Welcome, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, to the Tuesday Morning Quickies. Today’s big story is the commitment of 4-star offensive lineman Marquan McCall, and I discuss him briefly in the football section. But there is something basketball related I want to highlight here.
Not that you should care what I think, but a brief comment on Kevin Knox’s surprise commitment to Kentucky. I, like the rest of you, didn’t really see this coming. It reminds me very much of Julius Randle’s commitment, sort of "Whoops — there it is!"
I deeply respect Jason’s opinion that Hami Diallo may decide to stay in the draft due to Knox’s matriculation and he may be proven correct that Diallo stays in the NBA Draft, but I disagree with his reasoning. If one thing should be clear to us by now, it is that these young players don’t seem to fear being outshone by other great players, or seeing their draft stock affected by their teammates. It’s also significant that Diallo already has a half-year in Calipari’s system, and even though he never saw the floor, that experience would make him a front-runner for a major role, more so than any of the incoming players other than perhaps Quade Green.
It seems to me that some (but not all) players understand that "a rising tide can lift all boats." Classic examples at Kentucky abound, such as the 2012 NCAA Championship team and the 2015 Final Four teams, where sharing the scoring duties raised the draft prospects of everyone. Even the 2010 team showed this effect to some degree.
Of course, there would seem to be a practical limit to how this works, and the 2015 team stands as a testament to what that limit might be. Calipari is also said to be disinterested, to say the least, in "platooning" his teams again. But Calipari has said such things before, and even though they often sound like absolutes, if we know nothing else about him we know that Coach Cal is adaptable.
Take all this with the caveat usefully provided by Wheatgerm the other day, which warns us not to judge the thinking of players (or others) by what makes sense to us. I think this admonition is wise.
Tweet of the Morning
Early signing in CFB will probably ease the process for coaches/prospects to some extent but could be a nothingburger.— JC Shurburtt (@jcshurburtt) May 9, 2017
Indeed, this is so. But I expect it to help programs like Kentucky, who are highly susceptible to poaching by more storied programs.
In case you missed it, 4-star offensive lineman Marquan McCall from Oak Park, Michigan, committed to Kentucky. Getting good offensive and defensive linemen is how really good teams are built. Apparently, the spring game was the visit that won him over.
Think about this…4 star OL Marquan McCall is a Michigan kid with a Michigan offer…and he just picked Kentucky. Massive get for UK— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 8, 2017
Marcus McWilson, former UK safety, has agreed to a deal with the Oakland Raiders.
Former UK player Leon Smith, who worked in the UK athletics department in various capacities, has been indicted for fraud against four basketball players, said to include Shelvin Mack, Darrius Miller, and Josh Harrellson.
What’s in a name change? More than you might think.
Do you remember Randolph Morris and the infamous "fax heard ‘round the world?" I have an interesting anecdote concerning this matter,and I refer you to Jon Scott’s excellent website for a detailed discussion of the entire Morris matter.
At the time this happened, I sent a message to Jeff Goodman (now a correspondent for ESPN) assailing his assertion that Orlando "Tubby" Smith, then coach of UK, never received the fax from Morris and suggesting Smith cheated and concocted the story out of whole cloth. He confirmed his belief to me in an email message, and that message was the genesis of my nickname for him, "the loathsome troll Jeff Goodman."
Believe it or not, I had not seen or known that the fax had been confirmed to exist until reading the link above. My confidence in Smith’s integrity rendered it unnecessary at the time, and even though it’s nice to finally see it revealed, I never harbored a single doubt as to the veracity of Smith’s story.
Other Kentucky sports
Wildcats drop series at Georgia, look to rebound this week. That was unexpected, and very not good.
Women’s golf faces cool, windy conditions on day one of the NCAA Regionals in Columbus, OH.
Alabama fans are perhaps even more prone to excess than Kentucky fans. You’ve gotta love ‘em.
I don’t know whether to laugh, cry, or puke. What I do know is that I can’t unsee that. You have been warned.
Well, he didn’t seem that great to me last year…
Canyon Barry from Florida is attending the @ProBBallCombine , per source— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 9, 2017
Other sports news
Shaq running for sheriff? He’s thinking about it.
Man, can you imagine Shaq in a LEO uniform? He’d need a .500 Smith & Wesson just to make it proportional.
How much do we really know about the speed of light? Apparently, not as much as we think…