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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.
October 22nd, 2014

Kengera Daniel picks Kentucky

Add another one of Stoops’ top targets to Kentucky’s committed list for the class of 2015. Three-star defensive end Kengera Daniel selected the Cats over several other suitors Wednesday night, including NC State, Louisville, Tennessee, Virginia and Alabama.

Watch his commitment below:

Yahtzee.


Hump Day Practice Notes

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— Dak Prescott’s dual threat ability is going to be a huge challenge for the defense. Prescott has the ability to be able to throw the ball and make great decisions at the same time, which makes him such a threat to a defense. When the quarterback has the ability to be good at both the pass and the run, the defense has to be just as good at defending both sides. 

“There is not just one certain area that I’m emphasizing on. I’ve gotta emphasize on all aspects of an offense to defend an offensive quarterback like this,” Eliot said.

Mississippi State’s ability to be able to run the ball just as well as pass it make it a lot harder for the defense. A lot of the keys you teach defensive players are based off of the running back being the ball carrier.

“You just have to be really sound in the pass game because as soon as you tighten up in the run game, that’s when they try to get one over your head,” Eliot said.

The biggest problem for the defense in the game against LSU is what Eliot calls “explosive runs”. The plays the defense didn’t meet in their efficiencies were explosive runs of more than 10 yards. The defense has met their goals on first down efficiency but not in third down efficiency.

It was different things on each explosive run that hurt the defense. There wasn’t one particular player or call that Eliot could point at that needed to be fixed.

— Bud Dupree has become the leader of this defense. Eliot praises Bud’s selflessness as a leader and ability to help the team in any way that he can. Eliot compares Bud’s ability to step up as a leader as what Avery Williamson did last year.

Bud is one of the greatest team players I have ever worked with or ever coached in my entire career. He is a Kentucky football player through and through,” Eliot said.

 


Bruce Pearl takes over an Auburn class

I can’t help but like the guy. It’s about time the SEC had a personality to compete with Cal.

This guy, though:

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Tyler Ulis vs. Rock Oliver…who ya got?

A video posted by CoachCal.com (@coachcaldotcom) on

There’s some boxing going down in the Joe Craft Center. Rock Oliver is putting Tyler Ulis through the paces to get him used to the contact he’ll encounter during the season. Rock says Tyler’s requested to go through this style of training three times a week.

Rock vs. Tyler…who ya got? 

A video posted by CoachCal.com (@coachcaldotcom) on

A video posted by CoachCal.com (@coachcaldotcom) on


These quotes from Marcus Lewis are encouraging

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Jabari Greenwood and Marcus Lewis

Last night, four-star cornerback Marcus Lewis announced he will take an official visit to Kentucky on December 13, the same weekend many of the current UK commits are taking their officials, including his teammate Jabari Greenwood. The 6’1″, 187 lbs. Lewis is considered the 7th best cornerback and the 90th overall player in the 2015 class by Rivals, and has offers from Michigan, Miami, Georgia, and others. He was committed to Florida until late this summer.

Lewis spoke to Rivals’ Adam Friedman about Kentucky and said he’s become “very close” with Mark Stoops and the rest of the coaching staff, whom he believes have the Cats on the rise.

“I definitely see them as a program on the rise,” he said. “They have really good players and really good coaches. I think coach Stoops is one of the most underrated coaches out there. He’s always fired up and I like that. I think they could compete for an SEC championship next year. Even this year they’ve had some close games and they’re a good team.”

More good stuff where that came from over at Rivals. Right now, Kentucky certainly seems to be in a good position.

[Rivals]


You can’t stop Dak, you can only hope to contain him

By now, you should have heard of Dak Prescott, Mississippi State’s quarterback and current frontrunner for the Heisman trophy. So far this season, Prescott  has thrown for 1,478 yards and 14 touchdowns, and he’s rushed for 576 yards and eight touchdowns. To stop Mississippi State, you’ve gotta stop Dak, and that’s a very big challenge. In fact, Mark Stoops told reporters on the SEC Coaches Teleconference this afternoon that you can’t shut down Dak, you can only hope to contain him:

“I think with what they do offensively, schematically and with a guy like Dak running their team, it puts a lot of stress on a defense. There’s no easy way around it. Any time you incorporate the quarterback with designed runs, you’re going to be short unless you just want to play zero across the board. And that’s difficult to do when they have playmakers outside, so it comes down to being very disruptive up front and guys getting off blocks and making plays.

