And the ranked teams keep falling. Last night, the Clemson Tigers followed up their defeat of #21 Louisville by taking down the #9 Duke Bluedevils 68 63. And Alabama defeated previously unbeaten #19 South Carolina 73-50 (!) in Tuscaloosa. Wow.
There have been four teams ranked #1 this season, and there may be fifth if the #2 Oklahoma Sooners can defeat #11 West Virginia Mountaineers at home on Saturday. Don't forget, Bob Huggins' team dealt Kansas their second loss at Morgantown on Tuesday. Oklahoma was able to survive by two points on the road at Oklahoma State last night.
Moral of the story? It's wide open this season and winning on the road in conference play is extremely difficult to do, no matter the caliber of the opponent. Kentucky has a tough road test at Auburn on Saturday and we all know that Bruce Pearl is going to have that place rocking.
Tweet of the Day:
Rick Pitino on grad transfers: "This one and done is better than the other one and done because they’re not just getting a 6-month eduction"— Jody Demling (@jdemling) January 13, 2016
This freakin' guy... Rick Pitino, defender of education and master of sex scandals. Give me a break.
ICYMI, Kash Daniel, Drake Jackson, Gunnar Joke, and Dakota Holtzclaw are enrolled at UK. Those four joined four-star JUCO offensive tackle Tate Levitt, who signed in December. It looks like Mark Stoops is going to keep this class together for the most part.
I say for the most part because former Kentucky commit Kobe Smith has picked the Sout Carolina Gamecocks and will enroll this week.Smith is a three-star defensive tackle. We need those. Boo.
JUCO three-star quarterback Stephen Johnson is taking his visit in Lexington right now. I will say that Kentucky has a VERY good chance of adding him.
Johnson's QB coach emphasizes his competitiveness at everything from football to checkers, going in w/ expectation of competing to play.— Justin Rowland (@RowlandRIVALS) January 14, 2016
Good to hear. Getting a third QB on the roster should be, in my opinion, the top priority.
Kentucky offensive tackle commit Landon Young was named the top lineman at the Army All-American Game. Young completely dominated the game and looked like a man among boys. There has been momentum growing for adding a fifth star next to his ranking.
Jerry Tipton writes that while Kentucky is sitting pretty much where it wants to be at 13-3, consistency for this team is still elusive. Honestly, this comes down to our front court. You can't ask much more from Jamal Murray, Tyler Ulis, and Isaiah Briscoe at this point. They are carrying the load on offense and on defense. A deep run in March is dependent on the front court.
Speaking of Jamal Murray and Tyler Ulis, congrats to the two on being named on the 25 player Wooden Award watch list. I think Ulis is getting a fair amount of attention, but is there a better player in the country not getting the recognition he deserves than Jamal Murray?
After being derailed for a short time with an ankle injury, Isaiah Briscoe is regaining his confidence. He is emerging as a third offensive threat with his rejuvenated mid-range jumper and he is already the best defender on the team. Now if he can just hit those free throws...
UK signee Sacha Killeya-Jones had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks in tonight's game. 6-10 forward was 12/15 on free throws.— Ben Roberts (@NextCats) January 14, 2016
That'll do, young man.
National analyst predicting that Kobi Simmons will pick Arizona on Saturday. https://t.co/3xmmYmEa2p— Ben Roberts (@NextCats) January 13, 2016
More than likely. There isn't room for any more guards on the roster for 2016.
Other Kentucky Athletics:
There is a HUGE game for UK Hoops tonight as Matthew Mitchell's #9 ranked team will host the #2 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks. Memorial Coliseum should be rather raucous. Tip is at 7:00 PM.
Sports Around the Country:
The Missouri Tigers basketball team was hit with NCAA sanctions yesterday.The Tigers will forfeit the NCAA tournament this season (not that they were going to make it anyway), will vacate the entire 2013/2014 season, they will forfeit two scholarships and will pay a fine of $5,000.
While former Missouri coach and current Tulsa coach Frank Haith has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the NCAA, most of the blame has been laid at the feet of former assistant coach Tim Fuller. Who is Tim Fuller? He is a former AAU coach and shoe guy that was hired by Rick Pitino back in 2010 to come and try to kickstart recruiting again for the Louisville Cardinals. This was Fuller's first big time D-1 coaching job and was seen as a move by Pitino to combat what John Calipari was doing at Kentucky. Here's the kicker: the Katina Powell and Andrew McGee scandal started in... you guessed it...2010. Fuller stayed at UofL for only one season before moving to Mizzou with Haith where Fuller started cheating almost immediately. I'm not saying there is a connection, but I am sure the NCAA already has a leg up on this. Is it possible that Pitino said to Fuller, "Do what you have to do to get the players" and then turned the other way? It's entirely possible. Not likely, but possible.
The Cleveland Browns hired Bengals OC Hue Jackson as the next head coach. Jackson is cleaning house and Johnny Manziel is first on the chopping block. Good riddance.
Tragic news with the death of former Nebraska running back star Lawrence Phillips. Phillips has had a very troubled past and was currently serving 31 years in prison and was awaiting trial for strangling to death a former cellmate. Jackson's death is being investigated as a suicide.
The New York Giants have their man in Ben McAdoo.
So this sucks.
Alan Rickman, giant of British film and theatre, dies at 69. #RIP https://t.co/snZxoIZUyj pic.twitter.com/awEYQvMWst— IMDb (@IMDb) January 14, 2016
Alan Rickman played villain Hans Gruber in the seminal action flick Die Hard, played the Sheriff of Nottingham with evil glee in the otherwise forgetful Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and was most famous for his role as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter saga. Between Rickman, Scott Weiland of STP, and David Bowie, I'm having a hard time seeing some of my favorite celebs passing away.
The Oscar Nominations are out!Leonardo Dicaprio's The Revenant leads all nominees with 12 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. I read the book which is a tale of survival and revenge about Hugh Glass, a frontiersman that was attacked by a bear and left for dead. It is based on actual events. I have yet to see the movie, but it is #1 on my list.
Mad Max: Fury Road was second in nominations with 10. I have seen that one and I can attest to its greatness.