Time for everyone to gear up for Rivalry Week. The game to Belmont is in the books, and now it's on to the defending NCAA Tournament champions next Saturday. This is a game I have absolutely no feel for, as Louisville is virtually untested, and Kentucky hasn't passed any of their main tests yet.
Tweet of the Morning:
Tough break for Brad Calipari tearing the ACL. Best wishes for a quick and full recovery @The_bcal25— Bailey (@Obailey14) December 22, 2013
Avery Williamson, Landon Foster honored by ESPN.com
Land Grant Holy Land talks about E.J. Price, a 2016 offensive tackle. Kentucky is one of the schools on his offer list.
John Calipari's post-Belmont press conference:
We've had several critiques of good sportswriting lately, and this is yet another example of less than stellar work. Consider this, from Kyle Tucker at the Courier-Journal:
"I don’t think people who watch the game know which one is Aaron and which one is Andrew," Calipari said, noting that Aaron often looks like UK’s best player. "He’s 12 minutes older, so he’s more mature."
Anybody watching Calipari's press conference would understand this is a joke. It is reported here as a matter of fact, divorced from context. Why would anyone do that? The part about the 12 minutes is absolutely irrelevant to Calipari's point, he threw it in as a joke.
With due respect, this was probably just an oversight, but anyone reading this article who hadn't seen the press conference might conclude that Calipari just isn't that smart.
Kentucky's week spent working on defense, free throw shooting and body language yielded some results as the Wildcats came up with timely stops and rebounds in the second half. While better free throw shooting was also critical in the outcome, their improved engagement made the biggest difference and helped them outscore the Bruins 52-34 in the paint.
If Calipari can get this much done in a week, I feel really good about what might come out of Camp Cal.
Taylor Sturm searches for the silver lining for Belmont in yesterday's loss. I think he pretty much finds it.
West Jessamine High to retire Jarrod Polson's jersey. Good, I think he's earned it.
If Poythress was just okay yesterday, I can't wait to see him bring his practice game to an actual game.
The Herald-Leader profiles Matt Jones. I like Matt, and consider him a friend, although we don't agree on a few things. Here are some agree/disagree examples:
But journalists say what angers them most is that KSR writers lift their reporting without credit, a violation of journalism ethics. Jones counters that much of that material comes from news conferences, which he considers fair game.
I think Matt is right on this one. A quote at a news conference is what I consider to be free to quote without attribution to a particular service. I generally source all my quotes, but if we are talking about something Calipari or someone else said at a news conference, I think citing the source is optional. It is not optional for the insights provided by the journalist. As I said, I err on the side of caution because it doesn't cost anything to link your source, but I agree with Matt's take.
I do not agree that a quote from an interview that was obtained by a reporter behind a paywall may be freely lifted and used. I think that is unethical, and I have told Matt that personally, and explained it many times here. We apparently do not agree about that.
Lifting photos is a bigger issue. The Herald-Leader, the Courier-Journal, the Kentucky Kernel and other news organizations have repeatedly demanded that KSR's blog stop reposting their copyright photographs without permission.
Lifting copyrighted photographs is a copyright violation and illegal. Period. This should never happen, ever. The end. There is no debate, no "fair use" crap (Matt runs a for-profit site). The law may be confusing, but it isn't that confusing.
Have I done it before? Yes, in the distant past, but when I learned that I was violating copyrights, I immediately stopped, and have never knowingly done it again.
Part of the tension between Jones and others in the press box stems from their radically different views about the role and ethics of news media in college sports. Jones said he appreciates good journalism, but he's running a business.
I'm not sure what to make of this. You can't use, "I'm running a business" as an excuse to ignore ethical obligations. On the other hand, neither Jones nor I, for example, are actual "journalists" in the sense that I understand the word, and some of the ethics things that Journalists are constrained to are largely inapplicable to the world we operate in. Some, but by no means all.
By and large, I think that Matt is trying to push the envelope, and I'm generally okay with that — it's often better to ask for forgiveness than permission. With that said, some things, such as photographs, are beyond debate, and lifting information from premium sites and publishing it for free is, in my opinion, very uncool.
There's no denying KSR's success, though, and Matt and his team deserve credit for that. I'm happy to see it, and I'm hopeful their new partnership with 247 will resolve the photo issue, which I consider to be a big problem for KSR that could really hurt them one day. Trust me, I know as much or more about this issue than 98% of the people in this business, and they have been very fortunate up until now.
A lot of good businesses have started by pushing right to the line, and even stepping over the line occasionally, but eventually becoming a good business citizen. That usually happens when the business has a sufficient amount to lose to become an attractive target for litigation. Best to get it sorted before you reach that point, I say.
Julius Randle was at his best yesterday, and Belmont's defenders simply couldn't do anythng about it:
"We couldn’t stop him ... except to foul him," Byrd said. "He’s so strong that our guys fouled him and he doesn’t even notice (them) swatting at him.
"I felt like we did all we could. We’ve got no bulk inside to match up with him at all. You need bulk and ability to move laterally against a guy against a guy like him. And length and size helps, too. We are 0-3 in that category."
RUPP ROARING. The Rupp Arena crowd of 24,224 was UK's second-largest of the season and largest since the season-opener against UNC-Asheville. And it was one of the best crowds of the season. Holiday crowds often feature fans who don't usually get into the arena, scrounging tickets from friends or buying where they can. Wherever the crowd came from, it was one of the best in the place this season.
Of course, you knew John Calipari's son Brad tore his ACL, right? Our prayers go out to Brad for a quick and complete recovery.
Other Kentucky sports
- The lady Wildcats take on the Duke Blue Devils today in sold-out Rupp Arena. But you knew that. We will have coverage of the game.
Part 1 of the Q&A between the SB Nation blogs of the two BCS Championship contenders — Tomahawk Nation (Florida St.) and College and Magnolia (Auburn).
Mike Leach raises some eyebrows at his press conference after Washington St. lost to Colorado.
John Stockton's son David, who plays for Gonzaga, gets himself put on the wrong side of a poster:
Notre Dame undergoes epic last-minute collapse versus Ohio St. Matt Norlander compares it to other epic last-minute upchucks.
Two undefeated teams go down, Ohio St. survives because of the aforementioned epic collapse by Notre Dame.
North Carolina needs overtime to dispatch pesky Davidson.
Other sports news
- Team USA and Team Canada play hockey, end up in a brawl. That's not really news, right? Except this time, it was the women's teams, and not even for the first time.