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Big Blue Nation Linkapalooza: Tuesday Late Night Edition

Kenny Payne, Orlando Antigua and John Calipari show off the NCAA Championship trophy at the Cincinnati Reds game tonight, where Coach Cal got to throw out the first pitch.
Kenny Payne, Orlando Antigua and John Calipari show off the NCAA Championship trophy at the Cincinnati Reds game tonight, where Coach Cal got to throw out the first pitch.

There's not a tremendous amount of news out there tonight, but there are a few nuggets of interest. John Calipari will be the Grand Marshall of the Kentucky Derby Festival parade, and he also threw out the first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds game tonight. Darius Miller continues to draw accolades for his personality as well as his basketball, and the reckless psycho formerly known as Ron Artest gets his punishment.

Here are the links:

Reds honor Kentucky's basketball championship // St. Louis

Calipari, staff to be honorary grand marshals of Pegasus Parade // Louisville - Business First

University of Kentucky men’s head basketball coach John Calipari and his staff will serve as honorary grand marshals of the 57th annual Republic Bank Derby Festival Pegasus Parade.

Congrats to Coach Cal and his staff.

Guest post: Darius Miller prime example of how an athlete can appreciate and respect fans that adore him // vaughtsviews

As a UK student, I constantly see the athletes with the "jock" mentality. I see, firsthand, athletes that don’t go to class and don’t do their work simply because they play a sport for UK. I see players blow off fans even when said athlete is not in the middle of something keeping them from interacting with people that want to meet them. I see the cockiness, the egos.

Darius Miller takes all of those ideas about athletes and stomps on them with his Nikes.

All hail Darius the First!

Metta World Peace of Los Angeles Lakers suspended 7 games for elbow - ESPN Los Angeles

"The concussion suffered by James Harden demonstrates the danger posed by violent acts of this kind, particularly when they are directed at the head area," Stern said in a statement. "We remain committed to taking necessary measures to protect the safety of NBA players, including the imposition of appropriate penalties for players with a history of on-court altercations."

Should this guy really be in pro basketball? Does the NBA really need psychos like this? I'm just asking.

FIU's Dominique Ferguson declares for NBA after failing to get release - CBSSports

"They [FIU] won't give me my release and let me play anywhere else," Ferguson told "They give schools too much power and treat us like they own us."

He won't be drafted. My guess is that he'll either be packing his bag for somewhere overseas or be playing in the NBADL next year.

Advice to Richard Pitino: Avoid Mike & Mike.

5 SEC teams in Dick Vitale's top 40

I don't think he's outrageous on any of these. I happen to thing Counzo Martin could legitimately make some noise with Tennessee next year.

John Feinstein irked by NCAA 'one-and-dones' // Berkshire Eagle Online

"Everybody is copping out on this," said Feinstein. "Mark Emmert, who's a blowhard, says that it's not our rule, it's the NBA's rule. So go have a meeting with Stern and [Players Association executive director] Billy Hunter and talk about getting the rule changed and it's not working and not good for us and it isn't good for you. [Many] of the players are not prepared, emotionally or physically, to play in the league after one year."

And what if the NBA tells the NCAA to piss off? Seriously, that's what I'd do if I were them. The NCAA brings absolutely nothing to the table whatsoever. Oh, sure, the NBA would give them lip service, but seriously, the NCAA has no leverage at all in this matter.

Although you can argue that one and done hurts the NBAPA when there is a high rate of early entries failing in the NBA, that isn't what we've seen, and they know it. Yes, the NBA wouldn't mind having a 3 year rule, but the NBAPA will never go there, and the NCAA has zero leverage to bring to the table. The best thing they can do is send and emissary like John Calipari to try to sell their position despite the fact that from an NBAPA perspective, it is meritless.

All-time champions, No. 7: 2012 Kentucky - NCAA Basketball - Sporting News

Part of the reason the Wildcats were great: They really had no go-to guy. Quick: Where did the ball go in those games when they needed a big basket?

In the last four minutes against North Carolina, UK got a 3-pointer from Lamb, a jumper from Miller and free throws from Kidd-Gilchrist. On the road at Vanderbilt, it was those three again, just in a different sequence. Down the stretch of the Final Four game against Louisville, it was Miller and Jones.

Great point by Mike DeCourcy. Kentucky had no go-to player, it didn't need one. Everyone on the floor could get a basket when it was needed.

That's one of the truly rare, and truly great things about this Kentucky team -- they didn't need a bail-out player. Every player on the floor could get his own shot any time he wanted to, and that game them the ability to trust each other. Why try to be a hero when you don't have to be -- your teammates are all good enough to take, and make the big one?

Truly, this was a remarkable team.

Photo gallery of Terrence Jones’ autograph signing in Frankfort // vaughtsviews

Chicago's Next Great Wing Drawing Interest from Kentucky

But is doesn't stop there. The high school talent is extremely rich within the city, and one player that is starting to quickly rise is Paul White.

White, a 6-foot-8 forward from Whitney Young High School, has seen his recruitment really pick up over the past month or so. Within that time period, Michigan State and Kentucky have shown interest in his services. In fact, White is very intrigued by what UK has to offer.

Quincy Miller to enter NBA draft, reportedly may hire former AAU coach as agent //

Westchester graduate Quincy Miller, the Big 12 co-freshman of the year, will enter the NBA draft after initially telling Baylor he would return for his sophomore season.

I had a feeling he might change his mind.

Tennessee’s scholarship football players post 1.9 GPA // John Clay's Sidelines

I'll bet we don't hear as much about this as we did about Calipari's first-year team's low GPA. // Bruins move up in team rankings with Parker

While Kentucky remains in the top spot, its lead is razor thin. The Wildcats' three five-star commits (Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress and Archie Goodwin) all rank within the national top 14 and give them just enough to remain ahead of the UCLA class that gained a high four-star in Parker to go along with the nation's No. 1 (Shabazz Muhammad), No. 3 (Kyle Anderson) and No. 62 (Jordan Adams) ranked players in the country.

Phillips joins end-of-spring SEC teleconference // Kentucky Wildcats

Nike EYBL – final recap // Jody Demling – Recruiting

Some UK 2013 names in here, performing well.

Missouri’s spread to meet SEC defensive dread //

"They may spread out a little more than most teams do in our league, but not anything that no one’s ever seen before," said Georgia coach Mark Richt, whose Bulldogs visit Missouri on Sept. 8 in the SEC opener.

Welcome to the SEC. You may find it...difficult.

Crean: UK doesn’t want to play IU on campus anymore // John Clay's Sidelines

If it dies because of this, so be it. What they did this year in Bloomington was reckless, dangerous, and unacceptable. Kentucky should stick to their guns, and if it means the series dies, it dies for the right reasons.