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University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Dontrelle Willis’ Saturday News and Views

 

Flash back to June of 2003, and Dontrelle Willis is dominating Major League Baseball in his first season in the big leagues. Heading into the All-Star Break, Willis is 9-1 with a 2.08 ERA and had quickly become one of the most unhittable pitchers in baseball. A big reason for Willis’ success was his unorthodox windup where he kicked his leg up almost all the way over his head while twisting violently away from the batter, which as you can imagine, caused hitters some problems. He also was quite the hitter for a pitcher, for example he helped crush my Chicago Cubs’ dreams of a pennant by going 3-3 with an RBI triple in the 2003 NLCS. But like a lot of instant phenoms, the hype faded, and time eventually caught up with him. After going 22-10 in his 3rd year in the big leagues, Willis has fallen off the proverbial career cliff,  posting just a 24-32 career record since then and bouncing around from the Tigers, to the Diamondbacks, to the Phillies, to the Reds, to the Giants, and finally 8 days ago, landing back at the team who originally drafted him, signing a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs. The violent windup has been replaced by a less pronounced, smoother one and the intimidating heat has been replaced by a less vicious fastball, but nonetheless, his dramatic rise to big league stardom was incredible at the time, and his post-fall-from-grace longevity has actually been something to admire. Here’s to you Dontrelle Willis, on your 31st birthday. Hopefully you can regain that old form and help my Cubs out a little this season. This is our year. Ha…

 

You guys remember UK’s game against Vanderbilt on Thursday night? Yeah, I don’t either. Luckily for us, the ‘Cats have a quick turnaround, playing tomorrow at home against Texas A&M in another contest that the odds makers expect UK to come out victorious in. Calipari was extremely critical of his team’s 2nd half performance against Vandy, especially calling out Kyle Wiltjer for his lack of defense and for the excessive amount of cement that seemed to be engulfing the inside of Kyle’s sneakers. Cal’s comments were a direct shot to Wiltjer and provided him with an ultimatum. Figure out how to play defense, or become comfortable on the bench. Cal also pointed out that Texas A&M is a post-up team, which means Kyle will have his chance to redeem himself sooner rather than later. Not to beat a dead horse, but it was worth noting that while Wiltjer wasn’t on the court yesterday, the Commodores shot 27% from the field, but while Kyle WAS on the court, Vandy’s shooting percentage was at 44% (h/t Kyle Tucker). That can’t happen if Kentucky expects to make a 3rd straight trip to the Final Four.

While most didn’t expect a 2-point win for Kentucky last night over Vanderbilt, Texas A&M shouldn’t provide too tough a challenge for the Wildcats to overcome just about 36 hours after the hard-fought road win. A&M enters the game tomorrow with a matching 1-0 SEC record after defeating Arkansas 69-51 at home in their SEC debut. The Aggies are 11-3 overall (1-0 on the road and 1-2 at neutral sites). Their results so far this season haven’t been very impressive. The Aggies dropped a game in a big way to St. Louis 70-49. They also lost to Oklahoma 64-54 in another non-conference match-up. The least sterling result so far this season though would have to be a home loss to Southern, 53-51. For what it’s worth, the Aggies were picked to finish 9th in the SEC pre-season media poll. None of the A&M players were selected to the pre-season first or second team.

On the bright side, the Kentucky Football team is currently in the middle of their biggest recruiting weekend maybe ever, as a multitude of top prospects are in town this weekend to take in the sights and sounds of the Big Blue Nation. For the complete list of all prospects visiting, check out Rashawn’s Recruiting Preview post from earlier. In the big name news, 4* WR Rashaad Samples from Skyline HS in Texas has been feeling the love from the BBN since before he arrived on campus, and him and 4* QB recruit Asiantii Woulard seem to be getting along just fine:

 

 

Come on down. Both of you, please.

 

In more good football news, 3* OL/DT Lovell Peterson liked what he saw from Mark Stoops’ program on his visit a few weeks back and committed to the Wildcats earlier today. Peterson is a 2-way player who will probably project as an offensive lineman in college. He was ranked by Rivals as the 6th best Center in America and will come in and provide immediate depth to an interior line who is losing 2 NFL-caliber players this offseason in Matt Smith and Larry Warford.

