A couple of notes on a Monday where the news is coming at a frenzied pace…
– For the second consecutive week, the Cats were shut out of the weekly SEC awards as Chandler Parsons was named Player of the Week and Alabama’s Trevor Releford was picked as the Freshman of the Week. Both players had good numbers, but none more impressive than their teams combining to go 4-0.
– The new polls were released and the Cats fell, though not as much as maybe some feared. The Cats checked in at #18 in both polls, down from 1oth and 11th the previous week. Louisville and Florida are ahead of them in the AP (16th and 17th) and the Cards also are above them in the ESPN poll (15th). The Gators are 19th in the ESPN rankings. Vandy is the other SEC team ranked at #23 and #24. With all of the complaints about Kentucky at this point, the rankings are again a reminder of wide-open the college basketball field appears to be at this point. The teams that go about six through the ones also receiving votes are pretty close.
– In his time on the SEC call this morning, Bruce Pearl joked that his real punishment was that Mike Slive is making him return for Rupp Arena and The O Dome before saying that his team will not play zone against the Cats. In last season’s two matchups, the Vols played a healthy dose of the defense against the Cats. Pearl said that this year’s team shoots the ball to well to do the same. I assume that means he’ll just double Terrence Jons and Brandon Knight and take his chances playing 1-on-3.
– ESPN usually updates their Bracketology on Mondays, but no such update has been made yet. Joe Lunardi did make some adjustments prior to Kentucky’s game against the Gators Saturday and placed the Cats as a four-seed with the dreaded red arrow pointing down, indicating their falling status. Calipari said that seeding is what he is worried about going forward and it’s hard to see a scenario where they can break much higher than the four or three range. If they run the table against the SEC’s better teams (a big “if”), the could get a little higher, but that seems to be about the right spot for where they will be at the end of the year.
– The Alabama wide receiver’s coaching position that UK assistant Tee Martin was rumored to be favored for is apparently going to another in-state coach. Alabama’s rivals site is reporting that U of L quarterbacks coach Mike Groh will be named the Tide’s receivers coach, adding another small bit of positivity to UK’s decision to give Martin a new contract.
– On a non-UK note, it looks like some Ole Miss fans will not go quietly into the night regarding the change of the mascot from Colonel Reb to Colonel Black Bear. They have started placing these billboards in Mississippi to gain support for beating up the Black Bear or something. I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like a great idea, though.
– Not to be lost at the end, the UK women’s basketball team has a massively huge game tonight at home against Tennessee. The Cats enter the game ranked 18th in the nation and two games behind the fourth-ranked Lady Vols in the SEC race. There are a few tickets available and Mitch Barnhart will be giving away some men’s basketball tickets at the game to those who purchased their tickets in advance. Get yourself all geared up by reading this Matthew Mitchell interview on the SEC’s official site.
If you missed this morning’s show, there was a lot to talk about as Matt and Zach discussed the game in Gainesville, Mitch Barnhart’s contract extension and the lingering feud with Mr. Photogenic. You can listen to the podcast below.