Good morning, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, and welcome to the Christmas Eve Quickies.
I hope your holidays are going well, and that you plan to be with your family and loved ones over the next couple of days. If you are serving in the armed forces or other situation and can’t be home, please accept our sincere wishes for a Merry Christmas wherever you are.
I returned in the deep dark of night Monday morning from my trip to Las Vegas, and for my sins, I was greeted on the last leg of my flight by a fairly obnoxious Louisville fan and Cardinal forward Jordan Nwora sitting in the seat beside and front of me respectively. While Nwora was a very nice young man, respectful and polite, the fan was anything but. He was much more interested in impressing the young Cardinal star than acting his age.
We had to wait an hour on the plane in rainy Atlanta for various late flights, then had the additional pleasure of having to wait another 45 minutes in baggage claim when our luggage failed to make our flight. Fortunately, I was off Monday, so getting to bed in the wee hours of the morning was a minor inconvenience. I was jet lagged anyway.
Good times. At least I had fun on the trip overall, other than having the distinctly unpleasant experience of having the team I went to watch go 0-2. Alas, while we usually get the bear, this time the bear got us.
To be honest, I didn’t like our chances against Ohio State. Kentucky has not managed to duplicate the defensive effort they threw at Michigan State even one time since. Ohio State’s execution was as sharp as I have seen this year, and only some heroics by Nate Sestina kept the score in a tight window. Kentucky played hard, but they did not play well (particularly defensively), and playing well against a top team is usually mandatory.
Tweet of the Morning
7 Elite Eights— Sporting News (@sportingnews) December 23, 2019
4 Final Fours
"No one defined the 2010s in the same way as Calipari, nor achieved the same degree of consistent excellence."@KentuckyMBB's John Calipari is our college basketball Coach of the Decade. https://t.co/WweUHgNdUK
Now, it’s time for a sobering “What have you done for me lately?” We need a little of that Calipari excellence this season, and now would be a really good time...
Based on fan reactions, the NIT is going to be lit this year with Virginia, Kentucky, AND North Carolina in it.— Caroline Darney (@cwdarney) December 22, 2019
- Kentucky’s top high school football seniors.
- Calvin Taylor’s rise at Kentucky so improbable that some see the hand of God in it.
- Darin Hinshaw compares Auburn transfer and new UK QB Joey Gatewood to Cam Newton.
- Why Kentucky fans shouldn’t panic after UK’s second straight loss. Right, we should save our panic for the third, if it happens.
- 3-point shooting has been Kentucky’s weakness all season. This is true, and it’s baffling. We have capable players, they just can’t make open shots.
- Roundtable: How can Kentucky right the ship? I have an idea — make open shots and layups. Call me crazy, but I think that will work.
- It’s Christmas, so naturally UK fans are angry with Coach Cal.
- Calipari tells the team they will be fine. I think so as well. This is, I hope, just growing pains.
Other Kentucky sports
- UK diver Kyndal Knight received the silver medal in a field of the nation’s best divers in Minneapolis.
- Oklahoma suspends three players for CFB playoff game, one of them a major contributor on defense.
- What if Tua Tagovailoa returns to Alabama?
- Rick Pitino has settled his lawsuit with Adidas for undisclosed terms.
- The Zags are the new #1. Uneasy lies the head...
Other sports news
- The 15 best basketball shots of the decade.
- The NCAA should be concerned about the G-League’s growth. I don’t agree. I hope it continues apace. To be honest, college basketball is far removed from it’s original mission of having student athletes. Perhaps the growth of minor league basketball will enable that to resume.
Besides, college basketball provides an opportunity both to play professional basketball and obtain a useful degree as a backup or supplemental plan. It’s a good deal, if you think about it, and attracting players not instantly ready for professional level play would provide a better overall environment for the college game.
- Jamal Murray shows us how it’s done.
- Betelgeuse is acting like it’s going to turn into a supernova.
- The NYT answers the questions absolutely nobody is asking: Will the United States lose the Universe?
- Earth-sized planet found orbiting a red dwarf star just 66.5 light years from Earth.