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The Golden Days’ Friday News and Views

When John Calipari is the person in charge of pulling the strings that determine your happiness as a Kentucky basketball fan, there just aren’t that many “bad days.” The worst day since Calipari’s hire that I can remember was the night we lost to West Virginia in the Elite 8. Considering where Kentucky basketball had been just 12 months prior, even the empty feeling of sadness and “what could have been” on that evening weren’t as bad as some of the lows from the previous decade. On the contrary, most days as a Kentucky basketball fan in the last 3 years have been good, if not great. Every fan enjoys winning. There has been absolutely no shortage of production in that area under Calipari. Every fan enjoys watching the best and most athletic players in college basketball playing on Rupp Arena’s floor, in blue and white. Check. Every fan enjoys national championships. Banner? Check. And perhaps most importantly, most fans enjoy having a constant stream of “Kentucky basketball news” of some sort flooding into their lives on a daily basis. There have been probably a total of 20 days (maybe, and I mean maybe…) since Calipari’s hire in which absolutely nothing of note has happened in the world of Kentucky basketball. If Calipari were one of your high school friends’ parents, he would be the parent who always had food in the cabinet every time you came over. And I’m not just talking about vanilla wafers and pretzels. I’m talking about the parent who always had the good stuff, no matter what day of the week. You know what I’m talking about. And if you don’t, you hung out with the wrong friends.

Calipari has provided us with a lot of good days as Kentucky basketball fans since his arrival in Lexington. Today was not a good day. Today was a golden day. Today was one of the handful of days since he’s been here that falls into the “golden day” category, especially when narrowed down even more specifically to recruiting news. Every recruit who has committed during the Calipari era has been exciting. He simply doesn’t go after many who are anything but the best. During his Kentucky career thus far though, Calipari has had 3 days that I would consider “golden.” The commitments on these 3 days did not simply mark the possibility of a #1 recruiting class, or the commitment of another McDonald’s All-American/5-star recruit. The commitments on these 3 days signaled a distinct possibility, a feeling that simply can’t be denied, that Kentucky will soon be making another run at a national title. Every year since Calipari’s arrival has provided Kentucky with a shot at a national championship, without question. But the verbal today from the Harrison Twins has set the ball in motion for what is shaping up to be a very, very special season in 2014. First it was John Wall (golden day #1). Then it was Anthony Davis (golden day #2) and today it was Andrew and Aaron Harrison (golden day #3).  Enjoy it, folks.

If you don’t think today was a big day, just allow a few numbers to tell the story. Consider all that has happened in the world of Kentucky basketball in the past 3-4 years, including winning a national championship. Today was KSR’s largest day of hits ever, passing the day after the national title. 480,000 page views and 250,000 unique visitors. Golden day.

 

And now on to the news of the day…

— We can pretend that a host of other important things happened today, but let’s all be honest… the day belonged to Aaron and Andrew Harrison. The Harrison Twins, two of the top 5 prospects in the 2013 class made their verbal commitment to the University of Kentucky early this evening on an ESPNU signing special. All day the rumors circulated, some pointing to Kentucky, others pointing to Maryland– and most admitting that the race was simply too close to call. Calipari had some legitimate cards stacked against him in this one, but still managed to nudge out the Terps in the end.

— Andrew and Aaron Harrison said that they felt like rock stars when they took their visit to Kentucky last year at Midnight Madness (well done, crowd).

 Here are a few quotes from the announcement today:

Andrew:

“Even though I’m highly rated or whatever, I still feel like I’m just as important as the last player on the bench. I try to get everyone involved.”

”The most important thing to me is winning. I know Aaron scores more points than me, but it doesn’t matter to me. I just really like to win.

”When we went to Kentucky, it was like the week before Midnight Madness. There were tents and people were sleeping outside and camping out for Midnight Madness.”

Aaron:

(On Andrew) “He’s probably the biggest, most dominant player in the country, really. He does whatever he wants on the floor.”

”We always knew we were going to the same school.”

(what he liked about Kentucky) “Just all the attention you get. Everyone knows who you are when you walk in the gym. It’s a great feeling.”

Even Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, a former Maryland Terp himself, couldn’t hate on the decision…

— Somewhere there is a man wearing a little too much Under Armour in a little too warm of weather saying, “yeah, we’ll never be Nike.” Somewhere a manager from Burger King understands a little too well exactly what he means.

