[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Chris and Demitrious Davis will transfer to the University of Kentucky as walk-ons. They are both wide receivers, hail from Ohio, and originally went to Pitt. They were red-shirted last season as freshman and will have three years eligibility left for UK to work with.
Go Cats. Go twins.
One visit from Terrell Owens and a week later, Chad Johnson is being released from jail. The reason? He said I’m sorry to Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh for butt-tapping his attorney in celebration during a hearing for a probation violation. McHugh accepted the apology which was released via the AP:
I just wanted to apologize for disrespecting the court last time. I apologize. I did have time to reflect on the mistakes I made in this courtroom.
Johnson’s original sentence for the butt-tapping incident was 30 days, an extra three months of probation, and 25 hours of community service plus 2 counseling sessions per week, but as of now (7 days later) he is being set free.
The moral of this story? Don’t slap your attorney’s butt in a courtroom. But you’ll probably only spend a week in jail for it anyway.
Today, we are celebrating Kentucky’s momentary reign as the number one recruiting class in the nation. Right of this moment, Kentucky has the top recruiting class in the SEC with Tennessee in a comfortable second followed by A&M and Bama. Without Stoops we would not be celebrating this glorious achievement. It’s June 18th and instead of counting down the days until Big Blue Madness we are overwhelmed in the constant football news. Does this make us a football school now? Or can we have a happy medium? Onto the links:
Yesterday, 247Sports.com named Kentucky target Matt Elam a five-star recruit and the 10th best recruit in the nation.
The Medina Gazette says there isn’t very much middle ground on Nerlens Noel, especially concerning where he will go in the draft.
Remember Michael Avery? He’s the 8th grader that committed to Kentucky under Billy Clyde. Mark Story of the Lexington Herald compares him (and other young BCG recruits) to Jairus Brents, the seventh grader that Stoops recently offered.
Cal offered two players in the 2015 class yesterday; Skal Labissiere the 6th best player in the class and Stephen Zimmerman, a seven footer who is the #2 player for 2015.
Calipari sent out a few tweets yesterday explaining what exactly what the mythical “Wildcat Code” is. Oh, and his tweet also included “LOL.”
Bleacher Report lists the four things we have learned about the team that will run for nine.
Kentuckysports.com has a UK recruiting quiz that you can take. Test your knowledge!
And finally, today is Blake Shelton’s 37th birthday. The man is not only married to Miranda Lambert and is a coach/judge on the NBC hit The Voice, but he also sings my dad’s new favorite song:
Excuse me, Mr. Shelton. Kentucky boys do dougie… just ask Jarrod Polson.
Yesterday for a few glorious minutes, according to Rivals, Kentucky football was indeed number one. It was short-lived, but emblematic of the impact Stooooooops has had in such a short time at the healm in the Commonwealth. Yet I was interested to see where the Cats 2014 class stacks up in the other major recruiting services rankings that we have been neglecting. Take a look below.
Scout has us at #6 overall and #3 in the SEC behind Texas A&M and Alabama, but just above Tennessee and LSU (still sounds absurd).
ESPN has the Cats class at #11 overall, good for sixth in the SEC behind Alabama, Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU, and Florida.
Still sounds pretty darn good BBN.
Although Kentucky has a center for the recruiting class in Karl Towns Jr., Calipari has stressed that he wants depth in all areas from this point forward. Calipari experienced what life is like with one big post player on the roster this season, and I cannot see him wanting to experience that ever again. Insert Goodluck Okonoboh into the picture. Okonoboh is from the same high school (Tilton) and AAU Team (BABC) that our flat topped friend Nerlens Noel played for. He visited this season for a UK game and to pal around with his close friend Noel. If Dakari Johnson leaves for the NBA, Okonoboh could become a priority for Calipari in 2014.
6’9″ 225 lbs
Interested Schools (in bold if offered): Indiana, Duke, Uconn, Missouri, Syracuse, Maryland, Kentucky
Strengths: Okonoboh may be smaller than Noel, but he has a very similar game on the defensive end. He is a serious shot blocking threat with more muscle to defend post up players. He has great athleticism which helps him perform at a high level despite being an undersized center. Okonoboh has a great sense of positioning on rebounds. Combined with his strength and quickness, he is one of the best rebounders in the class.
