

Coach said Joe and Ramel will come back to UK a lot and he welcomes them anytime they want too.

Gillispie also mentioned several of his former players that he coached at UTEP and A&M and the NBA teams they are playing on now.

Coach commented that Coach Knight will more then likely be back coaching and that he like the way Knight is well prepare when doing the ESPN shows and said that Knight wasn't like the others on ESPN he knows what he's talking about.

There you go just a few tidbits from the last show of the 2007-08 season.

If you would like to hear it for yourself it should be up sometime late tonight or tomorrow at and for streamfeeds. Also you can go to GoBigBlueCats and download the Audio: Billy Gillispie Call-in Show 3/24/08.

Around the SEC Links-3/24/08

Coach Gillispie's last call-in show for the season 3/24/08

Coaches last call in show for the 2007-08 season will be on tonight at 6PM-EST/5PM-CST, if you would like to listen you can use one of these links or radio stations YAHOO STREAM LINK and this STREAMING LINK you can also try WLAP630AM Stream Feed Link; WVLK 590AM Stream Feed Link; WGGC 95.1FM. So tune in and listen to Coach Gillispie and his comments on the 2007-08 season and the outlook on the 2008-09 season and more.

If you have questions or comments call: 1-800-249-CATS

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Darius Miller and Mason Co to play in state Finals

Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Today, I was fortunate enough to attend the Sweet 16 semi-finals in Rupp Arena. It was my first trip back since Lafayette won the 1979 title going away. That season was the KHSAA's first trip to Rupp Arena for the finals.

Lexington Catholic was favored by most to win it, didn't play particularly well and lost to Covington Holmes in the first game of the day. Catholic plays smart basketball, but I believe the athletes of Holmes were too much this morning.

Mason County won the second game against Shelby County. I am now a big fan of Darius Miller. Extremely high basketball IQ! Very, very smart on the court. With his size today, he could park on the blocks all night long and dare teams to stop him, yet at UK, he'll be a "3" for Billy G. Not a great shot from outside, but solid form. His court vision is outstanding. His passing is the same.

I'm very excited about how he can be plugged into the lineup for UK next year.

There is also a rumor running around Rupp Arena that Russ Middleton from Mason County is turning down scholly offers to play at UK as a walk-on. Middleton is a three point shooter who has been deadly in the tournament and received the KHSAA's sportsmanship award before the game today.

On a side note, Coach Gillispie was on press row today taking in the games. I believe I also saw Dwayne Casey with him believe it or not.

Got the chance to run into Deron Feldhaus and Richie Farmer and his family.

Simply a great day thus far!

Around the SEC Links-3/22/08

Friday, March 21, 2008

Scotty Hopson visiting UK soon?

Wildcats Thunder Basketball/Recruiting Analyst

I have been told that Scotty Hopson and UK are talking about a visit in the coming weeks. I was told today that contact was made and both sides are working on the best time for Hopson to visit the UK campus. I wasn't told if it would be a official or unofficial visit, but they are working on getting it done. Look for Hopson to visit UK maybe as early as the following week(March 31 thru April 6th). Now this doesn't mean Hopson is UK bound if the visit does indeed happen, but it is for sure a positive sign. Also the visit may not happen on these exact dates, but I was told they were the most logical dates the visit could happen on. Also from the info I have gotten I believe he will for sure visit and the week of the March 31 thru April 6 is when it will happen. But something could happen and push it back a bit. But none the less this is a great sign for UK concerning Hopson. For more details and other developing recruiting info on UK recruits click here.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The year of uncertainty is over

Wildcats Thunder Administrator

While disappointed with the loss today, I could not be more proud of what our guys overcame to even make the tournament. I applaud Joe and Ramel for being warriors in the court.

Now we as UK fans can look forward to the excitement of next season. Coach Gillispie has given us a look into the future of UK basketball and I for one like very much what I see. I am very much looking forward to what it looks like with his guys that he recruits.

Next season I expect:

  • A healthy Meeks that is hungry to be a leader.
  • A healthy Jasper that is ready to prove he can lead as well.
  • A healthy Patterson,"TICKED OFF" from having to sit out post season play.
  • A 5* PG ready to showcase his skill to the Big Blue Nation.
  • A Mr. Ky. Basketball winner ready to show he is deserving of that crown in front of his home state fans
  • A JUCO SF ready to show he was deserving of a D1 scholarship out of high school
  • A Big Man that will come in and help almost immediately.
  • A "confident and slightly heavier" Stevenson that can bang in the paint a little more.
IMO, the future is bright for UK as our coach has shown what he can do with little. imagine what he will do with a lot.

