– O’Bannon was POY for UCLA in 1995 –
If you like sports, law, or even video games, you need to pay attention to this court case if you aren’t already. Ed O’Bannon vs. NCAA continues a step further tomorrow with a certification hearing. Tomorrow, June 20th, Judge Claudia Wilken will begin the certification hearing to see if this case will proceed further as a class action lawsuit that pertains to all NCAA student athletes.
This incredibly important case stands for a specific and (hopefully, for players’ sake) legally justifiable principal: that college athletes have the right to commercially benefit from their likeness. The case, nor class certification, will likely not be decided for sometime, but the lawsuits status as a class action is crucial for the effect to be truly felt by the NCAA.
We’ve all had plenty of complaints with the NCAA as UK fans, but this one is pretty universal. For what seems like forever, the NCAA has profited off of student athletes image and likeness via video games, TV broadcasts, etc. If O’Bannon wins, a lot of former and current athletes will be owed some money (it could cut the NCAA’s current $6.4 billion revenue in half).
Keep an eye out as this case moves forward. For a breakdown of the legal principals, check out this legal primer from SI’s Michael McCann.
Kentucky has extended a scholarship offer to Malik Newman, a top-ranked combo guard in the class of 2015. Newman has also picked up offers from Kansas, Arizona, NC State and Duke, his father told Blue Devil Lair.
ESPN.com ranks him as the best shooting guard in the class. Rivals.com calls him the best 2015 point guard.
Watch him work.
It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve had some positive draft news about Archie Goodwin. Most analysts now think he’ll be a second round pick, but ESPN’s Chad Ford said today that he thinks teams with the 15th pick on are “crazy not to roll the dice” on young players like Archie in this year’s weak draft:
Kevin (WV): I still say Archie Goodwin slips into the bottom of the first! Are you saying there is no chance?
Chad Ford (1:50 PM): Not saying that. In fact, personally, I think teams drafting from 15 on are crazy not to roll the dice with younger players like Ricky Ledo, Antetoukounmpo, Tony Mitchell and Goodwin. Their sin is that they are in the draft too early. But upside is so much higher than so many players in the draft. Could they bust? Sure. But I might be willing to gamble given what I’d lose is a solid rotation player.
Today, Archie works out for the Portland Trail Blazers, along with Myck Kabongo, Phil Pressey, Mason Plumlee, Dewayne Dedmon, and EJ Singler. Portland has the 10th, 39th, 40th, and 45th picks in the draft. In fact, DraftExpress’ latest mock draft has Archie going 39th to the Trailblazers, and Nerlens first to the Cavs.
Ford also downplayed rumors that the Cleveland Cavaliers are leaning towards using their number one pick on Alex Len and not Nerlens Noel, saying that until he hears otherwise, he expects the Cavs to take Nerlens first.
Do us proud, boys.
John Calipari. Cal did a photoshoot today with the pace car leading up to next weekend’s Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway.
Looking good, Coach.
Rick Pitino’s had a good year. He won a National Championship, got a tattoo, and has generally been living it up ever since. And while you have to congratulate Pitino on his accomplishments, Kentucky fans’ feelings towards Rick will always be a little bit complicated. Pitino brought UK back from the brink of collapse, restored its elite status and at the peak of it all, left to coach the Boston Celtics, only to return to the college ranks to coach his former school’s arch enemy.
In the past, Rick has said that leaving Kentucky was “the biggest mistake” he’s made in his life. Now, it’s the “greatest move” he’s ever made.
In a speech at the Mid-South ACG Capital Connection in Louisville last Friday, Pitino says that leaving Kentucky ended up being the greatest thing he’s ever done because it led to a failure in Boston, which ultimately taught him humility:
“People always ask me the question ‘Do you regret leaving Kentucky? If you didn’t leave, you’d have a thousand wins today.’ I say, ‘No, the greatest move I ever made was leaving Kentucky.’ The second greatest move I ever made was failing in Boston, because if I didn’t go through those two experiences, I wouldn’t have gained humility.”
My, how a national championship changes everything.
H/t to Anthony Wireman
You and I don’t need ESPN.com to tell us Vince Marrow is recruiting Ohio hard and has been very successful thus far. We see that. But it wouldn’t hurt to take a minute or two out of your day to read some of things Marrow told ESPN.com about the process.
In an ESPN Insider feature this morning, Marrow told Jared Shanker, “I’m going to go after the No. 1 guy in Ohio. I’m going after the top 30 guys in Ohio, and let’s roll up our sleeves and see what happens. We might shock the world. I made it very clear that we’re not taking a backseat to nobody.”
