For the 2nd year in a row, the entire sports staff at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is going to host a day long event on the day following Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. This year, that falls on March 12th. The event will once again be hosted by the Oxmoor Center on Shelbyville Road, and will encompass a total of 6 hosts and 13 hours of sports programming. Plus, we will host a BRACKET CHALLENGE with a chance to win a super-nice Gorilla Basketball Goal, courtesy of Steepleton's. Below is the entire rundown of events, so feel free to head out to Oxmoor any time in the day and you will get your sports fix headed into tournament time:
7-10AM: The EarlyBirds w/ Drew Deener
10-12PM: KentuckySportsRadio w/Matt Jones
12-1PM: Lachlan Mclean on WKRD
1-2PM: Drew Deener on WKRD
2-3PM: Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM: The Afternoon Underdogs w/Tony and Dave
530-6PM: Terry Meiners
7-9PM: Occupy Lachlan (the entire cast of hosts together on stage at the same time)
WHERE TO LISTEN ON THE AIR
Early Birds with Jody Demling
7-10AM (790AM WKRD)
The Tom Leach Show
9-10AM (1080AM WKJK)
KentuckySportsRadio with Matt Jones
10AM-12PM (1080AM WKJK)
Joe B. and Denny Show
10AM-12PM (790AM WKRD)
The Afternoon Underdogs with Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM (790AM WKRD)
Sportstalk84 with Lachlan McLean
7-9PM (840AM WHAS)
I’m going to be honest for a second. Despite the fact that BBN is the best college basketball fanbase in the country, I have always argued that there is a fracture between 10-20% of the fanbase and the other 80-90%. That fracture is based around the idea of OBSESSION. This idea that loving your team, supporting your team, cheering for your team, and maintaining an interest in your team can be your passion, but not your obsession. I am a guy who strongly believes people should choose whatever form of entertainment or hobby they want. Bring enjoyment to your life however you want. But the problem in sports, and it shows in the BBN, is that obsession that some hold falls down on the rest of us who are not obsessed, just passionate.
Any rational, reasonable person could see that this year’s team was going to be very good. The talent was undeniable from the moment Big Blue Madness began. But anybody who took a second to use their brain could also see that calling for a 40-0 season or arguing this was “the best college basketball team in history” (which I heard on The Afternoon Underdogs multiple times) before the ball had even been tipped once was ridiculous. It hasn’t been done since 1976 and there have been teams with 10 NBA players on it before. If those teams couldn’t do it, why argue this team would? If it actually does happen, fantastic. But this swell of 40-0 supporters picked up over the offseason, and by association, those of us who realized its unlikeliness get labeled as believers.
So when Tuesday night happens and the obvious problems spark up with a team with this much youth, all it does is bring criticism and ridicule from others for something we never should have argued for in the first place. For some reason, in sports, some believe to support a team you must cheer for the most ridiculous things. I disagree greatly. If I predict that this team will go 37-3 and win the national title, some fans would argue that’s being a bad fan because I think they will lose 3 games. If I argue it takes freshman guards 2-3 months to figure things out and the Harrisons won’t be studs right away, some argue I am not supporting the players. Honesty makes you a bad fan in today’s world.
And it showed Wednesday afternoon when your friend and mine Tony Vanetti ran into me at work and laid into how enjoyable it was to watch the game Tuesday. Not just because Michigan State won, but because all the things a reasonable person could have seen coming happened. But when the most vocal in the fanbase have hyped the season up to unreachable proportions, all that happens is fans like me have to be embarrassed and sit back and take the ridicule after we lose.
Why can we not just enjoy a season? Just let it play out. Tuesday was not a great game by Kentucky, but I enjoyed the hell out of that game. Watching that team fight and claw back to nearly beat a fantastic Michigan State team while playing very average made me so hopeful for the season. But for some, it was crushing because of how they had hyped up the year. And the blame doesn’t just go to the fan, but also to Coach Cal. Once he uttered 40-0, the fanbase ate that up like a fat kid with birthday cake. The problem is Calipari is a very smart guy and he knows when he throws out lofty goals like that, that 10-20% part of the fanbase LOVES it. But Cal didn’t even believe it. He said as much when he told everybody the team wasn’t ready to play in a game like that. That playing the game was unfair to his team.
My point is can we just pull back on the reins already? All we are doing when we hype the team and these players up before they develop is set ourselves up to not enjoy the season as much as we should. This is a national title contender we have playing at Kentucky. Those don’t come around very often, even under Calipari. So I say we enjoy the hell out of the year, cheer our asses off, and leave the hype to other fanbases. We celebrate and hype it up after the trophy is raised.
