Monday, August 31, 2009

2009 UK Football Season Picks

WT Executive Moderator

At the beginning of each season I usually embarrass myself and pick the games during the pre-season. I will do that this season, but so much happens during a season that renders the pre-season almost unpredictable. I think to cover my tracks; I’ll do each UK game weekly to see how each team’s questions are being answered on the field.

Each team, except Florida has issues that will only be addressed on Saturday’s. Has does Auburn, Mississippi St. and Tennessee related to new coach’s? Will Steven Garcia make it through the season with Spurrier? Does Vandy repeat its season from a year ago?

I see UK winning anywhere from 5-8 games. How do the new DE’s adjust? Is there actually quality depth beyond the starters on each side of the ball? I for one, think Hartline will be fine. Can the OL open holes for Smith and Locke?

With that being said, here we go:

Miami, OH - The Cats open with a blow out win in Paul Brown Stadium. (1-0)
UofL - Three in a row over Silo City College will be nice. Not even close. (2-0)
Florida - The Gators return 11 defensive guys and isn’t Tebow in year 9 of college? (2-1,0-1)
Alabama - UK will be in this one late. Bama has a tough defense and that wins games. (2-2,0-2)
@ South Carolina - Oh how I want to pick UK. UK has lost 9 straight to SC and never beaten SS. (2-3,0-3)
@Auburn - IMO the biggest game on the schedule. A good season or a bad one is here. (3-3,1-3)
UL Monroe - Another win for the Cats. (4-3,1-3)
Miss St - The Cats are on a roll. (5-3, 2-3)
EKU - Can you say steamroll? (6-3, 2-3)
@ Vandy -11th straight game for the Dores. (7-3, 3-3)
@UGA - UK plays another game into the 4th. Can they make the plays? (7-4, 3-4)
Tennessee - Someday they end this streak, right? (8-4, 4-4)

8 wins will get UK to Atlanta and the Peach Bowl. I think they can get SC, but I can’t pick it until they prove they can. I guess the same can be said of UT?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

UK 2009 Football Schedule

Kentucky is coming off a 7-6 season, capped by a 25-19 win over East Carolina in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. It is the first time in school history that the Wildcats have won bowl games in three consecutive seasons.

Sept. 5 vs. Miami(in Cincinnati @ Paul Brown Stadium)

Sept. 19 Louisville

Sept. 26 Florida

Oct. 3 Alabama

Oct. 10 @ South Carolina

Oct. 17 @ Auburn

Oct. 24 Louisiana-Monroe

Oct. 31 Mississippi State

Nov. 7 Eastern Kentucky

Nov. 14 @ Vanderbilt

Nov. 21 @ Georgia

Nov. 28 Tennessee

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Interview with Bill Keightley, (Week 15)

WT Administrator

Keightley talks about the turbulent Eddie Sutton Era. Much of the interview focuses on assistant coaches in the program, in particular James Dickey. He discusses the snowball effect of the rumors of Sutton's drinking problem, a player cheating on his ACT, and a payoff to Chris Mills resulting in NCAA suspension, that led to Sutton's dismissal as coach.

1988-89 Squad
Front Row (l to r): Head Coach Eddie Sutton, Assistant Coach James Dickey, Johnathon Davis, Eric Manuel, Sean Sutton, Derrick Miller, Assistant Coach Dwane Casey and Assistant Coach Jimmy Dykes
Standing: Equipment Manager Bill Keightley, Chris Mills, John Pelphrey, Deron Feldhaus, Mike Scott, LeRon Ellis, Reggie Hanson, Richie Farmer, Trainer Walt McCombs

Interview with William B. Keightley, February 5, 2007 (01:09:05)

There are just 6 interviews left. Weeks 1-14 interviews are archived in the "Audio" Section of the the "Video Highlights and Classic Clips" board.

Photo courtesy of Jon Scott's UK Basketball History Site. For more details on the 1988-89 UK team and other UK teams take the time to visit the site. Worth the visit and lots of great info on UK basketball.

Video: Brooks says freshmen QBs could redshirt

Friday, August 21, 2009

*Vault Classic* Kentucky vs Tennesee (1993 SEC-T)

Wildcat Fan-atic
WT Member

This weeks game comes from back in 1993. The Cats try to revenge a loss to the dirty Vols just one week earlier. It also marks the final time that the SEC Tournament will ever be played on the Cats home floor. Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Interview with Bill Keightley, (Week 14)

WT Administrator

Bill Keightley recalls players from the 1979-1980 and 1980-1981 teams. He also discusses the emphasis on academics in addition to talent when recruiting new players for the University of Kentucky, alleged under-handed recruiting practices of college basketball, and the rationale behind mediocre college players with lengthy NBA careers.

