Louisville Wins Battle of the Bluegrass 80-77

Louisville & Rick Pitino took down the Kentucky Wildcats for the 1st time in 5 games on Saturday.  It was an outstanding game, hotly contested, and we witnessed some great performances from Russ Smith, Peyton Siva, and Chane Behanan for the Cards & Archie Goodwin, Ryan Harrow, & Kyle Wiltjer for the Cats. 22,810 fans were treated to a real treat of Bluegrass basketball.

We will have extensive coverage including post-game video from both coaches & possibly some player video as well.  Stay tuned.

Cards vs. Cats 2012: Rivalry Preview

If you are reading this blog I probably don’t need to remind you what happened the last time these two teams met.  But in case you need a refresher, the Cards and Cats met on the biggest stage in College Basketball last April during the Final Four in New Orleans.  The Cats ended a surprise run for the Cards in the National Semifinal 69-61 and then dispatched the Kansas Jayhawks two days later to win their 8th National Title.  On Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center the stakes won’t nearly be as high, but for Card fans who have lost 4 consecutive games against the John Calipari coached Wildcats it might be time to exercise some demons.  In this edition, UofL will come in with expectations to win as the #3/#4 (Coaches/AP) team in the nation while Kentucky’s annual youth movement is still striving to meet its potential.

There are a million story lines in this series.  We can talk about 1983 when the two teams met in the MidEast Regional Final in Knoxville, last year’s Final Four, Pitino vs. Calipari, Pitino at UK, DeMarcus Cousin’s knee/Jared Swopshire’s elbow, Sosa’s Shot, Sparks’ walk/free throws.  I could go on. The history is rich, the game is usually good and it is all for bragging rights.

This year the series will continue but it won’t be in the Final Four, it won’t be in the NCAA Tournament following incredible Regional Finals. It won’t be played in front of 74,000 fans and both teams will not be ranked.  It will be a regular season game where anything can happen with a youthful/unranked Wildcat team comes into the KFC Yum! Center looking to prove themselves after playing just one game per week for 3 weeks while focusing on themselves. Kentucky really hasn’t been tested since dropping 2 consecutive games against Notre Dame & Baylor and has spent a lot of time in the gym.  December is a time to get better & while no championships have ever been won in December they certainly can be lost here if the opportunity to improve is lost.  Kentucky’s main issues are understanding the system, playing with with intensity, and confidence.  All of the tools are there, but so far the Cats haven’t exactly figured out what they are yet, kind of like a newborn giraffe.  But it won’t take long.

Louisville on the other hand has looked very impressive starting 11-1 but has shown some weaknesses, particularly without Center Gorgui Dieng.  Dieng is questionable for Saturday’s game after breaking his wrist in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament in the Bahamas in November against Missouri.  Louisville DESTROYED Missouri who is currently #7/#9 (AP/Coaches), but did struggle in a slowdown game against Northern Iowa and against a redhot Illinois State team. Louisville’s lone loss on the season was against the Duke Blue Devils a day after Dieng broke his wrist.  It’s easy to say that the Cards would have been better with Gorgui in the line-up against the Blue Devils, but the Cards still out-rebounded & shot 45.5% against the #1 team in the Nation without him. Duke beat the Cards because of a 27 to 14 Free Throw Attempt advantage despite Louisville having 3 fewer fouls than Duke. Dieng will make his return for the Cards on Saturday versus the Cats.

Speaking of Duke, the Blue Devils are one of TWO common opponents for the Cats and Cards in this early 2012-13 season.  Kentucky fell to Duke 75-68 in the second game of the season for the Cats and the Cards went down 76-71.  Kentucky though lost this game due to Duke hitting from beyond the arc, and the Cats turning the ball over which allowed 6 additional shots.  The other common opponent, Samford was thoroughly beaten by both the Cards and Cats and any comparative analysis of that game would certainly be fruitless.

Series History

Kentucky Leads the ALL-Time Series 30-14.