Head Coach: Doug Wojcik – 2nd Year @ CofC (Career HC Record: 160-101)
2012-2013 Season: 24-11 (14-4, 2nd in the Southern Conference)
Lost to Davidson in the Southern Conference Tournament Finals
Lost in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational to George Mason
Starting this season, they are now members of the Colonial Athletic Association
Louisville is 3-0 against the Cougrars since 1979, average score of 75.7 to 54.3
Last game: December 12th, 2012 in Charleston, SC. #5 Louisville won 80-38 in front of the largest home crowd (5,117) the Cougars had all year.
They played one exhibition game this year, a 102-87 win over D-II Newberry College
CofC graduated First Team All-league guard Andrew Lawrence who averaged 13.4 ppg, but they return 10 letterwinners who accounted for 68% of the team’s scoring AND rebounding in 2012-13. The Cougars were selected to finish third in their inaugural season in the Colonial Athletic Association behind Towson and Drexel.
CofC comes to #3 Louisville with preseason All-CAA Second Team selection Adjehi Baru (9.8 ppg and 8.3 rpg) who is expected to be one of the better frontcourt players in the conference and All-CAA Honorable Mention Anthony Stitt (11.0 ppg and 3.2 apg) who looks to fill the gap left by Lawrence. PF Willis Hall also returns after breaking his foot at the end of last year. Hall produced a 13 point, 15 rebound effort in their exhibition win over Newberry.
Coach Wojcik’s thoughts on facing #3 Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center:
“It’s a great test; they say it’s the best arena in the country. I thought it helped us with recruiting, telling the guys let’s go there and play our first game. Of course we didn’t know they’d be hanging a National Championship banner but certainly that felt that way last December that they were good enough for that. But we’ll go and compete, handle their press and do the best we can. Let’s rebound the ball. It’s good for our program, looking forward to getting on the road, you know, we were a good road program last year."
If Drew Barker is not ready next season, could Cats be facing same problems as this year?
I know the football team’s record is 1-6 and 0-4 in the SEC. This is not a way to sugarcoat that fact. This team isn’t very good. But I will continue to hold that this team HAD THE ABILITY to win 4 or 5 games this season. Keep in mind that UK should have beaten WKU with any kind of decent performance. Western is now 4-4 this season in the Sun Belt Conference. And UK played South Carolina and Mississippi State tight and could have easily won with a break here are there. It is not out of the realm to say RIGHT NOW this team could be 3-4. Then with winnable games against Alabama St, Vandy, and Tennessee remaining, plus a banged up Georgia and overrated Missouri (my opinion), the weakest part of UK’s schedule is still ahead.
But I think it is safe to say that QB play has been a big factor in UK’s struggles this season. Both Whitlow and Smith have been battling injuries and limitations, which has hampered the offense at key times. The inability to have any real deep threat potential plus accuracy struggles at times have made the Air Raid offense seems less than Raidy. There is no doubt the team has shown other holes in the roster, specifically on the defensive side of the ball, but QB play just hasn’t been up to snuff if this program is looking to turn into a winner.
But that worries me and maybe should worry you too. Why? Because Whitlow and Smith will likely be on roster for the next 2 seasons each. Patrick Towles has been redhsirted but you would have thought with the injuries he could have been an option if the staff thought he was ready. Reese Phillips is buried on the depth chart. And then Drew Barker is coming in next year. What worries me is that if Barker is not ready to contribute immediately, we could have the EXACT same problem next season. And let’s be fair, it is rare for a freshman QB to come in and jump right into winning football. The odds are Barker will need a season or two to become effective, if ever.
So now you are hoping for the improvement from either Whitlow, Smith, or Towles to make this offense more dangerous for the seasons to come. All 3 guys will have now been in the program for 2+ years. I worry the improvement we might see from them will be limited. So despite the fact UK will have offensive weapons in Timmons, Kemp, Montgomery, Blue, etc, somebody has to lead the offense and get those guys the ball. And frankly, if the current QB’s don’t improve and Barker is not ready, UK will be in trouble again next season.
What this all means is I worry about Mark Stoops. There has been considerable improvement from last year to this year. The defense is inconsistent but has been fairly sound. The offense has some young playmakers and doesn’t seem to make the stupid mistakes of the past. And most importantly, the effort has been there all season. But, lack of decent QB play has limited the Cats, plain and simple. And if it doesn’t improve in Year 2, you are looking at a coach with 2-3 wins in his first year, and potentially a similar slate the next season. And then the fanbase begins to crack. I am sure glad I am not a college football coach, because thoughts like that would keep me up at night. The idea that you can put 21 stellar players out there, but 1 position could hamper your progress.
