I don't know about you, but I think winning on a last-second jumper qualifies as a close call.
John Wall's shot has been the talk of college basketball all day long. Here in Louisville, WHAS radio host Terry Meiners was cracking jokes about how the name "John" had become synonymous with great things. It was a great play by a great young player, but it can't erase all the questionable and downright ugly things UK did on the court last night.
John Calipari told us it would be this way, and he wasn't wrong. The question is, how soon can the 'Cats figure out how to right the ship? We'll know in a couple of days versus Sam Houston State.
Moving on to football, Kentucky is gearing up for a meeting with the Georgia Bulldogs between the hedges this weekend. This is a huge game for Kentucky, as right now, Georgia looks to be the most beatable of UK's remaining two foes. If the 'Cats can get a win against the Dawgs, it would not only remove any long-shot doubts of not getting invited to a bowl game, but it would actually put UK in a position to win second place in the SEC East if they were to beat both Georgia and Tennessee. Who would have imagined that?
Just a programming note about Saturday -- I will once again be at the racetrack, and I don't know if I will make it back by kickoff, but I should be there by halftime at the outside.
The news follows the jump.
John Wall Nails Game-Winner as UK Defeats Miami
You have to listen to the Charlie Coles (Miami Coach) during the press conference. The link is toward the bottom of the post. Absolutely terrific.
Pitino pushes forward - STLtoday.com
Pretty interesting article about how Pitino is coping with all the negative publicity of this last year.
From the road
Chris Diggs' observations.
Wall shows he can live up to hype | KentuckySports.com
Ghosts of Gardner-Webb hung heavy in Rupp Arena Monday night. Massive underdog Miami (Ohio), fresh off a loss to Towson, had ridden blistering three-point shooting to a 70-70 standoff with mighty Kentucky.
Nice rhetorical flair there by Mark Story, and a good article. Mark isn't my favorite, but I really like this piece.
Cats' goals extend beyond a bowl | KentuckySports.com
"We want to get out of Tennessee," Durham said. "We'll be happy with any bowl because any bowl is better than no bowl but, personally, we want to take care of business this week and next week and possibly go farther south."
I like your thinking, Brad.
The Big Blue Nation Report: Cousins Post Game Interview
When asked about his conversation with Calipari about his body language (Cal said if his body language didn't improve he was going to stay on the bench).... "That was the conversation." (Again showed off his personality here.) "Those two fouls (in the first half) brought me down. I was thinking about last game, which I shouldn't have done. I just didn't want to start it off with two bad games and being in foul trouble. But we got the win and that is all that matters."
Really nice work on the interview. Read the whole thing.
Calipari just won't foul late, will he? - CBSSports.com
Calipari's team was ahead by three points late, but rather than foul and send Miami (Ohio) to the line -- which is generally accepted as the proper way to handle the situation -- Calipari opted to let the players play, and the result was a Hayes 3-pointer that tied the score with six seconds remaining. It was the latest version of Chalmers for the tie ... Got it! -- the same sequence that cost Calipari the 2008 national title when Mario Chalmers hit a 3-pointer, forced overtime and helped Kansas to an eventual 75-68 victory.
There was a study done on this, even though the sample size was really small. The conclusion was that there is no real benefit to your chances of winning to make that foul. Via Walter's Wildcat World
Patterson: We were not going to lose | Vaught's Views
Editor's Note: Really an insightful story by Keith Taylor into just what makes Patrick Patterson special and one I think you will enjoy.
City Brights: Zennie Abraham : UCLA basketball shocked by CS Fullerton 68, Bruins 65 (2OT)
This one didn't go as well for the Bruins as it did for the 'Cats.
The Race to 2000 Wins
I love charts.
AUBURN BASKETBALL: Missouri State rallies past Tigers | montgomeryadvertiser.com | Montgomery Advertiser
AAARRGGGHH! That's two SEC West teams who have bitten the dust so far this year.
John Wall is Blue Jesus - Searching for Billy Edelin
Now you know, just in case you didn't already.