This loss hurts. I hate it most for our two seniors but at least now we can look to the future for UK anticipation instead of the uncertainty that came with all the off season turmoil surrounding our former coach.

Watch the recruiting board here. I expect fireworks in the very near future, with recruiting news like this.

Why UK lost and why UK will get better

Wildcats Thunder Member

First off I want to say Ramel and Joe absolutely played their tails off on both ends of the court today. Unfortunately both were tagged with some very cheap fouls and it limited what they were able to do defensively late in the game, especially Ramel.

Also, I have to admit I was one of those people that labeled Joe with the 'no heart" tag. I always liked Ramel because of his effort but Joe confounded me at times. These two have spent the season showing me I was wrong and that with a decent coach that was actually willing to work as hard as his players they would have been mentioned with some of the best in Kentucky basketball. Tubby Smith wherever you are right now, thank you for wasting these two guys for 3 years. Its just a crying shame...but I digress. Onto the analysis.

Ramel, Joe, and Stevenson all played pretty well today. And Jasper and Harris made some plays on defense but one of the reasons we were so successful in SEC play is that we finally started getting contributions on the offensive end from these two. Night in and night out Harris and Jasper were able to provide just enough offense, roughly 8-16 points a game between the two of them to alleviate some of the pressure off Ramel and Joe. Today, a goose egg. Neither one of these guys had their A game today, or anywhere close to it for that matter and we struggled.

I can't fault them for that though. I think they both played with maximum effort and just had off nights on the offensive end of the floor.

Also, if anyone ever argues that Patterson wouldn't have made a difference in this game they need to be hit over the head with a hammer. I didn't see a second chance points graphic, but I know Marquette had a ton of them, as did Georgia against us in our SEC tourney loss. Patterson will make a huge dent in that stat when we get him back next season.

We struggled to keep Marquette out of the lane all game. James is just too quick for any of our perimeter players to stay in front of. Harris did a solid job on him despite being in foul trouble for most of the game. We will have much better athletes on the perimeter next season so its not likely teams will be able to get to the rim as easily as Marquette did at times today.

Coaching...I thought Gillispie coached a solid game. I'm a little upset that Marquette's best three point shooter was allowed to get so open at the end of the first half but other than that I can't find much to complain about as far as the job our first year coach did. Marquette played a really good game today.

UK Womens to play MTSU in WNIT

Middle Tenn. St. (Sun Belt 14-4; 22-11)
Kentucky Wildcats (SEC 8-6; 15-15)
Friday, March 21, 2008 7pm EST Memorial Coliseum

The Kentucky women’s basketball team will meet Middle Tennessee of the Sun Belt Conference in the second round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament Friday, March 21 at 7 p.m. EST in Memorial Coliseum. Kentucky is 8-2 all-time vs. MTSU.

General admission tickets are $10 for adults and $4 for youth/seniors (18 & under, 65+). For ticket information, log on to or call the UK ticket office at 859-257-1818 or 1-800-928-CATS (2287).

Should Kentucky beat MTSU, they would play Wednesday, March 26 with time and location to be determined.
Head Coach Matthew Mitchell
Opening Statement…

“We’re extremely excited to be playing in post season. We have a very tough opponent coming in to play. Middle Tennessee State has been a fantastic program over the last five, six, seven years. They played a terrific game last night obviously against Western Carolina and it will be a tough matchup for us. They pose a lot of difficulties for us match-up wise. They are not a tremendously big team but they fast, quick and can shoot the basketball. Anytime you have the leading scorer in the nation on your team that usually means the opponent will have a difficult time. We definitely will have our hands full with Middle Tennessee tomorrow night.

