The Big Blue Lowdown

Insight, Analysis and Expertise on All Things Kentucky Basketball


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Tayshaun Doin’ Work

With recent UK history having fallen on tough times, it’s easy to forget many of the successes of Kentucky’s rich history.

But it wasn’t so long ago that the Cats reeled off four straight wins over North Carolina (1999-2002), sweeping a double home-and-home series after going nearly 25 years without a victory over one of the nation’s other preeminent programs.

Nothing better captures that win streak than December 8, 2001, when Tayshaun Prince put on a shooting display that goes down as one of...

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Who Is John Calipari?

The BBL must admit we’re excited heading into the 2009-10 season. But we find it hard to imagine we’d be this excited if John Calipari hadn’t been named head coach in April.

Though his career rise has been well-documented, Calipari remains a bit of a mystery. His teams have consistently won everywhere he’s been. But thanks to questionable tactics and a trail of NCAA infractions, Calipari’s reputation casts a long shadow.

The Questionable
Calipari’s detractors question his character and true...

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First Commit for 2010?

If it weren’t for the confidence John Calipari has instilled in the fanbase in his six short months at the helm of the Kentucky basketball program, most Cat fans would probably be getting a little anxious by now over the lack of a single verbal commitment in the 2010 recruiting class.

Not to worry. Coach Cal reportedly spent the weekend tying up loose ends at the Florida home of the nation’s number one prospect, Brandon Knight. Much to the delight of Big Blue Nation, Knight recently canceled a...

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Jon Hood: Hype or Hero?

The next great white boy from Kentucky to play for UK? Or just an overrated local kid who played against inferior high school competition and became a product of the media searching for the next Rex Chapman?

It’s up to Mr. Hood to determine the answer to the question.

The BBL never saw Hood play in HS, but from all accounts he is a big time player capable of fitting many styles. More suited to the wing position than a legit 2-man, Hood offers an excellent mid-range game and is athletic...

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Gettin Crunk With Coach Cal

The groundswell of fan interest and media hype around the UK program since John Calipari’s hire has been substantial.

But when someone composes, performs and records a rap video about the new coach before a single game has been played, it’s pretty safe to say that the buzz around this program is nearing fever pitch level.

“Calipari, Calipari” (by rapper Scoupe) reminds us that, regardless of your taste in music, this kind of thing is going to become commonplace in the new era of UK hoops....

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Chance at Redemption for Liggins

DeAndre Liggins was much maligned his freshman year at Kentucky.

A heralded recruit from Chicago, Liggins drew comparisons in high school to a young Magic Johnson. However, for one reason or another, Liggins got off to a bad start with his coach and it wasn’t far into the season before he was relegated to the end of the bench.

Liggins is 6’6 with uncanny floor vision and an ability to make the dazzling pass (see video clip). He’s like a gazelle in the open floor and displays great hands....

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First Look at the Super Six

Most agree it’s one of the best recruiting classes in UK history. Some think when it’s all said and done, this will be one of the best recruiting classes in basketball history.

Regardless of what your perception is, you’re going to hear a lot about these guys in the upcoming season. Below we’ve included one of the first shots of them together at once in uniform on UK Photo Day.

From left, John Wall, Darnell Dodson, Daniel Orton, Jon Hood, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe. ...

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Ramon Harris: Tubby Holdover

Ramon Harris enters his senior season at UK with a truly schizophrenic track record of learning new coaches and systems.

In fact, he and fellow senior Perry Stevenson are the two remaining holdovers from the Tubby Smith regime. To say they’ve been through tumultuous times would be an understatement, so it would be quite remarkable to see Ramon and Perry go out with a bang in 2010.

On the court, Harris is an enigmatic player. At times he has shown flashes of lock-down defensive prowess and a...

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10 Dunks You Want to See

You have to love this compilation of the sickest throwdowns in the history of UK hoops.

Forget about the Maxim-esque chick pics between plays and keep your eyes open for the true gems—in particular Anthony Epps’ textbook bounce pass to set up Derek Anderson’s showtime dunk in No. 2.

Yeah, football rules the headlines in early September (nice win by the gridiron Cats this weekend), but it shouldn’t stop us from keeping things in perspective…and these highlights help.

There may be other...

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Daniel Orton: Beast in the Paint

UK’s incoming frosh recruiting class is storied to say the least. Two of the top HS point guards in the country and the highest rated low post player in DeMarcus Cousins. But potentially the guy to make the biggest impact to the team right away is Daniel Orton.

As a rising 10th grader Orton was rated in the top 5 players in his class. He is a man-child physically and reminds many observers of a young Patrick Ewing. His play in high school was the stuff of Oklahoma legend, including tearing a...

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Preseason Wars, Part I

No shortage of marquee early out-of-conference matchups in the upcoming 2009-10 college basketball season. These contests, though overshadowed by football season, will be far from meaningless. Here are 5 inter-conference showdowns in November and December that we think will play a role in deciding the tournament pecking order come March.

Nov. 19: Ohio State vs. UNC in New York City
-With guard Evan Turner and another strong incoming class inked by coach Thad Motta, Ohio State will look to...

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Patrick Patterson, Man on a Mission

After an amazing freshman season in which Patrick Patterson averaged a double double, the powerfully built 4-man suffered a stress fracture that required surgery and prevented him from playing in the NCAA tournament.

Slow to recover over the following summer and early into his sophomore season, it appeared he never got back on track in 2008-09 relative to expectations. Many of the UK faithful were concerned his injury had not healed after he was beaten up and humiliated in a devastating loss...

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Old-School Funk to Start Your Week

You’ve probably seen it many times before. But this dunk from the Kentucky-Mississippi State game in 1983 is absurd. And this clip has a little bit of everything.

First, and most importantly, Kentucky’s Dirk Minniefield displays an almost supernatural leaping ability in this utter posterization dunk.

But beyond that, we also get to hear a younger and slightly less overzealous Dick Vitale going into an at-the-time still undeveloped trademark verbal episode, along with a glance at the old...

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Courtside Voices

A collection of this week’s best quotes from the college basketball media.

Jeff Goodman

“LeFlore High coach Otis Hughley…isn’t completely convinced that Kentucky freshman John Wall–widely regarded as the front-runner for the No. 1 pick in next year’s NBA Draft–is even the top point guard on his own team. ‘Eric Bledsoe (pictured, left) may be better,’ Hughley said.” Read more…

Mike Decourcy, The Sporting News:

“Many of the Wildcats are young, but more are...

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1,988 Down, 12 to Go

Still the nation’s all-time winningest program, Kentucky is close to becoming the first college basketball program to win 2,000 games. Beautiful.

But somewhwere on the way to this enormous milestone, the Cats allowed the North Carolina Tarheels to tighten a once comfortable gap. Now UK is 12 wins away, while UNC is only 4 back of them, at 16 away. As luck would have it, the two teams will meet in Rupp Arena on December 9th, in a game that could have implications on who gets to 2,000 first.

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UK Twitter

Kentucky freshman Charles Matthews is transferring, the school announced. Former ESPN 100 prospect. - via @ESPN App…
1. This loss means nothing. UK lost a game on the road in bizarre circumstances vs a very good team. If anything,...
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.

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