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Kentucky Wildcats Saturday Quickies: Fan Day Edition

News and commentary from around the Big Blue Internet. Kentucky heads to the Bahamas. Crowd at Fan Day impresses Stoops. More.

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Today is Fan Day for UK football, and it was apparently well-attended.

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Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
Kentucky basketball
  • Alex Poythress is happy that Coach Cal will let him prove himself. I think Alex can do it. I just know this young man is way better than he’s shown so far, and so far he’s been pretty good.

    He must transition to the small forward, or his playing time this season will be limited.

  • Thursday’s basketball report from Jerry Tipton. He has more on Calipari’s “non-negotiables,” especially diving for loose balls and sprinting the court. Consider also:

    – Alex Poythress made only three of six free throws in a (very) controlled scrimmage. But getting to the foul line so many times showed a high level of activity and his teammates’ willingness to look for him along the baseline.

    Alex needs to make more of everything. But it’s early.

  • 2015 guard Eric Davis includes UK in his final seven.

  • Three hundred ticket books to the Big Blue Bahamas were stolen en route. Those ticket numbers will be invalid. I wonder if we’ll hear about anybody trying to use them?

  • Jerry Tipton has an article at the Herald-Leader in a similar vein to the one written by James the other day. I did find this interesting:

    Of course, Calipari figured in last season’s change. James Young, the shooting guard on last season’s team, noted how Calipari “chilled,” which brought a sense of relief. The Harrisons’ father, also named Aaron, said much the same thing.

    I think this is critical. Calipari last season was a dominating tyrant. I once seriously thought he was going to run out on the floor and take the ball away from Andrew Harrison as if it were a practice — the Ole Miss game, I think.

    Calipari has to know now that he isn’t a great Bob Knight-type coach, which should make him happy. Just stay jolly, but relentlessly competitive, and he’ll be fine. I know, I know, it could have been the hip, but I’m skeptical. I think we’ll see the old Cal this season, the one that was so perfect during the 2011-12 season from the standpoint of demeanor.

  • Kentucky target Antonio Blankney:

  • Can Alex Poythress improve on the perimeter for Kentucky? I think he can. He is able to shoot the ball, and if he can handle better, he will be fine.

Other Kentucky sports
College football
College basketball
  • Louisville gets a verbal commitment from 2015’s Donovan Mitchell. Why does he want to go and make the loser sign?

  • How the new Division I power structure affects college basketball. Rob Dauster’s overriding point is that as long as the smaller conferences are invited to the NCAA Tournament, the centerpiece of college basketball will remain unchanged.

    I have a question, though. If the rich are getting richer by this move, what’s the smaller school’s motivation to want to include them in the tournament? The Power Five have already made noises about excluding non-power conference teams from their schedule. This would seem to be a prelude to separating entirely from the rest of the NCAA.

    If that turns out to be the case in football, it’s hard to imagine basketball will be far behind.

  • Dino Gaudio gets this right:

    “I can remember the year they lost to Robert Morris (2012-13), watching those guys practice, and the team had like seven scholarship guys. No disrespect to the walk-ons at all, but in practice there was no competition ,” Gaudio said, “and (Calipari) had no leverage, for lack of a better word, with that team and those players. Well now, if guys aren’t playing hard, ‘Sit down.’ So I think he has a lot of diversity and a lot of options, but also think he has a lot of leverage, too.”

Other sports news
  • PGA live leaderboard. Love seeing J.B. Holmes in the hunt. But there is stormy weather in Louisville today.

  • O’Bannon seems to have won his lawsuit against the NCAA, but surprisingly, it looks as if the NCAA actually came out with very little damage due to the judge capping the total amount of compensation from name and likeness at $5000 per year. That’s essentially the “stipend” teams have been talking about for years. Despite the victory shouts of some that the NCAA’s definition of amateurism is dead, I find and extra 5K per player per year as “earnings” to be essentially chump change. It isn’t quite a Pyhrric victory for O’Bannon, but it’s hardly a resounding rout of the NCAA so many were hoping for. Jason Kirk gets it right:

    The biggest winner? The NCAA. They were already likely to give students NIL [Name, image, likeness] money in the future, and now they don’t have to open up the market. This is the best scenario it could have possibly hoped for. However, you could also classify video game players as the biggest winners. Since Judge Wilken ruled restrictions on athletes being paid for the use of their likenesses is illegal, that means athletes could theoretically be paid for their appearances in video games, and EA said that it would like to bring back the game if it can pay players.

    The NCAA looks likely (but not certain) to appeal, and I think they stand a decent chance of winning some of this back, and it’s a pretty minor victory compared to what could have happened. But I do agree with Dodd [linked above] that the concept of the unpaid student-athlete, as the NCAA argued it, is probably dead. It was never really alive anyway — if the total value of all the ancillaries the players received from the school, such as facilities, training from professional trainers, coaching from coaches, travel, tutors, etc. were ever fully amortized into their scholarship, the value of them would stun people. They have been paid in kind for many years far in excess of their academic peers. Imagine if they had to pay to use the facilities, coaches, etc. out of any income they gleaned?

    Then there is Title IX, and oh, you’d best believe that one isn’t going away.

  • 32-year old Navy Seal trying to make Northwestern’s football team. Just don’t make him angry. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

Other news