Friday, September 29, 2006

UK Visitors on Night of Madness!

Fewfirstchoice
Wildcats Thunder Administrator & Basketball/Recruiting Analyst



October is the fall of the year. It's a time when many smaller communities in the great state of Kentucky hold fall festivals to celebrate the upcoming turning of leafs. It's also the month the smaller version of ourselves(we really wished we could be out there with them) dress up in horror costumes and ask their neigbors for candy. Taking all of this in to account,theres still something more important than all of that to some residents of the Commonwealth. It's the start of practice for the UK Basketball Squad and MIDNIGHT MADNESS.

For most this years Midnight Madness means more than some of the past Midnight Madness in the last couple of years. UK has seemed to fade away from making Midnight Madness a recruiting event for a reason many have questioned. Not this year! Tubby has had a change of heart and decided to bring the recruits in at a record pace this October. UK has decided to bring in a number of recruits in hope of turning there recruiting woes around. If the show is what its suppose to be I'll predict that UK may get their men.

Talking of Madness makes me want to take a look at who exactly will be visiting for the night of celebration. Following is a report of who should be visiting on a night of Maddness.

First off lets look at who verbaled to UK.

Mike (The Brit) Williams - a 7 foot 265 lb center. He is a player that has only played Basketball for 3 years and is developing at a fast pace working for the coaches who also coached Patrick Ewing, D. Mutumbo and A. Mourning. He is a kid that should improve leaps and bounds by his So. and Jr. season.

Now lets look at the 2007 Recruits who have said, they will attend MM.

Patrick Patterson - he is by far UK's #1 target and making a great impression on him will tell just how good of a class UK can reel in. He visits Duke this weekend, if he comes away from this weekend without committing I would think it bolds well for UK.

Jai Lucas - probably other than P. Patterson the most important piece to the puzzle for UK. Other players love Lucas and his leadership abilitys. They know he will make the right decsion at the right time of the game to let them win. If Lucas ends up anywhere else rather than UK I would be very suprised.

AJ Stewart - He is a great wing player who can play the 4, if need to be. He has professed his love for UK and really wants to play for Coach Smith. I was suprised he didn't verbal at his in home with Tubby. But I have to believe something was setup for his verbal to be excepted at a future date. AJ, Jai and P. Patterson really want to play together and if P. Patterson comes away from this weekend it may happen.

Marshell Moses - he is a player that has been rumored to be at Midnight Madness and I have heard that he will be there for sure. Moses loves UK and I would be very suprised if he doesn't end up at UK in some shape or form. Meaning he either commits and plays in 2007 or he red-shirts and waits till 2008. But I have been told he will end up at UK one way or another.

Lavoy Allen - this kid has just recently got really excitied about UK and decided to visit during Midnight Madness to see what UK is all about. Allen is a kid with great upside and size. If he likes what he sees at Midnight Madness I wouldn't be suprised to see him commit on the spot. He does want to sign early.

Marcus and Markieff Morris - these 2 recruits will be at Midnight Madness but I believe(based on the Williams verbal) they are long shots for UK. They both will go to the same school and the verbal will make it tough for both to be at UK. Look for Memphis to get the twins.

James Anderson - a explosive 2G/SF who has recently let UK in the recruiting stage of the game. I think Anderson is a guy who thinks that Arkansas may be the place for him, but he may be able to be influenced by a great show at Midnight Madness. If Anderson is willing to visit this means there is a chance UK could land this 5 star recruit. I think if this kid is blown away at Midnight Madness he could end up at UK.

Pettigrew - this kid is a 6-5 PF who loves UK has well. He is a kid that lives in Kentucky knows what UK is all about. He would commit if offered. He is a kid Tubby is waiting with to see who else verbals to UK. If Tubby could make him the 4th or 5th person in the class that would be great. But only if Tubby gets the top 3 he is after.

Brooks - I have heard he may be there, but I wouldn't hold my breath. He ends up at UofL, if I had to guess.

Now for the 2008 Class:

Bud Mackey - he is the only '08 I know will be there.

I have also been told S. Hopson could be there too, but nothing for sure yet.

D.Miller wants to come and if he can be there he will. But he has prior engagements from what I was told.

Remember there is always a couple of suprise recruits who show up sort of last minute. There are also some who can't make it and don't show up. So when Midnight Madness comes and some of these guys aren't there or a couple guys not mentioned show up, its not my fault guys.


If all these guys do show and the show is what its suppose to be, I expect the "WILDCAT NATION" will be very happy in the days following the celebration.

Coach Smith: 10 Years and Counting!

Catmancando
Wildcats Thunder Administrator



To some it has been a long ten years. Others have thought it has past rather quickly. What ever your thoughts are on this timeframe, this is Coach Smith’s tenth season.

Let’s take a look at the last 10 years. UK is 241 –71 during his tenure starting in 1997. He has one National Championship, five SEC titles and five SEC Tournament titles. He has averaged over 26 wins per season since becoming the coach at UK. I should also mention that he has four seasons with more than 10 losses. I am not a big fan in losing, but it happens to the best. Coach K in the mid 90’s had some terrible seasons at Duke. Ricky P. (see last years NIT). The list can go on and on.

Here’s where the challenge begins. We are at a pivotal point in Coach Smith’s career at UK. I think this may be the toughest challenge he will face as a coach. Can Coach Smith become an “Elite” coach? The only thing I believe that is keeping Tubby Smith from becoming a member of this fine club is accomplishing the challenge. This tremendous challenge will be turning the program around quickly. The expectations are high here and the natives are restless. Big Blue is starting to boil.

Can Tubby succeed? I think he can. He has the knowledge. The Elite coaches have all faced the same challenge at some point in their career and now it is Tubby’s turn. The Great One’s have realized their “short comings” and avoided the same pitfalls. They have admitted their mistakes to themselves and created effective countermeasures.

