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Dec 31

Reaction to Cats Thumping Of Louisville

Posted by: Ryan at 5:05 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Basketball

(videos courtesy KyKernel.com)

Dec 31

How Many Points Did Enes Kanter Score For Kentucky Today?

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 3:51 pm | Leave a Comment (25)
Category: Basketball

Joker extended the winning streak against the Cards in a newly vamped Papa John’s cardinal Stadium in September. Not long ago, Big Blue nation and a newly  built blue and white basketball court fell upon Freedom Hall and came away victorious over a ranked Notre Dame team. Today, in a sparkling new KFC CUM Yenter, the greatest tradition in college basketball, the University of Kentucky Wildcats, once again proved that they love it ‘new’ and hammered down on the Cardinals.

Listening to the post-game call-in shows around Lexington, the over all impression left on the Kentucky fans in attendance by the YUM Center was a positive one. Despite Louisville fans numerous attempts to trash the place up as they normally do in their everyday life, UK fans came away impressed.  I have heard several callers say that the “Chicken Bucket” was the loudest place they had ever watched a basketball game in their life.  You would have thought that level of intensity would have rattled the young and inexperienced Cats, but, you would have thought incorrectly.

There is not one Kentucky fan who can tell you with a straight face that they would have rather had Josh Harrellson  at the five spot today and not Enes Kanter.  There are several TGR crew members who have referred to Josh as “Church” for the most part of the year because they didn’t think he was anything more than a church league basketball star.  Well, today Josh Harrellson    preached a hell of a sermon to the lost and misguided in Louisville! The “Preacher man” looked like the mature senior leader Kentucky fans begged Santa for for months.  I don’t know that I have been prouder of a player in my life. Jorts will forever live in Kentucky basketball lore with Patrick sparks.

The one question I have is, though Kanter has never stepped foot into a Kentucky game, how many of Josh Harrellson’s points and rebounds today were directly attributed to practicing each day against Kanter? Without as1 much as putting on his Nikes, could have Enes Kanter won the game today for Kentucky? Nothing against Eloy, but I doubt josh would have improved from the beginning of the season to now at the level he has by only battling Vargas in practice. Harrellson was a beast and I plan on having a few drinks to celebrate tonight in his name!

HAPPY BIG BLUE NEW YEAR! C! A! T! S!

Dec 31

Cats Superior Team, Crush Cards 78-63

Posted by: Ryan at 2:04 pm | Leave a Comment (2)
Category: Game Wrap

All is good in this Big Blue household as the Cats put on a clinic today at the YUM! Center. Guess all the hatin’ going on this week was put to good use as the Cats were the superior team, winning the first matchup of Cats vs. Cards in the new arena 78-63.

There are two stories to this game, perhaps three. We will start with the surprising one that couldn’t have happened to a better person. Josh Harrellson had himself a day folks. A career day. Harrellson dominated the paint, the boards and even was able to stroke it from deep. Harrellson finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds (6 offensive) to go along with 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.

The other story was the pressure defense of DeAndre Liggins. In the first half his task was simple, glue yourself to Peyton Siva. Liggins did just that holding Siva to just 6 points for the game and not allowing him to run the offense effective. At this same time Preston Knowles was starting to make shots so Coach Cal assigned Liggins to him and had the same result. The Cats defense as a whole was stellar today and everyone should pat themselves on their backs.

Brandon Knight played well within the offense and showed poise the entire game despite Louisville trying to disrupt him bringing the ball up the court. Knight finished with a team high 25 on 7-13 shooting and 4 assists.

UK’s Jones also stepped his play up late in the game finishing with 12 points and 6 rebounds.

Some other notables:

– UL fans welcomed the Cats players during intros by throwing fake money in the air. Classy.

– The Cats shot 50% from the floor and 37.5% from 3. Conversely, Louisville went for 46% FG and 40% from three.

– The Cats out-rebounded the Cards 36 to 25

– UK was 14-16 from the free-throw line for 87.5%, UL just 5-11 for 45%

We will have more from the game later. Now enjoy your day! Stay safe out there tonight and rub it in every chance you get!

Go CATS!

