Good midmorning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Quickies. Today’s big story (note I’m not talking Pitino and Louisville in my intros) is Kentucky’s game with Georgia tonight. Kyle tucker has a solid piece on the game here that deserves a perusal, and he properly notes that it will be guard-on-guard violence tonight as two of the best back courts in the SEC face off in Rupp Arena.
It’s pretty clear to me that Kentucky has established an identity, and whether or not it’s good enough to get us where we want to go, it certainly can be explosive. Kentucky’s defenestration of Florida after an unforgivable loss to Tennessee in Knoxville has to give us a sliver of hope. The problem is that Alex Poythress didn’t practice yesterday, and I’m not sanguine about seeing him tonight.
On the flip side, Isaac Humphries played well the other night against the Gators, and when you’re in a “next man up” situation, we just have to hope the young guy can reprise that effort with another solid game.
Tweet of the Morning
Shaka Smart & Lon Kruger are who you would want your kids to play for. Intense competitors, relentlessly positive & and relate to players.— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) February 9, 2016
Both good men, to be sure, and outstanding coaches. And yet, the best players seem to flock to some other coach. Can’t quite remember his name… I think it starts with a C and ends with “alipari.”
Kentucky apparently offered Buffalo Bills defensive backs coach the same job at UK. Reed reportedly turned it down.
Memories, apropos of tonight:
UK's Cliff Hagan grabbed a lose ball during the Cats 88-41 win over Georgia on Feb. 23, 1951 at Memorial Coliseum. pic.twitter.com/4vtImDdVuH— KY Photo Archive (@KYPhotoArchive) February 9, 2016
Get to know Tai Wynyard:
Other Kentucky sports
UK Softball trying to go from good to great. I love what Rachel Lawson is doing at Kentucky, and I am really, really looking forward to this season.
- Bill Connelly has four SEC teams in the top ten for next season. You’ll be very surprised to know that Kentucky is not among them. Okay, maybe not surprised…
Pitino on Mike & Mike. For a guy who skipped ACC Media Days because he can't talk about Hookergate, he sure does talk a lot about Hookergate— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) February 9, 2016
Pitino’s response to all this mess could never be appropriately described as “courageous.”
When asked about the future, Pitino says "Louisville's future is bright…my future is irrelevant"— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) February 9, 2016
The problem w/ Pitino’s proposal of schools paying fines for violations is that rich schools (& coaches) could just cheat and write a check.— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) February 9, 2016
And that’s exactly what would happen. Exactly. Places like Ohio State, Florida, Texas (not mentioning them as scofflaws, just really wealthy) would chalk it up as a cost of doing business. That is, unless the fines were astronomical, like tens of millions per violation. I just don’t see it happening.
There really seems to me to be no way to remove participation penalties from schools and make the punishment meaningful. It sucks for the kids, and perhaps the NCAA will want to revisit their eligibility rules in light of a penalty that happens mid-season. But I doubt that will happen. Nobody held a gun to Louisville’s head and made them institute penalties this season. If they were truly loyal to their athletes, they would’ve taken the two graduate transfers’ situation into consideration instead of transparently placing their own interests first.
Mike DeCourcy has a proposal to fix the NCAA justice system that punishes innocent athletes. I like it a lot, and it makes a lot of sense to me. However, that probably means that they’ll never do it.
One of Katina Powell's Facebook posts ended up on my timeline, so I started to read the comments and then pic.twitter.com/nc0tIIedZo— T.J. Beisner (@Beisner_cn2) February 9, 2016
Other sports news
Those of us who have been around a while know that players did not always jump to shoot the ball. This guy, who lived to a grand old 95, was one of the first to adopt the technique.
This was thoughtfully sent to me by a reader last week after the quickies, so I thought I would post it this week.
Anthony Davis talks Karl-Anthony Towns. Can you imagine if those two guys had been teammates at Kentucky?
Have “ripples” in space-time been found? Or maybe we should call them “grav waves.” Engineering, rig the forward Warshawski sail, and stand by to rig aft!
Who could hate the V-22 Osprey? Such a cool-looking airplane.
Another near-miss by an asteroid is coming in March. One of these days… one of these days… Pow, right in the kisser! I just hope I’m comfortably dead by then.