Despite our cable companies' best efforts, ASoB Editor Will and I caught the game last night on a laptop. If you want a football education, watch a game with Will.
My thoughts? A win is a win. We have a young and flawed team...with a 4-1 record. I have held fast all season to a 6-6 projection, and the football 'Cats are well on their way to achieving that.
Football - both pro and college - is in full fall bloom, we are less than a month away from the Blue-White game, NBA and NHL training camps have begun, and we are approaching MLB playoff time. It's a fantastic time on the calendar to be a sports fan.
Takes on Last Night's Game and Other NCAAF Stories
Former Kentucky OC Neal Brown, who became head coach at Troy last winter, never really endeared himself to UK fans, but a coordinator leaving for a HC position elsewhere is always positive PR for a program. Brown's Trojans are 1-3 coming out of the Sun Belt and tested their mettle early against power five schools NCSU and Wisconsin, both losing efforts.
Deadspin's College GameDay Sign Roundup. I was the recipient of my first "WHAT ARE THOSE?" from an elementary-age kid at a 5K at the Columbus Zoo. I felt old, but at least I knew what he was talking about?
UK Basketball + Recruiting
Cal utilizes security guards on the road to protect players from agents. Sad, but most likely necessary.
Guess how many UK games are included in Terrence Payne's best non-con NCAAB contests of '15-'16? Unsurprisingly, three of UK's games are in the top five.
Rawle Alkins' most recent mixtape...again. Alkins is still my heavily preferred uncommitted player in the 2016 class, and I hope that the rumor that Cal and Co. are easing off is just a rumor, or that it's only true because they know he's looking elsewhere and their resources are better expended on others who apparently need significant further swaying, such as Edrice Adebayo and Harry Giles. Here is Alkins' DX Prospect Profile page.
Training camps are underway!
Anthony Davis. UK's crown jewel in the NBA and future MVP. What's stopping him from owning basketball? Eric Freeman opines that it's his supporting cast. Kirk Goldsberry offers a blueprint for how Davis' New Orleans teammates can assist him in taking that next step.
Two of the three members of this PBT panel believe that the Minnesota Timberwolves will be the NBA's most improved team this season. Unsurprisingly, KAT plays heavily into their determinations.
Both regular and advanced stats indicate that Nerlens Noel is near-elite on the defensive end in Philadelphia, but his offensive game hasn't progressed much since he left Lexington. Here is a look at how Noel's jump shot is changing, courtesy of SB Nation's Liberty Ballers. The 76ers' frontcourt is loaded with recent top-half-lottery picks, including Noel and Jahlil Okafor, with Joel Embiid waiting in the wings and nursinga pesky navicular fracture. Noel absolutely must improve his offensive game if he wants to get significant starter minutes in Philly once Embiid returns.
I concur with Andrew Sharp, that we need to talk about Marcus Camby. Even including Cal's UK alums, Camby is undoubtedly a top 5 Cal product (one of two NCAAB Players of the Year he has coached, the other being Anthony Davis), and he had three years to mold him. I love this line: "[i]f you ever wondered what Anthony Davis would look like if he'd stayed in school, check out Camby's junior year at UMass."
So now, Markieff Morris wants to be in Phoenix. I wonder what changed? As a result, BBN's hopes of Terrence Jones joining Bledsoe, Knight, Booker, and Goodwin via trade out in the desert have been dashed.
Cleveland Browns DB, and former Oregon standout, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was projected as a late first or early second round pick for the 2014 NFL Draft. He took a gamble, though, and returned to Eugene for his senior season. Well-known college football analyst Phil Steele projected him as a top-10 pick and described him as the best CB in the NCAA. Unfortunately, he shredded his knee that December and most NFL teams removed him entirely from their draft boards for the 2015 Draft. Ekpre-Olomu was eventually selected by Cleveland in the seventh round. Luckily, Oregon and Ekpre-Olomu had taken out loss of draft value insurance, and he now figures to be the first athlete to collect on it. Good for him and for Oregon (which paid the policy premiums), treating football like the business that it truly is.
A fluffy but fun write-up from the San Diego Union-Tribune on former 'Cat Stevie Johnson's resurgence as a Charger.
Sneaker of the Week: AND1 Tai Chi, immortalized by Vince Carter's legendary performance in the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest. Here are all of Carter's dunks from the Contest. Skip to :25 for the leviathan that shut it down.
Catherine Coulson, the Log Lady from Twin Peaks, one of the most sublime and baffling TV shows of all-time, died last week. I don't know if she was going to figure into David Lynch's revitalization of the absurd and nonlinear story of the seedy underbelly of an ostensibly sleepy American town, but the Log Lady is one of the most intriguing post-M.A.S.H. American TV cult figures. May the frequent Lynch collaborator rest in peace.
Maria Konnikova queries, "why do we admire mobsters?" for The New Yorker.
Vinyl of the Week: Fleetwood Mac 1969-1972 box set. It's autumn, so it's time for early (pre-Nicks/Buckingham) FM. This set includes the most accessible Peter Green-era FM album, Then Play On (did you know Peter Green wrote "Black Magic Woman," not Santana?), and it charts Christine McVie's rise as an integral component of the band's lyrics, tone and sound. Bare Trees, part of this collection, is my favorite FM record. The album art reminds me of fall.
Pitchfork likes Drake's new mixtape with Future, What a Time to Be Alive. I like what I've heard too.