SB Nation has performed what they are calling a "visual refresh" of the blogs, and I hope you love it as much as I do. To me, the the site looks much cleaner and more readable. Great job by the code magicians at SBN.
Now, to business. The game last night drew pretty predictable commentary from around the Big Blue Nation, mostly expecting the ugly, disjointed nature of the game while marveling at the talent and athleticism. I think that's the best way to look at it, and I'm sure Coach Calipari learned a lot about his team last night. We will learn even more on Friday when John Wall gets to suit up and take the floor for the first time versus outside competition.
At the end of the day, I was not unhappy with what I saw. I expected this game to be ugly, and it did not disappoint. But I loved the way the team tried to play together, and the effort on defense was really quite remarkable, with a number of players hitting the floor hard trying to draw charges, and getting floor burns chasing after loose balls. You have to really admire all that effort, and even if the execution was sloppy, it was really good to see how hard the team played.
Now, for the news:
UK commitments update
Great stuff from Jody Demling.
UK's debut displays 'good, bad & ugly' " Evansville Courier & Press
"If they had 58 possessions, we guarded about 10 of them just the way we want to do it," Calipari said. "The problem is the other 48. They missed a lot of open shots. When we watch the tape, we'll see we didn't communicate. We missed on some switches. But there were other times I looked and said 'That's exactly how I want my team to play."'
That's the way I saw it as well.
- " Audio: John Calipari’s post-game press conference John Clay’s Sidelines
Bluegrass State Basketball: UK/Campbellsville Quotes, Analysis and More
Some nice observations from BSB. Always worth a read.
UK Basketball News
[SLIDESHOW] UK wins turnover plagued game against Campbellsville | The Kentucky Kernel
"I was really happy for Perry Stevenson," Calipari said. "Instead of pouting or anything, he just goes in and now he earns his space. Now all of a sudden he gets in that rotation."
That's what I like to see also, and Perry did a very good job in limited minutes. My guess is that if he keeps it up, he'll earn more.
Calipari: Bledsoe and Wall are better together | Vaught's Views
I agree, I think that together, they are pretty much unstoppable.
We can't judge UK by exhibition, but we can try | KentuckySports.com
The dribble-drive motion offense is very much a work in progress (which it should be in November of the first year it's being run).
Too many guys driving with no intention of actually getting to the basket was the verdict of John Calipari.
I think that's right. Not Perry Stevenson, though. He drove with bad intentions. We need more of that.
Calipari's first win an eye-opener | KentuckySports.com
Patrick Patterson, who left last week's Blue-White Game happy with his contributions from the perimeter, struggled. He made two of seven shots. Both baskets were dunks. He had no assists and six turnovers.
Tipton haters, shut your eyes, or you might turn to stone. I suppose that if Patterson is going to have bad games, now is the best time for that to happen. I'd be surprised if it happens again anytime soon.
Column: A long way to go, but Cats’ potential is there | The Kentucky Kernel
If DeMarcus Cousins scores, rebounds and downright terrifies opponents the way he did against Campbellsville, things might get scary. Cousins had 11 points and six rebounds. He scared the small Tiger team inside, even more so than his impressive four blocks may suggest.
People don't scare so easy in the SEC, though.
Wildcat Blue In a Sea of Orange: Calipari era officially underway as UK rolls over Campbellsville University 74-38
All in all, I think this is exactly what Calipari expected when he warned us that UK had a lot of work to do. The big thing to look for is how improved UK is when Wall settles into the lineup in the next exhibition game.
I think that's right.
Tom Leach - Kentucky Football, Kentucky Basketball, UK Football, UK Basketball
Lots of good stuff from last night's game.
UK handles Campbellsville 74-38 | straitpinkie.com
Any illusions that Kentucky fans had about this team instantly jelling together, instantly learning the dribble drive, and instantly living up to their potential had a bit of a reality check in tonight’s second half against Campbellsville.
UK Football News
Newton's progress comes at Fidler's expense " Evansville Courier & Press
Fidler, who said he was expecting to take some snaps in the first half, was obviously disappointed to not get on the field. "I want to do whatever they need me to do to help us win," he said.
Fidler finds himself in an awkward position. He is rooting for Newton to play well not only for the good of the team but for the good of Newton himself. But it seems now the only way Fidler will get the chance to play is if Newton doesn't play well.
What a tough spot for Fidler. Unfortunately, next year it will only get worse. Well, that's how you get better at anything -- the cream must be allowed to rise to the top.
Rich Brooks Answers Questions about MSU Loss
"A week ago people thought we could win out," Brooks said. "Now they don't think we can even win another game."
Heh. How true.
UK Football Fan: SEC Bowl/Standings projections
The Pizza Bowl looks likely, unless we spring an upset. But we have to win at least one more SEC game for that to be a reality.
Cats prepare for EKU, try to salvage season | KentuckySports.com
It's not just the fact that Kentucky lost, it's the way they lost that really took away a lot of steam: 348 rushing yards allowed, three turnovers and a passing game that generated just 119 yards. The message boards and radio shows that were once buzzing about the Outback and Chick-Fil-A bowls are now playing the blame game, and the players say they can't get caught up in that.
Brooks asks players to help motivate | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal
"Where some of our leaders in the past were vocal, our leaders are quiet and try to lead by example on this team," Brooks said. "Sometimes they don’t feel particularly comfortable in voicing an opinion in practice or in a meeting, where in the past some of our players did do that."
"Quiet" leadership rarely works.
Locke questionable to doubtful for EKU
AAARRGGHH! Locke just isn't very durable.
Other UK Sports News
Report: Top-50 player commits to UK women | KentuckySports.com
Finally. Man, it has been a struggle to get women's basketball back into contention in the SEC, but this type of player might just get it done.
- No. 12 UK Turns in Complete Team Effort to Sweep Ole Miss - KENTUCKY OFFICIAL ATHLETIC SITE
NCAA Sports News
Dan Wolken: Recruiting rules changing "
The NCAA is also going to shut the door on "package deals," which Memphis certainly engaged in under John Calipari. He hired Milt Wagner as director of basketball operations in 2000, which ultimately yielded a commitment from his son, Dajuan Wagner. Several months after Tyreke Evans signed with Memphis in 2008, his personal trainer from Philadelphia, Lamont Peterson, was hired to an administrative position.
I am very glad to see this go away. Calipari was not the only coach to do this by any means, but I'm glad to see it off limits.
- You obligatory SEC Primer - Searching for Billy Edelin
A big step backward for Michigan, Rodriguez - College football- nbcsports.msnbc.com
Man. I hate to see this. I actually like Michigan football (in a semi-interested sort of way), and now they are looking very much like they are going through the same kind of decline that UK went through post Smith.
Rich Rodriguez probably (not certainly) gets one more season to get it right. After that, the former hot property from West Virginia might well follow Coach Gillispie into the depths of anonymity.
Rush The Court " 2009-10 Conference Primers: #5 – SEC
Rush The Court predicts the SEC for 2009-10, and tournament seeds as well. I don't think Florida will be NIT bound, though.
Other News of Interest
Celtics, Rondo agree on 5-year, $55M extension - NBA News - FOX Sports on MSN
Wow. What does that work out to, about $120,000 per game? Good for him.
The Daily Schadenfreude
Are Gators contenders? - College sports - BradentonHerald.com
Florida followed consecutive national championships with back-to-back NIT appearances, hardly the way coach Billy Donovan wanted to build off those title runs.
The drop-off humbled Donovan and made the Gators hungry to return to the NCAA Tournament. Getting back there could be a challenge, though.
Heh. I feel the need. The need for ... schadenfreude. Via Walter's Wildcat World