— Many former Kentucky players were all over the news of the big commitment today, including Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

— I’m not sure exactly how he does it, but I think Cal’s work rate on the job certainly helps. John Calipari hit a home run today, but he didn’t let that slow his momentum. With two commitments in his back pocket, he made the trip to Huntington, West Virginia to watch Andrew Wiggins practice. Wiggins is still currently a member of the 2014 class (the #1 player in fact), but has not yet ruled out the possibility of re-classifying to the 2013 class. Either way, Wiggins will be the best player in whichever class he chooses.

— Speaking of future commitments, now that the Harrison twins have jumped on board for the 2013 class, along with Derek Willis– the big question becomes who will be next? James Young just wrapped up a visit to Lexington last weekend, and now might make an appearance at Big Blue Madness. Two visits to Lexington within a short amount of time has to be a good sign when it comes to James Young. Smart money was previously on Young to be Kentucky’s next 2013 commitment following Willis. Perhaps the attention turns to him once again to be the next to pull the trigger. Evan Daniels of Scout.com told Rivals that he believes “Kentucky is probably the leader” for Young.

— 2013 has long been talked about as potentially being Calipari’s best recruiting class ever. Following today’s announcement, if Kentucky can land Julius Randle, Andrew Wiggins and James Young (or any of the other top 20 recruits they are courting), the 2013 class just might be the best recruiting class ever… for any coach, at any school. Either way, Calipari has the early lead on the #1 class in 2013, which would make an astounding five #1 classes in a row for Calipari. Last name ever Calipari, first name greatest John. In all honesty though, when it comes to recruiting, can it not be argued that Calipari is one of the best–if not the best, ever in the game?

— With the possibilities in the 2014 season on the mind all day, don’t forget about the season that is just around the corner. Click here to purchase tickets for Kentucky’s Blue/White Scrimmage. Also, John Calipari spoke about his 2013 team on ESPNU’s podcast earlier today. We knew this team was inexperienced, but every now and then a staggering fact comes out about them that reminds us of just how inexperienced they truly are. Kentucky will be the only BCS school (out of 72) that doesn’t have a returning player who started in a game for Kentucky last season. Julius Mays started for Wright State on a regular basis over the past few years, but did not start a game for a BCS school last season.

— Calipari also compared Archie Goodwin’s motor to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. Yes, please.

— The SEC as a whole should be exciting in the next few years. The Harrison twins commitment gives the SEC 6 of Rivals’ Top 15 prospects and 10 of the top 60 in the 2013 class. Consider the fact that Kentucky will likely add a few more…

— Allow me to break up your nightly news with the “huh?” picture of the day. What’s wrong with this t-shirt?

— Hey, Kentucky football has a big game against Mississippi State on Saturday. The game took the backseat to the Harrison twins’ announcement today, but a few important notes came out of practice. Joker Phillips labeled the Kentucky quarterback situation as a “slash quarterback system,” alluding to the fact that although Jalen Whitlow is the named starter, Patrick Towles will be splitting snaps with Whitlow for the rest of the game. The exact division of snaps and series is yet to be seen, but for those who have been clamoring to see the Patrick Towles era at the University of Kentucky begin, Saturday will be the day. For a Saturday afternoon game that is competing with Keeneland, apathy and afternoon naps, I think almost every Kentucky football fan will be tuned in to see what Patrick Towles can bring to the table.

— Joker Phillips said that Towles told him today that he wished UK’s game was in two hours. Joker responded, “I don’t.”

— According to Jennifer Palumbo, UK has called a news conference for 10 a.m. tomorrow at the UKPD to discuss tailgating for Saturday’s game at Commonwealth. What does that mean for the tailgating scene moving forward? After last week’s ghost town of a student tailgate, I think many at least hope that the student tailgate scene can make some kind of a comeback.

— Two former Kentucky Wildcats might be competing for a roster spot in Oklahoma City. NewOk.com recently interviewed DeAndre Liggins about trying out for a final roster spot with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Liggins said he thinks the Thunder like (surprise, surprise) his defense the most.

“My defense mostly. That’s why I’m in the league, because of my defense. I’m trying to become an improved jump-shooter and a better ball-handler.”

Liggins knows he is competing with former teammate Daniel Orton. Liggins was not only teammates with Orton at Kentucky, but in his first NBA stop in Orlando as well.

“Daniel Orton is right there with me. In the NBA, you never know what happens. It’s just fallen that way. I’m happy for Daniel. I’m happy to be here with Daniel. End of the day, we’re trying to compete for a job.”

