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RIP Big East’s Friday News and Views

(Via Dead Spin)

What’s left of the Big East is holding on for dear life. Despite Rick Pitino’s jabs toward other departing members earlier this year, Louisville made a break as soon as they got the chance. Louisville followed the lead of the other charter members of the Big East, bolting for greener pastures. Now another big shift has started to take shape in the Big East as the 7 Catholic, non-FBS schools reportedly decided to leave as well. The biggest loser in the grand scheme of things? UCONN. UCONN is the only remaining member of the original 1979-1980 basketball season. The original football teams have all left as well. A grand total of 17 schools have broken free from the Big East in the last 10 years. UCONN is left in a conference with virtually no football appeal at all. South Florida and Cincinnati are essentially the biggest 2 names left, and Cincinnati might be looking for a way out too.

For a school like UCONN, who has recently won national championships in both men’s and women’s basketball, the future of the conference has to be disheartening to say the least. The other conferences have plucked the schools they want, and UCONN seems to be the odd-man out. Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant took an interesting look at what the Catholic Schools of the Big East have done to “call the shots,” leading UCONN and the Big East to their current state. When the dust settles in the next few weeks, what will be left of the once almighty (at least in basketball) Big East? Looks to me like a glorified Conference USA.


News and views? Shall we?…

  –  The students of the University of Kentucky have been partaking in finals this week. As a result, the basketball news in particular has been very slow. The “Dead Week” for Kentucky basketball has left us with no mid-week game and very little news in general. John Calipari took the time to duck away to watch Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Eric Bledsoe square off head-to-head last night in NBA action. Both players were appreciative to see their old coach. Calipari seems to have taken some notes back to his players from the game as well…

     John Calipari, Orlando Antigua and Kenny Payne all took the time to travel to Houston tonight to watch a few future Wildcats. The Harrison twins faced Aaron Gordon in an ESPNU televised game. Aaron Gordon made a few highlight plays in front of a coaching staff that is still pursuing him, including a highlight reel two-handed block. Word on the street is that Andrew Harrison threw a pair of three goggles after a teammate made a 3-pointer. Well done, young cat.

The Harrison twins’ Travis team ended up the victor in an overtime thriller, 56-53. Aaron Harrison poured in 26 points, while is brother Andrew finished with 10 points. Aaron Gordon scored 14 points while receiving quite a bit of praise for his defensive efforts. Both of the Harrison twins were a bit hobbled with injuries.

     In other recruiting news, a panel of ESPN recruiting analysts weighed in on their predictions for Andrew Wiggins’ college destination. It appears as if 4 of the 7 analysts have been drinking the Nosilla kool-aid. They all selected Florida State. Reggie Rankin and Adam Finkelstein (that’s a great name, by the way) predicted Kentucky, while the final analyst wagered on North Carolina.

    We decided to take an informal poll of our “experts” here on KSR as well. Five of our seven writers predicted Kentucky, while Drew Franklin is still trying to solicit a Franklin/Wiggins package deal to Florida State. Jonathan Schuette was non-committal until he can look over a few more stats on Florida State’s assist/turnover ratio.

    The Kentucky football coaching home run derby hasn’t slowed down. It seems like every day we are hearing of a solid new addition to the staff, or the hires are becoming official via the University. Today two more coaches were “officially” added to the staff. Vince Marrow has been named the Tight Ends coach and Chad Scott has been named  as an assistant likely in charge of the running backs specifically. The common thread between all of the hires so far seems to be a knack for recruiting. Both Marrow and Scott have a reputation for being strong in those areas.

—- Mark Stoops had great things to say about both the Marrow and Scott hires.

“I’m very excited that Coach Marrow has joined our staff,” Stoops said. “His diverse experiences as a coach and NFL player will be invaluable to our players and our program. He also is a great recruiter, especially with his outstanding connections in Ohio.”

“I’m excited to have Chad join our staff,” Stoops said. “He has had tremendous success coaching in this system and his familiarity with Coach Brown, along with his experience with the Kentucky program, will help our transition with the team. He also is known as an outstanding recruiter and I’m confident he will help us in that area as well.”

