Whitesburg KY

Ref’s call was wrong

Sports in Kentucky



It was an incident Issac Humphries will never forget.

Saturday’s pinnacle moment in the teenager’s athletic life became a big ole sucker punch to the solar plexus.

Game official Pat Adams decided Humphries had committed an unsportsmanlike act in violation of Rule 10, Section 3, a Class A Unsporting Technical Infraction.

Flash! Fifth foul on Humphries, two free throws for Texas A&M.

Given how (NBA) animated and showy college players have become, the charge against Humphries was a cheap overreaction.

But then A&M’s overtime win was bizarro worldly before and after the incident.

Story line that wasn’t – Australian teen comes off bench, gives his all to wrest a rebound, is fouled, is exultant, is getting two free throws, chance to be a hero, be rewarded with more playing time, and “gonna be on Sports Center, boys.”

Hold the phone. Adams essentially decided the game’s outcome.

When it was over and wounded Kentucky fans from Fairview to Monkey’s Eyebrow were in a callin show rage, Coach John Calipari issued a tweet.

Not mad at his team, he said. “It’s really simple. I feel really good about the game because our kids fought.”

Really? Fought?

Humphries was certainly a warrior, Jamal Murray ran a halfmarathon to free himself to shoot, Tyler Ulis doubled up on points and assists, and played all 45 minutes. But Marcus Lee spent his 31 minutes doing his customary “who me?” routine, Skal Labissiere was behind the curve on everything during his nine minutes, Charles Mathews the same in seven, and Derek Willis had one rebound in 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, A&M had 20 offensive rebounds. Twenty, including a winning put-back. A&M had 18 more shots at the basket than Kentucky.

These numbers, this performance and progress shown at mid-February, looks like plenty to be concerned about.

But then Big Blue Nation’s gazillion assistant coaches are savvy enough to know Calipari tweet for what it was, weak spin.

Where Are They Now

A decade has passed since former UK players John Pelphrey, Travis Ford, Darin Horn and Sean Woods all were head coaches.

Pelphrey now works for the SEC Network, Ford is on a hot seat at Oklahoma State, Horn is assistant to Shaka Smart at Texas, and Woods (16-11 at Morehead State) is a coach of the year candidate in the OVC.

A new list of on-therise college head coaches includes Scott Padgett at Samford (13-17) and Mark Pope at Utah Valley (12-15). However, the hottest name could be Chris Holtmann at Butler (18-9).

Padgett and Pope played at Kentucky; Holtmann is a native of Nicholasville in Jessamine County, who has a 33-12 record at Butler.

Top ranked Villanova held off feisty and entertaining Butler by 10 last week, but Holtmann’s Bears are in the hunt for an NCAA atlarge berth.

Worth Repeating

“God knows I’m a Hall of Famer,” ex-Major League baseball player Barry Bonds said last week.

One cannot help but wonder why would God care?

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