It appears that Coach has realized he is not the best recruiter in the business. I know he said in the past that he did not like recruiting. I am very pleased with the staff’s efforts this off-season. I can see that changes were made. It may not be the changes some wanted, but changes have been made and I applaud them.

I respect Coach Tubby Smith and vow my support for year. I like what changes have been made and the hard work that has taken place. I too believe in loyalty and second chances. I hope we reap the rewards from the hard work on the recruiting trail. I think we will have a better team than last year and I don’t see a 10-loss season. Maybe I am na├»ve and blinded by the Big Blue Kool-Aid. LOL.

The University of Florida won the crown last year. Their pre-season rankings were pretty bad. They were not even close to being ranked in the top twenty-five. (RANKING) Everyone was saying how bad they were going to be with the losses of 3 key players. Guess what? Everyone was INCORRECT. TEAMWORK is an amazing tool. I am in no way claiming that UK will win the National Championship next year. I think our situation could be similar to the Gators.

So we now begin the next chapter. The ball is in your hands Coach Smith and the shot clock is ticking down. I hope you do a Tomahawk dunk and cut the nets!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Midnight Madness: It truly is Madness!!

Gocats11
Wildcats Thunder Global Moderator



Madness you may say, what really makes this event deserve to be called madness?

I asked myself this question many times before I stepped on to the University of Kentucky campus as a student. I understood that UK basketball was huge, but I just didn't fully understand what it meant to people. "Madness, that's for sure!"

I came to realize that as I slept in my cozy dorm room on South Campus, which I may add still has the air conditioner on. I realized that there were people who loved their Wildcats so much that they were sitting outside in the cold, the rain and even the lightning and thunder just to get the best possible tickets for the event.

As a student that is a foreign concept to me. We have lotteries to get our tickets to get up close seats to the home basketball games during the season, so we tend to take it for granted. I came to realize that for some of these people, it is the only chance they get this season to get tickets close to the floor, or even get tickets at all.

I went to Midnight Madness last year and could not believe my eyes. It was the first time I had been inside Rupp Arena in years and I was so excited to be surrounded by so many people with that great "WILDCAT SPIRIT" that I have come to love about the people in the state of Kentucky. I found that "SPIRIT" again as I walked over to Memorial Coliseum after my classes this Thursday. The people may have been cold, low on sleep, and some even a little damp from the rain, but they didn't care. Many of them told me that they had been attending Midnight Madness for years and they were not going to let a little rain and cold stop them. I was amazed. "What great fans we have!" I even found a few students that I recognized from my classes. When I asked them what their motivation was for skipping class to camp out they proceeded to tell me "We want to be the students with the best tickets!"

These people are making a great sacrifice, because of safety of the people on campus they are not allowed to have propane heaters to keep them warm or to help them make food. That is defiantly what I call "MADNESS", but maybe Madness is just another word for the "WILDCAT SPIRIT" that we all have in us.

Maybe what goes on at the even isn't why it's called Madness, maybe it's the people who attend the even that make the event deserve to be called Midnight Madness. Madness, because of the people who love their Wildcats so much that they are willing to give up the basic things that we take for granted in our every day lives for a few days. I know each and every one of those people camping out there will get a ticket to Midnight Madness and I wished them luck in getting the "PERFECT SEATS", hopefully they will.

In closing, I guess what I am trying to say is that we all have that "WILDCAT SPIRIT" in us, even if we have never camped out in tents to get Midnight Madness tickets and if you have not been, you should make a point of trying to get tickets this year and going. Right now, when basketball season is about to have its great kick-off, let your inner "WILDCAT SPIRIT" out and show the team that we support them!

Basketball season is just around the corner.

Greg Hoover
Wildcats Thunder Basketball/Recruiting Analyst



Pictured here is as followed:
Marcus Morris,Markieff Morris,Chris Barnes & Jeff Brooks

You know, I love the fall. The trees show God’s hand in the creation of the world. Not that we came from goo 2 billion years ago. I am sorry I am not related to GOO!

Basketball season is just around the corner.

The early signing period (yes that EARLY signing period) is less than two months away. Everything LEADING UP TO SIGNING DAY IS AN EARLY COMMITMENT. Some are anxious and nervous that we haven’t gotten commitment “early”. But why do we need one. Oh yes, we have only one forward on scholarship for next season at this moment.

Last time I gave you some of the first options that Tubby is looking at.

Here are more:

Marcus Morris - 6’7” 209 SF from Philadelphia, PA (Penn Charter School). A year ago, it seemed Marcus' development was lagging behind that of his brother. Now, with an improved handle and a more fluid style of play, Marcus stands out as the more impressive prospect of the two. He can shoot the ball well out to the three-point line, he is a good passer for a big forward and he sees the floor well. He and Markieff have a great court synergy. He has the ability to create his own shot (off the dribble or moving without the ball). He has the perimeter and 3-point range to be a 2 even. He even played the point this summer for his AAU team. He is very versatile.

Markieff Morris - 6’8 ½” 218 from Philadelphia, PA (Penn Charter School). Markieff isn’t as versatile as Marcus. He is more of a back-to-the-basket and low blocks player. He has the build (chisled) to be a 4/5. And can play either spot and play it well. You might say that he is the inside force of the Morris Twins. He is strong bodied young man who moves well in the post and can score with it down there. Has a lot to work with and is comfortable on the blocks and slightly beyond (range is solid and consistent out to 16 feet). Very good on the boards and defending the opposite 4/5 player. Good outlet passer and a very coachable young man.

