Good morning and Welcome to the Tuesday Morning Quickies. Today is Brent Musburger’s last night as an ESPN announcer. He’s apparently moving on to work for a Las Vegas media startup called Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN).
I’d like to say I’ll miss Musburger, but honestly, I’m not a huge fan of his ESPN work. He has done some very stuff overall in his broadcasting career, but these days, he’s come to annoy me as an announcer almost as much as Dick Vitale. On a personal note, I have met Vitale and he is a very, very nice man, and the work he does for cancer research is absolutely awesome. But he’s one of those guys that can wear on you, and Musburger, to me, is the same way.
Having said all that, Musburger is undoubtedly one of the great sports announcers ever, and he has earned that reputation through hard work and a very long and productive career. I’m sure in his next iteration, he will continue that legacy. We wish him happy trails, and all the success going forward.
And of course, who could forget his movie work? Okay, yes, probably some of us can…
Tweet of the Morning
6‘3" 185 lb. Isaiah Epps, 3-star wide receiver:
This time tomorrow I'll officially be a Wildcats! God is good man— Isaiah Epps (@isaiahepps_81) January 31, 2017
That’s what I call a "hard commit."
Kentucky has a new defensive coordinator — Matt House, formerly DC of Pittsburgh and Florida International. He was promoted from special teams/inside linebackers coach. The special teams were much improved last season, so maybe this guy can get it done as DC.
UK Football gets a defensive end commitment. His size is excellent, but he’s one of those flyer guys who hasn’t been looked at a lot.
Time to start talking 2018, and this is definitely good news:
"Indescribable, the environment," Williamson said of the game, which also featured 38 NBA scouts in attendance. "That environment, I just can’t even describe it, it’s ridiculous."
Former UK player Tyler Ulis is one of the finalists for Kentucky Sports Figure of the Year.
Coach Cal talks about turnovers, toughness. Kentucky is currently playing basketball the wrong way — they look like an AAU team. Here's a checklist for tonight's game:
- Short, crisp passes;
- Move the defense;
- Attack the rim and pull up if necessary;
- Force your man away from the basket on drives;
- Keep your feet, and trust your help;
- Block out your man when the shot goes up;
- No fade-away, step-back leapin’ leaners;
- Go after every loose ball.
Accomplish half of these, and Kentucky wins comfortably. Calipari’s absolutely right about mental toughness — this team lacks it right now. They only way to get it is to practice being tough, and focused, and intense. It’s just like every other aspect of basketball.
If the Wildcats could just internalize this quote, they’d be unbeatable.
"Be really good every day at all the things that don't take talent." - Bo Ryan— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 31, 2017
Kentucky-Kansas has featured some memorable encounters over the years. True, but I wish we had more recent success against them.
Kentucky looking for a new mindset. Basketball should not be this hard for such a talented group. Just take care of the ball, attack the rim, and play defense as hard as you play offense.
Other Kentucky sports
UK women fall to Mizzou on the road, ending a five-game winning streak.
Ranking the ten best college football recruiting classes in the last decade. Alabama is not quite as dominant as you might think.
Tom Shatel says that all the recruiting hoopla tomorrow is about kids reaching their dreams, and we shouldn’t begrudge them that.
I’ll buy that for a dollar.
See, this is what happens when you get known for some particular type of repetitive misbehavior — pretty soon, people see that misbehavior all the time, because they’re looking for it.
To my eye, this is nothing. But to the eye of another, well, it might not be.
Other sports news
Yeah, this is … impressive.
Andrew Wiggins. Oh my goodness. pic.twitter.com/vug1DYoZ5I— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) January 31, 2017
LeBron James has had enough of Charles Barkley. Barkley just better hope LeBron doesn’t go all James T. Kirk on him:
Led by DeMarcus Cousins, five of the NBA’s top 25 scorers are former Kentucky Wildcats. For good or ill, John Calipari’s greatest legacy will likely be his success at getting players into the NBA… exactly what he’d want. For Kentucky fans, this represents a not-insignificant divergence of interests, but we’ve learned to live with that.
Best acknowledgement ever? | From Dispensational Modernism by B. M. Pietsch pic.twitter.com/7MpMbYg63D— Academia Obscura (@AcademiaObscura) January 31, 2017
A question that has troubled me from time to time: If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?
Mine is from Frank Herbert’s classic Dune Trilogy, specifically Dune Messiah:
Here lies a toppled god.
His fall was not a small one.
We did but build his pedestal,
A narrow and a tall one. - Bene Tleilaxu Epigram