Tuesday morning, when you’re just getting nestled in at your desk for another fun-filled day of work, the University of Kentucky will unveil a new statue of Joe B. Hall in front of the Wildcat Coal Lodge. The unveiling is scheduled for 8:00 am in front of the newly constructed lodge by Memorial Coliseum. The sculpture will sit outside the main entrance to honor and commemorate Coach Hall and all his contributions in helping to bring about the idea of the Wildcat Lodge.
According to the release from UK, the Joe B. Hall sculpture is cast in bronze and weighs roughly 400 pounds. It began as a clay sculpture, which was executed based upon photos of the coach taken from 1972-1985. The sculpture was produced over a period of eight months and was then cast in bronze using the lost wax method. It was created by J. Brett Grill, a figurative sculptor currently residing in Columbia, Missouri.
I hope Brian Long appreciates it every time he walks by.
There was a lot of news on Monday so let’s get to it…
As always, Joker Phillips met with the media on Monday to discuss the previous game and look ahead to the upcoming opponent. This time, however, the tone was a little different following the worst loss of his short career as head coach. I’m sure he knows his future at Kentucky is in serious jeopardy, and the Courier-Journal’s Kyle Tucker gave him a chance to make his case, when Kyle asked why he deserves more time to turn things around.
Joker responded, “Well, I mean, we got 72 freshmen and sophomores in this program. We just played a program that has 50 juniors and seniors in their program. I get that we got to be better than that. But we got a lot of good, young players playing ball for us. Outside, I said, ‘This oughta be good,’ as I got out of the truck and he (I don’t know who “he” is) said, ‘That’s the exact same thing Rich said when we got beat by Ohio U.’ We got a lot of young players here. Again, 72 freshmen and sophomores. A lot of them playing significant roles. My job is to make sure we win football games, continue to do the things we need to do to win football games. The first order of business is focusing on Florida.”
He would later add, “I’m built for this. We just talked about it. I’m built for this. I was 0â€‘10â€‘1 (in 1982). We’ll get it turned. Stay together. 6â€‘6. 9â€‘3 (in 1983 and ’84). I’ve been around some head coaches that I’ve got a chance to watch go through this. We’re fine. I’m fine.”
He isn’t worried, either. Not worried about anything past this coming Saturday.
“Don’t worry. I haven’t got time to worry,” he said. “My worry is making sure we get prepared for Florida.”
Joker talked about that preparation for Florida in his opening remarks to start the press conference. He broke down what he’s seen so far in the short amount of time he’s had to scout the Gators, specifically four big stats that stick out.
“This is a really tough football team we’re about to play,” he said of the Gators. “Florida, there’s four stats that I say that stick out. Returning offense, rushing for 232 yards per game. Their rushing defense, giving up just a little over a hundred yards rushing. The quarterback has thrown for 70% with no interceptions. Their tailback is leading the league in rushing. Then they’re 3â€‘0. It’s actually five stats. It’s really impressive. Really good team defense. Running the football. They’re only throwing the ball about 58 times. You’re talking about 18, 19 times a game. They’re hanging their hats on the run.”
He followed that up with what his guys need to do to contain the undefeated Gators.
“We have to do a better job of stopping the run,” he said. “It should be a big challenge for us. But also we’ve got to possess the ball offensively. That’s the one stat that if you look at we’ve had the ball 24 minutes, and our opponents have had it 36. That’s a stat that if we can just keep possession of the ball, we have done a good job of moving the ball and scoring points, as long as we take care of the football, those are the things we have to do. Obviously, we’re going to have to stop the run as well as these guys run the football. We also have to continue to possess the ball.”
News broke on Monday that three UK football players were charged with possession of marijuana last week. Raymond Sanders, Bookie Cobbins, and Marcus Caffey were all cited by campus police Thursday night for possession. Sanders and Bookie sat out Saturday’s game for the “violation of team rules” but they’re back with the team this week. Caffey was ruled academically ineligible prior to the start of the season.
When asked about his three cited players, Joker said, “Kids don’t always do all the things right. The thing we do is we hold our kids accountable. We discipline right away. We don’t wait. We try to get as many of the facts as we possibly can. We got them on Friday and we disciplined right away.”
Sanders, Cobbins, and Caffey will be in court on October 9.
Your Boone’s Butcher Shop Injury Report:
Day-to-Day: Cartier Rice (thigh bruise); CoShik Williams (hip strain); Darrian Miller (ankle sprain)
Doubful: Josh Forrest (thigh bruise)
Out: Gabe Correll (hip flexor)
With the uncertainty of CoShik Williams’ role in the rotation, Jonathan George could start at tailback against Gainesville. George leapfrogged Raymond Sanders on the depth chart after a solid performance against Western and Sanders’ recent off-the-field troubles. George had over 100 all-purpose yards with three touchdowns in the loss to the Hilltoppers.
“The we he played, he deserves to be the starter,” Joker said on Monday.
Switching over to basketball news, Calipari extended a scholarship offer to 2013 power forward Marcus Lee during UK’s in-home visit Sunday night. Coach Cal was out in California to meet with Lee’s family and he gave the offer before returning back to Kentucky. Lee is ranked as high as No. 15 overall in the class of 2013 rankings and his stock continues to rise. He is scheduled to attend Big Blue Madness next month.
As we mentioned earlier on Monday and throughout the entire weekend, Julius Randle’s official visit to Kentucky went very well. Now, it’s a waiting game. Randle told ESPN.com that he’ll definitely wait until the spring to commit after he sees how coaches show interest throughout the season. Some of you have expressed concerns with UK hosting Randle for his official visit so early, but when Drake is on campus with enough NBA players to fill an entire roster, I think the alumni game weekend is an exception to the “too early” rule. Big Blue Nation put on quite the show for Randle, and, as always, never doubt John Vincent Calipari’s ways.
With interest from Julius Randle on the rise, the likelihood of Jabari Parker coming to Kentucky is almost completely gone. Parker will host four more schools — Duke, Michigan State, North Carolina and Stanford — for in-home visits before he cuts his list down to five schools and sets up his official visits. His father, Sonny Parker, told ESPN.com that he’s unsure whether or not Kentucky would even get a chance to visit Jabari in-home.
We’re all-in on the Harrison twins and Julius Randle.
Miami and Jorts. Jorts and Miami.
It’s a match made in heaven.
I’m taking my talents to South Beach! Let’s go Heat
— Josh Harrellson (@BigJorts55) September 17, 2012
It’s everyone’s favorite week of the year, when Cats fans flood the area surrounding Memorial Coliseum with tents for the Big Blue Madness campout. Tickets for the 2012 Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena will be available Saturday, September 22nd at 7:00 am at the Memorial Coliseum ticket windows on Euclid Avenue and online at UKathletics.com and Ticketmaster.com. Tickets are free again this year, and there will be a limit of four tickets per person at Memorial Coliseum.
Fans wishing to line up ahead of time at Memorial Coliseum are asked to do so no earlier than 7:00 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 19th. Control cards will be issued to those camped out on Friday, Sept. 21st, beginning at 2:00 p.m. All fans must be present to obtain their control cards and only one control card per person will be accepted at distribution. Control cards will not be distributed after 7:00 am on Saturday, September 22 and all persons with control cards must be in line by 7:00 am.
That’ll do it for now. We’ll have more from the John Calipari Fantasy Experience in the morning once I get it edited and uploaded to YouTube.