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James Young doesn’t know any Wichita State players, but CBS-TV knows a marquee matchup

James Young maneuvers in the win over Kansas State Friday. (Victoria Graff photo/all rights reserved)

James Young maneuvers in the win over Kansas State Friday. (Victoria Graff photo/all rights reserved)


ST. LOUIS — Perhaps nothing says more about the Kentucky-Wichita State matchup than UK freshman James Young admitting he could not name one player on Wichita State.

Not one player off a team that went to the Final Four last year. Not one player off the nation’s only unbeaten team. Not one player on the Midwest Region’s No. 1 team. He didn’t even know that Andrew Wiggins’ brother, Nick, played there after playing with and against Andrew Wiggins in all-star games last year when Wiggins was also being recruited at UK.

“I’ve seen clips of them every now and then on ESPN, but it feels like just another game that we just have to keep playing,” said Young.

But he doesn’t know even one Wichita State player?

“I have not really heard of anybody,” Young said.

Obviously, CBS-TV has a different approach to Sunday’s Kentucky-Wichita State game here. That’s why it is the marquee game in CBS’ Sunday schedule and will tip off about 2:45 p.m. EST. The network understands the drama of having the nation’s only unbeaten team going against a historic program like Kentucky that came into the season No. 1 and was projected by some as possibly going unbeaten. And a program where UK fans know players long before they arrive on campus — and opponents know the names as well.

Now UK goes into the game as an underdog because it has already lost 10 games this season.

“We have a chip on our shoulder. We are the underdogs right now. We use that as motivation and know we have to come in the game and fight,” Kentucky freshman guard Andrew Harrison said.

Harrison is no more used to being an underdog than Kentucky fans are.

“No, not really. That’s not how it has been for me. But it is making me become a better man to be honest. Just have to come every game to fight no matter what the outcome is. You just have to fight out there on the court and show that even though you are the underdog, you can still win,” Harrison said. “We want to show we are a great team, play together and love each other. This is a chance to do that.”

Maybe. But it’s also a chance for a veteran, relatively unknown Wichita State team to make a case for experience over highly-publicized talent as it did on its Final Four march last year or as Mercer did when it stunned Duke in this year’s NCAA.

Calipari can related to Wichita State. Remember he took UMass and Memphis both to the Final Four when his teams were not household names and had to beat bigger, more established name teams. He knows how dangerous Wichita State’s lack of notoriety can be and how that can motivate a team.

“I have been in a few of those. I only got a BCS job five years ago. I was at UMass and Memphis trying to take on the big dogs. So you have a chip on your shoulder,” Calipari said. “It’s us against the world and no one thinks we’re going to do this, and now you’re going against Kentucky who had a good season, but not a great season. And, you know, I’ve been there. I’ve been on the other side. I haven’t been on this side going against it.

“Believe me when I tell you folks, I had three or four teams start the season with 20 wins or more to start a season and I can’t begin to tell you how much you try to push it off as nothing, and you say it’s nothing.  Oh, it’s something.”

He marvels at the way Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall has made it  a “blessing, not a burden” for the unbeaten Shockers.

“We had some teams who had a chance, 38‑2 a couple of teams and 35‑2.  I mean we had a chance on a couple of different teams, but I’ll tell you, I felt it as the head coach, which I knew my team had felt it,” Calipari said about the pressure of being unbeaten.

Marshall gets almost giddy talking about his unbeaten team.

“I think it is really fun. It has been a great season,” he said.

But he said his team’s only goal is to “get out of the weekend” and keep advancing by beating Kentucky.

Sophomore Alex Poythress thinks the Shockers, who will have a huge edge in fan support based on attendance Friday when they routed Cal Poly 64-37, will feel the pressure just as the Cats have many times during his two seasons.

“They have veteran players and a lot of talent,” Poythress, who had watched Wichita State play, said. “But the record doesn’t mean anything to us at this point. It’s going to be a big test for us and we’ll be pumped up to play. I feel like the target is on their back, not ours. They have all the pressure on them to keep winning every game. The pressure is off us.

“We just have to go play. We can show all those doubting us what we can do. I am sure there are plenty of doubters, but people doubt everybody. But we don’t doubt ourselves and we know we can do this.”

