Kentucky Basketball 2013 calendars are now just $7.99. Get ’em from seasonneverends.com while supplies last! Featuring all the great stories, games and memories from last year to yesteryear. It was a national championship kind of year– celebrate it every day, why don’t you. And thanks to all of you in the #BBN for your support!
It’s a Friday night and I’m getting a late start so let’s run through some notes before Kentucky beats Auburn tomorrow…
Before we talk basketball, we’ll lead off with some huge football news on the 2013 recruiting front. Tevin Lawson — the four-star defensive tackle who committed to LSU, was asked to greyshirt, decommitted from LSU, scheduled a visit to Kentucky and then reportedly canceled the visit to Kentucky — is visiting Kentucky this weekend. Lawson and his mother arrived in Lexington Friday afternoon for an official visit to UK. If it were up to Lawson, many believe he’d sign with Kentucky and compete for playing time next season in the SEC. But Mama Lawson has a big say in the final decision and she doesn’t want her baby boy to leave Louisiana. Stoops and his staff will spend most of the Lawsons’ visit trying to convince the mother to fall in love with Lexington, KY, or at least enough to send her son here. I wonder if she likes red velvet cake???
One another football note: Kentucky’s Junior Day is Saturday and there will enough talent visiting campus to hold an All-American game. A large collection of the best 2014 recruits in America will be taking in Lexington and seeing what all the hype around the Kentucky football program is all about. UK has never seen a crop of talent on campus at one time like the guest list Stoops has lined up for this weekend.
Moving over to basketball, Coach Cal met with the media Friday afternoon to discuss his team’s second meeting with Auburn. The first meeting was Kentucky’s breakout game in the SEC, and Cal discussed some of the things that worked well in that road win. He said Ryan Harrow played physical; he was down, taking contacts and making baskets. He called Kyle Wiltjer “a killer” in the middle of Auburn’s zone; Wiltjer scored a game-high 17 points. Alex Poythress also broke up the zone with his baseline cuts and forced Auburn to play man-to-man. Cal still expects Auburn to play a lot of zone tomorrow, maybe even for the whole game.
I’m going to make a prediction… Nerlens Noel will get a triple-double tomorrow. You heard it here, folks.
Willie Cauley-Stein didn’t make the trip to Auburn a couple weeks ago, but he’s back now and better than ever, according to Calipari. “He has more in the tank,” Cal said of his mustard. “He really does. Obviously, not only does he make our team better, but he makes our practice better. So now you have competitors on that second unit that are really coming after the first unit and it is great stuff to watch and see.” If there’s any positive to Willie going down, it’s that Jarrod Polson, Poythress and Wiltjer made the most of the opportunity to get more playing time. All three guys played well in his absence.
Calipari also had a great quote about Archie in his mailbag over on CoachCal.com. He said, “Archie, his mind set, when things get hairy, is to put his head down and try to shoot a layup. The problem is, everyone is playing him to shoot layups. So when his head goes down, their whole team, including two officials, get beneath the basket, so he ends up turning it over.” Sooooo why is he still doing it????
In case you missed it earlier, Kentucky is a 17-point favorite over Auburn. The Cats covered the 17.5 spread against South Carolina Tuesday night.
Even wondered why Papa John and Calipari are such good friends? Jennifer Palumbo caught up with him to find out:
Papa John said he wanted to attend Kentucky for undergrad but couldn’t afford the out-of-state tuition. He admitted to being “crazy about Coach Cal.”
That;ll do it for tonight. I’ll leave you with a video of Julius Mays from Friday’s practice, courtesy of Kentucky Wildcats TV.