Boom. Marrow also said Ohio runs through his blood and teaming up with fellow Ohioan Mark Stoops at Kentucky is a perfect situation.
“We can do some real damage,” he told Shanker.
But what is that makes Vince Marrow so successful at reeling in elite level prospects to UK from a state that produces the fifth most Division I talent?
“I don’t want to brag,” he said. “It’s just not hard. Ohio is my baby.”
You really need to read this if you can access it. It’ll fire you up for the future of Kentucky football. And if you can’t get to it, just enjoy those quotes.
Last night, Matt spoke to Nerlens Noel, who shot down rumors that the people surrounding him were damaging his draft stock. Nerlens said that the only people around him were his mother and business manager, and that if it’s been difficult to schedule meetings with him lately, it’s because he’s spending so much time in Birmingham rehabbing his knee, which is his number one priority. Nerlens will call in to the radio show on Friday to talk about the issue some more and how he’s doing the week before the draft.
Since the rumors came out about Nerlens’ handlers, several have stepped forward to defend the talented player, including the Cleveland Plain-Dealer’s Mary Schmitt Boyer, who wrote a feature on Nerlens earlier this month and had this to say about their encounters:
After the Cavaliers won the NBA draft lottery and the No. 1 pick, I arranged to go down to Birmingham and interview Noel while he was rehabilitating his torn knee ligament.
I had no trouble setting it up. It took me all of two emails. He arrived when he was supposed to, worked hard all day, reported for a shooting session on time and worked hard until the coach running it decided he’d had enough. He was serious, but polite and businesslike.
I encountered no entourage, although recent reports also have been critical of those around him.
Boyer echoes many of us when she says “I just know that the player I’m reading about is not the same one I interviewed.”
Nerlens meets with the Cavs this weekend.
5’10”, 155 lbs.
McKinney, TX (McKinney)
ESPN: #69 WR
Scout: #124 WR
24/7: #62 WR
Choosing between UK and: Nebraska, Oregon State, Houston, California.
With Neal Brown considering holding open WR tryouts and only 2 WRs currently signed on to play in 2014 (Thaddeus Snodgrass and Pitt transfer Demitrius Davis), there are still many WR commits to come. The next place the Wildcat coaching staff is looking for is speed from North Texas. WR Coach Tommy Mainord first planted the seed with TV Williams while coaching at Texas Tech, bringing that relationship to the Big Blue Nation. TV not only has a tenured relationship with the coaching staff, but as the Class of 2014 has done in the past, TV has made friends while visiting UK (he was in town for the Spring Game and Prime Time Camp) telling Rivals’ Justin Rowland, “We all just hung out 24/7. I had a lot of fun with those guys. They’re fun guys to be around.” Developing relationships with fellow wideout Thad Snodgrass and the future QB Drew Barker could work like it did for Boom and Mike Edwards.
— UK 2014 Fball Class (@UK2014Class) June 12, 2013
When you watch a player like TV Williams play, you have to REALLY pay attention; if not, you might miss him. TV has 4.4 speed, running the outside of his high school’s spread offense like an SEC athlete, racking up 800 yards on 45 catches and 10 touchdowns. Williams isn’t ranked as high as others because of his size, but that shouldn’t be a problem once he gets to UK. He’s fast enough to play in the slot, getting in the open field to make plays (at 5:03 a defender’s ankles are shattered) in Neal Brown’s offense. If Sting believes in Coach Korem’s High Performance program than I believe Williams won’t have a problem packing on the pounds. You cannot discount his high school experience either. Even though he can out-run most of his opponents, Williams does not shy away from running crisp routes. Not only can he make a great double-move to get open near the end zone (2:49), but Williams is great at planting his foot to get open (comeback routes and posts down the middle of the field especially). Williams is the type of wideout Coach Brown loves to run on and off the field to keep legs fresh, making him a great fit in the offense. We will find out if TV will take his talents to the BBN on July 9th.
Matt Elam, the No. 1 high school football player in the bluegrass, will visit The Ohio State University tomorrow. OSU tight end coach Tim Hinton extended a scholarship offer to Elam over the phone earlier this month, and the offer automatically moved the Buckeyes into Elam’s top five, along with Kentucky, Alabama, Louisville and Florida. Elam has also been talking to Mike Vrabel, the former New England Patriots linebacker who now coaches the defensive linemen at Ohio State.
Elam will visit Notre Dame on Monday.
