Matt is on the road so I got called in from the bullpen for the Sunday night post. Let’s go ahead and get rolling with 10 notes from the weekend so I can catch up on Breaking Bad.
1.) Excitement is brewing around the football program.
Whether you’re optimistic about the season or prepared for the worst, it’s hard not to be excited for the opening kickoff on September 2nd. Big Blue Nation got its first look at the 2012 Wildcats over the weekend with interviews from Friday’s media day and then Fan Day on Saturday. Roughly 3,000 fans showed up at Commonwealth Stadium to watch the scrimmage and meet the team. And watch fireworks, of course.
Here is a shot of the team and the crowd:
2.) It’s going to be a long month of questions at the quarterback position.
Max Smith is the presumed starter and the first teamer to start camp, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be the one under center when Kentucky takes the field against Louisville. Morgan Newton looked like the guy at Saturday’s Fan Day while Smith struggled to get it going. Newton was by far the better quarterback (not that he was perfect) in the 11-on-11 scrimmages, highlighted by a 30-yard pass to DeMarco Robinson and 50-yard bomb to Aaron Boyd.
Joker wouldn’t give any hints as to who had the better day on Sunday but we should expect to hear something on Monday once he gets a chance to sit down and watch the tape.
He told the media, “I don’t really like to watch the practice out here live and then (make conclusions). I like to go watch the film because yesterday I thought we had better command of the football, but after watching the tape we didn’t. But we improved today, so we will watch the film and make a decision.”
3.) Sunday’s football practice was much improved.
Joker didn’t like his guys’ execution on the field during the first practice of fall camp on Saturday, but he was a little more pleased when he blew the final whistle on Day 2.
“It was (a much-improved) practice from execution to tempo,” he said after Sunday’s practice. “We were a lot sharper today, but not anywhere near where we need to be to line up and play.”
Part of getting ready to “line up and play” is getting the freshman comfortable at this level. Sunday was only the second time the new batch of players have worked with the staff and their new team.
“There is a day when you see the light come on in the freshmen’s heads, yes, but today was not the day,” Phillips said. “Their heads are still swimming and the tempo of how we are trying to practice gets to them. The tempo of trying to get the play in and out, get in and out of the huddle and get lined up is difficult on the freshmen right now. Today was not the day we saw the light come on. … They don’t always grow up as fast as we want, but some are faster than others.”
4.) Everyone is talking about Dy’Shawn Mobley.
The freshman running back is already turning heads at camp with his size and strength.
Joker said he could be a guy who sets a lot of records at Kentucky.
5.) Nerlens will be in Lexington on August 19th!
Get your cameras ready!!!
6.) Jonathan Givony isn’t impressed by the flat-top feller.
Nerlens Noel couldn’t score today unless he was completely spoon-fed under the rim. Defensively his fundamentals & awareness looked just OK.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 4, 2012
Tough day for Nerlens Noel.Too early to draw long-term conclusions but he may be a little further away than initially thought
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 4, 2012
Kentucky fans have been killing me all day on twitter, so I’m glad for them they didn’t see Noel’s performance today. Actually played worse.
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) August 5, 2012
As Matt mentioned in a post earlier, Givony is a Kentucky hater and he’s very open about it.
7.) The rims at the Adidas Nations event were unkind to Kyle Wiltjer.
Wiltjer struggled from the field in the camp counselor games at the adidas Nations event — and that’s putting it nicely. In the two scrimmages against his fellow counselors, Wiltjer scored a combined 12 points on 4-of-26 shooting, including 1-of-12 from downtown.
All three UK players failed to score in double figures in a game.
8.) Tom Crean’s tweet was hilarious.
I’ve been thinking about it a lot since Friday.
A whole lot.
9.) “Lexington Is For The Birds” billboard is back.
Any of you traveling west on I-64 this week should expect to see the “Lexington Is For The Birds” back in action. The infamous billboard to insult Lexington that isn’t in Lexington has been resurrected after “storm damage” took it down last week. The 5-day weather forecast calls for clear skies so expect the billboard to stick around, at least throughout the week, as a continuous reminder that Louisville fans aren’t capable of doing anything right.
Exit now for Cracker Barrel.
10.) The KSR statewide tour hits Columbia on Monday.
At Burger King!