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Kentucky Wildcats Quickies: Spring Game Edition

The spring game is here, big night for UK Hoops, a little editorial on One and Not Done, Mark Smith takes a visit, Shai Alexander speaks, the Jordan Brand Classic, RIP Charlie Murphy, and more!

Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Top 'O the Mornin' to Ya, BBN. It's a beautiful day in the Blue Grass State and it's a little sweeter than usual because there is a football game to look forward to this evening. The game will kick off at 7:30 PM, so there will be plenty of time for tailgating. Maybe even knock off of work a little early to head to the stadium. Or, better yet, take the day off and spend the early part at Keeneland then end the day with some football.

For those of us that cannot make it, the game will air on the SEC Network. Expect a heavy dose of Stephen Johnson and Gunnar Hoak at QB. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing running back AJ Rose. Mark Stoops talks about him like he did Benny Snell when he first arrived on campus.

On the One and Not Done 30 For 30

This is technically a quicky, but I wanted to share my thoughts with you on the John Calipari documentary that aired last night on ESPN. I thought the film did a great job of showcasing Cal as a human with positive attributes along with some major flaws. Too many times he is painted as either a devil or a saint with no gray area in between.

Kentucky fans will laud the good things about their coach while his detractors- Pat Forde, Jim Calhoun, Jeff Goodman, etc...- will only highlight the bad.

I can imagine Calipari watching it for the first time and thinking to himself, "Man, I was kind of a jerk when I was coming up at UMass". But he had to be that way in order to gain respect. He had to claw his way from the bottom, tearing away at the establishment of coaches that reviled him for his brash talk and never-quit attitude.

The movie never shied away from the controversies surrounding Marcus Camby, the Nets, and Derek Rose. And to his credit, neither did Cal. It let us in on a little bit of the mystery surrounding World Wide Wes. We got to see John Calipari coach his ass off in games and in practice. Watching a young Anthony Davis battle for rebounds against Terrence Jones and then completely dominate the national title game with defense and rebounding alone was a real treat.

In the end, your opinion of Cal probably didn't change one way or the other. He is who he is and he's not changing for you or anyone else. But the true testament to the man, the one thing that let's us know that deep down he is a good person, is how his former players and coaches all love him unconditionally. He was the one guy they knew always had his back. Sometimes, as in the case of Derek Rose and Marcus Camby, having their backs wasn't popular. But with that mentality of Players First, Calipari has built an empire unlike any other we have seen in college basketball at Kentucky.


Can Stoops keep UK moving forward in 2017? Four games could decide | Lexington Herald Leader
The fate of the Kentucky Wildcats’ 2017 football season may come down to how UK fares in four road games — the season opener at Southern Mississippi (Sept. 2) and SEC contests at South Carolina (Sept. 16), Mississippi State (Oct. 21) and Vanderbilt (Nov. 11).

Alexander discusses his future at UK and playing for John Calipari - 247

Kentucky signee Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is in town for the Kentucky Derby Festival and discusses his future at UK and playing for John Calipari

Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator make history | UK Athletics

: The WNBA held their draft last night and two Kentucky Wildcats were selected. Seniors Evelyn Akhator and Makayla Epps will both make their ways playing professional basketball. Akhator was selected third overall, the highest a UK Hoops player has ever been drafted. Epps was drafted lower than expected at 33rd. Akhator will play for the Dallas Wings and Epps for the Chicago Sky. Congrats Ladies!

Jordan Brand Classic Loaded with 'Cats | Lexington Herald-Leader:  Make sure those DVRs are working. The Jordan Brand Classic will tip-off from Brooklyn at 8:00 PM on ESPN 2 while the spring game is being played. Nick Richards, Quade Green, and PJ Washington will be part of the action. Last year, De'Aaron Fox and Malik Monk shared MVP honors.

A better Benny Snell than last year is an exciting prospect for Kentucky | Lexington Herald Leader
Freshman All-America running back Benny Snell has made it his mission to be better than last season when he broke six Kentucky rushing records.