Kentucky’s new offensive coordinator Neal Brown paid tribute to Chad Scott’s recruiting prowess with his comments on the hire as well:

“Chad is a very detail-oriented coach and his players have been very productive at Troy and Texas Tech. His familiarity with the system is a great asset,” Brown said. “Chad is also a phenomenal recruiter. He does a great job building relationships with student-athletes, families and coaches.”

Stoops has retained at least one former member of the Kentucky football staff in former UK quarterback Andre Woodson. Woodson will stay on staff as a graduate assistant, likely continuing to work with the quarterbacks. Stoops continues to build his staff with former Kentucky players. Woodson seems genuinely excited about the opportunity. “I think it’s an exciting time for everyone in the state right now,” Woodson told the Courier Journal. “The new staff seems to be very hungry. They’re excited to get out there on the recruiting trail and get us some talent. Everything we’ve seen so far is pointing toward an encouraging future.”

Speaking of the encouraging future, Stoops and his staff have already been making waves in the recruiting scene both locally and in Ohio. The Kentucky coaches have already been putting in some serious mileage, seemingly putting a big emphasis on the in-state talent (even those who were originally headed elsewhere). The impression this staff is giving shows that they are willing to go to bat with the perceived “bigger name” schools for the talented players. In case you need a few examples…

1. According to Cardinal Authority (a UL Scout website), U of L quarterback commit Kyle Bolin (Lexington Catholic) has picked up an offer from Kentucky. 

2. Shelton Gibson, a 4-star wide receiver from Cleveland Heights, Ohio will be visiting Kentucky this weekend. The 6-1 WR in the 2013 class is rated as a Top 20 receiver in the nation. New assistant Vince Marrow is thought to be the key culprit behind Gibson’s immediate visit. According to Rivals, Gibson holds offers from Louisville, Nebraska, N.C. State, Ohio State and West Virginia.

3. UK has now offered Lovell Peterson, a 3/4 star DT from Huber Heights, Ohio. According to Rivals, Peterson is the 36th best available DT. Bill Greene, an Ohio recruiting analyst, reports that Kentucky had an in-home visit with Peterson tonight. He will take his official visit this weekend.

4. Anthony Siciliano, a 2014 quarterback from Orlando, Florida is also feeling the love from Kentucky. Siciliano was being recruited by Florida State, as well as a host of other schools including (according to Rivals): Oregon, Illinois, Mississippi State, Penn State and Tennessee.

You know it’s a slow news day around here when you look to Tennessee’s wardrobe for interesting news. Between the basketball team’s warm-up uniforms and the inspired photo shop work for the announcement of the new football coaching staff, Tennessee gave us a few gems to work with this evening…

Exhibit #1:

Exhibit #2, 3 and 4:

And last but certainly not least, it’s hard to ignore the continued good deeds coming from one young man on the Kentucky men’s basketball team. From the moment he set foot on campus, Nerlens Noel has been going above and beyond when it comes to reaching out to the fan base. Noel is not required to do any of these things as a member of the Kentucky team. Noel is doing many of these things on his own time. Noel Skyped earlier this year with Lane Goodwin, a young Kentucky fan who battled cancer. Goodwin is unfortunately no longer with us, but Noel reached out to Goodwin and his family in his final weeks. Earlier this week Noel took time to visit some older Kentucky fans at a local nursing home. Today, Noel took time to visit a young child named Kelly. Kelly is currently in the UK Children’s Hospital with Leukemia. All I can say is that Nerlens Noel is making Big Blue Nation proud. What a neat moment for both Kelly and Nerlens Noel.

(Visit @KickinIt4Kelly to learn more about Kelly’s story)

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

44 Comments for RIP Big East’s Friday News and Views

  1. Sheriff Buford T. Justice
    11:17 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Love it, keep it up Nerlens you’re making BBN proud. Quality young man

  2. mashburnfan1
    11:19 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Harrison poured up about 30 shots and 15 free throws to get that 26 points. This was bad basketball but still Aaron made the big shot to win it on a nice drive then hit 2 free throws to make it a 3 point win. Andrew was hurt but showed he will play with pain. Really want Wiggins to join this class and anyone other player is icing on the cake. We need Wiggins though.

  3. UK22
    11:26 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    BBN couldn’t be more proud of you Nerlens. It’s awesome what you are doing in Lexington.