Weaknesses: Like Noel, Okonoboh has needed improvement in his offensive arsenal. While he has developed range as he progresses, it is still a work in progress to be a reliable mid range option. Another deficiency in his game is distributing the ball. Okonoboh is tough to run an offense through because he lacks court vision with the ball in his hand. If he develops a better skill at finding the open man, the rest of his offensive game should blossom as defenders will not key on his attacks to the basket as much.
While writing posts for my The Ones That Got Away series I usually have to go back and look at where players were projected pre-season in order to get a feel for whether their 2013 season panned out. Thanks to the magic of WayBack Machine, an amazing website that allows you to see how websites looked in the past, doing so is pretty easy. One thing that stood out to me while doing research for the posts was that, before the season, Ryan Harrow was actually projected in the lottery in several mock drafts. This got me thinking: How accurate are NBA Mock Drafts and how much do they change after the season has been played? So, with the magic of the internet, I went back and checked several of the biggest Mock Draft sites and compared their preseason (October/November) mock drafts to their current ones (which can be seen below).
Well in case you did not know, last night was the 2013 Miss USA Pageant. So as is the case with these types of pageants, one contestant usually ends up biffing an answer during the Q&A session. Pretty normal occurrence you are probably saying right? Well unfortunately for Utah’s own Marissa Powell, she ended up becoming an overnight sensation for what is arguably one of the most incoherent things ever said on TV and then typed up on this site (which is a big deal). Now the question Powell was asked was about the male-female income disparity in this country, to which she gave us this gem of a reply below:
“I think we can relate this back to education and how we are continuing to try to strive to (awkward pause) figure out how to create jobs right now. That is the biggest problem and I think, especially the men, are um, seen as the leaders of this and so we need to try and figure out how to create education better so we can solve this problem.”
Now while it’s easy to jump on the bashing train, you have to realize that the question she was asked was a kind of difficult one for her to have answered on-the-spot. However, I still think she could have articulated something a little more coherent than that above quote. I mean come on, the phrase “figure out how to create education better” was dropped, which in no form of English makes any sense. You’re better than this Miss Utah.
— Ghost.™ (@KingOfEights_8) June 17, 2013
Blake Bone, the 47th best WR in the nation and a four-star recruit, just cut his list to four via twitter and as you can see from the tweet above, the Cats made the cut.
Come be a hero.
This is not a test. Kentucky’s 2014 commit Ryan Flannigan just got his Rivals’ recruiting ranking and as a result, Kentucky momentarily had the top recruiting class in the nation. Guys, I think I just saw a pig flying by my window. They have now moved back to two as a result of Rivals taking Tyre Brady’s committment off of UK’s board (again). But either way, Cats fans can officially say we had the number one recruiting class (for about 10 minutes at least). Kentucky will probably move back up once they put Brady’s committment back up.
Last night around 11 o’clock the latest Miss USA was crowned. Erin Brady of South Glastonbury, Connecticut “upset” Miss Alabama to take the crown back to the constitution state. The infamous “question” round which usually throws the sparkly pageant hopefuls for a loop didn’t really phase Miss Connecticut, who answered a question about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions regarding DNA testing criminals. The new Miss USA will now compete in the Miss Universe pageant on November 9th. I could go into total girly girl mode and analyze the whole pageant (I used to work in a prom dress shop) but I will spare you all those details (you’re welcome). Onto the links:
Bleacher Report says that Kentucky’s historic 2014 recruiting class is just getting silly now.
In case you missed it yesterday, Derek Kief committed to Alabama instead of UK. Also, he committed via baby.
A lot of media members are throwing a fit over Stoops offering 13-year-old Jairus Brents a scholarship to UK even though he isn’t even in high school yet.
Dominique Hawkins owned the court in the Kentucky All-Stars loss against Indiana. Hawkins came out of the game tallying 33 points.
Saturday Down South analyzes what could be each SEC team’s trap game.
Four star receiver Blake Bone will cut his list to four today.
And finally in my weird news of day; Do you have a pet guinea pig? Do you feel the overwhelming need to buy your pet guinea pig a suit of armor? Well, now you can for a low, low price $305. What is the world coming to?
The Golden State Warriors are one of the most exciting teams in the NBA. They are young, fast, and they play hard for one of the loudest crowds in the league. The Warriors are coming off a Western Conference Semifinals appearance where they took the Spurs to 6 games, while Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, and Mark Jackson (his coaching improved throughout the playoffs) all grew right in front of our eyes. They don’t have a pick in this year’s NBA Draft, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t acquire any.
