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Wildcat Quickies: SEC Opener Edition

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Kentucky takes on Ole Miss. Oregon downs UCLA. More.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Kentucky Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky is set to take on Ole Miss in their conference opener tonight at 8 p.m. The ‘Cats are coming off a loss to Louisville in what was their ugliest offensive performance of the season. With the long break between games, UK will hopefully be poised to bounce back from the heartbreaking defeat.

While Ole Miss is a winnable game on paper, there are certainly aspects of the game that will be troubling. For example, Ole Miss big man Sebastian Saiz is averaging a double-double with 15.2 points and 12.1 rebounds, and is going to be a pest on both sides of the floor. Plus, it’s a road game, and road SEC games are never easy. Everyone gets up for Kentucky games, and The Pavilion at Ole Miss (Ole Miss’ fancy new arena) is sure to be packed to the brim. It only seats 9,500, but they’ll be rowdy nonetheless.

If Kentucky gets out in transition and runs their style of play, they’ll handle Ole Miss with ease. Here’s to a hopeful 1-0 conference start.

Tweets of the day

Talk about clutch! Dillon Brooks hits a tough three to drop UCLA for the first time this year.

The plot thickens on this intriguing story.

Still can’t tell if Indiana is a good basketball team or not. Great wins against Kansas and North Carolina, terrible losses to Nebraska and Fort Wayne.

Your quickies

Isaiah Briscoe setting three-pointers as next mountain to climb - Herald-Leader
Briscoe’s mission this year has been simple: shoot the ball better. That’s all he’s got to do to be a lottery pick. He’s improved his free throw percentage big time, but he’s still struggling mightily from deep. His next goal is to improve that deep shooting.

Kentucky’s defensive line coming together at right time - Herald-Leader
Regie Meant’s loss put the Kentucky front seven behind the 8-ball from the start. The defensive line was able to get past their struggles with a mix of first and second stringers, and they’ve come together at the right time going into the TaxSlayer Bowl.

Kentucky players tour Jacksonville Naval Station - SEC Country
The ‘Cats got to take a tour of Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville after their bowl practice yesterday. It’s one of the largest naval bases in America.

Wildcats get late Christmas gift courtesy of the TaxSlayer Bowl - SEC Country
Kentucky’s football players got their own custom handmade bobbleheads from the TaxSlayer Bowl.

Pros and Cons of an early commitment from Hamidou Diallo - KSR
Hamidou Diallo is one of the best guards in his class, and he’s extremely talented. But if he’s trying to rush into his NBA career at his current development level and with his current skillset, he may not be much help to the school he commits to.

Lady Cats wrap up non-conference schedule against Duke - Kentucky Forward
After beating Duke last year, Kentucky will be looking to top the Lady Blue Devils again and improve their top-25 standing.

Oregon rallies to upset UCLA - USA Today
The No. 21 Ducks beat the No. 2 Bruins on a game-winning three from Dillon Brooks. It was UCLA’s first loss of the year.

Ron Rivera thinks Steve Smith should retire a Panther - NBC Sports
I can’t fault Smith for not wanting to retire a Panther. They pushed him out the door because of his age, and he burned them for it by being a great slot receiver in Baltimore.

The good, the bad and the ugly from NFL 2016 - USA Today
From the talented rookies in Dallas, to Houston breaking the bank for a backup quarterback, to the Browns shockingly winning one game, 2016 certainly has been an interesting one for the NFL.

Jets won’t fire Todd Bowles - CBS Sports
The New York Jets had an awfully tough 2016, and their franchise direction is kind of lost. They certainly don’t have a quarterback right now. Despite the struggles, Todd Bowles will reportedly keep his job.

Sorry Toronto, the Cavaliers are the best team in the East - Fox Sports
The Raptors are good this year; they’re a deep team and they’re right behind Cleveland in the East. However, Cleveland is still the top dog in the East, as they probably will be until LeBron’s production falls off.

Cheetah extinction becoming possible - USA Today