Monday afternoon the Kentucky Football program honored the life well lived by John Schlarman. Hundreds of former players joined the team and his family at Kroger Field to salute the Wildcat.
During the more than hour-long service, we learned that the man had a passion for playing the ponies. He loved coffee, maybe too much, and remained selfless until the very end of his life. In his final weeks, he apologized to his players for not being there for them. He gave all of himself all the time.
Offensive guard Austin Dotson admitted that he had days last year where he didn’t want to leave his room because his mother was battling cancer and there was nothing he could do about it. Schlarman taught him to control what he could control by attacking each day. Offensive tackle Darian Kinnard did not grow up with a father in his house.
“He opened my eyes to what a real man is,” Kinnard said. “He is so much more than a coach.”
The players thanked his wife, LeeAnne, and their four children, Joseph, Benjamin, Matthew and Evelyn, for sharing Schlarman with the team. The lessons he taught will never be forgotten. West Virginia head coach Neal Brown spent almost a decade coaching with John at Troy and Kentucky. Close friends, there are two things Brown learned from his fellow Kentuckian over the last two years.
“Work hard. Do your best. Love your people,” Brown shared. “The way you play the game matters….How you live your life matters.”
Today let’s work hard, do our best and love our people.
Stoops Displeased with the Defense
That’s an understatement. Yesterday was arguably the angriest I’ve ever seen Kentucky’s head coach in a media setting.
Kentucky’s offense and defense can’t seem to play good at the same time. On Saturday it was the defense that failed to figure it out. What did they do wrong? Here’s what Mark Stoops saw on film:
“I know defensively for me, there’s no excuse. I sit there and watch us and at times I see a group of young men they want somebody else to make the play. They want some miraculous call to stop the play. ‘Coach, you call something good so we can stop this play because I don’t want to stop it. I’m not going to make a play. I want my neighbor to make a play but I don’t want to make the play. Or I want to do my own thing. I don’t want to execute the defense. I just wanna do my own thing so I can get a stat.’ That’s what I see and it’s pissing me off to be honest with you.”
See the coach explode and the rest of Monday’s press conference below.
Let’s do this, MACtion
Tuesday nights are best spent watching football, but not just any football, MACtion. There are two games on the schedule tonight that Vegas expects to turn into blowouts, starting with Buffalo (-32) at Bowling Green on CBSSN at 7 pm ET, followed by Akron (+24) at Kent State on ESPN at 8 pm ET.
Chris Rodriguez and everybody else
Another week means another week of praise for UK running back Chris Rodriguez. He was PFF’s top-ranked Power Five running back after picking up 149 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries against Vanderbilt.
Highest-graded power five RBs (Week 11):
1. Chris Rodriguez Jr, Kentucky – 87.5
2. C'Bo Flemister, Notre Dame – 86.3
3. Tyler Goodson, Iowa – 79.9
4. Sean McGrew, Washington – 79.1 pic.twitter.com/4g7sn9iJpJ
— PFF College (@PFF_College) November 16, 2020
Rodriguez wasn’t the only Wildcat to earn recognition following the Vandy game. Four Cats earned SEC Player of the Week honors: Jamin Davis (defensive), J.J. Weaver (freshman), Landon Young (offensive lineman) and Chance Poore (special teams).
An NCAA Tournament Shake-Up
The NCAA Tournament will be held at one location in 2021. Mitch Barnhart, Dan Gavitt and the other decision makers in Indianapolis revealed they have reached out to the city of Indianapolis to become the host city of the 65-team tournament. By keeping everyone in one place, there’s a much greater chance the show will still go on uninterrupted. As for the specifics, we do not have many. All we know is that as of today they still plan to host March Madness in the month of March.
Hunter Sallis Trims List
One of Kentucky’s top basketball targets in the 2021 recruiting class cut his list to eight. The top-ranked point guard and No. 6 player in America will choose between Kentucky, North Carolina, Gonzaga, Iowa State, Kansas, UCLA, Creighton and Oregon.
Hear from Kyra Elzy
On SEC Network the new UK women’s basketball details the “bittersweet” emotions she’s experienced since Matthew Mitchell’s abrupt retirement.
My Kinda Nuggets
Some parents get it. Sports are supposed to be fun and that’s exactly what is happening this youth girls’ basketball team. They are the Nuggets, not the Denver Nuggets, chicken nuggets. Even though I would be hesitant to use mayo or wasabi on my nugs, you do you girl.