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Collin Cowgill’s Tuesday’s News and Views


I’ll admit it–I don’t like baseball. Well, let me clarify. Unless I’m sitting in a baseball stadium with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other on a sunny day, I don’t like baseball. So, while the rest of the world waxed poetic about the smell of grass and mitt leather on Opening Day Monday, I scrolled on with my life. Yet, even this baseball unenthusiast can stand up and applaud former Kentucky outfielder Collin Cowgill, who hit a grand slam for the Mets Monday afternoon.

This was Cowgill’s debut as a Met; he was traded there this past winter after stints with the Diamondbacks and Athletics. He earned the starting center fielder spot by putting in an impressive spring run, batting .303 with five home runs, ten RBI, four stolen bases and a .969 OPS. The Henry Clay alum’s grand slam was the first for the Mets on Opening Days in 18 years, and came in the 7th inning to help the Mets to a 11-2 win over the Padres.

Afterwards, Mets Manager Terry Collins said of Cowgill, “I’m not sure I’ve been around a guy who competes like this guy does.” Fellow Mets newcomer John Buck called Cowgill a “little spark plug” and said he plays “like his hair’s on fire. That’s what we need.”

I think everyone agrees that the Mets need a little more Cowgill.

The biggest news of the day had to be word from UK that Willie Cauley-Stein would return for his sophomore year, while Archie Goodwin will go enter the draft. Let’s break it down.

Willie returns

I’ll be honest, when I woke up on Monday morning, I expected an April Fools Day tweet from Willie. After trolling the fan base for two weeks about whether or not he would return for his sophomore year, Willie confirmed that he will come back to school through a statement via UK on Monday. Even though Willie was projected by many to go as high as the end of the lottery, he will return to UK to work on polishing his raw potential. Now, next year’s team will have one more of the valuable veterans required for Cal’s Championship blend. Between Alex, Archie and Willie, Willie may have the most to gain from coming back. Not only would he have less competition for his starting position (Dakari Johnson is great, but also very raw), but with an off-season of weight training and another year of hard work, he could be one of, if not the, top big man in the draft. In addition, this team may need Willie the most; down the stretch, Willie was one of the few players to show some leadership, and after the unfortunate end to the season, seemed to have a fire in his belly for revenge. Welcome back, Willie.

Archie going pro

What a difference a few weeks make. After admitting he’s not ready for the NBA and pledging to return to school, Archie pulled a 180 on Monday and will enter the NBA Draft. He hasn’t signed with an agent–yet–but his comments about achieving his dream of playing in the league and the finality with which he spoke of his time in Kentucky leave little hope for return. Although Cal seemed disappointed with his decision, he said he supports Archie and believes he has the “drive and desire to be great.” Let’s face it: aside from Nerlens, none of these guys are ready to go pro, but because of a historically weak draft, they’re in an unique situation, Archie and Alex especially. They can either return to school and fight for playing time in hopes of improving their game or capitalize on an inflated draft pick and work their way up from the D-League. The former will take AT LEAST one year, probably two due to next year’s absurd amount of talent. The latter gets you a pay check right away. It’s not the most heartwarming of decisions, but it’s pragmatic, and you can’t blame him for it.

Alex and Nerlens: TBD

We didn’t hear the decisions of UK’s other two freshmen, but for entirely different reasons. Alex Poythress is still gathering information and weighing his options on whether or not go pro. currently projects him to go 16th in the draft, purely based on potential. A veteran NBA scout told Adam Zagoria that basketball-wise, Poythress needs to return for another year: “To me, he didn’t have it figured out. He’s tremendous physically, he doesn’t know what to do with what he has. He has a body like an NBA All-Star.” The difference between Archie and Alex’s situations is that Archie has the drive and mindset to make himself relevant in the league; Alex currently does not. Alex’s problems on the court are all mental and coming back to school would give him the time and the tools to figure them out. It will just take him a few more years than he’d like.

As for Nerlens, it is very easy to get lost in daydreams about why he hasn’t announced his decision yet. His NBA stock has rocketed him back up to the projected number one pick, which is pretty hard to pass on. Why is it taking Noel so long to announce what is at this point a foregone conclusion? His rehab status. UK and Cal have said all along that Nerlens will decide whether or not he’s going pro based on how his rehab goes. Since he only had his surgery a few weeks ago, he and his family are probably taking their time in evaluating his progression and making the decision.

Harrison brothers 003
Courtesy of McDonald’s (we’re loving it)

Wiggins Watch

To say Andrew Wiggins drew the most attention at the McDonald’s All-American practice today would be an understatement. After a particularly chatty Sunday in which he used the word “we” in reference to UK more times than a needy girl after a third date, Wiggins clammed up on Monday, not giving any hints about his decision or timetable. Regardless, the aftershocks of him saying “we’d be the best college team ever” have many claiming the tide has turned in Kentucky’s favor. Even Evan Daniels says that he’s starting to like the Cats’ position with Wiggins. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re going to find out anytime soon. On Sunday, Wiggins told the Chicago Tribune that he’ll decide in “mid-May.”

