Tubby Smith is to be honored by NABC, NCAA at the Final Four:
Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith has been selected as the 2015 honoree at the NABC and NCAA Office of Inclusion’s "Celebration of Champions" event in conjunction with the Final Four slated for Sunday 3-5 p.m. at Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Outstanding. Congratulations, Coach Smith. You will always be one of ours.
Tweet of the Morning
UK fan found this tweet from Frank Kaminsky, his Senior Year of High School RT @FSKPart3: I hate Kentucky— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) April 2, 2015
Heh. I doubt if he really does, but I found it funny. If you do, Frank, get in line. It’s a long one.
Latest from spring practice:
Mark Stoops moved Friday's practice up a day, so I'll have some updates here in about an hour.— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) April 2, 2015
How did Kentucky’s signees and recruits do at the McDonald’s All-American game? Pretty well, it turns out. Read about it here.
I didn’t get to see the game this time, unfortunately. Date night.
NIT loss at Robert Morris launched Kentucky’s march to history. The headline of this story accurately reflects some of the content, but I actually find this point more interesting:
As Kentucky soared after the game, so, too, did Robert Morris. The Colonials beat North Florida in a First Four game this year, which marked the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory since 1983.
Then Robert Morris played competitively against Duke, trailing by only 10 points midway through the second half before losing 85-56.
Now, consider this for a moment — how great, how historic is a basketball program that can change the fortunes of other programs with just one game? Even in that loss, Kentucky’s greatness remains exposed for all to see — not for that one unfortunate result, but for the positive repercussions for both Kentucky and Robert Morris that are still resonating today, two years later.
Remarkable stuff. We always knew Kentucky would bounce back, but who knew that one game would change Robert Morris’ program so much for the better?
Wilie Cauley-stein gets his opportunity on the Final Four stage. After last season’s injury, this has got to be a big moment for Willie
UK sends a cease and desist letter to a company selling "40-0" apparel. This is one that UK is likely to lose. The connection between 40-0 and UK is … tenuous at best, even if it happens. Claiming exclusive association, especially when the guy has already filed for a trademark, is going to be a heavy lift.
UK fans send boy fighting cancer to the Final Four:
A boy’s wish to be at the Final Four is coming true thanks to the Big Blue Nation.
Many of those tickets can go for $1,000 or more, but Wildcat fans answered the call to help Blake Hundley, 9, who has been battling cancer.
A lot of fan bases want press accolades for stuff like this, but honestly, it’s old hat around here. We see this kind of stuff every year.
Ricky O’Donnell says that John Calipari is the most audacious recruiter in the game, and that Karl-Anthony Towns is an example of that. I’m sure that was a factor, but I’m less sure it was pure cause and effect. But I can’t say either way.
"Old Man" Trey Lyles plays the game his way. I really love that about him.
UK’s success alters Calipari’s image. Consider:
No longer at issue is whether Calipari will skip town before the sheriff arrives. Now, the question UK fans dread concerns how long they can keep a coach who has won with greater frequency than Adolph Rupp while dominating rival Louisville and Rick Pitino.
Indeed, this is so.
Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria, Hoosiers cheering for Wildcats.
The long road to glory — Kentucky has come a long way from the Rupp era. Different times.
More hate for Coach Cal. Embrace it, my friends.
Other Kentucky sports
- Wildcats top Cardinals in Softball. Kelsey Nunley got her 11th win of the season. Also during the game, Kentucky catcher Griffin Joiner was drafted #20 by the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft by the Akron Racers.
- Baseball hosts #1 Texas A&M.
SB Nation’s Bill Connelly ranks the teams in Conference USA. Western Kentucky continues to be a power there.
Gregg Marshall will not be leaving Wichita State for Alabama, or anyplace else, apparently.
Also, let's address the 100-pound gorilla here. How bad does Texas look FOR NOT EVEN CALLING Marshall? That can't be sitting well in Austin— Jason King (@JasonKingBR) April 2, 2015
I don’t know about this. Gregg Marshall’s style of play is not for everybody. I’m not sure it’s a negative that Texas didn’t want him. Shaka Smart makes much more sense to me for the Longhorns.
Nice article on Jay Bilas and his criticism of the NCAA. I don’t agree with him on everything, but he makes many sound points and has been a tremendous voice in driving the debate in a rational way. I get so tired of ad hominem attacks, and Bilas rarely if ever descends into those despite Emmert’s assertion to the contrary. He tries to deal with the facts as he sees them, mocks ridiculous policies and risible inconsistencies, and that’s why he’s done such a good job of moving the debate forward and not letting it die.
Now, if only everyone else would adopt his rationality, stop with the personal attacks and stick with policies, things would be better. That’s true in virtually every human interaction where there is disagreement. Yet what we continue to see are relentless personal assaults, boycotts, and bomb-throwing on a wide range of issues. At least there is one example out there of somebody doing it the right way.
Oregon opinion writer advises Shaka Smart not to take the Texas job because of the AD there. Hmmm.
Does Billy Donovan harbor a secret desire to coach in the NBA? Rick Pitino thinks so.
Other sports news
Rex Chapman discusses his addiction, arrest, ongoing recovery and that risible tweet last year. Consider:
Chapman said drug addiction had something to do with his arrest in September on suspicion of shoplifting from an Apple store in Arizona. He was arrested on suspicion of nine counts of organized retail theft and five counts of trafficking in stolen property totaling $14,000. All are felonies.
"I’d love to tell you I remember much of it," Chapman said of the arrest. "I don’t really. It’s very fuzzy. I’ll tell you this: I’m not looking to duck anything. Something had to happen for me to get off that medication."
Man. Rex hit rock bottom. Sounds like he’s on his way back, and I’m really glad. I have always eschewed pain medication when proscribed other than anti-inflammatories. I fear something like what happened to Rex. It can happen to just about anybody. But maybe someday, the pain will be too great. Then what?
I’m glad he and Coach Cal are on good terms as well, and that he apologized for that intemperate tweet.
Everyone makes mistakes. Let’s all hope one of Kentucky’s favorite sons can find absolution in his treatment and living life the right way going forward. Sometimes, we have to be brought low to find out what life is really about.
In a way, Rex and Ritchie Farmer are similar — two guys who let the fame and fortune put them on the wide highway to destruction. Fortunately, neither was destroyed, only humbled. There is almost always a way back from despair if you are willing to travel the hard, sometimes painful road to recovery, which all to often seems to run through the legal and corrections system.
Chris Jones, the Louisville guard accused of rape, has been released from home incarceration.
Tiger Woods may play in the Masters, but don’t expect him to contend. I think that’s right.
Tiny songbird flies more than 1700 miles non-stop to migratory destination. It seems impossible such a tiny creature can store up enough energy for such an impossibly long trip, but apparently it does.
Too much of anything can be bad for you: Man has kidney failure from drinking too much iced tea.