You don’t need me to tell you this, but 2012 was an unbelievable year for Anthony Davis. I would attempt to list all of his accomplishments and accolades in 2012, but, like Sweet Brown says, ain’t nobody got time for that. We all know the great things he did. And because it was such an incredible year, Davis added yet another trophy to his overpopulated, 3,000-square-foot trophy bunker Thursday night when he was named 2012 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year by The Herald-Leader. Davis was selected over nine other candidates by sports media members from around the commonwealth, a group known as GOGPWHKSR, or, “Group of Grumpy People Who Hate Kentucky Sports Radio.” Solid work, team. Excellent choice.
The other finalists were John Calipari, Randall Cobb, Darius Miller, A’dia Mathies, Teddy Bridgewater, Charlie Strong, Tom Jurich, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Dermontti Dawson. Congratulations to them for being nominated.
We better move on because I’ll start crying if I have to write another paragraph about Anthony Davis. I miss him so much.
Tuesday night’s win against Ole Miss was a good one, Kentucky’s best win of the season, but now it’s time we put all those fond memories of Kyle Wiltjer and Nerlens Noel away and switch our focus to those Aggies from Texas A&M. A&M, of course, shocked Big Blue Nation with an upset 12-point win in Rupp Arena three weeks ago, but they’ve show very little reason for Cats fans to worry about the rematch in College Station. Following A&M’s big day in Lexington, the Aggies lost four straight games, including a home loss to 9-11 Georgia, and it took overtime to beat a terrible Mississippi State team Wednesday night. Elston Turner is averaging 10 points in those five games since dropping a 40-piece on Kentucky. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, does it?
Although A&M isn’t an overwhelming challenge, it’s a big game for the Wildcats to keep the momentum going and avoid taking a step backwards, as they did at Alabama. The way we feel now after the win at Ole Miss is the same we felt after the Auburn game, when we were let down in UK’s next outing. We need to see them continue to progress and play with the attitude and aggression they showed Tuesday night in Oxford. If they do that, beating the Aggies shouldn’t be a problem and they’ll return home with a 2-0 record in this week’s very crucial two-game road stretch. If that’s how it plays out, we move forward looking toward what seed Kentucky can potentially reach in the tournament, rather than are they in or out. It’s time to put all this bubble mess behind us.
In cased you missed the big news Thursday morning, Billy Gillispie will be at the game as Billy Kennedy’s special guest. He will then head to Mexico where he is participating in a fishing festival to raise money for charity. It’s so random, you can only sit back and say, “Of course he is, why wouldn’t he?”
Inviting Gillispie to the game better not be some type of curse or hex to gain an edge in the game, either. I got eyes on you, Kennedy.
Saturday could be the day Willie Cauley-Stein returns to the court, and if he does, will Calipari put him back in the starting lineup? I think Kentucky’s offense has been playing too well to put Ketchup and Mustard back in there together to mess it all up. I also say Willie Cauley-Stein could play on Saturday without having any real knowledge of the status of that knee. We’ll find out Friday afternoon when Calipari addresses the media before practice. My money is on Cal saying, “I don’t know, I haven’t seen him today. I’ll know more when I go in there for practice. We’ll see.”
Shout-out to Marcus Lee for receiving an invite to the McDonald’s All-American game. Kentucky will likely have five commitments playing in the game on April 3. UK had four players in the 2011 game when Anthony Davis, Kyle Wiltjer, Marquis Teague and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist participated. Five commitments in the game is just silly, and you might as well go ahead and call it six if you count Wiggins, Randle or Gordon. They should just play it in Lexington.
We’re less than a week away from National Signing Day 2013 and the buzz over the past month or two has been insane. That excitement is expected to pick up on Friday when two of UK’s favorite targets make their announcements 15 minutes apart. Jeff Badet will announce at 7:00 p.m. and JoJo Kemp will announce at 7:15 p.m. The timing of the two announcement suggests big news for Kentucky football.
Kemp, a three-star running back, is a guy who will come in and compete right away for minutes in the backfield, especially in Neal Brown’s system. He’s the 10th-ranked all-purpose back in the country, according to Rivals.com. He has offers from a number of schools, including West Virginia and Tennessee.
Jeff Badet is a slot receiver that could also get a lot of run as a freshman in Brown’s Air Raid offense. Take a minute to read about him in this Assessing The Recruit post from last week.
Another recruit on Kentucky’s radar, Ryan Timmons, welcomed the Florida coaching staff into his Frankfort home for a visit on Thursday. He tweeted, “Great visit with the Florida staff today, this just makes it harder for me to decide.” The vibe around the 100+ people following his recruitment is still a positive one for Kentucky, although nothing is certain. Ohio State, believed to be UK’s biggest competitor in his recruitment, seems to be losing interest and may even pull his offer. The Buckeyes are pretty loaded at receiver, so that helps. We’ll know for sure when announces next Tuesday.
Jason Hatcher has reached Andrew Wiggins’ level of making me worry over high school recruit. I didn’t even think that was possible. Kentucky still has a chance, I guess, but their confidence is nowhere near what it was a week ago.
A piece of housekeeping news… KSR said goodbye to Rashawn Franklin, one of our favorites, on Thursday. Rashawn is moving on to another website to cover Kentucky football full-time. We appreciate his hard work for KSR over the past year and three months and wish him the best at the next stop in his journey. He first interviewed with us at Hugh Jass Burger for a temporary intern position with KSR College, and since then he’s decided he wants to make a career out of this, and he’s on his way.
Also, I guess now would be a good time to tell everyone that Rashawn and I aren’t actually brothers. Sorry, if you were misled.
The third stop in the KSR/UK Alumni DanceBlue gamewatch tour is this Saturday for the Texas A&M game. The Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati alumni group will meet at Beef O’Brady’s in the Newport Shopping Center at 1723 Monmouth Road, in Newport, KY. If you’re in the area, go watch the game with fellow members of Big Blue Nation and contribute to the cause.
And if you’re going to be in College Station for the game, be sure to stop by the Fox and Hound Bar & Grill (505 University Drive), where the Central Texas UK Alumni Association will be hosting a pregame event. It will be the destination for Cats fans before and after the game, so be sure to include it in your plans and tell them we sent you.
On Friday morning’s edition of Kentucky Sports Radio radio, Matt will welcome Steve Romines on to the show as a fill-in for Ryan Lemond. Romines is a lawyer in Louisville and longtime friend of the KSR gang. Give him a warm KSR welcome in the show thread.
That’ll do it for now.