Perhaps Alan Cutler was trying to run Billy Gillispie out of town. Considering the amount of behind-the-scenes “If this is true, he’s worse than anyone thought” news that’s come out since Gillispie made way for John Calipari, I can understand if that’s what Cutler was ultimately doing. Now we have news about some Nike t-shirts, which support the rumors about Gillispie not liking his star player, Jodie Meeks.
First, a recap of the how their relationship may or may not have ended:
[Gillispie] told Jodie Meeks in a number of games to stop shooting and decried him for his selfishness, even during his 54 point performance in Knoxville. He told Meeks he should quit on a number of occasions and even threatened to kick him off the team in his last game ever, in South Bend during the NIT.
Now, on to the shirts in question. After Meeks torched the Volunteers with his 54-point explosion, Nike apparently made some not-for-resale t-shirts to commemorate Meeks’ accomplishment.
Unfortunately, the players didn’t receive them until yesterday. Evidently, they had been sitting in Kentucky’s practice facility, still in the boxes Nike shipped them in. What a grand way to foster healthy coach/player relationships. Good thing Calipari didn’t go the same Team Chemistry school Gillispie attended. Kentucky’s new coach handed the shirts out to the players at a practice session with his blessing:
“I loved that game for a lot of different reasons,” Calipari said in a sly reference to the Memphis-Tennessee rivalry. “But I loved what I saw in how he played and the heart that he showed.”
Too bad the coach on the bench during the Meeks explosion didn’t share the same appreciation.
After he bombed Tennessee into oblivion, I made the “Jodie Meeks is God” exclamation and after this weekend’s performance, it bears repeating — or at least a derivative thereof. While everybody is rightfully talking about the excellent weekends of Hasheem Thabeet and Blake Griffin, Meeks’ weekend accomplishments deserve mention as well. Andy Katz certainly thinks so. During Kentucky’s win over Arkansas, Meeks single-handedly carried his team to their seventh conference victory with 45 points and 7 rebounds.
It should also be noted Kentucky was without Meeks’ partner-in-crime, Patrick Patterson, who missed the game with a sprained ankle.
Great ending to the Kentucky/Florida game last night. Kentucky wound up winning, 68-65, but not before some high drama went down. First, Kentucky needed a “from the hip” three-pointer from Jodie Meeks with about three seconds to play to take the lead — and then, Nick Calathes, who had been playing a magnificent game, beefed when he had a chance to send the game to overtime.
After being fouled shooting a must-have three, Calathes stepped to the line — a place he’d been masterful the entire game (11-12) — and missed.
Every single one of them.
If you watch the video, make sure you check out Darius Miller’s reaction after Calathes misses the first free throw. He’s the player in the number 1 Kentucky jersey and he’s standing at the top block, to the right of Calathes. I’m sure Nick was glad he could make an opposing player feel so much joy.
During last night’s “fall on your face” loss to the Ole Miss Rebels, Kentucky had a two-point lead at the half. As is ESPN’s mantra, the sideline reporter, in this case, Jeannine Edwards, had some questions about Kentucky’s star player and the defense Ole Miss was playing to limit his touches. That’s when Billy Gillispie decided to share his feelings on Edwards’ reporting style (check out the lead video).
Gillispie seemed perturbed that Edwards had the audacity to ask the Kentucky coach why his best player wasn’t having his normal game, and the Kentucky coach informed Miss Edwards that Kentucky was more than just Jodie Meeks, his team had the lead, and he thought she had asked him a “bad question.” With that, the Big Blue Nation of Fans erupted, some trying to defend Gillispie’s remark, while others tried to blame the loss on what was said. An example (all sic’d up for your enjoyment):
Jodie Meeks hit yet another 3-pointer against the Volunteers. Surprisingly, this one was also uncontested. If the Vols aren’t careful, he might hit a few more before UK plays Georgia on Saturday. No, this isn’t a fan blog, but after last night, I just can’t help myself. I promise this will be out of my system by tomorrow–provided Meeks doesn’t score some more points in the interim.
UKAthletics.com has a nice little celebration image for Jodie Meeks and his record-breaking performance last night. Bonus: It came against the Vols. There’s nothing like going off in a basketball game, or so I’m told. I can’t imagine how good it feels to do it against a rival that can’t seem to keep their mouths shut–even when you are lighting their asses up.
There. I said it. Care to dispute my account? Care to dispute Meeks’ record-breaking 54-point outing against the Volunteers of Tennessee (on 22 shots, no less)? How about 10-15 from behind the arc (what 3-point line move)? I mean, it’s not often a scoring legend at Kentucky gets unseated, but the world watched last night as Meeks moved the once unmovable Dan Issel out of the top spot for most points in a game–a record that was set on February 7, 1970.