Saturday, November 30, 2013

Kentucky vs Providence....A Preview

Kentucky vs Providence 12/1/13 Sunday 8:30PM (TV-Fox)
Game played at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY (Arena-17,732)
UK leads series 1-0

Providence Friars (Big East Conference)

Location: Providence, R.I.
Enrollment: 3,852
Arena: 12,410

Head Coach: Ed Cooley
Career Record: 126-101 (55.5%) 7 seasons
At Providence: 34-23 (51.5%) 2 seasons

2012-13 Record: 19-15
2012-13 Big East Record: 9-9
2012-13 Postseason: 2-1 NIT

2013-14 Record: 7-1

Providence 82 Boston College 78 (OT)
Providence 73 Brown 69
Providence 93 Marist 48
Providence 70 Vermont 49
Providence 67 Vanderbilt 60
Providence 71 LaSalle 63 
Maryland 56 Providence 52 
Providence 78 Fairfield 69

Providence Stats

PPG-73
FG%-41.1%
3 PT%-29.4%
FT%-82.7%
RPG-38
APG-14
TPG-13
SPG-7
BPG-4

Probable Starting Lineup

LaDontae Henton-F 6’6” Jr………………..13.6 PPG
Tyler Harris-F 6’9” Soph…………………..13.3 PPG
Kadeem Batts-C 6’9” Sr……………………13.5 PPG
Josh Fortune-G 6’5” Soph………………….6.6 PPG
Bryce Cotton-G 6’1” Sr……………………18.5 PPG

Other Key Players

Carson Desrosiers-F 7’0” Jr……………….4.5 PPG
Kris Dunn-G 6’3” Soph……………………3.8 PPG

Providence returns 4 starters from last season and has solid experience along with good size. The Friars are led in scoring by senior guard Bryce Cotton who also leads in assists. LaDontae Henton leads the team in rebounds and is the only good perimeter shooter thus far…..hitting 43.5%. Otherwise, Providence struggles from the perimeter shooting a dismal 29.4%. Importantly, the Friars are an outstanding FT shooting team hitting 82.7%. Recent remarks by head coach Ed Cooley reveal very little respect for UK suggesting that the Cats are no better than any other Big East team. Coach Cooley may regret those remarks!

UK Stats

PPG-85.3
FG%-46.7%
3 PT%-28.9%
FT%-67.4%
RPG-48.8 (+17.0)
APG-13
TPG-12.9
SPG-4.7
BPG-7.4

Kentucky travels to Brooklyn to face Big East Providence that has only one loss thus far. UK played poorly and struggled to defeat Cleveland St. 68-61 and then showed some overall improvement in winning over Eastern Michigan 81-63. Unfortunately, the Cats continue to shoot poorly from the perimeter hitting only 28.9%….with James Young hitting only 13-48 for a dismal 27.1%….in fact, Young is only shooting 35.9% overall. Young came to UK with a reputation as an outstanding shooter from the perimeter and an excellent scorer….hopefully, Young can break out of his shooting slump very soon!

Unforced turnovers and poor decisions continue to be a problem for these young Cats. However, UK is starting to improve their overall FT shooting which is very important.
The Providence game is the start of a series of much more difficult games which these young Cats must face….it will be exceedingly important that UK continues to show solid improvement offensively and defensively. I see a 10 point win over Providence. GO CATS!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Video: UK Coach Calipari, Aaron Harrison, Randle, Cauley-Stein Eastern Michigan Postgame Interviews

Video: Kentucky 81 vs Eastern Michigan 63 Game Highlights

Video: Ashley Judd, Rupp sing 'Happy Birthday' to Joe B. Hall

Photos: 2013-14 UK Men’s Basketball vs. Eastern Michigan

Video: UK Hoops vs. Bradley Highlights and Postgame Comments

The seventh-ranked Kentucky women's basketball team play host to Bradley in Memorial Coliseum. UK improves to 7-0 for the first time since 2011-12 and third time under head coach Matthew Mitchell.

