On the brink of a busy 3 day period with the Tipoff Luncheon, Media Day and Big Blue Madness, lets take a look at some notes:
— The news today that Patrick Towles is out for Saturday’s game versus Arkansas is yet another piece of bad luck for a season that has seen almost nothing go right. Towles gave optimism and positivity to Saturday’s otherwise depressing Commonwealth Stadium, but with his departure, Kentucky is left with two quarterbacks and less hope. Jalen Whitlow has potential, but from this onlooker’s perspective, it still seems like he hasn’t completely been used correctly. And Morgan Newton now stands as the backup, getting the great word of confidence from Randy Sanders on Saturday that, “we all know Morgan is extremely limited in what he can do.” How inspiring. This team is due some type of good news and positivity. Arkansas, a program in a similar free fall just weeks ago, got it on the road last week in the form of a win versus Auburn. Maybe, just maybe, Kentucky can return the favor against them.
— Brett Dawson of Cats Illustrated said this on his website today:
As an aside, if you’re the sort of person who is going to be furious if Joker’s retained, then I think you should brace yourself for the possibility so that you handle it better if it happens. I’m starting to think there’s an increasingly strong case for giving him another year, and I suspect Barnhart might be thinking the same.
I suspect this is not correct. As the stadium on Saturday indicated, the fan base at UK could not be any lower at this moment and it will take a lot to overcome that fact. I said before the season that I thought 6 wins would keep Joker’s job, 4 or less and he was done, and 5 would be a close call. Mitch Barnhart told me on my radio show before the season that he needed to see “improvement” in the program. Injuries may have changed the calculus a bit, because I now think that three wins or less and Joker can’t be retained, 5 or more and he is probably kept and 4 causes a difficult decision for Mitch. But with the Cats now an 18 point underdog at 2-4 Arkansas this week, the idea that a “strong case” currently exists for retaining Joker strikes me as faulty.
— Former UK Hoopster Keyla Snowden is now doing modeling and has produced calendar for sale. Proceeds from the calendar sale go to the Susan G Komen Foundation. She is also doing some work this year with the folks at KSTV as well, covering the UK Hoops team. Keyla is a beautiful young woman with a bright future and we wish her luck on all of her endeavors.
— CBS decided to rank the 100 Top Players in College Basketball today and their list included four UK guys. Here were the spots:
5. Nerlens Noel, 6-10, 228, C, Fr., Kentucky
He’s not Anthony Davis, but he sure will remind you of last year’s number one pick on the defensive end. He’s an exceptional shot-blocker, but does not possess the offensive skills of Davis. – J.G.
32. Alex Poythress, 6-7, 239, F, Fr., Kentucky
Poythress made the transition from purely a power forward to a combo forward who is difficult to defend. He is excellent on the glass, but he is also able to knock down outside shots or go off the dribble. – J.B.
33. Archie Goodwin, 6-4 ½, 198, SG, Fr., Kentucky
Goodwin might have been the best pure scoring guard in the high school ranks last season. He’s extremely athletic and knows how to get to the rim against nearly any defender. – J.B.
62. Ryan Harrow, 6-2, 170, PG, Soph., Kentucky
John Calipari has had success with first-year point guards in the past, but now he has someone who has been in the system for a year. Harrow is a tremendous athlete who loves to make plays. – J.B
I have only minor quibbles with the list. If I were making it, I might go a few spots lower on Noel (8-10), a bit higher on Poythress (15-20), I like Goodwin about where he is and then I would add Wiltjer to the list somewhere, probably between 50-80. Otherwise, I think it is generally fair and gives the Cats credit for what they are…a team with some of the best players in America taking the court every game.
— Finally, Jonathan Nunn is a KSR reader and sent in this picture that he did of UK’s court using some game called “Minecraft.” I have no idea what that is, but this looks like it took a lot of time. So I thought, why not add it for some notes:
More to come as the days and nights progress…