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Kentucky Wildcats Morning Quickies: Walk-on Edition

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. Bat Cats take on #12 Florida tonight at the soggy Cliff. Softball welcomes #18 Texas A&M for an afternoon contest. A.J. Reed is Perfect Game's mid-season National Player of the Year. More.

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I just want to shout out to Kentucky's walk-ons, the guys that work as hard in practice every day as the bigger, stronger, faster dudes that wind up on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Sam Malone, E.J. Floreal, Tod Lanter and Brian Long — congratulations on the final four, men. You deserve the honor as much as the starters do.

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Because our walk-ons deserve some pub, too. They labor in relative obscurity, making the team better. Props to Sam on his brilliant academic career at Kentucky as well as his athletic excellence.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
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  • A little Calipari hate for you this morning. Embrace it. It's simple jealousy from a small mind, and he's entitled to his opinion, as uninformed as it is.

  • The Edge: Kentucky Kernel. I don't necessarily agree with all these. I think at best, Andrew Harrison is a push. I think Dekker and Young will be matched up more often than not, and that would be a push. I'll have the usual breakdown a bit later today.

  • Campus insiders looks at who has the edge between Kentucky and the Wisconsin Badgers.

  • Kentucky takes the tough road to the Final four. Indeed they did. It will be quite the story if they get to the finish line first.

  • Kentucky fans try to help Texans grok college basketball. I'm not sure such a quest isn't doomed to failure from the outset. Because football.

  • Wisconsin's Ben Brust knows a thing or two about Kentucky basketball history.

  • Five things to know about Wisconsin and Kentucky.

  • Leave it to Boston to take shots at Calipari. It's like he never coached at UMass. Consider:

    The voluminous Kentucky media guide (202 pages) makes no mention of the fact that Calipari’s Final Four appearances at UMass (1996) and Memphis (2008) were later vacated by the NCAA because of rule violations involving star players Marcus Camby and Derrick Rose. They’ve been Nixonianly wiped clean.

    "Nixonianly?" Is that really a word?

  • The Wall Street Journal has a part of John Calipari's upcoming book, "Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out" today. It's a very interesting read. Consider this:

    There has been talk of putting NCAA basketball in line with baseball, where high-school players either go right into pro ball or, if they choose college, have to stay for three years. That is just stupid for our game. I don't have another word for it. The NBA doesn't want high-school kids, and it doesn't have a whole minor-league system to develop them. The baseball rule would keep some kids in college basketball for three years who want to be in the NBA—without improving their situation in any way. [My emphasis]

    How many times have I explained this? Calipari gets this somewhat wrong, though — the NBA has a perfect minor-league system, one that doesn't cost them a single penny. It's called, "college basketball."

  • Calipari is becoming Larry Brown. Or so US News suggests.

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