But, it’s difficult, like I said, because they spread you out. They can spread you out or they can play power football with the quarterback running the ball or one of their talented backs. I don’t know if anybody is capable of completely shutting down a guy like Dak. You just have got to try to contain him as best you can.”

Contain Dak. Score points. Beat the Dawgs.


Cal giving away spring tuition to two students at the Blue/White game

CoachCal.com

For the second year in a row, John Calipari will give away spring in-state tuition to two lucky UK students who attend Monday’s Blue/White Scrimmage at Rupp Arena.

Students currently enrolled at UK can sign up at the regular student entrance at Rupp Arena, behind section 34. They must present a valid UK student ID and be signed up before 7 p.m. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and the winners will be announced after the game. They must be present to win.

Don’t have a ticket yet? There are still some available on Ticketmaster.com, $10 for lowers and $5 for uppers.


KSR asks: Who’s the biggest slob on the team?

KSR’s 2014-2015 basketball previews roll on as we continue to unveil the players’ answers to Ryan Lemond’s ten questions. Next up: Who’s the biggest slob on the team?

Previous:

What’s your dream foursome in golf?
Who’s the best singer on the team?
What character did you play in a school play?
What’s the biggest fish you’ve ever caught?
Who’s the best NBA2K player on the team?
Who’s the best player you’ve ever played against?
Which coach would you take on a cross-country road trip?
What’s your Coach Cal impersonation?

Next: What celebrity would you take as a date to the CATSPYs?


Who drew it best: Aaron or Andrew?

@KentuckyMBB

The Harrison Twins aren’t done yet at SEC Tipoff. They just stopped by the social media room, where they were asked to draw the UK mascot. Who drew the better cat: Andrew or Aaron?

Neither are masterpieces, but I’ll give it to Andrew.


UNC investigation finds 3,100 students affected by academic fraud over 18 years

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The findings from the UNC academic fraud probe are out, and according to investigators, academic advisors steered athletes into sham classes over an 18-year period. According to the report, over 3,100 students were affected by the fraud, which included “paper classes” that didn’t require attendance and inflated grades in order to keep student athletes’ GPAs high enough to keep them eligible. The report implicates Deborah Crowder, the manager in the African and Afro-American Studies Department, and later Julius Nyang-oro, who took over once Crowder retired in 2009.

So, does this mean banners will come down? Not exactly. The report doesn’t directly implicate coaches, and says that although coaches knew of the easy classes, there is no evidence to show that they knew Crowder was grading a particular course. 963 UNC football players and 226 basketball players were enrolled in the paper classes beginning in 1999. Many were steered to classes by their academic counselors and tutors often wrote papers for them.

The NCAA has yet to issue sanctions, but released this report with the UNC president:

The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the NCAA enforcement staff continue to engage in an independent and cooperative effort to review information of possible NCAA rules violations as was announced earlier this year. The university provided the enforcement staff with a copy of the Wainstein Reports for its consideration. The information included in the Wainstein Reports will be reviewed by the university and enforcement staff under the same standards that are applied in all NCAA infractions cases. Due to rules put in place by the NCAA membership, neither the university nor the enforcement staff will comment on the substance of the report as it applies to possible NCAA rules violations.

Read more about the report here.


Cal on Sportscenter: “I’ve gotten every player I’ve ever wanted”

Calipari transformed into Swaggy Cal for his SportsCenter interview today at SEC Tipoff. Jay Crawford asked Cal who was the recruit that got away, or which player he really wanted but committed to another school. Cal’s response? “I’ve gotten every player I’ve ever wanted.” Classic.

Crawford kept at Cal, who finally gave in and started rattling off old players names. “Anthony Davis, John Wall, Derrick Rose…if I don’t say DeMarcus Cousins, he’ll go crazy.” LOL. Oh, Swaggy Cal.

Here’s the full interview:


Stoops on whether or not Dorian Baker will play Saturday: “We’ll see”

Mark Stoops just finished up his turn on the SEC Coaches Teleconference, and when asked, said he couldn’t comment on the league’s review of Dorian Baker’s hit on Kendall Beckwith. Will Baker play on Saturday? “We’ll see. I’m not going to comment on that at this time,” Stoops said. That doesn’t sound promising.

Yesterday, Beckwith told reporters in Baton Rouge that he didn’t think it was a helmet-to-helmet hit. “A lot of people think it was a head shot and he rung my bell, but he really just knocked the wind out of me and I was on the ground trying to catch my breath.” In fact, Beckwith said that he couldn’t help but laugh. “I knew he had got me pretty good and everybody had seen it, so I just had to laugh.” Ross Dellenger specifically asked Beckwith if he felt the hit on his head and he said no, that he only felt the hit in his chest.