UK commitments sound off about next season

While the media hounded Andrew Wiggins, UK’s current commitments had some great soundbites about next season. Let’s go through them all (quotes via Ben Roberts):

Julius Randle

On going 40-0: “Why not?”

On what he told Andrew Wiggins about coming to UK: “I’ll pass him the ball out here and be like ‘This is what you’ll get next year.'”

What practices will be like next season at UK: “Competition. I think everybody who comes to Kentucky knows they’ll have to go there and compete and that’s what was the most appealing to me. I knew everyday in practice I would have to get better. I just want to get better before I get to the next level. I want to make sure I’m prepared. Those practices will probably be like NBA practices.”

On Willie Cauley-Stein staying: “I’m happy about that – Willie staying. Next year, we’ll have a lot of guys who can do a lot of different things. I think it’ll be tough to match up with us.”

Marcus Lee:

On UK winning it all in 2014: “I think that’s what we’re all thinking right now. One of my goals is to go flat-out undefeated.”

James Young: “The more great players, the easier it is to win. I want to bring energy”

Dakari Johnson

On practicing with Andrew Wiggins: “Me and Julius, we’re on the team with him and it seems like he enjoys playing with us. Every time someone asks him it’s, ‘I don’t know.’ But I have a good feeling he might end up playing at UK.”

On what would happen at UK if Wiggins commits: “I mean, how is anybody going to stop that?”

On Willie Cauley-Stein staying: “He’ll push me during practice. I think we complement each other well. He’s an athletic big. I’m not as athletic. …He would help me out a lot, because he’s so athletic. If my man beats me, he’s right there to block shots.”

On playing time: “I’m all about winning. Playing time is not a concern.”

Andrew Harrison

His Final Four pick? “I hope Michigan wins, because I hate Louisville.”

On Willie Cauley-Stein staying: “That’s great. That’s good news. Willie is a great athlete. He just has to get a little but more focus, so I’m going to try to do that.”

Aaron Harrison

On Kentucky fans: “Best fans in the world. They’re crazier than I expected. I didn’t know people liked basketball that much.”

Aaron Gordon decides

Aaron Gordon, one of Kentucky’s final targets in the 2013 class, will announce his college decision Tuesday at 12:35 p.m. ET. Gordon is down to Arizona, Washington, Oregon and Kentucky, and most think he will stay on the West Coast. He told reporters on Monday that he’s known his decision for four to five weeks and has already informed the school’s coach. Gordon spoke glowingly about Kentucky on Monday and apparently his decision “shocked” his parents, but don’t read too much into that. Either way, Gordon said that Kentucky’s practices next season would “be like a McDonald’s All-American practice, except more structure.” Just get excited about that.

UK Hoops goes out with a whimper

One of the best seasons in UK Hoops history went out with a whimper on Monday night, with the girls falling to UConn 83-53. The game was a rematch of last season’s Elite Eight, which the Huskies won by 15. Wilder has a full recap below, but simply put, Matthew Mitchell’s squad never looked in sync. Doomed either by superior talent or some deja vu demons, the girls never found a rhythm and lacked the toughness that was their trademark all season. Regardless, they’ve had a brilliant season and shouldn’t hang their heads. Matthew Mitchell has put this group on the map, and with one of the best classes in the program’s history coming in next season, there’s no reason they can’t finally grasp that brass ring.

That’s all for now. See you soon.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

50 Comments for Collin Cowgill’s Tuesday’s News and Views

  1. SexnNursinHomes
    11:25 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    Good recap TT. I coulda done without seeing Buck’s ass though. That sucked.

  2. UK Homer
    11:29 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    Over/under: 0.5 commitments to UK tomorrow from Gordon. Just kidding, but what are our chances for each? 50% for Wiggins? 25% for Gordon?

  3. C-A-T-S
    11:39 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    I think dakari is right about wiggins. If he wants to win a championship (he says he does), then UK is the only place to do that. Wiggins is the guarantee to a championship. Without him we are still 95% to win it. Damn I want wiggins at UK. The kid is unbelievable.

  4. C-A-T-S
    11:41 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    I bet it’s more like 75% wiggins 10% Gordon and everyone should be ok with that. I’ll take mr wiggins everyday

  5. Ukbradstith
    11:42 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t know what projections everybody is looking at, but Archie is borderline 1st round at best in all of them, poythress is second round. Anybody found any different?

  6. Andrew
    11:44 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    I seriously doubt Wiggins waits til may to announce where he is going.