If you were on the edge of your seats waiting for the final piece of UK’s football coaching staff to be filled, then wait no longer. Coach Stoops filled his vacant WR Coach position by bringing in Tommy Mainord from Texas Tech to coach the passcatchers. Mainord is familiar with Neal Brown’s offense as he has spent the last 3 years at Texas Tech under the same position. Kentucky also has hired Eric Korem as the “Football Performance Coordinator” which sounds like a really fancy way to say “Strength Coach”. Korem served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Florida State and also was a speed and nutrition specialist, whatever that means.

2013 5* basketball recruit Aaron Gordon had a lot of great things to say about the Wildcats earlier today as he approaches his decision where he will play college ball. Rush The Court got Gordon to speak on the 3 schools he’s considering (UK, Arizona, and Washington) and raved about the Kentucky program overall:

“Let’s start with Kentucky,” Gordon said. “Kentucky is a winning organization. (John) Calipari’s a very winning coach. It’s just a basketball program. The Wildcat Lodge is right across the street from the gym. You can get in 24 hours a day. … It’s almost like business. If you really want to play basketball, that’s the place to go.

So, reading between the lines there, according to Aaron Gordon, if he really wants to play basketball, which most who have seen him dunk with absolute ease believe to be the case, then Kentucky is the place to be. Sounds like a “Come on down, Aaron” to me.

 

Just so you understand my dedication to all things Kentucky Sports, just know that this post was typed entirely from a booth at McDonald’s. Thank god for free Wi-Fi. 

–@WillTottenKSR

 

Article written by Will Totten

Born in Indiana and raised in Louisville, I am the unlikeliest UK fan.

34 Comments for Dontrelle Willis’ Saturday News and Views



  1. tdogg40330
    11:21 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Wiggins is on tv tomorrow night on ESPN @ 4, so set ya dvr’s during the UK game



  2. UK Freshmen
    11:32 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    What?!? After that great victory at Vandy, our RPI has plummeted to #67. People, that means that there is 66 teams better than us. For now we are outside even making the tourney. And with a schedule we have in front of us, we may be NIT bound….if we are lucky.



  3. tdogg40330
    11:36 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    2) when they win the SEC title, they’ll be in fine shape … take it to the bank



  4. JKUK
    11:52 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Dontrelle Willis is a nice player, Drew, even if he isn’t what he used to be. I wish my Reds held on to him



  5. JKUK
    11:52 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Uh, Will, that is.



  6. UK Freshmen
    11:53 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    3 yeah, I know. That’s why I’m talking smack while I can. Come March when you all make it farther than my birds, I’ll be crying on my mommy’s shoulder. I just hope you all aren’t the ones who send us packing AGAIN. Then again, better to lose to UK in the FF than Morehead St in the opening round…trust me, as a Card fan, I know. L yeah!



  7. VinDatuk
    11:57 pm January 11, 2013 Permalink

    Gordon>Randle. Better fit for the class we having coming in. Doesn’t need the ball to be effective. I’d take either.



  8. 2020
    12:06 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Cal needs to take a page from – gulp – Bobby Knight when it comes to Wiltjer. As written in Season On The Brink, Knight called unanimous 1st Team All-American Steve Alford to the front of the plane after an exhibition game in his senior year and said, “My 5 best defensive players will be starting, and right now you’re not one of them.” The 3-time All-American claims to this day that he was convinced that he wasn’t starting unless he committed himself more.



  9. VinDatuk
    12:16 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    #8 Great read in spite of the author. Excellent point.



  10. Twitter
    12:36 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Asiantii Woulard and Rashaad Samples are bored in Lexington coming from their twitter accounts. #Yikes #ComeOnBBN



  11. Jason
    12:45 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    BBN show Asiantii Woulard and Rashaad Samples love come on!!!!!



  12. BBN
    12:47 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    to all going to the basketball game be ready to chant Rashaad Samples and Asiantii Woulard!!!



  13. VinDatuk
    12:49 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    True story on Twitter…the young bucks are bored.



  14. VinDatuk
    12:50 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Direct twitter quote (is there such a thing) #Ukboobs…where are all the LEX ladies?