Louisville Kentucky
02/15/13 10 34 1913
02/07/14 17 22 1914
03/01/14 13 26 1914
01/23/15 14 18 1915
02/27/15 26 15 1915
02/12/16 26 22 1916
02/22/16 24 32 1916
01/17/22 14 38 1922
01/21/22 22 29 1922
03/27/48 57 91 Olympic Trials: New York, NY 1948
03/20/51 68 79 NCAA Eastern Region Raleigh, NC (1st Round) 1951
03/13/59 76 61 NCAA Midwest Regional Evanston, IL (Sweet 16) 1959
03/26/83 80 68 NCAA Mideast Regional Knoxville, TN (Elite Eight)
11/26/83 44 65
03/22/84 67 72 NCAA Mideast Regional Lexington, KY Sweet 16
12/15/84 71 64
12/28/85 64 69
12/27/86 51 85
12/12/87 75 76
12/31/88 97 75
12/30/89 86 79
12/29/90 86 93
12/28/91 89 103
12/12/92 68 88
11/27/93 70 78
01/01/95 88 86
12/23/95 66 89
12/31/96 54 74
12/27/97 79 76
12/26/98 83 74
12/18/99 46 76
01/02/01 62 64
12/29/01 62 82
12/28/02 81 63
12/27/03 65 56
12/18/04 58 60
12/17/05 61 73
12/16/06 49 61
01/05/08 89 75
01/04/09 74 71
01/02/10 62 71
12/31/10 63 78
12/31/11 62 69
03/31/12 61 69  Final Four New Orleans, LA

Last Meeting

The Final Four is special for any team in any season. Meeting your rival at college basketball’s biggest stage, particularly a rivalry as heated as Louisville vs. Kentucky is going to bear out some very interesting stories.  None may ever top the fight over the Cards & Cats at a dialysis center leading up to the epic post-season match-up:

The build-up for this game was one of the most intense and concentrated weeks of basketball discussion in the Bluegrass that we’ve probably ever had in this state.

The Cats led nearly from the jump, but things got interesting when Peyton Siva hit a 3-point basket with 9:13 remaining to tie the game at 49.  But Kentucky’s length allowed them to deny passes, block shots, get steal, and frustrated UofL offensively throughout.  The Cards labored to score the ball, even with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist in foul trouble, while the Cats shot 57.1%.  There is no question that Anthony Davis made all the difference in this ball game.  He was incredible and finished with 18 points, 14 points, and 5 blocks, absolutely brilliant play from the eventual #1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft & London Olympian. Louisville did manage to shoot 20 additional shots than Kentucky and flipped a rebounding advantage from their previous meeting on the year.

During the game Terrence Jones ran into a Louisville Cheerleader along the baseline which caused the spirited Cardinal a head injury that required stitches.  Jones would later bring the young lady flowers as an apology after the Cats returned from New Orleans. 

Kentucky’s win propelled the Cats to the Championship game two days later when UK would go on to win the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship over the Kansas Jayhawks.  The Wildcats’ 8th National Title. You can watch the entire thing here:

Statistical Comparison

Louisville Kentucky
Strength of Schedule (Nolan) 15th 39th
Points Per Game 78.1 (23rd) 78.5 (19th)
Avg Scoring Margin +22.6 (4th) 17.4 (15th)
Field Goal % 45.5% (65th) 49.0% (14th)
Rebound Rate 54.9% (28th) 52.6% (87th)
Blocks Per Game 3.2 (193rd) 7.9 (4th)
Steals Per Game 11.8 (2nd) 8.0 (86th)
Assists Per Game 15.3 (48th) 16.4 (22nd)
Turnovers Per Game 12.8 (79th) 12.3 (56th)
Team Fouls Per Game 17.2 (129th) 16.0 (67th)
2-point FG% 52.1% (48th) 53.9% (25th)
3-point FG% 33.1% (180th) 35.6% (97th)
Free Throw % 69.8% (144th) 64.7% (276th)
Opponent Shooting % 39.0% (53rd) 37.7% (25th)
Opponent 2-point FG% 45.0% (111th) 39.8% (13th)
Opponent 3-point FG% 28.0% (24th) 32.4% (137th)
Opponent Block Per Game 3.2 (126th) 3.3 (147th)
Opponent Steals Per Game 6.2 (109th) 4.9 (17th)


I attempted to match the players as closely as I could so I could try and evaluate how the game might play out.  Kentucky plays 2 fewer players than the Cards so the minutes are skewed towards the Cats in that regard throughout.