  7. Bobbum man
    11:48 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    I don’t get Gordon’s comment, Id be shocked if we get him, but I don’t see why his parents would be “shocked” with any of the West coast schools… Maybe he’ll be the first to commit to a school not in his final list?

  8. GOONIES Revenge Tour
    11:50 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    The Goonies will be back! WCS and KW are what these incoming freshmen need.

    Although Archie made the comment about being “delusional” if he left, he may be better suited for the NBA game style as opposed to college. Best of luck to the young man.

  9. Winston
    11:50 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    “I hate Louisville.” Andrew Harrison just became my favorite player.

  10. Scooby Doo
    11:53 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    USC is now the University of Smokin-hott Coaching Wives….Ms. Kiffin and Ms. Marcum-Enfield

  11. mashburnfan1
    11:53 pm April 1, 2013 Permalink

    Sad to see the ladies season end. I thought they could do this but said they had to play great and still have UConn be a little off. Well neither happened, or both happened just in reverse. I could see in 1st 2 minutes it was a blowout in the making. After our initial 3 pointer Adia got a def rebound and started down court but left the bball and UConn got a 3. Next trip down Evans dribbles to baseline then out of bounds. Then Adia gets beat bad on a backdoor cut for an “and one”. Next off trip O’Neill throw pass out of bounds. Ladies were just nervous or something but did not have even a D game this evening. Adia being our senior leader never showed up and her and O’Neill each finished with 4 turnovers. And Walker took exactly one fg attempt? Just a bad ending to a great season. Almost all are back and more talent coming in so we focus on the Final 4 next season ladies.

  12. BocasCat
    12:03 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

  13. Cubedcatt
    12:15 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

  14. Old man
    12:25 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Not ready draft class is too deep..why not wait until the next year? He could play two more years and probably be top ten pick. It’s a shame how the system has become these days.

  15. Best Quote in Here
    1:12 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Andrew Harrison stating WCS needs to focus and how he intends to see that he does is spot on and great to hear. Now that’s what I want from a team leader!!

  16. Las Vegas
    1:33 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    To number 3 and 4.. If your looking for jobs as oddsmakers…..
    We are not hiring…
    UK is going to be much much improved. Don’t let this go to your head, it will still take us
    Some degree of luck, team bonding, hard work, great
    Coaching, going to class!, avoiding injury (U of L player yesterday, Nerlens, etc)
    To think We are going to cakewalk to number 9….. Is crazy
    We will not be NIT though.. I’d say those odds are 75-90 percent in our favor
    You see what happened to Baylor women (Brittany Griner???) yesterday..?

  17. 13 schollys
    1:39 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Now that harrow and Goodwin are gone, if both nerlens and Poythress go pro kentucky would be blessed to land wiggins and have the super seven freshman and still get Hawkins and Willis for a nine man class, best ever. Only Willie and Kyle returning mean still a scholarship for old Hoody and Polson for the boys in Blue. 5 Kentucky boys will will a championship next year if you also count lanter.

  18. JBR
    2:46 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Yeah 17…I saw that UL win over Britney Griner…and it looked like Pitino was coaching them. I am no fan of Griner, but Louisville just thugged it up and beat the girl(?) to death. The women’s refs had no idea how to call a game like that.

  19. Lip set
    3:31 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    For all you smart people that say an undefeated season is assured with wiggins, I’m sure u will be betting your life’s savings on it in Vegas right? Maybe you would like to bet me? Give me every other team and you take uk to win it all? Has the lakers won every game this year with the best talent in the world? Smarts and chemistry win games, not athletes! What did all the athletes do for uk this year?

  20. Bobby Knight's Shrink
    3:44 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    #20 Hair Lip says it best !

  21. msnthrop
    6:12 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Hubris…pure unadulterated hubris on display by both the players and a large percentage of the fans…

  22. Jarweed
    6:16 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    The 40-0 talk is all in good fun. I mean .. wouldn’t you want players that expect to win every game.

  23. Sp
    6:20 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Gordon is going to pull a fast one and go to UCLA with Alford.

  24. Hulk Hogan
    7:18 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    on the phone all night brother!! Mr Gordon to UK

  25. Hulk Hogan
    7:20 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Alex is leaving!!!

  26. Hulk Hogan
    7:22 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Mr Wiggins next !!!! sorry Hawkins!!!!

  27. Talent_Scout
    7:49 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    hey, guys. been doing a little checking, and apparently Gordon commited to the ‘Cats a month ag0. This is why Cal was shocked when Randle picked UK. Will he still go to UK, I don’t know. My west coast guy says this may have changed, but indications were that Gordon is enamored with Cal and playing against the best everyday in practice and winning a title. Also, Johnson may redshirt. TIFWIW

  28. CuriousCat
    7:55 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Hulk, who you on the phone with?
    Gordon to UK? Really?

