Happy 28th birthday to Stevie Johnson of “Stevie Got Loose” lore. The former Cat turned 28 on Tuesday, and celebrated in his hometown of San Francisco, where he’s getting ready for the 49ers’ training camp. The Buffalo Bills traded Stevie to the 49ers back in May, but now it appears there’s a small chance Stevie may not make the roster. CSN Bay Area reports that Stevie will have to win the No. 3 wide receiver spot (behind Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree) in order to make the roster due to his scheduled $3.295 million salary this year. He’s the frontrunner–he was the No. 1 wide receiver in Buffalo after all–but it’s definitely a role change for the flamboyant wideout.
Just more motivation, right? Good thing Stevie knows all about that:
Now let’s go. News and views.
The latest basketball practice report is pretty exciting
Eric Lindsey had the enviable privilege of attending UK’s 90-minute practice on Monday, and wrote an in-depth practice report for CoachCal.com. Lindsey’s report echoes the scoop we’ve hear from the Joe Craft Center so far, specifically about the improvement of Alex Poythress. Lindsey writes that Alex “looked lighter on his feet than I’ve ever seen him,” and much more confident. Of course, the name of the game for Alex is consistency, and I’ll wait until I see that improvement transfer to a full game before breaking out the confetti, but the update is encouraging nonetheless.
Other notes from the report: Tyler Ulis continues to impress, the Harrison Twins and Dakari Johnson are in better shape, Devin Booker looks good, and Marcus Lee has developed a jumper. There’s something for everyone in the report, but this part about the matchup between Karl Towns and Dakari Johnson may be my favorite:
“Towns, without question, is one of the most all-around talented big guys Calipari has had at UK in his five seasons at Kentucky. But, like all freshmen, there’s a learning curve, and Towns was in for a bit of a lesson against an experienced Johnson. As assistant coach Kenny Payne tried to throw him the ball the top of the key — where Towns can play, I might add — Johnson fronted him and didn’t let him get around his frame. When Towns tried to fake him out with a couple of moves, Johnson didn’t budge and just leaned on him. Calipari eventually stopped play and told Towns that those moves that worked in high school won’t work in college before showing him how to get his leg around Johnson and then bump off. Once Towns got the ball in his hands, he was difficult to stop.”
Only 17 days until we get to see this team for ourselves.
Mike DeCourcy doesn’t think much of the 2015 class
It’s been hard to get a good feel on how UK’s doing in the 2015 class. Despite the fact that Cal’s handed out more offers to 2015 recruits than any other class since he came to UK, the Cats only have one commitment: Charles Matthews. Cal seems to be going outside of his box a little bit with 2015 recruiting. Why? Well, according to The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy, “the class of 2015 stinks.” DeCourcy, who was at the Peach Jam last week, says that aside from Ben Simmons, there isn’t any elite talent in the class, which could be bad news for programs that rely on elite talent to survive…like Kentucky:
The bad news is if your program requires an annual infusion of elite talent to thrive, or needs one in this particular recruiting year, your coach will need to land exactly the right guys to make it work.
It’s an interesting point, and could describe why UK’s offers seem to be all over the place in the class so far. To read more of DeCourcy’s thoughts on the class, click here.
This picture of Steve Spurrier is why I love Steve Spurrier
Spurrier and Nick Saban were part of Day 2 of the SEC Coaches Car Wash at ESPN today, and Spurrier threw this shade while Saban was describing how he sells playing time to recruits. After we finally beat Spurrier back in 2010, he became a much more lovable figure in my eyes. He’s not only hilarious, he’s not afraid to speak his mind, which makes him a prime candidate for a drinking buddy and a bridge partner. Ideally, both.
Have you voted in UK’s Kickoff Playoff yet?
UK has heard our plea for better music at Commonwealth Stadium, and in addition to partnering with local radio stations to allow fans to vote on game music, they’re getting input from the players. UK asked eight players to choose a song to be played right before opening kickoff on August 30. They’ve pitted the choices against each other in a bracket, with fans voting on their favorite each day. Tuesday’s quarterfinal is Bud Dupree’s choice, “Knuck if you Buck,” against Steven Borden’s choice, “Scatta.” Go vote here. On Wednesday, you can vote between “Who Run It” (Braylon Heard) and “Head Bussa” (Mike Douglas). So far, I think Za’Darius Smith’s “We Ready” has the best chance of winning.
Drew is putting together a bracket with the KSR crew’s selections, which you’ll see later this week. BTI’s selection is pretty much exactly what you would expect.
This picture of Adolph Rupp mixing mortar for Memorial Coliseum is great
The Herald-Leader started a Twitter account (@KYPhotoArchive) with photos from their archives, and Tuesday’s was pretty great. Check out Adolph Rupp mixing mortar at the construction of Memorial Coliseum back in 1949.
This picture of Jack White at the Chicago Cubs game is hilarious
On the flipside, we have this picture of Jack White at a Chicago Cubs game on Tuesday night. Where do you even begin?
Matt and Drew will be live from Hudson Automotive in Drew’s hometown of Madisonville in the morning to talk C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS, and probably a little Pat Forde. See you then…