Peyton Siva Ryan Harrow
6-0, 185, Sr. 6-2, 170, Soph
Minutes 29.1 21
Points 11.4 7
Field Goal % 43.60% 38.60%
3-point % 37.80% 13.30%
FT % 84.20% 37.50%
Rebounds 2 1.9
Assists 6.3 2.9
Steals 2.3 1.1
Blocks 0.2 0.1
Turnovers 2.8 0.7
Fouls 2.3 1.4

Peyton Siva is a veteran guard who is possibly having his best season as a Cardinal.  Siva is certainly shooting the ball MUCH better than at anytime at Louisville.  Ryan Harrow had to leave the team for a stretch, but it’s clear that the Cats need Harrow to reach his potential for the team to reach theirs.  In this match-up Siva gets the edge.

Russ Smith Julius Mays
6-1, 165, Jr. 6-2, 192, Sr.
Minutes 27.6 32.7
Points 19.7 9.3
Field Goal % 43.30% 35.90%
3-point % 33.80% 30.80%
FT % 80.60% 95.20%
Rebounds 3.1 2.9
Assists 2.8 3.6
Steals 2.8 0.6
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 2.9 1
Fouls 2.6 1.7
Wayne Blackshear Archie Goodwin
6-5, 230, Soph 6-4, 198, Fr
Minutes 20.8 31.8
Points 10 16
Field Goal % 44.60% 45.90%
3-point % 35.60% 38.90%
FT % 63.00% 68.70%
Rebounds 4.2 5.5
Assists 0.9 4.2
Steals 0.8 1.2
Blocks 0.2 0.8
Turnovers 0.7 3.3
Fouls 2.1 2.5

Certainly Archie Goodwin is going to match-up with Russ Smith quite a bit as well. So the Russ/Wayne/Archie/Julius match-up is going to be quite fluid.  This group of 4 is going to have a HUGE impact on the game Saturday.  Russ Smith & Archie Goodwin are scoring machines and unsurprisingly both lead their team in shots with 178 shots for Russ and 122 for Archie. Smith will go up from anywhere, while Goodwin does most of his work from inside the arc as Russ has 71 three-point attempts to Goodwin’s 18.  Both players get to the line and also lead their squads in free throw attempts as well with Goodwin holding the advantage 83-72.  Goodwin is the best rebounder of the bunch.

Julius Mays (we lovingly call him “Old Man Mays”) needs to get to the line more as he has hit 20 of 21 attempts on the season. A match-up with Wayne Blackshear OR Russ Smith will most certainly happen on Saturday and Blackshear’s recent production may be a problem for Goodwin & Mays.  Mays is an excellent passer and in my opinion the ‘glue’ to this Kentucky team.  Mays doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and the Cats really rely on his leadership and experience. Blackshear has been coming on strong lately.  He isn’t just driving the lane or settling for the 3-point attempt, but now Wayne is mixing in a mid-range jumper.  Wayne would be much more active if he could continue to increase his production in terms of rebounding, steals, and assists.  His rebounding has been coming on as of late, but he is reportedly still behind expectations.

At this point the 2-3 mix and match match-up of Russ Smith/Wayne Blackshear/Julius Mays/and Archie Goodwin is CLOSE.  I’m inclined to side with Smith/Blackshear here given recent play, but a subpar game or performance out of the ordinary could decide this one on game day.  So in that case I’m going to call this one EVEN. 

