MARCH 22, 2010
KENTUCKY KERNEL CELEBRATING 39 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
UK 90, WAKE FOREST 60
UK 83, LIBERTY 77
Mathies’ career day keys victory By Nick Craddock email@example.com
PHOTO BY ADAM WOLFFBRANDT | STAFF
Junior forward Patrick Patterson celebrates with fans after the Cats’ defeat of Wake Forest in New Orleans Arena.
No Wake zone Hot shooting leads to Cats’ Sweet Sixteen berth
LOUISVILLE —The Cats’ fairy tale season was not going to be ended by a Cinderella. A’dia Mathies, the calm and collected freshman guard and Louisville native, was simply not going to allow it, as she scored a career-high 32 points to lead fourth-seeded UK (26-7, 11-5 Southeastern Conference) past pesky 13th-seeded Liberty (27-6), 83-77. It was the most points by a UK player in an NCAA Tournament game. Although UK won the game, the Lady Flames won the battle of the boards, outscoring the Cats in the paint, off the bench, on the fast break and on second chance opportunities to give the Cats a scare in their first NCAA Tournament game since 2006. Up next “I didn’t know what to expect (coming in),” Mathies UK Hoops will face said. “Fortunately, some of my Michigan State on shots started falling in the first Monday at 7 p.m. half, so that gave me a boost on ESPN2 in confidence, and helped my team get on a roll.” UK head coach Matthew Mitchell said when the Cats came out, they performed like they hadn’t played in more than a week, but Mathies’ performance showed no signs of jitters or sluggishness. “(Mathies) has that quiet confidence about herself,” Mitchell said. “Great players can sense when they need to raise their level and she really kept us in it … pretty remarkable performance if you ask me.” Liberty jumped out to a 13-4 lead early, before UK responded with a 17-0 run, including six points in 15 seconds, thanks to its characteristic pressure defense. See Women’s on page 5
The people that are going to be in that region, it’s going to be ridiculous. You’re going to have four teams that are good enough, all four, to go win the national title. — John Calipari,
on the difficult road ahead
By Metz Camfield firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW ORLEANS – UK gave the Big Easy another big blowout. Sophomore guard Darius Miller scored a career-high 20 points and freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins poured in 19, leading a group of four Cats who scored 13 or more points, and UK (34-2) cruised to a 90-60 win over Wake Forest to advance to the Sweet 16. For UK, the wheels kept rolling in its drive to the Final Four in Indianapolis. After shooting 51.7 percent from the field against East Tennessee State on Thursday evening, the Cats shot a blazing 66.7 percent in the first half against Wake Forest, including 6-for-7 shooting from Miller. “I don’t know what happened to Darius but I hope he keeps it up,” Cousins said. “When he plays aggressively like that, it helps our team out tremendously. I mean, it’s going to be hard to beat us.” Miller, who played for the U.S. under-19 National Team over the summer, shot just 1for-5 in the Cats’ first round blowout, but after missing his first field goal of the game, a 3point attempt, Miller was nearly unstoppable. The Maysville, Ky., native and former Kentucky Mr. Basketball hit his next seven shots and finished the game with 20 points on 7-for9 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. “It’s not going to be everybody’s night, somebody else is going to have to step up,” freshman guard Eric Bledsoe said. “Darius, I
Tough as nails
think, did a big part because he can see what he’s capable of doing. He can help us out. Once he knocks down shots, as you can see, we beat teams by a lot of points.” UK will face Cornell in the Sweet 16 in Syracuse, N.Y. The winner of that game will then go up against upstart Washington or second-seeded West Virginia. “The people that are going to be in that region, it’s going to be ridiculous,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “You’re going to have four teams that are good enough, all four, to go win the national title.” The Cats continued their hot shooting in the second half, hitting their first 11 shots from the field, and hitting 23 of their first 25 two-point field goal attempts for the game. With 11:59 showing on the clock, the Cats were shooting over 76 percent from the field — gaudy numbers junior forward Patrick Patterson said he hadn’t realized while the game was going on. “I couldn’t believe that we were up by 30 or more,” Patterson said. “I was like, ‘Man, is this right, right now?’ ” With 9:39 left in the game, perhaps frustrated with trailing by 30 points, Wake Forest senior forward Chas McFarland was called for a hard intentional foul on Cousins. Cousins laid on the ground before later getting up laughing, waving for the crowd to cheer. Daniel Orton was given a technical foul for pushing McFarland in defense of his teammate. See Men’s on page 4
Habitat for Humanity students partner with New Orleans residents to keep hope alive By Roy York email@example.com
Noah Brown, construction coordinator for UK Habitat for Humanity, uses a circular saw to cut boards that will be used to build houses in the New Orleans area. PHOTO BY ROY YORK STAFF
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PHOTO BY SCOTT HANNIGAN | STAFF
Freshman A’dia Mathies scores a career high 32 points against Liberty in the NCAA First Round.