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  1. Larry T Clemons

    Harrison said “We want to show we are a great team, play together and love each other. This is a chance to do that.” Alex Poythress, “We just have to go play. We can show all those doubting us what we can do. I am sure there are plenty of doubters, but people doubt everybody. But we don’t doubt ourselves and we know we can do this.” ……….THAT’S ALL I NEED TO HEAR ! Go Cats. Gett’um Willie…

  2. TheProfessor

    If these players had simply gone out and played the way they talk about here all season, there would not be any significant doubters, and this team would not be an 8 seed having to face a 1 seed in the round of 32.

    If it is just as simple as a tweak that you can turn on like turning on the ceiling light, then why wait until the backs are pressed against the wall to try it out?

    1. Larry T Clemons

      I like the Match-up….This is a Great Moment in Tournament History, glad Kentucky will be part of it….And when We Win, (please Win) it will even be better for this Team…WE can’t change yesterday, but we can effect tomorrow. ” Go Cats ” !

      1. Larry Pup

        Not so fast on the Professor Larry T, IMO. The Professor and Mike have been badmouthing this team and Coach all year.

        1. Larry T Clemons

          LP, Professor is a numbers Man…He react to His Statistics, not personal attacks…Hoosier Mike, Totally personal attacks. To me their is a Big Difference. Plus, I know for a Fact, Professor Cares, Big Time, He’s A Rupper and still is getting a feel for this one & done dilemma that the NCAA forces us in. In his Heart, Professor is True Blue. Hoosier Mike, Dead Head Red !
          Please don’t tie them together.

          1. Larry Pup

            Larry T….I understand the Professor is a numbers man, but you’ll never convince me he is helping this team right now with his constant negative rhetoric anymore than “Higher Level Mike” is with all his complaining. Save all that stuff for when UK plays their final game in the NCAA tourney. If the Professor is such a good fan, then let him ride for the brand a little more.

    2. Larry T Clemons

      Youth Professor….didn’t you read how Harrison hurt his arm ??? ” Well Coach Cal told me not, but I did it anyway ! ” That was the Light for all of BBN to see and better understand, what these Coaches are dealing with….

  3. Mike

    Professor…You are correct…the boys have talked the talk a lot before but haven’t acted on it that much. They appeared to peak on Friday and let’s hope they have the bad games behind. If we can’t get up for the Shockers the talk will be silenced until next year.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Hoosier Mike, ” TALKS A LOT ” and contradicts himself, with Each Bash…Professor, doesn’t need your endorsement, for We At BBN have Our E.F.Hutton in Professor….” When Professor Speaks, We Listen.”

    2. Larry T Clemons

      How do You PEAK, (Your Best Game) and have a Bad Game, (Your Prior Post) at the same time….Hoosier Mike, are you on medication ?

    3. Larry Pup

      Mike, I believe UK won last night.

  4. Mike

    LTC….All you do is put up mindless chatter. More often than not you sound like a babbling idiot. You need some time away from the trailer park.

    1. Anonymous

      Nice name calling again. You typically offer nothing of consequence. I feel you are trapped in the past and are unable to look to the future….and for the record the professor doesn’t speak for me as a fan either. Go cats!

    2. Larry T Clemons

      Which one, the one on my Oceanside Home or the one on My Lakeside Estate…Hoosier Mike, when responding to You, it may seem like mindless chatter, ( You Get, what You Give )…So funny, all you do is Bash, but when someone stand up to You, You Whine ! And as far as my contributions to Vaughts Views, I’m very happy with the comments, replies and even critic, I recieve….But, ” I’ll never be happy when You Bash Our Wildcats ” so bring it on Hoosier Heckler ! A babbling idiot with a 138 IQ, LOL…Let’s See, ( mindless chatter babbling idiot..Trailer Park). Truth is I have defended myself Royally…..As in The Kingdom Of The Bluegrass…. But against a Hoosier, it’s really not much of a challenge…