Chane Behanan Alex Poythress
6-6, 250, Soph 6-7, 239, Fr
Minutes 25.9 28.1
Points 10.8 14.5
Field Goal % 49.50% 64.90%
3-point % 14.30% 45.50%
FT % 54.20% 68.10%
Rebounds 7.6 6.5
Assists 0.6 0.5
Steals 1.2 0.2
Blocks 0.2 0.7
Turnovers 1.3 2.8
Fouls 1.4 2.5

These two guys have similar bodies and almost opposite personalities. Alex Poythress is physical because he has to be as a power forward a model citizen and a nice young man.  Almost too nice.  Chane Behanan is physical because he wants to be and has been silenced by his coach from the media until the second semester.  Behanan could really say anything, and I know John Calipari wished he could take some of that attitude from Chane and bottle it to put into Poythress. But forget the personality factor, both of these guys are major talents and excellent ball-players. Poythress is much more efficient scoring with 30 more points than Behanan on 9 fewer shots. Poythress hits at a much higher rate from the floor and the free throw line. But Behanan is much more well-rounded as a ball player at the moment in terms of intangibles although Poythress definitely is the better scorer. This is a match-up to watch and again I see this one as mostly even, if I had to choose an advantage I honestly would struggle here but would go with Behanan due to his experience and how he can play with the depth behind him whereas Poythress must be much more deliberate. 

Gorgui Dieng Nerlens Noel
6-11, 245, Jr. 6-10, 228, Fr
Minutes 24.8 29.7
Points 8.2 10.7
Field Goal % 50.00% 53.40%
3-point % 0.00% 0.00%
FT % 64.70% 53.30%
Rebounds 8 9.1
Assists 2.4 1.9
Steals 1.6 2.7
Blocks 2 3.7
Turnovers 1 1.7
Fouls 1.8 3.1

Here is a fantastic match-up where I think the stats don’t truly tell the value but Gorgui returning from injury makes things very unpredictable.  I really like Noel’s game. He’s different than Anthony Davis, who in my opinion is probably the best college basketball player in 10-15 years. Noel has quick feet and hands AND has recently been VERY prone to foul trouble.  This is key because Gorgui Dieng isn’t prone to foul trouble and the Cards are much more deep in the post than Kentucky.  Nerlens is going to be a very good pro, but he should be a senior in high school. Gorgui Dieng spent last year getting baptized playing 33 minutes a game in the post in the Big East. The experience factor is huge here and it will be a treat to watch both players go toe to toe. But again Noel MUST be careful given the Cards depth in the post as opposed to Kentucky’s lack of depth all the way around.

But it will be the first game back for Gorgui coming off a broken wrist a month ago versus Missouri.  By all accounts Dieng’s conditioning is still top notch and with his injury being on his off-hand it is reasonably optimistic that the Cards will pick up where they left off before his injury. But chemistry doesn’t happen by flipping a switch and Noel has been with the team from the word ‘Go’.  Also if Noel has a strength it’s as an on the ball defender. Nerlens is very good at creating steals and blocking shots man on man. If Gorgui Dieng has a weakness it has been ball-handling in the post but in the 5 games Dieng played thus far this season Dieng had just 5 turnovers. Right now this match-up is an unknown given Dieng’s recent return, but I still have to say the Cards have the edge with Gorgui. 


Montrezl Harrell Willie Cauley-Stein
6-8, 235, Fr. 7-0, 244, Fr
Minutes 19.3 20.1
Points 6.7 7.6
Field Goal % 61.80% 58.70%
3-point % 0.00% 0.00%
FT % 60.00% 41.70%
Rebounds 4.5 5.3
Assists 0.2 1
Steals 0.8 1
Blocks 0.9 2
Turnovers 0.6 1.2
Fouls 1.6 1.8

Great match-up of freshman. I’ve got to call it EVEN.