Chris Barnes - 6’8” 222 C from College Park, GA (suburban Atlanta) Riverdale HS. Very athletic, strong kid with hops to go along with the athleticism. Not much he cant do athletically. Plays hard and works hard. He isn’t as skilled as some kids as far as basketball skills but he is working hard. This isn’t saying he is a project … far from it. He avg 18 PPG, 11 RPG and 4 BPG. He also had 4 double doubles last year. What I am saying is that he isn’t AS SKILLED as some but he understands that. Another likable young man who is very coachable.

Jeff Brooks - 6’7” 208 SF from Louisville, KY (Doss). Very nice role player for the right programs (UK or Louisville). OR a starter right away for a program like Eastern, Murray, or Lipscomb or Morehead. He was measured at 6"7 without shoes, but has a 6'11" wingspan. Not sure where he will go, but I think he will wait until spring. He has a nice range. Very fluid and well coached at Doss. Again. He isn’t a superstar but he would be a perfect role player for UK or UL.

Steffphon Pettigrew - 6’5 214 SF/2G. VERY athletic young man. Plays WR on HS Football team as well and is one of the states elite in football also. Avg 22 and 11 last season and can play up to 3 positions easily (2G, SF, PF) in HS. Probably more suited for the wing in college. Can score from just about anywhere on the court. He has range, he can create off of the dribble and he can finish at the hole.

Ty Proffit - 6’3 ¼” 195 PG from London,KY. Eastern mountains strong playing PG. Has a good amount of talent but questionable as to whether it is high D-1 or not. HE wants to play at UK but UK is looking elsewhere (Jai Lucas) and needing to fill the forward slots. Ty is a good PG and runs the team well. But with 3 PG on the roster and looking at Lucas, Proffit would only be a human cigar type recruit (used only when needed).

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Central Michigan vs.Kentucky

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst

VS.

Now for the latest edition of, "The most important game of Rich Brooks' Future at UK!" This will be followed up next with Act III.

CMU played Michigan and Boston College tough early on. Their starting QB returned to the game late last week to help beat E. Michigan in OT. A big key for UK will be their ability to contain QB Brian Brunner. He can tuck it and run when needed.

The defense is lead by DE Dan Brunzin (sp?). IIRC he sat out some time last week due to an injury. Look for UK to be able to be successful in the passing game.

It seems Trai Williams will get his 2nd start at center. This along with the 1st career start of Jason Leger at RG. At some point this season our OL has to develop a run game. If not, you will see teams blitz and pressure AW and disregard the run game.

A lot of what UK does on offense is off play action. If you can't run, then play action is not going to help you a great deal.

Central Michigan presents some challenges for our kids.

1. You should never say a UK football team is looking ahead, but we need to come out ready to play. This has been an issue for UK in the past. Wait until Monday to think about SC.

2. CMU has done some good things on offense this year and our defense has been less than stellar. Can we hold them between 300-350 yards?

3. Coach Phillips needs to due a better job with 2nd half adjustments. Ole Miss and UF pretty much shut us down.

This is a big game for the Cats! One that should not be taken lightly.

Monday, September 25, 2006

UK's Main 2007 Recruits right now!

Greg Hoover
WT Basketball/Recruiting Analyst

The 2007 recruiting period hasn’t even started and people are already screaming FOUL, FOUL, FOUL. And I don’t mean the main courses at Ruby’s shack in Benton, KY (where Turkey, Chicken, and Quail are on the menu).

The indignant UK faithful (and to an extent they need to be upset) are complaining that we do not have a commitment yet.

My, oh my how things have changed in the past 5-6 years. It used to be this was the BEGINNING of the EVALUATION period. Well with the advent of the early signing period, the casting of players lots to where they will play college hoops grows earlier and earlier. In fact, Louisville already has a commitment for the 2009 class. Yep, a freshman last year (Sophomore to be this year) has already committed.

It is getting out of hand in my opinion but I am just one person.

I know that most of the fan base religiously looks at the numerous message boards for UK daily to see if by chance one of the top recruits committed overnight.

I don’t think it will happen until Midnight Madness but stranger things have occurred before.

Lets look at the main four players Tubby is recruiting right now.

AJ Stewart - AJ is a 6’8” 195 Combo forward from Jacksonville, FL (Arlington Country Day). I have had the privilege of seeing A NUMBER of AJ’s games the past two seasons and also his play at the shoe camps. To say his rating of 98 by scout is wrong is an understatement. There are kids who are good just because they are athletic. They are some who are good because they can shoot. AJ is good because he has great instincts. He controls the game even though he isn’t the PG. He guards well. He rebounds well (outrebounded Jason Bennett the 7’2” teammate of his for 2 seasons on a number of occasions). He knows how to get position. He makes his teammates better. He doesn’t drop passes. He hits the guards on the give and go with ease. His jumper is fluid and consistent. No, AJ isn’t spectacular and he isn’t the greatest dunker. BUT he is a coachable kid with a great smile and great game.

Patrick Patterson - Patrick is 6’8” 220 PF from Huntington, WV (Huntington High). I have seen a number of Patricks games and also his play this past summer very carefully. Last season, Patrick had a propensity for having an attitude. Some posters who saw him can attest to the technicals. But I am more speaking of the things that the rest don’t see. He loafed on occasions and he didn’t hustle 100% of the time. That is HUGE minus in my book and I wanted to see if he had corralled that attitude. So far this year he has. His senior season is about to start and OJ Mayo (who has his own issues) is joining him. This isn’t a good thing for Patrick but if he and OJ can work together (at least better than Bill and OJ came across) it might even be better than we think. There isn’t much Patrick cannot do on the court. He is a legit top 10 player and has every tool imaginable. Shooting, blocking, defending, handle, passing, rebounding, and controlling the game. If the attitude stays in check… the world is his oyster.