— Fun twin fact of the night: Three generations of twins have now been associated with Kentucky basketball in the last 2 years. Anthony Davis and his sister Antionette were both students at Kentucky last year. Alex Poythress and his twin sister are current Kentucky students. Andrew and Aaron Harrison…well, you know.

— And last but not least, the UK men’s basketball team is not the only team to be excited about this winter. The UK Hoops team is coming off of its third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, 2 of which have resulted in a trip to the Elite 8. UK Hoops has been picked as a pre-season Top 10 team by Lindy’s Sports Magazine and Athlon Sports Magazine.

 

 

 

Article written by Ally Tucker

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

57 Comments for The Golden Days’ Friday News and Views



  1. podcast
    11:03 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    Can we get a podcast up for today?



  2. StopHammerTime
    11:13 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    How many losses will this team take if the NCAA doesn’t clear Noel? And yes, I know he has been cleared academically. But he has not been fully cleared yet.



  3. IUcansukabigblue....
    11:15 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky Jayhawks….. ????? Throw that garbage off a bridge!!!



  4. Duuuuuude
    11:25 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    About Noel, I think he will be cleared to play, but he also missed a lot of time this summer working out with the team which has him behind. If you have not noticed, he is kinda scrawny. We have yet to see him play his first game, but if he does not bulk up and fast, could he possibly stick around one more year to develop more of an NBA body?



  5. bmt22033
    11:25 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    @2 – as long as they keep winning in March, who cares? 😉



  6. SoCal Will
    11:27 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    Perfect title, Ally. These are the glory days! Don’t sleep on Aaron Gordon’s friendship with the Harrisons. If he and Wiggins sign it is Andrew to Andrew to Aaron to Aaron Slam Dunk! Also nice Rod Strickland got a shout out for being involved. Now we know another reason why Larry Brown tried to steal him…



  7. JBR
    11:31 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    We do not claim Orton as a former wildcat. He burned his bridges…I hope Liggins takes the spot.

    And while I completely agree that Calipari is the greatest recruiter ever…one thing to keep in mind…he does have that title because of a PERFECT marriage with UK. This is a perfect example of a symbiotic relatinship flourishing and feeding off one another. Without UK, Cal would still be a top of the line recruiter, but not the greatest ever.



  8. julie
    11:35 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    Where did you find that t-shirt? How funny to get UK and KU mixed up, with Jayhawks down the sleeve, haha.



  9. Catlogic15
    11:36 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    MKG so cool as we knew he was from the start.
    Anthony Davis reaped rewards from Cal and BBN as well. He should be supporting us also, as a new one-and-done multi-millionaire. Don’t forget us so quickly AD. Not cool.
    MKG is a wonderful ambassador for BBN. Will continue to be I’m sure.
    AD, Cal just pulled off a coup. He did it for you too. Recognize.



  10. Willie Cauley-Stein
    11:41 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    Guys, don’t forget that my game (and physique) are coming along nicely, and I will hold down the middle until Marc Emmert and his hymen decide to let Nerlens play. With the kind of moves Nerlens has, he could play the 4 spot while I take care of the 5.



  11. tyson
    11:48 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    Nah, Coach Cal isn’t the best recruiter ever. That title belongs to Sam Gilbert.



  12. shutup
    11:55 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    9… shut up



  13. Kampaign
    11:56 pm October 4, 2012 Permalink

    What about the day MKG and Knight both committed?



  14. Guest
    12:12 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    When do we hear about Matt’s trip to see Wiggins play?



  15. Ridge Runner
    12:14 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    @7…Yes, I agree. Cal is the man no doubt but the day he connected with UK is the stuff legends are made of for sure. To borrow coaches own line…”we complete each other”. Also, I think we (UK) have given him the opportunity to expand his own strategies on the game itself. Just as an example the guy is an expert on marketing but now instead of reaching one state, he reaches international levels. Great strategic mind coupled with the legacy of college basketball can (and has) developed into things many of us never imagined. The ESPN behind the scenes series, bringing former Cats together, including Joe B into his fold, etc… I mean this stuff is just off the top of my head in a few seconds and i haven’t scratched the surface.



  16. Ridge Runner
    12:15 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Ally, nice post as well.



  17. D-rack
    12:32 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    If I’m not mistaken wouldn’t the day MKG and Brandon Knight committed be a golden day?