The Warriors are likely to lose Jarrett Jack and Carl Laundry to free-agency this summer.
Power Forward – With David Lee having the starting PF position locked, the Warriors need to find a backup that can give rest for Lee while also developing his skill set. This would be a great opportunity for GS to take a young player who isn’t going to be pressured into playing a ton of minutes right from the start.
Point Guard — Stephen Curry isn’t a true point guard, but there are plenty of them in this year’s draft to replace Jack (Jeff Teague, for example).
With no picks available, the Warriors will be forced to make a trade in order to acquire one. Mark Jackson likes his core group of guys (Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Bogut, Lee, Green, and Ezeli), so I don’t see them parting ways with any of them, but they may be able to throw someone like Richard Jefferson and some cash into a deal that looks good to other teams. If Golden State gets a pick, it’ll be mid-first round. You may see them take someone like Tony Mitchell (PF, North Texas, 6’8″, SO) or Shane Larkin (PG, Miami, 5’10″, SO). The Warriors won’t like the idea of throwing Larkin directly into the starting rotation, so they’ll probably look for a more experienced player in the free-agency market to control the young guys. Tony Mitchell would be a good pick because of his athletic ability that fits right into the offensive system of Golden State, and he would be able to develop underneath of Lee and Bogut.
The Warriors like young studs that are able to run, defend, and hustle. Tony Mitchell and Shane Larkin will do all three of those things, and if they listen to Mark Jackson’s advice and put it in their game, the sky is the limit for these raw players. Golden State has needs, it’ll just be interesting to see if they decide to meet the need through the draft or through the free agent market. Either way, you have to trust that the Warriors will pick a high character, team player.
Written by Cayden Hacker. You can follow Cayden on Twitter at @Cayden5000
With all this talk of the new Rupp arena renovations fans cannot help but get excited, but what would the UK fan’s dream arena have?
The John Wall Ball Room
In 2009 John Wall twisted his arm and instantly BBN fell in love. The internet was flooded with videos of grandmas, babies, and celebrities doing the “John Wall.” Imagine if there was a room where UK fans could get together and do the “John Wall” – and maybe the crazy thing Archie did at Big Blue Madness. If fans are lucky maybe Mathew Mitchel would stop by and do his MC Hammer impersonation.
The Willie Cauley-Stein 3D Glasses
It’s no secret that Rupp is a little outdated. Entertainment technology today is at an all-time high. UK fans want the most innovative arena that coal money can buy, so a 4 sided 3D Jumbotron that hangs in the center for everyone to see is a no brainer. Now I know some people can’t stand 3D but just give it a chance. I think your mind will change when you see J Randle put a player on a poster. To add that UK flair the glasses will be in the Willy Cauley-Stein style.
The “Jorts” Denim Seat Cushions
All the fans in the top row know where I’m coming from on this one. How many times have you had to sit on those freaking awful bleachers? Is it too much to ask for a cushion? No, why not go all out and cover them bad boys in some denim. The denim will bring back old memories of when you would sit in your father’s lap and watch the games.
The Anthony Davis “Uni-Browser”
I love being in Rupp. When you fill any place with a bunch of UK fans you know it’s going to be a good time. The only downside to a packed arena is the cell phone signal. I hate when I take a picture with Kyle Wiltjer, and I can’t post it to twitter right then. That is why I think Rupp needs to install the Anthony Davis Uni-Browser. This wireless network will be strong enough to “swat” your signal strength out the roof.
The University of Alabama. Kief announced his committment with this really cool video:
Is this the first time somebody has committed via baby???
Yesterday evening via both Facebook and Twitter, John Calipari shared with the Big Blue Nation the video below that he sent to “the guys,” asking them, “Are you willing to work that hard to make it?“ The video in question is a 42-second YouTube clip of my childhood hero, Will Smith, during an interview excerpt with Tavis Smiley, in which the Fresh Prince boldly states, “The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill… I will not be outworked– period.”
As we all know, life has played itself out nicely for Mr. Smith (though not in recent years, according KSR College’s Tyler Johnson). But as everyone over the age of five has figured out, life doesn’t always end up the way we think it should. To phrase it all too familiarly, life is not fair– not to you, not to me, and sometimes not even to Willard Christopher Smith, Jr.
