Kentucky Basketball

Kentucky speedsters Rajon Rondo and the late Ralph Beard
The 2010-11 Kentucky Wildcats finished the season with a 29-9 record, knocking off the #1 ranked Ohio State en route to the Final Four in the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats also won the Southeastern Conference tournament championship. In Houston, Kentucky was beaten by eventual national champion Connecticut, the same team which beat UK in the Maui Classic.

The team was led by three freshmen, point guard Brandon Knight, power forward Terrence Jones and shooting guard Doron Lamb. Another freshman, Enes Kanter was ruled ineligible by the N.C.A.A.

With Kanter's absence, senior center Josh Harrellson made great strides during the season and proved to be one of the most valuable big men in the country. Juniors Darius Miller and DeAndre Liggins also played key roles on the team.

This team continued a long tradition of outstanding teams which represent the University of Kentucky basketball program. Kentucky basketball is comprised of talented players and coaches who form together as a single unit to work toward a common goal. The team plays an exciting brand of basketball which looks to get out and run, but one that also looks to execute offensively whenever possible and minimize mistakes. Defense is Kentucky's bread and butter, as they look to disrupt and shut down the opposing team's game plan. The team regularly faces some of the most challenging schedules in the nation against motivated opponents looking to make a name for themselves by beating the Big Blue.

There is no program in the nation with as devoted, knowledgeable or fanatical fans as the University of the Kentucky. It's no accident that Kentucky is generally considered the top college basketball program of all-time, or that Kentucky leads the nation in numerous statistical categories, both on and off the court. To keep up with the Cats, check out the Associated Press Rankings, USA Today/ESPN Rankings, the RPI Ratings or the Sagarin Ratings to keep up with the Cats.

Wildcat Logo

"I just thought it was the Kentucky fans coming in." - Coach Billy Gillispie in Atlanta after a tornado slams into the Georgia Dome.

"Really, UCLA's a great place as well, but they don't have the kind of environment they have here. The fans here have a passion." - Dick Vitale on Kentucky fans, December 23, 1999.

"He's got the puppies set off the bus." - Bill Raftery talking about Tayshaun Prince hitting his fifth straight three-point shot from U.

"Apparently the University of Kentucky basketball dynasty is to continue forever." - Philadelphia Inquirer, December 23 1954.

"Turner ... Burner .... and one" - Jim Nantz

"Kentucky has found the secret of basketball, that it's five guys playing together." - former University North Carolina coach Frank McGuire

"I see no reason to end the basketball season in February just so some of these schools can start spring football practice early... Someday they are going to wake up and realize that basketball is here to stay." - Adolph Rupp on his Southeastern Conference brethren in 1934.

"I'd just as soon freeze to death." - Actress Ashley Judd relating a story of being offered a University North Carolina - Chapel Hill jacket on a chilly movie set. - Lexington Herald Leader, August 15, 1996.

"It's not wise to come to Kentucky and try to run them off their court. Not too many teams have ever done that." - Mississippi State Coach Babe McCarthy in 1962.

"When you see Kentucky's fans, you just wonder. You think how wonderful it would be to go to their school. You wish you could trade places for a day, just so you could experience that feeling." - UCLA player Kris Johnson

"In the next four or five years, Kentucky will be at its best. It has taken a lot of hard labor, but down the road we will be at our best." - Rick Pitino in 1995

"They had it before you, they had it during you, they'll have it when you're gone"...." - Al McGuire on Kentucky Basketball Tradition

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Looking Ahead

2011-12 Kentucky Wildcat Team
The 2011-12 Squad
The 2011-12 season finds the program once again welcoming a slew of highly rated freshmen to the campus as head coach John Calipari has brought in his third #1 recruiting class in a row.

Gone from the 2010-11 squad is Kentucky's lone senior Josh Harrellson, who played his way into a second round pick in the NBA draft. Joining him were two NBA draft early entries: freshman Brandon Knight who had an outstanding freshman campaign, which included scoring the most points by a freshman in UK history and DeAndre Liggins who was the team's best defender.