  18. SeaCat
    12:34 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Awesome Ally Always!!



  19. Alan
    12:37 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Andrew Wiggins Golden Day #4



  20. lol
    12:37 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    I’d put Noel’s commitment over AD’s personally. Not because he’s better or anything, but there was crazy suspense and the Shabazz announcement and the GTown rumors just made it all that much sweeter. I probably won’t remember anything about Wall’s, Knight’s, or the Harrison twins basic press conferences down the road, but I’ll always remember the UK logo in the hair.



  21. Buckets
    12:56 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    What about Patterson and Lucas?



  22. Knight and MKG on the SAME DAY
    2:12 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Remember me? I was golden.



  23. theSkinny81
    3:24 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    this shits better than NJT, and its REAL!!! comedy GOLD!

    http://mbd.scout.com/mb.aspx?s=17&f=2755&t=9481894



  24. BPsycho
    4:52 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #23 Lol!

    “I would take Siva, Blackshear and Russ over these guys any day.” -LLCARD

    “It’s been too long, and if we want to remain elite, we need to win a third national title.” -wbb240gocards



  25. Joe
    5:28 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    The reason Cal is so good, is because he is a relentless recruiter. He is ALWAYS on the road, having to spend time away from his family, all for BBN. Let’s don’t forget last year, where he flew across county multiple times in a day to check out recruits – who like to see the head coach there. Cal works harder than the other coaches. He is always flying around the country checking out recruits. Many coaches at his status don’t do that – they send assistants. So he is a better recruiter – because he has an eye for talent and goes after it. These other old coaches like Coach K, Pitino, Jim Calhoun (retired), Roy Williams, they can’t keep up with that kind of pace.



  26. WhatSheOrder?FishFilet?
    5:40 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    and i didn’t even have to use my AK…



  27. CAUKFAN
    5:53 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    There have been NO bad days since John Calipari became coach of the Kentucky Wildcats. The West Virginia lose was a good day because you could not help but to feel satisfaction in how far UK had come in one short season. Anyone remember the NIT? I know it seems like a bad dream but it actually happened. I would argue that every day since Cal became coach has been a great day to be a Wildcat. This is Kentucky as we always knew it should be. I live in CA and when I mention to anyone I’m from Kentucky the first thing they come back with is “they’ve got a good basketball program, right?” YES!…..Why, yes we do!

    These are the golden years. Enjoy the ride.



  28. barn
    5:58 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    23–haha. love it



  29. Catlanta
    6:30 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    2) I sure hope we don’t have to find out. Without Noel, we will be in some trouble. Hope the NCAA doesn’t pull a Kanter and hold off on making a decision for several months.



  30. Yab
    6:45 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    I’m thankful the Twins chose us, but I’m not going to lie, it’s downright disgraceful just how much Capilouto and Barnhart have screwed up our football program. You folks at KSR simply must put as much pressure as you can on UK to rectify all things football. We are so loyal, we deserve a team that can compete for titles.



  31. Big Whoop
    6:49 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Here’s Maryland’s viewpoint on the twins…

    http://www.testudotimes.com/



  32. Big Whoop
    6:52 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Is little Eli backtracking? He may well be the dumbest UK President ever. I received a call last night from the Gatton School of Business asking for a donation. I told the kid not to take it personally, but he could pass it up the line that they could stop solicitations from me until the university does something about upgrading the UK football program. And, hiring a new coach would not cut it for me. UK needs to devote resources to football.



  33. DT in DC
    6:58 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    A few years ago, I bought a packaged UK T-shirt/sweatshirt combo when Dawhares was going out of business. I got home, tore the paper off and while the T-shirt was UK, the sweatshirt was a DUKE sweatshirt! And since all sales were final, I was stuck with it. Thankfully I know a few Duke fans so I gave it to one of them.



  34. JohnTummelson
    7:02 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Great day indeed. But on the Golden Day thing. John Wall -agree as there was an extreme buildup. Harrison twins – the same. But Anthony Davis, although quickly becoming a huge recruit had not garnered that level of attention to be on par. Yes, his resume since makes it a Golden Day, but that is in hindsight. If anything his signing day goes down as an odd day because that idiot sportswriter at the Chicago Sun Times wrote about the commitment and just threw in at the end of the article that Kentucky paid 200k for the signing.

    Go Cats!



  35. RealCatsFan
    7:28 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #33, I would have had a new oil rag for when I am working on the cars out in the garage.