Photos: UK Hoops 117 vs. Bradley 77

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Video: Calipari's pre-Eastern Michigan press conference

Kentucky vs Eastern Michigan....A Preview

Kentucky vs Eastern Michigan (Keightley Classic) 11/27/13 Wednesday..4pm (Fox Sport South/UK IMG)
UK leads the series 1-0

Eastern Michigan Eagles (Mid-American Conference) 

Location: Ypsilanti, Mich
Enrollment: 23,503
Arena: 8,824

Head Coach: Rob Murphy
Career Record: 30-36 (45.5%) 2 seasons all at E.M.

2012-13 Record:16-18
2012-13 MAC Record: 7-9
2012-13 Postseason: None

2013-14 Record: 5-0

Eastern Michigan 77 Albion 45
Eastern Michigan 95 Concordi(MI) 45
Eastern Michigan 69 Robert Morris 64
Eastern Michigan 81 Cleveland St. 69
Eastern Michigan 74 UT-Arlington 69

Eastern Michigan Stats:

PPG-79
FG%-48.9%
3 PT%-45.2%
FT%-65.5%
RPG-37
APG-15
TPG-11
SPG-8
BPG-10

Probable Starting Lineup

Karrington Ward-F 6’7” Jr…………………20.0 PPG
Daylen Harrison-F 6’5” Sr………………….6.0 PPG
Da’Shonte Riley-C 7’0” Sr…………………5.5 PPG
Ray Lee-G 6’3” Fr………………………….13.0 PPG
Mike Talley-G 5’11” Jr……………………..9.5 PPG

Other Key Players

Glenn Bryant-F 6’8” Sr…………………….12.3 PPG
Jalen Ross-G 5’11” Soph……………………1.5 PPG

Coach Murphy, former Syracuse assistant, is now in his 3rd season at E. Michigan and he will be expected to start showing progress in the program….especially after his first 2 years have produced a lackluster 30-36! The first 2 seasons found the Eagles among the very worst offensive teams in college basketball….averaging 53.3 PPG in season one and 56.1 PPG in season two. It appears that finally coach Murphy is getting significant improvement in the team’s offense…averaging 81 PPG in their first 4 games. However, the schedule will be getting a lot more difficult and the E. Michigan offense will be facing tougher defenses.

Four starters return with Karrington Ward leading the team in scoring and rebounds while Mike Talley leads in assists. Thus far, perimeter shooting has been excellent, but the Eagles have only averaged 11 perimeter shots through their first 4 games. Free throw shooting has been a problem early this season. All in all, this Eagles team appears to be the best in coach Murphy’s tenure, but time will tell.

Kentucky Stats

PPG-86
FG%-47.3%
3 PT%-30.5%
FT%-67.0%
RPG-48 (+16.7)
APG-13.3
TPG-11.7
SPG-5.0
BPG-7.2

UK is coming off a very poor performance against Cleveland St…..a game they were lucky to win….shooting a dismal 35.5% from the field and a horrible 21.4% from the perimeter. Only making their FT’s saved the Cats!

There is no way to sugar coat an extremely poor and disappointing performance by these young Cats. Obviously, somehow UK players must do more than talk about playing hard from start to finish….it’s critical that they actually do start playing with great energy and passion for 40 minutes. If UK plays this poorly going forward, they are going to lose a bunch of games! 

Two areas of particular concern: it’s becoming apparent that the Harrison twins do not have the quickness to guard the number of quicker guards that the Cats are going to face in many future games. Cal has talked about going to a zone some this season and I believe that UK will need to play zone in a number of games where our guards are getting beat off the dribble. 

Also, thus far UK is struggling from the perimeter shooting a lackluster 30.5%. Young is 13-42 for 31% and Aaron Harrison is 7-28 for a very poor 25%. It’s obvious that UK will face a lot of zones that pack the paint and dare UK to make perimeter shots. 