Luke Hancock Kyle Wiltjer
6-6, 200, Jr. 6-10, 239, Soph
Minutes 21.2 24.8
Points 6.3 11.4
Field Goal % 32.10% 44.40%
3-point % 28.30% 41.30%
FT % 66.70% 84.60%
Rebounds 3.1 5
Assists 2 1.9
Steals 0.9 0.5
Blocks 0 0.5
Turnovers 1.4 1
Fouls 1.6 1.7

Easily Kyle Wiltjer gets the nod here. Hancock has been inconsistent at best, but Wiltjer costs himself a lot of production by not involving himself more in UK’s scheme. But even though Wiltjer claims the 5th most minutes he has the 2nd most shots, Wiltjer is in the game to score. Hancock started out slowly and given Blackshear’s recent play it’s clear who is winning the battle for the 3 spot, but Luke will get a lot of run Saturday.

Kevin Ware Jarrod Polson
6-2, 175, Soph 6-2, 189, Jr.
Minutes 16.4 14.6
Points 4.8 3.1
Field Goal % 45.70% 52.00%
3-point % 50.00% 28.60%
FT % 75.00% 60.00%
Rebounds 2.3 1.2
Assists 0.8 1.2
Steals 1.1 0.6
Blocks 0.1 0
Turnovers 1.4 0.6
Fouls 1.4 1.3

Kevin Ware.  It’s not close, the stats don’t do this gap justice. 

Stephan Van Treese Zach Price
6-9, 245, Jr. 6-10, 250, Fr.
Minutes 15.3 9.4
Points 2.4 1.6
Field Goal % 73.70% 61.50%
3-point % 0.00% 0.00%
FT % 25.00% 50.00%
Rebounds 4.4 1.8
Assists 0.5 0
Steals 0.8 0.1
Blocks 0.4 0.5
Turnovers 0.5 0.5
Fouls 1.3 1.9

Considering the Cards have two additional players who will log minutes (and post players at that) Louisville wins the bench. 


Rick Pitino vs. John Calipari.  Wow.  There is a lot of bickering that goes back and forth between the two fanbases regarding their coaches and programs, but I think one thing everyone can agree on is that is an extreme pleasure to have two great basketball minds leading Kentucky and Louisville respectively.  Before Kentucky’s 8th National Title John Calipari seemed to have a chip on his shoulder, especially in regards to Rick Pitino.  After the Cards fell to the Cats, and Kentucky went on to win the title & Pitino’s comments about Calipari and the encouragement Pitino sent UK’s way following that game I think a lot of that ‘chip’ is gone.  This is still a rivalry, but maybe it isn’t heated as it was prior to that game when there were quips: “Louisville Doesn’t Exist” or that “We don’t recruit the same players.” or even, “Four things I’ve learned in my 59 years about people. I ignore the jealous, I ignore the malicious, I ignore the ignorant and I ignore the paranoid. If the shoe fits anyone, wear it.”

Rick Pitino is 640-235 (73.14%) all-time as a college head coach with 6 Final Fours and 1 NCAA Championship. John Calipari is 513-154(76.9%) all-time with 2 Final Fours & 1 NCAA Title (Calipari’s previous two appearances with UMASS in 1996 and Memphis in 2008 were vacated after Marcus Camby had improper contact with an agent & academic fraud at Memphis). Calipari’s all-time record is improved when the wins that were vacated are included to 555-157 (77.9%) and 4 Final Fours.  Clearly the two men can coach basketball and both tried their hand at coaching in the NBA.

Rick Pitino has long been admired for his preparation and game planning. John Calipari has long been known for his ability to attract top talent. What isn’t fair is to sell either one of these coaches short on their ability to be BASKETBALL COACHES. Both coaches start their programs with Defense and Teamwork. Both coaches have had MAJOR SUCCESS coaching basketball. This is something to really admire in the state. Sure, we are all going to have our biases, we are all going to have our opinions, BUT THIS WOULDN’T BE HAPPENING IF BOTH COACHES WERE NOT THE VERY TOP IN THEIR PROFESSION. That’s impressive, and for both of these schools to represent the state and be rivals that’s impressive. It’s also fun.

Calipari has won 4 in a row over Pitino.

