Kentucky Sports Radio

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November 24th, 2014

Montana State’s coach says UK is the best team he’s seen in his career

You have to give it to Montana State head coach Brian Fish. His team got absolutely embarrassed, but Fish was very gracious in his postgame remarks, telling reporters that Kentucky’s relentless attack left his team feeling helpless at times. Fish seemed to take some pride in John Calipari’s comments that last night was UK’s second best game so far this season, and Fish later told Jeff Goodman that “Kentucky is the best team I’ve seen in my 25 years of coaching.” 

The praise doesn’t get old.

HEY! Wake up, it’s time for Kentucky Sports Radio! (Monday Show Thread)

Photo by Matt McCarty,

Good morning, friends. Shake off that sleep because it’s time for the Monday edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, Matt and Ryan will discuss UK’s wins over the weekend and look ahead to Saturday’s big football game and the short Thanksgiving week. Tune in to hear their thoughts on the Cats and much, much more.

Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.

Listen to Kentucky Sports Radio

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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Just How Rare was UK’s romp over Kansas?

Look, Kentucky is going to smash many opponents this year, as evidenced by yesterday’s almost absurd result.  But I still want to go back to last week and recap the historic romp over Kansas.  I did the research and looked back at every Top 5 matchups since the year 2000.  In total, there have been 48 total games between Top 5 teams in the regular season or conference tournament.  No NCAA Tournament games were counted.  Surprisingly, there have been quite a few blowouts in the mix.  Of the 48 games, 22 were decided by 10 points or more.  Five were decided by 20 points or more.  And Duke’s smashing of Texas in 2005 was by 31 points, which means UK actually has a little company.  But still, the 32 point margin is the biggest since 2000 in Top 5 matchups.  A look at the group:

32 Points, 2014: #1 Kentucky 72-#5 Kansas 40
31 Points, 2005: #1 Duke 97-#2 Texas 66
26 Points, 2006: #5 Florida 86-#3 Ohio St 60
22 Points, 2011: #2 Ohio St 85-#3 Duke 63
21 Points, 2002: #1 Duke 99-#3 Maryland 78
18 Points, 2004: #5 Illinois 91-#1 Wake Forest 73
17 Points, 2007: #1 Ohio St 66-#3 Wisconsin 49, 2009: #1 UCONN 68-#5 Louisville 51, 2010: #2 Kansas 82-#5 Kansas St 65
14 Points, 2002: #3 Maryland 87-#1 Duke 73, 2004: #5 Oklahoma St 74-#4 Syracuse 60, 2006: #3 UCONN 89-#2 Villanova 75, 2007: #2 Memphis 85-#5 Georgetown 71, 2010: #1 Duke 82-#4 Kansas St 68
13 Points, 2001: #5 Maryland 76-#2 Illinois 63, 2005: #4 Wake Forest 95-#3 North Carolina 82
12 Points, 2004: #2 Duke 84-#4 Wake Forest 72
11 Points, 2005: #4 Villanova 85-#5 Oklahoma 74, 2008: #2 Duke 89-#3 North Carolina 78, 2013: #5 Kansas 94-#4 Duke 83
10 Points, 2004: #4 Stanford 82-#3 Arizona 72, 2009: #3 Pittsburgh 70-#1 UCONN 60
9 Points, 2002: #4 Oklahoma 64-#1 Kansas 55
8 Points, 2009: #4 Pittsburgh 76-#1 UCONN 68, 2011: #5 Pittsburgh 74, #3 Syracuse 68, 2013: #3 Indiana 81-#1 Michigan 73
7 Points, 2002: #4 Kansas 74-#5 Oklahoma 67, 2004: #4 Pittsburgh 75-#5 UCONN 68, 2008: #5 UCLA 81-#4 Washington St 74, 2010: #4 Villanova 82-#5 West Virginia 75, 2011: #3 Kentucky 69- #4 Louisville 62
6 Points, 2014: #5 Duke 66-#1 Syracuse 60
5 Points, 2003: #4 Texas 76-#5 Oklahoma 71, 2006: #4 Villanova 69-#1 UCONN 64, 2012: #5 Duke 76-#2 Louisville 71, 2012: #2 Duke 73-#4 Ohio St 68
4 Points, 2008: #2 Tennessee 66-#1 Memphis 62, 2013: #1 Indiana 72-#3 Michigan St 68, 2013: #2 Michigan St 78-#1 Kentucky 74, 2014: #5 Michigan St 72-#3 Ohio St 68
3 Points, 2007: #3 Wisconsin 72-#5 Ohio St 69, 2009: #4 Wake Forest 92-#3 North Carolina 89, 2013: #3 Duke 79-#5 Miami 76
2 Points, 2003: #2 Kentucky 69-#3 Florida 67
1 Point, 2007: #2 Ohio St 49-#1 Wisconsin 48, 2011: #1 Kentucky 73-#5 North Carolina 72, 2012: #5 Missouri 89-#3 Baylor 88, 2012: #4 Kansas 87-#3 Missouri 86

