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Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Quickies: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Edition

Cal gets honored at UMass, Stoops looking to keep the 2016 class together, and Kentucky legends answer the question, "What's wrong with Skal?", and more!

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The first memory I have of Star Wars is when I watched The Empire Strikes Back for the first time as a kid. I was blown away by not only the action and the science fiction, but the story of Luke Skywalker and his struggle with Darth Vader was fascinating to me. From that point forward, I was hooked.

I came to appreciate Empire more and more as I advanced in age. The acting was superb as was the story, the adventure, and not to mention the first big reveal in movie history as Vader unveiled his identity to his shocked and betrayed son. It remains the gold-standard of the franchise, with a New Hope and Return of the Jedi as almost equal companions.

And then came the prequels. The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were both enormous letdowns as George Lucas traded engrossing storytelling and endearing relationships with a wooden script and equally wooden chemistry between characters. The very few good performances between those two films of Darth Maul, Obi Wan, and Quai Gon Jinn were not enough to save them from boring storylines and way too kid-friendly characters (deliver us from Jar-Jar).

Revenge of the Sith somewhat salvaged the trio, but I'm still left with this, which encapsulates my feelings about the entire endeavor:

Thanks to J.J. Abrams, we have new stories to enjoy. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewy, C3PO, and R2D2 are all back in the new installment to resurrect a bit of that old magic. Hopefully, the new installments will restore some dignity back into the franchise.

But to me, I get to enjoy these films with my four-year-old son. He just received a toy Light Saber for his birthday. A green one, just like Luke's in Jedi. And as I watch him swing it and challenge Darth Battle to battle, I can't help but remember when I was his age and doing the same with a blue wiffleball bat. That's the magic of these films.

Enough with the sentimentality, on with the Quickies.

Tweet of the Day:

Ha! I'm sure many thought the same, Mike.

Kentucky Football:

ICYMI, the UK O-Line received a giant boost when top JUCO transfer Tate Levitt signed his LOI for the Wildcats. The O-Line was arguably the worst unit on the team last season. It needs all the help it can get.

Year 4 of the Mark Stoops Era MUST move the needle. Amen to that.

Stoops feels confident in keeping the 2016 class together. I have faith that the in-state guys will honor their commitments. It's wait and see for the rest.

Kentucky Basketball:

John Calipari was honored at UMass with mixed results. While the institution itself, the former players, the fans, and the former coaches did right by Cal, the Boston media was as conniving and cynical as one would expect.

Here is a night with John Calipari.

Some of Kentucky's best-ever big men answer the question, "What's wrong with Skal?" Kenny "Sky" Walker, Dan Issel, and Sam Bowie all have different takes, but a couple of things are clear: he needs to work on his strength, his positioning, and his on-court attitude. You don't have to be the strongest guy on the floor in order to rebound, fly around the rim, and make moves to the basket. Ask 2012 Anthony Davis.

Bam Adebayo is more than a bully.I love this kid already.

Other Sports:

While the Golden State Warriors are the talk of the NBA, and rightfully so, the San Antonio Spurs have quietly won 23 straight home games, the best mark in their storied franchise. Don't ever count out Tim Duncan and company.

The Louisville Cardinals continue to pound cupcakes like a fat kid on his birthday. Same story every season. Play the weakest out-of-conferences schedule in basketball, get hyped, get beat by Kentucky as a consolation prize.

Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M Aggies received quite the scare as there were reports that QB Kyle Murray was about to transfer. Sumlin addressed the media and stated that he expects Murray to stay and play in the Music City Bowl against the Fighting Neckbraces. The Aggies already lost QB Kyle Allen to transfer.

Random News:

N.W.A, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, and Deep Purple have all been chosen to be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

There are multiple musicians that have joined the infamous 27 Club. Hhere are the 11 most iconic.

One simple thing that could make the Star Wars prequels more engaging. Interesting theory, but two out of the three movies still stink. Bad.

That's all from me. May the Force be With You.