It's National Bourbon Day! Happy NBD to everyone. I'll be honoring that tonight after work, no doubt.
Tweet of the Morning:
Stanley Williams: "To be honest, I’ve never seen a fan base like Kentucky. It’s like no other." http://t.co/5a9iI53ouH— Steve Jones (@SteveJones_CJ) June 14, 2013
- Interview with Bradley Dale Paveto. [Via Hank]
Larry Vaught reacts to Boom Williams' commitment to play at Kentucky. He has some quote from Williams, including this one:
"I think I am more of a spread running back. I can play in any offense. I don’t prefer any particular offense as long as I am helping my team win," Williams said. "But I do see myself as a good fit in his offense as far as helping the team and making plays, catching the ball, running the ball and blocking. Those are all things I mainly do already."
Well, I mocked Lane Kiffin yesterday for offering a 14-year old, and then I find UK went and outdid him by offering a 13-year old. Oops.
Seriously, how can any coach offer a player that young? Did Billy Gillispie teach us nothing? To be fair, though, it's possible that the word "offer" was used pretty loosely in this instance. UK can't confirm or deny it, so we'll just have to draw our own conclusions. [Via Hank]
Taking Boom Williams from Georgia hasn't affected the Bulldogs that much. But I'll bet they noticed. [Via Hank]
Team Speed Kills talks about Kentucky's schedule, and predictably sees doom and gloom there, while paying grudging respect to the schedule.
I think talk of Kentucky losing to Western is overblown; Kentucky should win that game, although it is unlikely to be an easy win. TSK in general and cocknfire in particular can be forgiven for this sort of piece, because in all honesty, Mark Stoops is an unproven commodity despite his recruiting success, and Kentucky really struggled last year.
Mark Stoops to attend Cardinal Mooney (Youngstown, Ohio) Camp of Champions. Brother Bob, and the Pelini brothers will also attend.
Team Speed Kills looks at the lack of Kentucky's roster change, and wonders if that's for good or ill. Good question. I liked this, though:
BREAKTHROUGH POSSIBILITY | QB Jalen Whitlow
I walk into this one knowing that I'm going to get some criticism thrown my way, but here me out: If he wins the starting quarterback position out of camp -- something that looks more likely than ever in the aftermath of the Blue-White Game --this could end up being a huge year for the sophomore. Not to compare the two, but if you want to see what a young starter with wheels can do in the first year of an Air Raid offense, see: Manziel, Johnny.
Coal counties in Kentucky will be financing part of the proposed new Rupp arena, and a lot of people are unhappy about it. I can see why. [Via Hank]
This has already been reported, but here's more on Orlando Antigua being selected as Dominican Republic coach.
Calipari wants to create "an environment of competition" for Kentucky next year. Consider:
"Well the first thing you learn is you've got to create an environment of competition, which means you have to have enough guys," says Calipari. "One of the things I tried to do was protect a couple of guys on the team because it was their turn. You can't do that. I can't protect my own son or daughters from competition. That's what life is about especially in this great country that we live in."
I wonder, specifically, who he was protecting? From his comments, you might conclude it was Kyle Wiltjer and Ryan Harrow. What do you think?
Jersey numbers for next year's team. Nobody picked #3? That's different.
Some teams are wary about Nerlens Noel's knee.
This is nothing really new. Concern about Noel's knee is only reasonable, but I think the real question is less about his health than his ability to make an impact in a reasonable period of time. It would not shock me to see him drop a bit, but I'd be drop-dead shocked if he didn't go in the top ten.
Last year's team may have "overachieved?" Consider:
"We may have overachieved," he said. "When I say that, I mean we finished second in our league ... we were 3-1 against the three teams that made the NCAA Tournament in our league. We fell down at the end on the road and in (the SEC Tournament). We had no Nerlens (Noel). At the end of the day, we may have overachieved."
I think that's just Calipari being Calipari. I am pretty skeptical of this comment, and I'm more inclined to buy the "underachieved" concept than the converse.
Wayne at WBN argues that Louisville is not historically good enough to be considered a rival of Kentucky.
I've seen this argument before, and although his points are valid about the dictionary definition of "rival," that's a lot more fungible in the sports context. It's fairly common for rivalries to happen across all walks of life where one opponent has a significant edge on the other.
Consider this: Would we apply that argument to Duke, who is 7-1 against UK since the 1978 NCAA Final? How about North Carolina, who owns the head-to-head series against UK 22-13 all time -- not quite as dominant as UK's advantage over Louisville, but in the same zip code?
We have to be careful when making these kinds of claims, because #1, they don't pass the smell test, and #2, you can always find examples that don't favor the 'Cats. Let's just be rivals with the Cardinals and leave the technical arguments to the side.
The Sporting News ranks Alex Poythress the sixth best small forward in the country. I think that could be right, but I'm going to wait and see a bit on that one. Hat tip: Sam Henson
Other UK sports
Mark Stoops, John Calipari, and Matthew Mitchell all travel to the Kentucky mountains to talk to fans. Ira Coombs reports:
The last question of Stoops Q and A was one where Stoops was ask to comment on a recent public comment by WKU's Bobby Petrino that he felt strongly that the Hilltoppers would open his tenure 2 - 0 meaning he felt confident his initial WKU team would have no problem whipping SEC schools Kentucky and Tennessee this fall .
Stoops reply was, " Is that right, with a wink of his right eye to the gathering".
Despite the punctuation error there, you get the point. Stoops ain't buyin' what Petrino is sellin'. There's more from Calipari and Mitchell, too.
The Miami drama continues. I don't know what will happen to Miami, but with Clint Hurtt's behavior, it seems to me that he doesn't have much hope on his side:
Louisville football assistant coach Clint Hurtt, facing allegations of receiving and providing impermissible benefits and the dreaded 10.1 rule of unethical conduct for providing false and misleading information during the investigation (Hill and Fernandez were also charged with unethical conduct), was one of the last people to enter the room.
Is this a sign that he views this as something akin to a colonoscopy? [Hank]
This is hilarious! [Hank]
Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings refuses to let Sheldon Jeter transfer to Pittsburgh.
I suspect that Stallings thinks Pitt was interfering -- I don't by the argument that he was upset because Jeter didn't meet with Stallings beforehand. But who knows?
Time to worry, Gator fans
Other sports news
Gregg Doyel writes about LeBron James' termination of the San Antonio Spurs:
A few minutes later LeBron grabbed a defensive rebound and started dribbling. In other games at other times, he would have given the ball up somewhere. Maybe at halfcourt. Maybe the top of the key. Somewhere. But not this time, because he had flipped that switch in his brain, the one that toggles back and forth between timid and terminator. LeBron dribbled 85 feet until he was finishing at the rim.
Ohio changing how their high school football is organized. [Via Hank]