Happy Saturday, Big Blue Nation! The Wildcats baseball team had a successful debut in their home Regional yesterday as they beat Ball State 4-0 in a game of dominant pitching. They advanced to the winner’s bracket, where they will face the Hoosiers of Indiana today at 6:00 pm ET on the SEC Network.
IU beat West Virginia 12-6 yesterday to advance. Indiana has a high-powered offense, and Kentucky will need more of that dominant pitching to secure a victory. Kentucky beat Indiana earlier this season 12-2.
Coach Nick Mingione credited the crowd at Kentucky Proud Park for being loud and engaged. The park today should be quite raucous.
It’s a double-elimination tournament, so a loss wouldn’t be the end. But as much whining as the IU fan base has done about their college baseball players staying in college dorms.
There is some Antonio Reeves news, but I wanted to give the baseball team the attention they deserve before I dove into the Reeves stuff. It’s at the end of the Headlines.
Tweets of the Day
Kentucky HC Nick Mingione begins his presser by thanking the fans today. Amazing atmosphere at KPP, which was also noted by Ball State’s team in their presser.— Jeff Drummond (@JDrumUK) June 2, 2023
Bring that same energy today!
Rob Dillingham has arrived pic.twitter.com/IhEW9gslFw— Kentucky Men’s Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) June 2, 2023
That puts to rest any rumors about these two not making it to campus. In a week of losses, this was a major win.
Sights from Kentucky’s victory over Ball State | Cats Illustrated- It was a fun and beautiful day to be at the ole ballpark.
What anonymous coaches are saying about Mark Stoops at Kentucky | KSR- More praise for Stoops and his staff and what they’ve done so far in the SEC.
Predicting how far each SEC team will go in the NCAA tournament | SDS- It’s a surprisingly positive prediction for the Cats. Not that they haven’t had a great season so far, but there were times when they faded a bit.
Jamal Murray gets high praise from LeBron James | Vaught’s Views- Jamal Murray has been a dominant force in the Playoffs and the elite of the NBA are taking notice. With Murray and Jokich there isn’t a better one-two punch in the NBA.
Churchill Downs spring meet to be moved to Ellis Park | WDRB- The world of horseracing was rocked yesterday as Churchill Downs will, after this weekend’s races, move the rest of the spring meets to Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky. This is in response to 12 recent equine deaths at the historic race track.
What would Tyler Herro’s return mean for the Heat? | CBS- Well... not too much according to this article. The Heat couldn’t contend with the size and physicality of the Nuggets so I’m not sure what exactly a healthy Herro could do to counter that.
Cats a five seed in way too early bracketology from Andy Katz | NCAA.com- With the way this offseason has gone a five seed prediction is actually some good news.
Antonio Reeves Update
So yesterday there was some twitter scuttle that five teams had reached out to Antonio Reeves already even though he hasn’t officially entered the transfer portal. Reeves has a class or two that he needs to complete to graduate from UK. If he does that, he would become immediately eligible to go wherever he wanted as a graduate transfer.
There was a tweet with a link to a story detailing the teams interested in Reeves but that tweet has since been deleted and the story has been scrubbed form the 247 website.
The list of schools that allegedly have interest are Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Memphis and Oklahoma. Technically this would be considered tampering but in today’s NCAA, it seems like everything goes. And before some of you get mad over this, please consider this tweet from Kyle Tucker which is factually correct:
People were reporting QBs Kentucky had a shot at in the middle of last season. There is nothing new under the sun. https://t.co/3fuX0oh9Cu— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) June 2, 2023
If we can get past the tampering stuff, the news here implies that things between John Calipari and Antonio Reeves aren’t exactly friendly right now. I talked to David Sisk from Cats Illustrated yesterday and he told me that Reeves was very unhappy with his NIL deals and was making five figures while he saw his teammates make six figures or, in the case of Oscar Tshiebwe, more than that.
Whatever your opinions are about NIL do not matter here so I’m not going to debate whether or not this is good for college basketball because we are beyond that point. John Calipari has a fundamental and possibly a program changing decision to make: is he going to give Reeves what he thinks he is worth or is he going to let another team do it?
Calipari has plenty of NIL money to work with but he has consistently stated that he is not going to throw out numbers at guys. Instead, he presents the NIL deals as an opportunity and not a concrete figure. Basically, he’s not going to tell them how much they’ll make at Kentucky but they’ll have chances to make plenty. This philosophy seemingly goes against what other teams are doing in regards to NIL.
If he declines to play ball on this matter with Reeves then Calipari is sending a clear signal that he is going to do it his way. His way may have already lost Hunter Dickinson and maybe Keshad Johnson as well. These transfer guys mostly know they’re not going to the NBA so they have to make as much money in college as they can in a short amount of time. That seems to be Reeves’ playbook.
With the portal already thin, Calipari has a lot of work to do to get guys on this team ASAP. It’s the eleventh hour. Is he going to adjust and evolve like he always has in his career? Or is he going to continue to go into these recruitments with one hand tied behind his back?
Reeves and Calipari are set to meet this weekend.