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Kentucky Wildcats Saturday Quickies: UK Hoops Edition

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. UK Hoops takes on Florida today in Memorial Coliseum. Charlie Strong accepts Texas' offer, will coach Longhorns. Trio of UK divers advance to Georgia Diving Invitational finals. More.

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Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

We all know about the Charlie Strong move to Texas, but today's quickies are about the Kentucky Hoops team, who will be facing Florida today at 3 PM.

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  • Dominique Hawkins puts the Helmet on Marcus Lee. I love how his teammates were congratulating him, and how Coach Cal stopped the practice to note the accomplishment. Little stuff like this can really help camaraderie in a team, and it looks to me like its working

  • Andrew Harrison tells Larry Vaught "You always have to believe in yourself." That is so, Andrew, but even more importantly, you always have to believe in your teammates. Learn the former as well as the latter, and you will have arrived.

  • Coach Cal tweets out some positive vibes yesterday. Hat tip: Aaron's blog.

  • Kentucky basketball is trending upward, according to Kyle Tucker. I think that's right. Consider:

    "I’m proud of the progress," [Kentucky head coach John Calipari] wrote. "They’re all learning to deal (with) the grind of becoming a better team and a better player. What I said two years ago and three years ago, if you enjoy the growth of this team, you’re going to enjoy the season a lot more."

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  • Word is, Charlie Strong will accept the Texas offer. That should not surprise anyone, even Louisville fans. If this were Rick Pitino accepting the basketball job, yes, that would be a surprise and a big disappointment. This is just a disappointment to Louisville fans in the same sense it was a disappointment to Kentucky fans when Rick Pitino took the Boston job. At the time, most UK fans with half a brain didn't blame him for the "upgrade."

    This is an even bigger upgrade, in my mind, and Louisville fans should be proud that their coach was highly-thought of enough to even be interviewed for a job like Texas, which is surely just as big, or bigger, than Alabama, Notre Dame, USC, Ohio St. or Michigan.

    Okay, now for my mandatory snark at Louisville fans — You can always elevate Clint Hurtt to the head coaching position, since you love him so much. Look at it as an opportunity.

    More here, here,

  • Vandy tried really hard to screw up the BBVA Compass bowl, but eventually prevailed. My Twitter timeline was hilarious during the Commodores' 3rd quarter meltdown.

  • Breaking down the Florida St. defense vs. the Auburn offense.

  • Ohio St. goes down to Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Serves them right for getting our Ohio recruits.

  • Card Chronicle looks at the top candidates for Louisville football coach.

  • Heh. Some Texas-based links for the Charlie Strong hire.

  • Barking Carnival's Scipio Tex talks about Charlie Strong. Consider:

    The bigger issue that the semi-introverted Strong will have to contend with is the shock of moving from the small to big time stage and how to deal with his loyalty to the men who were good enough at Louisville, but don't necessarily represent the best available options at a place with the resources of Texas. For a guy that values allegiance, it's going to be an early test.

    Billy Gillispie, anyone? Look, I think Strong will succeed somewhat at Texas. Almost any coach would with Texas' recruiting base. But Strong has few, if any recruiting contacts in the Lone Star state, and that will have to change immediately. Starting with strategic hires, he could minimize the impact of this.

    But I'm going on record right now as saying that Strong will not please the Texas fan base after three years. He may take them to a couple of major bowls, even to the playoffs, but I'd be surprised if he does much more. I am not sold on Strong, and although I do think he is a fine coach, I don't think he's Texas material. We'll see if I'm right or wrong about that.


    Louisville DL coach Clint Hurtt has a two year show/cause from the NCAA for his role in the Neville Shapiro cheatfest at Miami. Hurtt lied to NCAA investigators, directly provided illegal benefits to recruits and Miami players, and was recently described to me by a veteran of the Florida recruiting wars as "the U's former bagman." Hurtt behaved at Louisville and was likely just conforming to the (let's face it, awesomely hilarious) culture of the U, but if we bring on Hurtt, he's banned from recruiting through spring 2014 and we're knowingly bringing on a staff member who did some very NCAA naughty things. He's no John Blake, but that would be a Longhorn first. WE WILL LOSE MORAL AUTHORITY AND CLASSINESS FOREVER.

    WWCD (What Will Charlie Do?).

  • Arguing with the modern angry Clemson fan. I found this to be hilarious. JLev may not find it quite as amusing, understandably. To be fair, this could also apply to the modern Cardinal fan, but sadly, we no longer have a streak to provoke them. Well, then again, perhaps we just got started on one (in basketball, anyway). Football to follow very soon, I hope.

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