Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: 2014 NFL Draft Edition

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. The 2014 NFL Draft starts tonight. Kentucky softball advances over Mississippi St. in SEC Tournament, plays Tennessee today at 1:30. Three UK teams win NCAA academic award. More

Welcome to NFL Draft Day. We'll have a couple more player evaluations and open thread coverage tonight. For NFL fans, this should be an exciting day. For the rest of us, it's just another episode of the Big Bang Theory.

Tweet of the Morning

This struck me as hilarious.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
  • Damien Harris explains his interest in Kentucky:

    "I love coach (Mark) Stoops first and foremost. When they came in, I was the first player he came to visit. He didn’t try to sell me anything. He just told me to give us a chance that we can prove we can turn things around. So I did," Harris said. "I got to know coach (Neal) Brown, coach (Chad) Scott.

    ...

    "Now as much as I wish had time to see what they do, unfortunately I only have another year. Hopefully I will be able to decide whether they have made enough improvement for me to really want to go there," Harris said.

    So there you go. There is more. Read the whole thing. Via Hank

  • Larry Vaught talks to Luke Hiers, the recent center commitment. Alligators? Really? Via Hank.

  • Cats have offered another player to wage trench warfare. (Hat Tip: Patrick Loney and Cory Bender). Also, here's his Hudl highlights. {Hank}

  • Worried about the 2015 class? Eli Brown isn't. {Hank}

  • Friday is getting closer and here's why that's important.

    JFWIW, IU thinks he'll become a Hoosier Whoosier, because their passing game is better than Kentucky's. {Hank}

  • Rivals 4* LB Darrin Kirkland is visiting UK this week. (Hat tip: Justin Rowland) Here's some video.

    Warning: Don't believe anything re: Emmitt Smith until you hear it from a reliable source. All I know is that reports that he's committed to Cincinnati may be false. I do know Eli Brown is recruiting him to UK. {Hank}

  • 2015 UK commit Alex Stump has "good feel" about UK 2015 recruit C.J. Conrad. Let's hope his friend decides to join Stump in Lexington.

  • Tim Sullivan says UK is getting it's money's worth with Mark Stoops. Consider:

    In negotiating an 18-month extension to Stoops' contract, UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart has committed an additional $2.75 million in down-the-road dollars to a coach who has yet to win a conference game. And though this contrarian show of confidence should strengthen Stoops' long-term loyalty to UK, the revised deal includes no new language to inhibit him from taking another job. Unlike John Calipari's original eight-year contract, there are no buy-your-way-out clauses in Stoops' amended pact.

    Interesting. You don't see this every day.

  • Avery Williamson's agent and dad are impressed by Eric Korem and the UK conditioning program:

    As a sort of throwaway question at the end of a long interview with Cornrich – who represents some heavy hitters, including Bill Belichick, Bill O'Brien, Bo Pelini and Bob Stoops (but not Mark) – about Williamson's rising NFL draft stock, I asked him what he thought of the High Performance program at UK.

    "I think you should do a separate article on that," Cornrich said. "They did a spectacular job. We could spend another hour on that subject. If there were people better than those guys, we would hire them. Coach Edmond and Coach Korem did an unbelievable job."

  • NFLCombine lifts Avery Williamson's draft stock:

    "They found out he was very fast, very smart and a very nice person," Cornrich said. "It’s very rare that someone is so gifted in all those areas. A number of teams brought him in for individual visits. Those types of visits are usually reserved for really very good players. When he goes on visits to places where I have friends in those organizations, they all call back and go, ‘Wow, what a solid guy.’

Kentucky basketball
  • Kentucky to have a "regal lineup" for the non-conference season next year. Yes, I really do like the way our non-conference schedule is shaping up. But I like this most of all:

    In Calipari's five seasons as coach, Kentucky has a 152-37 won-loss record. UK won the 2012 NCAA Tournament championship and advanced to three Final Fours.

    In that time, 17 players have been drafted by the NBA. Julius Randle and James Young are expected to join that list at this year's NBA Draft.

    Also, every UK senior has graduated.

    That last is something other coaches should legitimately envy.

  • I think this is right:

    When Calipari is your boss, and you and the boss have gone to three Final Fours -- and won a title -- in four years, then money is coming. Especially at Kentucky. Calipari and Co. will put two more players into the NBA in less than two months, when Julius Randle and James Young are drafted. That will bring his total to 19 since he arrived in 2009.

    Forget who your boss is. Whoever is your partner in such an accomplishment will, and should, be rewarded financially. Not much is being made of Kentucky's annual competitiveness for the top prize, but it should be.

  • Several schools, including Kentucky, have contacted West Virginia transfer Eron Harris.

  • Join me in falling a little bit more in love with Karl-Anthony Towns.

Other Kentucky sports
College football
  • James Franklin is a beast on the recruiting trail.

  • John Infante writing for Sports Illustrated says that the Division I restructuring process is breaking down to the point where a split may be preferable:

    The same drama is now playing out with Division I as a whole. Last summer a split of Division I into a new organization, new NCAA division, or additional subdivision looked inevitable. But over the last year, the NCAA has moved as fast as the NCAA can move to restructure Division I in order to keep the power conferences in the big tent. Once again, it appears crisis has been averted and this time the NCAA itself might even get a bit of credit.

    But the restructuring process is breaking down as it lurches toward a conclusion in August. Nothing makes that more apparent than Nicole Auerbach's interview with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany for USA Today. The article is a revealing look at what Delany wants to get out of the restructuring process and where the power conferences and NCAA may go next once it is complete.

    Read the whole thing.

College basketball
Other sports news
  • Seems Kentucky and Coach Cal must take a back seat when it comes to "over-analysis." John Clay says the Teddy Bridgewater draft decline proves nobody "overanalyzes" like the NFL brass:

    To that point, how could Teddy Bridgewater's entire body of work go out the window thanks to one bad workout?

    The Louisville quarterback could be a real steal when the choices start flying on Thursday night.

    I don't get the angst here. Bridgewater made an error trying to show off in that bad workout, working without gloves for the first time that I've seen. He was awful. Nobody should look that awful and be considered a possible top pick, and it didn't have to be that way.

    Do I think that's representative of Bridgewater? Not at all, I think he's a good player. But you can't ignore it. How much weight people put on it depends upon what they think of the program, the player's performance, and everything else. Only a fool would consider a bad workout dispositive.

  • Lies and damn lies just before the NFL Draft.

  • Perry Stevenson is the new assistant basketball coach of Trinity High School in Louisville. Congrats to Perry, I think he'll make a very good coach. Via Aaron's blog.

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