The Big Blue Lowdown

Insight, Analysis and Expertise on All Things Kentucky Basketball

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A Little Love for the Chuckwagon

One of our favorite all-time Wildcat heroes, Chuck Hayes, is making quite a name for himself in the NBA.

With the Houston Rockets missing Yao Ming, Chuck has logged the bulk of the minutes available at center, despite his 6-6 frame. The results? Coaches and players are raving.

Check out the recent quotes on Hayes’ performance so far this season (for the record, he’s averaging 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists):

“He’s incredible,” Rockets Coach Rick Adelman said. “You watch...

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SEC Prediction Time

There is no other way to put it. Last season, the SEC was down.

But though we admit a certain amount of bias, the BBL thinks the struggles were overblown. If the last place team in the conference could take out the Big 12 champs (Arkansas over Oklahoma) while another sub-.500 team could defeat the Pac Ten champs (Florida over Washington), it stands to reason that the SEC wasn’t *that* bad.

More than anything else, the SEC was victimized by a perceived lack of quality precipitated by two...

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Wall’s High-Flying Wildcat Debut

Kentucky finished up its two-game preseason over the weekend with a 117-52 victory over out-manned Clarion University.

The win featured strong performances from two of the Cats’ diaper dandies, DeMarcus Cousins (20 points) and John Wall (27 points), who was making his UK debut after returning from suspension.

The Wildcats, ranked No. 4 in the AP preseason poll, officially begin the season Friday vs. Morehead State.

Meanwhile, here are the primary takeaways of the two exhibition games:

    ...
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Dunk Interlude

As the Cats get ready to play their second exhibition this Friday vs. Clarion, we here at the BBL are brimming with excitement.

So we’d like to take a moment to share some more oldies from the YouTube vault.

Here’s hoping that this year’s Cats add many more classic highlights to the mix.

With creatures like Bledsoe, Wall and Patrick Patterson, there’s no reason to expect otherwise.

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Bledsoe Has the “It” Factor

The quality is low, but we bring you a nice bootleg clip of Eric Bledsoe showing what he brings to the table in this ridiculous block during the exhibition vs Campbellsville Monday night. Click the image below to see the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWRjTTMusP0

Bledsoe’s outrageous vertical leap, reported to be more than 40 inches, is on display here, big time. This guy is 6-0.

While John Wall, with his already epic list of YouTube highlights, is expected to get the bulk of the...

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Campbellsville Exhibition Analysis

It’s hard to evaluate UK’s team after a 74-38 win over an incredibly overmatched opponent in NAIA Campbellsville. But UK’s talent, size and depth meet the hype.

The Cats appear to have one ugly and glaring wart—-a lack of perimeter marksmanship. UK’s size and athleticism in the post is something to behold so if they dominate the offensive glass, their lack of outside shooting might not be such a weakness. Even the guards are long and athletic enough to grab long rebounds off missed...

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Post-Scrimmage Player Breakdowns

After watching UK’s Blue White Scrimmage last week it’s safe to say this UK team is frighteningly deep and talented. There is a lot of energy that goes along with the youth and inexperience. But there are few teams UK will line up against who are equal in terms of athleticism and talent.

Here is the BBL’s breakdown of each player before the season tips off on Monday Night in an exhibition against Campbellsville.

Bledsoe
Hard to describe how UK landed two PGs in the same class that are the...

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The Quotable Calipari

With the season inching ever closer, Kentucky Coach John Calipari is working hard to figure out a rotation and to solve the myriad chemistry issues that come from having a roster with 12 players who would start or merit major minutes at most D-1 schools.

He has his work cut out for him, but Coach Cal is optimistic about his chances. Here are some comments he made to reporters this week:

On the team’s depth:
“I thought in one way I like to play nine guys, eight or nine guys and maybe even a...

