Big Blue Nation Linkapalooza: Alabama Edition

Last night, the Alabama Crimson Tide completely dominated the LSU Tigers offensively and defensively. Those that thought that game was boring need to forget football and pick up basketball, in this writer's humble opinion. Even my wife, who doesn't care for football, found this game infinitely more interesting than the Fiesta Bowl score-a-thon. I did, too. Your mileage may vary.

Now for the links:

Notebook: Teague managing great expectations // CoachCal.com

Davis is blocking 14.6 percent of the shots taken against him, according to kenpom.com, the sixth-best mark in the country. Going into Sunday, only 49 teams(!!!) have more blocks than Davis, and he’s on pace to finish in the top 10 on UK’s career blocks list in just one season.

Davis has blocked more shots himself than most teams this year. What a stat!


UK women make 14 three-pointers in record-setting rout // Lexington Herald-Leader

It was the Cats' largest margin of victory ever in a Southeastern Conference game and they did it behind hot shooting from three-point range, hitting 46.7 percent (14-for-30) from there.

Bracketology 2012: At Midway Point, Syracuse Leads The Way, Baylor Earns 1-Seed // SBNation.com


Practice report: Preventing midseason lull, Coach Cal ups intensity level // CoachCal.com

Just because the Cats have started to make free throws doesn’t mean Calipari is going to stop doing the end-of-practice free-throw sprints. For every free throw the Cats miss, they’re running 33-second suicides. Last game the Wildcats missed six, so they were due six sprints Monday. Cutting them a favor, Coach Cal gave each player who missed a free throw last game a chance to make one this time for a chance to eliminate one of the sprints."Since we started running, have we missed free throws?" Calipari said. "We were second-to-last in our league before we started running and now we’re the best in our league. You want to know why? Because you dudes don’t want to run. We have the ability to be the best free-throw shooting team in the country."

This will please all you free-throw bangers out there.


Estes: 'Dominating night' gives Tide worthy title // NBC Sports

Call it boring, call it tedious, call it downright dull. Call it whatever you would like. The Alabama Crimson Tide, like the honey badger, don’t care. Just as long as you call them national champions.

I call it good SEC football, and I thoroughly enjoyed the game.


Jarnell Stokes on floor at UT // timesfreepress.com

We have to keep an eye on this guy. He is really gifted - so gifted, I don't remember UT ever getting a player of this quality.


Mark Story: Joker Phillips' seat will still be hot next season // Lexington Herald-Leader

Reason(s) for hope in 2012: Quarterback Maxwell Smith showed significant promise when pressed into a starting role as a true freshman late last season. Due to injuries and other factors, the California product did not bring a great deal of experience playing high school football to UK, meaning he could take a major step upward next season.

There are also reasons to worry. Read the rest for more.


Kentucky Sports Radio // Odd Jerry Tipton Interaction of the Day

Jerry can definitely ask odd questions.


Khem Birch chooses UNLV over Florida // CBSSports.com

Interesting. UNLV is starting to make some major recruiting noise, and Donovan has lost a couple of last-second pickups.


Everything Kentucky: Future Cats - Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress Video


Notebook: Calipari, Cats open road SEC schedule // Kentucky Wildcats

The big topic heading into this week is the fact that the Wildcats are hitting the road in conference play for the first time with trips to Auburn (8 p.m. Wednesday) and Tennessee (noon Saturday). Anyone who follows Kentucky basketball will remember the struggles UK had on the road a season ago, losing six of eight games in conference away from Rupp Arena.

Indeed, who can forget?


Rankings/Awards update // The Kentucky Kernel

As for what he learned last year about the road struggles, Calipari said, "The execution of last year’s team probably cost us more than anything else. We just weren’t ready." He said this year, UK could be better prepared for the road because "this year’s team is a little farther advanced, because I had a better idea of how this team would have to play."

Jim Harris' Notebook: Gillen Says Kentucky 'An Unbelievably Talented Team' - ArkansasSports360.com

Former Virginia and Xavier head basketball coach Pete Gillen likes two teams from the state of Kentucky to advance to the NCAA Final Four this year: Kentucky, because of the Wildcats "unbelievable" talent, and upset sleeper pick Murray State.

Wow. Murray is a bold pick to go to the Final Four. UK, not so much.


Early upsets show Calipari SEC road games will be "hard" to win again this season // vaughtsviews

"Last year we were 2-6 on the road (in SEC play) and were only a basket or two away from winning the national title. People do not give these teams and coaches enough credit. It’s hard to win on the road (in the SEC)."

Great point there. Too often, we take the SEC road for granted. It will be tougher this year than in recent years, although I do think UK is better prepared this year than last.


The Story of How Rick Pitino Ended Up in Kentucky

I'm reading this book right now, and it is fascinating. Pitino turned the job down, and interestingly enough, P.J. Carlesimo played a major role in avoiding a knock-down drag-out between Rick Pitino and Joanne.


Men's basketball holds fast at No. 2, UK Hoops up to No. 9 // Kentucky Wildcats


The Poll Attacks // CBSSports.com


SEC Morning Five: 01.10.12 Edition // Rush The Court


Will Birch’s arrival help UNLV get Shabazz? // John Clay's Sidelines

Jeez, I hope not.


No Split Championship: Alabama #1 in the AP Poll // Roll 'Bama Roll


Alabama A Lot, LSU Nothing // And The Valley Shook


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