In its rawest form, hard work beats talent every day of the week. But those who really make it have just the right mix of both. Interestingly enough, also posted yesterday was a rare gem of a tragic personal account by anonymous user TheHairUpThere on reddit.com about his very own “hoop dreams.” The author appears to have had what it takes to really make it playing the game he loves. He prided himself on God-given talent and an unsurpassed sense of competitiveness that would leave both Coach Cal and Will Smith beaming. But as /u/TheHairUpThere devastatingly experienced firsthand, ability can be taken away in less than a second. The author wisely advises readers of the real reason they should be playing the sport of basketball, which incidentally, is the one thing that can never be taken away from them: the love of the game. Here is /u/TheHairUpThere’s story in its entirety, written completely in his own words:
“I grew up in a rough neighborhood, everyone had hoop dreams where I come from. Have you ever heard of hoop dreams? It has double meaning. First the obvious, its about dreaming of being in the NBA, of spending almost every waking minute thinking of that double crossover you embarrassed your rival at the park with. And inevitably its second meaning is tragedy. Hoop dreams means more about the failures and the coping with lost dreams than dreaming of basketball in itself. About reintegrating into life after dedicating more than 50% of your waking hours to a game, literally. Hoop dreams are about love and loss.
“Here’s my story. I was always big. I was 6’2 approx 180 in middle school. I loved basketball and I played it literally 4 hours a day 6 days a week. If your a kid in the hood and a regular at a park there is a good chance that older players will start to notice you and teach you. That’s what happened to me. I am a firm believer that what I learned tat that park could not have been replicated in a gym or with a coach, at least here in America. You learn how to move your body, how to head fake, how to ball fake, you basically learn all the gamesmanship parts of the game. At this age I learned how to compete, how to be tougher than anyone on the court (I enjoyed baiting people into fights) and I developed very good individual ball skills for my age and size.
“My Mom had some friends that worked at one of the most competitive prep high schools in the area. I literally had a try out with about 20 other incoming freshman at this high school. That’s when I learned very quickly that I a) was not athletic at all compared to these kids and b) my shooting was horrible and c) that I was the toughest son of a bitch on the court. After a month of two a days seven of us emerged. We received scholarships to attend the school. Looking back on it I got by on guile, toughness and most importantly size. I had a huge frame with no muscle on it. Broad shoulders, wide hips and huge thighs, I’m sure the coaches expected me to become huge.
“As a freshmen I played on Junior Varsity as the center and sometimes at the 4. At this point I was practicing 3 hours every day at school not including shoot around before school started, spending an hour in the weight room and playing at least 2 hours back home in the hood. That was my schedule six days a week. We got Sunday’s off but that was always the best day for hoops at the parks, so I spent another at least 5 hours playing on Sundays. As a freshmen I played on JV and I was good. I had a great post game that old timers had been teaching me for years in the hood, my footwork was great. I had good ball handling for someone as big and young as I was but my jump shot was atrocious. Midway through the season I was dominant but I wasn’t growing. The coaches loved me because I was so competitive (my father has a picture of me with my foot on this kids chest getting ready to throw an over the head outlet pass after ripping the rebound from the poor bastard). One coach in particular who had played overseas wanted to teach me to shoot. So midway through the season I completely broke my shot down. I changed how I shot completely and it was hard. I still couldn’t shoot worth a damn my entire freshmen year.
“After the season the coach who had taken a special interest with me started driving me home after practice. He would go into the hood with me (white man from a rich family) and work on my shot and ball handling. I did this for 6 months straight, and by the end of it I had turned into a completely new player. By the end of the Summer I was 6’2, strong and incredibly lean, had the best jump shot at my school and was the most fluid ball handler. My sophomore year I made the Varsity as a guard. The change was drastic and incredible. I played guard next to someone who was at one point (when he was a sophomore himself) considered the best point guard in the country in his class. He had transferred to my school that year which was his junior year. I will try and keep a little anonymity here but the reason he shot up the rankings is because he destroyed OJ Mayo at big basketball camp, he dropped 45 on him. Anyway because he was only like 5’9 we would interchange the on ball and off ball positions depending on the opponents. If they had a small off guard I would be played off ball to get some easy buckets in the post and if they had a bigger off guard I would play on the ball mainly because bigger guys had absolutely 0 chance staying in front of my teammate. That year ended and we flamed out in the playoffs.
