Arkansas 18-7 (7-4) at Kentucky 14-10 (8-3)
Tipoff: 1:05 CST
“There will be a lot of emotion for me when we get back in the building. I’m sure a lot of memories will come flooding back. I went in and out of the back of that building a lot as a player. Once the game starts, I will focus on the task at hand." - Coach Pelphrey
Rrrriiiight (must be said with a snarky, skeptical, sarcastic tone).
Tomorrow afternoon in Lexington, Kentucky, a native son returns to the place where he became one of the "Unforgettables." John Pelphrey, jersey number hanging from the hallowed rafters of Rupp Arena, will make his coaching debut against his alma mater Kentucky Wildcats.
I'm a little worried that Coach Pelphrey is not going to be as focused as he needs to be and really screw things up. I mean, for one, check out his projected starting lineup for tomorrow:
G - Nate Rakestraw (0.0 ppg)
G - Stephen Cox (0.0 ppg)
F - Levan Patsatsia (0.4 ppg)
F - Marcus Britt (0.8 ppg)
C - Michael Sanchez (redshirt)
"I think this is the time to lift Michael's redshirt and get him some action. He's been practicing well and preparing for this one game all year long. I'm excited to see what he can do against Patrick Patterson inside. I am also a big believer in getting guys some rest this time of year before the SEC tournament and the NCAA tourney, so I think I will probably sit Sonny (Weems) and Patrick (Beverley) out of tomorrow's game to get them some rest. I haven't decided for sure yet, but that's the way I'm leaning right now," said Pelphrey during his weekly press conference.
(Pel has about 50 bottles of this in his liquor cabinet. Word is this is all he drinks when he does drink, and that he is so nervous about the Kentucky game that he'll have a few shots of this before the game to loosen up a bit.)
(A few shots of this and anything that was unforgettable will be forgotten quite easily)
Inside the Pelphreys' house:
An exclusive Hog Tale photo of the Pelphreys' daughter's room. She goes to sleep every night dreaming sweet dreams of Kentucky blue...
"Daddy says this is only a temporary stop on our way back to Kentucky," she whispered to a local Hog Tale reporter, "Daddy says keep cheering for Big Blue and never forget where you came from. Daddy also says that Rupp Arena is just like Heaven... only better! I hate Arkansas! Stupid pigs are gross!"
The Mildcats have come a long way since their Gardner-Webb days early in the season. They've won seven of their last eight (the only loss was the crushing they received at the hands of Vanderbilt) and are led by Joe Crawford, Ramel Bradley and freshman Patrick Patterson (all averaging around 16 ppg).
"I can't control the outcome of this game," Pelphrey said, "The players will determine that. All I can do is wear my lucky socks like I normally do and pray for a victory against the greatest University, tradition, and people I've ever known."
All I know for sure is that I will watching closely and I'll be ready to call out Coach Pelphrey for any shady substitutions, play-calling, or lack of effort on his part.