Jai Lucas - Jai is a 5’8” 145 PG from Bellaire, TX (Bellaire HS). Again, I have had the privilege of seeing numerous games of Jai career both in HS and AAU. He is a terrificly talented kid but the 5’8 145 pound frame poses a huge problem in my book and I will get back to that in a second. But first, lets look at what Jai can do. He is a great handler. What does that mean you ask? He can HANDLE the team. If he needs to make the right pass he does. If he needs to clamp down and get steal, he can. Jai has a boatload of the basketball talent that most coaches want to see. He also has a great intangible quality that all kids should have. DESIRE TO NOT LOSE. Not only does he want to win, he HATES losing. Whether its in a pickup up game at the shoe camp or at Bellaire, Jai HATES to lose. That is all great. The only issue is that his frame is not going to allow him to be THAT competitive at the next level. His opponents who have the same talent but are 5-7 inches taller tend to neutralize his game (happens ALL too frequently). The kids can shoot over him or they can back him down by being 40-60 pounds heavier. Jai dominates when they aren’t as talented as him. Now at UK playing who we play that wont happen that often and I think it’s a big risk to offer him. There are a number of pluses but the minuses to me outweigh them. However, he is talented and loves to play with the big boys (i.e. Patrick Patterson).

Mike Williams - Mike Williams 6’11” 280 C from Bishop Ireton HS in suburban Washington, DC (Alexandria/Fairfax). Mike is a new recruit and there isn’t a lot on him. The few clips I have seen show that Mike has good hands and good feel for the game. He is not a project in the sense of most overseas projects. He has played a little more than most. He is big. He was near 320 pounds a few months ago but he is working on his conditioning. His HS coaches are raving about his DAILY improvement and his desire to become a great player. He is a “prototypical” low post player. Left and right hand baby hooks. Low block moves, up and unders. Some might consider that a project but he has more talent than most projects.

Darnell Gant - Darnell is a 6’8” 202 Combo Forward from Los Angeles, CA (Crenshaw HS). Darnell is an enigma. He is not a prototype power forward although he is nearing 6’9”. He loves to play on the wings and elbow of the circle. He is long and athletic with a great feel for the game. He has terrific instincts much like AJ Stewart has. He isn’t quite to the elite status but with the right development this season he could be a top 50 player. He has all the tools… Shooting, rebounding, defending, shot blocking. The only thing I see that is a minus is that he doesn’t like playing on the low blocks and sometimes doesn’t mix it up because of that.

That is all for now. Look for more in the coming days.

WT's Football "Top 10" (Sept. 25)

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst

1. Ohio St
2. Auburn
3. USC
4. W VA
5. Florida
6. Texas
7. UL
8. Michigan
9. LSU
10. Georgia

Sunday, September 24, 2006

UF comes to play in the 2nd half!

Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football/Recruiting Analyst

VS.

Moral victories are still a loss. A team trying to get bowl eligible and help the head coach keep his job need to win.

But, our Wildcats did accomplish some good things in Gainesville! Going into the 4th quarter we were still in the game. We were out of the game last year at halftime.

Here are some others:

1. Time of possession was UK 34 UF 26
2. UF was 4-9 on 3rd down on 0-2 on 4th down.
3. We won the TO battle +2.
4. Dicky Lyons had another solid night.
5. AW did not committ the silly TO like in the past.

Where there is good there is bad.

1. 514 yards of offense for the Gators.
2. UK had ~65 yards offense in the 2nd half, which might have had a bearing on #1.
3. STUPID penalites. Like it or not I thought the interference call on Lyons was the right one. We had 2 personal fouls tackling guys OOB.
4. Our OT's got beat bad at times and looked bad in doing so.

The Cats seem to have come out of the game relatively healthy last night. Little and Cutch need to get well for the rest of the season.

The 1st third of our season is over. We came out of it 2-2. This middle section of our schedule decides our bowl hopes.

UK has a 4 game stretch coming up where they can possibly win 3 of 4. I think they have to go 3-1 to keep the momentum going. That would put them at 5-3.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mickie Demoss: A Class Act All The Way!



When Mickie Demoss accepted the head coaching job for the University of Kentuckys womens basketball program, many in the Wildcat Nation knew little about our Lady Wildcats program. Coach Demoss quickly got our attention. She took a program that had not been a national power since the early 80's and put UK womens basketball back on the map.

Coach Demoss came to UK after an 18 year tenure with Pat Summit and the Tennessee Lady Vols. While at UT, she helped coach 6 national championship teams, 13 final four teams and compiled a .878% winning percentage. While Pat Summits acheivements are known to anyone that has heard of womens basketball, Coach Demoss was right by her side all the way.Coach Demoss was the recruiting coordinator for the Lady Vols and was responsible for bringing in a tremendous amount of talent into Pat Summits program.

Coach Demoss is a graduate of Louisiana Tech where she received a bachelors of science in physical education, played starting point gaurd for 3 seasons, and still to this day hold the Lady Techsters record for most shots attempted in a single game.

In the 3 years since her arrival in Lexington, Mickie has compiled a 51-42 record including a victory last season over her former head coach, Pat Summit. For her acheivements to date at UK, Coach Demoss was rewarded with a 5 year contract extension in June of this year.

The arrival of Mickie Demoss in Lexington for me is reminiscent of when Rick Pitino came to UK after the probation years. Year 1 was tough but the team was fun 2 watch and each year the teams got progressively better leading up to multiple final fours and a national championship, a national runner up and recruitment of another national championship team. If we as fans can convince Coach Demoss that UK is the polace to be for the long term as UT has done with Pat Summit, I have no doubt she will bring similar spot light and accolades to our womens program.

One poll has the Lady Wildcats ranked #14 this preseason. As Coach Demoss continues to bring in top talent, I expect this type of ranking to become common place for our Lady Wildcats. With the challenge that the SEC brings yearly, her team will be ready for what the NCAA tournament brings again this year.