  4. SoCal Will
    11:27 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Sing Noel, sing Noel, Noel, Noel…. What a beautiful spirit this Cat is blessed with! God bless Kelly!

  5. Fashion Police
    11:33 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Is Tennessee wearing prison uniforms? Good grief that is butt ugly!!

  6. Good job big fela
    11:34 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    This is the 3 rd or 4th picture I’ve seen of Nerlens with sick kids. Great job young man god gave him the talent to be a good player but looks like he has the hart to be a even better person! One thing you can say about cal is he said he would bring in high character kids and he has done that for sure.

  7. Good job big fela
    11:36 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Seeing kids like that sure put things in perspective.

  8. Bless you
    11:44 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    May God bless you Mr. Noel for bringing a little joy to these sick children. Bless this child!

  9. Dear UL and IU fans, We are national champions; you are not. The end.
    11:50 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    Seriously, noel doesn’t have to do this, but he does. Props bro.

  10. Microsoft Paint OEM
    11:58 pm December 13, 2012 Permalink

    nice job on the orange ties.

  11. recruitwatch
    12:14 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Word is neal brown and andre were in bourbon county visiting this kid today. I hear there was an offer but cant confirm.

  12. kingrex
    12:54 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    I love the person Nerlens appears to be…fantastic representative of the Univ. I am sorry but I do not think our coaches need to be traveling to watch the Harrisons play at this point. I know it is to make sure they feel the love and get their egos stroked by everyone seeing Cal in the audience, but we have a broken and lost team in Lexington that needs their energies right now.

  13. True Story
    1:00 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens Noel is becoming a UK Legend. The young man’s heart is beyond reproach.

  14. SuperCats
    1:37 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Noel is a high class guy

  15. Jpo
    1:42 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    12. Aaron Gordon was playing. He is a recruit too…

  16. CATS
    1:44 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    #12 – I understand in thinking Cal should be in Lex, but he has probably been with the team 2 or 3 times today and needed to show his future players some love. I’d say he was also there to watch Aaron Gordon, trying to show him that Cal wants him in Lex next year with the twins.

  17. Survivor
    1:52 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens gets it.

  18. UKGAL-InFL
    2:02 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    First of all, Ally, I love your posts/articles! You always do a fantastic job. Ask Matt Jones for a raise!! Second, Nerlens Noles inspires me! To think he’s only 18 years old and gives back to the old and young is amazing. What a great example he gives to all of us! To think we were focused on a kid who got raided by the campus police and made a You Tube video two days ago! Nerlens needs his own You tube Channel, as this is what’s represents the best of youth and UK!!

  19. nike
    2:09 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    why is Nerlens wearing Adidas

  20. UKBlue
    3:30 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Noel is a class act & this pic just makes you see what’s important; he’s just visiting a sick member of the family Aka Big Blue Nation. #La Familia

    UL fans shouldn’t get so excited about the ACC; with the Big East now more or less officially dead, Maryland attorneys negotiating getting out of the $50 Million buy out from the ACC, as soon as this is done, the other big ACC schools will be jumping, and UL will be stuck in a newer dead conference, owing Charlie a ton of money.

  21. Scotty
    3:35 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    !!!I volunteer up at the Children’s hospital every week, and I have gotten to know Kelly and his family! He is the most precious little boy and his family is just as nice. They always are so appreciative of any type of help and kindness. It is heartwarming to see Nerleans go over and see him! I know that it had to get Kelly excited beyond belief!

  22. Bleed blue
    3:37 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Need to edit this post. Kelly is a young BOY as you can see @KickinIt4Kelly. That aside class act by Noel and the best of luck to Kelly and his family as they overcome this! BBN has your back

  23. JTGate1
    4:06 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Noel is such a good kid. What a blessing it is for this guy to go and do this type of work. This should be on the front page of the Herald. I will always have respect for this young man.

  24. Buckets
    4:14 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Best of luck to Kelly. Nerlens, good on ya. Good to see the BBN represented by such a thoughtful young man. There’s more to life than basketball and being a basketball star, and it looks like Nerlens gets it.

  25. BravoBigBlue
    5:31 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Noel is the type of person who will be successful in whatever he does in life, beyond basketball. He has been blessed with God-given talents, and he shares those blessings to help others. Way to go, young man!