“So coming into my Junior year the coaches decided we needed more big men, so they literally flew two guys in from out of the country. One was this big Russian kid, probably about 6’10 and another was this kid from central america about the same height but much much thinner. We had tryouts like we did every Summer, and that was the most competitive basketball I have ever played in my life. There were two 7 footers competing to get a scholarship to live in America. Tons of good players in the area came to that Summer camp to try and get on the team. They did this because none other than Coach K had come to two of our games the season before recruiting our point guard. They knew if they could get on our team and shine in a game with the right people watching that they could get D1 scholarships. Coolest story from that Summer is that Rafer Alston, the great skip to my lou, was friends with our head coach. He also happened to play for the Heat at the time so he lived in the area. He came into one of our two a days in the morning and gave us like a speech for motivation. Afterward we were dogging him telling him he was afraid to play. So he decided to play (he was in jean shorts) and our point guard just worked him up and down the court. We were all abuzz talking about it during our lunch break. Talking about how our man could go to the NBA right then if he wanted to. To our surprise when we got back in the gym there was Rafer Alston shooting jumpers, suited up and ready to play for real. The basketball we played that afternoon was awesome. I got cross matched on him twice and I pretended to run into a screen both times, I knew I couldn’t guard him. He was spectacular and could not be stopped on the offensive end. By the same token he couldn’t stop our point guard.
“As the season rolled in during my Junior year I started getting attention as a good player (on the D1 level). I was becoming extremely confident. As I became more athletic it all started to come together. I felt like no one could stay in front of me, that no one could stop me from scoring. From all the hours I had spent in the hood I knew how to beat my man better than most of the boring basketball machines I was playing up against and my coach started to give me that freedom. I had the green light to double cross people from the top of the key into a two dribble jump shot if I wanted. This is when I reached my athletic prime. At my absolute best I could dunk the ball with two hands having jumped from out side the paint. That might seem athletic to you, but on my team it was barely above average, literally. But I was the best shooter on the team and by this point I was confident enough to feel like I was the best shooter in the state. I started getting verbal offers to play at schools. I had interest from so many schools but I would say the best school I actually got an offer from during my Junior year was Clemson. My coaches told me not to commit, that I could probably do better if I waited for my Junior year. Because at that time Clemson ran like a 4 guard offense and pressed up and down the court, they knew that on a gimmick team like that I would not be able to develop in order to make it as a pro somewhere.
“That Summer is the first year I played AAU. And while I hated AAU basketball (its full of fake tough guys, players that have been adulated their whole lives) I started getting even more attention. I had assistant coaches spamming my Mom’s home phone recruiting me to tons of big schools in the South, UF, FSU and UM primarily. I also won the state three point contest that summer
“Here’s where the tragedy part of my hoop dream began. I started to feel pain right below my left knee. It would swell up drastically in the night time and hurt all day. I lost strength in that knee (my jumping leg) and didn’t know what to do. I didn’t tell my coaches because it was my senior year and I didn’t want to lose my starting spot. All the hours of basketball had begin to show its ugly head. To get as good as I was, as fast as I did I put in ~35 hours a week of basketball, many of it on concrete and asphalt courts in the hood. I had developed micro tears in my patella tendon and later acute tendinitis. I played through it, my coaches knew that because I hadn’t committed if the teams who had already offered me saw I wasn’t playing they would take their offers off the table. I had a decent senior season, I was worse statistically across the board and while I was effective I was not the player I once was. The doctor’s told me that if I did therapy and took rest then I could probably return to form. Because of that I decided I would redshirt my freshmen year wherever I went. I decided to commit to Clemson because I felt since they had been after me the longest they would help me in my recovery and be patient with me. The medical staff at Clemson wanted to do a physical on me before I signed my contract, so they flew me up to the school. They weren’t happy with my reflexes in my left knee so they decided to give me an MRI. They found not only that the tendinitis was worse than they had expected but apparently I had two herniated discs in my back as well. I was at Clemson three days, and I’l never forget the moment I was told my scholarship offer was being retracted. After word spread that Clemson retracted their offer, every other D1 school lost interest.