The Alphabetical, Week 12: Where 4th Down Is Not Sacrosanct - SB Nation
Nov 16, 2009 - A is for Average: Ho-hummery all around for Texas (47-14 over Baylor) Alabama (31-3 over Miss State), and Boise State (63-25). Heading into a drab week with appropriately drab results, the college football season in general continues to play in the key of ennui with largely expected results and a huge hunk of lopsided matchups. Frankly, if the thought of being alone wasn't so frightening, college football, we'd try something new. Cue Joe Jackson:
Ennui? Now there's a word you don't see out of a sportswriter every day, folks. Great read, as always.
Rush The Court " Blog Archive " ATB: WonderWall
Despite the loss, Winbush will remember this game for the rest of his life. He bewildered the Kentucky players, coaches, and the Rupp Arena crowd with his 3-point shooting ability, going 8 for 10 from beyond the arc, and they were of all types, folks. Fall-aways. Off the dribble. Contested. Open. It didn’t matter to Winbush. He went into halftime having hit his first SIX, and the fans in Lexington won’t forget his name anytime soon.
Talk about a talent for understatement ...
- JOHN WALL: REMEMBER THE NAME " Sho'Tyme Lifestyle and Performance blog
Wall-elujah: Freshman saves UK | KentuckySports.com
"For us to win a game when they go 15-of-26 from the three-point line, I can't believe it," UK Coach John Calipari said. "We talked at halftime, if we lose, don't let it be from three."
Yet it almost was ...
Sports Illustrated ranks Louisville 17th, highlights Pitino/Calipari rivalry - Card Chronicle
SI tabs Louisville as the 17th best team in the country and highlights Edgar Sosa in its preview of the Cards. Grant Wahl also pens a feature on John Calipari coming to Kentucky and his icy relationship with "the state's other big ego," Rick Pitino.
Interesting stuff. Be sure to read the links. Here's a taste from "The Very Best of Enemies:"
"To me it was Camelot," Pitino finally told him of his time in Lexington. "I coached there for eight years, and I never had a bad day on the job."
- John Calipari Ranks #25 on Highest Paid List
- SEC Basketball Preview: 2009-10 | College Basketball by Collegehoops.net
- How did Kentucky come back? | Vaught's Views
Wall wows in opener -- thanks to final shot - Beyond the Arc - msnbc.com
"When it hit the bottom of the net, it was a relief, a great feeling," Wall said.
That goes for every Kentucky fan. The Wildcats are a work in progress (like North Carolina and a handful of other young teams), which means this won’t be the last tight game Cal’s crew has. And they won’t all turn out like this.
Indeed. UK has to improve over this game, and quickly.
State-Journal.com - Expectations of fans, players reach new level as Kentucky football continues to progress
And for all the nit-picking about some of the coaching decisions by Brooks and his staff (by the way, has any coach anywhere coached a perfect game?) – some deserved and some not – what Brooks and staff are in the process of doing is getting to a fourth straight bowl while rebuilding the team from the Andre Woodson-Wesley Woodyard bunch that played in bowls in 2006 and 2007.
For Kentucky Football, Survive and Thrive -- NCAA Football FanHouse
While No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Alabama each play glorified scrimmages on Saturday and continue their march to the SEC Championship game next month, one of the more intriguing conference match-ups features Kentucky at Georgia. Yes, Kentucky. Football.
Nice positive piece.
" BBL: WonderWall, Tobias Harris update, Charlie Coles John Clay’s Sidelines
John Clay's Big Blue Links.
- Brooks: Statistics don’t tell whole story about Georgia | Vaught's Views
Louisville/Arkansas Hall of Fame Showcase preview - Card Chronicle
Rick Bozich | Pitino-Pelphrey matchup 20 years in the making | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
Tonight in St.Louis, Pitino begins his ninth season as the University of Louisville coach against an Arkansas team coached by Pelphrey. It has been two decades since Pitino stomped and screamed Kentucky out of the darkness that included one season without live television coverage and two without the NCAA Tournament.