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Sam Malone’s Friday News and Views


(One of these things is not like the others. And that is the one you should focus on…)

Sam Malone once described his experience as a Kentucky basketball walk-on to Salon Magazine, “I’m living a dream. I feel lucky to be a part of this team.” Sam Malone may not fit the same bill as many of the other players who will wear the same uniforms as he will while at Kentucky under John Calipari. He’s 5-11. He’s gone through 4 knee injuries in 5 years, the most recent of which held him out of much of last season. Malone didn’t have an ESPNU special dedicated to his signing with Kentucky. None of that seems to matter much to Malone or his teammates though. “Sam Malone is a great teammate,” John Calipari told Salon Magazine during last year’s lead up to the NCAA tournament’s opening game. “The guys love him. He’s one of the members of our team and the guys treat him that way.”

Malone understands that is contributions may never show up in the box score of an important game. He will likely never have a “Jarrod Polson moment.” Malone was there though this morning when the team woke up for 7 a.m. workouts. He puts in the practice time every week and travels with the team. In addition to all of that, he knows that his role as a student-athlete/walk-on is very important. Malone received straight A’s in his first semester at Kentucky and continues to excel in the classroom. “I feel I can set a good example for the team. Give back to the program that way.”

Happy birthday to Sam Malone, one of the great members of our Kentucky basketball program. Many of the quotes and excerpts came from an article written last March, which some of you probably read the first time around. If not, go check it out again and appreciate Sam Malone. Especially you, Brian Long.

News and Views coming right up…

   For what feels like the first time since the beginning of the Kentucky “coaching search,” we have now had two rather slow news days in a row. John Calipari made it a well-known fact that his players would be getting down to business this week. The 7 a.m. conditioning practices began today. All has been quiet on the Kentucky basketball front since then. After starting the season off with the #1 recruiting class, a pre-season top 5 ranking which we now know was too high, and an ESPN All-Access crew capturing every moment… the calm after the storm might be just what this young team needs. The hoopla surrounding the new football coaching hire has also taken some of the limelight off of the basketball team momentarily. Again, all of this might be a blessing in disguise.

   Speaking of the coaching hire, the pot officially got sweeter this afternoon when Kentucky released the announcement that DJ Eliot will in fact be the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach next season. The news comes as no surprise, but the finality of it didn’t come until today. We’ve heard tremendous things about Mark Stoops for an entire week now. Add another list of tremendous remarks about DJ Eliot to this list. You like to hear the following words used to describe the newest addition to the football program: “relentless work ethic,” and “one of the brightest young minds in college football.” Two down, one to go….

   Although more cards are still waiting to be shuffled in Stoops’ coaching deck, the one we are all anxiously awaiting to learn about is who will be taking the duties as the offensive coordinator. Mark Stoops knows defense. DJ Eliot knows Mark Stoops’ defense. Now he just needs to find the right guy to fit his plan to have an exciting and explosive offense at Kentucky.

Neal Brown is at the top of nearly everyone’s wish list, likely including Mark Stoops’. The coaching carousel plot thickened when the news was announced this morning that Sonny Dykes would be leaving Louisiana Tech to take over the head coaching position at California. Most people believe that Neal Brown would accept the Kentucky offensive coordinator position… unless he was offered a head coaching position. A call from Louisiana Tech to Neal Brown would make sense, unfortunately.

Kentucky football’s new wing man Tim Couch doesn’t seem to be too bothered by the rumors that Brown might be tempted by a better offer. Couch was on a radio show this evening for a football roundtable discussion. While on the air, Couch admitted that “I wouldn’t be surprised if Neal Brown ends up here as the offensive coordinator.” Couch and Brown are friends. Put on your Coach Cal pants and make this happen, Tim.

Recruiting an offensive coordinator has been a top priority for Mark Stoops this week, but he and his partially assembled staff haven’t neglected their other recruiting duties either. DJ Eliot’s “relentless work ethic” was on full display as he hit the recruiting trail this morning with a visit to Franklin County’s 4-star WR/RB/return specialist Ryan Timmons. Timmons, along with James Quick, is considered to be the cream of the crop as far as in-state recruiting goes this year.

2013 Kentucky football commit Blake McClain received some love from the new coach as well. McClain is a 3-star DB from Winter Park, Florida. A reminder that McClain chose the Wildcats over Pittsburgh, Illinois and South Florida.

—  Do you still need more evidence that Stoops and Co. are hitting the ground running? Okay, okay. Since you asked…

Stoops, he did it again!