Dec 31

UK vs. UL 2009-2010

Posted by: Ryan at 1:01 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Basketball

Dec 31

The TGR Pick; Louisville

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 10:15 am | Leave a Comment (5)
Category: Basketball

If I could capture the rage of today’s youth and bottle it, Crush the glass from my bare hands and swallow it, Then spit it back in the faces of you racists and hypocrites who think the same $hit but don’t say $hit, You Liberace’s, Versace’s, and you Nazis, Watch me, cause you thinkin you got me in this hot seat, You motherf**kers wanna JUDGE me cause you’re NOT me, You’ll never STOP me, I’m TOP speed as you POP me…  That is fight music TGR and if you have ever had the urge to punch someone in the face for the heck of it, today is the day!  Look to your right and left, if you see anyone wearing red and/or black, have at it.  If there is no one in your general vicinity who fits that description, punch yourself in the face, I swear it isn’t as bad as it sounds, scouts honor.  The day we have all been looking for so long is finally here, a Kentucky game with an actual line and number! How many times do I have to remind you to hold your applause until the end of the show, gosh. It is the Mighty Cats and the Flyin’ Rats at noon for all the marbles and we have you covered as usual. As is normal protocol, let’s look at Tuesday’s game against the Coppin State Eagles  immediately…

The line we made up, Kentucky -24 vs. Coppin State – Over/Under 148

Final: Kentucky 91 – Coppin St. 61

We told you to take the Cats and give the large amount of points, you can thank me later. Unfortunately, we told you to take the ‘under’ on our make-believe line and we were incorrect.  Try to remember the fact we  were right on the spread. We will go into the final game of the 2010 UK basketball year with a 14-6-1 record. I smell an undefeated 2011! Hollar if you hear me Tailgaters!  Let’s get to the Cards…

Louisville -2 vs. Kentucky – Over/Under: 145

Fertig pointed out that the “Chicken Buck” is probably worth 2 or 3 points.  I follow his logic, but according to my new Weight Watchers counter, A Chicken Bucket is worth nearly 250 points, go figure?  The only real question that is to be answered is how the TGR gangsters feel about the Cats chances in L’Ville this afternoon. Will their unconscious bias prevail or will they agree with the Vegas insiders and take the Cards and give the points.  Let’s take a look…

The TGR Pick: Kentucky 83 – Louisville 75

I would bet that even Ray Charles saw that one coming! Take the Cats! Take the ‘Over’!  Take a quick trip to KFC! Take the Chicken out of the bucket! Take down your britches! Take a dump in that damn bucket! Take the bucket outdoors during the game! Take a moment to figure out what to do with the bucket after the game! Take a second to ponder if dumping it on your ex-wife’s front steps is the right thing to do! C! A! T! S!

Dec 31

Pregame Nonsense; Louisville

Posted by: R.A.Pedigo at 9:01 am | Leave a Comment (1)
Category: Pre-Game Nonsense

It is hard to believe it is already here.  I vaguely remember the day back in the summer when the UK basketball schedule  was released.  Fans of other schools might look first for their conference schedule.  Others might look for their pre-conference tournaments and possible destination games.  Not in Kentucky.  Not in the homes who fly blue and white flags outside their house or those who proudly fly the black and red. Not in the small towns in eastern Kentucky  where they remember the Fiddlin’ Five or in those places who hold Dunkenstein on an incredible pedestal.  Not in Muhlenberg county, where Patrick Sparks’ legend is as strong as his free throws were that day in Freedom hall. Not on the metropolitan streets of Louisville , where cards fans believe Edgar Sosa’s shot would have gone in the next 20 times he would have taken that shot too.

No, those of us who walk barefooted in the Bluegrass each spring only look for ONE game. Some call it the ‘Dream Game’ or “The War on I-64’ or ‘The Battle in the Bluegrass’.  One thing Kentucky natives and UK and U of L alumni have never called it is ‘boring’. The names change over the years, but the passion never leaves. From Denny and Joe B. to Rick and Cal, they may not admit it before game time, but they will tell you after the dust settles how important it is to win.

No matter the talent each team   boasts, Kentuckians know that for one day in the winter, all things will be equal.  No matter what floor the teams play on or what color the schools wear, the blue and red will battle until the final buzzer.  No matter where your allegiance falls, when the teams take the floor for the first time, cold chills will run up and down your body and you will feel like it is the first time the two teams have ever played.  You forget about all of the history and focus intensely on the task at hand, beating the snot out of anyone wearing the opposite colors.

For anyone who  has never lived here or experienced Kentucky-Louisville basketball, it is simply a game played once  a year. For those of us who live and breathe college basketball in the Commonwealth, we know it is much more.  It is bragging rights for 364 ½ days out of the year.  It is being able to look at your opponents colors for that period of time without having your blood pressure rise.  It is not having to hear anything from acquaintances that happen to cheer for the other team. It is that feeling in your gut when your team loses and it is that joy  you feel when your team runs off the court poppin’ their jerseys.  It is not just a game played once a year, it is a game played for 365 days a year.

