Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies. Today’s lead story is the same as yesterday’s, only sadder and more final. The legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt, late of the Tennessee Volunteers, has died. Summit was 64 years young, and succumbed to complications from early onset dementia, “Alzheimer’s Type.”
It’s always sad to lose a coaching legend, and it’s particularly tragic to lose one of, if not the, most accomplished basketball coach history so early in life.
Our prayers, sorrow, and best wishes go out to Coach Summitt’s family and friends. We will miss her. What she meant to sport, particularly to women in sport, is incalculable.
Tweet of the Morning
I just know Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp are welcoming Pat Summit through the pearly gates— Justin Hodges (@justin_hodges22) June 28, 2016
I’m sure John Wooden will be there with them.
Football players Jacob Hyde and Courtney Love are showing more than their fair share of enthusiasm.
One thing you can’t teach in basketball: Size. John Robic likes what the incoming freshman class brings to UK in that regard. Via Ben Roberts.
Regarding Clay Travis’ offensive remarks about John Calipari:
I used to be a dumb, uniformed hater…and you used to be a well-respected, extremely bright writer. We all change https://t.co/bJ5HrTkS72— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) June 28, 2016
I didn’t comment on this because I was doing other things, but briefly, this is the sort firebomb Travis has long been famous for throwing.
The bottom line is that the only person in America who cares what Clay Travis thinks is Clay Travis himself. He’s managed to take a Vanderbilt law degree and turn it into a laughing stock, not because he’s necessarily as ignorant as he sometimes seems to be, but because he’s a transparently narcissistic, uninformed douchenozzle with delusions of sentience. I actually think highly of Vanderbilt and I’m sorry Travis has dragged them into the muck by virtue of his association with them.
I also think Travis cheated to get by at George Washington and Vandy. I don’t have a shred of proof, mind you, but I have just as much as he has that Calipari cheats.
Finally, in defense of Matt Jones and others around Kentucky were suspicious of Calipari before he came here, most of us have done mea culpas, including yours truly. It’s one thing to be wrong a long time ago, and own up to it. It’s another to continue your self-delusion indefinitely, and to flaunt it to bait Kentucky fans and others who know and appreciate Coach Cal.
Oscar Combs talks about the recently deceased Herky Rupp, son of the UK coaching legend:
We’ll miss Herky. His passing was very quiet, but he was an important part of Kentucky’s basketball legacy.
New Wildcats are leaving an impression, according to Metz Camfield writing for CoachCal.com. But the returners are making an impression, too, particularly one guy:
"I think right now Isaiah Briscoe has done a really, really good job of leading this group," [UK assistant coach John] Robic said. "They’ve been doing a lot early in the morning as far as workouts, and you can see that with a year under his belt that he’s really shown a leadership role."
I think Briscoe is going to have a great year.
Other Kentucky sports
Mark Story writes about the time Pat Summitt considered becoming head coach of Kentucky’s women. Boy, UK blew that one big time.
Jim Belanger, late of the Maryland Terrapins, has been named pitching coach at Kentucky. Seems Nick Mingione is off to a good start.
Four current and former Kentucky track & field athletes are headed to Rio.
SEC Hoops needs to take a page from the gridiron. I’m not sure why SEC basketball has been so mediocre lately. A lot of it is Kentucky sucking much of the air out of the league, but teams like Arkansas, Florida, Alabama and Tennessee have got to step up their game.
Former UK legend Sean Woods agrees to contract extension at Morehead State. Congrats!
Other sports news
Alexander Wolff eulogizes Pat Summit. Regardless of her many accomplishments, Summitt could possibly be best remembered by this moment:
As Summitt settled into her seat in the first row, waiting for takeoff, the flight attendant in the jump seat opposite her began to sob. "What is it?" Summitt asked. "Tell me, what’s the matter?"
It turned out that years ago, upon leaving the floor after a game at Louisiana Tech, Summitt had spotted a girl in a wheelchair at the mouth of the tunnel. She walked over, dropped to one knee, and said, "Don’t let the way you are now define who you will be. You can overcome anything if you work at it."
That little girl grew up to be the woman who would soon be getting out of that jump seat to work that flight, and for the moment she was overcome with emotion at having the chance to thank this woman who foretold how she could control her fate.
If you haven’t teared up after that one, check your pulse. Better yet, call an ambulance.
Boogie Cousins is headed to Rio, as you all know. Jon Hale has details at the Courier-Journal.
More bad news today: Buddy Ryan, NFL coach and defensive guru, has died at 82. Our prayers and best wishes go out to his connections and family.
"No quarterback has ever completed a pass while laying flat on his back." - Buddy Ryan— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) June 28, 2016
Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson’s playing partner at the U.S. Open, has some very critical things to say about the U.S.G.A. They deserve all of them.