The flu bug has assailed the football Wildcats, and the prospect of watching John Wall finally lead the basketball Wildcats into battle has me delirious with both pleasure and pain. It drives me crazy when so many players are hit with injury and illness all at once, and I suppose I should be thankful that we are not going into the Vanderbilt game this weekend. But at the same time, it drives me nuts that we seem to wind up in this same situation every year at this time. Maybe it's everybody, but it just doesn't seem that way.
Moving on to basketball, UK welcomes John Calipari's alma mater, Clarion University, into Rupp Arena tomorrow night. We'll have much more on that in due course, but I highly recommend this Jerry Tipton article (even to the anti-Tipton crowd), which has lots of great background on Calipari's time at Clarion, and how it helped shape him into what he is today.
I am a big fan of coaches playing their alma maters, particularly when they are small schools like Clarion. It may not continue for Calipari, though, but I have to admit, I do like the practice.
Speaking of practice, how is that Dribble Drive Motion offense working out for the 'Cats? About like Calipari predicted it would early on -- balls flying everywhere but in the basket, turnovers, etc. It will get better, and when it does, this team will be really dangerous.
And now, for the news:
Former coach says Calipari was "born to coach" at UK | Vaught's Views
Well, there you go.
- Brooks, Cats must regain focus, UK picked to win SEC
Rich Brooks & the SEC Teleconference " Over The Pylon
Always a good read.
- Lindley's Award chances dimmed by injuries
UK Basketball News
Red-hot rivalry ready to burn across the Kentucky bluegrass | Sports News Images and Videos
Up the road in Louisville, some are immune to the Kentucky hype.
"They had the same buzz two years ago," Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich says. "Remember when they were recruiting eighth-graders?"
Oh, Tommy Turtleneck with the jab -- on that's probably going to come back and land squarely on his own jaw.
Vitale: Could Self, Calipari square off for title once again? | Sports News Images and Videos
1. There is the Rick Pitino soap opera down in Louisville. Pitino became the victim of an alleged extortion plot by Karen Syphers, who now faces criminal charges.
Uh, it's Sypher, Dick, not "Syphers."
High expectations follow Wall to UK | The Kentucky Kernel
"John is very good," freshman forward DeMarcus Cousins said. "Everything you hear, everything on paper is true. He is good, he’s not overrated at all. Everything is good."
Lindley Continues to Progress
Three key players returned to practice on Wednesday, offensive guard Christian Johnson, linebacker Micah Johnson and tailback Alfonso Smith, after missing Tuesday’s practice because of illness. However, eight other Wildcats who missed Tuesday because of new injuries or illnesses also did not participate on Wednesday.
I have no idea what we'll see on Saturday.
SEC preview: Cleared to play, Kentucky to fly off with Wall - NCAA Division I Mens Basketball - CBSSports.com
My affection for John Wall is well-documented, and I'm glad the NCAA cleared him last week if only because I'm eager to watch the freshman point guard play college basketball. Can't wait. But I must tell you I was struck by the insanity of the system as I sat in the press box at Boone Pickens Stadium late Saturday and watched Oklahoma State play football without star receiver Dez Bryant.
I'm not sure what Parrish is exercised about here. Dez Bryant lied, deliberately. That's wrong, and as it turns out, the lie is explicitly a violation of NCAA by-laws. Lying is bad. Parrish shouldn't be excusing it. On the other hand, I think declaring Bryant permanently ineligible is way over the top. Hopefully, the appeal will find a more fitting punishment.
UK Football News
- Newton finding his way as UK's starter | KentuckySports.com
Wildcats’ King trying to hold on as WR | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
"He ran the wrong route, but he made a play," said Joker Phillips, UK's offensive head coach and wide receivers coach. "And if you run the wrong route, you'd better make a play."
Ran the wrong route. Seems to be the story of our wide receiver's lives.
- Kentucky Sports Radio " The Colonels Are Coming! The Colonels Are Coming!
Other UK Sports News
- None today
NCAA Sports News
Three years later, NBA and NCAA Basketball benefit from age limit
In defense of the age limit. We have seen precious little of this.
Before They Were Coaches: Part I (SEC) – LostLettermen.com
This is pretty cool. You should read it.
- Don't Bet On It!: Around the SEC - Dawg Sports
Gillispie watches Doc's team practice
I guess Billy is done with Kentucky now.
- Louisville basketball starts strong, then handles Bellarmine 88-65 | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
Vanderbilt Sports Line: Gary Parrish Thinks We're Going to Do Worse Than Kentucky and Tennessee......and Florida...and South Carolina
Ever the Vanderbilt fan, I'm not going to definitively state where we'll end up due to my fear of jinxing the most anticipated season in my fairly limited Vanderbilt basketball memory. But I will say that I think we'll end up better than 5th. Florida and South Carolina are like the majority of first dates. They looked great upon first sight, but then you actually sit there and look at them and you realize they're incredibly flawed. That's not saying Vanderbilt isn't, we've got a few weaknesses (defense). But I think I'm justified in saying that our weaknesses are less glaring than theirs.
I think that Vanderbilt is likely to finish better than fifth. In fact, I think they are more likely to finish third than fifth.
Other News of Interest
Well, that’s, interesting … " The HoopScribe's Blog
ESPN.com is reporting that women’s basketball pioneer Nancy Lieberman will be the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks’ D-League affiliate team in Frisco, Texas.
As my dad says, "How's about them apples?"
ESPN wants to bid for March Madness? - Beyond the Arc - msnbc.com
ESPN says it’d be open in bidding for the rights to March Madness if the NCAA opts out of its 11-year, $6 billion contract with CBS this July.
I think Mike is right -- economically, it makes no sense.
John Clay: Europe suddenly an appealing path - John Clay - Kentucky.com
Brandon Jennings' early NBA start — averaging 22 points and 5.3 rebounds through Milwaukee's first three games — will prompt more prep superstars to spend a year overseas, rather than in college, before becoming eligible for the NBA.
Maybe. The question is, will it be enough to matter?
- Bluegrass State Basketball has some interesting stuff today.
The Daily Schadenfreude
Duke guard Smith slapped with two-game suspension - NCAA Division I Mens Basketball - CBSSports.com
Duke guard Nolan Smith will sit out two games because he played in an unsanctioned summer league.
A Duke player? Running afoul of the rules? Oh, my, I'm shocked... Shocked! -- but only at the fact it was even reported.