Well, here we are, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation. We have arrived at the day most of us have been waiting for -- Big Blue Madness 2009.
I have had a few issues with blog availability over the last couple of days that has prevented a more recent update. Apparently, those have been resolved.
Of course, tonight we will have our usual open thread for Big Blue Madness, which I will be putting up about an hour early to get everyone in the mood. Plus, there will be a ton of stuff going up today, so visit often.
More on all that in a bit, but right now, here is the news:
- College basketball: Final Four coming to Indianapolis | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star
- ZAGSBLOG " Quartet of New York Prospects Visiting Kentucky; Others Hitting Kansas, Providence & The ‘Ville
- Q&A with UK defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin | Vaught's Views
Madness largely about future; coaches make it a recruiting tool | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
Kentucky: Scout.com national analyst Evan Daniels said Calipari and his staff are "bringing in one of the best lineups in the country," including four top-10 prospects — two from the Class of 2010 and two from the Class of 2011.
UK Basketball News
Making the Dance: 3rd Annual - College Hoops' Midnight Madness Recruiting Visit List
Want to know which recruits will be at Big Blue Madness tonight? Making the Dance has a list.
UK Media Day quotes from the players
#54, Patrick Patterson, F
On the fans’ excitement for this team … "Yeah, I can see it. I can see it in their eyes when they look at John Wall or me or anybody else on the team, especially Coach Calipari. We see in their eyes that they think this can be a special team. We have heard a lot of anticipation from them and the success they want us to have. Whether it is winning by this amount or having this record, we hear it. We know that they expect a lot out of us, and we just want to get to work and hopefully win a national championship."
Patrick Patterson will hopefully be in his first NCAA tournament this year, and it would be really great if he wound up in the Final Four.
High expectations begin as Calipari, star-studded Kentucky meet media - USATODAY.com
Calipari said he initially was just planning the standard scrimmage, but the sight of seeing the tents set up for Wildcats fans wanting tickets for the exhibition convinced him he needed to do more. He is putting the finishing touches on an inspirational speech and is lining up some surprise guests.
Hmm. I wonder who the "special guests" could be ...
With practice looming, a look at five questions on the college hardwood - USATODAY.com
Q. Is Kentucky, with the arrival of a star-studded recruiting class and coach John Calipari, on the verge of being a national title contender right away?
I'm thinking, "Yes." Most others are, too.
Old, new Cats getting it together - SPORTS UPDATE - Kentucky.com
So one of Calipari's first moves was to have the players congregate to watch the movie Remember the Titans. The movie depicted football players from two different schools learning to consolidate. Not so coincidentally, this UK team can be almost perfectly halved: six heralded newcomers and seven veteran holdovers.
We've heard this before, but Remember the Titans is one of my all-time favorite movies. I consider that an omen.
Mark Story: Wall, Bledsoe give Cats a break | KentuckySports.com
Perry Stevenson reminisced about the first time he was on the court with Wall, the basketball prodigy some are touting for national college basketball player of the year before he's ever played in a real-life college basketball game.
"I don't even think I saw him — he was moving too fast," Stevenson said.
UK's initial $925,000 offer to Gillispie hastened lawsuit | KentuckySports.com
Weeks after firing men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie, the University of Kentucky's lawyers proposed giving him a $925,000 buyout — an offer that was far enough from what Gillispie sought that it set off five months of legal wrangling.
In my opinion, Kentucky acted foolishly. It cost them dearly, and they were very smart to settle. I think both sides wound up right where they belonged -- in the middle.
Cats looking for that perfect season | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
"We want to be one of the greatest teams to play here at Kentucky," forward Patrick Patterson said. "We want to be that type of historic team, that type of team remembered by everybody across the world, especially in Kentucky. We want to be undefeated, we want to win the national championship, we want to win everything that we can win…."
I think so. I hope so.
Preseason Q&A with The Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy - Searching for Billy Edelin
Great stuff, including some UK questions and comments by one of my favorite sportswriters.
- Excellent Insight from Coach Cal
- Kentucky Sports Radio " Blog Archive " Talking with "Big Cuz": "We can Make History"
FeinsteinOnTheBrink: Stories of Press Box Decorum; Favorite Dinner Guests
Actually I lied when I said my only breach of decorum was the Navy-Duke football game. In 1978, Duke played Kentucky in the national championship game. It was my first Final Four. I was a year out of college and knew the players and coaches well. Needless to say I was pulling for Duke. Early in the second half Jim Bain, one of the referees, missed a traveling call. Bill Foster, the Duke coach, got off the bench and, from across the court, made the traveling signal and then held his hands out, palm up, as if to say, "where was the call."