As a beige SUV carrying five men and one woman drove through New Orleans on Interstate 10 last week, orange light from a sunset fell across the skeletons of once-flooded homes. Broken glass and plywood littered overgrown yards. Stray dogs wandered through debris. Faded red spray paint denoting fatalities and flood levels lingered on rotting, water-stained walls. Amid the destruction, new and remolded homes stood as a testament to the hope and resilience many feel in New Orleans. But in some parts of the city, hope is rare. More than four years after Hurricane Katrina left much of the city in ruins, 12 members of UK Habitat for Humanity made the half a day drive to donate hours of their Spring Break to help heal scars and rebuild lives in The Big Easy. They joined more than 200 volunteers who spent Tuesday through Thursday painting and building walls for five, single-family houses. “I believe that New Orleans has definitely been put on the back burner
as far as tragedies that have happened recently … but there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done here, ” said Noah Brown, an economics senior who organized the UK Habitat trip. “There’s still a lot of people that don’t have suitable housing.” Katrina left 80 percent of New Orleans underwater in 2005 and caused more than $88 billion in damage when more than 50 levees failed in the face of the hurricane. According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, 1,464 people lost their lives in New Orleans during the hurricane. The hodgepodge of UK Habitat volunteers came front different backgrounds, majors and political beliefs, but each felt compelled to help New Orleans continue to recover. To be eligible for a home through Habitat, a family must apply. If selected, they make a $500 down payment on a no-interest loan. The family must contribute 300 hours of “sweat equity” to the organization helping build other houses. When the loan is paid, the family owns the home. “To be able to build your own house is very empowering,” Brown said. “When you build something with
your own hands, you realize all the little things that have to go in to making the project complete … you understand it a lot better and you treat it a lot better.”
One step forward On Wednesday, Larry Washington got a new lease on life. In one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in New Orleans, Washington’s new, red house stood among countless abandoned homes with sagging roofs and missing walls. He fought back tears as a Habitat for Humanity representative handed him the key to his home and gave him a hug. “Without (Habitat for Humanity), I couldn’t be here right now today,” said Washington, a life-long New Orleans resident. “I love you all.” Washington, his 8-year-old son, Shane, and 15-year-old daughter, Lori, fled to Atlanta as the hurricane ravaged their home and neighborhood. Washington and his son recently returned to New Orleans, but his daughter is still in Atlanta. Though his house is empty save See Habitat on page 4
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Monday, March 22, 2010 | PAGE 5
Basketball shines across Ky. NEW ORLEANS — All in about a 10hour span Saturday, a bunch of Kentucky kids across a handful of venues proved the state of the Commonwealth’s pastime may be better than ever. Both UK men’s and women’s teams won NCAA Tournament games and a mountain team (Shelby Valley) won the KenJAMES tucky state high school PENNINGTON boys’ championship Kernel for the first time in 14 columnist years. In the Big Easy, things couldn’t have been easier in the Cats’ win over Wake Forest. Darius Miller, of Maysville, Ky., led the Cats’ 90-60 blowout with a career-high 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting (he missed his first and last shots, bookending seven makes in a row). He also made all five of his free throws, despite the team shooting much better from the field (60.3 percent) than from the foul line (41.2 percent). Miller, for each of his two seasons at UK, has earned a harrowing reputation of being inconsistent. When he’s aggressive, his moves with the ball are as crisp and as difficult to guard as any of his teammates, John Wall included. One of his favorite moves, a teardrop floater in the lane, is every bit as effective as it is when Steve Nash uses it in the NBA. But as often as he shows up to play, he doesn’t. Miller has played in all 36 of UK’s games this year and gone scoreless in seven. Saturday, though, must have triggered something. Maybe he thought he was playing in the high school Sweet 16 back home (his alma mater, Mason County, lost Saturday afternoon in the semifinal to Shelby Valley). “Maybe that is it, I don’t know,” Miller said, laughing. “I just tried to be aggressive. Coach has been telling us to envision being the best we can be, so that’s what I tried to do.” Because of the nature of the Cats’ blowout, the other two Kentucky natives on the roster — Madisonville’s Jon Hood and Newport’s Mark Krebs — logged minutes and even scored Saturday. Hood, a freshman, played two minutes, scoring two points and grabbing three rebounds. Krebs, a senior who earned the team’s final scholarship after walking on last season, hit a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left to cement UK’s 30-point win. During the blowout win, bored fans in a section near press row were chanting for, among other things, a Krebs appearance. After the game, Krebs acknowledged hearing the fans. “They usually cheer my name, which is awesome,” Krebs said. “Kind of embarrassing at first, because we usually have more time before I go in. It was fun.” It was pointed out to him that while the fans were chanting