Let’s hope we see a much improved UK team on offense and defense….and playing with great energy against Eastern Michigan. I see a UK win over the Eagles by 14 points! GO CATS!

Video: UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell Pre-Bradley press conference

UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell holds a press conference to discuss Wednesday's game vs. Bradley and the 2015 Signing Class of Jaycee Coe, Ivana Jakubcova, Alexis Jennings and Alyssa Rice.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Video: UK Coach Calipari, Young, Randle, Andrew Harrison Cleveland State Postgame Interviews

Video: Kentucky 68 vs Cleveland State 61 Game Highlights

Photos: 2013-14 UK Men’s Basketball vs. Cleveland State

UK's James Young Named Freshman Player Of The Week

UK's James Young Named SEC Freshman Of The Week 

Kentucky’s James Young, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound freshman guard/forward from Rochester Hills, Mich., was named SEC Freshman of the Week after registering a career-high 26 points to lead all scorers in a win over UT-Arlington. En route to the 26 points, Young knocked down five three-pointers and made eight of his 14 (.571) field goal attempts. Young also dished out three assists and had two rebounds and two steals.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Kentucky vs Cleveland St.....A Preview

Kentucky vs Cleveland State (Keightley Classic) 11/25/13 Monday..7PM..(FSN)
UK leads the series 1-0

Cleveland State Vikings (Horizon League)

Location: Cleveland, OH
Enrollment: 17,323
Arena: 8,500

Head Coach: Gary Waters
Career Record: 307-235 (56.6%) 17 seasons
136-100 (57.6%) at Cleveland State 7 seasons

2012-13 Record: 14-18
2012-13 Horizon Record: 5-11
2012-13 Postseason: None

2013-14 Record: 2-2

Cleveland State 73 Iona 69
San Francisco 91 Cleveland State 82
Cleveland State 83 UT-Arlington 73
Eastern Michigan 81 Cleveland State 69

Cleveland State Stats

PPG-77
FG%-40.5%
3 PT%-34.1%
FT%-73.5%
RPG-40
TO’s-15
ASP-11
SPG-7
BPG-4

Probable Starting Lineup

Anton Grady-F 6’8” Soph…………………7.5 PPG
Marlin Mason-F 6’6” Jr……………………4.8 PPG
Bryn Forbes-G 6’3” Soph………………….20.0 PPG
Sebastian Douglas-G 6’4” Jr……………….6.3 PPG
Charlie Lee-G 5’8” Jr………………………11.8 PPG

Other Key Players

Jon Harris-F 6’7” Sr…………………………8.8 PPG
Devon Long-C 6’7” Sr……………………4.8 PPG
Trey Lewis-G 6’2” Soph…………………12.5 PPG

Cleveland St. returns 4 starters and 6 of the team’s 7 top players. Importantly, Anton Grady returns after being sidelined with a knee injury after just 6 games last season. Also, Trey Lewis, a transfer from Penn St., is now eligible this season. The Vikings are led in scoring by sophomore Bryn Forbes who is hitting 48% from the perimeter. Anton Grady and Jon Harris are leading the team in rebounds.

Coach Waters is primarily using 8 players with each averaging over 15 minutes. There is solid experience with 5 of the 8 players being juniors and seniors.

Kenucky Stats

PPG-89.6
FG%-49.3%
3 PT%-31.9%
FT%-65.1%
RPG-49.2 (+18.6)
TO’s-11.8
APG-14.0
SPG-5.6
BPG-7.2

UK is coming off a solid 105-76 beat down of UT-Arlington. Importantly, James Young broke out of his shooting slump scoring 26 points and hitting 5-10 perimeter shots. Julius Randle posted another double double with 22 points and 10 rebounds….and kudos to Willie-Cauley Stein who also posted a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Andrew Harrison chipped in 15 points and 6 assists while brother Aaron struggled shooting the ball missing all 5 perimeter shots. Unfortunately, Alex Poythress fail back into old habits playing 15 minutes and scoring zero points. 