Interview with William B. Keightley, August 8, 2006 (48:23)
Keightley, William B.; Interviewee -- Suchanek, Jeffrey; Interviewer

Weeks 1-13 are archived in the "Audio" Section of the the "Video Highlights and Classic Clips" board.

Monday, August 10, 2009

GOTW: 1979 Kentucky vs #1 Indiana (Cawood Radio Call)

WT Administrator

1979 - Kentucky Vs. #1 Indiana (Cawood Radio Call)

Wildcats Thunder proudly brings our next selection of the Game of the Week. Kentucky vs. #1 Indiana December 24, 1979. Relive or watch for the first time as the 1979 Kentucky Wildcats take down the # 1 Indiana Hoosiers at Rupp Arena.

****To Download this Game click here****. For more great UK basketball and football games visit Wildcats Thunder's Wildcat Vault. Below is a highlight of the game by WT member Wildcat Fan-atic.

It Was Not Knight's Night by: William F. Reed

After Kentucky's late burst beat No. 1 Indiana, Hoosier Coach Bobby Knight wished more than ever he hadn't let Indianian Kyle Macy slip off to the Bluegrass State

Bobby Knight was sitting in his office one day last week when a couple of matrons came in bearing dishes covered with aluminum foil. "What've you got for me now?" growled the Indiana University basketball coach. The women, Grandma and Jean Smith, former proprietors of Smitty's South Side Cafe in Bloomington, Ind., still ply their favorite ex-customer with goodies. Knight peeked under the foil and said, "I'll eat anything but that raisin-and-coconut stuff you brought me last week. I thought you were Kentucky fans or something."

A few minutes later Knight eased his 6'5" frame into a chair at his "new spot," an eatery named Kilroy's. He was in a carefree, almost ebullient mood, and after bantering with the waitress, he turned his thoughts to the upcoming game against Kentucky in-Lexington's Rupp Arena. His No. 1-ranked Hoosiers had just run their record to 4-0 with a difficult, but impressive, 76-69 win against Georgetown. Nevertheless, Indiana had yet to play a game on the road, or to face a team with the talent and depth of Coach Joe B. Hall's sassy young Wildcats.

If Knight was uptight about meeting Kentucky, it didn't show. It wasn't that he was so confident of winning. Not at all. It was just that Knight considers ratings meaningless until the end of January, when teams have had the chance to jell. He also thought the polls were overrating his team. And he knew that the Hoosiers wouldn't be at full strength against Kentucky. Steve Bouchie, a 6'8" freshman forward, hurt a foot in Indiana's opener and hadn't played since. "He's doubtful for Kentucky," Knight said, "and without him we can't do nearly as many things." Moreover, sophomore Guard Randy Wittman told Knight after a poor performance against Georgetown that he had injured his left ankle in an earlier game against Texas-El Paso.

Instead of fretting, Knight sat in the restaurant and laughed about how, as a kid growing up in Orrville, Ohio, he had spent many nights listening to Kentucky basketball on Louisville's WHAS. He was a Kentucky fan in those days. " Ohio State didn't have a radio network then," said Knight, who went on to play on the great Lucas-Havlicek Buckeye teams. " Kentucky was what I could always get by flipping around the dial." He even admitted that, on his part at least, there is more love than hate involved in the Kentucky-Indiana rivalry, one that galvanizes every basketball nut in those neighboring basketball-nutty states.

Meanwhile, down in Lexington Joe Hall was wondering about the roller-coaster tendencies of his team. On Monday night the Wildcats were a many-splendored thing in a 126-81 romp over South Carolina—the worst licking ever handed a team coached by Frank McGuire. "They might be the best in the country," said McGuire, marveling over Guard Kyle Macy's textbook jump shots, 7'1" freshman Sam Bowie's alley-oop stuffs and Kentucky's remarkable depth. "They just keep coming at you in waves."
Only two nights later, however, Kentucky was lucky to escape with a 57-56 win at Kansas. Afterward, Hall was so upset with the Wildcats that he castigated everyone at his press conference. He blamed his guards for being "selfish" and his frontcourtmen for being sloppy.

Going into the Indiana game, Kentucky had lost only once in seven starts—to Duke in the season-opening Hall of Fame game in Springfield, Mass. Hall had learned from those early games that he had a lot of guys who could play well. But which five played the best together! "It'll take a while for them to settle in," Hall said. "I don't know what this team is going to be. What makes me feel good is that the young players are playing so hard." The young players—freshmen Bowie. Derrick Hord, Dirk Minniefield and Charles Hurt—give Kentucky both a fine bench and a shot at the next several NCAA championships.

