The SEC media days are officially under way. While we haven’t heard any crazy conference shattering news just yet, Steve Spurrier hasn’t taken the stage yet either, so keep your fingers crossed. We’ll keep you posted on news as it trickles out (and for those of you who weren’t sure, Kentucky’s portion of the media days is tomorrow, not today,) so stick around.
A few afternoon notes while we try and figure out if Drew even cares if he ever comes back:
— With the beginning of SEC Media days, it is just about time to officially welcome the start of the football season. If you have been paying attention, one of the oft praised parts of next seasons Kentucky team is the veteran offensive line they will have. Anyone who knows what they’re talking about will stress the importance of linemen, and for Kentucky to bring in one of its strongest units when the rest of the offense has a big question mark around is a huge help. Even ESPN is starting to take note, as they named Stuart Hines one of the SEC’s ten most under rated players.
9. Kentucky OG Stuart Hines: The Kentucky guard getting all the love right now is Larry Warford and deservedly so. He’s an excellent player, but don’t sleep on the Wildcats’ “other” guard. The 6-foot-4, 296-pound Hines is one of the better pulling guards in the league and has made 24 starts during his career. It’s no secret that Kentucky will lean heavily on its offensive line in 2011, and Hines — rock-solid in every way — is a big reason why.
— As Beisner made note, Kentucky’s first three games against WKU, Central Michigan and Louisville will be televised on ESPNU. The next three have yet to be picked up, but you can readily assume the Florida, LSU and South Carolina games will all be featured on some ESPN channel, which means it may not be until the Jacksonville State game that we will have to answer the ‘where can I watch the game’ question 20 times in a liveblog.
— Brandon Ashley, the top power forward in the 2012 class according to rivals, has narrowed his list of schools down to 7. Kentucky is still in the mix for Ashley, joining Arizona, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Syracuse, Texas and UCLA. Ashley has done a pretty good job of keeping his cards close to his chest (though at one point was considered an Arizona lean,) so at this point it’s a shot in the dark where he will end up. Kentucky has been on Ashley for a while though, so I wouldn’t be surprised for the Cats to be in the mix until the end.
— Kind of a cool story from a disappointing one – Tom Leach had Jon Hood’s dad on his radio show earlier today to talk about his son’s torn ACL. I didn’t get a chance to listen, but Tom tweeted out that Jon was contacted by perennially injured Purdue big man Robbie Hummel with an encouraging note, as well as former Cats Wall and Orton. I always find it cool how players across the country form a bond, despite not spending much time together. There’s been a huge outpouring of support for Hood, and we can only hope his recovery is speedy.
Finally, check out today’s radio show as Ryan Lemond fills in for Matt and is joined by both Demarcus Cousins and Jeremy Jarmon.