Good morning, folks, and welcome to Friday, November 6th. Are you wondering what that fruity smell is? Well, that’s the sweet smell of celebration as former UK coach Billy Gillispie celebrates his 50th birthday….on Saturday. With no News and Views on the weekend, though, why not help Clyde ring in his half-century celebration with a post from his good friends at Kentucky Sports Radio? Last year, we did a little selective celebrating with a timeline of the highlights of the Clyde era because Coach Clyde hadn’t yet proven that he was about as pleasant as an enema. This year, though, we’ll just keep it simple. Coach, we wish you a good one and hope that Clarion isn’t the hidden devil that Gardner-Webb was almost exactly two years ago (coincidentally on his birthday). May your recovery go well and may you resume your career on the sidelines sometime soon. Hopefully in Louisville.
Now, onto some quick news notes so I can go to bed…
– Perhaps the biggest news of the day was Cal’s post-practice media session where he noted that Eric Bledsoe would likely sit against a formidable Clarion squad Friday night. Bledsoe tweaked his ankle a bit against Campbellsville, but the injury isn’t expected to prevent him from getting s–t right once the regular season starts. Obviously, the Cats have the luxury of sitting one star point guard in favor of another, but it could be interesting to see how this injury affects DeAndre Liggins’ playing time. Liggins has been the subject of speculation after not seeing a minute against Campbellsville and you would think that he would again have an opportunity to play as Darius Miller serves as the backup point guard and starting wing. But, again, you never know. Which brings me to the next point….
– Another interesting note comes from Brett Dawson, who says that Calipari could hold other players out of the game, but would not elaborate on who those players were or why they would not play. Calipair ushered a Rich Brooks-like line of “That’s the greatest thing about being the head coach. I can do whatever I want”. He then reminded Dawson to type in CHCAL when he orders pizzas for his family on Friday night.
– One player who won’t be held out of the game (at least not by the NCAA), is freshman superstar John Wall, who will take the court for the first time as a UK player….against an opponenent not comprised of teammates, at least. Wall’s presence will be monitored from coast to coast by media and scouts and there’s no doubt that expectations are sky-high this year for the youngster from North Carolina. I’ve got a feeling…..that tonight’s gonna be a good, good night for Wall. I expect him to outplay his Clarion counterpart. And 374 of you expect him to be the leading scorer Friday night.
– Obviously not pleased with what he saw against Campbellsville, Coach Cal has apparently gotten hardcore this week as he preps his team for the regular season. Two-a-day practices were on the agenda this week, the first starting at 6am and DeMarcus Cousins referred to Coach as “intense and focused” in his post-practice interview today. Patrick Patterson noted how draining the practices were through his Twitter account and was apparently coping the best way he knew how:
pdpatt body hurting. resting for game tmr. but first got to judge girls n sororities
– Over at Sports Illustrated, they unleashed their college basketball preview online late Thursday and it included a number of UK notes. Here they are:
– I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, as I’m sure you were tuned in to your television set or closest wi-fi hotspot, but Shagari “Skyscraper” Alleyene was the 1st pick of the 5th round (65th overall) in the NBDL Draft Thursday night, serving as my generation’s “Where where you when…” moment (I was napping). The Albequerque Thunderbirds (another pro team who found no interest in my resume) were the lucky team to bring size, rhymes and upper deckers to their franchise in a selection process that works just like your Fantasy Football draft. Pick last, then pick first. Then repeat. Former Card Perrin Johnson went in the 6th round to Springfield, while Reece Gaines pulled off the impressive “get picked lower in the D-League draft than you did in the NBA Draft”, going to Bakersfield in the 2nd round. In all seriousness, if you’re a basketball junkie, there is nothing better than the D-League draft. It’s like a who’s who of players you’ve watched over the years and wondered where they’ve gone. Here’s the whole list.
– Speaking of Clyde, former Gillispie commitment Dakotah Euton committed to Akron late Thursday, finally giving the Zips a player who’s game is described in the same way. Euton ranks as a two-star player on Rivals and will no doubt ease the sting of losing hometown hero LeBron James to the NBA.
– As a special note for all of you who aren’t tired of the coal debate yet (I’m talking to you lexslamman), UK held a forum debating what coal means to Kentucky and Joe Craft spoke some, including some light Wildcat Coal Lodge talk. In hindsight, it really doesn’t have much to do wth the lodge or with the basketball team, but I’m not passing up a chance to link to a story including my former professor, Al Cross. It’s not too late to get that grade changed to an “A”, right?
– On the football front, Rich Brooks announced that Trevard Lindley would play and Derrick Locke would sit against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. Lindley, of course, has been battling an ankle injury and Locke’s status had been in question after tearing some of the scar tissue in in the knee he injured last season. As far as the flu-bitten players, Brooks said he expects almost all of them to play.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned throughout the day as we toe the line between ridiculous and informative, but always keep it interesting (except the Picks to Click). Drew Franklin will stop by with his “They Are Who We Thought They Were” and those other guys who won the blogger contest will write stuff. It’s going to be a fun day. See you in a few…