Unfortunately, for Feinstein, Jon Scott chronicles the fact of his failed memory about the game. There is no reason to believe that Bain was wrong and Feinstein right.
The 2009-10 BtB Preseason All-Freshman Teams - Blogging the Bracket
Two UK recruits make this list.
UK Football News
UK's Wyndham wants his game to match his fame | KentuckySports.com
Wyndham did hear from a few Gators fans after the Tebow hit, and the response was somewhat surprising.
"They told me thanks for being classy about it," Wyndham said. "I wasn't really expecting that. I was expecting some hate mail."
Nice of the Gator fans to be classy about it. My esteem for them has risen as a result of his famous Tebow T-bone.
UK keeping starting QB under wraps | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
It's "very likely," Brooks said, that both Fidler and Newton will play against the Tigers.
- SEC EXTRA: Matching up Auburn and Kentucky | Sports from the Press-Register - al.com
UK's offensive line has come a long way | KentuckySports.com
It took awhile, but thanks to good recruiting and player development, the Kentucky offensive line has been molded into perhaps the team's most effective unit.
The work Brooks has done on both the lines is the reason why Kentucky is on the brink of making a jump up the SEC ladder. It takes years to build good lines, and the lines are the backbone of any football team's success.
John Clay: Why Newton should or shouldn't start | KentuckySports.com
Talk is the decision has been made. That's not Rich Brooks talking, mind you. He prefers the sticking of the needle, the playful jabbing of the media with "Maybe it has. Maybe the scuttlebutt is right. Maybe it's wrong."
- Notebook: AU not just keying on Cobb | montgomeryadvertiser.com | Montgomery Advertiser
Locke the key to UK's success | Sports from the Press-Register - al.com
His favorite thing, though, is returning kicks.
"Special teams is just special," said Locke, who returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against Louisville. "It's a momentum-changer. It's something that can get the crowd into it. It'd rather have a big return than a big run."
- Auburn football notebook: Backup receiver ready to cash in with playing time - al.com
Other UK Sports News
NCAA Sports News
- Around the SEC East- Week 6 - Red Cup Rebellion
Alabama-USC showdown about physical-speed defenses : Football : Anderson Independent-Mail
This is the big game of the week. It will be interesting to compare USC's performance to Kentucky's.
Bluegrass State Basketball: Rick Pitino to Fans: "I am totally focused right now"
"Don't succumb to being a critic," Pitino said. "Don't become part of that negative environment that just knocks and constantly says things that tear things down. Build things up. That's what positive people do."
Best of luck with that, Rick.
Jasper to take center stage at UNLV's FirstLook basketball scrimmage - Las Vegas Sun
The latest indication of Jasper’s resurgence occurred Tuesday morning, when he weathered chilly and windy conditions to beat every other Rebel in a mile run (in 5 minutes, 21 seconds) at Myron Partridge Stadium.
Not bad for a kid with rebuilt knee cartilage!
Other News of Interest
NBA on traveling: Two steps are better than one - ESPN
Good grief. What next, ten fouls? Six players on the court on offense? Surely they can think of some way to guarantee triple-digit scoring and disadvantage the defense.
Jessica Simpson Mad At Burger King, and I Promise Not to Make a Joke About That - SB Nation
Offered without comment.
Lebron James has Swine Flu!?! - SB Nation
Lebron couldn't afford a flu shot?
The Daily Schadenfreude
Rush The Court " Blog Archive " More Trouble For Louisville
We’re still awaiting official word from Rick Pitino about the incident and what (if any) punishment will be administered, but we can only hope that he doesn’t invoke 9/11 (again) or applaud Smith for standing up for his teammate.
Apparently, they will be punished internally, and Pitino is taking it very seriously. Okay, maybe not.
At Lousville, None Major in Accountability -- NCAA Basketball FanHouse
Pitino said that neither will miss a game "They will be punished, and are being punished right now,'' he told ESPN.com. The punishment is coming before practice even officially begins Friday. Again, it will not involve any missed games, or even parts of games, he said.
Offered without comment.