I could have written about Blake Shelton, but I don’t know anything about country music, nor do I watch “The Voice.” I could have written about Paul McCartney, but I’m not that big of a Beatles fan (let the stoning begin). I could have gotten all artsy-fartsy on you guys and written about MC Escher, the artist whose drawings are so trippy they make you dizzy. But I like to write what I know. And I know sushi.
Tuesday is International Sushi Day, a random holiday far more worthy of being a random holiday than say, Bubble Bath Day (January 8th) or Tell a Fairy Tale Day (February 26th). Sushi is delicious AND nutritious, and as long as you don’t get the deep fried shrimp roll, pretty much guilt-free when it comes to the diet. Little known fact: the term “sushi” actually refers to the vinegared rice, and not the raw fish. I may or may not have learned that from a chopsticks wrapper.
So get out and celebrate at your favorite sushi joint Tuesday night. Don’t have one? Maybe your fellow KSR readers will be nice in the comments section and offer a recommendation.
Monday was a busy day, so let’s get to it.
are were number one!
For ten glorious minutes on Monday, the Kentucky Wildcats had the number one recruiting class in the nation. In football.
Turns out, Rivals messed up. On Friday, it was reported that 3-star WR Tyre Brady committed to UK, but Rivals held off on making the commitment official. For ten minutes on Monday, it counted, which explains UK’s bump to the top of the rankings; however, after talking to the local Rivals writers who firmly believe the commitment isn’t official yet, they took Brady’s commitment off UK’s list and the Cats fell back to number two behind Texas. For now.
Whether or not Tyre Brady is actually committed to UK (or, rather, if UK has accepted his commitment) remains uncertain, but the screen shots of UK atop the 2014 class rankings will live on forever. Glitch or no glitch, Kentucky football is making moves and gaining momentum with each passing day. Now, the staff has to get as many guys to join the movement before the season starts and the reality of the rebuilding process sinks back in. Next season won’t be pretty. Stoops might pull off a few surprises, but nothing can change the fact that Kentucky has the toughest schedule in the nation, with one of the least talented teams in the league. Things are getting better, but the real changes will happen in 2014, and more likely, 2015. The staff says they’ve properly prepared each recruit for that, as has Drew Barker, but the more guys they can get on board now, the better.
On that note, Stanley “Boom” Williams stopped by the radio show Monday morning to talk about why he chose to commit to UK. Boom (he’s totally okay with you calling him that, by the way) said he wants fans at Commonwealth to scream “BOOOOOM” after he scores touchdowns, and that Neal Brown’s Air Raid offense was a big part of why he decided to come to UK. Know what made me go “boom”? His enthusiasm: “I just really want to be a part of the new thing that’s going on in Kentucky.” Check out his full appearance at the end of Hour 1:
“The first rule of the Wildcat Code is: You do not talk about the Wildcat Code.” – John Calipari
With all of this football recruiting fun, it’s almost possible to forget we’ve got a preseason number one basketball team on campus. On Monday, John Calipari addressed the “Wildcat Code,” a points-based rewards system created by the staff designed to give incentives to those who put in hard work on the court and in the classroom. Over the weekend, Dominique Hawkins talked to the Courier-Journal’s Adam Himmelsbach about it, which prompted Cal to take to social media to explain it to fans. Cal didn’t give as many details as Hawkins did, but said that the system is designed to make players earn things instead of believe they are entitled to them. As Cal put it, “Nothing is given; everything is earned.” Why will this work for this group of superstars?
1) Incentives work
Hawkins said that some of the incentives you can earn through the Code is access to the locker room, a single room in the Lodge, and ultimately, your jersey. By making players fight for the right to use the team locker room or put Kentucky across their chests, Cal is teaching them the importance of hard work. Plus, what college kid doesn’t want their own dorm room? Even the most bullheaded player will work for that.
2) Competition works
We’ve already heard how competitive this team is in pick-up games. A common trait of the 2013 class seems to be their will to win. As any competitive person knows, that competitive streak doesn’t run cold off the court; it extends to every part of your life. Through the Wildcat Code, the players now have another goal to race towards, and in the process, take care of their academics, improve teamwork on the court, and develop their skills.
Cal should get 10 “Wildcat Code” points for the “Fight Club” references, although I really would have pegged Robic for Tyler Durden.
Troubling news about Nerlens
The NBA Draft is next Thursday, and unfortunately, it looks like Nerlens Noel is going to have to fight to be the number one draft pick. On Sunday, some discouraging reports came out from ESPN’s Ryen Russillo about Nerlens’ handlers, whom he called “epic bad dudes.” Russillo told Bill Simmons that Nerlens’ entourage is being very uncooperative with agents, teams, and media wanting information about the talented Cat, and that they almost seemed more concerned about their futures than his. The good news? Nerlens still has time to right the ship. On Thursday, he meets with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the number one pick.
— On Monday, four-star WR Blake Bone narrowed his list of schools to four, and Kentucky made the cut, along with South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Louisville. Rivals ranks Bone the 47th best receiver in the nation, and he visited UK a week ago. Drew Barker and the other 2014 recruits have been recruiting him pretty hard lately, and Bone hinted on Twitter that he was going to move up his decision date. With Derek Kief committing to Alabama, he’s Kentucky’s new top priority at wide receiver.
— The state of Kentucky now has a five-star recruit: John Hardin DT Matt Elam. Elam jumped 231 spots to the 10th best player in the nation on Monday, and was also given a five-star ranking. 247 now considers the 6’6″ 370 lbs. superstar the 2nd best defensive tackle in the country and the best player in the state. He visited Kentucky last week, and things went so well that Drew Barker says he’s not worried about Elam committing anywhere else. Kentucky will have to cling to that “come be a hero” campaign; Elam visits Notre Dame next week, and won’t announce his decision until January.
— On the basketball side of things, the Cats offered 2015 center Stephen Zimmerman a scholarship. He’s the second member of the 2015 class to get a scholarship offer from UK, the first being power forward Skal Labissiere. Zimmerman is the second best prospect in the 2015 class, according to Rivals. Word also broke late Monday night that UK has also offered 2015 SG Charles Matthews, Rivals’ 9th best player in the class.
That’ll do for now. See you in the morning.