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The Big Blue Daily Mail -- Sunday Comprehensive Edition

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Today we have a ton of links and commentary from all around the Big Blue Nation and beyond.

  • A spring look up and down the depth chart |
    Right now, our biggest concern has to be the lines. We lost most of our experience and a lot of size the last two years, and now the time has come to pay the piper.

  • Hartline sends his haters a message |

    In the early practices, it became clear Hartline had an advantage, an experience advantage. And, yes, Phillips said Saturday that Newton and Mossakowski had closed the gap between the middle of spring and the time the coach wrapped up the Blue-White Game under threatening skies Saturday, and the coach wasn’t ready to make any proclamations.

    The battle for QB isn't over.  Based on this comment, it's really just beginning.

  • No. 16 LSU softball defeats Kentucky | | The Advertiser
  • Tailback Russell stars in UK scrimmage |

    "Defensively, I thought the first-team defense swarmed the football," Phillips said. "Trevathan showed up all over the field. We've been getting on Danny, trying to get him to be more of a leader. Sometimes guys don't think they're leaders, but he showed it today the way he played."

    This, along with Russell's emergence as the #2 RB, is encouraging.  I am concerned about the D-line, but it looks like everyone behind them is playing well enough right now.

Much more after the jump.

  • OK, Calipari. This is ridiculous - Beyond the Arc -

    The familiar refrain of "you can’t win a national title with freshmen" will keep surfacing, but with this kind of talent and Calipari’s recent record – he’s 172-17 at Memphis and Kentucky in the last five seasons – the Wildcats are always going to be in the title hunt. (How ridiculous is that record? Moreso than his recruiting hauls?)

    Nobody has a win/loss record like that.  17 losses in 5 seasons?

  • UK manager didn’t let ‘no’ stop him |
    Touching story.

  • Vaught's Views: Patterson’s mother will miss UK also:

    "I think I will remember most of the good times like this year and him smiling a lot and winning games and just having fun," an emotional Tywanna Patterson said after her son’s announcement. "I will remember this year more than the other two. Him coming back (rather than going to the NBA) and being a different person and being a happier person and gelling with his teammates and everybody getting along.

    This was one of those fairly rare scenarios when coming back was a good call.

  • UK Basketball: Patterson ready to ‘start new chapter’:

    "Coach Cal said he wanted me to return. He said he would love to coach me another year, but he wanted me to do what’s best for my family. He said he’s here for me if I ever need anything. He’s always got his door open and always has his phone on whenever I need to call or whenever I need to talk to him," Patterson said.

    Who wouldn't want a guy like Patterson to return?  But I think this is the right call for him.  He has no reason.  The 'Cats are not likely to contend for the championship next year although they will be good, and he has his degree.  He is right to move on.

  • DraftExpress: Nike Hoop Summit Scouting Reports

    Clearly, there’s a lot to like about what Kanter can bring to a team with both his play and demeanor. With questions about his eligibility still making the rounds, it seems safe to say that if and when Kanter does suit up for Coach Calipari, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with on the NCAA level. His play in Portland captured the attention of the NBA community, and he’ll be a player to keep an eye on moving towards the 2011 draft.

    Draft express has some interesting comments about Enes Kanter, most of them very encouraging.

  • UK's Peters part of NFL Draft; Wall, Patterson make it 'official'

    -First and foremost, one of the better Kentucky defensive players last year has been selected in the third round of last night’s NFL Draft. Defensive tackle Corey Peters was selected with the 19th pick in the third round by the Atlanta Falcons. As a third-round selection, there really isn’t any reason that Peters can’t see some playing time this season, much like former teammate Jeremy Jarmon did with the Washington Redskins.

    Congratulations to Corey Peters.  I think he will be a fine player, and have a long career in the NFL.

  • Class Dismissed: John Calipari's Minor League Mentality -- NCAABB FanHouse

    "I understand that there are millions of kids out there who have financial needs and want to go to college but can't afford it. My e-mail box is flooded every week with [people] asking me to identify scholarship money for them. So these schools that use up a player for one, two or three years of athletic eligibility, and then they don't finish, it's just a system of mutual exploitation."

    Another ignorant piece decrying "one and dones."  Unsurprisingly, it's from FanHouse, who seems to have an inordinate number of Pharisaical "writers" who can't seem to get enough of penning assaults on John Calipari.

    "A system of mutual exploitation?"  Yes, that's exactly what it is -- just as a regular student is exploited for tuition money by the school, particularly those from out of state.  I guess Mr. Morial supposes that the scholarships for athletes would be better served for those who can't afford it, but the reality is that a good percentage of the "one and done" players are among the very ones who would not be able to attend college but for the existence of athletic scholarships.  In any case, I'd be willing to bet it is a far greater percentage than those offered other types of scholarships considered in the aggregate.

    Mutual exploitation is almost always a good thing for both participants.  In biology, we call that a "symbiotic relationship," an exploitative arrangement that benefits both organisms.  But as usual, it's easy to point a finger at the motivations of both the college and the student athlete -- after all, it is filthy lucre.  What goes unsaid is that greater income is easily what Morial was talking about when he said he was, "an advocate of young people being prepared for life," and yet the pretense is otherwise.