The odds are somebody is going to step up. Barker might be a stud from Day 1. A healthy Whitlow might be just the answer. Maybe Smith regains he arm strength. Hell, Maybe Towles or Phillips surprises us. But it’s still a real possibility this team has QB problems next year. Not in the quantity but the quality.
I wonder if I am looking at it from the wrong angle. Am I putting too much stock in the QB position, considering the talent that Stoops is bringing in everywhere else? Can this program vault up to bowl eligibility and beyond with the QB play being average? And is Mark Stoops entire tenure going to hinge on if he can find a good QB to run the Air Raid offense?
Among the many storylines coming into this basketball season, one that seems to have come forward more than any others is this quest to go 40-0. No team has accomplished an undefeated season since 1976, meaning it is incredibly difficult to do. But, I can respect a coach and a team that shoot for the highest goals, including going unblemished in a season. Certainly it would make you an immortal team. Certainly amongst UK fans, it would make you basically gods. But I tend to take a different approach to the quest to go 40-0 in a season:
I DON’T WANT IT.
And the reason I don’t want it is because history shows us teams that have gotten close to going 40-0, or teams good enough to run the table, have found a different kind of pressure that you would not normally face during a season. Let’s be honest, once a team reaches 20-0, especially a team with as much talent as Kentucky and a conference schedule as weak as Kentucky’s, all the media/friends and family/bloggers want to mention is that the team could go undefeated. It’s literally the only thing people want to talk about. I don’t want that for the players and Calipari. This team is good enough to win the national title. Why put additional pressure on them come March if they enter that month undefeated?
Plus, add in the fact that the large majority of this team has never experienced March Madness. It’s a nerve-racking situation no matter what you record is. Do we really want these talented freshman to have the additional burden of going for an undefeated record? I certainly don’t. All I care about is 6 wins in March and April. Lose 10 games during the regular season for all I care about. I found the 2011 team to be a more satisfying season than the 2010 squad, simply because they made the Final Four. But they lost a bunch more games than Calipari’s first team.
There are 2 examples in college basketball and 2 examples at Kentucky where being undefeated worked against those teams and taking a loss turned out to be a positive. In 1991, UNLV was BY FAR the best team in college basketball, having barely been challenged all season. But, Jerry Tarkanian admits now that the fact his team was undefeated going into the NCAA Tournament was not good. They felt such pressure throughout that tournament that when Duke played them tight into the 2nd half, his team got nervous and ended up losing in the final seconds. Saint Joe’s in 2004 was much of the same. They ended up losing in their conference tournament, but the pressure led that team to not even make the Final Four.
Probably the 2 best UK teams in the last 50 years, 1996 and 2012, both experienced losses IN MARCH. And I would think both coaches would tell you that those losses turned out to be positives for those teams on their way to the national championship. Sometimes great teams need a loss or two to refocus and buckle down. Confidence, especially in 18-22 year olds, can sometimes run out of control. And losses are good to control those egos. So while I certainly would never cheer against the Cats in any game, I can see the positives to taking a loss early in the year and getting any pressure of going 40-0 out of the way.
Follow me on twitter @BryantheIntern
Article By: Daniel Farish
Photo Credit: Courier-Journal
Rick positioned these teams perfectly. The Red team was full of guards (Russ, Jones, Gill) going up against a 2-3 defense. The White team had the bigs (Wayne, Trezz, SVT) playing against a man-to-man defense. It couldn’t have been set up any better.
The new player who excites me the most is Terry Rozier. Losing the starting pointing guard from a National Championship team is a big blow, especially a player the caliber of Siva. But Rozier appears to be an ample replacement. Plus…the thought of Russ running the show scares all of Card Nation.
Wayne Blackshear played like a guy who wasn’t afraid. After all the shoulder problems he has had over the course of two years, he appears to finally be healthy. Forget for a fact that he sprained his ankle at the end of the game, Wayne finished with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Trezz looked great; almost Anthony Davis-esque. What I mean, is that any ball around the rim, Trezz put back in the bucket. Chane played big too. He didn’t appear to have the stone hands that I’ve complained about for two seasons now. Pitino said following the game, “With the game on the line, we want Montrezl and Chane on the court together. They combined for 48 points and 23 rebounds tonight.
The most promising walk-on was Dillon Avare. He looked comfortable with the ball, hit a couple shots and only turned it over once in 21 minutes of play.
Two disappointments from the game: Van Trees and Agau. SVT had nine rebounds, but was 0-of-2 shooting with five turnovers. I need to see more from him if Pitino is serious about SVT getting some starting time. Akoy Agau didn’t get as much playing time as I expected. If I had a chance, I would ask Coach P why that was.