Tennessee still does not have a football coach. *This is an automated message. Do not respond.*

The new hot rumor is that Tennessee is reaching out to Cincinnati’s Butch Jones. Jones, as you might remember, spent a week as the hot topic around the Kentucky job opening as well. Tennessee fans have taken to the message boards to show their disapproval of hiring Butch Jones. The rumblings have now started for an uprising that wants Bobby Petrino at Tennessee. Hmm, sounds familiar. Anyone else relieved we are finished with our coaching search? Throw one down for Mitch Barnhart tonight.

  Nosilla is Allison spelled backwards. Did I just blow your mind?

Let’s at least talk a little basketball, shall we? …

— Draft Express has released an updated 2013 NBA Mock Draft. Some of the usual suspects from Kentucky were on the list, highlighted by Nerlens Noel in the #2 spot right behind UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad. Absent from the list? Ryan Harrow and Willie Cauley-Stein.

The Kentucky players are ranked as follows:

#2 Nerlens Noel

#7 Alex Poythress

#8 Archie Goodwin

—  In Twitter news, Tom Crean is an awful lot like a teenage girl when it comes to his use of social media. Subtweets? Check. Using “a” when you’re supposed to use “an?” Check. Abbreviations? Check. Still not playing Kentucky? Looks to be a check as well.

Don’t forget that we are now just one day away from the UK Hoops’ “Pack the House” night at Rupp Arena. The #6/#7 ranked women’s team will be taking on DePaul Friday night at 7 p.m. “It is going to be a record-setting night for us attendance wise,” Matthew Mitchell said. “So that is exciting for our players.” UK set the single-game attendance record for women last year against Duke with a crowd of 14,508. As of Thursday afternoon, over 17,000 tickets had been sold. General admission tickets are still available for $1 on Use the code DOLLARDAYS for the discount.

Article written by Ally Tucker

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

33 Comments for Sam Malone’s Friday News and Views

  1. Travis
    11:16 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Eliot went to Trinity but didn’t visit James Quick because he wasn’t at school, visited with Jason Hatcher(Committed to USC) and Ryan White (Committed to Vandy)

  2. Hartline
    11:22 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    #1 if true, that’s awesome. Hopefully some recruits will reevaluate their commitments.

  3. Fat Drunk Fan
    11:31 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, I’ve been throwing them down because of Mitch for a long time. The end of Tubby’s tenure, Brooks’ first two years, BCG, Joker, you name it. Now I am alcoholic and UK football is still bad. I’m getting clean for Stoops though! Have faith!

  4. sonny lesbos
    11:40 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink reporting butch jones has been offered UT job. remember when we were unsure about him coming to UK….

  5. JBR
    11:51 pm December 6, 2012 Permalink

    Have these people at draftexpress that make these boards actually watched UK play yet? Just curious.

  6. DoubleJ
    12:02 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, will u b doing a live blog for the Friday’s Hoops game.?Just need to know B4 I go to work tmw morning.

  7. catfanatic
    12:17 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Are you serious? We have #2, #7, and #8 ranked future draft picks and cant even crack the top 20 in the polls. Maybe its time we stopped the ESPN all access and other outside interests including coaching other countries basketball teams and concetrate on this team

  8. Bradley
    12:31 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    7. Or maybe it’s time your dumb ass realizes we’ve played 7-8 games. Polls conducted by sports writers in early December are REALLY what matters after all.

  9. dave
    12:32 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    7-you very well could be right. but considering its early december and we havent even started SEC play yet, those are ignorant comments right now.

  10. Ukalum
    12:34 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    If auburn fires Trooper Taylor, stoops needs to do what ever it takes to get this guy. He may be as sketchy as a Nigerian prince but when multiple 3-4 star recruits say they will go to whatever school he lands at, it’s worth it. We need talent and fast and the best linebacker in the 2013 class has openly stated he will go where trooper goes.

  11. Owen
    12:38 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Here are Neal Brown’s options:

    * go to some mid-major school, get paid decently but probably not that much and risk not succeeding fast enough to move up to a better paying job.

    * come to UK, get paid decently and automatically improve our defense by simply existing — then turn that into a higher paying job.

  12. Yeah
    12:46 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    @11 Neal Brown will improve our offense not defense

  13. Kanye Twitty
    12:53 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    11) You might be interested to know that Neal Brown is an offensive coordinator. Our defense improving probably won’t be affected by his decision either way.

