Last week, we had a classic episode of “Wow, the NCAA is dumb” when news broke that South Carolina self-reported an infraction involving “impermissible icing” on cookie cakes given to football recruits (apparently the icing was in question because it was a “personalized recruiting aide”). Thankfully, the NCAA redeemed themselves just a bit by ruling that the icing wasn’t an infraction after all, and that cookie cakes are just fine by them. In a hilarious gesture, Great American Cookies sent a dozen cookie cakes to the NCAA’s headquarters to thank them for the ruling on Wednesday:
— GreatAmericanCookies (@Gr8AmCookies) August 6, 2014
I love this because it exposes the NCAA’s stupidity in such a sweet, passive aggressive way. As John Short would say, Great American Cookies, you are great Americans.
It’s been a long summer, but UK sports news is finally back in our lives, so let’s get to it.
Calipari tells us what to expect in the Bahamas
After a tweet-worthy trip to the London Bojangles, John Calipari met with the media to preview the Bahamas trip. Here are the highlights
- He won’t coach all of the games in the Bahamas: Cal said that he’s going to let his assistants coach some of the games, presumably so he can watch without worrying about game management. He’ll also probably sit in on the ESPNU/SEC Network broadcasts to give his own commentary on the games. Even money that he still screams out instructions to the court.
- Get ready for mass substitutions: Cal specifically mentioned he’ll be doing “platoon” style substitutions, rotating five players in for five players out. (Cue the Tubby Smith flashbacks.)
- Expect losses: Cal said that his team “probably shouldn’t win any of the games” in the Bahamas a few times during the presser, but then he followed it up with this face:
Yeaaaah, I’ve seen that face before. This man doesn’t just love to win, he loves to prove people wrong. However, he said if his team does lose, it’ll be the best teaching tool yet: “Let them take an L on national television and see how hungry they are then. I’m trying to teach them.”
These quotes will make you smile
Andrew Harrison on why he wanted to come back to school: “I lost some weight (12 pounds), people saying I’m not athletic, stuff like that. I just want to prove people wrong. Also, my main thing, I want to win a national championship. That’s the biggest reason I came back.”
John Calipari on the players’ work ethic: “I mean, right now, you got guys at 11 o’clock at night, you got four, five guys in here.”
Alex Poythress on being in the gym late at night: “A lot of us are in here all the time, whenever we can. We’re all just gym rats, really”
Andrew Harrison on what’s changed for him and his brother: “I think it was just us realizing how much work it actually takes to be great”
John Calipari on Karl Towns: “Karl is way better than I thought, when I saw him in high school…What I’m seeing right now is a very active player that’s skilled and runs better than I ever thought he’d run. That’s now without really getting into the season and doing anything.”
These pictures will make you laugh
UK released the official 2014-2015 basketball roster on Wednesday via neat pictures on Twitter. These two were my favorite because Brian Long is still rocking that ridiculous faux-hawk, and Tod Lanter, well, Tod Lanter looks like he’s auditioning for George Clooney’s role in Batman & Robin back in 1997:
Just saying, it must have been a bit chilly in the studio that day. Also, in true Tod fashion, the guns are extra oily.
Meanwhile, Mark Stoops was NOT HAPPY with today’s practice
Angry Stoops was back with a vengeance Wednesday morning after what he called “an average practice.” Stoops said he was disappointed by his team’s lackluster effort and “guys feeling sorry about themselves for getting up early.” We’re only three days into camp, so read what you will into the team’s poor effort, but I appreciate how Stoops is holding their feet to the fire, or as he put it, “not giving them any place to hide.” This early reality check will be an excellent learning experience for all the young guys on the squad, which is what senior DT Mike Douglas is counting on: “I think after a day like today, you just have to talk to the young guys. ‘Even though we had a bad day, don’t let that leak into the next practice.’”
Darius West is out for the season
Another bit of bad news on the football front: freshman safety Darius West injured his leg during practice Tuesday and will be out for the entire season. The news is doubly tough: West was one of the freshmen Mark Stoops expected to play early at a thin position; and this is his third lower leg injury. West broke his tibia twice in high school. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Darius.
However, this picture of Boom Williams is great
Williams did say that he picked the #18 for Randall Cobb and Jacob Tamme. Something tells me he’ll do them proud.
Matt had a spirited debate with John Feinstein at Valhalla
Matt and Ryan were at Valhalla for Wednesday’s show, seated right in front of John Feinstein, a renowned sports writer, radio host, and Kentucky hater. Matt was able to extend the show an extra fifteen minutes in order to interview Feinstein, and well, it’s just about as intense as you would expect. I’m certain that Ryan Lemond was cowering under a table somewhere. Listen below:
Speaking of Valhalla, OMG DID YOU HEAR TIGER WOODS SHOWED UP AND WILL PLAY??? Say what you will about Tiger Woods’ chances of ever winning another major, but there’s no denying he’s still the biggest story in golf, all for showing up for a practice round. The media took stalking to a new level on Wednesday, squeeing into their Twitter accounts when he showed up in the parking lot, tracking him as he tied his shoes, and analyzing every tee shot, chip, and putt. All for a practice round. That being said, I’ll be glued to the TV tomorrow when he tees off at 8:35 a.m.
See you then.