It is love, it is hate, it is tradition, and it is history.  It is everything good and bad about the state of Kentucky and I love it.  It is Kentucky-Louisville and if you don’t get it, we don’t care.  C! A! T! S!

Dec 30

10 Things To Know UK vs. UL

Posted by: Ryan at 8:12 pm | Leave a Comment (110)
Category: Basketball

Another decade is in the books and another in the historic rivalry comes to an end. Kentucky is 27-14 all time against the little brother down the road. Since 2000 the Cats own the series as well going 6 of 4. A lot has happened in a seemingly short time in history. One coach left one school and is now coaching the other. 2 Champion coaches have pursued greener pastures. Countless NBA draftees have come and gone. In 10 years both schools combined have seen 5 different coaches. The World Trade Center fell, Ted Kennedy died and Rick Pitino donated sperm to a crazy lady…

Sounds like a lot, but there is more! This time we are going to do 10 Things a little different. Let’s take a look back at the last 10 verse the Cardinals of Louisville to paint the picture for today’s contest.

10. 2000-2001- Kentucky 64 – Louisville 62 (Louisville)- UL’s Denny Crum was able to lose to the Cats in his final coaching stand in the rivalry. The Cats won a nail biter behind Keith Bogans team leading 16 points. Jason Parker added 11, Tayshaun Prince 13.

9. 2001-2002- #6 Kentucky 82 – Louisville 62 (Lexington)- Benedict Rick made his first trek down 64 as the coach of the Louisville Cardinals. Let’s just say his welcoming party wasn’t very kind. The Cats spoiled all plans of a Cardinal victory in the most lopsided contest in the rivalry this decade. Tayshaun Prince led UK with 18 points, and Keith Bogans added 17 in the Cats route.

8. 2002-2003- Louisville 81 – #14 Kentucky 63 (Louisville)- The Cards pulled the upset over the Cats in Freedom Hall. Rick Pitino got his first win against his former team and took no pride in doing so. What made this game very weird is that former Cat Marvin Stone led the way for the Cards scoring 16 points. For the Cats Keith Bogans had 14.

7. 2003-2004- #20 Louisville 65- #1 Kentucky 56- (Lexington)- Louisville ended UK’s 27 game winning streak in front of a sold out Rupp Arena crowd. It was the Cards first win in Lexington since 1997-98, the year the Cats won it all. Cliff Hawkins led the Cats scoring attack with 12. Pitino improved his record against the Cats to 2-1.

6. 2004-2005- #9 Kentucky 60- #11 Louisville 58 (Louisville)- Kentucky’s Patrick Sparks was fouled behind the arc by UL’s Ellis Myles with 4.8 seconds remaining and hit 3 straight free-throws to propel the Cats to victory. Sparks finished with 25 points in a controversial win for the Cats.

5. 2005-2006 #22 Kentucky 73- #4 Louisville 61 (Lexington)- UK’s Rajon Rondo racked up 25 points in the Cats second consecutive victory over the Cardinals since 2000-2002. The Cats were in danger of dropping out of the Top 25 after a run of 87 straight poll appearances by losing to Indiana by 26. The victory was Tubby Smith’s 350th win as a head coach and he did it in front of Rupp Arena’s second largest crowd ever.

4. 2006-2007- Kentucky 61-49 (Louisville)- Freshmen Guard Jodie Meeks got his first chance to shine and did it in career high fashion. Meeks, coming off the bench, tallied 18 points in the Cats third straight win in the series and UK coach Tubby Smith’s last outing verse the Cards.

3.2007-2008- Louisville 89-75 (Lexington)-  Ramel Bradley dumped in 27 points and was the only Cat to step up in a losing effort. The Cats came into the game riding a measly 6-7 record. However, this game marked the turning point of the season as the Cats were able to rebound and make the NCAA tournament.

2. 2008-2009- #18 Louisville 74-71 (Louisville)- Known around these parts as Sosa’s so-so heave from deep. Louisville’s Edgar Sosa drained a 3 with 3 seconds remaining to cap the Cats. Jodie Meeks tied the game up with 5 seconds remaining hitting two free-throws but the Cards ultimately prevailed in one of the best finishes in UK vs. UL contests. Patterson led the way for the Cats with 22 and 15, Jodie Meeks poured in 28 with a hot hand. The Cats failed to make the NCAA tournament.