As a father of 3 daughters, I am very happy to have such a wonderful role model for my girls to look up to. I expect big things from this "VERY CLASSY LADY" in the near future and beyond.

Written by: WrathofRupp
Wildcats Thunder Administrator
www.wildcatsthunder.com

UK 2006-07 Women's Basketball Schedule

Front Row (L-R): Assistant Coach Vonn Read, Head Coach Mickie DeMoss, Carly Ormerod, Chante' Bowman, Nastassia Alcius, Samantha Mahoney, Jenny Pfeiffer, Moe Gamble, Assistant Coach Pam Stackhouse, Assistant Coach Niya Butts Back Row (L-R): Brittany Edelen, Jenn'e Jackson, Jennifer Humphrey, Sarah Elliott, Eleia Roddy, Lydia Watkins, Amani Franklin

UK 2006-07 Women's Basketball Schedule
11/1-Northern Kentucky 7pm
11/10-Washington St. 8pm
11/12-W.Forrest/Indiana 1pm
11/18-@Old Dominion 4pm
11/24@Delaware (Odwalla Classic) San Fransico,Cali. TBA
11/25-TBA (Odwalla Classic) San Fransico,Cali. TBA
11/30-Detroit 7pm
12/3-@Louisville 2 pm
12/8-Alabama St. 7 pm
12/17-ArkansasPineBluff 2pm
12/19-Miss.ValleySt. TBA
12/21-Southern 7pm
1/2-TeaxasPanAmerican 7pm
1/4-South Carolina 7pm
1/6-@Ohio St. NOON
1/11-@Alabama 9pm
1/14-Ole Miss 2pm
1/18-@LSU 8pm
1/21-@Auburn 3 pm
1/25- Miss. St. 7pm
1/28-@South Carolina 3pm
2/1-Vanderbilt 7pm
2/4-Florida NOON
2/8-@Ole Miss 8pm
2/11@Tennessee 5:30pm
2/15-Georgia 7pm
2/18-Arkansas 2pm
2/25-@Florida 3pm
3/1-3/4- SEC Tournament Duluth,Georgia TBA

For more info on the Lady Wildcats check
www.ukathletics.com

1st Place for SEC East is on the line!

vs.

1st Place for SEC East is on the line!

That is what is at stake, but as much as I love the BIG BLUE I can not imagine any scenario where UK beats UF in the Swamp!

Florida won their annual meeting with Rocky Flop by holding UT to MINUS 11 yards rushing on 23 attempts. UK has not been able to run the ball with any consistency this season. Add the fact we are missing our best RB and starting center things don't look to get any better.

Andre Woodson has been successful in the passing game so far this season. I am anxious to see what happens in the Swamp. He has taken good care of the ball, so far. Can UF get a rush with just the front 4? I think so and this will make things much more difficult for Andre.

UF hung 49 on us in the 1st half last year at Commonwealth. They are now in year two of Urban Meyer's spread option offense. The scary thing is 2nd string QB Tim Tebow is better suited to run the offense than 4 year starter Chris Leak.

There doesn't appear to be many positives for UK heading down to Gainesville. I'm not a big believer in moral victories, but UK needs to come out of this game with some positives. Were we successful running the ball? Did we make 3rd down stops?

We all preached about Ole Miss being the most important game to date in the Rich Brooks era. Central Michigan and South Carolina will provide the same type of atmosphere. Our kids have some confidence right now and we don't need a 55-7 pasting by the Gators. We have to have some confidence for Central Michigan and South Carolina.

Written by: Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Monday, September 18, 2006

Wildcats Thunder NCAA Football "Top 10"

WT's Football "Top 10" (Sept. 18)

1. Ohio St
2. Auburn
3. USC
4. W. VA
5. Florida
6. Texas
7. UL
8. Michigan
9. LSU
10. Georgia

By: Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Big Win for the Big Blue!

As stated all week the Ole Miss was a must win game for UK. Give our guys credit for winning a game they usually have not won. They made the plays when needed.

The alleged weakness of the WR's has now been put to bed. If anyone saw the catch Strickland made to set up the last TD can tell you it was a great catch! Lyons, Jr continues to have a break-out season. All this helps Keenan Burton as the season progresses.

Lones Seiber will be the kicker at UK for the next four years. While not a game winning FG, it was big for him to get the 1st one under his belt. IIRC it was 41 yards with plenty of room to spare.

Our defense created 5 TURNOVERS! When did that happen last?

Myron Pryor was huge last night and still not 100%.

While last night was exciting, great and grand for UK.

There are things that still need to be fixed.

1. Ole Miss was 7-15 on 3rd down. We have to get off the field.

2. 400 yards to a less than average Ole Miss team.

3. UK had only 90 yards rushing. The OL has to do a better job in the running game. I think this is why we saw an anemic 3rd quarter. UK was trying to run the ball and was not successful.

4. How quickly can McCutchan heal? Luckily x-rays were negative last night.

We are 2-1!! That is the most important stat from last night. It was a feel good win for the kids, the staff, the fans and UK's administration. It also helps towards bowl eligibility and hopefully a boost in the arm of recruiting.

Written By: Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Friday, September 15, 2006

"UK's BIG RECRUITING BONANZA"

Recruiting, Recruiting, Recruiting, ah isn't it the best season of all? When I say season, I mean seasons such as baseball winter meetings, nascars funny season and all the occasions in sports when teams and company's change the face of there rosters. For UK basketball this is now, and we fans are getting a full dose of how recruiting can make for a exciting off season.

With the recruiting bonanza under way I think now would be a great time to look at exactly what UK and Coach Tubby Smith are doing during this time. Let's look at the 2006, 2007 & 2008 basketball recruits on UK's radar.