The hype for this year’s Kentucky basketball team is almost unprecedented. First of all you have the best recruiting class in the history of college basketball coming in. Then you factor in a bunch of key returners ready to play after a disappointing season. To top it all Cal has made it clear he wants his team to strive for 40 and 0. The expectations for this team are out of control and there is no Denzel in sight to bring a stop to the hype train. Without question the year should be just as fun as 2012 but if the team can’t reach that lofty goal of hanging number nine which of these finishes would make you say the year was disappointing?
Sweet Sixteen Or Worse
With as much talent as this team has it would be hard to imagine the team coming up short in the sweet sixteen or earlier but stranger things have happened. Remember when Brandon Knight and company took down highly favored and overall #1 seed Ohio State. Sometimes you just run into a buzzsaw and if that happened it would certainly be disappointing. Having not seen this group play a game yet a situation occurring with chemistry issues would also be disappointing. The Cats look great on paper but if they are finished before the second weekend is over there could be a bit of unrest develop amongst the fanbase. Especially coming off of an NIT year.
Finishing in the Elite Eight would be respectable but it could still be disappointing. Just look at the John Wall team, they were arguably the best team going into the tournament and got caught by a hot WVU squad. It was a beloved team that had a great season but still the year was dampened a bit by the finish. Just one game more and they would have been held in reverence forever. This team could face a similar fate. The expectations are so high that if they go down in the elite eight it would just damage the way team is looked back upon.
It would be hard to view reaching the final four as a disappointment. Unless of course the team was beat by an inferior opponent like a Wichita St or to a rival like Louisville. Again the Brandon Knight team when from disappointing during the SEC to beloved all due to a final four run. Reaching the final four provides validation for the year and is deserving of raising a banner. Nothing disappointing here.
National Championship Or Bust
While this is an unreasonable stance there are a number of people who certainly feel this way. There is too much randomness and too many good teams to hold the expectation of a championship next season. The Cats should be the favorite without a doubt but holding this view just takes all of the joy out of watching sports. We all know fans like this though. If their team can’t hoist a trophy they collapse into a deep dark depression until the next season tips off. It’s a rough existence.
Big Blue Madness is four months from today and everyone is geared up for yet another awesome year. If number nine goes up then it’s going to be a great time to be a Wildcat but you never know how things are going to play out. So how will you define disappointment for the coming year?
Major props to Alvin Brown from Lexington, who wrote this awesome letter to the editor to the Herald-Leader. Alvin called in to the show to let us know it’s in today’s edition, otherwise, we never would have known:
Charles Ramsey, the rescuer of the three women missing for a decade in Cleveland, was in Kentucky several weeks ago.
When the rescue story broke, the national media flocked to get interviews with Ramsey, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
However, the best interview of Ramsay that I heard was over Kentucky Sports Radio on Matt Jones’ popular sports radio talk show.
After the interview, it dawned on me that a sportscaster had just conducted a great news interview with a national hero.
When sportscasters start beating those who supposedly report the news, like Jones did, it becomes apparent that media outlets should consider using sportscasters to report news events.
KSR salutes you, Alvin.
WWMKGD? Train for next season by running up and down mud hills. Of course.
Kentucky football has the number one 2014 recruiting class right now, and the national media is starting to take notice. Check out this video from ESPN Recruiting Nation about Kentucky’s unbelievable rise, which is due in part to the staff’s connections in Ohio. Also helpful? Drew Barker. But you already knew that.
The video also features an interview with Mike Edwards, who credits his commitment to Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops. Edwards says the staff told him he can play early and he feels like Kentucky is a “great fit.” The chance to play in the SEC was also a big factor that led him to choose the Cats over Big Ten teams like Ohio State.
Happy Wednesday and welcome to this edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. Today, Perrin Johnson will stop by to cohost with Matt Jones, which means some fun little brother ribbing and a whole lot of stories.
Join in on the fun by calling (502) 571-1080.
– More Twins!
– More Yahtzee!
– Nerlens Noel clears up some rumors
– Much more…
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WAIN (93.9 fm) Columbia
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The last 10 years at Kentucky have really been quite a wild ride. Starting with the 02-03 season, Kentucky has won 4 SEC Championships, 4 SEC Tournament Championships, and 1 National Championships. We have had #1 recruiting classes under 2 coaches (Tubby and Cal, don’t forget) and seen 2 #1 draft picks, with the potential for a 3rd. We’ve also seen some down times, with the last 2 years of Tubby and the 2 years of Gillispie (although BCG’s first year was better than people remember). But above all else, we have seen a lot of great players come through Lexington. But, who are the best 10? I ranked my best 10 players, based on talent alone, and then gave a Bonus 10 below that. Again, this is not ranking players on their UK careers but just on their talent alone.
