Is this the year that Kentucky football, particularly the defense, fulfills its promise? John Clay thinks so, and so do many on the squad. UK is returning a good portion of the core of last year's team, including Jeremy Jarmon, Micah Johnson and Trevard Lindley. Combine them with the promising newcomers Brooks has successfully recruited over the last couple of years, like Winston Guy and Danny Trevathan, and we could see a very good defensive unit.
Of course, may of us remember all the hype of last year's defense, and although it was much better than the offense, it still surrendered more points than seven other teams in the SEC and more yards than any other SEC team save one. So while UK at least wasn't the worst defense in the league, it was hardly among the leaders.
Recent practices have demonstrated that the offense is looking much better this year, which may lead to the the kind of balance that UK teams have not had in recent history -- the 'Cats have either been great on offense and bad on defense, or fair on defense and bad on offense. Being even fairly good on both would be something new.
Now, for the rest of the news.
- John Wall links from John Clay.
- Jordan Brand Classic highlights can be had from True Blue Kentucky.
- John Wall is not going to UNC, according to Duke Blue Forever. A showdown between UK and Duke? Could be ...
- Coach Cal restores the fun to UK basketball. Fun is a good thing, and I agree with Crawford that the whole attitude of the Big Blue Nation has changed since Calipari signed on Mitch Barnhart's dotted line. It would be nice if we could get the weight of the world off our backs, and just enjoy college basketball again.
- The pre-draft evaluations have really changed this year. For the better, most think.
- More criticism of coaching salaries, this time from the President of the University of Nevada, Reno. Could this be sour grapes over the loss of Mark Fox?
- Dick Weiss was disappointed that Lance Stephenson was not invited to the Jordan Brand Classic. I myself am scratching my head over that snub.
- An argument that Daniel Orton could end up at Memphis. It is defensible.
- The SEC and the NBA draft, 2001-2008. Interesting reading.
- [UPDATE 1] Kentucky Sports Radio says UK is Wall's leader, according to a source.
- [UPDATE 1] According to this report, Xavier and CJ Henry will not come to UK for a visit, and will decide in 2 days. This came from Henry's father.
- [UPDATE 2] Apparently, it is Carl Henry (Xavier's father) who can't make up his mind.
- [UPDATE 2] Silliness from Gary Parrish. When Wall wants your advice, Gary, he will cross-over and dunk it out of you.
- [UPDATE 2] Ramon Harris' wonders if he will be on the team next year. Don't worry, Ramon, I'm confident you will.
- [UPDATE 2] "Of course, there was one more line. Donovan made sure to thank Don Corleone." Heh.
- E.J. Fields likes his role at Kentucky. This young man has a great attitude, and I think it will lead to on the field success.
- Football respect for the Wildcats? Not yet.
- Team Speed Kills says UK's practice is the longest and latest in the league.
- Coshik Williams is fitting right in as a walk-on at UK. There has been lots of talk about this kid, and how hard he plays. Trevard Lindley is the man responsible for getting him here.
- [UPDATE 2] 'Cats elect a team council. OverThePylon has the team leadership and some info about the final week of practice.
Other UK Sports
- UK takes the series over John Cohen's MSU team. The Bat Cats need a lot more of that to get a spot in the SEC tournament.
- Kentucky men's golf records their best finish in the SEC championship since 2006.
- The Josh Pastner Phenomenon. The author is surprised at how well Memphis is taking to Pastner.
- Penn State fined by the Rose Bowl for closing the locker room after the game.
- Even Tubby Smith's salary is under fire.
- [UPDATE 2] John Pelphrey won't refer to Louisville by name. Funny.
- [UPDATE 2] UK fan favorite Vee Sanford to Georgetown.
- [UPDATE 2] Heh. Springs stars may be fall's flame-outs, and some examples (including Louisville's Hunter Cantwell) are listed.
- [UPDATE 2] Alex Legion arrested for driving on a suspended license. Hmmm.
- [UPDATE 2] Billy Donovan has lots of scholarships available at Florida
- [UPDATE 2] The Paulusinization of Syracuse football inches closer. Those Dookies really get around.
Other News of Interest
- [UPDATE 2] Former Duke waterboy laughs all the way to the bank.