The backcourt remains potent, albeit not particularly deep, with the return of shooting guard Doron Lamb. Lamb's freshman season puts him on course to becoming the all-time UK leader in three point percentage. Joining Lamb is yet another freshman phenom point guard (in the growing list of highly rated point guards coached by Calipari) by the name of Marquis Teague. Teague is extremely quick and more of a pure point guard than Brandon Knight was, although Teague is not considered to be as good a shooter. Beyond those two, there are not a lot of options. Darius Miller is capable of playing shooting guard and even point at times and will likely be called upon. At midseason, Twany Beckham (a transfer from Mississippi State) will provide needed backup behind Teague at the point. Former walk-on Jarrod Polson has shown poise and will be asked to play critical minutes when Teague is unavailable due to foul trouble or injury.

Two players who could have helped but are currently unavailable are Jon Hood who is injured and likely to redshirt and Stacey Poole, who decided to transfer just as the season began.

The front-court will be in far better shape as Terrence Jones chose to return to the team rather than enter the NBA draft. Jones had a tremendous early half of the 2010-11 season, although as the season progressed the focus of the team became more oriented to the pick-and-roll between Brandon Knight and Josh Harrellson, and Jones' production tailed off. With a new season and a new dedication to working hard in the off-season and stepping into a leadership role, Jones looks to be a potential National Player of the Year candidate. Jones can play inside or out and is a good fit for Calipari's dribble-drive offense. He also showed flashes of being a dominant rebounder when he focused on that aspect of his game.

Jones will be joined by a trio of highly rated freshman in the front-court, all with different skill sets. The #1 rated recruit in the nation, Anthony Davis, joins the team at center, although he has tremendous ball-handling, shooting and passing skills. His long arms and timing make him a formidable shot blocker. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is also a top prospect who brings a tremendous motor and will-to-win, and promises to become a fan favorite. Finally, another freshman Kyle Wiltjer shows tremendous versatility both in shooting from long-distance and with an array of post moves and shots.

Senior Eloy Vargas is Kentucky's only traditional post player. He struggled the previous year but will be counted on this year in a backup role, in particular to rebound and defend against big centers.

At the wing senior Darius Miller once again will show his versatility, both with his outside shooting, ball-handling and slashing to the rim. Miller will be counted on to provide leadership and direction to the young team. Stacey Poole would have been a key backup at this position, but he chose to look for greener pastures.

Overall, there is no limit to this team, assuming that they remain healthy. Their length, speed and athleticism promise that they will be entertaining and a tough challenge for all.

The schedule for Kentucky's 109th will be a mixture of high-profile matchups and home games against lower levels teams.

Notable games include an early-season matchup with the Kansas Jayhawks in New York City's Madison Square Garden as part of the Champions Classic doubleheader (the other game will be between Duke and Michigan State). Later that week, Kentucky will play in the finale of the Basketball Hal of Fame Tip-Off Tournament held in Uncasville Connecticut.

On December 1, Kentucky will face historic power St. Johns as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge. This will be followed by a highly anticipated matchup with the preseason #1 rated North Carolina Tarheels, a team that Kentucky knocked off in the Elite Eight from the previous year.

Kentucky will also face traditional rivals Indiana on the road December 10th and Louisville at home on New Year's Eve. Kentucky's annual game in the city of Louisville will be held January 3 against Arkansas Little-Rock in Freedom Hall.

The SEC promises to provide a difficult challenge as there are a number of highly teams. This includes preseason top-10 teams Vanderbilt and Florida to go along with western powers like Alabama and Mississippi State

The 2012 SEC Tournament will be held at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana March 8-11.

The NCAA Final Four will also be held in New Orleans March 31st and April 2nd at the Louisiana Superdome. Regional sites include Boston Massachusetts, St. Louis Missouri, Phoenix Arizona and Atlanta Georgia. The nearest early-round site to Lexington is the Yum! Center in Louisville.

