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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: April Fool's Day Edition

Denzel Valentine wins the AP Player of the Year. Also, previewing this weekend's Final Four, the basketball team schedules a "special announcement", football trying new things with the special teams, equal pay in soccer, and growing livers...IN SPACE!!!

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Good morning and happy Friday, ladies and gentlemen of Big Blue Nation. If you'll indulge some personal news: as of a few days ago, I became the new owner of a leveraged, illiquid, and undiversified financial asset. That's right: I'm a home-owner.

My few remaining tendrils of youth continue to float away as property taxes, landscaping, and home maintenance elbow their way to the forefront of my consciousness. You want to spend money on a vacation? Too bad, son. You need a dinner table and a visit from The Orkin Man. My slow lean into adulthood continues unabated as my Xbox and passport accumulate more dust.

Got any tips for a first-time home-owner? I'm all ears. And if you know anyone in Columbus, Ohio who wants to rent a room...

To your Quickies...

Tweets of the Morning:

When a despotic regime is right, it's right.

I was there on that gorgeous fall day and 100% sober...

I feel bad for the staff member that had to inform Frank Martin the NCAA doesn't abide by the "no take backs" rule.

Are we sure genocide is worse than cable companies?

In the SEC there's Ole Miss' Chad Kelly and...not much else returning. Looks like another average-at-best year for league quarterback play. Given the paucity of returning starters, some new names may crop up like Florida's Will Grier last season (presumably not because they use PEDs).

Georgia's Jacob Eason is a probable candidate, but the 'Dawgs don't have anyone for him to throw the ball to. I guess he can just hand it off to Nick Chubb and Sony Michel 45 times per game. The 'Dawgs could probably return to football's atavistic roots and run the ball, while playing good defense and special teams, and find a way to 8-10 wins. Worked for them last year.

Your Quickies:

Kentucky football
  • Kentucky held a practice yesterday that seemed to indicate some frustration with offensive execution, and an acknowledgement there's not much depth along the defensive line. Here's the full Q&A. I always read these and file them away for later use. There's often good nuggets.
  • Todd wrote a great post yesterday on why CJ Conrad's production was limited last season. If the offensive line is better, he should see his production rise in 2016 despite having the best season of a UK tight end since 2011.
  • Presumably to entice pride in special teams, the coaching staff has come up with an interesting way to increase the performance on those teams.
  • Running back Mikel Horton loves playing for his new offensive coordinator.
  • Landon Young talked to SEC Country about his recruitment. There's a lot of very interesting insight, but the headline will be Urban Meyer allegedly telling him he didn't take an interest in him earlier because he was an "insubstantial player" (and he goes on to say the same about UK as a program). I understand college football is a business in a lot of ways, and frank talk has its place, but that's a tone deaf response to a teenager's individual abilities. I imagine there will be more information to come on the matter, and Young's candid manner with the media is just beginning.
  • De'Niro Laster sounds ready for the coming season. He'll be needed. My guess is he ends up at outside linebacker, while Jordan Jones holds down the weak-side linebacker position.
Kentucky basketball
  • The men's basketball is holding a press conference at 2 pm today for a "special announcement". Commence speculation if you haven't already started.
  • ASoB has a new basketball podcast worth checking out. The guys just produced and published Episode 3 (The football podcast will return for an episode in April FYI).
  • Surprise, surprise. Calipari has already made an impression on a 2017 star, small forward John Petty.
  • Mark Story writes that last year's Wisconsin loss is more painful than the Laettner game. Last year, I always thought the only team that could cause issues for UK were the Badgers. That game felt like it was always heading towards its inevitable conclusion with ten minutes to play in the second half. The Laettner game ended in such a suddenly negative way that lessens its impact for me. Either way, both losses probably cost UK a title.
Other Kentucky sports
  • Jasmine Mitchell runs the college 400m faster than anyone else this season. She ran it in 52.94 seconds. I recall the men's 400m record at my high school being around 53.5 seconds and that guy ran track in college. Straight booking it.
  • Destiny Carter ran a season-best 23.10 to win a 200m heat in Gainesville yesterday. Earlier, Kianna Gray ran a 22.86 in the 200m which is good for the second best time in school history.  Here's an entire wrap-up of yesterday's activities in Florida. If track and field were a revenue sport, ESPN and SI would be doing stories on the coaching job Edrick Floreal has done in Lexington. He and Rachel Lawson have done tremendous work with their respective programs.
  • The 12th-ranked softball team faces a tough Auburn team this weekend.
  • The 23rd-ranked tennis team picked up their first road win of the season at Ole Miss.
Other sports

Other news

Have a great weekend and enjoy the games!