Remember that meaningless information you learned in elementary school about the solar system? (sorry Mrs. Harris, Lorenz and Ruyak) Well, you can thank William Herschel for that time you giggled when your teacher tried to teach you about Uranus. On March 13th, 1781, the German-born English astronomer discovered Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun. Herschel’s discovery of a new planet was the first to be made by use of a telescope, which allowed Herschel to determine that Uranus was indeed a planet and not a star, as previous astronomers thought. Like Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus is made up of hydrogen, helium, and methane. The third largest planet orbits the sun once every 84 earth years and is the only “sideways” planet (it spins perpendicular to its solar orbital plane, duh). You can thank the great astronomer William Herschel for discovering Uranus. I’m not sure what we all would have done without the knowledge of its existence as a planet.
Now moving on to today’s news and views, leading off with video of today’s press conference quotes from John Calipari, Willie Cauley-Stein and Kyle Wiltjer:
— Calipari also joined Andy Katz for an interview today on ESPN’s Katz Korner.
— At KSR, Corey Nichols got the day started as he does every weekday with this nice preview of Kentucky’s first SEC tournament game against either Vanderbilt or Arkansas.
— It was announced today that despite his season-ending injury, Nerlens Noel was named SEC Freshman of the Year and SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the league’s coaches.
From Mrs. Tyler’s post:
Noel averaged 10.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in 24 games played. He logged 106 blocked shots and 50 steals to become just the second player in school history to amass 100 or more blocked shots in a season. His 50 steals were the fifth-most by a Kentucky freshman in a single season.
That’s not all. Noel was all named to All-SEC first team, All-Defensive team and All-Freshman team. Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin and Alex Poythress also made the All-Freshman team.
Kyle Wiltjer was also named SEC Sixth Man of the Year after averaging 10.5 points and 4.3 rebounds per game during the regular season. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was named SEC Player of the Year and Billy Donovan SEC Coach of the Year.
— Click here for a breakdown by yours truly of the SEC bubble teams, and what each will have to do in Nashville to insure a trip to the big dance.
— Last night, John Robic sat in for Cal on his weekly call-in show and answered a question about how the staff may handle next season’s roster with five recruits signed, one committed, and a possibly a few more on the way:
“If you look at our current roster right now, you’re allowed 13 scholarships. Well, we have a few walk-ons that are on scholarships that’s a 1-year contract; we have a couple seniors in Julius Mays and Twany Beckham; we have to see who, if anyone, will go to the NBA draft. With that in mind, we will never be in a situation where we will be over signed. We have a lot of flexibility right now, we are still continuing to recruit, because if you go home and do the math, there’s 13 on our roster. Take away the walk-ons, take away a couple to the NBA, take away the seniors, there’s a lot of flexibility there. That’s why we continue to recruit.”
It was a huge, record-setting day for the UK softball and baseball teams today:
— Freshman pitcher Katie Henderson threw the ninth no-hitter in school history in an 18-0 thrashing of No. 24 UNC in Lexington today. The softball team improves to 19-4 on the season. It was only Henderson’s second career start. In her first start, Henderson gave up only one hit in a 14-0 win over Howard. Her career line is 10 IP, 1 hit, 12 K’s, 0 runs. Not bad. All nine no-hitters in school history have been during the tenure of sixth-year head coach Rachel Lawson.
— Kentucky baseball improves to 14-2 after defeating Ohio today at Cliff Hagan Stadium, 6-3. The Bat Cats scored all six runs in the first three innings and closer Trevor Gott earned his 16th career save, making him the all-time career saves leader for UK. 16 saves doesn’t sound like a lot, but in college ball, managers do not always pitch the same guy in the ninth inning in every save opportunity. Unlike major league managers, college coaches actually use their brains and use a variety of pitchers in different situations. Tomorrow, the Bat Cats host Cincinnati at 4:00 in the final tune-up before SEC play begins this weekend at Florida.
— Did you miss the epic thriller in the final Big East meeting between South Florida and Seton Hall tonight? The teams entered overtime tied, 37-37. Seton Hall prevailed by a final of 46-42, in OT. It’s such a shame that the greed of conference realignment has ruined great Big East games like this one from continuing in the future.
–With 7:30 remaining in regulation of the Horizon League championship, Wright State and Valparaiso are scoring at a normal pace. Julius Mays’ old squad leads Valparaiso, 47-42 (UPDATE: Valparaiso comes back to win).
— Scroll down the page to view KSR’s Guide to Nashville and scroll down just a bit further to view the many great pictures from the KSR Photo Contest which can win you a trip to the SEC Tournament, but remember, the contest ends at Midnight tonight!
— And one last thing. Thanks to all of you for letting me step in to help while Matt and Drew are gone in California. Tonight is my final evening on the site, and it’s been really fun. Follow me on Twitter @wilmhoffCBB.