My Prediction

Louisville has lost 4 in a row to Kentucky on the hardwood. The most recent was probably the most important game in series history, but that team for the Cats is entirely different than this group for UK. Louisville is an upgraded Final Four team chock full of veteran talent. Kentucky has struggled against major competition (of 4 major games) so far in the 2012-13 season with a 1-3 record against what I consider ‘major competition’ (Maryland, Duke, Notre Dame, Baylor) as the young team cuts its teeth into college basketball. Louisville has had some ‘off’ nights but is 11-1 with its lone loss against #1 Duke on the 3rd game in 3 days and was defeated without their starting center in Dieng. The Cards also hold wins on the road at Memphis and a complete dismantling of #7 Missouri.

At this point I couldn’t pick Kentucky. But this series has also seen a 12-20 Louisville team beat the 1997-98 Kentucky Wildcats in Rupp Arena who went on to win the National Championship. So sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Either way the winner wins bragging rights a maybe a little better seeding come March.  But both teams are coming into conference play, where things ACTUALLY matter. Kentucky is going to start rounding into form, but I don’t think it is in time for Saturday.  Cards win 72-59 and Peyton Siva is the main difference.

Game Officials

 John Cahill, Ed Corbett, and Doug Shows.

Attending, Watching, Listening

-The game will be played at 4:00 in the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday December 29th.

-Tickets are no longer available through the ticket office but are available on StubHub for as low as $185.

-The game will be broadcast on CBS with Tim Brando, play-by-play; Clark Kellogg and Greg Anthony, analysts.

-Over the radio the game will be broadcast on the IMG Radio Network on 840 WHAS with the Wildcat Radio Team and on the UofL Radio Network the Cardinal Broadcast team will be on 790 WKRD locally.

Other History through Video

Louisville vs. Kentucky Statistical Comparison 2012 Rivalry Edition

Louisville Kentucky
Strength of Schedule (Nolan) 15th 39th
Points Per Game 78.1 (23rd) 78.5 (19th)
Avg Scoring Margin +22.6 (4th) 17.4 (15th)
Field Goal % 45.5% (65th) 49.0% (14th)
Rebound Rate 54.9% (28th) 52.6% (87th)
Blocks Per Game 3.2 (193rd) 7.9 (4th)
Steals Per Game 11.8 (2nd) 8.0 (86th)
Assists Per Game 15.3 (48th) 16.4 (22nd)
Turnovers Per Game 12.8 (79th) 12.3 (56th)
Team Fouls Per Game 17.2 (129th) 16.0 (67th)
2-point FG% 52.1% (48th) 53.9% (25th)
3-point FG% 33.1% (180th) 35.6% (97th)
Free Throw % 69.8% (144th) 64.7% (276th)
Opponent Shooting % 39.0% (53rd) 37.7% (25th)
Opponent 2-point FG% 45.0% (111th) 39.8% (13th)
Opponent 3-point FG% 28.0% (24th) 32.4% (137th)
Opponent Block Per Game 3.2 (126th) 3.3 (147th)
Opponent Steals Per Game 6.2 (109th) 4.9 (17th)

Neal Brown Named Offensive Coordinator, QB Coach


LEXINGTON, Ky. – New Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops is known for his background on defense, so a natural question at his introductory news conference was his thoughts on offensive philosophy.

“We’re going to have an offense that you are going to enjoy, I promise you that,” Stoops said.  “Where is (former Kentucky All-America quarterback) Tim Couch?  We’re going to have an offense you’re going to be proud of.  We’ll get out there and rip it around a little bit, we are going to throw it.”

Stoops made his first step in fulfilling that promise with Monday’s announcement of Neal Brown, a former teammate of Couch who has guided one of the nation’s most productive offenses at Texas Tech, as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at UK.

“Neal is a young, hungry, dynamic coach who has had a lot of success in the Big 12 (Conference),” Stoops said.  “I want a style of offense that puts defenses in difficult situations.  Also important to me was Neal’s familiarity with the people of Kentucky and the University.  When you put together the football and the relationships, it was a no-brainer.”