1. 2009-2010- #3 Cats 71-62 (Lexington)- Demarcus Cousins carried the load for the Cats with 18 points and 18 monstrous rebounds. Patrick Patterson and John Wall each added 17 a piece in the Cat victory. The game was a rocky one but the Cards battled back after an early surge from the Cats to take the lead mid-way through the second half. The Cats were able to fend off the filthy flying rats and proved the victor.

2010-2011………?????

Dec 30

Time for Some Pre-game Pressers

Posted by: Ryan at 7:37 pm | Leave a Comment (0)
Category: Basketball

(Videos courtesy John Clay, Kentucky.com)

Dec 30

Kentucky vs Louisville Preview

Posted by: Ralph Lee at 6:15 pm | Leave a Comment (3)
Category: Basketball

Well on Friday the 31st the University of Kentucky will travel down the highway to take on in-state rival, Louisville Cardinals in a match-up of two very similar teams with two very similar coaches. Both teams will enter the game playing and shooting very well, especially over their last two outings. The Cards have put up over 200 total points in their last two outings while the Cats have been right around 185 or so in their last two outings. The Cards have just one loss and the Cats two entering the game and yet both teams still have at least one major issue to answer before they hit conference play. The game will mean a lot to both teams, not just for bragging rights or an edge in recruiting but also as a positive and quality win as they head toward the New Year. The win may mean a lot more to the Cats as they have seen the rest of their conference (excluding Vandy and Georgia) suffer a rash of “bad” non-conference losses which will almost assuredly affect the SEC’s RPI as a whole. Meanwhile the Cards have the blessed but cursed luck of being in arguably the second toughest conference this season, the Big East; so a win over the Cats would be more like an appetizer as Pitino’s club will look to get even more quality wins once conference play starts. Tomorrow’s match-up will hinge on several key factors and as always, the club that executes their game-plan the best and makes the least mistakes will be the winner.

The Wildcats come in to this match-up as they did last season, sporting at least 3 freshmen that will see major minutes and that will be very key if UK plans on emerging from the Yum Brand Center with a “W”. The highly touted Brandon Knight has been very good through the first third of his freshman year for John Calipari. While Knight may not be the pure PG that John Wall was, he is an athletic lead guard that will not be short-changed when he has a chance to score. While Knight may only dish out about 3.5 assist per game he is second on the team in scoring and if not for Terrence Jones dropping a couple of 30 pt games in, Knight very well could be leading the team in scoring. Speaking of Jones, yet another freshman that has seem to shed a rather “discernible image” that dogged him out of high school and now he exudes nothing but hard work and good effort under Coach Cal.

Some questioned Jones’ work ethic and focus as he entered this season but if nothing else, Jones has been nothing short of magnificent, even if he tends to float outside the post a little too much at times. He has been a double-double machine and why he may not project the “kiddie like” but fearsome image Demarcus Cousins did, Jones has been very Cousin’s like on the hardwood.

The other heralded freshman, Doron Lamb may be finding his niche as a “super sixth” man coming off the bench for this squad. Lamb is coming off a game last week in which he drained 7 “3-pointers” in showing the type of shooting touch that had Calipari drooling when he recruited this kid. While Lamb has struggled at times when it seems as though he has been asked to be a PG, there is no denying that he has nice stroke from outside and that is something that can help UK make a run deep in March. The thing that helps these three youngsters is the steadying force that three veterans like Darius Miller, Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins bring to the table on their roles on the club. Miller’s job is make open shots when he has them and then create shots when the jumper is not working. For Harrelson is all about rebounding and providing a defensive presence in the lane.

But don’t forget about Harrellson because the big fella can put the ball in the hoop if need be. Last but not least, Liggins is simply a “jack-of-all trades” for the Cats but his main presence can be felt on defense and the energy he provides when he is on the court. Liggins is athletically gifted and arrived in Lexington with a scorer’s mentality. However, with the arrival of Coach Cal and his “dribble-drive” offense, Liggins has come to grasp with his role on the squad and is making the most out of his opportunity.