All in all, UK played pretty well and had only 8 TO’s. Now the Cats have had several days of practice allowing Cal to add more offensive plays and continuing to focus on playing hardnose defense. UK is showing progress in their offense and defense, but they are still a work in progress and must continue to improve game by game. 

I see a UK win over Cleveland St. by at least 20 points. GO CATS!

Video: Calipari's pre-Cleveland State press conference

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Video: UK Hoops Coach Matthew Mitchell Pre-Lipscomb Press Conference

UK Hoops head coach Matthew Mitchell previews the upcoming game on Thursday, Nov. 21 - 7:00 p.m. ET against Lipscomb.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Kentucky vs UT-Arlington....A Preview

Kentucky vs Texas-Arlington 11/19/13 Tuesday 7:30PM (CSS)
First Meeting

Texas-Arlington Mavericks (Sun Belt Conference)

Location: Arlington. Texas
Enrollment: 33,500
Arena: 7,000

Head Coach: Scott Cross
Career Record: 122-96 (56.0%) 7 seasons all at UT-Arlington

2012-13 Record: 19-14
2012-13 WAC Record: 11-7
2012-13 Postseason: 0-1 (CIT)

2013-14 Record: 2-2

Boise St. 116 UT-Arlington 87
UT-Arlington 88 Samford 75
UT-Arlington 111 Howard Payne 64
Cleveland St. 83 UT-Arlington 73

UT-Arlington Stats

PPG-90
FG%-45.9%
3 PT%-34.3%
FT%-69.2%
RPG-40
APG-14
SPG-8
BPG-5

Probable Starting Lineup

Reger Dowell-G 6’1” Sr………………26.0 PPG
Lonnie McClanahang-G 6’1” Jr………14.3 PPG
Stuart Lagerson-C 7’0” Jr………………1.0 PPG
Brandon Edwards-F 6’6” Sr…………..17.5 PPG
Vincent Dillard-F 6’5” Jr……………..10.5 PPG

UT-Arlington moves from the WAC to the Sun Belt conference this season. The Mavericks lost 3 starters and their 6th man from last season’s team, but return some solid players with game experience. In fact, their starting lineup has 3 seniors and 2 juniors…and thus far this season 10 players have been getting 12 plus minutes in games.

Senior guard Reger Dowell is off to a great start this season averaging 26 PPG while hitting a blistering 41.5% from the perimeter. Brandon Edwards is the leading rebounder while Lonnie McClanahan leads in dishing out assists. UT-Arlington has 4 players averaging in double figures and obviously been playing up tempo while averaging 90 PPG. Look for the Mavericks to play a lot of zone.

Kentucky is coming off their best performance of the early season with a one sided 87-49 win over Robert Morris. Importantly, there was improvement in both the offense and defense with Aaron Harrison leading the Cats with 28 points. Also, it was good to see UK improving their FT shooting hitting 70.6%. Cal made good use of his talented bench playing a number of players with Hawkins and Lee getting significant minutes. UK is still a work in progress, but one has see the incredible talent and the tremendous potential.

That this team possesses. Cat will defeat UT-Arlington by 25 plus points…..GO CATS!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Video: UK Coach Calipari, Hood, Randle pre-Robert Morris presser

Video: UK Hoops Coach Mitchell Pre-Central Michigan Press Conference

Kentucky vs Robert Morris...A Preview

Kentucky vs Robert Morris- 11/17/13 Sunday 7PM (ESPN2)
Series Tied 1-1

Robert Morris Colonials (Northeast Conference)

Location: Moon Township, Pa.
Enrollment: 5,413
Arena: 3,056

Head Coach: Andrew Toole
Career Record: 68-36 (65.4%) 4 seasons-all at Robert Morris

2012-13 Record: 24-11
2012-13 NEC Record: 14-4
2012-13 Postseason: NIT-Lost to Providence

