It’s Wednesday and I don’t think the days until football season could crawl by any slower. Let’s do some notes…
– Joker Phillips was on ESPN Radio and the Scott Van Pelt show today. Van Pelt started off by referring to us as KU but he rebounded quickly and apologized before asking Joker what it’s like to be the football coach at a basketball school. Joker said, “We embrace our basketball program, I grew up a Kentucky sports fan. We want to hitch our wagon to the basketball program. We want to sell John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins, but as we improve, we can sell academics and top 25 attendance and five straight bowl games”.
-To do that, the program will have to improve upon the success of the past few seasons. Joker stressed for them “to continue the growth of the program, we have to continue to recruit talented players, graduate players and develop the players we bring in“.
-He went on to address the streak against Tennessee and the difficulty of an SEC schedule by saying, “If you want to compete, compete at a high level. Why not come to the SEC? We have to continue the growth of our program if we’re going to break some of these streaks in this conference. We have to understand and learn how to finish those games”.
– He also said that, “a successful season for Kentucky football would be to stay in the title race as long as possible. It’s a competitive league, but we feel like we’ve elevated our program to the rest of the SEC and when we show up people will understand that they have to prepare for us”.
– When asked which player gone from last season is hardest to replace, he blurted out Randall Cobb’s name almost before Van Pelt had the question out, but he also acknowledged that it would be difficult to replace Hartline. However, he cited the progression of Morgan Newton as, “a great opportunity to develop another player in a long line of successful quarterbacks”.
– ESPNU has just released its new Top 100 for the class of 2012 and Shabazz Muhammad has now become the unanimous #1 player in the each of the big three ranking services. Muhammad overtook Andre Drummond who sits at #2 with Mitch McGary, Isaiah Austin and Brandon Ashley rounding out the top five. Other players of note are Kaleb Tarczewski and Anthony Bennett at #7 and #8 respectively, Archie Goodwin at #14 and Alex Poythress at #18. Also of note, Perry Ellis dropped to #38 overall, one spot ahead of former NC State commit and current UK target, Torian Graham.
– The Herald Leader reported earlier today that Mitch Barnhart, Mayor Jim Gray and a lot of other people rich enough to be included in things like this are going to Columbus on Friday to scope out Nationwide Arena, before going to look at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis later this month. Both trips will be to collect ideas for UK’s potential new basketball arena.
– Today the University of Kentucky released information on a press conference set for Thursday at 3:30 to “announce a commitment to financial literacy effort”. It is being described as “major initiative by The Calipari Family Foundation for Children” and we’ll surely have more details tomorrow.
– SI’s Peter King was at Packers practice today and he sent out the tweet below about the impact Randall Cobb has made on his new team. Media members in Milwaukee have even been joking about when they should report that Cobb walks on water. Cobb’s great hands and Aaron Rodgers’ precision passing should make for an exciting combo next season in Green Bay. I expect many a Lambeau Leap in Cobb’s future.
-In more NFL Cats news, Joe Reedy, a blogger for the Cincinnati Bengals, was asked which undrafted rookie has the best chance to make the roster as of now. His answer? LB and former UK standout DeQuin Evans. Despite the position change, DeQuin has found himself in a good position with the Bengals. His fellow linebacker and friend from Southern California, Rey Maualuga, has been going over the playbook with him every night and he is currently listed third on the depth chart at the strongside linebacker position. I guess one benefit of signing with a bad team is an increased chance to make the roster.
– As far as current Wildcats are concerned, LEX 18 posted this story on Mister Cobble on their website. In it, Cobble talks about his #rise as a practice player last season when he was sidelined with poor grades and his drive to make an impact on the field this season. David Turner, UK’s defensive line coach, had this to say about Cobble:
He has all the tools. As coaches we have this saying potential is a fancy was of saying you ain’t done it yet. He has a lot of potential. And if he continues to develop and work hard and continue to put in time off the field, he can be as good as he wants to be.
If you missed the podcast today, you really owe me one. Join Matt as he talks new arenas and Terrence Jones’ brand new 20 pounds of muscle.