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Statistics of past Kentucky Players and Teams

Here you will find the most complete statistical site devoted to any one college basketball program. Check it out, and let me know if there are any corrections or additions that should be made. - (Continually Updated)

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Top 10 Misconceptions surrounding UK and their basketball squad

I believe most every home page should bring something new to the internet rather than recycle the same information. In that vein, I have included my thoughts on some of the misconceptions that surround Kentucky basketball. Some have questioned me as to why someone would want to concentrate on what is sometimes negative or hard-to-defend areas rather than relive the many good aspects of the Kentucky Basketball program. My main answer is that while I generally don't like to dwell on the negative, I attempted to cover these topics because many of these issues simply are not covered anywhere else and some of the stories are important to tell. I could have put together material which illustrates the amazing accomplishments of such a storied program that is Kentucky Basketball, however much of this has been covered before in books, special edition memorabilia and videos spanning many decades. Most of this information is off the top of my head although I have gained much information from the Lexington Herald Leader Library along with other newspaper archives, magazines and books. If you have any facts or statistics to support or disprove me, I would appreciate .

Some Oldies but Goodies

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Kentucky Articles

From time to time, I might have something I want to write about or provide which doesn't fit into the 'detractors' format as above. So here is that place.

Kentucky Detractors

Every great program will attract its share of detractors and Kentucky has plenty of them. Whether they think UK is a bunch of cheaters, they don't like the coaches, the fans, the style of play or they just think UK wins too much, there's always going to be someone who roots against the Cats. I've put a list together of the top ten detractors of the basketball program. This page is intended to tell a little about the background of each person, the apparent reason for their dislike of the program and includes some anecdotes and quotes about the subject. All in the name of fun. A nationally known sports columnist loved it so much he was moved to pronounce it as "quite a list. An amazing list in fact." (More is available about that also.) Contributions to the Top-10 page are greatly appreciated.

Below is a critique of various poor media practices concerning issues related to Kentucky in the year 2010. Hopefully this type of critique will not be necessary in future years.

I've also written two book reviews which I believed unfairly criticized Kentucky. The first review is of Raw Recruits from the perspective of a Kentucky fan. The second review is of a recent book And The Walls Came Tumbling Down which attempts to drag former coach Adolph Rupp's name through the mud.

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Historic Kentucky Rivals

From time to time, I will write up a short history of the rivalry between Kentucky and some of their historic foes in preparation for an upcoming game. The ones which are done are highlighted below. Hopefully someday the rest will be filled in.

Non-Conference Rivals

Conference Rivals

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NCAA Tournament Pools

While not directly related to Kentucky basketball, I do have a definite opinion about how to run an office pool when NCAA Tournament time rolls around. In the past, I've run a pool that is easy to maintain, fun and doesn't require that you buy any software you don't already have.

UK Media Outlet Links

Print Media Outlets

Television Media Outlets

Radio Media Outlets

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Wildcat Blogs and Discussions

Wildcat Blogs

Wildcat Tweets

Wildcat Chat, Mailing Lists and other Discussion Groups

Talking about the Wildcats has been a tradition in Kentucky for over 100 years. With the internet, this tradition has taken on new forms with many different sites and formats popping up through the years. For fun, I put together a rough timeline of the various discussion groups, many which are included below.

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General Information Links

Team Profiles

General UK Information Links

Wildcats in the NBA

For a list of former UK players playing overseas, check the following link.

Individual Pages of Current and Past Wildcat Players & Coaches

General College Basketball Links

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Merchandise Links

UK Merchandise Outlets

Miscellaneous UK Merchandise

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UK Homepages

Below are some home pages of other Wildcat Fans. If you think your page should be listed or know of others, .

Search Yahoo! or Google for more Kentucky Wildcat Pages.

This site and others can be searched through this link.

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Conference Information

Sometimes if the Cats aren't on TV and you can't get onto their radio site, you can catch them through their opponents broadcasts. For Kentucky, that would be the nasty Southeastern Conference.

SEC Logo

Radio Broadcasts

Athletic Home Pages

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Last Major Update May 20, 1996

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