Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Tweak Revealed Edition

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. Bat Cats whack Western, prepare for #1 South Carolina this weekend. Softball handles the Hoosiers. Calipari still miffed about NCAA seed. More.

The "tweak" is revealed:

"The tweak was for Andrew [Harrison] to just pass the ball first, look to score second," a source at the team hotel in Atlanta told CatsPause.com.

Toldja. You heard it here first. And yes, I'm feeling my oats a little:

Tweet of the Morning

Mark Stoops recruiting nationally. I like it.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky basketball
Other Kentucky sports
  • Bat Cats shell Western 10-3, get ready to welcome #1 (in most polls) South Carolina to Lexington. That will tell us if this team is for real, or just another solid SEC squad.

  • Softball shuts out the Hoosiers 5-0. Next up: The Kentucky Tournament featuring Kansas, Kent St., Fairfield, and St. Francis (PA) before beginning SEC play.

  • Freshman-laden NCAA teams are still the exception, not the rule.

    Kansas coach Bill Self may be relieved we're not talking about his team. No, the youngest team in the country is No. 8 seed Kentucky, which will open the tournament against No. 9 K-State on Friday night at the Scottrade Center. For the season, the latest crop of hyped Big Blue freshmen has played 74.2 percent of the minutes for coach John Calipari.

    From a historical perspective, it's a staggering number. By comparison, the famed Fab Five freshman class at Michigan accounted for just 68 percent of the minutes while leading the Wolverines to the NCAA title game in 1992. Kentucky is young, and Calipari's team has played like it.

    Interesting about UK's frosh playing more minutes than the Fab Five.

  • Kansas St. was among the schools who recruited Willie Cauley-Stein hardest, and this article suggests he almost went there instead of Kentucky.

  • Calipari's style change clearly helped the team:

    But with Calipari more subdued, the Kentucky players, in general, and the Harrisons, specifically, played well in Atlanta. Aaron Harrison made 18 of 36 shots (nine of 20 from three-point range) and averaged 17.3 points. Andrew Harrison set a career high with eight assists against LSU, then broke it with nine against Georgia.

    "This is what everybody who's ever seen them play is used to seeing," the twins' father said. "I've probably gotten over 200 calls saying, 'OK, this is the Aaron and Andrew I know.'"

  • Many in the media are not impressed with the job John Calipari has done with the team this season. I have my own thoughts, which I will share at the appropriate time.

  • Dick Gabriel says that Kentucky's performance in Atlanta came too late for the Selection Committee. The Wildcats were going to be no better than a 7 seed, and I doubt that the Committee would have even moved UK from the 8 line even if they had narrowly defeated Florida. Here's why:

    And it had nothing to do with a conspiracy. It had more to do with a weak season of basketball in the Southeastern Conference. And with ESPN.

    Yes, the network that will serve as midwife when the SEC gives birth to its new television channel this summer wanted the world to see the ACC championship game, Duke taking on Virginia, before it settled in with Florida vs. Kentucky. It might have ensured a larger audience for the SEC final but it most certainly tied the hands of the committee, which already had let it be known that the SEC game was played so late in the afternoon that it would have no bearing on seedings.

  • Despite seeding, odds makers in Las Vegas still like Kentucky and Louisville.

  • Damn, John, show a little loyalty, willya?

  • Karl Towns Jr. gets love from ProPlayerInsiders:

    When asked why he chose to commit to the Kentucky Wildcats and coach Calipari, Towns had responded accordingly; "He had to make a great effort to convince me to go to Kentucky because he didn’t recruit me, it was my own personal choosing. I thought it was the best option for me and my family," Towns said. "I’ve learned an awful lot from [Calipari], and he’s helped me improve my game a lot."

    This is the Dominican Republic experience paying off for Coach Cal.

  • I know this is a burning question. John Clay provides answers.

College football
College basketball
  • Shaka Smart takes Mike Krzyzewski to task:

    "First of all, comparing your own league to someone else’s league is like me saying that my daughter is cuter than your daughter," Smart said (via ESPN). "There’s a level of bias that comes into play that you shouldn’t even make those comments. Secondly, coaches are too busy to be an authority on someone else’s conference.

    Heh. In your eye, Coach K. Generally, though, I agree with what Krzyzewski is saying, although not the way he says it. The NCAA tournament is first about being "fair" to the little guy, even at the expense of other possibly more deserving teams, and then, secondly, hoping to find the best team in the country.

    If the goal is to find the best team by putting the 68 best teams into the tournament, the NCAA Selection Committee cannot succeed because of the autobids. In a world where Glenn Logan ruled, he would select all 68 teams based on a list of criteria that included both conference regular-season championships and tournament results as positive factors for inclusion, with the regular season championship having greater weight. That way, both the regular season, which means very little now, and the tournament, means something both when they win it, and during selection. If there is no conference tournament, then the regular season gets the combined weight of both.

    Autobids allowing poor teams to win their way into the tournament may be good theater, but it isn't the best way to build a competitive tournament, in my view. But it is "fair" in the sense that everybody has agreed that this is the way it will work.

    To college football's credit, they have always tried to get the best teams into the championship game, even though with just one game to work with and the close arguments of many teams, that's been subject to great scorn. The new playoff will get incrementally closer, and notice that nobody is talking about including the Sun Belt champion in an autobid to the College Football Playoff.

    Reserve the NCAA Tournament for the 68 best teams, and give autobids to the NIT, I say, just like lesser conferences get to play in minor bowls.

  • Five research-backed ways to improve your NCAA bracket.

  • Basketball players trust their coaches less than in any other men's sport. It's also interesting that this seems to be a generational phenomenon for Milennials.

  • "Survival" bracket favors Louisville and Florida.

  • Sixteen sweet moments in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky figures prominently in only one, and you know which one that is.

  • Dime Magazine previews the Midwest Region. Interesting comments regarding Kentucky, but pretty much what you'd expect.

  • Auburn hires Bruce Pearl. If he turns that program around, he can do anything. But if he does, he won't be there very long, although his payday is substantial.

  • Gregg Doyel argues that teams like Mount St. Marys, who won their conference tournament and got put in the play-in game, got screwed.

    I tend to agree. If autobids mean anything, they should get you into the main field, not the play-in. Another good reason why autobids are bad, at least as currently implemented. Only at-large selections should play in the play-ins, and I would further argue only at-large selections who won neither their regular-season nor conference championships, unless there are no such teams. Then, it should simply be the 8 lowest-ranked teams.

    Better if we just did away with autobids for the NCAA Tournament. Then Mount St. Marys could compete in the NIT, where they belong, if anywhere.

  • N.C. State proves they belong.

Other sports news
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