First off let me say this. Tubby has been working extremely hard this off season on recruiting, not like anything before in his tenure. I know he has taking some flack in the past for his recruiting but you can't say its Tubby's fault if UK misses recruits this year. What has he done different you may ask and the answer is simple. Tubby has scheduled a many number of in home visits, which are under way as I type. He has been to a many high school gyms to watch players work out, and he has many offers on the board to different players who UK has expressed interest in. So if UK misses on the big targets this year you will not be able to point a finger at Tubby for lack of recruiting.

Saying this lets take a look at who UK is putting some flyer's out on, and who UK is really putting the clamps on.

Patrick Patterson - PP is UK #1 target for the '07 class. UK's main computation are Wake, Duke and UF. Tubby made his in home visit on Monday right after he got back from his Florida visit. P.P. will make a official visit to UK at Midnight Madness. UK looks to be the leader and I expect he could even commit on his visit during MM. I have even heard a "RUMOR" that P.P. may have committed at Tubby's in home visit Monday and wont announce it until MM, remember this is a "RUMOR" and we will have to wait and let it play out.

Jai Lucas - is probably the recruit UK is going after right behind Patterson. UK is fighting Maryland and Oklahoma for Lucas. Lucas will visit UK at MM along with Patterson and some other recruits. Lucas is a strong UK lean per my sources and could also give UK a early commit.

A.J. Stewart - UK and UF are the 2 schools battling over AJ. UK has the edge right now. Tubby has a in home scheduled for the 18th of Sept and many believe he will commit if Tubby extends a offer during the visit, I believe Tubby will offer. He will also visit at MM with Patterson and Lucas. Those 3 at MM together can only mean good things for their recruitments. I have been told to look for AJ to be UK 's first official commitment in the '07 class.

Marcus and Markieff Morris - Tubby has a in home for sometime this week or next scheduled. They will be at MM visiting. Tubby has offered both the twins for '07. UK is on a list with Indiana and Memphis, the latter 2 have offered for '08 as well. UK wants them for '07 but they still haven't decided if they will be in the '07 or '08 class. If they decide to be in the '07 class UK looks to be a favorite the land the twins.

M. Moses - Has decided to be in the '07 class, and he may or may not have a offer from UK for '07 but he does for '08. UK and UF are at the top of his board. He has no official visit set up as of yet, but it may happen at MM with the other recruits mentioned above. If UK for sure offers this kid he will jump at the chance to be a Cat, they only have to decide what class they want him in. I have heard that he may commit and then red shirt his freshman year. Who really knows Moses recruitment has been weird at the least and probably will get a little weirder before its over. If I was UK I would offer him a ride and let him play next season, but who am I.

J.J. Hickson - long-shot at best but very much worth the effort, if UK can somehow land this beast. UK is in his top 5 and will get a official visit, it just isn't scheduled yet. UK has offered and they are on his list with NC State, G-town, Tenn and UF. UK is coming on strong as of late but most still think UF is the team to beat. I say UK is in third behind UF and G-town, but some say UK and UF are even a top his list.

D. Gant - UK has offered and he will visit UK on the 28th of Sept. Tubby has a in home setup for sometime this week. Gant is a late bloomer that is just now coming into his own. Washington is his leader with Oregon and UK behind them. I say the kid doesn't leave the west coast.

C. Barnes - UK has offered along with Georgia, UF, and Wichita St. A in home and official visit are being setup but haven't heard when they will happen. Barnes is a back up plan for UK, and if they need him he could be ready to pull the string when called upon.

Pettigrew and Brooks are mainly back up plans who have not been offered and will not unless a total collapse happens in the '07 class.

Now lets talk about the '06 class for a second, because it may not be complete just yet.

R. Harris - is still a option for the Cats in the 2006-07 season. He is trying to complete a core class so he can be eligible for the semester starting in Jan. If he passes the class and Sandy Bell lets him enroll he will be a member of the UK BB team. He is visiting this weekend and will commit more than likely.

Now a little taste of '08:

D. Miller - will be at MM with the rest of the recruiting targets this season. Miller could be a early commit for the '08 class, he really likes UK and UK really likes him. He does have a offer and he may jump sooner than later.

Now there is a quick look at the recruiting situation for UK. One from the '06 class,(the class that just wouldn't quit) a few from '07 and one from '08. Hope this helps some of you understand were UK stands with there recruits. Also remember some of these offers are conditional and UK will wait and see what their main targets do before the offers go in to effect in the case of some. The '07 class is shaping up to be a great class, and unless a total collapse happens I expect it to be Tubby's best class ever.
Thanks,
Fewfirstchoice

Written by: Fewfirstchoice
Wildcats Thunder Basketball/Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Is Ole Miss the biggest game of Brook’s tenure?

VS.

Is Ole Miss the biggest game of Brook’s tenure?

We enter this week at 1-1. That is not really a huge surprise. What makes this important is the win is over a Division 1-AA team. The other is a 31 point pasting by UL. What makes the loss to UL bad is we looked unprepared and were never in the game.

UK is coming into a stretch of the season that IMO they need to go 3-1 for this staff to survive 2006 and go bowling. Three of the four are at home and are winnable games.

How do we get game one?

1. Come out prepared to play! We got down to UL 28-0 before we knew the game started. Our 1st two possessions vs. Texas St produce a fumble and an interception. Go back and look at UK’s failures in the 1st half recently: Ohio (2004), UL (2005-06) IU (2005), Idaho St (2005), Ole Miss (2005) and Texas St.

2. Stop the run. Schaffer can tuck it and run. Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis did OK vs. us a couple of years ago when he was at IU. Make Shaffer beat you with his arm. I like Jarmon getting the starting nod at one DE.

3. The emergence of Dicky Lyons will only help Little and Burton. I will say this before every game: Raffy needs 20-25 touches a game.