  26. RealCatsFan
    7:41 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens, BBN is proud of you, and we are also proud of Kelly! I may have to try to grow my own flattop in preparation for the St Baldrick’s event for childhood cancer in March. Doubt if mine will looks as good as his. 🙂

  27. Steve
    8:17 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Just finished reading the column about UCONN. Excellent read. Makes me think about Pitino and his comments one year ago about the ACC being a step down from the Big East. Given what’s happened, the only time Rick Pitino lies is when his mouth moves. The Knicks, Providence, Kentucky, Boston Celtics, and now Loserville. He’s lied everyplace he’s been and will go to his grave telling a lie.

  28. Al's IndiCats
    8:19 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    What a fine young man. I would bet you could look the nation over and still wouldn’t find a better person that Nerlens. You make BBN proud!
    Cal gets it!!!!!!!

  29. Steve
    8:24 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens, BBN will clap esp hard for you on Sat when you are introduced @ Rupp.

  30. Steve
    8:26 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Best of luck Kelly, BBN pulling for you and all the kids @ UK Children’s Hospital.

  31. AaronJ
    8:54 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens is a great cat and person, I love seeing him giving back to the community like this. He is quickly turning into one of my favorite all-time Cats.

    Good luck Kelly, fight hard and you will win!

  32. tom5673
    9:18 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    extremely cool, nerlens! and best wishes to kelly. well done…go big blue!

  33. tom
    9:30 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Wonderful gesture by Nerlens. Did anyone else find it ironic that the young boy suffering from leukemia has a t-shirt which reads “UK…it’s in my blood”?

    Sad to see the youngsters sick. Way to go Nerlens!

    9:34 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    As the father of a leukemia survivor (next month will be 4 years!) all I can say is THANK YOU NERLENS for being such a great example!

  35. Rockfield, KY
    9:44 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Is he reaching out and doing these things on his own? It’s really inspiring. I can’t tell you how proud of the kind of person he is proving to be. Makes me feel like I need to do more.

  36. OleSeven
    9:46 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    It’s becoming pretty clear that Nerlens is special for reasons other than what he can do on the court. Most 18 year olds don’t have the perspective that he appears to have. I really hope this helped Kelly feel a little bit better. You make BBN proud big fella. Very Proud.

  37. really
    9:55 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah Basketball games not so important are they compared to KIDS like this young fellow. Class Noel! Well done.

  38. My heart breaks
    10:03 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Man my heart breaks for those kids with serious health conditions. I just do not get it! It seems as if Noel feels the same way.

    Noel you are a stand up guy, you value things that are far more important than a game. I wish I could be more like you.

    I love winning in basketball but after watching Noel lately I’ve realized that some things are just way more important. God Bless you Noel

  39. Noel
    10:07 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Noel you are an awesome person! BBN is so lucky to have you part of our family! My neice is there at UK childrens hospital and this picture is really hitting home. Thank you so much Noel!

    My all time favorite Wildcat is Noel!

  40. 3cats
    10:41 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Very sad to see a sick child.God Bless!

  41. UK Fan
    10:52 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Nerlens…I am so proud of how you represent the University of Kentucky. Your good deeds will come back and bless you. Thank you.

  42. UK Fan
    10:54 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Those warm ups make it easier for Tennessee players to report directly back to jail after their games. Saves a lot on paper-work etc. Over the years, Tennessee penal authorities have really got this down pat. Good for them.

  43. bigbluejon
    11:11 am December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Harrison Hogs.

  44. Blacksnatch
    6:50 pm December 14, 2012 Permalink

    Harrison’s looked like privileged crybaby’s out there. Poor body language toward their teammates, awful shot selection and selective times to show injury(hobbling always on running back on defense, never on offense). Fortunately for you guys, your coach is perfect for straightening out the narcissistic AAU attitude that these clowns possess. He’s great on pulling players if they don’t play D or pass the ball. Their team is awfully coached so I guess that could be excuse for gunning. But, I enjoy KSR a lot, but I hope you guys keep it real on watching that game and don’t blame it on injury’s for both(what a joke, one was injured). 27 shots, he must have been really injured!! Your better than that KSR.