  29. Will
    8:03 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    John Buck started with the Lexington Legends…

  30. Pelman
    8:05 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    I’m hearing Gordon to UK, too, #28. Hear he doesn’t think he will get enough exposure on the west coast to be one and done. Coach O has assured him if he comes and works hard, he will get touches and PT. Cal is going to go about things differently next year. More going all out shuffling players in and out more. All these studs will play, IF they earn PT. Gordon is sold.

  31. bung
    8:17 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Hope Hood is on the team…we will need experience and some ky kids on the team…plus he is good…

  32. Just saying
    8:26 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    No guards!! The twins are freshman, will have games in foul trouble, and will need to sit some time!! We have 6 guys at the PF/C spots and only 3 guys for three spots at the 1,2,3 positions. Goodwin leaving hurt more than people think.

  33. Derrick Dooley's dry cleaner
    8:34 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    J Polson and J Hood are both fine young men who deserve to play at UK.. Just not as scholarship athletes. They are both walk on type. I do not believe there will be room on the bench for Sam Malone, Norm, Woody and Carla this year….

  34. Rockfield, KY
    8:50 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    It wouldn’t shock me if Gordon goes to UCLA with Alford. His older brother Drew went to UCLA and then transferred to New Mexico to play for Alford and is now in the NBA. I’d say it’s either UCLA or UK if his parents are shocked. That or it’s Oregon who came on late, but I doubt it.

  35. MNCat
    8:53 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Interesting note. Buck played for the Lexington Legends in their first year. He hit the first ever grand slam at then-Applebee’s Park.

  36. Nichville
    8:57 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Great WCS,
    Now go sit at the Free Throw line for the next 3 or 4 months.

  37. Just saying
    9:02 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Archie has the mindset to make himself relevant in the league???? What??? He barely had the mindset to make himself relevant on a NIT team. If anybody needed another year (or two) it was Archie Goodwin. He coulda easily come off the bench (just like daron lamb) and proved people wrong by developing a team concept and an out side shot and he would still be a 15-20 pick, which likely where he would land. Going this year ill be surprised if he even makes a roster. He will not get a guaranteed contract, will go to Dleague, where 6’4 shooting guards are a dime a dozen. Good luck Archie

  38. cracka
    9:02 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    agree 33, he was a good defender, too … trust polson to play some backup pg if we need it

  39. Bristol Cat
    9:04 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    I think you made a typo… should be “little fear of return”, not “little hope” Just trying to help.

    See you in the D league.

  40. 6xJimmy
    9:09 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Is anybody from Robert Morris declaring for the the NBA draft? They out played these guys.

  41. Hulk Hogan
    9:21 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Gordon a done deal !!!!! Wiggins point forward

  42. Uk4life
    9:22 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Willie MUST improve his free throw shot. That was pathetic.

  43. Devastation INC
    9:31 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Who the hell is hulk hogan? I hope he knows what he is taking about!

  44. Just saying
    9:32 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Gordon will be a wildcat!! An Arizona wildcat! Not coming to uk

  45. Just saying
    9:33 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    Hogan works for KSR, hoping to build suspense and get more “clicks” for the site $$$$$

  46. JackB
    9:43 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    When you look at the weakness of this draft, I seriously doubt these draft projections. I think I recall a few years ago there was a weak draft – and lots of foreign players no one projected were drafted. Why? Because the team didn’t have to pay first round money to a project still under contract in Europe and would own the right to sign them when they ready – think Rubio for Minn. If Alex goes 16th, I’d be shocked. Why would a team pay him first round money to send to the D-League when they could take a known pro from Europe who – if he doesn’t pan out – doesn’t cost them anything. I get the draft on potential. But you have to believe that potential is more likely to work. When the problem is mental/desire/motor rather than ability, as it is with Alex, that seems risky.

    I can see Archie getting drafted in the first round. His problems seem more easily fixed with NBA tutoring. He has the motor and drive, and lots of physical tools. He just needs to shoot jumpers and learn when to pass.

  47. yup
    9:49 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    47- your right. Poythress needs coddled to develop his brain or maybe it just aint there. Look what happened to MKG. He was picked 2nd because of motor and toughness- and probably his smile too. Poythress has none of this.

  48. John from Cincinnati
    11:38 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    The big question is Why is Cowgill wearing mascara in this picture? Wow!

  49. BBN
    11:54 am April 2, 2013 Permalink

    I think we all agree WCS staying another year (at least) is the right decision, and he has a lot to gain. But the idea he might be the best big man in the draft next year, is that serious? Without trying to sound too negative and call that idea dilusional, who were you watching last year? The guy has a ton of potential, but I think we all saw how far he has to go to be a good, quality NBA guy after one season.