It’s a busy day in the Bluegrass, but you’ll have to wait awhile for the action. The nation’s No. 1 shooting guard Hamidou Diallo will (hopefully) choose Kentucky over five others this after noon at 5:00. Later on the SEC Network at 8:30, Kentucky tips off against Arkansas, the school spurned by Malik Monk. There’s plenty to talk about so let’s not waste any time.
Last Minute Scoop on Diallo
There is none. The general consensus remained the same overnight: Kentucky is the favorite for Diallo who’s expected to enroll for the spring semester. Since there’s no news to share, I’ll share my
two-sense three-sense on Diallo’s game for the final time.
1. For a shooting guard, he doesn’t shoot well. Think Archie Goodwin, but better. The first time I watched him play, I dogged his shot nonstop, until he shut me up with a game-tying fadeaway three at the buzzer to force overtime. He dominated overtime and his team won at the Peach Jam. Diallo is a dog.
2. Diallo dunks like Monk. The explosion and ferocity are strangely similar. If Diallo indeed comes early, I’d love to see the two take part in a dunk contest.
3. New York, New York. New York natives do not mess around, and Diallo is no exception.
If Diallo joins the team midyear it will not be unprecedented, just ask Tai Wynyard. However, there’s no denying this recruiting process is stranger than what we’re used to. Come back around 4:45 for all the coverage you need from Diallo’s commitment.
How Will Monk Handle his Home State School
He’s going to shoot it, shoot it some more, and never stop until the final horn sounds. “Feast or famine” is one way to put it. Coach Cal is trying to keep him calm between the ears.
“When he gets too hyped he’s not at his best,” Calipari said yesterday. “I thought when he gets too hyped he doesn’t shoot it as well, mind starts racing a little bit. He’s not, you know, the calm, athletic, attack player he needs to be when he’s at his best. He and I will talk about it before the game, but right now it hasn’t been discussed.”
When Calipari players take on teams with hometown ties, it usually goes pretty well. You’ll see what I’m talking about in a post later today.
Arkansas and UK have the Same Record
Each team enters the game 12-2, but the Razorbacks’ competition has not been close to the caliber of Kentucky’s. Arkansas’ signature win was a 3-point victory over the under-achieving Texas Longhorns in Houston, although they did something Indiana couldn’t do: beat Ft. Wayne. Arkansas lost their SEC opener against Florida and received a thorough 14-point beatdown at Minnesota.
The Last SEC Loss at Rupp was to Arkansas
The Cats have won 20 consecutive SEC games at Rupp Arena since falling to the Razorbacks in overtime 71-67 back in 2014. In UK’s last eight meetings with the Razorbacks, the series is split.
By the Numbers
Kudos to Arkansas’ graphic department for this one.
Early Enrollees Arrive to Campus
Over the next two days, high school seniors will not return for one final semester of high school. Instead, they’ll enroll at Kentucky and begin their SEC football careers. Experiencing spring practice is an advantage that propelled many to early playing time, most notably Kash Daniel from ’16. By the end of the week we’ll have an exact list; here’s a rough draft/guesstimation:
- Linebacker Jamin Davis
- Cornerback Cedrick Dort
- Running back Bryant Koback
- Wide receiver Clevan Thomas
- Quarterback Danny Clark (maybe Walker Wood too)
- JUCO safety Lonnie Johnson
- JUCO defensive tackle Phil Hoskins
Bowden can (Basket)ball
Lynn Bowden is my favorite uncommitted Kentucky football prospect. The 4-star Youngstown athlete is a freak on the football field, pulling off stuff you thought was only possible in video games. Turns out, he’s pretty good at basketball too. A few highlights from a 30-point performance:
— Chase Evans (@crevans12) January 7, 2017
Have you downloaded the KSR app?
If you’re still waiting, you’re missing out, quite literally. Last night we gave away a free pair of tickets to tonight’s game on the app. Don’t let another opportunity go by, get it on iTunes or Google Play now.
Atlanta’s Channel 2 Severe Weather Team Keeps it 💯
That’s not an attempt to use hip lingo. 💯 is the approximate number of reporters on the street covering two inches of snow.
But wait, THERE’S MORE!
Today’s Sports Schedule
- Noon: No. 18 Butler at Georgetown on Fox
- 1:00: TCU at No. 7 West Virginia on ESPNU
- 1:30: Texas A&M at South Carolina on CBS
- 2:00: No. 21 Virginia Tech at No. 12 Florida State on ESPN
- 3:15: Maryland at Michigan on ESPN2
- 5:00: Illinois at No. 25 Indiana on ESPNU
- 5:15: Tennessee at No. 24 Florida on ESPN2
- 8:00: NC State at No. 14 North Carolina on ESPN
Check out the complete hoops schedule here. After basketball, we get a special treat:
There’s a bad one at 4:35 on ESPN when the Raiders travel to take on the Texans. Just before the UK game tips off, the Lions kickoff in Seattle against the Seahawks on NBC.