4. Special Teams. We know what we get from Raffy and Keenan in the return game. Masthay needs to continue his early season success in the punting game. UK missed a PAT last week and a short FG. That type of failure over the next month could cost UK a game.

UK has laid an egg in this type of game the past few years. Doing so this week will cost them a bowl and the coaches their jobs!

Written By: Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Monday, September 11, 2006

Wildcats Thunder NCAA Football "TOP 10"

"TOP 10" (Sept.11, 2006)

1. Ohio St
2. Notre Dame
3. Auburn
3. USC
5. W VA
6. LSU
7. Florida
8. Texas
9. UL
10.Oklahoma

By: Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cats beat Texas St.

TEXAS ST. 7 UK 41

UK beat a Division 1-AA team 41-7. A D1-A should dominate a D1-AA team. I'm not sure we need to make much more of it!

Again, UK comes out flat. A fumble on the 1st drive. An interception on the second drive.

I'm sure the 9 penalties we incurred will not sit well with Coach Brooks. I'm not sure there really is alot to say other than we did what we needed to do.

UK's season and Rich Brook's future at UK will play out over the next 4 weeks. Ole Miss, @UF, Central Michigan and SC. IMO, anything less than 3-1 and Mitch needs to start developing a list of candidates to interview.

I think the UL debacle has put this staff behind the 8 ball. It's one thing to lose but another to be embarrassed like UL did to UK!

I apologize to the Staff for a pretty lame post game review, but the season starts this week and our boys need to come out of the tunnel ready to play!

Written By: Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Saturday, September 09, 2006

September brings more Fun, Angst and Trepidation

September Recruiting begins a high point for many kids who haven't committed during this month.

For a school like UK who has no commitments these visits MUST produce some commitments soon or the talent pool at UK will suffer even more.

Many of the players Tubby is recruiting now are barely High d-1 level. What do I mean by that you ask. Well, lets look at football.

Isnt there a disparaging difference between, say Texas and North Texas? Georgia and Western Ky?

The same thing is prevalent in college basketball although because of the 13 scholarship rule... that disparity is narrowing.

If you take say.. the top 25... and say they get 2-3 player in the top 100... that removes 50-75 players. The next bunch of schools (the mid majors as they are called)... get their players from the 100-200 area. There are some good players here and each year the pool at this area is different. In 2004 for example... Tyler Hansbrough's class was good at the top but 75-100 were weak... they wouldnt even have been near the 130 area last year... This year is very similar to last year. the kids in the 100-150 range can play High D-1 but they arent as good as say the top 25.

SO>.. what am I saying in a roundabout way...

we STILL DO have a chance for a good class.

Patrick Patterson: YES I have reported what I have heard from a number of sources... I will tell you ... though. That they arent as fervent as they were 3-4 weeks ago. I think THEY are hearing what YOU are hearing... That Patrick is cooling from FLorida and that its basically UK and Duke... No, I am not changing my mind. I still at this point do not want Patrick at UK. I dont like his attitude and demeanor on the court... But I can live with my opinion being suppressed. That is fine. The point of Patricks decision will be VERY swayed this weekend when Florida gets their rings... If they cannot convince him there, then we might have a better shot than my contacts noted.

AJ Stewart: I really like this kid. I like his demeanor, his personality, his work ethic, his game, his presnece. His everything a coach would want. I cannot for the life of me understand WHY an offer hasnt been made. Reports (Sketchy at best) say one will be given at in-home visit (as this thread implies) coming in a few weeks... and if he can wait for an offer fine. He will be great in blue and white.

Marshall Moses: I really like this kid too. Same as AJ. games are a tad different and my opinion would be to get Moses and Stewart and let Patterson be someone elses problem... and he might show me up and become POTY one year. fine.

Now the bad news.

UK will not get Stewart and Moses both. For WHATEVER reason, Tubby has scheduled in-home with Stewart in Mid September and will offer him a scholly while he is there. Moses was already given a offer for 08 and will be getting one for the 07 year about the same time as Stewart because he classified for 2007. Tubby will tell them that he can only take one and the first to accept will get the ride.

Now I agree with this way of recruiting with MOST recruits but not these 2 guys. UK can get both of them and he should get both. BUT Tubby is looking forward in his recruiting (imho). He is not wanted 2 SF in the same class ranked so close together... why... well maybe it is because they would take PT away from each other and cause dissension. If so... fine. I still think that you could use both as combo forwards... or make matchups for our opponents more difficult... but I am not coach.

So, instead of taking 2 "top 50" talents he will take 1 of them and a top 100-200 talent PF in Brooks or Pettigrew. If any one has a clue or Tubbys ear... He needs to be told this.

Tubby wants class something like this:
Patterson,Lucas, Stewart or Moses (NOT BOTH)and a combo of 2 of these Coker, Pettigrew, Brooks, Barnes or another C-PF type.

Now if he can pull Coker off which looks better and better every day, I MIGHT BE ABLE TO stomach taking only one of Moses or Stewart. The best possible (by ranking) class UK could land now is this Patterson, Coker, Moses, Brooks, Lucas(based on the offers and Tubby's way of thinking) and that would be a decent class. I wouldnt call it top 10... and it might not STILL be enough to save him if I were AD, but it might dog and pony Mitch Barnhart into believing it.

I would rather take Stewart with the others and try to convince Brooks to walk on if he wants to... but if Moses and Stewart both want to come ... let em. Offer them and take both of them.

A class of Patterson, Coker, Moses, Stewart,and Lucas might be a top 5 and for sure top 10 class while the other with Brooks would be around the 10-15 range (without Moses or Stewart).

It might be enough however to save his butt... if he gets it done.

There is still the work of getting the commitments.