    Finally, what's to be said about a "one and done" player who has a GPA of 4.0+, like Brandon Knight?  He would qualify for a full-ride academic scholarship at 90% of the Division I institutions that offer them, and this guy wants to take a shot at him because he figures he'll leave early for the draft?

    Sometimes, the shamelessness of people looking to sanctimoniously exploit what they themselves consider "shameless exploitation" cannot be explained by any sort of rationale -- it just confounds every attempt at logical justification.

  • Eric Crawford | Drama's great, but it doesn't mean success | | The Courier-Journal

    This was the guy Pitino needed to have, the guy he worked on for years, the guy he nearly had multiple times. No sugarcoating it. This was a bad day for Pitino. It has been a bad week, a bad year. And Teague was the guy who could have begun to turn it around.

    It's hardly the end of the world that some UofL fans may make it out to be. But with Calipari up the road, the world has changed at UofL, and Pitino now faces intense pressure to respond.

    I think Crawford is right about both of these.  Pitino is feeling the heat, and he has to respond.  Calipari will not go away.  His former employer, Kentucky, will not go away.  Pitino needs to step up his game.

  • Uconn Huskies Men's Basketball News Blog - Mike Anthony - Hartford Courant

    The Huskies have five players coming in and four scholarships to offer. At least one player will already have to transfer or leave the program to accomodate the incoming freshman. Jamaal Trice will consider a transfer, he said yesterday after Husky Day at the Capitol, and yet another scholarship would have to be opened if Leslie or anyone else, commits.

    I think this is a big reason why, at the end of the day, UConn will be a no-go for Leslie.

  • NCAA international eligibility rules changes benefit Enes Kanter, Kentucky Wildcats - ESPN

    But more than likely, the rule change will allow Kanter to play at Kentucky immediately. The most valuable player of the 2009 U18 European Championship has game. He averaged 18.6 points and 16.4 rebounds in leading his team to a bronze medal in that tournament.

    This is the important part to Wildcat fans, but read the rest -- there is a lot of interesting background there.

  • | Recruiting Central | The Indianapolis Star

    On what Marquis' older brother Jeff said:

    "He said (Kentucky) fits your style of play and what you do best. You're going to love that. The uptempo style is catered to Marquis' game and he feels like (Calipari) allows his players to do those things. It's going to be very beneficial to Marquis. He just felt that way."

    Very interesting reading here.  Who could have imagined Jeff Teague would prefer Calipari's style over Pitino's?

  • Buster Patterson "proud and sad" | Vaught's Views
  • Rush The Court " Blog Archive " Conspiracy Theorists, Unite…
    Oh, good grief.

  • Ex-Cat Donald Williams May Return to the SEC

  • Heralded recruit Terrence Jones to take visit to KU on Sunday |
    Ugh. I hate to see this at this point in the recruiting process.

  • Pitino has gotten pantsed in his state the last nine months | College Hoops Journal

    In a weird way, Billy Gillispie was the best thing to happen to Kentucky in a long time. I wrote about the paradigm shift back to "normalcy," you could say, in December, but the Teague thing is a real blow. Louisville lacks star power (not that it needs it, I want to point out) and this could be the beginning of some unrest for Louisville fans. If Pitino leaves the school in, say, 2014, I think we can look to Teague’s decision as the first domino that fell. Nearly every good thing Kentucky has done has gone yin to yang with Louisville. The Cardinals were embarrassed in the first round of The Tournament this season by Cal, that Pac-10 team few thought very highly of. The Wildcats were everywhere, adored and criticized and polarizing and engaging.

    Really interesting post by Matt Norlander. 

    It's strange to think of it this way, that Billy Gillispie's two unfortunate seasons were a good thing.  But they were.  Look where they ultimately led.

  • Marquis Teague to Kentucky - DBR Forums

    Some nice conspiracy theories to make you smile.

    It's frustrating not to be able to taunt the Blue Devils, but right now, they are at the mountaintop and UK is ... not.  Not yet.

  • Wildcats' Lindley, Conner selected in NFL draft | | The Courier-Journal

    Lindley, a cornerback from Hiram, Ga., went to the Philadelphia Eagles with the seventh pick of the fourth round, the 105th pick overall. The UK senior had been projected as a second-round pick after his junior season but returned to school and battled an ankle injury most of his senior year.

    Conner, a fullback from West Chester, Ohio, went to the New York Jets with the eighth pick of the fifth round, the 139th pick overall. As his former coach Rich Brooks often predicted, Conner was the first fullback selected in the draft.

    Great news for John Conner and Trevard Lindley.  Combined with Peters, that's at least three Wildcats that got their name called in the NFL draft.

    Lindley went higher than projected, Connor just a touch lower.

  • | Chris Diggs - UK Fan | The Courier-Journal

    For three years, Patrick has been the heartbeat of this program. For that, the Kentucky faithful will always remember him as one of the true greats to wear the blue and white.

    My friend Chris Diggs gets this exactly right.

  • Tom Leach - Kentucky Football, Kentucky Basketball, UK Football, UK Basketball
    Tom brings us tons of stuff from the Blue-White game and more.