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Kentucky Wildcats: Morning Quickies - Preparing for Madness Edition

News and opinion from around the Big Blue Internet. Today, more discussion of Big Blue Madness and the advent of the 2012-13 version of the Kentucky Wildcats. George Raveling talks with Joe Hall. More.

Jeff Gross - Getty Images

As we continue to move inexorably toward Friday's iteration of Big Blue Madness and the defending NCAA Tournament champion Kentucky Wildcats preparing to defend their title, we are finally seeing relief from the frustration that has been the football program so far this year.

Tweet of the Morning:

About time. One of the all-time great Kentucky football players.

Your Quickies:

Ira Combs' Weekly Column

Ira is scratching his head, just like the rest of us.

Bigger, stronger, wiser: Wiltjer becoming complete player in sophomore year - Kentucky Wildcats

"I called Anthony (Davis) into my office after (an open gym) and I said, 'Tell me what my team looks like,' " said Calipari. "And the first thing out of his mouth, he said, 'Kyle is way better, way stronger, can do more things. I really like where Kyle is right now.' "

This is really good to hear. I am expecting a lot from him this year, and I know Calipari is as well.

Judging Joker Phillips - ABC36 News WTVQ Lexington Kentucky

But for Solid Blue fans, is it fair to judge Joker on this season's record alone?

No, but I don't think anyone is. Phillips has overpromised and underdelivered the last three seasons. That's not a recipe for fan endearment.

ESPN analyst Dykes anxious to see Cauley-Stein and how hard Nerlens Noel is willing to work // vaughtsviews

So am I. How hard Noel is willing to work could be the difference between a #1 draft pick and returning to UK next year.

Snap shot: Arkansas Razorbacks // Bleed Blue Kentucky

So they have a good offense, and a bad defense. Kentucky has a bad offense and a bad defense.

Not exactly a recipe for optimism.

John Calipari on preseason rankings and perception of Kentucky basketball program | vaughtsviews

"The kids know three years. When I go in to recruit them, they know three years. They would know nothing about (19)98, not a player, nothing. But that’s not just Kentucky, it is any time. But their families understand the history of this place. The 2K (2,000 victories) meant something. It did then and we knew it. We needed to get there before (North) Carolina and we knew it. I said, ‘Can we win these games to make sure we get there before they do?’ I didn’t want it to be us playing them. That’s all we needed."

Again, he makes the point that history doesn't matter to the kids, but it does matter to the parents.

The Morning Mix // CollegeBasketballTalk

Some good stuff in here.

Maxwell Smith and Patrick Towles headed for 2013 QB battle // The Kentucky Kernel

Whitlow, like Randall Cobb, probably doesn’t have a career after college as a quarterback. He, more so than anyone else, is an assured move to another position, despite being head coach Joker Phillips’ best option under center at the moment.

This is probably true for no other reason than that is where his best chance of making it to the NFL lies.

CBS analyst talks 2012-13 Cats with Calipari // NextCats

Interesting commentary by Calipari via Jon Rothstein's Twitter account.

Willis discusses Harrison twins, Big Blue Madness in latest diary // The Kentucky Kernel

How good can Derek Willis be?

Struggling Kentucky football lineup is getting younger | The Courier-Journal |

"It seemed like we were a high school all-star team at times," freshman linebacker Khalid Henderson said.

That’s just barely an exaggeration. At one point Saturday against Mississippi State, Henderson was one of five defensive players on the field for UK who were in high school less than five months ago. The numbers are more jarring by the week.


Arkansas injury, recruiting news and late night links // John Clay's Sidelines

In case you missed them, like I did.

Poythress talented and versatile

Lexington, Ky. (WKYT) - As the week of Big Blue Madness arrives Kentucky fans are eager to see freshman Alex Poythress. The 6-7 wing out of Clarksville, Tennessee brings a ton of talent to the court and could play three positions, small forward, power forward, or shooting guard.

I'd say that's pretty versatile.

George Raveling talks with former UK coach Joe B. Hall: