The Big Blue Nation and the rest of the basketball community received some sobering news on Saturday night: Hall of Fame coach Eddie Sutton passed away. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette broke the news late last night.
Sutton was 84 at the time of his death and will forever be regarded as one of the all-time greatest coaches in college basketball history. He spent four seasons at the helm for the Wildcats from 1985-1989, posting a 90-40 overall record that included a trip to the Elite Eight in his first year as UK’s coach. Sutton is more commonly remembered for his lengthy stints as the head coach at Arkansas (1974-85) and Oklahoma State (1990-2006) before he was inducted into the 2020 Naismith Hall of Fame class alongside basketball icons such as Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Tamika Catchings, Patrick Baumann, Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, and Rudy Tomjanovich.
Eddie Sutton has passed away. He had a HOF career and touched many lives, including mine. He was always kind to me and my family when I was a young coach and we’ve stayed in touch throughout his life. He’s going to be missed. RIP, my friend. He and his family are in my prayers. pic.twitter.com/JxoFliDvyx
— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) May 24, 2020
The legendary coach was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Sutton was the first head coach in Divison I history to take four different programs to the NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky “What ifs?”
What would have happened if Christian Laettner didn’t hit “the shot”? What if Kentucky went straight to John Calipari instead of hiring Billy Gillispie? What if the refs would have called Florida for that obvious delay of game penalty in 2014?
You no longer have to wonder; KSR’s own Jack Pilgrim and Nick Roush have created those alternate realities.
You can read Jack’s “what ifs?” on the basketball program and Nick’s “what ifs?” on the football team by clicking the links below.
Brandon Huntley-Hatfield and Kennedy Chandler
Two high-caliber recruits have been zeroed in on by the Kentucky coaching staff.
2022 superstar forward Brandon Huntley-Hatfield – along with his mother and high school head coach – participated in a Zoom visit this past Thursday with Kentucky. On Saturday, Jack Pilgrim dropped a must-read interview featuring Huntley-Hatfield’s mother, which you can read by clicking the link here. There are plenty of informative nuggets regarding Huntley-Hatfield’s recruitment such as when he plans on deciding, his connection to Alex Poythress, and what it’s been like transitioning to virtual visits.
Huntley-Hatfield is ranked as a five-star recruit and the No. 4 overall player in the class of 2022, according to 247 Sports composite score, although it is expected that he could ultimately reclassify to 2021. If he decides to take that path, he could team up with one of the 2021’s top point guards: Kennedy Chandler.
John Calipari and his coaching staff have been hot on the feet of Chandler recently and they applied the full-court pressure on Saturday. The entire coaching staff met with Chandler through a virtual visit. The 6-foot-1 junior is considered the No. 1 point guard in the class of 2021 and the No. 13 overall player, according to 247 Sports composite scores.
Masks for fans at sporting events?
According to Andy Katz, that could be the reality of playing football with fans in stadiums. Katz, who is a reporter for NCAA.com, told Paul Finebaum that he predicts fans will eventually be required to wear masks if they wish to gain entrance to sporting events.
“I think we’re going to have to have masks in the stadium. I do think it will be required initially,” NCAA.com’s Andy Katz said Friday on The Paul Finebaum Show. “I think in September — unless things change, and I hope they change — I’m going to say initially, yes, it will be required for entrance all over the country. That’s just my prediction.
“We’ll see in the fall. But as of now, every AD I talk to believes there will be a requirement for a mask with fans.”
If you don’t have a Kentucky-themed mask yet, it might be time to invest in one.
Mark Stoops asks that you pray for Chris Oats
We still don’t know what exactly is wrong with Kentucky linebacker Chris Oats, but the situation is obviously serious. Keep him and his family in your thoughts.
He’s in the hospital due to a medical issue we can confirm isn’t related to COVID 19. He’s expected to move to a physical rehabilitation center in the near future, but beyond that his family has requested that their privacy be respected during this time.
— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) May 23, 2020
KSBar and Grille is OPEN
Your favorite local sports joint reopened on Friday and they’ll be happy to serve you on this fine Sunday. Remember, the Memorial Weekend special is Prime Rib.
And that’s the news you need to know for Sunday. It’s going to be a hot one in Lexington today, so try to enjoy it (safely).