So Shaun White failed to medal in the men's half-pipe event yesterday in the Sochi Olympics. That's a bummer, but honestly, this is the kind of thing that happens when you get older, and have something to lose. The pressure gets a lot higher than when you are a long-haired hippie teenager rather than a sports empire mogul who looks 5 years older than his age. Shaun still has the skills, but I'm not sure he has the nerves.
Party on, Shaun. There is life after the Olympics, and never forget what you reminded us — the Olympics (and especially extreme events like snowboarding) is mostly about the young, and these days, that means early 20's and under, not 27.
Tweet of the Morning:
Matter of time-When Pitino's Palace (Yum Ctr)was built u just knew there would be a Calipari Castle! @jerrytipton http://t.co/BOKWrUUKX8— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 11, 2014
Yeah, why not. But show me the money.
- Preliminary seating released for the new Commonwealth Stadium in 2015. I understand some folks are bugged about this. Vent your frustrations in here, no need to keep it a secret.
Julius Randle still has some growing up to do, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. Consider:
A lesson came last weekend at Mississippi State. In his post-game news conference, Calipari said that Randle reacted like a "baby" when told he had to do a better job providing help defense around the basket. A spiteful Randle reacted by leaving an open shooter on the perimeter, Calipari said.
"I think the big part was showing him on film," Payne said when asked about how Randle handled Calipari's memorably candid assessment. "You know, in the heat of the battle, you get emotional, so you may not see it the way the coach sees it. So when we broke down the film and showed it to him, he understood and he saw it.
Kenny Payne goes on to make the point that it isn't just Randle. He says that James Young settles too often for jump shots, and he's right. Young needs to drive more, forget the three, and get to the line.
Payne also talked about transition defense, something that everybody, it sees, is focusing on trying to exploit. Honestly, that's a good thing, because as long as it's a big weakness, Kentucky will get plenty of practice trying to fix it. If it's fixed by tournament time, look out, because it's Kentucky's main Achilles' Heel at this point.
Auburn is confident that they can use Kentucky's size to their advantage. If Kentucky continues to leak like a sieve in transition, I'm sure they can.
Jon Hood had a very good game last outing against Mississippi St. The coaching staff is hoping his energy will rub off on the freshmen. If not, perhaps Jon can show them how its done again. This is an interesting observation from Hoodie:
"The communication is a lot better this year than it was last year," he said. "I think that's a main key. I would say we are growing quicker than last year's team."
That's one thing that Calipari has been notably less vocal about recently — communication. Interesting.
Remember this? Now 20 years gone. Hat tip: Daily Hampshire Gazette.
John Clay takes a look at the sunny side of this season's Wildcats:
Of UK's five losses, not one was by double figures. OK, maybe the LSU loss should have been double figures. The Tigers led by as many as 15 in the second half. The Cats did close the gap late, however, and ended up losing by five points, though to be fair it wasn't really that close.
Compare that to some other Top 25 teams. No. 6 Villanova lost at home to Creighton by 28. No. 7 Kansas lost at Texas by 12. No. 8 Duke lost at Clemson by 13. No. 9 Michigan State lost at home to North Carolina by 14. No. 10 Cincinnati lost at SMU by 21 on Saturday night. No. 11 Iowa State lost at West Virginia by 25 on Monday night.
Clay goes on to point out that Kentucky is a very good offensive team, and that is so. Offensive-oriented teams do well in the tournament, although a lack of defensive balance usually catches up with them.
Kenny Payne previews Auburn:
Rupp Reinvented video, in case you haven't seen it. Newsweek wonders, "Who's that girl?" You see her right at the 40-second mark of the video, just for a moment. Read the article to find out who she is, and why she was there.
Rupp Reinvented from Rupp District on Vimeo.
UK recruit Rashad Vaughn commits to UNLV. I have this feeling that Kentucky is done for the year. I think we may retain more players than we thought for next season.
Eric Crawford says Jarrod Polson should play more. Umm, has it escaped your notice, Eric, that he has been playing more?
Other Kentucky sports
Baseball seaons's almost here, and the Kentucky Kernel says that it will be up to Austin Cousino to supply the leadership.
Women's Golf finishes fourth at the UCF Challenge.
Rocky Top Talk takes a way-too-early look at the Vols for next season.
Team Speed Kills wonders which Big Ten program "went negative" on Steve Spurrier, talking about crime in Columbia and suggesting USC doesn't graduate players. They narrow it down to Michigan St. and Nebraska. Read the whole thing to see who they wind up nominating.
Florida defeats Tennessee. Rocky Top Talk laments the continual "almost," Alligator Army notes that winning close games has become a Gator trademark.
Texas defeats Oklahoma St. as the Cowboys' death-spiral continues. Note that this was the first of Marcus Smart's 3-game suspension. Michael Beller, writing for SI.com, says Oklahoma St. is now on the bubble.
Wichita St. continues its roll to 26-0 over the Southern Illinois Salukis
Kansas star Joel Embiid could miss games with back, knee problems.
Other sports news
Annual checkup: Randall Cobb.
John Wall poses with some Crescent City props. I really like the little umbrella thing he has going on there.
Open source — the last patent defense?
Sinkhole swallows 8 vehicles in Bowling Green near the National Corvette Museum.
Your education dollars at work: A majority of young adults think astrology is a science.
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