How Kentucky players dominated the NBA this season | Kentucky Sports Radio
The 2016-17 NBA regular season wrapped up yesterday and this year more than ever, we saw the league turn Kentucky blue, particularly at the top.

Seven Wildcats Headed to NBA Playoffs | UK Wildcats News
Seven former Wildcats will participate in the NBA playoffs, which begin Wednesday. The playoff-bound Wildcats include: Andrew Harrison (Memphis Grizzlies), Enes Kanter (Oklahoma City Thunder), Trey Lyles (Utah Jazz), Patrick Patterson (Toronto Raptors), Rajon Rondo (Chicago Bulls), John Wall (Washington Wizards) and James Young (Boston Celtics).

‘Family’ atmosphere keeps quarterback Jarren Williams committed to Kentucky | Lexington Herald Leader
Several top football recruits will be at UK on Friday night for the Wildcats’ spring game. That list includes quarterback Jarren Williams, who spoke to the Herald-Leader about his recent recruiting visits, as well as Ohio prospects L’Christian Smith, Xavier Peters and Leonard Taylor, and several top 2018 recruits from Florida.

Recalling top spring game performances in Mark Stoops era - SEC Country
Friday will mark the the fourth Blue-White game in Mark Stoops’ Kentucky tenure, so SEC Country decided to look back at spring standouts of the Stoops era.

Mark Smith still interested in UK, and the feeling is mutual | Lexington Herald Leader
Illinois Mr. Basketball Mark Smith is playing the Derby Festival Classic in Louisville on Saturday night, and he’s still considering UK among other schools. John Calipari extended a scholarship offer to Smith last week. Several other top college basketball coaches have also been calling recently.

More on the Derby Festival Classic | WDRB: Smith, along with Shai Alexander, will play in the annual All Star Game. It doesn't get as much publicity as it should because it's on the same weekend as the Jordan Brand Classic. Since UofL players are normally not invited to the big time all star games, this is usually where they land. Expect a lot of boos for our man Shai.

Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney dies at age 84 - ESPN
Among his lasting accomplishments was his role in the establishment of the Rooney Rule, which was created in 2003 and requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation positions.

A look back at the life of Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney - NFL Videos
Take a look back at the life of Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney, who passed away Thursday at the age of 84.

Texas, Mohamed Bamba, and what to expect as the 5-star PF nears a decision - Burnt Orange Nation
There’s plenty to like about the Longhorns chances with Bamba down the stretch as Kentucky looks to hold off Texas for the elite big man.

Lawyer says email shows Eli Manning defrauded memorabilia collectors | ProFootballTalk
A significant piece of evidence has emerged in the longstanding lawsuit pitting sports memorabilia collectors against the Giants and Eli Manning.

Papa John Should Make Himself Clear | Courier-Journal: John Schantter had a lot on his mind at a UofL Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday. He called out the athletic department and AD Tom Jurich in particular for being "invisible" to the board. Tim Sullivan of the CJ writes that the Papa needs to clarify his statements and let us all know what is so troubling about UofL athletics. I would LOVE an explanation. And this is the first time that I can recall anyone directly associated with UofL publicly calling out the Bully In Chief, Tom Jurich.

Owner claims rare Keeneland Tray with Thursday’s victory | Lexington Herald Leader
La Coronel won the race, and his owner took home the gold.

2017 NBA Playoffs: First-Round Schedule -
Here is the full schedule for the 2017 first-round playoff series.

'Star Wars Battlefront 2' leak: TRAILER, PHOTOS - Business Insider
The next game in the "Star Wars Battlefront" series just leaked out — space has never looked so pretty.

Dave Chappelle Mourns comedian Charlie Murphy | Rolling Stone: Charlie Murphy was the little known brother of 80's megastar Eddie Murphy until he burst on the pop-culture scene in the 2000s with his stint on Chappelle's Show and his torrid tales of Rick James and Prince in Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories. To my generation, Chappelle's Show was an important milestone in sketch comedy. Dave Chappelle's fearlessness in addressing race, poverty, inner city life, and celebrity was refreshing and hilarious. Murphy's sketches cemented the short lived series as legendary. He passed away due to Leukemia.