It can be hard to keep up with all the changing trends in Kentucky sports these days. Therefore, in order to keep you informed on the latest happenings in the Big Blue Nation, I chart the trends of the week, from basketball to football to every ridiculous little thing in between. Keep up with what’s hot and what’s not with KSR’s Trend Watch!
Rising faster than Kevin Stallings’ cholesterol count
Football recruiting — Mark Stoops has only been on the job two weeks and he’s already knocking it out of the park. Kentucky’s new coach has reinvigorated the program, assembled a talented young staff, and now he’s getting downright ballsy with recruiting. Recruits that previously didn’t give the Cats the time of day are now planning official visits to Lexington. James Quick, the most talented player in the state, is now considering the Cats, along with Ryan Timmons, who may visit campus on Saturday. Timmons cited Neal Brown’s addition to the staff as offensive coordinator as a key factor in his renewed interest in Kentucky, a promising sign in Stoops’ campaign to land in-state talent. In addition, Vince Marrow joining the staff increases the Cats’ connections in Ohio, one of the most fertile recruiting areas in the country. It’s safe to say that Kentucky football is #stoopingicecream right now.
Ryan Harrow — Harrow’s play continues to improve, and against Portland, he turned in UK career highs of eight points, four rebounds, and six assists. The key to this team’s success lies at the point guard position, and it’s clear that Harrow is the man for the job.
Nerlens Noel — Kentucky’s big man with the big hair may have an even bigger heart. This week, Nerlens visited a retirement home to spread some holiday cheer and later stopped by UK Children’s Hospital to hang out with Kelly, a young leukemia patient. Nerlens will always be known first and foremost for his play on the court, but his off court behavior is what really makes him special.
Camp Cal — With classes ending and finals week wrapping up, the Cats are about to become even more familiar with the Joe Craft Center. And, they now have Rock Oliver’s undivided attention. Thankfully, if there’s anything that brings people together, it’s hating your bootcamp instructor.
Western Kentucky — By hiring Bobby Petrino, Western Kentucky football went from zero to relevant in 15 seconds, which is also how long it took for Petrino to locate the women’s volleyball locker room.
Falling like snow on cedars
The Big East — It seems like only yesterday that Rick Pitino was preaching about the greatness of the Big East. Now, it’s essentially a basketball-only conference clinging on to the ledge of relevance. “The Big Least” might be a compliment these days.
@UTCoachJones — Oh, Tennessee. You make me laugh. After being turned down by not one, not two, but THREE people, Tennessee finally found a football coach in Butch Jones. And they’re kind of excited about it. So excited that by Wednesday, Butch Jones’ twitter account, @UTCoachJones, had a whopping 49,000 followers!!! Huge news!!! That’s only 1,171,509 less than John Calipari! Even better? Jones’ account was suspended for some reason yesterday. Even Tom Crean gets to laugh at that one.
Spongebob Squarepants — In his press conference Friday (which we’ll have notes from soon), Cal said he is trying to get his players to work harder and be in the gym more often, not sitting in their room playing video games or watching “Squarepants.” Spongebob Sadface.
TREND OF THE WEEK: Homecomings
Three former Cats came home this week: Neal Brown, John Schlarmen, and Chad Scott. Mark Stoops is not only bringing in young, talented coaches, he’s building a staff that truly knows what it means to be a Kentucky Wildcat.