Wriiten by: Greg Hoover
Basketball/Recruiting Analyst

Thursday, September 07, 2006

UK- Texas State Preview

We are playing a 1-AA opponent who beat a Division II opponent by 4 points. You would think this would be a slam dunk?

The 2nd games of the season always seems to be a tougher than expected game for UK. It took a Little return on a kick-off last year to seal the deal vs. Idaho St.

Losing to UL was nothing to be embarrassed about. Giving up 59 points, 600 yards and getting smoked on both sides of the LOS is something to be embarrassed about.

UK needs to come out from the beginning and take control and put this one to bed early! Don't let this group hang around until the 4th quarter. We need alot of positives so our kids can get some confidence going into the Ole Miss game.

What to look for:

1. Hold Texas St to less than 100 yards rushing. Personally, I'd like to see it less than 80.

2. Get off the field on 3rd down. Hold them to 25% on 3rd down efficiency.

3. Create some turnovers.

4. Establish a running game. Get Raffy 15-20 carries and over 100 yards.

5. 350-400 yards total offense.

6. Get Ford, Johnson and Strickland (if he plays) some touches. Burton and Lyons did good things vs UL. We need some plays from the other guys.

7. Be at least 60% on 3rd down.

Again, I think we need some positives going into Ole Miss. I think the Ole Miss game could be our season. You would not think week 3 could be that important, but it might just be the most important game of Brook's tenure!

Written By: Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Cats OL Gets a Face Lift!


Coach Brooks and Coach Heggins have replaced James Alexander and Hayden Lane on the Cats OL for the Texas St game. Michael Aithceson moves from RG to RT. Fatu moves over from LG to RG and Garry Williams gets the nod at LT.

Lane had started, IIRC 30+ consecutive games for the Cats. The kid is beaten up pretty regularly on the internet, but I hate to see him lose his sopt. I suspect he will bounce back before the season is over.

Alexander is a kid that needed a rs last year as a freshmen. I thought he would get one this year but Aaron Miller ended up not making the grade. He had to take all the pre-season snaps while while both Williams and Miller waited word on their academic status.

Micah Johnson makes his 1st college start at MLB. It seemed Braxton Kelly was very hesitant last week. My guess is he is still having a hard time "trusting" his knee. He is another kid who has the mental make-up to get back his job as well.

Coach Brooks also said that Jeremy Jarmon and JD Craigman would get more snaps at DE. We need somebody. Durrell White has under acheived his 4 years at UK.

The Cats need this to be a feel good game. Because IMO the Ole Miss game will make or break their season!

Wriiten By: Bigbluemist
Wildcats Thunder Football Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Ramon Harris a "Wildcat"?


Ramon Harris kid from Alaska is on his way to playing for UK. It seems UK will get him eligable for the fall semester this season. He will have to sit out the first semester, but he can play the second one. I was told the last stages are being completed and unless something completely falls apart he will be UK's 12 scholly player this season. He says he plays like McGrady, I guess we will have to wait and see. I have not seen him play myself, but have been told good things about his game. I have a feeling he can help UK this season.

Not sure when it will get announced or when he will arrive on campus, but probably right after everything is taken care of by Sandy Bell. Not sure if he has to prep just yet, I was told UK maybe able to get him eligible for the 2nd semester. In fact the last I heard they were confident Harris would be eligible. But if he isnt able to play he would go to prep school, but I think he will get eligible. I will try to find out more, but yesterday UK thought he was going to be able to play for the 06-07 Cats, but we will see. Harris will be a solid role player when he learns Tubbys system.

He has the ability to help and play minutes right away. The reason he wasn't pickup until late was because he didn't know he was going to get eligible for the season. He's not a great dominate player, but a good role guy who has some skills. Keep your fingers crossed for another Alaskan Assain from deep like Langdon from Duke.

Written By: Fewfirstchoice
Wildcats Thunder Basketball Recruiting Analyst
www.wildcatsthunder.com

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

UK - UL Football Recap

"USS UK Titanic"

Give me the 22 pts. I'll take 'em and make some money! Good thing I quit gambling 12-15 years ago.

Give credit to UL for coming out and just slapping UK all over the field Sunday night.

Alot of us, well me. Bought into, "we are bigger, faster and stronger!" My gosh UL's DL was in the backfield before the snap hit Andre's hands. Talk about the path of least resistance!!

I'm still trying to decide what is worse our run defense or UK basketball guarding the 3? I'll go with the run defense. Why play the LB's 6-8 yards off the LOS? Isn't defense about attacking? It's hard to see everything on the TV, but I swear I don't think we did anything different than the 4-3 defense all night?

Anybody look at the box score and see that Little had a whopping 7 touches!! Come on Joker, get your all SEC RB the ball!

I could type 5 pages of negatives. Let's look at somethings that we can build on.

1. Masthay did a really good job. IIRC he averaged 40 yds/punt.
2. Mr. Burton!! When healthy, he can get it done!
3. Dicky Jr showed up and made some big plays.
4. I thought Andre did OK. His stats were not pretty, but he did not make any bonehead plays or TO's. He was able to pull the ball down and make some positive yardage. Not bad when the defense beats you to the spot on a 3 step drop!
5. I liked Trevard Lindley in coverage. I think they threw his way 4 times with 1 completion.

While disgusted I am not ready to throw the towel in. We have 11 games to go but these 2 weeks might be the 2 most important in Rich Brook's tenure at UK!

Written By: Bigbluemist www.wildcatsthunder.com

Wildcats Thunder "Top 10" Football Poll

I think its very hard to do a top 10 after one week but:

1. Ohio St
1. Notre Dame
1. Texas
4. Auburn
5. USC
6. W Va
7. LSU
8. Florida
9. FSU
10. UL
------------------------------------------
11. Oklahoma
12. Miami

Poll By: Bigbluemist