Mark Stoops had his first press availability of the new season this morning. You can see the video below, and a transcript from Kyle Tucker here.
Tweet of the Morning
Mark Stoops on the first day of his second season: pic.twitter.com/9uJyx7Zh7J— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) August 4, 2014
It’s almost time. Let’s get ready for some footbawwww!
Kentucky DB coach Derrick Ansley: "Well, Day 1 was a lot better than Day 1 last year, I'll say that."— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) August 4, 2014
I’m not sure whether to be encouraged or worried.
Patrick Towles dream for his entire life was to be the starting quarterback at UK. Consider:
“I’m from Kentucky. My parents went to Kentucky. My dream for my entire life was to be the starting quarterback at UK,” Towles, a third-year sophomore, said after starting and starring in the Blue-White scrimmage back in April. “I kind of got complacent my freshman year. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t deserve the job. I didn’t deserve the job last year either. But now I feel like I’m doing all right, and I feel like I’ve got a pretty good shot at it.”
That’s a dream he is likely to realize, and he has worked extremely hard for the opportunity. Towles looked the best by far in the spring, and he should have — he’s been around the program for going on three years now, and the combination of improved mechanics, improved footwork, and natural talent was enough to move him to the head of the line.
If you haven’t read Will’s latest about the beginning of fall camp, please do give it a read. Here’s a taste:
Monday morning at 0600 the Kentucky football team officially opens fall camp. The red tape that is the months December through July has been cut, and football season is upon us. Just in time. Mark Stoops, DJ Elliot, and Neal Brown ran out of new things to say to the media a while ago. Over-analyzing practice reports seems like paradise compared to the last few months. 27 days…
A good article from Florida Today that talks about Mark Stoops and the Kentucky program:
As proud and proven as Kentucky basketball is, the football program is a perfect example of just how bad things can get in the SEC. As much as hoops stars have wanted to play at UK for decades, the football program has struggled to draw even the best from its state — although Stoops is beginning to change that.
Proof? UK played eight true freshmen last season and four junior college recruits. That’s a dozen prominent players who had never stepped on the field in an SEC football game. In the nation’s top conference, that won’t work. Stoops knew that. The result was a winless conference season that included an 11-point loss to Western Kentucky and a 27-13 defeat to Louisville.
Via Hank and Andypopcat.
Tavin Richardson, a high-quality receiver prospect out of South Carolina, has Kentucky at the top of his list. He’s a 2015 Rivals 3-star who has received offers from the likes of Florida, Louisville, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, and Virginia among others.
I think this is right:
Bud Dupree says Elam will be "a great bulldozer."— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_CJ) August 4, 2014
Stoops also said Matt Elam showed some good signs on day 1, can help them at DT. Eliot praised the way he moves for such a big guy.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) August 4, 2014
More from the first practice:
Eliot on LB Flannigan: very athletic, had a good first practice.— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) August 4, 2014
There is no place where we need more help than at linebacker.
Alex Montgomery, Jeff Badet still battling injury. We need this guys badly come September.
Who is under the most pressure to produce in 2014 when it comes to the all the Kentucky teams?
Jack Givens talks to Larry Vaught about a number of interesting topics, including John Calipari, Billy Gillispie, and whether or not the 1978 team was better than 2012. Here’s a taste:
"Coach (John) Calipari is the best in the business at this and is absolutely perfect for Kentucky. He makes fans understand this is their team and not just the players’ team. It is the fans’ team. Coach Cal is very good at making sure the fans feel they have a part in the program. He’s the best at that. Billy Clyde was not, and I told him that.
"After I got drafted, we would travel around the country and there were always Kentucky fans in the arena and everybody would have on blue and white," Givens said. "We would come out of games and people would be waiting just to shake hands. Players would see that and asked me who that was. I would say, ‘Kentucky fans, my family. That’s Kentucky basketball.’ It would just blow other players away. They thought I paid people to come out and put on Kentucky shirts. Other players, even though they were successful players, could not believe that."
This is an excellent article for basketball junkies. You should read it if you haven’t already.
The author is bent out of shape at the suggestion that Plumlee might make the team over Cousins, but there are reasons why he might: 1) he knows what K wants better than anyone at camp except for perhaps his brother; 2) he’s more emotionally reliable than Cousins, and 3) what they seem to want is a reliable backup big man who is athletic and who can defend and rebound. We’re not sure Cousins would accept that role; we know Plumlee will.
Let me restate these from the position of reality, rather than the position of fantasy that King occupies:
- Krzysewski might prefer Plumlee to Cousins because he coached him;
- Cousins is mean, and we don’t need mean people on the team;
- Cousins can’t accept a role other than star.
DBR’s initial position on this is that Cousins would have to be the backup big man because of Anthony Davis. I think this premise, if true, is basketball malpractice. Cousins is arguably the best center in the NBA, and Davis isn’t a center to begin with. A front line of Durant, Davis and Cousins makes plenty of sense from a basketball perspective, despite the quick dismissal by DBR.
Second, you need that mean guy on your team. As I told Larry Glover on Friday’s Larry Glover Live show, you need that scowling, angry guy on your team to intimidate the opponent. But Cousins doesn’t just bring intimidation — he brings far more skill and competence than Mason Plumlee in any role, backup or otherwise. DBR talks about rebounding, but anyone who knows anything about Cousins knows that he is one of the best rebounders in the NBA in any role. You can’t say that about Plumlee.
DBR is speaking from a position of ignorance — they don’t know Cousins like we do. I’ll also fully allow we don’t know Plumlee like they do, but we don’t have to — his production tells us everything we need to know.
Biggest thing I'm curious to see about UK in the Bahamas? Is Alex Poythress comfortable taking pull ups instead of drives. Has to be a 3.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) August 4, 2014
Other Kentucky sports
Team Speed Kills reviews Paul Feinbaum’s new book, “My Conference Can Beat Your Conference.”
- Here we are with the “Candid Coaches” thing again. This time it’s “Which college player would you take above all others.” Give me Karl-Anthony Towns.
Other sports news
Rory McIlroy is a big favorite in the PGA. I will be in attendance on Sunday.
Healthy JB Holms is ready to take on Valhalla. Holmes is very good on this course. I saw him play in the Rider Cup at Valhalla a few years back.
The viral call between AOL executive and Comcast customer Ryan Block when he tried to cancel his service has drawn some investigative reporting of the company.