Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s coooold out there today! Actually, it could be colder for the second day in February, but because it’s Groundhog Day, I had to steal a line from Bill Murray’s 1993 classic. If you believe in the bizarre tradition, don’t put away your flannel and sweaters just yet; this morning, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, meaning we’ve got six weeks of winter left. Considering it was 65 degrees here in Nashville Tuesday, I’m skeptical, but hey, who am I to argue with a groundhog?
Let’s go over today’s agenda…
1. Stoops signed his best class yet yesterday
Yesterday was quite the day for the UK Football program, which pulled in what Mark Stoops called his best class ever. Although the class may not rank as high as Stoops’ 2014 group, he raved about the character and leadership of his 24 new players.
“I’d say it’s by far best class, period, but by athletes as well. I just feel so good about this class top to bottom. The biggest thing, and I may be a bit redundant when I talk about this, but it is about their character, about their leadership. You look at these guys and a bunch of these guys are captains on their football team, they’re very, very good students. They’re competitors, they’re winners. You just look at the two quarterbacks that we have in this class, and if I’m talking about one, I’m talking about both of them. They are unbelievable leaders. They’re winners, they’re competitors and you could say that about the whole group.”
2. Jedrick Wills and Danny Davis went elsewhere
There was hope Kentucky would be able to flip five-star Lafayette lineman Jedrick Wills, but Wills decided to stay with Alabama. He called Stoops late Tuesday night to inform him of his decision, which he admitted was very difficult.
“It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but it’s something you have to do because I have respect for him,” Wills told SEC Country’s Joe Mussatto. “UK’s been on me since about 8th grade so I respect them a lot and I thank them for what they’ve done for me.”
Best of luck to Wills and Danny Davis, a four-star receiver who opted for Wisconsin instead of Kentucky Wednesday afternoon.
3. Lamar Thomas continues to enjoy the win over Louisville
We all loved Kentucky’s upset over Louisville, but I’d argue few people have enjoyed it as much as Lamar Thomas, who wore a “Mr. 41-28” nametag around the football facility yesterday:
— Coach Lamar Thomas (@LamarCoachT) February 2, 2017
During his press conference yesterday, Vince Marrow said the win over Louisville gave the program huge momentum with the 2017 class:
“When we first got here we were selling the dream and what it was going to become with the facilities and all that. We still were able to sell the SEC but eventually we had to win that signature game to make them say ‘whoa, everything they are selling is coming true.’ I know when our coaches went out in December I had a lot of people telling me our coaches were walking in those schools with a swag. Everyone was talking about the Louisville game. To me that win was huge for us.”
4. The entire roster of 2017 signees
Before we close the book on Signing Day and shift back to basketball, here’s one last look at the 24 newest Kentucky Wildcats:
5. What’s the latest on Fox, Mulder, and Killeya-Jones?
De’Aaron Fox and Sacha Killeya-Jones missed Tuesday night’s game vs. Georgia due to the flu, along with Mychal Mulder, who sat out his fourth game due to an undisclosed illness. Will they be back in time for Saturday’s game at Florida? On Tuesday, Calipari said Fox and SKJ will probably be game-time decisions, while Mulder would be out another week to ten days. I doubt we’ll get an official update before Calipari’s presser on Friday, but we have our ear to the ground and will bring you any news that comes along. In the meantime, send healing vibes to the Wildcat Coal Lodge, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40526.
6. A ServPro truck was spotted at the Lodge yesterday
If you listen to KSR, you know ServPro can handle any disaster, small or large, and one of their trucks was spotted outside the Lodge yesterday. Coincidence or did Calipari call in the pros to help sanitize the place? His tweet last night suggests the latter:
Want to thank the team at ServPro of Lexington and @servprosmith for their great work in the Wildcat Coal Lodge on short notice!
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) February 2, 2017
7. Zion Williamson met with Calipari last night
Fresh off his “indescribable” and “ridiculous” visit for the Kansas game, the second best player in the junior class hosted John Calipari in his home in South Carolina yesterday. Williamson, a 6’7″ five-star power forward, didn’t have an offer from Kentucky before yesterday; did something change on that visit? You’ll hope so after watching Williamson dunk so hard the scoreboard just gave up Tuesday night:
Phew. Give that kid an offer, Cal. Speaking of recruiting…
8. Kentucky’s trending up for Mohamed Bamba
Two more picks went in Kentucky’s direction this week from Duke writers, furthering the buzz that the 7-footer will end up in Lexington:
9. Calipari’s podcast with Ben Roethlisberger is scheduled to drop today
This week’s Cal Cast guest is Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and even though Calipari avoided his first three-game losing streak at Kentucky with Tuesday’s overtime win, I bet some people will still grumble about how he NEEDS TO STOP DOING THAT PODCAST AND START COACHING MORE ZONE. Regardless, I’ll bring you the highlights whenever it comes out (even though I really, really don’t like Big Ben).
10. College basketball on TV tonight
- 7:00 PM: Missouri at #24 Florida, ESPN2
- 9:00 PM: #5 Arizona at Oregon State, ESPN2
- 11:00 PM: Arizona State at #13 Oregon, FS1
- 11:00 PM: #1 Gonzaga at BYU, ESPN2
- 11:00 PM: #18 Saint Mary’s at Pacific, ESPNU
Radio in an hour…