Aside from a love of fishing and a hatred of losing. Knight and Hall share a respect for Macy, Kentucky's splendid 6'3" senior guard. A native of Peru, Ind., as a high school senior in 1974-75 Macy was interested in playing for Knight, who at the time had the No. 1 team in the country. When it became apparent to Macy that Knight wasn't nearly as interested in him as he was in Knight, he began to consider other schools. He finally picked Purdue, and so did Jerry Sichting, another top Indiana high school prospect. Sichting has had a fine career at Purdue, and Macy, who transferred to Kentucky after his freshman year, has developed into perhaps the finest all-round guard in the country.

"As I look back at it, the biggest mistake I've made in recruitment was not signing Sichting or Macy," Knight says. He admitted his error to Macy last summer while Macy was practicing at Indiana for the U.S. Pan Am Games team that Knight coached. "One day while Macy was shooting free throws," Knight says, "I said to him, 'You know, if I wasn't such a dumb son of a bitch, you'd have played your entire career right here in this building.' Kyle just laughed."

For his part, Macy has a lot of respect for Knight. "He really sticks up for his players," Macy says. "He's a lot like Coach Hall, as far as the yelling and all is concerned. Both are easygoing off the floor, but perfectionists on it. Both are disciplined coaches."

When game time came around on Saturday night, Hall was yelling for Macy, Knight against him. And a Rupp Arena-record crowd of 23,798 was yelling for a Kentucky victory, though for a while it looked as if the Cats would be lucky to stay in the game. With 6:31 left in the first half. Mike Woodson, Indiana's superb senior forward, made a layup to give the Hoosiers a 28-15 lead. At the time Kentucky was hitting less than 30% from the field; Indiana was shooting 50%. But actually the Wildcats' fortunes had begun to turn 57 seconds earlier when Isiah Thomas, the freshman guard who means so much to Indiana's attack, had picked up his third foul. Hall capitalized on Thomas' absence by putting in his five quickest players—the Firehouse Five he calls them—and instructing them to press full court. The Five include three freshmen (Minniefield, Hurt and Hord), a sophomore (Dwight Anderson) and a senior (Jay Shidler). By halftime the Indiana lead was only three, 39-36.

As is the case with all Kentucky-Indiana games in the Knight-Hall era, this was a defensive war. It came down to a matter of which team would blink first. This time it was Indiana. The Hoosiers were leading 53-51 with 9:05 to go when Kentucky ripped off 15 straight points to take an insurmountable 66-53 lead at 1:44 on the clock. During that stretch Indiana missed 10 consecutive shots and was held scoreless for more than seven minutes. The final score was 69-58.

Though Hall beat Knight at his own game—defense—Kentucky also had a couple of other factors in its favor. One was its superior depth. Another was that Thomas fouled out with 6:43 to go. At the time the Hoosiers trailed by only four, but without Thomas they lacked the ball handling, quickness, penetration and leadership needed to beat the Cats. And when Thomas left, Macy took charge. His jumper tied the game at 53, and another gave Kentucky a lead it never relinquished. "I thought Macy did a very good job of taking the game over, from their standpoint," Knight said. He also praised the outside shooting of Shidler, who hit five of seven long shots and scored 11 points. Macy led the winners with 12, while Woodson and 6'9" Center Ray Tolbert each had 16 for Indiana.

It's sort of scary to think that, if Kentucky is this good now, how good will the Wildcats be by March? When Hall was asked about his team's potential a couple of hours after the Indiana game, he replied, "I don't know. It's hard for me to assess them. They will have to play their way into my understanding."

Then he took off one of his loafers and held it up for inspection. There were two pennies inside. "I found them Thursday as I was leaving the barbershop," Hall said. "That's strong medicine. I really don't believe in superstition, but I don't want to tempt fate, either. They hurt my feet for two days, but that's all right. A coach has to make some sacrifices, too."

Write Up by William F. Reed of Sports Illustrated

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Interview with Bill Keightley, (Week 13)

WT Administrator

The focus of this interview is on Keightley's memories of the players on the 1977-1978 and 1978-1979 University of Kentucky men's basketball teams. Players discussed include: Dwight Anderson, Dwane Casey, Chuck Verderber, Fred Cowan, Clarence Tillman, Rashaad Carruth, Adam Chiles, Chuck Aleksinas, Dirk Minniefield, Bo Lanter, Sam Bowie, Shagari Alleyne, Derrick Hord, Larry Johnson, Melvin Turpin, Charles Hurt, Henry Thomas, and Jock Sutherland.

Interview with William B. Keightley, August 1, 2006 (53:32)
Keightley, William B.; Interviewee -- Suchanek, Jeffrey; Interviewer

Weeks 1-12 are archived in the "Audio" Section of the the "Video Highlights and Classic Clips" board.