For the Cardinals this season was looked at as somewhat of a re-tooling year but the Cards have progressed a little faster than most thought they wood. With last season’s distractions behind them (Pitino’s infidelity issues) this season squad seems a lot more focused as does its coach on the task at hand…..being a force in the Big East and a spoiler in March. The key to the Cardinals is tempo, both offensively and defensively. The Cards would like to push the ball up and down and shoot at least 15 – 20 threes per game. On defense, they would like to pressure you ‘94 feet’ if possible and create at least 15 turnovers out of the opposition. Turnovers generally lead to fast break opportunities / points and that can go a long way when you are looking to average 80+ points per game.

The man charged with leading this locomotive on the court is 2nd year PG Peyton Siva; Siva was listed as no worse than the 3rd or 4th best PG prospect coming out high school behind John Wall. Siva spent most of last season getting acclimated to Pitino’s style and the offense in general; this season he has been very good in showing the skills he was recruited for but for some odd reason, he is averaging less than 25 min player per game. Siva must be on the court and productive if the Cards are going to send the Cats home with and “L”. Another key “cog” for U of L is the defensive ability of senior Preston Knowles. He will have to be intense but play within himself on the defensive end because he cannot afford to pick-up cheap fouls because he is overly charged. The Cards will also need Knowles and his streaking shooting to be red-hot in tomorrow’s match-up. He is the other person outside of Siva that typically can get his own shot without the use of a pick / screen.

The X-factor for the Cards would have been their forward, Rakeem Buckles because he may be the one player who can match-up with Jones. Buckles can be effective if he makes Jones work on the defensive end because that will cause Jones to expend some energy and maybe even lead him to pick up a foul or two. But, we won’t have to worry about Buckles as he broke his finger in practice and will not play.

Thus, Terrence Jennings will need to play big inside as well as he is slight of frame but he has length that could bother UK players as they drive to the hoop. The battle on the glass will definitely favor the aggressor but yet smart player on Friday because the ref’s will be looking to keep things from getting to “chippy” in the paint early.

This rivalry doesn’t necessarily draw the same hype nationally as Duke – UNC, Georgetown – Syracuse or Ohio St. – Michigan St., mainly because UK and U of L are in two different conferences, therefore they only play one time a year. But in the Bluegrass state, the rivalry is huge and the quest to win is even bigger. The victor will be a leg up when it comes to in-state recruits or recruits that live in bordering states. Then of course there is simply bragging rights for another year for the winner. But this one may have a little something extra…….the Cards have opened a brand new arena and they don’t want their first meeting with the hated Cats to be a losing one.

For UK, the talk for years has been about trying to get an on-campus arena and getting out of Rupp Arena. Well if you don’t think that when the UK fans walk into Yum Brand Arena and see and feel the excitement and the electricity in the air. The Cards closed Freedom Hall last year with a big win and you gotta believe they want to do the same here, even though they have already played several home games this season. Kentucky players and fans would love nothing better than to take the old-year out by taking out the Cardinals in their brand new home.

Intensity, intensity, intensity……..give me the Cards in a 77-72 gut-wrench-er if Siva plays big. If Siva struggles or only gets less than 25 minutes of “PT”, give me the Cats pulling away late 83-75.

Dec 30

Henry’s Big Blue Thoughts

Posted by: Henry Thomas at 4:03 pm | Leave a Comment (1)
Category: Random Notes

I’m already EXTREMELY hyped for this version of the Cats vs. Cards, I think this is going to be one of the better matchups the two teams have had in a while.  The Yum Center is going to be fired up and it will be interesting to see how the Cats handle the raucous environment.  I thought Kentucky handled themselves very well in there only other true road game at UNC, they pretty much controlled the game until the final 5 minutes or so. Each test is a learning experience for these Cats and they’ve learned from both the UCONN & UNC loss to develop into quite an impressive team.

To win this game the Cats will have to,

A. stay out of foul trouble, especially Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight

B. stay out of foul trouble, especially Terrence Jones and Brandon Knight

C. limit the UL 3 pointers.

D. see A & B

In big games like these the 3 point shot really gets the crowd into the game and fuels a team and possible a knockout run. The Cards have ample three point shooters in Knowles, Marra & Kuric, Kentucky needs to limit their attempts and make them put the ball on the floor, rather than being spot up shooters.

Size won’t be a huge factor as both the Cats and Cards match up equally  in that department, the game will come down to how the Cats handle the “big moment” as this will be the biggest game that most of these guys have played in, and whether or not T. Jones and Knight can stay on the floor for at least 30 minutes.

In an emotional game, the Cards will come out hot, but if UK can withstand the early run, I think they can take over the game…in a close one, I say Cats 78 Cards 72

GO BIG BLUE!!!