  36. Ares
    7:32 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Does Alex Poythress sister first name start with the letter “A” that would be true of all 3 sets of twins?



  37. Yo
    7:36 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    The day we got Knight and MKG was pretty golden too



  38. DT in DC
    7:40 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    BTW, check out the twin’s Twitters this morning. Some Terp fans “keeping it classy.” Hopefully it just reaffirms their decision to be Wildcats.



  39. RealCatsFan
    7:46 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #23, you are right, that was epic! Leave it to our feathered friends with the linebeards to keep us smiling!

    #31, that live blog thread may have set the record for the most F-bombs in a single thread! Pretty funny, but I do find myself feeling a little sorry for them. Even in discontent, they sound infinitely more intelligent than the ones on the birdie thread. I’m sure the Terps will be plenty fired up to play the Cats this year – we need to be ready for them! In all honesty, I pull for the Terps when they are playing the likes of Duke and UNC, and I wish them luck in rebuilding their BB program.



  40. RealCatsFan
    7:50 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #13, #17, #22…. #37 – are you all the same person? Geesh! Yes, you are right, that was a pretty golden day too. Now, do you want a cookie too? 😀



  41. Got CAL?
    7:53 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    How was there no #UK TWINNING comments yet?



  42. kentuckyjoe
    8:04 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Awesome post Ally.



  43. Rick Roy
    8:17 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    No I don’t know what you are talking about? Food? Try liquor.



  44. Rick Roy
    8:21 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    And actually we had the #2 recruiting class for 2012 behind UCLA..so it wouldnt be 5 in a row



  45. Rixter
    8:37 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    # 44, it depends on who you listen to, Rivals has UK number 1 for 2012: http://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1358637



  46. AaronJ
    8:40 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    9 – I’ll take the bait due to a human being couldn’t possibly be as stupid as you are. AD showed up a few weeks ago to sign autos, take pictures and play with the new crop of recruits and gave his input on them to Cal.



  47. Jimmy Johnson
    8:41 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    We’re the 1980’s Miami Hurricanes of college basketball. Kids are wanting to come here left and right because they know we are an NBA factory now just like Miami was an NFL factory back in the day. Former players are staying close to the program and “represent” all the time just like Miami. We’re “The U” of college basketball. And I’m all for this and love it, as long as the wheels don’t come off. This program needs to stay vigilant and not make the same mistakes Miami did. That is what worries me. Can we keep this success going without cheating?? Look at Miami now. Bottom dweller.



  48. Rockfield, KY
    8:47 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    So, apparently World Wide Wes comes to Lexington, and makes our fans go to the airport to cheer on recruits, just so they’ll end up at a University where it doens’t benefit him at all. It’s a slight reach for the Card fans.:

    “This smells to high heavens. “The moment we stepped off the plane everyone knew who we were and wanted pictures made with us. It made us feel like rockstars.”

    You just know slimy Cal or WWW had that staged. They probably do that to all the recruits when they come on visits”



  49. Rockfield, KY
    8:49 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    45. Scout had us #1 also. Since Evan has taken over at Scout, they’re basketball recruiting it top tier. Rivals is better for football recruiting.



  50. rick pitino
    8:54 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    I’m not understanding all the hub bub about Cal scoring the Harrison twins. I banged the Jones twins my 2nd year at UK. Man, were they hot! Wait… what… your not talking about Cal having sex with twins? You are saying these are recruits, and top 5 recruits at that? Huh, well, I’ve never heard of ’em.



  51. Carl
    8:55 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    One last question: How do you tell the twins apart? Now let’s focus on this year’s team. GO CATS!



  52. UKBlue1!
    9:07 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    I am so excited. UK is on the verge of becoming the Elite program. You can smell the fear of other programs.



  53. RYNO
    9:21 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    What’s wrong with the shirt? It says Jayhawks on the sleeves.



  54. Ice Cube
    9:40 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Ice Cube lyrics that would have been appropriate. “Today was a good day”



  55. RealCatsFan
    11:00 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    #48, like was said before, comedy gold! I’m going over to that link and read some more – I need another laugh.



  56. theSkinny81
    11:13 am October 5, 2012 Permalink

    48 – HA! that’s the same quote that finally pushed me to share! un-flippin-believable, those Card fans and the lengths they’ll go to deny our success…..



  57. UK Snuggie
    12:22 pm October 5, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone else feel like Brandon Knight doesn’t get the love he deserves?