2013-14 Record: 2-1

Robert Morris 86 Savannah St. 66
Robert Morris 90 Lafayette 81
Eastern Michigan 69 Robert Morris 64

Robert Morris returns only 2 starters, but is off to 2-0 start this season. The Colonials, of course, upset UK in the NIT last season and will be trying to make it two years in a row.
Robert Morris starts 3 seniors and are led in scoring by Karvel Anderson who is averaging 21 PPG and shooting lights out from the perimeter thus far this season in their first 2 games. The team has hit 22-45 perimeter shots in their first 2 games for nearly a fantastic 50%. So far, coach Toole has used his bench a great deal with 10 players getting at least 15 minutes per game. Robert Morris isn’t a big team with the starting front line being 6’8”, 6’6” and 6’5”….but they shoot the ball well, especially from the perimeter and have lots of experience.

Probable Starting Lineup:

Karvel Anderson-G 6’2” Sr………..…..21 PPG
Anthony Myers-Pate-G 6’0” Sr……..…2.5 PPG
Aaron Tate-F 6’5” Soph…………….…6.5PPG
Lucky Jones-F 6’6” Jr…………………11.5 PPG
Mike McFadden-C 6’8” Sr…………….11.0 PPG.

UK returns to action after losing to Michigan St…..in which these young Cats received an education on improvements they must make to have a great season. Even though the Cats lost, playing against a great opponent this early in the season provides a wealth of info regarding a host of issues that need to be addressed and improved on by these young Cats. Defeating lesser opponents can often give young players a false sense of how good they are and make them over confident. Now these Cats and the coaching staff know that there must be significant improvements in offense and defense…especially transitional defense. There were far too many TO’s… mostly unforced and the result of bad decisions. Free throw shooting was horrible and if this team expects to have a great year they must significantly improve their FT shooting. This season, with the rule changes, we are seeing many more fouls and teams that have trouble at the FT line are going to lose close competitive games.

Obviously, it’s early with only 3 games played, but there are some early worries regarding UK’s perimeter shooting. The Cats are shooting a dismal 26.4% on 14-53….with Young at 27.3% on 6-22 and Aaron Harrison shooting 15.4% on 2-13. Free throw shooting is at an unacceptable 62.3% and all 3 UK centers are shooting FT’s in the low 40%.

Bottom line…yes there is great talent on this team….but it’s time that all the favorable preseason press clippings be put away….and now this young UK team needs to start learning from the loss to the Spartans and proving themselves on the floor!

I see UK paying back Robert Morris for the upset loss in the NIT last season….Cats win by 20 points…..GO CATS!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2013 Keightley Classic Schedule

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013
Robert Morris at Eastern Michigan

Friday, Nov. 15, 2013
Cleveland State at Texas Arlington

Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013
Robert Morris at Kentucky

Monday, Nov. 18, 2013
Cleveland State at Eastern Michigan

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013
Texas Arlington at Kentucky

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013
Texas Arlington at Robert Morris

Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013
Texas Arlington at Eastern Michigan
Robert Morris at Cleveland State

Monday, Nov. 25, 2013
Cleveland State at Kentucky

Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013
Eastern Michigan at Kentucky

Kentucky - SEC
vs. Robert Morris 11/17
vs. Texas Arlington 11/19
vs. Cleveland State 11/25
vs. Eastern Michigan 11/27

Cleveland State - Horizon
at Texas Arlington 11/15
at Eastern Michigan 11/18
vs. Robert Morris 11/23
at Kentucky 11/25

Eastern Michigan - MAC
vs. Robert Morris 11/14
vs. Cleveland State 11/18
vs. Texas Arlington 11/23
at Kentucky 11/27

Robert Morris - NEC
at Eastern Michigan 11/14
at Kentucky 11/17
vs. Texas Arlington 11/21
at Cleveland State 11/23

Texas Arlington - Sun Belt
vs. Cleveland State 11/15
at Kentucky 11/19
at Robert Morris 11/21
at Eastern Michigan 11/23