  5. Mike

    LTC….You really make my day when I can get to you like I do. You want to play Dr. Phil and are so out of touch and clueless. You need to put down the bottle, insert false teeth if they haven’t been repossessed, come out of the trailer park and get a life. The Cats win today, I will be the first to praise them. I have been rooting for them longer than you have and, once again, they play well and win then my day will be made. Most of us would agree that this has been a disappointing season to date but there is still time. I am certainly not perfect, but I do demand a lot of myself, and expect no less from my Cats. They have been playing better, inspired ball since last Friday, but they haven’t played their best game as a team yet.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Hey Genius, people name call what they know, ” So YOU PUT DOWN THE BOTTLE, OUR WILDCATS, DO NOT Play Today ! ” FYI, I don’t drink, I like to wake up early, with my Fresh Squeezed Orange juice… Hoosier Mike says, ” LTC….You really make my day when I can get to you like I do.” What a joke, in Special Forces, your what we refer to as a Flea, (without a dogs butt to chase, you would die)…You couldn’t get to me with water boarding. But, I gladly slay, fray, decay, waylay all your Bashing, on behalf of My Brothers & Sisters of BBN. No sense allowing YOU & IU to drag them through the Mudd. Bring It !

      1. Larry T Clemons

        Hey Hoosier Mike, if you really follow the Cats, and their not good enough for you,” YET ” that kind of Loyalty is Treasonous….Go find another Team. All Season, I ask you, who ” You would trade Teams with ” and you never responded. Then, when you Revealed Yourself as a Hoosier, I understood the lack of intelligent discussion about My Wildcats & realized You Just Bash…. and everyone saw you glorify The Gators & their point Guard on Vaughts Views…which puts you in the rude dude, crude & screwed, floor rushing punkster, flea world.

  6. Mike

    LTC….You are really an easy read…I knew you would have to come right back…You are probably a nice guy, but I have yet to be convinced.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Nice, intelligent, handsome, blessed, loved, admired, happy, did I mention handsome… and a Wildcat True Blue Fan…. And still a Baller, at 56 !

  7. Little Baron

    I have not been on VV for a couple weeks, and the nonsensical attacks of posters was the reason. I see it continues. I may not agree with Mike, and may not agree with his description of players at times, but he does present a valid post most of the time and hits the nail on the head regarding many points. So, why personally attack Mike and then generate responses which cause the thread to get out of control with attack after attack.

    This team has NOT played as a TEAM most of the year and SOME players are highly responsible. That is not bashing. That is a fact. How some say it may differ, but the fact is very plain… we have underperformed more than not.

    Many UK fans view the team differently from year to year, but that does not make them any less of a fan. Many have degrees from UK and many do not. A country boy who never left the mountains in 60 years is just as much of a fan as a successful UK graduate. UK fans do not need the approval of Larry T or Larry Pup.

    This board was so far above some others which had as many bashing comments against people they don’t even know as they did about UK basketball or football. But some on this board have gone overboard bashing other UK fans, and it cheapens the site, not to mention how it paints an image of the basher.

    Peace, fellow UK fans. Relax. Can’t you be civil even if you disagree?

    1. Larry T Clemons

      I disagree with you 100%….Hoosier Mike is a Basher and promotes other Teams and their players on VV….are you that gullible, you think that’s Ok….

    2. Larry Pup

      LB, since you referred to LarryPup, let me ask you something. Why continue to trash this team and their coach like some choose to do? Those attacks on players and Coach get personal too, and some of us are not going to let it slide without giving our two cents worth. I don’t mean it personal to any poster, and never have. The regular season is over, and it is what it is. We all know this team’s weaknesses by now, and we certainly don’t need anymore explanations from all who think they are coaches and basketball experts. The losses are frustrating enough, and the path to No. 9 is a tough road ahead. How about just cheering this team on down the stretch in the big tourney, huh? That way we fans might just all get along. You above all people know the passion that comes with UK sports. Hey…. Mike has every right to say anything he wants about this team as long as LarryV allows it, as do you and the Professor, but that don’t mean some of us are going to agree with what you say and not say what is on our minds too. We are all big boys here, deal with it. I’m not mad at nobody but the devil. I personally thought Mike’s and LarryT’s comments were excellent reading and quite entertaining and humorous. They add flavor to the pie. God bless you LB. You are a good poster and great fan.

      1. Larry T Clemons

        Just Perfect….

      2. Larry Pup

        May I add, Mike is just crazy. I have known that for a long time now. He just can’t help it. We all need to give him a pass. GO CATS!!!!

