Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies.
Tonight, the Wildcats welcome Evansville from the Missouri Valley Conference into Rupp Arena for an early-season contest. The Purple Aces are coached by none other than 1996 UK legend Walter McCarty in his second year as a Division I basketball coach. My most unforgettable Walter McCarty memory was the Mardi Gras Miracle, the 1994 regular-season game February 15th at LSU where Kentucky came back from 31 points down with 15:30 remaining. Did I mention that the game was in Baton Rouge?
This is one of those non-Elite Eight, non-Final Four, non-Louisville games that I will never forget to my dying day. It has been deemed for years, almost to consensus, as the greatest comeback in the history of sport. It was one of those games that didn’t mean much until it was over.
Walter McCarty scored 23 points in that game, most of them coming in the second half. He also hit the three heard ‘round the world, when his jumper from the left corner put Kentucky ahead at last. His iconic run down the left baseline is the stuff of basketball legend. Re-live the highlights with me:
Walter went on to play in the NBA for a decade, playing for the Knicks, Celtics, Suns and Clippers. In 2007 he learned coaching at the knee of Rick Pitino in Louisville, coached for eight years in the NBA as an assistant for Indiana and Boston, finally winning the Evansville job last season.
The Purple Aces had a tough 2018-19 going 11-21. They gave Ja Morant’s Murray team a tough go, losing by a basket, but for the most part, last season was what we generously term a “rebuilding year” for Evansville.
The good news for Evansville is that they return a good number of their players from last season, including their best player KJ Riley and starting forward John Hall. The Purple Aces figure to be much tougher this year — KenPom figures them almost 60 spots better, from 227 to 169 even in the early season. They favor a wide open, very fast-paced style reminiscent of Rick Pitino’s early teams. Surprised?
I always enjoy seeing old friends like Walter come back to Rupp Arena, especially at the beginning of a promising coaching career. I’ll be pulling for him, but not in this one. I expect the Wildcats to take care of business and move on with their undefeated ways.
Tweet of the Morning
Hadn’t been on Twitter all day until now. I see Tennessee fans are gleeful and filling my timeline with trash talk— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) November 11, 2019
I will say once again....the fact that you gloat about beating Kentucky is further proof that this isn’t (and won’t be again) your father’s Tennessee
Yer basic passive-aggressive drag right there. Tennessee fans deserve it. And:
The late UK All-American Frank Ramsey’s 1957 Topps basketball card featured in this sports card article from 50 years ago. https://t.co/sMu15C9szG— Oscar Combs (@wildcatnews) November 12, 2019
Aaand for the trifecta!
you give @PeteCarroll a glass of water he turns it into a lake and goes skiing on it.— Matthew McConaughey (@McConaughey) November 12, 2019
- Kentucky bowl projections following the heartbreaking loss to Tennessee. I can’t help but imagine what this team would be like with Terry Wilson at the helm. I know injuries are part of football, but I just can’t help it.
- Chris Rodriguez emerges as a “game changer” for Kentucky in the Tennessee game. Too bad he couldn’t change it enough for the win.
- Loss to Tennessee still baffles Stoops, Wildcats.
- Mark Stoops post-Tennessee press conference.
- Kentucky in two down-to-the-wire recruiting battles heading into the early signing period.
- EJ Montgomery doubtful for tonights game.
- Kahlil Whitney thinks that the #1 ranking will have other teams “trying to take our heads off.” You are catching on early, kid.
- Kentucky claims the #1 AP spot officially. I expect them to be there for a while.
- The early signing period starts this week, but very few top prospects remain on the board.
- Evansville players say they are not intimidated by Kentucky or their ranking. Good.
- Tyrese Maxey is your SEC Freshman of the Week. The first of many, I suspect.
Other Kentucky sports
- LSU blows past Ohio State for #1 spot after defeating Alabama.
- Clemson? Whodat?
- A college football game with 77 punts? It happened, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
- Ed Orgeron’s post-game celebrations a little too profane for some, and creates a debate about recording such moments.
- Does a high ranking in November translate to March success? Sometimes.
- AP voter places Louisville #1 in his ballot and UK 4th, and explains why here. Whatever, dude.
- Pure Louisville.
Local tweet 2: the number of mechanical things that are inoperable at any given time at the Louisville airport is amazing. You’ve got to admire the consistency.— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) November 12, 2019
- Gary Parrish’s Poll Attacks. More anecdotal evidence of Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can adequately be explained by stupidity.
- Everything you need to know about why James Wiseman is still playing NCAA basketball.
Does anyone but me think about Derek Rose when reading this story?
Other sports news
- 85-year old hockey announcer fired for comments considered critical of “immigrants,” and once again it was a Twitter mob that did it. Have I mentioned that Twitter is the Devil?
- Tragic death of a gymnast who fell off the uneven bars. Our prayers go out to the family, who must be inconsolable right now.
- Jeopardy host Alex Trebek gets some well-deserved love as he faces stage 4 pancreatic cancer. To put it in medical terms, outcomes from such a diagnosis are very poor.
- Why can’t science explain consciousness? Maybe because it’s complicated?
- Physicists can finally peek at Schrödinger’s Cat without killing it.