Tonight at 7 p.m., Kentucky basketball will be back on your television. For some of you, that means the long national nightmare is over; for others, it’s a starting point to getting over last season. For all of us, tonight’s Blue/White Scrimmage is an opportunity to get to know a new squad. We were treated to glimpses of the 2015-2016 Cats on Pro Day and at Big Blue Madness, but John Calipari has done a lot in practice the past few weeks, including installing the dribble drive system behind his three guards, Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray, and Isaiah Briscoe. Yesterday, Calipari told reporters the three will play together on one of the teams during tonight’s scrimmage, meaning fans will finally get to see Calipari’s old school dribble for themselves. After years of adapting his system to whatever best fits his personnel, Cal finally has the right tools for his signature style. I’m excited to see it tonight.
We’ll also get to see Alex Poythress, who will return to the court after his ACL injury. Poythress played during the scrimmage at Big Blue Madness, but looked tentative on that knee. Yesterday, he told reporters he’s looking forward to getting back on the court and “going hard.” Here’s hoping he makes a poster or two. It’s been too long.
Because it’s what we do, we’ll have complete coverage of the scrimmage on the site tonight, including a live blog starting at 7 p.m. The game will be televised on the SEC Network. Get your GIFs ready and see you then.
Meanwhile, here’s a look at what else is going on…
We’ll hear from Shannon Dawson and the UK offense
After a performance we’d all like to forget in Starkville, the Cats are regrouping for Saturday’s game against the Vols. There were some truly puzzling play calls against Mississippi State and on Monday, Mark Stoops brought up UK’s drive before halftime as a learning experience. Stoops ok’d a shot to the end zone but said they should have milked the clock more before kicking the field goal to avoid giving Dak Prescott a chance to score (which he did).
“I need to be more forceful in my communication,” Stoops said. “We all know that there were calls and things on both sides that we could have done better and we would have been in that game.”
It’ll be interesting to hear Shannon Dawson’s take tonight.
Saturday’s game is crucial for the tone of the rest of the season
After Saturday’s blowout, the shine has been stripped off UK’s promising start to the season. SEC wins over South Carolina and Missouri no longer seem as impressive and the path to a bowl is more daunting than once thought. Charlotte will be a win, but Vandy’s defense is formidable. Although they fell short, Tennessee looked good vs. Alabama. Kentucky cannot afford to fall on their faces two weeks in a row. With basketball ramping up, casual football fans are teetering on the edge, and a clunker against the Vols will push them over the edge.
On his radio show last night, Stoops told a story about how his mother called him after the Mississippi State loss to ask what the heck happened. A lot of UK fans are wondering the same thing. Tennessee also has a dual-threat quarterback in Joshua Dobbs, but hopefully a week’s worth of seeing their mistakes on film and being back in Commonwealth Stadium will prevent a total face plant.
The NBA season tips off
The NBA season tips off tonight and 21 UK players on opening-day rosters. Only two will play in tonight’s games: Anthony Davis (New Orleans vs. Golden State, 10:30 p.m., TNT) and Jodie Meeks (Detroit vs. Atlanta, 8 p.m., NBA League Pass).
It’s been a few days since we’ve watched this Anthony Davis video, so let’s watch it again:
– Anthony Davis (@AntDavis23) October 20, 2015
Mindy Kaling’s latest book is really good
As you all know, I make the drive to Lexington and back pretty often. That stretch of I-65 and Bluegrass Parkway can be pretty mind-numbing, so I get through it by listening to audiobooks. On Sunday, I spent my six hours in the car listening to Mindy Kaling’s latest book, “Why Not Me?”. I loved Mindy’s first book and am happy to report her second is just as entertaining. It’s a collection of essays about her life, and her stories about surviving in Hollywood kept me rolling when I was running on empty (figuratively, not literally). Her essays about hard work are pretty awesome, or at the very least, make me feel better about how many hours I spend on the computer writing things for you all to read. Here’s a quote that hit home:
“Hard work is such a weird thing. As children and teenagers, you are told it’s a really good thing, but for adults, it suddenly becomes the worst thing in the world,” Kaling writes. “The truth is, I’ve never, ever, ever met a highly confident and successful person who is not what a movie would call a workaholic. We can’t have it both ways and children should know that. Because confidence is like respect; you have to earn it.”
KSR starts in one hour
It’ll probably include a Blue/White game preview, some Tennessee talk, and more of Matt’s stories from DC. You ready?