Overall it was a very promising scrimmage from the defending National Champions.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the modern Governor’s Cup and we have seen some amazing performances from both sides over the years. Below you will find some of the individual and team records since the series renewed. And my question is fairly simple:Which of these records is most likely to be broken on Saturday?
The answer for me is pretty simple. On paper, it seems Teddy Bridgewater could be on the verge of a big day. UK’s secondary has actually been fairly decent through 2 games, but it still is one of their thinnest positions both in depth and experience. And with UL’s core of receivers and Bridgewater, if UK does not play well in the secondary, the Heisman candidate could have a field day. I am actually surprised that over the previous 19 games a UL quarterback hasn’t thrown for more than 368 yards, considering how pass-happy their offense has been over the years. From a Kentucky standpoint, maybe the rushing record could be in play if Raymond Sanders has a big day. And if Sanders does happen to rush for over 123 yards, I think Kentucky could very well have a chance to win. The passing records are likely out of reach.
Louisville: 59 (2006)
Kentucky: 68 (1998)
MARGIN OF VICTORY
Louisville: 31 (2006)
Kentucky: 34 (1998)
Louisville: Frank Moreau (181 yards, 1999)
Kentucky: Derrick Homer (123 yards, 1998)
Louisville: Chris Redman (368 yards, 1998)
Kentucky: Tim Couch (498 yards, 1998)
Louisville: Zeke Parker (184 yards, 2001)
Kentucky: Craig Yeast (150 yards, 1998)
Louisville: Chris Philpott (3, 2010)
Kentucky: Taylor Begley (3, 2002)
by Shawn Teer
It is official. Football is finally here. There is already betting going on in Las Vegas as to who will win it all in February, but those change every day. There is one question that a lot of people are wondering. What are the New York Jets going to do this year? More importantly is the question Will they ever win the Super Bowl?
The Jets have been a train wreck as of late. I say that because, like a train wreck, you want to look away, but you just can’t help yourself and you have to look at it. In the people’s defense, it is really hard not to pay at the very least a little bit of attention to them. They are constantly in the media, pulling some sort of crazy stunt. From the now infamous Tim Tebow fiasco, to whether or not Mark Sanchez can pull it together and be the starting quarterback the organization feel that he can be, and not the quarterback that makes stupid mistakes and needless interceptions. Who can forget his now legendary “butt fumble” during the Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots.
Yes, gone are the days of them winning a championship, or even as of last year, making the playoffs. Jets fans have went 43 NFL seasons without a win in the big game. 1968 is a long time to wait. Not since Joe Namath promised them a win in the Super Bowl against the then Baltimore Colts have they been successful. Sure, they have made the AFC championship game for a couple years straight, but that can only help them out so far.
They have made some interesting changes this offseason. Revis island has left for a more sunny climate. Geno Smith has been brought in from the draft to give Sanchez what the Jets higher ups the fire lit under him to get him to reach the next level of playing. The Jets need a lot of help in a lot of areas. I think that if you look at everything that has went on in the last couple of years, they are kind of in a re building phase to try to get that perfect formula that it takes to win in this league. They are not a bad team, but when you are in the kind of division like they are in, you really have to take a look at the teams as an individual team and not as a division. Wll they ever win it? Only time will tell.
Photo Credit - www.uoflcardgame.com
Article By - Daniel Farish
After sitting in the hot sun for a couple hours, I did have a few takeaways, as well as a clip video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM9mCM8pM8E) from the open scrimmage the university so graciously thrust upon us on Sunday:
The defensive line seemed to overpower the offensive line. Teddy was able to get out of trouble but Gardner and Bolin were swallowed up. That being said, the D line is probably the weakest spot on the team. Only one player returns (Marcus Smith) who started every game last season. Louisville had problems stopping the run from time to time last season; let’s hope we don’t see more of the same this year.
The linebackers looked strong, none more so than George Durant and Preston Brown. They closed out on ball handlers quickly and caused havoc on WR’s running their routes. Something else I noticed…for as bad as Senorise Perry wanted to run over someone, these LB’s really, really want to jack somebody up. And not just in a secluded practice; they want to do it in front of thousands of people who are cheering for them.
The secondary is going to be the brightest spot of the defense. FS Calvin Pryor and SS Hakeem Smith look to cause problems for the AAC quarterback’s. Corner Andrew Johnson picked off a couple of Gardner passes and deflected multiple passes from both Gardner and Teddy. Terrell Floyd was held out of practice but it’s not expected to be anything serious.
The biggest issue is going to be stopping opposing RB’s from getting into the second level of the defense. I don’t see a lot of big runs going against the Cards, our LB’s will make sure of that. But for the early part of the season some of these teams will get all they want between 1-5 yards. If defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and defensive line coach Clint Hurtt can tighten up the line, Louisville will become the whole package.