Lots of interesting stuff going on around the Nation today, including the University of Kentucky's media day for basketball, and the Tip-off Luncheon comments by Coach Cal last night.
On the "Commonwealth’s Team statement: "We are the Commonweath’s team because we have the biggest alumni base in the state. As for Louisville, when we play them, I hope they lose. Other than that, I could care less. We don’t worry about them. We don’t recruit against them. We are the Commonwealth’s team,,,we are. It is no disrespect to anybody else." [sic]
I absolutely, positively love it when he gigs Louisville, especially when he disses them like this. It's like "little brother" on steroids.
"There's no program that has it at the level Kentucky has," Crean said. "For us, it wasn't planned out like, 'Hey, let's not compete.' It's really turned out, especially for young players, that they can do both. If they want to be at Louisville, they can be there. If they want to be at Kentucky, be at Kentucky. But then they can come here."
Coast to Coast recruiting says the media loves Kentucky.
With a coach like Calipari, who seems always to have a controversial quote at hand, that should be unsurprising to anyone.
- Aaron Smith of the Kentucky Kernel blogs UK Basketball's Media Day.
Corey Schmidt at Basketball Prospectus looks a the clutch players on some highly ranked teams this year.
This is reminiscent of some of the work JLeverenz does. It is easy to understand because of the graphs that he puts in the article, and the premise, clutch play, is very interesting. Highly recommended.
Gary Parrish has a new top 25 and 1.
UConn moves up in a big way, and Louisville is way over-rated at #8. Don't buy Florida at #11, either, although they are definitely top 20 at least. UCLA seems underrated to me at 21. No Arkansas? I think they'll be there at the end of the year.
Bill Connelly of SBNation.com ranks the prospects of Mike Leach's next job offer.
Kentucky is down the list a bit at fourth, so you Mike Leach fanatics might be disappointed.
- UKSportsInfo has the skinny on Kentucky volleyball's big win over #1* Tennesse.
With a 23-20 lead and a chance to take a commanding two-set lead in the second game, the Lady Volunteers rallied to win 26-24 and end any notion of a quick night of work for the Wildcats. They could have packed it in then, but instead they rallied to win the third set. The Cats could have quit after the Lady Vols saved a match point to force a decisive fifth set, but they didn't.
4. Who is the nation's best freshman?
Or to rephrase: Who is Kentucky's best player? John Calipari has brought in his usual stellar haul in 6-10 forward , 6-6 forward Michael Gilchrist and 6-2 point guard Marquis Teague. (The fact that Calipari swiped Teague from right under Rick Pitino's nose was a nice little bonus.) Those three could split the balloting when it comes time to vote for national freshman of the year, but that award pales next to the opportunity to win a national championship.
In what sounded like a page out of the late Al Davis playbook, Calipari suggested that UK basketball must seek excellence on and off the court.
Having the best grade-point average of any Southeastern Conference basketball team, for instance, is not enough.
"Let's be the best in the country," Calipari said. "Let's have the highest (Academic Progress Rate)."
In noting how Kentucky basketball led the SEC in APR in the latest tabulations, Calipari added, "They're not writing stories about that."
The crowd applauded.
- Kyle Tucker reports on today's football scrimmage.
Hurley, a street smart player from Jersey City, drove the lane anticipating Laettner would step in for the charge, but instead of dumping a pass to Laettner's man, who was open, Hurley whipped the ball into Laettner's face.
"Of course it was intentional," Laettner said.
The 6-11 Laettner chased Hurley, listed at 6-2, out of the gym but couldn't catch him.
"Man, that hurt," Laettner said. "I don't know what I would have done to him if I had caught him."
Hat tip: Rick Bozich's blog.