In each of Brown’s three seasons as offensive coordinator, Texas Tech has ranked in the nation’s top-10 teams in passing offense, top-15 in total offense and top-25 in scoring offense, having increased production in all three categories each year since 2010.  Currently, TTU is second nationally in passing with 361.9 yards per game, 12th in total offense at 501.4 yards per game and 16th in scoring with 37.8 points per game as the Red Raiders prepare for the Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl on Dec. 28.

The current campaign is an expansion of the success from 2011, when Texas Tech ranked 13th nationally in total offense at 470.6 yards per game, including an average of 345.4 passing yards.  The Red Raiders lit the scoreboard at a tune of 33.8 points per contest.

Individually, quarterback Seth Doege (pronounced DAY-gee) has put up eye-popping numbers over the last two seasons.  In 2011, Doege threw for 4,004 yards and 28 touchdowns.  With one game to play this season, barring injury, Doege is a virtual certainty to surpass the 4,000-yard mark again as he sits on 3,934 yards and 38 TDs.

In his first season in Lubbock, Brown’s offense notched 460.2 yards total offense per game, 318.9 passing, and scored at a 33.1-point clip as Tech went 8-5 and won the TicketCity Bowl.

Brown’s running game has made significant contributions to the attack as well.  The Red Raiders have rushed for 135.5 yards per game and scored 51 rushing touchdowns during his three seasons.  TTU’s primary running backs have averaged 4.95 yards per rushing attempt, including a 5.7 average by Kenny Williams, the leading rusher on the current squad.

As a former UK wide receiver, Brown is eager to return to Lexington.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to come home to the University that I grew up rooting for, and having played here, have a true personal investment in the program,” Brown said.

“Coach Stoops sold me on the job.  I’m excited about his plan.  He has a great vision about where he wants to take the program and how he wants to do it.”

Prior to Texas Tech, Brown spent four seasons at Troy University, including the last two as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  During his term at Troy, the Trojans won or shared four consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships and earned three bowl invitations.

At the time the youngest offensive coordinator in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Brown’s 2009 offense finished third in the nation in total offense at 485.7 yards per game, fourth in passing at 336.5 yards and 16th in scoring with 33.7 points per contest. In 2008, his first as coordinator, Brown’s fast-paced offense set 10 school records.

In addition to the team accomplishments, Brown guided quarterback Levi Brown to the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year award in 2009 and the SBC Newcomer of the Year honor in 2008.  During his first two years at Troy, Brown coached the inside receivers.  The 2007 season saw the Trojans rank in the nation’s top-30 teams in scoring, total offense and passing offense.  In Brown’s first season at the school, he helped Troy improve markedly after having been one of the nation’s least productive offenses in the season before he arrived.

Brown went to Troy after serving one season as wide receivers coach at the University of Delaware, starting three freshman wideouts as the Blue Hens posted a 6-5 record. In 2004, Brown coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers at Sacred Heart, helping guide the school to a 6-4 record and the top-ranked scoring offense in the conference.  In 2003, he was the tight ends coach and offensive line assistant at Massachusetts, helping the Minutemen win a share of the Atlantic-10 championship and a berth in the Division I-AA playoffs.

Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in business management and his master’s in business administration from Massachusetts, where he played the 2001-02 seasons.  He totaled 58 receptions for 721 yards and four touchdowns while being named to the Atlantic-10 All-Academic Team and the NCAA Division I-AA Athletic Directors’ Academic All-Star Team.

A native of Louisville, Brown was an all-state wide receiver at Boyle County High School in Danville, finishing his career as the No. 2 pass catcher in state history.  He played at UK from 1998-2000 and was a two-year letterman, catching 10 passes, including one touchdown.  He was a member of the Outback Bowl and Music City Bowl teams and earned a place on the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll before transferring to Massachusetts.

Brown is a member of the Boyle County Baseball and Football Hall of Fame.  He and his wife, Brooke, have two daughters, Adalyn and Anslee.