  15. tdogg40330
    12:51 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    13) I just seen that earlier, Woulard said he hasn’t seen 1 female since being in Lex … lol



  16. VinDatuk
    12:58 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Is class back in session? I recall the first weekend back from break was one of the wildest. If not, why bring the recruits in? I’m sure Stoops and crew are monioring the Twitter feeds and will address accordingly, but damn if there’s one thing we do well it’s smoking hot ladies.



  17. Dude
    1:40 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Dude these recruits are miserable in Lex…. Not a good look! Wtf is Clemons doing? Never let him host recruits again. Zero chance woulard or samples come here now



  18. SadCat
    1:56 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Cal, we all know Wilt is worthless…
    So, why do you play him……
    Bench his butt forever



  19. SeaCat
    3:08 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Kevin Stallings made Cal look like an idiot.
    Attack Wiltjer: Duh!!!
    It has been happening all season…



  20. Bigblue
    3:37 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Well, so much for snagging those recruits.



  21. dontrelle
    4:11 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    pretty sure i loved to frequent the miami (gentlemans) club scene and hit the booze hard. this led to my downfall (or downcline; for you, ksr writers)



  22. SexnNursinHomes
    7:34 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Samples and Woulard can’t find tail in Lex. Don’t believe it. I’m calling 100% Bullshit.



  23. KY Realist
    9:38 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    I’ve benn telling you hayseeds for years that Cal is a garbage coach unless he has 5 to 7 NBA players. He won last year because he had 2 future NBA all-stars and 4 other NBA players. He had 4 NIT’s while at Memphis, before uncle Wes started buying him players. Did Wes Get a Championship ring? I think he did. He has at least 5 burger boys on this team and they suck. Either he rolls it out there like last year or he acts like an idiot on the sideline like this year. You will eventually see the truth. Must be why he is tryiing to sign 6 or 7 studs for next year. He knows he needs more than 5 studs to overcome his AAU coaching style.



  24. SexnNursinHomes
    9:43 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    23- derp derp derp. Moron. 2012 champtionship, while you keep creaming your pants for what we got. It must suck to be a bitter, envious hater like you. You’ll probaly die young watching UK maintain its hold as the Greatest program of all time in all sports and even sports that have not been invented yet. It really makes me happy to see how miserable you are. ahh, it’s good to be King………



  25. D2
    10:07 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Hey Will,
    Cubs suck bro…105 years without a title and counting…



  26. Freddie Cowan
    10:10 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    #23…I suppose Roy Williams is also a garbage coach since UNC is 10-5 and 0-2 in the ACC. Both teams have talent but the missing links are chemistry and leadership. Those traits don’t come every year. Cal is a great coach and our players are talented but the team is missing the entangibles that make a team great. And it would be boring to win the championship every year!!



  27. Hilarious
    10:11 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    #23-You call people hayseeds; yet you use “benn” instead of “been.” Not that your post would have merit, even with correct spelling. You are the most worthless poster on this site. Congrats. Now take your award and go back under the rock where you reside…



  28. Gordon Is Awesome
    10:16 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    #7-Gordon would indeed be a great fit. He does everything well, including defend. Explosive athlete and a classy Kid to boot.



  29. schwing
    11:31 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    still excited about 3* football commits, are we?



  30. wow
    11:39 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    umm.. why aren’t these comments by Gordon a bigger deal (i.e. a post of its own)? Gordon is better than Randle.. have you guys seen his highlights?



  31. Ham
    11:56 am January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Isn’t Trey Lyles visiting this weekend? I’d think noting that is more important than informing everyone about how you wrote this in a McDonald’s.



  32. Cokely
    12:04 pm January 12, 2013 Permalink

    23) Good coach at Memphis or not. 2 final fours and 1 title in 3 years speaks for itself. I’m sure any school would take those results. And as far as trying to get 6 or 7 studs is concerned, pretty sure every coach is going after the players were going for. If not I feel sorry for your program because this is easily one of the greatest high school classes in awhile.



  33. BlueRedNeck
    12:10 pm January 12, 2013 Permalink

    Uhhh, aren’t we also hosting the #1 rated PG recruit for 2014 this weekend? And he doesn’t even get mentioned! Geesh, are we really getting that spoiled?



  34. Open your eyes
    1:20 pm January 12, 2013 Permalink

    I would love to see all of you trashing these coaches, coach a basketball game….