The Friday Morning Furball
That’s a picture of Louie Dampier. Louie played 3 seasons for UK, and was part of the team that lost to Texas Western in the 1966 NCAA Championship game, which later became the inspiration behind that crappy movie Glory Road. Dampier was a two-time All-American and three-time All-Southeastern Conference selection while at Kentucky. Upon his graduation in 1967, Dampier had scored 1,575 points, which at the time was the third-most in school history behind only Cotton Nash (1,770) and Alex Groza (1,744). He went on to play nine seasons in the ABA, all as a member of the Kentucky Colonels, and was one of only a handful of players to play all nine seasons of the ABA’s existence. He finished first all-time in the ABA in games played (728), minutes played (27,770), points scored (13,726), and assists (4,044) and was named one of the Top 30 ABA players of all-time.
When I was a teenager I had the amazing privilege of playing pickup basketball games with Dampier ever Sunday night at my church. For months I watched this old man shoot absolutely lights out from all over the court without ever knowing who he was. Finally one night my dad actually came inside to pick me up and recognized him, and I’ve been bragging about it ever since. He might have been in his 50’s, but at least I can say I played with a former UK All-American. I’ve also won a game of 21 against former UK player Adam Chiles and I once beat the backup center for Davis County in a game of one-on-one (I’m 5’6). I have no idea why I’m not playing in the NBA. Here is some footage of Dampier doing work while at Kentucky.
NBACats in Action
– The Clippers beat the
Lakers Kings last night 108-100. Eric Bledsoe slapped, pushed, swiped and held his way to 6 fouls, fouling out in just 10 minutes of action. Along the way he scored 2 points, dished out 3 assists and scared the sh*t out of Jimmer Fredette. Despite all of the violence, Demarcus Cousins was unfazed, adding 23 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 blocks for the bruised and battered Kings. Chuck Hayes also added 0 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal in 16 minutes of action for the Kings. A full post game recap can be found hiding from Bledsoe behind this link.
NBACats in the News
– ESPN writer Dave McMenamin seems to have a man-crush on our boy Demarcus Cousins (don’t we all), and recently wrote this excellent article defending the talented big man out of Kentucky.
– Speaking of defending Cousins, former Billy Gillespie player DeAndre Jordan (Texas A&M) – who briefly considered following Billy to UK – thinks that Cousins is a talented player (video). I had no idea Cousins lead the NBA in taking charges, thanks DeAndre Jordan!
Kelenna Azubuike signs new contract with the Clippers.
– Following another zero-turnover performance out of Brandon Knight, the Detroit News wondered whether this type of performance was an aberration or a sign of things to come…
News: Brandon Knight had a zero-turnover performance Wednesday night. Blip or trend?
Views: Trend. Of course he won’t have many nights where he doesn’t turn it over at all, but in January he averaged 3.5 turnovers. Last month, it was cut in half (1.7). He’s making better decisions, recognizing the speed of defenses. Now it’s about having confidence in his vision to make the next pass, to trust things before they develop.
It’s a process, and having Rodney Stuckey alongside him helps take the load off ballhandling duties. He’ll have games where he regresses — he’s a rookie — but his improvement, while not a given, is surely a positive to look forward to for the next two months.
Eric Bledsoe and Cousins are NBACat brothers…