Today, the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team media blitz begins. Player interviews, interviews with Coach Cal, picture galleries, everything you expect to happen about this time.
Today's Tweet of the Morning comes from former Wildcats forward, Perry Stevenson:
Everybody is afraid of something (except Chuck Norris). Cant let fear decide for you.— Perry Stevenson (@PSteve2122) October 1, 2012
Word, Perry. Well said.
Now, your Quickies:
If Beckham wants to be in games this year, he's going to have to do it the way that DeAndre Liggins did -- with defense.
I think, but do not know, that UK has always been the clear front-runner ever since Young practically begged for an offer and Calipari finally gave him one.
"We have been working on getting Archie a consistent shot. You can’t shoot different kind of balls. You can’t lean one way. You have to shoot consistently," Calipari said. "When you are in high school you can miss your first 12 shots and get 12 to 15 more. Now you can’t do that. In his case, you have to be a very consistent shooter. He’s not ready for that yet.
Archie has got to get a more consistent perimeter shot. He releases it from everywhere, shoots off balance, and does a lot of things wrong. But if he gets a step on you, and he will, God help you.
TEAMMATES SAY: "Archie is Archie; he’s a scorer. That’s what Archie has always been, ever since he was here two years ago (on a visit) and played with us. He’s a scorer, always gets his shots up, always plays really well, plays good defense, plays hard." – junior guard Jon Hood.
Archie is a keeper.
TEAMMATES SAY: "Ryan, I’m pretty sure he was humbled last year, practicing all year and Coach Cal getting on him. He had a chance to learn the system. So when I see Ryan, I see a more comfortable guy, same as myself. He knows things now. Coach Cal is going to give him the ball, the keys to run this team, and I think he’ll be ready." – senior guard Twany Beckham
It will be interesting to see how Harrow responds to starting.
TEAMMATES SAY: "I’d seen Alex play just because he’s from so close to home. I knew what Alex was about. I knew he was going to try to dunk on everybody. And he did (in summer workouts at UK). I would say he impressed me the most because I’ve never seen someone attack the rim as fearlessly and as aggressively as he does. He gets up there and he tries to rip the rim off, swing on it a few times. He sends a statement." – junior guard Jon Hood.
Excited to see Alex. What I love about this guy is that he craves contact, and can really finish through it.
COACH CAL SAYS: "I came over one night; I was here about 10:30, 11 o'clock, and a light was on. I heard the ball bouncing, I look outside my office window, and it was Kyle, who had grabbed a manager, walked across the street and had a great workout. I grabbed him after and I said, 'Why wasn't someone here with you, or a couple of these guys? Don't come over here by yourself. Drag a couple guys with you.' We've got to start doing that. The other side of it is, they played the other day with Anthony (Davis). So I called Anthony into my office after and said, 'Tell me what my team looks like.' And the first thing out of his mouth, he said, 'Kyle is way better. He's way stronger, can do more things. I really like where Kyle is right now.’ "
That should put a smile on your Big Blue face.
TEAMMATES SAY: "That’s the knock, that there’s nobody that can be a leader. I don’t think that’s true. … Julius turned 23 yesterday. He’s old. He’s really old. He’s been around everything. He knows how to do it. He’s one of the leaders. … He’s seen everything. He’s played in big games. He’s played in Cameron (Indoor). He’s played in the Dean Dome. He’s played in all the ACC gyms when he was (at N.C. State). Then you go to Wright State and you are the guy. He was the guy. Here, he’s not going to be the guy." – senior guard Jon Hood
I'll be interested to see what this kid brings. Kid? Pardon me. He's a full-grown man at 23.
Did you play against Davis some in summer pickup games?
"Yeah, it was good. I learned a lot from him. He’s a great player. Seeing how much he progressed from when he first got here – even from when the season started – and looking at how hard he’s working, how much he’s put into it, he really taught me some things, on and off the court. Some little things that will work. I’m really thankful for that."
I think Nerlens will develop slower than most people expect. His game is pretty raw. But he just might be the most athletic player ever to play at Kentucky, and that includes John Wall.
Q: What has been the most pleasant surprise over the summer?
Calipari: Willie is the guy. First of all, I never saw him play in a high-school basketball game. I saw him play football a lot. I told him when we recruited him that he had no clue how good he could become. He’s taking on the sport for the first time where he is really focused on this sport. He has gained 20 to 25 pounds. His skill set is absolutely improved. He’s fast. He’s nimble. He gained ground on Nerlens because Nerlens wasn’t here (over the summer). Those eight weeks of conditions, weight training and 16 one-hour workouts put him on different level than Nerlens.
This is great to hear. When Willie signed as a 4-star, I was afraid we might wind up with another Stacey Poole. Instead, it seems like we've found an underrated player.
Students react to Capilouto's crackdown on alcohol by not showing up at the tailgate -- or the football game.
I'd say that's about right.
We must cover the non-revenue sports. Go, volleyball!
No kidding. All the interviews are virtually the same, though. Read one, read them all.
And then there's this video, hat tip to Sam Henson:
If that doesn't make your Big Blue heart go pitter-pat, call 9-1-1.