    If he has a legitimate coaching future then it’s probably in his best interest to go ahead and accept a HC job at a mid major school. If he feels like he could use some more experience and would like to have an SEC coaching resume then he will probably come here first. I’d love to have him but I understand if he doesn’t come. I wish him the best either way. But the farther down the list Stoops gets, the more I worry.

  14. tyson
    1:02 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    What did I miss about Brian Long? Several digs at him on this site. What did he do?

  15. tyson
    1:02 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, good post btw on a very slow news day. You and Mrs. TT bring it every night.

  16. Smiley Pete
    1:05 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    @13 – I guess if his offense is good enough to give our defense a break while limiting the opposing offense an opportunity to score and gain yards/first downs, he could help the defense improve overall…

  17. Rae
    1:14 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    14. Post game show joke. Someone couldn’t find something to complain about last year so they complained about how Brian Long doesn’t appreciate this opportunity.

  18. mashburnfan1
    1:16 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    NBA drafts on potential that is why they took high school kids and let them sit for years ala Jermaine Oneal, Telfair etc. Some work out some don’t but alot is potential, especially this years draft.

  19. 7?
    1:55 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Anyone drafting Poythress at 7 is making a mistake. Jordan did draft Kwami Brown #1. So hell anything is possible. TJ would eat him up and he went a lot later then 7

  20. tdogg40330
    2:51 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    19) see comment #18 ….. I also remind you that its a litle early to be totally evaluting

  21. Donald
    6:05 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Is this the only time the women’s team plays at Rupp this season?

  22. tuxedo park
    7:42 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Butch Jones hired at Tennessee

  23. bluefan
    7:49 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    #7, you might want to ask Karl Towns if coaching “other countries” basketball teams is a waste of time.

  24. MacGruber
    7:49 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    I would rather have Jones than Strong. Good hire buy Tennessee,if so.

  25. Don
    7:53 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    For Jurich:

    top 10 winningest programs:

    1. Michigan: 888-306-38
    2. Texas: 853-326-34
    3. Notre Dame: 845-296-42
    4. Nebraska: 836-345-41
    5. Ohio State: 825-315-53
    6. Alabama: 825-317-43
    7. Penn State 821-355-43
    8. Oklahoma: 806-308-53
    9. Tennessee: 788-340-55
    10. USC: 784-309-54

    Also, this college football link ranks all FBS teams based on the AP, which has always been relevant in analyzing college football on an historical scale. It lists the top teams from each decade, and Louisville is NOT a top 10 program.

  26. Stig
    7:58 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    People forget that Cal was all in trying to get Oriaki, Shabazz and Bennett. Had he gotten Oriaki and either if the other two, this year is different. Who knew that Harrow got vaginitis and Wiltjer is so out of shape it affects his shooting?

  27. Don
    7:59 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    btw…all time wins and losses Louisville is #77 at 455 wins 437 losses and 17 ties for an overall win % of .5099

    UK comes in at #85 @ 578 – 572- 44 @.5025

    top 10 lmao….

  28. jason
    8:02 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Draw is Ward spelled backwards Allison Ward. Mind completely blown?

  29. markp
    8:03 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    7 I couldn’t agree more.

  30. markp
    8:06 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    and it’s not about the ranking. I just feel that 18 year olds and our coach should be just focused on one thing and that’s getting better. All access stuff just puffs their heads even more and draws focus away.

  31. Don
    8:10 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    IF dumb dum wants to say they’ve only been recording football W & L for 93 years, then teams with better records and the same time fram or less are..

    Bowling Green 497 – 345 – 52 = .5853
    Western Ky 520 – 364 – 30 = .5853
    UCLA 555 -381 – 37 = .5894
    Toledo 481- 402 – 24 = .5436
    Troy 488 – 368 – 28 = .5679
    Fresno State 557 – 384 – 27 – = .5893
    San Diego State 492 – 394 – 32 = .5534
    Texas Tech 524 – 405 – 32 = .5619
    BYU 522 383 – 26 = .5747
    Miami – FL 574 – 326 – 19 = .6349
    FSU 473 – 235 – 17 = .6641

    Boise is only at 44 years and already at 377 – 146 – 2 = .7200 !!!

  32. W.W.B.B.N.D?
    8:13 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    I hope that the 7am practices will help the teams toughness, and make them become more of a team unit.

  33. chad
    8:48 am December 7, 2012 Permalink

    Cheers for Sam Malone!