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A Look Back at the Untouchables

With comparisons between this year’s roster and the ‘95-‘96 team sure to be made, we thought we’d take a few short moments to recognize the uncanny talents of Rick Pitino’s national title winning squad of 13 years ago.

This montage reminds you of what Kentucky is trying to get back to.

Don’t be mistaken. The BBL is not attempting to make our own comparison between Coach Cal’s Cats and the team dubbed the “Untouchables.” There is a long way to go before this year’s group can come anywhere...

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The Dribble-Drive Offense Up Close

Seeing how the Wildcats adapt to the Dribble-Drive Motion Offense should be one of the more interesting developments to watch this season in Lexington. The BBL gives you a closer look at this trendy offensive strategy created 12 years ago by JUCO coach Vance Walberg.

The Dribble Drive Defined
In essence, the DDM is an uptempo variation of the Bobby Knight-style motion offense with several wrinkles. The philosophy is predicated on relentless dribble penetration where a ballhandler drives the...

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Opponent Sneak Peek: Florida

As part of our series of snapshot previews of UK opponents, the BBL takes a first look at Billy Donovan’s Florida Gators.

Backcourt
Florida lost leading scorer Nick Calathes and Walter Hodge, the last remaining holdover from its back-to-back titles in ‘06-‘07. Expected to replace that production is freshman sensation Kenny Boynton. More of a combo guard than a true point, Boynton can score from anywhere on the court. He’ll be teamed in the backcourt with Erving Walker, a 5’8 fireplug who...

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Breaking News: Wall’s Status in Doubt

According to Pat Forde of ESPN, Kentucky’s prized recruit John Wall, already widely considered one of the nation’s top players, still faces serious eligibility issues.

Forde reports that SEC Commissioner Mike Slive stated that Wall is eligible to practice but is not currently eligible to play.

This is the first time that anyone has commented publicly that Wall’s eligibility is in question.

Sources close to the program have so far denied that any issues exist. “My understanding is that all...

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Two Dunks From the Vault

Occasionally, we at the BBL like to take a quick look back into the treasure trove that is UK hoops history.

One of the most underrated Cats in recent memory, Kelenna Azubuike was a scorer supreme and a serious highwire act. Check out this ridiculous in-traffic stuff from a 2005 game vs. South Carolina.

Azubuike had a breakout year with Golden State last season, averaging nearly 15 points and 5 rebounds per contest. He looks primed to carry on the mantle of great former UK products in the...

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BBL Sneak Peek: South Carolina

We present our first look at Darrin Horn’s South Carolina Gamecocks.

Backcourt:
Devan Downey might be the most underrated guard in D-1. He is virtually uncheckable in transition and in the open court. He has a rare combination of speed, athleticism and ball skills. Downey will get his 20 and 6 every night. The other SC guards are good in their own right. Brandis Raley-Ross is a decent scorer while Evaldas Baniulis hit an uncanny 48 of 100 3-point tries last season. Watch out for a good...

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The 5-Minute Player Capsules

The BBL’s quick and dirty take based on the Big Blue Madness scrimmage.

Patrick Patterson
Looks totally reborn. Healthy and jumping out of the gym. Had a couple rebound dunks where he was looking at the goal. Already graduated so this will be his last season at UK.

John Wall
An absolute blur. Long arms. He dribbles the ball too high but covers ground like few can. May surprise with his shooting stroke. He squares his body every time. Jumps much better off his right leg in transition.

Eric...

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UK Twitter

Kentucky freshman Charles Matthews is transferring, the school announced. Former ESPN 100 prospect. - via @ESPN App espn.go.com/espn/now?nowId…
1. This loss means nothing. UK lost a game on the road in bizarre circumstances vs a very good team. If anything,... fb.me/4rtUJiRSK
Time to put Texas A&M to bed and get tuned up for a high seed in the big dance.
Epic collapse by UK tonight. Still something not right with this team.
Tough loss over the weekend, but the Cats showed heart...they'll be back. fb.me/7EWsEFppx

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