In case you were away from the computer on Monday, you may have missed the most talked about 40-yard dash in the history of 40-yard dashes. South Carolina star Jadeveon Clowney, previously known for this monster hit, ran a 4.47 40, one of the fastest for a defensive lineman ever. His official time was 4.53, but that’s still crazy fast, and when you consider that Clowney is 6’5″, 266 lbs., it’s downright ridiculous. How ridiculous was it? I think Warren Sapp put it best:
And here I was being proud of getting up and doing my workout DVD.
By the way, Kentucky’s own Avery Williamson also had a good day at the NFL Combine, running a 4.66 40, the sixth fastest among linebackers, and benching 225 lbs. 25 times, the seventh best showing. NFL.com’s Nolan Nawrocki listed “outstanding personal and football character” among Avery’s strengths and said he “commands respect.” Keep making us proud, Avery.
News and views time?
2015 shooting guard Charles Matthews will announce on Tuesday
Charles Matthews, a 6’6″, 172 lbs. shooting guard from Chicago, will announce his college decision on Tuesday. Matthews is down to Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, and Marquette. He’s considered the best shooting guard and the 12th best player in the 2015 class by 247 Sports Composite.
Matthews got an offer from Kentucky last June, and visited Lexington in September for the Alumni Game. He’s spoken highly of Cal and the Cats in the past, and told Rivals’ TJ Walker that he likes Cal’s record of getting players ready for the NBA. What kind of player is Matthews? He says he likes the dribble drive, which is the perfect match for his ability to slash to the rim and finish through contact. He’s long and lean, and excels at attacking along the baseline. He’s also a good on-the-ball defender, and is capable of becoming the “lockdown defender” we’ve grown so fond of.
Matthews plays on the same AAU team as UK signee Tyler Ulis and former Cat Anthony Davis. The timing of the announcement is interesting, especially when you consider Illinois head coach John Groce visited him last week. The Cats are still the safe bet, but stay tuned…
UPDATE: According to @14judge, Calipari visited Matthews Monday at St. Rita’s. Is the safe bet now a sure bet?
Kentucky inched up to #17 and #15 in the AP and Coaches’ polls
Wins at Ole Miss and over LSU were good enough to scoot the Cats up one spot in both the AP and Coaches’ polls, to #17 and #15, respectively:
They’re also tenth in the RPI, fourth in the BPI (Basketball Power Index), and a 5-seed in Joe Lunardi’s Monday update. Make of this what you will.
This picture is going up on Cal’s wall:
Well, maybe not this exact picture, but on his radio show Monday night, Cal said that he’s hanging a picture of the Cats’ celebration from Saturday in his office and in the practice facility, right next to the one of DeMarcus Cousins, John Wall, and the 2010 team from the SEC Tournament. He also sent it to the team: “I sent it to them and I said, ‘I love this.’ This means that winning means more than individual performance. We’re getting it.” Cal added it was a “big, big moment” for the group, and because of their struggles this season, he now feels they’re “primed” for a big run in March.
Cal’s not changing his ways anytime soon
This season more than any other, fans are questioning the Calipari way. On Monday night, Cal said that like it or not, he’s not changing his method:
“It may be wrong the way I do this, but I’m not changing. Let’s focus on getting guys as good as we can, let’s focus on individual players, we bring a team together, and then in the end, everything becomes team. Now, people will say you should be team first and then work on the individuals, and well, maybe, but all I know is, if I can get everybody right and get them all on the same page, you become a juggernaut. Let’s see how this plays out.”
The real thing that needs to change is the one-and-done rule. Get it two-and-through and I doubt people will complain.
Robic says each player is assigned another player to cheer on
John Robic finished up the call-in show for Cal, and said that a big focus for the team in the past few weeks has been recognizing each other’s good play, something younger players often struggle with. In fact, Robic says each player on the bench is assigned a player to cheer on when they do well, in practice and in games. Andrew Harrison had Julius, right?
Both Alex Poythress and Dominique Hawkins did extra work on Sunday
Cal gave his team Sunday off, but that didn’t stop Alex Poythresss from coming in to put in some extra work. Alex has hit a bit of a slump, scoring only eleven points in the last three games and Cal says he’s just the latest Cat to be in “a little bit of a funk.” Extra hours are the only way out:
“He’s doing it for himself. It’s good when I walk in my office on a Sunday, and I’m driving to the office, and the lights are on in the building. And I look out my window and he’s out there in a full-blown sweat. Dominique (Hawkins) — I was there earlier in the day after church, I came in and Dominique was in. I came back later and Alex was is in here. So it’s great to see.”
Yes, it is. We’ll end there. See you in the morning.