“My senior year ended and being stubborn and absolutely loving the game (anyone who has had hoop dreams can attest to this irrational and intense love) I decided that I would go to a D2 school in state, rebuild my body and transfer after my second year. When I got there it was immediately clear to me that the competition was not at the level as it was even during our Summer Camps in high school. My varsity team my Junior year of high school had no less than 9 players who would go on to become Division 1 NCAA basketball players (that’s not including me). The coaches were horrrrrrrrrrrible and gave me pretty much free reign to do whatever I wanted on the court. I had performed pretty well during that season and by the end of my freshman year my knee was no longer giving me trouble, I had high hopes of transferring especially because I was getting calls from a lot of the same coaches who had been recruiting me a year or two prior.
“I guess I had not learned my lesson yet, that Summer I couldn’t resist my first true loves call. I was playing back in one of my home parks. I was playing probably 5 hours a day 6 days a week for the month that I was home. One day I went up for a tip dunk and this guy undercut me. I landed awkwardly and broke my back. I had three fractures in my spine and made the herniation’s worse. Before this injury I had never felt the effects of the herniated discs, after this I couldn’t walk for 3 months and had to rehab for a year and a half from something called dead foot where you can’t move your foot or big toe upward because there is too much damage in the sciatic nerve that runs down your leg.
“This injury happened about three years ago now and I still can’t play basketball. I am tormented because I want to so badly. I often go to the park on my free time just to watch kids play. I can shoot around and play with friends that know not to put their bodies on me but I can’t play competitively against anyone yet. The people helping me with rehab tell me that I am at the stage where my back is strong enough and has healed enough where it could take contact but I am afraid. Soon though I will be playing again.
“Why do I bring this up? Because while I don’t want to squelch your dream I want to give you perspective. Try and master the game, and your body out of the love of basketball, not out of the dream of being in the NBA. Out of all the players on my high school team that went D1 guess how many made it to the NBA? That’s right, zero. Sure lots of them play overseas but that’s not the big show. Do it for the love of the game my friend.”
Talented Calipari-coached Kentucky teams have failed in the past (i.e., 2013). Hardworking Calipari-coached Kentucky teams have succeeded (i.e., 2011). In 2012, a talented, focused, and hardworking Kentucky team went 38-2 and won the national championship. This year’s version of Big Blue might be more talented than any team to ever grace the ranks of college basketball. Moreover, led by the likes of Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle, the historic freshman class seems to be absolutely zeroed in and focused on winning together as a team. The Big Blue Nation loves players who are not afraid to die on a treadmill. Players like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Nerlens Noel, who would give every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears in their bodies to the Wildcat uniform and live the phrase “be your brother’s keeper.”
But look at Nerlens now. His young life truly is at a unique set of crossroads. He is likely to become Kentucky’s third No. 1 NBA Draft pick in four years. But we cannot forget the trials and tribulations through which he’s been. The 18-year-old has not played a game of basketball since February 12, a fact which will not be changing anytime soon. All signs point to a fully successful recovery, but not without a bit of reflection first. What do you think Nerlens thinks about every time he laces up his shoes now? Do you think he’s slightly more skeptical before he ties the final bow? Do you think his injury is motivation to come back even stronger than ever?
What do you think LeBron James ponders every time he steps on the court? He’s the undisputed greatest single player on the entire planet. What more can he ask of himself? Tim Duncan has four NBA titles and two MVP awards already under his belt. What more does he have left to prove? Jason Kidd became head coach of the Brooklyn Nets just nine days after ending his 19-year playing career in the NBA. Why?
The answer to all these questions is the same one that brings /u/TheHairUpThere back to his local park to watch the kids play basketball three years after the injury that ended his playing career: the love of the game. James, Duncan, and Kidd owe their lives to the sport of basketball, only because they gave it. Kidd even proved that he did not want his love affair with the sport to end upon his retirement, as he picked up right where he left off nine days later. The only driving force that could compel Noel to get back up and try again after tearing his ACL is a true passion for the game.
Fire and will to compete are good, but without direction can be employed to a fault. What Nerlens must remember is that if he chooses to pick the game back up, it must be because there’s nothing in the world he’d rather do. If the 2014 ‘Cats want to see themselves become something special, they have to remember why they’re here. It’s not only about entertaining 24,000 screaming fans and being better than your opponent. Alex Poythress first picked up a basketball all those years ago because that’s what he loves to do. Aaron Harrison’s passion for the game is the reason he is the person who he is today.