his name, they were also chanting for Ashley Judd, seated three rows behind the UK bench. “I’ll be in that company,” he said. Hours earlier, UK’s women’s team won its first-round NCAA Tournament game in Louisville. The fourth-seeded Cats beat Liberty, 83-77. UK head coach Matthew Mitchell’s leading scorer: Louisville native A’dia Mathies. The damage: 32, a career-high. “Being back at home, being a freshman, and playing in her first NCAA Tournament game; you could find all sorts of things that could’ve thrown her off, but they didn’t,” Mitchell said, according to a release. “I’ve said this a bunch of times, but I’m glad she’s wearing a Kentucky uniform.” Between three different venues — only two within the Commonwealth’s borders — and two different time zones, Kentucky made a near perfect name for itself Saturday. “It’s a great day for Kentucky everywhere,” Krebs said. When Keeneland opens in a few weeks, it’ll be hard for anyone to hit a superfecta sweeter than that. James Pennington is a journalism senior. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
HABITAT Continued from page 3 for walls and carpet, Washington said he couldn’t wait to fill his new home with family and furniture. He hopes to be a model for others in New Orleans. Jim Pate, executive director of the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, said three Habitat branches have built more than 500 houses around New Orleans. He said Habitat is not a disaster relief organization, but he believes the presence and effort of volunteers has made a significant difference in the wake of Katrina. “I will continue to volunteer as I have been doing in the past because just because I live here doesn’t mean it stops with me,” Washington said. “There are still a lot of people who need help.” Washington was presented with gifts of tools, a Bible, flowers, wine, bread and the key to his home. Each gift sym-
Left: UK fans pose for a photo with celebrity fans Ashley Judd and rapper Drake. PHOTO BY ADAM WOLFFBRANDT STAFF
Below: Freshman guard Eric Bledsoe tries to lay the ball in while getting fouled by Wake Forest’s Ishmael Smith. PHOTO BY BRITNEY MCINTOSH STAFF PHOTOS BY BRITNEY MCINTOSH | STAFF
Above: Freshman guard John Wall salutes the crowd after nailing a 3-pointer against Wake Forest on Saturday. Below: Junior forward Patrick Patterson and senior Mark Krebs celebrate after Krebs’ 3-pointer.
Last time in the Sweet 16
Continued from page 3 “We’re brothers,” Cousins said. “We protect each other. When Daniel did that I knew it was all love.” On Friday, Cousins laughed when asked about McFarland’s reputation for getting under opposing players’ skin. Before the game began, during player introductions, McFarland waited at half court, and after Cousins came out toward midcourt, McFarland turned around and didn’t shake his hand. “Come on, that was a middle school move, man,” Cousins said. With two NCAA Tournament games under their belts, UK looks to be clicking at the right point in the season, averaging 95 points in their opening two games. Freshman guard John Wall, who scored 14 points and handed out seven assists, said they played “out of (their) minds,” and did a great job of following the game plan. Now, with No. 1 Kansas’ upset-loss to Northern Iowa, the Cats will be the favorite to cut down the nets in Indianapolis on April 5, but said they weren’t worried about that and welcome the idea of being the favorites.
PHOTOS BY SCOTT HANNIGAN | STAFF
Above: Keyla Snowden celebrates after the Cats’ win over 13-seeded Liberty in Freedom Hall. Below: Guard Amber Smith tries to race past her defender.
Continued from page 3
Year: 2005 Coach: Tubby Smith Result: Defeated 6-seed Utah in Austin, Texas 6252. Lost to Michigan State 94-88 in two overtimes in Elite Eight. This year: Will face Cornell in Syracuse, N.Y., on Thursday. The Cats have faced never faced the Ivy League champions in the NCAA Tournament. The last time UK played an NCAA Tournament game in Syracuse, it lost to Maryland in the Sweet 16 in 2002.
However, the Cats were inconsistent with their defensive intensity and allowed the Lady Flames to get back into the game with an 11-0 run of their own. Liberty had a 35-33 advantage at the intermission and was keen to extend their 10-game winning streak in the role of spoiler. Mathies will look to provide an encore performance on Monday at 7 p.m. in Freedom Hall against fifthseeded Michigan State, who won over No. 12 seed Bowling Green earlier in the day. The Spartans ended the Cats’ NCAA Tournament run in 2006, with a second-round victory. Michigan State was the four seed that time, with UK being the fifth seed. The Cats lost 67-63. UK better matched Liberty’s intensity on the boards in the second half, sophomore guard Keyla Snowden shook her early shooting woes from beyond the arc and Mathies continued to attack the size of Liberty post players en route to victory. “(Mathies) does a great job of attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line,” Liberty head coach
“This might be our last time with a team this good,” Wall said. “We have a chance to do something special. Coming into the tournament, me and Pat sat down and talked to the team and Coach challenged us saying, ‘This is your last chance, you’ve got six games to try and do it all.’ ” Despite shooting a combined 56.1 percent in their first two games, and hitting 22 3-pointers, Cousins believes they still have room for improvement. “We can still get better,” Cousins said. “I wish it was like the middle of the season so we could still – I want to see how good we can actually get. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know how good we can be.”
