Sorry for the absence of the quickies yesterday, but most of my customers do not celebrate Christmas. As a result, pent-up demand for stuff was visited upon me over the holidays, and that had to be dealt with. It happens. It will get better. Moving on.
Belated congratulations to the Louisville Cardinals for winning the Sugar Bowl. They did what Kentucky has not done in 25 years or so and beat the Florida Gators. They played with class, and the Gators acted like juvenile morons. The Cardinals deserve acknowledgement for that. Now they have it. I'm not happy about it, because in the zero-sum game of Kentucky sports, it reflects badly on Kentucky football. Hopefully, Stoops & Co. will undo that soon.
Tweet of the Morning:
Just going to call it a day. NY Daily News won the Internet with the Rex Ryan tat photo.— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) January 4, 2013
Heh. "Won the Internet." Hilarious.
Just in case you missed what he's talking about:
This Rex Ryan tattoo story would be amazing except for the fact it is Rex Ryan. bit.ly/UmWXlO— John Clay (@johnclayiv) January 4, 2013
When John Calipari released a series of posts on Wednesday night mentioning something special on Thursday morning we were expecting something ridiculous like the videos he posted of the housing for Kentucky basketball players several months ago. Instead, he posted a fairly in-depth article about how closely he is monitoring his players. Although this lacks the "wow" factor that we have come to expect from Calipari’s surprises it is an interesting look at the level of detail top programs tend to go through in training there players (we doubt that Calipari is really as far ahead of other coaches as the media would have you believe outside of his social network wizardry).I don't know, I was pretty wowed. Maybe i'm just easily wowed. :-)
The Wildcats' floor is clearly rising, but I'm not sure their ceiling is as high as many believe. Their second-half comeback at Louisville would not have happened if the Cardinals didn't get into major foul trouble. Alex Poythress' passive play is befuddling. And their foul shooting is atrocious across the board. Still, UK's stock price has gone sharply south since it was ranked No. 3 to start the season. The players are too talented and the league is too weak for them not to continue their climb.
Whenever you hear the "but for foul trouble, UK would have lost huge" comment, you should scoff mercilessly at the person making it. It is risible.
But for their aggressive, physical play, the Cardinals would never have built a huge lead. Whenever you play like that, you are going to make fouls. Russ Smith and Peyton Siva should have fouled out just after the half if not for the leniency of the officials.
Rare is the team that can play as aggressively as Louisville against a very talented team and not collect a lot of fouls, just as it's rare when you can get away with murder on a busy street in broad daylight.
Kentucky isn't breaking new ground here. Other teams have used the technology as a motivator and teaching tool, but it was interesting to read how Calipari sees it helping him as a coach and how he sees it helping his players when he wrote about it today on CoachCal.com.I figured UK wasn't the first to get on this idea. Better late than never.
Harrow and Calipari both know point guard has to keep improving despite recent success // vaughtsviews
Harrow has played well lately, but he can play better. 4 turnovers last game is one area.
Conference Power Rankings: ACC // ESPN
Never thought I'd be saying this, but here I go again ... Go Terps!
Other UK sports
- John Clay // Morning Links
- The Morning Mix // Troy Machir, CollegeBasketballTalk
- Tom Leach // Friday Links
- SEC M5: 01.04.13 Edition // Rush The Court
Chip Kelly on NFL interviews: 'I’ll listen, and we’ll see' // SBNation.com
I have a feeling Kelly will wind up in the same sentence eventually as Pete Carroll.
BLATANT HOMERISM: THE SUGAR BOWL // Every Day Should Be Saturday
*WARNING* Truly, deeply, and totally NOT safe for work. However, it is also truly, deeply and totally hilarious.
Greg Hansen: McKale miracle moves Cats closer to No. 1 in luck
Didn't see the game, but all I can say is, "Wow." I feel for Colorado. They started out as 82% underdogs, and got all the way up to a 97% chance of an upset. Then they lost. College basketball is popular for a reason.
Memphis' new athletics director, Tom Bowen, embarrassed his basketball coach, Josh Pastner. Pastner and he decided to drop the series with Tennessee. Then, Bowen negotiated a renewal of the series without telling his head coach, and allowed Pastner to go on TV and tell everyone the series was over, and that he was responsible.
Can you imagine what would happen if Mitch Barnhart did that to Calipari? I would rip Barnhart for weeks, every day, and I'd have a lot of company. Bowen just made arguably the biggest faux pas I've ever heard of, and I would not be at all surprised to see Pastner move on and flip the bird to Bowen
I'm afraid I don't agree. What's killing college basketball is this the fact that everybody knows it's just a time-waster in between college football seasons. Realignment is what is really killing college basketball, not to mention the fact that coaches have to be focused, first and foremost, on getting to the NCAA tournament in as good a shape as possible.
To be honest, college basketball has become like the NBA regular season - nobody but the team's partisans even care until March. That is driven as much by the NCAA's desire to maximize tournament profits and the increasing youth of teams than anything else.
- Tennessee vs Memphis Preview // Rocky Top Talk
You will recall that Eastern Michigan beat Purdue. Just sayin'
I think this says more about Illinois than anything.
College Basketball Catches Up to Jerry Tarkanian // NYTimes.com
Very good article on Tarkanian.
Other sports news
What I find perplexing is that the Hornets never seem to run their offense through Davis. I realize he's an NBA rookie, but he's only going to improve through experience. I thought Greivis Vasquez and Anthony Davis would be the "Crescent City Connection" version 2.0, but Vasquez feeds more alley-oops to Al-Farouq Aminu than Davis.
Patrick Patterson did not hesitate, contrary to the split second he waited before launching the 3-pointer that put away the Rockets’ victory Wednesday night. Asked about continuing to come off the bench, as he has in three games since missing seven with a bruised foot, he immediately said he wanted his starting job back.Was that extra year at UK good to Patterson? Oh, yeah. That's when he really learned to shoot the three.
One of the most entertaining stories of the first 20 games of this season was the Clippers backup guard Eric Bledsoe. Not only were his statistics astounding — he held the second highest Player Efficiency Rating among point guards at 24.4 through Dec. 14 (only his teammate Chris Paul had a higher PER) — but he was also a thrill to watch.
John Wall returns to practice for Wizards // John Clay's Sidelines
Well, good. All right, John, go get 'em.
49ers' David Akers leaves Twitter after death threats
Twitter needs to address this. Death threats are unacceptable, and any person doing them should be referred to the FBI for prosecution. Twitter has a responsibility to stop this activity somehow, or at least try.