Boy it doesnt get much better than that now does it? A win by both the basketball team and the football team ensured a great weekend in the Bluegrass and one that found me jumping up and down like a schoolchild late into Saturday night. Yes the win over Rider was positive and the first half saw what was likely the best UK basketball half of the season. But hey its UK and its Rider…we expected that. But the Georgia game, that was one to remember. Whether it was the Moncell Allen fumble-inducing hit, the Derrick Locke screen pass, the Randall Cobb gutty runs or the Sam Maxwell game-clinching interception, the game produced moments that we will remember for a long time. Dicky Lyons was on my radio show in Louisville last weekend and said that he believed it was likely this is Rich Brooks’s last year. If that is true, Saturday night might end up as his signature win. Yes ending the Tennessee streak would be huge…but going on the road, between the Hedges, at night, while they were mourning that silly dog….well it was special and one to put into the ever-growing UK sports fan memory bank.
To the news….
(1): The basketball Cats have landed in Cancun and are ready for the Cancun Challenge on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Cats will play Cleveland State at 4:30 pm on Tuesday in a game on CBS College Sports Network, a station that I dont get in Middlesboro (where I will be spending this week for work). Unless someone has some idea where I can see it, the live blog is up in the air, but what is not is the UK preparation taking place for the games. The team landed and practiced today and is expected to do some work, but also have a little beach time tomorrow. At our podcast taping tonight, Woo said these preseason trips are what “build the team for the season” and thus it will be interesting to see how the week plays out. We will preview the teams playing this week, but I for one am ready to see the Cats’ competition step up and the team continue to mature.
(2): In part because of the football game soon after, Coach Cal’s postgame comments on Saturday got lost in the shuffle and unfortunately forgotten. That is a shame, because he gave what I always enjoy…a nice thinly veiled shot at our rival. Speaking about the game, he said he didnt like to run the score up on teams and try to win by a 100 like some “jag-off.” That term is a Pittsburgh term and could have been referencing Bruce Pearl, who beat UNC Asheville by 75 points and still had Scotty Hopson in with four minutes to play. Even if it wasnt aimed for Pearl, I love the fact that our coach doesnt really love the head coaches of our two primary rivals (UL and UT to me), and the more of these things that happen, the better I like it. Here is the audio of the comments and the overall post-game radio show by Calipari.
(3): Calipari also got his Twitter on today, sending out a tweet that suggested “big news” was coming between UK and Nike that he was very excited about announcing soon. The guesses have been all over the ballpark and have included possible new uniforms, shoes, etc and have led to great speculation from creative UK fans everywhere. I long ago had heard that UK would have new Nike uniforms and have been surprised we havent seen them yet. However with Martin Newton now working on the UK staff, and his background with Nike for a number of years, I would suspect that UK’s relationship with Nike will be as strong as any school in the country. The benefits can, and will, be immense.
(4): Today Rich Brooks gave the UK injury report, and it wasnt too bad. Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke are both banged up, but will practice by Wednesday of this week. Justin Jeffries’ injury is not serious and neither is Chris Matthews. The only player who was hurt on Saturday that could miss next week is Ronnie Sneed, and even that is not assured. All in all, it couldnt be a better set of news for UK in that regard and while the Cats are banged up, so are other teams too. The Cats will play UT with most of the arrows in their quiver, and that is all you can really ask.
(5): Speaking of UT, they were part of a host of SEC teams playing basketball tonight. The Vols narrowly defeated Depaul 57-53, stopping the “Scotty Hopson will be SEC Player of the Year” talk, as he finished with 5 points and no field goals. They at least won however, something that South Carolina did not do in a 15 point loss to Miami (Fl). Ole Miss also got a chance to show their mettle against a top team, but found a 14 point loss to Villanova as their reward in Puerto Rico. All in all, it has been a lackluster start for the SEC on the hardwood, and the conference needs to pick it up to make up for the 3 NCAA bids the league snagged last season.
We have a big day today as we learn about Cleveland State, do some bowl projecting and express our adoration for Boogie. In addition, the NEW KSR PODCAST will be up today and has some great stuff on the games and the week ahead from the gang. Look for it and stay tuned for a great Feast week….