1. Anthony Davis: National Player of the Year, Final Four MVP, and crushed school record for blocks in a season. Davis ranks 4th in school history in blocks. IN ONE SEASON. You could make a serious argument that Davis had the best individual season in UK history, when you throw in the national title as well. He is likely the most athletic freak to play for UK. And he did it all while becoming a cultural icon with the unibrow.
2. Keith Bogans: 4th in school history in points, but for the sake of this argument, only Bogans senior season is being taken under consideration. Even still, that senior season was one of the 10 best in UK history. Bogans led the first ever (and only) SEC team to go undefeated in regular season and tournament play. Bogans combination of deadly jump shot and mid-range game made him a nightmare to guard. But people forget he was also the defensive stopper on that 2003 team, and maybe argue his sprained ankle prevented him from shutting down Dwayne Wade. Bogans was the unquestioned team leader of the 2nd best UK team since 1980.
3. John Wall: Was a talent that UK hadn’t seen at the point guard spot. Maybe the fastest player end to end in school history. But his importance was bringing UK back from the depths of Billy Gillispie, but doing it in a cool way. Wall brought the Calipari-era into every top recruits home and you could argue he deserves some of the credit for the success the next 2 years. Oh, plus he was a hell of a player. Despite a struggling jumper at times, Wall was so good at getting the to basket it really didn’t matter.
4. Patrick Patterson: This guy could really do it all. He could score, rebound, pass, block shots, run the floor, and he was a strong competitor. His broken foot in the 2008 season ended any hopes of a long tournament run. He stepped onto campus and immediately became the best player on the team. If he had returned, he had a good shot at becoming a 2,000 point scorer. Patterson’s consistency and leadership boost him into this spot.
5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: Can we say potentially the best motor to play the game at UK? I have argued Gilchrist was more important to the 2012 championship than Anthony Davis. I am not sure UK wins that title without either guy, but MKG often made that little hustle play, that putback, that block, that demoralized a team, stopped a run, or put an emphasis on a UK run. Incredible defender, great in transition, and an improved jump shot made him tough to handle in February and March.
6. Brandon Knight: Probably the best pure scorer in the Calipari era. Fantastic jump shot, but also an incredible ability to create his own jump shot, whether off a screen or off the dribble. Plus, had 2 iconic baskets in the same NCAA Tournament. Knight often carried that team single-handedly, and was for sure the guy to get the ball at the end of games. I always liked to consider him a better version of Jodie Meeks. Or certainly a guy who could do more things than Meeks.
7. Demarcus Cousins: People forget that Cousins was a bit of a struggle on the offensive end at the beginning of the 08-09 season. We forget because he became such a force by the end of the year. I would doubt you could find a guy who improved in one season more the Cousins. The best pure center at UK since Sam Bowie (until Davis came along), Cousins provided UK with the punch down low while Wall did it in the open floor. Cousins probably had more offensive game than Davis, but the addition of defense is what pushes Davis ahead. Wish he could have had that Final Four.
8. Chuck Hayes: Did more with the skills he had than anybody. Had no offensive game to speak of when he came to UK, but became quite the scorer in the low post his last 2 years. Was one of the best rebounders to ever play at UK, especially for his size. A great competitor, fan favorite.
9. Nerlens Noel: He would have stretches in games where he had just as much an impact, maybe more, than Anthony Davis did. His 2nd half against Ole Miss was legendary. But a lack of great guards around him often hurt his production. His defensive game was certainly one of the best ever seen in Lexington. Offensive game was a developing creature and likely what keeps him out of the Top 5. Plus, we didn’t find out how good he could become after his knee injury.
10. Jodie Meeks: Meeks probably deserves to be on this list just for his scoring record game against Tennessee. But, he also developed his game that junior season into becoming a complete player. Defense was sometimes an issue for Meeks, but got better each season. Was hampered by injuries his first 2 years. Plus, had to suffer through Billy Gillispie. Nonetheless, the best scorer at UK since……….Mashburn? Issel? I think he belongs in that company when it comes to scoring alone. And for that, it still just makes him the 10th best player at UK in the last 10 years.
The Next 10
11. Terrence Jones
12. Eric Bledsoe
13. Gerald Fitch
14. Doron Lamb
15. Ramel Bradley
16. Rajon Rondo
17. Darius Miller
18. Kelena Azubuike
19. Randolph Morris
20. Archie Goodwin
OK, so there is my list. What would yours be? Again, we are using any player that played at UK from the 02-03 season on.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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