Now you might ask who has been involved in the most Top 5 matchups since 2000.  A list of the top performers:

Duke (12 appearances): 9-3
Ohio State (7 appearances): 3-4
Kansas (6 appearances): 4-2
UCONN (6 appearances): 2-4
Kentucky (5 appearances): 4-1
North Carolina (4 appearances): 0-4
Michigan State (3 appearances): 2-1
Louisville (3 appearances): 0-3
Indiana (2 appearances): 2-0

KSR’s Top 10 Tweets of the Weekend

(Darrell Bird | Catpause)

(Darrell Bird | Catpause)

It’s time again for KSR’s Top Tweets of the Weekend. You can participate by using hashtags such as #BBN #KSR 
#KSRTop10 or just by simply tweeting @KYsportsradio. We will focus most of our attention on Kentucky sports-centric tweets but, as usual, there are no limits to our madness.

#10 John Hieronymus

I know. It has been a depressing weekend.





#9 Rich Brooks

I want a relationship like that when I grow up.





#8 Oscar Combs

Sounds like a smart woman to me. That is ridiculous





#7 Stephen Ramsey

They have therapy groups for this.





#6 Duke Basketball
“@Duke_MBB: .@KySportsRadio leading #Duke with 7 pts – his career high is 13″

Please excuse me not linking the exact tweet, but for obvious reasons it was deleted.





#5 Jordan Smith

Am I the only one who thinks it’s funny the basketball team went to see Hunger Games on their one off day?





#4 Sam Skaggs

That….is not a bad idea.





#3 Sam Malone

Oh, snap! You tell him Sam.





#2 Carey Grannis

This is something Ryan will be harassed about for the rest of his life.





#1 Brian Long

This team is so selfish. Brian Long won’t even stand up on his own anymore. Lame.


November 23rd, 2014

Kentucky sneaks past Montana State, 86-28

Mark Zerof | USA Today

Mark Zerof | USA Today

That, my friends, was a lopsided basketball game. Montana State, a team that recently lost to Grand Canyon by 16, made the long trip to Lexington for a shot at the nation’s best and it did not go well for the Bobcats. Not at all. UK held them to 19 percent shooting on 61 attempts in the entire game. Blocks, there were plenty of them and some were violent. The official count credits UK with 12, though it seemed like 80. It was a 40-minute defensive performance from the boys in blue and white.

Let’s discuss a little bit of it, shall we?


UK held Montana State to 28 points. Twenty. Eight. Points.

It was the lowest point total from an opposing team since the invention of the shot clock. Take a second to process that one. No UK opponent was as bad at scoring the basketball in one game. And somehow, please tell me if you know, this same Montana State team scored 78 points against UCLA last weekend. That tells me fans should be pretty confident about the game in Chicago next month.

Montana State went over 13 minutes without scoring.

There were no bigger Montana State fans in the world than the 22,000 people wearing blue in Rupp Arena. Rarely do you see Big Blue Nation passionately cheer for the visiting team, but that was the case during the second half when the poor Bobcats couldn’t add to the scoreboard. We knew right away the game was headed that direction when Montana State couldn’t get the ball up the floor. It was laughable for a second, then it became sad because it was so unfair.

It was a rough start for Kentucky, believe it or not.

You wouldn’t know it by looking at the final score but the Cats got off to a very poor start. They went 0-for-10 from the field to begin the game and actually trailed by one point at 2-1. Coach Cal said, “We score one point in the first four minutes. Come on, are you kidding me? Now we were good enough to hold them to two, but that’s ridiculous. And again, we have got to work on that. We can’t start games like that.”

Montana State made one more field goal than Kansas, so there’s that.

Just another reminded of how truly special that win in Indianapolis was.

Book ‘em Devin.

After scoring 15 points against Boston Friday night, Devin Booker’s hot hand continued with 18 points to lead all scorers on Sunday. Booker held a late game lead over Montana State, the entire team, at 18-17 with a little over seven minutes left, but he fell in the end, 28-18.

The freshman has been putting in a lot of work on his shot before and after practices. He made some changes to his footwork and it’s been very clear the hard work is paying off.

The 2012 block record is in serious jeopardy.

Kentucky holds the NCAA record for blocks in a single season with 344 in 2012, the Anthony Davis season. That team averaged 8.6 blocks per game on the year. Assuming this team plays 40 games, and that’s a very realistic assumption, it will break that record if it keeps up its current pace of 9.8 blocks. They’re on track for 392 right now.

Alex Poythress recorded another DNP.

Calipari expects Alex to practice on Monday and return to action Tuesday night against UT Arlington. He’s been missed but it’s been a blast watching Dominique Hawkins get more PT.

If Sam Malone isn’t your favorite player on the team, well, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.

I’ve watched this well over a hundred times and I’m not slowing down.

You gotta get that board, B-Long.

Dan Issel joined us on the KSR pregame show and he was great.

