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Wildcat Quickies: Inevitable Change Edition

Mark Stoops's staff if destined for change, UK hoops big win, Boogie Cousins is the best, and more randoms to kick off your week

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

It is Monday and you likely have a two day hangover from the ultimate gut punch in Nashville Saturday night, I know I do.  I have gone from anger, to denial, to acceptance, and now I am just depressed.  The inexplicable has happened, a second year of faltering down the stretch to an almost certain 5-7 season is at our doorstep.

Last year was different, the beginning of the season was a bit of fools gold and reality hit later.  This year we truly have regressed to a point where the 'old kentucky' is rearing its ugly head.  I really do not want to rehash the moments, but you knew them when you saw them and you felt them too.  If you want to get upset, just check out Nick Roush at KSR who put together an entire list of the night frustrations.

South Carolina is not a good team, but we TOOK advantage of every opportunity to win.  Vanderbilt did everything to give us the game and we rejected their gifts.  This team is the antithesis of the team that won in Columbia.

Vanderbilt gets the award for best trick play, but it pales in comparison to the trick Mark Stoops pulled on me and other fans in thinking this was the year the busted out for 7-8 wins and national attention.

The bottom line is regardless of what happens the next two weeks, Mark Stoops has decisions to make if he wants to avoid a mass exodus of fans and recruits.

  • Find a Special Teams coach: We simply are not a program that can afford not having focused direction, leave that little thought to the big boys
  • Shannon Dawson's future: You never want to fire a coach after one season, but Shannon Dawson seems to be trying his best to force the issue.  From his lack of ever taking responsibility, to his "if it would have worked..." schtick, to his head scratching play calls; the honeymoon for him is over.  I would not blame Stoops if he fired him, and I think we could easily upgrade if he did, but I would also understand keeping him.
  • D.J. Eliot's future: The thin skinned defensive coordinator is in over his head and needs a different position on the staff or he needs to go.  I realize the defense played well Saturday, but I could take 10 others off this community and hold Vandy's offense to under 30.  That was a TERRIBLE offense, and Eliot normally gives up an average of 34.1 points per game to SEC teams, and that is unacceptable.  I know he is Mark Stoops' boy, but he is not an SEC Defensive coordinator.  I am guessing Bud Foster might listen if Va Tech does not make him the head coach. Could you imagine the homerun hire that would be?
  • Settle on a QB: The Towles/Barker situation has been more mishandled than Tim Couch running the option at Florida.  It has become clear to almost anyone outside of the program that the time to hand the reins to Drew Barker is now.  The team rallies around Barker, he decides quicker, runs just as well, and has similar attributes.  If Barker is not the QB going forward and into the off season, I am concerned about player attrition.

  • The #18 UK Hoops team traveled to Tempe to face #15 Arizona State.  The 'Cats were in trouble late, down 12 at point late in the game but a furious rally sent the game to overtime where Makayla Epps hit a jumper and sunk two clutch free throws in the final 36 seconds to preserve the overtime victory.  Epps ended up with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists for the 'Cats.  I will not lie, I am a big fan of Matthew Mitchell's look for the game too.

  • Albany's coach handed out some superlatives to the UK players after the loss on Friday night, in case you missed them:

  • The Women's Volleyball team lost a heart breaker in five sets to the Missouri tigers. The 'Cats head on the road this week and try to recover and keep pushing toward an SEC title.
  • DeMarcus Cousins has a lot of emotion, and a giant heart.  Everyone in Big Blue Nation knows his compassion for the game and his compassion for those less fortunate than him.  Cousins has decided to pay for the funeral of a slain teen in Sacramento.  The kid, Jaulon Clavo, was shot on his way to a football game Friday night.  Cousins reached out to the family personally and asked if he could help.
  • Speaking of Cousins, he obliterated a Kyle Lowry shot:

  • Two more future Wildcats put pen to paper to become officially part of BBN.  Sacha Killeya-Jones as well as New Zealander Tai Wynyard.  I have to ask this too... what exactly is Wynyard wearing at his signing?

  • On the day that Peyton Manning broke Brett Favre's record for most passing yards all-time, he got benched for a poor performance.  Gary Kubiak said it was to protect his health, but the 5-20 with 4 interceptions suggest otherwise.
  • The seemingly invincible Ronda Rousey was knocked out this weekend by Holly Holm.

  • The New England Patriots seemed to be on the verge of losing their bid at an undefeated season by the history busting New York Giants.  However, Tom Brady drove New England 44 yards, including a 4th and 10, to get into field goal range for Stephen Gostkowski.  He kicked a 54 yarder with one second left to give the Pats a win and a 9-0 record.
  • The Detroit Lions Ameer Abdullah returned a kickoff 104 yards... only to get tackled at the 1-yard line.  That must be brutal.
  • Randall Cobb had 5 catches for 53 yards
  • Bud Dupree had 2 tackles
  • Avery Williamson had 7 tackles vs. the Panthers
  • Wesley Woodyard had 4 tackles and 1 sack vs. the Panthers
  • Speaking of Woodyard and Williamson, they took exception to Cam Newton over celebrating a TD yesterday.

  • A sixth grader (10 years old) named Jaden Newman dropped 57 POINTS in a high school varsity opener, this is some Dennis Johnson type stuff.
  • Here is Forbes list of highest paid athletes for 2015.  Floyd Mayweather tops the list at an absurd 300 MILLION DOLLARS earned.  Not many will feel too sorry for Tiger Woods' struggles after seeing he still raked in 50 Million in 2015.
  • Good article by Derek McVey on Rajon Rondo becoming an elite Point Guard again.  Check it out here.
  • Wow, kudos to Mount St. Joseph for their tribute to Lauren Hill a year after her scoring layup.  They ran the exact same play, then put the ball on the ground and gathered around it for a tribute.  Kudos.
  • Florida State basketball has a 5-star freshman in Dwayne Bacon and some of the FSU fans decided to pay tribute to by wearing bacon outfits.