Not even Lexington rain could dampen the philanthropic spirits at Coach Calipari's Celebrity Softball Classic yesterday. In addition to holding the game itself, the proceeds of which will all go to Louisiana flood relief, Calipari provided a number of Kentuckians with hearing aids, alongside the Starkey Foundation.
From what I could tell on Twitter, KAT won the Home Run Derby, UK baseball coach Nick Mingione hit a long home run during the game, and Team Towns bested Team Calipari 18-12.
Also, the 2016 edition of Cal's Basketball Fantasy Experience helped to raise over $1 million (which will be divided between 14 charitable organizations) and he plans to announce another humanitarian endeavor soon, with Papa John's, to raise more funds for Louisiana flood relief.
Also, here's Tucker's recaps of the softball game and festivities.
(CELEBRITY SOFTBALL GAME) TWEETS OF THE FORTNIGHT
It's wonderful to see 'Cats from different eras get together.
No words necessary.
*I had hoped to lead these Quickies with news of UK Women's Soccer's first victory of the season; however, the match against Northwestern was halted at halftime due to the rain and pitch conditions. According to trusted and much-appreciated ASoB reader/commenter BrunDoggyDogg, the match will be logged as a no contest.
UPDATE: Here's the official word from UK Athletics confirming the above.
The squad's next match is in Louisville next Friday night at 7:30 against those Dirty Birds.
*Men's soccer is in action this week, on Tuesday, against Duquesne at The Bell, at 7:30.
*5* prospect Trae Young, an Oklahoma native and arguably UK's top PG target for 2017, recently spoke with OUOnline's Derek Peterson (based in Norman, OK).
There is plenty of material here for the obsessive types to "read the tea leaves."
My totally sourceless opinion? While Oklahoma basketball has been much more successful lately than UK football, I'll use Kentucky native RB Damien Harris' college decision as an analogy.
Substitute Young for Harris, Oklahoma basketball for Kentucky football, and Kentucky basketball for Alabama football. The result? Young spurns his hometown team for basketball Broadway in the Bluegrass.
*ICYMI, here are the promotions for the home football games in 2016.
My wife and I will be attending the South Carolina game and it will be a pleasure to see Nate Northington, Greg Page, Wilbur Hackett and Houston Hogg recognized, as well as Rich Brooks and Wesley Woodyard honored a day after they are inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame.
*John Clay opines that the key to Wildcat football success in '16 (or lack thereof) will be defined by the 2014 recruiting class, which includes a bevy of current starters.
*If you haven't had enough of preseason primers, Jennifer Smith previewed the offense for the LH-L yesterday.
It's already fairly well-settled that the UK offense should be as good as it's been in years, but these numbers are especially encouraging:
"The offense "returns 99.1 percent of its catches from last season and 97.3 percent of its rushing yardage."
*WBN's Maxwell Ogdon looks back at John Calipari's pursuit of 40-0 at UK.
*Matthew Mitchell and the rest of the women's basketball coaching staff are holding a coaching clinic at the Craft Center on October 22.
*Jim Boeheim landed an impact grad transfer yesterday in former Nebraska star Andrew White, who also previously played at KU.
I'm surprised this isn't top-of-front-page college basketball news. White's overwhelming offensive presence this season undoubtedly vaults SU from firmly in the middle up to the second tier of the ACC, along with Virginia and Louisville.
*Texas extended head coach Shaka Smart's contract one year and gave him new yearly raises. Smart is now under contract (for whatever that's really worth) in Austin until 2023.
It's worth following Smart's contract status because there are many (including myself, depending on how he recruits moving forward) who consider him a viable John Calipari replacement in Lexington in 2030 (yes, 2030) when Cal retires to become the Governor of Kentucky (the electoral process will be suspended).
If you're wondering how Smart's been doing on the recruiting trial, since beginning in Austin in 2015, he's signed 5 4*s and 1 5* (former UK recruit Jarrett Allen). Also, Texas was 20-13 in his first year, losing to Northern Iowa at the buzzer in the the Round of 64 in last year's NCAAT.
*Villanova beat Duke, Indiana, and Kansas, for '17 4* Jermaine Samuels' commitment. Villanova isn't going away any time soon.
*WKU head coach Rick Stansbury credits Kentucky basketball for his career choice.
If you're an ASoB regular, you've already enjoyed Will's season preview project focusing on the 'Cats, but you may have missed Bill C.'s gloriously interesting projected S&P+ rankings and his subjective countrywide power rankings.
As you can see, the numbers don't favor Kentucky, but Connelly notes that he wouldn't be "particularly surprised if . . . Kentucky ended up playing at a top-40 level" in his power rankings.
*Tennessee football will honor legendary women's basketball coach Pat Summitt this season by wearing helmet stickers.
*TAMU's star DE Myles Garrett is not only projected to be the first selection in the 2017 NFL Draft by a number of experts, but also somewhat of an eccentric college football anachronism. ESPN's Sam Khan, Jr. explains.
*SI's Chris Johnson lists 10 freshmen who could impact this season's CFP. The list includes a pair of SEC players, as well as Ohio State RB Mike Weber. I believe Weber showed some Twitter interest in UK at some point. Does anyone else remember that?