Ryan and I called up Kentucky’s all-time leading scorer from the radio bullpen to help us close out the pregame show. Issel had a lot of good things to say, especially when I asked him if he could play in a platoon system. “No, I have to play more than a half,” he said. You can listen to the entire interview below:

And with that, I’m off to enjoy my Sunday night.

Go Cats, everybody.

Karl Towns says the team wanted to hold Montana State to 11 the rest of the game

Photo by UK Athletics

Kentucky held Montana State scoreless for over ten minutes in the second half; at times, it looked like the Bobcats might stay at 11 points for eternity. To say Kentucky is a great defensive team in a huge understatement. After the game, Karl Towns, who had a career-high six blocks, told reporters that the team wanted to keep Montana State at 11 points the rest of the game.

“We really don’t pay attention to our score, but to the opponent’s score and we try to keep them to the lowest amount of points as possible. When we saw that 11 (points scored in the first half) we really wanted to keep them there. We didn’t even talk about offense. We talked about making sure we hold them to 11.

That obviously didn’t happen, but you’ve gotta love the effort.

Tonight’s Instajams and Instablocks

Somebody hit Tyler Ulis in the leg with a chair at halftime

Where was Tyler Ulis at the beginning of the second half? According to John Calipari, Ulis got hit by a chair, which is why he was late to check in. “Somebody hit him in the leg with his chair, one of the managers. He got fired,” Cal joked.

Alex Poythress sat out his second-straight game with an illness, but Cal said he’ll return to practice tomorrow and should play on Tuesday. Phew.

Cal’s latest metaphor: the 100 lbs. coat

John Calipari loves himself some metaphors. Tonight, he trotted out his latest to explain what it’s like to play at Kentucky: the 100 lbs. coat:

“What these kids deal with to be here, to play here, to be a part of this program, they wear a 100 lbs. coat. What I mean by that is it starts with me. I am rough on them, I am tough on them, I am holding them to a high standard. I am like a hawk, I see everything. I’m coaching them the entire time. They’re getting better, it is not an option. You will get better. That’s me.

Then they’ve got this environment we live in here, which is like ridiculous. That’s another 20 pounds of the coat. Wait, what about the media? ‘They’re gonna win 45 straight, they can beat the 76ers, let’s vote on it’–what?? Then they’ve got their own clutter that’s around them individually that they have to deal with. That’s 100 pounds. The people coming, in the players have windbreakers. They’re loose as a goose, they’re just gonna go play, if I make shots, if I don’t, watch this. Every game we play–and I say this, if you’re not willing to wear the 100 lbs. coat, you don’t come here. You can’t come here because it’s not changing. I’m not changing, I don’t think our fans are changing. I really don’t think the media’s changing and the clutter around these kids, it’s all the same.”

100 lbs. coats, coming soon to The KSR Shop.

Put on your headband and listen to the KSR postgame show

That was fun, wasn’t it? End your weekend by listening to Matt Jones talk about UK’s rout of Montana State on the KSR Postgame Show, which starts here in just a few minutes. You can listen in on 630 WLAP and 840 WHAS.  You can also tune in via the iHeartRadio app right here.

Montana State coach says “at times, you feel helpless” playing Kentucky

© Mark Zerof

© Mark Zerof

You had to feel a little bit for Montana State head coach Brian Fish after the game. At the beginning of the game, the crowd actually gave his team a pity cheer when they finally made it across midcourt, a telling sign of their struggles throughout the night. Fish said after the game that John Calipari told him that tonight was the second best game Kentucky’s played all season. “He said that’s the second best game they played all year. It certainly felt that way. At times, you feel helpless because you don’t know which guy to attack,” Fish said. “It’s McDonald’s All-American after McDonald’s All-American.”

When asked why this was the second best performance by his team all season, Cal pointed to the defensive intensity. “We sustained defensively for the entire time, just like we did against Kansas,” Cal said. “Issue is we played the same way on offense, almost the same.”

And it’s only November.

Cal remembers his daughter’s birthday, guys

One of the “Are you serious?!” headlines yesterday was John Calipari messing up his daughter’s birthday on Twitter. Because Kentucky is #1 and there was apparently nothing else going on in the world of sports, the story made national headlines. Cal couldn’t believe it either, and brought Megan a birthday balloon to the press conference, telling reporters “Just so you know, I know my daughter’s birthday.”

He said that “Good Morning America” invited him on to talk about messing up Megan’s birthday, but later admitted that was a joke, but he’d go on the show if asked.

Only at Kentucky would that make national news.

Highlights! Come and get your highlights

Montana State’s 28 points were the fewest allowed by UK in the shot clock era

UK held Montana State to 28 points. 28 freaking points. That’s the fewest points allowed by UK in the shot clock era. Phew. This is the same Montana State team that scored 78 points vs. UCLA earlier this season, which should give you a nice preview of what UK’s game against the Bruins will be like in a month.

28 points.

UK 86 Montana State 28

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