Welcome to the Tuesday morning Quickies. Leading off the news this morning is this piece by Mark Story wondering if this is the season that Rick Pitino gets off his losing ways against John Calipari and the Wildcats. Here are the gruesome stats:
Since taking the Louisville job in 2001-02, Pitino is 5-11 against Kentucky.
It gets worse.
In the 13 most recent meetings of Cats and Cards, Pitino is 3-10 against UK.
It gets worse.
Over his last 11 matchups against Kentucky teams NOT coached by Billy Gillispie, Ricky P. is 1-10 versus the Wildcats.
I’d say based on what I’ve seen so far, Louisville has their best chance in years to steal a win, but doing so in Rupp Arena will be a very tall task, indeed.
Also, in shameless self-promoting style, you might want to take a look at my latest opinion piece here, if you haven’t seen it yet.
Tweet of the Morning
Billy Reed essentially just said that Calipari does not have Pitino's number, he has just had a more talented team in most years. Ok— mike moeller (@MoellerMD) December 15, 2015
The once-proud sportswriter Billy Reed is now a caricature of himself. That’s what happens when you stay in the game too long.
Did you know there were disgruntled UK football fans? Came as a shock to me, I tell you.
Did you know there was a UK recruit named "Jarred Vanderbilt?" I have to admit, I did not, but he looks pretty good. I just hope that name doesn’t make him want to… you know, look toward Nashville. But you have to admit, that would be pretty darn cool having a player named Vanderbilt playing for Vandy. Just sayin’.
How much of a problem is Kentucky’s 3-point shooting woes? John Clay looks at the question. Personally, I’m not worried. We don’t really have any pure shooters this season, but we are capable of much better than we’ve seen so far.
I guess I’m more sanguine about it than perhaps I should be, but I expect Tyler Ulis to return to form, Jamal Murray to improve, and Derek Willis to get more consistent. But the truth of the matter is, until somebody makes us pay for lack of 3-point shooting with a loss, I’m not going to sweat it overmuch. UK is defending the three so well that it makes it hard to exploit our weakness there.
Jamal Murray is the SEC Freshman of the Week. Definitely well-earned.
Former Rupp’s Runt Larry Conley a basketball treasure. Now tell me something I don’t already know.
Other Kentucky sports
Makayla Epps named ESPNW National Player of the Week. Definitely deserving.
ESPN’s Kara Lawson notices a difference when she’s working Kentucky games:
"I definitely got a lot more reaction on Twitter when I am doing Kentucky games versus any other college basketball games I do," said Lawson. "I get a lot more feedback. Kentucky fans have such a passion for the sport. I started doing Kentucky games a couple years ago and noticed immediately an uptick in my social media for those games."
Interesting. I remember a time when the SEC would’ve been at the bottom of this list. But seriously Big 12? WTF?
True road games played so far by member teams: SEC: 21 B1G: 19 ACC: 16 Pac-12: 15 Big East: 14 Big 12: 3 SWAC: 66— John Gasaway (@JohnGasaway) December 15, 2015
There is always one AP poll voter who beclowns himself every week, and this week is no exception:
Oklahoma is 7-0 with a 23-point win over Villanova. So of course one Associated Press voter has Oklahoma ranked behind Villanova on his ballot. Of course he does.
Read the whole thing. Of all Parrish’s stuff, I like this one best. Maybe it’s because it is a kind of format that I’m very comfortable with.
Also, this one is a gem:
Coaches poll: You can argue, if you want, that LSU will get things turned around, be fine and ultimately make the NCAA Tournament. Not sure I believe that. But if you believe that, you can argue that, and I won’t call you silly.
What you can’t argue, though, is that LSU should be on a Top 25 ballot now.
Still, the Tigers, somehow, got eight points in this week’s Coaches poll despite the fact that they are 4-4 with zero top-100 KenPom wins and losses to North Carolina State, Marquette, Houston and College of Charleston.
Related to Parrish’s LSU comments: If Ben Simmons is so good, why is LSU so bad? Ricky O’Donnell analyzes the question in some detail. Good work, this.
Other sports news
Eight reasons why Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight are All-Stars. Kentucky players seem to be thriving in the NBA these days, as we would expect.
John Wall stumbles Monday, and the Wizards stumble with him. Follow the leader, I guess.
Okay, this one had to leave a mark.
Long-time NBC weatherman Willard Scott is retiring. Amazing career. We wish him all the best.
How to organize your entire life with Trello. I use Trello every day, almost all day, and even though it took me a while to warm up to it, I love the thing.
Are Star Trek fans "pissed" at the new trailer? I’m not. It looks like a typical over-the-top J.J. Abrams movie to me. But at this point, it’s what we have, and at least the actors are well-cast and the visuals are entertaining.
Star Trek, as a franchise, hasn’t had a particularly interesting installment since the The Undiscovered Country from a plot standpoint. I’ve grown numb to lame writing and comfortable with stunning visuals and good casting in the J.J. Abrams versions. It will have to do, I guess, until we get another Wrath of Khan. It’s bound to happen, eventually. Star Trek is, after all, eternal.