In other news, Stoops said that Boom Williams still hasn’t been cleared to play by doctors, and will not practice today.


Willie, Andrew, Alex, and Karl Towns voted 2nd Team All-SEC

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We already told you how the media at SEC Tipoff selected Aaron Harrison as the Preseason SEC Player of the Year and Kentucky to win the league. In fact, UK is the first unanimous pick to win the SEC since 1995-1996, when UK went undefeated in SEC play and won the National Championship.

Of course, Aaron Harrison made First Team All-SEC, and four of his teammates made Second Team All-SEC: Willie Cauley-Stein, Andrew Harrison, Alex Poythress, and Karl Towns. Here are the complete preseason teams:

First Team All-SEC

Bobby Portis – Arkansas, F, 6-11, 242, So., Little Rock, Ark.
Michael Frazier II – Florida, G, 6-4, 194, Jr., Tampa, Fla.
Aaron Harrison – Kentucky, G, 6-6, 212, So., Richmond, Texas
Jordan Mickey – LSU, F, 6-8, 235, So., Dallas, Texas
Jarvis Summers – Ole Miss, G, 6-3, 186, Sr., Jackson, Miss.

Second Team All-SEC

Charles Mann – Georgia, G, 6-5, 215, Jr., Alpharetta, Ga.
Willie Cauley-Stein – Kentucky, F, 7-0, 240, Jr., Olathe, Kan.
Andrew Harrison – Kentucky, G, 6-6, 210, So., Richmond, Texas
Alex Poythress – Kentucky, F, 6-8, 238, Jr., Clarksville, Tenn.
Karl-Anthony Towns – Kentucky, F, 6-11, 250, Fr., Piscataway, N.J.

SEC Player of the Year: Aaron Harrison, Kentucky

Karl Towns on the Second Team?! That’ll change.


Calipari reiterates this is Andrew’s team

@KentuckyMBB

As you might expect, there’s not a ton of new material coming out of SEC Tipoff, but Calipari did say a few interesting things during his rounds that Jerry Tipton was kind enough to share on Twitter. According to Jerry, Cal said that UK will scrimmage more, possibly 60% of practices, to make better use of all of the talent on the squad. Also, when asked, Cal said he doesn’t think this is his most talented team at Kentucky, pointing to the 2009-2010 John Wall team and the 2011-2012 Anthony Davis squad.

I’d argue that the abundance of experience and talent and a returning point guard make this his best group yet. Speaking of Andrew, Cal said that the key to leading a team is convincing your teammates that you care about them, which Andrew Harrison has done. In fact, Cal said that sometimes, Andrew cares too much.

Tyler Ulis may bring a lot of excitement to this team, but it’s clear that Cal wants this to be Andrew’s team. That’s enough to get a smile out of the stone cold killers as they posed with Seth Davis:

@SethDavisHoops


Stansbury Already Making An Impact at TAMU

Like a thunder cloud looming on the distant horizon, Texas A&M is quietly building a class that could eventually challenge Kentucky’s SEC dominance. For the past four seasons Billy Kennedy has futility toiled in College Station as the Aggies haven’t earned a single NCAA or even and NIT invite. Needing to do something and fast, Kennedy hired former Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury to be his top assistant this past May. Since then the native of Battletown, KY has made an instant impact on the recruiting trail and the Aggies could be contending for SEC crowns sooner rather than later.

Stansbury has already vaulted the Aggies to the second ranked recruiting class in the nation by nabbing four 4-star recruits. Today, the Aggies received a pledge from 247’s 28th ranked player Elijah Thomas. Thomas joins the 31st, 33rd, and 88th ranked recruits to make up TAMU’s shocking class that Stansbury has assembled in just five month’s on the job. All the players in the class come from the state of Texas and look to be unifying players that have been leaving the Lonestar state for Kansas or Oklahoma State. TAMU could be sitting on a sleeping giant of a recruiting base similar to what they have been taking advantage of in football.

At Mississippi State  Rick Stansbury was able to perennially build teams that were able to give the Cats fits. Who can forget the classic SEC championship battle in 2009 which saw John Wall and the boys find a way to get the game to OT. With a lot of talk about the lack of quality teams in the SEC it is looking like two former coaches could be building decent teams for the future. Don’t be surprised if in a few years you see Texas A&M and Auburn being two of the toughest teams the Cats will face.

What do you make of Stansbury’s resurgence in College Station?