There is a lot of diverse stuff in today's BBDM, but I want to focus briefly on Kentucky beginning SEC play on Saturday versus the Georgia Bulldogs.
It's been a long time since UK got through the non-conference season unscathed, and even though the Wildcats had several tough opponents and a couple of near-misses against not-so-tough opponents, the young Kittens have arrived to conference play with the roundest of numbers in their loss column.
As a bonus, Kentucky is beginning to play some pretty good basketball. While their performance against the Louisville Cardinals was uneven, I never actually felt that the Cardinals were going to rise up and win the game. Kentucky pretty much stayed on top of them from tip to horn with the exception of a short period in the middle of the second half.
But the 'Cats are capable of much better play than that, and against Georgia, we have every reason to expect to see some of it. John Wall is hitting on all cylinders, looking to pass first but never missing an easy opportunity to put the ball in the basket. DeMarcus Cousins is getting beastlier by the day (some Cardinal fans probably think he has already morphed into Wolverine, but he hasn't), and Patrick Patterson is shooting the ball well from virtually every spot on the floor.
Which brings me to the only real criticism I have at this point -- feed Patterson a bit more. Okay, maybe that wasn't the only one -- DeMarcus Cousins needs to learn how to pass out of the post, but given the rest of his game, that's a weakness I think we can all live with for the moment. He has gotten better at virtually everything else as time goes on, so there is no reason to believe that post passing won't improve as well.
The news follows the jump.
Rich Brooks Hangs It Up " Over The Pylon
Does that sort of positivity and progress continue under new head coach Joker Phillips? Hard to say. Many say Phillips was the architect of not only the offense, but also the recruiting, two areas where Kentucky has advanced more than many of us thought possible, and the credit for that is due in no small amount to the man who now wears the crown at Kentucky.
Mike Leach, John Calipari examples of why college sports needs to get cleaned up | The Huge Blog - MLive.com
This guy makes a self-defeating argument.
High-5, Low-5 | Prodigal Son | Cincinnati Sports News
This criticism is more worthy.
Cal tells Cats to focus on present | KentuckySports.com
"The way I've always coached is day by day," Calipari said on a Southeastern Conference coaches' teleconference Monday. "I try not to worry about the past. Rip out the rearview mirror. Have amnesia. Move on. Try to get them to play that way.
"And this team is struggling with that a little bit. When guys miss shots, they seem to miss four in a row."
Yeah. The longer you are perfect, the more of a burden it becomes.
- Wildcat Blue In a Sea of Orange: Brandon Knight, Terrence Jones and other UK prospects carve up their HS competition
Acrylic Sports - ESPN Outside the Lines Story about Cleaning House
Totally predictable, re-hashed arguments. I agree that the housecleaning Calipari did was both perfectly in accordance with the rules, and I also agree that it was not fair. But we have been there already.
There is a lot wrong with the current system, but it is the system. To the author's credit, he properly blames the system and does not single out any particular coach. I disagree with his imputation that the athletes themselves are treated unfairly -- they know the rules coming in, and they agree to them.
- JOKER PHILLIPS: In his own words | KentuckySports.com
- College Ballplayer Sues U of Kentucky
John Clay: UK's Phillips prepared for challenges ahead | KentuckySports.com
And Kentucky football has entered the world of higher expectations. A mere seven-win season isn't quite good enough anymore. (Why can't you beat Tennessee?) Neither is a fourth consecutive bowl trip. (Why aren't you going to a better bowl?)
Nobody seems to remember who got us in this position.
UK's Wall winning opponents' respect | KentuckySports.com
Hayes, a Player of the Year candidate in the Mid-American Conference, played against a one-and-done phenom, O.J. Mayo, earlier in his career. He compared Wall favorably.
"Mayo settled for a lot of jumpers and I had it kind of easy guarding him," Hayes said. "He made some tough shots, but he didn't make me work.
"Wall made me work. I had to sprint back and try to contain him."
SEC Basketball: Feel the mediocrity : Kentucky Registrar
Strong words. I think Florida can get to the tournament, but Vandy needs to step up its game. Ole Miss and MSU should be shoo-ins. South Carolina is looking more and more like an NIT team.
Did Calipari yell at Reginald Delk? | Vaught's Views
Hmm. So Vaught does think Calipari directed words at Delk. I agree with him that was wrong.
BBL: Cats visiting JUCO, while football may have lost 2 John Clay’s Sidelines
John Clay's Big Blue Links.
- John Wall, who else, gets first Sports Illustrated cover for college hoops this season | College Hoops Journal
Grading Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt, Syracuse's legitimacy and more - Seth Davis - SI.com
Seth Davis defends his comments about Kentucky like the lawyer he is. But one thing he is right about (remember, stopped clocks can also be right occasionally) -- just because his assessment does not agree with most UK fans, that does no make him biased. It just makes him what I always said he was -- wrong most of the time, about almost everything.
Advice for Tebow: Retire now - NCAA Football - CBSSports.com
This may look dumb, but this is more from the heart than you might expect. And his argument is compelling. I don't really agree, but I do wonder -- can Tebow excel at quarterback in the NFL? Given what I have seen him do so far, I would not bet against him.
Rondo forces OT to help C's overcome Heat, Wade's 44-point effort - NBA - CBSSports.com
Rondo was terrific in this game.