Brown Coaching File

Year     School              Position                                                           Record

2003    Massachusetts            Tight Ends, Offensive Line Asst.                      10-3, Division I-AA Playoffs

2004    Sacred Heart   Quarterbacks, Wide Receivers                       6-4

2005    Delaware        Wide Receivers                                               6-5

2006    Troy                 Inside Receivers                                  8-5, New Orleans Bowl

2007    Troy                 Inside Receivers                                  8-4

2008    Troy                 Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks            8-5, New Orleans Bowl

2009    Troy                 Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks            9-4, GMAC Bowl

2010    Texas Tech      Offensive Coordinator                                    8-5, TicketCity Bowl

2011    Texas Tech      Offensive Coordinator                                    5-7

2012    Texas Tech      Offensive Coordinator                                    7-5, Meineke Car Care Bowl

National Rankings as Offensive Coordinator

Year     School              Passing Offense          Total Offense              Scoring Offense

2008    Troy                 33rd, 246.6 yds. gm.   27th, 414.2 ypg                       26th, 32.8 points per game

2009    Troy                 4th, 336.5 ypg             3rd, 485.7 ypg             16th, 33.7 ppg

2010    Texas Tech      7th, 318.9 ypg              15th, 460.2 ypg                        23rd, 33.1 ppg

2011    Texas Tech      7th, 345.4 ypg              13th, 470.6 ypg                        22nd, 33.8 ppg

2012    Texas Tech      2nd, 361.9 ypg              12th, 501.4 ypg                        16th, 37.8 ppg


(Note: Texas Tech has a bowl game remaining)


Football: Cards & Cats Season Ending Stats

Louisville Kentucky
Strength of Schedule (Congrove) 66th 14th
Scoring Offense (ppg) 31.0 (47th) 17.9 (119th)
Total Offense (ypg) 425.7 (47th) 315.0 (115th)
Passing Offense (ypg) 298.6 (24th) 176.3 (107th)
Rushing Offense (ypg) 127.08 (100th) 138.75 (89th)
Scoring Defense (ppg) 23.8 (37th) 31.0 (87th)
Total Defense (ypg) 344.8 (25th) 391.4 (61st)
Passing Defense (ypg) 193.8 (19th) 229.8 (55th)
Rushing Defense (ypg) 151.08 (52nd) 161.67 (63rd)
First Downs (per game) 22.8 (38th) 17.8 (106th)
Opponent First Downs (per game) 18.3 (23rd) 22.4 (91st)
Turnover Margin (season) +9 (23rd) -3 (76th)
Time of Possession 32:44.83 (8th) 25:47.58 (123rd)
Sacks (per game) 1.58 (87th) 2.17 (45th)
Sacks Allowed (per game) 2.08 (74th) 2.17 (80th)
Tackles for Loss (per game) 4.42 (103rd) 4.42 (103rd)
Tackles for Loss Allowed (per game) 6.08 (90th) 5.75 (73rd)
Interceptions (season) 9 (80th) 5 (114th)
Passes Defended (per game) 4.17 (82nd) 3.33 (108th)
Fumbles Recovered (season) 12 (33rd) 8 (84th)
Fumbles Forced (season) 11 (65th) 10 (84th)
Fumbles Lost (season) 5 (7th) 6 (14th)
3rd Down Conversions (%) 48.54% (13th) 40.45% (62nd)
Opponent 3rd Down Conversions (%) 42.41% (84th) 52.3% (123rd)
Red Zone Conversions (%) 96.00% (1st) 70.59% (119th)
Opponent Red Zone Conversions (%) 86.84% (103rd) 84.09% (81st)
Field Goal % 84.2% (14th) 53.3% (118th)
Opponent Field Goal % 69.2% (46th) 81.3% (97th)
Punt Returns (ypr) 4.18 (110th) 7.5 (78th)
Kickoff Returns (ypr) 17.82 (119th) 21.02 (69th)
Opponent Punt Returns (ypr) 8.14 (65th) 6.00 (28th)
Opponent Kickoff Returns (ypr) 23.59 (105th) 21.33 (66th)
Punting (ypp) 38.04 (114th) 42.9 (27th)
Kicks/Punts Blocked (season) 1 (65th) 4 (14th)
Penalties (ypg) 56.5 (78th) 41.3 (26th)