Jon Solomon takes a long, must-read, look at the resurgent program for CBS Sports. The amount of money that the school has raised for the returningsport, as well as its early recruiting success for the'17 season, are remarkable.
*Former 'Cats Roundup
Apparently, Randall Cobb is not having a good August overall. A calf injury kept him out of Green Bay's first preseason game, he wasn't even targeted in its second, and I've seen several practice reports over the past few weeks indicating that Cobb is underwhelming in that setting, as well.
Hopefully Cobb has turned a corner, though, as he caught all 3 balls thrown his way on Friday, for 30 yards and a touchdown.
That's what the preseason's for, I guess.
LB Danny Trevathan, who figures to be a star of the Bears' defense, is finally healthy.
Tim Masthay's competition with Peter Mortell for the Packers' punting duties remains cloudy, according to the guys at Acme Packing Co., SB Nation's Packers site.
*I am an even bigger Marshawn Lynch after this occurrence last week at an autograph signing. You'll also like this if you're not fond of the Patriots or Patriots fans. I discovered it via this Reddit thread.
*I'm not a huge podcast guy because I'm generally busy and woefully inept at multitasking. When I do have the time, however, I do enjoy Hot Takedown, the sports podcast from FiveThirtyEight.
Here is the most recent edition, an absolute winner about advanced offensive NFL statistics.
*Check out Willie Cauley-Stein's top 10 plays of his rookie season.
While his scoring last season was concentrated mostly closer to the basket (especially finishing lobs), WCS' overall offensive game is clearly improving.
*I apologize if this has been linked here previously, but it's worth reposting just in case -- The Ringer's Jonathan Tjarks spotlighted oft-forgotten UK alum Trey Lyles last week as the Jazz' secret weapon.
"He hasn't had the chance to put up big stats yet, but the skills are there. The NBA is all about creating mismatches, and with his unique build and inside-out ability, Lyles can score over the top of smaller defenders and get around bigger ones."
Tjarks also describes how Lyles suffered from the "Eric Bledsoe Predicament" as a college player and draft prospect.
Hat tip to Nick the Natural for the heads up on this one.
*Former UNC standout Ty Lawson has signed a "show me" deal for one year with the Kings.
Lawson's career has been derailed by multiple DUI arrests, but it wasn't that long ago ('13-'14) that he was putting up 17+ points per game.
*Liberty Ballers' Marc Whittington is a great outside-the-box thinker when it comes to evaluating Draft prospects.
He's begun publishing his '17 Prospect Primers and blue & white is well-represented; take a look at:
Point Guards (De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk [yes, he knows that Monk will not really handle PG duties at UK])
UPDATE: Big Men (Bam Adebayo)
Read these for a non-UK perspective on Fox and Monk (and Adebayo), scouting reports on the competition, and an advance look at who to expect to be selected early in next June's Draft.
*Matt Moore at CBS Sports ponders why Josh Smith -- who is just 30 years old, possesses career averages of 14.6 points and 7.5 rebounds per game,and just a few years ago was one of the premier defenders in the NBA -- is currently teamless.
*Every summer brings stories regarding one or two retired former NBA stars who are pondering a comeback. Apparently, the financial free-for-all that has been '16 free agency has that number closer to double digits.
Ray Allen should attempt a return, but Derek Fisher (who coached the Knicks for most of last season) should not, according to Ananth Pandian. A former one-and-done who eschewed UK for KU during the Calipari Era is also included in the group as a "should return."
Does anyone remember anyone besides Michael Jordan who had a noticeable impact on his team after returning from retirement?
*If this quote below applies to you, as it does to me, you have to read this piece from Nora Caplan-Bricker at The New Yorker, entitled "The Wastefulness of Popular Dining, As Performance Art."
"Many of us reflect, at least occasionally, on how our gastronomic habits affect the health of the planet. We regret that our takeout dinners come in a Styrofoam container inside a paper bag inside a plastic bag, with white plastic utensils in their very own plastic sheaths. We feel guilty when we order too much food at a restaurant and resign half an entrée to be scraped into the trash. But the pull of convention is most often stronger than these feelings. We eat in the manner we've grown accustomed to eating."
*There is new hope about ending blindness, according to modern medicine and David Dobbs at National Geographic Magazine.
*Generally speaking, I'm not a huge hip hop and modern R&B listener -- my favorite musicians are Ryan Adams, Earth, Neil Young, The Smiths, Killing Joke, John Frusciante & Beach House -- but several stunning August releases have had me listening to almost nothing but those two genres.
Vince Staples' "Prima Donna" ... "the weirdest major-label rap EP we've heard in years."
PARTYNEXTDOOR's "P3" ... PND is the best artist on Drake's label (which obviously includes Drake) ... "[t]he album helps prove he's a lot more than just Drake's patois advisor."
Frank Ocean's "Blonde" ... "one of the most intriguing and contrary records ever made."
Rae Sremmurd's "SremmLife 2" ... "the duo's infectious exuberance is still present despite largely doing away with the simpler shout-along hooks of their debut."
Atmosphere's "Fishing Blues" ... "builds upon the blue-collar rap subgenre they created nearly two decades ago."
That's all from me this week. As always, remember to keep it crunk but keep it positive.
P.S. R.I.P. Mr. Fuji.