UK Headline News 3/20/08

Around the SEC Links-3/20/08

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Kentucky vs Marquette....A Preview

Wildcats Thunder Administrator

Kentucky vs Marquette
When: 2:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: Anaheim, Calif.
Radio: Big Blue Radio Network Affiliate List
UK 18-12, 12-4 SEC; Roster | Schedule | Stats
MU 24-9, 11-7 Big East; Roster | Schedule | Stats


Coach: Tom Crean: 165-86 (.657) in 8 seasons
Crean has only been a head coach at Marquette

2007-08 Record: 24-9
Big East Record: 11-7

Marquette 76 IUPUI 68
Marquette 66 Utah Valley 55
Marquette 74 Chaminade 63
Marquette 91 Oklahoma St. 61
Duke 77 Marquette 73
Marquette 100 UWM 65
Marquette 81 Wisconsin 76
Marquette 82 Sacramento State 51
Marquette 80 IPFW 56
Marquette 89 Coppin St. 42
Marquette 77 Savannah St. 37
Marquette 96 Providence 67
West Virginia 79 Marquette 64
Marquette 61 Seton Hall 56
Marquette 92 Notre Dame 66
Louisville 71 Marquette 51
Connecticut 89 Marquette 73
Marquette 79 DePaul 71
Marquette 62 USF 54
Marquette 75 Cincinnati 60
Louisville 71 Marquette 57
Notre Dame 86 Marquette 83
Marquette 89 Seton Hall 64
Marquette 72 Pittsburgh 54
Marquette 73 St. John’s 64
Marquette 78 Rutgers 48
Marquette 85 Villanova 75
Georgetown 70 Marquette (OT)
Marquette 67 Florida Gulf Coast 37
Syracuse 87 Marquette 72
Marquette 67 Seton Hall 54
Marquette 89 Notre Dame 79
Pittsburgh 68 Marquette 61

Probable Starters:
Jerel McNeal G 6’3” JR (PPG-14.3) Minutes PG-29.9
Dominic James G 5’11” JR (PPG-13.0) Minutes PG-30.1
Lazar Hayward F 6’6” SOPH (PPG-13.0) Minutes PG-25.1
Wesley Matthews G 6’5” JR (PPG-11.2) Minutes PD-28.5
Gusmane Barro C/F 6’10” SR. (PPG-5.5) Minutes PG-19.4

Team Stats:
Points PG: 75.8 (+11.6)
FG%: 44.7%
3 Point FG%: 35.3
3 Point FG PG: 7
FT%: 70.2%
Rebounds PG: 36.6 (+2.4)
Assists PG: 14.8
TO’s PG: 13.2
Steal PG: 9.6
Blocks PG: 3.8

A look at the Marquette schedule reveals some big wins for the Warriors this season….such as defeating Big Ten champion Wisconsin, Big East tourney champion Pittsburgh and a solid NCAA bound Notre Dame team. Marquette averages 76 points per game and have 4 players scoring 11 points or more per game… short, Marquette is a very good offensive team. The Warriors are a perimeter team getting excellent guard play from McNeal, James and Matthews. Hayward is an excellent shooter..hitting 47.5% of his shots and a red hot 45.2% from 3 point range. Coach Crean goes to the bench often as 10 players get 10 or more minutes per game. No Marquette player averages more than 30 minutes per game, so the Warriors will have fresh players on the floor throughout the game. Although, Marquette is mostly a perimeter team, they have defeated teams this season with strong inside games. Unquestionably, the Warriors strength is their superb guard play on both offense and defense….importantly, the Warriors get nearly 10 steals per game. Coach Crean has been a very good coach at Marquette and while this is not a great Warrior team, it is a very good team that is capable of competing with any team. Marquette enters the game against the Cats as a 6 point favorite and that sounds about right. This Marquette team will be a very tough opponent for the Cats.

Kentucky, having sweating out getting into the NCAA, now must turn their attention to a very difficult first NCAA game. It’s hard to evaluate UK’s performance in the SEC tourney because of all that took place as a result of the tornado. Still, the Cats didn’t play well against Georgia and they must lift significantly lift their game performance against Marquette. Hopefully, Bradley can regain his shooting eye because both Crawford and “Smooth” must have productive offensive games. However, even that won’t be enough against a team of Marquette’s caliber…..the Cats must get some good offense from Jasper, Harris and Stevenson.. A key factor for UK to have a chance of upending Marquette is they must minimize TO’s. The Warriors who snag 10 steals per game will present a big challenge for the Cats to take care of the basketball. The Cats are perfectly capable of defeating Marquette, but they must bring their A game on both offense and defense. I know the vast majority of UK fans are very proud of this Kentucky team that has overcome so much adversity and made the NCAA tourney when virtually all sports analysts has written UK off as an NIT team at most. These folks obviously underestimated the coaching genius of Billy Gillispie who has molded this Cat team into a tough minded overachieving team. I know Marquette is the favorite, but I have a good feeling that these Cats are not ready for the season to end. I like UK to defeat the Warriors and march on in the NCAA. Go Cats!


