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Darrell KSR

Alumni Game notes

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Quote Originally Posted by CitizenBBN View Post
Had a fun time tonight at the game. I have some good highlight video for the KSR folks, downloading it now. Thought I'd share what I saw:

-- Great to see the mix of players. All the big names were there. Cousins and Bledsoe couldn't play due to contract situations, they came out before tipoff but after intros, took the mic and APOLOGIZED to the fans for not being able to play. Said they'd be back next year for it and thanked everyone.

Note to Eric and Cuz: you have nothing to apologize for guys. It is what it is, you came in for the weekend, did everything you could ask, the fact that you're in a contract thing is no cause to apologize. Of course we want to see you play but every UK fan understands.

-- I really liked that Ramon and Perry and Morris and Prickett and Skywalker were participating. You had to figure AD and Wall et al would be there, great to see them, but was good to see Ramon and Perry and the others b/c you can't see them on TV during the NBA season. It was kinda special to me to see them play again, complete with their jerseys and UK numbers.

-- DeAndre got a nice round of applause when he was announced. I was concerned some fans may express themselves poorly in the situation (a charity game and him being welcomed home by Cal) but I think he got a little extra cheer of support. Don't know what he did yet, hope it was nothing, afraid it was more than we'll be comfortable with, but it was the class thing to do tonight. There are other, better times to express ourselves on this as is plays out.

-- Cal lost NO chances to play to this tonight at every level. He had nice comments when he opened about our being "crazy" to come watch an exhibition game in September, and said we were the best fans period (as if we didn't already know that, lol). They gave away about $1 million to charity tonight, proceeds from the game and fantasy camps and some matching contributions by Alltech and others, and during the quarter breaks groups of them were brought out and did a photo-op with players and Cal.

He was truly the Master of Ceremonies tonight. He was glad handing around the arena, Papa John was there, he recognized Dr. Lyons, many other notable and influential people were around the floor seats and he was sure to press the flesh. Being Cal he of course was just as comfortable with Joe from Prestonsburg, even if they asked if Richie was playing tonight I'm sure.

-- Whoever counts basketball attendance is a whole lot better at math than the football guy. Reported 19,500 looked right to me when you figure in the "non-ticket" attendance, which is standard for UK and most every other school. So 18,000-19,000 UK fans showed up for a weeknight exhibition game in September to see UK alumni play when they couldn't even announce the roster and we just had to take it on faith it would be the most popular guys. 19,000 for a glorified summer pickup game when we weren't really sure who would be playing, just UK guys who were at least at one time playing professionally. Cal's right, we are crazy, and we are the best.

-- Game was pretty relaxed till the 4th quarter, so in that way it was like a regular season NBA game. They didn't go 100% but they went good enough, and in the 4th things got a bit more serious as it was a tight game and I'm sure some bragging rights were at stake. No one was going to body check anybody, but they gave the crowd a good show. Some of the older guys who don't play for a living were obviously not going to be in the same game shape, it showed, but was certainly expected and didn't diminish the fun. They played more limited minutes.

-- MKG wouldn't know the phrase "exhibition game" if it walked up and bit him. He came to play, as always. Wall clearly has his competitive streak intact as well. It was interesting as in this environment you could see their personalities a bit in how they approach the game. A few (Wall/MKG) were on one end of intensity, some were in the middle, some were laughing and smiling more. None took it as a joke,they knew they were there to put on the show for the fans, but you could see who cared most and least about bragging rights over a meaningless score.

-- There's a reason Cal doesn't let the bigs shoot 3s and if anyone ever had any doubt about whether he should let them, this game would have cured you. It wasn't crazy silly, but too many big men think they are guards and UK alumni are no exception.

-- John Wall is still very much John Wall. Man he's good. His game translates better to the pros where the PG is less of a floor general, but for sheer ability he's something to behold.

-- You think UK fans are crazy for coming to a summer exhibition game with a mystery roster? How about when those fans grumble at a bad call on a blocked shot in said game when you're by definition rooting for both sides? Yeah, we did a little. I love us.

-- Davis hit a half court shot off the glass on a heave to end the 1st quarter. He was kinda mugged on it, he threw it up late, but the crowd really wanted it to count and Cal even pled with the ref a bit and he counted it. I have video of that particular play to post up, was pretty funny.

-- Not much of a game summary to offer. The guys played 60%-70% most of the way, which is right b/c there's no need to hurt anyone. Wall and MKG scored a bunch with the ball in their hands, to the point of being a hair hoggy, but I think it has a lot to do with them being more competitive about even this game than some of the other guys, not being selfish per se. There was still a LOT of unselfish passing tonight by all, lots of sharing and a fair amount of getting out of the way on some plays so someone could make the crowd pleasing dunk.

-- Josh looked good in his role, in solid game shape, bodes well for his return to the NBA. DeAndre really played well, hope this is all a tempest in a teapot and he gets his life and career back on track. Perry Stevenson and Ramon Harris drew AD defensively, acquitted themselves well IMO. Terrance started slow, wasn't pushing himself into anything, came on more later. Patrick as well was trying to be unselfish, let everyone get in on the action.

-- Morris didn't have any points till later in the game, got a big cheer when he got a free throw, he got a bit more active after that with a drive and dunk and a putback. Really liked seeing the support for him tonight. Joe Crawford didn't dress out but was on the bench as a "coach" and was announced. Was good to see them both, always felt like the guys in Tubby's last few years ended up a little lost in the shuffle in a way, and of course Joe Crawford along with Ramon and Perry deserve extra special love for their BCG adventure. Josh kind of got his redemption by being here for 2011 and the big successes, those guys didn't get much of that, Joe and Morris got none of it. The fans were sure to show their appreciation, that was good.

-- Mostly it was just fun to see those guys out there, Kentucky on their chests again, slapping each other in support after the good play.

I'll try to get video up as soon as I can. May be Tuesday night, it's late now and tomorrow is a full day.

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  1. Doc's Avatar
    Excellent write up!