Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation. I hope your summer is going well. For my money, its been way too wet.
We all know that football is coming up in just about one month, and today’s lead story is by Bill Connelly of SB Nation, who points out that Kentucky’s rebuilding plan under Mark Stoops has not exactly gone by the numbers:
Mark Stoops hit every right note when he started out at Kentucky. There was that moment in Summer 2013, for instance, when he had the top recruiting class in the country. While mid-summer recruiting rankings are only useful with many large grains of salt – that top class ended up ranking 22nd in the 247Sports Composite, powered mostly by early commitments – it was supposed to signify something. Kentucky isn’t supposed to sign even top-25 classes unless the sport involves a round ball.
In the two seasons that followed, Kentucky has twice started quickly, then crumbled. The Wildcats were 5-1 in 2014 before losing six straight by an average score of 44-22. Last year, they were 4-1, then lost six of seven. (The only win was over Charlotte.)
This is a long article but well worth the time. It presents in stark relief the struggles Kentucky has had getting over the hump, and the big reasons why. Connelly points out, rightly, that 2015 was much worse than the 5-7 record would indicate, and to be honest, I didn’t realize just how unfortunate we were last year, statistically, until I read this.
Honestly, Kentucky has a very tough nut to crack this year. It has the potential, if things go well, to get it done, but I doubt if any objective observer would be surprised to see Kentucky go 5-7 again, or even worse if things go south.
Tweet of the Morning
Maybe the banks should look into coffee futures. https://t.co/NLcn3xQ6G8— CAMERON MILLS (@CameronMillz) August 2, 2016
Holy crap! Well, none of it is mine. I drink Starbucks occasionally, but I never use their gift cards. Wouldn’t mind owning some of their stock, though …
Kentucky is in good shape for four major recruits. I really like P.J. Washington because he is a willing defender and rebounder, but I am alarmed to see the lack of perimeter shooting in this group.
We could use him if we could pry him away from Maryland.
UK’s biggest position battles for this season. Hard to believe that Matt Elam is fighting for his spot, but I see that as a good thing. He’s been a little bit of an underachiever so far, and we need a breakout year from him this season. Pressure might make that more likely.
Predicting each SEC team’s most underrated player. Interesting pick for Kentucky.
Kentucky wide receiver preview:
This should be a strength this season.
Seeing a man over 50 “twerking” is something I could’ve lived my whole life without, but it sure is getting play. Might as well give it a little more…
When you see you got a bonus in your paycheck: pic.twitter.com/ZtamhcIde3— Jason Marcum (@marcum89) August 1, 2016
Alex Poythress confident he’ll stick with an NBA team after a solid summer. I hope so.
Coach Cal leads an entourage including Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis and his son Brad to a Drake concert in Toronto.
Catching up with the former Wildcats Alex Poythress and Jamal Murray. I’m also sad to hear from this piece that Oscar Combs won’t be doing the radio gig anymore. He’ll be missed.
What’s keeping each SEC coach up at night. For Kentucky:
Kentucky: The offensive tackle positions have been keeping Mark Stoops up at night dating back to the end of last season. Kentucky will likely have to rely on one of these three options: a former walk-on (Cole Mosier), a juco transfer (Tate Leavitt) or a newcomer directly out of the high school ranks (Landon Young). – Jeff Drummond, All Wildcats
Yep. To be fair, the offensive line is the major worry of many, even most SEC coaches.
Is LSU doing Les Miles dirty? Wouldn’t surprise me.
Who gets the ball with the game on the line for each SEC team. That’s an easy one for Kentucky, but not so much for others.
25 things you may have forgotten happened in the SEC last season. This piece is by Aaron Torres, so it’s well worth your time.
Patrick Towles is now at Boston College. Will he make us miss him?
So now, college coaches can re-tweet and like their recruit’s social media blather. This is probably going to go into the crapper quickly.
Former Louisville player David Padgett is now an assistant coach for Rick Pitino.
Other sports news
- Ugh. Steve Johnson (of “Stevie got loose!” fame), now playing for San Diego in the NFL, has torn the meniscus in one of his knees.
More Zika found in Florida. Wear your bug repellent, boys and girls.
Black holes can actually destroy us from light-years away. Well, that sucks.
The best sci-fi and fantasy for August. It looks pretty much like fantasy to me. That’s okay, the new Honor Harrington book, Shadow of Victory is due out in November. Of course, you can pre-order on Amazon if you’re like that.