Carey Green said. “I think that was obviously the difference in the game.” The entire Lady Flames’ team got to the charity stripe 16 times. Mathies alone outscored Liberty at the free-throw line going 12-for-17. Liberty’s size, one reason it led the nation in rebounding margin coming into the game, was a concern for UK head coach Matthew Mitchell, with Big South Player of the Year Devon Brown and fellow frontcourt player Avery Warley each averaging eight rebounds per game. Brown finished with 24 points and three rebounds, while Warley added 17 points and 14 rebounds, but neither could upstage Mathies. As expected, the UK fans offered the biggest fan base of the four teams playing in Freedom Hall, providing a homecourt-type edge. “It means a lot,” Mathies said on playing in front of her family and friends. “Especially just to be able to play another game for Kentucky in front of my fans, family and friends that came out. “I think this game will give us a boost of confidence for the next game, especially since none of us have been here before, it’ll help us out in the long run.”
It means a lot. ... to play another game for Kentucky in front of my fans, family and friends that came out.”
bolized a Habitat value such as hard work, faith and companionship. Then Pate and the volunteers blessed the house, and Washington unlocked the door to his new beginning.
One step back Two lots down from a nearly finished, yellow-sided house with hundreds of volunteers scurrying to make it a home a few miles from Washington’s new house, Bridgett Robinson watched. Her husband, Walter Robinson, carried the last armload of possessions from her flood-ravaged home and put them in a borrowed red pickup truck. Five years after Katrina and she still looks lost. More than a year ago, the Robinsons, all life-long New Orleans residents, signed with a contractor who promised to completely remodel their home and fix the flood damage. After leveling the partly collapsed foundation and fixing the roof, the contractor left without warning, taking the money the Robinsons had fronted.
“Now I’m in the process of trying to figure out how I’m going to get some more money to finish my house,” Bridgett Robinson said. “I’m just getting all my stuff out to move into an apartment.” After the hurricane, Bridgett Robinson and her family moved to Arlington, Texas, to follow her job. She moved back in 2007 to find her house with six feet of water damage and possessions destroyed. Her family moved to an apartment and started to rebuild, but starting over proved to be harder than expected. “I felt discouraged, messed up,” Bridgett Robinson said. “We hired a nogood contractor and we’re still not in our home.” Even as Bridgett and Walter Robinson look through their empty, ruined home, they find hope for the future. Bridgett Robinson knows exactly where the new kitchen will be and Walter Robinson has plans for the bedrooms. “As soon as I get some money I’m going to get to work on it myself,” Wal-
ter Robinson said. “The hardest thing is transporting the materials. You can’t carry wood on a bus.” Bridgett Robinson said she is fighting to get her money returned, but she knows of many others who have hired contractors only to have them leave without completing the job.
Continuing progress On Flake Street, the road where the UK Habitat volunteers work and the Robinsons call home, 28 of the 73 houses are destroyed, abandoned or uninhabitable. Surrounding businesses and neighborhoods are deserted. But progress has been made. Walter Robinson estimates the clean up for New Orleans is about 40 percent complete, and he and his wife think the area can return to a pre-Katrina status. Habitat for Humanity shares that mindset. Pate said the goal of the organization is to eliminate poverty housing, but in the wake of Katrina, Habitat’s role in the
community had expanded significantly. “We lost in the area over 165,000 housing units, so I’ve got great job security for the next few years,” Pate said. “... But it wasn’t the hurricane. This was a man-made disaster due to poor design, poor construction and poor maintenance (of the levees).” Brown, who volunteered in New Orleans just months after Katrina, said what Habitat can accomplish is nothing short of phenomenal, witnessing a group of unskilled volunteers united under a purpose nearly completing an entire house in less than a week. “There was still water standing when I came down last time,” Brown said. “Several years later it’s definitely a lot cleaner, but you can still tell that there’s a lot of stuff that needs to be done. It’s going to be years before it’s done.” But when the beige SUV carrying UK Habitat volunteers rolls across the New Orleans city limits destined for Kentucky, the city will have a few more houses. And a little more hope, too.
— A’dia Mathies, UK freshman
Gulf of Mexico
Hurricane Katrina’s path
PHOTO BY ROY YORK | STAFF
Members of UK Habitat for Humanity helped build walls and frames for five houses to be built in the New Orleans area. More than 200 volunteers worked from Tuesday to Thursday, many of them donating time from their Spring Break.
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Cuba MAP BY MELISSA VESSELS | STAFF