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Morning Newspaper for February 15th

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Sorry about the lack of a morning paper for the last couple of days.  Life sometimes catches up with the best of intentions.

This morning's big news, at least around these parts, is Jodie Meeks once again exploding for huge numbers, this time at Arkansas -- 45 points, 7 rebounds.  Definitely an all-American performance marred only by curious difficulties at the free throw line, where Meeks went a staggeringly  poor 4-7, numbers we haven't seen from him all year at the line.  But that little blip aside, it was a great game for Jodie and a big win for Kentucky.

And now, for the rest of the news.

Kentucky Basketball

  • Kentucky a team that needs to be "rough?"  I have no idea what Porter means by that.  Kentucky needs to give maximum effort, 100% of the time.  I do worry about Patterson not being available on Tuesday.  That would put us in a tough spot.
  • Audio of Jodie Meeks and Billy Gillispie post-game.
  • Meeks now holds two arena records in scoring in the SEC.
  • Post-game Arkansas vs. Kentucky thoughts.
  • What a load of crap.  "You have to earn the right to be rude."  I have never heard such an utterly vapid and classless argument in my life.  It is never, ever right to be rude, not for Knight, not for Gillispie, not for anyone.  Suggesting someone who wins a championship gets a pass on bad behavior is a shameful and disgustingly unethical stance.  Walker did not distinguish himself here.
  • Meeks unleashed.  Well, I'm thinking we shouldn't be leashing him to begin with.
  • Four- and five-point possessions are really helpful.
  • For the second game in a row, UK does a good job holding down opponent three point shooters.
  •  "Certainly Jodie Meeks had an awesome performance," Pelphrey said. "He's been doing it all season long. We were just another defense left in his wake."
  • "When he's hitting like he was yesterday at Arkansas, the University of Kentucky's Jodie Meeks doesn't just score, he demoralizes."  So true.  It is just hard to play a team that has a guy like that.  What concerns me is the tendency of Kentucky to stop playing and watch.  What encourages me is how few times they did that yesterday.
  • Gillispie on a coaching offer by Arkansas back in 2007:  “I never, ever spoke to anyone over there.”  Why are the media still talking about this?  I know we've had to debunk the meme that Gillispie turned down Arkansas, but sheesh.
  • This article has a good explanation of why Marcus Monk had to be removed from the team.  I think it is a shame, it looks to me like the kid was clear of any wrongdoing.  But it's hard to blame Arkansas for being overly cautious -- God knows UK has been there enough times.  I agree that neither Fortson nor Monk nor both would have mattered to the outcome.
  • Gillispie on Meeks:  "He is relentless."  Yes, he is.
  • Arkansas newspaper photog says he has trouble avoiding his pro-UK bias when the 'Cats play the Hawgs.  I am totally sympathetic.
  • Kentucky is better on the road than at home.  That's just wrong, but that is what the record says.
  • Jon Hood goes nuts for 39 and 15 in a 2OT win.  Five blocked shots to go along with that.  I'm sure glad he is a Wildcat.
  • Matt Jones makes two interesting points -- 1) the constant switching of defenders on Washington made it hard on the Hawgs, and 2) Gillispie is clearly a superior coach to Pelphrey at this point in time.  I agree with both.

Kentucky Football/Other UK Sports

  • Brooks re-opens Juco pipeline in California.  Seems we would have had two more signees from the Golden State but for some academic issues.
  • LaGrange, Georgia keeps sending players to UK.  Darn good ones, too.
  • UK gymnastics puts a scare into league-leading Georgia.
  • UK tennis team defeats Indiana.

NCAA Basketball

  • Mississippi State crippled by bad losses and low RPI.
  • UCLA gets dumped by Arizona on the road.
  • Ohio State falls at Wisconsin.
  • Utah State is defeated at Boise State.
  • South Carolina escapes Tuscaloosa with a win.
  • Georgia upsets Florida, which is big for UK's chances in the East.  Is it me, or are the two SEC teams with interim head coaches playing much better now?
  • LSU continues to roll.  February 28th is looking like a huge game for the 'Cats in Rupp Arena.
  • Gators are beginning a downward spiral.  It gets tough in the SEC, no matter how "down" the league may be.  GatorPilot wonders what is wrong with Gator Hoops.
  • Leftover Hot Dog gets in on the SEC Power Poll Round Table.

NCAA Football

  • Chris Diggs thinks the potential new rule that would wipe out a touchdown for taunting is ridiculous.  I think he's right.  Throw the kid out if you must, but taking back legitimately scored points is, well ... unsportsmanlike.
  • SEC blogs continue to have lots of fun at Lane Kiffin's expense.  I guess Kiffin is the new Gillispie.

Other News of Interest

  • Coach's prosecutor vilified, lauded.  Having been exposed to Dave Stengel for most of his political career, I lean toward the former more than the later.  That says nothing about the merits of his case.  That will be decided in court.
  • Heh.  I don't think I'll be getting tired of that tape for a while.
  • A very, very thoughtful editorial.  Black History Month may not be that important in terms of the huge issues facing this country, but the larger, related issues underpinning it certainly are.  One day, maybe.  But as the author suggests, not today.