Let the MADNESS begin as 64 teams kick off the 2008 NCAA Tournament on Thursday and Friday . Now the questions begin. Who will advance? Who goes home? Will there be BUZZER beaters? Will Cinderella advance? Does David slay they Goliath? Who will be left standing #1 on April 7, 2008 in San Antonio, Tx as 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Champions and bringing home the hardware? And many more questions I'm sure, including the officiating.. There's only one way to find out! Tune in and watch the most exciting time in college Basketball for the answers...Regardless the out come it will be fun to watch till the end..


Midwest Region

Qwest Center Omaha (Omaha, NE)
(16) Portland St. (23-9) 12:25 pm
(1) Kansas (31-3)

(9) Kent St. (28-6) 2:55 pm
(8) UNLV (26-7)

(11) Kansas St. (20-11) 7:10 pm
(6) USC (21-11)

(14) CSU Fullerton (24-8) 9:40 pm
(3) Wisconsin (29-4)

West Region

Verizon Center (Washington, DC)
(14) Georgia (17-16) 12:20 pm
(3) Xavier (27-6)

(11) Baylor (21-10) 2:50 pm
(6) Purdue (24-8)

(15) Belmont (25-8) 7:10 pm
(2) Duke (27-5)

(10) Arizona (19-14) 9:40 pm
(7) West Virginia (24-10)

Honda Center (Anaheim, CA)
(9) Texas A&M (24-10) 7:25 pm
(8) BYU (27-7)

(16) Miss. Valley St. (17-15) 9:55 pm
(1) UCLA (31-3)

East Region

Pepsi Center
(Denver, CO)
(13) Winthrop (22-11) 7:20 pm
(4) Washington St. (24-8)

(12) George Mason (23-10) 9:50 pm
(5) Notre Dame (24-7)

South Region

Pepsi Center (Denver, CO)
(12) Temple (21-12) 12:30 pm
(5) Michigan St. (25-8)

(13) Oral Roberts (24-8) 3:00 pm
(4) Pittsburgh (26-9)

Honda Center (Anaheim, CA)
(11) Kentucky (18-12) 2:30 pm
(6) Marquette (24-9)

(14) Cornell (22-5) 5:00 pm
(3) Stanford (26-7)

Midwest Region

RBC Center (Raleigh, NC)
(10) Davidson (26-6) 12:25 pm
(7) Gonzaga (25-7)

(15) UMBC (24-8) 2:55 pm
(2) Georgetown (27-5)

St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, FL)
(13) Siena (22-10) 7:20 pm
(4) Vanderbilt (26-7)

(12) Villanova (20-12) 9:50 pm
(5) Clemson (24-9)

West Region

St. Pete Times Forum (Tampa, FL)
(12) West. Kentucky (27-6) 12:30 pm
(5) Drake (28-4)

(13) San Diego (21-13) 3:00 pm
(4) Connecticut (24-8)

East Region

BJCC Arena (Birmingham, AL)
(15) American (21-11) 12:15 pm
(2) Tennessee (29-4)

(10) South Alabama (26-6) 2:45 pm
(7) Butler (29-3)

(11) St. Joseph's (21-12) 7:10 pm
(6) Oklahoma (22-11)

(14) Boise St. (25-8) 9:40 pm
(3) Louisville (24-8)

RBC Center (Raleigh, NC)
(16) Mount St. Mary's (19-14) 7:10 pm
(1) North Carolina (32-2)

(9) Arkansas (22-11) 9:40 pm
(8) Indiana (25-7)

South Region

Alltel Arena (North Little Rock, AR)
(10) St. Mary's (25-6) 12:30 pm
(7) Miami (FL) (22-10)

(15) Austin Peay (24-10) 3:00 pm
(2) Texas (28-6)

(9) Oregon (18-13) 7:25 pm
(8) Mississippi St. (22-10)

(16) TX Arlington (21-11) 9:55 pm
(1) Memphis (33-1)

Around the SEC Links-3/19/08

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

UK/NCAA/SEC Headline Links 3/18/08