        1. Larry T Clemons

          NOOO, I’m having too much fun, refuting him…dang LP.

          1. Larry Pup

            Well then help yourself LTC. Maybe you can help the poor boy. Or is that possible?

  8. Mike

    You are my junior so I might have to start and have a little more respect for you. I am also an Alum…can you match that?

  9. Little Baron

    Locker Room material… to say you don’t know any names of an opponent. Just one more incentive for Wichita State. Certainly not something needed.

    Our talent MUST play as a TEAM and it has to include Young, who has been the least team-oriented player all year. If we get team play from EVERYONE, we will be in position to win and move on to take on UL again.

    1. Larry Pup

      LB you have just got issues with Young, and you have all year. He can’t even make a comment let alone play basketball without your criticism. What was he supposed to do, lie about it? Come on man, that’s weak. So what he don’t know any players on WS’s roster. Young will be ready I believe.

  10. Mike

    Little Baron….Nice to see you back and hope you plan on staying awhile. I do love my Cats but just accept underachievement, and most of my posts are of the moment while I am still hot. I am surprised that LTC calls himself a special forces kind of guy yet seems to be so complacent with underachieving.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      I’m a realist with this young group of Men and the Fat Lady ain’t sung Yet ! ” So I Believe and I support and I except youthful mistakes….But unlike You, I have walked next to those who wear the Blue Shoes and better appreciate the pressure and heavy responsibility, ( with, no peer group leadership) that can be difficult. I’ve never seen it before at any College or in any sport…They deserve your support. Critic & concern is fine, but BASH…I’m not going to just sit back and have no retort !

  11. Little Baron

    Thanks, Mike. This team has been too much like last season, with the starting perimeter players (2 last year, 3 this year) playing as individuals most of the season. The lack of using the bench all season is going to take its toll tomorrow, when our starters get tired the last 10 minutes, playing againt a deep team with many players who have gotten significant minutes. I hope we win, and believe we will need a double digit lead going into the last 4 minutes to hold on, due to fatigue.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Nothing like last Season, different styles completely… Did you not just notice, Julius Randle, just bested both Demarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis in double/doubles. With This Team, whoever they Play ALL SEASON, there was always a feeling We Could Win the Game. ” last year, that was not so.” I could point out several difference, but what’s the point……By the Way, Were in the NCAA Tourney, Not The NIT !

    2. Larry Pup

      Don’t agree with you LB that Cal has not used his bench. Cal regularly uses 10 to 11 players and has for most of the season. That is a bum rap and you know it. The bench players are Polson, Poythress, Willie, Johnson (at times), Hood (hurt for most of the regular season and out with a concussion) Hawkins, Lee. That is 11 players counting the Twins, Young and Randle who have had their chances to perform. Some developed more than others, but all had opportunities on the floor. Cal used his bench well last night against KS and got a victory IMO.

      1. Larry T Clemons

        Bench Rotation was Big Last Night and will be tomorrow….

  12. Mike

    Little Baron….Believe you and I could knock out a brew or two and have some fun doing it. LTC and the Pup are a piece of work and all they want to do is head the cheerleading squad and accept mediocrity. They are probably disappointed that we didn’t make the NIT, but didn’t miss it by much.

    1. Larry T Clemons

      Hoosier Mike, talking to that mirror, again….Heck yea, Cheering, were about to Face an Undefeated Team, for the Right to play Louisville in the Sweet 16…..I’m Cheering, grinning….so, so Happy…..OMG, this is an awesome time to be a WILDCAT ! ” well, for some of us…”

    2. Larry Pup

      Is that true LB? You and Old High Level Mike could be drinking buddies?

      Hey High Level Mike, if you don’t cheer for em now we will not permit you back on the band wagon when they win it all chump. I will remind you of your treason like you will remind all of us GOOD FANS how sorry UK and Calipari was for loosing. You will be so thrilled about it and you will try and convince us all you could have done it better had you been coaching this team. Many like LB and the Professor will probably agree with you. Further, you will be true to form and complain even if UK winds up national champs. It is just in your dna. You are a real sports legend High Level. I am so thrilled we all get to read your soaring rhetoric on the finer points of college basketball, and how this team could have won if they would have just listened to you from the beginning.

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