Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, to the Tuesday Morning Quickies. On this date back in 1959, when I was but a wee toddler, former Kentucky coach Adolp Rupp achieved his 700th victory faster than any college coach in history. In a slightly ironic twist, the victory came over the Auburn Tigers, arch-foe of tonight’s UK opponent, Alabama.
In other news, we have the Jason Hatcher thing, wherein he was arrested with a pound of pot, then promptly dismissed from the team. I guess it’s go big or go home, and in this case, Hatcher gets to do both. No doubt this is a painful blow to next year’s offense, but it isn’t like we couldn’t see this coming — Hatcher has had a long history with the Wildwood Weed. Jim Stafford had a few things to say about that back in the day:
Yeah, they do keep coming back, don’t they, Jim?
Tweet of the Morning
Kentucky's Isaiah Briscoe has six games this season with seven or more rebounds. Remember when this guy only wanted to play offense? #BBN— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 23, 2016
Wonder if he can teach Skal Labissiere how to rebound once in a while?
Blue-White football game set:
Freddie Maggard says that new secondary coach Steve Clinkscale inherits a loaded group, and I think he’s right.
Kentucky will not be using injuries as an excuse, and well they should not. Injuries are a part of basketball. You have to find ways to win without injured players. Duke has done it to some degree without Amile Jefferson. Guess it’s our turn.
According to Cleveland.com, Kentucky is “wary of a trap game” against Alabama. Trap game? Did we win the last game and I somehow misunderstood? How can you have a trap game coming off a tough loss? Beats me.
But no doubt, this will be a tough one, especially sans Derek Willis and possibly Alex Poythress as well. Next man up.
Hard to believe, but true:
Wildcats steady in “bracketology.” Honestly, if we’re not a 1-seed, I really don’t care where they put us. We got to the Final Four from both the four and eight seeds, and if we can do it from there, I reckon we can do it from almost anywhere we’re likely to wind up.
Other Kentucky sports
- A look back at UK baseball’s start over the weekend. They wound up 2-1, but did well enough to jump 3 spots in the Baseball America top 25.
- SI legal analyst Michael McCann looks at the implications of the court motion to compel Charlie Strong to turn over his cell phone and other records in a divorce case, apparently in an attempt to prove he was the “back door man.”
Mike DeCourcy says that Ben Simmons is a great talent, but he’s not one of the top five best players in college basketball this season. I agree with him.
Look, Simmons will be an excellent NBA player — he has great size, great court vision, great ballhandling skills, athleticism, agility, and a remarkable ability to get to the rim.
But there are things he cannot do well, like shoot, make good decisions, display maturity beyond his years, take care of the ball and defend well. These are also very important things, no less so than the things he does well.
Simmons is a rare talent, and should go #1 in the draft, but as a college basketball player right now, I’m not sure he’s even in the top ten best players in America.
SEC coaches try to say something nice about their rivals. Apparently, they mostly failed.
Tubby Smith is being seriously mentioned as the Big 12 Coach of the Year. He certainly has done a good job this season, and no mistake.
Other sports news
In case you missed this piece by Steve Kaufman on Sunday, you should go read it. ESPN has been in a downward spiral for years, and Kaufman points out numerous good reasons why. College basketball announcing has become filled with puerile nonsense that’s both distracting and irrelevant.
Kaufman hits a bunch of the highlights of ESPN’s descent into foolishness. Will they see the handwriting on the wall? They haven’t seemed to notice it so far.
An arbitrator rules the NFL hid as much as $120 million in revenues from the players. Naughty. Worse than naughty, fraudulent.
Bill Gates, who seems to have lost all his combs despite billions of dollars, backs the FBI in the FBI-Apple scrap.
My only remark on this subject is to recall Benjamin Franklin’s wisdom: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”