“Do what makes you happy. ‘Cause at the end, who’s there? You.” Hoop dreams are real. Love for the game is what helps them become reality.
UK target Derek Kief will announce his college destination sometime this afternoon. It is likely that we will see the wide receiver choose Alabama over the Cats, but it would be another huge get for Stoops and Co. should he pick Kentucky. Stay tuned for the decision as we could find out anytime.
Also, make sure to give your Dad a hug today and thank him for all that he does. Just don’t pull a Tom Crean…
If you read KSR a few days ago, you saw that Kentucky has been in contact with 5 star combo guard Dante Exum of Australia. The flashy guard had a coming out party at the Nike Hoop Summit where his International Team completely dismantled the best of the US. Exum has been back and forth on whether he will attend a U.S college or remain in Australia to refine his skills before the 2014 draft, but the latest indications point towards Exum joining the college ranks. Exum could enroll as early as this winter (UK does have one scholarship left). With a loaded roster this season, this may play disadvantageous for UK if Calipari decides Exum is a necessity for next season.
6’5″ 180 lbs
Interested School (in bold if offered): Indiana, Louisville, Georgetown, Vanderbilt, LSU, North Carolina, Kentucky
Strengths- Exum’s great speed and length (6’9″ wingspan) make him a superb finisher at the rim. With great ball handling, he beats most defenders with a deadly first step like he did all game at the Hoop Summit. He rebounds extremely well for a guard while having a good court vision, making him a very viable point guard option. He finishes above the rim and looks to draw contact whenever possible.
Weaknesses- Shooting. Think Archie Goodwin shooting struggles. Exum has very flawed mechanics, making outside shots a near impossibility for him. He is still very young, so the shooting woes may come to end before college. Other than shooting deficiencies, Exum needs to add muscle to become a stronger defender. While his passing is good, his half court decisions need to be improved, especially if he wishes to play point guard moving forward.
The arrival of a new coaching staff in Lexington has made for much excitement regarding Track and Field and Cross Country at UK. Now that the coaches have complete one full year guiding the Blue and White, we can appreciate what they have done for the program. Numerous school records were broken, certain individuals broke out and won multiple SEC Championships, and team performance improved as a whole.
The most recent competition for the Cats, the NCAA Division 1 Championships in Eugene, Oregon, could have gone a tad better but there is no doubt much improvement was made from previous years. The UK Men placed 18th in the National meet, the highest team finish since 2010 when Rondell Sorillo (current Trinidad and Tobago Olympian) garnered all of the team’s points. This year’s performance was a little more balanced…
8 athletes were named Track and Field All-Americans. They are listed below:
1st Team All-Americans go to athletes who placed in the top 8 in their events:
Raymond Dykstra (5th place – Javelin) – 1st Team All-American
Andrew Evans (3rd place – Discus) – 1st Team All-American
Keith Hayes (4th place -110 Meter Hurdles) – 1st Team All-American
2nd Team All-American goes to athletes who finished 9-16 in their events
Matt Hillenbrand (1500 Meter Run) – 2nd Team All-American
Luis Orta (3000 Meter Steeplechase) – 2nd Team All-American
Kayla Parker (100 Meter Hurdles) – 2nd Team All-American
Keilah Tyson (100 Meter Dash) – 2nd Team All-American
Brad Szypka (Shot Put) – 2nd Team All-American
Kentucky hired Rachel Newman Baker on Tuesday. The former NCAA managing director for enforcement of development and investigations will join UK as the senior associate athletic director for compliance. Baker, a Berea native, oversaw 30 workers while working for the NCAA and was vital in investigations involving football, basketball, baseball, men’s hockey, and track and field. Her job will be to report to Sandy Bell, and be between communication of the UK compliance office and the football offices. Bell speaking on Baker said, “Her commitment to resolving issues in a manner that was in the best interest of the membership, the institution and the student-athlete has always impressed me. She brings a great deal of global perspective and knowledge to this position in particular and to the university as a whole. Rachel will be a very valuable asset to add to an already excellent compliance staff.”
The University of Kentucky and Mitch Barnhart are making moves to help the program that regular fans don’t notice. Also, to get your Sunday started off right and to get you motivated for this week, watch this clip of Will Smith talking about dying on a treadmill.
Sent this to the guys today: http://t.co/kJIGX7Mazs Are you willing to work that hard to make it?
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 16, 2013
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